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The Points Guy hires cruise expert Gene Sloan to expand coverage 

Jan. 02, 2020
4 min read
The Points Guy hires cruise expert Gene Sloan to expand coverage 
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TPG is kicking off the new year with an exciting new addition to our team.

One of the nation’s best-known cruise experts, Gene Sloan, is joining TPG full-time as a senior reporter for cruise and travel.

Sloan comes to The Points Guy after more than two decades at USA Today where he is best known for leading a multi-year expansion into cruise coverage, building it into a major franchise. Sloan founded, and for many years ran, USA Today’s award-winning online cruise section. His cruise stories have appeared in dozens of news outlets across the country.

For the last year, Sloan has also been contributing cruise content to TPG. This has included everything from a comparison of 16 different cruise lines to a first look at Royal Caribbean's new private island to a sneak peek at an all-new Norwegian ship.

Gene Sloan reporting from Carnival Cruise Line’s revamped Carnival Sunrise in 2019. (Photo courtesy of Gene Sloan/The Points Guy)

In his new role, Sloan will spearhead a significant expansion of cruise coverage at The Points Guy as the site continues to broaden its focus on all areas of travel news.

Sloan has years of experience in building and expanding cruise-focused travel sites. In addition to founding USA Today Cruises, he helped launch a USA Today-owned cruise review site, Reviewed.com/Cruises, and a planning site, Experience Cruise.

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Sloan also has served as an on-air cruise expert for The Travel Channel, appearing in the channel’s “Cruises We Love!” series, and is the co-author of several Frommer’s cruise guides. In his early years at USA Today, he wrote about adventure travel and family travel in addition to cruising. His travel writing has taken him to 87 countries and all seven continents -- not to mention sailing on more than 150 ships.

Gene Sloan interviewing Disney Cruise Line entertainment executive Jim Urry aboard a Disney ship for a video segment several years ago. (Photo courtesy of Gene Sloan/The Points Guy)

As an avid flyer, Sloan also enjoys the view from 35,000 feet. He has earned lifetime Million Miler status with United and is now flying toward the same lifetime goal with American Airlines. For the record, he's on team aisle seat.

“I am thrilled to be joining what is quickly becoming one of the most important travel content sites on the internet,” said Sloan. “As big media has pulled back on serious travel content in recent years, it has created an opening for new, smart and nimble innovators in travel content such as The Points Guy.”

Sloan’s hire comes at a time of rapid editorial growth for The Points Guy. Founded just a decade ago by CEO Brian Kelly and initially focused on maximizing travel using points and miles earned through loyalty programs and credit cards, TPG has been adding staff at breakneck speed this year as it expands into broader coverage of airlines, hotels, resorts and destinations. TPG now has more than 100 employees with more key open positions to fill.

Driven by a mission of helping travelers “maximize their travel experience while minimizing spending,” The Points Guy sees more than 10 million monthly unique visitors to the site, with a social media following of more than 3 million.

Featured image by Getty Images/EyeEm

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TPG featured card

Best card for premium perks while traveling
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review

Rewards

2 - 10X points
10XEarn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel
5X5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel.
2X2 Miles per dollar on every purchase, every day

Intro offer

75,000 bonus miles
Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel

Annual Fee

$395

Recommended Credit

740-850
Excellent
Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

Why We Chose It

The Capital One Venture X card is one of the best all-round travel credit cards ever launched. Not only is it offering a tremendous welcome bonus, but cardholders can earn tons of miles on everyday spending and receive a 10,000-mile anniversary bonus to boot. Its annual fee is $395, but cardholders can count on up to $300 in statement credits toward travel booked through Capital One Travel each year and other valuable benefits like access to Priority Pass lounges and Capital One’s own growing family of airport lounges.

Pros

  • Excellent welcome offer worth 75,000 miles after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first three months.
  • Up to $300 in annual travel statement credits toward bookings make through Capital One Travel.
  • 10,000 bonus miles (worth $100 toward travel) each account anniversary.

Cons

  • The $395 annual fee might be expensive for some, but this card’s benefits provide much more value than that.
  • If you don’t travel frequently, this might not be the best card for you.
  • Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel
  • Receive up to $300 back annually as statement credits for bookings through Capital One Travel, where you'll get Capital One's best prices on thousands of options
  • Get 10,000 bonus miles (equal to $100 towards travel) every year, starting on your first anniversary
  • Earn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel and 5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel
  • Earn unlimited 2X miles on all other purchases
  • Unlimited complimentary access for you and two guests to 1,400+ lounges, including Capital One Lounges and our Partner Lounge Network
  • Receive up to a $100 credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck®
  • Use your Venture X miles to easily cover travel expenses, including flights, hotels, rental cars and more—you can even transfer your miles to your choice of 15+ travel loyalty programs
  • Named editors' choice for "Best New Credit Card of 2021" by The Points Guy
  • Earn 10 miles per dollar when you book on Turo, the world's largest car sharing marketplace, through May 16, 2023
Best card for premium perks while traveling
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review

Rewards Rate

10XEarn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel
5X5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel.
2X2 Miles per dollar on every purchase, every day
  • Intro Offer
    Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel

    75,000 bonus miles
  • Annual Fee

    $395
  • Recommended Credit
    Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

    740-850
    Excellent

Why We Chose It

The Capital One Venture X card is one of the best all-round travel credit cards ever launched. Not only is it offering a tremendous welcome bonus, but cardholders can earn tons of miles on everyday spending and receive a 10,000-mile anniversary bonus to boot. Its annual fee is $395, but cardholders can count on up to $300 in statement credits toward travel booked through Capital One Travel each year and other valuable benefits like access to Priority Pass lounges and Capital One’s own growing family of airport lounges.

Pros

  • Excellent welcome offer worth 75,000 miles after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first three months.
  • Up to $300 in annual travel statement credits toward bookings make through Capital One Travel.
  • 10,000 bonus miles (worth $100 toward travel) each account anniversary.

Cons

  • The $395 annual fee might be expensive for some, but this card’s benefits provide much more value than that.
  • If you don’t travel frequently, this might not be the best card for you.
  • Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel
  • Receive up to $300 back annually as statement credits for bookings through Capital One Travel, where you'll get Capital One's best prices on thousands of options
  • Get 10,000 bonus miles (equal to $100 towards travel) every year, starting on your first anniversary
  • Earn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel and 5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel
  • Earn unlimited 2X miles on all other purchases
  • Unlimited complimentary access for you and two guests to 1,400+ lounges, including Capital One Lounges and our Partner Lounge Network
  • Receive up to a $100 credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck®
  • Use your Venture X miles to easily cover travel expenses, including flights, hotels, rental cars and more—you can even transfer your miles to your choice of 15+ travel loyalty programs
  • Named editors' choice for "Best New Credit Card of 2021" by The Points Guy
  • Earn 10 miles per dollar when you book on Turo, the world's largest car sharing marketplace, through May 16, 2023