As you all know, the TBB family is enjoying the Westin resort at Blue Mountain in Ontario Canada. Our loft suite is fantastic and view is amazing. No snow but we knew that coming in, we just wanted to get away for a weekend!
As expected, not much is happening in the blogoshpere. We expected the weekend to be boring but even we were surprised but how boring it is! We haven’t found a single post to feature! We thought about featuring here yet another boring interview by MMS, yet another first class “they are all starting to look the same now” trip report by Ben (TBB is boycotting his site until he starts posting wet towel pics again!), Gary’s blogging machine keeps carrying on but no earth shattering news, lots of Black Friday promo stuff (we here at TBB have NEVER participated in this madness, we are crazy but not THAT crazy). Delta Points even tried to push the crapiola Barclay’s Black card, what is next, Spirit’s card?
Someone on twitter accused TBB of posting a filler post yesterday. My friend, that was NOT a filler post, it had the best stuff we found the previous day (which remains this blog’s mission, we think…we actually don’t know what the mission is, we just keep making it up as we go along!). Today is a true filler post instead:-)
If you are interested to find out what is happening in this hobby (note: it is not a hobby for most anymore, it has become a big business!) you should read this article that appeared in the InaCents blog recently:
Some excerpts (yes, we admit, this was prepared this some time ago, hey give us a break, they all have filler posts all the time! They can pop out a cc filler post in less than 5 mins & make quite a bit of money…so please do not bitch so much at us here, thanks…not that we care too much anyway).
When I began down the journey of blogging, I was fascinated by finance and travel as topics. [ TBB’s founder is still fascinated by the same two subjects! There was a brief thought of starting a blog combining these two passions and calling it M&M, as in Money & Miles but we thought it may come up way too often when people were looking for S&M…and we just did not want to go there:-)]
I had no idea what InACents would become, or what I would even write about. [ Same here!]
At the beginning, I knew very little, if anything, about affiliate programs. Over time, as we began to monetize the site, we started to learn about affiliate programs and the products we could offer to our readers, while first hand experiencing the merchants products. [I still know very little. Their non transparency is sure giving me the creeps though. What is this, the online Amway or what??]
That is where credit cards fit a perfect piece of the InACents puzzle, straddling both our finance and travel topics. So we worked with an affiliate company to be able to offer Discover, American Express, and lastly Chase products to our readers. [ I guess this is how it begins…]
I did not want InACents to become a credit card pushing website, throwing it in the audiences face in each and every post. [ Nooooo, you don’t say!! Really!!! This is what is happening now folks…I told you that this was getting good, you may ask for more filler posts like this now:-)]
No offense to the other mileage blogs, many that came along even after us, but they are non-stop whores to the credit card companies. [A blogger got offended once for calling him out on his relentless “pimping” of chase credit cards. That was a bad choice of words. Let’s start calling it for what it really is now…how about “whores to the credit card companies”…Hey, I did NOT say that, one of your own did!]
Over the summer it became all too apparent to me why other travel blogs are pushing credit cards in each and every post. [ I have been watching this trend for several years, it has intensfied lately!]
I was totally caught me off guard when I received a message from our affiliate company that our relationship with Chase was being discontinued due to being a low volume affiliate. [ Aha! There is a minimum quota to achieve here? Is this the reason for the barrage of cc posts we are being inflicted upon?]
That means that Chase was no longer happy with affiliates selling a handful of credit cards each month. Chase wanted higher numbers of new applications. Now that explains why other bloggers are constantly pushing credit cards in everyone’s face. [Wait, I think I just said that]
Now keep in mind, the bloggers, me included, get paid nicely in most cases to promote credit cards. At the same time though, Chase is the cause of the problem by setting minimum sales standards. [I feel a rant is coming shortly from this blogger against Chase and the affiliate company]
The things that really bother me are:
1) InACents consistently sold Chase products each and every month. That is why we gave a tremendous amount of thanks to those readers that chose to utilize our links to apply for credit cards. While I can not disclose specifics, the number of sales was significant to the operation of this website, allowing us to develop the site further.
2) Chase (or my affiliate manager) gave absolutely no notification of this new threshold that affiliates had to meet. No warnings, or friendly emails stating we would like more sales. Just a simple email saying our relationship is over. Where was the thank you for selling their product for several months?
[Face it, you were just not a good enough whore! “You gave a tremendous amount of thanks”? How? By saying “we sure appreciate it if you click here” or by buying them coffee? I told you this blogger is getting mad now…crying out “not fair”. This only leads to big getting bigger which also bothers me in general! But that’s another rant post I guess]
So now all of a sudden, a third of InACents credit card affiliate partners says goodbye. [It may be a third but the other banks pay crap compared to Chase, why don’t you tell us what portion of your income was coming from Chase? They still pay the highest bonuses! How do I know? Well, I have sources imbedded in these institutions who talk to me. Or I just sit down and put two and two together….When was the last time you saw a Discover credit card pushed? Yes Amex products are still pushed but not as hard as before. Bluebird…had to say that, I hear it improves hit counts, lol]
The whole thing stinks of greed, and will make the rich bloggers richer and give the start-ups no chance at success. [ No comment here! That stinking greed is responsible…Really? Shocking!]
A handful of sales is better than no sales. [He would jump back in it in a heartbeat if they took him back!]
However, everyone needs to realize the greed Chase is pushing on their affiliates to sell, sell, sell. [Not sure if this is getting funny now or really sad…What a revelation that Chase is doing this, lol!]
I understand promoting and encouraging more sales, but to punish those that do not sell enough is wrong in my opinion. [What a cry baby. Will work on a “what’s wrong” post eventually]
Know that InACents will not become like the other travel hacking blogs. We will not consistently push credit cards in each and every post. [ oh oh, I think we may see more Discover cards pushed on this site now, lol. If there is one thing we absolutely despise around here, it is this consistent push for credit cards in almost every other post! To my readers: Start counting such posts and create a log and get a credit card from the blogger who provides good content AND is doing the less pushing! Not that it would make any difference at all in this practice. Well, I hope it does so we can make this a little better place as it is quickly approaching mega whore levels! Or perhaps I should start a “Top 10 Bloggers to never get a credit card from” list? Maybe this the way to monetize my blog, have a price affixed to avoid me placing you on that list. As my hits increase, the price will go up. Is this brilliant or what? I wonder if any blogger took this seriously. If yes, I can refer you to my therapist, YOU need her!]
“…we will continue to maintain a balance so as not to flood the site with credit cards and become the card issuers puppets. “ [I think this blogger may have some guilty feelings! Bloggers who push them credit cards so much, don’t you feel like a puppet when you look yourself in the mirror in the morning? We all know you should get paid for your work, only idiots do it for free ( idiot TBB)! If you disclose the arrangement in a clearly visible AND VERY close to the scene of the crime (sorry, click) it is fine. If you bury it in tiny font somewhere in the website where visitors will almost never go to read…well, what can I say, shame on you! Yes, you satisfied the legal requirements laid out by lawyers. But, imho, it is not the right thing to do. Hey, it is my opinion, buzz off! Of course, adding cautionary language about NOT carrying a balance is too much as that may jeopardize your acceptance in this nice club. Ok, I better stop, I am feeling that I am losing it again]
Once Chase learns not to bite the hand that feeds them, maybe we will consider adding them back into our lineup at a future date. [ I think this blogger is still pissed off about it.]