credit cards galore orgy banks

There will be no humans modeling credit cards in my site. Never. Ever. Clear? Found here


Warning: VERY long read/rant. You can jump to the section that has the guy with his eyes popped out and skip the long intro…

Legal Disclosure: This is all pure satire and has no relations whatsoever to reality. All characters mentioned are purely fictional and what was actually typed was done under the influence of substances so it should not be taken seriously. Or something like that. Word!



Welcome to the Tabloid Buzzard Express. This is another fabulous feature of TBB that is now debuting on its own! We like to innovate around here, what can I say! If you thought we were angry before, well, you are for a real treat! I will try to show you what my eye sockets went through over the last days of May and hopefully you realize doing this Buzzard thing is just not sustainable unless I clone myself!

Let me make a full disclosure: I do NOT like financial product sales people. Ok, this is not me. Let me rephrase. I DESPISE financial product salespeople.



First things first! In college I had no idea what I wanted to do. So…I picked Accounting which offered me the best path at the time to get a job, get a green card to stay in the US and avoid joining the glorious Greek Army (required service by all able Greek citizen males, unless you can afford a politician who could “take care of it”). Even though I am an introvert type and aspects of accounting appealed to me, I realized after 7 years that accounting was just not for me. But I am getting carried away, I will save that path for another day. What I really wanted to say is that one of the reasons Accounting appealed to me was because it did not have much to do with marketing! So, this anti marketing bias I have is part of my psyche I guess. As I was looking to enter the financial services industry I quickly realized that it is inhabited by some species who, frankly, would be better off if they were all packed and shipped one way to Mars (naturally, I will try to negotiate a way to get all their miles lol).

There is still a very strong sales culture in the financial services industry. It is based on “eat what you kill” mentality. And, oh boy, do they kill! A lot of financial services products are still SOLD. These salesmen have to sell something so they can eat. And due to industry economics, good salesmen get compensated very well. Do you hear terms such as “Million Dollar Roundtables”, “book of business” or “producers”? Well, guess what? None of these terms are related at all to the benefits of the person who actually bought the darn products! Do you think these top sales people sell the product that is BEST for the client? Hell no (yes, there ARE exceptions! Not many but there are ). My very first experience of this industry was that I had to sell this mutual fund to at least five people. Well, guess what? I could not do it as the mutual fund absolutely sucked, it was worse than donkey (horse if you prefer) manure! You should have seen some slick types sell this baby like hot cakes! Somehow they were the ones who earned a trip to Jamaica paid by the company while I had to burn some miles to get there. Right there I decided I just could not do what these assholes were doing. HELL NO FREAKING WAY I would sell something I could not buy for myself or for my family members. They MADE a choice to sell shitty junk. Come down TBB, too early in this Marathon Man like post to start getting angry. Breathe, breathe! Or drink, drink!

sexy eyebrows

do you think my eyebrows are sexy?  Found here


Bang! Sorry, I got distracted by more Chase Ink credit card links that just hit me…again. They just never stop coming! So…where was I?  Oh yes…I decided to get into the financial planning business in another way. Basically build it from scratch, have no sponsoring firm telling me what junk to sell/stuff down humans’ throats, provide top quality advice AND 100% transparency of my compensation paid ONLY by the client (this is important folks, no behind the back secret deals with the companies involved!) and be proud of the fact that I am a fiduciary and everything I do is for the benefit of the client. Long story short, slowly but surely business grew and is now at a still small level providing my family with a comfortable living. No sell out here, high five!  But for the first 5 years we were basically living with one income and it sure was not mine! No problem, we are not big spenders anyway. By this point I had a few drinks, excuse me… I lost track of my next point! Sorry it has been a hell of a Chase Ink link carpet bombing around here, we are just dazed and confused!  Oh, I got it! My point is, I cherish my independence , even at the face of a brutally pro-bank monetizing environment that exists in the miles/points blogosphere. I am very proud of the fact that I did not throw in the towel yet and say “Screw it, after so many of hours of work in my blog, it is time to make some dough instead of doing it for pennies per days!” Even if one day I do such a thing the choice would be to practice responsible blogging. There are bloggers in this space that do it or try very hard to do it the right way. You can see some of them in the TBB approved Love and Like lists.

And then there are those who choose to pump.

chase ink credit cards hanz franz SNL

with Chase Ink credit cards! Found here


Day in and day out. Blog post after blog post. Pummel their readers relentlessly with affiliate credit card links NON STOP! They are BIG businesses and some make hundreds of thousands of dollars in profits!  What you silly? You thought they were doing all of this to help friends and family fly for free? There is of course nothing wrong with making big profits, hell this is America, we do capitalism well around here! But I have a problem (and now a blog!) when these business men market themselves as travel and/or miles/points experts and dishing out advice that, well, to put it mildly in some (most?) cases it is not expert like at all!  What is also hypocritical is that they often pretend they can not afford to buy a certain travel product which is an insult to humanity and outright lie. Of course they can buy it but…admitting this may not, cough, sell as well.  What they DO have in common is that they DO excel in online marketing! Which implies, unfortunately and sadly, a main reason of their monetary success is, well, they PUMP the credit card links! And they pump them well and repeatedly! It reminds me of the tactics of that first group I encountered (the “eat what you kill” advisers salemen). Holy crap, you want to see credit card biased posts, they ‘ve got them! Sometimes their advice is so wrong it is laughable. Expert my big fat greek arse Shirley! (who is she anyway? and who is Pedro too?)

For a week I managed to list all credit card related posts in a section I conveniently titled it “TBB Blog Frontline Report” listing all educational travel credit card posts. To understand the whole charade (and laugh out loud as I make it entertaining for you) please check out this section in the following 3 blog posts from that one week where I almost lost my eye balls:

From June 20 post

From June 18 post

From June 16 post


How do you like to be called repeatedly by a sales person or a robo call? How about the same people coming to your house to preach to you or to sell you magazines? Well, online is different and I am still learning my way around. What I do know is, also because of my background, I absolutely despise this sales culture of “eat what you kill” (am I repeating myself here? WTF TBB, get it together man! Remember to breathe!). There is A LOT of pain these credit cards inflict on people and sadly many get into trouble after they are introduced to the hobby by one of the mega sell sell sell blogs. You are not going to find many who will volunteer to tell their story of course because it is embarrassing and painful. Yeah, I am for personal responsibility and all but reading EVERY day why I am an idiot for not getting a Chase Ink card and seeing ever more moronic reasons to justify pushing these cards is, well, kind of terribly upsetting at times.

I have been doing this online business for 19 months now. It started as a joke and a challenge to see if I can keep it up for…3 months. This has become a bit of an obsession. This hobby has always been an obsession actually, it has now been raised to a blog like obsession. Not sure if what I just said even makes sense. I need another drink. What was my point? Huh, that’s a name of a blog! You see, obsession indeed! With 500 blogs in my Feedly list this is getting a bit ridiculous (had to trim it from 600, so many had died!). So, where was I going with this? Oh yeah, let’s talk about some blog economics now.



Exhibit A: The Money is in the Credit Card Affiliate Links! NOTHING COMES EVEN CLOSE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! This is why you have seen an EXPLOSION in the number of “expert” bloggers starting blogs to help “friends and family”. Nope, no way! They all want you to click their own credit card links. Again, I repeat. NOTHING COMES EVEN CLOSE! Of course, you will NEVER hear any of that from the bloggers. They are contractually forbidden to disclose how much they earn per approved credit card application. This is BIG money. HUNDREDS OF THOUSAND OF DOLLARS for the TOP sales pumpers! One may have even crossed 7 figures in sales actually! A few years ago a Chase Ink credit card approval paid $500 per app! I am guessing these days these cards pay from $150 to $300 PER app. So, it is very common for a credit card approved app to pay low hundreds in $’s.

Let me repeat: CREDIT CARDS IS WHERE DA MONEY IS AT! NOTHING COMES CLOSE!!!!!! Of course the newer you are in this hobby the easier you fall for the sales job you are the prime target of before you realize. “Hey, wait a minute, this blogger is talking about the Chase Ink AGAIN today, WTF!”

I can assure you, having some income coming in from non credit card affiliate links is COMPLETELY RIDICULOUSLY LOW compared to the credit card money from our too big to fail banks. My Amazon link I pump non stop (according to blog fan Delta Points who likes to remind me) has brought in NOT more than just TWO Chase credit card apps! Think about that for a second!

As long as the banks are pumping bloggers with so much money, expect the pumpization and horrific state of the blogosphere to continue… #sadface  Banks make it so because you need to produce sales. If you do not meet your sales quotas you get dropped, oh the horrors! In a way, I wish they would drop everybody to clear the space of so much “expert” junk! When this happens, you would see these bloggers move on to the next big thing to sell. They are ONLY doing it for the money and the reason they exist is to SELL credit cards. SALES come first always, not YOU the reader!

Bottom line is: there are better blogs run by people who are more experts, respect their readers more by not attacking them every day with ridiculously biased posts and provide good and original content. In other words, there are blogs that are of higher quality. The blogs in the TBB Ignore list do one thing well: They SELL. Good for them. You do NOT have to buy! Friends don’t let friends click on credit card links from them..

And now on with the show, excuse the LONG intro. I just had to let it all out. Blogging is deeply personal. Yes I am an addict I guess. Blogging helps me deal with my fragile inadequate personality and my therapist was right to encourage me to let it all out once in a while. I will try to keep this baby going but I don’t think I have it in me to produce another Buzzard type post like this…I mean look at how many entries are below!

One more thing: TBB reviews almost 500 (and growing) blogs, mainly for your entertainment. If you are hurt by some of the comments below, please send a complaint letter to: TBB Attn: SNL Committee. We will read and laugh about it. Stop wasting your time writing complaint letters and get out there and pump your readers some more: SELL SELL SELL.

In the esteemed words of a blog fan: “It’s all about conversions”.

Conversions = readers click on your affiliate credit card links, apply, get approved, bloggers gets paid.



The following blog headlines appeared over a period of a few days in late May. By the time I decided to cut it off I was about to start stabbing myself! Dear readers, this is definitely not recommended for your mental stability and eyes!

eyes popped out funny picture

This happens almost every day at TBB headquarters. We appreciate your understanding. Found here


Again, no need to take anything personal. If you are the subject of the jokes, do you wonder why people never sue SNL? It’s entertainment! Enjoy the credit card commissions!

In chronological order over the last three or so days of May, 2014…Grab a drink!


Million Mile SecretsCiti Hilton HHonors 60,000 Point Card & 50,000 Points AMEX Business Gold Rewards  – [We are taking a break from pumping affiliate credit card links to show two non affiliate credit card links. Please forgive us, we hope you really don’t click these and wait for our affiliate links. We will make sure we have a catchy headline ending with another exclamation mark! Emily will be back soon too!]

Milevalue – Just a few spots remain for saturday night dinner in Honolulu  [If you are a young attractive female I will save a seat for you next to me. Please sign up and sit next to me you young attractive female! All the rest coming I want you to know that I want you to click my links]

The Miles Professor – Why It Makes Sense to Get the Barclaycard Arrival Plus Right Before a Big Trip  [ What? Getting this card makes sense every single day of the week! Especially now that it comes with Chip AND a PIN, wow! Please click my Sponsored Facebook ads I splash to your face every day recently. Svetlana says hi! Click my links!]

The Points Guy – Maximizing Singapore Airlines Krisflyer Partner Awards  [Love it that I hire Jason to pump these credit card posts, no one can accuse me of pumping…I am traveling. I am 6.7 inches? My dog is doing fine, thank you for your concern. Click my links, traveling large and paying Jason ain’t cheap!]

View from the Wing – 50,000 Point Offer Back for American Express Business Gold Reward  [Hey, I sometimes offer some non affiliate credit card links so you do not doubt that I have turned to a Chase card employee. Click my Chase links…coming right up!]

MilevalueTop Five US Airways Awards to Book Before It’s Too Late  [ We never stop selling this card! Click my link. Hope we get some young attractive females at my dinner coming up!]

Mommy PointsIncreased Amex and Citi Sign-Up Offers + 10% Off Hotel Bookings  [ Throw in some non affiliate credit cards along with some links that pay us. Because it would be unbearable to just let a post go by without making some dough. Gosh, I miss the Maldives!]

Wallet Slot – How Many Times Per Day Do You Check Email On Vacation [ Do NOT click his Barclay card link. For the love of God. WTF!]

Million Mile Secrets – Will the 3,000 Southwest Points From Rocketmiles Count Towards Your Companion Pass?  [One short sentence would have sufficed of course. But of course not, we get a long blog post full of internal links and affiliate links selling Chase Southwest cards and Rocket miles (hey, diversification is important!). Watch Emily hold Southwest Companion Pass. Wondering who wrote this…]

The Points GuyWhat Will 60,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards Points Get You?  [ Starts with ” I’ve written extensively about the 60,000 bonus point signup offer”. Huh, you think? Is this a joke?  Getting back on track to what’s important readers, click my Chase card links!]

View from the WingFour Days to Get the Overlooked Ink Cash 30,000 Bonus Point Offer  [Hey, tomorrow will be three. Two. One. Extended after that? Click my links while I eat pancakes and drink champagne on my way to the Maldives where I will take pictures of people enjoying honeymoon playing with their smart phones and post it on my blog]

Mommy Points – Real World Hotel and Airfare Savings  [ Mommy said “This was just a normal day of deal hunting and travel planning around here…” Sure it was, click my expertly placed Chase Ink link]

Noob Traveler – Two new rewards credit offers: 50,000 Business Gold & 60,000 Citi Hilton cards  [ Sometimes we need to mix it up and make it appear we are really interested in our readers first. Don’t worry, we ‘ll be back pumping away the affiliate credit card links shortly!]

Million Mile Secrets – New Chase Ultimate Rewards Partner: Singapore Airlines [ New? I guess having to wait to see all the other bloggers’ posts about it makes it new to this blog’s readers. Shocked there was no exclamation mark in the headline! Click the Chase Ink card links. Not that such a post would have ever seen the light of day otherwise. Mental note: Must take Emily pic in SQ Suites to help sell more cards!]

One Mile at a Time – Last Few Days For Increased Chase Ink Sign-Up Bonuses  [Just in case you did not know about this so I had to remind you…again. Click my Chase Links. And my kickstarter while I prepare more posts about this amazing offer Chase is making me beat you up every day with it, sorry. Come on guys, I need to sell more of these cards because I do not want Chase to drop me! ]

Frugal Travel Guy – Travel Challenge  [I think the only challenging part is trying to predict which credit cards will be sold in each post. Yep, the usual Chase cards are sold plus Barclay Arrival. Zzzzzzzzzzz]

The Points Guy – Daily Getaway May 29: Diamond Resorts    [ First, why is this even being mentioned? Perhaps to take some readers’ minds off the credit card bombardment and, you know, don’t make it so obvious? Oh wait, this crappy “deal” was still good for 5 affiliate credit card links…because going by without a single one is just too unbearable folks!  This expert says that this “deal” has value if you are looking to stay in a Diamond resort. Hmmm…]

Million Mile Secrets – What’s the Best Chase Ultimate Rewards Card?   [Sorry for going a few hours without pumping my readers with more Chase credit card links!  Headline had a question mark and NOT an exclamation mark…Hey, who ever said we are not innovative! Of course we have plastic card model Emily holding a CSP card and some Chase brochure. Smiling of course. I think she is not smiling about the 2x points on dining but for all the readers who are getting the card with the site’s links. Managed to blast readers with 25 Chase credit card links and myriad of others leading to gazillions more credit card links. I need me to find that plugin that converts text to links and will blast you guys with my Amazon link…just kidding. Reader comment starts with “I am new here…” Here is a tip for ya…Expect more credit card links EVERY freaking day!]

Million Mile SecretsBad Deal Alert: Why I Will NOT Do Today’s Daily Getaway to Select Diamond Resorts  [ More crap on crap wasted when you can be pumping more Chase links, sigh. We are told not to bother. Wait a minute, TPG said it has value. So…who is right? Frankly, we don’t give a crap about it and both of you experts are probably just hiring some lowly paid slave writer to produce this “content” for you while taking a breather from Chase links where the dinero is. First commenter said it best: “nice effort but why even bother writing a post about this garbage? – Lantean. If anyone knows Lantean he should be reading my blog!]

Frugal Travel Guy – Chicago Seminars Profile Series: Marathon Man  [Well, I told you this was coming. First, I did not know about your father Jeff, I am deeply sorry of your loss that tragic day. But let’s move on. Sad to see MM featured here in a site that is one of the most credit card pumpy in the blogosphere. Did you notice I have a strong bias against all pumpy tactics? Is that so obvious? It is? Ok then. Deal with it! As bloggers pump in their own sites I have the right to pump my thoughts about how I feel about pumping of credit cards left and right, up down and center that is going on all around the blogosphere. I will elaborate on my feelings some other time but right now I am pressed for little time.Where was I?

Ok, this is the site that has this “Credit Card Tool” feature. Follow my clicks: Start Here/Rookie Traveler/Married/Business Owner/looking to travel both domestic and internationally/I want cash back (not miles or points)/795 credit score/3 credit inquiries in the past 3 months/Spend $3k per month/Charge everything on the card/Part of most programs listed/left my email address: and I did NOT click box to send results to Rick for his “review”. Results? Congratulations! 7 cards match your profile!  Next Steps: 1. 1. Apply for all 7 cards credit cards on the same day. And none of the seven cards was a cash back card! Too bad the commissions on the cash back cards may be too low…

excuse me bear

Found here

You have a right to be angry about this but don’t be, not worth it. Needless to say I am not going to the Chicago seminars because I fear for my physical safety :-)  ]

Delta Points – Jose Cuervo Tequileria Detroit DTW Airport – Delta Points review   [ DP gives this place a 6. Sure sounds skunky to me (is that even a word?)] Thanks for the warning I guess. My favorite place to eat at DTW is the Japanese place, they actually have quality food for an airport joint.]

Mommy Points -Three Days Left For Increased Sign-Up Bonuses Worth $700+!  [ Holy macaroni Mommy, another one already! “Who can have a business card?” and “Can you have an Ink Plus and an Ink Bold?”. Holy crap, talk about sales overdrive! Well, excuse me but the TBB Editorial Board just met and decided to include you in the “Blogs we Ignore” list. Welcome, you made it! You are in but we are too lazy and will hold off a few days when we get an extra minute from pumping our own Amazon link to edit the page! All decisions are final…unless you buy a TBB banner ad lol. (Update: Done) ]

Milevalue – Anatomy of an Award: Cathay Pacific First Class and Qantas First Class on a Trip to Australia and Hong Kong  [Click on my US Air credit card link. Click on my free Credit Card consultation link. Click on my Award Booking link. Free Oneway! You see, I helped this client go to Australia for only 140k US Air miles and guess what? He got them all with the US Air card that has only 40k miles signing bonus. If you don’t understand the previous two statements I am sorry to inform you that you are THE target market for such “expert” advice. There should be a law against this crap! Can someone ask him for his autograph for me at the Chicago Seminar? Just kidding! ]

Deals We Like – Chase Ultimate Rewards Series  [Was wondering where DWL was. I am relieved. Has not missed a step as she throws all but the kitchen (Chase) sink at us, thanks. Always so helpful to grab the money from your readers’ apps!]

Noob Traveler – Quick Reminder: Only a FEW Days Left to Apply for the 60,000 Ink Offers  [Yep, again. Just wanted readers to let them know about this. We have only been mentioning it every day since it came out. Noob it up!]

Delta Points – When it matters Delta does it right! #TheReason2BeDiamond  [ Hey, did you know Southwest is a bus and I must be cattle to fly and like them? Ummm, ok. I have suggested to the blogger to have someone proof read the final draft as a sign of respecting the blog’s readers. Please! The final sentence is just brutal! Click his Barclay card link, you can’t miss it! ]

View from the Wing – With 3 Days Left for 60,000 Points, Here’s Why the Ink Offers Are Valuable to You  [If there is one blogger that hurts me to see turned into yet another mega credit card pumper it’s this one. Very sad. This blog keeps this up it won’t be long to face the ultimate shame: Join the TBB Ignore list. Scientific studies have consistently proven that inclusion in this list results to 1.27 less card apps per year….so there lol! Oh, and thank you for letting us know about this again, see you tomorrow with 2 days left?  Comments get interesting. Of course Delta Points will ban them lol. Gary says ” Certainly the benefit to me, combined with it’s genuinely good advice, influences my thinking”. Lol, the understatement of the year!  Reader Hiker T says it best: “ People just need to vote with their clicks and support responsible blogging. If this isn’t enough to convince readers not to support the shills it will only continue.”  YES, THIS IS THE ONLY WAY. Bloggers have a choice: To pump or not to pump. STOP REWARDING PUMPING!!! That felt good, I just did a self high five!]

Interrupting this ridiculously long post to make a Public Service Announcement. Well, reader Brian said it best in the TBB Comments:

There is a reason why “spam” pervades all over the Internet.
It is because people patronize them.

There is a reason why telemarketers solicit people via the telephone.
It is because people patronize them.

There is a reason why “bloggers” keep pumping credit cards.
It is because people patronize them…

…and it is because they keep getting attention.

As long as that happens, it will never stop.


Let’s keep going…Grab another drink or whatever you wish. Popcorn? Brownies? Hard liquor? They are all welcome here!

One Mile at a Time – Should You Apply For Multiple Credit Cards In A Day?  [Crap, I can’t believe I got myself into doing this people! This Buzzard stuff is taking for ever and I am now really starting to get a little angry. Lucky, from somewhere in the Middle East, decided to pump his readers some more. Same old freaking arguments we heard gazillion times. If you are a loyal reader of his blog you should start counting how many times he too pumps the same old credit cards for the same old reasons again and again. Hey, at least I read this crap to entertain my readers. SAY something or, even better, click away from all these outsourced Chase marketing departments! Oh God, hope I end this marathon post…Crap, I had ZERO Amazon income yesterday (no shipped orders) so I just want to remind you all that all this effort better make you feel guilty if you ever shop at Amazon without using my link LOL.]

Million Mile Secrets – 22,000 Membership Rewards Points & ~$400 for Round-Trip New York to London on Virgin Atlantic  [Whaaaaaaaaaat? You are back AGAIN? Dropped another 20 affiliate credit card links. At least there was no modeling of the cards this time! By this point, dear readers, I feel like I have been beaten up. My eye sockets are bleeding. Spread the news to newbies that these outfits have only ONE goal that trumps EVERY other goal: to SELL a credit card to them! Nothing else. SELL SELL SELL. Well, exsqueeze me, I absolutely DESPISE being sold to repeatedly. Especially when, in my own humble opinion, I think me and many others in my two good lists know A LOT more and the better more responsible bloggers choose NOT to bombard their readers with the same freaking cards in almost every post! ENOUGH!

Deals We Like – Chase Ultimate Rewards Adds on Singapore Airlines a New Partner  [ They are slow here…but finally came around to pump some more Chase links. I was wondering what was taking so long…]

Dan’s Deals – 0% APR Cards  [ Well, that was a creative way to pump some more cards!]

Million Mile Secrets – Ends Today: Save Money on Southwest Fall Flights     [So so nice to be reminded so late. Companion Pass! Click my Chase links because you may have missed them the 659 times I pumped you with them in the last week]

The Points Guy – Chase Freedom 20,000 Point Offer Now Available In Branch    [ Yeah, right. Did not miss the beat to pump seven affiliate Chase credit card links with it. I guess people fall for these tactics…No wonder my major in college was accounting lol]

Frugal Travel Guy – Sapphire Preferred First Friday Bonus: 3x on Dining  [If this is NOT the most ridiculous way to pump more Chase credit cards to your readers I don’t know what is! The Credit Card “Tool”? Travel challenge? They come close but this one is simply THE weener! We expect more of these from the other salespersons in June. Hey, you can get 15 Chase UR points with your $5 foot long at Subway, hooray! Please make sure the Powerpoint slides in Chicago have this incredibly powerful tip! So desperate to pump this Chase card that they published it in MAY! Hello, hello? Of course they would not point you to the Chase Freedom card that earns 5x points this quarter. Is it perhaps, I don’t know, that it does not pay as well as the CSP huh? I am not angry. Ok, I am!]

angry computers punch monitor explosions

What? A 3x CSP First Friday post in May for June!


The Points Guy -Daily Getaway May 30: Discounts at SeaWorld & Busch Gardens    [Hey, look at this, another opportunity to pump some more Chase card links for another daily “deal” almost no one cares about and even fewer may get after getting fingers cramp for clicking non stop! Gosh, if there was a way to get a Chase Ink credit card for the finger cramps!]

Million Mile Secrets – Friday Interview Series   [ Same old questions, same old answers. Why bother asking and answering the question about what’s the one thing people can do to get more miles? We have seen this movie before. New to the hobby who can’t wait to share travel stories and “hacks” (waste time at the Barclay community posting stories, WOW  or negotiate fees with credit card companies or, guess this, file a complaint. WTF Pedro!) with family and friends. I think you are a little late in the game amigo, many have been here looking for a lift in traffic in exchange for filler content. In a classic clickmylink fashion, MMS inserts a Barclay card Arrival link to the interview. You didn’t expect a whole post to go by without one, did you?]

Million Mile Secrets – Today Only: Save Money on SeaWorld and Busch Gardens Tickets  [ Read what I said above when TPG “blogged” about this “deal”. Companion Pass! Click all my links. All of them. Click until the cows go home! Hope it is your home and not mine by the way!]

[TBB Editors Note: Somewhere around this time, the Chase Freedom Card affiliate links went live. Watch what happens! To prepare, we needed to go out and get some fresh air so we can be better prepared to face yet another Chase onslaught. Remember, these bloggers business men have a choice whether to keep pumping credit cards in their blogs.]

TBB Flabio skate board

TBB’s Flabio rocks! Found here


Frugal Travel Guy – Maximizing myVEGAS Rewards   [ Wait a minute? What does this have to do with Frugal? Why promote gambling? TBB absolutely despises ALL forms of gambling, maybe one day I will tell you a story about my uncle, it is really sad what gambling can do to you. Writer Holly is not hardcore but still “playing on a regular basis”. That is so comforting to know! She even provides tips on how to play. Go ahead, waste your time and money gambling! No affiliate links inserted here? How did this one get through, is the Editor doing her job? Again I ask what does gambling have to do with anything frugal?]

The Points Guy – “Coordinating Credit Card Strategies for Couples    [ Hired gun Jason Steele writes the best articles with the smoothest placement of credit card affiliate links! I am totally hiring this guy when TBB joins the dark side lol. Was “The Credit Cards Guy” url taken or what, how misleading! ]

Delta Points – My first live run and trip with TripIt Pro – how good is it?  [ I was wondering when we will get another sales job on the Barclay Arrival card? Here it is! Get the card because TripIt Pro is so amazingly amazing or whatever. Hey, you can even buy Delta tickets with it and earn double points, WOW! Wait a minute, I know a card that earns 3 points per dollar on airfare…Too bad it is an Amex card as they appear to be banned on this site].

bride amex credit card terror

Just lost my affiliate links, nooooooo! Found here


Hack My TripTips on Applying for Chase Ink Business Cards   [ Wait…what? What is this one doing here? Well, going through the barrage I noticed this blog post. And it had pretty good darn useful information. And no Chase affiliate links. Which is a grand shame the good ones do not have them when the rest showing up here are stuffed with them. Sometimes life is not fair I guess. We roll with it and fight the injustices in our moronic crusade. Please click our Amazon link LOL]

Delta Points – Ever been in an airport under security lock down? I have now in DTW!    [ What a shame…a post without the Barclay Arrival card link! Incredibly useful information. I am joking. Click my Amex links…just kidding. Delta has lots of Amex cards of course. Why do the Amex card links point to Delta.bomb and not, well, the Amex site? ]

Dans Deals – Chase Freedom Signup Bonus Doubled For A Limited Time   [ Why does this guy get the affiliate links first? Or are the others too slow? Too lazy?]

The Points Guy – 10 Chase Ink Benefits You Might Not Know About     [ Holy mother of god, here comes another one! Oh, I knew every one. Some of them are not even worth mentioning….are we really stretching this or what? Don’t you do anything else? Oh, wait. Nothing pays you as well I understand. Hey, thanks for the full disclosures. Where are they by the way? I don’t  have a magnifying glass near me as I surely need one!]

One Mile at a Time – Ultimate Rewards Partners With Best Non-US Frequent Flyer Programs    [ Of course we are going to spend our time to find any excuse we can to keep pumping our Chase credit card links! By the way, we have seen this content numerous times. But thanks! ]

Mommy Points – Chase Freedom Sign-Up Bonus Increases to 20,000 + 2,500 Points     [Hey, I am sure that extra +2,500 Points may catch some newbs who may think your link is better than others! While there, click on some Ink card links too! Wow, 5x on all these cards. Sign me up…Hell no! Not with your links, nothing personal. I just don’t like to be pumped!]

Frugal Travel Guy – Why I Haven’t Applied for an Avianca LifeMiles Credit Card     [ Frankly Howie, we don’t give a damn! Nice one to throw the Barclay card link in there, you just couldn’t let one blog post by without an affiliate link. I hear your Avios presentation in Chicago is a must! ]

Noob Traveler  – Chase increases the sign-up bonus on the Freedom rewards credit card      [No, you are not all mistaken. The same old credit card pumpers just got their Freedom links and are out pumping! Same.Old.Story.Bank.Bitches.Hawking.Products.TotheMasses]

Deals We Like – Chase Freedom 20,000 Point Limited Time Credit Card Offer!    [Are you seeing a pattern by now? If not, I don’t know what to say. I do not have hopes for you if you are not seeing the pattern. LOOK AT ALL THE PREVIOUS ENTRIES ABOVE FOR CRYING OUT LOUD!]

Delta Points – Are you missing any Skybonus points? Plus last day for 5,000 point referral bonus!    [ Are we getting desperate or what? Now selling Skybonus referral links? WTF!]

Frugal Travel Guy – Increased Sign-up Bonus for Chase Freedom Card  [When the sell job is so obvious, it is always written by “FTG Staff”. How conveeeenient! Thanks for the Ink card links too, I sure expected to see them here!]

Million Mile Secrets – Chase Freedom Sign-Up Bonus Increased to 20,000 Points ($200 Cash Back)!  [At this point you guys I was being hit left and right by the Freedom links. Have mercy on me! But only this blogger managed to drop a dozen of Chase credit card affiliate links in just one blog post. And added the cash back in the headline! Well done expert marketer! Thanks for not recruiting the model to sell them again!]

One Mile at a Time – Chase Freedom Increased 20,000+ Point Sign-Up Bonus    [What hurts me the most is to see Lucky and Gary in full blown sell mode. Lucky even managed to drop six credit card links. Just so you know what we are doing here! I think Randy should rename Boarding Area blog conference from baCON to ChaseCON!]

Milevalue – How to Get 1.52 LifeMiles Per Dollar on All Purchases   [ And just when you thought this blog could not get any lower to sell more cards…a new blog post makes you go “Unreal!!!”. I think I should go to Chicago to attend his presentation. Of course I am kidding!]


And just about at this time another sale started. I guess getting paid for the Chase Ink cards and then the Freedom cards was not enough. Now they were all out to…refer SPG cards for just 5k SPG points…They won’t leave TBB any bones, greedy as they can be.  I mean, look at this!

amex spg starwood credit card

Boarding Area “travel” blogs? How about CC Area instead!


At this point all TBB staffers are so defeated and just can’t stand up anymore after two days of drinking and ChaseInking…The end.


Did you see that? Did you see it? That was Chase Ink link #2,345,699 man...phuke it! Found here

Did you see that? Did you see it? That was Chase Ink link #2,345,699 man…phuke it! Please use our Amazon links so we can afford to upgrade our “office” lol. Found here


WAIT! As of right now, it is Saturday around 2.30 pm. Most importantly, it is May 31st! So, let’s just finish this horror show because, you know, the Super Amazing 60k Chase Ink offer, all together now, ends June 1st!


The Points Guy -Bonus Aeroplan Miles, Marriott Free Night, Ink Cards & More     [Check the headline. You would expect the Ink cards to be, you know, about the third paragraph. But noooooooooooo! Of course the article leads again with the Chase Ink card links. What? You did not expect that? I did! I watch this stuff happen every day for YOUR entertainment, education and inspiration. If after reading this epic rant you support these guys one more time, well, I think you are hopeless…I am so sorry for you. Actually, at this point, I don’t care anymore. I need to make it through May 31st so I can go on with my life. Watching this play out reminds me of CIA waterboarding in Guantanamo…for my eye sockets at least! Thank you for your understanding!]

Million Mile Secrets – One Day to Apply for Chase Ink 60,000 ($750+) Point Cards!     [ At this point, you must be wondering….Again! Check the masterful placement of the monetary amount and the expected exclamation card at the end of the headline. Have you lost count how many posts about the Chase Ink cards have been posted in this blog yet? You did? Me too!! <——2 TWO exclamation marks for double the impact, take that Mr. Bow Tie! Dropped another 20 Chase card links on his readers once again and a gazillion internal links leading to trillions more. And of course a pic of them together…smiling again. If I was getting paid so much for pummeling my readers silly I would be LOLing not just smiling. Hey, I tell it like it is. Then again, if I did that, I would probably deserve to burn in hell as my readers will roast me alive LOL.

Deals We LikeFinal Days for Chase Ink Bold, Chase Ink Plus, and Chase Ink Cash Limited Time Bonus    [ Notice the sense of urgency, the desperation, the ridiculous statements such as ” As I’ve mentioned before, I am personally a huge fan of these cards..”  Seriously? You only have mentioned this one thousand six hundred sixty nine times in the past two weeks, are you messing with us? Do you think we are all idiots? Then again, for you to continue pumping the affiliate links, you probably do #sadface.  Blog post ends with an all Chase link fest.]

The Points Guy – Amex Daily Getaways Week 3: Hyatt, IHG, Loews, Omni & More    [ Yep, one more to waste my readers’ time and pump them with more credit card links. You can blow some money AND save 10% using your… my Amex links!]

Mommy Points – Today is the Best Day for Credit Card Sign-Up Bonuses   [ OMG, Mommy is on an incredible pumping mode here. Uggh! I can’t take it anymore. She deserves her own place in the Blogs I Ignore list PRONTO! Just placed an urgent ticket in the TBB Tech Support line to add her to the Ignore list asap!  “Today is the best day…” It sure is for you I bet!  Throws in a few non affiliate links to hold off on the criticism a bit…baloney! I sure as hell am not going to Chicago now…her husband will probably kick my ass! I am putting my life in danger for YOU dear readers!  So deep into it that we get statements like this ” So while it wasn’t my original intent to talk about sign-up bonuses again today, I think a list of all the increased bonuses is a good idea…”  Suuuuuuuuure. Shaking my head violently now…which is quite remarkable as only posts by Delta Points cause me to do this!

Point me to the Plane – This Is It – Final Day to Get the 60K Ink Bonus…Again     [ This is it? Seriously? I am not a gambling man but I do gamble when I am 100% assured I am going to win. So, I am going to go out on a limb here and say that this is NOT it! There will be more ridiculous posts pumping the same cards over and over for the same reasons over and over. The only difference is how stupid you all look trying to differentiate your posts and pump it better than the other blogger.  “You are probably a business owner even if you don’t realize it!”  Like I said…]

Just Another Points Traveler – Two New Credit Cards Are Coming to My Wallet     [Wait a minute…If I get to Boarding Area does it mean I get to pump my readers with Chase credit cards too? Is this why so many are going to Boarding Area? Just wondering out loud. You know you read “travel” miles/points blogs too much when you instinctively know which cards will show up on a blog post! One of the Chase Ink cards OF COURSE and the Barclay Arrival card (along with the link to the other of the two Ink cards). I love you Angelina but my reputation is on the line here. I am just being fair and an equal opportunity criticizer. If I was not being fair nobody would be competing here to be FIRST in the TBB comments. LOL.]

Saturday May 31st…And it is only 3 pm. Is this EVER going to end? Can someone shoot me like this and make me drop?

penalty kick jump space

Please take me out. Spare me more eye socket assault.


balloon shooter shoots

take me out like this…I can’t take this anymore. What if the Chase Ink 60k offer is extended? OMG!!!!!I am waiting to be accused of supporting violence now in the comments LOL. I just want you to know that TBB is a lover not a fighter, woohoo!!!!


Delta Points – SWAG Saturday: Are you a procrastinator? Lots of travel swag this week!    [ Of course blog post leads with the Chase card links! And giving out crap to make readers post a comment. Same old crap, the swag I mean…Giggles]

Wallet Slot – S7 Airlines Meets US Airways MasterCard With OneWorld    [Click the US Airways credit card. Cut and paste took…one minute? Two? ]

View from the Wing – Act Quickly: FINAL DAY for Chase 60,000 Point Offers    [ Wow. One of the former best bloggers has completely turned into a credit card pumper. So dear readers…do I add him to the Ignore list? Lucky too? Please give me your arguments. PLEASE keep it respectful as always. I will not respond to commenters who make it unnecessarily personal as usual. “Act quickly: FINAL DAY” smh. Oh no, he writes that the links are going to last until Sunday at 3 pm. Oh noooooooooooooooooooooo! This post will never end. Let’s see how many we are going to see from this point on. Why did I start this? To make a point? Yes…I am starting to sound incoherently now and I have not had any alcohol or drugs in me today, WTF!  Check the comments, I guess there are more angry ones!]

It is Sunday morning now, just got to Panera, I need to catch up on the last barrage of pumpy posts…

Mighty Travels – 30,000 Starpoints sign-up bonus with the Starwood Preferred Guest American Express card    [We need to eat too!]

DansDeals – It’s Back: 30,000 Starpoints Signup Bonus On Both The Starwood Consumer And Business AMEX Cards  [ Why do the big bloggers need to squeeze all money and points from us? We tiny bloggers who choose not to pump credit cards should be getting all these referrals (and Amazon links). Oh, life is so unfair sometimes. I should have started a hedge fund years ago. Or a “frugal” “travel” blog lol. Smile. ]

One Mile at a Time – Starwood American Express 30,000 Point Sign-Up Bonus Now Publicly Available  [Just so you know this space is all about the big Chase Ink credit card money from signups…you would expect this from a greedy blogger who has tasted the money and just can’t get enough (happens A LOT in this space folks…maybe this is the reason I have resisted joining the circus? I don’t know…I should ask my therapist I guess). So, back on track, here is how this blog post starts (remember the headline!): “First of all, just a quick reminder that the increased sign-up bonuses for the following cards is slated to end mid-afternoon Eastern Time today: CLICK MY CHASE INK LINKS” Then proceeds to also try to squeeze more 5k spg referrals. Are you counting how many blog posts have been blessed with the Chase Ink card links? Good. Because I sure have lost count. Who said Boarding Area is about travel blogs? ]

Up next is a barrage of sell sell sell posts by the one and only Million Mile Secrets. Enjoy his presentation in Chicago, I am sure there will be a lot of tips on how…to use his links to get credit cards! Please someone get me his autograph! If you think I am serious about this you do NOT belong here, please leave!

Million Mile Secrets – Your US Airways Card Will Become an American Airlines Card     [ Pedro? Pedro? Breaking News man! I heard this at MMS. How does he come up with this stuff? One blog post, good for a bunch of US Airways affiliate credit card links repeating the same old crap we have seen gazillion times before here and elsewhere. Hey MMS reader, have you graduated from this site yet? How does it feel to get pounded every day being sold credit cards? Frankly, personally, I get a little angry sometimes…When I do my cat Fluffy comes next to me, purrs, and meows to me saying “Not worth getting angry TBB…get even!” Or something like that. I hope to be alive when this post is finished.]

Million Mile Secrets – Can You Use 100,000 Points From the Southwest Cards for Travel If You Earn the Companion Pass?    [Here we go again. MMS writes about the Southwest Companion Pass even more than Deals We Like! And, if you have been around the blogosphere, that is A LOOOOOOT! Of course we had to get an angle to drop some Southwest credit card links in unsuspecting readers for the hundred ninety ninth time recently so…, for the most honored tradition of the pumpy bloggers, voila, let’s pick a reader question to “answer”. Isn’t it amazing only questions are picked to get answered that are answered by a bunch of affiliate credit card links? My hazelnut coffee at Panera is starting to taste a little bitter now, people around me are looking at me funny. I wonder if they are thinking “Why is he so angry?”]

Million Mile Secrets – Can You Add a Companion on Southwest After Your Pass Expires?    [ $*$((&^$###@%@! ]

whore island


Frugal Travel Guy – Reader Success Story: A Frugal Weekend Getaway to Disneyland    [We bribe readers with $25, let them tell their “success” story and we insert credit card affiliate links in their story. Because we are embarrassed to admit who put this up on our website, we sign it as “FTG Staff”.]

The Points Guy -Southwest Airlines Premier Card or Chase Sapphire Preferred?  [It’s Sunday. The online financial product sales department of Chase Bank never sleeps! Check out this statement: “Remember, though, that you can always get more than one Chase card (like the Ink BoldInk PlusInk Cash or Freedom) – I currently have six! Get one now, and get one down the line, and you can have the best of both worlds.”  Of course the bold font text are affiliate credit card links. Hey I have six cards too but I am not linking the crap out of them to my readers every day. Oh, wait. If I was getting paid up to $300 per app maybe I would too. Rumors say this site (or part of it) is owned by the parent of bentoffers, true? So, instead of get both cards, it is now GET SIX. ^**^$$@!#$%]

The Points Guy – Should You Get Amex Platinum For Its 100,000 Point Bonus?    [Another layup question that easily leads to a bunch of Amex affiliate credit cards links. Are they still paying $450 per Platinum card app? Must be nice. Carpet bombing your readers with affiliate credit card links must feel nice to them. I see the disclosure “we may receive compensation when you click on…”. May? Seriously? Why was the disclosure moved to the top of the post I wonder?…Please provide a magnifying glass so readers can actually read it.]

Deals We Like – Are Authorized Users Eligible for the Starwood American Express 30,000 Point Offer?   [What did you expect? A reader question that is not answered with a way that can pay us back for the time we spend to bring you this blog? Shockingly, Southwest Companion Pass was missed, boo!]

After watching my daughter graduate from Greek school Sunday around noon, I rode my bike all the way to Ann Arbor downtown and proceeded to sample several entries from local restaurants in the Taste of Ann Arbor annual event. Lovely weather on Sunday and I had to get out to escape the Chase Ink/BarclayArrival/SPG credit card carpet bombing currently under way…Shall we continue? We are almost done!

One Mile at a Time – Why the UAE fascinates me  and View from the Wing – The UAE as an uplifting place of opportunity   [Why am I including these two here? Well, reading about social commentary from two guys who fly there in First class and only stay in luxury hotel suites, after bombarding our eye sockets with so many credit cards posts, well, I found these, in my own humble opinion only, somewhat on the ridiculous side. These blogs are the last place I will go to read what they think about working conditions in UAE or India for that matter. Hey, it’s all about travel. Let’s post something controversial and get some hot headed arguments in the comments before we unleash the next Chase Ink barrage, thanks!]

The Points Guy – Barclaycard Arrival vs. Fidelity Investment Rewards Amex  – OMG! What the hell is wrong at TPG Headquarters? Or is it Bankrate, I am confused lately! A question “squeaks in” that does not mention ALL affiliate credit cards, truly shocking! How did the Fidelity Amex show up here? To newbies: There is no link to the Fidelity Amex card, it does not pay TPG a commission if you click it. Oh wait, you can NOT click it! Phucking A. You are supposed to go find it on your own Pedro! While here, let me tell you about all the amazing benefits of the Barclay Arrival card. Bang, bang, bang.  Too busy to find the Fidelity Amex link huh? Probably doing a Travel show on TV or media interview by a journalist who just does not know much (obviously he/she does not read TBB)…I am mad as hell and I am going to keep blogging any more :-)

DansDeals – Expiring Credit Card Bonus Roundup From AMEX, Barclays, Citi, And Chase     [ Massive BANG, they are all here! One.last.push! Ouch ]

Just Another Points Traveler – A Recap of Where Your Ultimate Rewards Can Take You   – [ That is exactly what the blogosphere needed, yet another post about Chase Ink cards. Click my links]

Deals We Like – Weekly Recap of Deals and Promotions    [Yep. A massive recap of all the links leading to more links of posts with affiliate card offers, referral links and some “deals” you see in a gazillion blogs elsewhere. Companion Pass (just used to this, sorry)]

View from the Wing – Starwood American Express 30,000 Points Offer is Back Through June 30   [ We are winding down, the Chase Ink 60k card offer is officially over. Please stand by for more Chase Ink card blog posts now offering…OMG, 50k Chase Ultimate Rewards points! I predict the same old arguments for it. Enjoy burning them on United miles and flying up front with Star Alliance partners!  And this is why you will need another Ink card…and another…and on and on to…oblivion.

And just like that, sometime on Sunday early evening, what started as a joke, became a joke and ends as a joke. Now, excuse me, I am off to recover from this traumatic experience:

chase ink bold beer keg party time

Off drinking with all the alcohol I charged on wife’s new Ink Bold lol. Found here









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180 comments on “The “Travel” Miles/Points Blogosphere Has Turned Into a Giant Credit Card Pumpization Scheme!

  1. George, a little too much coffee today huh ?
    Did you discover Mr. Pickles’ secret to unlimited Starbucks Rewards stars ?
    Maybe a pizza slice once in a while would be OK to absorb some of the excess caffine…

  2. If people really have an issue with this (and I think they should, especially considering how many bloggers push inferior offers) they need to speak with their clicks. If you like a blog, support it by using it’s affiliate links – if you don’t like a blog avoid linking to it and sharing on facebook. I’d recommend not mentioning it if possible as that just drives publicity as well (although I think in cases like this it’s fine).

    There were a couple of posts today about the Hilton reserve card with a $100 statement credit, I’m sure there will be more tomorrow. That offer has been around for Month’s – it’s just that before it wasn’t paying a commission and now it is.

    I personally don’t mind bloggers letting people know when deals are going to die, but a bit of consistency would be nice. Why do they only do it for offers that pay them a commission? Why do non commission offers get bundled together in one post and have no follow up?

    I’m gonna go get on a plane now. I’ll tell you my travel hacking super secret that allows me to travel for free all over the world without cash or points/miles? I have a J-O-B and my employer pays for it. Maybe if some more bloggers had jobs and blogged part time rather than full time they would second guess ripping their readers off with inferior deals.

    • The point on the Citi Hilton Reserve drives home this point better then anything else. It’s suddenly picked up by bloggers NOW even though it has been that way for months. The only thing that changed in between was now it’s an affiliate link so only now is it worth a post. Great timing for them since the Ink ran dry.

    • In this environment, who dare not to?
      I apply every time they tell me to.
      And then I get letters telling me I have too many inquires on my CC report.

  3. So George….. Tell us how you really feel?? Lol!! And this my friend is why I click on your Amazon links! You deserve a good pay for all the time and work you put on today’s blog post, you changed lifes for the good and opened new Bs’ eyes! Mission accomplished!

  4. Wow, “epic” wasn’t an exaggeration — but you’re right, it’s nonstop advertorials where there was once a wealth of useful content. I think it’s about time to get a decent RSS reader and stop giving clicks to these affiliate marketers posing as travel experts. Fortunately, there are still some good independent blogs and smaller networks still putting out good content.

  5. Sitting at a cafe in Istanbul reading your rant with a glass of Turkish wine. Glad I got here on US miles. This is my stopover on my way to Japan:)

  6. Your rant is what we all here have been thinking. So now balance has been attained and all is right in the Universe.

    Re: Advice on moving OMAT and VFTW into the naughtly list. Yes, do it. The number of times that they fly first class, stay in luxury suites, etc, is just not achievable by most people applying for credit cards or even doing reasonable amounts (not full-time job amounts) of MS. They must be getting points from their booking award services to be redeeming the number of first-class awards that they do. I know this has been mentioned before on A FT thread, and the OP was ridiculed (typical FT nastiness), but to me the numbers just don’t add up.

    • +1, for Lucky, with great sadness. MP needed to have been there a year ago, but since I’m a “mommy” people might question my motives if I said it first. Lost all touch with reality.

    • Yes they do. Ben mentioned it in the comments of one of his posts. He had stated that he had a lot of reimbursable expenses. When questioned, he said that he usually pays the taxes and fees on his credit card for his award booking clients and then the client reimburses him. He has the client pay by Pay Pal so that they receive points on their credit card as well.

      With 10 (!) people on his staff – I am sure that the award booking business is doing very well and that he generated massive amounts of points due to the 2x and 3x on travel bonuses.

      • The problem is he lied about it many times. He was very clear how he was making ~800,000 miles
        per year several times with a precise count how he made it.
        But he is spending ~150,000 per week… Even if he gets some extra points, in my book,
        when something looks like a duck, it’s usually a duck. And the simplest answer is –
        he makes tons of money and pays for his first class travels with cash.
        Obviously that wouldn’t look good for the readers…

        • I disagree with your assumption that he is paying for his first class trips with cash. That is, unless you are talking about the purchasing of his miles for his first class trips. He has mentioned before that he leverages things (like the US Airways bonuses) to the tune of 20 or more accounts. Just 20 accounts would account for 2 million US Airway miles. But I know he is not paying actual cost for first class tickets (except ex-CMB and ex-CAI).

          • Charlie, got it, if he pays for the miles in every available promo, US Air and Lifemiles…
            Let’s see, 20 accounts, 100,000 miles each, that $40,000 (40 thousand) per promo.
            3, 4 times a year, that’s 150 Grand times 2 for both airlines. 300G for the miles, nice.
            Makes much more sense the way he spends (I call it “paying”).
            Also to get all those seats he has, he clearly uses anytime awards.

  7. The reason HackMyTrip has no Chase affiliate links in that post is because he has no Chase affiliate links!!!! Love how you conveniently ignore him featuring very clearly in Featured Deals at the top of his page every single useless Barclaycard on the planet including the Hawaiian Airlines card… yes, we should really get that over Chase Ink Bold so he can get his $50. His non-stop Barclays pumping continues today with how to activate Chip and PIN on the Barclaycard, complete with links and how it earns 2.2% cash back and should be used on everyday spend. They’re all pumping cards… say it how it is and that blog is no better.

  8. Hey George, we have like 50 rewards cards but no Chase Freedom. Nor freedom from Chase. Do you know where we can find out about either of them?

  9. Now the question is –
    are those bloggers gonna die when the banks stop repeated signup bonuses,
    or they will go even harder on the new innocent victims?
    I think it will be fun to watch those guys realize – it’s a real job or an under the bridge “suite”,
    no butler there… I think….

  10. What’s really sad here is that those of us still in the game, and that game being collecting points and miles to travel the world as Inexpensively as possible, can do so with 3-4 rewards cards with high CL’s. Forget 2x, 2.2CB, 5X. We all know how to generate 750k-1m points a year for maybe 1k in fees.  That’s max and includes annual CC charges.  It takes some fore thought, planning, and a willingness to take some risk.  Played right, we can use the same 3-4 cards year after year. Although, how we use them may change. Things die and we look for the next one. You all know this.  George, you didn’t amass those millions of points just thru CC bonuses.  None of us did.  If these bloggers want to cater to the newbies and those that want to go thru life being spoon fed; that’s just fine with me as that means fewer people learning what really works. I simply don’t read them. /end of my mini rant.

  11. Really enjoyed the beginning of this post, but I admit I skimmed through much of the end… stopping at all the gifs and memes of course.

    Fighting the good fight seems to be getting a bit repetitive these days. By that I more mean that there are repeat offenders and then everyone else. Taking that BoardingArea SS for example: it’s an easy SS to get after a new CC offer, but they’re about 50 blogs now so there are a lot of “good” ones around. Of course you have blogs like Heels First and P&PD pissing off people for other reasons… but whether fashion tips should be included with travel blogs isn’t my niche to comment on.

    What I’m getting at: While it’s awesome to spread some awareness on CC sign ups and why people shouldn’t just jump into it at a blogger’s say so, would you say the travel/miles&points blog space overall isn’t so bad?

    /devil’s advocate

  12. It’s a good thing that this past Friday wasn’t the first Friday of the month, or the size of your post would’ve doubled

  13. Svetlana says hi! (that there’s funny)…….And the drunk guy falling over the body and cracking his skull on the wall, it’s up there with the male model falling on stage and knocking everything over……………….. OMG Buzz where do I start. First, thank you for giving me something to read over and over on my laptop as I sit here on the toilet drinking my bowel cleanser for my scope later ( I know, I know, thanks for the visual Ramsey)………………the picture above’s caption says “Boarding Area “travel” blogs? How about CC Area instead!” Does anyone else ever wonder why the Chief of Credit Card Whore Island always gets a free pass. If I type R.P.’s name will I get struck by lightning or worse a computer virus?……………..My first thought is, this post is a keeper, especially the first part. June 3rd 2014, a date that will live in infamy (FDR). It deserves a tab at the top of TBB (maybe titled GETTING STARTED/ FOR NEWBIES)………. Buzz, excuse me a moment my bowel cleanser is calling, gotta runs (pardon the pun)……….I have to read this post again, see you after the anesthesia.

  14. Hi George! I knew I would make the list. Actually, every time I post something involving CCs, I always snoop on your blog the next morning to see if I landed on the radar :o). When it comes to using affiliate links, I really do keep it authentic… only making posts involving my upcoming travel plans and redemptions. Oh and I *really* did apply for the Ink Bold/Arrivals! I can’t wait to post a picture of me smiling while holding my 2 new additions when they come in the mail ;). Keep up the good work here. I always look forward to your posts!

  15. @ TJ: Kewl!

    @ PatMike:That was building up for a long time, felt great to finally let it all out. No idea about the Starbucks trick, please let me know. I can always use more coffee!

    @ Spencer F: Definitely

    @ William Charles: Dude, you comment everywhere! Even in the blogs we like to Ignore around here…so watch it! Great point about the Hilton card. I see TFG, MV and DWL were out of the gate as soon as they got their hands on the affiliate link. And I am supposed to volunteer to help a newbie through someone associated with FTG? Ludicrous! Enjoy Australia!

    @ P: Ouch, so harsh. But I understand and I don’t blame you.

    @ Ralph: Yep, great point about the “nee” Hilton card offer, isn’t it?

    @ Amol: I sure can use a vacation, this post took a lot out of me! Yep, my household was down for two Ink cards, can’t help it ;-)

    @ ABC: Lol. Yeah, really. Love chatting with the Chase reconsideration staffers :-)

    @ Ivan: I like you! Everyone listen to Ivan and do what Ivan does :-) Seriously now, thanks a lot, I appreciate it.

    @ Hua: “nonstop advertorials”—>yep, you got it! Thank you.

    @ Smittytabb: Love Istanbul, enjoy!

    @ Nick: You are absolutely right, me too! I had no idea about the google effect. I do now…I think. Definitely a great skill.

    @ guera: There is no science behind the TBB lists. When it hits me, I act. Those two are on my target list…I don’t care about the FC trip and luxury hotel reviews. Obviously, there is a market for that. I am more turned off by the bias towards and the repeated assault of the credit card affiliate links like we saw in the past several “Chase Ink offer ends June 1st” craziness. I agree numbers do not add up, especially for Lucky. He pays for the trips and he can afford it :-) I have asked to include on the very top how each trips was funded. I was ignored conveniently :-)

    @ Dia: I agree with you on a lot of things it appears:-)

    @ Katherine: Thanks for commenting. 10 staff in the award booking business, WOW!

    @ DEF: Hi and welcome here. You are missing the point. There was no affiliate link in the body of the post, only in the signature in the end clearly disclosed. MMS would have pulled out a dozen in just one post. That to me is honorable.

    @ KennyB: I have no idea, why don’t you google it? :-)

    @harvson 3 and ABC: Thanks. Not as good as my son’s. I should have spoken to them only in Greek growing up. Missed that boat. Whataregonnadonow?

    @ Andrew: I don’t see an end. There are many out there without an SPG card and everyone can have a business and an Ink card you know…

    @ Another Mark: Thanks. Ranting here keeps me from being out there gaming it and from burning. A definite downside of blogging!

    @ Yet Another Mark: Hmm, I am not sure. There are so many blogs out there now. It’s just really really hard to distinguish yourself and become a must read. I bet if cc money went away more than 90% of the blogs will go away. It’s a work in progress. If I find something worthy I will feature it here. This type of rant blog posts will only happen rarely when everything inside builds up to so much and my therapist says: “let it all out”

    @ Steve: Yes!

    @ Ramsey: The Svetlana reference was supposed to be a harmless friendly joke. Sometimes I am taken way too seriously! Hope the procedure went fine. Great suggestion to place this post in a permanent tab, thanks! No idea who is in the avatar this time!

    @ bluecat: Thank you. Email sent to the email address you posted (and only I can see it). I did not have first and last name so you are “Blue Cat” :-) Thanks!

    @ Angelina: I knew it! I held back a few times before but I could not resist this one. Actually, I wanted to make a point. You were added just twice, the Miles Professor just once. I wanted to show the difference between this type of pumping vs the legendary pumping of the usual suspects! Like I said, bloggers have a choice.

    @ James: 3 reasons are much more honorable than 10 reasons over and over ;-)

    @ John: I think you are confusing this one with some of the blogs in the TBB Ignore list? If not, ok then. We all have an opinion. Thanks for taking the time to express it here. Never be angry :-)

    • Haha figured as much. Everyone needs a little therapy now and then.

      I just see some affiliate hate pointed in the wrong direction sometimes (not by you) when that blog may not even play the affiliate game. Usually by association with other bloggers/BA. I know BA started because of the good ad prices they could negotiate (starting from Flyertalk, etc) and affiliates popped up later in this space. The former is great for motivating a blog to better their content and grow their audience and the latter is pretty easy to abuse… but that’s where sites like Tabloid Buzzard Express comes in. Policing the blogosphere with affiliate awareness using gifs to keep our ADHD attention spans.

  16. George. I meant to add that this blog is the primary reason I don’t have to skim the others. If someone makes a worthwhile post, I will learn about it here. Thanks for all your hard work

  17. ” I agree numbers do not add up, especially for Lucky. He pays for the trips and he can afford it :-) I have asked to include on the very top how each trips was funded. I was ignored conveniently”
    I’m really not a lucky fan boy and don’t like having to defend him but this issue comes up repeatedly and I dont really get it. He normally does state how he paid for these trips in the intro to each TR, unless you think he’s lying.

    He’s said multiple times that he has a lot of paid travel, he obviously has a lot of reimbursable expenses and he’s said multiple times that he buys quite a few miles during promotions like US Air & Avianca. Its really so hard to believe he has enough miles for the flights he takes?

  18. Thank goodness you’ve the gall to say what we all suspected. Travel bloggers make a full (or beyond full) time living out of these card companies & it’s obvious their 100% travel life is funded by the such unstated but obvious sponsorship. Good riddens to their constantly blogging about the 36th card one can simultaneously hold as if we all charged $41,131,134/year on cards.

    • Thank you Richard, much appreciated. I had to let it all out, that was building up for a while. Been around this quirky hobby since the late 90s and the headline I chose for the post captures it pretty well I must say!

      Congrats on the wedding, it’s all downhill from here…just kidding.

  19. Epic indeed. Irony is that it’s not just about the money, it’s about selling enough to not be cut off. Just ask CrankyFlyer about those…

    Just 2 notes.
    1. Your Ink numbers are way too high. Commissions were heavily slashed for the promo, basically the funds were transferred from the bloggers CPA to the applicants to fund the LTO.

    2. Not writing about the SPG LTO would be rightfully called out as hypocrisy, so go easy on that one as that’s another darned if you do and darned if you don’t posts…

      • If you don’t like a blog’s content you don’t have to visit. At least TBB has an excuse for visiting sites he doesn’t care for, he has a blog to maintain!

    • Dan and John, thanks for the interactions here, learning more. Good points, especially about me having to visit these blogs,bleed my eyes because TBB duty calls for it.

      I think I need an intervention lol.

  20. I think your post is forgot to include some content

    Where are all the posts of Drew and Frequent Miler pumping the Chase Ink cards?

  21. Similar to HackMyTrip, the reason Drew didn’t have any Chase posts is because neither have Chase links. Praise them if you want, but that’s a poor comparison.

    As for FM, he has a very loyal and unique fanbase that will seek out his links even if he never blogged about cards. If other blogs tried that they’d be cut off in a month’s time. Either way it wasn’t enough to save him from AMEX cuts, as only FTG, MMS, and TPG met those quotas.

    • “the reason Drew didn’t have any Chase posts is because neither have Chase links”

      What exactly is your basis for that?

      He doesn’t push any credit cards in his posts, not just Chase

      It’s quite different from Hackmytrip or a more extreme example MileValue who do push non-Chase/Amex cards

      Drew has ample opportunity to sell out, and has done yeoman’s job not doing so. I know it might be a crazy idea to some, but people like him and the Saverocity folks whose entire blogging lives don’t center around affiliate clicks (whether they be of the Chase variety or not)

      • In fact, if there’s any single credit card that Drew has touted more than any other card…. it’s the IHG card

        A card that no other blogger will give the time of day even though it has the best annual bonus to annual fee ratio…. because it doesn’t pay affiliate commission

        • From a cursory look, I’m not seeing a single real affiliate link on Drew’s site, only CreditKarma links. Those are low paying links and it doesn’t look like he can deeplink to any credit card.

          So to call him a saint for not pushing the links is being a bit naive IMHO. If he had deep links then he’d probably be pushing them so that he’d be able to keep them…

          As for IHG, I have over a dozen active Chase cards, but no IHG. Firstly because I’m more focused on SPG/HGP as their elite benefits kill IHGs, but also because my minimum threshold for a Chase pull is probably around a $700 point value and the IHG cards come in under a $500 value.
          But if you are an IHG fan it can make sense.

              • Great exchange, not angry :-)

                I stand behind my post.

                Having as an excuse that you need to sell enough so you are not cut off does not justify unleashing a barrage of the same cc links to your readers every day for the same reasons over and over. It is not respectful. Revolving all your content based on what you can do to sell pretty much makes them used car salesmen. It’s just done online.

                I agree Frequent Miler is an outlier. Dan is too as he is the only blogger who pumps in my Blogs I Like list. But dude lately you have been on a crazy cc linking binge…so watch it ;-)

                Anyways…it comes down to trust. Do you trust the content and advice in the blogs to be Ignored list? HELL NOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!

              • Sure, I’ll chime in… but only as far as I can. :-p I wrote a post being very upfront about this topic, and got in big trouble (another blogger emailed CK to tell them about my candidness (total BS)). So I’ll say what I’m allowed. You probably know how it goes.

                I have “direct” links like US Bank, Amex biz, discover, and what not. I had Amex personal links until last month. BUT I didn’t write a single post with a single direct amex link (that I can recall off hand), biz or personal… so obviously we didn’t make the cut.

                Right now I don’t want my income opportunity to dictate my content, so I just leave it up to readers to decide what they want. Sound corny or untrue… and honestly, I know for fact pushing works. Last year I could say I “pushed” a couple cards for a week and despite my traffic being about 1/4 then, it was and still is my best month in terms of $$$$.

                Given that I have a pretty loyal following, I know if I PUSHED for real, I could totally make enough to actually have to pay taxes this year. But to be honest, I think my readership has grown because my content is NOT dictated by affiliate commission. So, in a way I think it’s actually a better long term move to not push. I’m not actually sure if that’s true, but I’m still growing and happy with that.

                Although, I hate the affiliate thing. I’ve gotten in trouble for things sooo many times (3 times now because another blogger pointed out a “rule” I was breaking (like the anti-honesty rule)). And the only reason they let anything slide is because I ultimately make them money. And I do feel pressure to perform. There is a little bird reminding me, “if you don’t hit $x,xxx, you don’t get jack”. So I honestly just pray that readers will use me out of gratitude.

                What I can’t really share is my current situation. It’s gotten more strict, and I don’t have the direct opportunities that I did even a month ago (regarding what the little bird told me I need to do, but I didn’t). But a reader honestly wouldn’t be able to tell, like I said, I didn’t/don’t use my amex links (because they were often inferior offers, just like my barclay links).

                I wish I could share more, but just don’t feel comfortable and don’t want to jeopardize my relationship with CK, which is why I’m more sharing my experience with linkoffers – who I could not think less highly of. They don’t email bloggers because they don’t want anything in writing. They just call right away and tell me things, and then later complain about something I did. That’s another reason I use CK, so I don’t give linkoffers a dime, and partly why I didn’t use my amex links. Although… obviously, I would do what’s best for me with those relationships and my wallet.

                So that’s a long answer to sum up my situation.

                Also, I WANT TO SAY PUBLICLY… I’ve now seen two examples of how Matt from Saverocity telling his readers to use my links on things he didn’t have affiliate links from.

                I meant to write him. But this and the time FM wrote a post about my best posts of 2013 are the only two times in blogging where I’ve seen incredibly generous linking to another blog. I wish people knew how rare this was to understand why it’s so touching… Super super honest people and it’s way more remarkable than just not writing a post on credit cards.

                My $.02

  22. Wow. You may want to check your blood pressure. Very heavy duty. You know, just a thought here, but in the royal courts in the dark ages, one person was allowed to insult people, and state the truth that would otherwise get you beheaded: the court jester. In that vein, I think you should go to Chicago. You’d be the antihero, maybe make yourself a necktie out of old credit cards. It’d be awesome, kind of a Hunter Thompson type of counterpoint. Sort of a “God’s mercy on you swine” thing. Of course, I guess technically, I’m one of the swine…

    • I am the court jester then!

      A reader told me at Charlotte that ” I am the voice of reason”. Which freaked me out….a little ;-)

      Nah, no way. That means I have to buy a ticket to the Chicago Seminar? Why would I ever pay a ticket when the presenter line up is so full of the bloggers running the Blogs I Ignore list?

      I suggested to FTG that we offer our faces to be attacked with pies…for charity of course but he was too chicken to accept hehe. So no way. It would be fun though you are right ;-)

  23. if anyone tries to argue that cash referrals don’t drive content – just look at these two posts from gary. both advertsing the SAME deal on the SAME card. once when it paid a commission vs when it didnt

    the titles alone are notably different. but check out the verbose, gushing (ad) copy when the card pays him vs when it doesnt

    funny, its a “no-brainer” to get it now… but wasn’t before? i wonder why

    • Wow, you nailed it. Even added the villa at the Conrad Koh Samui. It’s all about the sales conversion. Sad to watch.

      This was it as I post in next Buzz post coming up. Both Gary and Lucky are in the Ignore list. They deserve it. Gosh, they can order a burger in First Class while they pump some more credit cards.

  24. Reading your intro, I was reminded of the movie The Wolf of Wall Street, which my husband and I finished watching last night. I had a hard time believing all the shenanigans there – I did believe the lies they used to sell stock, but the rest was so over the top. But my husband assures me that secretaries shaving their heads for $10,000 and strippers on the trading room floor are indeed realistic portrayals – maybe not true, but, as they say, have truthiness.

    On the other hand, not all marketing is bad. There are companies that market products/services that are good/worthwhile/honest and there are honest and moral people who work in marketing. Sadly, they are not in the majority and not even a big minority.

    Better hustle to return the Wolf DVD before they charge us another night. Just hope I do not bump into my neighbor Ramsey en route….

    • I am specifically referring to financial product sales.Just like the Wolf movie! I watched that movie in Greece when it opened in Thessaloniki and then took a taxi to the Hyatt before flying back to the US the next day. Great movie.

  25. Say what you want about bloggers, but using their affiliate links takes nothing away from us. On the other hand, using your amazon affiliate links means I miss out on the cashback I could be earning by going through a shopping portal instead. Doesn’t seem fair, does it?

    • False

      Chase paid a lower commision to the bloggers in this offer and have more money in terms of the sign up bonus. If you reduce the money chase spends on bloggers, they may either increase the bonus offered on cards, or let people like you or me refer firends to get affliate points (like amex does instead of handing out money to bloggers like candy)

      So, again false. Harm is done. The wrong message is sent to the banks

      • That’s crap. If that was the case chase wouldn’t pay out affiliate commission on the higher card offers (aka 60k ink bold, 30k SPG, etc). Blogs increase card sign-ups, which is what the banks are after. The commission they pay bloggers is just a tax write off, the cost of getting more customers.

        • Blogs make card benefits more tangible than boilerplate marketing language. That’s valuable to banks like Chase.

          I’ve been in this for a while. Chase cut the whole program in 2008 but offers didn’t get richer, if anything LTOs were more sparse.
          LTOs ensure that the cards remain newsworthy and in front of eyeballs. Based on this post it seems to me like that’s working :)

          Ultimately readers and bloggers (even with reduced commissions) love LTOs, so don’t rock the boat too much folks. Nobody is making anyone read a blog AFAIK so if you don’t like a blog’s content don’t read it. No need to get angry about it :D

        • On the chase 60k card, the bloggers commission went down during the period…. Their commission went down, and the sign up bonus went up.

          But that’s NOT related?

    • @ Anne: Thanks for taking the time to comment. Stick around here, i try to make it fun (unless you made the Ignore list!). And you can learn a lot. You are way off on the Amazon thingie, you missed my point. Amazon and cc links should never be in the same sentence or paragraph, heck blog post!

      Holy crap, so many comments to answer! Need to hurry up.

      I agree fully with James and Mike. And parts of what Dan says…but he is biased :-)

      Bottom line: There is ONE marketing budget. Everything comes out of it. More goes to bloggers? Less go to consumers. Don’t get me started on the devaluation effect bloggers have now ok?

    • Oh idk: BeFrugal, ebates, fat wallet. Maybe George can get a referal link and make a killing pushing that instead.

      • @Anne, I actually thought you were kidding about links because I have never seen them for Amazon. I checked out the ones you posted and , yes, they do have some rebate potential for “select categories”. Pets and sporting goods, for this month. Not books or electronics, which is all I buy from Amazon.

        I never use ebates, fatwallet, or topcashback — too much to keep track of for little payback. I agree, though, that you could be getting a bit of money back for each can of Alpo you are buying Spot! As for me, I’d rather give George the nickel than have to worry about keeping track of something that minimal.

        • Actually electronics are included, sort of: cameras, apparel, outdoors, sports, amazon local. These are pretty broad categories to me. Sure, books aren’t included but when you’re saving 90% on used paperbacks, cash back doesn’t really matter. It’s fine that you want to support George. Blog readers who use card links do the same. But don’t knock others for the same sentiment.

            • Nothing against the guy but I don’t read his blog. If that’s your idea of an insult, I’m sure you can do better than that.

              • It wasn’t an insult, I was legit curious since that was similar to a point he tries to make

              • Anne: Read my response to you above. Too many categories to screw around with Amazon portals. I disclose it in my Referrals page. Amazon has a good thing going and I don’t see them expand the “categories”. Come on!

                You are right, we support who we want. I was making an argument that mega sales oriented blogs in the Ignore list do not deserve the support because there are so many betters one (in the Love and Like) lists. That’s all.

                Frankly, I don’t care if you use my Amazon link at all. It’s not like I am losing anything meaningful lol. I am using it as a prop more to make fun of the whole travesty!

                James: Thanks a lot man!

                bluecat: yeah, keeping track of the “categories” (that change all the time…I think) is like getting a root canal!

  26. TBB I love your blog…
    As a newbie here is my experience on getting into points game;
    Few years ago, I had no clue about points game and all its benefits, I took many international trips without points and miles knowledge.. then i stumbled into this game and now i am an addict :(

    You are doing a great service to the miles and points blogosphere, but is it reaching to the right audience?
    Most of your readers are seasoned experts/travels who already know about what you are talking about. It’s the newbies who get slaughtered with the credit card pumping.

    As a newbie I did click a few links on MMS mesmerized by their corporate model ;)
    When i did a search of “miles + points” the top ten links were boardingarea, MMS, TPG etc.
    TBB was nowhere in the vicinity. TBB has become an outlet similar to “anger management” or “alcoholic anonymous”

    Here is an anatomy of newbie life:
    stumbles into points and miles shit — > wants more –> Googles miles and points — clicks MMS link (damage has been done) –> first taste of blood :) —> wants more than CC links —-> stumbles into TBB –> gets educated and entertained —> makes informed decision :) –> clicks TBB amazon links (healing)…. ok, the last one was a flatterer…lol, but i do use your link for all my amazon purchases

    Finally, the time has come, You have a purpose…. You should reach out to newbies … converted… and educate them. TBB should be the first stop before a newbie clicks another link :)
    You have already earned your reputation and trust as “NO BS.. Pure entertainment” blog so why not use that to your advantage :)
    Here is what you should do:
    1) Do what you do (maintain your integrity)
    2) Work on getting TBB to the top of search engine list.
    3) Make TBB as a one stop shop for miles and points education and entertainment. Educate newbies and give advice on using the right link. (maybe create your own section of links) These are not your affiliate links, so you will not make money from this. But, with the traffic you get… you know how to turn that into moolah
    4) Buy me a drink ;)

    • @My2cents, Good story—exactly the slippery slope all newbs find themselves in.

      But he’s not getting paid. How about you help him for #2 and then he and many others will take care of #4 for you!?

      • @bluecat, #2 is not my forte, i’m sure there are many here good at that skill. It does take some tweaks and time to get to the top of the search engine list. I think that’s a great investment for TBB in the long run to succeed in his vision and mission :)
        I’ve contributed my 2 cents using his amazon links and will continue to use it.. lol

        • This is great but there are only 24 hours in the day. I just can’t do all this as I am too busy already balancing husband, father, small business man, blogger, miles addict and fantastic soccer player (not kidding hehe) duties. And blogs keep coming at me non stop! I need to find a way to keep doing what I am doing AND create some space, some time to start adding some more things to the blog. I still have not added an email list and Facebook page for crying out loud. When I get some time…I always use it elsewhere, you know, my own work that pays the bills. Putting even more time into TBB (which is already A LOT) just does not feel right to me.

          So I keep going entertaining myself and all you guys. I will likely require an intervention soon at some point, not sure what it will be. I sure need one to get me off this drug lol.

  27. You mentioned needing a way to prioritize the sub levels of blogs you love , tolerate and hate? Why not create a medal stand for each. Have Gold, Silver and Bronze for each category to further break down how you really feel… ;)

    • I am fine with the blogs in the Love and LIke lists. But I do feel that the Ignore blogs are quite uneven. I am thinking of prioritizing them. From Worse to less worse to just bad. Hmmm, maybe I will do a post asking my readers to rate them or something. Could get quite angry oh oh :-)

  28. The Boarding Area Screen Shot pretty much says it all.

    Next step: I think we need some data visualization guru to build a timeline / heatmap / word cloud, SOMETHING to show how they’re all pimping hard for the search engines as soon as links go live.

    That’s the kind of thing that should be done by actual journalists though… who get paid in $, rather than the praise of your audience.

    Thanks George!

  29. Last thought of the day (for me). I would bet cash that all of the pumpers have read this post today but only one had the cajones to jump in and add to the conversation. *Respect* to Dan for that.

    • I’m not sure I added much anything of value to the conversation but thanks.

      It’s time for yet another jewish holiday for me, so ya’ll can curse me out for the next 49 hours but don’t expect a response. I’ll be enjoying a most welcome respite from all things digital/electronic and spend some quality family time with no distractions.

  30. Wow. This was a pretty detailed article. I think you have done a great job covering this topic that seems to be an issue in the frequent point community. I am in agreement that some of the card stuff is getting overdone. At some of the milepoint meetups I have spoken o others who tell me they are starting to get tired of all of it. My opinion is I have no real problem in clicking a link if I get the best deal that card is offering and I want to apply. I feel overalll A View from the Wing does a pretty good so I have given him some clicks. I did a few for MMS although lately it can be the same over again. Frequent Miler has some interesting info even though I really dont do any manufactured spend. I think I will give him some hits dat a given point. Some of the people I spoke to are pissed to the point they will not click any of the links when they apply for the cards. I know the card bounties are huge. And they may also give extra perks if a certain number of apps are approved in a given year. Cards that have good eprks and have no affliliate links or fees are never mentioned, or rarely mentioned. The bloggers are afraid to say anything bad about an advertiser because it could really cost them a fortune. Chase especially comes to mind.

    • Hmm, typed a response and then the connection at Starbucks just vanished! Hate when that happens, makes me angry lol.

      Great points. Especially how non affiliate cards are hardly ever mentioned. And I have seen some of the language of the “conditions” the banks impose. Let me tell you…one word comes to mind: Sellouts :-)

      And thank you.

  31. The stuff lately about that deals that are dying is also crazy. When the deal dies, they come with another deal. If there is no deal, nobody applies. Or if a deal is reduced, less people apply. We are mercenary. We go for the best deal. Even AMEX stating once in a lifetime on a promo means little because they might offer a new card or repeal that policy at any given time

  32. I was thinking about this today. Barclay Arrival extended the time you can credit points against charges to 120 days from posting. For me that is an extra plus I pay in full. However it might be one of the greatest strategies of all time for Barclays. I bet some people dont pay some of the travel expenses and figure they will credit it when they have the points.So they start generating interest on the balance, and every charge they make generates additional rolling interest for Barclays at a ski high rate.

  33. George, I’ll let you in on a secret. FTG Staff = Ariana
    Look at the writing, the words, the phrases… She just blogs under both handles.

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  35. Dan has posted several times here, saying that you can’t praise a blog for not touting a link they don’t have. Factually true, but that’s not the real point to take from all this.

    The real question to me is where should I-we-be spending our time reading online. I have limited time for all this and I want to get the most out of it. That means reading the blogs and other sources which provide useable info, thoughtful ideas and other unique cool stuff. To focus on those areas of emphasis, I have to skip over or skip completely the other stuff which wastes my time. That includes most of the blogs on TBB’s ignore list.

    Take VFTW for example-Used to be if there were 15 posts in a week, at least 4-5 contained usable information, such as things I didn’t know or things I knew that I hadn’t thought about in the same way Gary would approach it. Now, it seems there are more posts, maybe 20 a week, but when I toss out the anti-governmental rants, the blatant card pushing, the “how am I doing (“I’m sorry”), the high-end trip reports I am unlikely to ever use, and the other time wasters, there ain’t much meat left on the bone.

    And it’s the same for MP, double so for MMS with all the filler, etc.

    Dan’s advice was very wise-he said if you don’t like a blog, don’t read it. And I don’t. If there is a kernel of wisdom I miss, I will likely spot it elsewhere, or I will cross it off knowing that I am getting 80% of the good ides with 20% of the time and work.

    The people who say there is no cost to click on an affiliate link instead of another link for the same card don’t take into account the others cards they might have learned about, considered and used had they not been reading the marketing pitch your friendly blogger offers.

    • Fantastic comment Sam, thank you! The only thing missing is “This is why I read TBB and I recommend it to my mother AND my mother in law” :-)

      This will likely make the Weekly gems Sunday post…Sunday looks so so far away.

  36. My comment structure is limited so I can not reply to Drew of Travel is Free. Thank you man for taking the time to comment, where ever you are!

    If I make this a Gem Comment for Sunday’s post…Is it okay? I don’t want some weazel blogger snitch open their mouth and report you for some moronic valuation and get you in trouble.

    See you next month. It’s time for you to pay me for all the traffic I direct to your site. I am kidding of course.

    • Wow. Confusing. Which is a good problem – you have so many comments you need to start new chains. :-p

      I mean, I don’t wish to draw attention to myself in regards to me pushing/not pushing links and that situation.
      I would hope Matt would get called out for his publicly recommending people support my site with my links. That kinda thing.

      There was one main time where another blogger emailed just to rat me out. It was a few months ago and boiled my blood a little. But no point in being bitter. Well, not too bitter. :-p
      I’m really surprised that one would be so cut throat, and for no reason really. The others I don’t know much about, other than just that “another blogger pointed us to your post because… and you’re not allowed to that.”

      • Yeah, i saw one post from Matt recently asking his readers to use Drew’s affiliate links. Magnanimous isnt it? This kind of healthy blogging is good for the entire travel blogging community and that is why i like guys like Matt, George, Drew, Greg. Each one have their originality but they are equally honest and caring in their own ways. God Bless. I dont want to get personal but just a crazy thought – may be George must think of classifying the bloggers as the Good, the Bad and the Ugly:)

  37. Hmm, i thought i would at least make mine as the 100th comment but then i realise there are lots of night hounds out there:(.

    What to say about this epic post – “Ink”telligent, “Bold”, sarcastic humour at its best!!

    I also get to understand from the comments as to how some of the bloggers out there are “chasing” for their “Freedom” from this situation where they seem to have caught the tiger’s tail – you just cant seem to afford to leave it or else you end up where you dont want to be.

    It is also nice to see our free man, Dear George, holding the gun as a single man army fighting a battle (i mean it – almost single handedly) against some of the potential evils that could take away our freedom from us unknowingly. Such a mess out there and it needs lots of guts to do it. Hail George:). Few others might do it subtly but it needs lot of intelligence and sense of humour to wage this battle with such sarcastic original humour that is unmatched in blogging world. It is because of people like George, readers end up using up their brilliance with so many bloggers out their pumping left and right. You are really gifted, George. What a talent? Even the people who hate you have to stand and look up at you – they have no other choice. This is the best use of the power of internet out there. I also see some of those bloggers have the conscience to think about what you will say or write before even blogging about the cards. That itself is a huge success to your crusade. May you live long and continue to entertain, educate and inspire us with your God given unique talent.

    • Kumar. Thanks a lot. What I am doing is a lonely crusade indeed. Actually, it is completely nuts. I find blogging lets me “let it all out”, makes me feel better about myself and we are all entertained which is always priority #1.

      As far as my few enemies, they are just jealous lol.

      If I can only figure out how to compensate myself for my time here without giving up my soul…

      Thanks again. True fans pass my blog to their mothers AND their mothers in law LOL

      • Random bit o’ trivia (on letting it out):
        Dr Gabor Mate’ (Canadian MD; addiction and ADHD specialist) describes (in some podcast — love him!) a medical (observational) study they did in Lithuania that hasn’t gotten much press…. (Hang in there, it applies…) They followed something like 10,000 heavy and moderate smokers over 10 years. The weird (?) results were that: heavy and moderate smokers who did NO repress their emotions (as measured on some test) did NOT get lung cancer. A statistically valid number of heavy and moderate smokers who DID repress their emotions did get lung cancer!

        So, George? DON’T take up smoking, but because you’re not repressing your emotions, you’re (apparently) less likely to get cancer!! Whoo hoo! Educate, entertain, and support your own health!

  38. Here’s what I don’t get…and maybe because I’m plugging (slowly) into the Mommy Blogger networks so have a wider perspective . There are SO MANY ways to monetize w/o credit cards! I have them on a separate page and see maybe 6 a year.

    I’m not saying printing a coupon at 42 cents comes anywhere close to a credit card conversion, but 100s of them do. Then you have product reviews, free travel, tickets to events, swag bags from conferences, and how about actual journalism?

    Doesn’t make me rich, but is enough to make staying home with my kids make sense. I know that’s not enough for most, but it works for me.

    • Getting 100s of them to do a coupon at 42 cents still pales to getting a newbie to get their first Ink Bold :-)

      I am not personally comfortable doing product reviews. Unless I am a huge fan. There is one awesome password manager I use I have been meaning to “push” here for months…One day.

      Free travel sounds great. Wish they did not expect me to write about the trip :-)

      Have no idea about tickets to events. I would definitely not push tickets to Chicago Seminars here LOL.

      Love swag bags from conferences. It’s because I just love FREE stuff :-)

      Actual journalism? After doing this epic rant and working on it for hours…I am spent and about to become an alcoholic ;-)

      I stand by my statement: NOTHING COMES CLOSE to the dough you can make from credit cards.

      Thanks and cheers!

  39. George-

    I was going to add to my post that reading TBB starts my day of seeking quality content I can really use. Then I remembered how you hate gratuitous links and I backed off (also figuring anyone reading comment # 139 was already hooked).

    I am so not a marketing guy.

    • Me too, join the crowd. I keep shooting myself in the foot in regards to blowing so many marketing opportunities I could have in my blog!

      But I like this way, it feels more real. Don’t like conforming to a certain mold.

  40. I think you have to do what I did. Just stop reading them. I no longer read any of the blogs you mention in this post. Problem fixed!

    I think things changed significantly when Amex pulled the plug on a lot of bloggers recently. That was their warning that if they don’t play ball and sell, sell, sell they will lose their income stream. And so any attempt to hold back vanished. The banks have been very smart in all this. When they first started paying these bloggers I didn’t get it… why pay guys who encourage people to sign up for just the bonus and then churn the card? Of course like any great drug dealer they get the blogger hooked first, giving them plenty of freedom. Then once they are hooked on the drugs they start turning the screw. Not allowed to mention churning, not allowed to talk about calling retentions, not allowed to suggest you should cancel the card when fee hits etc. The banks have been expert at turning their enemies into friends.

    • That looks like a gem of a comment to me.

      I think you are right on. The Amex action think sent a signal to everyone to stop pretending and go on a full sell mode. Sad to enter Gary and Lucky in the list but their pumping this year has been just ludicrous.

      Now if I can only manage to stop reading them…I think it is a great thought and should eat my own cooking. Maybe when you make the list you are just too far gone in credit card pimpdom. I need to seriously consider it!

      I take it you are not going to Chicago where pretty much the whole Ignore list of Bloggers will be there.

      Here is an excerpt from an inside source who sent it to me. TBB has sources everywhere. Be afraid you cc pumper blogger! Just so we all know who calls the shots in this space!

      Please note that the activities below are prohibited by the American Express Consumer Affiliate Marketing Program.

      American Express reserves the right to remove any site from its program which participates in any of these activities, at any time. Engaging in these activities may also subject you to further action, including forfeiture of referral fees and payment of monetary damages.

      Prohibited activities include, but are not limited to:

      · Posting language which guides prospects to “churn” or apply for multiple American Express cards (Consumer or OPEN) to maximize point accumulation.

      · Promoting acquire & attrite behavior (i.e. sign up, acquire points, then cancel)

      · Including directions around cookie deletion or taking any actions to guide existing cardmembers to apply for prospect offers

      · Suggesting prospects call specific numbers for reconsideration if declined.

      Once you have read these new terms and conditions please reply to this email to confirm you understand them.

      • You are right I am not going to Chicago, or even the shitty looking “advanced” seminars. I will have nothing to do with anything that Leff, Ben or any of the other clowns are involved in. The terms you show are great insight and show how stupid these guys are when they say “my content is not influenced by credit cards”. Horse-shit!!! LOL.

        I am sorely tempted to start a bunch of anti-bank posts… so how to churn, retention numbers, love the “acquire & attrite”…. all the stuff we all used to talk about… now it’s just horse-shit about First Friday getting 10 points extra for your big mac!

        • Oh yeah the CSP 3x First Friday post….waiting for FTG to come out first with it on Thursday. They pulled the trigger a bit too early last week lol.

          All right, here is some fun for you, will likely post this tomorrow:

          The Professor is getting on board really well at Boarding Area. Today is rah rah Lufthansa card push day.

          I hope the trend of banks paying current card holders to refer instead of paying bloggers to go on pimping 24/7 continues…but I do not hold my breath.

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  49. I just p’d my pants reading some of the various blogger post; and, I still have lots more to read.
    Can’t wait to read the comments section. Bet there’s lots of smiles there too.

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