Let’s take a wild ride in the blogosphere again and rant a little about the Amex links and the clusterphuck system this space is involved in, learn about fuel surcharges, wonder if we should be switching loyalty (for those who fly enough I guess), travel to India Pakistan border, Iceland, North Korea and to South America and end the ride with rejection letters to famous people and a history of financial crises.
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Isn’t it amazing now with many bloggers losing their Chase and Amex credit card links they are discovering other credit cards suddenly! I read some of this crap and I shake my head. You don’t fall for these sales jobs! And isn’t it sad that Amex has pretty much rewarded the mega blog pumping machines by letting them keep their Amex affiliate links while several bloggers who are doing it right get canned? Well, life is not fair sometimes. Don’t be a sell out. And don’t be a Tool!
How an Airline Customer Relations Rep Really Wants to Respond to Your Complaint (Guest Post). By Cranky Flier. Good stuff!
Master Charts to Avoiding Fuel Surcharges (YQ). By Travel is Free. While others pump crap like the Hilton Visa or Thank You or Frontier cards at least some bloggers provide useful information!
Does It Make Sense to Switch Airline Loyalty? By One Mile at a Time. Must read. Ben is on fire!
The Indian-Pakistan Border Ceremony. The Indian edition. By Rapid Travel Chai. Like I said, you can read unique stuff like this that may make you a better educated person or you can read crap like how you can save 15% traveling on Frontier Airlines by getting its amazing credit card.
30 of the trippiest buildings around the world. By Matador Network. Trippy is understated!
Frozen. Yes, another video. Iceland. Timelapse. Probably the best one so far, crazy gorgeous! At The Adventure Blog.
Life in North Korea by AP Photographer in his Instagram account.
14 legendary natural wonders of South America. By Matador Network. Gorgeous pictures, I just picked the loopiest one because it fits my personality hehe #word
20+ of the most beautifully secluded places in the world. By Bored Daddy. This one I picked is only an hour from my hometown!
10 Rejection Letter Sent to Famous People. By Mental Floss. Wow!
Financial Crises. By The Economist. Great educational piece to learn about financial history.
I haven’t been back to a CVS since that infamous day…I miss it! Hello Walgreens again down the street from me next to Panera!
My real job (thank God I don’t have to be pumping credit cards for a living!) is doing better than ever. Which means less time available to spend with TBB. I keep finding ways to say no to prospective clients but is getting harder. Maybe it will get to a point where TBB will go to its next evolution #mystery #nobuzzonlyweeklyrant? #havenoidea #wishmeluck #needtoallowmoretimefortravelNOTlessdamnit 🙂
And I leave you to ponder about this…
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William Charles says
Third? I found it hilarious that one of the bloggers no longer having access to AmEx links said that they found it unfortunate that they’d no longer be able to post about AmEx cards. Of course you can, you just don’t get paid for it anymore.
Nick @ Personal Finance Digest says
Somebody actually said that?
Frequent Miler says
I don’t know who said that but I bet they were joking
Was that Delta Points? I am not sure he said that exactly or if the post was edited after the fact. I think he just said that he will no longer offer the Amex cards. And nothing will change, yeah right…just like last time after losing the Chase links you haven’t seen much of the amazing Ink Bold cards! Or was it another blogger?
One thing that has already happened is that I see MUCH less ridiculous posts pumping the amazing Amex Platinum card!
William Charles says
Was actually said, looks like it has been edited now. It’s interesting that the Platinum gets pumped so much when the Mercedes Benz has 10k more points and only a slightly higher annual fee yet you never hear about it. I wonder why, oh that’s because it doesn’t pay an affiliate comission.
Ha ha ha, poor little consumer!
Which Bloggers still have Amex links? I’ll make sure to avoid clicking those?
Agreed. I see that FMiler lost his Amex links. (His SW posts have been innovative, as usual.) But damned if I’m going to search the blogosphere to find more cases.
Names? Otherwise this post fails in the blog’s second mission; I am undereducated on this issue!
Nick @ Personal Finance Digest says
TPG and MMS still have Amex links.
all the bloggers that are not on like and love list should be ignored. Anyway I have be getting better offers vai snail mail from Amex than anything that is being pushed by the pimps.
The Points Guy
Million Mile Secrets
They still have Amex links
I think Frugal Travel Guy also has them
I think everyone else in our blogosphere has lost them. There may be a few more general mega sites that have them. If anyone knows please let me know as I am thinking of doing a separate post about them to show what is wrong with America 🙂
Which Bloggers still have Amex links? I’ll make sure to avoid clicking those.
See comment above, thanks.
The only blog I feel bad for losing the Amex links is FM. The other ones deserve losing them. Did all BA blogs lost them (OMAT?)
Now that they lost them, you will no longer hear a single mention about Amex cards. All of a sudden they don’t remember that Amex is a transfer partner to several airlines and hotels.
How can I get Starwood Gold please? Shucks…nobody writes about that anymore now 🙂
Frequent Miler says
It looks to me that all BA blogs lost their links. I was surprised to see MMS, DD, FTG, and TPG still had theirs.
Dans Deals does NOT have them.
I am surprised Randy did not have a pull on this to save Boarding Area blogs. I think Amex decided it was just time to cut loose most affiliate blogging connections. I am not sure the others will last much longer. Results will show and compliance developments will dictate the next move. Won’t be surprised if Amex comes back to all again in the (near?) future. Quarterly results dictate bank business moves (and bonuses!!).
It would be interesting to AMEX’s take on this. Did it hurt their brand? Did they lose money?
My guess is that their compliance costs have been going up and up. They have had great success with the limited time offerings on certain cards (like the Amex Business Gold at 75K through eBay) without having to worry about the card being editorialized. I would be surprised if they lose much money from no longer having bloggers as affiliates. After all, if they are losing some, they can always hike up the bonus to draw more in (and still be saving money over paying out to affiliates).
But, I do believe that all the bloggers that had them will be revisited in the coming months. I’m sure this has to do with the changes coming down on the 1st of May. This way, all the bloggers cannot be doing LAST DAY calls about it and posting anything to get a click (which could get Amex in big trouble). It also gives the blogs a chance to learn the system for a while and what Amex is and is not doing without posting false info.
The funny part is we still do not know how much Amex had paid for affiliate advertising. Consider this – the Amex PRG card gave out an average of $300 per approval. That is what the blogger received. How much did LinkOffers get? My guess is at least 25% but probably more like 35% of that same amount. So, Amex was having to pay about $400 for a successful conversion on the PRG card PLUS paying out the bonus. Then some of those bloggers would start advocating closing it down and “rinse repeat” to get the bonus all over again. In the space of 13 months, Amex could have been paying over $800 and 80,000 MR points just for the same customer to meet the minimum spending and put the card in a drawer – not a lot of incentive for Amex to keep the blogs around for that!
Sorry to add-on to that already long comment, but just wanted to say that this is why it made sense that the bloggers Amex kept were TPG, FTG, and MMS. They target newbies as a whole and those newbies are unlikely to be as familiar with the churning habits as readers of other blogs. So, a newbie gets a PRG card and uses it as an everyday card, thrilled to see the points pile up. That customer is far more valuable to Amex than a card churner.
Anon: THANK you, great food for thought. I would love to go undercover and learn all about this area and write a book about it. Become the Michael Lewis of the miles/points world woohoo!
To other readers who may be seeing these kind of $$$$s for the first time….they are true!
I am writing an article right now about how hedge funds are designed to be sold. Credit cards are designed to be sold too! <------ Notice exclamation mark 😉 I also would like to thank the kind reader who bought something that earned me $0.06 cents yesterday, I sure do appreciate it 🙂
This is an astute and, I think, correct observation. The surprising part is that all of Boarding Area got shut out; not all of them are offering valuable tricks or ideas, and some are equally empty flypaper for newbies.
Thanks to this blog for helping me to understand the relationship between the affiliate links and content on so many of the blogs. The real test of credibility will be how these same blogs deal with content in the post affiliate space. And which ones will find less need to post content when there is no payoff for same. My preference is to read blogs that reflect expertise, passion and originality. (That is in addition of course to those that entertain, educate, and inspire.)
Very easy. Most of them (not all) will stop talking about Amex and others cards that don’t pay them a dime.
How many times do you see bloggers talking about the Chase Hyatt card since they don’t get paid for it anymore? How many times do you see bloggers talking about any of the Citi AA 50k cards that have been around? The exception is the Citi 100k Executive. I suspect the sign up bonus was too big to ignore without being called out for not mentioning it (low hanging fruit).
Take MommyPoints for example (although I don’t want to single her out). She had a post about Avios yesterday. Her post mentioned that a “very easy” way of collecting Avios was signing up for the Chase BA card (cha-ching).
What ever happened to the Amex MR cards…?
Bloggers get a bad rep, but it’s hard to not dislike them when they pull those kind of shenanigans. At least, a lot of them are no longer pushing their crappier links except for MileValue. I suspect George has a lot to do with it after spending a whole year calling them out for being greedy a-holes.
I didn’t mean to call anyone names. Please disregard the word a-holes. I apologize for it.
You are correct Chris, George IS THE Reason we are all more aware of where the bloggers best interest lies. We are all a little smarter because of Buzz and TBB. And happier too!
Mommy Points says
That post also included info about transferring points in from Membership Rewards and Ultimate Rewards, though no specific cards were listed out for either program. Was really just in a hurry to get to school Easter Day and didn’t to list a ton of cards at that moment so didn’t specify cards in either program. The MR info absolutely was there though and will continue to be there…just like it was before I ever even heard of an affiliate link.
It’s nice when the stars align to generate revenue while talking about something you use and want to talk about, but when they don’t, it isn’t the end of the world or a reason to stop talking about something. At least that’s my working philosophy, I’m sure everyone will handle it differently.
I think Chris nails it! Thanks.
Ramsey: Come on, I have no illusions about my impact. It is very small in a sea of chaos and master salesmen! Every time I look at the avatar pics you come up with I chuckle!
Mommy Points: If only FTG (the person) could conduct himself the way you are in the face of criticism…. 🙂
Anyways, the point Chris was trying to make (which many TBB readers agree with) is simply that bloggers are into more finding ways to align the stars in such a way to generate revenue FIRST before putting the reader FIRST and having THAT dictate the content.
I am disappointed at Randy protecting you bloggers at BA and not keeping Amex in the fold. Probably he could not.
And the beat goes on…
George I will never conduct myself the way Mommy Points does and am not suggesting her method is correct or incorrect. We are different people with different styles. I will call you out every single time you treat people poorly. I called you names for not deleting a poster’s comment about Mommy Points and would gladly do it again. I will give you a little of your own medicine forever. You treat people with respect, you’ll get respect. You trash others, I will be in your face constantly. If you can dish it out, you’d better learn to take it as well. That’s my style.
Frank Sinatra says
In my neck of the woods we call that the style of an asshole!
TBB, excuse my language and sorry for feeding the troll, won’t happen again but had to say something…
In my neck of the woods, the previous generation, the one making the snarky first comment is the asshole. My how things have changed
It’s sad to watch someone that called himself “The World’s Expert on Flying Free” four years ago forget that he and his wife had IHG credit card nights, and then complain that they are “just not that prominently displayed on the IHG website”. Perhaps he should spend less time trolling. Also, he might read the terms and conditions and note that the stay must be completed during the booking window. Then he might not imply that a night expiring next month can be used in Traverse City in the summer, unless somehow Traverse City summer begins in May.
It’s called old age and your day is coming. And yes we used Katy’s free night in June . Thank you award wallet.
Adam, do you feel better about yourself for making the comment? I hope so? Did you provide anything positive to the travel space? I think not. So much of that goes on here 🙁
Now that’s sad.
Mommy Points is alright in my book. Her favorite college football team is my Alma Mater.
MP has mastered the art of using her toddler to sell CCs. Poor gleff has to resort to using pics of himself in the lavatory.
That’s a good one! +1
Ok, that was funny. And I mean that in a kind silly way 🙂
Card links have made bloggers lazy. Loyalty Lobby is the poster boy of how to monetise a site without selling credit cards and my gut feeling is that he does very well.
I need to learn from him. Yesterday TBB site made 6 cents….to infinity and beyond LOL.
Easy money has a tendency to make people lazy. Takes discipline and a sense of mission AND passion to be able to do something very well. It’s just that the cc in blogs and the economics involved (compared to the rest of the online world) are so phenomenally out of whack in the US that is just absurd.
Observing this space for so long is entertaining…really 🙂
I hope Loyalty Lobby does well because he deserves every penny of it.
Today everybody has the same SPG article except FAMMI VOLARE, if you want originality come to TBB…………………………BOARDING AREA Blogger FAMMI VOLARE wrote this…………..Le tratte arabe sono una estensione del modello base di low-cost, che VY già ha migliorato con il servizio voli in connessione: check-in del bagaglio alla partenza e che si ritira all’aeroporto di destinazione. In questo caso si tratta infatti di voli superiori ai 4000 km, tra le massime distanze servite da compagnie LCC con apparecchi narrow body.
Whenever I see Italian I think of pasta. Now I am hungry. The Malta Points dude had some Hilton Honors codes today which was not that bad content.
I could be the first blogger in Greek at BA. I can swear at other BA bloggers in Greek and nobody would understand because, you know, it is all Greek to them LOL.
Regarding Hilton, you’re a a public sector worker now?
I will NEVER condone doing that! I just thought it was an interesting set of codes from a blog which is..in Malta 🙂
So when Howie foolishly suggests in the travel challenge to use CSP points to book AA flights rather than transfer to Avios to do it at a far lower cost….. is he “mixing up Avios with ANA” again?
You would think after the embarrassment from last week, he would take a few minutes to learn how Avios work, so you know….. maybe in the process of pushing credit cards, he can actually give decent advice at the same time?
When that newbie learns a few months down the road that he could’ve spent somewhere between 10-25K fewer UR points to book the exact same trip, will he get a refund from FTG.com?
Wallet Slut is no longer the only one pimping inferior card offers at F2B
I can’t believe that anyone has the audacity to continue to pump the 30k US Airways offer without fee waiver.
This is coming from the FOUNDER (well, the one that remains) of First2Board who promised us a site that would be different without credit card pimping, and then who claimed that their “Deals” page didn’t count as part of the blog. Now it’s pump pump pump out of her.
no ann fee free options work anymore. just denying her readers 10K US miles. but that’s how you make money now right? public offer link for 40K+10K: https://www.barclaycardus.com/apply/Landing.action?campaignId=1695&cellNumber=51
First year fee-free, 30K still works. Two links still. And that annual 10K always posts before the annual fee does.
Do AMEX still offer a bonus to any card holder who refer family and friends? Maybe AMEX decided this was a better and cheaper way to get quality customers who will keep the card and not churn it. Just because we are miles/points collectors doesn’t mean people we are related to or socialize with are the same. I am the only traveler in my whole family (and my husband because of me) but none of my siblings, nieces, nephews, cousins, etc travel much at all.
Yes they do, I just sent to a reader one! You make an excellent point about the motives by Amex.
I agree with Rick-he will never conduct himself the way Mommy Points does.
I skipped straight to writing this once I read the OMAAT post you linked to… did you notice at the end he says it makes more sense to “invest” in flexible currencies i.e. Chase UR, Am Ex MR, etc…. and there isn’t an affiliate link for each currency. Well done, Ben!
(i.e. it’s not “Chase UR, which you can get by signing up for card A, B, C or D”)
Ben would be one blogger who will still be blogging even if no credit card money was around.