I read in some blog that one Frequent Flyer University (FTU) attendee referred to the conference as the “credit card conference”. Well, not surprised at all. This whole community is totally dominated by the affiliate credit card income. I do not blame the bloggers as the economics (I know a bit about this) are TOO compelling to resist. But I still think you should respect your readers and not continually hit them upside the head with the same links again and again or, even worse, use your blog to push these links by offering subpar, bad or advice we can all live without!
What makes this field so “wrong” is the complete non transparency the affiliate companies require bloggers to adhere to. I compare it to financial sales charlatans who hawk unusually complex and high cost products not to help the buyers but to hit their quotas and make their volume targets. I attended such a seminar years ago. It was this guy from the “Headquarters” who was going to talk about a new product and all he talked about was the different sales targets and what it would earn the sellers (the top dog was going to get a fully paid luxury trip to Bahamas). And bloggers, to keep blogging, have to toe the line. I always believed in FULL TRANSPARENCY! If the consumer does not know how much something is costing him/her, well, you know, somebody is getting shafted. The world would be a better place if these practices were forbidden. And if not, FULLY DISCLOSED WITH $$$$. And it’s not going to happen in the US sadly. I believe in Australia and United Kingdom things are tighter. Of course, they do not get the same ridiculously high signing bonuses as we do here. And of course their bankruptcy levels are nowhere near as high as in the US too! Complicated subject. I digress. I need to move on with my rants.
What appears below is STRICTLY MY OWN OPINION ONLY!
I will write what I thought after reading the following blog posts. You can read them yourself, use google:-)
Delta Points on “Hey I WON 2 free airline tickets on American Air — Really? Scam Alert”
I wonder if the Chase credit card links were not around would this post ever see the light of day?
Noob Traveler “Thinking about the Air Tran Credit Card?”
Hell no! Would you even think about it if there was no commission? Come on!
Extra Pack of Peanuts: EPoP 003: Colin Wright on Changing Countries Every 4 Months, The Beauty of Being an Idiot, and Minimalism”
Shaking my head…
Frequenly Flying on “My Top 3 Travel Credit Cards for Airline and Hotel Redemptions”
When an aviation focused blogger turns to favorite credit cards you know something is majorly wrong in this space. But I can understand the rationale. “Hey I am working my butt off over here and need to make something before wife or SO will kill me” or something like that. THIS pays the bills folks. What do we do? There is no other viable model!! And once bloggers get some money rolling in…they just do more of the same…
Million Mile Secrets had another uninspiring interview. You may want to change the tagline “…where renowned mile and point gurus share their insights”. Excuse me, did we miss something? There is nothing renowned about “I started collecting points 3 years ago with my Amex Zync card” or “I don’t actually get to travel that much”. Puuulease! I am waiting to see how long it will be for the credit card posts to appear now:-)
Hack My Trip also is doing interviews now. Can you do them at a different day than Million Mile Secrets please? We can’t take all these renowned experts at the same day, thank you:-)
Does Milevalue now ever make a post without sticking at least on affiliate link in it?
Mile Nerd on “Lufthansa Card”. Looks like an affiliate link to me (please correct me if I am wrong). If HE goes over to the dark side you realize what is happening folks??
The Deal Blog over at Dealyst.com on “How 3 AMEX credit cards can land you 150,000 British Airways Miles”. Wow, really?
The Unroad Warrior on “More 50,000 Mile Credit Cards”. Thanks a lot! So sad.
Milevalue on “The two best ways to use the Lufthansa miles & more card’s 50k bonus”. Thanks for sticking the crappy US Air offer again and the Arrival World Master card too, so helpful.
The Points Guy on “Barclay’s Lufthansa MasterCard 50,000 Bonus Miles”. Of course!
Travel is Free on “The Best Credit Card: Current Bonuses vs Best Bonuses”. Got to get paid folks.
Mommy Points on “Newest 50,000 Mile Sign-up Offer! (Can Use for United Flights). At least the title was a bit different than the others:-)
Frugal Travel Guy still runs some amazing Churning Challenges. What I admire the most is the absolute accuracy of the credit scores needed, the value of the tickets and the consistency in the credit cards:-)