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Discussion in 'General Discussion | Credit Cards' started by TUMD, Apr 17, 2014.  |  Print Topic

  1. TUMD

    TUMD Silver Member

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    So, I kind of stopped reading these blogs a few months ago anyway but are Million Miles Secrets, and Frugal Travel Guy basically just credit card pushing sites now? It seems like these 2 more than others either have post that are 100% based on a credit card or appear to be based on other things but the under lying goal is for a credit card.
     
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  2. iolaire
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    iolaire Gold Member

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    Since the title talks about major blogs let me use this as an opportunity to plug:
    http://hack.travel/

    Seth setup a good aggregation of travel blogs, great for finding new stories from blogs you don't read. Back in the day it was edited so the Credit Card posts didn't show up as much. Now I think it’s fully automated but still it’s a wealth of reading material.
     
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  3. Wandering Aramean
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    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

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    Alas, it is. I just didn't have time to curate it any more. :(
     
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  4. gconnery

    gconnery Silver Member

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    My experience with MMS was that as a new reader I learned a lot, but then over time that kind of ended. Kind of like how most people experience photography magazines. He's not that useful as a source for jump on this now deals or hotel quarterly promotions or whatever. And yes he's an obvious shill for his credit card links. And for a while there it seemed like he had almost stopped posting. Then recently I actually clicked on the site and went back through a few recent post and there was a nice one on which hotel programs allow points transfers and such which happened to mention that HH charges only up to 200k points and then maxes out there that I didn't know about and may take advantage of in the future. So not completely useless.

    FTG I have to say I don't read at all anymore. Pretty much a waste of time as far as I can tell.
     
  5. TUMD

    TUMD Silver Member

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    I didn't know about that one. I use the Milefeeds app everyday. Easy to scroll through and see if there is anything I am interested in reading.
     
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  6. satman40

    satman40 Gold Member

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    Everyone post different things, and yes everyone is out there to make a buck..

    Some of the things do not interest me and others do.

    The fastest way to gain points is with new cards, and either one of the guys will talk with you, Rick is a great guy, me I'd rather talk to the girl in MM, she is from the indy area,

    No card is for everyone, nor every article, that is why the bible is so popular...everyone gets something different from the same read.

    Depends on your state of mind at the moment.....the rules keep changing, so snooze, you loose...
    The world does not stand still.
     
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  7. LETTERBOY
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    LETTERBOY Gold Member

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    This is something that people who criticize bloggers for "pushing" credit cards miss. If they weren't talking about cards, they'd get criticized for not talking about a way to earn a lot of miles (rightly, IMO). If there were a way to earn loads of miles by scratching your nose, bloggers would be talking about that. If there's a way to earn miles, especially the amount of miles you can earn from credit cards, they ought to talk about it. The one criticism I have is that they don't usually talk about the risks associated with applying for lots of cards.
     
  8. Wandering Aramean
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    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

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    I agree that CCs are a big part of the game. But they are not the only part and the split of content skewed dramatically once many started getting paid to push the cards. Saying they are good and explaining them is different than a 20-part post where there's no real value in most of the bits.

    It will be interesting to watch the content of posts shifting now as many are seeing their links revoked.
     
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  9. gconnery

    gconnery Silver Member

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    I'm aware of FM's losing his Amex links which is interesting. Maybe he talked a little too much about hacking the Amex Sync promotions? Dunno. I'm not aware of other big blogs getting their links pulled. Who else?
     
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  10. Wandering Aramean
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    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

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    Delta Points lost most of his recently. I think a few others have as well.
     
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  11. TUMD

    TUMD Silver Member

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    Agreed. I like and appreciate when new credit card deals emerge and I see them detailed on blogs. I also like occasional post which summarize the best deals of the month or best kind (Hotel, Airlines, etc.) of a certain card. I just get turned off a bit when I feel like almost every post is trying to sell me a specific card.
     
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  12. Wandering Aramean
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    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

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    Or, even worse, tries to sell you the wrong card. Say, for example, a post about the IHG program which links to several Chase UR products (1:1 transfer so not necessarily "wrong") but chooses to NOT provide a link to the IHG card as well. That card doesn't pay a commission, but it still is potentially useful for the reader. It actually provides a larger sign-up bonus than the UR cards do and a lower annual fee. And it isn't like the non-commissioned direct link is hard to find.

    That strikes me as bad service to the reader/customer. Unless the blog authors don't think that the readers are their customers. And that's even worse in many ways.
     
  13. HaveMilesWillTravel
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    HaveMilesWillTravel Gold Member

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    I haven't seen too many people criticize, say, Seth for not constantly pushing credit cards on his blog. Can you point me to an example?
     
  14. Wandering Aramean
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    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

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    I'm also not focused on points. It makes a difference.
     
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  15. HaveMilesWillTravel
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    HaveMilesWillTravel Gold Member

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    ... says the former Pointshoarder. :D
     
  16. Jaimito Cartero
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    Jaimito Cartero Silver Member

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    Yes, but often they are only pushing credit cards they get a big referral fee on. Of course, since many cards are cutting back on these fees, we'll see less of that, and will probably thin the herd out a bit.
     
  17. Wandering Aramean
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    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

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    :p

    Well, we did change the name. ;)
     
  18. Wandering Aramean
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    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

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    And this is the key problem I see. When they choose to not talk about the better (or at least as good) options because they are not getting paid for it they stop being a trustworthy source.
     
  19. LETTERBOY
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    LETTERBOY Gold Member

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    Of the blogs I read, that's the only one that comes to mind.

    But these "wrong" or "better" cards are going to be different for each person, since everyone has different needs/desires in a credit card. For example, I think cash back cards are basically worthless, but many people swear by them. I also am willing to consider foreign FFPs that charge YQ, but many people won't do that. What the wrong card is for one person may be the perfect card for another.
     
  20. HaveMilesWillTravel
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    HaveMilesWillTravel Gold Member

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    Worthless? I know exactly how much my spend is worth with a cash-back card, and any cardholder should know. They are hardly worthless.

    Whether they are worth less than a miles/point card is difficult to answer until you actually end up using the points. If you ever do use them. (I still have some Delta miles that I earned a decade ago with a NWA Visa)

    Of course, when it comes to churning or earning referrals they may indeed be completely worthless :)
     
    Last edited: Apr 18, 2014
  21. Wandering Aramean
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    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

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    Read the example I provided above. It was a post about IHG and a paragraph about acquiring IHG points. Do you really think that not sharing a link to the IHG card or talking up its benefits is reasonable in that context?
     
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  22. LETTERBOY
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    LETTERBOY Gold Member

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    To me, they're worthless. If you have a cash back card that gives you 2% back, for example, how much would you have to spend to get an F ticket to Europe on UA (just to pick a random destination and a random airline)? According to a search I just performed on UA's website, buying an F IAD-LHR for mid-July would cost $6,812.60. On a 2% cash back card, I'd have to spend $340,000 to earn enough for that. But, even with their devaluation, $160,000, about 47% of $340,000 would get you an F ticket to Europe, if you're using a UA Explorer card. And that's not counting the sign-up bonus or miles earned through means other than credit card spending, or the possibility that you could use the Sapphire Preferred or UA Club card (or both).
     
  23. LETTERBOY
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    LETTERBOY Gold Member

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    Well, you could make an argument for including it in that context, but I think you could also make argument for not including it. If you compare it to the Sapphire Preferred, for example, the only way the IHG card is a clear winner is if you spend a lot of money at IHG hotels (5 per $ vs. 2.14 per $). If you spend a lot of money on dining, the CSP wins (2.14 per $ for CSP vs. 2 per $ for IHG). Even if you consider the 2 points per $ that the IHG gives you on gas and groceries, 1.07 UR points are more flexible than 2 IHG points, and that flexibility makes a difference (protection against program devaluations).

    The IHG gives you elite status, but most of the hotel cards do that, so unless you're going to be staying at IHG hotels a lot, that's not a big factor, IMO. And IHG hotels aren't required to honor elite status on reward nights, and there's no option to redeem more points for suites (if you care about those sorts of things).
     
  24. Wandering Aramean
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    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

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    In a post all about the IHG program I don't care about the flexibility of the other points. The key focus should be IHG points and the card is valuable in many ways for such a purpose. Surely we can agree that in a post filled with links to CC offers the direct link deserves to be included, right? Why force your readers to jump through additional hoops unless you're not looking out for their best interests.

    My understanding is that those with CC affiliate links are not permitted to provide direct links to cards for which they do not have an affiliate link. In other words, once you're getting paid by the CC company you're only allowed to link to the cards they specifically allow you to link to. Bloggers in such a position are no longer providing unbiased advice to the benefit of their readers. They are providing skewed advice to their own personal benefit and that of the CC companies.

    That's bad in so many ways.

    And, FWIW, this is the text in question (links removed but left formatted as such for identification):

    Remember if you are running low on IHG Reward points they transfer in 1:1 from the Chase Ultimate Rewards program via cards like the Ink Plus® Business Card or Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card. You can also “buy” them at a cost of $0.007 each – check out this post by Million Mile Secrets for details on that method of obtaining IHG Rewards points. For the future, you can also get the IHG Rewards Visa with a potentially pretty good sign-up bonus. Check out this thread for more details.​

    There are more examples from the past week but that's an easy one for me to identify.
     
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  25. Pizzaman
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    Pizzaman Co-founder

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    I'm approved for a few credit cards for my blog, but not most of the biggies. In my limited experience I was not informed by anyone that I couldn't provide direct links to cards I'm not affiliated with. FWIW, if someone did tell me that I'd probably tell them to pound sand.

    I don't talk about a lot of the cards because I've never applied for them and so I'm not intimately familiar with the offering. For example, I don't have any cards that earn AMEX Membership Rewards. So, I don't generally talk about those cards. However, if another 100K sign-up bonus comes out, I'm inclined to jump in.

    Seth, I think you're right in your general thinking and in the examples you cite. I could certainly see examples where I wouldn't provide a link to an IHG credit card in a discussion because I avoid their program and properties completely. But, I'm pretty sure I'd clearly state that if someone asked me.
     
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