I’m just joking. I don’t have affiliate links, and I didn’t get paid because you clicked the twitter link. How sad, right? Oh right, I’m also going to say I don’t hate travel bloggers. Ok, maybe some… never mind. 😉
Travel Summary has a pretty interesting post on how to pick an affiliate link for applying. And before I stir up another controversy like this, I’m going to say that everyone has their own opinion. So what I’m saying here is just my opinion. You might agree, or you might not. Too bad.
I’m going to have two major “beliefs” that might be pretty obvious. As a travel blogger myself, I think that bloggers should have the liberty to say whatever they say. And honestly, if readers don’t like what the blog is saying, they can leave. It’s not like there aren’t other blogs on the net that don’t offer the exact same thing. But the issue here, is that there are a few “dissenters” who believe they shouldn’t see any credit card posts at all. Then there those who don’t really care about affiliates, with the idea that it doesn’t really matter who they apply with. They’re the people who comment on blogger posts and say “thanks for your post! i applied using your link.”
I think the most important thing to keep in mind is checking for the best offer. A lot of the time, (and I get this with Canadian Credit Cards the American BoardingArea bloggers push) it’s not that the bloggers try to display the best offer.
So a few of the problems that really tick me off with bloggers and credit cards and affiliate links…
What also irks me is the fact that they say that non-affiliate links may not be reliable. That is, they say that “you’ll be rolling the dice” if you don’t take the “official” affiliate offer. That’s is complete junk. If you’re concerned, check on flyertalk to see the progress of people who’ve already applied, under the MilesBuzz! subforum. It will give (as far as I know) relatively unbiased advice about applying for credit cards. To be honest, I understand why the bloggers do that. Especially if they’re working full-time on the blog, it’s a source of income. People are greedy and like money, because then they can meet the minimum spend and fly more planes around the world in first class. 😀
But then also it’s a matter of not enough time. Some bloggers have thousands of readers, if not tens of thousands, and so that means they aren’t going to have enough time to trawl the web for those select offers which offer a lower minimum spend or a higher signup bonus. They simply do not have the time to do that. I don’t know where all their time goes. But nonetheless, there are going to be people who think the bloggers are deceptive people, and other who will understand.
Actually, I might be one of the few who don’t care about disclosure. As long the blogger is trustworthy and actually promotes the best available offer, you shouldn’t be considering who to apply for. Just apply! But before you do that, continue reading.
Okay, enough about my feelings.
Here’s what I would do if looking for a churn:
You should never, ever, ever, ever, apply through the link when you’re reading their post for the first time. Although they might be extremely attractive: Want to learn how to earn 500,000
#frequentflyermiles and hotel points in ONE DAY? —> http://bit.ly/YuYNRW “, you should determine what card you’re applying for. Not the bloggers. They can recommend all they want.
You also should not be applying for cards if you’re new to this game. Keep in mind (especially Canadians!) that there are a limited amount of cards that you can apply for, and you can only get the bonus once. Or if you’re lucky, once every 24 months (or more). There are lots of cards with perfectly good signup bonuses, and you shouldn’t be applying for cards like the Chase Freedom, with a current 10k signup bonus but offers of up to 35k. That’s an extra 25k if you wait, or if you’re lucky (no pun intended) and get targeted (with an email/snail mail offer, of course!). There’s lots of other cards with the highest signup bonuses you’ve seen, so apply for those.
Then, when you have decided what cards to apply for, search on flyertalk for the best available offers. Make sure that a higher bonus for the card hasn’t been seen before. Especially with the Amex One Day Bonus offers. If there isn’t a great offer, then look for another one!
Ok, maybe you see I didn’t address the issue. Still, which affiliate link should you apply for? Should you even be applying using a blogger’s link?
I’ll talk a bit about that tomorrow… maybe… if I don’t have affiliate links yet. No, just kidding. 😀