I love writing the blog and sharing ways to earn more miles and points! And more than that, I love reading reader success stories and hearing new tips and tricks from readers.
As some of you know, some credit cards pay the blogger or website owner a commission (called “credit card referral links”) for every approved application. I DON’T currently have any referral links on the blog or banner advertising, but have been considering placing them on the blog.
I’ve been proceeding slowly because of the horrific and harmful conflicts of interest that are present in accepting credit card referrals, and because I had to ensure that accepting credit card commissions was consistent with my employment agreement.
It is tempting to believe that bloggers or website owners would promote offers that are in their reader’s best interest. But unfortunately I have seen some bloggers and websites promote offers with a lower sign-up bonus (but which pays them a commission) and neglect to mention offers for the same credit card with a higher sign-up bonus (but which does NOT pay them a commission).
Of course this will happen occasionally since it is hard to keep track of new offers, but when it happens repeatedly it sends a strong signal that the reader’s best interest is not being considered.
I’ve been exchanging emails with an upset reader who found the best offer for a particular credit card on my blog, but not on a few other miles and points blogs which he checked. My goal with the credit card tab is to always, always list the best credit card offers and that will NOT change regardless of whether I accept credit card commissions or not! And you can be rest assured that I will prominently disclose in every post (just as I currently do) whether a link pays me a commission or not.
Our family (hi dad and mom) and friends (I consider my readers part of the family too!) read the blog, and I write the blog knowing that they are trusting my recommendations and that I link to only the best offers.
I have a lot of experience evaluating conflict of interests and I’ve seen many times how money makes people do dumb things. As a former auditor, I’ve traveled the world (that’s what got me collecting miles and points!) to ensure that internal controls were adequate and that there were reasonable safeguards in place to prevent fraud and misappropriation.
My day job is in marketing and I review and evaluate lots of advertising and promotional materials. It is easy for me to read between the lines and see how the choice of text, placements of ads and referral links, on certain blogs and websites, are designed to get the reader to sometimes take an action that may not be in his or her best interest, but which makes the blog or website owner money.
That’s NOT going to happen on my blog, and I’m going to ensure that I have the internal controls in place to prevent it from happening.
I don’t expect to get rich or to quit my job by placing credit card referral links on the blog, but I’d like to be able to pay off both Emily and my student loans quicker and do something nice for our parents!
Please help me understand how you view credit card commissions and help me craft a policy on how to accept credit card commissions with integrity by answering the few questions in this survey.
It won’t take more than a few minutes.
The survey is completely anonymous and I will only use the data to better meet your needs. I appreciate your help.
All questions in the survey are optional. A few questions ask you about other blogs and websites and are in the survey to help me understand which blog’s practices to copy and which blog’s practices to avoid.