My Credit Card Affiliate Links will be Removed on Monday, November 10 at 12PM CT

Which Credit Card

My Credit Card Affiliate Links will be Removed on Monday, November 10 at 12PM CT

Good evening everyone, I wish I were here with better news, but unfortunately on the eve of #westcoastdo, I received an email from my credit card affiliate network that my Barclays credit card links will be deactivated Monday, November 10 at 12PM CT.  Shortly after noon, I will remove all Barclays credit card links from my blog.

Over the last year and a half, I have slowly and steadily lost all the great credit card links, from Chase, Citi, American Express, Bank of America, Discover, US Bank, and now Barclays.  With the loss of Barclays, I will only have links for secured credit card, which I wouldn’t recommend to my worst enemy.  The loss of credit card affiliate links is probably a result of very low approval numbers (I am too small for the banks to bother keeping) and the manufactured spending topics I often discuss probably didn’t help either.

It is kind of ironic, really.  When I started my blog in May 2013, I had all the great credit card links and none of the site traffic.  Fast forward to today, the situation has completely swapped.  In a few days, I will have no credit card links and much greater site traffic.  The timing was terrible, but also a blessing.  

Losing the best credit card links forced me to talk about other topics besides signing up for credit cards.  I’m not happy to see the credit card affiliate links go, the income from just a few credit card approvals per month was terrific, I’m not going to lie.  I’m not too sad either.  I receive a decent amount from advertising (hopefully the ads aren’t too annoying), affiliate income from Amazon and Ebay is pretty good (remember to click the links to the right before you begin shopping), and I’m extremely proud of the site I have built from nothing.  I love waking up in the morning and checking my site stats: 4,100+ page views yesterday thanks in large part to my Evolve Money post.

TWG Site Stats 11-07-2014

First a warning: please do not apply for any credit cards just because my links are going away.  If you were planning on applying for any Barclays credit cards over the next 3 days, please consider using my affiliate links one last time.  These are the only Barclays links I current have and you can find the links on my credit card page.

  • NFL Extra Points Credit Card
  • The Hawaiian Airlines® World Elite MasterCard®
  • The Carnival™ MasterCard®
  • The Wyndham Rewards® Visa Signature® Card
  • The Travelocity® Rewards American Express® Card
  • The Priceline Rewards™ Visa® Card
  • The Choice Privileges® Visa® Card
  • The US Airways® Premier World MasterCard®

If you have any questions, please leave a comment below.  Have a great weekend everyone!

P.S. I have a really interesting story to share in the next few days:  US Bank FlexPoints to the Rescue when Throw Away / Hidden City Tickets Backfire.  Very amusing story, I must say!

68 thoughts on “My Credit Card Affiliate Links will be Removed on Monday, November 10 at 12PM CT

  1. Travel Summary

    I expect I’ll be next. I have access to all the links you mentioned you’re losing, but recently got my arrival and Lufthansa links taken away…so basically the only two cards that were really worth getting (the others have their value also, but not a big one).

    Good luck with links in the future!

    Reply
    1. Grant

      Thanks TS, this blogging thing is no get rich quick scheme. I hope the rest of your Barclays links are around for a while. Are you in PHX this weekend? OC Meetup next Saturday night, are you in town that weekend?

      Reply
      1. Gary

        Hi Grant,
        Could you please tell me where I can find more information regarding the OC meet up that you mention? I’ve never been to a meet up, but I am very interested.
        Thanks,
        Gary

        Reply
        1. Grant

          Sure Gary, I will have a formal post later this weekend with more info. The quick version: In-N-Out at the Tustin District at 6pm in Saturday night. Hope to see you there!

          Reply
  2. Michelle

    Well that sucks! I hope you continue to find other ways to make $ for your time because I do enjoy your blog. I will be sure to use your amazon link this holiday season & I completely understand the ads.

    Reply
  3. Katrina

    Grant! You rock! I am sure you will find a replacement for the credit card links income very easily-your entrepreneurial nature had proved it many times. As always, I am very thankful to all your ideas and thought you share in your blog.

    Reply
  4. Mike H

    What blog with affiliate links isn’t discussing manufactured spend? I believe they all are. And how would ever have control over approval stats? Sorry to hear this. I really enjoy your blog.

    Reply
  5. travelandcredit

    My links also got taken away in the same fashion of Travel Summary above… lost Arrival/Lufthansa, and now all of ’em. Nothing left! Haha. Haven’t been blogging full time for 2 years though, so it was only destiny.

    Reply
        1. Grant

          I believe it has to do with paying people to monitor the blogs for compliance. The revenue they make from me probably does not offset the cost to pay someone to monitor my blog. That is my best guess.

          Reply
  6. Leslie Webb

    Hey, Grant, just want to wish you all the best with the continuation of your blog. Your generous spirit comes through with all you share with everyone so willingly.

    Reply
  7. Devils' Advocate

    “Losing the best credit card links forced me to talk about other topics besides signing up for credit cards.” So, is this the confirmation of what many believe that the main reason credit cards are written about so much is because of the income derived from the links?

    Reply
    1. Grant

      Yes, of course. That’s the *only* reason credit cards are written about. It’s unfortunate that the smaller blogs cannot compete with the larger blogs in terms of credit card affiliate links. The smaller blogs provide much more quality content but receive much less credit card affiliate revenue than the larger blogs :(

      Reply
      1. Andy Shuman

        Well, I have maintained the best non-affiliated CC links from the day 1 as a public service, and I know at least a couple of other bloggers who do, too. So, while true in general, this is somewhat a blanket statement.

        Sorry to hear about your troubles. It is fundamentally unfair when good blogs get financially disincentivised for doing a great job. Best of luck to you!

        Reply
  8. Charlie

    Sorry you are losing your links but great job with the positive attitude!
    I have to disagree with your last comment – having links is absolutely not the “only” reason people write about credit cards. I wrote about them long before I ever had links that paid me (and still write about cards that do not pay me). I write about them because it is the number one way to get a large amount of points quickly. Period. When you have people reading that are curious how they can go on a trip without it costing a lot of time or money, credit card bonuses are the answer.
    I would agree that is the reason some blogs talk about credit cards, but I don’t think it is fair to paint with that wide of a brush. Some people talk about them because they honestly are trying to help others in their travels.

    Reply
    1. Grant

      You are right Charlie, I am being too harsh. I talk about credit cards very frequently as well, without the expectation of people applying for those particular credit cards or using my credit card affiliate links. Indeed, sign up bonuses cannot be beaten and are the #1 way to get miles and points. I apologize for being too strong on credit cards, they are indeed awesome.

      Reply
      1. Charlie

        Thanks for the reply and great attitude, Grant. It is nice to get paid from something you were planning on talking about but there are some times when it doesn’t matter how much money – you just can’t talk about that particular card! :)
        Love reading your stuff and glad that so many others do as well. Hope the other income sources blow away whatever you have previously made with the credit cards!

        Reply
          1. J

            I have to disagree with Charlie slightly. Perhaps it is unfair to say that all bloggers only write about credit cards because of the affiliate links, but it is also naive to think that bloggers write about things just to help readers with their travels. Lets face it, blogging is a business and the vast majority of the small bloggers would love to be able to blog full time like some of the big boys and spend their lives basically getting paid to circle the globe in first class. For that reason, I am skeptical of most bloggers.

            I think most of the blame has to be placed on Randy Petersen’s shoulders. He has expanded the Boarding Area network so rapidly and created Prior2Boarding so that the blogging money has become incredibly diluted. There are so many blogs out there that its hard to find the blogs producing interesting content and sharing original tips. As a result, the truly good blogs get buried by the other blogs writing about the same things over and over. Newer readers tend to click on the first link they come across and do not give the referral dollars to the bloggers who truly earned them. In the end, the only person really profiting is Randy Petersen.

          2. Grant

            I believe you are partially correct. Randy and the BA team do not receive any credit card affiliate revenue or a share of credit card affiliate revenue, 100% of the income goes to the bloggers who’s links were used.

            I partially agree about P2B. There are a lot more blogs, so there is a higher chance that information will be repeated several times, but having all the blogs in one place (2 different websites) makes it easy to see all the information in one place, rather than going from one blog to another and checking them all out individually.

  9. whitney

    Sorry to hear! Unrelated….so far I haven’t seen anyone blog about the AMEX offer that I saw online yesterday to waive the purchase fee’s on gift cards. I don’t see the offer when I log into the app but if I go to the website I do. It gives you a promo code to waive purchase fees. I went through the Marriott shop my way portal to earn points because I don’t think you can earn cashback on TCB if you use a promo code. You can only earn points for purchases under $2,999 so I got 1 for $2,000, 2 for $200, 1 for $50 and 1 for $25. I also signed up for the $99 free shipping for a year free trial offer. So with my Starwood AMEX card I generated $56.93 worth of points if they’re valued at 2.3 cents each, and $17.33 worth of Marriott points if they’re valued at 0.7 cents each. Liquidating with 2 AFTs at a free credit union ATM will cost $21, 2 trips to target and 3 ATM trips generating a net value of $53.25 minus cost of time and gas.

    Reply
      1. whitney

        I have to admit, I’ve had my MacBook for years and still don’t know how to take a screenshot. But I copy/pasted the wording below:

        Special Gift Card Offer
        Pay no purchase fees on Gift Cards when you order online by 3/31/15. Code: JCB2C. Terms apply.

        Reply
        1. Gary

          @whitney
          You can use “grab” to do a screen capture.
          Hit to bring up search box. Type “grab” without the quotes, and hit return. This will bring up the grab program, with which you can do a screen capture.
          Gary

          Reply
          1. whitney

            I went through the Marriott shop my way portal to earn points because I don’t think you can earn cashback on TCB if you use a promo code (we’ll see if i earn Marriott points). You can only earn points for purchases under $2,999 so I got 1 for $2,000, 2 for $200, 1 for $50 and 1 for $25

  10. Greg

    Anyone who is good enough at MS and wants to make money should seriously think about being in the mile broker business. Buying and selling miles. The arbitrage is doing a better job of finding reward seats. Multimillions being made there online. And you have the skills to do it better than others.

    Reply
  11. karma1234

    I find it strange. I love your posts, FM’s post & doctor of credit’s page. Most other bloggers are all about referral bonuses. They do nothing but post the same credit card offer links again and again and why we should apply . either that or their own personal trip report. Can you tell us why they want to remove your links?

    Reply
    1. Grant

      Because I never post or talk about my credit card affiliate links, no one ever applies for the credit cards. Since I hardly ever get any credit card sign ups, I am not worth the time/cost to monitor to compliance. Sad but true :(

      Reply
  12. Josh Tasman

    Hey Grant,

    Have you looked into creditcards.com affiliate links? They are much more lenient about manufactured spending topics. Sadly, they don’t pay as much as actual bank links, but something is better than nothing.

    Reply
  13. iahphx

    It’s always surprised me that the credit card companies provide affiliate links to blogs which basically teach their readers how to take advantage of the credit card companies! Like if Citi or Chase is paying me $500 (in points) to get a credit card, and they’re paying the blogger a couple hundred bucks for that application, is the credit card company likely to make money on that transaction? Especially since the typical reader of these blogs Is likely to take the bonus and move on, or just buy goods (probably mostly gift cards) in the bonus categories.

    Reply
    1. Grant

      You nailed it. It is a mystery. Apparently there must be some people that get the cards and pay interest and other fees. Swipe fees must also play a big roll in the calculations.

      Reply
      1. iahphx

        Logic would suggest that there are folks who get these cards from the mileage bloggers and then behave “irresponsibly.” I’m guessing there are some but, I’d also think they’re a small (maybe 5%) of the total. I’d guess another third behave “normally” (they put everyday spend on the cards, maybe pay a renewal fee), and the remainder are just “gaming it.” I therefore can’t believe the credit card companies actually make money when somebody clicks on a credit card app link on, say, View From the Wing. But I also think the credit card companies are too poorly managed to realize this. If they were smarter, they’d run a study of the account activity on all the cardholders who signed up from a particular affiliate link. They’d then cut ties with all the affiliates who generate unprofitable customers. This seems like “Running a Business 101,” but I’d bet NO ONE in the industry does it.

        Reply
  14. James

    Hi Grant,

    In you opinion, what are top 5 credit card blogs in terms of of web traffic and affiliate link revenue?

    Can you disclose how much a typical affiliate pays for a credit card approval?

    You have a great blog; keep up the good work!!!

    Reply
    1. Grant

      Hi James, I’m not sure which blogs generate the most credit card revenue, but a good guess would be FTG, MMS, TPG, VFTW, and OMAAT. I’m not allowed to discuss the income from each credit card, but it is pretty substantial. Thanks for the encouragement!

      Reply
  15. Rick I

    Grant, Sorry to hear you lost your links. You are correct in stating the compliance requirements and number of acceptable applications generated as being the drivers of affiliate approvals or rejections and terminations. I can assure you that the success of this affiliate venture for some, dealt more with the timing of their entry into the game, than the content provided. Most were way too late for the game.

    I’m sure that you will find another niche and be a success in the business world. It may be a long way from the points and miles arena though. Look around for other opportunities.

    Reply
  16. alex

    Again, it’s a shame that what I believe is one of the best blogs out there for miles/points/travel/credit card content gets bullied by the credit card companies just for not being a pump-site. I know you’re gonna get rewarded financially, etc. in some kind of dimension in the near future … you’re too talented and most importantly too good of a person not to. And you even tell people to stay away from applying for a secured credit card (even though that’s your only remaining card!) Such integrity …..

    That being said I’ve bookmarked your affiliate link for all my Amazon purchases. Hope that at least helps a bit. And honestly man if I ever hit up one of these OC meetups one day I’m buying your meal for you ;)

    Reply
    1. Grant

      Thank you Alex, I really appreciate your support. It’s sad that the credit card affiliate companies strongly favor the heavy credit card blogs. Every Amazon purchase counts.

      If you ever fly into SNA, I’ll pick you up and we can head to In-N-Out together :)

      Reply
  17. yeshvanth

    sorry to hear, Grant. Don’t stop writing, though. Love all your posts, especially the Amtrak ones.. I want to try it myself.

    Reply
  18. Pingback: #WestCoastDO, Losing Credit Card Links, Worst Credit Card, Cloud Safari, First Friday

  19. karma1234

    Grant, i have to confess you something. I do know and have been seeing ” amazon” icon somewhere in your page and asks to to ship on amazon but I never understood why it asks us to do it cos I never thought you get something from Amazon for this, Now I know after reading these comments. I am a weekly shopper on amazon.com and I will not forget to click your shop thru your site. But I shop using Amazon GCs online all the time, it will work for you right? Do you get commission on any amazon.com purchase? any restrictions on what purchases won’t give you commision?

    Reply
    1. Grant

      Good morning Karma, I earn a commission on pretty much everything you buy on Amazon.com, regardless if you use a credit card or gift card. It doesn’t matter I f you buy directly from Amazon or from a third-party seller on Amazon. Every purchase counts. Thank you for your support and have a great day.

      Reply
  20. Brant

    Grant

    Now that your CC links are dead you can feel free to enlighten us (your loyal readers) with every possible manufactured spend idea you can come up with!!

    Seriously, sorry to hear about that, but you do have an original blog geared more towards Joe public instead of the high flying adventures of some writers which, while interesting, don’t always offer real world ideas for the average person. It’s those little pieces of information about small money that really add up!

    Keep up the great work and keep on doing what you love!!

    Reply
    1. Grant

      Good morning Brent, thank you for being such a loyal reader. I don’t have any crazy manufactured spend ideas, I’m more of a small fish in these regards. At the #WestCoastDo, there are people that do 10 to 20 times as much as I do, it would just blow your mind to hear what they do. My Redbird card should be arriving any day now and I will be playing around with that and writing about that soon. I’m sure I will discover some interesting menu facture spend ideas over the next few weeks. Please stay tuned and have a great day.

      Reply
  21. David

    Grant,

    Sorry to hear about the loss of your links. Thank sucks. You are one of my favorite < 30year old bloggers. Now to think of it, I really don't like reading many of the BA or P2B blogs because a lot of it is focused on CC and repetitive trip reports. Keep up the good work. i split my infrequent Amazon purchase through your link and TBB.

    David

    Reply
    1. Grant

      Thanks David, I’m glad you enjoy reading the crazy stuff that comes from my brain. As for our Amazon affiliate links, if you ever buy Amazon gift cards, our links work for those as well :)

      Happy shopping!

      Reply
  22. bad6e

    Hi Grant – thanks for the blog – are you still able to talk about credit cards and use their names on your blog even if you don’t have the affiliate links?

    Thanks,

    Bret

    Reply
    1. Grant

      Hi Bret, I am actually in the process of getting my credit card affiliate links back. I should have them back in the next few days. Did you have any particular credit card questions?

      Reply

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