This is a filler-type post, so take it as such. Originally, I planned to wait till Friday, but wanted to just get it out of the way. Recently, I came across this post on Free-quent Flyer blog US Airways anniversary miles (and affiliate bloggers acting shamelessly)
Catchy title, no? I try to avoid linking to controversial posts from other blogs, and instead prefer to stir controversy myself. But I feel compelled to respond because it actually happens to involve yours truly.
No, my name isn’t mentioned, only the well-known bloggers. But even though I’m a “small fry,” I value my reputation very highly. First, let’s be clear, I’m not speaking for the other guys and don’t claim to know their reasoning on this subject.
Some of you may remember that for the longest time the best offer on US Airways MasterCard did not pay commission. In fact, I promoted it for many months. Then that link died and the best offer actually started offering bloggers incentive. It’s still the offer I have on my list of bonuses. Here are the details: 40,000 miles after the first purchase and paying an annual fee of $89, no anniversary miles bonus.
Then in April another offer appeared (now dead), and here are the details:
30,000 miles after first purchase, no annual fee the first year; 10,000 miles each year upon renewal and paying $89 annual fee. I didn’t focus on this offer, though, if I remember correctly, I did a retweet with details.
Shameless plug alert! Follow me on Twitter for all lukewarm deals.
The important part is: I kept the affiliate offer as my top pick. Why? There are several reasons:
1) As much as I can, I prefer to apply for public offer instead of the rogue one. You never know with a 100% certainty if zombie bonus offer will be honored, so why take a chance? If I go with the latter, there has to be a substantial incentive. For example: At one time, US Airways card came with 35K miles and no annual fee (rogue offer) vs. affiliate offer of 30K miles and $89 fee. I directed my readers to the first one, since it was far superior to my link.
2) At the time there was every reason to believe that the 10K miles bonus would be discontinued after the first anniversary. So to me, it was a question of getting 40K miles (after $89 fee) vs. getting 30K miles now, paying $89 later and getting the 10K miles… maybe. That is if Barclay’s honors it. A lot of people reported problems getting their anniversary miles.
I personally went with affiliate offer. Of course, I did make commission on it, so it influenced my decision. But even if I didn’t get paid for it, I would still pick the public offer. But that’s just me. That’s why I mentioned this Flyertalk thread, so you can make an informed choice that’s right for you.
The most important thing is: I acted in good faith. If I knew that Barclay’s will continue this perk, I would probably devote more time to the rogue offer. But I don’t have a crystal ball. No one does. A lot of what we say is just an opinion based on info we have at that time.
There is no question that this industry is plagued with serious issues. I’ve said it many times. But IMHO the biggest issue of all is how poorly fellow bloggers treat one another. Just my two cents or miles, whatever they are worth.
Readers, agree or disagree?