1) The offer for 140,000 points via Ritz Carlton credit card is back. Pays no commission. The annual fee of $395 is not waived. This offer is not for everyone, but can be potentially lucrative for some families. Read this post on The Miles Professor on why you should consider it. (h/t Onemileatatime)
2) You can now activate 5% bonus for Chase Freedom for the first quarter of 2015 (grocery purchases).
3) Marriott Megabonus promotion is back. Sign in to see your individual offer. If you don’t have Marriott membership, I can send you an invite and we’ll both get 2,000 points after your first stay.
4) An interesting new card that gives 5% cash back on gas and military base spending, 2% on groceries. Requires USAA membership. I know at least two of my readers are in the military, so I thought this would be of interest.
5) An offer for 50,000 miles (plus $50 credit) on Amex Delta SkyMiles credit card. Does not pay me. You have to spend $1,000 in 3 months and apply by December 21st. Annual fee is waived. (h/t Doctorofcredit)
6) According to Dansdeals, the offer for Chase British Airways Visa Signature card will no longer come with a waived first-year annual fee after December 31st. Instead, you’ll have to pay $95 upfront.
Avios can be extremely lucrative for short routes, see this post for more. If you’ve been thinking about this card, now is a good time to apply. It may be another year till this offer comes back, though I have no insider knowledge. This card pays me commission.
7) The winner of my Amazon gift card giveaway was reader HS, picked by random number generator. Thanks to all who took the time to comment, I really appreciate it.
8) Travel tip alert: Did you know that an obscure airline, Allegiant Air, has seasonal non-stop flights from Boise, Idaho (plus quite a few other airports in the western U.S.) to Honolulu? Check this map to see other destinations.
9) Southwest schedule is open through August 7th. (h/t Million Mile Secrets)
10) If you have a US Airways Premier World MasterCard, you can refer a friend and get 5,000 miles when they get approved. Expires January 18th. I have this card, and will be happy to refer you if you still haven’t gotten it. Send me an email. As you know, there is also an offer that comes with 10,000 anniversary miles, but few have had trouble getting approved. (h/t Frequentmiler)
On my mind
Nope, the rant isn’t race related. I’ve said last week that things in this hobby aren’t always black and white. Let me tell you, being a small affiliate blogger almost feels like you are operating in another dimension. The following is something many would love to say, but are too nervous to do it. So I’ll do it for them.
This is a concept that was brought up to me and I found it interesting. Think about various online businesses that sell the same product. Many times the price will vary somewhat. Amazon may offer this TV for X amount of dollars, but Walmart will sell it for $100 less.
Nobody goes bashing Amazon for being unethical. If you find a better price on something, occasionally you’ll be able to get another retailer to match it. They still make money on that product, they don’t get accused of being a sellout, and everyone is happy.
Now let’s talk about being a small “miles and points” affiliate blogger. First, I would like you to take the emotional aspect out of it and view it purely from a business perspective. So, you believe in the product you are selling and get a chance to make commission on it.
But… you have to hide the link to that product on the separate page where no one can find it; you are ostracized and viewed as a sellout when you even mention that you are selling it. Hmm, that makes no sense. A seller who doesn’t want the customers to know what he/she is selling?
You are expected to point out a slightly better price on that product the minute it hits the web (including the link that doesn’t pay you a dime). Need to go to the bathroom? Hold it. There is no price match here. You either get paid or make a big fat zero. Did I mention that if you don’t sell a certain amount, your contract may get cancelled and you’ll lose your only source of profit?
Oh, and you find out about special promotions (that pay you) when you see big websites advertising it, with direct links included. You also don’t know when the product is pulled, unlike the big guys. (cough US Airways Card cough)
Welcome to my world.
You may have read how all of us in the industry are only in it for the money. Do you want to know just how lucrative it is to be a small affiliate blogger? I’ll tell you. So far this month I have made $48, well, technically, $13 once you deduct the Amazon gift card.
A couple of readers have just emailed me and told me they’ve applied for several cards (thanks BB and J), so I should clear more in the next week or so. But hopefully, this gives you an idea of this blog’s monthly revenue. Did I mention that by now I’ve invested 1.5 years of my life into this site?
Don’t believe the tales of quick buck we all make via credit card links. They are simply not true. Most of the affiliate money ends up at the top, split amongst a handful of blogs, and very little trickles down to the small fry such as myself. I’m sure the fact that I sing praises to cards like US Bank Cash Plus and downplay the virtues of Chase Freedom doesn’t exactly help my bottom line either.
So why not go the commercial route and center 99% of my content around cards that pay me? Because long ago I made a promise that I would tell you about the best offers, whether it comes to bonuses or long-term cards. I like to keep my promises. What I detest most of all is hypocrisy. You can’t have it both ways, you just can’t. So, I guess, for me personally, this one is “black and white.”
Sometimes it may take me a few hours (or maybe a day or two) to update the post, but I do my darn best to make sure that you get the best deal. And even that isn’t enough, because I still get questioned on my motives now and again. I will say this: I have NEVER intentionally tried to mislead my readers. Occasionally, I don’t feel the deal is worthwhile. It’s my opinion and I stand by it.
I started blogging because I wanted to inspire regular families to travel more, to show them it could be done with the help of miles and points. I wasn’t the first or even the second in this niche, but thought I had a unique voice and perspective. When I feel that the sacrifices outnumber the rewards, I will simply walk away. But then again, I’m not making six figures from this blog.
Leana is the founder of Miles For Family. She enjoys beach vacations and visiting her family in Europe. Originally from Belarus, Leana resides in central Florida with her husband and two children.