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Are Bloggers Ruining Flyertalk??? - Take 2

Are Bloggers Ruining Flyertalk??? - Take 2

Old Jun 29, 12, 10:42 am
  #1  
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Are Bloggers Ruining Flyertalk??? - Take 2

I see that the first thread is closed, but after reading FTG's article yesterday about his visit with the CC companies, I thought this might belong there.

I know many FTers have benefited from so-called zombie apps and it isn't necessarily a bad thing for the CC companies either as they don't pay referrals on them. Seems like the bloggers receive the brunt of downside from the zombie apps.

Which is why I find it odd that in his article he notes the following:

"Next stop was Citibank... We talked about old expired links. I can tell you they are trying to clean up old links and have put on extra personnel to do so."

http://www.frugaltravelguy.com/2012/...companies.html

Now, it is very possible that Citi simply asked him about them and he simply responded, but that's not necessarily how I read it. I looked in the comments section and a few users brought up this point, but no response from FTG yet. On that note, I was hoping to get others thoughts on this and determine if I'm overreacting.
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Old Jun 29, 12, 10:47 am
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I was one of those posters and find that extremely frustrating. I'm going on vacation and was planning on applying for the 2 Citi AA cards as soon as I get back so I have more time to meet the minimum spend.

It comes down to where they make their money. CC companies.
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Old Jun 29, 12, 10:52 am
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Originally Posted by RewardTraveler View Post
I see that the first thread is closed,
Perhaps the title of the new thread should be a different tense: "Have Bloggers Ruined Flyertalk???"
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Old Jun 29, 12, 11:10 am
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Overall, i was suprised that any blogger would go talk to the credit card companies. Seriously, there is no gain for the "readers" when this happens. All it does is to further expose our playbook. Bloggers didn't need to go to the CC companies to find out that people who sign up for cards just for the bonus are not profitable. Common sense would have told you that. And any discuss on zombie links is definately counter productive to the people in the game. No good is going to come out of it

I'm guessing the cc companies wanted to pump the bloggers for info, which I see they did nicely. Also, I'd be interested in know how much discussion was geared towards their affliates programs, which I'm guess was a lot more then was let on.
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Old Jun 29, 12, 11:25 am
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Originally Posted by RewardTraveler View Post
I see that the first thread is closed, but after reading FTG's article yesterday about his visit with the CC companies, I thought this might belong there.

I know many FTers have benefited from so-called zombie apps and it isn't necessarily a bad thing for the CC companies either as they don't pay referrals on them. Seems like the bloggers receive the brunt of downside from the zombie apps.

Which is why I find it odd that in his article he notes the following:

"Next stop was Citibank... We talked about old expired links. I can tell you they are trying to clean up old links and have put on extra personnel to do so."

http://www.frugaltravelguy.com/2012/...companies.html

Now, it is very possible that Citi simply asked him about them and he simply responded, but that's not necessarily how I read it. I looked in the comments section and a few users brought up this point, but no response from FTG yet. On that note, I was hoping to get others thoughts on this and determine if I'm overreacting.
Well, it's not like FT is enshrined in the Constitution.

The credit issuers could decide this one on their own, or a consultant could tell them to do that, or a concerned citizen could write in and tell them about it...and we would never know. With the Internet, we know more, and we also come to know things we don't want to know, or more precisely, that we don't want others to know. It's just the name of the game. Life has risks.

Last edited by Reindeerflame; Jun 29, 12 at 1:33 pm
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Old Jun 29, 12, 11:30 am
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I'm truly not understanding all these attacks on the bloggers. Seems like many believe that credit card companies are nothing more than a bunch of idiots who haven't yet realised that people have been gaming the system. The truth is they have been onto people signing up for bonuses and spending nothing additional for quite some time. You only have to look at how they have reduced the sign up bonuses and tied it to spend.

I think people need to get used to the new reality, it is unlikely there is going to be a continual free lunch when it comes to earning a million plus points a year just signing up for cards. The banks are hurting and they are clearly directing their efforts into identifying who games the system and how to eliminate those unprofitable customers.
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Old Jun 29, 12, 11:54 am
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Originally Posted by Toula View Post
I'm truly not understanding all these attacks on the bloggers.
Not just credit card, some deal like the SIN-LAX in suite was gone in a few hours after some blogger got to it.
Banks know, but do you have to rub it in their face on the New York Times?
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Old Jun 29, 12, 11:59 am
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Originally Posted by Toula View Post
I'm truly not understanding all these attacks on the bloggers. Seems like many believe that credit card companies are nothing more than a bunch of idiots who haven't yet realised that people have been gaming the system. The truth is they have been onto people signing up for bonuses and spending nothing additional for quite some time. You only have to look at how they have reduced the sign up bonuses and tied it to spend.
I would personally defend credit card companies for their desire to make profit on the customers, but I would NOT defend the bloggers constantly stating that they are "out there for their readership benefit" but in reality doing everything to benefit credit card companies. That's just not ethical in my view.
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Old Jun 29, 12, 12:07 pm
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Citi: "We want to find ways that our relationship can be mutually beneficial. We want to maximize the revenue we get from credit cards and the money you get from affiliate links."

Bloggers: "We agree. One way to do that would be to get rid of some of the expired application pages. They have better offers for our readers, thereby costing you more money, but they don't give us any commissions."

Citi: "We'll get on it."
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Old Jun 29, 12, 12:19 pm
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I was pretty amazed by this post and the meetings it describes also. I'm glad for the info, of course. He seems to be the only blogger of those listed that bothered to post about the conferences.

That post talks about how credit card companies don't like those of us who apply for cards for the signup bonus and then don't use them once the bonus is attained. Fully reasonable.

But Rick also tells us at Citi: "They asked me specifically what it takes to move the needle and I told them slightly higher sign-up bonuses a la the US Airways 40K card. My personal opinion is the size of the sign-up bonus appears of more interest to you the readers than the extra benefits offered within each card offered."

So - what is it? If Citi wants more apps for cards that won't be used, great, offer bigger sign-up bonuses. But if Citi wants long-term customers, then emulate the SPG Amex, right? Ricks say: "You all know that American Express has my personal favorite, the SPG card, and they can count on me to continue to promote and recommend that card to all of you in the travel space." It's not for the sign-up bonus that we all like this card. I'd even say that some of us would use the SPG Amex without any sign-up bonus. It's just a great card.

So, credit card companies, if you're listening, we do want great long-term benefits. We really do. And we, like Rick, demonstrate that via usage of SPG and Sapphire Preferred.
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Old Jun 29, 12, 12:30 pm
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Like Cardinal Fang says - if you want to know the truth then follow the money. The bloggers ain't in our pockets since we ain't filling their pockets. Best intentions aside, most of the bloggers get paid for what they do by their sponsors and that has to influence their behavior.

Originally Posted by LongviewTX View Post
I would personally defend credit card companies for their desire to make profit on the customers, but I would NOT defend the bloggers constantly stating that they are "out there for their readership benefit" but in reality doing everything to benefit credit card companies. That's just not ethical in my view.
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Old Jun 29, 12, 12:30 pm
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Originally Posted by josephstern View Post
I was pretty amazed by this post and the meetings it describes also. I'm glad for the info, of course. He seems to be the only blogger of those listed that bothered to post about the conferences
FWIW I offered to let my readers pose suggestions before I went and then posted this as I left Chase HQ: http://forums.dansdeals.com/index.ph...8433#msg248433

Nothing nefarious was going on, we gave them feedback on what benefits we'd like to see in the future and they appreciated the feedback. They consider bloggers to be the conduit between the bank and the target market and appreciate the analysis that bloggers give that they could never attain in a 30 second commercial spot.
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Old Jun 29, 12, 12:34 pm
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Originally Posted by RewardTraveler View Post
"Next stop was Citibank... We talked about old expired links. I can tell you they are trying to clean up old links and have put on extra personnel to do so."


Now, it is very possible that Citi simply asked him about them and he simply responded, but that's not necessarily how I read it. I looked in the comments section and a few users brought up this point, but no response from FTG yet. On that note, I was hoping to get others thoughts on this and determine if I'm overreacting.
I don't think you are overreacting. Who appointed FrugalTravelGuy "Rick" King? What he did was just plain stupid and selfish. People should stop reading his blog because at this point Rick is not "looking out for his readers." He's looking out for his wallet. He takes credit for information others can find on the internet.
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Old Jun 29, 12, 12:41 pm
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Originally Posted by jonnydoe1234 View Post
Citi: "We want to find ways that our relationship can be mutually beneficial. We want to maximize the revenue we get from credit cards and the money you get from affiliate links."

Bloggers: "We agree. One way to do that would be to get rid of some of the expired application pages. They have better offers for our readers, thereby costing you more money, but they don't give us any commissions."

Citi: "We'll get on it."
Originally Posted by freeloader View Post
Overall, i was suprised that any blogger would go talk to the credit card companies. Seriously, there is no gain for the "readers" when this happens. All it does is to further expose our playbook. Bloggers didn't need to go to the CC companies to find out that people who sign up for cards just for the bonus are not profitable. Common sense would have told you that. And any discuss on zombie links is definately counter productive to the people in the game. No good is going to come out of it

I'm guessing the cc companies wanted to pump the bloggers for info, which I see they did nicely. Also, I'd be interested in know how much discussion was geared towards their affliates programs, which I'm guess was a lot more then was let on.
Yes the CC companies want to make a as much as they can and so do the bloggers. By getting rid of zombie referrals they both win. Lets be honest the CC companies are partners with the bloggers. They may offer new deals but it's for a mutual gain.
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Old Jun 29, 12, 12:49 pm
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This reminds me of the old Seinfeld episode where Elaine wants the guy to "switch teams" or at least bat both ways.

Let's be clear on something: The idea that credit card companies don't read this site and the blogs is pretty silly, so put that to bed. Rick even mentioned the one company reads his blog daily. It is the companies right to do so and Rick's right to run a business. If you don't want something public, it should not be in a blog or this public forum. Like some say, more PM's and less posts is the way to go. Many of us have our own "mints" we simply don't post about and people like Rick, even though they know, also don't post about. And, zombie links are nowhere near "secret" considering they are often on here and on the blogs. Darius keeps a running list for cripes sake.

The heart of the question is what do the credit card companies really want out of Rick and others? Is it more people to sign up and use their cards which generate more money to Rick? Yes, but only to a degree. They want a long term relationship with the customer, and the bloggers, particularly Rick and Miler, are experts on how to "milk" max value out of a card for minimum spending. What am I getting at? THAT isn't what the company is looking for. I am sure the companies struggle with paying the bloggers, even though they bring in lots of folks, I am sure many of them, like me, aren't very profitable.

So, the companies are bringing them in to pick their brain to figure out how to get that long term relationship. They want those merchant fees, and when I don't do many 1X transactions, it is killing them. If I was working for the bank, I can't think of better folks to ask for advice to achieve that goal and I hope they paid the bloggers for their time in providing it. I think the Sapphire Preferred is a good example of a bank "getting it" as I do plan on keeping that card and do more profitable charges for Chase on that card than many others. They were also clever keeping a big sign on to get me on board. If this is what comes out of meetings with bloggers, I am all for them.

I am pretty new, so I am sure it WAS more fun around here when less folks were doing this, but many of us never even knew about the world without Rick and others. I will always support private business owner trying to make a living and it what makes America great.
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