FM classics: The Referral Backpedal

FM Intro: While I’m on vacation, I will be lazily reposting old classic Frequent Miler posts.  Today’s post, originally published December 27, 2011, is the post in which I first announced that I would no longer include credit card affiliate links in the body of my posts.  I had tried the path of hawking credit cards within my posts and found that I didn’t like it.  While its true that credit card affiliate links can be a fantastic source of revenue for bloggers (including me), I don’t like reading credit card pushing posts, and I certainly don’t like writing them.  So, I stopped, and in the two and half years of blogging since then, I’ve never once regretted this decision…

Yes, yes, I know: the only thing worse than another blog post proclaiming the God-like virtues of the Chase Sapphire Preferred card is yet another blog post fretting about whether or not the blogger in question should make money from credit card signup referrals. So, rather than belabor the point I’m just going to come right out and tell you what I’ve decided to do:

  • I have a few permanent pages on the Frequent Miler site. These will continue to show credit card signup links that I’ll profit from, but I’ll only show a link if I believe it is a good deal and if I too have the card or I’m planning to get the card.
  • From now on, I will not post referral links within my blog posts, with one exception: when I create new permanent pages on my site (or make major changes to them) I like to copy the contents into a blog post so that people who subscribe via RSS, email, etc. will get a chance to read the contents. In those cases, if the permanent page happens to have credit card signup links then the blog post will too.

Like other bloggers, I enjoy blogging and hope that someday blogging can become my daytime job. The reason I started using credit card referral links is that ad revenue doesn’t amount to much. I’ll be lucky if ad revenue covers some of the extra expenses of this hobby such as conferences and DOs. On the other hand, it is more important to me that you see me as a trustworthy source of information. I’ve come to realize that credit card links take away from that perception. The ads on the site are a BoardingArea thing which I can’t control, but I can stop hawking credit cards in my posts. For those who want to help me out by using my links for credit card signups, you can continue to do so. Just visit and click on Preparing for Miles [update: a better option now is].

Was this the right move? Should I have eliminated links altogether? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below.

About Greg The Frequent Miler

Greg is the owner, founder, and primary author of the Frequent Miler. He earns millions of points and miles each year, mostly without flying, and dedicates this blog to teaching others how to do the same.

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10 Comments on "FM classics: The Referral Backpedal"

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FM, this was a Killer move that time. I followed your posts with great interest and this move trapped me in forever. I like the in depth analysis you provide all the item, crunching numbers to the new level. I make it a point to use your links for all of my business cards. I appreciate this move and recommend your posts to other friends only if they have the time and interest to understand the hobby but warn them this is not a show and tell blogger.


When you stopped posting your links is when I started using them.I use only your links.


I appreciate your integrity. And every 91 days when I initiate a new churn, I come to your site and click on “Best Signup Offers” and initiate my applications.

Frequent Miler — doin’ it right since 2011.

rh dailey

You’re doing all the right things for all the right reasons. Keep up the great work!


I think you deserve more credit than you give yourself. You’ve got great content and integrity. I’d not mind if you did post a few links to help you get paid for your time you dedicate to developing great unique and insightful content. You deserve it! I admit that while I read your blog often, it doesn’t cross my mind to come visit your blog for my CC apps as it’s just not apparent you’d get the credit for the linking through. I’d certainly consider it during my next AOR as you’ve always been a great source!