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.

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