I’ve Lost My Credit Card Affiliate Links (And I’m Perfectly Fine With It)

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As ridiculous as it sounds, I have indeed lost my credit card affiliate links

Not that they made any difference anyway – I maybe pulled a few commissions in the course of several months. Thank you so much to those of you who supported me on the blog, by the way.

I only had a few credit card affiliate links on my resource pages, and I’ve never inserted them into the posts or pushed them in any other way. For one thing, they weren’t major links, anyway, and, besides, I have a tremendous creative difficulty crafting posts around affiliate links. Somehow, it feels, I don’t know – wrong?

Despite the lack of major credit card links from this affiliate I was happy about working with them because they never pushed me to sell. There were no quotas, no pressure, and I could choose only the links with the best bonuses that I felt comfortable to offer to my readers. I always disclosed which credit card links were affiliate links, and which were not, despite the fact that they were for the best respective bonuses anyway. As many of you might know, I passionately believe in the blogger’s right to make money, but I also believe in disclaimers and putting the reader first.

That all stopped when the affiliate company sent me a demand to remove the disclaimer. I told them politely that I wouldn’t be able to and explained why. The reply I received was extraordinarily rude. It advised me (again, in a very rude form) that they were severing our relationship.

Now, please understand this – the guy I was dealing with is one of the nicest and most polite people I’ve ever met. I was stunned – not by the termination of our agreement – but by the way it was announced. It was pretty much when I realized what enormous pressure banks apply to the affiliate companies they are working with.

To his credit, he sent me a few more emails where he apologized for the outburst and offered some insights (although not without stinging me for not having better traffic).

“We were not against you having a disclaimer. We disapprove the way how your disclaimer was written because such disclaimer does not follow the compliance policies of many card issuers.

“…the way how you wrote the disclaimer was a huge compliance risk.

“If your disclaimer stated that you received commission from advertisers and/or you link to our home page or travel-card page, it would be completely acceptable. But the disclaimer that you had was not acceptable by some banks.”

Quite honestly, I don’t understand why disclosing a financial relationship would be a “compliance risk” to a bank, while saying that you might have a financial relationship with a bank wouldn’t. But in any case, this vague and, sadly, typical disclosure wouldn’t work for me at all. I only had from 4 to 7 credit card affiliate links on my credit card resource pages. In the meantime, I list dozens of unaffiliated credit card links with the best bonuses, and I don’t want the readers to think that all or most of them earn me commissions (because it’s not true).

Maybe when (or rather if) I get off my ass and finally monetize this blog somehow, I’ll also get to concoct this generic, inane, and insulting, even to the least intelligent life form, disclaimer about how I “may receive compensation etc., etc.,” but from where I’m standing right now it just doesn’t make sense.

Farewell, my lovelies. Back to square one!

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MSer

Meh. If you’re in this game to “monetize”, you need to do it full-time, not in the “whenever I get around to writing something” style you have had for years. Frankly, surprised you even bothered flogging plastic.

I’m proud I haven’t clicked an affiliate link in years. Bloggers should pay readers part of the commission if they benefit from our good credit. Without readers, you’d get squat.

Friends don’t let friends click affiliate links!

Frank

Ignore that non-sense. Bloggers produce tons of free content and then the second they try to make money people like “MSer” claim they deserve some as a favor for using all of your free content.

Mark Ostermann

MSer do you give the bloggers a cut of any profit or money you save from reading bloggers work? Seems like you should if that is how you feel about affiliate links.

That is how readers give something back to a blog that they have received value from unless you think all blogs should go to subscription services etc.

It seems like you would want to support blogs that have helped you in some way.

All you have been doing all these years is give the banks more money so congrats on that!

TravelBloggerBuzz

Readers like MSer are the type of free loader readers the ethical bloggers do not need and the reason the opposite type of bloggers become “successful” by selling plastic to moron newbies kept in the dark. Sad!

Rob

Seems unnecessary to have disdain for folks who are new to anything. Without differences in relative knowledge or expertise, everyone would do everything for themselves and find no value in contracting with anyone for services. Also seems unnecessary to be resentful that the information you choose to publish publicly would be read without some kind of implied duty to compensate you in some undefined way. Be clear…you are the one making the choice to publish content without conditions. You could sell subscriptions to your insights, contract with people for your consult, put up a pay-wall around your content, or publish… Read more »

Bluecat

I like your blog, Andy. (I come here whenever TBB has a good pointer to something interesting that you write about.) I enjoy blogs I consider quirky and that make me think about some travel aspect that I otherwise might miss: your, Travel Is Free, TBB, and Loyalty Traveller are some of my favorite quirky ones. Many of the others overlap in their content so much that I’ve whittled down the number of those that I follow to just one. Sorry about your loss of credit cards linkstreatment you got from “the handler”. I think it’s cool that you continue… Read more »

bluecat

omg…loads of typos in the above…hope you can figure it out. 🙂

john

Andy, I always enjoyed your blog. I wish I could get it in my email feed to know when you publish. I have to admit, I am someone who was remiss in clicking links on your blog more so than I end of forgetting. However, since you are in Brooklyn as well, I will spring for a meal, booze etc (no women) as a sign of appreciation. I would do the same for TBB but he is too far 🙂

Sam Billo

Thank you so much Andy for giving away so much of your time to help people which most of them you don’t even know ( I also have a blog so i know) . Just some quick advice, nowadays a lot of credit cards have “refer a friend” links that you can always post on your website. And their is no broker that can tell you what to do. Thanks again for this great blog!

Dave

Now I’m really curious what the exact wording was on your disclaimer. Is there anywhere that I can still read it?

Amy

I had wondered the same thing; interesting that they don’t like such a definitive statement, isn’t it? Here’s a thought: what if, should you decide to go the way of affiliate links again and have to use the vague language in your disclaimer, you put them on their own webpage on your site that literally had “my affiliate cards” in the title? Not as clearly in your face as your prior disclaimer, I know, but it would at least still be there to let people know.

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