I hope that you will forgive this as less of a miles / points / travel post and more of a “meta” post talking about the Points With a Crew blog / site itself. While I feel like the miles and points blogging community has made a lot of strides in accountability since I started 5 years ago, I feel like there are still many sites that don’t do a great job of disclosing how and when they make money.
Why I write what I write
There are lots of things that I could write about that touch on miles, points and travel, and only a limited amount of time in the day to write things. So I have to choose what I write about, and generally that ends up being one of 3 categories
- Things that interest me / I enjoy writing about
- Things that I think people will want to read
- Things that make me money
If a certain post checks multiple boxes, even better! So this does mean that sometimes I will write a post on a topic that interests me, like my efforts in trying to visit every county in the United States, even though I know very few people besides me really care. Or other times I will write something that is only tangentially related to miles and points, but may have the potential to bring in money to the site (see below).
I do my best to balance these categories out, and put readers’ interests first, but surely there are times that I fall short in that. The main reason that I wanted to write this post is to provide transparency or accountability
How this site makes money
Points With a Crew makes money in 5 major ways
- Other affiliate sales – Many links on this site are affiliate links, meaning that I may receive a commission at no cost to you when you purchase something through my link. This includes things like links to Amazon, hotel sites, Kickbooster / Indiegogo, Points.com, and other sites. I do my best to denote whether or not a link is an affiliate link, but you can assume that any link may be an affiliate link. Again, it is my personal belief that this doesn’t mean that all my advice / links is invalid, but I do believe that it’s important for you to know and make your own decisions.
- Credit card affiliate sales – I broke out credit card affiliates as its own separate category because they are a major part of the site’s focus. If you sign up for a credit card through my top credit card pages or many other links on this site, I may receive a commission. I attempt to be very clear about when a link is an affiliate link or not. It is also my position to not talk about affiliate offers when there is a better offer available through the bank’s website or other channels. And as I have said many times in this space, DO NOT SIGN UP FOR A CREDIT CARD JUST BECAUSE SOME GUY ON THE INTERNET SAYS YOU SHOULD
- Online Ad Revenue – This includes banner ads and sometimes in-content image and text ads on desktop and mobile sites.
- Sponsored posts – Occasionally I am paid by companies or areas to write content. In most cases, I am paid a flat fee and generate the content myself. I have to-date never published a sponsored post that was written by someone else.
- Sponsorship via Patreon – I do have a Patreon account where you can sign up to sponsor me. This is relatively new and right now there are no tangible benefits other than throwing a few coins in my virtual tip-jar, but we have plans to expand this in the next little bit. Stay tuned for more information about Patreon.
I hope that this gives you a look inside how things work at Points With a Crew. I feel very happy and blessed to have been able to help countless travelers to travel a little cheaper over the 5 years I’ve been writing, and make a little money as well. I also still have a full-time “real” job (I have a lot of mouths to feed!!! 😀 ) so I also don’t have to feel like I have to depend on this money to put food on my kids’ table.
If you have questions, I’m happy to answer them in the comments if you have them.
Points With a Crew has partnered with CardRatings for our coverage of credit card products. Points With a Crew and CardRatings may receive a commission from card issuers. Responses are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered. Other links on this page may also pay me a commission - as always, thanks for your support if you use them
Thanks for sharing about how you make money from your website. It’s totally reasonable for you to be able to monetize your website since you give good value to your readers. Keep up the good work!
Greatly appreciate the transparency.
Thanks for sharing that but I already knew it.
I like the content you provide and sometimes sign up for a card through your links so you get a bone here and there.
Anyone who thinks they are getting content for free with out someone’s agenda is kind of naive. Even if it is at the best level of “I want you to read my stuff so you see I am smart, cool, funny, likable or pathetic lol.
The contributors who don’t get it are like one post today that touted “#1 travel hack” and went on to elaborate by saying “never check a bag”. If that is the best that person can do I don’t want to bother reading their blog. Either they are not at the level of what I want from a travel expert or they are just interested in click bait. Either way as they say on tv “They are dead to me”
Keep up the good stuff you do and the flock will just grow.
Thanks for the kind words bob!
Like the stories when you are travelling with the family. Yep, I stay at a number of those budget hotels up and down the highways.
The most interesting articles are the personal ones like visiting each country in the USA. Just reading about credit card benefits or number crunching is beneficial but not something I want to read every day
Thanks for the feedback!
Your link to the Marriott Rewards Premier Visa and my getting it snagged me a free room for my college reunion later this year; saved nearly $500.
Whatever you might have been “paid” by the card / hotel worked out well for me.
And while some of your personal travel “disasters” couldn’t have been fun for you and family, they’ve given me a laugh when i consider some of my “mis-adventures.”
Keep up the great work!
Thanks Chuck – I feel the same way but I feel like it’s important for people to know how I make money so they can make their own (informed) decisions. It sounds like you did and it worked out great for both of us! As for my misadventures, I am glad they bring you joy – one of my 2 rules for when things go wrong is “at least this will make a good blog post” 🙂
Dan, read the “2 rules” post and what caused me to laugh was “the type of people that shouldn’t have children”
Very inconsiderate if the guy never had / traveled with young ones. My wife and I have, mostly good trips, but then a few not.
On a flight from San Antonio to LAX some years ago, my wife and I (no kids with us) heard someone complaining about a crying infant (been there done that!) in the row behind him. Probably the pressure changes / ear pain were the issue. The Mom tried everything, bottle, pacifier, etc, with no luck. This guy demanded a seat change (flight was nearly full), only ones open were the “middle seats from Hell.” He didn’t want that.
He continued whining until one of the flight attendants finally told him loud enough that everyone could hear, “Sir, unfortunately, this is what babies do sometimes, you will have to deal with it.” The coach cabin erupted in applause!
It was actually a woman / mom traveling with 2 older (teen) kids.