Many moons ago, there was a time when I used to refer to the occasional article published by Conde Nast in order to look at some travel related information. The growth of travel blogs has meant that I now have more access to information and tricks from other bloggers – people I know and trust.
I came across this Conde Nast article and found that it was primarily pushing products instead of providing valuable information. The worst part – the article got a few key facts wrong!
Amex Green Card Relaunch
After Amex relaunched the Green Card last week, I wrote extensively about the card and its 45,000 Membership Rewards points bonus. I recommended a friend to go for the 45k bonus by using the incognito mode. He came back and told me that he couldn’t quite find it. As I was helping him find the 45k bonus, I bumped into this article from Conde Nast. While it was a clear fluff piece about the Amex Green card (which I have no problem with), my primary issue with the article was that it got key facts wrong.
A foreign transaction fee also still applies to purchases made on the card.
I scratched my head after reading this. Why would Amex launch a card which earns points in bonus categories worldwide, yet charges foreign transaction fees? How could this be possible? I referred immediately to the source document, clicked on the Rate & Fees section and found that it wasn’t correct.
It gets Worse
So, who is this new card for? As ever, the Green Card is more of an entry-level card for first-time credit card holders looking to build up their score, but with today’s announcement it becomes an instant leader in that category, offering users far more for a first card than they’d get from, say, the no-fee but perk-less Chase Slate.
So the Green Card is an instant competitor to Chase Slate? How? Last week, many bloggers produced valuable insights and information about how the card squares up against Chase’s Sapphire Preferred and Reserve. If not premium, the Green is surely mid-tier, but definitely not a ‘beginner’ card that compares to Chase Slate.
Given Conde Nast’s reach, it begs the question. If a major publication with an editorial team can get key facts wrong, then who really deserves readers’ trust? Given that scenario, I felt that it would naturally be prudent to outline to readers what my own policy is when it comes to writing.
There’s a great deal of goodwill and appreciation that you can gain from readers if you disclose your mode of compensation clearly on your page. I think that The Frequent Miler does a great job in putting that disclosure on their page. Doctor of Credit also makes their policy quite clear and transparent.
This page contains the best publicly available credit card offers. With some of the offers shown below, I’ll earn a commission if you click through and are approved for the card. That said, if a better public offer is available, I always show the better offer even if it means no commissions for me. For additional details, see our Advertiser Disclosure. Advertiser partners include American Express, Barclays, Capital One, and CardRatings.com
Why do I blog?
When I started writing, I was driven due to my love and passion for travel and looked at blogging as an opportunity to share my experiences of traveling to six continents. I work full time and write about travel every now and then when I find something interesting or worth sharing. My desire to write is driven by my love for travel. How often I write if purely dictated by my work schedule and everything else that takes up my time.
Getting Facts Wrong
Too err is human. Bloggers get facts wrong every now and then. I do too. I’m glad that when I do get it wrong, there’s always someone in the comments section who points it out. It helps me learn something new and also keep myself updated. The miles and points community is full of wonderful people who travel the world. So no matter how much you travel or write, there’s always someone who has got a new tip or two to share.
Wrong Facts v/s Wrong Intentions
In this age of the internet and social media, accuracy often gets sacrificed in the need for immediacy. Sometimes it’s just the nature of the beast. A new hot deal pops up. A lot of writers want to share this deal with their readers. That’s when mistakes often crop up.
I was also a reader way before I started blogging on my own. I always try to make the distinction between wrong facts and wrong intentions. When you write hundreds of articles, you will get things wrong every now and then. However, where it crosses the line is when someone willfully tries to deceive you into applying for a card or an offer that’s not the best offer for you, the reader. What someone’s intention is clearly a subjective matter and is up to the reader’s discretion.
My Editorial Policy
I make it pretty clear at the start of each post that my blog doesn’t have any affiliate links (and I never intend to have them in the future), but I do encourage you to support the blog by applying for a card through my personal referral link. If I ever have any affiliate links or product partnerships in the future, I’ll let you know in the first line of my post. Every time there’s a credit card sign-up bonus out there, I’ll let you know about the highest possible bonus I know of, even when it doesn’t earn me a referral credit.
The Pundit’s Mantra
If you’re skeptical about the information you’re consuming from anyone (including myself), then consider multiple sources. When a new credit card gets launched, always look for the best offer possible. There are plenty of BoardingArea bloggers and travel writers doing some excellent work in the miles and points space, so there’s never a shortage of content.
I look at this as a community that shares ideas, community that maximizes their spend to travel the farthest. If we can all direct our energy and enthusiasm towards sharing the best content, offers and deals, then we’d all benefit and travel farther!
What do you think about the Conde Nast piece? What’s your baseline metric for judging travel related content that’s worthy of your trust? Let us know in the comments section.