Posted by William Charles on March 20, 2017
Bank Account Bonuses

Published on March 20th, 2017 | by William Charles


An Ongoing Dilemma I Have With Some Bank Account Bonuses & Your Advice Needed

I have an issue and I’d like to get some advice from readers. We post a lot of bank account bonus content but I’ve recently been running into the same issue on a fairly regular basis. The issue is that some bonuses only have an affiliate link available and no public non affiliate link.

We don’t use affiliate links for bank accounts (or credit cards). Traditionally what I’ve been able to do is to contact the financial institution and ask that instead of giving us a commission they offer our readers a better bonus instead. When that works, it’s fantastic. Unfortunately getting a response/deal in place rarely happens.

Before people get angry in the comments, don’t worry we still won’t be using those links and this isn’t a trap post to start adding them to the site. The few banks that do do this usually have public links that come along, but the affiliate links are almost always available (e.g public non affiliate links might be available 3-4 months of the year and the affiliate links available for 10+ months).

Normally I’d just refer readers to other sites that cover bank bonuses, unfortunately most of those just steal content without attribution. I’m really writing this post because I don’t know what to do.

Update: Thanks everybody for the response. I feel like most readers in the comments are missing the reasons why I don’t want to use affiliate links in the first place:

  1.  Editorial Control. If you have affiliate links then the company you’re promoting can dictate what is/isn’t discussed. For example with credit cards they don’t want you to mention churning for example.One of our best and most popular posts is what counts as a direct deposit. I don’t want to give companies the ability to tell us we aren’t allowed to list them there.
  2. Bias/perception of bias. Currently when we post a deal, readers know we are posting it (and reviewing it) fairly because we don’t have any incentive to do otherwise. If we have affiliate links then there is a temptation to rank certain bonuses that pay us higher than others. Even if we don’t give in to these temptations reader can have the perception that we have and question our motives. Currently if I rank a bonus as the best then readers might question why it’s #1, but they won’t say something like “this is only #1 because it pays you”.

I think I’ve found a solution that will work going forwards and will discuss this in further detail at a later stage.

106 Responses to An Ongoing Dilemma I Have With Some Bank Account Bonuses & Your Advice Needed

  1. Mike says:

    Will, do what is best for the readers. If that means you have to use ur own affiliate link, do it. As long as we know that you lead us to the best offer, unlike many other blogs, we are greatful. If that means you have to use an affiliate link and get paid, we will be twice as happy as long as you provide a link to the best offer.

    • Ben H. says:

      I think Mike is spot on. Keep doing what is best for the readings and be transparent. You have worked really hard and built a lot of trust and a great community. I don’t see any issue with using affiliated links as long as you are transparent about it and it does not keep you from posting about better public offers (if/when) they come along.

      I was playing the game before I found your website, but I have personally made thousands more than I would have without your hard work. I would jump on any opportunity to use an affiliated link to give back to you. I think the way you use your ebay affiliated links is a great model that you could use for Bank/Credit card affliilated links.

      • todd says:

        I second this. As a long time reader, I trust your decision Will. I will be more than happy to use your affiliate link. I think a good compromise is to just mention it is an affiliate link, to keep the tradition of transparency, and state the reason why. eg. no other non-affiliate links being available at the moment.

        • Justin says:


          • David says:

            This is a solution that makes sense to me.

          • Mser says:

            +1. Get more value from your site than all others combined. Only site worthy of affiliate links and you don’t take any. But I can see the slippery slope – once you see all that $, innevitably content changes, even if unintentional. Maybe make a policy to donate all affiliate income to worthy, non religious charities?

        • V says:

          +1. I have been a reader for a few years and this site is my main go-to site for Credit cards or bank account bonuses. I would love if Will (and the team) makes more money when I sign up for bonuses that I found about here.

    • Jake says:

      I couldn’t agree more. Well said, Mike!

    • Using affiliate links just isn’t an option that I’m going to consider. I discuss this in the other posts regarding affiliate links but one of the things you lose is complete editorial control. For example, imagine if one of the banks comes to us and says that we aren’t able to list what triggers direct deposit anymore? That would be awful

      • Jags4186 says:

        Are you friends with another blogger who does use affiliate links? Simply refer us to them. If not then let us know there is an affiliate link available but we’d need to search on our own.

      • Steve says:

        Regarding editorial control: you could still post the affiliate link, and later remove it if the bank complains about something you wrote. It’d be better than not posting a link at all (assuming that your attempt at getting a non-affiliate link failed).

      • TomTX says:

        If they complain, just drop the affiliate link. NBD. No compromised values.

        You have worked hard to be open about everything.

  2. Brent says:

    I’m all for you getting some cash as long as they don’t get any extra attention then the other bank bonuses without affiliate links. Or you could open them up for readers to post their affiliate link like you have done with credit cards from time to time.

    • Charles says:

      I am also fine with DOC affiliate links, but I believe it could be a trust issue for some. How many times does someone stop by the site and say “YOUR ONLY POSTING THIS BECAUSE YOU GET A COMMISSION!” and then some one says, by the way, “DOC doesn’t get a commission.” It eliminates any conflicts of interest.

      I do also like what Brent Said. For things that have referral links from actual websites and businesses, you could open the replies up to other websites or entities to provide a link. The users here could use the link from the blogger that they feel have made the best contributions in the past. (I think this would also encourage other bloggers to give you a heads up on deals since they would stand to benefit from doing so?)

      I can’t recall what the website was, but I recall a website that was set up to give all/most of their referral earnings to charity. Working with a website like that to get referral links would be beneficial to all parties.

  3. Logan says:

    I really appreciate everything with this blog. It has helped me so much I can’t put it into words.
    The integrity of the owner / writers of this blog to me are never even in question. The fact that you guys go out of your way NOT to earn an affiliate bonus speaks volumes. With that being said, I for one am 100% ok with you getting an affiliate bonus. Isn’t this a way that we the readers can give back, albeit a small amount? I would love for this blog to still be around in 15-20 years.

    • Chap says:

      +1. Outside of a churning community I visit, this is the only blog I visit since it has a great layout and the owners have integrity. If we use your affiliate links, so be it. You always give fair warning that you may get a small cut from it and never try and sneak your affiliate links into anything.

  4. Alex says:

    I don’t have a problem with you posting affiliate links. You seem to be very honest in your reviews of the cards, and as long as publishing affiliate links doesn’t put pressure on your from the banks providing them, I’m totally cool with them.

  5. Ben says:

    +1 to Mike

    I would not begrudge you at all making money from links. I get more value out of your blog than any other, so a few times recently I’ve wished you did have affiliate links so I could return a bit of value to you.

    Continue being transparent and I don’t think anyone can have a legitimate problem with it.

  6. MoreSun says:

    As long you clearly state “this is an affiliate link, I am unable to find another” I would not feel you’ve breached my trust. I’d rather apply through an affiliate link than miss out on a bonus. I trust this particular website not to channel this into some way to trick everybody into applying via affiliate links for all things because I feel the work you have done for your readers deserves that level of trust at this point.

    If you or your other contributors feel this is too much of a slippery slope, that it would be compromising the non-affiliate nature of the website, or you might be tempted to start using affiliate links again, then skip posting those particular bank bonuses. I have no problem with that either.

    Fwiw I have noticed some websites with shockingly similar deal details to what you post with zero notes that it came from you. You doing all of their research so they can reap the rewards when your readers use their websites to apply through is flat wrong, and there’s no way to stop it so I say don’t link to other sites because it’s not fair to you. I’d rather the person doing the initial research and analysis get the rewards if an affiliate link is required.

  7. Nab says:

    I’m not sure if you are purposely not saying this, but you could use affiliate link and then raffle off the money earned to readers (maybe for anyone who posts specific data points during the life of the bonus)

  8. MM says:

    Maybe it’s as simple as just clearly stating a given bank account bonus/link is an affiliate link for which you’ll receive compensation. Since we know you don’t otherwise use affiliate links, simply calling out the rare cases where you have to do so seems reasonable to me.

    Appreciate your concern about it and wanting to know how your readers feel. Bottom line for me is: your readers benefit from cool bank account bonuses, so better to go ahead and share them, even if it require using affiliate links, because that ensures your readers benefit. That you benefit as well is just bonus:)

    • Michael says:


      This is exactly how I feel. If you just call it out in those rare instances, I think you are being sufficiently transparent.

  9. Ryan says:

    I think just marking every affiliate link, individually, with that information allows readers to make the judgment themselves.

    This site will never go the route of TPG (where affiliate links are the bread and butter) but, for me, I’d appreciate knowing of every conceivable bank bonus I may be eligible for.

    They make me too much money and this site is otherwise so averse to soaking its readers that I think just marking each one as “this is an affiliate link use at your own caution!” should be enough.

  10. Jeff G says:

    Along the lines of transparency, which is what I love about this site, if you do offer affiliate links it would be great to know how much you make from each one. Maybe a post every once in awhile giving a total. And, if you do not want to “make money” from links, giving it away somehow, like Nab mentioned, would be cool.

  11. bmanamex says:

    If affiliate is all that exists, post it. If you don’t post it, we might miss out too, and time can be of the essence.
    Thanks for your posts guys, really appreciate it!

  12. David says:

    I wouldn’t mind using affiliate links in this situation. You could state it clearly why and if you choose you can donate the proceeds to a charitable cause. Perhaps something that helps folks become more financially responsible.

    I don’t mind if you keep the money either. I’m sure there are plenty of expenses to offset.

    Thanks again for all you do!

  13. ted says:

    Will, I really appreciate your work here in DoC. From the hard work (of freqently updating the site with deals) to your your loyalty to your readers. As long as that doesn’t change, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with making a little extra money through affliate links

    • John says:

      Totally agree with Ted here. Doc, your content here is invaluable and we know you always have the readers best interest. A-OK with affiliate links.

  14. Stephen says:

    If the choice is between posts with affiliate links vs no posts at all about those bonuses, I’d say you should use affiliate links.

    As someone suggested above, any affiliate commission could always be raffled off for readers so that no one could suggest you have any ulterior motives for posting about those bonuses. Otherwise, maybe donate the commission to charities – you could then write in the post ‘If you apply for this account, the commission of $X will be donated to X charity.

    Having said that, I’m not sure if you’d be allowed to state that as an affiliate, plus it’d mean having to update the $X amount if the commission level changed.

  15. Greg Z says:

    I agree with most everyone here, if its the best offer and the only way to apply and you mark it in the post I feel even better with you guys making some $ off the service you provide. I think we all get value from your blog and affiliate links are a great and free way for readers to help our favorite blogs.

    The very fact you’re asking us shows that you are very different from the MMS/TPGs of the world and we appreciate it!

  16. A says:

    You can post affiliate links and put the money collected towards paying off the US National debt.

  17. Lina says:

    I say you post your link. Just like the other readers, I’d rather your post your link then for us to miss out. I would not mind you posting your link. You help us all and you try to tell us what the best deal is all the time.

  18. Andy says:

    If your affiliate link is best offer possible after talking with bank, then post it with your affiliate link. Your blog is very helpful and we want to keep it up and running.

  19. Angie says:

    You’re one of my favorite blogs and I think you’ve done a wonderful job (even though you guys don’t always answer my comments or tweets =P). You’ve proven to us that you guys maintain this blog for your readers and not for financial gain, so I think it’s okay if you include your own affiliate links. I think most of your loyal readers will agree too. I would gladly use your affiliate link as a way to say thanks for all that you do because you guys deserve it.

    Whether you guys decide to keep the money or not, which I do think you guys deserve as a way of us saying thank you, I like the idea above about you donating or using what you earn from the affiliate links towards something that will help everyone/give back. Or you can even use the money earned and turn it into many $5 amazon gift cards and raffle them off to everyone. I say $5 because this gives more than one person a chance of winning so your readers can benefit too. I’m for the smaller denomination gift card contests versus the larger ones so there can be more than one winner. Either way, what ever you choose, I’m sure it will be the right decision.

  20. Ash says:

    I think its about time that you should put out your affiliates link, when possible. I mean you guys spend all your time with readers best interest in mind. So why not ?

    • Mser says:

      Why not? Because judgement always get clouded when $ is involved. Look at the amount of posts by credit card shills, er “travel experts” for cards with high affiliate income vs good cards with no affiliate income – vast difference. DoC know this is a slippery slope and don’t want to end up whoring themselves like all the other credit card shills

      • Ash says:

        You are too worried about the slippery slope. As I said, as long as Doc is transparent, keeping readers best interests in mind and keep doing what he is doing, I dont have a prob. Majority will agree with this approach !

  21. Daniel Salgado says:

    You have provided the most value out of all the blogs I follow and I am totally fine with clicking through to your affiliate link.

  22. Ben says:

    If you are really torn on it, sign up as an affiliate and donate any/all money to a selected nonprofit, maybe something to help lower-income people with financial education. A quick Google search shows several: Moneythink, JumpStart, and Financial Beginnings are all in that field (although I don’t know much about any of them).

  23. Ben says:

    I don’t see anything wrong with using your affiliate link. I don’t think anyone on this site thinks you don’t have readers’ best interests at heart and it’d be a shame for you to direct clicks and cash to other sites that we know don’t (ahem, TPG, ahem).

  24. David Hoffer says:

    the points guy uses affiliate links and I think as long as you disclose it on each one people don’t mind. Transparency is the key.

  25. Dizzy says:

    I think the incredible service you provide deserves some compensation. At the very least- cover your expenses! I’m sure there’s plenty to be taken care of with server costs, web hosting etc. Just be up front if the links are affiliate or not, that’s more than fair. I also like Ben’s idea of donating to a financial education type service but do it after your costs are covered.

    Thanks again! I love checking this site every day for the great offers.

  26. anthonyjh21 says:

    Bottom line is if you’re adding more value to your readers then how you get there isn’t an issue. Like others stated, if you’re informing readers of the best possible bonus and one in which we’d most likely not otherwise know about then I see no problem here.

    The only gripe people have about pushing affiliate links is that it oftentimes dictates a bloggers content and in many cases isn’t the best bonus or value for you time. Neither of these apply to DoC and as long as you stay true to your mission statement – providing unbiased, transparent information to readers – then I see no issue here.

    People who actively question their ethical compass are the ones doing right by others. As a father I’m always questioning if what I’m doing is right. So often parents that don’t question their actions are the crappy ones because they don’t stop to think or care. Point is, you making this post just shows you’re trying​ to look out for your readers interest.

  27. P says:

    As long as it’s stated clearly that the link is affiliate in the post.

  28. Jake says:

    Use the affiliated links as a last resort and make sure readers know wheather they’re using a public or affiliated link

  29. Ken says:

    Yup, like others have said, if there’s a better offer and it’s the best offer you can find post it as usual. Just make sure to disclose that it’s an affiliate link so people don’t get all riled up. Readers can choose if they want to open an account through an affiliate link or not.

  30. DrRyan_L says:

    +1 to others giving you the okay. I wanted to say that in disclosing that it is a referral link you should also state something to the tune of “this site doesnt normally do this but for this particular bonus it was unavoidable” every time so that new people are completely aware its not the norm.

  31. Jake says:

    Could we also have a “bottom of page” button, since we’re talking about dilemmas

  32. Ryan says:

    I’d gladly use your affiliate links. You’ve earned/saved me so much money and provide such good content compared to other blogs you deserve it!

  33. Rob says:

    I agree with the comments that have said if there is non-affiliate link avaliable to the best offer, and you are able to get a DOC affiliate link, go ahead and post that. But be up front about it in the post and tell us that’s what you are doing in the post. I honestly would prefer clicking on a DOC affiliate link assuming it was the same as the best available offer. Where trust issues occur, I think is when blogs are promoting their own links when there are better offers out there and/or promoting bad deals just to get affiliate clicks. DOC definitely doesn’t do that.

  34. RT says:

    Do the affiliate links require agreements with the affiliates to meet certain criteria or metrics that could impact your reviews or posts? Or not allow you to post about incognito offers or something similar to incognito offers?

    As readers we like the honest and straight forward reviews you guys provide. I think if you provide honest disclosure with affiliate links, we’d give the thumbs up.

    You guys are the Robert Parker(geeky wine reference) of bank bonus and CC offers. 😃

  35. Will says:

    I agree with others. In fact, I really have no problem with you posting an affiliate link if it is the best offer available anyway. I would love to support the site in anyway especially when it does not cost me anything. =)

  36. Clifton says:

    I’d actually be happy to use your affiliate links. Your blog has been a great resource for me and I don’t mind giving back.

  37. Ben says:

    Lol, literally every single comment says they’re OK with affiliate links. Where are the trolls?!
    And yeah, I’m Ok with it too. If you make me more $, then I have no problem with you making more $. Though, I do like the idea of giving it to charity or paying off our National Debt. Maybe you’ll get a Xmas card from Trump too!

  38. Daniel says:

    I’m more than happy to click on your affiliate links, but I see why you wouldn’t be interested in them.

    If this is something that really bothers you, why don’t you offer affiliate links and use the cash to donate to a charity or hold more raffles?

  39. Skippy says:

    I would be happy to use your affiliate links. When I apply for credit cards, I normally use an affiliate link from a blog unless there is a better non-affiliate offer or an equally good referral offer that I can access. I wouldn’t know about most of this stuff without the blogs, so I don’t mind using affiliate links as one way to show my appreciation.

  40. Frito Pendejo says:

    If you clearly state that there are no public non-affiliate links, and that your link is your affiliate link, I see no issue. Seems the public benefit would outweigh and conflict on interest.

  41. Jane says:

    +1 to everyone else.

    If your aim is to give the reader best option available, and if that means having to use your affiliate link, go for it! It lines with your goals.

  42. Mr. PTM says:

    Post your own affiliate links, then use the money to host a pizza party or ice cream social! 😉

  43. Justin says:

    I’m not against you doing it. I have faith that you can make money and still be unbiased. However, an alternate idea is to donate all your affiliate link profits to charity.

  44. Russ says:

    Over at Saverocity Matt donates all the affiliate revenue from cc signups on the site to charity. You could copy or team up with him.

  45. Den says:

    Do both, public and affiliate links in each post, and let readers decide which link to use. In case public link is unavailable than try to get it and post the results. Get paid for your awesome job.

  46. Debra says:

    I understand why you would want to stick to your strict non-affiliate policy. Your policy really sets you apart from nearly all the other points blogs–milenerd is another one, but you have more than twice his content. And *it* is a slippery slope, despite everyone’s (and my, for the record) support of the idea of your making some money for the fantastic work you do. Even if you only used the mney to reinvest it in your site, it would change its nature, however slightly. I am not against sites evolving either… but this type of change doesn’t seem to be what you want. And I have to say I have found that to be an awesomely unique vision and unparalleled integrity on your part, though I wouldn’t stop visiting your site if you did choose to make a little money in the future.

    The only way around it if they won’t offer something directly to your readers instead of affiliate money to you would be donating 100% of it to a charity or giveaway back to your readers, and spell this out explicitly each time. That opens up more opportunities, maintains the nature of your site, and sends the money to a good purpose.

    Otherwise, just continue to skip all those banks that only do affiliate bonuses. It seems like the above might be more work for you, and there are soooo many public opportunities that I for one really don’t miss the affiliate ones… and then you would continue to be entirely free of of affiliate links, if that’s what you prefer. It’s up to you.

  47. Jason says:

    DoC, you provide a great service. You deserve something for your time, and we readers deserve a simple,ready-to click, included link in the article posted to make it easy for us. Go ahead and receive some affiliate commission when no other links available.

  48. kt says:

    The credibility of your blog is undoubtable. At this point we trust whatever decisions you made are for our best interest.

  49. mjs says:

    I can’t believe this is even a dilemma! If the referral is better or SAME as a non-referral offer than just do the following: 1) disclose, 2) replace it if another better non-referral comes up, 3) don’t engage in any “deals” with the referral entity that prohibits 1 and 2.

    Also, just keep it simple and use your own links where possible even if a reader alerts you (and has their own links). you have never used reader links, so you’re not affecting readers by doing this, and it prevents the headache of trying to manage who gave you a referral link first or was more helpful.

    This blog should be unique in that a) reader’s can’t expect to enrich themselves through their own links, and b) you will always be honest with a better offer if available on a non-referral link.

    Don’t lose sleep– you’re not heading down a slippery slope and everyone here thinks you deserve to get a little contribution to keep the lights on for the service you provide.

  50. Dan says:

    I see no problem with affiliate links, as long as you let us know that these are affiliate links AND don’t push the affiliate links when there is a better offer without an affiliate link…

    As long as we are not missing out on anything by using an affiliate link – I am happy you get paid too.

  51. Deb says:

    Everyone has pretty much said the things that came to mind for me. We love this site and it does have integrity and respect that others don’t. Obviously you can’t please everyone and someone will use this as a reason to pick, but you already know you can’t avoid that completely. Make it clear that the links are affiliate links, and use them when public ones aren’t available. People don’t have to use them if they don’t want to. In bank bonuses alone you’ve helped my family earn $1750 so far this year. I’d be happy to shoot you guys a few bucks through a link.

  52. P H says:

    I am completely fine with you posting affiliate links as long as it is transparent and you continue to point us to the best offer (which I have great faith that you will). If you shun an affiliate link and the reader missed out on a good offer, then in a way it kind of goes against the goal of helping the consumer. Just laying it out in terms of pure economic benefit to the consumer. (No matter what, this is still the best site out there for consumer credit, in my opinion).

  53. PointsAfic says:

    You have been very open, honest, sincere and transparent so it is totally fine if you post affiliate links. This is a great site that I always check first everyday, you provide invaluable and latest information on a lot of opportunities. If you end up making money by posting affiliate links, I think you deserve at least that for all your hard work and service to people like us who have benefited due to information on this site.

  54. Alan says:

    We’ve always appreciated the position that this blog has taken with regards to affiliate links. Given the situation where other sites will simply steal your content and profit from it, I would say better to help this blog profit than another that simply steals content.

    Please post your affiliate link with a disclaimer, when a non-affiliate link becomes available you can change it later. If anyone is going to profit, I prefer DOC to be the beneficiary. Some of us really appreciate this terrific blog and would prefer to use some affiliate links to say thank you.

  55. MarcoPolo says:

    I think everyone agrees that we want ALL the best deals.
    It doesn’t matter if DoC makes a few bucks along the way.
    I know it will be a major policy decision but as you can see from the comments above no one really cares and we would rather DoC post affiliate links than someone else.

  56. Sa says:

    DoC, go ahead and use the affiliate links. You have earned our respect already.
    If it goes so deep against your principles, can you not just dissect the links? Meaning, in the link leave only the website address and those parameters that point to the bonus, and take out all parameters that identify where the click came from. It only takes a few minutes of testing until you get it right, and it is not affiliate anymore. Do you want to send me one to try and clean? Thanks for all your posts.

  57. Riba says:

    If your business model is against affiliated income then just open a charity. It never hurts to give back to less fortunate. But if you read all the replies, you have our full trust!!

  58. John K says:

    I think you are correct to avoid affiliate links. Even if you donate the proceeds to charity, you are now obligated to say specific things in favor of specific products. I come to DoC and nowhere else simply because you don’t have to do that. I don’t know about a solution yet – I’ll keep thinking on it. But as always, keep your nose clean. Thanks, ~john

  59. dave says:

    I haven’t read what others have written, but I suspect we all feel the same– we don’t mind using your affiliate links as long as you’re fair and you give us the best offer.

  60. Brandon says:

    I love the integrity of this site, but I would go a step beyond the “only using affiliate links when no other option exists” and say you should use your own affiliate links always, unless another better offer is available, and then use that link in those cases. I love this site, and I want you guys to make a few bucks so this great content keeps coming.

  61. Eduardo Baez says:

    I don’t care if you make some money from affiliate links. I don’t care how much money you make either. It’s not my business. You deserve that money for all the time you have been serving this blog community. As long as you provide all available offers stating the main facts about them, our job is to make our own judgement.

  62. Mike says:

    Why not post about the deal, mentioning that this offer is only available via affiliate link, but without including any actual link? Let the reader decide which affiliate link to use from other sites that he/she finds themselves.

    • I don’t want to reward those other sites at all, as they just steal information without attribution. Sometimes they steal whole posts and datapoints (without linking to our site) that took 100’s of hrs to put together.

  63. Grant says:

    Will, I’m sure someone mentioned this earlier, but what if you set up a separate company where all the affiliate commissions go into and then donate all that money to charity? You can pick a few charities or ask your readers which charities they recommend. Seems like a win for the readers (we get more bank account bonuses) and needy charities (they get money).

    If a bank doesn’t like what you said about their bonus, you can remove the affiliate link and maybe list the banks email address so we can complain to them. Just a few ideas.

    • Ian says:

      Maybe setup a subsidiary blog site, so that the content their would satisfy the affiliates likings, you get affiliate $, and we get the best deal (as long as it really is the best out). I’m just worried that the affiliate programs could send you remove requests of the old posts here that they do not like.

  64. Marie says:

    I think affiliates links are traps ! You don’t want anyone to have control on what you post ! “Doctor of Credit” is “Doctor of Credit” no-one else ! Stay strong ! And thanks for ALL !

  65. Curmudgeon says:

    I see downsides to affiliate links. If you post one, then a better public offer comes along that you aren’t aware of, it can change a potential reader’s perception of the integrity of the site, even if you later change a post to show the better public offer.

    The doubt would be “did they change it because it was better, or because they got found out?”

    On the other hand, some deals simply aren’t available without an affiliate link (like that Discover one we discussed) and I can see not wanting to send your readers to another site because the deal simply wouldn’t be available otherwise.

    Trust is hard to get and easy to lose and you really don’t have an easy decision here.

    I think I would push the bank to provide a better deal for the readers in lieu of paying a referral fee. That way you could use an affiliate link, but having no vested interest you can stay impartial and above the fray.

    Maybe you could offer a hefty finder’s fee to anyone who can find a better non-affiliate link if your best current offer has to be an affiliate link. That might show you’re trying to take some of the profit motive out of it and bolster your case for impartiality.

    • That’s an interesting idea (e.g bounty for a non affiliate better link). My current plan is to just push harder for a better offer for readers and see how that goes over the next two weeks or so.

  66. Chris says:

    You already have the reputation of being THE most unbiased / Customer centric $ blog out there… So if you used Affiliate links simply because you had too – AND they didnt exist otherwise – i can’t imagine anyone else would get pissed. That being said, I understand the burden of having your content castrated… Perhaps you can use
    ‘implied language’ – and let people in the comments ‘clarify’ things for people? That would keep you ‘legally’ within their ToS i beleive….

  67. Edddy says:

    I vote “NO” on affiliate links !! I’m interested in seeing what you have come up with as a solution. Maybe offering some sort of bonus for those who find non-affiliate links as previously mentioned?.

  68. Daniel says:

    I feel like you shouldn’t be talking to the banks at all.. you don’t want them to be aware of this site so the less attention the better.. most of them will hate that you exist so lets keep it quiet. But the affiliate links are fine if it’s the only option.. I’m sure no one will be bothered that you make a little $ from it as long as you disclose it as you’ve done here.

  69. Catso Mann says:

    This blog is great, so keep on keepin’ on!

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