What Comes Subsequent? – Skift

Over the past decade, some bloggers have become millionaires – sometimes several times – by publishing excellent articles on international travel, finalizing and delving into corporate business seats and hotel rooms. This business is now in jeopardy, and it is not known when it will return.

No one knew this point better than Brian Kelly – you know him as The Points Guy – who started writing about travel work at Morgan Stanley about a dozen years ago. What started as a habit soon became a reality, with Kelly selling Americans how to use the tips to go on a “free” vacation.

A few years later, he sold his company to Bankrate, for $ 20 million, according to Business Insider. He’s still the CEO, but along the way he has made a name for himself, taking out early morning shows and sitting with Kelly and Ryan to discuss business, as well as business journalists to discuss their findings on the flight.

To the uninitiated, Kelly’s page seems to be selling aspiring trips, as it helps. But The Points Guy has been more lucrative than the business that just returns the hotel. The Points Guy, and other blogs like them, credit cards, enticing consumers to take a one-time vacation by asking for the right card. In the best case scenario, insiders say a credit card company can pay between $ 35 to $ 500 for a single card receipt via the main page. Card companies pay a lot of money because the top travelers in the world have become the highest paid customers.

Not anymore. Bloggers do not like to talk in public about their relationships with card companies, because words are a secret. But speaking on condition of anonymity, he said other card companies, including American Express and Capital One, had almost taken cash payments. Others, including Chase, were still paying, but only credit cards, not businesses, the source said.

It is difficult to blame them. Even if the card companies are starting to repay, can consumers want a new Amex? Often, people ask because they are thinking of a certain trip, but who can dream of Bora Bora now?

“We have a business credit card business, especially travel credit cards, and no one is traveling,” Kelly told July 16 at Skift’s Loyalty Summit. “Not many customers want credit cards, and credit card companies don’t have what they want.”

With a delayed business, The Points Guy has relocated employees to their company’s other websites, Red Ventures.

Others describe similar challenges. A well-known blogger, who did not want to be named in order to avoid collateral with the card companies, said shipping costs had dropped by almost 90% compared to the previous epidemic. Another, Gilbert Ott, who runs God Save The Points, said his credit card business is about 70%.

Investment was not a major factor in Ott’s business dealings, and he said he did not have as strong a relationship with the card companies as his competitors. However, he said the margins on his credit card business were huge.

“It’s so rewarding that no blogger who wants to survive can change,” Ott said. Now, he said, the money is gone.

“It’s a foregleam of destruction.”

Ten years

The Points Guy may be the only sign of a passing street and become a household name, but many others command a large audience, readers relying on the latest travel lighting, aviation news, and credit cards. The most popular are View From The Wing, One Mile at a Time, and Million Mile Secrets.

The bloggers seem to be smart now, especially the millions of newly formed. But much of what made them successful took place outside of their control.

It started more than a decade ago, when US pilot pilots were trying to raise money by investing in trustworthy programs. They didn’t want to win as many flyers as they wanted to attract those with credit cards. He wanted the best for himself.

This business is very profitable for the airline, because card companies pay for air travel at any distance, sometimes more than two cents per point. In a recent post, United Airlines, which commends its MileageP; we program about $ 22 billion, it said it earned $ 3.8 billion last year by selling miles to other people, including credit card companies. Mileage programs also have debt – they need to make the most of this free trip – but the cost of providing “free” flights is only a fraction of the revenue they earn from selling mileage.

For a flight, cards with a good reputation have excellent assets, and United would prefer consumers to have a card with their logo, instead of just saying, a card signed by Chase. But airplanes can make money even on non-existent cards. When the user transfers the land acquired from Chase Sapphire Reserve Card to United, the bank charges the flight.

Andrew Watterson, Southwest’s Chief Commercial Officer, told Skift in 2018. “Even before that, it was exciting, but I think the economy recovered and the planes were negotiated with the banks, to the point where many people were in dire straits.”

As this business expands, airlines and banks need new ways of redistributing. Many keep mail directly and some also ask airline listeners to advertise the business, sometimes giving employees $ 50 to send them properly. But nothing compares to blogs, especially when it comes to attracting the young, the affluent, and those who love to travel.

“The Points Guy was looking at a fine for something that was north of $ 300 per person on the card,” Ott said. “As far as I can tell, I think it was just outside the other people market. So when you think about it, for millions of readers a month, even if you only get a few, it’s a very good business. ”

While there is a close relationship between blogs, card companies and the travel industry, many consumers rely on the most readable bloggers, who can create or break loyal programs. Some have been criticized for making huge sums of money at card companies or airlines, while others remain independent. Few write articles against it when they believe the aircraft has a consumer opposition.

When Sun County Airlines completely changed their fidelity two years ago and revealed a credit card change, Brian Davis, a senior auctioneer, spoke to senior bloggers before the event to find out how to do it. Sun is one of the smallest US airlines, but it still cares about blogs. If he decides to resume, Davis knows, the plane could be in trouble.

“We said, ‘If we launch this app, is it a program that you can feel free to promote your customers?’ Davis said. “Their voices can catch needles. We knew a lot about brainstorming ideas out there and part of the process is to avoid misinformation from them. “

Mark Nasr, vice president of loyalty program at Air Canada, is doing the same today. His program, Aeroplan, is back soon, and on Day 1, many well-known bloggers will know all about it. Nasr lovers around them.

“Bloggers do an excellent job of actually promoting the travel industry,” Nasr said. “A lot of bloggers talk about their experiences on the trip – the places they went to, the things they saw, the experiences they had.

Will It Come Again?

Travel destinations in newspapers and magazine towels had a profound effect on the travel industry. But now, much of it is useless.

Bloggers can also experience the same thing. Maybe the world will move forward. Nowadays, a number of bloggers claim that people are more interested in credit cards, which offer less money to consumers, and less money to pay to bloggers.

However, Davis and Nasr say they expect the credit card system to return to normal while travel has resumed. And they all said they were hoping bloggers, as long as they continue to do business, take part in recovering.

There is no question that the mail order business will return. It has to, because airplanes cannot leave the area. What business would not want to invest in an asset that would cause them to go off the air and sell for two cents each? Without credit card payments, most planes would not survive.

As airlines and card companies re-enroll, Davis said consumers will still need someone to guide them on how to take the trip they want. And he predicted that some of the modern bloggers would be in the market when the business returned.

“There are places for people to act as consumers for consumers,” Davis said. “Right now, people probably don’t ask the same questions about, ‘How do I want to go on vacation in three months, and what is the quickest way to get there?’ But I think the beginnings that made the project worthwhile come back. I think there are good reasons to believe we will return to that place. “

The seller may want you to return. It doesn’t happen anytime soon, because very few people are traveling, and airplanes and banks are in the process of reducing costs. But in all companies over the last 40 years, travel cards remain strong, because they have unused power over consumers. People love the idea of ​​packing to flee to Hawaii (how rare!) Much more than they want to spend $ 2 on $ 100.

“Of all the types of cards you can have in your wallet, the ones that make you most happy are the ones that keep you in mind for all the good things you could be doing,” Davis said. “If you can give me two cards, one that gives me fuel, and one that gives me vacation, I want vacation. Gas I have to travel yet. Intelligent programs and cards that reach the top of the wallet. ”

Admittedly, the blog business in 2022 will not be the same as 2019. But some bloggers say they have noticed a shift in the Covid-19 epidemic, as the business has already begun a natural revolution.

The excitement of 2010-15 turned the bloggers into millionaires, major brands began participating in the game, hoping to make some money. CNBC and Business Insider began stealing credit cards, while Wirecutter, a New York Times website, sometimes publishes links.

“It will come again, but I can say it was different before the epidemic,” said a well-known blogger. “Credit card payments have not been seen in the last few years. This is because there are so many people in the game, and so many pages, even CNBC. There are all sorts of big companies doing credit cards now. It’s very satisfying. ”

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Photo Gallery: Guy Points moved into a new office in 2017. It earned a lot of money on credit card payments. TPG architecture

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