So Chase just put out a great offer on its United card: 50,000 miles (up from the previous public offer of 30,000), plus 5,000 miles for adding an authorized user, plus the annual fee is waived for the first year. This was also an affiliate link, meaning that Chase’s affiliate marketers–some of the bigger ones include boardingarea.com, Million Mile Secrets, and The Points Guy–were set to make some good money. Here, courtesy of TBB’s Twitter feed, is what the scene looked like on BoardingArea:
This was a new offer, so most of the bloggers dutifully wrote up a post yesterday morning about it, which is exactly what I would have done if I were a big-time blogger with a sweet Chase offer to promote. And then: hey, it’s Friday, so time to relax!
Except sometime on Friday, Chase also put out an variant on this offer which was identical except it had a $50 statement credit as well. In other words, a better offer.
So to recap: Chase gave its marketers a pretty good deal to promote, then after they’d published posts on what a great deal it was, a slightly better offer comes out–one which pays $0 to the affiliate marketers. So their marketers can either promote an inferior link and look like schmucks, or they can promote the good link and make $0 just when they thought they had a lucrative new offer to promote.
MilesAbound pointed out on Twitter (warning: cheeky British language) that Chase really screwed with its affiliate marketers, and I agree. Since I’m a fan of Hanlon’s razor, I’m not saying that this is a nefarious plot by Chase to mess with their marketers. I’m just saying that if it were an evil plot, they couldn’t have pulled it off much better than they did yesterday.
(And by the way, if you’re not following me on Twitter, you’re missing out on a lot of fun.)