It was the best of cards, it was the worst of cards…
A certain blogger has written up two similar cards: the Barclaycard Arrival Plus and the Capital One Venture. The two cards are pretty similar. Consider the relevant details:
BARCLAYCARD ARRIVAL PLUS: 40,000-point sign-up bonus. 2.2% rewards, which are “miles” that can be redeemed for travel expenses. $89 annual fee waived the first year. No foreign transaction fees.
CAPITAL ONE VENTURE: 40,000-point sign-up bonus. 2% rewards, which are “miles” that can be redeemed for travel expenses. $59 annual fee waived the first year. No foreign transaction fees.
It almost sounds like the same card, right?
You might think that the same blogger would have similar things to say about both cards… but you’d be wrong. See, this blogger has a credit card affiliate link for the Arrival Plus, but not for the Venture. If you sign up for the Arrival Plus using his link, he’ll make somewhere in the neighborhood of $100. If you sign up for the Venture using his link, he’ll get $0.
It’s possible to have affiliate relationships and still be ethical in your reviews of said credit cards. However, there’s always the temptation to let one’s judgment be clouded by dollar signs. I’m going to give you a few quotes from this blogger and let you decide whether or not he/she is doing things the right way.
- Capital One Venture: The article title: “Why You SHOULDN’T Get The Capital One Venture Card”.
- Barclaycard Arrival Plus: “I find that this is one of the best cards to recommend to friends.” And in another post: “One of the most compelling new offerings from Barclaycard is the Arrival World MasterCard, which is an extremely lucrative travel cashback credit card.”
On the Cashback vs. “Mile” Rewards
- Capital One Venture: “…unlike the Capital One Venture Card, the rewards earned on the Citi® Double Cash Card [note: the blogger also has an affiliate link for the Citi card] can be spent on anything, and not just travel.”
- Barclaycard Arrival Plus: “A lot of people would say actual cash back is more valuable than cash back towards travel. For me that’s not the case, and I am guessing for most people reading this blog, that’s not the case either. Unless you spend less on travel than you’d earn in rewards, it’s the same thing. And that’s simply to say that the same amount of cash back would be equally valuable to me regardless of which form it came in.”