Credit Card Affiliate Marketing

For years you’ve patiently suffered sales-attacks through the mail services. Now you are quietly deleting myriads more from your e-mail. Will it never end?

No. Not as long as the world functions as it is.

But perhaps you could (or even should) read some of these attacks and see if there is something for you there—maybe even a small home business (not overnight riches—run the other way when you see those promises!).

Even major, legitimate businesses are offering work opportunities for you. For example, American Express, Visa, and MasterCard all offer affiliate programs. Affiliate programs are where you advertise for another company—usually on a Web site—and the viewer goes from your site to one owned by the bank or whoever is originating the product. When the viewer buys something or, in this case, signs up for a credit card and is approved, you receive a commission.

Credit card affiliate programs offer some of the highest commissions around. In some cases you even get paid if you get someone else to sign up as an affiliate. On a current American Express site, for example, you can earn $25 for signing up a merchant, from $25 to $200 when you get someone to sign up for a credit card who is subsequently approved, and up to $250 for the sale of a gift card.

Some programs give you points for every visitor you steer to their Web site. When you have accumulated enough points, they are converted to cash.

Another type of “points program” is when you receive points for everyone you send to the site who fills out an open form for newsletters or sends in an inquiry.

American Express does not manage their affiliate program. Nor do Visa, MasterCard, or most of the banks that issue them. Instead they have an “Affiliate Partner” who is just another affiliate marketer that is one step above what you would be, and who will earn a bit for every dollar you earn.

If you have ever been in an MLM program, the people who seem to always make money are not those that promote the products of the program, but rather those who have found (or made) sales helps for the MLMers, items that are most helpful with the MLM product (such as elastic bands to hold MLM magnets on various body parts), training programs, and so forth. The “Affiliate Partners” just were at the right place at the right time with the right mindset to take advantage of these credit card companies’ need to advertise and sell more cards. Most have added these other kinds of items to help you succeed. And, in time, you can become one of them if you choose.

These Affiliate Partners also offer a variety of helps to you, the marketer: web sites; help in finding credit card affiliate programs, as well as finding and maintaining customers; and a variety of aids for building your business. In fact, if you are a novice and willing to do what you learn, many of these companies will lead you to success. Obviously, how hard you work will have the biggest impact on your success or lack of it.

However, as in any business, you need to be on the alert for charlatans, for they are in every facet of Internet marketing. If you find a link to an Affiliate Partner from the main site of the credit card issuer, as you can see on the American Express’ affiliate program page, you should be safe going with them (just be sure it isn’t a Google ad—those contain both legitimate and charlatan sites, so you will have to use more caution).

Some of the sites of credit card affiliates have made very interesting businesses out of it: helping the viewer pick out the best credit card for their needs—from companies offering cards to those with a poor credit rating, cards that offer instant approval, cards with the lowest APR, those with no annual fee, those that have frequent flyer programs, and so on.

Once you find an Affiliate Partner you want to work with, if you have chosen well they will help you pretty much step-by-step to get started and keep going. You can help yourself by carefully researching not only these Partner sites, but also the sites of other affiliates. You can usually recognize them by the fact that they offer information about several different credit card companies. The sites are usually filled with information about credit cards, or even just about credit in general, as well as credit card companies. And, of course, they will offer links to various credit card application forms.

Tips for finding the right credit card affiliate marketing program to join:

  • It should be free for you to join, even though they may have some features that have to be purchased, such as a Web site URL.
  • For either the beginner or for a very busy person, an automated program can be most helpful.
  • You should have a number of credit card companies to choose from so you can sell what you feel most comfortable promoting.
  • If the company does not offer you a Web site, they should at least offer tracking for your site(s). This will help you manage your business, especially if you branch out into more than one site.
  • Be sure to compare commissions between different Partners. Some keep more for themselves than others do.
  • The more inexperienced you are, the more help you want available to you.
  • Check those you are unsure of in the Ripoff Report (—be patient, it’s probably the slowest-loading site on the Web). If there are complaints against them, carefully check the quantity, recent frequency, and nature of the complaints. Just because there are complaints does not necessarily mean the Partner is not trustworthy (even General Electric has complaints lodged against it). You need to analyze what is there and see if it is a company you choose to trust or not.

A quick browse on the Internet turned up the following sites to help you get started. Please note that neither the author nor this site has checked them out—they are simply offered as a starting place for your own research. All of them offer affiliate programs, but some of them are also sites that can give you ideas for your own business approach—and some of them offer more affiliate programs than just credit cards.

Happy hunting—or should we say, happy finding!

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