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New The Points Guy Membership Program

by on February 16, 2011 · 10 comments

in Points Guy Pointers

UPDATE: Membership is no longer available.

Over the past year, I’ve really enjoyed getting to know the readers of The Points Guy and I’ve tried to incorporate your feedback as much as possible. One of the things I hear almost daily is that I need to launch a weekly newsletter and provide breaking updates on amazing time-sensitive deals, like the $150 roundtrip tickets to Europe deal I wrote about yesterday.

In an effort to take my commitment to the next level, I’m officially launching an optional membership program. Nothing is changing about the basic services – the blog, RSS, and 6pm email updates will still be free.

The new membership levels and benefits are:

Enhanced

- Daily email of posts with a quick summary of key information, ad-free, and delivered daily at 8am EST, generally an hour before they post to everyone else

- Weekly newsletter subscription highlighting the key deals and stories of the week and upcoming expiring offer

Annual fee of $35

Premium

- Daily email of posts ad-free and delivered at 8am EST, generally an hour before they post to everyone else
- Weekly newsletter subscription highlighting the key deals and stories of the week and upcoming expiring offers
- Email blasts of breaking deals, like mistake fares and limited time offers (these emails will be rare, but when they occur, they will be valuable)
- Choose either 1) Award booking benefit: 2 award tickets at 50% off ($50 per ticket fee instead of $100+) or 2) 30 minute phone consultation and evaluation of your current points and miles strategy
Annual fee of $100

VIP

- Daily email of posts ad-free and delivered at 8am EST, generally an hour before they post to everyone else
- Weekly newsletter subscription highlighting the key deals of the week and upcoming expiring offers
- Email blasts of breaking deals, like mistake fares and limited time offers (these emails will be rare, but when they are sent, they will be valuable)
- 30 minute one-on-one phone consultation and Q&A (a $75 value)
- Access to my private email address so you can contact me directly for clarification on any of my posts or offers
Award booking benefits: 4 award tickets at 50% off (fees range around $100 per ticket)

Annual fee of $200

To purchase membership;

Payment Options
Email Address

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  • John C

    Boo, don’t sell out! I think I speak for everyone else when I say I love your blog and would hate to have to stop reading it/ using it when you start charging (i.e. Spirit charging for carry-on bags).

  • The Points Guy

    John- nothing is changing in terms of content- everything is free- including RSS, Twitter and daily emails. I’m only charging for ad-free emails and other services that require my time, like award bookings.

    Gotta pay the bills somehow!

  • Ed

    Okay, I would venture to guess that 95% of your readers are “bargain shoppers”. We love a good deal, otherwise why care about free travel?

    So, looking at your 3 paid programs, it’s hard to see the cost/benefit. Let me do a little analysis…and I do this only trying to be helpful (so that maybe you can tweak your offers).
    * first of all, ad-free is not a big deal, for me and probably most others.
    * Early emails are okay for east coasters who are up at 8AM but worthless for other time zones.
    * Weekly newsletters: about the same as reading 5 separate blog posts
    * Discounts on your ticketing service: it’s a wash and it presupposes that I will need your service that year. Actually, I’m considering it but why commit ahead of time, if you see what I mean?
    * Consultation on the phone: Hard to tell if this is really worth 150/hr.

    The one thing that MIGHT be interesting is the breaking deals blast. That presupposes that you are monitoring all of the sites constantly and can verify a deal and blast something out in a very timely manner. Maybe you are but there are other sites doing this too so you would have to have some extra value there: I would suggest some sort of private tweet/text message when the deal is hot.

    You could also consider sharing “secret deals and tactics” to your membership, like how the fuel dump trick works, timing for CC apps, etc.

    Sorry for the long post. I actually wouldn’t mind paying for some premium service but I’d like to get some *extra* value that I could really use out of it.

  • The Points Guy

    Ed- thanks for the feedback. When rolling out these options, I definitely knew that a lot of people, especially deal seekers (like me) wouldnt take advantage of it – and that’s why nothing has changed with what I currently offer for free- daily tips and advice and pay per ticket award booking/ consultation.

    However, there are a good amount of people who can’t keep up with daily posts and would like an extra layer of simplicity and detail to all the deals. Its the same concept with the award booking and program consultations- I don’t expect the most savvy bargain hunters to use those services- but more people whose time is more valuable than trying to do it on their own. Basically what I’m saying is that if you want to become “in the know” and have me do the dirty work for you, there’s a package to do that.

    I’ll definitely tweak this as time goes on and really appreciate everyones feedback. If you don’t want to comment here, feel free to email me at [email protected]

  • Ed

    BTW, I just wanted to add that I’m really glad I discovered your blog the other week. I monitor a lot of them out there and, by far, yours is pretty much the best: non political, well-written, not elitist, not ego-centric. Etc. The only other one that’s a good complement to your is TMTravelWorlds’s—he sometimes finds and does stuff that no one else does, like analyzing how to maximize a Continental Milethon promotion.

    There is one “gap” that all of the bloggers are missing today, AFAIK: how to address the “family” travellers. This means getting 3 or 4 tickets, usually coach. All of “you travel blogger guys” seem to single (or with one mate), and never fly coach. So, if you know of a blog that talks to family guys like me, please let me know.

    Keep up the great work!

  • The Points Guy

    Good point Ed- I actually just booked low level coach awards for family of 6 from LA to Athens im August for 55,000 Continental miles per ticket. I’ll write a post about it and give some tips- should be up tomorrow!

  • James

    Really great website – my most-visited travel site by far. Saw your Delta deal and got together a group of friends to do JFK-Stockholm for $150 a person – amazing stuff!

    I also tried to do the same deal for Berlin immmediately after booking Stockholm, but during the course of booking the price went up by $360 – Delta clearly worked out what was happening. Timing is everything…

    So: I’m excited to sign up for the newsletter and future breaking deals – these types of deals vanish so quickly that having the information early is hugely valuable, making membership a no-brainer, at least to me. Thanks again and keep up the good work.

  • mark

    In very short order, this has become one of my favorite blogs.

  • Minerva

    Follow quite a few sites & love yours! But, I would have to agree with Ed, that all of you guys are missing a huge part of the traveling population – families. Some advice about coach bookings for multiple people, usually during peak travel would be most helpful. I know a lot of my friends would be interested in this & I think you can significantly add to your followers by covering something that no one else cares about. Just my opinion…

  • http://twitter.com/skyvan Andrew Fielding

    How about just a signup for the breaking stuff? I’d pay $10 bucks a year to be alerted of mistake fares.

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