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FoundersCard is currently offering a special membership discount to TPG readers of $395 and no initiation fee when you sign up using promotional code FCPOINTSVIP. Senior Points and Miles editor Nick Ewen recently covered the card’s hotel discounts. Today, it’s my turn to explore the business discounts you’ll receive after signing up for the card.
I’ve taken a look at the highlights of FoundersCard business discounts and divided the partners that jump out at me into two categories: legitimate savings and faux savings. Here are my lists and brief explanations for each.
UPS – FoundersCard advertises up to a 32% discount for shipping with UPS. In order to qualify for that, your UPS account needs to have more than $1,000 per week in gross shipping charges. Below $1,000, you will save a percentage based on this chart. If your business does a lot of shipping, you could save some money here.
First Republic Bank – FounderCard members who open a new ATM rebate checking account will receive a $350 bonus if they set up direct deposit or one automatic bill pay, sign up for paperless statements, keep the account open for 90 days and reside in one of the following cities: Boston, Greater San Francisco Bay Area, Los Angeles, Newport Beach, New York City, Portland, Santa Barbara and San Diego. You’ll need an initial deposit of $500, and a $3,500 minimum balance is required to avoid a $25 monthly fee. If you live in one of the above cities, this is a good opportunity to score a free 350 bucks.
Legal Zoom – Get 20% off all products and services through legalzoom.com. I selected the service to update my will (with my new son!) and clicked through to the checkout page. I indeed got a flat 20% off the rate I’d pay without first going through FoundersCard.
UberConference – I actually use UberConference quite a bit and really like it. The 20% off coupon wouldn’t do me too much good since the UberConference Pro service I use only costs $10 a month, but nine free months of Pro service (a $90 value) is certainly a handy perk.
Dashlane – This company is kind of like AwardWallet, except instead of loyalty programs, it keeps track of all your passwords across websites. It seems like it could be useful, as you can automatically log in to any of your accounts and sync to all your devices. The site also helps you generate sophisticated passwords to help boost security. FoundersCard members get three free years of Dashlane Premium (a value of $40 per year).
AT&T Wireless – 15% off all data and voice plans greater than $30, excluding unlimited voice plans, iPad data plans and the $50 550 Family Talk plan. A discount on AT&T’s Passport packages would be welcome for us travelers, but unfortunately the 15% FoundersCard discount only applies to recurring plans.
Dell – FoundersCard advertises up to a 46% savings on Dell products and services. When you click through to the Dell FoundersCard site, the advertised savings drops to 40% off via a coupon code.
An example of 40% savings with Dell: The Lattitude 7350 2-in-1 computer is currently selling for $1,199 on Dell.com. I entered the 40% off coupon expecting to see a price around $700. Instead, Dell.com upped the price of the 7350 to sticker price, then took 40% off, resulting in a final price of $1,027.72. That is a savings of 14% — not 46%.
Shopify – The merchant, which will set up your online or in-person storefront, offers an on-going 35% discount off any of the three tiered Shopify plans. 25% off discount codes are often available elsewhere for Shopify, so this benefit alone isn’t worth paying the FoundersCard annual fee of $395 to use.
Apple – You have to submit an entry on the FoundersCard site and wait five business days for Apple to get back to discuss any discount opportunities. I have not heard back from Apple, so I can’t tell you what preferred pricing amounts to. It would have been helpful for FoundersCard to share a discount range, in my opinion. For what it’s worth, various TPG team members have reported discounts of up to 5% on Apple products (not including iPhones or new iPads / MacBook Air models) in the past.
You’ll find other discounts in categories such as workplace sharing, web services and business essentials such as conference hosting, business card printing and human resources help. The problem is that many of the partners are very location-specific (the Dallas Entrepreneur Center and eOffice London SOHO, for example) or seem like niche services that wouldn’t appeal to most people considering FoundersCard membership.
Overall, I view the business discounts associated with card membership as rather weak. My biggest peeve is the process you have to go through with some partners to even find out how big the discount is. I don’t want to wait five days for a 10% off coupon or three business days to wait for someone to contact me.
Also, as is typical with promotions and discount codes, there is always some fine print or other circumstance which negates a large portion of the advertised discount (see: Dell).
I would consider FoundersCard membership if I was an avid Vegas traveler or a Hilton loyalist due to Total Rewards Diamond and Hilton Gold status you earn with the card. The travel discounts are where any true value from FoundersCard lies.
Also of note, I frequently receive emails from FoundersCard offering a “limited time” $395 membership fee, which is often available. There are definitely some appealing opportunities to be had as a FoundersCard member, and if you are considering membership now or in the future, keep an eye out for offers that lower the annual fee to $395, such as the current opportunity available when you sign up using promo code FCPOINTSVIP.
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