Few Changes for the Site and a Thank You

Please note this site has financial relationships with American Express and this post may contain affiliate links. Read my Advertiser Disclosure policy here to learn more about my partners.

I’m not generally a fan of blogging about blogging since it really isn’t a super interesting or relevant topic to 99% of the people who may read it, but in the interest of transparency I’ll make one of my rare exceptions today. Feel more than free to skip this post and wait for the next deal if that suits you best!

When I started MommyPoints.com almost five years ago the internet blogging world was a very different place. I started this site 100% as a hobby so I could help teach friends and family members about how we were traveling with our then one-year-old Little C on a middle class budget using miles, points, and travel deals. I didn’t really see any other sites talking about family travel from that angle at the time, and I was excited to potentially help a couple families do what we did, or at least have an outlet for my mental travel and points obsession. After a few weeks I started getting comments on posts I would write from “strangers”, and I was totally shocked that someone else was reading what I wrote…and I still am.

A while later I learned people actually made “side money” from writing their blogs, and that was an unexpected added bonus to the whole deal. I think my first check from joining the BoardingArea network a couple months into blogging was for about $25, and that was something I was really excited about and proud of at the time…and I still am. I had found something that I loved to do that actually paid a little bit of extra cash on the side! It was the best kind of hobby ever, next to earning and using miles and points of course!

After a year or so of running the site I had to make a big choice as the blog had gone from a fun occasional hobby to a daily occurrence requiring hours of attention most evenings both writing posts and doing the “behind the scenes” sort of tasks on the back-end. I couldn’t continue to do a full-time social work job, the blog, and be a halfway attentive wife/mom to an increasingly active two year old. The financial side of it all very unexpectedly supported me making a transition to it being a full-time endeavor. As a risk-adverse person I very nervously made the big leap.

You don’t have to have experience blogging to guess that it isn’t exactly the most stable paycheck out there, but very fortunately opportunities and partnerships would pop up enough to keep things pretty stable on the back-end so I could write about the deals and trips I liked the most on the front-end. I turned down way more opportunities and offers than I accepted in order to keep the content focus on the things I found to be most relevant and helpful both to my family and those nice enough to take the time to visit our site…and I still do.

One of the biggest topics and partnerships for the blog through the years was and is rewards earning credit cards. I wrote about these from the first week of running the site because they are the backbone to how we earn our miles and points. After several months of writing I learned that the various banks partner with some blogs and there was a very natural match for me to do what other bloggers had done and partner with some banks via obtaining affiliate links for rewards credit cards.

If someone happened to apply for and get approved for a credit card via an affiliate link then the blogger would get a commission. Not all cards or offers are available via affiliate links, but when the offer is the same whether or not an affiliate links is used, it made sense to use that to keep the site running while writing about something that I found to be a great tool for earning miles and points.

This set-up has been in place here for over four years, and while there has been increasing back-end work to keep all that info up-to-date and kosher with various regulations, the partnership has continued to make a lot of sense via a very natural fit of things I would write about anyway.

However, the blogging, miles, and credit card worlds are ever-changing, and while most miles and points blogs were run by individuals with laptops when I started five years ago, things have evolved quite a bit since then. Many are now actually pretty advanced and elaborate operations, which is great for those looking for the most up-to-date info out there. Some sites are indeed still run by individuals with laptops, but increasingly those are the blogs that are run as a side-hobby and not really as a full-time job. 

This site is still pretty much just me (two kids) and a laptop, and that comes with it’s pros and cons. Inability to really scale or maintain a 365 blogging pace is a type of con, and in this case it more or less means that effective Thursday afternoon there will no longer be Chase affiliate links on this site. There’s no bad blood, just business decisions that get made along the way. I’m sharing this with you because many of you have been so generous over the years to choose to use our affiliate links when applying for a credit card. I was honored that a “big bank” like Chase would partner with a little site like this four years ago…and I still am. 

Our current reality isn't glamorous...but it is good.

Our current reality isn’t glamorous…but it is good.

The focus of the site won’t be changing, and of course the same Chase offers are still out there (and will be shared here), but at least for now the formalized partnership will end after tomorrow. Not that you would, but please do not change your plans for applying for a credit card (especially since it is harder to get a Chase card for many of us now than it has been in the past), but if you have been meaning to apply for a Chase offer and want to support this site in that manner one more time, Thursday morning looks like it will be the last chance, at least for a while. 

I’ll list some Chase offers below with the Sapphire Preferred and Freedom offers being my current favorites of the ones listed since many of the other bonuses sometimes increase over the standard levels either for everyone or via referrals or targeted offers. Both the Chase Freedom® and Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card cards recently increased their bonuses, so I feel comfortable recommending those offers as the current best of the bunch in terms of sign-up bonuses.

Honestly I have been blown away by those of you that have supported this site and my family over the years via applying for some of your Chase cards here and I want to sincerely thank you. While there are many ways to support this site if you wish including utilizing our links for Amex cards, Amazon purchases, and more, the biggest thing I could really ask of anyone is that you just keep reading as you have time and as the topic suits your needs. I know things here have been a little more scattered than normal since the birth of Baby S, but life with a newborn at home does that. She will grow and things here will continue on in an ever-evolving way.

Chasing what matters the most...

Chasing what matters the most…

Thank you again and now back to hunting for the next travel deal…

Editorial Note: The opinions expressed here are mine and not provided, reviewed, by any bank, card issuer, or other company unless otherwise stated.

Disclaimer: The comments below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

Comments

  1. Thanks for keeping it real.

    All the big bloggers appear in my RSS feed every morning, and it’s always refreshing to read a post that’s written about what interests you and your family. I grow increasingly weary of the “destination insider” pieces with information clearly garnered off Wikipedia and pieces designed to drive traffic to Instagram accounts portraying indefensible extravagance.

    You’re one of the good ones. Congrats to you and your beautiful, modest admirable family.

  2. +1

    Thanks for keeping your family first, @mommypoints. I sure appreciate it.

    And please do let us know which affiliate links are the most helpful for you, moving forward. When I choose specifically which blogs I hope to support, I’d rather know which links are the most important.

    God bless you and your family!

    • Jake, thank you. This stuff is ever changing, but as of now Amex and Barclaycard as far as credit cards go. Secondarily there are things like Amazon, Silvercar, etc. But really just continuing to read is the most appreciated thing of all.

  3. Really sorry to hear about the loss of Chase links! I know that’s a ton of money that just disappeared every month; this business seems really brutal as a lot of big-name sites (many on Boarding Area) seem to have lost Chase links in 2015.

    Thanks for all you do — this is a great site and I wish you and your family the best!

  4. You’ve made the right decision by dedicating more time to your family than blogging. A true measure of success is not how much business you can bring in or what kind of car you drive, but the legacy we leave behind, and for those of us with kids is raising loving, caring, and compassionate kids who can leave their own positive mark in making the world a better place. You’re a wonderful mom and a great person and I’ve always enjoyed chatting with you at the events and it’s great to see how much you love your family and put them before anything else. Keep it up! Oh, and Chase sucks.

  5. Wow!!!! You scared me for a while. When I started reading this post I thought you were going to announce that you were ending this blog. What a relief that it is not the case. I really like reading many of the blogs on Boarding Area and some of them have turned into a big business. They post all day long about many things and mainly about their glamorous experiences that are not very reachable for most of us (who can fly first class every week on Emirates??). Your blog is closer to home. I have two boys and the things you do with your family are the things we do as well. Thus, your blog is very helpful and a source of inspiration and information that no other blog provides. Keep up the great work.

    • Santastico, sorry to scare you. I’m still here now and for as long as I can be. Hopefully that is very long into the future. Some blogs have indeed become big businesses – and good for them, truly! Clearly their formula works and is entertaining to read. Things here are a little more low key and hopefully repeatable most of the time. Thanks for your support.

  6. Thanks for this post and for taking the time to explain some of the behind the scenes information that don’t always get discussed. I can’t remember which card it was, but I did sign up for one through your affiliate link because to me, you seemed the most like a normal person. Which I guess sounds funny, but when compared to some of the other points bloggers out there, really seems to ring true. Even though I don’t have a family in the same sense as you, I always appreciate your insight and genuine attitude. 🙂

  7. @Santastico – I agree with you! That, “changes to the site and a thank you” made it sound like the site was going away forever. As a parent of a two year old who doesn’t want to sit still more than five minutes at a time, I’ve found many of the posts on this blog to be germane and relevant to our family, and totally understand about the inability to maintain a 365 blogging pace. Thanks for all the work you put in to the site.

    • Greg, sorry to scare and plan to keep it up as long as I can. Not sure how it will look as this will be a larger change on the back-end than the front for the time being. Totally understand the two year old nonstop wiggles!

  8. Sorry to hear about the loss of links. I know I personally gave you a hard time in the past for affiliate vs. non-affiliate, but I was happy to be proven wrong then and am sorry to see this income stream disappear for you. I appreciate that you’ve made this decision and decided to share it, and hope all the best for your family.

    • Alex, thanks. I’m sure I’m not perfect with anything, but I always did my best (and will continue to do my best) to have income generation for the blog not interfere with anyone that reads it getting the very best deal and info that they can. Thanks for your support.

  9. Dear Mommy Points,

    I love your posts. 90% of them have been right on for me. Although I imagine one doesn’t need to be a mom to appreciate your contributions.

    Like you, my paid work is done around the nooks and crannies of mothering. Keep up the good work. You won’t regret it.

    Thanks a bunch,
    Samantha

  10. I am so glad this wasn’t a goodbye announcement! However, I am sorry for you that you’ll be losing the income from the chase affiliate links. Frankly, many of the aspects of miles and points collecting do not appeal to me or suit my needs at the moment, but I continue to read here because you’re not just writing about the next deal or the next bonus. Your words about your family and traveling all together have been so helpful to me first as a pregnant lady, and now as a mom of a toddler.

    • Erin, glad to hear it and thanks for reading. I’m sticking around as long as I can…hopefully that is quite a while.

  11. Truly sorry to hear it. Your announcement, like everything else in your blog, was gracious and without a hint of negativity or bitterness. You are a popular read for good reason. I hope you are able to continue making a living at this and figure other ways to add income by blogging without Chase.

  12. It’s nice to see all the support you’ve received on this post and I add my voice to that. You have a refreshing and personal touch to your blog that makes it both informative, fun and interesting to read as you keep family first, but intertwined with “the hobby”. I know my wife and I will continue to keep up with your posts.

  13. You are one of the rare few whose posts are not filled with self-entitlement, self-promotion, and click baiting titles. Keep up the good work on explaining how to help others find good opportunities as you have often given me perfect leads. Thanks!

  14. Sorry to hear about your lose of Chase as an affiliate link. Like many others, I am glad that your blog will continue. Though my wife and I are retired, I have gained much useful information from reading your blog on pretty much a daily basis. Thank You.

  15. Just wanted to agree with everyone else that I’m glad this wasn’t a “goodbye” post!

    I love reading your blog even though my kids are now young adults. Although I don’t need to worry about where to place a crib in a room, somehow your trip reports are always relevant, and about places I love to visit: Paris, Disney, Park City, etc. The chances of me following advice from other bloggers about getting first class tickets on Cathay Pacific and Emirates are very slim! But a stay at the Park City Hyatt or the Walt Disney World Dolphin – yes, please!

    A side note about “helping” you out: I read your blog on Feedly and rarely click all the way through unless I want to read comments or make a comment myself. Do you know if that matters? Should I click through anyway so you get credit for the visit?

  16. I’m booked for a Silvercar next month using your referral code fyi. Thanks for everything you do! I have a 19 month old, and your blog has been a life saver when it comes to traveling with her!! 🙂

  17. Hang in there! I don’t have kids at home, mine are grown and gone and we travel alone these days but I love reading your blog and reading about your parents travels. Like others have said, I also read other blogs but don’t plan to travel first class around the world any time soon (probably never), I’m a budget minded person, even when planning with points/miles. When I read your dads post about the first class (or business class?) flight and how he felt a little out of place, I thought I’d probably feel the same way! Some trips I read about seem over the top, repeatedly.

    I raised 5 kids, and kids always come first, especially when you have a new baby. Surely things will change and you will be able to get the Chase links back.

  18. Ha, what a coincidence, MP. I just applied for a CF card yesterday using your link – consider this a small Christmas gift to you and your nice family. Sorry to hear your current relationship w/ Chase is going away, but remember, when one door closes, another one opens.

    Have a safe and happy holidays!

  19. You didn’t get into this for the $$, you did it for the passion. I wish others were so motivated. Nothing wrong with making a few $$, but I guess it’s about balance and keeping it real, it’s not hard to spot the phonies. You’ll come out way ahead, I figure. Thanks for the transparency.

  20. Just to continue with the theme of the rest of the comments…Your blog made it on my reader shortly after it started and is one of the few still there from the points and miles community. I have always enjoyed your family oriented take on travel – especially considering that we went from no kid to an almost 2 year old now over the timeframe of your blog.

    Most of all, I’ve appreciated your sincere and candid blog posts on family life and family travel. It’s encouraging to see someone else continue to travel with multiple children. Most of the remarks we get from real life friends and family on traveling with a young child begin and end with “you’re crazy.”

    So keep on fighting the good fight. Many of your fellow bloggers have all become one giant advertisement with the message of “Hey look at this credit card!!! It’s been available for 2 years, but I just got an affiliate link for it, so it is now super awesome!!!” I’ve never gotten that feel from your site.

  21. Summer, I am sorry to hear about your loss of Chase. I imagine that must be a large income stream for you. I have always enjoyed your blog and have personally applied for 6+ cards through your links. Please keep up the blogging. There is no one else out there with a family focused points and miles blog.

  22. Sorry to hear about the loss of the links. I always felt like you did a good job of keeping the affiliate $$ from influencing your content (as much as any real person can). I am no longer a beginner, and thus, don’t need or want to read every single post coming out from what have now become big money blogs. So, my routine involves reading just a few blogs regularly. Your content is fun to read and contains enough useful information to keep me coming back.
    I know this is the real world and we all have real bills to pay, so I hope that your blog keeps paying those bills. I realize that with two small ones, you’re not likely to go back to work outside the home anytime soon unless as a last resort. Hopefully this blog is able to help sustain your family financially for as long as you enjoy doing it.
    All the best!

  23. Like the others, my stomach dropped when I first saw the post, and am thankful you will continue this very worthwhile blog.
    As always, your positive attitude shines through. It’s one of the reasons I read Mommypoints. Better things will come.

  24. I’m also glad you are sticking around Summer–the first paragraph or two did look grim! Not sure whether this was Chases decision? Because you are not blogging every single day? If it was their decision that seems like a bad idea and loss for them. Or maybe somehow this ties in with Chase cards not being the best for those of us in this hobby anymore and how all the rules are changing? At any rate, it should be clear you have a ton of loyal readers and we all want to see you do well and still enjoy why you started in the first place.

  25. Thank you again to everyone who took the time to comment. Didn’t mean to ‘scare’ anyone into thinking the site was closing up shop, but likely read that way as I don’t know exactly what the next direction is yet. While losing Chase affiliate links won’t have a huge impact on the front-end of the blog in the immediate run, it absolutely will mean I have to make adjustments to keep things running on the back-end. I truly applaud those that have the time and energy to run blogs in their spare time as hobbies (as I did when I started), but with two little ones and bills just like everyone else, that isn’t a feasible option in my current reality, so I have to find a new way forward.

    While I do have some ideas, I’m not 100% sure what will work and what that will look like, and I thank you all in advance for patience and support as I try and transition to the next phase of being able to keep this my “full time” focus while not compromising the quality and content of the site…knowing that “full time” with a baby in the house doesn’t mean full time in the traditional sense, at least not right now.

    Of course how I fund this endeavor is no one’s problem but my own (well, and Josh’s perhaps), but I do think it is at least a tiny bit useful for blog readers to have an idea how a blog pays its bills both so you have the knowledge and power to support the blogs you enjoy and find useful if you wish, as well as so you can always keep one eye open to be sure that the deals/info posted are the ones that are in your best interest. When those deals/info also helps pay the blog’s bills, that is just a nice bonus.

    Anyway, thanks again for your support over the last five years and hopefully for many more.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *