Has Chase Sapphire Reserve Launched? It Depends Who You Read

The Chase Sapphire Reserve card launch yesterday for in-branch applications and this morning for online applications. It is the biggest card launch of the year and has attracted mainstream interest. Reddit Churning has been abuzz.

Blogs in this space should be frothing with excitement. Except for the specter of affiliate commissions. This is a subject that generates heated debate and internet nastiness that I generally stay clear having nothing to add. This tweet from The Points Guy reader prompted me to dive in and post this piece for consumer education purposes:

Here is a The Points Guy reader inquiring about the card’s benefits. Chase used that site as a backdoor official PR announcement of the card so this reader naturally looked there for more info. It may be the only site that he reads on this subject.

At The Points Guy, the big stories of the day include 8 Stylish Travel Pouches for Men.

Travel Pouches for Men

When asked by another reader on the lack of coverage, The Points Guy’s position was clear to those who know internet marketing.

The ‘it’ is an affiliate link that will pay commission to The Points Guy for successful card applications using that link. It is the cookie-based technology that allows Chase to match the referring marketer to the card application.

If this is new to you, now you see why the subject is controversial.

The positive: bloggers can use affiliate links to generate the revenue that makes blogging possible. It can be an alternate to paid subscription/paywall models. Readers can use them as a vote of support for a blog, paying out of some big company’s checkbook.

The negative: conflicts of interest are inevitable in advertising. In credit cards the ‘best’ offer may not be through an affiliate, causing conflicts of commission where inferior offers are touted. The card may not even be in an affiliate network, prompting conflicts of omission, not mentioning a card because it does not pay.

Chase Sapphire Reserve is coming to Chase affiliates but isn’t here yet. A blogger in the Chase affiliate network can tell readers the card is live and ask them to consider holding off an application. Or, be silent to maintain a walled garden around the blog.

Though I have dabbled with affiliates in the past I am not currently active with any so do not have to make this case this time. I continue to wrestle with ways that I will be comfortable to monetize this blog should I move from hobby to vocation.

As a reader of blogs in travel and personal finance, the Chase Sapphire Reserve case should be a valuable tool to guide you in deciding what information sources you use and how to evaluate their content.

Two blogs that I have read for information on Chase Sapphire Reserve are Doctor of Credit, which broke many of the leaks on the card, and Miles to Memories, which has doggedly documented every development and card benefit. I directed that The Points Guy reader over there for his card benefits questions. Both blogs have their own stated policies to monetization that you can consult.

Other blogs that I read and respect are Chase affiliates and have today posted the application link even though not an affiliate link. I will consider waiting to apply through one of them to support their efforts.

Lastly, while I prefer openness over silence, this post is not intended to be an attack on The Points Guy. Rather, as working directly with Chase, the site has taken a prominent, if tardy, public position on the card. I would applaud if there were more transparency on the site rather than relegated to twitter comments. Here is a reader that appears unaware of affiliate marketing, did not see the link, so went out and found her own:

Conversely, there are readers who want that link specifically to support the site.

Those readers requesting the affiliate link is how things should be: informed consumers making considered decisions to support companies they respect. Few websites are going to educate us to that level so it is incumbent on ourselves to do our homework.

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  • Evan

    I was already approved today!

  • @Evan – great, I spent yesterday and this morning in DL flight cancellation transit mess so haven’t tried for mine.

  • john

    ehm, so the one thing I dont really get is the rush everyone seems to be in and creating? Its not like they are going to sell out or something. What am I missing? Yeah, sure the offer might go away, but it might come back.

    I do however agree that it is a fascinating case study. What a circus over a credit card. Having also been thinking about starting a business (not online), it is really fascinating how much the world has changed in the last ten or so years that people are wealthy from blogs. Its so difficult to comprehend that there is so much money floating around the blogs.

  • @john – a lot of the cash is specific to credit card blogs, and those who can get in on the action increasingly narrowed to those like TPG and FTG owned by large web marketers.

    The card is good in some respects, like CSP a lot is fantastic marketing rather than real value. Those $300 travel credits sound fun till you start calling to get them. Etc, etc. I see it as a bonus worth two lesser cards, if I can get the two lesser cards then I am just as happy.

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  • Jordan

    Great article mentioning what most bloggers would never mention.

    Just wanted to point out that for the reserve you don’t need to call for the $300 travel credit. It’s apparently automatic. ( was mentioned in a previous comment about calling in)

  • @Jordan – thanks for the correction. I thought it was to be like the old Ritz-Carlton travel credit process which was tedious and inconsistent.

  • I finally found the pouch I was looking for, thanks TPG! 🙂

    Okay, great post. Enjoy the three extra clicks coming from my blog tomorrow!

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  • @TravelBloggerBuzz – I was just watching The Wire Season 2, the bit about the raid on the brothel and they made a point of fitting the fake Brit with a man purse.

    From IMBD:

    Asst. State’s Atty. Rhonda Pearlman: It’s a man’s purse. European men like yourself sometimes carry one.

    Det. William ‘Bunk’ Moreland: [mumbles] Hm. Them people ain’t right over there.

  • P T

    Thanks Stefan. On the money as usual. I’m applying in-branch. Rather support my banker who is scraping by.

    I’m one episode behind you on The Wire. Hubby and I are hooked.

  • @P T – I have found it difficult to watch on planes and subway, the adults only scenes pop up just when someone looks over my shoulder.

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