Update On FoundersCard Review

by John Ollila -
10 Comments

On January 25, I wrote a piece about Founderscard and whether the travel benefits would be worth the discounted yearly fee of $295. My findings were inconclusive. They might be worth the fee for you, but they weren’t definitely for me.

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But it seems that the FoundersCard is not very fond of letting people know what are the benefits they offer. IMHO, you need to know the pricing of the benefits before you can make an informed decision to sign up or not.

In my original article, I just touched couple of benefits issues that they were actively offering in 2010 that turned out not to be exactly what had been written on their website. I decided to dig bit deeper this time.

Previous FoundersCard Benefit Problems

American Airlines Gold/Platinum Status & 10% Discounts

FoundersCard was promoting instant Gold status and Platinum status for $99 in 2010. Also, they had access to coupon codes discounting American Airlines flights by 10%.

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The above text is from TravelingBetter website that had copied it from one of the blogs touting this card for referral benefits. The comment left by American’s lawyer was removed later by the blog.

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Once this benefit became publicized, it turned out that FoundersCard didn’t have any agreement place with American Airlines. They rather had a sales agreement with one of AA’s offices.

Starwood Corporate Preferred Status

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FoundersCard was offering Corporate Preferred status (also in 2010) that comes with some SPG Gold status type benefits. This was also removed and Starwood representative made the above announcement.

How to access preview?

founderscard-trip-it

You can request preview access to FoundersCard’s website that allows you to check their hotel pricing and other benefits. Just copy paste the following link to your browser. (https://founderscard.com/membership?code=TRIPIT13) TripIt sent a blast email last week regarding this offer. You can also use the link to get the card for discounted rate of $295.

Conclusion

Quite frankly, I don’t know what benefits are for real and what are not. They had some serious issues in the past with both American Airlines and Starwood implying that they had deeper relationship with these two companies than they really had.

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  • Adam1222

    I hope you don’t accede to their baseless demands. If they threaten legal action, which would appear to have no basis in reality, there are a number of lawyers who handle abusive stuff like this for free. I’d reach out to Public Citizen if it comes to that.

  • Jamie

    It seems to me that it no longer matters what the benefits are, if they are so secretive and bullying there’s no way I’d pay almost $300 for one of their cards. yikes!

  • Martin

    in the words of “S”: that being said… their program is marketing bogus as most if not all of the discounts are otherwise available

  • MM

    Definitely a scam. Thanks for the warning.

  • http://www.samuellozano.net/ Samuel Lozano

    I have heard many good things about founderscard

    • http://loyaltylobby.com/ John O.

      Most of the reviews are done by members that are only looking for a quick referral credit and are not objective.

  • http://www.samuellozano.net/ Samuel Lozano

    Actually the review I got were from 2 close friends so I doubt their trying to get me to sign up but who knows.

    • http://loyaltylobby.com/ John O.

      You should evaluate IF the benefits for you are worth the yearly fee.

  • ChrisR

    I’m sorry to see so much hate here, but I’m happy with the FoundersCard offers I’ve used.

    My primary reason for signing up was to get the Total Rewards Diamond membership upgrade (that one renews every year and is not a “one year only” deal like some offers).

    I signed up figuring it was a bargain to get Diamond for that price (FoundersCard is normally $795, but it’s “only” $395 a year if you have an existing member refer you and I don’t know if there is still a $95 one time initiation fee these days) since to get it through gambling would yield a theoretical $6000 loss (you’d have to run $75000 through a slot machine or $150000 through a video poker machine to get Diamond through gambling).

    My Total Rewards card was upgraded to Diamond and I enjoyed all the Diamond benefits while in Vegas (there are numerous ones they don’t list on the TR website, BTW).

    I haven’t used a lot of the other features FoundersCard offers (i.e. the hotel benefits are for hotels that are so expensive to begin with that I’d never stay there, discounted or not). The other ones I have used are the Avis free upgrade to Avis First, Hertz upgrade to #1 Club Gold, Sixt upgrade to Platinum Sixt, free one year subscription to Entrepreneur Magazine and free one year of ShopRunner. No issues with any of those.

    I think whether or not membership is worth it just depends on what you use. It’s probably worth it for some, but not for others. I don’t consider them a scam. They have delivered on any offer I’ve used. I would definitely recommend looking at the offers and seeing if they are worth it to you BEFORE you sign up for anything (FoundersCard or otherwise). There may be better deals out there.

  • NYC Angels

    Founder’s Card is a scam. Unfortunately I didn’t do my normal homework before signing up for the trial membership because the invite came from a trusted third party. My mistake on that, but hopefully someone else will see this and be spared the pain. Founder’s Card told me they cancelled my membership during the trial period (when I simply didn’t have a chance to try it – not because I found of their claimed benefits to be untrue, which may or may not be the case). Then they billed me anyway and refused to correct it. Now Visa is working through the unauthorized charge case, since apparently indentured fraudulent membership is what they need to keep the parties going at Founder’s Card.