How Frequent Miler doesn’t make money


When I tell people that this blog is my career, the next question on everyone’s mind is how the blog makes money.  I know this because nearly everyone asks.  For readers, I answered this, in detail, many years ago: My job? I blog. Here’s the answer to your next question…  In that post I described how the blog’s income comes from ads and credit card affiliate links. That’s still the case today.  Additionally, just as before, we only show the best public credit card offers even if it means not displaying our affiliate links.  We often sacrifice affiliate revenue to ensure that readers get the best offer.  Read that old post if you want to understand all of that better.

So that’s how we do make money.  What’s left to say about how we don’t make money?  Every now and then someone comments that we are “shilling” for this or that company; or that so and so company must have paid us a lot for a given post.  Nope and nope.

Person rejecting money being offered

We don’t shill

Google says that a shill is “an accomplice of a hawker, gambler, or swindler who acts as an enthusiastic customer to entice or encourage others.”  That’s not us.  We write enthusiastically about stuff that we’re truly enthusiastic about.  Occasionally we’ll earn some affiliate commission from that thing, but usually not.  For example, we’ve written over and over about ways to get fantastic value from the Wyndham Earner Business card.  We’ve never had an affiliate link for that card.  When I’ve written about getting great value from Wyndham points for Vacasa rentals, or when Nick has written about starting with the Wyndham business card to status match your way to a dozen or more free cruises, we haven’t earned a cent from the many people who have clicked through to sign up for that card.

Sometimes we do have an affiliate link for a card we’re excited about.  And sometimes, that affiliate link is the best public offer for that card.  When that happens, it may seem like we’re shilling for that card.  We’re not.  It’s just a happy alignment of interests.  In fact, on the Frequent Miler team, I’m the only one who can see how much the business has earned from any given card (and I hardly ever look at those numbers).  No one else would have any motivation to shill.  Everyone else on the team is paid a fixed salary regardless of what they write.  And I have no interest in shilling.  None.

We don’t accept payments for content

We write what we want to write.  Period.  Sometimes a business will inquire about paying us to write about their product or credit card.  The answer is always no.  If we think the product would be interesting to our readers we may write about it anyway, but we won’t accept money to do so.

Similarly, we won’t change our content just because an advertiser or affiliate demands we do.  Well, that’s not exactly true.  When an affiliate says that we have to put the registered trademark in the first use of a credit card name in any post, or write “terms and conditions apply” next to the mention of certain benefits, we’ll do that.  That doesn’t affect the quality of our content in any meaningful way.  But when a bank once demanded that we remove certain types of posts in the past, I said no and I lost that affiliate arrangement.  The revenue drop hurt, but not as much as it would have hurt to lose full the full control of blog content that we enjoy today.

Bottom Line

Frequent Miler is a business.  We do earn money from ads and affiliate links.  But we’ve been proudly separating the business of the blog from the content of the blog for over a decade now and we won’t stop now, or ever.

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Denise F

Greg, you still had a “day job” when I started reading FM. And I met you in Chicago in 2013. I have been dabbling in the points and miles arena since United started the MileagePlus program. I read most of the original Boarding Area blogs, but yours is the only one I’ve stuck with. Lots of good and diverse content, and it’s nice to read posts that don’t have a credit card link every other sentence. Keep up the good work and thank you!

David C

FM is my go-to source for credit card rewards. These bloggers are fun and they do look out for their readers’ interests. My wife and I can attest that our 7 months, 2player credit card applications yielded us around 2 million pts with 18 credit cards approved (wife and I) and we both still have above 815 credit score. We are both in our early, early forties…lol. And we are enjoying free flights for a family of 5, free hotels, and free cruises (2 free staterooms on Royal Caribbean sailings that we can cruise for at least 3 times a month…every month!), I am actually being subtle about our rewards, as we discreetly earned additional rewards helping our other friends and families jumped on board the credit card game with the help of FM. I appreciate the transparency of this blog, but it is up to the readers to trust FM and FM does not need to apologize to anyone who can not do proper research. This is a monetary game, so please take this seriously because it is your finance that FM is not responsible for. If you are old enough to be responsible with credit cards, you are old enough to think and research for yourself (apologies if this sounds like lecturing, but this is very wrong to read why entitled commentors do these complaints and they expect someone to spoon feed them rewards and then turn around and accuse those giving helpful tips of schiling). In the furture, I will hope to support this site by commenting with some hidden succesful loopholes I accidently came upon. I wish everyone good luck on earning easy travel rewards. FM family can count me in as a loyal reader!


A worthy blog indeed, but accepting free hotel stays and status creates conflicts that inherently undermine impartiality and thus engender distrust in readers..

Gary Steiger

I have the same policy for my website, But I found that providers of commissions did not like my posting better offers, and thus dropped me. I am surprised that you still earn commissions. I get just a few via a secondary referral company.

I don’t care. My project has never been about the money. I believe that travel is the key to intercultural understanding and thus world peace.


You folks are consistent and have been doing this for so long, I appreciate what you do and all the effort you put in.


I checked FM daily for multiple years and I am still doing it. Some folks talked trash as “what-they-believe”, but I have to say “what-I-saw”.
Honestly if I choose only three blogs, I would say DoC, OMAAT and FM. No matter what people said, YOU GUYS ARE ROCK!!!!!!!
I hope you have best-ever-days and keep post your bright ideas. From bottom of my heart, I hope you (and all FM family) keep doing what you did for years. God (of credit cards) bless you 😉

FL mom

I think OMAAT is one of the ones that is always trying to sell credit cards. But I agree, I love Frequent Miler and read it everyday.

Nate nate

OMAAT does provide links and a fair amount of CC content but they aren’t like TPG where the articles are unreadable because of all of the credit card links and side notes.


OMAAT is garbage. Unlike FM, he routinely deletes comments that legitimately criticize him or his blog.


@shilph I don’t know how you can put DoC in the same bucket as FM and OMAAT. No offense to FM, but DoC doesn’t make any commissions on credit card applications. He has no credit card affiliate links on his blog. He is truly independent.


It’s simple. His bucket is: “blogs I like to read”.


You guys are such shills! I can’t believe you would write such satire like this. It is obvious you in the hands of credit card and airline companies!! You write and talk about Vacasa through Wyndhym nonstop, no one talks about something that much without getting paid to do so.

I hate this blog!!! You came very close to releasing all my Unicorns to the peons. If the average person can’t spend 10 hours a day shitposting and reddit and the blogs like me, they don’t deserve easy AA status and couch MS methods.

Adam K

I take the above comment to be intended as sarcasm, though admittedly it might have been nice if that intent had come through a little clearer.

I can certainly agree with OP that this blog is regularly full of “unicorns” and that it saves a person from otherwise needing to spend 10 hours per day doing their own research!

Dugroz Reports

Agree it appears to be actually a compliment in the form of sarcasm. Surprised so many people downvoted.


Remember It’s not always show the best offers! last year I applied Chase IHG 140k, later find out through USCREDITCARDGUIDE there’s a 140k+$100 Offer, I tried to report to your website but can’t find easy way to contact, so always do your homework don’t just believe this is the best offer available.


I will say I too find it hard to contact you FM with useful information. The reach us on FB is useless for those of us that don’t have or want to use FB. Wanted to give you guys a heads up about business availability through ANA to AKL back in the spring, but can never find a good way to reach out.

Nick Reyes

Regarding the best offer, we certainly endeavor to always have the best one listed. That’s obviously on us to seek out and we certainly work to make sure to know about the best publicly-available offers. That said, if and when you find something better, please do reach out and let us know — we absolutely want to get that changed right away when there is something better available (and we have indeed listed that 140K + $100 offer in the past, so I’m not sure if you simply found it before we did or what happened there).

In terms of contacting us, I am surprised to hear both of you saying that it is hard to contact FM with useful information. You have quite a few options:

  1. Comment on any post or page. For instance, a quick comment on the card page for the IHG card would have gotten our attention to let us know that you’d found a better offer.
  2. There is an envelope icon in our main menu (just to the right of “About Us” on desktop or at the bottom of the menu when you hit the hamburger menu icon on mobile). That envelope is meant to be the universal “contact us” symbol and it takes you to our contact page where you can find the several different addresses where you can contact us depending on the inquiry is about.
  3. At the bottom of any page on this site there is a link that says “Contact Frequent Miler” that also brings you to the “Contact Us” page.
  4. If you listen to the podcast, you may hear us mention at the end of every episode that you can send comments or questions to mailbag at frequent miler dot com. That also works.

I’m sorry to hear that you guys didn’t find any of those options more intuitive. Do you have any suggestions as to how we can make that more obvious / accessible?

Dugroz Reports

Hey Nick! I can’t speak for them, but the little envelope icon on the main menu (desktop, chrome) is very light on my screen — I don’t think I ever noticed it till just now. FWIW.


I find out better offer after I was approved, regarding contact us, now I see it from mobile site a little icon under about us, last time when I try to report I click about us and find out under each person’s name there’s no email


Chase has a pretty good record of ‘matching’ better offers, when you ask. Worked for me earlier this year when I got the CSP and 5 weeks later they upped the offer.


Over the years, I have subscribed to multiple other BoardingArea blogs. As of today, FrequentMiler is the only one I still maintain a subscription to.


Your site/blog is a class act!


You have given me so much great info leading to fabulous travel opportunities that I would never begrudge you a money-making opportunity, so long as it benefits your readers. Keep up the good work!

Dugroz Reports

Here here!!!
FM is definitely my favorite, too.

IR Guy

Darn, I did use FM’s link for the Wyndham Rewards Earner’s Business Card and got approved thinking it would help the blog.


It is nice that you addressed this issue but I will not give oxygen to this topic so the whiners will feel small and ignored. I appreciate that your blog educates us ways to maximize our hard earned miles and points, without exploiting the opportunities to the max that the banks and hotels will clamp down the abuses. It is a win win for all of us. However, I hope your blog will cover more trip reports in the “off beaten path” countries in Asia, Africa and South America. First, the residents in those areas will be ecstatic to bring their countries to the forefront in the travel world. We will learn more about the forgotten part of the world by reading their comments and suggestions. Secondly, it helps readers, like myself, to plan our travel plans that require hiring dependable tour guides to explore the unknown and tricky countries.

Raghu Narayanan

Just to add to my comment. I started USMint coin buying for MS with PFS, which I read in one of FM team’s blog posts. I have purchased coins worth over $26K from US Mint for PFS and have sent it to them. Always the checks come on time. More than that they have earned my trust. I have never seen them, everything through email.
As the old adage goes a man is known by the company he keeps. Kudos to FM team!!