If you’ve followed my blog for a while, you’ll know I like to stay in great places, and get VIP treatment by taking advantage of upgrades usually reserved for the rich and famous. One of the principles I teach in my travel hacking book The Freedom Project is that having access is key. It’s the experiences that matter. Hypothetically speaking, if my neighbour owned a Porsche and would give me his spare key so I could use it any time I wanted, I have access to the experience I want without having to own it, or having to pay for anything (other than gas). That’s travel hacking in a nutshell: getting access to certain experiences simply because you have the “spare key” that gives you access.
My new favourite card, also called the “elite black card for entrepreneurs” is FoundersCard. In a previous post I discussed how they got me to Diamond status with many Las Vegas hotels without breaking the bank. Some simple math revealed I get the same treatment as someone who’s willing to gamble upwards of $25,000 in a single day or about $65,000 annually. Trust me when I say I work hard for my money and I’m definitely not gambling that much. The high roller experience on the other hand, I do enjoy. It’s about having access.
FoundersCard has many great relationships with various merchants, many of those being hotels and airlines. The “downside” is that it’s a private community: aspiring members have to go through an application process for which the acceptance rate hovers around 65%. On top of that, membership isn’t cheap. The annual membership fee is currently $595, however many don’t pay full price as discounted rates are sometimes available. If you use FCWILKO735 at signup, you’ll qualify for a locked-in annual rate of $395.Learn more about FoundersCard
The big question: Is the FoundersCard membership fee worth it?
As always – it depends. Let’s explore some of the benefits that a FoundersCard membership gets you access to. In addition to the travel benefits with airlines and hotels, FoundersCard offers a long list of fashion, lifestyle and business discount programs – in total way too many to include here. Fashion/Lifestyle and Business-focused discount opportunities, and members also receive invitations to cocktail parties and networking events around the globe. There are over 100 different benefits and discounts, truly too many to list here.
Some popular discounts come from well-known vendors like Trunk Club, Apple, Dell, Dollar Shave Club, and many more. In short – There’s a lot to choose from.
Speaking of selection: Not to be missed are the discounted car lease or purchase programs through both Audi and BMW, which in itself is enough to cover your membership fee for years to come.
Elite Travel Benefits
Some of my favourite benefits are the elite travel rewards, including fast-track elite status with airlines like Cathay Pacific, Virgin, British Airways, JetBlue, Qantas, American Airlines, Emirates and Singapore Airlines. Discounts, complimentary hotel room upgrades and other VIP benefits at hotel chains like Hilton, Caesars Entertainment, Marriott and many others will by itself make your membership fee an absolute steal – assuming you use them.
The benefits I’ve received from FoundersCard far outweigh my annual membership fee, and many of their benefits provide enough value that a single benefit will cover the entire membership fee. Remember that code FCWILKO735 will get you a locked-in annual rate of $395.Learn more about FoundersCard