Free and Deeply Discounted Hotel Stays, TripAlertz Will Give You Way too Much Credit for Referring Your Friends

When I ran a contest last week to give away $200 in credit with SniqueAway, what happened was that they approached me and offered me a credit. But I thought it would work better to give it away to a reader. I’ve never been much for pursuing comps, which is probably rather silly, but there ya go. It’s fun to do the giveaways anyway.

Sure, I put up my referral link because supposedly you need to be referred to SniqueAway to sign up, and somebody ought to get the referral credit if there is one, but though a couple hundred people signed up with the link I didn’t actually get anything from it (nor did I expect to) because referrers only get $25 per new member who actually buys something from the site.

That makes sense, right? Companies will pay for customers, not just e-mail addresses of people that don’t buy.

Sometimes companies will reward just signups. Modestly.

Why is why I’ve been surprised by TripAlertz.

It’s been much the rage the past few days on several blogs, I’ve seen several posts on it by Frugal Travel Guy and then yesterday I was finally hit over the head with it by The Points Guy.

  • Really, really easy to sign up. Just enter your email address and a password, no other personal information. They send you an email right away to confirm the email address you signed up with.

  • Then in the upper right corner of the page is a big orange button, “Invite Friends Travel Free.” Either send emails to your friends or use a referral link they give you, and everyone who signs up through you gets you a $10 credit. No one has to buy a thing.

Now, the website is a little bit glitchy, but don’t worry. When you sign up it may say “error on page” but your account has been created. You enter an email address and password. If it doesn’t look like it worked, it did, just log in with that email address and pasword, and you’re good.

There’s no limit to the signup bonuses. I’m sure you’re not supposed to sign up multiple times yourself with different email addresses for the referral credits, of course. But have a bunch of co-workers? Friends? Mommy groups? Just get everyone you know to sign up using your referral link, signup takes seconds, is easy, and each one earns you $10.

But what about the deals?

The first deal listed at the moment is 3 nights including breakfast at the Renaissance Aruba for $465. So 47 referrals and it’s free. Heck, 25 referrals and it’s $215 for 3 nights. They even have a space flight deal going on…

This won’t last. In a way it reminds me of the “Free iPod” multi-level marketing schemes, though there each of the people you referred had to take an action that generated income to the website. Here, all they get are email addresses and are paying $10 per email. I can’t imagine that it’s really worth building their list at $10 per email.

So sign up, then get every one of your friends to sign up for $10 apiece to you, they can get each of their friends to sign up at $10 apiece to them…

And of course you don’t have to use my referral link, as I mentioned several other folks have their own referral links available, Rick the Frugal Travel Guy has it on his website (and he sent it out to everyone whose email address he has, too!), so does Brian the Points Guy. I won’t be offended. 🙂

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. Gary I’m glad you are joining in. I actually got a negative comment for sending out an email notifying people??? Brian, Gary, Lucky , Mommy and everyone of everyone’s readers should take advantage of this offer. $10 per referral with no need to purchase anything is fast simple and can add up quickly for savings for everyone. The bigger Tripalertz gets, the better their offers will become. I recommend to al of your readers signing up with Gary’s link then creating your own referral network. Gary always enjoys a free trip and you will too.

  2. @Rick i: I considered sending you a “negative” comment, but decided against it. Posting a request for referrals on your blog is one thing, but emailing all your readers, which in the past you’ve promised would only be done for exceptional deals, is pushing it. I’ve been reading your blog for the last 18 months or so, and have benefited significantly from your postings. In the last few months, however, your emphasis seems to have shifted to employing your family and providing them with free travel through referrals (how many SPG points did your wife garner through that last promo?). While that is certainly your prerogative, I think some readers may be put off. Personally, I find credit card links (that pay you for referrals) acceptable, blog postings specifically asking for referrals somewhat less so, and emails requesting referrals over the line. Don’t get me wrong; it’s your blog and you can do what you want with it. I just don’t think that you should be shocked that some of your regular readers didn’t appreciate the email.

  3. jd thanks for the comment. I hope your opinion changes on my sending out a group email when your Tripalertz account fills up with $10 bills 🙂

  4. I’m sure this really isn’t the place to be sounding off on Rick’s policies, but somehow I’m going to do it anyway. I have to agree with jd’s comments 100%. The emphasis of the site sure has seemed to shift recently.

  5. “I’ve never been much for pursuing comps, which is probably rather silly, but there ya go.”

    Declining comps is NOT silly, because most folks will be influenced by the comp (feelings of reciprocity etc.) despite professions to the contrary.

    Your writing is the most objective and that’s the way, I suspect, most of your readers like it!

  6. Just an fyi, the cash is only good on their deals, not their hotel booking engine just in case anyone was wondering…

  7. I can’t wait to see the wailing and gnashing of teeth when referrals are “not honored”, lol.

  8. It’s tilting at windmills I suppose but I also disagree with a blanket email asking me to sign up and give someone the referral. I said as much on Rick’s blog. It’s fine on a website – we know some people earn revenue off of their blogs and I’m ok with that as long as the writer is generally clear about it (and Rick usually is). It’s another thing entirely to actively contact individuals to request said referral. That’s spam. And some of us will have to agree to disagree. But I digress..

    As far as using lots of fake email addresses, I believe someone reviewed the terms more closely. TripAlertz has the right to deny your credit if they see many sign-ups originating from the same IP address. Of course that can be worked around by the technically proficient as well.

  9. TripAlertz site is awful. I belong to Groupon Getaways, SniqueAway, Vacationist, Jetsetter, Voyage Prive, and possibly others that i’m forgetting at the moment. Most of these run decent deals at some point and I have my preferences, but all are worth a quick peruse. TripAlertz is poorly executed, properties are sub-par, and discounts are just fair. I’ve tried unsubscribing and still getting emails. Beware.

  10. I can’t get too excited about this promo because, obviously, tripalertz probably won’t be honoring all the self-referrals that now stream in.

    As far as Rick’s email goes, I personally see nothing wrong with it. He candidly admitted that signing up through his link would earn him a referral, and then encouraged others to set up their own links. What’s wrong with that? If you don’t like this kind of game, don’t subscribe to his email list.

  11. don’t count on tripalertz crediting all your referrals. i emailed a ton of people last night, four of whom replied saying they used my link. only got $10 so far.

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