Shaun Carter of Holland, Michigan is just twenty years old, but he’s well on his way to becoming a dot com mogul. A critical step in his journey was ordering up a ReviewMe review for his credit card comparison website. What does this have to do with making money online? Well, InstantCredit.cc is actually a lot more clever than you think.
When John received the ReviewMe request and forwarded it my way, it almost sounded like a noble-minded website designed to help you choose the best credit card for you, weighing the different pros and cons associated with each card. Some people value low interest rates, while others may want the biggest spending limit they can possibly get their hands on. If you’re looking for sound credit card advice though, this is not the website for you.
Instead, what you get is basically a listing of a whole bunch of different credit cards, conveniently placed in categories like 0% balance transfer cards, student credit cards, and Chase credit cards. There are also links to getting a free credit report and stuff on home mortgages. What’s the kicker?
These are all affiliate links. Each and every one of them.
When you apply for the Starbucks Duetto Platinum Visa Card through InstantCredit.cc, Shaun Carter gets a nice commission cheque in the mail for the referral. The ironic thing is that at age 20, Carter is barely old enough to get a credit card himself (depending where you are), let alone make money off of getting you to apply for one. But I’m not saying that you shouldn’t apply for a credit card through this guy.
When you click on a “Apply Now” button, you get redirected to the credit card’s official website anyways, so it’s no more or less secure to apply this way than through Chase, Starbucks, or American Express directly.
In addition to ordering a ReviewMe from John, Carter went out and partook in some rather creative advertising.
Do you remember the Million Dollar Homepage? Well, someone took the same idea and created SmashMyViper.com, wherein you buy advertising space 100 pixels at a time (10×10 square). For buying a single 100 pixel block, you earn the right to key the supercar. For buying four spots, you get to drill a hole. Damage increases from there.
How InstantCredit.cc comes into the picture is that Shaun ordered a fairly large block on the SmashMyViper site that simply says “click me”. It’s bright, green, and right in the middle. Because of his efforts, Shaun’s credit card site was even mentioned in a recent Washington Times article. That’s pretty good value, especially since that article refers to his site as a credit card comparison service, rather than a money-making machine.
Even More Monetizing
While John has taken the route of promoting the credit card with the biggest referral bonus ($200 per approved Amex Blue for Business), Shaun gives priority to the cards that most people would actually be eligible for. They may not give out the biggest commissions, but he’s clearly going for volume here. Student cards, for example, are really easy to get.
InstantCredit.cc may look like a MFA (Made for Affiliates, not Made for Adsense) site, but it’s actually more than that. When you scroll down a little further, you’ll notice that it is also running a YPN skyscraper on the sidebar. There’s also a banner at the bottom. This way, he monetizes the traffic as well as the actual click-throughs on those credit card applications.
Running a Nation into Debt
We are not only a nation of debt (regardless of whether the “we” refers to Canada or the United States), we are a world of debt. People are taking out mortgages that they can’t afford and far too many people carry credit card balances for no real good reason, racking up that interest like there’s no tomorrow. We’re consumers, not savers, and a site like InstantCredit.cc just eases the process. The flashing “Apply Now!” buttons catch your attention, as do the 0% balance transfers and high reward points. What the site lacks is a sense of legitimacy, because it just looks like one big advertisement (which it is).
Will this lack of legitimacy (the contact email is a Gmail account) hurt his business? It’s hard to say, but you have to admit that InstantCredit.cc is a pretty clever design.