Many credit card companies focus on attracting new customers through the use of affiliate credit card marketing programs. Instead of relying solely on their own websites to market their credit cards and other products and services online, credit card companies often offer generous commissions to companies and individuals who incorporate affiliate advertising links and banners onto their websites.
Understanding Affiliate Credit Card Marketing Programs
Recognizing Credit Card Affiliate Sites
When you come across a website that contains information about offers from several different credit card companies, chances are that you're viewing a credit card affiliate marketing site. These websites are typically populated with information about credit, credit cards, credit card companies, and links to credit card application forms.
Rather than focusing on marketing one particular company's credit card programs online, affiliate sites typically contain links which let you access application forms for numerous credit card providers. Basically, if you fill out an application directly from the website of a particular credit card company, you are not applying through an affiliate program. If you click through to a credit card application form from any website that isn't directly affiliated with a credit card company, you're applying through an affiliate program.
How Affiliate Sites Generate Revenue
The credit card companies don't pay to advertising on affiliate program websites. Instead, the people or companies that own and operate the sites earn commissions for site visitors who are approved for credit cards from the companies whose advertisements appear on their websites. Depending on the terms of particular affiliate programs, in some cases site owners also earn a fee for each person who submits an application, whether or not the application is approved.
Many people and companies set up websites specifically for the purpose of participating in credit card affiliate marketing. Website owners who do this often participate in programs such as the ones offered through CardOffers.com and SiteMighty. Others add credit card affiliate marketing program banners and links to existing sites or ones they create themselves, after becoming approved as affiliates by advertisers who participate in affiliate marketing programs through organizations such as Commission Junction.
A Few Cautions
It's important to realize that practically anyone who wants to do so can create a website that includes credit related content and tie it to credit card affiliate marketing programs. The information provided on such sites may or may not be valid and reliable. Some have very thoroughly researched, well-written information, but this is not always the case. Before you rely on articles and statistics that you find on these types of websites, make sure you check the facts.
It's also essential to make sure that any credit card application you fill out online is truly a legitimate application form and not some type of scam designed to capture your personal information. Credit card affiliate sites contain links to application forms, but not actual applications. When you click a link to apply, make sure you're being directed to the website of an actual credit card company.
Before you enter any personally identifiable information, verify that you're on a secure website, which you can tell by looking at the URL. Make sure it begins with "https" rather than just "http". The "s" indicates that the site is protected by a secure socket layer (SSL). This indicates that information is being transmitted in a secure manner, via a website with a SSL security certificate.
If you get an email marketing message urging you to click on a link to apply for a credit card, don't provide any information if the link takes you directly to a fill-in form. This is true even if the form appears to be on the site of a legitimate credit card company. This technique is often used by criminals trying to gain access to personal information for the purposes of committing identity theft.
Benefits of Credit Card Affiliate Programs
There can be many benefits associated with affiliate credit card marketing programs, and they can offer win-win solutions for consumers and Internet marketers alike. They provide website owners an excellent opportunity to earn revenue utilizing Internet marketing, and make it possible for Internet users to research and compare credit card offers online fairly easily. Don't lose sight of the importance of keeping yourself safe when conducting business online. As with any type of online business transactions, remember how important it is to use good judgment about sharing personally identifiable information.