Another holiday season is upon us, bringing reminders from airline loyalty programs to buy all your gifts through their portals in an effort to earn extra points. It also brings my periodic reminder that choosing to do so is not always a smart idea.
Today’s example comes from FTD and American Airlines. American & FTD are offering 30 points per dollar spent on flowers. That’s a theoretically huge payout, assuming you are planning to buy flowers via FTD anyways. But you’re also not necessarily paying the same price for those flowers.
I clicked through the link in the email I received and also went directly to the FTD site. The prices on many of the bouquets are different depending on which version you choose. It turns out that FTD doesn’t pass along the “sale” price on the cobrand portal. In this example it is $10-20 in price variation; I’ve seen different numbers in the past.
Added bonus of the generic version of the site is there’s an offer for a $5 coupon if you sign up for the FTD email list; no such offer on the branded version of the site.
I won’t get in to the relative value of FTD orders versus direct from a local florist or the other challenges that come from these deals. Suffice it to say that the price you see may not be the real price for the product, especially when “blinded” by the mega points earning potential. And the companies are betting on less informed consumers making that mistake. Don’t be that guy.
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