I have learned a lot of things at the various conferences that I’ve attended over the years. I’ve learned things both personally and professionally. And one of the best things I learned about was the FoundersCard.
I was out to eat with several of my colleagues in Las Vegas when I first heard about the FoundersCard. Several of my friends were talking about how they got free hotel rooms, free upgrades, and more awesome perks from using their Founders Cards.
They talked about the membership paid for itself and more just on that one Las Vegas trip I then inquired about how I, too, could take advantage of these deals. They were all eager to refer me. Why so eager? Because they would earn a referral fee.
But I didn’t jump on the bandwagon right away as I wanted to do my research before “investing” my money into a membership. I wanted to make sure the FoundersCard membership wasn’t a multi-level marketing (MLM) scheme. MLMs to me are scammy and cult-like.
- What is the FoundersCard?
- FoundersCard F.A.Q.s
- Personal Perks of the FoundersCard
- Diamond Caesars Rewards
- Upgraded Travel
- Free Entrepreneur Magazine
- Other Notable Perks
What is the FoundersCard?
FoundersCard offers “extraordinary benefits for entrepreneurs” and partners with leading airlines, loyalty programs, car rental companies, and innovative travel brands. Over 100,000 entrepreneurs and business executives currently receive unprecedented benefits and networking opportunities with the FoundersCard membership.
Members receive VIP travel privileges such as complimentary elite status, priority check-in, savings off standard fares, access to unique global travel solutions, and complimentary travel membership solutions. But the benefits go way beyond travel. This is why I’ve kept my membership even after the pandemic started and I stopped traveling.
Here are some frequently asked questions that I’ve been asked. I also wondered these same questions myself. Therefore, I did the research to answer the questions for you and myself.
Is FoundersCard an MLM scheme?
No. I can assure you that FoundersCard is definitely not an MLM scheme. Yes, if a person refers you, that person will receive FCPoints. Those points can be redeemed for gift cards. But I’ve found that I’d need to refer a lot of people to actually have enough points to redeem.
Update: The COO of FoundersCard stumbled across my blog post and clarified that earning points is easier than I thought: One referral is 20,000 FCPoints, and the first points redemption mark is 50,000 points. So, after 3 referrals, you’re eligible for a $200 gift card!
Do I need to own a business to join?
No, you do not have to own a business to apply or join. But you must be an entrepreneur or business executive. If you are reading this, it’s likely that you are similar to me. And like me, I’m always looking to make an extra buck. You don’t have to own a company to be an entrepreneur. If you have a side hustle, you are considered a sole proprietor and thus an entrepreneur.
Do I need to be invited to the Founders Card club?
No, you can apply directly at FoundersCard.com. But it’s advantageous to be invited for two reasons:
- Being referred gives you almost instant access to join. You are more likely to be accepted when referred by an existing member.
- The price is lower when signing up through a referral link. Here’s mine.
How much is a FoundersCard membership?
Normally a FoundersCard membership is $595 + $95 initiation fee = $690. But if you sign up through my referral link, you can join for $495. That is $100 off the regular cost. Plus you don’t have to pay the $95 initiation fee saving you $195 dollar.
I know $495 is a lot of money. But keep reading to see how much money having a FoundersCard has saved me. We are talking thousands of dollars! Plus the perks of all the upgraded statuses are really fun not to mention a huge boost to one’s ego!
Personal Perks of the FoundersCard
There are so many benefits to having a Founders Card that I couldn’t possibly name them all. So I’m going to list the benefits that I personally have taken advantage of. You will then see how much money I’ve saved by investing in a FoundersCard membership.
Diamond Caesars Rewards
I would say the Caesars Diamond status is the biggest benefit of all for most people. It in itself offers several benefits on top of the existing benefits. So let’s get to it.
Normally to reach Diamond status, one must earn 15,000 tier credits. Tier credits can be earned by gambling (receive one tier credit for every $5 – $10 gambled and varies by game). Tier credits can also be earned by hotel stays and using the hotel’s amenities (receive five tier credits for every $1 spent).
One would have to gamble $75,000 on slot machines or $150,000 on video poker to earn enough tiers to qualify for Diamond status! That’s a lot of money. And I don’t gamble.
One could also qualify for Diamond status by racking up $3,000 in hotel charges. That sounds more logical than gambling. But the FoundersCard automatically gives you free Diamond status without earning any tier credits!
The Traveling Well For Less blog shows other ways how to earn Caesars Diamond status without gambling, but concludes that a Founders Card membership is the fastest way.
Caesars Diamond Rewards Benefits
You can see a full list of Caesars Rewards Diamond benefits on their website, but I’m going to highlight the ones that I personally have taken advantage of.
$100 Celebration Dinner
Receive $100 credit every year at any restaurant on a Caesars property. Ted and I have enjoyed a few dinners at the 360 Steakhouse which offers a spectacular view of Omaha from the 12th floor of Harrah’s casino in Council Bluffs.
Free or Discounted Hotel Stays
Caesars offers over 50 hotel destinations to choose from. Keep reading to see how I got free and greatly reduced hotel rooms in Las Vegas and the Bahamas.
No Resort Fees
A daily resort is a fee that properties charge their guests for their amenities. When you book your stay, they never include the resort fees in the initial booking costs. You are usually blindsided by them when you settle up upon checking out.
Resort fees really add up, especially in Las Vegas. Las Vegas Jaunt reported that the average resort fee per night is $31.89 per hotel! And that’s before sales tax is added.
Paying no resort fees at Caesars’ properties is a big money saver. Not to mention their resort fees include free wifi which is nice.
Complimentary Valet & Self-Parking
This is nice if you are driving to one of the hotels so you don’t have to pay for parking. Although if you use valet, it is still nice to tip the valet.
Step ahead of the line with priority check-in at hotels, restaurants, casino cages, and the Caesars Rewards counters. Look for the Diamond entrance to avoid the crowded lines. If the restaurant does not have a separate entrance for Diamond members, flash your card to the host when you ask how long the wait is. Doing this at Guy Fieri’s restaurant in Las Vegas got us seated immediately while others had to wait an hour!
Complimentary access to VIP Laurel Lounge
Casinos used to have dedicated Diamond Lounges in every casino (that I saw anyway) where they served free drinks. They seem to be doing away with these, but they still have nine Laurel Lounges across the nation. Luckily, I live near two of them that are located in Council Bluffs. They offer free drinks, free food (buffet style), and even free ice cream. With my Diamond card, I am allowed to bring in one guest. B that guest must have at least a Gold Caesars Reward card. If your guest does not, they will sign them up right there within minutes.
Free Show Tickets
Diamond members can receive up to two free show tickets per month as well. You’ll need to ask what the current free show offerings are.
Unfortunately, when my daughter went to Las Vegas recently, there were no free shows in Vegas available during the time she was there. They told her it was due to the pandemic since the shows have cut back the days they are performing. Hopefully, as the world opens back up, more shows will soon be available soon.
Tier Status Match with Wyndham Rewards
When you link your Caesars Rewards account to your Wyndham Rewards account, your status will be matched. So I am now a Wyndham Diamond member. Wyndham hotel chains include:
- Days Inn
- Dolce Hotels & Resorts
- Howard Johnson
- La Quinta
- Super 8
- Trademark Collection
Las Vegas Trip Recap
In January 2020, I attended Affiliate Summit in Las Vegas, Nevada to learn more about affiliate marketing. And I brought Ted along for the ride. Coronavirus had been discovered days prior in China. But no cases had been confirmed in the United States as of then.
The conference was held at the Paris hotel. I always like to stay at the conference hotel. That way I don’t have to walk or take a cab or Uber to the conference. Plus it’s nice if I want to freshen up or take a quick nap during the day!
The conference rate for the Paris hotel was $249 per night. With the conference being three days long, that would require a four-night stay. I definitely did not want to fork over $1000 just for the hotel.
I logged into my Caesars Rewards account to see if I could get a better rate with my Diamond Status. When I put in the dates, I was able to book rooms at Bally’s for only $24 per night! I saved over $900 booking with my Diamond status. That alone was well worth the cost of the FoundersCard membership. Plus I didn’t have to pay resort fees which would’ve cost more than the actual room!
If you’ve been to Bally’s or Paris, you’ll know that they are connected with the conference area between them. You don’t even know that you’re switching hotels unless you see the small sign as it’s all enclosed.
Upon check-in, we got to avoid the long check-in line. We went straight to the Diamond member check-in with no line whatsoever. We tried to do the $20 sandwich trick for a room upgrade, but after our clerk called around, there were no upgraded rooms available. Oh well, it was worth a shot.
The room we stayed in at Bally’s was actually closer to the conference area than any Paris hotel room I’ve ever stayed in years prior! And it was just as nice (Ted was leery but pleasantly surprised).
Other benefits we took advantage of were seeing Paranormal – The Mindreading Magic Show with our free show tickets and going out to eat with our $100 Celebration Dinner credits. We did a few other fun things as well as noted below.
As you can see from my Facebook post above, we also did some fun things such as attending a drag show, zip lining and visiting the best speakeasy in Las Vegas.
Next time I got to Vegas, I want to book a side trip to see the Hoover Dam and the check out the Canyon Overlook Trail in Zion National Park.
Two weeks after going to Las Vegas, I came down with the worst “conference crud” ever. I spent almost two weeks down for the count. Looking back, I think I may have actually gotten Covid before the world shut down. I’ll never know for certain now.
Atlantis Bahamas Vacation
My daughter, Mallory, has always wanted to go to the Bahamas for a vacation. A few years ago, when she was talking about how she wanted to go, I told her she needed a passport first. So, she got a passport. And then Covid hit, and her dream had to be put on hold.
Imagine my surprise when I was looking at the Caesars Rewards benefits website and saw that one of the perks was a free stay at Atlantis Paradise Island Bahamas. And you can take advantage of this benefit every year!
To book your reservation, you must call Atlantis Casino VIP Services toll-free at 888-877-7592. Be prepared to be on hold for a while and possibly be cut off in the middle of talking to someone only to have to start all over again. But the time wasted on hold was worth it for the savings I calculated.
We are going this June for a complimentary 4-night stay in The Coral. We don’t even need to pay room taxes. The offer is for two guests, but you can add additional guests for $50 per night. We will also receive a free daily breakfast and free water park passes among other things. Plus I’ll receive $100 in Free Slot Play.
I searched on the Atlantis Bahamas website to see what the “normal” price would be for the same four-day time span. It would be $1430 (plus taxes and fees) which equates to $357.50 per night (plus taxes and fees).
Update! Read about my free Atlantis Bahamas Stay here.
My Amazon FBA business ships out a lot of big boxes via UPS. It is a hassle to load them into my car (or cargo van). Then another hassle to drive to and from the UPS store to drop them off. Not to mention, it’s also time-consuming. So I started requesting UPS to pick up my boxes. The same-day pickup fee is $12.00 and the future-day pickup fee is $7.00. I felt paying the fee was better than using my time (and energy) to load up the boxes and driving to/from the UPS Store.
I then discovered UPS Smart Pickup where they charge a $15.45 flat charge per week. This is less expensive than the daily pickup fees.
Imagine my excitement when I discovered that the FoundersCard offers exclusive benefits for UPS. The benefits include up to 47% off shipping rates and FREE Smart Pickup! This benefit alone saves me $803.40 per year ($15.45 per week times 52 weeks in a year).
Therefore this benefit alone more than pays for my FoundersCard membership two-fold!
I have detailed exactly how to add the FoundersCard benefit to your UPS account here.
Stripe is a payment processor used by millions of companies of all sizes. That includes Fortune 500s such as Instacart, Amazon, Shopify, and Lyft. And startups and small businesses such as myself. Stripe allows my customers to pay with major credit and debit cards without leaving my online boutique.
Of course, Stripe keeps a small percentage of the processed sale as that’s how they make their money. But with the FoundersCard, you’ll receive up to $50K in fee-free payments which equates to saving me $1,450 in fees.
This is another benefit that alone more than pays for my FoundersCard membership four-fold.
If you are a frequent flyer, it is a no-brainer to sign up for a FoundersCard. But even if you are not, as you read above, there are several other benefits non-related to traveling. I’ve only flown twice in the past two years. But I was still able to take advantage of many benefits of the FoundersCard. Here are the benefits I have personally used:
- American Airlines – Extra bonus points
- United Airlines – Save up to 12% on fares
The FoundersCard also partners with other airlines such as Cathay Pacific Airways, Virgin Atlantic, British Airways, Qantas, Singapore Airlines, Alaska Airlines, and Etihad Airways. I hope to someday take advantage of flying on some of these airlines!
Car Rental Upgrades
- Avis – Complimentary Upgrade + up to 25% off ($140 Average Savings)
- Hertz – Save up to 20% and automatic Elite Status
I usually get quotes from both Avis and Hertz when booking a rental car. So far Hertz has been the less expensive of the two. Having Elite status has been a fun perk. The first time I rented from Hertz with my Elite status, my name was on a marque when I arrived in Orlando. I didn’t even have to check-in. They told me to go pick out any car I wanted!
Being a FoundersCard member upgrades you to a complimentary Hilton Honors Gold Status. I was taken advantage of this benefit several times.
Hilton Honors Gold Status Benefits
- 80% Points earning Bonus on Stays
- Space-available room upgrades
- Daily Food & Beverage Credit
- Milestone Bonuses
- Plus all Silver member benefits (20% points earning bonus on stays, free bottled water, fifth night free, and elite roller nights)
- Plus all member benefits (guaranteed discount rate, points toward free nights, no resort fees, digital check-in and out, digital key, and free wifi)
Receive Marriott Platinum Elite Status in the Marriott Bonvoy Rewards Program with your FoundersCard membership. This is even more prestigious than the Hilton Honors gold status.
Marriott Bonvoy Platinum Elite Benefits
- 50% bonus points on your stay
- Enhanced room upgrades
- Welcome gift choice (choice of points, breakfast, or amenity)
- Lounge access
- 4 pm late checkout
- Free enhanced internet access
- Ultimate reservation guarantee
- Exclusive member rates
- Mobile check-in and mobile key
- Dedicated Elite support
Marriott Booking Tips
One of my friends told me that he only stays at Marriott hotels because you can “double-dip” points and cash back with them.
Most hotel chains will only give you points if you book directly with them. Then they won’t give you points if you book through a hotel booking site, such as Hotels.com. But Marriott hotels do! This allows you to earn hotel points plus earn free hotel nights on Hotels.com. Get a free reward night with 10 nights purchased. There you just double-dipped points.
Free Entrepreneur Magazine
Entrepreneur magazine is the premier source for everything small business. And with your FounderCard’s membership, you’ll receive a complimentary one-year subscription ($49 value). Unfortunately, the subscription will not automatically renew even if you renew your FoundersCard membership as it’s for “new subscribers” only.
If you want to continue your Entrepreneur magazine subscription, Amazon currently has a one-year subscription available for only $8.00 per year. It is set up for auto-renewal, but you can cancel at any time.
When looking up the price, I noticed that past single issues of Entrepreneur are selling for as much as $13.99 each. Check out the March issue price! Considering that I’m an Amazon FBA seller, I may need to renew my subscription now!
And if you like receiving things in the mail that aren’t bills, check out our comprehensive list of over 500 free catalogs that you can request to receive via snail mail.
Other Notable Perks
I haven’t taken advantage of these benefits yet. But I have them in my back pocket for if and when I need them:
- Amazon Web Services (AWS) – $5000 in AWS credits
- AT&T Wireless – Save up to 15% (I use Verizon Wireless because AT&T doesn’t have a good presence here in hickville aka Nebraska yet)
- Dell – Save up to 40% (I am a Dell PC girl)
- Dropbox – Save up to 40% ($300 average savings)
- Lenovo – Save up to 60% ($1,500 average savings)
- Moo – 20% off business cards and stationery products
- Shopify – 20% off for one year after 14-day free trial (I currently use Woocommerce instead as it’s totally free)
- Slack – 30% off plan upgrades for first 12 months (I currently use Slack’s free plan)
- Zoom – 20% off list pricing on Zoom services (I also currently use Zoom’s free plan)
They also offer special offers on luxury cars such as BMW and Audi. But I’m too
cheap frugal to buy such an expensive car!
If read all 3000 words of this very long blog post and made it this far, you most definitely need the FoundersCard now!
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