One Mile at a Time Advertising Policy
I started this blog in early 2008, and didn’t make a single dime off the site for the first several years. I’m incredibly fortunate to now be able to make a living off of blogging and travel consulting – neither of which I ever thought would be possible, and I’m very grateful for the support of my readers.
All travel on this site is self-funded, and all airline and hotel reviews are done without notice or approval of the companies involved. No airline or hotel chain sponsors or endorses content on this blog with the exception of certain reader giveaways, which are clearly labeled as such. In past years I have worked with Starwood Preferred Guest on their “SPG Stars” program — any historical posts associated with that program are also clearly labeled at the top of the post.
In order to provide this kind of independent (and hopefully unbiased) content, I generate income from this site in a few ways.
These are the advertisements you see in the sidebar, or sprinkled throughout the page.
Display ad spaces are typically contracted through the BoardingArea network, and I have little influence or control in what advertisers are selected, or what ads are shown.
Occasionally Tiffany will sell display ads directly, or as part of a bigger package, but we keep those arrangements entirely separate from the editorial content I write.
On very rare occasions (capped at one post per week, or fewer than 2% of weekly posts), we may accept a fee from an advertiser for a sponsored post.
This will always be labeled with an additional disclosure, so that you know the content itself was paid for directly.
The second source of income is from earning a commission through affiliate networks when readers purchase certain products that I’ve linked to from OMAAT. This includes when readers apply and are approved for selected credit cards using my links. I try and list all the cards that I think savvy travelers should consider, regardless of whether or not they pay me a commission.
I certainly don’t aim to have a comprehensive listing of every credit card available, and primarily focus on credit cards that earn airline miles, hotel points, or have the ability to be transferred to multiple programs. I’ve been recommending the same general mileage cards and points currencies for years now, and the placement of cards on the site is not reflective of, nor influenced by, any compensation I may receive.
On the same token, I’m not going to list or promote a card or offer I don’t think makes sense for frequent travelers even if it pays me a hefty commission.
At present, some credit card offers from the following advertisers offer me a potential commission:
Bank of America
Additionally, One Mile at a Time is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com. One Mile at a Time is a participant in the CJ affiliate program.
All the opinions, ideas, and analysis here at One Mile at a Time are my own, or those of my contributors, in which case they are representing their own opinions.
None of the advertisers or banks I work with get to review or edit any of our content, and unless specifically noted, none of our posts are sponsored or endorsed by any other entity. Just me.
“BEST” Programs and Products
Throughout the site and our editorial content, we may use the term “BEST” to describe aspects of a flight experience, point or mileage redemption, lounge, hotel stay, or credit card product. If and when we describe a feature as the best, this is our opinion as independent experts, based on a number of factors and experiences, and in accordance with our ethical standards.
Badges & Review Icons
In our credit card marketplace and on certain reviews you may see labels for “OMAAT Pick”, and/or a star rating. These designations are made by me (Ben!), and are completely separated from any advertising or affiliate considerations.
OMAAT Picks appear alongside certain credit card references, and are based on the combinations of card features or bonuses which I think are the most exciting right now, or offer evergreen long-term value.
Star Ratings are on a 1-5 scale, and are grouped by category. For example, a premium card with a high annual fee is compared to other premium cards to determine a score, no-fee cards are compared to each other, cash-back cards are considered separately than miles or points-earning cards, and so forth.
Hotel, flight, and lounge reviews are treated similarly, and a limited-service property or a domestic flight may receive “more” stars than a purportedly luxury experience, as I make every effort to compare like-to-like.
In addition to the above disclosures, we abide by a strict ethics policy:
- We don’t accept any free travel from airlines or hotels; this includes not accepting invitations on delivery flights, or pre-opening stays at hotels that aren’t otherwise open to the public
- We don’t accept any other in-kind “gifts” that could present a conflict of interest; whether free airline status, tickets to a concert, etc.
- We don’t participate in any form of pay-for-play coverage; this includes not accepting any sort of payment from an airline or hotel in exchange for any expectation of coverage, and we don’t pay to promote OMAAT in other media outlets — all our press is earned media
- We don’t let airlines or hotels know we’re arriving in advance, or ask for special access; this even includes things like contacting an airline PR person to ask for pre-boarding so we can take pictures of the cabin, as that could impact service — instead I’m the annoying guy who is lined up before the flight hoping to be the first onboard so I can snap pictures without drawing too much attention from the crew
- We go out of our way to avoid media events; personally, I turn down 99% of media invitations, and I only attend them if I truly think there’s a major benefit to readers, but I also don’t accept free dinners from airline people (or take their marketing teams out to dinner)
I really appreciate the support of everyone reading, and am especially grateful if you choose to use my link when signing up for your next credit card. I promise to always disclose when I’m getting a commission for a credit card link, and to only put up a link through which I earn a commission when it’s the best publicly available offer I’m aware of.
Thank you so much for reading, and as always – please let me know if you have any questions.
I’ve flown all of the major (and many minor) airlines, including every international first class cabin.
I write all my own content; no ghostwriters at OMAAT!
15 years (and counting) of daily blogging add up.