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Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Reviewing the FoundersCard and access to an exclusive discount code

This post is a little bit different in that I am not reviewing the typical credit card or loyalty program that we have all become so readily accustomed to but rather a card that provides membership into a vast, worldwide network of over 20,000 entrepreneurs and innovators that comes with its own unique set of perks and benefits. While the card itself is more geared towards those in the entrepreneurial community such as business owners, CEOs, presidents, etc it offers plenty of travel benefits that even an infrequent flyer can appreciate. And since I am always looking for ways to obtain elite status or benefits the quick way I thought this card might be worth mentioning.

Just a little background on the card, it has actually been around for some time now since 2009 when founder Eric Kuhn initially came up with the idea while building his first internet business, Varsity Books, and noticed that many top level executives at other companies were able to stay at luxury hotels and fly in style due to exclusive rates that were out of reach of the average startup company. As a result, he created FoundersCard which negotiates exclusive discounts and rates with a large number of companies such as Apple, AT&T, American Airlines, Starwood, among many others to bring these same types of benefits that you would expect for a Fortune 500 company. Now, 7 years later the card has grown to exceed over 20,000 members located worldwide with some notable members being "Craigslist founder Craig Newmark, Digg founder Kevin Rose, Lowercase Capital founder and Twitter investor Chris Sacca, TechStars co-founder David Tisch, TaskRabbit’s Leah Busque, co-founder of Obvious and former Twitter Product VP Jason Goldman, LivingSocial co-founder Aaron Batalion, Simple’s Alex Payne, Box co-founder Dylan Smith, Jon Steinberg of Buzzfeed, Ben Lerer of Thrillist and author and investor Tim Ferriss — to name a few." (source:

The card does have a rather steep $795 annual fee with a one-time initiation fee of $95 which places it among the ranks of other premium credit cards such as the AMEX Platinum ($450 annual fee) or the Citi Prestige ($450 annual fee) but after reviewing its many benefits you'll see why. And through this exclusive offer you can get almost a 50% discount off the public offer with promo code FCFRONT395 which brings the annual fee down to only $395. So let's move on to some of the benefits this card has to offer.

Airline benefits

Virgin Atlantic

  • Complimentary Flying Club Silver Elite Status after completing one flight and Fast Track to Gold Elite Status
  • Exclusive discount for US and Vancouver originating flights to the UK

Cathay Pacific Airways

  • Exclusive discounts with preferred pricing for businesses

Virgin America

  • Elevate Gold or Elevate Silver Status Match
  • Exclusive discounts

British Airways, American Airlines, Qantas, JetBlue Airways, Emirates

  • Exclusive discounts

Hotel benefits

Hilton HHonors

  • Complimentary Hilton HHonors Gold Status Membership which provides:
    • Complimentary High-Speed Internet Access
    • Preferred Room Upgrades at select properties, subject to availability 
    • 25% bonus on all HHonors Base Points earned
    • Complimentary Continental Breakfast at select properties
    • Late Checkout at select properties

Caesars Entertainment

  • Complimentary Total Rewards Diamond Status which provides:
    • Priority lines at hotel check-in, restaurants, casino cages and the Total Rewards Center
    • Gain access to Diamond Lounges
    • Use the VIP Reservations Hotline
    • Guaranteed Room with 72 hours notice in Atlantic City and Las Vegas
    • 15% off best available advertised rate on rooms and suites
    • No resort fees
    • Discounts at Total Rewards golf courses in Las Vegas, Southern Indiana and Gulf Coast (Ask course for details)
    • Celebration dinner
  • Preferred Member Rates at select properties

Sofitel Hotels, Omni Hotels & Resorts, Kempinski Hotels, Le Club AccorHotels, Le Germain Hotels, Taj Hotels - India & Sri Lanka

  • Preferred Member Rates

Car benefits


  • Complimentary Hertz #1 Club Gold or #1 Club Gold FIVE STAR membership which provides:
    • One car class upgrade subject to availability
    • A deposit of 675 Gold Plus Rewards Points will be made to your account after every 15 qualifying car rentals
    • Earn 10% bonus on Gold Plus Rewards Points on all qualified car rentals
    • Exclusive email offers
  • Exclusive discounts in the US and Europe

Avis Rent A Car

  • Complimentary Avis Preferred Plus Membership which provides:
    • Complimentary upgrades (whenever available)
    • Special Avis Preferred Plus number for reservations and customer service support
    • Exclusive monthly email offers
    • Accelerate your rewards by opting into Avis Preferred Points
    • Receive 25%-50% more points for every dollar you spend
  • Exclusive discounts

Sixt Rent a Car

  • Complimentary Platinum Sixt Card Membership which provides:
    • Free upgrade to the next car group, subject to availability
    • 20% discount on Sixt limousine service in Germany, Austria and Switzerland
    • 10% in other countries
    • For each rental with Sixt, collect miles with their airline partners, points with their hotel partners, bonus points with other participating programs, some restrictions apply
  • Exclusive discounts

Silvercar, Zipcar, GroundLink Mobile, EmpireCLS, Carey, Getaround

  • Exclusive discounts

Other travel


  • 6 months free of CLEAR membership
  • Discounted $140 annual fee thereafter (regularly $179)

TripIt Pro

  • Complimentary TripIt Pro for a year (a $49 savings)
  • Ongoing discounted annual rate of $39 (20% off standard rate) on TripIt Pro thereafter

As you can see the travel benefits alone are well worth the annual fee and this list is by no means exhaustive. You also have access to exclusive member rates for various hotels not mentioned such as with Starwood and Hyatt that offer flexible cancellation privileges and complimentary upgrades and amenities such as breakfast or a beverage/food credit similar to AMEX's Fine Hotels and Resorts. The card also used to offer an American AAdvantage Platinum challenge but it looks like this is no longer the case and was probably too good to last.

In addition to the many travel benefits you also have access to numerous business discounts ranging from 5-25% with major companies such as Apple, AT&T, UPS, Dell, LegalZoom, Audi, BMW, Adidas, Reebok, and the Trunk Club just to name a few. The discount on your monthly AT&T phone bill is enough to offset a good portion of the annual fee. What I am interested in is attending one of their member-only networking events located at various major cities around the world which are always complimentary and a great way to mingle with other like-minded individuals.

Bottom Line

As you can see the FoundersCard has a lot to offer in many different categories ranging from airlines, hotels, cars, lifestyle, health and fitness, business services and supplies, clothing, and networking just to name a few. While most of you are probably more interested in the travel benefits which can more than make up for the annual fee if you travel just a few times a year, you can probably utilize some of the other offers as well. While the annual fee is a rather steep $795 placing it on par with most other premium travel cards you can reduce this fee down to $395 with the promo code FCFRONT395. You will still have to "apply" for this card and there is a chance that you won't be accepted but this is the exception rather than the rule. I am interested to see what new partners and benefits are expected for the future.

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