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Free Virgin, Cathay and Hilton status with FoundersCard

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FoundersCard is, one of the face it, one of those annoying ‘networking’ groups that tries to extricate you from your money in return for the potential to meet interesting new business contacts.

FoundersCard is a bit different, though.  For a start, it has already shown in the US that it can do OK, and is now pushing out over here.  More interestingly, they have lined up a very impressive list of benefits for members.

The website is a bit vague about their partners to put it mildly.  However, I can tell you that they offer:

Virgin Flying Club Silver

Cathay Pacific Marco Polo Club Silver (equivalent to BA Bronze)

Hilton HHonors Gold status to March 2015

and some other bits and pieces, including preferred rates at a lot of top hotels.  (They used to offer Lufthansa FTL / Silver status as well, but this has now been withdrawn.)  The hotels look interesting, eg they offer rooms for £200 at The Sanderson in London as a negotiated rate.

Membership is nominally $395 although there seem to be lots of discount and codes available if you dig.  If you used it properly, there does seem to be the potential to save back the value of your membership fee and more besides.  That said, if you do a search on FoundersClub over at Flyertalk you will discussions about claimed benefits with American Airlines and Starwood which were not exactly as detailed, so buyer beware.

Comments (18)

  • E14 says:

    I have a slightly different concept of the word ‘free’ and two of those cards offer nothing more than the elevated status as a starting platform I.e no lounge or luggage benefits

  • Richie says:

    As far as tier points concerned would you still need to start at zero to get to the next level or would you miss the zero-bronze part .out completely

    • AusTraveller says:

      Not sure how it is with Virgin FC but with CX Marco Polo every time you upgrade to a new tier (regardless of whether it is earned or, as in this case, gifted) they reset your tier balances. Hence, you need to earn the 30k club miles (or equivalent sectors) for renewal over the next year or a fresh 60k club miles to upgrade to MPO Gold – it wouldn’t just be the ‘balance’ between Silver and Gold of 30k miles.

      MPO is notorious for this – it’s one of the hardest programmes to go from no status to top status within the space of a year because they reset all your balances for every new tier you reach which, in effect, means that if you wanted to go from Green (i.e. nothing) to Diamond (OW EMER) within the year, you’d need rack up a grand total of 210k miles over 12 months!

      • Sir Stamford says:

        Marco Polo – Whenever you move up a tier, whereupon your Club Miles reset to zero, you start a new membership year. Therefore, you don’t have to achieve 210,000 Club Miles within a strict 12 month period to achieve Diamond.

        Sir Stamford

    • Sir Stamford says:

      You will start with zero status points.

      Think of it like BAEC where at the beginning of the membership year, your status/tier points reset to nil but you get to keep your previous year tier and applicable benefits.

      Sir Stamford

  • Waldek says:

    There are too many negative reviews of FoundersCard on the web.

  • Stephen says:

    I would rather spend a little more on AmEx Platinum and get Cathay Gold (if that’s still going).

    • Rob says:

      Yes, still going, guaranteed to be available to new applicants until at least 28 Feb 2014

      • Stephen says:

        I’m a just a student with only a year or two of credit history, if I could get one I would! I think the Lloyds Avios card is more within my reach.

        • John says:

          I think students are more likely to get an Amex charge card than a Lloyds credit card, if you have enough household income (not that they check)

          I graduated last July, but I at one point had £20000 credit limit while still a student – started off with Nationwide who gave me a £5000 limit probably due to my £10k of ISA savings with them, then got other cards, and after a while I was approved for the Amex Gold and later the BA Amex. Meanwhile Lloyds had turned me down for the Avios Duo and only gave me £750 limit on their balance transfer card.

          Now I have a high paying job but Lloyds still won’t up my credit limit even though I keep £18000 earning 4% in 3 of their Vantage accounts…

          • Stephen says:

            My parents both have Amex cards, although they haven’t put me as a supplementary cardholder. So I have no history with Amex. Whereas I already have a Student bank account and credit card with Lloyds so I figured they would be most likely to accept me.

            I don’t actually know what my household income is, and I won’t be able to find out an exact figure – it is certainly enough as my parents have had Amex for as long as I can remember. Do you suggest I give applying a try? The search could damage my credit score.

          • Rob says:

            A single credit search will have minimal impact on your credit report. Every time you get a mobile contract, change utility supplier etc a similar check is run (and other users cannot see who has done previous checks).

          • Squire says:

            Really? Do you mean just the basic or green card, or has it been heard of for a student to get amex gold?

          • Stephen Chinnadorai says:

            Literally everyone in the world says otherwise. Maybe John’s financial circumstances are unusual.

  • Elena says:

    I have a question on the platinum. My husband got the Amex Gold and I have a supplementary card, but we are thinking after the 3 months of applying for Amex Platinum, on my name. Would we still get the sign up bonus? Is it worth signing up for and keeping of cancelling after the three months?

    We have couple of business trips lined up in the next 6 months so business and lounges sound ideal for long haul.
    Thank you

    • Alan says:

      You could apply for a Plat as you’re a new cardholder, then give him a support card and he could cancel his Gold card. Then in six months you could refer him for Plat 🙂

  • Elena says:

    Oh, Excellent I thought that because he issues me supplementary card I am in as well. 🙂 Thanks a lot

    • Alan says:

      No they don’t count you as a cardholder just for holding a supp card 🙂

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