FoundersCard Membership: Is it worth it?

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Update: You can lock in a FoundersCard membership for $295 a year through May 13th, 2016 when you sign-up with my link. This is $100 less than the usual rate!

FoundersCard popular benefits
FoundersCard popular benefits

Why I joined

I joined FoundersCard earlier this year from a referral I received after flying in Pearl Class on Etihad. I mostly signed up to be able to review the benefits and see if they’re really worth it. So far, so good. I’m on target to more than recoup the annual fee.

The membership offers numerous discounts on a LOT of different services that are useful for business, lifestyle, or travel. There are one or two that I really zeroed in on, and I think the card could offer a lot of value both with monetary discounts and with opportunities.

Events

If you live in a major city, you are invited to frequent (bi-monthly or monthly) events (usually for free and inclusive of a free prosecco and snacks). For that alone, the networking opportunities might be worth the annual fee. The people that attend the events are entrepreneurs, small business owners, and travelers – if this describes you at all, you’ll be in good company.

I’m attending my first New York event in May and will be sure to report back about it.

Discounts

Bet you were waiting to hear about the discounts, right? Well, there are a TON of them.

FoundersCard Hotel Partners

FoundersCard Hotel Partners

Travel benefits

Travel benefits

Lifestyle benefits

Lifestyle benefits

Business benefits

Business benefits

The benefits and discounts go on and on. Here a few highlights:

Travel:

American Airlines: 

  • 5% off most American Airlines airfares

Virgin Atlantic 

  • Complimentary Flying Club Silver Elite Status & Fast Track to Gold Elite Status
  • Up to 20% off US-originating Flights to the UK

Cathay Pacific: 

  • Complimentary Marco Polo Club Silver Tier Status
  • 5-25% off flights.

Hertz: 

  • Increased Discounts: Up to 15% off Hertz Daily, Weekend, Weekly, and Monthly Rates in the United States. Up to 20% Discount in Europe.
  • Complimentary Hertz #1 Club Gold or #1 Club Gold FIVE STAR® membership.

Hilton HHonors: 

  • FoundersCard Members Receive Complimentary Hilton HHonors™ Gold Status Membership, through March 2016

Zipcar: 

  • Waived application fee ($25 value)
  • $25 annual fee (58% off standard rate)
  • 20% off standard driving rate (ongoing)

Discounts on: 

  • Clear
  • TripIt Pro
  • Qantas
  • Silvercar
  • JetBlue
  • Emirates
  • Sofitel Hotels

Hotels:

Preferred room rates, welcome amenities, VIP treatment, free wifi, dining or spa discounts (varies by hotel) at:

  • Ace Hotel New York
  • The Cosmopolitan Las Vegas
  • W Hotel San Francisco
  • Brown’s Hotel London
  • Many others

Business:

AT&T:

  • 15% off standard rates on all voice plans and on data plans greater than $30 in value, excluding unlimited voice and iPad data plans

Shopify: 

  • FoundersCard Members creating a new Shopify account save 50% off any plan

Apple: 

  • Apple preferred savings (discount varies based on product)
  • Dedicated contacts for Executive Customer Service and Support

UPS: 

  • FoundersCard Members are entitled to discounts of up to 32% on UPS air, international and ground shipping

Lifestyle:

Bliss Spa: 

  • FoundersCard members receive an ongoing discount of 20% on massages, facials, and body treatments at most US Bliss Spa locations

David Barton Gym: 

  • Always Waived Initiation
  • FC Exclusive National Travel Access Membership

Caesar’s Total Rewards: 

  • Complimentary Diamond Total Rewards Status

Wine Library: 

  • FoundersCard Members receive free shipping on all orders.
  • Exclusive monthly discounts up to 25% off select wines.

Crunch Gym: 

  • 75% off initiation fee on any of the below membership options.
  • 30% off monthly dues for All Crunch Freedom – Access all clubs

Shoprunner: 

  • FoundersCard Members receive a complimentary one-year ShopRunner membership ($79 value).

Rent the Runway: 

  • FoundersCard Members receive 20% off rentals online or in the New York Showroom

Analysis

That’s just a smattering of all that’s offered. Running through the list, my eyes focused on American Airlines, Avis and Hertz, Zipcar, UPS, AT&T, Hilton Gold status, and Cathay Pacific Silver status. I thought of how to maximize that in conjunction with what I already have through earned status and the Amex Platinum Card.

  • The Amex Platinum Card gives me Hilton Gold status, free Shoprunner, and status at Hertz and Avis. I have TripitPro through my Barclaycard Arrival (which I’ve decided to keep for another year).
  • But, with FoundersCard, I can upgrade AGAIN to the highest level at Hertz and Avis (Five Star and Avis First, respectively).
  • I also get to keep Hilton status even longer (until 2016), which is great for free wifi, free breakfast, and room upgrades – worth at least $100 each time I stay at a Hilton.
  • I’d also get free Shoprunner, which is a fantastic service I use often and TripIt Pro (which, ditto) if I didn’t already have them, through FoundersCard.

But the other things are what sealed it for me. 5% off all American Airlines base fares. I’m chasing Executive Platinum with American, and now get to save $20 on each $400 ticket. This could save me a lot of money if I use it often enough.

Also, AT&T. I use them for my cell service, and now get 15% off my phone bill each month (or ~$15 off ) – ~$200 a year in savings.

I also just got a membership at Costco (which I alluded to in this post – analysis forthcoming) and signed up for Zipcar with the FoundersCard discount. Waived application, $25 annual fee (instead of $60), and $25 driving credit to start with, so basically free – and now can get to Costco to shop.

Free Cathay Pacific Silver status. It’s not huge, but it’s something. Never hurts to have more status. It will also earn more miles if you fly Cathay Pacific and credit the flights to the Marco Polo program.

So with the AT&T discount saving me $200 right off the top, the AA discount code on all base fares, “free” Zipcar, and all the other upgrades, not to mention access to the networking events, I figured it may be worth it.

However, it’s subjective, and you should review the benefits in their entirety for yourself before you decide to sign up. I do think the events alone are worth the price of admission, but evaluate your situation and see if having these perks with help you and offset the card’s annual membership fee.

Bottom line

So far, so good. I’m enjoying FoundersCard. If you have any questions about a particular benefit or aspect of the program, feel free to ask in the comments. I have a link with a promo code that gets you over 30% off the annual fee and brings the price down to $395 a year. Pricey? A bit.

But if it saves you over $500 a year with perks on things you are going to buy/do anyway, it just may be worth it. As always, evaluate and decide based on your personal situation. Here is the link if you want to join.

Does anyone else have FoundersCard? What’s your take on the program? 

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About Harlan

Just a dude living in Dallas.

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Editorial Note: Opinions expressed here are author's alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, hotel, airline, or other entity. This content has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of the entities included within the post. The opinions of the commenters are not necessarily the opinions of this site.

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Comments

  1. Hi Harlan. Just found your blog yesterday and am enjoying your writing style as well as the info. Will definitely add your blog to my daily travel blog read. One correction: Cathay Pacific silver status is equivalent to oneworld ruby level and you need to be sapphire or emerald level to get access to the lounges. 🙁

  2. hi Harlan,

    You live in Brooklyn? i’m from Park Slope! what a small world. anyway i am interested in joining Founders Card and i was wondering if you still have any invite or should i use the referral code you used or the link you posted? what’s the best deal?

    thanks!!!

    Jeffrey

    • Hi Jeffrey!

      Yes, I am in Bay Ridge now but lived in Park Slope for a few years. LOVE that neighborhood!

      The link in the post is still the best deal. Here it is again just in case: https://founderscard.com/membership?code=FCHARLAN818

      I should write a followup post as I am reaching my one year mark with FoundersCard. I’ve gotten a ton of use out of it and as long as they keep up the quality, will continue to renew every year.

      They have an NYC event in October – maybe I will meet you there!

      Cheers and enjoy the card!

      Harlan

  3. This membership/card/company is a scam. They don’t actually cancel your trial membership when you cancel during the trial period, they charge you anyway, and worse, they still argue it later (apparently they are desperate to scam people out of $395).

  4. Great post! I am getting a few emails offering me what looks to be a good deal at $299 for the year with $100 voucher. As I live in London I am wondering if the benefits are as lucrative as those in the states. I would like to know the average saving in Apple store as that could save me a fair bit when buying MacBook Pros. Does anyone know the preferred discount at Apple for people in the UK with the FoundersCard?

    • That’s a great question! I don’t know how they administer the benefits in other countries… you could always write to them and ask for more details. Or if someone else knows, feel free to post!

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