Why I Am Seriously Considering a FoundersCard Membership & A Great New Membership Offer

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FoundersCard Benefits and Special Offer

FoundersCard is a membership program where you pay an annual fee in order to unlock a number of travel and lifestyle benefits and discounts. While they sometimes quote a crazy high annual fee, the normal fee is $395 per year for just about everyone.

For that money you get a ton of benefits including things like Hilton HHonors Gold, rental car status, American Airlines Platinum (their benefits with AA change quarterly and right now you only get bonus points in their Business Extra Program) and Caesar’s Total Rewards Diamond. You also get flight, hotel and other discounts that may or may not be better than you can get elsewhere. You can find a full list of their partners here.

As you might be able to tell, most of the benefits above don’t really apply to me.

That is because:

  • I am American Airlines Executive Platinum
  • I am Hilton HHonors Diamond
  • I have rental car statuses through the Amex Platinum
  • I get great hotel deals from a variety of places

So why then would I consider FoundersCard? Well I do want to review it, but the real reason is Caesar’s Total Rewards Diamond.

Caesar’s Total Rewards Diamond

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So why would I want this obscure casino loyalty status? Well, I have a goal to stay at more Las Vegas hotels and review them here on Miles to Memories. Caesar’s Entertainment owns a lot of them and they all have resort fees. With that said, let’s look at what Diamond gives you.

  • 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

Caesar’s owns 9 properties in Vegas (plus two more hotels within a hotel). The resort fees average around $30 each, so if I stay one night in each property, my savings will be $270. That is pretty good I think and hopefully the 15% discount will work out as well. I will also benefit from access to their Diamond lounges and priority lines. As a local this is appealing.

Finding the Value Over $270

founderscard special offer 295

While a $270 savings is nice, it isn’t enough. Last week I stumbled upon a FoundersCard deal offering membership for only $295 annually, but there is a catch. You must sign-up for two years. I contacted FoundersCard to see if there was any way to do $295 for one year and they said no, but did offer to waive the $95 initiation fee. That sounded nice, but I wasn’t convinced so I continued to mull it over. Then yesterday I came across a post about a new deal.

‘Dem Flyers posted about a new version of the $295 offer that also gives a $100 American Express gift card. That offer still requires a two year commitment, but that post highlighted something that I knew about, but didn’t really put together. One of the obscure benefits of FoundersCard membership is a $350 checking account bonus at First Republic Bank. (CA, OR, NY, MA, CT, FL only.)

While I don’t live in those states, I am in California often, so my hope is that I will be able to sign-up in-branch. I have reached out to the bank to make sure I will be able to get an account and if I get confirmation, then my cost for this membership becomes cheaper.

  • Total cost up front: $590
  • Minus $350 bank bonus
  • Resort fee savings: $270 ish
  • Final Cost ~$-30

Why not take the version of the offer with a $100 American Express gift card? Well I asked, but FoundersCard said they wouldn’t waive the initiation fee with that offer. So basically I could pay $95 more and get a $100 Amex gift card. I personally would rather save the $95 in cash and not have to deal with the gift card.

How to Get the $295 Offer

To get the $295 offer fill out this brief form and say that you heard about it from Miles to Memories. You will then receive a registration email within a day or two where you can use one of the following offer codes to get a great deal:

  • VIP2YEAR – $295 per year with two years up front. $95 initiation fee waived.
  • 100AMEX2YR – $295 per year with two years up front. $100 Amex gift card. $95 initiation fee NOT waived.

You can also do one year at a time for $395 with the codes VIP1YEAR ($95 waived) or 100AMEX1YR ($95 not waived).

Conclusion

I know there are a ton of benefits of FoundersCard, but it is expensive no doubt. In my unique situation it might make sense to get it, but I think a lot of you might be interested too if you are indeed able to get the bank bonus. Even without the resort fee savings, your cost would be $240 for two years which isn’t terrible, especially if you can benefit from the elite status and other discounts. Stay tuned for more info on the bank bonus.

Do you have Founderscard? Are you considering a membership? Let us know your thoughts and/or experiences in the comments!


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13 COMMENTS

  1. AA Plat status is not a benefit. They had a challenge late last year through FoundersCard but it is no longer available.

    I do have Foundercard though and have found it to be very nice, especially for stays at certain high end hotels such as Park Hyatts where they offer some nice discounts. I have also taken advantage of the $350 First Republic offer and while it required 3 months of maintaining a minimum of $3500 in the account, I received the bonus with no hassle what so ever.

  2. So it still lists “elite status” as an airline perk, and AA is an airline partner, so I’d love to get some clarification on that point.

    Also, what about a 1 year membership? $395 + $95 initiation fee = $490. $350 bank bonus. $140 for the rest of the FC benfits. Think this is possible? $140 would cover ~5 nights at Ceasars. If this is possible, I’d contemplate it. If it’s possible AND it comes with some level of AA elite status, I’d contemplate it a bit harder.

  3. I did this last year for $395 w/$95 initiation fee plus the $100 Amex gift card, but probably wouldn’t have done it again in hindsight given the upfront cost and work to recoup. I didn’t end up using the AA challenge and got VA silver and CX silver, but never took advantage of those. I use points for most hotels and flights so I didn’t get to use their discounts.

    What I did end up taking advantage of was the Crunch membership (basically same monthly fee as a one or two year commitment, but on a month to month contract), TripIt Pro, got some free razors and hair product from Dollar Shave Club, reduced ZipCar membership fee and weekday rates and $100 credit at Trunk Club (got a free sweater).

  4. I have Diamond status for TR from gambling. As a local you can get some money back at the Diamond lounges. Can hit them up for sporting events and get free drinks and some free snacks. I would use it like a bar if I lived near them…but I would probably end up gambling too much so good thing I don’t!

  5. Great info. What about potential MR uses? Doesn’t Caesars work with SPG? Do the discounts and no resort fee apply to multiple rooms, and stack with any other discounts or benefits?

  6. https://www.theregalcard.com/ I looked at the Regal Card last year and even was presented with a couple of discount prices. At the time, the program was linked to Priority Pass for lounge access. Recently I checked and now it’s membership in Dragon Pass, a UK lounge program. One can enter quite a few airport lounges, except you’re limited to 2 or 3 hours usually.

  7. TR Diamond would have been handy this last Saturday night. I was attending an event at Caesars Palace (along with everyone else on the west coast) and since the property has ballooned into its own Roman City State, parking is a P.I.T.A. normally. Main valet, collesum, and forum, valet were all “full”..self parking was a hike through the garage inhaling second hand “medicine”, dodging small piles of vomit, and GTA seasoned drivers. Yuck.

    However, Diamond card would have loosened up some spots in the usual valets and/or the private drive at the Octavius tower just off Flamingo. This drive is super easy to access and spares the soul crushing agony of inching through center strip weekend night traffic.

  8. Just signed up for FC a few weeks ago – did the 2-yr $295 deal; awaiting TR Diamond upg to kick in; used 5% VX tkt promo code, used Hertz CDP FC number discount, plan to use 20% Silvercar code all year, poss the CX temp elite status bump, prob the zipcar membership disc and hotel disc rates too (checked against other pub rates and FC disc are sometimes better). Am keeping track to see if the AF/savings received equals an overall good value, but I think the TR benies will tip the scales! I have some sort of referral code – (I get some sort of points evidently) – FCNANCY817. I used someone else’s and it stacked with the $295/yr for 2 yrs deal – Megan from FC set my membership up nicely.

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