I have now been a Founders Card member for three years and it keeps paying off every year I renew. Everything in my original review still stands and I keep taking advantage of offers when I need them. Since writing this review in 2005, I still enjoy my Founders Card. I have added a few updates to the review below. Keep in mind that I did not write this review at the request of Founders Card nor did I receive anything up front for writing this review.
The name Founders Card sounds pretty inviting. I mean, I have founded a couple of companies so shouldn’t I have a card that says “Founders Card” on it? When Founders Card first launched, the price was high and the perks were ok. I began the signup process but never pulled the trigger. I watched as other entrepreneur friends on Twitter signed up and had mixed reviews, so as I do with things I am unsure about, I waited.
I have 20 invites available which will get you your own Founders Card for $495 instead of the regular $595/yr. price. Use this link to sign up: https://founderscard.com/membership?code=FCJERAD425
After a couple of months went by, and a few dozen perk announcement tweets from Founders Card were posted, I decided that it was time for me to sign up. They had just added Hilton Honors and Virgin America perks, both are companies I do a lot of business with. Getting instant Hilton HHonors™ Gold Status Membership and a variable discount on flights with Virgin America was enough to justify the cost of joining. I was able to obtain a referral from a friend who was a member, so at $495 it was well worth the investment. Update: I have also renewed my membership each year. I was offered a special deal to renew my membership for two years last year, so I took advantage of that. Savings on Virgin flights continue to add up.
Since receiving my Founders Card Membership early October of 2014, I have used many of the perks. A rough calculation showed that I had saved about $1250 over a 4 month period. Let me explain how that happened.
The first was a discount I received on Apple products. I purchased a new iPad and Macbook Pro laptop. The discount at the time was roughly 20%, I believe the normal discount for Founders Card Members is 15%. 15% is still a huge discount considering Apple never runs deals. I already have a business relationship with Apple that would on average net me about 10% in savings depending on what I was buying and how much of it, so I welcomed my new level of discount as we use Apple Computers and tablets in my office.
I also went right ahead and signed up for the Hilton HHonors Gold Status, which was easy to add to my already existing membership. Later that week I had to book a room for a conference I was attending and was able to get better rates on the room and have access to the special floor available only to Hilton HHonors Gold Status customers.
Update: I also added a Hertz Rental Car Gold Membership and discount that cost me nothing but I get the perks of walking up to my car without having to go to a window. I also get an average of 15% off rental rates.
There are many fantastic lifestyle brands that offer nice discounts such as a company called AIAIAI that makes headphones. I saved 30% off a pair of very nice earbud headphones that were normally $80. The next time my wife and I go somewhere fancy, I plan to use the 20% Rent the Runway discount. My wife and I both love Hotel Vitale in SF and have stayed there many times. Now we are able to get better rates.
For business purposes, I now get 32% off shipping rates with UPS. I signed up for CLEAR, which makes it easier for me to get through TSA at SFO, which is my nearest airport. I also signed up for Zipcar because of the discount. I had never needed it often enough in the past to make a membership worth it, the discount makes it worth it. I used that for my first time in Seattle last fall.
As you can see, I have taken advantage of quite a few perks. There are many perks that I do not need or that would be nice to use should I feel like treating myself to something. I joined Founders Card because I knew it would cost me more money not to have it. I was unaware of just how much value I would end up deriving from it.
So is Founders Card for you? To be honest, you don’t have to be a founder of anything. You just have to think like a founder, which means being resourceful. If in the next year you plan to buy an Apple product, fly on an airplane, stay at a hotel and rent a rental car, just once, the cost of the card is worth it.
Once again: I have 20 invites available which will get you your own Founders Card for $495 instead of the regular $595/yr. price. Use this link to sign up: https://founderscard.com/membership?code=FCJERAD425