So, a while back, I came across an ad on Facebook for something called the SELECT Card. It's not a credit card, per se; rather, it's like an extreme rewards card that offers exclusive access and discounts to hotels, restaurants, resorts, and so on. Curious, I clicked on the link to their website, and nosed around. Then I saw how much the membership fee was - it's almost as high as AFs on some AMEX cards! THREE HUNDRED DOLLARS PER YEAR!
Yeah; I clicked away.
Fast forward to today, and I got an e-mail from the SELECT "Concierge" with this message:
Finish your application for Membership by Sunday, September 30th, before dues increase on October 1st, and those accepted will receive a permanently preferred rate of $250/year ($50 less than our current rate) in addition to a $100 credit to be used at any SELECT Partner location.
I'm like...Hmmm...OK. So, I went ahead and completed my app, and put my shiny new SPG Luxury Card as the primary payment method. The upside is that if I am not accepted as a SELECT member, then I am not charged. That piece was important to me. But, if I am selected (no pun intended), then, based on some of the reviews I've read, I may be in for a treat when I travel.
Are there any SELECT Card members here? If so, how do you like it?
UPDATE: I'm IN!
I just took a look around the members area, and WOW! The discounts are absolutely INSANE, and the deals are for some of the hotels I frequent when I travel. Conversely, my itch for another CC app spree has surfaced - namely for the AMEX Hilton cards.
But, I shall hold true to my vow not to app for a year.
I might need a sponsor, though...
I doubt they're too selective about membership so long as you're 21+ (for alcohol-related offers); they're advertising on Facebook, not by word of mouth at the country club. It looks like it's basically a $300 (or $250) set of coupons and promo codes.
I don't see much information about this. There's a small reddit thread with a few complaints. There are a few good reviews out there, too...but they seem excessively enthusiastic and not particularly authentic. I'd be curious to see the particular reviews you examined.
FoundersCard has a reputation for giving good benefits....but there are also imitators with fewer perks.
One thing to realize is that many hotels/restaurants/other venues will offer the same or similar promotions through several channels. These "discounted" prices may be available through other methods...and are often the price that businesses really expect to be charging.
Are there specific hotels or restaurants where you plan to use it?
*Written before OP's update.*
Yeah, I saw that subreddit from a year ago. However, it didn't sway me enough not to apply. I think your other questions were answered in my update.
From what I have read, it initially started as a word of mouth thing, and it's been around for about 5 years. This was one of the reviews I read; I also read this. And as it turns out, one of my travel buddies with whom I went to California a few weeks ago also has it; that actually explains why his hotel was more awesome than mine and my other travel buddies'.
While I agree that other companies offer similar discounts and promos, but these, I have to say, are phenomenal. I am a harsh critic and skeptical of nearly everything, so if I am impressed, that's a pretty big deal. Paradoxically, I am also wildly optimistic. Time will tell if it will be really worthwhile, but as I do have several trips on the horizon in the next year, especially for by 40th birthday in February, it can't hurt, right?
Also, I got the $50 discount, so the membership fee is $250; perhaps that $50 can be put toward the glass bottle of Voss water in one of the hotels I go to. (Like, really? $12 for water? Good grief...) I also noticed that the fee was reduced from its original price of $350. And I foresee the additional $100 being put to good use.
I will look into FoundersCard, also. I've never heard of it, so I am intrigued.
I have it, so far it was not bad. I used it for a birthday dinner at STK in Beverly Hills. They set up my table and we got what they advertised without having to haggle or mention anything. It was 6 of us. They gave a round of wine for free and then took 20% of the total bill. The bill was like $600 and they took $120 off plus the free wine for 6 pretty much offset the cost of the membership.
I went to one of the events with a friend at the grand opening of a restaurant. We got 2 free cocktails at about $15 each. So I pretty much got my money back using the card.
I think it can be useful if you are going to use the perks but then I am sure that each experience will be different at each place.