Card Mills and the Serious Home-Based Agent


Card mills. <sigh>

I’m laughing to keep from crying.

If you’re on LinkedIn, you may have come across a group called Cruise and Travel.

It’s made up of some 5,600 travel industry professionals. But since there is no screening process for joining this group, a few morons are included as well.

Here is a recent post to the group. Nothing has been changed but the name (to protect the guilty):

Planning a trip with family sometime this year. If you would, please give me and overview of Paris, France. Please include best hotels,restaurants,historical site, shopping etc.
[name withheld]
Certified Travel Agent at YTB

Where do I begin?

First, no actual “certified travel agent” would have to ask this question.

And they certainly wouldn’t embarrass themselves by asking it in a forum of actual travel professionals. Couldn’t the poster at least have claimed to be doing planning for an actual client, rather than revealing that they are simply trying to save money on their own travel by joining a notorious “card mill”?

Now, there’s no shame in a travel agent not knowing everything about every destination. But part of the job description is knowing how to find the answers to questions like this. It’s what you get paid for.

If you want to join one of the card mills, that’s your choice. Although they won’t let you be an actual, honest-to-goodness travel agent, they are apparently not illegal. And they do provide modest discounts on your travel that you can get for far less money by joining a travel club.

Card mills can be useful to serious home-based agents under the right circumstances.

‘Host Agency Directory’

Students of the Home-Based Travel Agent Success Course can zero in on the host agency that makes the most sense for them by using the Host Agency Directory. Over 300 host agencies (including card mills), cross-referenced.

Click here to access your course.

Don’t have the course? Click here.

I realize that there are some people who actually want to be real travel agents, what I call “booking and selling travel agents,” who join a so-called referral agency (a more polite term for card mills) in the mistaken belief that this will allow them to do what they want to do.

They discover their error soon enough and seek out a real host agency. All they’ve lost is some valuable time and several hundred dollars.

The Host-Agency Directory that is part of the Home-Based Travel Agent Success Course assists you in making the right decision for you the first time. Over 300 agencies are included – even YTB – with no-nonsense descriptions that let you know what you’re getting into.

These agencies are also cross-referenced by location, cost of entry, commission levels, and so forth, allowing you to zero in the agencies that will be of most interest to you.

Of course, you don’t have to use a host agency, but that’s a different topic, covered elsewhere in the course.

If you are going through the course and have yet to choose a host agency, I urge you to study the Host Agency Directory and the Module on Choosing a Host Agency before jumping on the first slick offer you see on the Internet.

I’ve heard too many stories from those who’ve chosen in haste and repented at leisure. Don’t let it happen to you.

Related Articles

What is a Host Agency?

What is a Referral Travel Agent?

Card Mills and the Serious Home-Based Agent was last modified: October 22nd, 2015 by Kelly Monaghan