Watch Out for These Consumer-Discount Clubs

A six-month investigation by the Senate Commerce Committee has found that millions have been enrolled unknowingly into these clubs and charged monthly for their membership.

In March, my husband booked transportation from an airport through On the reservation page, he clicked on an offer to receive $25 off his fare. Sounds like a good deal, right? Well, a few days ago, he got an e-mail that said Webloyalty had been charging him $12 a month since March.

The e-mail arrived in his inbox just three days before the Senate Commerce Committee held a hearing November 18 about tactics some companies are using to trick online shoppers into joining "consumer-discount clubs," which charge monthly membership fees but usually don't deliver the rewards they promise. Webloyalty was one of three companies the committee had been investigating the past six months (Affinion and Vertrue were the other two).

Subscribe to Kiplinger’s Personal Finance

Be a smarter, better informed investor.

Save up to 74%

Sign up for Kiplinger’s Free E-Newsletters

Profit and prosper with the best of expert advice on investing, taxes, retirement, personal finance and more - straight to your e-mail.

Profit and prosper with the best of expert advice - straight to your e-mail.

Sign up

To continue reading this article
please register for free

This is different from signing in to your print subscription

Why am I seeing this? Find out more here

Cameron Huddleston
Former Online Editor,

Award-winning journalist, speaker, family finance expert, and author of Mom and Dad, We Need to Talk.

Cameron Huddleston wrote the daily "Kip Tips" column for She joined Kiplinger in 2001 after graduating from American University with an MA in economic journalism.