FoundersCard Review and Guide to Benefits

FoundersCard is a private membership club of over 25,000 members that offers discounts at hundreds of merchants and travel partners, and gives you elite status at hotels, airlines, and rental car companies.

It is not a credit card, but it does require you to pay an annual fee.

Founders Card

How Much Does FoundersCard Cost?

The standard cost of a FoundersCard membership is $595 per year.

But with my referral link you get a preferred rate of $395 with the $95 initiation fee waived, and the rate will stay at $395 per year. 

You can preview the benefits at the link above to see the current benefits. You will have to enter your fill name, email, professional title, and your company.

FoundersCard Elite Membership

FoundersCard also has an elite membership that costs $895 per year or typically $295 to upgrade from FoundersCard’s standard membership in the first year.

An elite membership comes with all the benefits listed below plus:

  • Avis President’s Club elite status (top-tier).
  • Omni Hotels Select Guest Platinum (mid-tier).
  • Complimentary FoundersCard Companion Membership.
  • 2 complimentary VIP three-month gift memberships.
  • 25% off Bang & Olufsen (speakers and headphones).
  • Personal Concierge Service (up to 10 hours per month).
  • Additional VIP upgrades and amenities when staying within FC Hotel portfolio.

Top FoundersCard Benefits

The FoundersCard gives you access to a lot of discounts and other benefits.

These benefits change on a regular basis, but you can see the current benefits by filling out your information to preview the benefits on their website.

Hilton Gold Elite Status

You can enjoy Hilton Honors Gold elite status as a FoundersCard member. 

Hilton Gold members earn an 80% points bonus on stays, free breakfast, fifth night free on award stays, two free bottles of water, room upgrades, and a welcome amenity or bonus points upon check-in.

Avis Preferred Plus Elite Status

Members get 25% off Avis rentals and Avis Preferred Plus elite status, which gets you extra points and complimentary upgrades when available. 

Caesar's Diamond Elite Status

Members receive a 20% discount on most rooms and complimentary Diamond Caesars Rewards elite status, which gets you waived resort fees on any hotel stay, free parking and priority valet, a free show from a select list each month, and a $100 celebration dining credit each year.

American Airlines Promotions

FoundersCard regularly offers some kind of promotion with American Airlines.

The Summer 2020 promotion is members earn double “Business Extra” points for 90 days. 

Marriott Platinum Elite Status Challenge

Members have the opportunity to earn Marriott Platinum elite status with a status challenge.

You just need to stay 15 paid nights within 3 months of enrollment to enjoy Platinum elite status for one year.

Platinum elite status typically requires 50 nights, and gets elite members a 50% points bonus on stays, upgrades, welcome gift, lounge access, 4 p.m. late checkout, and enhanced (higher speed) internet.

Anyone (without a FoundersCard membership) can request a Platinum Challenge with a 16-night requirement, so the FoundersCard only saves you one night on the challenge.

Zipcar Membership and Discount

Members get a complimentary Zipcar Business account (typically $99/year) and you can add an individual account for only $35 (typically $70/year).

Plus, you get $20 off your first drive and 20% off standard rates Monday to Friday. 

I’ve used Zipcar frequently in the past. Their rates are about $10 per hour, but include gas and insurance. 

Zipcar can be a good deal if you are driving the entire time such as picking someone up at the airport.

But it is not a good deal if you are using the car to run to the grocery store since you could use a service like Instacart.

20% Silver Car Discount

Members get 20% off Silver Car rentals, which is an all Audi rental car agency with 27 locations in the United States.

Sixt Rental Car Platinum Status + 15% Off

Members get 15% off Sixt car rentals and Platinum status, which gets you a free upgrade and free additional driver for U.S. residents renting in the U.S.

30% Adidas Discount

Cardmembers get a 30% discount at Adidas.com, but it does not apply to sale items.

The discount also doesn’t apply to special brands such as Yeezy, NMD, Parley, Ultra Boost, PureBOOST X, limited edition Originals, adidas by Stella McCartney, mi adidas customizations, and gift cards. 

Adidas Founderscard discount

Dell Discount

Members get preferred pricing and a 10% discount on select a large amount of items on Dell.com.

We did a test of the Dell discount on a Dell XPS 13 laptop and found that the FoundersCard pricing was $854.10 whereas the public pricing was $1,099.99.

AT&T Discount

FoundersCard Members receive 15% off standard rates on all voice plans and data plans greater than $30 in value, excluding unlimited voice and iPad data plans.

Lenovo Discount

You can save up to 40% off Lenovo via the FoundersCard portal.

The actual discount varies, but it includes sale items. When we tested the discount on sale laptops, we found that some laptops were discounted only $10, but a few laptops had a $100 discount (or 6-8% discount).

The biggest disadvantage to this discount is that you cannot use cashback portals such as Rakuten to earn 2-6% cash back when shopping on Lenovo’s website.

UPS Discount

The FoundersCard offers a nice 47% discount at UPS for air, international, and ground shipping. 

Office Depot Discounts

Members get preferred pricing and save at Office Depot.

These savings include:

  • Up to 55% off retail on office supply, cleaning, and breakroom items
  • Up to 20% off printer ink and toner
  • 10% off average savings on technology items
  • 10% off in-store assortment of 6,000+ items
  • 40-70% off print, copy, and finishing services in-store

$20,000 in Fee Free Payments With Stripe

Stripe is an payment processor that handles online payments for Amazon, Google, Instacart, Lyft, Zoom, and hundreds of thousands of other businesses.

New Stripe members receive $20,000 in fee-free payments for members in the U.S., UK, Canada, or Eurozone country supported by Stripe.

Stripe charges a fee of 2.9% plus 30 cents per transaction, which means this benefit is worth at least $580.

Stripe also has physical credit card readers starting at $59. 

Free Subscription to TripIt Pro

Members get a free year of TripIt Pro, which is normally $49 per year and helps you keep track of all of your travel plans.

TripIt Pro is designed for the frequent traveler and automatically imports your travel plans into the app from your email.

It can also track flight delays, when preferred seats become available, the status of your connecting flights, and your loyalty accounts.

Airline Benefits

United Airlines– 2% to 6% ongoing discount on select flights booked on United.com.

Cathay Pacific– Silver Elite Status and 15% off fares originating in the United States. Silver elite status has limited benefits, but you do get access to the business class lounges even when flying Cathay Pacific or Cathay Dragon, even when flying economy class.

British Airways- 10% off most round trip airfares between the U.S., Canada, and UK.

Qantas– 25% off Qantas fares from the U.S. to Australia or New Zealand; and 15% off Qantas fare from Australia or New Zealand to the United States.

Etihad- 10% off economy and business class fares from Washington D.C. (IAD), New York (JFK), Los Angeles (LAX), and Chicago (ORD) to select destinations.

Emirates– 5% off base fares for flights starting in the United States.

Singapore Airlines- 15% off select flights starting in the United States.

Sixt Rent a Car– Complimentary Platinum elite status and 15% off rental bookings.

Surf AirSurf Air is a private airline operating flights in California and the Texas. Members get a round trip trial flight for $650, and two free round trip guest passes upon joining the All You Can Fly Club ($1,950 per month).

Hotel Benefits

FoundersCard partners with over 300 hotels to offer members discounts and special benefits.

These hotels are mainly located in San Francisco, Las Vegas, New York, London, Denver, Miami, Paris, Singapore, and Vancouver.

But FoundersCard also partners with the following brands all over the world:

  • Omni Hotels & Resorts (15 hotels; up to 20% off)
  • W Hotels (9 hotels)
  • Mandarin Oriental (25 hotels)
  • Park Hyatt (5 hotels)
  • Rosewood Hotel Group (17 hotels)
  • Ritz Carlton (7 hotels)
  • The Peninsula Hotels (4 hotels)
  • Four Seasons (6 hotels)

Las Vegas has the best discounts:

  • The Cosmopolitan- 25% off plus VIP check-in and $25 food and beverage credit.
  • Caesars Palace- 20% off best available rate.
  • Planet Hollywood- 20% off best available rate.
  • Waldorf Astoria- Discounted rooms plus $25 food and beverage credit.
The Cosmopolitan Hotel
Photo: The Cosmopolitan Hotel

LifeStyle Benefits

FoundersCard offers discounts at a lot of merchants. Below are the most popular deals:

Reebok- 30% online discount.

Cole Haan– 25% off items purchased online.

Puma- 20% off discount.

1-800 Flowers– 20% off orders.

Teleflora- 25% off discount.

ShopRunner- Free today shipping at 140+ retailers. (All American Express cards also have this benefit.)

illy Caffe- 20% off all online purchases.

Entrepreneur Magazine– Free one-year subscription.

BMW– $3,000 off a new BMW, $500 off new Mini, and $11,000 off a new BMW i3 (electric vehicle).

Audi- 6% off MSRP when buying or leasing.

Land Rover- 5-10% below MSRP on new vehicle.

Jaguar- 10% below MSRP on any new vehicle.

Fiji Water- 25% off one-time and subscription orders.

Soma- 15% off all orders.

Sonos– 15% off all orders.

Snack Nation– Lifetime discount of $50 per month for each 150-snack box shipped plus $200 Amazon gift card for 12 month Snack Nation agreement.

Equinox- Waived initiation fee and preferred pricing.

Bliss Spa- 20% off discount fir massages, facials, and body treatments at most U.S. locations.

Herman Miller- 15% off online store.

John Varvatos– 20% off.

Jonathan Adler- 20% off discount.

Mr. Porter- $200 off your first order of $500 or more.

Baxter Blue (glasses)- 20% off orders.

Business Benefits

Microsoft Office- 10% discount on Microsoft 365 Business Standard.

Adobe- 15% off Adobe Creative Cloud All Apps.

Shopify- 20% discount.

Namecheap-  Members get 20% off NameCheap, which helps you register, host, and manage websites.

Shutterstock– 20% off image and footage subscription plans.

HubSpot- 30% off software, mentorship, education, and a complimentary CRM.

RingCentral– 15% off monthly fees for 24+ month contracts and $50 off any phone purchased with new plan.

BizFilings– Members get 25% off standard pricing at BizFilings, which helps business file their business incorporation documents.

Phone.com- Free one year of their base “Pay Per Minute” plan, which gives you a business VOIP phone plan with 300 minutes each month.

Squarespace– 20% off website plans.

Moo Inc. – Moo is a print and design company that members enjoy a 20% discount.

Zoom- 20% off Zoom services with a 10 business license minimum plus one free Zoom Rooms license.

Sales Force- 50% off the first annual subscription of Sales Force Essentials.

SkillShare– 30% off Premium Annual Account.

Industrious– 15% off your next office space and 50% off a twice-a-week Oasis membership (typically $450/month)

Swag.com- 10% off.

HelpScout- Members get three months free of HelpScout, which is a customer communication tool.

Harvest- 15% off their time-tracking tool.

Is FoundersCard Worth It?

FoundersCard’s biggest value will come in the first year because of the discounted first year rate of $395 and many of the discounts are one-time such as the $20,000 in fee-free Stripe charges and the Marriott Platinum Status Challenge.

The membership can be worth it in the first and subsequent years if you can take advantage of the:

  • Elite Status (Hilton, Avis, Caesar’s, Cathay Pacific, and Sixt)
  • Merchant Discounts (AT&T, Office Depot, Dell, Lenovo, Silver Car, etc.)
  • TripIt Pro mobile app. 
  • ZipCar membership.
  • Fly United, American Airlines or the international airlines with discounts originating from the United States.

If you live outside the United States, you will likely find that the FoundersCard is not worth it. Many of the discounts and travel perks only apply in the United States.

You could also try it for a year, cancel, and see if another deal for FoundersCard comes around. This is what I did when they sent me an email offering to re-join for $99 in the first year and $295 per year thereafter.