Because there is a chance to earn some money by spreading word about the Vital credit card opportunity, some have wondered if it's a pyramid scheme. Thought I'd take a moment to clear this up.
What is a Pyramid Scheme?
You can't really know if something's a pyramid scheme unless you know how that term is defined, right? Let's start here:
There is a difference between a pyramid structure and a pyramid scheme.
Nearly every business in the world has a pyramid structure, even if it's just a small business owner and a receptionist. If the business works properly, the receptionist makes a relatively small, set salary while the business owner is making much more, in part on the work done by the receptionist.
Obviously corporations expand greatly on this, with executives making huge sums of money, directors making less, managers making even less, and so on down to the blue collar worker. Each higher level makes more in part off the backs of those lower down the line. This is a pyramid structure.
A pyramid scheme on the other hand is one in which money is passed up through a similar funnel, but where little or no value is being exchanged. In a legitimate business, each person is (ideally) creating value for a consumer, which is what brings money into the business. In a scheme, little or no value is being produced for the outside world; rather, people are enticed to take part solely on the idea that they could become part of a funnel where they are receiving more money (from those below them in the funnel) than they're spending (on people above them in the funnel).
In short, they get little to nothing in value for the money they're spending, except the hope that they can make money by spending money. This is the heart of a pyramid scheme.
Is MLM (Network Marketing) a Pyramid Scheme?
Understanding what a pyramid scheme really is, is network marketing (also known as multi-level marketing or MLM) a pyramid scheme?
Well, you need to go by the same standard. I've seen MLM schemes where very little of value was being offered to members. They were just being brought in with some nonsense product like an ebook of the month (and probably titles you could find for free online) and the idea that if they could bring in enough other people to buy the same nonsense, they could make money. I would qualify that as a pyramid scheme.
But many MLM companies offer real products with real value, so by definition they are not a scheme or scan.
This doesn't mean I necessarily like most of them. To be honest, I don't. I'm not a fan of startup fees, excessive monthly purchases, and complicated payment plans that not only make it difficult to calculate what you'll get paid each month but heavily rely on the work of other people to make much money. And in my experience, too few people are willing to work.
Vital is Not Really MLM and It's Not a Pyramid Scheme
So that brings us to the Vital opportunity. First, there's no cost to join and there's no monthly purchase. This clearly separates it from any kind of pyramid scheme.
In fact, there are simply no costs to be involved, outside of shifting some of your current spending (at least $250) from another card to the Vital credit card. For instance, you can move insurance payments to Vital and right there you're meeting your qualifications without spending a single new dime on anything.
But on top of that, Vital isn't really MLM (multi-level marketing) at all. Not in my mind anyway. Multi-level? Yes. MLM? No. Here's why:
With no startup fees, no monthly purchases, and only a 3 level point system (extremely simple), Vital doesn't look like MLM at all. It looks like an affiliate program (something used by countless businesses including big names like Amazon). Just a 3-level affiliate program.
And most of the emphasis is on the work you do. You get 4 points for every active card member (spending at least $1/month on the card) you bring to Vital. You only get 2 points for those that your direct referrals bring, and 1 point for those that the next level brings. That's the entire plan. I've seen multi-level affiliate programs before, and that's what they look like.
(With Vital, you build up as many points as you can, which is sort of like "shares." The company divvies up 1% of ALL card members' spending each month, and everyone who's built up points and has spent $250 that month on their card get a portion according to how many points they have.)
Of course this may be splitting hairs with some people. Maybe you still see Vital as an MLM, and that's fine. Maybe you don't like it because of that (or maybe you love it because of that). That's fine too. But with no costs involved and a pyramid structure that's probably far more subtle than that of a corporation, it's very clear that Vital is nowhere close to a pyramid scheme.
Interested to get a Vital card and earn by sharing it with others. Click here if you'd like to work alongside me.
I'm an author and professional writer / marketer with an interest in gathering teams of those who want to learn, grow progressive businesses, have fun, and make a difference.