InCruises launched in early 2016 and operate in the travel services MLM niche.

BehindMLM reviewed InCruises on January 16th, 2016 and concluded it was your usual “access to discounts” fare.

This is problematic as in MLM access to third-party discounts isn’t a product in and of itself (you can’t just charge a fee to provide access to someone else’s discounts).

“Cruise Dollars” go some way to alleviate this compliance issue, providing essentially credits that can be used towards discounted travel.

Additionally the InCruises compensation plan had no retail volume qualifiers, allowing an InCruises affiliate to qualify for commissions via affiliate recruitment (affiliates being the majority holders of travel discount memberships).

A few weeks ago I was informed by a BehindMLM reader that InCruises has ‘a complete new (compensation) plan called 2.0 that is changing all the troubles and risks.’

Today we review InCruises’ new compensation plan and seeing if that’s the case.

InCruises Affiliate Ranks

There are nine affiliate ranks within the InCruises compensation plan.

Along with their respective qualification criteria, they are as follows:

  • Affiliate – sign up and pay the InCruises affiliate fee
  • Marketing Manager – generate $3000 a month in downline travel membership sales
  • Senior Marketing Manager – generate $10,000 a month in downline travel membership sales
  • Marketing Director – generate $25,000 a month in downline travel membership sales
  • Senior Marketing Director – generate $50,000 a month in downline travel membership sales
  • Regional Director – generate $100,000 a month in downline travel membership sales
  • National Director – generate $200,000 a month in downline travel membership sales
  • International Director – generate $300,000 a month in downline travel membership sales
  • Executive Director – generate $500,000 a month in downline travel membership sales

Recruitment Commissions

InCruises pay affiliates to recruit new affiliates who also sign up with a travel membership.

How much of a commission is paid out is determined by how many affiliates are recruited each month.

  • earn $50 when you recruit your first affiliate
  • earn $60 when you recruit your second affiliate
  • earn $70 when you recruit your third affiliate
  • earn $80 when you recruit your fourth affiliate
  • earn $90 when you recruit your fifth affiliate
  • earn $100 when you recruit your sixth affiliate
  • earn $110 when you recruit your seventh affiliate
  • earn $120 when you recruit your eighth affiliate
  • earn $130 when you recruit your ninth affiliate
  • earn $150 when you recruit your tenth affiliate (and every affiliate thereafter)

Note that at the end of each month recruitment commissions reset to $50.

Producer Bonus

For every three non-affiliate travel subscriptions sold within a month, an InCruises affiliate receives 100 Cruise Dollars.

Residual Commissions

InCruises pay residual commissions via a unilevel compensation structure.

A unilevel compensation structure places an affiliate at the top of a unilevel team, with every personally recruited affiliate placed directly under them (level 1):

If any level 1 affiliates recruit new affiliates, they are placed on level 2 of the original affiliate’s unilevel team.

If any level 2 affiliates recruit new affiliates, they are placed on level 3 and so on and so forth down a theoretical infinite number of levels.

InCruises cap payable unilevel levels at five, with commissions paid out at a flat rate of $5 per month per travel subscription sold and maintained within the unilevel team.

This includes both affiliate and retail customer travel subscription purchases.

To qualify for residual commissions an InCruises affiliate must sell and maintain five active travel memberships (affiliate or retail) and personally recruit at least one affiliate who has done the same.

Rank Achievement Bonus

InCruises pay affiliates the following monthly Rank Achievement Bonuses if they qualify at an appropriate rank.

  • Marketing Manager – $500
  • Senior Marketing Manager – $1000
  • Marketing Director – $2500
  • Senior Marketing Director – $5000
  • Regional Director – $10,000
  • National Director – $20,000
  • International Director – $30,000 a month plus a Rolex watch (one-time)
  • Executive Director – $55,000

Bonus Pool

InCruises take 5% of company-wide sales volume and pay it via equal shares to “qualifying leaders” each month.

Qualification criteria for “qualifying leaders” is not provided in the InCruises compensation plan.

Travel Rewards

If a new InCruises affiliate recruits seven affiliates who each buy a travel membership, within 60 days of signing up, they receive a “50% off” coupon for a “Company Sponsored Dream Cruise”.

If a new affiliate recruits fourteen travel subscription affiliates within 60 days of signing up, they ‘earn a Dream Cruise booking for two with no out-of-pocket expenses‘.

Joining InCruises

InCruises affiliate membership is $195 and then $95 each year thereafter.

Conclusion

The question of legitimacy with respect to InCruises MLM offering still lies in how many non-affiliates are purchasing the travel subscription.

Suggesting that retail focus is lower than ever, InCruises affiliates can only earn on retail membership sales residually.

These commissions are locked up behind a “sell and maintain five memberships” wall, whereas affiliate recruitment commissions can be earned right off the bat.

The recruitment commissions alone drag InCruises into pyramid scheme territory.

In an attempt to justify paying a commission on the recruitment of affiliates who purchase a membership, the InCruises FAQ states

inCruises does not pay for the recruitment of Partners. We only pay commissions for the personal enrollment of Members, including Partner Member memberships.

“Partner memberships” are recruited affiliate who sign up with a travel membership. There’s no retail component to the equation so paying a commission per affiliate recruited is definitely a recruitment commission.

This is problematic as InCruises have now added a passive rank-based monthly commission to the compensation plan.

A passive monthly payment for maintaining rank can be seen as a securities offering ($195 plus $100 a month investment, recruit others who do the same and earn a passive ROI of up to $55,000 a month).

Worse still if the majority of memberships company-wide are held by affiliates, InCruises are effectively recycling newly invested funds to pay off existing investors. This is Ponzi fraud.

The good news is ascertaining whether this is taking place on a micro-level is relatively easy. As a prospective InCruises affiliate, ask your potential upline whether they qualify for residual commissions.

This requires 5 membership sales, and what you want to find out is whether they’re qualifying via active retail memberships or recruited affiliate memberships.

If it’s recruited affiliate memberships, there’s a good chance this is happening company-wide.

On top of the compliance issues raised above, this scenario also draws into question the retail viability of InCruises’ travel membership.

I was weary of InCruises initial offering. In revamping the compensation plan, in my opinion, the company has gone from a questionable business model to a mix of pyramid and (potential) Ponzi fraud.