Top 10 Referral Programs That Pay You Well

Affiliate marketing is a great career with so many potentials. You can decide how much you want to earn by the way you explore what’s available to you.

Why’s that? As you grow in knowledge and skills, you improve your revenue potential.

That’s the reason affiliates have to keep learning and earning. The word is to “adapt and adopt” safe practices that will grow your affiliate business.

I thought to share some great insights with you through this post, as I’m sure you will find the information very useful for growing your affiliate earnings.

The first step is helping you spot the difference between the affiliate and referral programs.

This topic covers Referral and not just Affiliates programs, though you will notice that some affiliate programs are mentioned in my top 10 list of paying referral programs.

How is an Affiliate Program Different from a Referral Program?

An affiliate program is basically a setup that allows marketers to promote merchants’ offers.

These marketers include bloggers, online marketers, YouTubers, influencers, and agencies. These marketers are actually referred to as affiliate marketers, with each expected to have an online publishing platform.

Publishing platforms could be blogs, email lists, social media networks, or landing pages.

The merchants that provide the offers are referred to as advertisers or simply merchants. Any merchant involved in the production of products and services can use affiliate programs to promote their offers.

On the other hand, referral programs are setups that reward marketers for introducing others that include family, friends, colleagues, and associates to a service or a company.

Referral earnings are generated mainly from getting others to sign up while affiliate revenue is earned when your referral performs an action or makes a purchase.

So the key to a success in the referral marketing business is recommending people.

Sounds so simple right?

Well, there are a number of factors that determine your success level in the referral business. But the most important of them all happens to be the company itself.

I did a good one for you by helping to reduce the resources you would otherwise have spent in search of credible referral companies.

So here is my top 10 list of referral programs that pay well, in no particular order.

Top 10 Referral Programs

1 – Payoneer

Payoneer is an online payment processor for transactions that involve payments, sending and receiving money.

It allows for local and international money transfers between entities living in different countries.

Payoneer is a preferred payment option because it lets users save money on fees.

It is one of the widely used payment options on Upwork and other freelance sites. Also, freelancers can receive payments for jobs on Amazon, Google, and AdSense.

Once you receive payment into your Payoneer account, you can withdraw through the different options that include ATM withdrawal or you can make purchases in supported online and offline stores.

Payoneer has a referral program that offers $25 per account holder who uploads or receives a total of $1,000.

2 – Ezoic

Ezoic offers you the opportunity to earn 3% recurring commissions for a lifetime. It is a managed CPM network that offers tools to publishers and bloggers for monetizing their websites.

To join the Ezoic referral program, you will need a site with a minimum of 10,000 monthly pageviews.  This is the toughest hurdle to scale before joining the Ezoic network.

Ezoic is a certified AdSense partner which helps its users boost AdSense earnings by 300%.

Sign up is free on Ezoic but your website must meet the requirements before your application is accepted.

The minimum payout on Ezoic is $20 and you receive the payment through ACH, PayPal, Check, or International Wire Transfer. It is possible to receive your Ezoic payment via Payoneer. That is if your U.S payment service account detail is entered in ACH settings.

3 – Swagbucks

Swagbucks is one of those referral programs that need no intro. It’s a platform that pays tokens to users for carrying out simple online tasks.

Meanwhile, Swagbucks pays $2.50 to you for every referral sign up. The referred members get $5 upon sign up while they receive up to $25 per survey completed.

See how you can earn Swagbuck points watching videos

Swagbucks accepts referrals from the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, Ireland, and Australia. You could earn from the Swagbucks referral program by inviting friends living in those countries.

For those living outside the accepted countries, you can join the affiliate networks of ImpactRadius or FlexOffers to participate.

Learn more about FlexOffers here

4 – ShareASale

ShareASale is one of the biggest names in the affiliate marketing world. It has been in existence but was recently acquired by AWIN.

Though the affiliate marketing network still retains its name and brand, the acquisition has allowed it to expand business operations around the world.

Affiliate marketers from all over the world can now join the thriving network to boost income from traffic.

ShareASale offers you the options to choose from the listed affiliate programs to promote. The minimum payout on this network is $50 and you can reserve payment via Payoneer, Check, or Direct Deposit.

ShareASale pays you $30 for every person that you successfully refer to its network. And you qualify to receive this payment when your referral earns a minimum of $20.

5 – RevenueHits

RevenueHits is a privately-owned CPA network that displays traffic-based ads on blogs and sites. The ads are more focused on your traffic needs rather than the needs of advertisers.

This makes it easier for the displayed ads to generate more income for its affiliates.

For referring your friends to use this network you are entitled to a 5% referral for the first year.

RevenueHits makes special banners available for display on your sites – which are used for displaying the best CPA offers for your audience.

Once a referral completes any of the required actions, you get paid.

To cash out from RevenueHits, you must have earned up to $20 via Payoneer.

6 – FlexOffers

FlexOffers is an affiliate marketing service that provides business benefits for users. Affiliate marketers are granted access to 12,000+ offers to promote, while Advertisers present offers that need to be promoted through the network.

Advertisers can introduce offers in categories such as Business, Shopping, and Family. Other product categories are Digital Products, Insurance, and Media.

There are lots of high paying offers for affiliate marketers on the FlexOffers platform.

Some of the global brands on this network include BlueHost, Samsung, Lenovo, and Ralph Laurent.

Affiliate marketers can earn up to $900 commission on a single sale.

FlexOffers also runs a referral program where marketers earn from 5% to 50%. These earnings are recurring commissions made from referrals.

Your performance within the past 90% determines the actual commission you receive.

More on FlexOffers here

7 – SurveySavvy

SurveySavvy is a market research-based company focused on gathering data through paid surveys.

Users are allowed to share their thoughts or ideas concerning certain brands through their website. Sharers of these thoughts and ideas are rewarded with prizes that can be redeemed over time.

Joining SurveySavvy is free for any interested persons. All you require is a valid email address to start earning prizes.

SurveySavvy also offers one of the best referral programs for affiliate marketers. You get the chance to earn repeated commissions for every referral.

You are entitled to a $2 referral commission and $3 earning for every survey completed by you.

If someone else is referred by your referral, she gets $2 for each survey, while the survey company pays you a reward of $1 extra. That’s because SurveySavvy runs a two-tier referral earning system for its affiliates.

There are no restrictions or limits placed on anyone with the interest to join the network.

There is no minimum amount before you can cash out, and payment is made via PayPal.

SurveySavvy also owns a mobile app that rewards those in the United States with $5 for installing the app.

The sign up on the survey site is free and straightforward.

8 – Rakuten

Rakuten, formerly known as Ebates, is an affiliate marketing network that helps its users earn a percentage of their purchases back. It offers users “free money” for shopping on one of its affiliated online stores.

This purchase can be made through the Rakuten website or through their browser extension.

Consumers who make use of the Rakuten service can earn from 1% to 40% of the purchase value made.

Rakuten has a partnership deal with over 2,500 retailers which include Walmart, Nordstrom, Amazon, Sephora, and Target.

Affiliate marketers are free to sign up and promote Rakuten to their family and friends.

For every referral that gets signed up, you earn $5 and a $20 bonus, while your referred user to the network earns a $10 sign-up bonus. The payment method for affiliate marketers on the Rakuten referral program is via PayPal.

Click here to see how to Earn and Save Money through Rakuten’s Cashback System

9 – VigLink

VigLink offers one of the best possible ways for bloggers and affiliate marketers to monetize their outbound links. What it does is to convert outgoing links into affiliate links that earn you income when purchases are made.

Even if you’re not signed up for an affiliate account with VigLink, the links can still be tracked and the earnings credited to you.

If you already have affiliate links from a different program, VigLink won’t change that link.

Setting up VigLink on your blog is super easy. All that is needed is for you to include a line of code to the source code of your website.

The VigLink affiliate program is free to join for all interested marketers. All you’ve got to do is visit the website and create a free account for yourself.

Once done, you can copy the provided code snippet and paste it into your site’s source code.

And all your outbound links (except you make exceptions) are converted into affiliate links.

The money-making begins when your visitor makes a purchase following any of the converted links.

One major advantage that VigLink offers is that it keeps you shielded from advertisers. The company manages the relationship with advertisers while you focus on your business of promoting the offers.

When you refer VigLink to fellow marketers, you are entitled to 35% of VigLink earnings for each sale.

VigLink offers its payouts via PayPal while affiliate marketers are expected to have earned $10 before qualifying for payout.

10 – Mr. Rebates

Mr. Rebates is one of those well-known cashback sites that enable users to save money from shopping. It shares a lot of semblance with other cashback sites like Rakuten, Swagbucks, and TopCashback.

The cashback site works by first directing a user to the online store. The user makes a purchase on the store and then the cashback site earns an affiliate commission.

Eventually, the cashback splits the affiliate earnings with the buyer.

Mr. Rebates pays its affiliates 20% in recurring earnings from the referral.

Once you sign up on Mr. Rebates, you will get a $5 sign-up bonus which is credited to your account after you have made the first purchase.

The minimum amount for cash out on Mr. Rebates is $10 via PayPal or check.


Sometimes, affiliate marketers suffer from having too many money-making options. The problem isn’t a lack of earning opportunities but choosing the right one.

One of such options happens to be referral program opportunities.

Referral programs share a lot of similarities with affiliate marketing programs. But the most distinct is that referral programs pay you for introducing a friend to a company or its service, while affiliate programs pay you for displaying ads, lead generation, and sales conversion.

While there are programs that focus mainly on referrals, many affiliate marketing programs also include referral earnings for marketers.

I have presented my top 10 referral programs that give you top dollar for participating.

Some of these referral programs are restricted to certain countries, while a number of them are open to all.

Joining is free as long as you meet up with all the requirements for new sign-ups.

If you are convinced that any of the listed referral programs are for you, go ahead and sign up for them.

Do you want to build passive income streams while earning side hustle income from those cashback and paid survey sites? Then, you need to work on a personal website – which is going to turn into a free cash pulling machine for you soonest.

Complete the Certification and Bootcamp courses of Wealthy Affiliate, making sure no task is left uncompleted. And you’ll start building financial freedom for yourself and generations unborn.

6 thoughts on “Top 10 Referral Programs That Pay You Well”

  1. Referral programs are maybe an “overlooked” opportunity for some affiliate marketers. By joining the ones that also offer affiliate marketing options, you are expanding your opportunities to make some revenue. I think Viglink has the best options for anyone who wants to create some income from their own online business. The combination of referral program, affiliate program and at the same time being shielded from the advertisers is great.

    • Thanks for reading, Roy! Oh, yes, most affiliate marketers don’t pay attention to the system of referral marketing in the name of earning passive income from affiliate marketing, meanwhile they can earn a lot from participating in referral programs like those talked about in this post. Thanks for your comment! Much appreciated, drop by anytime!

  2. Hi there!

    Well, this is a good article to read today to know more about the top 10 referral programs that pay you well.

    As I’m currently learning about how to make money from home, I was looking to learn more about different ways to earn some money on the passive income system, I’m glad I found your blog today, I did know there are different ways to make money online, and your article helped me to understand better the difference between affiliate marketing and making money on the referral system.

    You present a few options or online business that work on the referral system and some sounds interesting and it worth the time to learn more about them, as I’m working to build an online business, you can be sure I will study more one or two options from your article!

    • Thanks for your comment, Alejandra! Good to know you’ve been looking for ways to earn passive income online! You are already on track as this post is strictly about how you can earn passively online through referral marketing. You can take advantage of any one of those referral programs listed, sign up to their platform and start referring people to buy one product or the other. Thanks for stopping by, drop by anytime!

  3. That’s good to know! One thing your article did really well is to distinguish the differences between Affiliate Marketing and Referral Programs. Kudos! In the beginning of my Affiliate Marketing career, misunderstanding those simple terms lead to lots of time-wasting. 

    I was happy to explore the list of ten options for new and better Referral opportunities. In my experience, direct referral has worked best. Thank you for writing with such clarity.

    • Thanks for stopping by, Jacquelyn! Though referral marketing is similar to affiliate marketing in various ways, there is still a clear difference between them. Affiliate marketing is broader and more sophisticated than referral marketing. The former isn’t about referring people to buy products alone, while the latter simply focuses on generating referrals and earning commissions. Thanks again for stopping by Jacquelyn, drop by anytime!


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