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In the quest to find ways to make money online, chances are you might have come across Refer a Friend schemes. This post explores how you can make money with Refer a Friend schemes across various industries, and how you can maximise your income with this side hustle.
Refer a Friend schemes are great ways for businesses across most – if not all – industries to have their existing customers do their marketing for them. Afterall, word of mouth is the most effective means of advertising out there!
It’s likely that you’ll have previously recommended a business or service to a friend – and if it was part of a Refer a Friend scheme, you’ll have received a bonus or incentive of some sort for doing so.
But did you know that there are some super-savvy people out there making a significant, regular side hustle income through utilising Refer a Friend schemes to their fullest potential?
- What are Refer a Friend Schemes?
- How to start making money with Refer a Friend schemes
- How can you use social media to increase your income with Refer a Friend Schemes?
- My Favourite Refer-a-Friend Schemes
- Top tips to make the most of Refer a Friend schemes
- Final Thoughts on Making Money with Refer a Friend Schemes
What are Refer a Friend Schemes?
Many businesses across all sorts of industries offer Refer a Friend bonuses to those already using their products and services – and it’s as simple as it sounds.
Refer a friend to the same product or service, and you, they, or both of you, will receive a referral bonus.
This could be cold hard cash, shares, products or a discount on future purchases – and it really is as simple as sharing your personalised link (generated by the company) with others, who then just need to click through, sign up and follow any particular instructions (such as deposit £1 into your account within 30 days).
How to start making money with Refer a Friend schemes
First up, you need to identify the best Refer a Friend schemes out there. I’ve included my favourites at the bottom of this post, but Google is also a great port of call. Look up the various brands and services you personally use and can vouch for, or create an account with those you’d like to try, and begin to refer people using your own personalised Refer a Friend link (automatically generated by the company).
How can you use social media to increase your income with Refer a Friend Schemes?
In order to really maximise your Refer a Friend scheme earnings, it might be worth utilising the internet to further your reach.
Social media profiles and blogs are great ways to promote Refer a Friend schemes, and if you can give your followers and readers reviews or insights into your personal experience, you’ll not only build trust, but hopefully secure more sign ups.
That’s a key thing with promoting Refer a Friend schemes on social media – people want to know the product or service you’re recommending has been tried and tested by you, so where possible, you need to demonstrate this.
Some people set up specially-created social media profiles dedicated to the best Refer a Friend schemes out there. They’ll be presented as a deals-based profile, and they share the best money-saving discounts currently out there.
These are great for followers and the owner of the social media page alike, providing the product or service is one that the owner can truly vouch for.
Alternatively, you might also follow somebody’s personal or business social media profile, which could sporadically include a referral link to a service they mention and can recommend.
Neither is better than the other – they’re just examples of two great ways to increase your income with Refer a Friend schemes.
If you already have a social media profile, look into ways you might be able to incorporate your personal links. It might be having a direct link in your bio, or posting content about the company in question and inviting those who are interested in trying it all out to send you a DM or email.
Personally, I think the most effective way of using social media profiles to promote Refer a Friend schemes is to set up a Linktree profile and include all your various referral links within this. Then, in your Stories, grid posts, tweets or Facebook updates, you can send people to your Linktree where they can find the various deals available to them.
Your Linktree profile, despite holding all the various referral links, will only have one URL, which is perfect for your social media profile bios and acts as a one-stop shop for followers to head to to make the most of your referral bonuses.
My Favourite Refer-a-Friend Schemes
Personally, I only ever promote refer a friend schemes that I actually use, with my favourites being as follows:
I only actually started using Airtime Rewards around September time, and I’ve already been able to receive discounts on my phone bill thanks to it.
Airtime Rewards is an App, so once you’ve downloaded it, all you need to do is link your bank cards to it, and spend as normal. Airtime Rewards are partnered with a number of your go-to High Street and online retailers, and if you shop at any of them, you will automatically receive cashback from your purchase, which you can then redeem against your phone bill.
As it’s all automatic once you’ve hooked up your bank cards, there’s literally nothing else you need to do to earn this cashback. Effortless cashback is the best kind of cashback!
Find Airtime Rewards here, or search them on the App Store, and if you enter in the referral code B6HRYTEV we’ll both receive a 50p bonus.
Sure, it might not be the biggest referral bonus out there, but it’s an incredibly easy App to use, and one that I can wholeheartedly recommend to anybody with a phone bill (and a desire to reduce it!)
If you’ve been reading this blog for some time, you’ll know how much I preach about TopCashback to just about anybody I speak to.
If you ever need to purchase anything online, by going on to the TopCashback website first, and searching for the retailer you’re looking for, and clicking through from there, you’ll receive money back.
But how does it work?
Cashback sites receive a small commission for referring you to a retailers’ website if you go on to make a purchase, and they then pass on a little of this commission to you in the form of cashback.
I’ve made over £200 since I signed up in October 2019, and I’ve been an avid user of them ever since – and best of all, they also have a great Refer a Friend scheme available!
If you sign up new customers, you’ll receive anything from £7.50 – £25 in referral bonuses – and the person you refer may also receive a bonus. TopCashback referral bonuses do vary throughout the year, but it’s still one to consider signing up to if you haven’t already.
And if you aren’t currently a member but want to be, you can sign up through my TopCashback referral link here.
Investing and investing platforms have really been gathering momentum over this past year in terms of mainstream coverage. It wasn’t something I had even considered before the first lockdown in March 2020 – at which point, I was keen to start learning.
Following my research, I now have a Stocks & Shares ISA, and an investment account with Trading 212 – and they arguably have the best referral scheme around.
You see, instead of giving a set amount of cash as a referral bonus, they give both you and the person you refer a free share up to the value of £100 when they deposit £1.
Once you receive your share, it’s then up to you whether you keep it in your portfolio, or whether you sell it and keep the cash instead – but I love the surprise when it comes to the share you’ll receive!
If you are interested in investing, and are looking to sign up with Trading212, you can receive your own free share by following my referral link here. Deposit £1, and the free share will be with you in a couple of days – if you do so, let me know which one you end up with!
And then, if you’re happy with the service, refer, refer and refer some more!
Swagbucks is a website that allows you to earn points through completing various different activities online – from watching videos, to shopping, to answering surveys – before converting the points into gift cards.
Whilst it’s not about to make you rich, it’s still a great way to make a little extra cash to help pay for Christmas, and their referral scheme allows you to both receive 300 SB (Swagbucks) bonus when your friend earns 300SB in their first 30 days.
If you’re interested in signing up and earning some money from the comfort of your sofa through completing various short online tasks – and through referring friends, family and followers – you can sign up through my referral link here.
Now Starling’s Refer a Friend scheme is a good one – although there isn’t a financial incentive available.
Instead, Starling plant a tree for every friend referred by their customers.
Sure, it’s not a money maker, and I haven’t actually started referring anybody to Starling just yet (despite being a happy customer!), but I’m looking forward to the satisfaction of seeing my planted trees accrue!
Another one I’ve been using for a good few months now, Shopmium is a great app to help you save money on your food shopping, and discover new products for free or at heavily discounted rates.
For every person who signs up using your personal code, you’ll receive £3 of credit to spend on products featured on the app – and each person you refer will get a free tube of Pringles.
If you aren’t on it yet, head to the App Store, download Shopmium, and grab your free tube of Pringles using my referral code 992uf4 – and begin referring friends and family to accrue your referral credit today.
Bloom & Wild
Throughout the year, I send a lot of flowers, and Bloom & Wild are the only service I currently use – so their Refer a Friend scheme is an obvious fit for me.
For every person you refer to the website, you both receive £10 credit to use against your next Bloom & Wild purchase – which, if you’re a regular customer like I am, really does make a difference.
Top tips to make the most of Refer a Friend schemes
Sure, on the face of it, it sounds easy. And it is, if your friends and family (and social media followers) are interested in the same products and services as you are.
But before you start on your new side hustle, there are just a few other things you might want to bear in mind:
- Don’t refer something you don’t believe in
- Your friends, family or followers will lose trust in you (and stop signing up to your referrals) if you’re promoting anything and everything! I know that HelloFresh and Gousto have great Refer a Friend schemes – but I’ve never used them, so why would I vouch for them as a service to my followers and readers?
- If you receive credit as a referral bonus, make sure you’re only shopping when you need something
- For example, Bloom & Wild gives you £10 to spend with them when a friend signs up using your code – but if that then means you’re spending £20 of your own cash on a bouquet you weren’t originally planning on buying, you aren’t saving money, you’re spending it.
- The more you post about the brands you have a Refer a Friend scheme in place with, the more likely you are to generate some income
- But unless you create a specially-designated social media profile set up specifically to share the best schemes going, it’s a fine line between being spammy and being helpful.
- Apply to a variety of Refer a Friend schemes
- It really is a case of the more the better – providing you can personally vouch for the service. Sign up to schemes across industries, and across a vast array of products and services, to maximise your chances of having a company to refer for every eventuality.
- Keep a spreadsheet with your various Refer a Friend scheme codes
- If you’re signing up to various schemes, I wholeheartedly recommend setting up a spreadsheet to keep track of your various referral codes. I’ve got one for both my referral codes, and my affiliate marketing links, and it just makes life so much easier to have them all in one place.
Final Thoughts on Making Money with Refer a Friend Schemes
Unless you’re an influencer with a huge number of followers, you’re never going to make huge amounts from Refer a Friend schemes – but it is possible to make an extra £50+ each month through referring friends, family and followers to companies and brands that you know and love.
It might not sound like a lot, but as the saying goes – it really does add up and it really can make a difference. Even if it just pays for one food shop every month, or can go towards Christmas, it’s a great side hustle which can make you money around the clock.