Having Friends Pays off: 18 Refer-a-Friend Programs That Pay You
Have friends? Co-workers? Family members?
If you fall in love with a product or service you use, you’re probably going to buzz about it. (I know we do!)
But did you know you can actually get paid to refer friends?
18 of the Best Referral Programs
We scoured the internet and found these companies offering awesome referral programs. If you take full advantage of these, you can easily bank thousands of dollars. But sometimes a crisp $5 bill is nice, too.
1. Acorns: Up to $100/Year
You’ve heard of Acorns, right? It’s one of our favorite micro-investing apps. You can start investing your spare change with as little as $5. (Plus, you’ll earn a $5 bonus when you sign up here.) Next, refer a friend to earn up to $100 in a calendar year.
2. OhmConnect: $20
California residents can earn extra money by syncing their utility accounts to an energy-sharing program called OhmConnect and agreeing to help reduce energy usage just a few hours a week.
It’s pretty simple, and you’re helping the environment. Your earnings are based on how much power you save. If you want to automate the process, you can even connect a smart thermostat or plug and let OhmConnect do this automatically. Even connecting some of your biggest energy-hogging devices to a smart plug can help you save $500 a year — effortlessly.
But you don’t need a smart device to save: The more you do, the more money you can make.
Plus, with OhmConnect’s referral program, you can get paid up to $20 to help a friend save money and energy.
Enter your ZIP code here to open a free OhmConnect account, then sync it with your online utility account through PG&E, SDG&E or Southern California Edison to start earning extra cash.
3. Shipt: $10 For Groceries
Shipt makes all your dreams comes true. That is, if you hate entering the grocery store. If you’re curious, read about how Shipt works here. If you already use it, recommend it to a friend. Both of you will get $10 to go toward your next grocery bill.
4. Groupon: $10 in Groupon Bucks
All right, Groupon has wacky deals sometimes, but you can find real gems (like pizza) and save a ton. When you refer a friend, you can bank $10 in Groupon bucks to spend on the next great deal you find.
5. InboxDollars: 10% of Friends’ Earnings
If you’re into survey sites, you’ve probably heard of InboxDollars. You can get paid to take surveys, watch videos and play games. When you refer a friend who signs up, you’ll earn 10% of their qualified earnings. Say they watch a video and earn $1. You’ll get 10 cents. Learn more through our InboxDollars review.
6. Credible: $100 to $1,000
Credible refinances student loans, and the service has saved graduates a ton of money (like $50,000). If you’ve already used the service and you refer a friend who refinances a balance of $30,000 or more, you’ll snag $1,000. For balances under $30,000, or for personal-loan referrals, you’ll still get $100.
Note: This offer ends December 31, 2017.
7. HealthyWage: $20 (No Limit!)
This site pays you to lose weight (these women did it!). You place a bet on yourself and if you carry through, HealthyWage pays you. When you recommend a friend, it’ll add $20 to your wager. So, for example, if you invite 100 friends who sign up, that’s an additional $2,000 you can win if you meet your weight-loss goal.
Remember, the referral bonus is only available during the first three months of your HealthyWage challenge, so start hustlin’.
8. Walmart Grocery: $10 Promo Code
Love using Walmart’s grocery online pickup and delivery service? You might as well spread the good word, and refer your friends. They’ll get $10 for groceries — and so will you.
9. Airbnb: $20 Toward Travel
I’m so mad all of my friends use Airbnb already… maybe I need to make more? If you refer a friend who takes their first trip, spending $75 or more, you’ll get an easy $20 toward your next adventure.
10. Lyft: A Free Ride
If you drive with Lyft and refer a new driver, you could earn a bonus (amounts vary by location). If you refer a new Lyft rider, once they take their first trip, you’ll earn a free ride. Do note that this offer varies by location, so just check your Lyft app.
11. Uber: $5 Toward Your Next Ride
Uber offers two options: When you’re a driver and refer a friend to start a new side gig, you can get rewarded. If you’re a passenger, you’ll snag a $5 credit when you refer friends and they use your code before requesting their first trip.
12. Shopkick: 250 Kicks
Rewards apps are great, but many times they require you to spend money to make some back. Shopkick is different, though. You can earn “kicks” just by walking into a store. These kicks then translate to gift cards. For example, 6,500 kicks will get you a $25 Amazon gift card.
When one of your referrals signs up for Shopkick, you’ll bank 250 bonus kicks. That’s like walking into five Targets.
13. The Honest Company: $20 Credit
Jessica Alba’s sustainable products empire, The Honest Company, has a solid refer-a-friend program. Invite a friend, and bank $20 in your account for your next purchase. (This is perfect for moms!)
14. Sam’s Club: $10 E-Gift Card
Are you a Sam’s Club member? When you send a friend your unique referral link (found here), and they sign up, you’ll collect a $10 e-gift card, and they’ll collect a $20 e-gift card.
15. AAA: Refer a Friend for 20 AAA Dollars
Got AAA? You can help a friend out without changing their tire on the side of a highway by referring them to AAA. You’ll get 20 AAA Dollars, which will go toward your card’s renewal. Plus, you both can score awesome, unexpected discounts.
16. Hulu: $10 Visa Prepaid Card
17. Rent the Runway: $30 Off
Rent the Runway is an online shop that lets you rent designer dresses for a fraction of their price tags. (Penny Hoarder Susan Shain loves it!) When you refer a friend, not only will they get $30 off their next purchase, you’ll get $30, too.
18. Hotels.com: $50 Off
If you travel a lot, you know how expensive hotels can be. Hotels.com not only helps you save, but when you refer a friend (who then books a $200-plus stay), you’ll also get $50 towards your next booking. Your friend will get $50 off, too.
Carson Kohler (@CarsonKohler) is a staff writer at The Penny Hoarder. She’s been humming the Beatles’ “With A Little Help From My Friends” while researching this post. Off-key, of course.