Refer a Friend: 30 Companies That Pay You to Spread the Word

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What do you do when you read a great new book or try out a new gym? You probably start talking about it, right?

Well, if you're going to tell your friends how awesome your gym, bank, app or hosting company is, you might as well earn a little something in return. Many companies offer cash, store credit or other bonuses for referring their product to other people, so it's worth your time to know what kind of bonuses you can receive.

This doesn't mean promoting anything and everything that has a referral program. It's just a nice way to get a bit of a bonus when you recommend products and services you genuinely enjoy.

I put together a list of 30 referral programs that can help you earn money and other rewards. The next time you're sharing your experience about one of these service providers or opportunities, make sure to get credit for your advice.


Banks are great places to score referral bonuses, whether you convince your friends to sign up for a new account or get friends to open up a new credit card. These are just a handful of the bank referral programs out there; check with your bank to see what referral options they offer!

1. U.S. Bank offers 5,000 FlexPoints when you refer a friend to sign up for their credit card.

2. If you have PNC WorkPlace Banking, you can earn $100 for each co-worker who signs up for an account, up to $500 total.

3. Capital One 360 will give you $20 for every friend who opens an account using your link, up to $1,000 total.

4. Citi International Personal Bank offers some amazing referral rewards, from $500 cash to a Kindle Fire HD.

5. The Southwest Rapid Rewards credit card is offering 5,000 bonus points for each friend you refer, up to 30,000 bonus points total.

6. In addition to the Southwest Rapid Rewards card, other Chase credit cards also come with referral bonuses, so check out their Refer a Friend site and see if your card is on the list!


Gyms want to get as many new members as possible, so they provide great incentives to people who can get new customers in the door. Plus, you'll have a gym buddy to keep you on target with your workout goals!

We've listed a few chain gym referral programs for you, but local gyms often have great referrals as well. Many gyms choose not to publicize their referral bonuses, but most offer some form of bonus -- so make sure to ask the next time you stop by!

7. Chattanooga, Tennessee's Urban Rocks climbing gym offers a sliding scale, depending what kind of membership your friend chooses.

8. Equinox gives you a gift card for every new member you refer.

9. Women-only fitness center Healthworks offers $50 in Club Cash, which you can use toward your own membership, for every friend you refer.

10. 24-Hour Fitness gives you a $20 MyStore coupon or a 50-minute personal training session for every friend you refer.

11. Gold's Gym lets you choose from various non-cash rewards after successfully referring a friend. Sounds like a nice surprise!


Believe it or not, some companies offer serious referral bonuses to employees who bring in talented new hires.

12. San Francisco company Thumbtack offers $15,000 bonuses or paid vacations to people who make successful hiring referrals, according to SFGate.

13. ThoughtSpot, a Palo Alto, California, startup, offers $20,000 to people who refer successful candidates, reports SFGate.

Your job might not offer a five-figure bonus, but many companies do offer smaller referral bonuses to people who bring in new hires. Ask around and see if there are referral bonuses available, or see if your human resources department is open to the suggestion.

Digital Tools and Web Hosting

If you have a website or blog, chances are your web hosting company has a referral program. Likewise, digital tools like Dropbox give you more space for every friend you invite. Here are some of the more popular ones:

14. Dropbox gives you up to 16 GB of space if you get your friends to join -- plus, with your friends on Dropbox, you can create shared folders and quickly share files.

15. When you invite friends to Evernote, you can both earn access to Evernote Premium.

16. When you refer people to DreamHost, you get up to $97 plus an additional $5 for every referral those friends make! It's the referral that keeps on giving.

17. HostGator increases your bonus the more people you sign up. If you sign up 5 people, you get $50 a person; if you sign up 21 people, you get $125 a person. Spread the word!

18. Media Temple gives you free hosting in exchange for referrals, and the people you refer get 20 percent off.


Traveling is expensive, so why not earn a little extra money where you can? Whether you're taking an Uber to the airport or listing your basement suite on Airbnb, here are a few ways to refer friends and get rewards.

19. Airbnb lets you send friends $25 in Airbnb credit and earn $25 when those friends stay at an Airbnb, and $75 when they host people in an Airbnb.

20. Uber lets you earn credit for future rides by referring your friends.

21. If you're a Lyft driver and you refer another driver to join Lyft, you can both earn up to $500 in bonuses.


If you find yourself buying and reselling clothes constantly, you need to know about these referral programs. (And if you never knew there were sites that let you resell your old clothes for cash, make sure to read The Penny Hoarder's clothing resale guide!)

22. StitchFix sends new fashions right to your door. Convince a friend to sign up for a StitchFix shipment, and you can earn $25 in StitchFix credit.

23. Fashion resale site Poshmark sometimes offers referral codes, so if you use the site, watch for chances to earn Poshmark credit.

24. Another resale site, Twice, has a great referral program. You can earn up to $500 in Twice credit by referring friends to either buy or sell Twice clothing.

Affiliate Programs

When you sign up for an affiliate program, you earn money by linking to products on your personal website. It is very important to always disclose when you use affiliate links, which usually means writing something like "the following links are affiliate links." Check out the FTC's disclosure guidance for more info.

25. Amazon's affiliate program is one of the best out there. When you use an affiliate link to reference an Amazon product on your website, you earn money not only if a person clicks that link and buys the product, but also if they buy anything else on Amazon's website.

26. If you prefer Barnes & Noble, they have an affiliate program, too.

27. ITunes also has a great affiliate program, and you can link to songs as well as apps, TV shows and more.

28. Fitbit gives you 12 percent commission on Fitbit items you sell through your personal website.

29. and 30. Walmart and Target also both have affiliate programs, and you can earn up to 4 percent on Walmart sales and up to 5 percent on Target ones.

These are only a small percentage of the numerous referral and affiliate programs out there. If you like a product or service, chances are there's a way to get paid by recommending it to someone else. So start referring -- and start earning!

Have you ever used a referral program? Which ones do you recommend? Tell us in the comments section below.
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