Saving And Making Money Using Referral Programs

By Daniel Goldman | Trading Politics | 21 Jul 2019

One way I try to save money is by relying on referral programs. A lot of them don’t necessarily give you cash, but they can reduce your bill, if you’re using their service, and there are a lot of services that offer this feature.

I try to keep an eye out for various referral programs for the services that I use. Sometimes I choose whether or not go to with a company, depending on whether they have a decent referral program or not. I don’t mind giving friends and family suggestions, letting them know what cell phone company I use, auto-ship services like Butcherbox, and so on. A lot of companies benefit from their customers referring new customers to them. So why not get something back for doing it? Here are a few companies that offer referral services. I use each and every one of them.

Referral links are included in this article. Just as a disclaimer, I will financially benefit from the use of these referral codes.



Contracts are a thing of the past for cell service, at least in general. The last contract I had was with Verizon, years ago, and I hated it. After a major disagreement (won’t go into details here), I ditched them, and switched to Ting. I’ve been using Ting ever since. Ting has a number of phone options, and you can use just about any unlocked GSM phone. I use my Samsung Galaxy S9+. As other reviews mention, Ting is best if you’re not a data hog. Talk and text is quite cheap. Data can get pricey. Referrals can drop that price back down though, which is a benefit of Ting over certain other carriers.

Referral Program: Refer a friend to Ting by offering $25 off a device or $25 in Ting credit. You get $50 for your first successful referral and $25 for each one after that.




One of the first, if not the first article I wrote specifically for this core blog was on sous vide and meat. In that article I mentioned Butcherbox. The “box” concept is becoming more and more popular. It’s sort of just your usual [product] of the month club, but repackaged. So far I’ve only tried Butcherbox and a few others, and I do like most of them. In fact, I’m writing a whole article on these kinds of subscription programs. The products are good, and everything is prepacked and frozen, so I can use it at my convenience.

Referral Program: Butcherbox’s referral program is a little confusing, as it changes. Sometimes you get account credit. Other times you get free products, such as bacon. As far as I can tell, if you already have the free product attached to your account, such as the lifetime supply of bacon, you will get the account credit, which tends to be around $43. Referrals are limited to 12 per year, but that’s still up to $516 in account credit, per year.


Blockchain Cuties

I've mentioned Blockchain Cuties multiple times. It's a decent game, though there's a lot of work before I'd say that it's truly out of beta. It's probably a good idea to get a head start now before the Cutieland expansion comes out.

Referral Program: Their referral program is interesting. There are tiers which give certain benefits, mainly rare cuties, which can be useful in the game. You also get some useful items, which can help with breeding and adventuring.



I just started getting into Splinterlands, but it's a fun game and has a lot of features that a lot of other TCGs, even other online ones, do not have. 

Referral Program: I have to say that this program is really nice. For each person you bring to the game, you get 5% of the revenue from the in game purchases. Depending on how much the person spends, that could be a lot of money.



BelaCam is still fairly new, but it's a platform that has a lot of potential to disrupt social media platforms like Instagram. I'll be writing a lot about BelaCam, as I'm now doing some contract writing for them, but the platform itself is nice. It's still in its early stages, but BelaCam does more than just allow people to obsess over how many likes they get for their photos and other artwork. With BELA, the utility token that the platform uses, likes have more value than feeding narcissism.

Referral Program: In order to like a person's post on BelaCam, you need BELA. In theory, this approach should make likes more valuable, just because the number of likes a person can give is finite. But the more BELA a person has, the more they can like posts, and so the referral program gives BELA. It's a tiered system. The more referrals you bring in, the more BELA you get.



If you like t-shirts and other merchandise, Redbubble is a fun option to consider. I started using it because I needed a print on demand service for printing The First Church of Penguinism t-shirts. Since I set up an account anyway, I decided to kill some of my boredom with designing other t-shirts. Okay; most of my designs are pretty simple, and some have very long quotes, but the good thing is, Redbubble isn’t just for t-shirts, or apparel. You can order bags, art boards, acrylic blocks, and a lot more. And there are a lot of artists and designs to choose from. The artists don’t make a ton of money per sale, but they don’t put out much money either, so it’s a good option for them.

Referral Program: Give friends 25% off their first order (of $40 or more). Get $10 when they make a purchase.



Okay. I have to admit that I’m a little annoyed here. When I went to Peru, quite a few years ago, I came across the fruit that’s used as a main ingredient in inbox’s ink. I really considered figuring out how to import it and market it. I never did. Someone else must have had the same idea and thought it was a worthwhile endeavor. Oh well. You win some and you lose some. Either way, inkbox is an interesting idea. It uses a fruit derived dye that stains the skin, but does wear off after 2–3 weeks. It’s great for people like me, who can never make up their mind or change interests constantly.

Referral Program: Give your friends a reward and claim your own when they make a purchase. They get $10 off their first inkbox order and you get 1000 inkbucks. Inkbucks are basically just rewards points that can be cashed in.



I’ve commented on publish0x a number of times. It’s a great platform where you can post your content and get tipped from the pool of various cryptocurrencies. Sure, you’re not getting USD or whatever your local currency is, but crypto is fine, and publish0x makes sure that there’s significant trading volume and ability to convert to other currencies. 

Referral Program: You can attach your referral code to any article on the publish0x platform. It does not have to be your own article. If you like someone else’s article and want to share it, you can still attach your referral code and you get the referral bonus. The actual bonus is really good too. You get 5% of the tips claimed by every person you refer. That can be a lot of residual income if you refer a lot of people and they’re active on the platform. 



Ternio BlockCard

One of the major issues with crypto is the lack of businesses that accept it. Luckily, there is a growing class of gateways between the crypto world and the larger economy. Ternio’s BlockCard is one such gateway. You can fund your Ternio account (minimum $100 maintenance balance) with a number of different cryptoassets, which are converted internally to TERN. You are issued a VISA card that can be used anywhere. There are some conditions, such as a $5 a month fee if you spend less than $750, but that isn’t much of an issue. 

Referral Program: When someone you refer signs up for the card, you are each given $10 in TERN when their account is funded with at least $100 in crypto. That covers the price of the plastic card, and covers two months of the maintenance fee for you, if for some reason you don’t spend $750. Honestly, given how easy it is to spend $750 — yay bills — it’s really just an extra $10 in spending money each referral.



Surprisingly, Chase has a number of referral programs. It’s nice to see that even bigger companies are utilizing the concept honestly. Yes; small companies often grow by word of mouth, but Chase seems to want to do the same. Honestly, I like Chase. I’ve never had much of a problem with them, and they offer a lot of services.

Referral Program: Your friends can each earn up to $350 when they open a new Chase Total Checking® and/or a new Chase SavingsSM account with qualifying activities by January 13, 2019. You will get $50 for each friend who opens a qualifying checking or savings account (up to 10 bonuses per year).


American Express

American express also has a referral program. I like American express, honestly. They have some really good rewards programs for customers. Unfortunately, these programs also tend to cause merchant fees to be a bit higher, so not all merchants accept American Express. Still, I think it’s a good option to consider when shopping around for cards.

Referral Program: You can earn $100 statement credit for each approved referral — up to $550 per calendar year.



I would definitely still use Motif, even if it didn’t have a referral program. It’s a great option for those who want ti diversify without having a lot in stocks. In fact, I included a discussion on the company as an option, in my article on Investing with Less than $10K. The idea is that you create a collection of up to ten stocks, and buy and sell that collection, as a whole for a single set price. You can also create Motifs and get paid if other people buy them. For instance, I have a Savings Account Motif that people could select, if they didn’t want to design their own.

Referral Program: When a friend signs up for a 3-month trial of Motif BLUE, you get a month for free.



I’ve written about cryptoassets a lot. In fact, when I was writing for Seeking Alpha, the article on the cryptocurrency ecosystem was the most read article that I had written. Unfortunately, there are still only a limited number of ways to buy and sell $BTC, $ETH, and other cryptoassets. One of those options is Coinbase, which is the one that I use. You don’t have to buy a lot at a time, and you probably shouldn’t, if you’re not well versed on the topic. But if you want store some of your assets in the form of bitcoin, ethereum, litecoin, or the “classic” currencies, Coinbase might be something to consider.

Referral Program: Introduce a friend to Coinbase. You will both get $10 of free Bitcoin when your friend buys or sells at least $100 of digital currency.



Unstoppable Domains

I came across Unstoppable Domains when I was writing my article about the need for better UX in crypto. One of the greatest issues with crypto is that we rely on very confusing looking addresses, and potentially lots of different addresses that relate to one person. While it’s useful to have various addresses to keep a degree of anonymity and privacy, it can also be very useful to have a public address that people can easily use. That’s where unstoppable domains and similar alternative registries come into play. They allow a person to link various addresses to a single human readable address.

Referral Program: Friends that use your link get $10 off their first purchase worth $40 or more, and you get $10 in store credit.


Other Considerations

I’ll keep this page up to date, as I continue to vet out good programs and services. Obviously, if the service itself isn’t great, I’m not going to refer people. And since I’m just getting discounts on the services, it’s pretty much a guarantee that I’m at least decently satisfied. That’s one of the distinctions between referral programs like the ones listed here and affiliate programs. An affiliate program pays cash.

That’s one reason why affiliate programs often have more requirements. It can be hard to qualify for some programs, as they’re quite literally paying you cash to promote their product. It also means that affiliate links don’t guarantee that the promoter really cares that much about the service. It’s one reason why I trust referral links more than affiliate links. And whenever possible, if there’s the option, I’ll link to a program using my referral code.

If there isn’t a referral program, or if it’s too confusing, then I’ll use an affiliate link. I like because they work with a lot of merchants and have their own affiliate program on top of that. Otherwise my go to is Amazon, simply because they have a large selection of products. I may write a full article on affiliate marketing at some point in the future, but that’s not for today.

And if you have any questions about any of the products or services I suggest, just leave a comment on the page.

Originally published at on November 19, 2018.

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Daniel Goldman
Daniel Goldman

I’m a polymath and a rōnin scholar. That is to say that I enjoy studying many different topics. Find more at

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