One of my side-project ideas was a site that connected all your social networks and allowed sharing your referral links and codes with your friends. Luckily, before I started, I found a few sites that did this as well as other reliable ways of sharing referral codes outside your social network.
Since using these sites, I’ve been randomly getting referrals every month. I would estimate I currently receive about $20 per month, which is not enough to quit your day job, but is nevertheless passive income. It’s also been useful for finding referral codes for products none of my friends use as many offers are only available through referrals.
refer.codes is the first network I found and is powered by Facebook Login. Unfortunately, none of my Facebook friends use this, but it has a great, simple UX.
However, judging by the Twitter activity, I’m pretty sure this is a one-man operation. New referral programs are not added very frequently, so I rarely go on this site anymore.
invitation.codes is a more feature-rich network of referral codes, but it doesn’t have any social networks integrated with it. It does, however, seem to be a company, albeit foreign, so it has a lot of potential. Currently, this has been my favorite referral network as referral programs are frequently added and you get used to the UX. Unlike other networks, it has some gamification that would hopefully help it build traction.
Chum’s Referral is another network built in the US with actual VC funding. However this is my least favorite of the three as the UX is confusing and it was mobile-first (I hate mobile-first products. I don’t want to download your app!). However, I expect Chum’s to win based on its background and funding.
Various travel or personal finance blogs have referral link comment threads where you can post your referral link. Unfortunately, these Wordpress commenting systems are not meant for referral links: comments are not randomized, so usually the last person to post a referral link before the thread is locked wins. I’ve gotten pretty luckily with a few Doctor Of Credit posts, but many other blogs you follow my have similar threads.
Reddit has many subreddits dedicated to referral codes, but I’ll only name a few.
r/churning & r/churningreferrals
r/churning is the best subreddit to discuss reward programs and travel hacking. If you have enough comment karma in the past 3 months in this subreddit, you’ll be able to post your referral codes to r/churningreferrals, which then show up on rankt for ease-of-use. The probability of someone using your referral code is slim, but credit card referrals have higher rewards.
You can check your r/churning Karma here: https://350hp.github.io. Don’t know how to build karma? I’ve been gaining karma primarily from complaining about various aspects of my trip.
r/ReferralsForPay is a subreddit where people offer to pay you to use their referral links. It’s an interesting proposition, but it takes a lot of work. I haven’t had success here as I once posted an offer with no takers and consequently gave up. I’ve also looked for referral links that can only be sent via email, but these redditors didn’t respond to me. Maybe you’ll have better luck than me.
Referral Code Strategy
Don’t spend too much time on referral codes. I simply post all my referral codes to the above sites and avoided any methods that require spamming or don’t link the referral code to your account. This isn’t going to make you rich.