Six of the best places to make money & help your friends

12 October 2018

Would you recommend a service or product to friends and family? It’s unlikely you’d go out of your way unless it comes up in conversation. But what if you could make a little extra cash by doing so?

Many companies now offer ‘refer-a-friend’ schemes, paying you as much as £100 for recommending a friend who then signs up as a result. And there is usually something in it for your friend too. They’ll receive a reward that matches or exceeds what you get.

And we’re not talking pennies. You can make hundreds of pounds each year, possibly four figures, if you can get enough people to sign up. How’s that for motivation?

Top places to refer your friends

We’ve taken a look at some of the most profitable schemes from companies you might already have an account with. They range from recommending your bank to playing matchmaker with your mobile phone provider.

You may notice some absences from our list, such as Sky TV or cashback sites, but that’s because we think your friend may get a better deal through other introductory offers.

1 Current accounts

If you bank with Nationwide or First Direct, then you can get paid for getting friends to switch their bank. TSB and NatWest have also tried similar schemes in the past, so keep an eye out to see if these resurface.

With Nationwide, you and your friend will each have £100 credited to your account once your friend completes a full switch, which means they have to close their old account and move two active direct debits. You can earn a maximum of £500 each financial year in referral bonuses.

You’ll get £50 with a similar offer at First Direct, but your friend will be able to take their pick from one of the many ‘hello’ rewards on offer, such as an Amazon Echo Spot or a £150 Expedia voucher. Your friend has to phone up First Direct and give your name and postcode for you to get your incentive. They’ll also need to complete a full switch and deposit at least £1,000 within three months of opening the account.

2 Credit cards

Get someone to open the same American Express credit card that you hold and you can earn from £20 to £30 each time. Depending on your Amex card, you can earn cashback and Avios or reward points. Your friend will also get some money or points, alongside the other introductory offers available, such as 5% cashback.

Make hundreds of pounds a year if enough friends sign up

3 Savings and investments

Many Stocks & Shares Isa providers will give you a reward if your friends sign up. Scottish Friendly, for instance, will offer your friend a £50 My Rewards giftcard that can be used at leading retailers to share with you, while Nutmeg will add £25 to your existing your account and offer your friend a 0% management fee for three months.

Peer-to-peer lending platform RateSetter will give you £50 when a friend signs up and funds £1,000 for a year. They’ll also receive £100. Zopa offers a £50 bonus for a referral – your friend will get £50 if they invest £2,000-plus.

Cash savers can earn up to 5% in interest on smart savings app Chip – but you’ll need friends to sign up to get this amount. For each person who uses your code, you both get 1% interest for 12 months.

How easy is it to refer friends?

How easy is it to refer friends?

If the company offers such a scheme, you’ll usually find a unique link in your online account. You can then email or text it to friends. Some will allow you to post your codes on social media too, though check the terms and conditions of the offer.

4 Phone bills

You can give friends a referral code for Sky and Virgin Media, but they are probably better off finding their own deal. The same goes for energy companies such as First Utility and Ovo.

But with mobile phone companies Three and BT Mobile, the bonus can be a nice little extra for both of you on top of low monthly contracts. Both networks will give you and your friend a £25 Amazon giftcard each. Virgin Mobile lets you share up to £100, though you’ll only get this level of reward if you have a high monthly bill.

With Sky and Virgin, your friends may be better off finding their own deal

5 Holidays

While you’ll get £15 credit for referring a friend for a stay via short rentals website Airbnb, anyone who books via your link will get £25 off their first booking. If your friend hosts, you will earn £55. The credit is added to your account once your friend completes their first trip.

Similarly, share your link and if your friend books a hotel you’ll get £20 back to your registered credit or debit card, while your friend will receive 10% off their booking. You won’t get the money until 30 to 60 days after their trip. A maximum of 10 people can use your link.

6 Shopping

Online supermarket Ocado will give you £20 credit to spend on orders over £80 for every friend who signs up. They’ll get £20 to use on their first order over £80, plus free deliveries for a year.

You can earn £10 credit at gift card resale website Zeek by sharing your code, and your friend will be able to save £5 off their first order, alongside the savings found on already discounted vouchers for dozens of retailers.

Finally, via cashback app Shopmium you’ll get £4 credit to use against your supermarket buys, while your friends can claim a free Nutella & Go! snack, worth 80p.

Six of the best places to make money & help your friends

Been referred by a friend?

Make sure you follow the instructions to get the bonus. Though many will credit your account or give you a discount straight away, some require you to claim the bonus once you’ve had your new account for a month or so.

Although we’ve picked some of the top deals for both the giver and receiver of refer-a-friend schemes, many offers won’t represent the best value for you. It’s worth a quick online search for other offers, especially cashback promotions, which might pay more. And just because your friend says it’s a good product or service, do check it’s the right one for you.

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