Top Affiliate Programs (2018)

Jamie Giggs

Updated: December 10, 2018

A key concern of online content creators is: how can I make money from the work I produce? There are many answers to that question, and while there are no right or wrong ones, per se, affiliate marketing programs are a respectable option; they are efficient at generating results, for both creators and brands, and are easy to get started with. When it comes to monetizing your efforts then, whether that’s video content, a website, a blog, or a social media channel, some of the biggest brands out there will pay a commission for every customer you refer to them.

Essentially, you partner your website, blog or video content with the highest paying affiliate marketing program that rewards you, for example, for directing customers to a location in which they buy a product. It’s fruitful for the brand involved because the content creator can, often, successfully persuade customers to visit and order. The creator receives a share of the revenue in return – which varies greatly between programs, it must be said – for bringing customers to the brand.

There’s great variety in affiliate programs and their respective goals or business model. From encouraging users to simply buy a product (via referrals), to getting them to subscribe, create an account, click something, (CPA). There are also coupon websites, cashback sites, white label projects and more.

There are two characteristics that describe the variety of affiliate marketing programs out there: the types of offers and commissions. In today’s affiliate marketing the most popular types are game offerscasino offersapp offersdating offers and nutra offers. The most in-demand commission types are CPA and CPI, but pay-per-click is also available through affiliate programs. Affiliate marketing programs, most of which are free to join, can also either be very general (for example Amazon Associates) or focused on highly specific areas such as Fitness, Beauty, Retail, Crypto and Travel.

There are a number of brands that used to run affiliate and referral programs but no longer do. These include giants such as Netflix and Fitbit, for example. Similarly, people often request that companies such as Spotify open up affiliate programs as they offer huge potential to both affiliates and the brand itself.

Naturally then, knowing where to start and what to expect can be unnecessarily confusing. That’s why we’ve assembled the Best Affiliate Programs of 2018, so you can start monetizing your content pragmatically. Here’s our list of the top programs for 2018:

Twitch Affiliate & Partner Program


Twitch’s affiliate program offers individuals the ability to earn revenue, while streaming. The platform focuses on standard video game streaming first, but includes coverage of the rapidly growing competitive eSports industry as well. Becoming a Twitch Affiliate enables streamers to earn as long as they stream on a frequent basis, with the option to accumulate revenue from the sale of games and their in-game items. They may also earn via ‘Bits’: virtual goods that viewers can offer, resulting in a share of the revenue for the streamer.

Successfully building up their affiliate audience and subscribers allows streamers to become a highly desirable ‘Twitch Partner’. A Twitch Partner receives many perks, including extra emotes, 60 days of past broadcast storage, dedicated financial support and the ability for fans to subscribe to their channels. Twitch is owned by Amazon and brands can partner with streamers.

  • Key Stats: 15 million daily active users, 23 billion minutes watched per month
  • Business Model: CPM
  • Payout: $100
  • Eligibility: At least 500 total minutes broadcast in the last 30 days, 7 unique broadcast days in the last 30 days, average of 3 concurrent viewers or more over the last 30 days, 50 followers

Twitch Affiliate feature differences screenshot

Shopify Affiliate Program


The Shopify Affiliate Program allows users — who have applied to the program — to earn an average of $58 for each additional user that signs up for a paid plan with them. This is achieved through a unique referral link and $2000 for each ‘Plus’ referral. The program includes bloggers, publishers, educators, and other affiliates that refer their audience.

Shopify Partner support is available via phone, email, or on live chat. Users will have access to a dedicated Affiliate Manager, will have access to partner education and exclusive discounts on tools to help grow their online store. Shopify’s Affiliate program is free to join with no monthly charges and no minimum sales requirements at all.

  • Key Stats: Over 500,000 active stores on the platform, they have processed $40 billion worth of sales
  • Business Model: Referrals (SAAS)
  • Payout: A minimum of $25 in credits
  • Eligibility: Upon successful application features open up

Shopify website screenshot

Amazon Associates

Amazon Associates is a popular affiliate program that allows site owners and bloggers to create links and earn referral fees when customers click through and buy products from Amazon’s store. The program is free to sign up and use. Each geographical storefront has a separate program; there’s one for Amazon.comAmazon.ca and Amazon.co.uk, as well as others.

The core idea behind the program being that the convenience of referring users to a trusted location means they can immediately purchase products that an individual — who they also most likely trust — has advertised to them. With Amazon Associates it’s possible to earn up to 10% in referral fees and there are a variety of ways to generate the affiliate links to do so, including banners, widgets and text links.

  • Key Stats: 310 million active customers, Amazon sells more than 12 million products
  • Business Model: Referrals
  • Payout: $100
  • Eligibility: A website or blog is required, you can then apply to the program

Amazon Associates website screenshot


eBay Partner Network

The eBay Partner Program (or network) offers you the ability to earn money by sharing eBay listings — there are over 1 billion listings currently on the storefront. By driving traffic to the listings from a website, followers click the listing, make a purchase and the affiliate will get paid for it.

eBay uses a variety of listing tools to achieve this, from link generators that add a few choice items to a site to high-volume product feeds that open up an audience to relevant products. Insights are also available via reports and analytics that help to measure an affiliate’s ongoing performance.

  • Key Stats: 175 million buyers on the storefront, 25 million sellers
  • Business Model: Referrals
  • Payout: $25
  • Eligibility: Minimal, comply with the Terms and Conditions

eBay Partner Program website screenshot


Apple Affiliate Program

The Apple Affiliate Program allows individuals to earn some commission when they promote eligible Apple products and refer customers to them. Earnings depend on the number of visitors to a site that click Apple text links and banners; dependent on how much they spend while they’re there.

The Apple Affiliate Program covers a range of Apple’s available products, including the Mac, iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch and more. There’s also an Apple Affiliate newsletter that helps to keep affiliates up to date on new product releases and promotions.

  • Key Stats: They sell 18% of smartphones globally, an impressive 81% of iOS users have the latest software version installed
  • Business Model: Referrals
  • Payout: This varies by country and currency
  • Eligibility: Applications must be approved first

Apple Affiliate Program website screenshot


Mobusi

mobusi,  part of Fibonad group, is a Technology Media Company with a mobile-first and performance mindset empowering both advertisers and publishers to reach and exceed their high demanding targets. Mobusi obtains over 5 million leads per month worldwide. The company maximizes revenue obtained by its media partners thanks to their global coverage and optimization algorithms. Among features that set it apart from competitors are in-house technology, own DSP and advanced antifraud system, monetization solutions, exclusive offers and premium traffic and a mediation platform.

  • Key Stats: 5 million leads per month, works with 20,000 publishers
  • Business Model: Referrals
  • Payout: 1oo euro and up
  • Eligibility: Applications must be approved first

Mobusi website screenshot


Walmart Affiliate Program

Walmart’s Affiliate Program allows affiliates to earn commission by placing banner ads or text links on their website and referring customers. Affiliates earn money each time a visitor follows a link and then completes a qualifying purchase — this is around 4% on each eligible sale. The program is free to join.

Walmart uses ‘LinkShare’: an interface that tracks all sales, impressions, click-throughs and commissions. Banners and a set of text links are provided every week in their newsletter, while access to archived banners and newsletters, to place on sites, is available. Affiliates can generate specific text links to anything on Walmart.

  • Key Stats: 11,620 stores worldwide‎, customers per week‎: 100,000,000 million
  • Business Model: Referrals
  • Payout: $50
  • Eligibility: A website or blog has to be approved first

Walmart affiliate program website screenshot

Jet.com Affiliate Program

Jet.com’s affiliate program offers a simple way to monetize content via affiliate marketing. Jet affiliates, also known as ‘Jet Ambassadors’, will earn a small commission (2.5%) from all products sold on Jet.com, including incentives for events and referring new customers to shop there. It’s also free to sign up with them.

Jet.com uses LinkShare – like Walmart and others – to power their affiliate program. They offer frequent promotions, deals, and regular newsletters, along with access to a daily product feed, a deep-linking browser widget and banners to work with. Affiliates will also gain access to a dedicated team for any support they might require.

  • Key Stats: 31,000,000 visitors per month, 94% of these are from the US
  • Business Model: Referrals
  • Payout: $50 – you may alter this
  • Eligibility: You must pass the initial application

Jet.com affiliate program website screenshot

Target Affiliate Program

The Target Affiliate Program allows creators to partner and monetize their content with a huge brand. Weekly affiliate newsletters provide producers with a large variety of promotional tools. Whether your audience is interested in baby and kids products, apparel, sporting goods, home décor, or something else.

Target itself partners with Impact Radius for the tracking, reporting, and payment side of things in their affiliate marketing program. It’s free to join, as long as you run a family friendly website with a US-based readership, and perks include up to 8% in commission on products, a 7 day cookie, weekly promotions, contests and more.

  • Key Stats: There are over 32 million Target mobile visitors, they operate 1,802 stores throughout North America
  • Business Model: Referrals
  • Payout: Uses the corresponding commission rate
  • Eligibility: US-based readership on a family friendly site

Target affiliate program commission fees

Skyscanner Affiliate Program

Skyscanner’s affiliate program allows content creators to monetize their traffic with the brand’s travel search technology. You can apply to access their APIs, widgets and are able to join their own affiliate networks to build apps that solve problems for millions of travelers. Each of these networks has different criteria when applying.

Skyscanner selects partners on a case by case for a direct partnership, based on the relative size of traffic-to-territory, market-proposition and alignment to their market level strategies. It’s free to apply for access to Skyscanner’s API service. They also offer free to use formats (but note, they are non-monetized).

  • Key Stats: 60 million users monthly, 10 offices, including branches in Barcelona, Miami and Beijing
  • Business Model: Referrals
  • Payout: Paid based on rates by network, or according to conversion and traffic quality
  • Eligibility: Requires sign up via affiliate networks, or an application to become a partner

Skyscanner affiliate formats website screenshot

Expedia Affiliate Program

The Expedia Affiliate Program allows online creators to maximise and monetize their traffic. You can use Expedia’s brand by featuring links on your site to sales, promotions, and inventory. Expedia features a dedicated affiliate team, providing options for integrating and promoting travel on websites and blogs.

Expedia itself negotiates directly with the suppliers to secure access to inventory, including packages and rates. The brand claims that it features leading conversion rates, meanwhile each qualifying transaction made through a link gives you a share of the revenue (varies, up to 12%). Tools, data feeds, and storefronts are also all available for partners.

  • Key Stats: 60 million visitors each month, 150 websites in 70 countries
  • Business Model: Referrals
  • Payout: $50
  • Eligibility: Once application is approved

Expedia affiliate program website screenshot


Coinbase Referral Program

The Coinbase Referral Program allows content creators (or anyone online) to earn a bonus for each successful referral registered to their account. Referrals are powered through links and require the new customer to sign up for a Coinbase account. If the referred individual initiates a buy or sell of $100, within 180 days of the account opening, both receive $10.

When someone clicks a link, the referrer will receive credit if they sign up any time in the next 90 days. There is no limit to the number of people you can refer, that is, at the time of writing. Referrers can also download a report of their referral history. Simple, yet worth a look all the same.

  • Key Stats: 190 countries worldwide, Over 6 million users
  • Business Model: Referrals
  • Payout: $10
  • Eligibility: The order has to complete for the bonus

Coinbase affiliate program website screenshot

ClickFunnels Affiliates

ClickFunnels is one of the fastest growing SAAS companies out there. It is easy to promote and pays a recurring commission — which makes their affiliate program a top contender on this list. With the program, you can earn up to 40% recurring commission per month (and yes, that’s per user).

Commissions are paid weekly after the 30 day refund period as long as there is a minimum of $50 earned. The 2-tiered affiliate commission platform also pays you 5% sub-affiliate commission on everything anyone you sign up promotes. There’s certainly potential here to earn a good passive income every month.

  • Key Stats: Founded in 2013, top 100,000 sites on the internet
  • Business Model: Referrals, SAAS
  • Payout: $50
  • Eligibility: Simply sign up for an account

ClickFunnels affiliate program website screenshot

Bluehost Affiliate Program

Bluehost’s affiliate program allows you to promote the hosting company on your website with custom banners and links. Essentially, for every visitor who clicks through these links and signs up, your receive $65. Signing up is easy and free. You will receive a tracking code for use on your website as soon as the sign up is successful.