Refer a friend to get more spend: MISS MONEYSAVER JASMINE BIRTLES on referral payments can cut bills

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Refer a friend to get more spend: MISS MONEYSAVER JASMINE BIRTLES on how referral payments can cut your energy bills and get you discounts on holiday accommodation

CHOOSE YOUR CHOICE GIFT CARD OFFER TODAY

CHOOSE YOUR CHOICE GIFT CARD OFFER TODAY

CHOOSE YOUR CHOICE GIFT CARD OFFER TODAY

 Are you more likely to buy something if it has been recommended by a friend?

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Have you ever suggested a big purchase to a pal and then thought afterwards the company they bought it from should really have given you commission? Well, more and more businesses are realising that word-of-mouth recommendations like this are very valuable and should be rewarded.

According to research by Nielsen, some 92 per cent of shoppers trust personal endorsements more than any other form of advertising or marketing.

This is why many companies are now giving cash rewards to consumers who recommend their services, as well as a financial sweetener to the new customer. So it’s a win-win situation.

The payment system works through a unique referral code that you give to your contacts and when they use it you are rewarded with cash, discounts or gift vouchers — as is your friend.

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More businesses are realising that word-of-mouth recommendations are very valuable

The amounts vary depending on the company and how much the new customer spends, but, if you do it right, it can become a rather nice little extra income for you and your friends.

Some of the best referral payments come from energy firms. For example, Octopus and EDF pay £50 each to you and your contact if they sign up for an account with the company using the code you have sent them. TV and broadband firms are also generous. Sky will send you both a £75 pre-paid Mastercard card if your friend signs up to one of its TV packages and has it installed, again using the special code you sent them.

BT, meanwhile, will give you both a £50 Amazon gift card if your contact joins the firm with your code. Lebara pays up to £50 each if a friend signs up to one of its SIM-only plans on your recommendation.

Travel companies can be worth looking at too, with Zipcar offering a £15 ‘driving credit’ each if your friend becomes an approved Zipcar member and Airbnb will give £8 to the new customer and an impressive £111 to you for referring them as a new Airbnb host.

A word of caution though — always read the smallprint carefully as there are often conditions such as minimum monthly pay-ments that your friend will have to make (for phone deals for example). If your friend doesn’t do what the company has stipulated then neither of you will get the cash.

Keep the little ones entertained for free

Entertaining the family in the summer is easier if you can find free things to do, and happily there are quite a few around.

If you’re in the London area, check out the bablands.com blog for fun places to take the kids. Also wherecanwego.com has listings of events around Britain.

There are plenty of ways to keep kids busy for free this summer

There are plenty of ways to keep kids busy for free this summer

In Swansea, for example, head to the National Waterfront Museum for Dance Days and enjoy circus and parkour acts for free. Also today, the Bath Carnival is taking place with live music and an all-singing, all-dancing procession featuring giant puppets.

Next Saturday, the Whitechapel Gallery in East London is hosting activities at a Summer Families Day. And over the next few weeks, Yayoi Kusama’s Obliteration Room at Tate Modern invites visitors to transform a blank canvas into an explosion of colour. 

Feeding the kids in the holidays can be costly, so Asda has stepped in to help with £1 kids’ meals for under-16s at all Asda cafes in England and Wales from July 25 until September 4. Parents don’t even have to buy anything. Children can choose from hot dinners including a full English breakfast, chicken nuggets and chips, mac ’n’ cheese with salad, or a selection of sandwiches, fruit and yoghurt. A free pouch of Ella’s Kitchen baby food is also available. 

Theatres are open again, but it can be expensive for families. The good news is you and your clan can watch more than 600 West End and Broadway shows for free at the website scenesaver.co.uk, streaming the performances on your TV, tablet or phone as many times as you like.

But many referral schemes are easy and almost instantaneous. Some of the quickest and easiest are new apps, particularly the food delivery ones such as Zapp, which gives a £10 direct credit each. Gorillas gives £10 off for each (with a minimum spend) and Deliveroo, which gives you £10 off across the first four orders.

Financial companies tend to offer higher rewards but they can also be harder to get.

For example, Nutmeg, the robo-investment manager, gives you gift-cards for different amounts depending on how much your friend invests. So if they invest a minimum of £500 into an ISA, pension, or investment account, you will be rewarded with a gift voucher worth £100.

The business bank Tide will give you and your friend £50 each when they join. While the money app Monese gives you both up to £30, although in both cases your friend needs to use the account for each of you to get the rewards.

All of this is great for a one-off recommendation here and there, but if you’d like to make regular money simply by recommending people in this way, you can do it for free by posting your referral codes on your own page on the website referralcodes.com.

Referralcodes is a social site that enables you to set up your own page and post unique codes that other people can use to sign up to products and services. These could be friends or people you’re in contact with through social media such as Instagram, Facebook or Pinterest

Each member’s referral page has its own unique webpage name, known as a URL (like referralcodes.com/Ashley for example) which can then be shared. Some users put their URL in their email signatures so they can share it with contacts without annoying them. The site also enables referral QR codes, which can be sent from phone to phone quickly and easily.

Referralcodes.com also has a Chrome browser extension you can install which will show you if there are referral bonuses when you are shopping online.

Founder Ashley Brady says that enthusiastic users can make around £2,000 each year with only a little effort. ‘There’s a potential to earn a few thousand a year with diligent usage of your page and good sharing with others on social media,’ he says.

‘It’s also quite easy to make £500 a year without effort, just by posting your codes on your page and leaving them there. You can almost forget the codes once you’ve stored them on your page and then just add to them as you sign up to different products.’

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