Referral schemes are all the rage and you could be quids in, simply by recommending products and providers to people you know.
Here are some of the latest offers you might be able to take advantage of.
TSB Classic Plus current account customers and friends can earn £75 each if they apply for the account by 5 March 2018.
This is the first time the bank has done a refer a friend scheme. The person you refer must be over 18, a UK resident and can't already hold a Classic Plus account when you refer them.
There are a few more conditions:
- The offer is limited to the first 5,000 referees who switch;
- Your mate must start the switch by 4pm on 15 March and complete it by 23 March;
- You can refer up to five friends – that's £375.
To earn the cash, your mate must make a full switch from a non-TSB current account using the Current Account Switching Service, moving at least two direct debits over from their existing current account.
Just fill out TSB’s online form which you’ll need your sort code and account number for. TSB will send you a unique link which you forward on to your friend.
Your friend will then apply for the account and switch via the link, tell them to turn on their browser cookies if they don’t have them on already.
They’ll need to pay in at least £500 as well as switching their direct debits. The £75 will be paid within 28 days.
Nationwide has extended its 'recommend a friend' scheme, to allow all mortgage and savings customers the chance to earn up to £500 for referring people to its current accounts.
Previously, the incentive was limited to just existing FlexAccount, FlexDirect or FlexPlus customers that recommend a friend or family member to sign up. The extension now means an extra 8.3 million customers can cash in.
If that person switches their main account to Nationwide using the Current Account Switch Service, both sides receive £100 tax-free.
Nationwide will allow up to five referrals every 12 months, meaning it's possible to earn up to £500 a year through the scheme.
A number of credit card providers also offer rewards for referrals.
There’s a referral bonus scheme on most American Express credit and charge cards. For example Platinum Cashback Everyday Credit Card customers can get up to £150 cashback a year if friends or family members join up through its Referral Programme.
Savings and investments
People using peer-to-peer platform Funding Circle can net £50 if they recommend a friend or relative who goes on to lend at least £2,000.
Normally, Zopa investors can earn up to £50 if the person they recommend lends £2,000 with the platform. They’ll receive £50 too. The P2P lender has recently started accepting investors again after a hiatus. Read more in Peer-to-peer lending: Zopa reopens to new investors.
Elsewhere, Alliance Trust Savings will give existing customers a £50 Marks and Spencer voucher when they get a friend or family member to open an Investment Dealing Account, ISA or Select SIPP. Your friend will get £25 worth of vouchers, too.
Mutual Scottish Friendly is offering two £25 MyRewards card to their customers – that's one for the customer and one for the person they recommend.
Some mortgage providers also have schemes in place to encourage existing customers to recommend them to people they know.
If you recommend a friend to Newcastle Building Society and they take out a product or service, you'll get £100 and they'll get £50. Plus, you'll both be entered into a prize draw to win £100. The money will be in your account within 60 days of your friend or family member completing their mortgage.
Selling your home
You don't even have to be an Emoov customer to invite your friends.
Invite up to 30 friends that haven't contacted Emoov to sell their property before by asking them to fill in this form. You'll receive a confirmation email and your friend will be sent an email to sell with Emoov. Once your friend has signed up and listed their home through the upfront package, they'll get £100 off their listing and you'll both get £100 in cash.
Cashback websites are also using cash incentives to encourage people to spread the word.
Quidco is offering a £10 cashback bonus when members recommend the site to someone they know. The scheme works through sharing a personalised referral link in an email or through social media. Once the friend uses the link to sign up and earns at least £5 cashback you’ll receive the bonus.
Rival TopCashback also operates a referral scheme. At the moment, it's running a double offer so you get £10 for Classic and £15 for Plus members for each person a member introduces. It ends on 19 February. Again members just need to share a personalised referral link through email or via social media. Once someone they know signs up using the link and earns at least £10 cashback they’ll receive the bonus. Their friend will also pocket a £5 Zeek voucher.
TV, broadband and phone
One area where recommending friends is particularly popular is the broadband market.
Some offer bill discounts as rewards.
Plusnet, for example, runs a referral scheme, which gives broadband and phone customers a monthly discount for every person who joins following their recommendation. It varies on the product they sign up for, but is normally 50p or 75p off their bill for each month the friend stays on as a customer. Please note that it doesn't apply to mobile customers.
Elsewhere Virgin Media offers a £50 bill discount to existing customers that refer a friend to its broadband and TV service. If that person signs up they also get a £50 bill discount.
Other providers are offering vouchers to encourage customers to spread the word.
Sky TV customers that recommend a friend will get a prepaid MasterCard worth £50 for themselves and the person they introduce.
Refer a friend to Three and you'll both be sent a £25 Amazon gift card. The catch is that the friend must go on to purchase either a 12-month SIM Only plan or a 24-month Pay Monthly phone plan.
As long as they're over 18 and are UK residents, you can refer as many people as you like.
Gas and electricity
You could also earn a reward by recommending your energy company.
Ovo Energy is offering a £25 Argos, M&S or Amazon voucher to both referrer and friend.
Utility Warehouse will send you a £20 gift voucher from Amazon, John Lewis, M&S or Sainsbury's for every member you refer who becomes a Gold customer. On top of that, you'll get an extra £10 gift voucher for every year that they remain a member.
Bag £6 in credit whenever you refer a friend to Groupon and they buy their first deal. Your credit can be put towards any Groupon purchase.
Just head to Groupon to get your referral link. If someone you know clicks on the link, subscribes to Groupon and makes a purchase of £6 or more within 72 hours, and you'll get your credit.
Bag £25 of free driving for every person that you refer who goes on to become a fully-fledged Zipcar member. They'll get £25 of free driving too. To get this reward, you and the friend you're referring must be over the age of 21.
You can even earn money through referring friends for cosmetic procedures.
Laser eye surgery clinic Optimax, for example, pays £50 for every friend or relative you get to have treatment. There's no limit on the number of people you can refer, either.
Meanwhile Harley Medical Group, which provides a range of cosmetic treatments, gives you money off skin and laser treatments over £150 if you refer a friend.
In some industries referring your friends for jobs can also result in a cash payment.
For example, COREcruitment, which operates in the service industry, pays up to £500 for every recommendation that results in someone being placed in a position and staying there at least three months.
When it comes to jobs it’s best to check out what your company offers if you recommend a friend for a position – but remember it might reflect badly on you if things don’t work out well after they’re offered a job!
If you don’t have many friends or at least don't have enough who are in the market for a new broadband provider or bank account there’s a website that offers to pair up referrers and “friends”.
Refer Me Happy lists the latest referral schemes from various companies. Top deals on the site at the moment include Next and Tesco.
Don't sign up if it's not right for you
There’s undoubtedly money to be made from these schemes, but are they a good idea?
Essentially, before signing up to a contract for any type of service, it’s a wise move to shop around and be sure the product is right for you, rather than being swayed by incentives or a friend's recommendation.
Referral offers also come with a number of terms and conditions. Inevitably most only pay out if your friend actually buys, rather than just enquires about, the service in question.
This article has been updated from an earlier version