With Christmas still two months away, it might feel a little early to start untangling the tinsel.
But the battle to get your cash this festive season is already raging on the high street with offers and deals designed to get you spending long before Santa packs his sled.
One of the most popular types of offers being rolled out by brands this year are the refer-a-friend deals which offer attractive cash bonuses to existing customers who get their friends to sign up to their services.
What’s even better is that many of the deals have no limit on the number of friends you can refer, meaning that if your circle of mates is big enough, you could make some serious cash.
You might be surprised where you can earn rewards for a simple suggestion. In the past, I’ve received money, gift certificates and discount codes for telling a friend about a service I genuinely believe in.
From your accountant or life insurer to retail giants such as Next and Ocado, the earnings potential is everywhere.
BUT WHAT’S THE CATCH?
Before you start bombarding your family and friends with emails, remember that like all bargains, some refer-a-friend schemes can come with a bit of a catch.
When it comes to referring a friend, particularly with current accounts, mortgages and credit cards, what’s best for one person, may not be suitable for another. So, it is crucial to do your maths before signing up to a contract for any type of service, rather than being swayed by incentives or a friend’s recommendation.
The same goes for household bill providers, make sure you first use a proper comparison site to find out the best company for your usage, both in terms of price and quality
What’s more, some of the rewards you get for referring a friend will have a minimum spend, for instance, so you – or your mate – may wind up forking out more cash than you had originally intended so read the small print carefully
Here are seven super refer-a-friend deals currently on offer.
If you have any family or friends who have yet to try out online food shopping, why not refer them to a supermarket for a trial so you can both pocket some cash?
If you are a customer at Ocado, for instance, you get £40 in vouchers to share when you invite a friend. How it works is simple, your mate gets a £20 voucher to use on their first shop and, after that first shop has been delivered, you will be sent a £20 voucher too. To use it, just place an order within 12 weeks and add your voucher as you check out.
Introduce a friend to Next and you’ll both receive £20 off. Your friend must be new to Next and place a first order of £50 or more to qualify for the offer using the same email address you use to recommend them. Once your friend has shopped you will be emailed with your £20 off promotion code to use on your next order. You must place and keep an order for £20.01 or more for the credit to be applied. All introducers must be existing account holders. Offer expires 10th December 2017.
Renewable energy firm Pure Planet is a new player in the market, offering gas and electricity to household consumers. Their refer-a-friend scheme allows you and a pal to share £50 worth of Amazon vouchers – £25 for you and £25 for the new joiner. There is no limit to how many people you can sign up and all referrals can be done via the Pure Planet app in a matter of minutes.
Nationwide’s recommend a friend deal is back this year with a fancy new advertising campaign involving mates in phone boxes. But if you can get past the ads, there’s a good deal to be had. Nationwide members can recommend a current account to a friend, earning both people £100. The friend will need to fully switch their current account to a FlexPlus, FlexDirect or FlexAccount current account and complete their switch within 90 days of your recommendation. New switchers also need to move at least two Direct Debits.
Sky’s referral scheme is back and bigger than ever. Current Sky customers can refer a friend to one of their TV packages and earn £100 for both parties. The rewards arrive in the form of a pre-paid Mastercard and there is no limit on the amount of people you can refer. If watching lots of Christmas TV is on your agenda this year, this could be the smartest switch you make. Sky even allows you to suggest five friends in one go, meaning you could earn a whopping £500 if you find enough people to take you up on the offer.
Cashback websites are also using cash incentives to encourage people to spread the word.
Quidco, for instance, is offering a £5 cashback bonus when members recommend the site to a friend via email and social media or share apersonalised referral link. Here you can tailor the amount you earn as it is up to you whether you keep it for yourself or share with the person you refer. Just select the value of the bonus when you generate the link.
Bear in mind that your friend must earn £5 cashback before you receive your bonus, so be sure to encourage them to shop after they’ve joined.
While, rival TopCashback has similar scheme. It offers £7.50 for each person a member introduces and members just need to share a personalised referral link through email or via social media and you will get your cashback when your friend earns at least £10 cashback they’ll receive the bonus.
If you are a Three Mobile customer and are happy with your service, you can introduce a mate online and you’ll both get a £25 Amazon.co.uk Gift Card.
All they must do is sign up for a new 24-month package that includes a phone or other device; or a new 12-month SIM Only voice plan.
Once your friend pays their first monthly bill, you both will be sent your gift card within the next three months.