There’s nothing like the feeling you get from receiving a hard-earned reward.
A gleaming, golden prize won at a sporting event.
A huge A+ stamped on a test you studied especially hard for.
And a lot of the time, our hard work isn’t given much attention.
Sure, we get payouts for our referred sales.
But some companies don’t appreciate the amount of work that their affiliate publishers go through. That’s why there are so many programs with low payouts.
That being said, there are companies that do see the value in their affiliates. They’ve created programs that truly reward affiliates for all of their hard work—programs that give out some of the highest payouts for affiliates.
What are those high-payout programs?
Well, today I’m going to go through 15 of the most profitable affiliate programs currently available on the web. Additionally, I’ll show you the two directions you can take when choosing a high-payout program, and which one will earn you greater commissions in the end.
Let’s get you one step closer to better payouts!
Should You Go for High Ticket Items or High Commission Rates?
When you want to join a high-paying affiliate program, you’ll likely see one of two situations:
1. Each individual item costs a lot of money, but the commission rates are low (maybe 10% or lower)
2. The products are cheap, and the commission rate is very high (upwards of 50%)
So, which one will earn you more money in the long run?
First, it’s a good idea to calculate the actual dollar amount that you’ll earn for each referral.
For example, let’s say I refer a product worth $1,000 with a 5% commission, and another product worth $20 with a 50% commission. With the first product, I’m actually earning $50 per referral, while with the second I’m earning $10.
Second, you want to think about how many of each product you can realistically sell. Continuing with our example above, let’s say I refer 10 sales of the $1,000 product in one month, but in the same month I refer 100 sales of the $20 product. Now, with the first product I’ve earned $500 in a month, but with the cheaper product I’ve earned $1,000.
Obviously, this is just an example, but my point is that you’ll need to measure the popularity of the products against the actual commission in dollars that you’ll receive.
I can’t say that one way is better than the other because it will depend on the individual products. Once you find two or three programs that interest you, compare them like I did above to see how much they’ll actually earn you in the end.
Either way, arm yourself with a powerful SEO monitoring tool like Monitor Backlinks and really get to work on improving the flow of organic traffic coming to you from search engines. I recommend this tool in particular because I use it myself (see below), plus it’s easy for newbies to navigate and is accessible to every affiliate thanks to its 30-day free trial.
For example, here’s my Monitor Backlinks dashboard, where I can see all my search engine traffic (in blue), my average keyword rankings (in orange) and the number of backlinks rolling into my site (in purple).
This analytic perspective might seem a bit out of left field here, but this is a massive part of improving your traffic, conversions and profits.
If you can crank up the amount of organic traffic hitting your site, you can make more profits whether you go the high-ticket route or the high-commission route.
The 15 Most Profitable Affiliate Programs with High Ticket Items and High Commissions
The time has come! Let’s dive into these profitable affiliate programs and see how they can earn you a higher revenue from your affiliate marketing strategy:
1. Plus500 Affiliate Program
Plus500 is a CFD trading platform for those affiliates in the field of finance. They boast that they’re the most profitable affiliate program in their niche, as well as being the largest in Europe.
Plus500 offers between $200 to $800 per referred trader who deposits any amount of money into the platform. The price depends on the country of origin and how many referrals you make per month.
Or, if you prefer, you can receive a percentage of the monthly gross revenue created by the people that you refer to the platform. This ranges from 20% to 30%.
- One of the highest payouts for this niche
- Internationally recognized
- PayPal payouts available
- $150 threshold (lower than the lowest commission amount)
- Dedicated affiliate management team
- Must have a Europe-based audience, as North American traders aren’t accepted on the platform
This program also boasts to be the highest paying program in its niche: Luxury travel. This private aircraft company helps people fly all over the world on luxury jets and offers stunning payouts for travel affiliates.
Affiliates earn 30% of the total profit from each flight. In actual dollars, this could range from several hundred into the thousands.
More than that, you earn 30% commission on any flight your referral books for the entire client lifetime! This means that one referral could earn you hundreds or thousands of dollars on a recurring basis!
- High commission on high ticket items
- Allows for recurring income
- Real time tracking
- Dedicated affiliate manager
- Affiliates must have an affluent audience for this program to work for them
This web hosting company offers services for web businesses of all sizes. Their program is run both through CJ Affiliates and through Impact Radius, making it easier for those already in these networks.
Depending on the product that you refer, you can earn anywhere from $100 to $900 per sale. They boast an average of $230 in commissions per sale.
- Commissions are the same whether you’re just starting or you refer many sales
- Affiliates can receive web hosting credits as a form of payment
- Dedicated affiliate team
- Limited creative options
Practically everyone knows about Udemy’s great online courses. I’ve actually taken quite a few of these! Through the Udemy affiliate program, you can promote thousands of online courses. This program is run through LinkShare.
So what’s in it for affiliates?
Udemy doesn’t specify commission rates on their website. However, we do know that they boast very competitive commission rates. They mention that the more you promote Udemy, the more you’ll earn. Some affiliates have reported earning 40% to 50% commission.
- Easy to sign up and start promoting
- Access to exclusive discounts
- Good for multiple niches
- Plenty of creative materials to use, as well as deep linking
- Dedicated affiliate manager
- Unspecified commissions
Grammarly is a fantastic tool that helps you edit anything that you write online. Once installed in your browser, Grammarly will automatically check your writing. Its affiliate program is run through both CJ Affiliates and ShareASale, and offers some very interesting bonuses.
Upon signup, if you place a banner on your website and write a post about Grammarly, you’ll automatically be given $25.
After that, each premium plan purchase referral will earn you $20. But that’s not all: every person that signs up for a free account will also earn you $0.20! It’s not much, but you’re much more likely to convert with a free product, and you’ll be getting cash for it!
- Commissions for both free and paid subscriptions
- Startup bonus
- 90-day tracking cookie
- High conversion rates
- Lower commissions than other programs
6. Template Monster
If you’d like to promote WordPress templates, this affiliate program is definitely for you. With over 50,000 products available to promote in multiple languages, Template Monster provides some great features for affiliates.
Commissions range from 30% to 50%, depending on how many sales you refer per month. With just 500 referrals per month, you’re already in the top tier. The average product price is $90, so you would be making between $27 to $45 per sale, on average.
Also, if you refer other affiliates to the program, you’ll earn 5% of their lifetime earnings!
- Many themes to promote
- 365-day tracking cookies, earning you cash for every purchase within that time, not just the first
- Payouts available through PayPal, Payoneer and more
- 5% cut of referred affiliates
- 24/7 affiliate support
- Option to get paid in discounts on templates
- There are already many affiliates promoting these products.
SEMRush is an essential marketing toolbox for all digital marketers. This includes everything that digital marketers could possibly need to succeed online. Their affiliate program is called BeRush and has some very intriguing features for affiliates.
SEMRush offers a 40% commission on each subscription sale. You’ll get that commission for every month that the customer pays, not just the first time! More than that, their incredible 10 year cookie lifetime makes it impossible to ever miss a sale.
- Recurring commissions
- Unprecedented cookie life of 10 years
- Payments available twice a month by PayPal or wire transfer
- Promotional materials in 5 different languages
- Threshold for PayPal payouts is $50
- You’ll only earn commissions if the customer you refer has never used SEMRush before
- Minimum payout for wire transfer is $1,000
This fantastic WordPress related business is the maker of the Genesis framework and many other themes and gadgets for WordPress users. Their affiliate program is run through ShareASale.
StudioPress will give affiliates 35% of every Genesis Framework or theme sale. You can earn a flat rate of $75 for StudioPress Sites, which increases when you refer more sales. StudioPress also runs other promotions that will increase your affiliate earnings.
- 60-day tracking cookie
- Customized tracking links
- Access to a community of StudioPress affiliates
- Lack of selection for creatives
9. Sandals Resorts
If your audience is looking for luxury travel, this is the perfect affiliate program for you!
The 15 Sandals Resorts are scattered throughout the Caribbean, and represent one of the most well-known brands in Caribbean luxury resorts. Their affiliate program is run through CJ Affiliate.
Sandals Resorts pay you 4% for referring sales on any of their travel products, including luxury hotel stays or even private dinners. This may seem small, but remember that these hotels cost hundreds of dollars per person per night.
- 60-day tracking cookies
- Dedicated affiliate manager
- Well-known brand
- Hundreds of banners to choose from
- 3 month EPC of $138
- As with Villiers, this affiliate program will only work for you if your audience is interested (and can afford) luxury travel
Web hosting is something you can promote on many different kinds of affiliate websites. BlueHost is one of the most well-known and respected businesses in the scope of web hosting. It also offers solid earnings for affiliates.
For every referred sale, you receive a flat fee of $65. Considering how many people are starting websites and looking for hosting right now, you could potentially earn quite a bit! For example, just by referring 50 sales a month, you’re making over $3200!
- Easy to understand and use
- Dedicated affiliate team
- Custom tracking of links and campaigns
- PayPal payouts available
- In-house affiliate program means you don’t need to join a network
- Payments are only processed 45 days after the end of the month when the purchase was recorded (for example, if you refer a sale in July, you won’t see payment until after September 15th)
11. James Allen
This company is a perfect fit for any affiliate website dedicated to engagements, brides and weddings! They sell plenty of big-ticket items related to the big day and they boast one of the highest conversion rates in the industry.
James Allen offers affiliates a 5% cut on referred sales. But keep this point in mind: Their average sale is $6,500! The company website adds that most affiliates earn an average of $275 per sale.
Think about how much you could make with as few as 20 referrals: $5,500!
- 30-day tracking cookies
- High average sale prices
- Top online retailer in their industry
- Support for affiliates from an experienced team
12. WP Engine
This website offers managed WordPress hosting and already boasts 60,000 customers in over 100 countries. This international success is a great option for affiliates in the business scope. Their affiliate program is run through ShareASale.
Affiliates earn a whopping $200 per new customer that they refer or 100% of the customer’s first monthly payment. You’ll receive whichever is higher. You can also refer other affiliates to the program, and then you’ll earn $50 for each customer they refer!
- Big name in the hosting industry
- 180-day tracking cookie
- Bonus commissions if you refer more than 5 sales per month
- Split-tested banners to get better performance
- Must be a part of the ShareASale network to join
13. iTunes Store
Who nowadays doesn’t own an Apple product? (Apart from myself, of course.) With so many people using Apple devices such as iPhones, iPads or MacBooks, it’s obvious that there’s a lot of money in this business.
More than that, people with these devices continue to make purchases with these devices from the iTunes Store. So if you’re looking to refer sales for music, movies, electronic books and more, then the iTunes Store is where you’ll get the best payouts.
Affiliates are paid 7% for music, movies, TV, paid apps and iBooks.
For iOS in-app purchases, you’ll earn 2.5%.
If you’re referring people to sign up for Apple Music, you’ll get 50% of the first month’s subscription price.
While these might seem rather small, just think about the quantity you could potentially be referring. So many people make purchases from the iTunes store weekly, if not daily. Your recommendations will likely generate a lot of sales, getting you higher payouts.
- Set your own threshold for payouts, as low as $5
- Program open internationally
- Payouts available in multiple currencies
- 30-day tracking cookie for Apple Music subscriptions
- Cookies only last 24 hours for purchases other than Apple Music subscriptions
- Payments are only released 90 days after the date of sale
With health care in the US deteriorating, more and more people are interested in medical tourism. This company offers medical tourism for all, and affiliates get to cash in by helping people in need connect with this respected company.
Affiliates earn a flat fee of $100 for every referral who books a treatment. That means that if only 10 people per month book a treatment from your referral, you’ll be earning $1,000! On their website, MediTravels boasts that affiliates can earn thousands of dollars per month by referring people to their website.
- Respected business with a high conversion rate
- Affiliates receive a customized package to help them make sales
- Limited creative resources
15. VIP Cars
If you’re looking to refer people to a car rental service, this is the only affiliate program that you need to get involved in. This company works with leading rental car companies like Europcar, Hertz, Avis and others all around the world. They offer some great advantages for affiliates in the travel niche.
VIPCars boasts some of the highest commissions in their industry. Affiliates receive 50% to 70% of all referred sales. This is the same whether your referral rents a little around-town car or a high-end sports car!
Obviously, there’s a potential for big earnings here.
- High commissions
- Well-known brands
- Worldwide access
- Multi-language website available
- Easy to use HTML which can be embedded in your site to produce affiliate links
- Limited creative materials
We’ve looked through quite a few different affiliate programs today. We’ve seen some that have incredible commission rates but low sale prices. We’ve also seen others that have very low commission rates, but high ticket products for sale.
Ultimately, both of these routes are viable for affiliate marketers today. In fact, mixing these two types of affiliate programs might end up bringing you a higher revenue!
One thing we know for sure: The most profitable affiliate programs are accessible to you!