Referral and Affiliate Link Differences

On ChoiceCheapies we are programmatically making distinguishing between 3 types of links our users might post in the posts and in the comments.

Link In Deal Link In Post Content (Deal or Forum) In Comments
Affiliate Links Not allowed Not allowed Not allowed
Referral Links Not allowed Not Allowed1) Not allowed
Others Allowed2) Allowed Allowed

What are the differences between referral and affiliate links? In short, this is our definition on ChoiceCheapies:

Referral links pay referrers site-credit. Affiliate links pay affiliates real money.

Referral Links

  • Pays site-credit that cannot be redeemed as real currency to be paid into referrer's bank or PayPal account.
  • Don't usually require referrers to have a website or run a business.
  • Usually encourage the referrers to share the link via email or social media.

Affiliate Links

  • Pays the affiliates real currency, as a form of commission.
  • Usually from affiliate networks (DGM, Commission Junction, LinkShare, etc) given to their affiliates, who run websites or marketing related business. Sometimes directly from merchants.
  • There are usually rules affiliates need to abide in terms of where they can place the affiliate links, sometimes differ on merchant by merchant level.


Amazon deals (including sites from other geo-locations, UK, Germany, France, etc) –

  • Links from Amazon Associates are not allowed (as of October 2013). Amazon Associates are Amazon's affiliate program that pays real currency, and require the associates to have a website.

Green Man Gaming deals

2) Non-affiliate/referral links are still subjected to manual/community spam test