10 Best Affiliate Programs in the UK for Beginners (2023)

The possibilities of making money online are endless. Whether you’re a blogger, or influencer, or possess knowledge in social media and website management, affiliate marketing can serve as an incredible avenue for generating income.

With the rise of the digital era, anyone with an internet connection and a smartphone can tap into this lucrative industry by sharing affiliate links.

10 best uk affiliate programs banner

Selecting affiliate programs with high-quality products or services is crucial in your affiliate marketing venture to maximise your income. To help you navigate the world of affiliate marketing, we have compiled a comprehensive list of the 10 best affiliate programs in the UK.

Let’s get started.

1. Amazon Associates

Amazon Associates is a globally renowned affiliate marketing network, leveraging the reputation and extensive product range of Amazon. Given the widespread recognition of Amazon, signing up for their affiliate program can be a fantastic starting point for anyone.

This affiliate program becomes an excellent choice if your target audience is from the United Kingdom, considering that a significant 86% of people in the UK engage in shopping activities on Amazon.

Furthermore, they currently have over 900,000 affiliates signed up worldwide so their popularity as an affiliate network speaks for itself.

amazon associates affiliate program banner

At present, commission rates differ based on the category of the product. The range spans from as low as 1% for games consoles to a remarkable 20% for Amazon games. The commission income statement has all of the categories listed and has their designated commission rates.

In the Amazon affiliate program, the cookies have a duration of 24 hours, and once you reach a minimum payout of £25, you will be eligible for monthly payments. You have the flexibility to choose between receiving payments through direct deposit, check, or even as Amazon gift cards.

Amazon Associates network summary:

  • Commission Rate: 1-20%
  • Cookie Duration: 24 Hours
  • Payment Frequency: Monthly (If the minimum payout is reached)
  • Minimum Payout: £25
  • Payment Methods: Direct deposit, check, Amazon gift cards
  • Special Requirements: Affiliates must make 3 sales in their first 6 months
  • Products: Anything

2. eBay Partner Network

The eBay Partner Network is another one of the best affiliate programs in the UK. Established in 2008, the network was set up to give individuals and businesses an opportunity to earn commissions by promoting eBay listings.

Throughout its history, the eBay Partner Network has undergone various updates and improvements to enhance the user experience for both affiliates and eBay shoppers. This includes the introduction of advanced tracking tools, reporting capabilities, and promotional resources to help affiliates optimise their campaigns and earn more commissions.

Commission rates vary depending on the product category. While real estate purchases may offer commissions starting at 1%, categories like fashion and cars can provide higher rates of up to 4%. You can find the latest commission rates for all product categories on the eBay Partner Network rate card.

banner showing ebay partner network as one of the best uk affiliate program

Once the $10 minimum payment threshold has been reached, payments are made on the 10th business day of every month via direct deposit or PayPal.

Similarly to Amazon Associates, the eBay Partner Network also features a cookie duration of 24 hours.

eBay Partner Network summary:

  • Commission Rate: 1-4%
  • Cookie Duration: 24 Hours
  • Payment Frequency: 10th business day of every month (See dates here)
  • Minimum Payout: $10 (Converted to GBP)
  • Payment Methods: Direct deposit, PayPal
  • Special Requirements: No minimum requirements, new blogs welcome
  • Products: New & used products

3. Clickbank

ClickBank is an online marketplace and affiliate network that was founded in 1998. It has a long history in the digital marketing and e-commerce industry and is one of the veteran programs on this list. Currently, ClickBank has over 100,000 affiliates and has generated over $5.8 billion in commissions in its 25-year lifespan.

Their commission rates are significantly higher than both the Amazon Associates network and eBay Partner Network, sitting anywhere between 1% and 75% depending on the vendor. Moreover, ClickBank offers a diverse selection of popular products, making it easier for affiliates to discover and promote items that cater to their target audience’s needs and interests.

clickbank banner showcasing them as one of the best uk affiliate programs

Cookie duration is also particularly generous ranging from 60-day cookies to a lifetime. Furthermore, if prompt payment is a priority, ClickBank excels in this aspect as well. They offer weekly or bi-weekly payment schedules, ensuring affiliates receive their earnings quickly. However, it is important to note that affiliates must reach the minimum payment threshold of $10 before receiving their payments.

  • Commission Rate: 1-75% (vendors set commissions)
  • Cookie Duration: 60 Days – Lifetime
  • Payment Frequency: Weekly, Biweekly
  • Minimum Payout: $10 (Converted to GBP)
  • Payment Methods: Check, direct deposit, Payoneer, wire transfer
  • Special Requirements: 5 sales across 3 payment methods
  • Products: New & used products

4. Awin

Awin, formerly known as Affiliate Window, is a leading global affiliate marketing network that was founded in 2000.

Every day, an average of 260 affiliates join the Awin network, granting them access to a wide range of over 25,000 brands spanning multiple sectors. In 2022, affiliates collectively earned an impressive $1.3 billion, further solidifying Awin’s position as one of the leading affiliate networks in the UK.

To get started, you’ll need to make an initial £1 deposit. Don’t worry, this is just to ensure that your chosen payment method is working correctly. Once completed, you can explore the remarkable selection of affiliate categories offered by Awin, including finance, retail, travel, and technology.

awin uk affiliate program banner from their website

Likewise, with ClickBank, the vendors using the Awin network set the commission rate. They also can set the cookie duration but this is put to a 30-day standard by default unless changed. The payment threshold is £20 and payments are made on the 1st and 15th of every month via BACS or international wire transfer.

  • Commission Rate: Vendors set commissions
  • Cookie Duration: 30-day network standard, varies by publisher
  • Payment Frequency: 1st & 15th of every month
  • Minimum Payout: £20
  • Payment Methods: BACS, international wire transfer
  • Special Requirements: £1 deposit required to get started
  • Products: Finance, retail, travel, technology

5. Shopify

The Shopify Partner Program was launched in 2010, providing an opportunity for affiliates, web developers, designers, and other professionals to earn income by promoting and referring clients to Shopify’s e-commerce platform.

shopify uk affiliate program banner from their website

Commission at Shopify is paid at a flat rate of $150 once a purchase has been made.

Being familiar with the Shopify platform will enhance your effectiveness as an affiliate, as you’ll have a deeper understanding of their services. Having an already-established blog or website will do wonders for your application process.

When it comes to commissions, Shopify offers a fixed rate of $150 for every user who signs up for one of their plans through your referral.

Cookie duration is set at 30 days and the minimum payout is $25. You get paid 5 days after the 15th of every month and additionally 5 days after the last day of the month. Their payment frequency can take a while to get your head around as this will vary depending on how many days are in each month.

  • Commission Rate: $150 (Converted to GBP)
  • Cookie Duration: 30 days
  • Payment Frequency: 5 days after the 15th of every month, 5 days after the last day of the month
  • Minimum Payout: $25 (Converted to GBP)
  • Payment Methods: PayPal, direct bank transfer
  • Special Requirements: Need an established audience
  • Products: e-commerce

6. Rakuten

The Rakuten Affiliate Program was established in 1997 by Hiroshi Mikitani as part of Rakuten Inc., a Japanese e-commerce and internet services company. Rakuten, one of the earliest affiliate programs, continues to thrive and maintain its strong presence in the industry to this day.

With a remarkable track record of over 25 years in the industry and an impressive network of over 150,000 top-tier partners, the Rakuten affiliate program stands as one of the premier choices in the UK. Its extensive experience and vast partner base solidify its position as one of the leading affiliate programs available.

a screenshot from the rakuten homepage showcasing their affiliate program

The cookie and commission rates are flexible at Rakuten, they vary depending on the program. It’s best to look through their extensive catalogue of vendors and find one that suits your needs.

In order to achieve minimum payout with Rakuten, you need to achieve $50 of earnings. Payments are made on a net-60 basis which equates to 60 days after invoicing.

  • Commission Rate: Varies depending on the program
  • Cookie Duration: Varies depending on the program
  • Payment Frequency: Net-60
  • Minimum Payout: $50 (Converted to GBP)
  • Payment Methods: Check, direct deposit
  • Special Requirements: Unique content, fully working site
  • Products: Diverse range of products and services

7. Impact

Impact was founded in 2008 by Per Pettersen and Todd Crawford. Initially known as Impact Radius Network, the company aimed to provide a comprehensive solution for performance marketing and affiliate tracking.

Impact has to make the list of the top 10 affiliate programs in the UK as we ourselves use them. Their list of brands is impressive, especially for the marketing niche. Companies such as SemRush and Hostinger are on there amongst other big marketing industry names.

impact affiliate program banner taken as a screenshot from their website

The signup process for Impact Radius is straightforward, but it’s important to note that you will be required to provide a reason for joining their network. Additionally, it’s essential to ensure that your website or blog is optimised and fully prepared to accommodate affiliate links.

Like the Rakuten network, the commission rates and cookie durations vary depending on the vendor. Each vendor comes with a list of terms so read thoroughly before committing to a program.

Once you’ve reached the $10 threshold you can withdraw your earnings on a payment date of your choice via PayPal, direct bank transfer or BACS.

  • Commission Rate: Varies depending on the program
  • Cookie Duration: Varies depending on the program
  • Payment Frequency: Set your own payment day or when you reach a threshold.
  • Minimum Payout: $10 (Converted to GBP)
  • Payment Methods: PayPal, direct bank transfer, BACS
  • Special Requirements: Be prepared to give reasons why they should consider your application
  • Products: Large variety of products and online services

8. CJ Affiliate

CJ Affiliate, formerly known as Commission Junction, is a leading global affiliate marketing network. A veteran in the industry, they were founded in 1998 by Lex Sisney and Per Pettersen the same founder of Impact. They represent some of the UK’s largest brands such as Klarna and Sainsbury’s.

The platform offers a wide range of tools and resources to help businesses build successful affiliate marketing campaigns and maximise their revenue.

cj affiliate screenshot showcasing their program

CJ Affiliate is a good choice if your organic traffic is primarily based in the USA or Canada. Even if you reside in the UK, it’s not a problem as targeting traffic sources from the USA can still yield significant results if your content strategy aligns with that audience.

Comission rates vary on the program but usually sit between 5-10%. CJ Affiliates have a 45-day cookie period set as a standard but vendors can adjust this between 1-100 days if they choose.

In order to withdraw funds you need to earn $50 to apply for a direct deposit or $100 if you prefer to be paid in check. You can choose your own payment day or simply set it to a certain amount to receive automatic withdrawals when you reach the threshold.

  • Commission Rate: Varies depending on the program but usually 5-10%
  • Cookie Duration: 45-day standard but can be set between 1-100 days
  • Payment Frequency: Set your own payment day or when you reach a threshold.
  • Minimum Payout: $50 direct deposit, $100 check
  • Payment Methods: Direct deposit, Payoneer, check
  • Special Requirements: Organic traffic primarily based in USA or Canada
  • Products: Many popular organisations such Klarna and Sainsbury’s

9. ShareASale

ShareASale was founded in 2000 by Brian Littleton in Chicago, Illinois. The company started as a platform to connect merchants and affiliates for performance-based marketing. In 2017, ShareASale was acquired by Awin, a global affiliate network, further expanding its reach and resources.

It’s important to have an established website or blog when joining the ShareASale network. They will then provide you with the necessary tools to effectively monetise your platform.

shareasale header taken as a screenshot from their website

ShareASale offers a vast marketplace featuring more than 25,000 merchants and 270,000 publishers, providing ample opportunities to explore within their network. On their homepage, they proudly highlight that the network generated $200 million in sales in 2022, indicating that numerous users have achieved success.

ShareASale works with both small and large companies. Among the well-known companies are Nectar and Reebok to name a few. Upon acceptance into ShareASale, you can expect access to real-time reporting, which provides valuable insights on link clicks and purchase activities.

Cookie durations vary depending on the program but you can expect to see a commission rate between 10-40% which is reasonably higher than a lot of the other programs we have mentioned already.

You can expect payment on the 20th of every month if the $50 minimum payment threshold has been reached.

  • Commission Rate: 10-40%
  • Cookie Duration: Varies depending on the program
  • Payment Frequency: 20th of every month
  • Minimum Payout: $50 (Converted to GBP)
  • Payment Methods: Check, direct deposit, wire transfer, Payoneer
  • Special Requirements: A fully functioning website or blog
  • Products: Many popular organisations such as Nectar and Reebok

Skimlinks was founded in 2007 by Alicia Navarro and Joe Stepniewski. The company’s mission is to help publishers monetise their content seamlessly by automatically turning product links into affiliate links.

Skimlinks automatically affiliates product links within your content, allowing you to focus on other aspects such as writing. You can seamlessly integrate affiliate links into your content without the need for manual effort or constant monitoring. This automated process saves you time and effort, enabling you to concentrate on creating engaging and valuable content for your audience.

skimlinks banner showcasing their uk affiliate program

According to their own statistics, Skimlinks boasts a global network of 60,000 publishers and 48,500 merchants. Impressively, they generate £1.9 million in sales every day, showcasing the substantial scale of their platform.

A recommended commission rate of 10-15% is automatically set, but merchants can set their own if necessary. Additionally, Skimlinks utilises cookies with a duration of up to 7 days.

Payments take a little longer with payments being received 3 months after a sale is made. A £50 threshold is set before a withdrawal can be made. Like many of the other affiliate programs, Skimlinks require a fully functioning website or blog. If accepted, you’ll have access to many well-known brands such as Adobe, Wayfair, Nike and Selfridges.

  • Commission Rate: 10-15% recommended, merchants can set their own
  • Cookie Duration: 7 days
  • Payment Frequency: 3 months after a sale
  • Minimum Payout: £50
  • Payment Methods: Direct deposit, PayPal
  • Special Requirements: A fully functioning website or blog
  • Products: Many popular organisations such as Adobe, Wayfair, Nike, Selfridges

Affiliate Marketing FAQs

If you’re seeking further information about the top affiliate programs in the UK or have general inquiries about affiliate marketing, this FAQ section is here to help. It covers common questions and provides insights into various aspects of affiliate marketing. Feel free to explore and find answers to your queries.

What Is The Best Affiliate Program In The UK?

This depends. Find a program that has products that best suit your niche. It would be a good idea to have a basic understanding of the products you will be promoting as you’ll need to create valuable content around this. Amazon Associates is a good place to start due to their extensive range of products in a variety of categories.

How Do I Get Started With Affiliate Marketing?

Affiliate marketing is a field that can be relatively easy to set up but challenging to master. It is crucial to have an established platform through which you can promote affiliate products, such as a website, blog, or social media page, among others.

Once you have a platform in place, you can explore the various affiliate programs mentioned in this article. Simply follow the sign-up procedures and carefully review the terms and conditions.

If your application is accepted, you will gain access to a wide range of vendors, each with their own set of conditions. After selecting a suitable vendor, you will receive personalised affiliate links that you can share on your chosen platform. When users click on your unique link and perform the desired action, it triggers your commission payout.

Is Affiliate Marketing The Same As Digital Marketing?

Whilst closely related the two are actually quite different. Digital marketing is more focused on driving sales and increasing brand awareness. Affiliate marketing on the other hand is where you rely on commission payouts from vendors to make money.

How Much Can I Earn From Affiliate Marketing?

The potential income you can generate from affiliate marketing depends on a variety of factors. It requires dedication, persistence, and a significant investment of time and effort. While the income may start off slow or non-existent, with consistent effort, you can eventually see positive results.

To estimate your potential earnings from affiliate marketing, you can utilise a calculator that takes into account various metrics such as page views, click-through rate, and other important factors. By inputting these metrics, you can get an estimate of your potential earnings.

Can I Join More Than One Affiliate Network?

Certainly! There are no limitations on the number of affiliate programs you can join. In fact, there are several advantages to joining multiple programs. By doing so, you can maximise your earnings potential and expand your options for promoting a diverse range of products. This gives you greater flexibility and opportunities to generate income through various affiliate partnerships.

Josh Halse
Josh Halse

Josh Halse is the owner of Comprehension Digital.

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