How do Forex Affiliate Programs Work?

So you want to know what a Forex Affiliate Program is or you’d like to get more info about various

So you want to know what a Forex Affiliate Program is or you’d like to get more info about various programs? I hope you’ll find here what you are looking for. If you don’t or you’d like to add your affiliate program here just email me at michael [at] Good luck!

Let’s start with the basics.

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What’s Forex Affiliation:

Affiliation is a type of a marketing program where a person refers other people to a certain business in return for some kind of a reward (typically financial). This is usually done through recommendations, banners, links or any other type of marketing collateral. In Forex, affiliates refer potential traders to online Forex brokers. The referral works when a potential trader clicks a link or a banner provided by an affiliate and later on registers to trade with the broker. That trader is ear marked as a client of that Forex affiliate through whose referral link he arrived.

Affiliate is an Internet type of an Introducing Broker (IB). It’s being an IB but without typically having an office or sales staff. Internet Forex Affiliates refer their clients through websites. Becoming an affiliate is much simpler and typically Forex Affiliates are private individuals with internet properties and large traffic as opposed to IBs who are mostly organized as companies and are more institutionalized. Becoming an affiliate for a certain broker or several is very easy and can take less than 5 minutes.

How does the referral link look:

Typically, you’ll be able to see a short line of code right after the Forex broker’s domain name. For instance, if someone referred clients to Forex Magnates, their referral link might look like this: This tells you that who ever is placing this link works as an affiliate.

Types of Forex Affiliate Compensation Methods:

As said, Forex Affiliates are compensated for their referral (why else would they place broker links on their websites, right?). This compensation can take various forms:

Rebates – affiliates, much like and Introducing Brokers, are compensated for a volume their clients make. For instance, an affiliate gets 1 pip for every standard lot his client trades. Industry standard is 0.5-2 pips depends on the broker (market maker or ECN, competitive spreads or not) and currency pairs (majors or minors – minors tend to have wider spreads as they are less traded).

CPA – this stands for Cost Per Acquisition. This type of compensation is paid when a referred client either signs up for a Live account or makes a deposit (nuances are very important here). Industry standard is $150-250 per client and can go considerably higher depending on the deposit size.

CPL – this stands for Cost Per Lead. The affiliate is compensated when a referred trader provides his details on broker’s landing page (marketing page which offers something to the trader while collecting basic details like name, phone and email address). Some brokers offer this if a referred trader signs for a demo accounts as well.

Revenue sharing – This is the most ‘interesting’ type of a compensation. Market makers profit not only from spread but also from some of their clients losses (not every $ lost is a $ in broker’s bank account!) and some affiliate programs go as far as offering part of their ‘revenues’ from clients. This typically stands for part of the losses.

And of course there is a Hybrid type of commission which involves couple of the aforementioned options. For instance, an affiliate can get a CPA + Revenue sharing.

Another important type of program is called 2nd tier (referring a trader is consider 1st tier) – this basically means that if you are a Forex Affiliate and you refer a Forex Affiliate to the Forex Affiliate Program you get a share of that Affiliate’s revenues (can be a fixed amount or percent of revenues). Honestly, don’t count on that too much: it’s hard to track this and brokers don’t really like paying twice.

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What to consider before becoming an affiliate:

The most important thing is know your broker. Forex Affiliation isn’t perfect, it’s far from that. Many brokers are known for playing games with their affiliates, not reporting opened accounts, delaying the payment or even for not paying the hard earned commission. Sounds amazingly stupid on brokers’ behalf? It is, because in my opinion such brokers shoot themselves in the leg and undermine their own business. Best thing is to ask around, browse the internet for a few hours (don’t trust every review you read as most of the reviews are biased or written by brokers themselves – so try to get the overall impression). So if  in real estate the key to a success is Location, Location, Location in Forex Affiliation it’s Broker, Broker, Broker.

Brokers try to lure Forex Affiliates by offering them high rebates or high revenue sharing but focusing on that is a misconception. While many people are driven by the high income prospects, which is ok, all this won’t matter if the broker won’t pay you for your services.

1. Who is your Broker – Get the history, ask around, try to understand how open and transparent your broker is and how competitive is its offering (spreads, customer service, etc) because that’s what your clients will be checking themselves. Also, figure out how big and known this brokers is – rule of thumb is that the bigger and the more established the broker is the better are the conversion rates and the less its likely to play games with its affiliates.

Another key factor is a multilingual support and availability of several types of accounts and platforms. Rule of thumb in affiliation is that if the broker’s staff is multilingual and if it offers several plans

You’ll get the right feeling when talking to brokers’ affiliate managers. I follow a simple rule when deciding on a business partner: if he’s too slick or tries to sell too hard it’s better find someone else.

2. Affiliate Back Office and reporting – a very important aspect is to see whether the broker provides some kind of back office software access which allows the Forex Affiliate to track performance real time. If you don’t know immediately how many clients signed up using your links and only know at the end of the month that’s bad. If the broker only pays you at the end of the month without providing details that’s bad too. Online marketing relies on immediacy – the ability to know immediately and in real-time whether what you are doing is working or not.

3. Deposit/Withdraw options – this works in two ways: how easy it is for your clients to deposit money (more payment methods necessarily mean more conversions) and how easy it is for you as a Forex Affiliate to withdraw your commission.

There are many more things to consider but I regard this three as more important than others with the first one being the most important by far. And one last thing: even if everything looks great don’t forget to test your broker once in a while by opening a live account through your link (coming from different IP and with different name/credit card of course) and see if the broker doesn’t ‘forget’ to credit you for that ‘new’ client. You’ll be surprised how often this can happen.

Affiliate Programs:

* – you’ll immediately notice that you hardly see any US, UK or Swiss brokers here. There are two good reasons for this: 1. These brokers aren’t very online marketing savvy and Forex Affiliate programs are too progressive for them at this point. 2. the more important reason actually is that these brokers are regulated by very rigorous regulators who typically require that every IB (or affiliate) is complying with all kinds of rules and is properly registered and even regulated where necessary. This kills the affiliation business as you can’t require every person to undergo this lengthy and often costly process. The only thing this means than is that the broker’s below aren’t requiring you to become a registered IB. This doesn’t mean they aren’t ‘good’.

Here’s the list of the leading affiliate programs while I omitted some of the more smaller ones because, well, they are small.

If you are in need of more affiliate programs you can check them out here: Forex MetalFinotecForex Place10pipsForex PlaceMarketiva and Plus 500.

(up to)
(up to)
Hybrid2nd TierPayment
AvaForex$2001pipyes10%Check, PayPal, Wire, Deposit?
Easy Forex$30035%yesnoWire$100
eToro$20020%yes20%PayPal, Wire$100
Forex Yard$3001.0pipyes10%Wire?
FXOpen*$3001.5pipnonoWire, Deposit, e-wallets$1
ReferForex**$4001.0pipyesyesWire, PayPal, e-wallets$25
Xforex$350% of deposityesyesWire, PayPal, e-wallets$5
24option$300Buybackyes10%Wire, Liberty, MB$100

*- FXOpen affiliate program is provided to any clients. Login to MyFXOpen and go to Partnership tab on the left bar and there you have your affiliate link.

** – ReferForex works with several brands such as: Btrader, Finexo and Forexwebtrader.

Binary Market – an interesting example how affiliate programs work in the binary market is binarries.comwhich describes itself as “ is a website dedicated to binary options brokers review, financial news and analysis. The site offers honest and meticulous reviews on the finest brokers in the business and monitors the global markets closely while producing high quality, timely and constant content on the world on investment and finance.”

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