Disclosure: This page contains affiliate links. If you click through and purchase an item, I may earn a commission. See my terms of service for details.
Trading commissions have long been a reliable source of revenue for established financial institutions, such as Fidelity Investments, Charles Schwab, and TD Ameritrade. Discount and online brokerages sought lower fees, but investors still had to pay to trade. In 2013, Robinhood launched a commission-free investment app to disrupt the US investing sector.
Robinhood provides access to stocks, funds, options, cryptos, and cash management services. Its premium plan offers professional research reports, margin trading, level II market data, and other benefits. Robinhood has web and mobile apps for Apple and Android users.
Robin Hood, a fictional character, is a heroic outlaw who steals from the rich to give to the poor. His goal of redistributing wealth to improve the lives of the “99 percent” is what Robinhood seeks to do as well. It aims to “provide everyone with access to the financial markets, not just the wealthy.”
The big players are following Robinhood’s lead. In Q4 of 2019, Charles Schwab, TD Ameritrade, Ally Invest, and others began offering zero-commission trades. The move crushed brokerage stocks, which led to Schwab announcing an intention to acquire TD Ameritrade and Morgan Stanley the same with E-TRADE. The new landscape is one of free trading and consolidation to compete with Robinhood and similar start-ups.
- Founded by Vladimir Tenev and Baiju Bhatt
- Headquarters: Menlo Park, CA
- Valuation status: Unicorn
- Operates in the US and UK
- Robinhood Snacks is a “3-minute newsletter with fresh takes on the financial news you need to start your day.”
Robinhood Affiliate Program
Robinhood has an affiliate program on Impact, a top-rated affiliate network. A marketing agency manages the program. Let’s review the benefits, drawbacks, commission rate, cookie duration, and details of the program.
The payout threshold is low. Impact issues payments when commissions exceed 50 USD or the local equivalent. Affiliates can receive payouts to their bank and PayPal accounts.
There’s a full-time affiliate marketing manager. When a merchant has the staff to support publishers, it quickens processes and shows commitment. You can contact the affiliate team through Impact.
Impact’s affiliate software is top-notch. It offers excellent and reliable tracking solutions. Furthermore, the user interface and activity reports are user-friendly and easy to navigate.
Robinhood also has a referral program. For every new friend that you invite to join Robinhood, you can both earn free stocks. As soon as your lead’s application gets approved, Robinhood will credit both of your accounts with a free stock. You’re eligible to receive up to $500 in rewards each calendar year.
Robinhood is a pioneer. It was the first to offer a zero-commission investment platform and continues to expand its product roster. You can have every confidence that you’re sending traffic to a trusted merchant.
There’s no affiliate landing page. An affiliate landing page promotes transparency and includes the details about a program. Robinhood, or its agency, has yet to create one. Therefore, publishers can only learn about the program by searching around.
The commission rates are subpar. Robinhood pays $5 per sign up/lead, which is below the category average. Also, it only pays $20 per funded account, i.e., if your lead deposits $100,000, you’ll receive $20. That amount pales in comparison to other financial merchants. For instance, Ally Invest pays $25 per lead, whereas Personal Capital pays $100 per funded account.
A 30-day cookie is standard but could be longer. Funding an account and trading aren’t things people rush to do. Secondly, it takes time to get verified, deposit funds, learn the UI, and finally pull the trigger on a trade. All those minor delays make a 30-day referral period disadvantageous.
Hiring an agency to run its program could be excellent or terrible. Many merchants hire agencies to run their programs, which is known as outsourced program management (OPM). Occasionally, a merchant will secure an agency and account manager who will have an entrepreneurial and passionate drive to grow the program. Frequently, however, they’ll get 9-to-5 types who mainly push paper around to keep their jobs. The jury is out on the agency Robinhood chose. Separately, I firmly believe that advertisers should manage their programs internally while being open to outside counsel concerning ideas and strategies. An employee is likely to care more about the company’s affiliate sales than a random person belonging to an agency.
Customer feedback is mixed. Search for “Robinhood reviews,” and you’ll get a range of results from one to five stars (out of five). When Robinhood falls short, it seems to really sink to the bottom.
Robinhood is reliable until it isn’t. Although unplanned downtime is a characteristic of internet connectivity, Robinhood tends to rate poorly in this regard. Outages and glitches are common enough to send its customers sithing. For example, it experienced a two-day outage in March 2020, during high market volatility due to the Coronavirus.
Robinhood’s reputation is suspect. It was fined for failing to ensure that its customers received the best prices for orders. Although it’s a legitimate company, negative news can hang around and produce lower conversion rates.
Robinhood’s competitors have leveled the playing field. No trading commissions have become commonplace, which dilutes Robinhood’s primary value proposition. Given the rise of other zero-commission platforms, Robinhood’s under pressure to innovate and expand its offerings.
Can you make $1,000 a month as a Robinhood affiliate? It depends. If you have a high traffic website or YouTube channel in the personal finance/investment space, it’s possible. If you’re outside of those niches, it’s unlikely that you will make that amount or a significant income. Low commission rates and a 30-day cookie will derail your income prospects.
Where should Robinhood rank in your marketing activities? It should be a low to mid priority. Robinhood is a hit with millennials and new investors who want simplicity. However, experienced investors and HNWI are likely to flock to household names for reliability and product selection, such as Charles Schwab, TD Ameritrade, Ally Invest, E-TRADE, and Vanguard. Secondly, Robinhood’s zero-commission value proposition is no longer a unique selling point.
I’m neither for or against affiliates who want to join Robinhood’s affiliate program because it could be lucrative. If your application gets declined, there are plenty of financial merchants with more favorable terms and commission rates.