The Affiliate System

Affiliates help generate revenue by referring customers to your business. WHMCS includes a comprehensive affiliate system with support for one-time and recurring commissions, either in percentages or fixed values. It also includes payout delays, minimum withdrawal limits, and live statistics and information for affiliates in the Client Area.

You can access this feature at Clients > Manage Affiliates.


Affiliates earn commission for products and services (including configurable options) only. They can’t earn commission on:

  • Domain names.
  • Product addons.
  • Upgrade orders.
    Any recurring commissions will increase with new renewal prices.
  • Manually-created invoices.
  • Usage billing, invoiced in arrears.
For more information on how commissions work, see Affiliate System Commission Logic.

Affiliate System Configuration

Before you can use the affiliate system, you must:

  • Configure the settings in the Affiliates tab at Configuration () > System Settings > General Settings.
  • Activate affiliate status in the client’s profile’s Summary tab.

Setting Overrides

You can overide these settings on a per-client basis and set a specific commission rate for an individual affiliate at Clients > Manage Affiliates.

You can override these settings on a per-product basis when you configure a product in the Other tab at Configuration () > System Settings > Products/Services.

Setting Commission Per-Product

To offer a higher commission on a certain product, edit the product and go to the Other tab at Configuration () > System Settings > Products/Services.

  • You can choose a percentage or fixed amount commission.
  • Selecting One Time Payout will give the commission only once. Commissions are recurring by default.

You can disable commissions entirely for an individual product by selecting No Commission. This setting takes priority over the default commission. However, if you have set either the client or the product commission to One Time Payout, that setting will override this.

Setting Commission Per-Client

You can offer unique commissions by clicking View Affiliate Details in the client’s Summary tab.

Settings that you configure here will override all other configurations unless you set either the client or the product commission to One Time Payout.

Delays and Reversals

WHMCS includes tools to help you prevent losses due to disputes, cancellations, or refunds on transactions for which you pay commissions.


The Affiliate Commission Delay setting at Configuration () > System Settings > General Settings helps you avoid this by delaying commission payment for a set number of days after the transaction.

  • This setting applies to commissions for both initial orders and renewals.
  • At the time of payment, the affiliate’s Pending Commissions Balance will increase by the amount of commission for the order but their Available to Withdraw Balance will not.
  • WHMCS only awards commission if the product or service is in the Active status when payout would occur according to your settings.
    • This is either at the end of the delay period or, if you did not set a delay period, immediately.
    • If it is in another status, the commission will be removed and can only be awarded manually.


In WHMCS 8.3 and later, you can also perform reversals on commissions:

  • WHMCS can reverse commissions when you refund the invoice that incurred the affiliate commission.
    • When you perform a full refund, WHMCS automatically reverses all of the associated commissions.
    • When you perform a partial refund, you can choose whether to also reverse the commission. You cannot, however, choose an amount of the commission to reverse. Reversing the commission must reverse the entire amount.
  • If you choose not to perform a commission reversal, the commission payment will not be affected.

If you paid a commission before upgrading to WHMCS 8.3, WHMCS will not present the option to reverse commissions.

Working with Affiliates

You must enable the affiliate system before attempting to manage affiliates. If you do not, affiliate information will not display in the Client Area and the affiliate system will not function.

Before a client can receive commissions, they must become an activated affiliate.

  • To do this, go to the client’s profile’s Summary tab and click Activate as Affiliate under Other Actions.
  • After you have enabled the affiliate system, clients can also activate affiliate status for themselves in the Client Area.

To view and manage affiliates and create manual commission payments and withdrawals, go to Clients > Manage Affiliates.

For more information about activating and managing affiliates, see Manage Affiliates.

Affiliate System Commission Logic

The affiliate system uses the following logic when processing commissions:

Setup Fees

If there is a setup fee, the initial commission will include it. Then, the system bases recurring commissions on the product’s pricing recurring amount.


If a referred client uses a promotional code when signing up and you have configured a percentage commission, the system will reduce the value of the commission. If you have configured a fixed amount commission, they will still receive the full commission.

For example, if someone uses an affiliate’s three months free promotional code, the affiliate gets the commission based on the first payment amount. Then, they receive recurring amounts according to the product’s settings. In this example, the affiliate would receive a percentage of zero for the first three months.

Product Upgrades and Downgrades

If a referred client upgrades or downgrades their product, the system will adjust the affiliate’s future commissions to match the price of the new product.

  • This won’t affect commission payments that the affiliate has already earned.
  • There is no commission on the upgrade or downgrade order itself.
  • This does not apply to one-time commissions.

Multi Currency

When you pay percentage commissions, WHMCS will convert the value in the purchaser’s currency to the affiliate’s currency using the current exchange rate. If you select to pay a fixed amount, it pays the same amount in any currency.

The system converts the Affiliate Bonus Deposit amount and Affiliate Payout Amount into the affiliate’s currency.

Last modified: June 14, 2024