Question about the rewards / promotion system

In the past few days I’ve tried to find out a bit more about DH, through Google and by asking several people I know about their experiences (so far this host has been recommended to me on two different forums). There’s one thing I haven’t yet understood - the referral system.

On one hand, many sites that link to DH have some affiliate code in the link that apparently gives them a bonus - I’ve seen the description of Dreamhost Rewards on the website, and this appears to be it.

On the other, some sites offer some kind of “promotional code” or “promo code” that is supposed to give a discount to anyone who signs up with it.

What I haven’t yet understood is how these two programs are related - especially since they seem to be mutually exclusive (the signup form states that “entering a promo code waives the right to say who referred you”). What is the difference between the promo codes and the rewards program?

Edit: And looking more closely, why are promo codes different from each other? I’ve seen some offering 97$, others just 50$ - what is the difference between these?

There is only one mechanism in place to allow DreamHost customers to earn kickbacks for referring new customers, and that is a simple referral ID. If you sign up by clicking a link like this:

or this (which is essentially the same thing):

I will get a kickback from DreamHost of $97 (or 10% of all money DreamHost makes from you), and $5 for anybody you subsequently refer. About a year ago (I forget when, exactly), DreamHost created the promotional code system. That allows me to offer a potential customer some or all of the kickback money I receive as an “insentive” to use my referral ID. The first promotional code I created, [color=#CC0000]SCJESSEY[/color], offered 50% of my kickback to whoever signed up with it.

Almost immediately, people began creating promo codes that offered all of their kickback money - $97 - to new customers. These people were gambling on getting the $5 for subsequent referrals you made. Naturally, few are going to sign up for a DreamHost service with a promotional code that offers less than $97 discount, so pretty soon most were forced to create them. Mine is [color=#CC0000]SCJESSEY97[/color], for example.

The promo code system overrides the referral system. If you decide to sign up for DreamHost after clicking my link, but then use somebody else’s promo code, I will get nothing. Personally, I believe that the way this works is unfair on the person who did all the work getting the referral, but without scrapping the system altogether there is no way of fixing that problem.

Simon Jessey | Keystone Websites
Save $97 on yearly plans with promo code [color=#CC0000]SCJESSEY97[/color]

So basically, if I use a referral code, the referrer gets the entire reward, but if I use a promo code, the referrer is giving me the discount (up to $97) out of their own reward?

Got it.

Absolutely. If you use my [color=#CC0000]SCJESSEY97[/color] code, for example, I am giving you all of the $97 that DreamHost would’ve given me. I can only make money if you subsequently refer people ($5 for each).

Simon Jessey | Keystone Websites
Save $97 on yearly plans with promo code [color=#CC0000]SCJESSEY97[/color]

I think Simon answered all of your questions. Once you sign up, just log into the panel, then go to Home -> Rewards.

That page will tell you your referral link code and explain the differences between that and promo codes.

Even if you wanted to refer people without giving them a big discount, you’d still be better off giving them even a $5 promo code, just to be sure you referral link doesn’t get overwritten along the way.

You can also use your rewards to pay your hosting bill, or have the balance sent to you each month through PayPal–as long as there’s $20 or more that month.

This page is also where you create promo codes (as many as you want, if you want to track where they’re used), view a list of your existing codes, or click links to view your stats.

Also, you can still get signups with a regular referral link in the right places – just not places like this forum where it would be surrounded with promo codes.

:stuck_out_tongue: Save up to $96 at Dreamhost with ALMOST97 promo code (I get $1).
Or save $97 with THEFULL97.