Correct. Rewards payments to non-platinum affiliates are subject to a 97 day 'pending' period, so DreamHost don't actually pay you the rewards until the 97 day guarantee period is over.
Unfortunately, this is not strictly correct. Platinum affiliates are not subject to the 97 day pending period, therefore the rewards payment may have been paid out (via PayPal etc) before the 97 day guarantee period has elapsed. If the customer subsequently refunds, the rewards payment is subtracted from the current rewards balance. It is quite possible for the current balance to be negative in this situation. I guess DreamHost (and the affiliate) are counting on future rewards to bring the balance back to positive.
Note: A Platinum Affiliate is defined as someone who has 5 or more referrals older than 97 days.
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