Affiliate marketing is a global business worth more than $19 billion a year. As an affiliate marketer, you can have a website hosted in the US that promotes products in Asia to customers in Europe. But sometimes, it makes sense to stay a little closer to home. If you’re based in the land of syrup and ice hockey, that means joining Canadian affiliate programs.
There are lots of reasons you might want to join a specifically Canadian affiliate program. For instance, you might:
- Have an audience that’s largely (or entirely) based in Canada
- Possess local knowledge that would help you promote Canadian products
- Prefer to be paid in Canadian dollars and deal with Canadian businesses
Whatever the case, there’s no shortage of options out there. Best of all, you can find Canadian affiliate programs in a wide range of niches, from eCommerce businesses to insurance providers to investment platforms. Read on for our roundup of the 10 best Canadian affiliate programs:
Canada Affiliate Programs
- Best Buy Canada
- CBD Oil Canada
- Lowe’s Canada
- Web Hosting Canada
- Square One
- Walmart Canada
Best Buy Canada
Best Buy opened its first Canadian store in 2002 and is now one of the country’s biggest retailers. It specializes in electronics, but also sells beauty products, toys, luggage, and more.
The Canadian Best Buy affiliate program can be found on the Impact Radius affiliate network. Its terms and conditions aren’t great: you get a seven-day cookie window and a 1% commission. But on the plus side, Best Buy is a trusted household name, so it converts well.
As a major brand, Best Buy Canada isn’t looking to work with all affiliates. It specifically wants to partner with affiliate marketers who:
- Have a website, blog, or social platform targeting a Canadian audience
- Create content that aligns with the company’s produce range
- Can represent the brand in an appropriate, professional manner
Expect to wait 7 – 10 days for the company to review your affiliate application and respond. If you make the grade, you’ll get access to all Best Buy Canada’s latest promotions, product launches, and special announcements.
Commission rate: 1%
Cookie duration: 7 days
Payment methods: Unlisted
Products sold: Consumer electronics (and more)
I’m guessing you already know that Amazon is basically the biggest online business in the world. If you somehow haven’t heard of it, feel free to check out our in-depth review of its affiliate program, Amazon Associates.
Amazon got a bunch of flak for slashing its commission rates a couple years back. But its commission structure is actually pretty competitive in a lot of categories, ranging from just 1% on groceries and physical video games to 20% on Amazon Games. Lots of products are around the 5% – 10% mark.
Beyond that, Amazon runs special bounty events that pay fixed commissions on specific actions. For instance, at time of writing it’s paying $3 for free trials of Amazon Students.
Technically, Amazon Associates only offers a 24-hour cookie window. However, if a customer adds an item to their shopping cart, that window gets extended to 90 days, which is very competitive. Commissions can be paid by bank transfer, check, or Amazon gift card.
Commission rate: 1% – 20%
Cookie duration: 24 hours
Payment methods: Bank transfer, check, gift card
Products sold: Basically everything
Questrade is a wealth management and investing platform that aims to make it easy for Canadians to get into the world of trading and investment. Describing itself as Canada’s fastest-growing online brokerage, it has C$30 billion of assets under management.
Sign up for Questrade’s affiliate program and you’ll receive C$70 for every customer who opens a new self-directed account after clicking your affiliate links. Not only that, but those new customers will receive C$50 in commission-free trades. The program has a 60-day cookie window.
Commissions can be paid via electronic funds transfer, Questrade account deposit, email money transfer (Canadian affiliates only), or SWIFT/wire transfer (international affiliates only).
Commission rate: C$70 per referred customer
Cookie duration: 60 days
Payment methods: Electronic funds transfer, Questrade account deposit, email money transfer (Canadian affiliates only), SWIFT/wire transfer (international affiliates only)
Products sold: Investment products, wealth management
CBD Oil Canada
CBD Oil Canada is an online business that carries a giddying range of CBD products. Whether you’re looking for full-spectrum CBD oils or CBD products for dogs, chances are you’ll find it here.
As affiliate companies go, CBD Oil Canada seems easy to work with. It pays a flat rate of 10% on all purchases, with a 30-day cookie window. The program has a payment threshold of C$100.
All payments are made via e-transfer, and it specifically points out that PayPal payments aren’t an option. So if you don’t have a Canadian bank account capable of accepting e-transfers, this isn’t the affiliate program for you.
Commission rate: 10%
Cookie duration: 30 days
Payment methods: E-transfer
Products sold: CBD products
Again, chances are you’ve already heard of eBay. If not, it’s a vast online marketplace allowing users to buy and sell everything from cars to clothes to electronics. That means lots of opportunities for earning affiliate income. The site has 1.4 billion listings, of which about 80% are new items.
Officially called the eBay Partner Network, eBay’s affiliate program is similar to Amazon Associates. Its commission structure varies depending on the product category, ranging from 1% on real estate to 4% on clothing, shoes, and accessories. To count as a commissionable sale, customers must:
- Buy within 24 hours of clicking your affiliate links for “Buy It Now” products
- Place a bid within 24 hours of clicking your affiliate links, then win an auction within 10 days
Commissions are paid once per month on the 10th for sales generated in the previous month. Payments can be made via electronic funds transfer or PayPal.
(N.B. Want to learn more? Check out our review of eBay’s affiliate program.)
Commission rate: 1% – 4%
Cookie duration: 24 hours
Payment methods: Electronic funds transfer, PayPal
Products sold: Basically everything
Indigo is Canada’s only major chain of bookstores, with branches in all 10 provinces and one territory. As well as books, it stocks gifts, home decor products, stationery, and toys. Customers get free shipping on orders over C$35 or can choose free in-store pickup.
Yet again, Indigo’s commission rates vary based on the product category in question. However, it’s a lot less complex than Amazon Associates or the eBay Partner Network:
Commissions are paid monthly by check, provided you hit the payment threshold of US$25. The affiliate program has a seven-day cookie window.
Commission rate: 2% – 5%
Cookie duration: 7 days
Payment methods: Check
Products sold: Books, toys, beauty, home decor
Lowe’s Canada operates more than 470 home improvement stores across Canada, including 60 big box locations in Ontario, British Columbia, Alberta, Manitoba, and Saskatchewan. That makes it one of the world’s largest DIY retailers.
Like a lot of big-name retailers, Lowe’s doesn’t offer terrific affiliate terms. It has a cookie window of one day and a default commission rate of just 2%, which is pretty poor. However, it promises that strong performers have the opportunity to gain higher rates.
To help you drive traffic and sales, Lowe’s gives you access to plenty of affiliate marketing tools, including a dedicated affiliate manager, exclusive promotions, and promotional newsletters. The affiliate marketing company also offers free parcel shipping within Canada on orders over C$49, excluding oversized items and gift cards.
Commission rate: 2%
Cookie duration: 1 day
Payment methods: Check, direct deposit, Payoneer
Products sold: Home improvement products
Web Hosting Canada
As you probably gathered, Web Hosting Canada (WHC) is a web hosting company. It has more than 60,000 customers, hosts over 160,000 websites, and claims to be up to three times faster than its competitors.
Web Hosting Canada’s affiliate program is especially popular with Canadian web developers, bloggers, marketers, and agencies. It pays a bounty of C$25 – C$300 on most sales, although email marketing services carry a generous 10% recurring commission. So you make more money online if your referrals keep paying.
The good news doesn’t stop there, because WHC offers a superb six-month cookie duration. Affiliates also get access to high-quality banners, text copy, and dedicated account managers.
Payments can be requested once you reach C$120 in commissions. Payouts are made via check or PayPal. However, if you choose check, WHC will subtract a C$10 admin fee.
Commission rate: C$25 – C$300 per sale; 10% recurring commissions on email marketing offers
Cookie duration: Six months
Payment methods: PayPal, check
Products sold: Web hosting, email marketing
Square One is among the best brands in Canada for home insurance, with an average rating of 4.7 out of five from more than 36,000 reviews. It also has an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau. Prices start at C$12 per month.
The Square One affiliate program has a sliding commission scale. Commissions start at C$50 for each qualified tenant insurance policy you refer, climbing to C$100 for condo owners insurance policies, and C$175 for homeowners insurance. It offers an embeddable quote widget to help you drive traffic.
You need to meet the following criteria to get accepted as a Square One affiliate:
- Appeal to audiences in British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, and Ontario
- Have a blog or website focused on home, finance, insurance, or real estate
Square One shares activity reports at the end of each quarter. Once you’ve received your report, you can invoice for all commissions you’ve earned. Payments are sent by check.
Commission rate: C$50 – C$175 per sale
Cookie duration: Unlisted
Payment method: Check
Products sold: Insurance
Walmart Canada has more than 400 stores across the Great White North, including over 340 supercenters and 59 discount stores. Its branches cover almost every province and territory.
You know the drill by now: Walmart is a huge affiliate company, so its terms and conditions aren’t the best. Affiliates get a four-day cookie window and a 2% commission on selected product categories. At time of writing, those categories include (but aren’t limited to):
- Baby products
- Household supplies
- Clothing, shoes, and accessories
- Office supplies
But once again, it’s a well-known and highly trusted company. So you can expect a high proportion of your traffic to convert.
Commissions can be paid by direct deposit, PayPal, or check.
Commission rate: 2% per sale on selected product categories
Cookie duration: 4 days
Payment methods: Direct deposit, PayPal, check
Products sold: Homeware, electronics, health and beauty, and more
(Want to learn more? Check out our Walmart affiliate program review.)
How to Find Canadian Affiliate Programs
Want to find an even wider selection of Canadian affiliate programs? Eager to do your own research before diving into the world of affiliate marketing? There are two simple, tried-and-trusted methods for affiliate marketers to track down Canadian programs:
1. Join Affiliate Networks
Affiliate networks are platforms that connect advertisers with affiliate marketers. In exchange for building those relationships, they take a share of the revenue. Each network is home to dozens, or even thousands, of individual affiliate programs from a wide range of brands.
Some affiliate networks specialize in the B2C space, others tend toward B2B offers, and some are generalists. Every network has at least some affiliate programs that are open to Canadian affiliates. However, in our experience, the best affiliate networks for Canadian affiliate programs are:
- CJ Affiliate: Formerly known as Commission Junction, CJ Affiliate has twice as many IR500 brands as its nearest competitor. It doesn’t have a specific niche, but attracts a bunch of big names, including Barnes & Noble, IHG, and J.Crew.
- Rakuten Linkshare: Voted the industry’s #1 affiliate marketing network for 11 years running, Rakuten Linkshare is home to big brands like Clarins, Net-A-Porter, and Kurt Geiger.
- ShareASale: More than 21,000 merchants and 240,000 publishers use the ShareASale network. It typically attracts smaller, ecommerce-focused businesses, but it still has a few high-profile partnerships with brands like Etsy and Reebok.
2. Research Individual Affiliate Programs
Don’t want to join an affiliate network? Your other option is to seek out individual affiliate programs yourself.
There are pros and cons to this approach. Affiliate programs that aren’t on affiliate networks often pay higher commissions, because there’s no middleman to eat into the profits. You also have the chance to build stronger relationships by working directly with advertisers. On the downside, it takes a little longer. There’s also more chance of getting ripped off without the safety net of an affiliate network.
Honestly, the best (and quickest) way to research individual affiliate programs is to let us do it for you. Our affiliate marketing content hub is full of recommendations for the best affiliate programs in countless niches, from airlines to yoga. Alternatively, check out our in-depth guide on how to find affiliate offers.
Want to learn more? Check our guide on how to start affiliate marketing in Canada.
Conclusion: Should You Join Canadian Affiliate Programs?
There are some obvious pros and cons to joining Canadian affiliate programs. On the down side, there are fewer programs available. Plus you’ll limit (or eradicate) your chances of earning commissions from other countries. But on the other hand, you’ll have less competition targeting high-value keywords because you’re chasing a more “niche” audience.
Even so, generating lots of search engine traffic and sales is never easy. You still need a high-quality affiliate website and tons of informative, conversion-driving content. Those things take time.
Fortunately, help is at hand. Just sign up for our free training and we’ll teach you seven secrets that make new sites 83% more successful!