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WooCommerce – How to Pay Affiliate Commission on Subscriptions?

This article explains how using a single step, you can set-up either one-time or recurring affiliate commission for subscriptions in WooCommerce.

Last updated on April 30, 2024

If you’re a WooCommerce store owner, you must have wondered at least once about how you should go about paying commission to the affiliates on the subscriptions.

With Affiliate for WooCommerce plugin, you get two ways to payout commissions:

  • One-time commission
  • Recurring commission

This article will introduce you to both the ways and help you understand how you can apply them using Affiliate for WooCommerce plugin.

For the unversed, Affiliate for WooCommerce plugin helps you set-up your own WooCommerce affiliate program. You can manage your affiliates from a single dashboard, set up commission plans, create marketing campaigns, make payout via PayPal and do a lot more.

How commissions can be paid for subscriptions?

The first one is the one-time commission. As the name suggests, the commission is paid only once irrespective of the subscription period. This period could be a month, a year or maybe 5 years, depending upon the subscription period and your terms with the affiliate.

The commission rate here is usually higher than the recurring commission process.

The recurring commission, on the other hand, is paid on each renewal. The period for this could also be indefinite, depending upon when the renewal happens. However, this will be more frequent than the one-time commission.

The commission rate is usually lower than what affiliates get for the one-time commission.

How to allow the commission to your affiliates on each subscription renewal?

If you are selling products that are created using WooCommerce Subscriptions and want to give your affiliates commission on a recurring basis, follow these steps –

WooCommerce affiliate commission subscriptions
  • Go to WooCommerce > Settings > Affiliates
  • Mark the checkbox Issue recurring commission
  • Click on Save changes

Now, your affiliates will receive a commission on each renewal.

If you wish to set it otherwise, i.e. to keep a one-time commission, leave the checkbox disabled.

What is better? One-time or Recurring?

There is no right or wrong to choose here.

As a WooCommerce store owner –

  • In recurring commission, paying frequently could be an issue but at the same time, the pay rate will be low.
  • In one-time commission, you will have to pay at a higher rate but that saves you from frequent payouts.

For your affiliates –

  • The recurring commission keeps them paid regularly but the pay rate will be lower.
  • One-time commission gives them an opportunity to earn a higher pay at the cost of their regular payouts.


Keeping your best interest in mind, we at Affiliate for WooCommerce, have given you the flexibility to choose either of the options as per your and the affiliate’s suitability.

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