If you aren’t familiar with GetUpside, it’s an app on your phone that allows you to save money on gas, typically $0.10 to $0.25 per gallon. On top of that, when you refer your friends, family, or even someone completely random that downloads the GetUpside app and uses your referral code, they get $10 and you get $0.01 a gallon every time they get gas. In my neighborhood, all the Circle K’s participate. You just open the app and check in when you get there, earn your money and then request for it to be deposited into your bank account.
Unlike a lot of coupon-type of apps, GetUpside has some big time investors like Shell, so it is probably going to have some staying power. It is extremely popular among Uber drivers.
Now the question is, could you make a substantial amount of recurring monthly income from referrals, say $500? First, do the math. The GetUpside website points out the average person gets 4 fill-ups per month and 15 gallons per fill-up. That is 60 gallons a month, so $0.60 of income to the referring person. And 60 gallons a month is a hard core user. A lot of people will download the app and maybe use it once or not at all. There might be a few super hard core users like Amazon couriers or high mileage rideshare drivers, but there will be far more people that don’t drive that much. If you assume for every 2 referrals, one person becomes a hard core user that generates you $0.60 per month (and the other person never ends up using the app), it would take almost 1700 referrals to get to the $500 per month level.
Expecting to make a substantial amount of money from GetUpside referrals is unrealistic for most people. The exceptions would be someone who operated a coupon website or had some enormous email list of loyal followers. The silver lining is that GetUpside’s business model is probably a lot more sustainable than other businesses that offer the ‘forever’ referral model. A couple of ‘forever’ referral failures that come to mind include the 1999 darling AllAdvantage which paid people $0.50 per hour to keep an ad bar open when browsing the Internet (and promised $0.10 per hour to the referring person), and rideshare company Fare which paid you 10% of the fare forever on any rides taken by someone you referred.
With that being said, $10 free for signing up, plus as much as $0.25 per gallon on your own purchases is still a good deal. I actually received $0.40 a gallon one time — not sure if it was a special promotion or what. It is definitely worth downloading the app just to save money. But forget about quitting your day job.