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Does ClickBank Cost? (Hidden Fees for Affiliate Marketers)

ClickBank is a great platform that offers hundreds, if not thousands affiliate programs that almost anyone can join. But even though affiliate programs are free to join, does Clickbank cost?

Even though there isn’t anything known as ClickBank affiliate fees – it’s rather better to get informed than learning a lesson the hard way.

ClickBank has something I like to call “hidden fees”. These fees don’t affect everyone, and they’re a part of the lengthy accounting policy.

Even if you read the ClickBank accounting policy, you might miss it or not understand properly the fees that could affect your Clickbank account.

In this post, I’ll show you how I occurred (and discovered) these fees the hard way and how you can prevent this from happening to your ClickBank account!

Does ClickBank Cost?


If you are an affiliate marketer who’s searching for affiliate programs – joining ClickBank makes sense. They feature a wide range of affiliate programs so the chances of finding at least one or two programs are high.

ClickBank platform is free to join as an affiliate marketer. From there, it’s all about applying to each affiliate program that can either accept or reject your application.

These affiliate programs are free as well, so you won’t have to spend a penny to join ClickBank or to partner with any affiliate program on the platform.

However, as I’ve mentioned earlier – there are “hidden fees” that you should be aware of.

These hidden fees don’t affect everyone’s account – but they affect dormant accounts only.

Now that you know there’s something to be aware of – down below, I’ll explain what a dormant account is and how the fees apply so keep on reading!

What is a Dormant Account on ClickBank?


A dormant account is a very rare case that I’ve learned about only at ClickBank, so I am unsure whether this applies to any other affiliate marketing network.

By ClickBank’s definition, a dormant account is any ClickBank account that has a positive balance (has made at least a sale in the past) but hasn’t made a sale in a long time.

Not only you might miss this information when you create a ClickBank account or when you read the ClickBank accounting policy – but the most interesting fact is that ClickBank won’t notify you when your ClickBank account is dormant.

What Fees Do You Occur as a Dormant Account?


The way I found out that my ClickBank account is dormant is by checking my balance that yet has to be paid out.

ClickBank has a certain threshold you have to meet, but it’s not only a financial threshold yet they also require you to make a couple of sales with a different payment method before you can cash out your earnings (known as Customer Distribution Requirement).

I have joined the ClickBank platform because of a very specific affiliate program that pays a high commission. I make a couple of sales here and there as it’s still a work in progress of my second project.

Then, I’ve noticed that my balance has been deducting. It was $1 per day at first and then it was $5 per day.

Upon contacting ClickBank and learning about the dormant accounts and the fees that occur – I realized that ClickBank has been eating away my earnings that I’ve been waiting to cash out.

But how do the fees work? Here’s a simple break down of the fees:

  • $1 per day after your account didn’t make a sale for over 90 days
  • $5 per day after your account didn’t make a sale for over 180 days
  • $50 per day after your account didn’t make a sale for over 365 days

So does ClickBank cost? Yes, it can definitely cost you if you don’t pay attention to the dormant account fees!

Even though there are no official ClickBank affiliate fees for marketers who join affiliate programs to promote the products – these fees are probably going to catch many affiliate marketers who are just starting.

Why do Dormant Accounts Need to Pay a Fee?

ClickBank states that it’s your responsibility to manage your account and prevent dormant fees. But is there anything you can really do?

I mean, the platform has a set threshold you have to meet which is pretty reasonable and a normal obstacle. However, they’ve also added the Customer Distribution Requirement where they ask you to make 5 sales with at least two different payment methods.

Since you can’t control the type of payment your visitors will use – you’re only left with the waiting game to make 5 sales, reach the minimum threshold for payout, and hope that at least 2 out of those 5 customers purchases using two different payment methods.

After all, this isn’t a very complicated requirement and it only takes time for a new affiliate who has joined the platform.

But the problem is – as soon as you make at least one sale and then don’t make any for the next 3 months, your account becomes a dormant account and you occur fees.

According to ClickBank, dormant accounts need to pay a fee so ClickBank can keep “maintaining” your account.

Is there Logic to Dormant Account Fees by ClickBank?


In my opinion, there is no logic to dormant fees that I’ve noticed only ClickBank uses to fund themselves.

If there was a yearly maintenance charge or a fee on every order they help the process – I would understand. I’m sure there is still a certain fee that the program owners have to pay.

But one of the worst things is that even though you don’t meet the Customer Distribution Requirement (5 sales, at least 2 different payment methods) – you aren’t able to pay out the earnings and yet if you don’t make a sale in the next 3 months, the dormant fees will start eating out your balance until you make the next sale or your balance goes back to $0.

The dormant account makes sense (if ClickBank really needs to charge account maintenance which I doubt), but these fees affect new affiliate marketers the most.

It affects affiliate marketers who have just started reaping rewards for their hard work and yet aren’t fully established to produce frequent sales.

Is There a Way to Avoid Dormant Fees?


Remember how ClickBank says that it’s your responsibility to watch out if your account goes dormant and to manage your account to avoid these fees?

Even though they don’t tell you how to do it – there might be a workaround.

Since you are allowed to purchase products through your affiliate links – here’s what you can do.

When you have a positive balance and you’re close to 90 days of the last sale and you didn’t make another one – you can be your own customer and purchase something through your affiliate link.

This will count as a sale and you’ll have the next 90 days before your account goes dormant – and hopefully, you’ll make a sale until then.


So in the end, does ClickBank cost? It doesn’t cost and you won’t have an issue if you’re making sales frequently.

However, if you’re just starting as an affiliate marketer, you should watch out for dormant fees. Even though these fees don’t seem like a lot – they’re daily fees and they can eat your balance quicker than you can think.

I’ve lost about $50 in a very short period of time, only because I didn’t make a sale in the past 6 months.

Everyone would like to make sales consistently – but that’s not how affiliate marketing works. So while you’re building out, working hard on your own online business, and you’re about to start reaping rewards – keep an eye on the dormant fees!

ClickBank affiliate fees aren’t something that should affect your balance – and as long as you know the rules of the “game”, you won’t have a problem!

Did ClickBank dormant fees creep up on you or you found out on time?

I’d love to hear your experience or your story so feel free to leave a comment below, ask questions, or even share this post on social media!

If you’re looking to learn how to make money with ClickBank for free – check out this post!

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4 thoughts on “Does ClickBank Cost? (Hidden Fees for Affiliate Marketers)

  1. Hi Dario,

    Wow. This article made me have a check at the affiliate programs I’m involved in. Reading the T&C is always important, but I would have been in the exact position as you. Realising only when I happen to check my balance. Hahaha.

    In a way, it feels like a form of push for affiliates to be consistent in their efforts to make their sales. Also scary at the same time when they keep deducting from your account for as long as you are unaware!

    I know Amazon will inform (from the start) via email that their account will be taken from them for the lack of sales during a specific duration. But ClickBank’s method is to keep deducting… That’s the road to a large loss from the start.

    Anyway, glad I came across this article!!


    1. Hey Sam,

      thanks for leaving a comment!

      I’m glad you’re aware of it by now! Haha I know, right.

      Yes, definitely. It doesn’t make a lot of sense but the balance will keep reducing with or without you knowing.

      That’s right. It’s Amazon’s “catch” and I like that it’s well known to every user that joins the Associate’s program.

      I’m glad you learned something new! Good luck and thanks for stopping by!


  2. Very excellent article I had know idea that click bank did charge fees for a dormant account. I use click bank but I have not found a product I want to promote yet so this information is excellent thank You

    1. Hey Dorrie,

      thanks for your comment!

      Glad I could help out in time. ClickBank has plenty of products to promote and it’s all about finding the product that you truly believe is useful and a product that you like but also believe in.


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