Tesla brought back their referral program in China on Monday, announcing the new ‘Treasure Chest’ rewards system through their Weibo social media channel.
While the announcement provided some information on how the new program works, like that you now earn points that you can redeem for goods or other items, the release was scarce on details on how many points you actually earn for a referral, and how many points it takes to redeem for something.
Thanks to owners in China we are now getting our first look at the new program, and at the same time learning there is more to it than what was originally announced.
Tesla Referral Credits
As noted in the original announcement, when someone buys a Tesla with your referral link you earn credits. According to the Tesla mobile app, a referral for any vehicle will earn you 3,500 credits.
What wasn’t mentioned in the announcement is that you can also earn 7,000 credits for buying another Tesla yourself, which the automaker calls ‘Loyalty Credits.’
Once you have earned some credits you can redeem them directly through the mobile app.
According to screenshots of the app shared by @Tesla__Mania on Twitter, redeeming for a Cyberwhistle ($65 CAD/$50USD) will cost 2,800 credits, a Model 3/Y fob ($225 CAD/$175USD) will cost 13,000 credits, and a pair of Cybertruck socks ($40 CAD/$30USD) will set you back 1,300 credits, to name just a few examples.
These examples indicate 3,500 referral credits is worth the equivalent of about $80 CAD or $60 USD.
The app also allows you to redeem between 3,500 and 7,000 credits for free Supercharging. Unfortunately @Tesla__Mania didn’t share a photo of how many Supercharger credits you get with those redemption amounts.
UPDATE October 26 4:33pm PT: @Tesla__Mania has shared more information with us, telling us that 1,500km of free Supercharger costs 7,000 credits, and 750km costs 3,500 credits. Previously a referral would earn you 1,500km, so this essentially cuts the value of a referral in half compared to the previous program.
There have been hints in the Tesla mobile app source code that a similar referral program will be launching in North America soon. Those hints also show that we will be able to redeem credits for merchandise, accessories, and potentially even software upgrades.
There was also mention of a ‘referral challenge’ in the source code, which has also been added in China. No additional details were provided by @Tesla__Mania but in one of the screenshots we can see a button that says “Start a challenge to earn.” We have reached out to him for more information and we will update this article when we receive a response.
UPDATE Oct 24 8:09pm PT: Unfortunately this just a iOS translation problem, and a direct translation from Chinese reads “Refer friends, earn credits together.”
What do you think owners have to do to earn credits through the challenge? Visit a certain number of Supercharger stations in a given time? Achieve a certain Safety Score? Let us know what you think in the comments below.
You can see more examples of items you can redeem credits for in this video.