Understanding CJ’s Publisher Payment Cycle

May 5, 2022
Written by Gia Dal Pozzo

As a member of the Support Team at CJ, I often receive questions from publishers about payment status or how to know when you should expect to receive payment. The payment cycle is a bit nuanced, so it’s helpful to understand the details behind each stage so you can know how and when you'll receive your commissions.

To help you understand your balance and when you’ll be eligible for payment, I'm breaking down the four stages of CJ’s publisher payment cycle:


The Four Stages of CJ’s Publisher Payment Cycle

  1. New: Just earn a commission? It's going to show up here and will remain in the status of "New" until transferred to “Locked” status. Transactions in the “New” status can be corrected or extended by the advertiser.
  2. Extended: An advertiser may choose to extend commissions if they maintain a Standard Locking Cycle and need more time to review transactions. Advertisers can only extend a commission for one additional pay period before it locks. So, for example, if you earned a commission in December that would have locked on January 10th, it will now be eligible to lock on February 10th.
  3. Locked: Once a commission is in the locked status, transactions can no longer be edited by the advertiser. Generally, a transaction that occurs in a given month will be paid out the following month, but it’s important to factor in the locking method to decipher when you should be paid. Be aware that there are three types of locking methods:
    • Standard Locking Cycle: In the standard locking cycle, transactions lock on the 10th of the month following the Event Date provided that the advertiser does not extend the “New” status. For example, if a transaction took place on December 3rd, then the commissions would lock on January 10th.
    • Custom Locking Cycle: Some advertisers may consistently need more time to review each transaction, so they elect for a custom locking cycle. The advertiser determines when the transactions will lock and can set the lock date between 7 to 60 days after the Event Date. For example, if an advertiser has a 30-day locking cycle, a commission generated on December 1st will lock on December 31st.
    • Open-Ended Locking Cycle: This is common for certain advertisers who need more time to confirm an action gets completed, like for travel advertisers who needs to ensure a booking has been redeemed. There is no specified locking date or time frame, and the transaction will remain in “New” status until the advertiser locks it.
  4. Closed: Closing occurs around the 13th and 22nd of the month. If a commission has closed, this indicates that it has gone through the "review period,” meaning your account and transactions are compliant and the advertiser has enough funds to cover the payout.


When Will My Commissions Be Paid Out?

Once commissions have gone through the appropriate locking cycle to lock, they’re eligible for payment! 🎉 There are two payment periods, although not all publishers are eligible for second-round payments. Payments are made around the 20th (for all currencies) and around the 28th (for currencies USD, GBP, or EUR).

To receive payment, your closed commission balance must meet the minimum payment amount you set in your account. Once your closed commission balance reaches your minimum payment amount, you will be eligible for payment. For example, if you set your minimum payment amount to be $100, your closed commission balance must be $100 or greater to be eligible for payout.


Payment Pro Tips

Here's a list of tips that'll help you customize your account and answer some of the most frequently asked payment questions.

  • You can change your account minimum threshold. To review your minimum payout level, navigate to Account > Administrative Settings.
  • Unless you receive payment in the currency USD, GDP, or EUR, you will not be eligible for a second-round payout.
  • The payment cycle is automated, so CJ is unable to expedite or process any payments earlier than the two payment dates.
  • For CJ to pay out commissions, there must be enough funds in the advertiser account to cover the amount due. If publishers are owed commission over what the advertiser has available, CJ cannot pay publishers until the additional funds are deposited. We indicate this specifically in the Publisher Service Agreement (PSA) that you agree to when signing up for your CJ Publisher account.

Payment Knowledge in Action

Let’s end with an example! I’ll walk you through a payment inquiry and what I did to answer it:

A publisher recently called in to ask about why they had a certain number of commissions still appearing in the “New” status within their Balance Details page. They wanted to know when these payments would be “Locked” and eventually paid out.

My first suggestion was to find out which advertiser the commissions came from to find out the locking cycle and action associated with the commissions. (Note: you can always find this information within the advertiser’s program terms—just click on their name anywhere within the CJ Account Manager!)

After looking at the advertiser’s program terms, we discovered which locking cycle they had elected for the action in question—this piece of info is key to getting a better idea of when your commissions will close since the difference between the three locking cycles (covered above) makes quite a bit of difference when determining your payment status. Voila!


To learn more about publisher payments, check out our article on the Publisher Payout Process in the Support Center (note that you must be logged into your CJ account to view it). While I can't promise you the same incredible joy of winning the lottery, I can tell you that the satisfaction of receiving affiliate commissions will be worth the wait on payday!

Have more questions or need help? Reach out to our Support Team.

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