Sites that pay you for taking online surveys, playing games, watching videos or searching the web are appealing, right?
You’re mindlessly making money — or at least more mindlessly than at your 9-to-5 gig.
But finding legitimate reward and cash-back sites might seem near impossible. You’re either plagued with pop-up ads, bombarded with emails or, even worse, caught up in a scam.
That’s why we test all the sites we write about. So I signed up for InboxDollars and gave it a spin. Can people really make money on the site? I documented my experience with the company in our review.
InboxDollars is an online rewards club that lets you earn money for taking surveys, playing games, watching videos or searching the web.
The company was founded in 2000 by then computer science student Darren Cotter, and it was acquired by the consumer rewards platform Prodege in 2019. It also runs the U.K.-based InboxPounds and Canada-based DailyRewards.
Anyone can sign up, and you can rack up extra money in your free time by using the site on your desktop, laptop or smartphone.
InboxDollars is a legitimate way to make extra money online. It’s been around for 20 years, and the company says it’s paid its members more than $59 million since 2000.
Like most survey sites, InboxDollars looks a little overwhelming at first, but it’s a pretty simple way to boost your bank account.
We’ve talked to several InboxDollars users who’ve made a good amount of money through the site. For example, Sarah Houston, a nanny and student, earned $600 taking surveys over the course of three years.
“It sounds like a lot of work, but once you’re in a routine, it’s a mindless, easy way to earn extra money,” Houston said.
Based on our experience and these stories, here are some answers to your common questions:
How Much Can You Make With InboxDollars?
Offers on the site generally pay just a few cents each, but surveys pay between $0.50 and $5 apiece. You’ll see how much you can earn before completing a task, so you can decide whether it’s worth your time.
Does InboxDollars Actually Pay?
Yes! We’ve talked to InboxDollars members who’ve gotten cash — and been very happy with their experience.
How Long Does It Take to Get Paid?
You can get paid through PayPal, ePayment (loaded to a prepaid Visa card), Amazon gift cards or other gift cards, or check in the mail. Checks generally arrive in three to 10 business days. All other payments are processed electronically on the Wednesday following your payout request.
Similar to competitors like Swagbucks, InboxDollars offers tons of ways to earn money completing simple tasks and offers online.
InboxDollars connects you with survey providers to take paid market research surveys. Brands pay a survey company to connect with consumers and get opinions on products and services to help with marketing and product development.
InboxDollars helps to pass some of that money directly to you.
In your account, you’ll see available surveys under the “Surveys” tab at the top of the webpage.
There, you’ll find your notification dashboard, which aggregates surveys you might qualify for (based on a profile survey you fill out when you sign up).
Surveys list their estimated completion time, as well as how much you can earn. Some surveys even list the topic at hand, like “media and entertainment” or “entertainment (movies, music, TV, etc.).”
Many of the survey offers I’ve seen vary. You’ll find that some pay 25 cents for a 22-minute survey, $2.25 for a 10-minute survey or $1 for a 19-minute survey. It varies across the board, and the available surveys are updated regularly.
As you complete surveys, you’ll also work toward earning free scratch-off tickets, which is one other opportunity to earn cash.
When you get tired of answering questions about yourself, you can watch videos and get paid for views.
You can choose which videos you want to watch. Topics range from news to entertainment to sports to cooking. For each video you watch, you’ll earn a cent or two.
Each video I’ve watched thus far has been less than 2 minutes long, and I found that earning extra money this way was more hands-off (and more fun) than taking the surveys.
Surfing the Web
This is another super easy way to add some cents to your cash count. For random searches you make through the InboxDollars search engine, you’ll earn additional rewards.
When I tried it, I earned a chance to”Scratch and Win.” This is a free online scratch-off ticket you can earn by completing a number of activities on the site.
After several searches, I scratched and won 10 cents to put toward my InboxDollars earnings.
Other Ways to Get Paid With InboxDollars
Surveys, videos and surfing search engines are the ways to earn the most on the site. But you have tons of other options to bulk up your earnings here and there.
You can also earn rewards by:
- Playing games: Play arcade and casino games to win gift cards or cash.
- Printing coupons: Double-win! Find free printable coupons on the site, and get paid for printing them. Earn more for redeeming them when you shop.
- Shopping: Earn cash back when you shop major brands through InboxDollars.
- Reading emails: Through the site’s flagship PaidEmail feature, you’ll receive emails from advertisers and get paid just for opening them. You can earn more for completing additional actions, like sign up for email newsletters or joining a loyalty program.
How much you earn for each task varies. Some examples I saw included:
- If you sign up for free samples from CoolSavings, you’ll earn $1.25.
- You can get a free Mr. Clean sample — and another $2 payout.
- Looking for a side gig? Sign up to deliver food with DoorDash through InboxDollars, and get a $30 bonus for your services.
InboxDollars probably won’t supplement your income, but it’s a fun way to poke around the internet and waste some time taking surveys or performing other simple activities. I’m sure you already do plenty of that — why not get paid for it?
- Easy to navigate: Overall, InboxDollars is super easy to navigate. I’ve tried other consumer survey sites and can end up overwhelmed. It also does a nice job of breaking down the offers by categories.
- Watch your earnings grow: You’ll always see the amount of money you’ve earned in your account at the top of your window. On similar sites, it always looks like you’ve racked up so many points. But when you cash out, you get, say, a $10 Amazon card. Here, you know exactly what you’re getting while you play.
- Earn money, not points: I love that the site rewards you in dollars — not points, whose value can change at any time.
- Fun and entertaining: The site entertained me. I even found myself growing a bit addicted. I kept checking for new surveys, looking for scratch-off tickets and watching videos about how to prep sweet potato quiche — all of which actually helped me earn money.
- Low earnings: You’ve probably figured out by now: InboxDollars isn’t going to bring you big bucks. I tested the site for about 24 hours, and I earned $7.63, which includes the $5 sign-up bonus.
- No pay for qualifying surveys: You have to answer questions to determine whether you actually qualify for a survey suggested in your dashboard, and InboxDollars doesn’t pay you for answering those questions, unlike some competitors. I’d answer up to 10 questions before being told that I can’t take a survey.
- Sometimes time consuming: I admittedly had a little patience with the surveys and at times grew a bit frustrated. Some surveys took longer than the estimated time.
Signing up to be an InboxDollars member is easy, which I always find promising. To get started:
- Click over to the sign-up page for a free $5 sign-up bonus.
- Enter your email address and create a password. You’ll receive a confirmation email. Once you confirm your account, you’ll earn that $5 bonus.
- Fill out a profile survey to set a base for your account: race, income, degree, marital status, kids (or not), medical history. There are 30 questions in total, and you’ll get an extra 50 cents for completing them.
The types of questions in the profile survey seemed on par with all other survey sites I’ve visited. And although there were a generous number of questions, they went quickly. Plus, you’ll get a couple of breaks to do some scratch-off tickets, potentially giving you ways to earn even more. (I got an additional 2 cents.)
I got distracted a few times, but I suspect the account setup process didn’t take more than about 15 minutes.
As I played with InboxDollars, I stumbled across a few tips that could help you earn more money and enjoy using the site more.
- Before you cash out: You need to earn at least $30 to cash out. Users have reported that InboxDollars will waive a $3 processing fee if you wait to cash out at $40.
- Get PaidEmail on the site: When you sign up, you’ll opt in for up to four “PaidEmail” opportunities a day, which pop in your email’s inbox. But you can also get these sent to your InboxDollars inbox (the little mail icon in the top right corner), so I opted out and just view them on the site.
- Control your email preferences: If you want to change your email preferences, just go to your account settings in InboxDollars and scroll down to your email subscriptions. This will help you manage how many email notifications you receive.
- Set up a separate email address: To keep your main inbox totally clean, create special email address just for survey sites. You can create a free email account through Gmail. Just don’t forget to check it, so you can get paid for your PaidEmails!
- Perks for Gold Members: Once you receive your first payment, you automatically become a Gold Member, with perks such as faster payouts.
- Follow InboxDollars: Keep an eye on InboxDollars’ social media channels. There, the company posts WinIt codes. Copy and paste codes into the WinIt box on your dashboard to win sweepstakes entries, a cash prize or a contest entry.
We know online surveys and cash-back sites won’t help you quit your day job — or even amount to a worthy side hustle. But they let you get paid for mindlessly scrolling through your phone!
If you’re already doing that (and we know you are), you might as well earn some extra cash… right?
If you want to give the site a try, sign up for that $5 bonus here.
Let me know what you think of our InboxDollars review. I’d love to chat with a real pro to hear about all the moola you’ve made!
Carson Kohler ([email protected]) is a staff writer at The Penny Hoarder. After work, she plans to go home and learn how to make cupcakes… while earning a few cents.