Is It a Legitimate Way to Make Money?

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.

Here’s what you’ll learn:

What Is InboxDollars?

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.

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Is InboxDollars Legit?

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.

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How to Earn Money on InboxDollars

A wallet containing cash.
Carmen Mandato/The Penny Hoarder

Similar to competitors like Swagbucks, InboxDollars offers tons of ways to earn money completing simple tasks and offers online.

Online Surveys

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.

Watching Videos

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

A woman plays video games.
Getty Images

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:

How much you earn for each task varies. Some examples I saw included:

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My InboxDollars Review: Pros and Cons

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?



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How to Sign up for InboxDollars

Signing up to be an InboxDollars member is easy, which I always find promising. To get started:

  1. Click over to the sign-up page for a free $5 sign-up bonus.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.

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InboxDollars Pro Tips — Make the Most of It

A person spends time on a laptop.
Carmen Mandato/The Penny Hoarder

As I played with InboxDollars, I stumbled across a few tips that could help you earn more money and enjoy using the site more.

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InboxDollars: See What It Offers

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.


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