I waste way too much time streaming Netflix. I’m not talking, “I love Stranger Things” level of wasted time. I’m talking, “Will Mary Kate or Ashley ever make an appearance on Fuller House?” level of wasted time.
So when I stumbled onto the idea of taking surveys online while watching TV, I thought I found true redemption. Take surveys and make bank, in my PJ’s, while watching Nextflix? Yes, please!
But turns out it’s not quite so simple. Taking surveys through InboxDollars, as the name implies, pays out in dollars. You won’t qualify for all of them. You won’t get rich. But you can make money and they do pay. Want to hear about my experience? Keep reading.
Note: the activities and services on the platform do change, and this is based on my experience using the platform. If you're looking to earn money in your spare time doing random tasks, this is an option for you.
- Online survey site with a $5 bonus signup incentive
- Ways to earn include surveys, arcade games, watching videos, printing coupons, scanning products in-store, searching the web, and reading PaidEmails
- Members cash out at the $30 mark, with payment options including check, PayPal, or eGiftcard
Get Started With a $5 Signup Bonus
InboxDollars sucks you in with $5 signup bonus or a “free $5 to get started.” To get started, all you have to do is provide your email address, create a site password, and then confirm your email address and you get $5. All that for $5? Sign me up.
I signed up with my email address, and after confirming my account, I got $5 credited to my account. Awesome!
Well more OK than awesome. The $5 is awesome, but you can’t request payment until you earn $30.
Watch the Welcome Video & Go Through the MyList ToDo’s
After I enrolled for InboxDollars, I completed my profile. This 10 minute task yielded another $0.50. InboxDollars wanted to know every detail about my life. What’s my birthday? Do I have any medical conditions?
You have the option to say, “I prefer not to answer.” Which I selected for many of the questions. Apparently, they use the information to help match you to surveys.
After completing the initial profile survey, you’re promoted to “Take Another Survey”. Instead of doing that, I exed out of the box and chose to go through the “MyList” of tasks to complete it and earn an additional $0.50.
The final task on the list, “Confirm Your First PaidEmail” is how you claim the $5 activation bonus.
If you’re not a fan of junk mail in your inbox, after you’ve claimed your $5 you can unsubscribe. Simply tap “Click Here to Unsubscribe” at the bottom of one of their PaidEmails. Then, adjust your settings to no longer receive their mailings.
In good news, you may find it worthwhile to get their PaidEmails. For each one that you confirm, you earn progress towards a Scratch & Win.
Scratch & Wins are multi-tiered “lottery” tickets. The higher the tier you scratch, the higher the potential prize – up to $100. After completing multiple Scratch & Win tasks (mainly reading PaidEmails and watching videos), I scratched off 80cents.
I found the other MyList items more entertaining. For “Watch TV”, I watched a few minutes of celebrity news coverage. And for “Print a Coupon”, you get directed to the coupons page where you can earn cash for printing coupons and then later redeeming them in-store.
Now Build Your Way To $30
Once you’re enrolled in InboxDollars, and you’ve adjusted your settings, you’ll have the opportunity to earn money taking surveys and completing other online task. How much money? It seems like most people earn a few dollars a day.
You can earn by couponing, watching videos, or playing some of their arcade games (Spider Solitaire, anyone?). But it seems like offers and surveys are the most lucrative ways to earn.
The whole process of taking the surveys can be frustrating. InboxDollars serves up surveys for which you aren’t qualified. Before I got through a single episode of Fuller House, I was disqualified from four surveys. Survey providers are looking for a specific demographic, you don’t meet their qualifications, blah, blah, blah.
When I finally found a survey I could take, I earned a whopping $0.25. The survey took about 10 minutes. At that rate, I was earning about $1.50 per hour. But, that’s $1.50 more than I would have otherwise made sitting on my couch and tweeting @Netflix to bring back MaryKate and Ashley.
Eventually, I was able to complete a couple more surveys for higher payouts. And when you disqualify, you spin “Billy’s Wheel” for a chance to win a cash prize or more progress towards a Scratch & Win.
The Offers page was more promising. There are some free offers: sign up for other survey sites and make a few dollars or download free eBooklets for pocket change. And there was a decent one for DoorDash: sign up as a new customer and install the app and get $5 in your InboxDollars account. Not bad, if you’re not already a member.
On the mobile web version, there are some offers to earn $0.10 to $3.50 for downloading some of the free apps onto your phone. And if you want to give them your location data, you can earn $.10 per scan when you scan specific product barcodes in stores.
In addition to the free offers, there are “paid” offers, too. i.e. Buy a bouquet of flowers through an online florist, get $7.00 back in your InboxDollars account. Lots of similar cash back offers for subscription box services and eCommerce sites. If it’s something you were already interested in, it’s not bad. Otherwise, no point in spending (read: losing) money in order to make money.
Cash Out... With A Check or ePayment
After you reach the $30 earnings mark, you can cash out with a check, eCard (i.e. Amazon giftcard), or PayPal.
InboxDollars isn’t going to make you rich. If you really need money, a minimum wage job flipping burgers would be better. But, it’s a good way to earn a few extra bucks on the side.
It’s a couple dollars here, and a few dollars there that you might earn on your way to reach $30 so you can cashout. I can’t see making much more than $30 every couple weeks unless you’re really putting in a lot of time.
But, InboxDollars could be worth your while if:
- $30 is meaningful to you
- You're into freebies and deals
- Or you just want to earn while you're sitting on the couch watching your favorite TV show
At $30 every other week, that’s an extra $ 780 a year for putzing around (wasting time) on your phone. If that seems appealing to you, go ahead and sign up.
See how they compare to other similar sites like Swagbucks.
If you really need some mega cash (i.e. college tuition, major car repairs), you’ll need to figure out a better way. Just be prepared to get off your couch to do it.
Have you ever tried InboxDollars before? What are some of your favorite ways to earn extra money?
Inbox Dollars Review
- Flexibility - 100
- Potential To Earn - 40
- Ease Of Use - 80
- Company Support - 20
InboxDollars seems like a good way to earn extra money online, but you can find out the truth in this InboxDollars Review.
Robert Farrington is America’s Millennial Money Expert® and America’s Student Loan Debt Expert™, and the founder of The College Investor, a personal finance site dedicated to helping millennials escape student loan debt to start investing and building wealth for the future. You can learn more about him here and here.
He regularly writes about investing, student loan debt, and general personal finance topics geared towards anyone wanting to earn more, get out of debt, and start building wealth for the future.
He has been quoted in major publications including the New York Times, Washington Post, Fox, ABC, NBC, and more. He is also a regular contributor to Forbes.