There are a lot of market research, offer-fulfilling, game-playing, rewards programs. We list dozens of them on our massive list of sites to make extra money.
One site you won't see on that list is CashCrate.
Curious why? Is CashCrate a scam?
CashCrate is a legitimate reward program. It is NOT a scam.
But when it comes to earning points and redeeming them for rewards, it appears to be much harder on CashCrate than many of their contemporaries. You have to jump through quite a few hoops and for that reason I think your time is better spent elsewhere.
Whereas a lot of other sites rely on a mixture of surveys, offers, and other point earning ways, CashCrate is fueled mostly by fulfilling offers. One of the risks of signing up to offers is that some folks have trouble getting out of those offers (which is not CashCrate's fault).
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We'll dive deeper into this once we discuss CashCrate itself:
Who is CashCrate?
CashCrate has been around since 2006 and has over 2 million members. Despite being around for so long, there isn't a tremendous amount of information about the company on the internet (other than what's on the CashCrate site).
CashCrate, LLC is not BBB accredited and has a C rating, which is one of the lowest I've seen for a company like this. Many of the best market research companies have A or A+ ratings.
They seem to operate a lot like many other reward companies – get paid to try offers, answer surveys, shop online via cashback portals, referring your friends, and “interacting” – which means watching videos, playing games, and other contest-like activities. You have to be at least 13 years old and what you see in the offers will depend on your demographics, so the United States and English speaking countries tend to get the most offers.
You can request a payout after you hit $20 and you get $1 to start (it's free to join).
About Those Hard to Cancel Offers
When a rewards program has a lot of market research surveys, polls, and other non-offer ways to earn points – you can accumulate a payout without having to get your credit card. All of the reward programs have similar offer related bonuses – thousands of points if you sign up for Service X.
What's tricky about those offer related bonuses is that sometimes the company they've partnered with has an overly complicated cancellation policy or process. Or you forget to cancel during the trial. Either way, you end up paying for a service you never wanted and it erases the bonuses. Sometimes you can claw back the payment, by disputing it or escalating with customer service, but it's a huge hassle.
This is not an inherent flaw created by CashCrate, it's just a function of the setup.
Other CashCrate Reviews
I'm not alone in thinking this way.
Bob, a fellow personal finance blogger and personal friend, gave CashCrate a try and came away with a bad taste. He discovered that there weren't too many ways to earn a payout except by taking offers. You pick the ones that you want to do, you complete the action (listed under description), and then you wait until CashCrate puts the money into your account.
The offers themselves have a ton of hoops to jump through sometimes. He would put in a junk email address. Sometimes he would sign up for a service and despite canceling, the cancelation didn't take. So then he had to call in to get the charge reversed… all precious time he didn't want to be spending on this.
As you can see, Bob does not recommend them.
It's not all bad news though – my friend Chris, who runs Survey Chris, had a positive experience with CashCrate with some caveats. His review is very detailed and he talks about how many of the offers required you to pay something. You earned more in rewards than what you paid but you had to cancel before the second bill, or you lost money. He shared his experience getting $12 from CashCrate to try Gamefly, which was $5.99 a month.
What are some I recommend? The ones on my list of A and A+ rated BBB companies is a good start.
The three I think are worth checking out first are Survey Junkie, Ipsos and Swagbucks.
Survey Junkie is only surveys. They're short surveys, long surveys, you get a few dollars to start after the profile questions and can cash out as soon as you hit $20. It's one of my favorites because it's just surveys and a lot of them. You could spend all day doing surveys if you wanted to.
Ipsos i-Say is the online survey arm of the well known company Ipsos. You have heard of them before because they do a lot of political surveys, so you'll have heard their name come up whenever there was talk about the daily election surveys a few years ago. Here is a comprehensive review of Ipsos i-Say.
Swagbucks is another popular survey company that even gives you $5 to start. Swagbucks is just a better version of your typical rewards program and you can earn points through surveys, surfing the web, watching videos, and more. We have a Swagbucks review too.
I would skip it.
It seems to be more hassle than it's worth and with so many other similar sites… you're better off doing those instead.