Your blood is made of a lot of extreme valuable life-saving components.
If you’re able to, donating red blood cells is a relatively painless process that takes just twenty minutes or so. One donation of red blood cells can save up to three lives and it’s something everyone, who is able to, should be doing as often as possible.
Your blood also contains blood plasma. Blood plasma is the fluid that carries all the other blood cells and platelets but donating it takes a bit longer, and is more involved, which is why companies pay donors.
While some people don’t get into plasma donation for the money, you can make money doing it. In fact, plasma donation is one of the more flexible side hustles out there. Not only can you make some extra money as a donor, but you can also schedule appointments around your daily life.
But how much money can you make, and how do you know which plasma donation center pays the most? To help, I’ve compiled a list of the highest-paying plasma donation centers in the U.S.
Of course, donating plasma is much more than a side hustle. It gives you the chance to truly give back, as our healthcare system always has a need for blood donors. So before we talk about which plasma donation centers pay the most, let’s talk about what plasma is and why it’s so important.
Table of Contents
- What Is Plasma and Why Is It Needed?
- Who Can Donate Plasma?
- What Are the Highest Paying Plasma Donation Centers?
- 1. CSL Plasma
- 2. BioLife Plasma
- 3. BPL Plasma
- 4. Interstate Blood Bank
- 5. Grifols
- 6. KEDPLASMA
- 7. Immunotek
- 8. Octapharma Plasma
- 9. Vitalant
- 10. American Red Cross
- What To Do When You’re Donating Plasma
- Final Thoughts
What Is Plasma and Why Is It Needed?
You might already know that your blood contains white blood cells, red blood cells, platelets, and plasma. The plasma makes up the most significant part of your blood at approximately 55%.
One of its primary purposes is to carry the other blood components through your body. For that reason, it’s a vital component of your blood. However, the plasma in your blood also has other jobs. For instance, it contains antibodies and clotting factors, along with proteins such as albumin and fibrinogen.
The components in plasma are essential because they can help treat severe burns, shock, traumatic injuries, and some rare chronic diseases. In other words, when you donate plasma, you protect the health and safety of people across the world by donating plasma. Now, let’s talk about who can donate plasma.
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Who Can Donate Plasma?
To qualify for plasma donation, you must go through a strict screening process. There are basic rules for plasma donors, such as:
- Minimum age requirement of 18
- Maximum age limit of 65
- Minimum weight requirement of 110 lbs.
Also, people who have gotten piercings, tattoos, or permanent makeup within the last 12 months may not be eligible to donate, although specific requirements can vary based on the center.
For instance, some centers will require that you wait at least four months after tattoos and piercings, while others require 12 months. Be sure to review the eligibility requirements on each center’s website for their specific requirements so you don’t waste your time.
When you first sign up, the donation center will ask a series of questions about your health history and the health history of your immediate family members and ancestors.
You’ll also need to provide a photo ID, proof of residency, your Social Security number, and a border crossing card if applicable.
Note that because plasma donation centers are private businesses, ID and other requirements may vary. It’s important to know that your first plasma donation session will take longer than subsequent sessions.
What Are the Highest Paying Plasma Donation Centers?
I’ve gathered information on some of the highest-paying and well-respected plasma donation centers below, to help you in your search.
The pay rate for each company will vary based on client weight (more weight = more plasma), plasma center budget, need, and other factors. Also, all plasma centers have different tiers of pay and various compensation programs based on donation frequency and active promotions. We’ll highlight the basics in each of these in the summaries below.
Not all companies publish their compensation rates, so I’ve estimated some of the pay rates listed below by comparing alternative sources.
|CSL Plasma||$20 and $100 per visit|
|BioLife Plasma||$30 and $40 per visit|
|BPL Plasma||$20 to $50 per visit|
|Interstate Blood Bank||Up to $50 per visit|
|Grifols||$30 to $100 per visit|
|KEDPLASMA||Up to $40 per visit|
|Immunotek||Up to $50 per donation|
|Octapharma Plasma||Up to $400 per month|
|Vitalant||Rewards Program points and|
|American Red Cross||Unknown|
The rates in the table are what is publicly listed or what we have estimated based on what’s available publicly – it does not include any promotions, frequent donor bonuses, or any special rates you may get in your region. Your local rate, from your local center, may be different.
Also, check how they will be paying you. Sometimes a center will paying using a card that comes with “convenience fees.” A reader, Barney, emailed me to say that his local Octopharma pays using a Comdata prepaid card and those come with fees when you use them.
1. CSL Plasma
How much does CSL Plasma pay? Between $20 and $100 per visit
CSL Plasma is one of the most prominent collectors of human plasma. The company is headquartered in Boca Raton, Florida, and has over 300 locations worldwide.
When you donate plasma at CSL Plasma, you’ll get paid via a reloadable prepaid card and get points for the company’s rewards program as well.
The pay rate per donation depends on your location and other factors, including the ones mentioned above. You can redeem the rewards you earn from donating for prizes or gift cards.
Look for bonus pay at some CSL Plasma locations as well. For instance, the CSL Plasma website says new clients can earn up to $1,000 in their first month (location dependent).
CSL Plasma Pay Chart 2023:
|110 – 149 lb.||$40 – $50|
|150 – 174 lb.||$50 – $60|
|175 – 400 lb.||$50 – $60|
CSL Plasma also offers promotions such as (varies by location):
- Receive up to $100 for your first donation
- Receive over $500 your first month as a new donor
Be sure to check the bonuses because they can seriously boost your earnings.
2. BioLife Plasma
How much does BioLife Plasma pay? Between $30 and $40 per visit
Like CSL Plasma, BioLife Plasma is one of the larger plasma donation centers. They have locations in 35 U.S. states and several locations in most states.
When you donate plasma at BioLife, you’ll get paid with a reloadable BioLife Mastercard debit card.
You can use the debit card to make purchases wherever Mastercard is accepted. Or you can make ATM withdrawals via the card.
There are no fees for ATM withdrawals when you use in-network ATMs from MoneyPass and Allpoint.
As with CSL, BioLife often pays bonus compensation for new members. Also, you may get referral compensation when you refer loved ones who sign up with BioLife.
3. BPL Plasma
How much does BPL Plasma pay? Between $20 to $50 per visit
BPL Plasma has been a leader in the plasma collection industry for over 25 years.
The company has plasma donation centers in several states, including:
- New Mexico
- North Carolina
You may earn more money for your donation than what’s listed above, depending on the company’s current promotions and extra bonuses such as referral fees.
There’s no information on the website about how you get paid, but most plasma centers do pay with some type of reloadable Visa card or debit card.
4. Interstate Blood Bank
How much does Interstate Blood Bank pay? Up to $50 per visit
Interstate Blood Bank, which is part of Grifols, has dozens of locations primarily located in the Eastern half of the United States and Texas.
They’ve been in business since 1949. Compensation differs based on the location where you’re donating.
Call a location near you to find out details about compensation, bonuses, method of pay, and more. They are a separate entity but a part of Grifols, which we discuss next.
They also have bonuses that change each month and on Facebook, they share these promotions. For example, if you donate six times in October, you get a “Golden Pass.” This means you get $100 on every donation in 2024:
How much does Grifols pay? Up to $100 per donation.
Grifols has been in business since 1939. Today, the company has plasma collection locations throughout the United States. While Grifols will collect plasma from any eligible client, they also focus on specialty plasma collection.
Compensation and other terms may differ for specialty plasma donors compared to that of non-specialty plasma donors.
Typically, as a new donor, you can make up to $1,000 in your first month including promotions. Once you are no longer a “new donor,” you are on a regular donor schedule where you make $30 for your first visit and $100 for your second (and subsequent) visit. This means you can earn quite a bit.
The new donor schedule is $100 for your first donation, $125 for your second, $125 for your third, and $150 for your fourth. After that, you are placed on the monthly donor schedule which is $30 for your first donation and $100 for your second each week.
This is before you consider any active promotions, which change periodically so talk to representatives at your local Grifols donation location for more information about collection and compensation.
How much does KEDPLASMA pay? Up to $40 per visit
KEDPLASMA was established in 2004 and currently has over 25 donation centers in the United States. They are a part of Kedrion Biopharma, a company that develops plasma-derived medicines and therapies.
When you donate through KEDPLASMA, you’ll get compensated via money loaded onto a Wirecard prepaid card. You can also earn rewards with KEDREWARDS.
Each location compensates differently depending on location needs and other specifics. Contact a location near you for more details and for details on the KEDREWARDS program.
How much does Immunotek pay? Up to $50 per donation
Immunotek leaders have a combined 150 years in the plasma collection industry.
Currently, the company has 11 locations in the Eastern United States and Colorado, with many more coming soon.
Immunotek says it pays money for plasma donation, though they don’t indicate whether you receive cash, a check, a prepaid card, or another form of money.
However, the site does say that compensation is different based on which center you give at.
As with most plasma donation centers, pay varies based on how much plasma your body gives, the need in the center, and other factors.
8. Octapharma Plasma
How much does Octapharma pay? Up to $400 per month
Octapharma Plasma is based in the United States and has over 150 donation centers nationwide.
You can find Octapharma Plasma donation centers in 35 U.S. states. Aside from getting paid, you can join the OctaRewards program and earn points for donations.
Then you can use your points from prizes such as eGift cards and entries into sweepstakes contests. There are extra cash bonuses for new clients, returning clients, and clients who refer others to donate plasma.
They claim that new donors can earn up to $500 in the first 35 days, which includes first time donor bonuses.
How much does Vitalant pay? Rewards Program points and sweepstakes drawings
Vitalant was founded in 1943 and is one of the nation’s oldest blood donation centers. The company has over 120 locations throughout 30 U.S. states.
When you donate plasma through Vitalant, you’ll earn points that you can use to get gifts through the company’s rewards store.
The rewards store has a variety of gifts, including gift cards to popular retailers. Vitalant also occasionally holds drawings for donors who could win cash prizes.
See the Vitalant website or contact your local Vitalant center for more detailed compensation information.
10. American Red Cross
How much does the American Red Cross pay? Unknown
I’ve included the American Red Cross on our list, as it’s one of the most well-known blood and plasma collectors in the country.
The American Red Cross does blood drives at rotating locations. You can also organize a blood drive at your place of employment – or you can find a donation center near you.
The American Red Cross collects all kinds of blood and blood components. However, in my research for this article, I learned that they only collect plasma for people with AB negative or AB positive blood types. The “elite” plasma from AB negative and AB positive patients is eligible for transfusion in any other blood type.
The American Red Cross does not comment on the pay rate for plasma donation or even if they pay. Please contact your local Red Cross to get information on compensation for plasma donation if you are an AB positive or negative blood type.
What To Do When You’re Donating Plasma
Donating plasma takes time. You can expect to be at the plasma donation center for at least 30-60 minutes each time, and your first appointment will take longer.
Why not make some more money while you’re making money donating plasma? Here are some ideas of things you can do to make money while donating.
Hop on to a GPT Site
- Watching videos
- Taking surveys
- Playing games
- Browsing the internet
- Completing deals
And more. The points you earn (called SB) will go into your Swagbucks account, and you can use them to get free PayPal money or gift cards to popular retailers.
Do you like completing online surveys? There are plenty of legitimate survey sites you can sign up with and get paid to take surveys in your spare time.
For instance, Survey Junkie is a very reputable survey site that has been around since 2013.
You can use the site to take 15-20 minute surveys or join their focus groups for more in-depth influence on consumer products and services.
Taking surveys while donating plasma is convenient since you have to be stationary anyway.
And although you won’t earn a ton of cash by taking surveys or using GPT sites, you’ll make more than the $0 you’d gain by not doing anything during that time.
Yes, plasma donation is very safe. Just be sure to use a reputable plasma donation center like those mentioned here. Reputable plasma donation centers practice impeccable health safety and cleanliness guidelines.
The FDA says plasma donation centers must limit customers to no more than twice a week for donating. Also, you need to wait at least 48 hours between donations. This “off-time” gives your body a chance to replenish and make more plasma.
Donating plasma can be a great way to earn some extra money and help humanity at the same time. Consider using the highest paying plasma donation centers if money is your main reason for donating plasma. And don’t forget to earn even more money while you’re waiting, using the ideas mentioned above.