When it comes to sites that pay you to surf the web, answer surveys, and play games – InboxDollars is one of the oldest.
Do you enjoy watching Netflix or Hulu and looking for something easy to do to earn a little extra cash while you stream? Sites like InboxDollars can turn that “wasted” time into a little bit of money.
What is InboxDollars?
Have you ever wished you could earn money just from sitting on the couch and playing on your phone? Good news! InboxDollars is a cashback program that lets you do just that.
Founded in 2000, InboxDollars is a BBB A+ rated company that's paid out over $56 million in cashback rewards. Thanks to mergers and corporate expansions, InboxDollars is available in the US, UK, and Canada, too.
InboxDollars works by inviting brands to pay consumers (that's you) for information. By filling out surveys, giving feedback on videos, or shopping through a cashback portal, you earn cash while participating companies get the information they need.
And no, this isn't so they can spy on you. The goal is to build better products for their customers. In exchange for participating, you'll get real, actual dollars deposited into your bank account.
You won't get rich with InboxDollars, but if you mindlessly scroll through Instagram while watching Netflix every night, why not make that time a little more productive? Earn 25 cents every time you watch commercials through the app or $5 for answering a few survey questions.
With daily participation, you can earn $30 every month or so. If this sounds too good to be true, don't worry. InboxDollars has an A rating with the Better Business Bureau.
How To Earn With InboxDollars
You don't just have to answer surveys to participate in InboxDollars.
There are six main ways to earn with InboxDollars:
1. Complete surveys
Good ol' surveys. Depending on the survey's complexity, you can earn $0.50 to $5 for each survey, which takes around 4 minutes.
If you're part of a demographic group that companies desperately want to hear from, you can earn up to $20 per survey.
2. Watch videos
InboxDollars gives you $0.50 or so every time you watch a short video snippet. The snippet could be nearly anything—celebrity talk shows, cooking demos, commercials, product demos, movie trailers. If you're taking a break in between Netflix binges, put on an InboxDollars video while you get more popcorn to earn extra moolah.
3. Play games
Now, this one is a little sticky. InboxDollars partners with the Game Show Network (GSN) to offer a paid games “casino” on its platform. The thing is, you have to spend money on these games to earn cashback.
Some people are cool with that, but many people don't want to spend money on online games. If you're already into paid online games, this could be a good way to earn cashback. For every dollar you spend on the GSN games, InboxDollars gives you 18% cashback (or $0.18 on the dollar). This could eat through your money quickly, so only do this if you're already a gaming aficionado.
4. Shop online
If you were already going to shop online, why not make a quick buck in the process?
Cashback portals aren't new, but if you're already using InboxDollars to answer surveys, you can kill two birds with one stone and shop through their cashback portal.
The cool thing about InboxDollars is that the portal helps you locate free samples, discounts, and cashback deals. The deals rotate, too, so there's never a shortage of options. InboxDollars sends an email explaining the deals so you can decide if they're right for you before shopping.
5. Read emails
I get that your inbox is probably full, but if you won't get stressed out by a few additional emails, InboxDollars lets you earn cashback by reading emails from its partner companies.
You either have to read the email to get points (and click a button inside) or take action on the offer in the email to earn.
If you're worried about getting too many emails, you can use Unroll.me to manage emails like these. I get a “rolled up” email notification once a day, sift through everything, and choose which messages I want to read.
Now, InboxDollars “promises not to flood your inbox,” but that's a relative term. I don't mind the extra emails, but it's pretty easy to remove it if you feel like it's too much. Use email rollup services or just skip this entirely if you want to avoid being overwhelmed by emails.
6. Use coupons for cash rewards
The last way to earn cashback with InboxDollars is to use their coupons. Every time you buy an item with a provided coupon, you also earn cashback. This is an awesome way to double dip on savings, getting a cheaper deal with the coupon as well as cashback. You can get coupons for groceries, home goods, and beauty through this program.
Is InboxDollars Worth It?
As with any sites like this, InboxDollars is what you make of it.
In terms of earning, InboxDollars is good, but not nearly as effective as sites that focus on one of these areas. For surveys, SurveyJunkie has more earning opportunities. For games and offers, their sister site Swagbucks is better. For cashback, TopCashBack is a stronger alternative.
If you want them all, InboxDollars is better. There are some minor downfalls in that the platform is a little dated, has a slightly higher cashout threshold ($30 rather than $20), and is more of a generalist than a specialist.
Keep these things in mind to decide if the platform is right for you:
1. Remember that you're the product
As with any cashback site, you need to remember that you're exchanging your thoughts, data, and opinions for money. A lot of people are cool with that, but don't be surprised that companies are paying you for your information. Again, this isn't to read your mind but to design better services that people want to buy.
You can access more, better-paying gigs on InboxDollars when you complete more of your profile. They use this information to match you with surveys and other offers. If you don't want to fill your profile out completely, you don't need to, but the more you tell them, the more money you can earn.
2. Extra cash in your pocket
The nice thing about InboxDollars is that all of the rewards are cashback; there are no points to track or cash in. You won't get rich doing InboxDollars, but it can be a good way to mindlessly earn money in your downtime.
You can cash out your InboxDollars account once your balance reaches $30. You can accept payment via PayPal, a mailed check, prepaid gift card, or an online gift card. InboxDollars You get a free $5 when you sign up for InboxDollars, which gets you started quickly, but keep in mind, you need to reach the $30 threshold.
The good news is that, once you reach the $30 threshold, you become a “Gold member.” When you become a “Gold member,” they give you access to more earning opportunities. It also takes less time to process your payments.
Surveys are the easiest and fastest way to earn money on InboxDollars. Put in 30 minutes or so into the platform each day to earn a few bucks. Dedicated participants earn $30 every month or so.
InboxDollars is an easy way to earn while couch surfing or if you're waiting around. $30 a month isn't a fortune, but it's still money. Every cent matters when you're trying to pay off bills, so if the time-money tradeoff is worth it, I say go for it.
3. If you're going to shop anyway…
A no-brainer way to earn on InboxDollars is to use the cash back portal. If you're going to be spending money, you might as well get the easy cashback.
The key is to shop through these portals for items that you were already going to buy.
That said, the cashback portal will help you earn $0.50 back on purchases right in time for holiday shopping. It's a nice way to earn more money during a financially stressful time of year.