The site boasts, “The online rewards club that pays!” But is it?
If you search online for InboxDollars, you receive a return of mixed feedback. YouTube offers a variety of content creators who provide both positive and negative reviews. Written opinion pieces abound with feedback on personal user experience. And, of course, there is the site itself. Click on that link, and you’re bound to feel a sense of instant, overwhelming terror. There’s just so much!
With all of the information about InboxDollars available, you need someone to break it down for you and give you the insider scoop. Guess what? We’re here for just that. We’ll tell you if you should use the platform and how to use it.
We’ve taken the deepest dive into the realm of InboxDollars, and we’re ready to give you all the most critical information to help you determine if InboxDollars is for you. If it is, we’re also prepared to tell you how to use the site to your best advantage, accruing the most cash.
Here’s your ultimate, one-stop guide to InboxDollars and how you can start earning cash today.
The first and most important stop on our journey into the realm of InboxDollars is determining if it is a legitimate money making website or if it’s a scam? The best place to begin is by giving you an overview of the site's background and its founder.
Daren Cotter founded InboxDollars in 2000 from the comfort of his Minnesota State University dorm room. After graduating with a B.S. in Computer & Information Systems, Cotter made InboxDollars his full-time gig.
Since 2006, InboxDollars has paid over $60 million to users. The company is a member of the Better Business Bureau and part of Prodege, LLC consumer rewards websites. Other companies that are also affiliated with Prodege, LLC are Swagbucks, MyPoints & ShopAtHome.
So, is InboxDollars a scam? No. It is not.
Is it hard to make money on InboxDollars? No. But it is time-consuming.
The way InboxDollars works, for the mutual benefit of the consumer and sponsors, is that the site bridges the gap between the two. Consumers come to InboxDollars to earn extra cash. Sponsors come to InboxDollars to reach consumers, promote their products, and hopefully secure sales through brand awareness.
You are never going to become a millionaire from using InboxDollars, nor are you going to be able to quit your day job. However, if you want a reasonably simple way to make some extra bucks, the site can help you accomplish that goal.
How to Become a User
If you’re interested in using InboxDollars, you have to be a minimum of 18 years old with a valid email address.
When you sign up, you will receive an email prompt to confirm the email address, leading you to a multi-page survey. This survey is going to ask you questions. A lot of questions. Some of them are personal, such as estimating your household income and any health-related conditions you have.
For those who are uncomfortable disclosing this type of personal insight (which we definitely were), you have the option to select “Prefer not to answer.” Once your survey is complete, you will earn $0.50.
Some of the information you provide will determine your eligibility for services and surveys that the site offers. So, it may benefit you to answer each question in its entirety.
However, we’re more apt to think that some of the information is for market research for the sponsors who support the site. While this may not seem like a big deal, it may be prudent to consider keeping some of your personal information off the internet.
Your circumstances may change, and the reality is that you can never be too overprotective of your personal information. It may cause you to lose a few bucks (we assume not answering some questions will exclude you from opportunities) but, it will allow you to have full control over what other people know about you.
Once you sign-up, confirm your email address and complete your survey, you will receive $5.00 inbox dollars for joining and $0.50 for completing your introductory survey. Congratulations, you’re on your way.
How You Get Paid
You can elect to receive your money in the form of a check or via PayPal. However, you need to realize that you can’t cash out until you reach the minimum threshold of $30.00. That’s not a one-time thing. Anytime you want to receive your money, you must reach that amount.
When you reach the $30.00 amount, you have two choices. The first is to pay a $3.00 processing fee and receive your remaining earned income of $27.00. If you prefer not to pay a processing fee, you can choose to defer your payment until you reach the next threshold, often $10 more, for an even $40.00.
While these may seem like “no big deal,” keep in mind that earning cash with InboxDollars can be a time-consuming process. So, making $10 extra may seem like an easy feat, but it could take you a few days or weeks to reach that amount, delaying your payment.
You Can Use It On
You can use InboxDollars on a variety of electronic devices. As is the case with many sites, the computer version, whether on desktop or laptop, is the cleanest and easiest to navigate. You also have the option of using the platform on any tablet or via the Android or IOS app on your smartphone.
The Android app is a lot more comprehensive and easily navigated from the research we've reviewed than the IOS version.
The good news about the many options for use is that you can access InboxDollars in various ways, from a variety of electronics. This enables you to earn money anywhere; you have a secure WiFi connection.
Theoretically, you can earn while you wait to check out at the grocery store during your child’s soccer practice or to wait at your next doctor’s appointment. With that type of convenience, it’s hard not to put your idle time into productive use.
What You Do
We weren’t kidding when we said the user platform of InboxDollars is overwhelming. Upon opening the site, you’re presented with a lot of options to make money.
Thankfully, InboxDollars offers new users a few features to teach them how to use the site. You’ll see a box with your new user checklist in it, guiding you through each option of use to make money. Below we’ll outline each method and offer guidance on the profitability you’ll have using each.
Surveys are a popular way to make money online. There are many websites dedicated to this tool, and InboxDollars includes surveys as one of their preferred options.
If you choose to complete an online survey through InboxDollars, you can expect to earn between $0.25 – $1.00 per survey. It may seem like an easy enough option, but remember that surveys can take 20+ minutes to complete. For a quarter, this may not be worth your time.
If you choose to go the survey route, you’ll have to complete a “pre-survey” with some available options. The pre-survey may take 5-10 minutes to determine if you even qualify for the actual money-making survey.
So, you’re looking at a survey before your survey. It seems like a lot of unprofitable time spent to us.
Note: We found that the surveys offers didn't pay and some of the over survey sites. However, surveys can be highly situational, as we discussed in our Survey Junkie review. We suggest OpinionOutpost, Toluna Influencers, RewardSurvey, and MySoapBox for higher-paying surveys.
If you enjoy watching TV, then the video watching option may be a good fit for you. Filled with an abundance of news and celebrity gossip trailers, the videos sometimes offer mindless entertainment that you can earn to view.
At $0.06 per video, it’s not the most lucrative way to make your cash, but it certainly is an easy one (especially if you’re an accomplished multi-tasker).
If you’re an online gamer, then this is the way to earn your cash. With options for word search, solitaire, or a candy crush imitation game, you will be able to find something that you can at least tolerate playing.
Here’s the precaution with InboxDollar games. Most (if not all) of them require you to play to earn scratch off tickets, not cash directly. Scratch-off tickets are exactly like you envision them to be.
You use a “virtual” coin to scratch off your winnings from a 6-square card. Usually, each square offers anything between $0.01 to $0.05 per square. You can earn up to $10 or $25 with a scratch-off ticket on a rare occasion.
Our point is, when you play games with InboxDollars, you’re engaging the use of a middle man, so there will be another step involved to earn your money. This may be exciting and fun for you. Something you wouldn’t mind at all.
However, if you’re there solely for the point of cash generation, gaming to earn a scratch-off ticket may be an annoyance. During our testing, we found the Mistplay App for Android outperformed InBoxDollars and has become one of our preferred ways to earn free Google Play credit.
Opening Paid Emails
When you complete your sign-up for InboxDollars, you are consenting to receive emails from the site. You can reasonably expect 3-5 emails a day to appear in your inbox. If you open each email and navigate to the links included (usually product-related), you will earn cash.
This is a somewhat no-brainer when it comes to earning cash through the site. No sign-ups, no games, no questions. Just a quick click.
If you navigate to the “offers” section of the website, located on the homepage, you’ll notice that there are many products available for your review. Each will offer something unique. When we recently reviewed the site, they provided a $100 incentive to become an Airbnb host and $5.00 to subscribe to Hulu. There are options to open 529 accounts and create profiles to support your children’s college funds.
We weren't sarcastic when we said diverse, right?
Participating in the offers section is one of the most profitable ways you can make money on InboxDollars. However, you must complete every step of the process to earn your income. This means, if you decide to receive your $100 compensation for becoming an Airbnb host, you can’t just sign up for Airbnb. You actually have to complete the entire process to become a host.
If this is something you were planning on doing anyway, then it’s no big deal. But, if you think you can cheat the system, you’re mistaken (we tried and failed).
A word of caution on the offers section.
Some of the offers encourage you to complete product specific surveys. These surveys tend to end in prompting you to purchase their product and only compensate if you do. Be cautious about this. There is no sense in spending money to make money, and most of these surveys thrive on this concept. Avoiding them, unless it is a product you were planning to buy anyway, is our most advisable course of action.
If you’re an online shopper (aren’t most people?), then you can earn InboxDollars from going about your daily business. To generate an income, you will need to start by downloading the InboxDollars toolbar.
The toolbar will notate InboxDollars deals while you conduct your scrolling and ensure your product purchases go toward your InboxDollar income. It’s a simple process, and if you’re someone who is shopping online anyway, it’s easy and uncomplicated.
InboxDollars also has a coupon section, offering discounts on products that you may use and love. To generate money from this option, you will need to download each coupon you wish to use and scan and use the coupon when you make a purchase.
It’s a two-step process that will only benefit you if you complete the whole thing. Ensure you’re not wasting your printer’s ink on anything you wouldn’t usually purchase or have no intention of buying. Unless you follow through with the purchase, your InboxDollars income will not come to fruition.
The coupons we were able to find were excellent; however, we had better luck with the iBotta App for cutting grocery costs.
Searching the web
Ahh yes. Yahoo, Google, and… InboxDollars? That’s right. InboxDollars has a search bar that you can download and use to conduct your daily web browsing. You’ll earn $0.01 per search, up to $0.05 per day maximum, and receive a $1.00 download signing bonus.
While this doesn’t seem like a lot, this tool defines the word passive income. You will have to do nothing other than what you normally do during your typical day. After a year of browsing and maxing out your daily search capability, you can earn $19.25. It’s not a ton, but with a total effort of one download click, it’s almost $20.00 that you wouldn’t otherwise have.
Join The Facebook Group
If you join the InboxDollars Facebook Group, consisting of over 2.5 million followers, you’ll be privy to daily freebies to earn cash. With a regular update announcing the keyword of the day, you’ll be able to enter the promo code on the website and receive a scratch-off card.
This, for doing nothing more than following the group on the social media giant. Again, it’s nothing that will make you rich, but it’s another passive way to generate some money using the site.
The user interface on InboxDollars is friendly once you’ve mastered what you’re doing. When you first open the website, it seems like an overcrowded, complicated mess. When you further investigate and complete your introductory survey and checklist, you’ll learn the ropes of the site.
You will find several reminders of what you should be doing when you’re there. The initial checklist that we’ve mentioned assists with discovering all of the uses of the site. With increased use, you will find that your ability to navigate becomes easier. Practice makes perfect, after all.
InBoxDollars Hacks and Tricks
There are a few different money earning options on InboxDollars that will allow you to earn the most in the least amount of time. This is what currently, as of the publishing of this article, works.
We’re not sure how often these change, but keep in mind that regularly checking each earning opportunity is a good practice. Doing so will ensure you’re optimizing your potential revenue generation.
Offers & Qualifications
As we mentioned above, the “Offers” section of the site is one of the most profitable sections. We recommend perusing this section every few days and capitalizing on opportunities that you feel fit with your lifestyle.
Additionally, surveys can be a quick and easy way for you to make some cash. Assure that when you start a survey, it is something you qualify for and will benefit you. If, at any point, you’re asked for information that you’re uncomfortable divulging, know that you are not obligated to complete anything.
Pay Attention to Scratch & Win
When you complete an offer, a survey or you’ve printed a coupon, take note of your scratch-off meter. Located at the top, center of your browser window, the scratch-off meter is another passive money earning opportunity.
Every time you complete an item on the site, your meter level will increase, and you will earn toward a scratch-off ticket. It’s almost as if you’re doubling your winnings because not only will you earn cash for the item you’ve completed, but you will also gain an increase in your scratch-off meter, which leads you to make more money. It’s small, but every penny counts.
While we found the site to be easy and painless for the most part, there are a few things we want to point out to you that we didn’t like. Let us know if we missed anything- we want your input, too!
Takes a Lot to Reach $30 Threshold
We mentioned it above, but it’s worth repeating. It’s not quick nor easy to reach the $30.00 threshold. Most of the activities and items you can do on the site that don’t require you to purchase something don’t generate more than $0.25.
So, don’t expect to hop on the site and earn money in a matter of minutes. It’s going to take some dedicated commitment to receive your payouts.
The surveys are a money maker, don’t get us wrong. But, it seems like there are many conditions to meet that deter us from this method.
It just rubs us the wrong way that you have to take a survey to take another survey. If you don’t qualify, you’re out of luck and time.
Additionally, as we mentioned, the surveys under the offers section tend to be a bit scammy, prompting you to purchase products. If we’re trying to earn money, most of the time, we’re not trying to find ways to spend it before it hits our bank account.
Everything Is In The Details
This may be more reflective of the word of mouth marketing, but we feel like it’s a bit misleading to tell people you can earn money from sitting at home, searching the web. While it’s true in theory, many methods to increase your income on the site require you to follow a multi-step process.
In fact, most of them require a significant investment of your time.
If you’re at home watching TV in the evenings, it’s not a big deal to multi-task, complete a few surveys, or play a few rounds of a game. However, if you need to earn cash immediately, you’re probably not going to be able to accomplish it via this method, as the time it takes will far exceed the time you have available.
The Bottom Line
Here’s the thing – InboxDollars, and whether you like it or not, is going to depend on your personality, how you want to spend your spare time, and your level of patience. To us, some parts of it seem like a no-brainer. Using the search engine, clipping coupons, or entering the daily promo code to earn a scratch-off ticket are easy enough. Other parts seem too involved for our liking. This includes surveys, completing irrelevant offers, or opening and reading emails.
If you’ve got the time, patience, and the energy also to do the less passive things, good for you, you’ll earn money at a tempered speed and can pat yourself on the back for generating an extra income. As for our team, we’re more inclined to devote our spare time to other endeavors, if we’re that hard up for cash.
Bottom line – if you want to earn some pocket change and don’t care when it comes in, InboxDollars is for you. Promise us you’ll be careful about sharing your personal information on the internet, and if you hit the jackpot of InboxDollars, tell everyone you learned everything you know from us!
Michael launched Wealth of Geeks to make personal finance fun. He has worked in personal finance for over 20 years, helping families reduce taxes, increase their income, and save for retirement. Michael is passionate about personal finance, side hustles, and all things geeky.