Why Getting Paid to Complete Offers is Usually a Terrible Idea

These days, getting paid to complete offers online is becoming a common way for people to make a little cash on the side. Paid offers are easy to do – most of the time they require under a minute of work, but the payout can be as high as $5 or more. Not bad huh?

Sadly, it’s not nearly as great as it sounds. Yes, you can make money. Yes, it’s fast and fairly simple. HOWEVER, there are consequences and I’ll be exploring them in this post.


But Wait, What ARE Paid Offers?

I guess I should give a little intro to this money-making-method before I get too far into this. For those of you who are unfamiliar with paid offers, hopefully my simple explanation will make sense.

If you ever hang out on websites like Swagbucks or Inbox Dollars, you’ll notice they have this thing where they’ll pay you real cash to subscribe to a certain company’s mailing list, or to sign up for a free trial of some sort, or even to purchase this product you’ve just got to have. These are called “paid offers”, because they are paying you to try out different offers. Simple enough.

Depending on the offer, you can get paid just a penny, or several dollars. One time I saw an offer that paid out $20 just to switch to T-Mobile. If I were planning the switch, this would have been great! But unfortunately, I wasn’t…so all that happened was my mouth watered a bit.


T-Mobile $20 paid offer
Here’s a screenshot of the $20 T-Mobile offer I had to pass up….


I hope you understand what paid offers are now, and if not drop me a comment and I’ll try to do a better job explaining them. But for now, let’s move on.


Are Paid Offers a Legitimate Way to Make Money Online?

Short answer: usually. Long answer: see below.

Paid offers come in many shapes and sizes, but the one thing they all have in common is that, well, they pay. Most of the time, that is. Unfortunately, every once in a while, an offer simply will not credit. This is one of the biggest complaints about them you’ll find. People have been known to complete an offer, but by the end of it they don’t get paid the promised amount. In fact, they don’t get paid anything at all.

The reason for this could be one of many things. Either the offer was discontinued and the website forgot to take it down, or maybe that person already completed that exact offer but through a different website (like they already did it through Swagbucks, and are now trying to do it on Inbox Dollars). There are other possibilities as to why an offer won’t credit – for example, it could be from a dishonest scam website that never pays.

Although any of these scenarios are possible and do happen every so often, they are pretty rare. More often than not an offer will pay without any issues. Therefore, they are a legitimate way to make money online, but you should be aware that the possibility of not getting credited does exist.


And Now…The Consequences of Paid Offers

Earlier, I promised to reveal all the consequences you may face by completing paid offers. Here’s that list, which I decided to make as a bulleted list because studies show they’re easy to read. See, I’m always looking to help my readers in any way I can. 😉


  • You can expect to receive a lot of email spam – Any offer that requires your email address (most of them do) could potentially result in you getting tons of spam emails. My advice is to ALWAYS use a separate email address to be used specifically for these types of things.
  • Spam phone calls are not uncommon either – Be careful giving out your phone number for any offer. You might end up receiving a bunch of spammy calls from solicitors.
  • You may receive physical junk mail – If you give out your street address, receiving some junk mail is not out of the realm of possibility. Although it rarely happens.
  • Don’t forget to cancel free trials! – Did you give out your credit card information in order to get paid for a free trial offer? If so, remember to cancel the trial, otherwise you’ll end up getting billed for the full subscription.
  • Read the offer’s TOS – This is extremely important. It’s imperative. Before even doing any paid offer, make sure to carefully read that specific offer’s Terms of Service. It’s in this legal stuff that you’ll find the fine print you wish didn’t exist. The fine print that will perhaps make you think twice before giving that particular company your personal information.


Is There Anything GOOD About Paid Offers?

I’ve thought about this one a lot. So far, I’ve only come up with TWO reasons why paid offers can be a good thing to do. One, you’ll get paid. And two, in some cases you may actually like to do the offer anyway, even if you weren’t paid for it. Like the T-Mobile one I mentioned earlier, if you were already planning to make the switch.

Other than that, they’re only good for the offer providers themselves, because the personal information they collect – even if it’s just your email address – is worth more than what you’re getting paid. Otherwise, paid offers wouldn’t exist.

If you can think of anything else that’s good about paid offers, please share it in the comments below. Maybe I’m just a bit slow, but I personally couldn’t think of any more than two reasons why you should do paid offers.


A Word on Websites Offering Paid Offers

There are tons of websites all over the internet with paid offers. Some of the big names that come to mind are Swagbucks, Inbox Dollars, InstaGC, and Fusion Cash. There are many others as well.

Something I haven’t mentioned till now is that in most cases, you don’t get paid for an offer right away. Most of the time, your earnings end up in your account where you’ll have to let them sit until you’ve earned enough to cash out. Yes, most websites have a minimum payout threshold which you’ll have to meet before you’ll ever see your earnings materialize.

As an example, Swagbucks allows you to cash out your earnings for an Amazon gift card at a minimum of $3, or you can wait until you have a minimum of $25 if you want to cash out to PayPal.


You do not meet the minimum cash out requirement
Oftentimes, you’ll get a message like this when you try to cash out your earnings from a paid offers website.


So, if you need to fatten up your PayPal account right now, doing so through paid offers may not be your best option.


Paid Offers Pros vs. Cons



  • You get paid for them (most of the time)
  • In some cases, you may actually want to do the offer regardless of whether you get paid or not.



  • You have to give out personal information
  • Your personal information will likely be sold to other companies
  • You can expect to receive some spam emails, and perhaps spam phone calls as well
  • If you forget to cancel a free trial, you’ll be billed for the full subscription
  • Some offers you actually have to PAY for (and the reward is basically cash back)
  • In most cases, you’ll have to earn a specific amount before you can cash out


Final Thoughts

Overall, I think paid offers are a good thing because they are yet another way for people to earn a little cash on the side, which is always a welcome incidence.

That said, paid offers are certainly not for everyone. Most people shy away at the thought of giving out their personal information, even if it’s just their email address. For these people, steering clear of paid offers is a good idea.

Other people however, have no problem with sharing all of their details, and I’d say for these people, paid offers are yet another way to monetize that fearlessness. Or whatever you want to call it.

I think in general (and this is what I do), you should ONLY complete offers that you have a genuine interest in. Recently there was this offer to join a certain website, and by doing that they’d pay me $1.40. I was already planning to join this website anyway, so I gladly completed this offer. However, no matter how high an offer may pay, if you feel iffy about it then it’s best to just stay away.


This is What I Do Instead of Paid Offers

Rather than try to make a dollar here, fifty cents there, with paid offers, I found a much more sustainable – and lucrative – way to make money online. It’s called affiliate marketing, and it’s my top recommendation to anyone looking to earn cash online.

Although it takes time to build up any kind of income through affiliate marketing, it’s totally worth it in my opinion. Some affiliate marketers start making a full-time income online within just 6 months.

If you’d like to learn more about this business model, you can read this post where I explain affiliate marketing in more detail.


Have you ever tried paid offers? What was your experience? Feel free to leave a comment below, and if you have any questions, don’t hesitate to ask.


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4 thoughts on “Why Getting Paid to Complete Offers is Usually a Terrible Idea”

  1. Did a Fingerhut application on Swagbucks where it actually activated the 40.00 for appling for Fingerhut credit and getting approved , which I did, I have email, letter from fingerhut and swagbucks keeps giving the run around !! they say they are not, paying cause they cant track it !! Also happen with IMUV , I bought credits and have proof ,Swagbucks again is giving run around !!Both times it activated they disappeared where it cant be trace by them , only by my emails !! Something up I dont have an ad block!! They refuse to pay!!
    Also, Did a survey for 20 minutes only to be disqualified !!

    • Thanks for sharing your experience, Annette! Sounds very frustrating…I wish there was something I could do about it, but I’m just another user…. Hope you get this all sorted out – feel free to keep us updated!

  2. I have never tried paid offers, I did not even know I could:) After reading your post I think that it’s not for me… I see a lot of work for small money and also I see a huge risk of SCAM. I’m right now here at WA and try to build an online business, because I think that is a good way to earn money online, even if it also is a lot of hard work, the difference is that I can write about things I love and I feel a lot more safe. Great review, thanks for sharing this.

    • You’re welcome Linda. 🙂

      Paid offers are one of the riskier ways to make money online, because of all the personal information you have to hand out. Building your own online business, however, doesn’t require giving out your personal information which is just another reason why that is better than doing paid offers. It’s great to hear you’re working on your own online business – hope it’s going well. 🙂

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