Marooned at Home? Earn Some Cash Playing on Your Computer

Photo by Master1305 /

Are you fond of noodling around online — playing games, watching videos, maybe taking surveys? If so, why not get paid for it? Especially if you find yourself with extra time at home now that your community is in “lockdown” due to the coronavirus.

You may as well earn some cash hanging out on your computer, by signing up for InboxDollars.

Not only is joining free, but you also earn your first $5 just for signing up!

Founded in 2000, InboxDollars pays millions of members cash — not just points, like many rewards sites. It’s not a get-rich-quick scheme, but you do earn cash for reading emails, taking surveys, playing games and signing up for offers through the InboxDollars website. A few bucks here and a few bucks there — it all adds up!

You get paid because advertisers pay InboxDollars to reach consumers like you, as its website explains: “InboxDollars shares the revenue we receive from advertisers with our members.”

We gave it a whirl.

After you sign up, you spend a bit of time filling out InboxDollars’ in-depth “profile survey” about your age, race, income, college degree, marital status, kids or not, even medical history. (See the Privacy Policy here.)

What you say in the profile survey helps determine which consumer surveys you’ll get paid to take and what emails you’ll receive that will have the potential to pay you.

Here are the main ways to make money through InboxDollars:

Take surveys: Answer online surveys and short polls right from your laptop or smartphone. InboxDollars rewards you with your choice of cash or gift cards for popular brands. You might earn 50 cents or $5 depending on the survey (more if you fit a specific demographic that the site is seeking). However, after you start a survey, you might be disqualified from finishing it. If you are disqualified, there’s a consolation prize: a spin on “Billy’s Spin & Win,” where you may earn cash or survey tokens. A Survey Token allows you to earn an extra 25 cents on your next successful survey completion.

Watch TV or videos: Earn a few cents by watching clips and how-to videos. You can choose from topics such as news, celebrities, entertainment, tech, food or health. You might pick a how-to video for a recipe for, say, potato-stuffed bread rolls or one that explains the difference between a dairy allergy and lactose intolerance. While not all TV clips and videos pay cash, watching will advance your progress on another feature, Scratch & Win.

Scratch & Win: You might win up to $100 on an online “Scratch & Win” ticket. The potential prize depends on how many activities you’ve completed, such as watching videos or playing games. A progress bar fills random amounts for activities you do on the site. The amount of activity required in order to progress can change. You can choose to “scratch” a six-tile ticket when you’re at the potential $10, $25 or $100 prize levels. When you scratch a ticket, three like amounts on any card will win you the amount shown on the matching tiles.

PaidEmails: InboxDollars will send you up to three “PaidEmails” on behalf of advertisers based on your activity in its program. If you’re not active, you may not receive any. To earn money, click a confirmation link in the PaidEmail you receive. After clicking the confirmation link, InboxDollars says it will credit your account instantly and you’ll be taken to the advertiser’s website. You may earn additional money by taking advantage of the advertiser’s offer for a product or service.

Play games: You can choose from free cash and casino games offered through GSN’s (formerly Game Show Network) WorldWinner site if you’re new to WorldWinner. You’ll earn 18% cash back into your InboxDollars account on every dollar spent on token packs and boosters when purchased through your InboxDollars Casino Games account. For example, if you purchase $20 in token packs and boosters, you’ll earn $3.60 for your InboxDollars account. You’ll earn 0.5% to 2% cash back on every dollar you spend entering GSN Cash Games.

Shop online: You’ll earn a percentage of cash back to your InboxDollars account for clicking through from its site to go shopping online at partner stores and purchase items. For example, recent offers included 2% cash back from purchases at Walmart and Kohl’s. Crediting can take a month or more.

You can get your money after you’ve accumulated $30 or more in your InboxDollars account. Payment methods include merchant e-cards including Apple, iTunes, Walmart, Target and dozens of other retailers, prepaid Visa cards or traditional checks.

Have you tried InboxDollars? What was your experience? Share with us in comments below or on our Facebook page.

Disclosure: The information you read here is always objective. However, we sometimes receive compensation when you click links within our stories.

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