When you are looking to make money online, it is common to come across a variety of web sites offering to pay you for doing a number of seemingly easy things. One of the most popular types of online money maker is the paid survey site. There are also a number of web sites out there that will pay you to fill out offers. CashCrate is among the faster growing sites devoted to paying participants to take surveys and fill out offers. The web site is also one of the most reputable and easy to use sites of its kind. On top of this, CashCrate also allows you to make money on referrals who sign up through your good offices — plus, you can make money your your referrals’ referrals.)
I signed up for CashCrate myself, just to take it for a test drive. CashCrate is a free program. You sign up for free, and you do not have to give any sort of payment information to register. Just for signing up and filling in some account information, you will get a $1 bonus. That’s actual cash money.
Offers and surveys you can fill out are divided into three categories: Cash Offers, Points Offers and Research Surveys. You receive actual cash for Cash Offers and Research Surveys. I was able to add up $5 in about an hour, by taking a few surveys and filling out some offers. Points Offers provide you with CashCrate points that you can redeem for prizes and gift cards.
Some of the offers do require that you pay money, and some require you to enter payment information, sign up for a free trial, or sign up for an account that you agree not to cancel for a set period of time. These offers are easy to recognize, since CashCrate is kind enough to put a credit card symbol next to offers that could end up costing you money. Some offers provide their own prizes. For instance, you can fill out a form and receive $0.50, and be entered to win a gift card or a cruise.
You can draw referrals by placing ads on your blog or web site. CashCrate generates HTML code for ads that will register as your referrals. This makes it relatively easy to put a professional looking badge or banner on your site, and earn referrals from visitors.
Every time you click on an offer or survey, a new window opens. You fill it in with honest information. Then you go back to CashCrate window (which remains open) and click on “submit”. CashCrate only credits you when it confirms with the third party that you have fulfilled the requirements of the offer. In the case of credit card offers, you will not see your account credited until you are approved for that credit card. (If you aren’t approved, then your credit score just took a small hit, and you didn’t earn anything.)
Referrals are structured according to direct referrals and secondary referrals. You earn a smaller commission on secondary referrals (these are people referred by your referrals), though. CashCrate has a tiered system of referral earnings. Once you have so many referrals, for example, you start earning 25% on your direct referrals, rather than 20%. You can see how the referral program could easily become more profitable than actually filling out surveys.
When your earnings in a month reach $20, you are issued a check. This check is mailed to you sometime around the middle of the month after your account reaches $20. I can’t personally attest to actually receiving payment, since I haven’t been a member for more than a month. But Peter at Bible Money Matters has been making money from CashCrate for more than a year, and he’s someone I trust.
Is It Worth It?
Like all web sites of this sort, how much you make depends on what you put in and what you are willing to do. This is going to sound snobby, but for me, spending an hour to bank $5 is not worth the trouble. If I were willing to sign up for some of the higher paying offers, such as two-week trials, credit cards and the like, I could probably push my hourly earnings to something in the $30 to $40 range. But those offers, as you might guess, are few and far between. Besides, if you forget to cancel your free trial, it could end up costing you more than you make.
If you have a few extra minutes to take a quick survey, it could provide you with a little extra cash. But watch out! Some surveys get quite long, and you might not feel that getting $0.75 to spend 10 minutes on a four-page survey is worth your time. It’s the referral program that really makes CashCrate worth it. If you draw enough people to your web site, you can get a substantial amount of referrals.
Bottom line: CashCrate is probably the best paid offer/paid survey site out there. It is reputable and the site is easy to use and understand. However, it can translate into a lot of time spent for a small amount of money. But it’s worth it to sign up, if only to get a little residual income from referrals.
Miranda is a professional personal finance journalist. She is a contributor for several personal finance web sites. Her work has been mentioned in and linked to from, USA Today, The Huffington Post, The San Francisco Chronicle, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and other publications. She also has her own personal finance blog: Planting Money Seeds.