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Inbox Dollars: Make money reading emails

Inbox Dollars

For those of you looking for something simple you can do to earn a little money on the side, you’ll want to check out InboxDollars. Back when
Jesse was in law school and we were barely making ends meet, getting
paid to read emails from InboxDollars was one thing I did to help add a little stream of

Like CashCrate, you won’t get rich from InboxDollars, but if you are willing to take five minutes every day to read emails from various companies, you can earn a small bit each day. Just set up a separate free email inbox and then sign up with InboxDollars. Every day or every other day, take five or ten minutes to look through the emails and slowly start seeing your earnings add up!

Speaking of income-earning ideas, my best advice for you moms looking for something you can do from home would be to set aside an hour every day (I recommend naptime or late at night/early in the morning, if you have young children.) to focus on learning, researching, and trying out different money-making things.

Pick one or two things to start out with that only require an investment of time, not money–things like CashCrate, InboxDollars, Cash4Books, eBay, or blogging. Research online, observe what’s working for others, talk to others moms, and try things out to see how they work for you.

Don’t expect that you’ll start seeing money pour in right away, but if you see a little trickle, be encouraged and keep at it. Once you’ve gotten a couple things figured out, feel comfortable with those, and are seeing a little bit of income coming in from them, try adding in a few new things.

Over time, you’ll find two or three or five small things that work well for you and you can drop what’s not working for you and stick with what is. However, my biggest piece of advice is to work towards having multiple streams of income. If you do five small things everyday that take you around 12 minutes each and earn you $5 each, that’s about an hour of your time and $25 dollars per day! In many cases, diversifying your income-earning possibilities can dramatically increase the return on your investment of time.

That said, don’t try to do everything at once unless you want to create a recipe for disaster! Start slowly and be careful not to bite off more than you can chew! And don’t give up if something doesn’t work for you; not everything will. But keep trying, keep learning, keep at it, and you will eventually start seeing results.

(Note: The links in this post are affiliate links, and we will be compensated when you make a purchase by clicking through our links. Read our disclosure policy here.)

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  • I tried the inbox dollar the last time you mentioned it. You do get plenty of opportunities to earn a bit daily. My suggestion though is to be patient and to open a free email account to receive the emails. I receive a lot of them and it’s nice to go to one place to peruse through or delete. They can build up and then I set aside a few minutes to quickly go through them. Thanks for the suggestion. I haven’t tried the others….looking forward to checking them out.

  • Jaycie says:

    I just reached my payout point after only a few months. (I don’t spend a lot of time with it.) Some of the offers they extend are actually pretty good, too. But I agree, patience is definitely required!

  • Karen says:

    I also received a payout recently. I do a ton of these though. It doesn’t really take that much time. Send Earnings is another one very similar to Inbox. I also do a lot that offer gift card redemptions. It really makes a big difference!

  • Nisha says:

    As a mommy-to-be, I am trying to find what works for me and what will continue to work once our little one arrives. I will look into this opportunity. I have about three things that I am striving to make as extra streams of income and have not been consistent enough to know if they work for me. Thanks for your ideas and motivation, I will definitely keep at it!

  • Julie says:

    In addition to the things Crystal mentioned, which I already do, I’d like to suggest Ebates and MyPoints, too. Here’s a link to some other similar ways to line your pockets with extra change.

  • Melissa says:

    Is there a profit for you to make off us going there from your site?

  • Christina says:

    Maybe I’m over-thinking this… but what happens at tax time, anything? Do you have to pay taxes on these little snippets of money from placed like InboxDollars?

  • Dona says:

    the only bummer about inbox is the wait on getting your money….when I did it you had to remain active while nearly 3 months went by for your first check.. If you do not remain active then you don’t get your money. YOu must reach 30 or 35 for pay out too. So it took nearly 7 months for me to get my first payout. Be prepared to be patient if you go with inbox and be prepared to be in it for the long haul.

  • Kari says:

    I’ve been doing Inbox Dollars since about March. I’ve had 2 payouts alread, and I don’t do much in the way of offers. They send out a lot of emails! I also love MyPoints. I get CVS gift cards when I cash in my points.

  • Hi Crystal- I saw the InBox Dollars info on your sidebar about 3 weeks ago and signed-up. In less than a month I have earned $7.21 only from reading e-mails and signing up. I don’t really do any of the other opportunities at this point due to a lack of time, but I am pretty pleased with the little bit I have earned in less than a month since it takes so little time to open and read the e-mails. Thanks for the great ideas you always share! :o)

  • nancy says:

    I signed up for sendearnings and inbox dollars on the same day. I just payed out with inbox dollars. It was alot faster, only took about 2 months. Only thing that bugged me was that I was so excited that I finally earned $30 and went to cash out and bang! $3 processing fee. Plus it will take over a month to get it to me. What? There was no mentioning of this until I went to cash out. Urk! Send earnings I still have $15 to go. So its slower in my openion.
    I agree, it takes a bit of time but only a small bit of time everyday. Worth it to me in the long run.
    I do mypoints as well and earned super fast. Might want to try bzzagent as well, free products is super cool!

  • Sara says:

    I signed up for both – but survey after survey I keep getting “sorry but you do not fit the profile at this time” – annoying and frustrating. Anyone else?

  • Trixie says:

    Hi Crystal,

    Lots of great suggestions. I do them all. You really can earn a little extra every month by spending just a bit of time! I love the gift certificates through mypoints too. It is amazing how fast it multiplies. A little here, a little there. Multiple income streams really do make so much more sense than having it come all from one source:)

    I shared a post about how to earn money by blogging with your Frugal Friday readers. In case any of your MSM readers are interested,

    Here’s a link:

    Take Care,


  • sam says:

    I’ve gotten like 220 dollars from them sofar.

  • Holly says:

    I’ve been wondering the same thing as Christina above… does that make the taxes a total headache? I’d definitely consider trying it out, but I’m hesitant because my huz does the taxes, and I don’t want to make it any worse for him.


  • Michelle says:

    Sara- I’ve had the same thing with inbox about not fitting the profile for surveys, usually after I have already answered a bunch of questions!

    It took my about 6-7 months to have enough in Inbox to request a check, and that was with reading all the emails, doing some surveys, and signing up for some of the bonus cash offers. Now the check won’t even be sent out until October!

  • Kasey says:

    Inbox Dollars has worked for me- I click through the e-mails and occasionally do some of the offers and surveys. I recently purchased some business cards through an offer, and I only had to pay shipping and handling. Earlier in the year I also bought an Entertainment Book (coupons) for $15, and Inbox Dollars credited me $8 for purchasing it, so it was like paying $7, and I think I saved that much using the first coupon! (lots of B1G1 coupons for restaurants, etc.) I have used it many times since then and it has allowed us to go out more than we used to.

  • Dawn says:

    I use Inbox Dollars regularly, and I get paid every few months. They used to give you more money for each survey you completed – I think it was $1. Now it’s only 50 cents, so it takes longer to reach a payout.

    Does anyone have any Cash Crate suggestions? I hate giving out my address/home phone number when completing all of these offers. That’s the fastest way to earn money, but it makes me uncomfortable putting all that personal info ‘out there’. What do you do?

  • tina b says:

    a note about taxes –
    you do not have to pay taxes on any income under $600/year. so, while i’m not sure if the payout you get from inbox dollars and the like is taxable, you would not have to pay taxes on it anyways. i doubt anyone makes $600 on these in a year. if you do, wowie!! so, don’t worry about the tax issue 🙂

    ~tina b

  • holly says:

    In the front of Publix there is a booklet called Toss Cash with coupons in it. It may be a regional booklet because it says Georgia Bulldogs all over it. Inside there is a coupon for $.75 of Lenders Bagels. The bagels are BOGO for $1.95. That makes them $.20 each. I have a photo on my blog entry of the booklet at


  • Suzy says:

    It is not true what the previous poster noted that if you earn less than $600 you do not have to pay taxes on it. You are not sent a 1099 form, but you still must report the income on yur tax form starting with dollar number one, unless it is exempt for some reason.

    Money Saving Mom here:

    Suzy and all: In some states and some situations, if you earn less than $600 you do not have to pay taxes on it. But I can’t speak for all situations and urge everyone not to base their assumptions on taxes on things read on a blog.

    Instead, I encourage everyone to consult a tax professional/CPA concerning this. It doesn’t cost much to do so and you might as well know you are doing the right thing from the start.

    Also, don’t let the fear of taxation scare you from trying your hand at working from home. 🙂

  • Trixie says:

    I am a tax professional and run a tax business out of my home. In almost every situation you need to declare any money earned in this manner as income on your federal,state and local tax return. There are some exceptions but it’s too lengthy to list them here.

    If you are earning just a little bit, you will not receive a 1099 but keep track on your own and keep that paperwork handy when you prepare your return.

    Crystal is correct, don’t let being taxed on your income scare you away from earning a little extra.

    Take Care,


  • Kelly says:

    Does anyone know if you can complete the same offer for two different sites and get credited on each site? For example, if I did the eMuisc offer on Inbox Dollars and earned $5, if Cash Crate were offering it, could I complete the offer there as well and earn $5 (or whatever the amount may be)? Does anyone have any experience with this? Just curious!

  • Angela says:

    Crystal –

    Have you had any issues with this site? I have read on-line of some people saying that they had to do a virus scan after every log in because it left some cookies behind that practically disabled the computer. Do you still actively participate? You referenced doing it when your husband was still in school. I’m always hesitant to provide too much info to a site.

  • irene says:

    i dont get you only answer e-mails coming to you???
    when i go to there website it seem i allways have to buy something…….and it will not let me finish it otherwise..or it will send me an email to sign up ….what am i doing wrong..i never get any credits
    thanks irene

  • Donna says:

    These sites are not bad, you just have to realize that you are not going to get paid much or very quickly. It really depends on how much ,time you put into these sites. I started on cashcrate in July and just got a check this week for $34, not bad for a few minutes of work a day. You can check out my old blog… for more info. I am going to be starting a blog exclusively related to making money online and I am going to be upfront about everything. Try these sites out, they will make you some money.

  • Donna Steuer says:

    These sites are not bad, you just have to realize that you are not going to get paid much or very quickly. It really depends on how much ,time you put into these sites. I started on cashcrate in July and just got a check this week for $34, not bad for a few minutes of work a day. You can check out my old blog… for more info. I am going to be starting a blog exclusively related to making money online and I am going to be upfront about everything. Try these sites out, they will make you some money.

  • Jodi says:

    I didn’t have any luck with inbox dollars either. Takes forever to get to where you can get a pay out and it takes so much time to do a single survey if you don’t qualify for soooo many of them. What does a person have to do to get a chance to be at home and make a little on the side?

  • Angie says:

    Thanks so much for the money saving ideas on your site! This is my first visit, and I will definitely be back. I really like the rewards program that I use. It’s called Sunshine Rewards. Unlikely Inbox Dollars, you get paid quickly at a lower payout, and you have the option of making a little extra doing lots of things like paid emails, surveys (2-3 per day), cash back shopping, freebie and paid offers, and more. I guess what I like most is that on top of all of that you also get incredible customer service. I used to think some of these sites were just too good to be true, but there are a lot of reputable sites helping people earn a little extra everyday! Thanks again for your site. I hope everyone checks out Sunshine Rewards at

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