May 21, 2021

How to Donate Plasma for Money

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Donating plasma is a legit way to earn side cash and it only takes two hours a week. Learn what disqualifies you from donating and where to donate.

Donating plasma is one of the easiest ways to earn extra cash.

It takes about an hour and you can walk away with up to $400 per month.

Some plasma donors experience mild side effects from selling plasma, so consult with your doctor to make sure it's safe for you. Review this guide to know all the facts before you go.

How Much Can You Get for Selling Plasma?

First, what is plasma?

Plasma is a part of your blood - the clear part that doesn't include platelets or your red blood cells. Your plasma includes the necessary proteins and antibodies that people with chronic illnesses and blood clotting disorders need to survive.

Donating plasma may look similar to donating blood, but it's a little different. To get to the plasma, they;

  1. Withdraw your blood
  2. Separate the blood from the plasma
  3. Keeps the plasma
  4. Return your red blood cells and platelets to you

Do you get paid the same day that you donate plasma?
Most donation centers pay you the same day on a reloadable debit card. Check with the center you use to see how they pay. Also, ask about fees for using the debit card as some uses, including checking your balance or withdrawing cash at an ATM, incur a fee.

So how much can you earn for donating plasma?

On average, donors earn $20 - $50 per donation and can donate twice a week as long as there are 48 hours between donations. Some people may get higher payouts too, including first-time donor bonuses.

To encourage more donors to try selling plasma, many donation centers give first-time donor bonuses. If you take advantage of bonuses, you could earn up to $600 your first month versus the standard $400.

The bonuses vary by center and depend on the amount of plasma they need. Always check a center's website for bonuses before donating.

Pro Tip: Look for bonuses the first few times and then stick to the same center after that. Many centers pay a higher amount if you hit a certain number of donations.

Note: Any money you make selling plasma is taxable if you earn over $400 in a year. You probably won't receive a 1099 from the plasma center, but it's your responsibility to report your income and pay appropriate taxes.

It's a good idea to set aside a few dollars from each payout to make sure you have enough money to cover your taxes.

Donating plasma is a fairly safe process. But there are side effects and risks you should be aware of before donating.

  • Just like donating blood, you may experience bruising or sensitivity at the injection site.

  • You may also experience swelling or pain at the site initially, but it shouldn't last more than a couple of hours after donating.

  • Some donors react to the disinfectant used when cleaning your arm. If you know you have an iodine sensitivity, tell the clinician drawing your blood to see if they have an alternative.

  • You may experience dizziness or lightheadedness. To avoid this, drink plenty of fluids the day before and the day of your donation and take it easy for a couple of hours after donating.

  • In rare cases, there's a reaction to the citrate used to prevent blood clotting. Some people experience tingling in their fingers, toes, or mouth. In more serious cases, you may have trouble breathing, shiver, or have a slow pulse.

If you experience any of the above, notify a clinician at the center right away. They'll keep an eye on you and have you drink something to rehydrate your body.

How often can you donate plasma?
Most centers allow you to donate up to twice a week with at least 48 hours in between each appointment. Every center differs, though, so check with your center to find out what they allow. The "rest periods" are to allow your body to replenish your plasma. Typically, the more frequent donors make $300 - $500 a month.

What Disqualifies You From Donating Plasma?

Not everyone can donate plasma. Generally, you need to be in good health. Centers will require you to answer a series of questions before each donation to make sure you're in good health and don't have any of the following:

  • A current illness including a fever, cough, or general feeling of unwellness
  • Hepatitis or HIV
  • Tuberculosis
  • Low iron levels (they test your blood before taking your donation)

You also may not be able to donate if you recently traveled out of the country and if you've had any recent medical treatments or surgeries.

If you're unsure whether you'd be eligible to donate plasma, talk to your doctor first to make sure it's safe for you.

Plasma Donation Requirements

Every center has plasma donation requirements, but some may be stricter than others. All centers require the following:

  • You must be over the age of 18 and younger than 69 years old
  • You must weigh at least 110 pounds
  • You must not have any infectious diseases
  • You must be able to pass a physical (most centers conduct a new physical each year)
  • You must have adequate iron and hemoglobin levels (most centers check this before each donation)

Some centers also check your pulse and blood pressure to make sure they aren't too high or too low.

They'll also take your temperature and look for excessive bruising on your arms, which could disqualify you. Some centers also don't allow excessive piercings or tattoos, but this varies by center.

Where Can You Donate Plasma for Money?

It's easy enough to Google "donate plasma near me" to find local plasma centers, but always do your research before donating. The FDA inspects plasma donation centers, but they don't regularly oversee them, so do your own research and make sure the facility is legit and safe.

You can also check out www.donatingplasma.org to find a location near you. Here are the most common plasma donation centers:

  1. Octapharma Plasma
    Octapharma has over 100 locations in 24 states. Check for a center near you here.

    Octapharma loads your earnings on a reloadable debit card. The payments vary by location, and they run monthly specials to get new donors or encourage previous donors to make more frequent donations.

  2. CSL Plasma
    CSL Plasma has over 270 donation centers throughout the United States. You can check for a location near you here.

    Like Octapharma, CSL claims donors can make up to $700 a month, but they also offer bonuses to repeat donors. CSL has a rewards program called iGiveRewards, which pays you in points for every donation.

    You can redeem your points for gift cards on top of the cash they pay you on a reloadable debit card. Always check back on the CSL Plasma website as they often have coupons for even greater rewards.

  3. BioLife Plasma
    At BioLife, new donors can earn up to $1,000 in their first month of donating. BioLife has locations throughout the United States and Europe; check for locations here.

    Like most plasma donation centers, BioLife loads your earnings on a reloadable debit card and offers promotions when they're in greater need of donations.

    BioLife offers state-of-the-art facilities, takes numerous precautions against COVID-19, and has offers for free Wi-Fi and supervised playrooms for children.

  4. KEDPlasma
    KEDPlasma has over 20 locations and pays donors via a reloadable debit card. Each center pays a different amount per donation, but you can call the location near you to find out what they pay.

    KEDPlasma offers a $20 coupon for anyone who hasn't donated in the last 14 days as an encouragement to come back and donate again.

  5. GRIFOLS
    GRIFOLS has approximately 100 locations throughout the United States. You can find out if they're near you here.

    Most donors earn up to $400 a month at GRIFOLS. They also offer a "Buddy Bonus" referral program that pays you a bonus if you refer a friend.

    GRIFOLS pays via a reloadable debit card right after a successful donation and sometimes offers bonuses for the later donations in the month if you hit the number of donations they need.

    Which plasma donation center pays the most?
    Every plasma donation center pays a different amount, and the amounts vary based on need. On average, CSL Plasma pays the most, but there are plenty of other donation centers that pay as much as CSL, especially when there is a shortage. Always check the websites or join the mailing list of the centers near you to learn about any specials.

8 Tips for Selling Plasma

You're just about ready to find your local plasma donation center and make a little extra money. Before you do, check out these tips.

  1. Set aside a couple of hours for your first donation. The center will conduct a brief physical and ask you a series of questions to ensure you're healthy enough to donate plasma.

    It can take up to an hour to complete the donation between the preparation (checking your temperature, pulse, blood pressure, and iron levels) and getting you set up to donate.

  2. Make sure you're relaxed and hydrated. Drink as much as possible the day before because what you drink today hydrates your body for tomorrow. The blood will pump faster if you hydrate well.

  3. Bring a stress ball. Bring along something you can use to squeeze (such as a stress ball) to make it easier for the blood to pump.

  4. Wait at least 48 hours between donations. Even though you're allowed two donations a week, you must have at least 48 hours in between each one to safely donate.

  5. Avoid alcohol and excessive caffeine. On the day you donate, and try to eat a healthy meal 2 hours before you go to the center to make sure you're strong enough to withstand the donation.

  6. Don't do strenuous exercise beforehand. This affects your body's ability to recover and regenerate what you've donated.

  7. Bring any necessary documents. For your first donation, bring a picture ID, proof of your Social Security number, and address. After your first donation, always have your picture ID with you to verify your identity.

  8. You can donate for free. If making money from plasma doesn't sit right with you, the American Red Cross accepts donations for free. You can only donate once every 28 days.

    Call 1-800-RED-CROSS or visit their site to find a location.

Bottom Line: Is It Worth It?

Making money to donate plasma may help you earn a little side cash, but it can also save lives. It takes only a couple of hours a week since you can only donate twice a week, and it can help people with chronic illnesses.

Whether you do it for the money or to help other people, there is always a high demand for plasma, so check at the centers around you to see who needs your healthy plasma.

Write to Sam Hawrylack at feedback@creditdonkey.com. Follow us on Twitter and Facebook for our latest posts.

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