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When it comes to quick ways to make some extra money, the idea that you can get paid to read emails sounds too good to be true.

But it’s actually genuine. That is, there are legit websites out there where you can make money from reading emails.

Let’s be clear upfront though: you’re not going to make thousands of dollars doing this.

(If that’s what you’re looking for, it’s going to be better to target one of the options on this list of the highest paying online jobs out there.)

Instead, much like making money from doing surveys, getting paid to open emails is a good way to earn a bit of extra cash when you have some free time.

woman on her phone finding how to get paid to read emails

Maybe you’re sitting on the couch watching Netflix and scrolling through social media. Or perhaps you’re on the bus on the way to work or sitting in the car waiting for your kids to finish soccer practice.

Whichever it is for you, these are the perfect times to spend just a few minutes opening some of these apps to earn a couple of dollars. 

Can you get paid to read emails?

You can definitely get paid to read emails by signing up with companies that offer this as a way to make money. You will generally be paid up to $0.10 per email you read, although rates can be higher, with a number of companies offering this as a form of marketing.

That is, most of these emails will contain some kind of advertisement for a product or service and so you’re paid to read this in the hope that you’ll actually redeem the offer you see (although it’s absolutely not required to be paid for this).

And given that opening and reading an email takes almost no time at all, it’s a super quick way to make some extra cash. 

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It’s worth noting that, sometimes, your payment will be subject to proof that you actually read the email. This can be as simple as clicking a link in the email, but there are also times where you may be given a short questionnaire to answer a question or two about what you read, just to prove that you did actually take note of what the email says.

Sites where you can get paid to read emails

1. InboxDollars

inboxdollars screenshot as a place to get paid to read emails

InboxDollars offers a range of ways for you to make money, one of which is paying you to read emails.

Once you sign up, all you do is select the option to receive these kinds of offers. You’ll then receive emails from time to time that you can be paid for opening and reading.

FYI… you’ll get a free $5 welcome bonus just for signing up with InboxDollars and verifying your email address.

It’s also a good idea to look at doing some of the other money-making tasks that are available on InboxDollars, such as surveys, watching videos and searching the web. That way, even when there may not be emails for you to read, you can continue earning some extra cash.

2. Vindale Research

vindale research screenshot as a place to get paid to read emails

Another site where you can get paid to read emails is Vindale Research

Vindale is mostly known for its surveys, as it has some of the highest paying survey offers around – in fact, they can pay up to $15 for each survey you complete. 

This is because it acts on behalf of some major consumer research companies, and it’s these same companies that also let you make money receiving emails through Vindale.

Not only will you get a $1 sign on bonus with Vindale, but for each friend who signs up through your exclusive link, you’ll get a $5 referral bonus.

3. Swagbucks

swagbucks screenshot as a place to get paid to read emails

Swagbucks is one of the most well known money making sites around – and for good reason. With its members having earned over $500 million, it’s definitely a legit site for helping you earn some extra cash.

There are a ton of different activities available through Swagbucks that you can get paid for, like doing surveys, playing games, watching videos and searching the internet.

And this includes making money from reading emails. Plus, to get you started, you’ll get $5 for free just for signing up with Swagbucks, not to mention 10% of your friends’ earnings forever for anyone you refer to the site.

To start getting paid to read emails, all you do is navigate to the available offers after you sign up and you’ll immediately be able to see which options you qualify for.


Free sign-up bonus: $5

A great app for making extra money, including with cash back from online shopping, watching videos, playing games and more.

And given it’s paid out over $400 million through Amazon, Paypal and other gift cards, it’s 100% legit.

4. MyPoints

mypoints screenshot

MyPoints is another app that will pay you for opening and reading emails, among a bunch of other activities.

In fact, while it also offers some pretty great surveys, what it’s most known for is paying you for shopping online. That is, for each purchase you make at over 1,900 retailers, including Amazon and eBay, you’ll earn points that can then be redeemed for gift cards.

By the way… If you make a single online purchase in the first 30 days after you sign up for MyPoints, you’ll get a free $10 Amazon gift card

This is why it can be a good idea to both sign up for reading emails through MyPoints and to connect MyPoints to your online shopping, so you can really maximize your earnings.

5. InboxPays

screenshot of inboxpays where you can get paid to read emails

InboxPays is another great site where you can earn money by reading emails wherever you are.

They actually send you emails every day, so there’s always an opportunity to earn money through them. And they actually pay up to $0.25 per email you read, which is much higher than some of the other options on this list.

It’s also worth noting that the minimum payout amount is $25, which is lower than certain other sites where you can make money. This is definitely a good thing as it means you can get your hands on your email earnings a lot quicker.

6. Daily Rewards

daily rewards screenshot

Daily Rewards is Canada’s version of InboxDollars, with many of the same tasks to be done to earn extra cash. That means you can make money from doing surveys, playing games – and, yes, getting paid to read emails.

How it works is that you can actually earn a set amount of money (usually a few cents) from simply opening and reading the email. But if you then follow the instructions in the email, which usually involves clicking on a few more things and filling in a survey, you’ll end up earning more.

Just by signing up for Daily Rewards, you’ll receive a free CA$5 welcome bonus bonus.

And to keep things international…

7. InboxPounds

inbox pounds screenshot

…And InboxPounds is the UK’s version of InboxDollars – meaning you don’t have to only be based in North America to take advantage of these offers!

This also means that it works basically the same way as InboxDollars in terms of how you can earn money. This includes getting paid to read emails, but it’s also got a great range of surveys.

Not only will you get £1 as a free welcome bonus by signing up with InboxPounds, but if you get friends to sign up through your referral link, you’ll get 30% of what your referred friends earn for life!

8. FusionCash

fusioncash screenshot

FusionCash is another site that pays you to read emails, among various other money-making tasks.

That is, like some of the others on this list, you can also earn from playing games, completing surveys and more. You’ll end up receiving anywhere from one to three emails per day, although some of these will be letting you know about offers rather than specifically being emails that you’re getting paid to read.

Get your free $5 sign up bonus when you join FusionCash here.

One great part about FusionCash is that its platform is very transparent as to what’s needed in order to be paid. Some sites involve you clicking through a few pages before seeing what’s actually involved but, here, you’ll immediately see what you have to do so you can decide upfront whether it’s worth it for you.

You also only have to be 13 years old to sign up, making it a really good way for teens to make money.

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9. Unique Rewards

unique rewards screenshot

Unique Rewards isn’t so unique in how you earn rewards, but it’s definitely still a good place to do so!

In particular, if you’re looking to get paid to read emails directly to your PayPal account rather than, say, via gift cards, Unique Rewards could be for you. 

This is also one of the few sites where you can do surveys that pay by mail in cash as you can redeem your earnings by check, if you prefer.

Plus, when you complete the Unique Rewards sign up process, you’ll get $5 – as well as $5 for each friend who signs up through your referral link!

10. Cash Crate

cashcrate screenshot

Cash Crate is a bit different from the others in that it doesn’t have its own opportunities to make money. Instead, it shifted in the last few years to becoming a catalog of other sites that have these kinds of offers.

This includes some cashback sites you’ve probably heard of, like Ibotta. You’ll also see others that we actually mentioned earlier on this list, like Swagbucks and MyPoints.

This means that while you won’t sign up directly with Cash Crate to get paid to read emails, it’s good to check it every day to find new tips on where you can make money in this way.

11. Paid to Read Email

screenshot of get paid to read emails site

Paid to Read Email does exactly what its name says – provides another place where you can get paid to receive emails for free.

Despite its name, it does actually offer surveys as well, although I’d recommend sticking to some of the bigger sites we mentioned earlier if you’re looking to do surveys for money via PayPal.

That said, one of the biggest advantages of this site is that it’s got an incredibly low payout limit, at only $15. This means that it shouldn’t take you too long to be able to transfer your earnings to yourself.

12. Cash4Offers

cash4offers screenshot

While Cash4Offers has various ways to make money, it’s main focus is paying people to read emails.

You’ll receive up to two paid emails per day, so your inbox won’t be flooded with these. All you have to do is open the message, click the confirmation link in it and the money is yours!

From a quick Cash4Offers review, it also seems that you can sign up for this site (and receive the free $5 sign up bonus) from anywhere in the world. 

However, they only guarantee that you’ll receive paid emails if you’re in the US. For everyone else, they’ll “try” to send these to you but you may not qualify for all of them.

13. Points2Shop

Points2Shop screenshot

Points2Shop is, perhaps unsurprisingly from its name, another way for you to make money from online shopping. However, this also ties into the fact that it lets you get paid to open emails.

How it works is that Points2Shop essentially gets paid to advertise for companies and then passes on those earnings to you. You’ll be sent emails with links to various offers and if you click a link in those emails, you’ll make some money.

You can also earn extra if you actually redeem one of those offers, with your payments being made to you as points. Those points can then be exchanged for Amazon products, so you won’t get straight up cash here, just in case you were needing that.

14. Rupee Inbox

rupee inbox screenshot

If you’re looking to get paid to read emails in India, Rupee Inbox could be just what you need.

After signing up, which you’ll get ₹50 for, you’ll then start to get paid emails from advertisers every day. These are actually sent to an inbox on their platform, not your actual personal email, so this means that your inbox won’t be bombarded with emails.

(Just make sure you don’t forget to check their inbox!)

They also say that the more you use Rupee Inbox, the more you can earn. This is because the platform registers your activity, meaning users that are more active are paid more. It’s a great extra incentive to take advantage of what’s on offer.

15. UniqPaid

uniqpaid screenshot

UniqPaid isn’t one of the biggest sites out there, but what it claims to offer is impressive.

That is, you can join from anywhere in the world and there’s no minimum payout amount. To be clear, you do have to earn at least $5 to be paid by check, but you can cash out immediately if you’re fine with being paid by PayPal, Bitcoin or to your Visa or Mastercard.

Related: 21 Legit Ways to Get Free PayPal Money Instantly

Like the others on this list, you can earn money in a few different ways, including by doing surveys and visiting certain sites. But it really prioritizes getting paid to read emails, with this being one of the main ways its users make money.

While you won’t get a sign on bonus, you’ll get an extra 10% on what you earn in the first two days you’re registered. You can also earn $2 for each person who registers using your referral link.

16. Quick Paid Surveys

quick paid surveys screenshot

While Quick Paid Surveys is, perhaps obviously, mainly focused on surveys, you can also make money from reading emails with them.

You’ll receive up to $0.05 for each paid email that you confirm, which usually involves simply clicking a link in the email. The payout limit is a fairly low $15, although clearly it will take some time to get there if you’re just earning money from emails, so it’s good to combine this with some of the surveys they offer too so you can reach the limit more quickly.

And another great feature is that, no matter where you are in the world, Quick Paid Surveys is open to you!

17. QuickRewards 

quickrewards screenshot

QuickRewards isn’t exclusively dedicated to helping you get paid to read emails, with its main focus being completing surveys and playing games.

That said, it does offer emails from time to time where you can make money, so it’s worth signing up just to give it a try.

What’s great about this is that there’s no minimum payout limit, with it only taking 72 hours once you cash out for the money to hit your PayPal account. You can also choose to redeem your earnings via gift card, which takes an average of one week to be sent out.

Other ways to make money by reading emails

Sure, getting paid to read emails is a quick, easy way to make a few dollars, but maybe you’re looking for something more.

Whether that’s something more interesting or something that pays more – or, ideally, both – there are definitely other ways to make money by reading emails.

18. Surveys

Doing surveys for money, often via PayPal, is one of the easiest and most well known ways to earn some quick cash.

Like making money from reading emails, you’re not going to make thousands of dollars here. But if you’ve got some spare time, like when you’re commuting to work, you could easily complete a few surveys to make a few dollars for each one.

As a good starting point for making money from surveys, check out sites like Survey Junkie and PointClub – in fact, you’ll get a free $5 welcome bonus just for signing up with PointClub!

Related: 21 Legit Sites That Pay By Mail in Cash

19. Paid focus groups

Joining paid focus groups is a great way to earn some serious money.

These are similar to surveys in that you’ll be answering questions, except you’ll be doing this either face-to-face in person or online. This means that because they take a bit more time, you’ll actually earn more money for doing them.

Take Survey Junkie, for example. Not only do they offer surveys, as we just mentioned, but they also occasionally have online focus groups where you can earn up to $150 per hour just for answering questions about some sort of product. It’s basically the easiest money you’ll ever make.

QUICK TIP: Once you’ve signed up for Survey Junkie (and verified your email address!), your first step should be to go to your settings and select the option where you can be notified of new focus group opportunities as soon as they’re available.

Given how much they pay, they often fill up fast so doing this will make sure you’re able to get to the front of the line each time!

20. Become a virtual assistant

You can also get paid for reading (and actioning) other people’s emails by working as a virtual assistant.

A VA, as they’re more commonly known, helps small businesses with basically any online task they may need help with. In fact, you can see a list here of 275+ services that a VA can offer.

This may include focusing more on social media, like creating posts and building up their online profile, or it can involve more admin-related tasks – including responding to emails and filing them.

To find out more, take a look at our article on how to become a virtual assistant.

Not sure if becoming a virtual assistant is for you? Why not check out this FREE webinar to see if this is your ideal work from home job! It covers:
  • The fastest way to get started as a VA
  • How to get the right clients to start earning money ASAP
  • The one thing most VAs miss when they first start out
(And don’t worry if you miss one of the live webinar sessions – you can always grab the free replay!)

21. Sign up to test websites

Testing websites for money absolutely isn’t just for more tech-oriented people. In fact, a lot of companies like to pay “normal” people to do this so they can get an idea of how the general public will use their site.

In fact, some major sites like Airbnb and Twitter have actually paid people to do this in the past.

Your goal here is to show the company whether or not their site is user-friendly, so it will simply involve you clicking around the site and seeing whether you can find all the information you need. Sometimes, you’ll be asked to record your voice while you do this, so the company can hear your immediate thoughts on what you’re hearing, but this is on a case-by-case basis.

22. Look for email processing jobs

Email processing jobs really do involve you getting paid to read emails, although there’s an extra step involved. 

What you’ll be doing is receiving emails, reading them and then replying using a prewritten template. Essentially, you’ll be acting as an automated response system, even if the automatic part isn’t quite there yet.

It can get a bit tedious but as a part time online job that doesn’t involve much thinking, this one definitely fits the bill.

Just be careful of scams here, as a lot of the email processing jobs you’ll find online aren’t legit. This is why I’d recommend sticking to sites like FlexJobs to find jobs like this, as the opportunities posted on there are more likely to be real.

Tips to get paid to read emails

While getting paid to read emails is a pretty straightforward way to make money, there are some tips that can make the process easier for you – or at least less painful.

Create a separate email address

The whole idea of the fact that you can get paid for your emails means that, surprise surprise, you have to receive those emails. And depending on how many sites you subscribe to and the settings you select, this can lead to you getting a ton of emails every day.

This is why I’d recommend setting up a separate email address for this. You can have these appear in the same window as your main, personal address in something like Gmail, so you don’t have to jump to a bunch of different email providers.

But by having all of your emails for this purpose be directed to a separate folder dedicated to a specific email address, you’ll avoid your own emails getting lost in the shuffle.

Get referral bonuses

When it comes to these sites where you can get paid to read emails, they often actually have several different ways for you to make money.

And one of the most lucrative methods is by taking advantage of referral bonuses.

How this works is that when someone signs up for one of these sites through your exclusive link, you’ll receive a bonus. 

Some sites that offer referral bonuses include:
  • Swagbucks: Get 10% of your friends’ earnings forever
  • InboxDollars: $1 per referral and 30% of their lifetime earnings
  • Vindale Research: $5 per referral
  • MyPoints: 750 points per referral = $4.70 (if they redeem an offer within 30 days)
  • InboxPays: 10% of your friends’ lifetime earnings

This means that if you sign up for several of these sites then get a bunch of your friends to also sign up for them through your link, you could easily make some great recurring income here.

Keep an eye out for scams

If something sounds too good to be true, it probably is – and nowhere is that statement more accurate than on the internet.

This means, like with anything you do online, always be aware of scams. These seem to particularly pop up in the making money field, so it’s always good to have your wits about you if you find a new way to get paid to read emails.

And for the avoidance of doubt: all the sites we recommend on this list for this are legit and don’t involve scams. So if you stick to them, you’ll be safe.

Check your inbox throughout the day

Some of these sites have quotas for each of their offers, meaning once enough people have signed up, the offer is closed.

This is why it can be a good idea to keep an eye on your inbox throughout the day, so you can immediately jump on an available offer when you see it. 

To be clear, spending your entire day refreshing your inbox isn’t a great use of your time. But if you set a rough schedule of checking at a certain time in the morning and afternoon, that should allow you to be first in line for at least some of the offers that appear around then.

Take advantage of other offers

As mentioned a few times above, while these sites let you get paid to read emails, many of them also have a bunch of other ways for you to earn money.

For example, InboxDollars lets you also earn money by getting cash back on groceries and other things you’re already buying. And Swagbucks pays you for other things too, like watching videos, playing games and surfing the web.

Even when combining these activities, you won’t become wealthy from using these sites. But they’re good for earning a few dollars when you have some spare time – and having options for other tasks to do can be good if you get sick of doing email-based activities.

Turn on email notifications

I mentioned above about how some sites have quotas for their offers and to add to that, a lot of them require you to specifically opt in to receiving email notifications from you.

If you don’t opt in to this, you can always go and check the sites directly yourself. However, if you’re anything like me, you’re probably going to forget. Before you know it, it’s been three days and you jump on the site to see 20 great offers that have long been filled.

This is why it can be a good idea to turn on email notifications, although it’s up to you just how frequently you can handle receiving these. If you do this, just take note of the first suggestion at the top as you don’t want your personal inbox being flooded by these updates.

Is getting paid to read emails legit?

Getting paid to read emails is definitely legit. While you won’t become rich doing this, there are legitimate companies out there that let you make money from reading emails, along with other tasks you can get paid to do through these sites.

It’s fair to ask whether getting paid to read emails is real or fake as it’s certainly not the first thing that springs to mind when you think of different ways to make money.

But it is a genuine way to earn a few extra dollars. That said, I’d recommend doing it alongside some of the other activities that these sites offer to both maximize your earnings and keep this income stream interesting for you.

Why do companies pay you for reading emails?

Companies pay you for reading emails as it’s essentially marketing for them. How it works is that advertisers engage these sites to send users, like you, ads for products and services via email. When you open these emails and see these ads, you’re paid for it.

It was found that the average click rate for all emails sent – so the percentage of emails that people actually open and click through to the offer – is only 2.62%. At the same time, the average email open rate (whether or not people click through) is 21.33%.

Logically, then, the more people who open an email, the more people will likely click on the links in that email.

This is why advertisers need to offer some motivation to encourage people to actually open these emails and the way they do that is by paying you to read emails.

How much can I earn from email marketing?

You can earn, at best, a few dollars each week just from getting paid to read emails. Most email marketing sites will pay between $0.01 and $0.10 for each email you read, so it can take some time to add up.

There are some sites that claim to pay up to $0.25 per email but these are rare, so I’d recommend keeping your expectations to around the $0.05 to $0.10 mark.

That said, opening and reading an email takes almost no time at all, so it’s not like you’re going to be spending hours to earn this money. 

It’s worth repeating that sometimes, when you’re getting paid to read emails, your payment will be subject to proof that you actually read the email. 

This is usually done through you filling in a quick survey about what you read, to prove that you noticed what the message said. Other times, however, this can be as simple as clicking a link in the email.

Final thoughts on ways to get paid to read emails

When looking for different apps and websites to make money, it’s pretty common to think most of them are just about completing surveys.

And sure, that can be one way to make some extra money. But having something different can be nice to mix up how you spend your time – and the fact that you can get paid to read emails through PayPal cash or by exchanging your points for gift cards definitely counts as a unique idea.

As we mentioned you’re not going to become a millionaire if you choose to get paid to receive emails. Instead, it’s a simple way to spend your free time by devoting a few minutes to checking the various apps to see if there are any offers.

And with just a few clicks, the 10 cents or so you earn from each email will quickly start to add up!

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About the author

Anna is the founder of LogicalDollar and a personal finance expert, having been featured on Forbes, HuffPost, Reader’s Digest, MSN Money, Yahoo! Finance, and many more. She’s committed to helping others get on the path to financial freedom using the experience gained from turning $60,000 in debt into a six-figure investment portfolio. Find out more.