Donating plasma is a way to lend a helping hand to someone in need while earning some extra cash. But how much can you earn? What the requirements to donate plasma? Is it safe? And where’s the best place to sell plasma in exchange for compensation?
In this comprehensive guide, we’ll provide the answers to these questions and much more. Keep reading to explore the ins and outs of selling plasma for money.
Selling Plasma Earnings Potential
You may have heard that selling plasma is somewhat of a lucrative side hustle, and there’s some truth to that. On average, you’ll earn between $20 and $50 each time you donate. But here’s the catch: for safety reasons, plasma donation centers generally limit the number of times you can visit to twice per week with a one day waiting period between each visit.
So if you donate eight times per month, expect to earn between $160 and $400. Doing so also increases the likelihood that you’ll earn more on occasion from frequent donor bonuses.
Also, keep in mind that the amount you’re compensated for each visit could vary by your weight. Why so? Well, it may have an impact on the amount of plasma you’re able to donate. But when you’re first starting, expect to make a little more than average as many plasma donation centers offer incentives for new donors.
Qualification Criteria to Donate Plasma for Money
If you are 18 years of age or older, have a valid form of identification, and in good health, you may be eligible to sell plasma. However, there are a few other criteria you must meet before move forward, including:
- The ability to pass a medical examination and history screening
- Testing negative for hepatitis, HIV, and syphilis
- Weighing at least 110 pounds or 50 kilograms
- Maintaining an appropriate plasma protein level of at least 56 or 46 grams for men and women, respectively
- Not being under a physician’s care if you recently had surgery
Preparing for Your Visit
It’s probably not the best idea to walk into the nearest plasma donation center and hope they’ll fit you in for an appointment. A better option: call beforehand, set an appointment, and ask the representative what documentation you’ll need to have on hand when you come in.
Most plasma donation centers will request the following:
- A copy of your driver’s license, government-issued identification card, or another valid form of identification
- Your Social Security number (you can use your paystub or W-2 in place of your Social Security card)
- Documentation that establishes proof of residency (your driver’s license, utility bill, paystub, or W-2 will suffice)
It’s also important to be mindful of what you consume before your visit to the plasma donation center. A few tips to keep in mind.
- Hydrate with at least 16 ounces of water on the day of your appointment. And if possible, drink as much as you can the day before as well.
- Eat lean foods that are rich in protein, will boost your iron levels, and won’t leave you feeling sluggish.
- Fruits and cereals that are rich in iron are also a bonus.
- Refrain from consuming alcohol for at least 24 hours before your appointment.
Bonus Tips: Be sure to get a good night’s rest to avoid facing extreme exhaustion during and after the donation. And don’t forget to pack a healthy snack and drink to replenish your body of depleted reserves once you leave the donation center.
What Happens During the Visit
On the day of the visit, prepare to arrive early to complete paperwork and get acclimated with the donation center. Also, be sure to eat a healthy meal before donating or you may experience unpleasant side effects while donating. Even worse, there’s a chance you won’t pass the pre-screening examination, which means you’ll have to come back another to donate.
But if you do pass the pre-screening, a medical technician will review your medical history to ensure you’re healthy enough to donate.
If everything checks out, you’ll head to the reclining chair and start the donation process which entails the blood draw followed by the separation of the plasma from the blood. And to wrap up the donation, plasmapheresis, or the insertion of red blood cells back into your body will take place.
The entire process shouldn’t span beyond two hours unless you’re a first-time donor. And keep in mind that it could be a bit painful if you have an aversion to needles.
Self-Care Tips Following the Visit
As mentioned earlier, you’ll want to have a healthy snack and drink on hand to consume as soon as you leave the plasma center. Doing so minimizes the onset of side effects, including fatigue and vomiting. Also, you should take it easy until your body is back up and running at the optimal level.
Should You Sell Plasma for Money?
It depends. While donating plasma can make a difference in the lives of others with major health issues and help you earn some extra cash, you should be comfortable with the safety implications and aware of the possible side effects before deciding to move forward.
Wondering if it’s safe to donate plasma? That’s a valid concern considering the negative stigma that is sometimes attached to this side gig. However, “donating plasma is relatively safe, but [you] may experience side effects,” according to Medical News Today.
Simply put, if you can pass the pre-screening and medical exam required to become a donor, you shouldn’t experience any major health complications when donating plasma. But there are some side possible effects to be mindful of.
Possible Side Effects
There’s a chance you won’t experience any side effects when donating plasma. But in the event you do, they will more than likely fall into one of the following categories, as noted by Medical News Today:
- Dizziness, fainting, fatigue, and lightheadedness
- Slight discomfort, bruising, discoloration, swelling, or tenderness at the injection site
- The risk of a localized allergic reaction from the disinfecting solution used before the initial blood draw
- The risk of infection at the site of the injection.
- A citrate reaction, which could cause numbness or a tingling sensation in the fingers, nose or mouth.
- An arterial puncture, nerve injury or irritation of the nerve (which causes sharp pain)
When To Expect Compensation for Your Donation
Unlike some side gigs that require you to wait around to be paid, plasma donation centers pay you right away. This means that as soon as you’re finished donating and your visit comes to an end, you can expect to receive a prepaid debit card or rewards points that can be swapped for cash.
How to Find a Plasma Donation Center Near You
You can use this handy tool from DonatingPlasma.org to find a plasma donation center near you There’s also a comprehensive list below of reputable plasma donation centers throughout the nation to help you get started with your search.
Quick Note: When narrowing down your options, be sure the center has licensure from the International Quality Plasma Program (IQPP) and is perceived in a positive light, as evidenced by donor reviews.
Reputable Plasma Donation Centers
|Donation Center||Locations||Donations Permitted Per Week||Monthly
|Forms of Compensation||Bonuses|
|ADMA BioCenters||Georgia||Two||$400||Cash Card||First-time donors: $50 bonus for the first five donations (must be made within 30 days)|
|Biolife Plasma Services||Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nevada, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming||Two||Varies by location||BioLife Debit Card||Varies by location|
|Biotest Plasma Center||Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Nebraska, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas||Two||Varies by location||Biotest re-loadable MasterCard debit card||Promotions vary by location.
Donors are also eligible for referral bonuses.
|BPL Plasma||Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Florida, Illinois, Kentucky, Maine, Missouri, New Mexico, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Texas||Two||Varies by location||Prepaid Debit Card||Donors are eligible for referral fees or up to $15 per person (limit 3 referrals) and monthly bonuses.|
|B Positive||Maryland, New Jersey||Two||$500 or more||B Positive Visa debit card||Donors receive a bonus each time they refer-a-friend.|
|CSL Plasma||Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin||Two||$400||CSL Plasma Reloadable Debit Card
iGive Rewards Program
|CSL Plasma offers bonuses to first-time donors.
Current donors are also eligible to participate in a rewards program.
|GCAM Plasma||Arizona, California, Idaho, Indiana, Texas, Washington||Two||$240||Prepaid debit card||Not applicable|
|Grifols Plasma||Alabama, Arkansas, Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, North Carolina, Nevada, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Washington, Wisconsin||Two||Varies by location||Prepaid debit card||Donors are invited to participate in the Buddy Bonus referral program to earn even more money.|
|The Interstate Companies||Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Maryland, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Texas, Wisconsin||Two||Varies by location||Prepaid debit card||Not applicable|
|KED Plasma||Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Nebraska, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, South Carolina, Texas||Two||Varies by location||Wirecard Prepaid Card||Not applicable|
|Octapharma Plasma||Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, Nevada, New Jersey, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennesee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Washington, Wisconsin||Two||$400||Octapharma Plasma prepaid debit card||Donor bonuses vary by location. u
Octapharma Plasma also offers a customer loyalty program (OPI Rewards+), and donors can take advantage of special promotions that change monthly.
|Physicians Plasma Alliance||California, Tennessee||Varies by location||Up to $500||Prepaid debit card||Varies by location|
The Bottom Line
Selling plasma for money may seem like an ideal side hustle if you’re looking for fast cash to make it to your next payday or are saving up for a big financial goal. As long as you’re in good health, plasma donation centers make it easy to beef up your wallet and reward first-timers and those who are loyal donors over time. And if you’re aware of the risks and are willing to take the proper steps to prepare for the visit, you should be in good hands.