If you’re in dire need for cash right now, one of the best ways to do so is simply by donating plasma. You can often get cash in hand in as little as a few hours as long as you meet the center’s requirements.
A lot like donating blood, plasma works in a similar way, only that it’s more “involved” since it takes more time and many note that it’s a pinch more uncomfortable since the blood is sent back to your body. Your results will vary, however.
In medical terms, blood plasma is the clear liquid that’s part of your blood which contains your antibodies, enzymes and proteins. It’s considered to be very beneficial to a myriad of patients, including cancer patients, people undergoing, bone marrow transplants, and severe burn patients, to name a few. In donating your plasma, you can help people a lot more than you realize!
If you don’t mind the thought of needles and love the idea of helping someone else in need, then donating plasma may be something to consider.
In this guide, I want to talk about the many ways you can donate plasma, how much you can make and how you can do it no matter where you live.
How to Donate Plasma for Money
How Much Can You Make?
First, let’s talk about how much you can make.
How much you make depends on a few factors such as where you go, how often you go, and where you live.
From my research in contacting a few plasma centers across the United States, I have found that you can make anywhere from $20 to $60+ per session, with the price increasing (or decreasing) the more you do it throughout the month. And, no you cannot go every day to donate, but you can go almost weekly at most centers. I will talk about this later on
For example, this was a picture taken at a local plasma center near me…
As you can see, I could make $50 as a new donor, but as a return donor, I would only receive $20 to $44, dependent upon my weight. Here, I could go every week.
Most sessions only take about one hour, sometimes longer if you have to register for the first time.
So, doing the math, expect to make $20 to $40+ per hour as the donating process itself only takes about 60 minutes. Let it be known that you cannot donate every day as there are restrictions, but it’s not uncommon to make $200 to $300~ a month if you continue to go throughout the month.
TIP: As a bonus tip, always look for coupons as many plasma centers, as odd as this sounds, will offer a bonus if you bring a coupon in. Generally, you can find these coupons on the company’s main website or even searching online. It’s not too hard to find one.
Who Can Do It?
Unfortunately, not everyone can donate plasma, but, don’t worry as most qualify.
Depending on local state laws, most people can qualify as long as you’re older than 18 years old and weigh more than 110 pounds. In many cases, depending on who you use, the center may also have tighter restrictions such as no smoking, a healthy weight, etc. For instance, if you just had a tattoo within the past 12 months, you will have to wait a full year from your tattoo date. It’s best to refer to your center as they all vary.
Generally, as long as you meet the following requirements, you shouldn’t have a problem getting accepted..
- you’re in good health (must pass a health exam)
- don’t do drugs
- have no known health conditions
- weigh more than 110 pounds
- are of legal age but no older than 62 in most cases
- have legal U.S. ID/social security number
Worst case, call your local plasma center and/or visit their website to get more information.
What Is the Procedure Like?
1] Generally, the first time you donate, you will have to answer some routine health questions to make sure you’re a candidate for donation. At this time, a medical professional will measure your vitals, such as your weight, pulse, blood pressure, take a sample of your blood from your finger, and ask for a urine test. This takes about 10-25+ minutes. Depending on the center and your health, you may be able to bypass this step for the next year of donating, but your results will vary.
2] If accepted as a donor, you will then be taken to a private booth, where someone will ask you if you have any further questions as well as have you sign a document.
3] Once comfortable, they will insert a needle into your vein and the process begins. Unlike blood, where it takes only a few minutes to do so, this process can take about an hour to complete. During this time, your blood will run through a machine, essentially separating your plasma and then returning the plasma less blood to your body.
The entire process can take about one hour, however, your first visit could take much longer due to the health screening and paperwork involved.
Plasma Donation Centers Near You
There are a ton of plasma donation centers throughout the United States, many of which are run by larger organizations which I will list below. While the FDA inspects these donation centers, they do not manage them. When choosing a center, always make sure the center you’re visiting is accredited! In doing so, you can be certain you’re dealing with a clean facility that cares about your health.
With that out of the way, here are some of your larger plasma donation centers that may want to work with you…
BioLife Plasma Services
BioLife Plasma Services is said the be the “industry leader in collecting high-quality plasma,” often paying $20+ for your donation. The company seems to have locations in almost every state and has a very in-depth FAQ guide right on their website to answer any questions you may have.
BPL Plasma often holds promotions, wherein they pay up to $50 for your first five visits. Even after that, donors report earning $300 per month on average. They have locations all throughout the United States, all of which you can find right on the main website.
CSL Plasma has a location in almost every state with multiple locations in each. These centers are quite popular in my state (Arizona) and I have personally visited in the past.
CSL Plasma claims you can make up to $400 per month with the payment, much like the many centers I’m going to list, going onto a reloadable prepaid card. A cool perk that this center offers that no other center does is that they reward you with points every time you donate. You can then take these points and redeem them for cash or even merchandise.
Out of all centers I list, they seemed to have the most aggressive rates.
This plasma center notes that you can make up to $200 per month, with all of your compensation loaded onto a Grifols prepaid debit card. Every time you come back, they will simply refill your funds, and there’s no need to bring this card any time you go.
It is said that Interstate Companies pays about $25 to $35 per donation after your first donation, with some donors reporting earnings up to $360 for the month. To become a donor and learn more about locations near you, be sure to follow this link.
KEDPLASMA is primarily located on the east coast, but they do have quite a few locations and are known to pay quite a bit. In one Reddit thread I found, for example, one Redditor mentioned he made about $300 a month here, which seemed to be above average in comparison to the competitors.
Octapharma Plasma is a U.S. based company with more than 80+ donation centers located throughout the United States. To find a location near you, follow this link, scroll down to your state and see if there’s a location. In most states, they appear to have at least one location, so there could be a great chance there’s one nearby.
This company pays you via a prepaid debit card and will add funds anytime you donate, with the pay varying on the location you choose. Be sure to look out for new donor bonuses as they commonly offer them.
Vitalant has locations coast to coast with more than 125+ locations as I type this, most of which are located on the west coast. Now, the thing about Vitalant is that they don’t pay you; rather, they pay you in points, in which you can redeem for freebies such as food, clothing, etc.
This isn’t a company, per se, but this website can help you find a center near you. The centers I mentioned above are your bigger name plasma centers, but just like a restaurant or grocery store, there are a ton of independent centers as well. In using DonatingPlasma.org, you can find IQPP certified center near your home and can make for a great choice if none of the companies above are nearby.
Yelp is another great option that’s good for more than just finding a restaurant. Searching for something along the lines of “plasma donation centers” plus your zip code/city can yield a good amount of results along with reviews. If a center has poor reviews, be sure to read why they are receiving the bad remarks as some people like to complain about things they should have known about ahead of time.
Donating Plasma Questions
How often can you donate?
The American Red Cross states that the best practice is to donate every 28 days, up to 13 times throughout the year. However, this isn’t the law, just a recommendation, as many centers do allow you to donate much more frequently, sometimes as much as twice a week. At most, be prepared to be able to donate up to once a week.
Are there side effects?
As with any medical procedure, there are always side effects to consider. According to Healthline.com, donating plasma is a relatively safe process, however, side effects do exist such as dehydration, dizziness, fatigue, bruising, discomfort and an infection near the injection site, to name a few. Again, your results vary.
Do I need to make an appointment?
From what I read, most centers don’t require that you make an appointment, but it doesn’t hurt to call ahead of time as they all vary. Chances are, however, you won’t need one. Just show up and wait your turn.
What should I bring?
Most centers will just ask for a proof of address, a photo ID and your social security number. Just make sure your name matches the documents and you’re good to go. Once you’re in the system, you may have to just flash your I.D. before donating.
How do I get paid?
Almost all centers are going to pay you in the form of a prepaid credit card. That way, whenever you donate, they can immediately load funds on your card without the need about cashing a check or carrying around cash. Some centers may be different, but be prepared for the prepaid credit card, which is almost as good as cash.
Is it painful?
This is hard to answer because your pain tolerance could be much different than mine. If you have donated blood before, it’s about the same in regards to pain, which, at least to me is minimal. The only part that may seem uncomfortable is during the slight needle prick.
Where does my plasma go?
In many cases, your plasma will go directly to companies that are known to create medical products that help patients who suffer from certain health conditions as mentioned prior. If you’re getting paid, your plasma will not go directly to a person; rather, it will help a company potentially help someone with their product. These blood plasma centers are not the creators. Instead, they take your plasma and flip it for a profit, selling to the medical companies they work with.
Tips to Succeed
According to a CSL Plasma guide I received, here’s what you should keep in mind if you do consider donating plasma…
- ALWAYS eat a good healthy meal before any donation; try to avoid fatty foods 24 hours prior and focus on a low-fat meal
- drink plenty of fluids but avoid caffeine 24 hours prior
- get lots of rest, at least 8+ hours to prepare
- avoid smoking at least one+ hour before donating (some centers won’t take smokers)
- if you’re stressed, it’s best to skip and wait for a better time; the same can be said if you’re sick
- it always takes two donations to use your plasma for life-saving medications as the first donation needs to be studied before they can use you as a candidate
- if you have any needle marks, you must prove that it was blood work related
- if you have a bruise near your donation site, you may not be able to donate
If the thought of needles doesn’t scare you and you have a few hours to spare, then there’s no reason you can’t make $30+ for your time, sometimes much more. It’s not unheard of to make $200, $300 or even $400 for the month as long as you continue to donate.
Of course, you need to be in good health, but as a way to make money doing almost nothing, it’s one to consider if you have a plasma donation center nearby. Just show up, sit back for the hour and let the machine do the work.
If you have ever donated plasma before and/or want to add/edit anything in this guide, then feel free to vent in the comments below.
In the meantime, if you’re interested, contact a local plasma center using the tips above to start earning cash as soon as today.
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