How to Donate Blood for Money and Earn $500 per Month

Did you know that donated blood is usually sold? Although most blood banks are nonprofits, the Red Cross and others often sell donated blood. The Red Cross alone sells about $2 billion worth of blood each year. Part of the money these organizations gain from selling blood is used to cover costs associated with blood testing and processing, as well as employee salaries.

Every time you donate, you give roughly one pint of blood. A single pint of blood sells for $180 to $300. You don’t have to give your blood away just to let a company get paid instead of you — at many blood banks, you can ask to receive payment for the blood you donate. Payments range from $10 to $60 per donation.

Selling your blood or plasma is not just a way to earn a little side income. People all over the world rely on the generosity of plasma donors whose valuable plasma proteins treat rare, chronic diseases. This article explains where to go, how to donate blood for money, how much you can get paid, what it’s like to give blood, whether blood donation money is considered taxable income, and more.

How Much Money Can You Earn Donating?

People usually talk about donating blood, but it’s what’s in your blood that matters: plasma. When you donate, it’s the plasma that most blood banks want. Plasma is about 90% water, while the other 10% is made up of salts, enzymes, antibodies, and proteins. You can legally donate plasma as often as twice per week, but some blood banks may have a stricter limit.

Prices for donating plasma vary. You can generally expect to receive about $30 per donation at most blood banks, but payments may range anywhere from $10 to $60 per donation. Blood banks usually pay you right after you donate blood, either via cash or prepaid debit card.

You can’t make donating plasma a full-time job, but it can be a reliable source of side income. If you find a blood bank in your area that pays $60 per donation and allows you to donate twice per week, you could earn up to about $500 per month, or about $6,000 per year. However, given the payment range and differing policies on donation frequency, it’s safer to assume you may earn around $80 to $240 per month.

All blood types (A, B, AB, and O) are paid the same amount, with one exception: If you have Rh-negative blood, you may be paid more than Rh-positive donors, since Rh-negative blood is rarer than Rh-positive blood.

The consensus from blood banks is that since you’re “donating,” any compensation you earn isn’t taxable income. If your donations were considered taxable, the blood bank would need to get your Social Security number and send you a W-9. As long as this doesn’t happen, you can be sure the income is not taxable.

Who’s Eligible to Donate Blood?

If you are between the ages of 18 and 65 and weigh more than 110 pounds (see our article to find out where you can weigh yourself for free), you’ve met the first two requirements for donating blood. You’ll also need to be in generally good health and will have to do some sort of physical examination at the blood bank before your first donation. Requirements vary slightly by state and by donation center.

You are ineligible to donate blood if you:

  1. Have or have had certain medical conditions:
    • those who are HIV-positive
    • those who have had hepatitis after their 11th birthday
    • those who have had babesiosis or Chagas disease
    • those who have risk factors for or a blood relative with Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease
  2. Take or have taken certain medications:
    • those who take a blood clotter
    • those who have taken etretinate (Tegison) for psoriasis
    • those who take isotretinoin, a drug used to treat severe acne, commonly referred to as Accutane, Claravis, Amnesteem, Absorica, Myorisan, or Zenatane.
    • those who have ever had drug injections not prescribed by a doctor (think illegal drugs or steroids)
  3. Have certain travel experiences:
    • those who have visited a malaria-risk country recently (See the this page of the CDC website for specific details if you have traveled or lived in a malaria-risk country.)
    • those who have received a blood transfusion in the UK or France between 1980 and the present
    • those who have spent significant time outside of the country recently
  4. Fall into one of these other categories:
    • those who have exchanged sex for money or drugs
    • those who have gotten a tattoo or piercing in the last 12 months (This rule may not apply in all states.)

Keep in mind that there are some potential disadvantages to blood donation including bruising, continued bleeding, physical weakness, dizziness, loss of consciousness, and pain. For may donors and sellers, the side effects of donation are mild and are outweighed by the opportunity to help people (and, in some cases, make a little money). However, before donating, it’s best to consider your own well-being and whether you have had particularly strong side effects after having blood drawn in the past.

Where to Donate Blood for Money

There are more than 400 licensed and certified plasma collection centers located in the United States. Each center may have slightly different rules about age requirements and additional medical requirements, such as brief physical exams or drug tests. Please note: Not all plasma donation centers offer compensation to donors. See our article for the list of plasma donation centers near you.

What to Expect When Donating Blood for Money

Typically, you do not need an appointment to donate plasma. You will have to bring the following with you:

  • Current photo I.D.
  • Social Security or Border Crossing ID
  • Proof of local address

Once you arrive, you’ll go through the following sequence of events:

  1. A donation center associate will greet you and check your identification. If it is your first visit, you will receive a physical examination from a medical professional.
  2. A technician will take a blood sample from your finger.
  3. You’ll complete a donor history questionnaire.
  4. If you’re determined eligible to donate plasma, you’ll be taken to the donation area.
  5. A technician will prepare your arm by wiping it with antiseptic. Then, he or she will insert the needle and start drawing blood. When the needle is inserted, you may feel some initial discomfort. But once the needle is in, you shouldn’t feel any pain.
  6. While the blood is drawn, plasma is separated from other blood components, and red blood cells will be returned to your body. The whole process takes two hours on your first visit and approximately an hour and a half for subsequent visits.
  7. After completing a successful donation, you’ll receive compensation for your time. The amount and form of compensation will vary by agency and individual donation center, but donors are typically paid with a prepaid, reloadable card.

Before you head to your appointment, you should eat a healthy meal (stay away from too many fats) and drink two extra glassfuls of water. Donating can leave you more susceptible to dehydration.

Right after your donation, you may feel a bit dizzy. Make sure to eat some food, drink plenty of water, and relax for a bit. Most donation centers will offer doughnuts, cookies, juice, water, and other treats to help you re-energize. Leave your bandage on for at least four or five hours after your blood draw. If your arm is a bit sore, you can take acetaminophen or ice the area. You should feel completely normal in a day or two, or even sooner.

In Summary

Now you know how to donate blood for money. If you’re eligible, donating plasma can be a great way to earn a little side income and feel like you’re helping people at the same time. You can earn up to about $500 per month selling plasma, but will more typically earn between $80 and $240 per month. But, please note, not all plasma donation centers compensate donors. For example, the Red Cross relies solely on volunteers. You can find donation centers nationwide, with KEDPlasma, CSL Plasma, and BioLife Plasma being some of the biggest. Many companies have multiple locations and work in multiple states.

For more information on medical donations, see our articles on how much you can get paid for donating sperm, donating eggs, and donating hair.

Leave a Comment

238 comments

  • where can I donate my blood in Mumbai for money?my age is 18.blood group is AB positive. how much will I get paid?

  • Please where in nigeria can one donate his blood and how much will you paid if you donate your blood

  • Hi my name is Tia, I’m interested in donating for 500 a week. Where can I go to donate? I live in broward county.

    • Hi Tia,

      We get so many comments that we can’t reply to every location specific request, sorry! But, you can use the find a center link under each donation company to search for their donation centers and check for one near you. I did a search for zip code 33009 and found that BioTest Plasma and CSL Plasma both have centers nearby.

  • I can donate my blood because I really need help with cash ,I have to pay my debt to bank,so please tell me the kind way to donate and earn.

  • Hello, I am from Italy and travel to US quite often (usually I spent 150 days/year in the US).
    I am a blood donor in Italy but, over there, I am allowed to donate only once every 3 month. Also, I have to wait 30 days I am back in Italy, before I can make a donation, which happen only twice a year. I was wondering if I can donate my blood in the US, as well so I can make more donations..
    Thank you

    • Hi Carlo,

      The FDA has deferrals in place for individuals who traveled overseas. According to the FDA, ineligible donors are those who “have spent five years or more in Europe (including the United Kingdom) cumulatively from 1980 to the present.”

      • Thank you. So my blood is considered ok in Italy but not here in the US. Feel sorry I can’t give more blood as there is always need.

  • This article was very helpful to me. I went to CSL plasma in hazel crest il. I made $270 in the month of August. As someone who works a part-time minium wage job this extra money will really come in handy. I recommend that people drink a sports drink immediately after donating. I make my own from a recipe I found online. I expect to make over $300 in September because they are offering a $80 bonus on your 8th donation of the month.

    • Hi Lesliedian,

      Thank you for the advice, and for sharing that they are offering an 8th-month bonus at your location.

    • Hi Denise,

      In the section of this article — “Age Requirements for Donating Blood” — you can use the links after each plasma company to find their page detailing donor requirements. Their websites will also have a page showing donation center locations and contact info. You can also reference our article specifically on the topic of where to donate blood: Plasma Center near Me: Where to Donate Plasma for Money (The Most $). That article has more detailed information on individual plasma donation centers and direct links to their center locators.

  • I have been donating to the local blood bank (OneBlood) for over 30 years. Just recently I got the “It’s time to donate” email once again. During a casual conversation with a co-worker I was told that the (whole) blood that is collected is sold for in excess of $500 per pint. I’ve donated 13+ gallons because I wanted to help out others and make a difference. It appears that I am simply making someone else rich.

    I am taking a pause to decide whether to halt donating forever.

    • Hi Pete,

      Your coworker was right, donated blood does typically get sold. If you want to keep donating but the idea of your donated blood being sold for a pretty potent doesn’t sit well with you, try looking into the companies featured on our list and donating for compensation instead of for free.

    • Trust me, you are NOT “making someone else rich” by donating blood to a NON-PROFIT blood service like the Red Cross. In order to make sure the blood is safe for the sick people who need it, it must go through a lot of testing (hepatitis, HIV,etc), and it also gets processed into separate components — red cells for transfusion, platelets for transfusion, plasma and cryoprecipitate for transfusion; each donation can help several people. Many many people are involved in this testing and processing — those people don’t work for free, it is their occupation to make sure the blood supply is safe and plentiful; so of course the blood components are sold to hospitals for patients to use. That is not a bad thing! Shame on this article for misleading people! The thing to remember is that places like the Red Cross are NON-PROFIT — they can only charge a certain amount to recoup their costs and pay their employees. You are indeed a HUGE help to sick people by donating blood. The plasma that Plasma Centers collect and pay you for is mostly used to make NON-TRANSFUSABLE items.

      • Dear JoAnne,
        Thank you for your comment. You are indeed correct that organizations like the Red Cross are non-profits and that when they sell blood donations to hospitals, some of the money they make is used to cover the cost of blood tests, processing, and salaries. We really appreciate your input and have included it in the article.

        The article has been updated to reflect this information.

      • The cost of testing is passed on to the hospital. Blood procurement business can make money off of storage, testing, transport… for people who donate platelets, they can donate 3 units at a time, which the company can charge a premium since it’s from a single donor- that triple unit of platelet brings in $2400. However for items that are transfused directly into another person, payment is prohibited by FDA guidelines. The plasma that people sell is not transfused directly into patients, rather it is transformed into various therapeutic products, thus payment is allowed… but the plasma banks are selling it for ten times what they pay their donors.

        • Hello, Shawn! We have not added this information to the article since our focus is on the donation process rather than how donations are used/sold; however, we appreciate your comment. Thank you again for sharing your knowledge!

    • Hi Connie,

      Each time you donate, you’ll donate a pint of blood. Typically you’ll earn about $30 for each donation, though the full range of possible payment is about $10-$60. Payments don’t vary based on how many times you’ve already donated, so even if it’s your first time, you can expect around $30. Most people can donate up to twice a week, which can amount to eight donations per month. That means you could make approximately $240 per month.

    • Hi there!

      A finger prick is an easy way for your doctor to quickly test your glucose level.

    • They are testing the hematocrit which is a ratio of cells to liquid, so low hematocrit means you need to drink more water

  • Can you get paid more for having gotten certain shots such as having the anthrax shot series. Or small pox.

    • Hi Dustin,

      Yes! In many cases, some blood plasma donation centers do pay more if you’ve gotten certain shots. Here is a good example of that.

  • Hello,

    I live in Ontario, Canada and I am close to both New York State and Pennsylvania. Would I be able to donate in multiple states to double my plasma giving income? How long does it take before you can donate again?

    • Hi Burt,

      Plasma donations centers within a certain proximity of one another communicate regularly with one another to verify that donors are complying with donating policies, including frequency of donations. The FDA has guidelines in place for donating plasma to protect your health, so it’s important to abide by these guidelines.

    • Hi, Burt!
      The recommended plasma donation schedule is twice a week, with a waiting period of at least 24 hours between the two donation days. Even if you’re in great physical condition, your body needs time to recover and replenish its supply of plasma. But, by donating on the same two days each week, because of the way your donation days fall during any given month, you could donate a maximum of 8 or 9 times each month.
      Biotest has their own way of defining the donor’s week: If your first donation day is, for example, a Tuesday, and your second donation for that week falls on a Friday, then when you return to donate the next week, you can’t come in earlier than Tuesday for your first donation. In other words, once your ‘donation week’ has been defined as starting on a certain day, you can’t start donating on an earlier day in the next consecutive week.
      Biotest allows the donors to go online to schedule their donation days/times, which is really helpful and works better for me than being a ‘walk-in’ (donor without a scheduled appointment). Check out the website for your local donation center—you may find coupons that net you extra compensation for your time (you are actually being compensated for your time, not the plasma you are donating), plus you will find information about becoming a regular plasma donor or any special programs that pay additional compensation.
      Allow extra time for your first appointment, because you will likely have a physical and then you’ll be allowed to donate if you pass that. Be sure that you are hydrated and have something healthy to eat before donations. (I also hydrate and have a protein snack after donating plasma—you’ll figure out what works best for you.) I hope you find that donating plasma is a rewarding experience.

    • Hi, Norma! We have an article here specifically about donating plasma (rather than blood, but as this article explained, do be paid to donate “blood” you have to donate plasma). Out article on plasma donation provides much more information about specific centers that will buy plasma, and where they are located! I hope that helps!

    • Hi Carl,

      There is a OneBlood Donation Center located in Delray Beach! You can read more about donating your blood plasma at OneBlood here. Best of luck!

  • Can you donate plasma if you have had cancer. I had breast cancer and have been in remission for,almost 2 years.

    • Hi Cheryl,

      We found that most people who’ve had cancer cannot donate plasma for five years following cancer treatment. People who had leukemia, lymphoma, or Hodgkin disease are usually never allowed to donate blood or plasma, regardless of the years since their cancer treatment.

  • Hi,
    Do you know of any donation centers in Delaware that will pay for plasma. I have been looking, but I am unable to find any.

    • Hi Dave,

      I researched this for you and was unable to find any donation centers in your state that pay for plasma donation. I am not sure how close you are to Philadelphia or Baltimore, but there are quite a few in these locations.

  • So how do I got about in regards of gettingng paid for the blood? I just ask them randomly? Sorry it seems unclear to me.

    • Find a donation center that’s near you, and then call them to make an appointment. They will let you know what you will need to do or bring to your appointment. They can also provide you with information on payment.

    • Hi Joey,

      The best way to find a location near you is to click on the links provided in the article. They are located in the Most Popular Places to Donate Blood throughout the United States section. Good luck!

  • Hi I live in Taunton MA and need to know where I can donate blood near me for cash. I cant seem to find one. And I tried the bloodbath finder and the only one near me that keeps coming up is red cross in raynham ma but I didn’t think red cross pays for ure blood and I need money ASAP for rent currently jobless and looking. Thanks

    • Jen,

      Unfortunately, due to the volume of comments we receive, we are not able to help with specific, individual requests. If you’ve used the blood bank finder and haven’t come up with a location near you, it’s possible that there are no centers quite close to you. I do see a Viacord in Cambridge, but that might be too far for you to go. Sorry I couldn’t bring you better news!

    • Hi Jen,

      If you’re interested in donating blood or bone marrow for money, please check out LeukoLab.com. We just opened in Quincy and are actively recruiting for healthy individuals to join our Paid Donor Program.

      First step is to fill out a New Donor Screening Form on our website and if you qualify one of our staff will contact you over the phone to discuss next steps.

      We pay at $35-200 for whole blood depending on volume taken; we pay between $200-450 for bone marrow; and we pay $200-350 for white cells (as well as a special, mobilized white cell collection that pays up to $1,600 but is very difficult to qualify for).

      We hope to hear from you!

        • Ameliha, LeukoLab in Quincy is located in the Crown Colony Office Park at 500 Congress St, Suite 1-A.

          Our CA location is in Alameda at 1301 Harbor Bay Parkway, Suite 200.

          First step is to fill out a New Donor Screening Form online to determine eligiblity.

          Thanks for your interest in LeukoLab!

          Cheers,
          Josh