Short Answer: While it does vary by location, BioLife generally pays between $20 and $50 per visit for plasma donations, and you can usually donate twice a week.
Below we’ve outlined the details on donating plasma at BioLife, one of the largest plasma collection agencies in the United States. To obtain this information, we consulted the BioLife website and Facebook page.
What Is Plasma Donation?
Plasma cannot be created in a laboratory; it can only be sourced from healthy humans. We all need plasma to function and some people need plasma from outside donors because their own bodies can’t produce healthy plasma due to blood disorders, immune system issues, or other health complications. Healthy adults can easily replace donated plasma over the course of a few days.
If you’ve ever donated whole blood, plasma donation is a very similar process. Some plasma can be extracted from a whole blood donation (recovered plasma), but not as much as when the automated plasmapheresis process is used (source plasma). The automated process sounds complicated, but it simply involves both the removal of blood and return of blood components to the donor.
The BioLife website outlines a straightforward explanation of the plasma donation process.
Who Is Eligible to Donate Plasma?
Potential donors must be at least 18 years old, weigh at least 110 pounds (see our research on where you can weigh yourself for free), and feel well on the day of donation. Donors will also need to provide photo ID and proof of a permanent local address. Our related research on donating blood for money includes a list of rules and conditions for donating plasma.
For details about the eligibility requirements at BioLife, review the guidelines on their website.
How Much Does BioLife Pay for Plasma Donation?
The exact amount BioLife pays for plasma donation varies by location and donor, but it is typically about $20 for your first visit and $30-$50 for your second visit within the week. (BioLife recognizes a week as being Monday through Thursday.) With two donations a week, that comes to around $200 to $280 per month.
Compensation also varies based on how frequently individuals donate and on the promotions that a particular donation center is running at any given time. Contact your local BioLife donation center for specific compensation details for that location.
How Does BioLife Compensate Donors?
At BioLife, donors are paid with a prepaid BioLife Debit Card. This is a Mastercard-branded debit card that can be used at any store that accepts Mastercard. It is not a credit card, so donors cannot charge more than the balance available on the card. The BioLife Debit Card can be used at an ATM to withdraw or deposit cash. Donors can always check the balance of a BioLife prepaid card on the Wirecard website or choose to receive text messages about their current balance.
Fees may apply to withdraw cash from an ATM, to transfer money to a bank account, or to make a purchase with the card. An Account Maintenance Fee of $3 is charged monthly if you do not receive a payment or perform a transaction for 90 days or more. For specific information about the fees associated with a BioLife Debit Card, donors will need to contact Wirecard.
If you no longer want to use your prepaid debit card, you’ll need to run the balance down to $0 in order to avoid paying a monthly fee. Inactivity fees will not be levied against accounts with a $0 balance.
Is BioLife Compensation Taxable Income?
While BioLife and other plasma donation centers may not send a form for taxes, plasma donation compensation is considered taxable income and should be reported on all taxes. The easiest way to report these earnings is to list it under “Miscellaneous/Other Reportable Income” each year.
Is It Safe to Donate Plasma? Is It Painful?
Overall, donating plasma is a very low-risk procedure, and you will be screened before donating to make sure you are able to donate safely. The phlebotomists also take special care to use the right needles and follow the proper procedures to avoid pain or discomfort for the donors.
Donors may feel slightly weak after plasma donation, but this can be minimized by following the health guidelines for donation. These recommendations include increasing protein and iron intake and consuming plenty of fluids both before and after the donation process. Large meals are not necessary before donation, but meals should be healthy and balanced. Taking a multivitamin is also recommended for donors who may be low in iron levels.
It is also important to note that very hot or very cold beverages should be avoided immediately before donation, because the temperature of the drink can alter body temperature temporarily, affecting an individual’s ability to donate. Fatty foods, smoking, and alcohol should be avoided before and after donation days. Getting a suitable amount of rest is also beneficial for plasma donors in order to feel energized on a daily basis.
Why Should Plasma Donors Choose BioLife?
BioLife plasmapheresis centers follow strict professional guidelines to ensure the highest standards of safety and reliability. BioLife voluntarily follows the regulations and standards of the International Quality Plasma Program (IQPP), which is part of the Plasma Protein Therapeutics Association (PPTA).
BioLife also complies with all state and federal guidelines, including those defined by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Find out more about the safety precautions BioLife is taking.
Donors at BioLife can expect to earn around $20 to $50 per visit. With two donations a week, that comes to about $200 to $280 per month. For many, plasma donation is a good way to earn extra money while helping those in need. If you’re interested in donating plasma through BioLife, you can register as a donor online, or find a local donation center.
For additional plasma collection options, see our research on plasma donation centers near you and high paying plasma donation centers. We also have the details on how much plasma donation pays at Interstate Blood Bank, CSL Plasma, Biotest Plasma Centers, KEDPLASMA, and Biomat USA.