How Much Does BioLife Pay for Plasma Donation? Answered

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.

In Summary

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.

17 comments

    • Lindsey Desmet says:
      First Quarter Finance logostaff

      Hello, Lisa! Yes, you can usually donate with Rh-negative blood as long as you meet the other medical screening requirements. Some plasma donation centers (including Biotest, KEDPLASMA, and Grifols) have specific programs for those with Rh-negative blood, which use their donations to help prevent pregnancy complications for Rh-negative women. Best of luck with your donation!

  • Jim Trost sr says:

    New to this and not computer savvy. Could I just walk in to get questions answered?

    • Lindsey Desmet says:
      First Quarter Finance logostaff

      Hello, Jim! BioLife Donation Centers typically require an appointment. You may be able to walk in and speak with someone, but it would be best to contact your local plasma donation center by phone. You can visit the BioLife Plasma Services website and click on your state to find your local donation center’s phone number. Best of luck!

  • I’m a 62 year old male in very good condition. Had a heart attack back in 2008, but other than that and typical heart medications, I’m quite fit and healthy. Does age and medication prevent this type of donation?

    If not, what could be the side effects, if any, after the donation? Would the donation prevent me from driving a car soon after?

    • Rebecca Turley says:
      First Quarter Finance logostaff

      Hi Harvy,

      Your past heart attack and current heart medications will not likely disqualify you from donating plasma at BioLife. According to their site, “In most cases, taking medications does not disqualify you from donating plasma. Your acceptance into the plasmapheresis program mostly depends on the type and severity of the medical condition(s) for which you are being treated.”

  • Is there a higher compensation rate if you are Rh negative? I thought I read that somewhere, so could that be the difference in compensation rates?

    • Rebecca Turley says:
      First Quarter Finance logostaff

      Hi Mary,

      We reached out to Biolife and while we haven’t heard back from them yet, we found that some donation companies do pay those who are Rh negative higher rates. We will let you know when Biolife provides us with an answer.

    • Rebecca Turley says:
      First Quarter Finance logostaff

      Hi Mary,

      Just wanted to provide you with a solid answer to your question. We received word back from BioLife and found that “BioLife does not pay extra for different types of plasma. All source plasma is paid out the same.”

  • Hi today was my 4th donation at biolife in Hayden an I know the first time was 20 witch I can understand my second time I only received 19 witch was confusing an my last two times I recived 20 again I’m just curious to why all my friends that go there, same donation center recive 50 every time some of my friends have been receiving since day one. Am I doing something wrong?

    • Rebecca Turley says:
      First Quarter Finance logostaff

      Hi Malynia,

      There’s often some confusion about how much donors are compensated. We contacted BioLife, who told us that the first donation in a week is usually $20, and the second donation in a week can be anywhere from $30-$50 (exact amounts vary based on location). They consider one week to be Monday through Thursday. We updated the article to clear up the compensation difference between a first and second weekly visit.

      In Hayden, Idaho, the second donation in one week is $50, which tells me that perhaps the other donors you talked to were referring to their second weekly donation. It sounds like if your schedule permits, donating twice in one week can be very lucrative!

  • I currently have just signed up to donate at the Oshkosh WI donation center. If I live in that town for college, but don’t have my name on any of the bills that get mailed there, how could I prove my address? Is this one of the places that’s an exception since its a college town? I’m a new donor and never done this before so I wouldn’t want to go there and then not be able to donate.

    • Sarah Quinn says:
      First Quarter Finance logostaff

      Amanda,

      You’ve asked a great question. Unfortunately, due to the volume of comments that we receive, we’re not able to help with specific, individual requests. I recommend calling the Oshkosh, WI BioLife location and asking them whether or not you’ll need to bring proof of address. When I’ve been in a similar situation myself, I find that bringing in a signed rental contract works too. Since you are in a college town, I imagine that BioLife will have answered this question for students like yourself in a similar situation. I hope this helps!

  • How long should I wate between each donation. And if I can donate twice a week does that mean wate 7 day from my first visit or 7 days from second visit that week

    • Hillary M. Miller says:
      First Quarter Finance logostaff

      Hi Keith,

      Different plasma donation centers and agencies may have slightly varying rules about the length of time that you need to wait between donations, but typically when donating plasma, you can donate a total of twice per week, with at least 48 hours between each donation — which most commonly means you can donate again seven days after your first donation in a given week (assuming it’s been 48 hours since the second donation). It’s a good idea to contact the specific location you’re interested in visiting if you have any further questions. I hope this helps!

    • Hillary M. Miller says:
      First Quarter Finance logostaff

      Hi Josh,

      BioLife doesn’t publish specific compensation rates online, as the amounts vary among different donation centers. To find out more details, you can contact your local donation center; contact information is provided on the BioLife website when you type in your state and choose the nearest center. I hope this helps!