Short Answer: Octapharma pays plasma donors with a prepaid reloadable debit card. First-time donors can earn as much as $50 for each of their first five donations. Repeat donors can earn anywhere from around $15 to $25 per donation, depending on body weight. Certain fees, such as ATM withdrawal or transaction fees, may apply when using your card. To maximize earnings, you can take advantage of Octapharma’s donor promotions as well as its OPI Rewards+ loyalty program, where you can earn points toward gift cards and special sweepstakes. For more details on donating plasma to Octapharma, including how to check your debit card balance and maximize your rewards, see below.
The Octapharma First-Time Plasma Donation Process
Your first time donating plasma to Octapharma can take up to two hours. While the procedure may vary slightly from one location to the next, it will usually look something like this:
- Checking in with a government-issued photo ID, Social Security number, and proof of current address
- Watching a short video on the plasma donation process
- Compiling a medical history, including an in-depth health questionnaire
- Discussing confidential, informed consent and reviewing the plasma donation process
- Running blood tests
- Entering the donation area
- Having a sterile needle inserted into your vein by a phlebotomist (most donors report that they barely feel anything)
- Relaxing while your blood cycles through sterile equipment that separates your plasma from other blood components
The part where the needle is actually in your arm typically takes about 30-55 minutes.
Most places will provide drinks and snacks to help your body bounce back from the donation. Remember to drink plenty of fluids before and after the procedure to avoid dehydration and minimize potential aftereffects. It’s recommended that donors avoid any strenuous activity for the rest of the day, but most people feel 100% again less than 24 hours after donating plasma.
What Is Plasma?
Plasma is one of the several components that make up blood. About 45% of whole blood is made up of red cells, white cells, and platelets. These are suspended in plasma, which makes up the other 55% of whole blood. Plasma is a liquid made up of approximately 92% water, 7% vital proteins, and 1% mineral salts, sugars, fats, hormones, and vitamins. Plasmapheresis is the process of collecting plasma. It involves cycling a donor’s blood through sterile equipment that separates plasma from other blood components. The apparatus collects the plasma and returns the other blood components to the body of the donor.
All parts of blood are useful. However, plasma has special properties. Plasma maintains blood pressure and delivers critical proteins for blood clotting and immunity. It also helps the body maintain a proper pH (acid-base) balance, which is critical for proper cell function. Additionally, plasma is a very safe blood product regarding blood-borne viruses. All plasma donors go through the same type of initial screening as regular blood donors. After the intake screening, plasma goes through an additional purification process that removes viruses before being broken down and made into medical therapies and treatments.
Another key characteristic of plasma is its shelf life. Compared with most other blood components, plasma remains usable for a long time after donation; up to one year when frozen, compared to just 21-35 days for refrigerated whole blood.
Octapharma Plasma Donor Requirements
Individuals looking to sell plasma must meet certain criteria in order to participate. Donors at Octapharma must:
- Be in good health
- Be between the ages of 18 and 66
- Have a healthy arm vein for drawing blood
- Weigh at least 110 pounds
- Have no ear piercings, body piercings, tattoos, or permanent makeup that were done in the previous 12 months
If you have any specific questions about whether a medical condition affects your eligibility to donate, please contact the nearest Octapharma donation center. Qualified individuals may donate up to a maximum of twice a week, with at least 48 hours between plasma donations.
Octapharma Plasma Payment Method
Octapharma pays donors in the form of a reloadable prepaid debit card. You’ll receive the card following your first successful donation, and it will be reloaded after every repeat donation. Donors should expect some fees with Octapharma’s prepaid debit card; namely, ATM withdrawal and transaction fees that may be as high as a few dollars. Wirecard, the company that issues Octapharma’s prepaid debit cards, does not publicly disclose these fees, so you may wish to contact a representative there for more information.
How to Check Your Card Balance
To check your prepaid rewards card balance, you can either call Wirecard at (866) 326-8689 or register your card online. After you create a login, you can view your card balance in your account.
Octapharma also offers regular donor promotions that provide you with the chance to win prizes or make even more money through bonuses. For example, as of this writing, new donors have the chance to earn up to $400 in a month.
How Much Can You Earn for Donating to Octapharma?
The amount paid for plasma often varies by geographic region and demand, in addition to how often you donate. As stated above, you cannot donate more than twice per week. Generally speaking, new donors can make up to $250 for their first five Octapharma donations. After that, compensation levels are based on weight:
- Donors weighing between 110 and 175 pounds are paid around $20 for their first donation of the week and around $15 for the second
- Donors weighing over 175 pounds are paid around $25 for the first donation of the week and around$15 for the second
More plasma can be extracted from a donor with a higher weight, which is why Octapharma pays these individuals more for their donation. We contacted Octapharma to obtain this payout information, but please note that these are baseline figures only; rates can vary among different donation centers.
The Octapharma Rewards Program
OPI Rewards+ is Octapharma’s customer loyalty program. At least 48 hours after your second successful donation, you can register online for the program. You’ll earn points for every donation, where one donation equates to one point. Those points go toward tiered rewards, including:
- Express passes (less time in the waiting room on a subsequent visit)
- e-Gift cards
- Special sweepstakes
You can accumulate points from January to December, but keep in mind that the points reset every year. There is no carryover of unused points into the next year.
If you join the OPI Rewards+ program in the middle of the year but have donated to Octapharma before joining, you will earn points for all of your donations since the previous January, as well as any future donations you make within the calendar year. If points for earlier donations are missing from your account after you join, you can contact OPI Rewards+ at support@OPIrewards.zendesk.com for assistance.
Other Ways to Earn Rewards Points
Other ways to earn points include referring donors to Octapharma and participating in special promotions or surveys. You can track your points online from your computer or phone. You can also keep an eye on upcoming rewards promotions through your OPI Rewards+ account.
Octapharma rolled out a revamped rewards program in early 2016. Complaints have come up online about the loyalty program being lackluster. Despite these complaints, the program was and still is very similar to most customer loyalty programs, where the provider wants to promote its business while giving out as little as possible.
As for reviews on donation experiences, reports vary from location to location. One donation center may have stellar reviews on the staff and facilities while another location is universally panned. Some locations have reviews from both sides of the spectrum. Once you find your nearest donation center, it’s worth looking into the reviews for that location to decide if donating at that particular site is right for you. A review site like Yelp can provide you with a basic idea of other people’s experiences at that donation center — but do keep in mind that customer reviews typically trend negative, so consider taking some of those reviews with a grain of salt.
Many people on review sites and social media have weighed in on the payment method used by Octapharma. Namely, donors have complained that the charges to withdraw cash from the card at ATMs are high — often in the neighborhood of around $3 per transaction. Many people recommend getting around this by using the cash back option when purchasing an item at a store. However, transaction fees of a few dollars also apply. It’s worth noting that the use of prepaid debit cards is not unique to Octapharma, and many other plasma collection companies have a comparable system in place for compensating donors.
Octapharma pays donors with a reloadable prepaid debit card. New donors can earn as much as $50 for each of their first five plasma donations. After that, you can expect to earn anywhere from around $15 to $25 per donation depending on your weight. To earn even more money, be sure to take advantage of any donor promotions Octapharma may be running at the time. You can also join Octapharma’s loyalty program, OPI Rewards+, to earn points toward gift cards and sweepstakes entries.
If you’re looking for more details on donating plasma, we’ll help you find other plasma donation centers near you. You can also compare compensation offered at Biotest, Interstate Blood Bank, KEDPLASMA, CSL Plasma, and BioLife — or see our article on plasma donation centers that pay the most.