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InstaGC Review: Here’s How Much We Made Completing Surveys and Tasks

InstaGC Featured
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InstaGC is an online rewards site that offers free gift cards and cash for completing surveys and other easy tasks. We tested the platform for a month, earning $5.11 over the course of 3.5 hours. 

This InstaGC review will walk you through everything we learned during our testing period, including which tasks pay the best, the pitfalls to avoid and how to cash-out. 

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InstaGC offers rewards in exchange for completing tasks like surveys, testing apps and watching ads. While it pales in comparison to other reward sites in terms of earnings-per-hour, it is legit and paid us for our effort without problems.

Pros:
  • Offers numerous money-making tasks.
  • You can cash-out with as little as $1.
  • One of the few sites with Instant cash-out options.
  • Offers gift cards, direct deposit, Paypal and Bitcoin payment options.
Cons:
  • Has an outdated interface and some outdated functionality (such as linking to unsecured websites).
  • Frequently glitchy.
  • Our per-hour earning rate was just $1.46.

InstaGC Basics

InstaGC — which means “Instant Gift Card” and has no relationship to Instagram — is owned by Day Online Solutions and has been in operation since 2011.

The site shows its age. There are irrelevant tickers and chat boxes on the right sidebar, as well as links to social media accounts that are hardly ever updated. However, what InstaGC lacks in style, it makes up for in volume of offers. The platform offers a huge quantity of money-making opportunities so that you’ll never run out of tasks to complete.

Specifically, the site features six money-making categories, which we’ll discuss in detail below. You can choose to spread your time out trying them all, or focus on just the most lucrative. (Spoiler: it’s the “Tasks” category.) 

InstaGC is an expansive site with a lot to get used to, but once you understand the layout, you can start earning immediately. 

Five Key Things to Know About InstaGC

InstaGC is like the Grand Central Station of money-making apps: it partners with third-party companies to give you one central hub to earn rewards and redeem points. Here’s what you need to know to get started.

  1. InstaGC is an offer aggregator. The company doesn’t provide its own offers; it allows you to earn rewards from at least 10 different third-party companies. Some of these third parties require separate accounts.
  2. There are six different earning categories. You can take surveys, download apps, complete tasks, visit websites, watch videos, and participate in contests to earn rewards.
  3. You can earn money passively. The ad-watching feature can run in the background of your computer or unused phone. 
  4. There are numerous reward options. You can redeem your reward points for gift cards, cash, Paypal transfers, and even Bitcoin.
  5. You will not get rich with InstaGC. As we note in the section of this article detailing our earnings, our per-hour pay rate was just $1.46. When we excluded passive earning (videos playing in the background) from that calculation, it was just 90 cents per hour. So while InstaGC offers plenty of tasks to keep you busy, there are better-paying options available.  

Six Ways to Earn Money on InstaGC

There are six main methods of earning money on InstaGC. Here’s what happened when we tested them out, and how much we made. 

1. Take Surveys

InstaGC offers one of the least-streamlined platforms among the survey sites that we’ve tested. There are eight different third-party survey companies accessible from your InstaGC dashboard, but you’ll need to set up new profiles specific to each third party in order to take their surveys. That means taking the time to answer similar demographic questions for each.

Additionally, 35% of the surveys I attempted during my testing period either glitched or disqualified me without offering any points. Another 35% were disqualifications that paid a handful of points (usually between 1-5) for my trouble.

That 70% disqualification rate is among the worst we’ve encountered. For comparison, Rakuten Insight had just a 28% disqualification rate during a similar testing period. 

There were also some outright deceptive practices by some of the third party survey sites. One was TheoremReach, which had a feature where you could take a 0-point survey in exchange for a bonus added to any successfully-completed survey within the next hour.

Unfortunately, every time I completed a survey within that period, the promised “bonus” just brought the value of the survey up to the originally-promised number of points. For example, I attempted a survey that was advertised as paying 8 points, but upon completion, the survey paid 7 points with a 1-point bonus (as shown in the screenshot below).

This survey advertised a payout of 8 points, so no bonus was actually applied.
This survey advertised a payout of 8 points, so no bonus was actually applied.

This means I took the 0-point survey for no reason, giving up my time and data for free.

How Much We Earned With InstaGC Surveys

In total, I spent a little over two hours to earn $1.89 through surveys with InstaGC. 

  • Total surveys attempted: 20.
  • Surveys successfully completed: 7.
  • Total points earned: 189 points.
  • Time spent: 133 minutes.
  • Earnings per hour: 87 cents per hour.

Here’s a log of the surveys I attempted, the amount of time each one took, and the results.

Points OfferedEstimated TimeActual TimePoints Earned or Result
4581Disqualified
1686Disqualified
37151637
21101221
18020518
1341Error
743Disqualified
43151843
401133
381033
381112
1443Error
4371
281012
34181734
2152221
13211
1241412
3113
96915
380201Error
170101Error
23071Error

As you can see, some of the surveys I attempted paid less than their advertised amount, and many of the best-paying surveys resulted in errors. 

Read our post on the best survey sites to learn about better options.

2. Download Apps

In terms of money-making opportunities, InstaGC’s “Apps” section has the most potential. Although more than half of the offers shown to me paid 50 cents or less for downloading an app and meeting any additional requirements, a handful paid between $5 and $10. An additional few dozen offered as much as $50.

Paid app downloads are offered through AdGate.
Paid app downloads are offered through AdGate.

I attempted to download four different apps, but ran into a number of problems. 

First, some of the descriptions were misleading or incomplete. In one case, the description said I just needed to sign up and allow tracking for a game app. But when I went to create an account, the app wanted me to apply for a new credit card.

In another case, a poker game app I tried to download wanted my full Social Security number as part of the application. 

I also ran into some glitches when trying to download different apps. Sometimes, my browser warned me about security issues with the apps I wanted to download and wouldn’t let me proceed. This is likely because some of the third-party services are running on unsecured platforms (i.e., using http:// as opposed to https://).

Here’s a screenshot of one of the errors I encountered:

InstaGC referred me to an unsecured website on multiple occasions.
InstaGC referred me to an unsecured website on multiple occasions.

How Much We Earned With Downloads

Because I spent a lot of time trying to download unsecured apps or ones with surprising and complicated requirements, my “earnings per hour” for this category was even lower than for surveys. 

If I had focused only on some of the more point-rewarding or familiar and trusted apps, I might have earned more. 

  • Number of app downloads attempted: 4.
  • Number of apps successfully downloaded: 1.
  • Time spent attempting to download, plus completing requirements: 17 minutes.
  • Total points earned: 12 points.
  • Earnings per hour: 42 cents per hour.

3. Complete Tasks

The “Tasks” category was my favorite part of InstaGC. Not only did it tend to offer more lucrative rewards than the other sections, but I was more often able to complete them. 

For the most part, Tasks are another chance to take surveys. They offer 20-25 opportunities a day to take what seem like higher-quality questionnaires. 

For example, most of the surveys found in the Tasks category offered point values of 80-100 — payout levels rarely found within the dedicated surveys category.

Aside from surveys, the category contains simple and quick actions like clicking through to visit a website. 

I did run into a few problems, unfortunately.

One non-survey task was to simply follow InstaGC’s Twitter profile. Despite following, unfollowing and re-following them a number of times, I never received my reward. 

I was also taken to a few suspicious-looking sites that asked for my personal information, such as the one shown below. 

This did not look like a website that I wanted to give my email address to.
This did not look like a website that I wanted to give my email address to.

How Much We Earned With Tasks

InstaGC’s “Tasks” category paid the most per-hour by a significant margin.

  • Number of tasks attempted: 4.
  • Number of tasks completed: 3.
  • Time spent attempting to complete tasks: 59 minutes.
  • Total points earned: 300 points.
  • Earnings per hour: $2.95 per hour.

4. Click Links

Unfortunately, I couldn’t earn anything with InstaGC’s “Click” category. At first, that was because of a glitch where the “Click” tab showed a blank page. However, I finally found a way to view these tasks, by navigating to the OfferToro button on the home page, then going to their “Quick” tab. 

The picture below shows the workaround:

I was only able to get to the "Click" category through a workaround.
I was only able to get to the “Click” category through a workaround.

I tried completing two separate Click tasks. Both ended up going to outdated couponing sites where the described requirements no longer existed. As a result, I couldn’t complete either task and didn’t earn any points. 

The rest of the Clicks I was offered were far more involved than simply clicking. They all required registering for the associated website and engaging or exploring. Considering that most Click tasks didn’t even pay the equivalent of a full cent, they weren’t worth my while to complete.

  • Number of Click tasks attempted: 2.
  • Time spent on Click tasks: 5 minutes.
  • Total points earned: 0 points.
  • Earnings per hour: $0 per hour.

5. Sign Up for Trials

InstaGC offered a number of reward opportunities in the “Trials” tab. All the ones I saw were free or paid trials, where you sign up for an app or program and get an amount of cash-back in exchange for trying it. 

I couldn’t find any offers that didn’t require making a purchase or linking my bank account or credit card to the app.

If you’re willing to share your banking information, InstaGC seems to pay higher-than-usual amounts for these types of offers. I saw multiple instances where the InstaGC reward rates were much higher than other money making apps

For example, the ATM Rewards app offers $20 and $15 dollars for using the financial apps Acorns and Wirex; InstaGC offered $28 and $18, respectively. 

Examples of paid trial offers available on InstaGC.
Examples of paid trial offers available on InstaGC.

Another name for these types of offers is “money makers,” because they often give you more in rewards than the cost required. These offers can be one of the most lucrative ways to make money with online rewards sites, and Swagbucks tends to offer the widest selection. Learn more about Swagucks money makers here.

How Much We Earned With Trials

I wasn’t able to complete any of the Trials offered to me, but your luck may be better if you’re willing to sign up for services that require a bank account or credit card.

  • Number of Trial tasks attempted: 0.
  • Time spent on Trials: 0 minutes.
  • Total earned: 0 points.
  • Earnings per hour: $0 per hour.

5. Watch Videos

The Videos function works best on a Chrome browser, as the privacy settings of other options block the ads you need to watch for rewards. You’ll need to disable any ad blockers or plugins, too.

The video-watching third-party company (Hideout.tv) requires its a separate account. (The other option for watching videos offered via InstaGC, hyprMX, seemed to be permanently disabled.)

You cannot watch an unlimited number of videos, as the inventory occasionally runs out.
You cannot watch an unlimited number of videos, as the inventory occasionally runs out.

Hideout’s videos autoplay, which is useful for racking up points. I could also “watch” videos in the background on mute, as long as I had the tab and browser open on my desktop. (I could layer another browser on top to achieve this.) I wasn’t able to earn rewards on mobile in the background — the app had to be on-screen and playing. 

There aren’t any questions to answer or tricks to make sure you’re still engaged, as is the case with some websites that pay you for watching ads. But it can still be a frustrating system; they didn’t credit me for every ad I watched, and there was no indication as to why videos were or were not credited. 

There’s also a “Hideout.tv reward” to “InstaGC reward” conversion system: you earn one InstaGC point for every 12 or 13 Hideout.tv points. One video with ads earns you roughly 2-3 Hideout.tv points, so you need to watch between 4 and 6 videos to earn 1 InstaGC point (equivalent to 1 cent).

Example of a Hideout.tv to InstaGC points conversion.
Example of a Hideout.tv to InstaGC points conversion.

How Much We Earned With Videos

There are better-paying ways to get paid for watching videos.

  • Total time spent watching: 134 minutes.
  • Total earnings: 9.8 points.
  • Earnings per hour: 5 cents per hour.

6. Enter Contests

If you’re willing to sink a lot of time into InstaGC, there is the potential to win decent money with the platform’s “Content” feature, which has three opportunities: the Completion Contest, the Decimal Pot, and sports games. 

The Completion Contest is a monthly game to see who can complete the most Trial offers, Downloads, Tasks, Surveys and Clicks (all the available features except watching videos on Hideout, which are excluded). The winner receives 10,000 points and second place receives 5,000 points. Five random participants earn 100 points each.  

The Decimal Pot is a weekly contest where you can “donate” any rewards you’ve earned that are less than 1 point. Some features, such as watching videos or weekly bonuses, reward you in fractions of a point (meaning you often carry a remainder of points). One weekly donation gets you access to the contest, which awards three people with the divvied-up points everyone donated.

Lastly, there are sports contests, which appear to be simple “pick ‘em” contests where you guess the scores of upcoming games. Based on available data from past rounds, football games paid out between 500 points and 1,225 points to the winners. 

Our InstaGC Earnings

InstaGC offered one of the lowest pay-per-hour rates among the survey and rewards sites we’ve tested. 

  • Total time spent on the platform: 3.5 hours of active participation and 5.7 hours when including passive background videos.
  • Total earnings: $5.11.
  • Earnings per hour: $1.46 per hour (90 cents per hour if you include the 2.2 hours of passive background videos).

Getting Paid

For all its other faults, InstaGC nails its payout system and offers a flawless experience. It has an easy to use points system where 100 points equals $1, which means no complicated conversions 

They offer gift cards, prepaid Visa gift cards, and direct deposit as options for new member payouts. You can cash out with Paypal or Bitcoin once you’ve redeemed at least $50 in rewards.

The non-gift card options are tucked away in the “other rewards” option in the redeem drop-down menu.

How to find non gift-card options on InstaGC

When it comes to gift cards, you can pick from any of their 272 partnered retailers. Cards from different retailers have different payout thresholds, but Amazon starts paying out at just $1. Amazon also allows you to customize the amount you cash out, as long as you want to cash out between 100 to 50,000 points. Many others have $3 and $5 as their minimum point values. 

When I went to cash out my $5, I was able to pick my retailer, verify my phone number, and receive my virtual gift card instantaneously. Other options, such as the direct deposit, are not instantaneous and take 2-7 business days. 

I earned a $5 Dunkin' gift card.

For new members, you can only cash-out $10 or less instantly per day. If you want to cash-out more than $10 at a time, your reward becomes “non-instant,” and won’t be released for 1-2 business days. 

You are not able to cash-out more than $100 in a month, either. InstaGC claims to increase these limits for “trustworthy members” (trustworthiness being based on number of tasks completed, length of membership, amount of points earned, and rewards received).

InstaGC FAQs

Does InstaGC have a cash-back shopping portal?

No, InstaGC does not currently have a cash-back shopping portal. We recommend Capital One Shopping, Swagbucks and Rakuten for earning money on your online purchases.

Does InstaGC offer a sign-up bonus?

InstaGC has a “join bonus” of 10 points (10 cents) for all new members who sign up and confirm their email address. 

Does InstaGC offer a referral bonus?

Yes, they offer the same flat 10-point bonus to referrers for every member they sign up, plus 10% of their referrals’ earnings on the platform.

Does your InstaGC account balance expire?

Yes, points expire if you’ve been inactive on the site for six months. 

Is InstaGC available worldwide?

InstaGC is not available worldwide. You can use it if you’re a resident of the U.S., Canada, most countries in Europe and South America, or India. 

InstaGC Review: Final Verdict

Whenever a site offers free cash, you know you’ll be expected to share one of two things: your time or your data. In InstaGC’s case, it’s asking for both. Unfortunately, compared to other sites asking for such valuable commodities, InstaGC offers minimal rewards in exchange. 

In the end, I did still get a free latte out of this month of testing, so InstaGC does work. But there are far better ways to make money online. For example, you can try these websites that pay you for singing up, or these ways to get free Paypal cash.

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Hillary Swetz reviews personal finance products, apps and services for The Ways To Wealth. Connect with her on Twitter @hillaryswetz and read more of her work on her frugal living website Homegrown Hillary.

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