Of all the reviews I’ve ever written for HomeWorkingClub, this 20Cogs review has probably taken the longest to publish.
Why? Because I don’t publish reviews until we’ve fully tried out each online earning opportunity. And in the case of 20Cogs, it took quite a while to get to the point where I could cash out.
But I DID get to that point, and I’m pleased to say I was able to get a decent amount of extra money for getting involved in the free trials and offers that 20Cogs promotes. It took a bit of time, but also took VERY little effort.
With that in mind, this 20Cogs review explains exactly how the site works, discusses whether 20 Cogs is legit or a scam, and provide some tips for making the most of the site.
Let’s start right at the beginning:
What is 20Cogs?
20Cogs is a UK-based rewards site where members can earn money from participating in offers and promotions. Members who take part in 20 or more offers typically earn £200 or more.
And therein lies the catch: 20Cogs members can only cash out once they’re participated in 20 offers. If you give up before you’ve completed all 20 offers, or “cogs,” you cannot cash out.
Is 20Cogs a Scam?
20Cogs is completely legit, and not a scam. The service is generally well-regarded and has a 4.2 star average score on TrustPilot at the time of writing. The company has also paid out nearly £3 Million to its members in total.
20Cogs does get some bad press. This is usually because of the way the site works. Unless you complete 20 offers (cogs) you cannot earn any money, so you do need to put the effort it to reach “cash out” stage.
How does 20Cogs Work?
The concept of 20Cogs is simple: You earn money by participating in certain offers and free trials, and by signing up for things. Here are some of the things you can do to add to your income on the site:
- Sign up for free trials, such as 30 day trials of Amazon Prime channels or other streaming sites.
- Sign up to subscription services for things like food boxes, cleaning products and pet foods.
- Join other survey sites and offer sites.
- Sign up to bingo, casino and gambling sites, usually placing and playing through an initial stake.
Completing each offer (cog) can pay anything from around £5 up to £30. There’s also an initial sign-up offer, where you get a £5 welcome bonus for merely signing up.
So What’s The Catch?
There are two potential “catches” to be aware of if you’re considering trying out 20Cogs:
- You only get a pay out if you complete 20 different offers. This means that if you give up half way, the time (and possibly money) you’ve spent is wasted.
- Some of the offers do require you to spend a (usually very small) amount of money. The amount you earn for the offer is almost always more than you have to pay out, but some of your income from 20Cogs will be “profit” rather than “free money.”
How Does 20Cogs Make Money?
This is a wise question to ask! What’s in it for 20Cogs, and what is their business model?
Essentially, this is all based on the principle of affiliate marketing. The companies participating in the offers will be paying a commission to 20Cogs when people sign up. Instead of taking all of this commission, some of it is passed back to 20Cogs users as their earnings. This is essentially how cashback sites like TopCashback work, also.
There’s nothing suspect or scammy about this. It’s a legitimate business model, and most of the companies participating are simply hoping to win customers in the longer term.
20Cogs Review: My Experiences
I have personally signed up to 20Cogs, completed 20 offers and cashed out my earnings.
In this section, I discuss exactly what the experience was like, so you know what to expect.
Signing Up and Participating in Offers
The sign up process is simple, requiring just your name, email address and password. If you use a link like this signup link, you earn some money just for signing up, in this case a £5 sign up bonus.
As soon as you’re signed up, you gain access to your first “cog,” a very simple “tell us about yourself” survey, which earns you a very easy £5 just for filling out a really quick suvey.
So far, so easy, but after the first cog it gets slightly more difficult.
After the first cog, you can work through the others. For each cog, you are presented with an offer. In some cases, it’s something really simple like “join this survey site and do your first survey,” or “sign up for a free trial of this video streaming service.”
Others are more complicated, with more precise instructions like “join this bingo site, deposit £5, and play through your stake and any bonus credit.”
In every case, precise instructions are provided. For example, if you have a cog that requires you to take a 30 day free trial, you may need to wait until day 30 before cancelling, to ensure you’re credited for completing the offer.
You don’t have to participate in every offer suggested. For each cog, there’s a “show me another offer” option. This triggers a new offer, so you have several different alternatives you can choose in order to complete each cog.
Once you choose to take an offer, you are passed from the 20Cogs site to the relevant company, complete the task, then return back to the 20 Cogs dashboard for your next “assignment.”
You also get a referral link, where you can earn extra money by having friends sign up to the site.
Watching Your Earnings Build Up
At any time, you can look on your dashboard to see your earnings beginning to “clear” and add up. Here’s a screenshot of mine, as I began to get going working through offers.
Cogs that are “in progress” or not yet complete are grey. Some cogs only open up after you’ve completed earlier ones. Once you’ve completed an offer, the cog turns amber, and then usually automatically turns green once everything’s been processed.
This can take some time. For example, if you’ve signed up to a free trial and need to remain a member for 30 days, you may have quite a long wait to turn a cog green.
I’m pleased to report that almost all of my cogs progressed through the grey > amber > green sequence with no issues. However, if any do seem to get “stuck” the support team is very helpful, and you usually just need to send proof you have joined something or participated in an offer, usually in the form of a sign up email.
The Realities and Problems of Using 20Cogs
As you can see, it’s all pretty straightforward, but you never truly understand how these things work until you try them out.
There are a few problems you can run into, and you’ll likely run into at least one or two:
1. You may encounter offers you don’t want to participate in.
You may, for example, have an aversion to survey sites or gambling sites, or know that it’s a bad idea to sign up because you may get tempted to spend more than you can afford.
2. Some offers may just not “feel” right.
While most of the offers on 20Cogs are clearly legit, a few set my spidey-sense tingling, especially a couple of the third-party survey and offer sites. There’s an example screenshot below.
In fact, in one case I stupidly went against my instinct and signed up for a site I didn’t like the look of, and after a LOT of clicks, it eventually took me to a place where it was mandatory to provide my phone number. I ended up getting many spam calls in the weeks that followed!
3. Some offers require you to spend
Some 20Cogs offers are completely free. Others require you to spend some of your own money. I had no problem with this and, in fact, saw the various trial packs and products that came through my letterbox as a bit of a bonus for getting involved.
However, some people may be less comfortable with this, especially when it means staking some money on a casino site. Even if you’re getting more back (than you’re spending) from 20Cogs for participating in an offer, you’re still having to hand over that money “up front.”
4. You may find that some “cogs” have no offers you wish to participate in
This problem that was the reason behind it taking months rather than weeks for me to cash out after joining 20Cogs: Sometimes, despite there being five or six different offers on a specific “cog,” I wasn’t willing or able to participate in any of them.
This problem is most likely to reveal itself if you already do other things to earn cashback and online freebies. Lots of the offers – things like Graze boxes and Simply Cook sets – are heavily prevalent on all kinds of sites. If you already belong to these services or have tried them before, you cannot sign up again.
The good news is that new offers are added all the time. When I hit a “road block,” I’d just set myself a reminder to return to 20Cogs a week or two down the line, and see what else was available. But it does, inevitably, add to the time it takes for you to complete your set of 20 cogs and actually get your money.
The Best Strategy for Earning from 20Cogs
The above touches on how to make the best of 20Cogs – treat it as a long game.
You MAY find, if you’ve not used many offer or cashback sites before, that you can quickly work your way through enough offers for a healthy and fast cash out. But it’s perhaps more likely that you will stall a few times and need to revisit the site at a later date.
In my case, it took a few months in total – going back to the site from time to time to do a few more cogs. But it only took a small amount of my time each time. Furthermore, some of it was quite fun – especially if you randomly win something on one of the bingo sites, or get a cool freebie through your door. (My son was particularly pleased by a “rare” coin we got from The Royal Mint, that I only had to pay postage for!)
I would suggest you do the following:
- Sign up to 20Cogs and get the welcome bonus.
- Do the initial cog, your first offer, and any others you can easily complete.
- When you hit a road-block on your next cog, set yourself a reminder to go back and try again in a week or two.
- Do as many more cogs as you can.
- Repeat steps 3 and 4 until you’ve completed all 20 cogs.
Most importantly, make sure you set yourself reminders to cancel anything you need to after each trial period, so you don’t end up paying for things you don’t want or need!
20 Cogs cashes out using BACS or PayPal account payment methods. I opted for BACS, direct to my UK bank account, and I received my payment within a few days with no problems, once I’d completed all my cogs.
As you can see, I earned just over £125 for VERY little effort. I didn’t track exactly how much I paid out for offers I signed up to, but it wasn’t more than £20-30. That should give you a vague idea of how much money you can expect to make.
Once you’ve completed this first set, you can revisit the site as much as you like and complete additional offers.
20Cogs is well worth signing up to, IF you’re willing to participate in the offers and simple tasks, and – very importantly – if you organise yourself so that you cancel things on time. It’s a good way to make a little extra money in your spare time – but don’t expect a full-time income! That’s not what the site is about.
The money I made from 20Cogs was very easy money, so I’d certainly use the site again. Hopefully this 20Cogs review has helped you to understand what’s truly involved, and whether it’s worth it for you.
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Founder of HomeWorkingClub.com – Ben has worked freelance for nearly 20 years. As well as being a freelance writer and blogger, he is also a technical consultant with Microsoft and Apple certifications. He loves supporting new home workers but is prone to outbursts of bluntness and realism.