It’s a new year, which means lots of energy and determination to fulfill the resolutions we’ve made for 2020. If you’re like many Americans, losing a few pounds this year may be on your list of goals. Earning some more money might be, too. Wouldn’t it be great if you could achieve both of these goals at the same time?
HealthyWage offers you the chance to do just that. You may have seen their social media ads, articles, and videos across the internet — or heard of their thousands of success stories. It may seem too good to be true, but this company does actually pay people to lose weight. However, there is more to the story than signing up, working out, and collecting cash.
We’ve created this guide to help you learn the ins and outs of how HealthyWage works, how you can benefit, and what you need to know before deciding whether or not to give it a try.
Is HealthyWage Legit?
Yes, HealthyWage is a legitimate company — and they make a point about showing you this on their website. Given that the idea of earning money for losing weight seems like a “too-good-to-be-true” scenario, HealthyWage is taking on that understandable perception head-on with scores of articles, testimonials, and videos that point to satisfied customers.
Digging a little deeper into HealthyWage’s Better Business Bureau file, we found that the company has been in business since 2009, but the file was only opened in 2018. HealthyWage has not yet achieved BBB accreditation. However, it does have an A+ BBB rating and has earned 4.75 stars out of 5 in customer reviews.
According to the HealthyWage website, it has paid out over $1 million to participants who have achieved their goals, for a total of 2,345,973 pounds lost using their program as of January 2020.
So what exactly does HealthyWage offer? In short, they’re all about helping people lose weight by betting on themselves. HealthyWage has developed a program where participants commit a set amount of money monthly as they complete a weight loss challenge. If you reach or surpass the goal you set at the beginning of the challenge, you will get all of the money you “bet” and additional winnings.
This concept is based upon research from Harvard, the Mayo Clinic, the University of Pennsylvania, and other academic institutions that have found people are more likely to lose weight and keep it off when there is some kind of financial incentive and they invest their own money into the process. HealthyWage blends this research with the successes of company-based weight loss challenges and the influence of social networks on behavior to create its programs.
Yes, there is some risk involved, as HealthyWage has a no-refund policy and will not cancel a challenge once it has started. This is one of their revenue streams. However, they also make money from private clients in the corporate and government sectors, as well as from administrative fees from some types of challenges.
How does HealthyWage work?
HealthyWage offers several types of challenges that you can choose to participate in. For each, you commit to pay a set amount of money, set a weight loss goal and timeframe, then move ahead with the challenge. If you attain or exceed that goal by the end of the challenge, you win the amount promised at the beginning, or, in the case of a team, jackpot, or step challenge, split a pot of money among all the winners. Here is a closer look at each type of challenge.
This is an individual challenge where you can win up to $10,000 if you meet your weight loss goal. Start by visiting the Prize Calculator tool. This will allow you to play with different parameters (amount lost, timeframe, amount you pay monthly) to see what kind of money you could win. The range they give usually starts at a little more than the total amount you want to bet and goes up to several times that amount.
After you decide on the terms, you move onto the second step, which asks for more specific information, such as your age, gender, starting weight, etc. Based on the information you give, the algorithm determines a final amount you will get if you achieve your weight loss goal and what your return-on-investment will be. When you’re ready to move forward, you click on “Make My Bet” and continue to follow the prompts.
To start your challenge, you’ll be asked to provide a video weigh-in, which can be done in the app or you can upload a video to the website. You’ll have to do this again at the end of the challenge. This is to verify that you have the correct starting and ending weight. There are no other check-ins, but you’re encouraged to take advantage of the social tools and education offered through the program.
After you’ve reached your goal, you are awarded HW Points, which are worth $1 each. You can request that these be cashed in and have the money sent to you through PayPal or by check. These points can expire after 12 months of inactivity, so make sure you cash them in promptly.
The $10,000 Team Challenge
With this type of challenge, you sign up with a team of five or ask to be placed in a team of random people. The challenge takes place over three months, and there is a sign-up fee of $25 per month if you’re participating through a company or $33 a month if you’re entering on your own.
The team that loses the greatest percentage of weight is the winner and a total amount of $18,000 in HW Points is distributed among the top three teams. If you lose 10% of your starting weight within 6 months of the end of the challenge, you can apply to get your entry fee reimbursed.
If you’re looking to lose at least 6% of your total weight, consider entering a Jackpot Challenge. There are many of these available at any given time. Every person who signs up for a Jackpot Challenge is put on a team and commits a set amount that will be pooled throughout the challenge.
When the challenge is over, the pot of money is divided evenly among the teams who met the goal — after HealthyWage collects a 25% administration fee — in the form of HW Points. If more than 75% of the participants meet their goal, all those who succeed will at least get back the money they invested.
HealthyWage generally has two options for its step challenges. You can opt to reach one million steps in 100 days or 300,000 steps in 30 days - both average out to be 10,000 steps per day. Like the Jackpot Challenges, these are done in teams where the entry fees are pooled and everyone who reaches the goal gets an equal share of the money in HW Points (minus the 25% administration fee), and if more than 75% are successful, they’ll all at least get back the money they added to the pool.
There is also a type of step challenge for individuals who aim to increase their average daily step count by 25%. There are no teams for this one, so every participant who reaches the goal gets an even cut of the money pool, after the administrative fee.
For this challenge, you connect your Fitbit or smartphone to the HealthyWage app so your data gets fed directly into the program. The same guarantee to at least get back the money you invest if you reach your goal applies here.
Build Your Own Weight Loss Challenge
This is for small businesses, families, communities, and other organizations that want to create a fitness challenge to get healthy. The program works like the Jackpot Challenges, where you pay an entry fee and the goal is to lose 6% of your starting weight over 12 weeks. People can sign up as teams or individuals, and the pot is split evenly among all the winners — less the administrative fee.
HealthyWage also offers custom programs for large organizations, such as corporations, schools, governments, hospitals, and more.
Who is HealthyWage right for?
This program is best for someone who is serious about losing weight and has some money to invest in the effort. It’s also good for people who like competition and for whom having some money at stake will have an added incentive to meet goals. If you’re not particularly goal-oriented or competitive, this program isn’t a great fit.
Finally, if you’ve already started a weight-loss journey and have a specific plan in place that is showing results, using the HealthyWage program can help keep you on track and reward you with some cash once you reach your goal.
How much can you earn with HealthyWage?
The most you can win from any one challenge you participate in is $10,000. Team challenges may have a higher prize amount, but the most any one person can win at the end of the challenge is $10,000. You can participate in up to 10 challenges at one time, which can multiply your winnings if you meet their goals.
How much this all will be depends on how much you choose to wager for each challenge, how much you set your goal for, how long the challenge takes place for, and in the case of one where you split winnings from a collective pot of money, how many people are participating.
For example, Jennifer D. lost 102 pounds over the course of 10 months and won $4,181, while Glenn S. lost the same amount in the same timeframe and walked away with $1,383. The difference between the earnings is that Jennifer bet $150 per month, while Glenn bet $40 per month. HealthyWage says the average prize for those who complete their goals is $1,331.
If you meet your goal, you can choose to be paid through PayPal or via check. If you choose PayPal, you will get your money within two to five business days of asking for a payout and can expect PayPal to take 2.9% of your winnings, plus $.30, as a fee. If you choose to be paid by check, you should receive it within one to three weeks after requesting a payout. HealthyWage charges a $7.00 fee for sending checks.
Maximizing your earnings with HealthyWage
Stacking challenges is a great way to maximize your earnings. HealthyWage allows you to participate in up to 10 challenges at a time (with some restrictions). So, if you start with a HealthyWager challenge and a goal of losing at least 6% of your starting weight, you can also sign up for a Jackpot or Team challenge, as well as a step challenge. The work you do to earn your HealthyWager prize can also count toward winning on the other challenges.
Another way to earn more is to refer friends and family. Each one that signs up earns you an additional $40.
Common questions about HealthyWage
How does HealthyWage make money?
Healthywage makes money from fees from challenges where the participant didn’t reach their goal, administrative fees from some challenges, and custom programs they develop for corporate and government clients.
How does HealthyWage verify weight?
Healthywage asks for you to submit a video through their app or website.
Does HealthyWage really pay out?
Yes. Healthywage has paid out over $1 million to people who have reached their weight loss goal and are constantly updating their leaderboard with more payouts.
What is a Lifeline on HealthyWage?
A Lifeline is someone who doesn’t participate in HealthyWage whom you recruit to be part of your support network. They can be friends, family, co-workers — anyone you can count on. HealthyWage recommends having at least five Lifelines for any challenge.
Can I cancel HealthyWage?
No. Healthywage offers no cancellations or refunds. If you become pregnant during a challenge, they will suspend your challenge until you are medically cleared to continue.
How to get started with HealthyWage
Getting started is very easy. You can get the HealthyWage app on your Android or iOS smartphone and start your registration and prize calculation there. You can also visit HealthyWage.com to sign up. How much you’ll pay is entirely up to you, depending on what challenges you want to participate in and what the requirements are.
Other money-making opportunities to consider
Making money by losing weight isn’t exactly a sustainable side hustle, and there is no guarantee that you’ll be paid for all your hard work. So if you’re looking for an opportunity to earn some extra money over the longer term, here are some other possibilities to consider:
- Sell your skills: With Fiverr, you can offer up your talents for sale. On this virtual on-demand marketplace, you can find people looking to buy your spells, designs, blogs, voice-overs, artwork, tarot card readings, and more.
- Play with pups: Pet sitting and doggy daycare services are in high demand, making them a great option for a side hustle. Check out Rover.com, Care.com, and Petsitter.com for opportunities.
- Wrap your car: Companies will pay you to use your car for their ads. Wrapify can connect you with advertisers and contracts that can result in getting paid just to drive your daily commute.