I’m always looking out for new ways to make money on the internet. I come across a LOT of scams, and a small amount of genuine-seeming offers.
When I first heard about 20 Cogs, I wasn’t sure which category it fit into. Is 20 Cogs legit?
What is 20 Cogs?
20 Cogs is a website which promises a lot of money for completing various offers. The offers usually involve signing up with different companies. These range from free trials with well-known brands (such as Amazon Prime and Graze boxes) to spammy-looking competition sites.
For each offer you complete, you earn a set fee. The fees depend on the offer, and can be anywhere from £2.50 to £30, with the average about £10.
Obviously these add up quite fast, once you’ve done a few of them!
The main catch is that you can’t cash out until you’ve completed all 20 offers – or ‘cogs’.
This was a red flag to me, especially since you can’t see all of the offers when you start. I was a bit worried I’d get to number 19 and find that the last one was impossible to complete.
Also, some of the offers require you to give your card details or even pay a small amount in order to validate the offer. In theory, the cashback you get for completing each offer more than makes up for any money you have to pay out. But of course, you have to make sure you complete all 20 offers. Otherwise you won’t get anything and may actually lose money.
Still, there is the potential for making quite a bit of cash out of this! I decided to check it out.
How does 20 Cogs work?
20 Cogs gets paid a commission from each company they introduce you to. In turn, they pass on a share of that commission to you.
I expect they make a lot of money from people who don’t bother completing all 20 cogs, forfeiting any money they’ve made along the way!
Once you’ve made your account with 20 Cogs, you will see 20 little grey circles (the cogs). Click on the first one and you will be presented with your first offer! If you want to give it a go, just follow the instructions. If you don’t fancy it, you can click ‘Alternate Offer’ and see a different offer. The fee for each offer is clearly shown.
Once you’ve completed an offer, you can go on to the next cog! The cog should turn amber (which means it’s been tracked) and then green (which means it’s been approved). It can take a couple of days for this to happen, though.
So, is 20 Cogs a scam?
I read a lot of reviews and found that it has a score of 8.9/10 with over 120 reviews on Trustpilot.
People are reporting that they earned anywhere from £180 to £300 for completing all the cogs. The customer service has great reviews too.
The main negative that came up in reviews is that people complained about getting a LOT of spam email and unwanted phone calls after signing up for certain offers.
I highly recommend you get yourself a free throwaway email address too, especially for some of the particularly spammy-looking offers! You can get a free email address from Gmail, Outlook or loads of other places.
There are a few things to be aware of as you complete the offers:
A lot of them involve signing up for some kind of free trial or special offer. Be very, very careful with any site that wants your bank details and make sure to read the small print.
One offer, for a lottery syndicate called PlayLottery.com, stated that I only had to pay £1 to join, and that I had to remain a member for 7 days in order for my cog to validate. But when I checked the small print on the site, my membership would ‘renew’ only 2 days after signup – for an increased fee of £7.90!
Another offer was for a credit agency called My Credit Monitor. You have to sign up for 1 month free trial, then ‘stay subscribed for 1 full month after your trial ends to validate this offer’. That second month will cost you £14.99 – but the offer only pays £10, leaving you £5 out of pocket!
However, you always get a choice of at least two – often more – offers per cog. There are plenty of decent offers too. As long as you read the small print, you can avoid the dodgier offers and actually come out with quite a bit of cash, and some decent freebies to boot!
Also note that these offers and terms might have changed by the time you read this. So again, check all the small print carefully.
Update in March 2017: Overall, I did complete my 20 Cogs and I did make a profit. So I can say that no, 20 Cogs is not a scam – but you must be careful about what you’re signing up for.
My experience on 20 Cogs
I signed up to 20 Cogs about three weeks ago, and I’ve just completed my last offer! I’m still waiting for a few of the cogs to validate though.
I can’t wait for all my cogs to turn green so that I can cash out. I should be due about £130 when everything has validated.
Overall, I found 20 Cogs pretty fun. It’s easy and quick to work through the offers as well. You could probably complete all 20 in one day, if you had a lot of spare time and a high boredom threshold (they do get quite repetitive)!
However, some offers take up to 30 days to validate, so you won’t be able to cash out instantly.
Although a lot of the offers were just spammy things like competition entries, there were also some pretty decent companies in there and I got some really great freebies out of it as well!
Here are some of the goodies that I got paid to receive while working through the offers:
- A Graze box
- A Simply Cook recipe box
- 2 weeks’ free dog food
- A children’s activity box
- A 3 month Taste card for just £1
- 1 month Amazon Prime membership
- 1 month Now TV membership
My biggest issue is that some of my cogs didn’t track or validate properly at first.
Luckily, I had kept screen shots of all my confirmation screens after I completed each offer. I just sent a copy of each screen shot to the 20 Cogs customer support, and they sorted everything out for me within 24 hours.
Show me the money: how much can you make on 20 Cogs?
As I mentioned, I’m expecting to get about £130 once all my cogs have validated.
A lot of the highest paid offers were casinos or bookies. Many of these paid £25 or £30 each. I wasn’t eligible for these sign-up offers because I already have accounts with all of them from doing matched betting.
I think if you are able to do the bookie sign ups, you would be able to make at least £200 easily from 20 Cogs.
If you haven’t started matched betting yet, why not try it in tandem with 20 Cogs to really maximise your return from each offer?
Once you’ve completed all 20 cogs, you can claim your payment via PayPal or bank transfer.
Also, 20 Cogs have a great referral scheme. If you get any friends to sign up, you will get a bonus equal to 5% of their earnings from each offer, plus an extra £20 when they finish their 20 cogs.
If you’re thinking about signing up, you can do me a favour and use my referral link here. Thank you if you do! 🙂
As you can see by the top payouts listed on their website, some people have earned more than £700 from 20 Cogs. I suspect the highest payouts are due to referrals, because I don’t know how you could make £700 from the sign up offers I saw.
Tips and warnings
- 20 Cogs is only available for UK residents at the moment
- You have to be aged 18 or over for many of the offers
- Use a throwaway email address that you don’t mind getting inundated with spam!
- Keep a list of any subscriptions you sign up to, and the renewal dates
- Read the small print, and make sure you know what you need to cancel and when – especially if they have your card details!
- Save all emails and take screenshots of any confirmation screens. That way you can contact 20 Cogs if there are any issues and they will be able to sort it out for you.
- Stick with it and make sure you complete all 20 – otherwise you won’t be able to cash out!
***Update March 2017***
I wanted to update this post to report that all my cogs validated and I received my payment with no issues!
It took about a month after completing my cogs for them all to turn green. I’m not sure exactly how long, because I only checked once every few days.
Anyway, I logged in on 6 March and was excited to see that all my cogs were green, and there was a lovely big green ‘Collect Earnings’ button right below it! I had to enter my preferred payment method (PayPal or bank transfer – I chose bank transfer) and the money appeared in my account on the 10 March. Hooray!
As you can see, I cashed out a total of £134.93: £127 from completing offers, and £7.93 from referrals. That must be some lovely reader of this blog – thank you! 🙂
Now, I actually spent a total of £22.98 on sign ups/subscriptions, as required for some of the offers. That makes a total profit of £111.95.
20 Cogs: is it worth it?
I’d say yes!
I didn’t keep track of the time I spent on the offers, but I would estimate it was about 5 hours (completed in small chunks over about three weeks).
Not a bad hourly rate!
And as I mentioned above, you could definitely make closer to £200 if you do the bookie and bingo offers.
Once I claimed my earnings, a mysterious 21st cog appeared. This cog gives me the option to retake any of the older offers that I passed on, and I think there are one or two new offers too.
Hopefully this means I can carry on earning and can also cash out any future referral income.
Overall, I’ve been happy with 20 Cogs.
The main thing I would note is that I had to contact customer service about a lot of the offers that didn’t validate. I would say I had issues with a quarter or third or the cogs! Make sure to keep records of what you complete on which date, and you should be fine.
Boost My Budget rating
On the whole, I’ve enjoyed using 20 Cogs. It’s a fairly fast and easy way to make an extra £200.
Great if you need a bit of extra cash to put towards your debt, a holiday or other savings goal! But be cautious, and make sure to cancel any subscriptions you sign up for – otherwise you could end up out of pocket!
Sites like 20 Cogs
Have you got the money making bug now? Try these other sites like 20 Cogs to make even more extra cash:
OhMyDosh! – very similar to 20 Cogs but I like it better! You can pick and choose your offers (don’t have to complete the cogs in order) and you can cash out much faster. Try it!
Swagbucks – this is the king of money making sites. You can get paid to do all kinds of things online, including surveys, watching videos, signing up for offers or even searching the internet.
InboxPounds – this is another site that pays you to sign up to offers, but this time the offers come straight to your inbox!
This list of money making apps UK – I love money making apps because you can get paid while you’re on the bus or waiting around somewhere.
This list of paid surveys in the UK – there are a lot of survey sites out there but start with this list to find the best paying surveys.