Thanks for stopping by to read my 20 Cogs review.
If you’ve been looking for ways to make money online, I know how you feel. I’ve been there too; stuck in a job I desperately wanted out of with bills piling up and debts weighing me down. If that sounds familiar, you’re not alone.
Now, to be clear… 20 Cogs is not the answer to all of those problems. And they don’t claim to be, which is refreshing. I’m kind of tired of all the scams and schemes out there promising the sun, moon, and the stars.
And on the topic of scams and schemes, you’re probably wondering if 20 Cogs is legit. I was wondering the same thing.
In this review I’m going to explain what 20 Cogs is, how it works, and whether it’ll help you get what you want; some extra money. I’ll go inside and find out if it’s a scam, and I’ll take it for a test drive to share with you what I found.
The specific topics I’m going to cover are:
- What is 20 Cogs?
- Is 20 Cogs a Scam?
- How Does 20 Cogs Work?
- How Much You Can Make, How Long it Takes, and How You Get Paid
- 20 Cogs Reviews and Complaints
- What I Like About 20 Cogs
- What I Don’t Like
- Where Do You Go From Here?
What is 20 Cogs?
20 Cogs is an online market research platform based in the UK. It allows members to earn extra cash by participating in competitions, offers, games, and surveys in their spare time.
Owned by Submission Technology Ltd, the founders of the UK’s first cashback site (Greasy Palm) and also the owners of OhMyDosh, 20 Cogs is in good company. They’ve been around since 2015 and they are still popular today.
Like all make-money websites and platforms though, there should be a healthy level of skepticism, which I’m sure you have. It’s probably why you’re reading this review.
You want to know if 20 Cogs is legit.
Let’s find out…
Is 20 Cogs a Scam?
20 Cogs is not a scam. Having reviewed hundreds of similar platforms and money-making sites that are scams, I must admit, I was pretty sure this one would be too. But it was nice to find out it’s legit.
As I mentioned above, 20 Cogs is owned by a real company with a history you can follow. They have thousands of reviews on Trustpilot with a working link on their homepage.
Many scam sites like MoneyGuru will look similar, but the actual links (like the one to Trustpilot) shown above in the screenshot are fake.
And there are other indicators we can look at to confirm 20Cogs is legit. In the image below you’ll see that their website has thousands of links to their homepage (these are links from other websites and social media platforms on the web that are linking to 20Cogs), which means 20cogs.co.uk is an established website.
They also have what’s called a domain authority of 32, which I know probably means nothing to you, unless you’re a geek like I am when it comes to website metrics like these 😃 … but it tells us that 20Cogs is not a fly-by-night scam website.
I also highlighted the number of indexed pages (195) on their website, another good indicator that 20Cogs is indeed real. Scam sites rarely have more than a dozen indexed pages… just the bare minimum to convince people they are legit.
So all of this is good news if you’re planning to sign up, but what this doesn’t tell us is whether 20 Cogs is any good. They are legit, yes… but there are a lot of legitimate companies that are mismanaged or flat-out bad to deal with.
Is 20 Cogs one of them?
Let’s first discuss how it works and what you can expect.
How Does 20 Cogs Work?
Joining 20 Cogs is free, which you can do on both your desktop or mobile phone. You’ll need an email address and a password.
The one catch is that 20 Cogs is UK based and you must live in the UK. If you do, joining won’t be an issue. If you’re not from the UK though, you can try similar sites like Survey Junkie and Inbox Dollars.
Once in, you’ll be asked questions such as your age, gender, and what types of offers you’d like emailed to you, with a popup asking you to agree to receive emails. This earns you your first “cog” or sign-up bonus in this case, which is £5.
“COGS” stands for…
… but there are actually more options as you’ll see once you’re inside. They are…
- Free Trials
- Gambling Offers
- Great Deals (signing up for offers)
- Product Testing
- Mystery Shopping
I chose them all, although I wouldn’t normally choose Gambling or Lotteries (I’m definitely not a fan of gambling sites and casino sites, which you’ll be presented with if you choose this option), and I have no idea what Utility is (even after joining and going through the platform).
Examples of tasks (cogs) include a 7-day free trial of MGM (earn £5), signing up for Graze Food Box delivery (earn £4) which will cost you £1.99 by the way, and joining PaidSurveys (earn £2).
These sound like great offers, and they are. This is how you make money with 20 Cogs. But how does 20 Cogs make money?
Whenever you join a program (or even apply for a normal everyday job for that matter)… if someone (or an organization) is paying you, it’s a good idea to know where the money is coming from. Does the offer make sense?
How many scams promise hundreds, or even thousands of dollars a day with little to no effort? When the financial dots don’t connect, there’s a problem.
How many people never stop to think about that for a moment? They don’t seem to care where the money is coming from, or why? They just want it.
Fair enough, we all want more money…
But the numbers do make sense here, which is good. 20 Cogs is not making ridiculous claims and they are not promising you’ll get rich. But it’s still important to know how it works.
How 20 Cogs Makes Money
20Cogs is doing lead generation, which makes sense because that’s what their parent company Submission Technology is known for. Through their platform, they are generating leads (potential customers) for various companies who pay them an agreed-upon amount per lead.
So, to use one of the examples mentioned above (Graze boxes)… 20Cogs is getting paid potentially £6, keeping £2 and giving you £4. Of course, I have no idea how much 20Cogs is actually getting paid to generate leads for Graze, but if they can afford to give you £4, it’s safe to assume they are getting paid more than that.
However, 20Cogs is also leveraging a tactic similar to retail stores and restaurants that sell gift cards, called ‘breakage’.
Breakage refers to the unredeemed amount that never gets used.
On my desk here I have a stack of gift cards from various retailers and despite my best intentions, I don’t know which ones I’ve used, which ones have balances on them or what those balances are.
I plan on sorting it out, but the possibility exists they get lost or forgotten before I ever use them. But the company has already been paid for those cards.
Similarly, there are 20Cogs members who won’t redeem their rewards either.
When you dig into their Terms & Conditions, rule number 14 (under heading Rules of the Rewards Program), it says…
You may only withdraw funds from your Account when all 20 Cogs have been completed and have successfully turned green.
As you read further you’ll find a number of reasons that completing your offers is not exactly straightforward. For example, offers have to be approved by participating retailers. Some may get rejected
Like all Terms & Condition pages, there’s some knotted language to untangle and interpret.
And it seems there may be a relatively narrow window in some cases between 30 and 90 days when you can dispute an unapproved offer and when an unapproved offer may no longer be supported.
I won’t go into a full analysis of their policies here, their rules are the rules (and you should read them) and the benefit of the doubt I think should go to 20 Cogs.
They are transparent from what I can tell and I don’t see anything that’s unfair. Similar survey sites/apps such as Dabbl App and task based apps Field Agent have some of the same kinds of issues which are expected when dealing with third parties, time-limited offers, and thousands of members.
Getting back to how 20 Cogs makes money though… they likely profit significantly from those unredeemed offers.
I’m sure there are a lot of members who fall short of completing their 20 Cogs and end up forfeiting their earnings. Not for any other reason than they just forget, are too busy, or even grow bored of the platform and move onto something else.
Another potential problem, which I’ve run into before having testing many sites like this, is that I’ve often already signed up to something they are asking me to sign up to. If that happens here, you may get stuck and have trouble completing your 20 Cogs without opening new accounts and subscribing to something you’re already subscribed to.
How Much Money Can You Make?
If you complete all 20 Cogs, you can potentially earn £100 – £200. I’ve read reviews with some people claiming £300 and 20 Cogs even says on their website that £700 is possible.
These are not necessarily “net” earnings though.
For example, if you sign up for Graze, you will earn £4.00, but it will cost you £1.99.
So, while £100 – £200 total revenue is possible, your “net” earnings will likely be in the £60 – £120 range.
Those are only estimates though, your earnings will likely be different based on the offers you choose, but it gives you an idea of what to expect.
At the end of the day though, 20 Cogs and similar sites like Survey Junkie and Inbox Dollars do not provide “job replacing” incomes which I’m sure you’re aware. But they are a great way to get started if you’ve never made money online before.
As you gain more experience you might get into something more serious like an online business.
You may be at home with children to look after or have a medical condition which makes a regular job challenging.
If that’s the case and a full-time income online is what you want, knowing how and where to get started is what you need in order to get what you want.
How Long Does it Take to Get Paid?
I haven’t completed all 20 Cogs yet, so I can’t say for certain, but I wouldn’t expect it to be quick. If you need money immediately, this is probably not your best option. It’ll take time to complete all cogs and there’s always a waiting period when transferring funds online.
I know it sounds trite, but if you’re in need of money immediately, I don’t usually recommend anything online.
The best way to make money quickly is to sell something. If you don’t have anything to sell, grab a bucket and a sponge and knock on doors asking your neighbors if they need something washed.
Yes, I said to knock on doors with a bucket and sponge. Or walk their dog.
I know, it’s probably not something you want to do and hopefully you don’t need money that quickly, but they are quick and practical. If my neighbor knocked on my door and offered to wash one of my vehicles for twenty or thirty bucks, I’d probably say yes. I might even pay a couple hundred for a full detail.
Another way I’ve made quick money when I was in jam is by delivering pizzas. Yep… I had a good-paying job at the time, a company car, an expense account, my own office… but an emergency popped up and I needed money.
So, on my way home from work one day, I stopped at a few pizza places until one of them said they needed some help. I made cash that weekend and it was quite a bit of cash actually. I stayed with them for the better part of a year even when I didn’t need the money… and I told them anytime they needed someone to give me a call 😃.
If you take the pizza out of the delivering pizza… you’re just driving around picking up cash.
It doesn’t sound as cool as making money online, but if you need money quick, something like that is your best bet.
Anyway, back to 20 Cogs… once you complete your cogs, the question is how you get paid.
As mentioned earlier, you must complete 20 cogs, which is the threshold for payment. Once completed your cogs will turn green, a claim button will appear, and you can cash out.
Members are paid 3 times weekly via BACS or PayPal. Direct Bank deposit at this time is not supported as far as I know.
Refer A Friend
In addition to completed cogs, you can earn money by referring friends and family members, or if you have an online following or audience, you can recommend it to them by sharing your unique referral link.
For each person you refer, you will earn 5 percent of what they earn, plus an additional £20 when they cash out.
Their Refer A Friend program has the potential to be lucrative. I say “potential” because on its own, without an online audience, you’ll be limited by the people you already know.
But if you’re skilled at generating traffic online, whether it’s through social media, YouTube, or an online business you’ve built… it’s possible to grow a decent little side income here.
20 Cogs Support
Unlike some other survey sites (I won’t mention names), 20 Cogs has a solid support team interested in making things right when you run into issues.
I’ve also noticed that they respond to various comments, reviews, and questions on other sites which means they’re paying attention.
A lot of companies are clueless to what’s being said about them online and their poor customer service is a reflection of that. 20 Cogs seems to have their finger on the pulse though, and I’m sure that helps them (and their members) avoid many negative experiences.
20 Cogs Reviews and Complaints
Like any company, you’re going to find a mix of both positive and negative reviews. I must say though, I was surprised by the relative lack of complaints.
There are some of course.
Take this one for example (in the screenshot above).
This person is unimpressed by the little amount of money they made. Fair enough. I agree it’s not a lot of money.
And they’re unhappy about the amount of time they spent subscribing and unsubscribing from various companies. Again… I don’t disagree. It does take time.
But they still earned money as 20Cogs promised. And nowhere does 20Cogs say you’ll earn a lot of money quickly for no effort whatsoever.
I get it, this is not a full-time job. It’s not even a part-time job. But that’s not what it’s supposed to be. It’s to have a little fun online doing some of the things you’d be doing online anyway, and maybe trying out some other services while earning a few bucks while you’re at it.
It’s not a “job” and certainly, if you treat it that way and come at it with those expectations, you’ll probably be disappointed like the reviewer (above).
There are also a lot of good reviews and comments. Thousands in fact… like this one.
Here’s another reviewer who mentions keeping track of your subscriptions and canceling on time, but to them, it’s not a big deal. They’re happy to have cashed out with £107.
So one person’s complaint is another person’s recommendation. It’s all a matter of perspective and expectation.
Overall though, the vast majority of reviews are positive.
I will run through some other complaints though, just so you’re aware of them. To be clear, I can’t verify these complaints, and although I’m not here to defend 20Cogs I do want to be fair. There are always two sides to every story.
With that said, some of the other complaints I’ve run into are:
- Not getting paid referral earnings (not the same as cog earnings).
- From joining to getting paid is a slow process.
- Having to share too much personal information.
- You’ll get a lot of spam emails and/or spam phone calls.
- Needing a credit card to sign up for some offers.
- Advertising of slot machines, bingo offers, and casino offers.
- Some of the online offers (or cogs) are a little expensive or inconvenient (sharing card details for example) for the extra money they are paying out.
So, as you can see there are plenty of things members who have complaints.
A complaint I did NOT find often though, is not getting paid. From personal experience and having reviewed hundreds of similar sites, that’s the complaint I expected to see most. But aside from that one person saying they did not get their referral earnings, 20Cogs members are getting paid.