Help & Support

How and when are incentive payments distributed?

written by
Courtney Webster
Last updated:
August 11, 2023

In this guide, we'll share what incentive reward options are available, details on how to tell if UI or the researcher is issuing your incentive and instructions about checking the status of your incentive payment. Check out our related support guides for more incentive details: how to redeem incentives and are incentives taxable income.

Incentive Options

Researchers can opt to have User Interviews distribute incentives on their behalf, allowing participants to choose from dozens of digital gift cards, or researchers can distribute incentives themselves in an incentive type of their choosing.

Is User Interviews or the research team distributing my incentive?

  1. To check who's issuing your incentive, log into your account.
  2. Click the "My studies" tab.
  3. Locate your study.
  4. If the study says "via choice of dozens of digital gift cards", that means User Interviews is distributing your incentive. Once the researcher has marked attendance for the study, the status will change to "Paid", and you'll see the option to redeem your incentive for this study.
  5. If the study's incentive type is anything else, that means the researcher is distributing your incentive. Once the researcher has marked attendance for the study, the status will change to "Interview completed". You should expect payment within 10 business days of the completed session.
UI pays = choice of dozens of digital gift cards vs. Researcher pays = any other incentive type

What incentive types and currencies are available if the incentive type is "choice of dozens of digital gift cards"?

Incentives distributed by User Interviews are offered as a "choice of dozens of digital gift cards". 

For Recruit projects, incentives are only available in AUD, CAD, GBP, EUR, or USD. For EUR, we only support payment and the use of incentives in Germany and France.

For Hub projects, incentives are available in AED, ARS, AUD, BGN, BRL, CAD, CHF, CZK, EUR, GBP, INR, PHP, PLN, RON, SEK, USD and SGD. 

Hub incentives are supported in UAE, Argentina, Australia, Bulgaria, Brazil, Canada, Switzerland, Czech Republic, Austria, Belgium, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, UK, USA, India, Philippines, Poland, Romania, Sweden, and Singapore. 

To learn more about incentives and currency options, check out this support page.

Reward Link gift card (the option that gives you dozens more options!)

Reward Link is a gift card option allowing you to choose from dozens of store, restaurant, service, and experience gift cards. When you choose Reward Link when redeeming your incentive, you'll be prompted to apply your gift card balance to your pick of gift cards.

Gift card options may vary by country, but in the U.S., choose from options like:

  • Amazon
  • Target
  • Whole foods
  • Starbucks
  • Uber
  • Southwest Airlines
  • StubHub
  • DoorDash
  • Airbnb
  • And more!

View terms of service

What incentive options can researchers offer if they are distributing the incentives?

If a researcher has opted to pay incentives themselves, they choose the incentive type for the study. This may be cash, PayPal, direct deposit, store gift card, Visa gift card, a check, a product, access to a free subscription, etc. This incentive type will always be shown on the study details page before you apply so you can determine if the incentive is right for you.

Incentive payment expectations

When will I receive my incentive?

We know you're eager to receive your incentive payment! Most incentives are issued within a day or two of a session. However, researchers have up to 10 business days after the completed session to release payment. We give researchers that extra time, as they may need to work to confirm attendance with moderators, review task-based studies, manually issue payment, etc.

If it has been more than 10 business days (note that weekends and holidays do not count!) since your session, reach out to us here. Our team is not able to look into incentives until after the 10 business day mark, so please do not contact support before that time.

Accessing my incentive

How can I check the status of my incentive payment?

  1. Log into your account.
  2. Click the "My studies" tab.
  3. Locate the study.
  4. If the study's status is "Confirmed", payment has not been released yet as the researcher has not marked attendance. Many researchers will mark attendance in batches within a few days of a session, but recording attendance could take up to 10 business days. Please do not contact support until it has been more than 10 business days since your session.
  5. If the study's status is "Paid", UI is distributing your incentive, and your incentive is available to be redeemed. View our support guide on how to redeem your incentive.
  6. If the study's status is "Interview completed", the researcher is distributing your incentive, and the researcher has marked your attendance. Once a researcher marks your session as complete, we do not have tracking or additional details on your incentive payment.
Confirmed status
Paid (UI pays incentive) vs. Interview Completed (researcher pays incentive) status

How do I redeem my incentive?

View our support guide on how to redeem your incentive.

An important message about withheld incentive payments:

Every researcher reserves the right to withhold payment from a participant for the following reasons, among others:

  • Speculation of untruthful responses on a screener survey or in an interview
  • Speculation of fraudulent behavior
  • Incomplete participation of failure to complete all required tasks
  • Late arrivals to session
  • Any behavior deemed an interference to the session itself

You may review our terms for additional information regarding our incentive and payment policy.


Can I get my incentive in a different form of payment, like Paypal or cash?

The research team for your study has chosen the incentive, so we are unable to change the incentive offered.

What does 10 business days mean?

Business days are considered Monday through Friday, excluding weekends. An easy way to think about it is 2 weeks from the day you participated, plus one day. For example, if you participate on a Tuesday, you can reach out 2 weeks later on Wednesday, as 10 full business days have passed since your session.

I completed my unmoderated task before the deadline. Does the 10 business days begin when I submit my task?

No. We base the start of the 10 business days on the deadline. You're always welcome to submit your unmoderated task early, but please give researchers a full 10 business days from the deadline to mark attendance and release payment.

Do you have tracking or information on payment for researcher issued incentives?

No. Researchers distributing their own incentives do not share incentive details with User Interviews.

My study status is "Confirmed", but it's been more than 10 business days. What do I do?

If the researcher is paying your incentive (the incentive is anything other than "Choice of dozens of digital gift cards"), use the messenger tool to contact your researcher. Often, the researcher is able to provide an update. If you don't hear back, or UI is paying your incentive, please contact us so our team can take a look.

I participated in a study more than a month ago and didn't get paid. What now?

First, log into your account and click "My studies". If UI is paying the incentive, and you have not redeemed your incentive yet, you'll see "Redeem incentive". You can then redeem your incentive. If you have already redeemed your incentive you can "View gift code".

If the research team is paying the incentive, we recommend searching your inbox for emails around the time you completed your study. Commonly researchers send digital gift cards from an email address that you may not recognize that may hit spam or an alternate inbox. Double-check your messages and confirmation email for that study—sometimes researchers will include how and where they'll be sending your incentive. If you still cannot find your incentive, please contact our support team here. Please note that our team is unable to follow up about incentives for studies after three months have passed, so make sure to notify us at the 10 business day mark if you haven't received payment yet.

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