Help & Support

How and when are incentive payments distributed?

Who's distributing your incentive, what reward options are available, and when to expect your payment

written by
Brittany Rutherford
Last updated:
March 26, 2021

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 a digital Amazon or Reward link gift card, 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, 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. Researchers are required to release your incentive within 10 business days of the completed session.

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

If a study offers an "choice of dozens of digital gift cards" incentive, User Interviews is distributing the incentive. You have two options: a digital Amazon gift card, or a digital Reward Link gift card. If UI is issuing the incentive, you can redeem your incentive in USD, CAD, AUD, GBP, or EUR.

Amazon gift card

For participants who joined UI prior to April 2021, you've seen this incentive on many studies! This is the original UI distributed incentive, and is available in USD, CAD, AUD, GBP, or EUR. EUR can only be used on and sites.

View terms and conditions

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. This option is available in USD, CAD, AUD, GBP, or EUR.

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

  • 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. Please note that researchers choose this incentive type for a reason, and no other incentive type can be made available.

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 do not count!) since your session, please email 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 competed", 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.

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.

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