HealthyWage Review: Is It Legit? Or A Scam? (New 2019)

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This article has been reviewed and deemed factual by our content auditor with 8 years of banking experience.

Teresa was horrified by the number on her scale.

So she laid out $125 a month of her own money through HealthyWage, started walking and using the gym, took part in challenges with her friends and family, and used her competitive drive to lose 69 pounds and win $2,415.

Anastasia decided enough was enough too: she made an 18-month bet and put down $167 every month. But she knew herself. And she knew those same monthly payments would’ve likely gone to fast food. And she wasn’t about to lose her bet amount either.

So she switched to eating Paleo and tracked progress meticulously using Fitbit. In the end, she shed 41 pounds and won $10,000. But, best of all, she learned good health habits (and made enough money to take a trip to Cancun for a week).

Teresa, Anastasia and millions of others have used HealthyWage to get paid to lose weight. So, the question is: how does HealthyWage work? And is HealthyWage legit? Or a scam? We answer of all of those questions and more in our new HealthyWage review.

HealthyWage Review

healthywage review

Let’s face it: the process of losing weight isn’t fun. It involves doing things we don’t always enjoy (exercising) and denying ourselves things we love (milkshakes, in my case). Healthy Wage exists to make it easier for you to reach your weight loss goals.

How Does HealthyWage Work?

HealthyWage lets you make a bet with yourself. The bet? You earn cash as you lose weight and stick to your goals. But, if you don’t lose the weight, you lose your money. It’s as simple as that.

HealthyWage has been around since 2009 and exists to make fitness “fun and effective.” It’s an innovative take on the problem of obesity, and one that resonates with many people. 

After all, motivations differ, and everyone who successfully loses weight and keeps it off is motivated by something. Our HealthWage review uncovered quite a few people motivated by the idea of cash!

What’s the Science Behind It?

HealthyWage is based on sound research from the University of Pennsylvania, Harvard and Carnegie Mellon.

Related: I wrote for Inc. Magazine about how my weight loss journey improved my business.

Their study found that offering even a little cash incentive dramatically increased success rates for weight loss and other self-improvement programs.

Financial incentives motivated people to lose weight, of course. Interestingly, the more of a person’s own money was at risk, the more likely they were to succeed in their weight loss goals.

Building on this idea, HealthWage has built a system that allows you to put your own money on the line and also make money if you win the wager.

How It Works: Individuals

If you’re using HealthyWage on your own, you first input your gender, current weight, height, and waistline measurements.

Then you choose the duration of your bet and your bet amount. The shortest duration you can wager is six months, and your wager end date can’t go beyond 18 months. 

You have to bet to lose a minimum of 10% of your body weight.

Your bet over the whole course of your wager period has to be at least $100, so the minimum amount you must fork over every month depends on how long your wager is.

If you want to place a seven-month bet, for example, you will need to bet at least $15 per month since all bets are in whole dollar amounts.

Calculating Your Winnings

Our HealthyWage reviewers did some calculations on the site to see what they could come up with. We developed two HealthyWage test personalities, one male and one female. 

In general, the more you bet on yourself, and the more weight you have to lose, the greater payoff you’ll get if you make it.

But it also matters how long your bet is and what percentage of your total weight you’re trying to lose.

Our first HealthyWage Review test personality was a 5’ 11” male who weighs 212. He wanted to lose 21 pounds over the next six months and was willing to put down $35 of his own money every month.

HealthyWage estimated his winnings at about $233 should he reach his goal. Of course, if he doesn’t, he loses $210.

We second HealthyWage Review test personality as a 5’ 7” female who weighs 192 pounds. She wants to lose 40 pounds over nine months and will bet $50 per month. Should she make her goal weight, she’ll win just over $960.

Extra Winnings

HealthyWage offers a couple of interesting ways to boost your winnings and make extra money. If you have a blog or website and put their banner on your site, you get money for click referrals.

For every person signs up with HealthyWage individually and actually sets up a challenge, you get $50. You get $30 if they participate in a team challenge.

If you refer your own friends and family and they start an active challenge, you get an $80 prize boost for each person.  

How It Works: Groups

Team Challenge

HealthyWage knows there’s power in peer encouragement, so they also have a system in place for groups to embark on weight loss challenges together.

The $10,000 Team Challenge requires a minimum of five people in each team to participate. It lasts three months, and the team with the greatest weight loss by the end of the three months gets the $10,000.

To enter, each member of your team has to pony up $25 in monthly payments. This one isn’t a total loss if you lose, however, as you get back your registration fee so long as, six months after the challenge ends, you can prove you’ve lost 10% of your body weight or more.

Team Challenge Rules

To keep everything fair, there are a few special rules for team challenges, including:

  1. Every active and responsive team member must be kept, even if they aren’t losing weight.
  2. No team may recruit new members after 14 days in.
  3. Anyone who doesn’t verify their weight at the final weigh in is assigned a weight of 0 for their team.
  4. No weight loss beyond 16.59% gets counted in the team challenge.
  5. Every team member must weigh in weekly to keep an accurate account of their weight loss journey.

Other Challenges

HealthyWage is constantly throwing new challenges out there, and you can be involved in up to 10 at a time. There are Personal and Jackpot Challenges, and Company Challenges as well as Step Challenges. The Jackpot Challenges and Step challenges allow you to compete against friends, family, or co-workers to meet particular goals over shorter periods. The combination of financial incentives and social motivators helps a lot of people meet their HealthWage challenge.

The Catch

So what’s the catch? Surprisingly, there isn’t one.

Our HealthyWage reviewers did a lot of digging looking for complaints and bad reviews, and there just isn’t much out there to find. Naturally, some people don’t make their goal weight and aren’t too happy about it, but you can’t complain about the terms of the game and the cash prizes. It’s all laid out in black and white.

If you lose the weight, you win the weight loss bet: that’s all there is to it. Of course, you can’t keep going forever, so this isn’t going to be a long-term income stream. Eventually, you’ll lose enough weight that you don’t have anything left to lose!

The Yo-Yo Rule

The yo-yo rule is the closest thing to a “catch” that you’ll get with HealthyWage, and it’s there to protect you. It simply states that if you’ve won $200 or more, any future challenge you take on has to start from your previous ending weight.

In other words, you can’t just pork up and slim down over and over with HealthyWage. Yo-yo dieting is wildly unhealthy, and HealthyWage does what it can to discourage that behavior. 

HealthyWage FAQ

Our HealthyWage reviewers immediately had some questions about the system, and we think you’d want to know the answer to these questions, too.  

How Does HealthyWage Pay?

In other words, where are they getting the money to give you if you win? Obviously, some money comes from people who don’t make their wagers. 

HealthyWage also gets money from advertisers. Finally, HealthyWage gets financial support from corporate and government entities interested in weight loss.

Sponsors include insurance companies, hospitals, healthcare systems, and food manufacturers, among others. In exchange for their contributions, these supporters get access to aggregate data.

This data gives them a way to better understand weight loss and design more effective studies, programs and foods, and even insurance plans.

Who Can Participate?

You have to be over 18 to take part, and you have to be living in a country where participation is legal, which is all of North America, most of Latin America, and most of Europe and Asia. 

HealthyWage is off-limits in much of the Middle East, a few places in Africa, and North Korea.

However, even if you live in an off-limits country, you can still take part as long as you are going through an employer with headquarters based in a participating location.

What If I Want a Refund? 

If you get some buyer’s regret after you’ve already set up a challenge, you can cancel it; but you won’t be getting a refund.

Why? Because HealthWage really wants to you to lose weight. If it was easy for you to get out of it and get your money back, you’d lose the incentive to keep going and meet your goals.

Are They Really Going to Pay?

This is definitely a legit company.

They have a great rating with the BBB (A+) and have been featured on most of the big news networks, including Fox News, NPR, CNN, and Good Morning America.

You normally get your winnings within 12 to 24 hours, and it’s all cash. There are no gift cards or points with this system, which gives HealthyWage an edge over a number of other online, money-making systems.

What If I Lose the Wager? 

If you don’t make your goal weight, you lose the bet.

Your consolation is knowing your money has gone towards rewarding someone who did make their goals (and possibly really needed that success). Losing the cash also might just inspire you to try even harder the next time.

How Much Money Can I Make?

The amount of money you make depends on your goals, your starting weight, how much you’re willing to risk of your own cash, and how long your wager lasts.

The average participant earns a prize amount of just over $1,330, and you can win money with your own challenge and by participating in Step and Jackpot challenges.

How Do They Know I’ve Lost Weight?

You can choose between uploading a weigh-in video or using the HealthyWage app to prove that you’ve lost the weight. 

On occasion, their reviewers will double check an individual’s weight loss if they aren’t confident everything is on the up-and-up, but that’s pretty rare.

HealthyWage Review: Pros and Cons

Will HealthyWage work for everyone? No system guarantees success for everyone, but if you know yourself and craft your wager well, this is a good system for losing weight while gaining cash. Is it for you? As with anything, there are pros and cons to consider.

Pros

  • Really does motivate you to lose weight
  • Lots of social support to keep you motivated
  • Set your own targets according to what you know of yourself
  • Participate in multiple challenges to make more money
  • Get paid!

Cons

  • Not a long-term, on-going income stream once you’ve lost the weight
  • Team challenge success depends on the whole team sticking with it

HealthyWage Review Conclusion

We love HealthWage.

It’s a legit way to get paid to lose weight. And what’s better than making money while pushing yourself to reach your health goals? 

To wrap up our HealthyWage review: if the idea of shrinking your waistline while padding your bank account isn’t enough to motivate you, I don’t know what it is. It’s a novel concept that works.

So, if you want to make some money and need motivation for your weight loss, you should definitely check out HealthyWage.

Brian Roberts

Brian Roberts

Editor at CarefulCents
Featured in The Washington Post and published in Entrepreneur, Forbes, Business Insider, Time, Inc., CNBC and others.