How Do Most Sweeps Pay Out?
Most sweeps sites, including Sweeps Corner, make it simple and straight forward to collect your prize money if you win. To use our site as an example, winners are notified at the email address connected to the winning entry which means, if you win, you will receive an email saying “you have won” in the subject line.
It’s important to make sure to enter your email address correctly since, in most if not all cases, that’s the only way your entries can be registered and counted, and the only means by which the sweeps site can reach you to let you know you’ve won.
Once you receive a winner email message, simply follow the directions included, which is generally to reply and let the sweeps site know which way you’d like to receive your prize payment. They will let you know in the winner email what your options are, and you can choose from there.
Electronic payments are usually the quickest method to collect your prize money and begin enjoying spending it on whatever you choose to use it for. Generally, the funds are available immediately to use from the app but could take a couple of days if you choose to transfer it to a bank account.
Most sites will offer PayPal as an option, which is simple enough to collect by providing the email address or phone number connected to your PayPal account. This ensures your personal information remains private while allowing you to easily collect the money you’ve won. Venmo is another electronic option which is gaining in popularity and only requires you to provide your @handle to the payor so you can be paid directly through the app.
Whether you choose PayPal or Venmo, you have the option to transfer the funds into your bank account or leave it in your app account to pay someone else, shop, or use it anywhere those apps are accepted as payment. If you shop online, you’ll see on the checkout page which methods of payment are accepted. PayPal is widely accepted simply because it’s been around a lot longer than Venmo. In either case, be sure to have your login available so you can connect your purchase payment through the app, such as PayPal, to complete your transaction if you choose to spend it right from your app account.
Some sites also offer gift cards as a prize payment method. Amazon is one of the most popular simply because it’s the largest online retail marketplace in the world and carries just about anything you can think of. If the site you win on does offer this as a payment option and you choose to receive your payment in this form, the sweeps site will send you an Amazon Gift Card code which you can readily load into your account. From there, you can use it like a debit card to shop on the site. You don’t necessarily need to spend it all at once, either. As you make purchases, your gift card balance will be applied until you’ve used it all. Depending on how much you win and what the cost of your purchases are, will determine how much the gift card will cover.
Another option for most sweeps’ sites, which is still widely employed, is a good old-fashioned check in the mail. Some people love the excitement of seeing that winner check with their name on it and prefer not to conduct transactions electronically. That’s perfectly fine, just keep in mind a check by mail can take longer to process by the sweeps company and the delivery time can vary depending on where you live and how fast or slow your postal service is. If you don’t mind waiting a bit longer, this is a perfectly respectable way to have your prize money delivered. From there you can simply deposit it in your bank or cash it. Keep in mind, most banks will want you to have the equivalent amount in your account to cover the check if you choose to cash it, otherwise you’ll need to deposit it and wait for it to clear. Depending on the amount, some banks will clear some of the funds right away and the rest can take several business days, depending on your bank and that of the sweep’s payment issuer. This is a standard safeguard most banks use. You also have the option to take it to a check cashing establishment but keep in mind they do charge a fee which is usually a percentage of the total amount, or a flat fee based upon how much the total of the check is.
The last option, which is always your choice as well and one usually offered by most sweeps sites, is to accept delivery of the actual prize if the prize win wasn’t a cash award or gift card. Some winners will opt for the cash equivalent if they win a prize which typically can be paid in the aforementioned ways. If you do want the actual prize, that’s an option you can choose when you reply to your winner email.
Keep in mind, sites such as ours which run legitimate sweeps will never require any type of fee or ask you to provide sensitive personal information in order to collect your prize. They will, however, ask you to fill out a W-9 tax form which is required by federal law for prizes over $600 since it is viewed as personal income. The sweeps company has to file a 1099 form the same way any company would for a contracted employee that isn’t directly on the payroll.
Anything under that amount is free and clear and doesn’t need a tax form filled out; however, if you file a 1040 personal income tax form you are supposed to report it as income for any prize wins over $50. The sweeps company paying the prize doesn’t get involved in that since they are not required to report it. That’s the responsibility of the winner.
No matter which way you decide to collect your prize payment if you win, it’s always exciting no matter what or how much you win. Since sweepstakes sites such as ours are completely free to play, you’ll never lose money since it doesn’t cost anything to enter. You can simply have some free fun and possibly win something cool or put some money in your wallet!