You know the value of freelancers who are perfect for your projects, and the importance of staying connected with them. Showing appreciation for exceptional work can help, and bonuses are a great way to do just that.

You can use bonuses to thank your freelancer or to reimburse them for things like expenses. You cannot use them in place of a minimum hourly or fixed-price payment. Bonuses you give to your freelancers are subject to Upwork’s freelancer service fees, just like other payments you make to them.

Whether to give a bonus, the amount you give, and when to give it are up to you. You can send one manually for a contract at any time, and in some cases you can add a bonus when you make a payment. Once a contract has ended, you can send a bonus within 365 days of the end date. Keep reading to learn more about how and when you can give a bonus.

To give a bonus when making a payment on an active fixed-price contract:

You can add a bonus when you release a payment for a fixed-price contract, including a milestone payment of a fixed-price contract, if you are releasing the full amount for the milestone or contract. Simply select the Add bonus checkbox and add the amount you want to send.

To give a bonus on an active hourly contract, or a fixed-price contract (when not making another payment):

You can give a bonus manually at any time during the contract and up to 365 days after the contract end date.

  1. Go to All Contracts to find the freelancer name/contract
  2. Select Give Bonus from the (...) options menu
  3. Fill out the form (you can add a private note and other details)
  4. Choose Make Payment

To give a bonus at the end of a fixed-price or hourly contract:

If you have made a payment to the freelancer and are leaving positive feedback, you can leave a bonus as you end the contract.

  1. Go to All Contracts to locate the contract
  2. Select End Contract from the (...) options menu
  3. Fill out the End of Contract survey
  4. Select a bonus amount. If you’ve given the freelancer a positive rating, you’ll see suggestions. You can also enter a custom amount
  5. Choose End Contract


A bonus cannot be offered in place of the minimum hourly or fixed-price amount. All contracts must offer at least the minimum fixed-price or hourly payment.

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