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 Jobs > 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 Jobs > 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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