Getting your money is important. Instant Pay allows eligible freelancers to move earnings to their bank accounts quickly. If you’re based in the U.S. and have a Visa or Mastercard debit card linked to your bank account, Instant Pay is a great option for you.

For a $2.00 processing fee per withdrawal, your money will be available in your bank account in minutes.

To add Instant Pay for withdrawals:

  1. Go to SettingsGet Paid
  2. Click Add Method
  3. Click Set Up for the Instant Pay option
  4. Enter your debit card details and click Continue

To protect your security, the new payment method will become active within three days after you confirm the account.

When you are ready to withdraw your earnings, you can use Instant Pay in the same way as you would any other payment method. If Instant Pay is not for you, we have other options to manage how you get paid.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why can't I add my U.S. Visa/Mastercard?

When a debit card is added on Upwork for Instant Pay, your bank lets us know whether it is enabled to receive these quick payments. Specifically, Upwork's Instant Pay payment method uses “Visa's Direct Payment” system and “Mastercard Send” to disburse funds to debit cards. If either of these is not enabled by your bank, the card cannot be used for Instant Pay.

To resolve this issue, we suggest contacting your bank and asking them if your debit card is enabled for Instant Pay, Fast Funds, or any related quick pay options. You can also try a different debit card.

How long will I have to wait to use this withdrawal method after I set it up?

To protect and verify your bank information, activating Instant Pay may take up to 3 business days.

Pro Tip:

Set up your Instant Pay before you are ready to withdraw earnings. By setting it up early, your money will be ready when you need it!

How long will I have to wait to receive my funds?

Your funds should be available in your bank account within minutes when you use Instant Pay, as long as your card is successfully linked.

Depending on which bank you use, you may have to allow time for it to process your withdrawal.

I want to set up Instant Pay, but I only want to select it on a one-time basis. Why is Upwork asking me to select automatic withdrawal frequency?

We like to give you options. When you set up your first Upwork payment method, or if you’re designating your Instant Pay payment method as your preferred one, Upwork can send your earnings to your bank automatically. If you prefer not to set up an automatic schedule, you can set up your Instant Pay as a secondary payment method — that way, you can only activate it when needed

How much does it cost to use Instant Pay?

There is a $2 processing fee for each Instant Pay transaction.

I signed up for Instant Pay but it’s not processing my payment automatically every month. Do I have to manually disburse each time?

To process your payment automatically every month through Instant Pay, you’ll need to first set Instant Pay as your preferred payment method.

  1. Go to SettingsGet Paid
  2. Click Edit Schedule
  3. Set up your schedule as needed


Your balance is only withdrawn automatically when it reaches your set minimum limit by your scheduled withdrawal date. You can set your minimum anywhere from $100 to $1,000. You can take out funds ahead of the automatic schedule at any time (as long as the balance is above $3 USD) by selecting Get Paid Now.

Are you going to expand Instant Pay to freelancers outside the U.S?

Most of these features are dependent upon bank processes. Though Instant Pay is only available in the U.S. now, Upwork hopes to make it accessible to other countries in the future.

Is there a limit on how much I can transfer to my bank?

At this time, the maximum amount you can transfer through Instant Pay at one time is $2,999.00 USD.

Why is my debit card not accepted?

Instant Pay settings are largely dependent on your bank. Only eligible Visa and Mastercard debit cards will be accepted. There may be instances where a Visa or Mastercard debit card may be rejected. In those instances, please contact your issuing bank to see if your debit card is eligible and set up for payout.

How is this different from when I click “Get Paid Now?”

“Get Paid Now” is a scheduling tool that allows you to manually override your automatic payment schedule and release your earnings sooner to certain payment methods. Instant Pay is one of those types of payment methods. You can use Instant Pay for either automatic withdrawals or to “Get Paid Now.”

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