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What Are Connects On Upwork? (Complete 2023 Guide!)

Jamey Muller
Updated: July 6, 2022
7 min read

Upwork is an excellent way to get started in freelancing. You only need connects to apply for gigs and link with potential clients.

This guide will tell you all you need to know about connects on Upwork.

Here’s What Connects on Upwork Are:

Connects are tokens that you use to apply for a job on Upwork. The required number of connects varies depending on the gig. Small jobs usually cost one or two connects, while big jobs may cost you six connects. Once you run out of connects, you have to buy more to be able to apply for more jobs.

Connects are what freelancers utilize to submit proposals for gigs listed in the Upwork platform. They provide you the opportunity to apply for certain jobs, as long you meet the requirements.

You can buy connects on Upwork, or receive free connects per month depending on your account type. You can also win connects from the milestones that you attained.

Different gigs require different amounts of connects. Some jobs will entail only one or two connects, while others will need more. 

You can find out how many connects you have by going to your homepage. They should be displayed at the bottom right corner of the sidebar.

Once your connects run out, you will not be able to submit proposals for that month. You can either wait for the free connects you will receive the next month or buy connects using a billing method linked to your Upwork account.

How Do You Get Connects on Upwork?

The easiest way to get connects on Upwork is by buying them in packages. The platform offers connects by denominations of 10, 20, 40, 60, or 80.

You can also get connects for free per month depending on your account plan or from certain achievements.

If you are a newbie and just signed up on the platform, you will receive free connects that you can use for your applications.

How Do You Get Free Connects on Upwork?

There are several ways you can get free connects on the platform – having a new account, securing a rising talent badge, and achieving top-rated status.

When you are new to Upwork, you will receive 40 connects to get started. This allows you to try out the platform with low risks involved.

You will also be rewarded more connects once you accomplish the Upwork Readiness Test. When you pass the test, you will receive 40 free connects.

Upwork rewards freelancers with 10 free connects for a basic plan each month. If you have a Freelancer Plus account, you will receive 80 free connects monthly.

The connects that you will not be able to use can be rolled over in the next months. 

Free connects will also be rewarded for freelancers who submitted a proposal to a client and won an interview. For every interview you complete, you will get 10 free connects.

Meanwhile, a Rising Talent badge will earn you 30 free connects. This is Upwork’s way to recognize freelancers that do an excellent job on the platform.

It may take a bit longer to achieve a top-rated status, but once you do, you will receive 70 free connects per month.

If you want to upgrade your account to Freelancer Plus, you will get 70 free connects and other perks. Of course, you need to pay $14.99 per month for the membership.

Can You Buy Connects on Upwork? (Are They Worth It?)

Yes. You can buy connects on Upwork anytime. The platform sells them by the bundle, so you can get 10 connects for $1.50, 20 for $3, 40 for $6, 60 for $9, and 80 for $12.

For each connect, you will be paying $.15. On Upwork, submitting a proposal will require one to six connects, so you will be paying from $.015 to $.90 for every gig.

Small jobs or those that are $49 or less will cost you two connects ($0.30). Medium gigs that are anywhere between $50 to $599 will cost you four connects ($0.60).

Meanwhile, for large jobs or those that net $600 and up, you will need to shell out six connects ($0.90). 

As of now, Upwork jobs will not cost you more than $0.90 to send a proposal.

Keep in mind that if an employer closes a gig without hiring anyone, the connects you used for your proposal will be returned to you.

The same applies when the employer is found violating job posting policies. 

Upwork monitors the system closely to prevent unethical practices on the platform.

While connects cost you money, this is not too much to give in return for what you will gain. 

If you pay $9 a month for 60 connects, but land a big project every month, you are getting back that fee in no time.

Paid connects are Upwork’s way to encourage freelancers to be serious with their proposals.

Since you are paying for your connects, you are bound to do your best in securing the gig to not waste your hard-earned money.

Here’s How You Can Buy Connects on Upwork:

You can purchase connects using either your Upwork earnings or through a billing method you have registered on your account.

To utilize your available earnings, you need to go to Settings > Membership & Connects. Select a bundle of your choice, then click Add.

Your purchased connects will automatically be reflected on your account.

You should note that only available earnings on the platform can be used to buy connects. You will not be able to use pending earnings for purchases.

You can also use the billing method you have enrolled on your Upwork account to procure connects. To purchase, go to Settings > Membership & Connects > Add Connects.

Once you have selected the bundle you would like to buy, click on the green button for the connects to be reflected on your account.

There are several billing methods you can use on your Upwork account. 

Freelancers commonly use a credit or debit card as their billing method. Keep in mind that not all credit or debit cards are accepted on Upwork. Some of the accepted ones are Visa, Mastercard, Diners Club, and Discover.

If you are a freelancer from the Philippines, you can use the American Express card linked to your Gcash to purchase connects. 

To do so, make sure to activate your Gcash Amex, then add it as a billing method on your Upwork account.

You can also use your verified PayPal account as a billing method. However, if you plan to use it to purchase connects, you need a credit card as a backup. 

To add a new billing method to your Upwork account, go to Settings > Billing Methods > Add Method. Afterward, you need to enter your billing information.

While adding several billing methods to your account is allowed, you can only use one primary billing method a time. You can switch between them if needed.

If you are going to use your Upwork balance to purchase connects, but the funds are not enough, the balance will be charged to your primary billing method.

Do Upwork Connects Expire?

Yes. Upwork connects do expire after a year. However, this should not be a problem if you are active on the platform and constantly applying for jobs.

Unused connects on your Upwork account are carried over the next month. They will cap out at 200 though, so you should plan accordingly and not waste any.

If you are shifting from a basic account to Freelancer Plus, any free connects you have in your current account will roll over with the new program.

Do You Get Your Upwork Connects Back When You Withdraw a Proposal?

No. You cannot get the connects you used after withdrawing your proposal on a gig you applied for on Upwork.

While the interview process on Upwork can usually take a while, this should not be a reason to pull out your application.

The only way you can get your connects back is if the potential client cancels the job, or if the gig went against the platform rules.

If you think your qualifications are not enough to secure the gig you are eyeing, you should reconsider and not waste connects.

The following are tips on how to use your Upwork connects wisely.

Make sure to check potential clients to see if the gigs they are offering are legitimate. One way to do this is by looking into their ratings.

The higher the rating is and the more payment history they have, the more likely that they are a good patron to work with.

Before sending a proposal, you should examine the job description. Check if the specific skills needed match what you are offering.

If you are not sure what skills are required for the gig, do not apply. Most likely, you will waste your connects.

Always do your best when working for a gig. The more jobs you land and the more clients you satisfy, the better your chances of securing invites.

Clients in Upwork are always on the lookout for freelancers getting positive reviews for their work. If they send you an invitation for a gig, you do not need to use any of your connects.


Upwork: Free Connects To Do More On Upwork
Upwork Billing Methods

Written by
Jamey Muller
I'm the head-writer @ Knowledge Eager (or, in plain English, I'm the guy writing the majority of the content here). Addicted to the stock market, football, sushi and tacos.
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Jamey Muller
I'm the head-writer @ Knowledge Eager (or, in plain English, I'm the guy writing the majority of the content here). Addicted to the stock market, football, sushi and tacos.