A Palfish Review from a Veteran Teacher

Affiliate Marketing Disclosure

Today, we’re going to jump into another online English teaching platform. This company is called Palfish and in this review, you’ll learn everything you need to know about whether or not this is the right opportunity for you.

For this Palfish review, I spoke with my friend Miranda, who is a current Palfish teacher.

Miranda uses the Palfish app to teach and earn money while traveling the world full time.

If you’re interested in teaching with Palfish, check out Miranda’s review to decide if this is the right job for you.

Palfish Review: What Is Palfish?

Palfish is an online English teaching platform that serves young students in China.

These students range in age from 3 to 12 years old. As a Palfish teacher, it’s our job to teach, practice, and engage in English conversation with them throughout our lessons.

Palfish is different than other online ESL platforms because instead of teaching with a computer or iPad, you’ll be using your smart phone.

Palfish Official Kid’s Course Or FreeTalk?

Before we dive into the requirements and teaching hours with Palfish, we need to review the difference between the two Palfish courses: Palfish Official Kid’s Course and Palfish FreeTalk.

The Palfish Official Kids Course is very similar to VIPKID and other online ESL teaching platforms. You’ll book classes with students, show up, and teach the lesson materials provided.

On the other hand, the Palfish FreeTalk course is basically where you can be a tutor.

As a FreeTalk teacher, you’ll log in to the platform as a tutor and anyone of any age can call you and talk to you in English. This could be about anything: hobbies, family, food, etc.

Your free talk conversation will give them experience talking with a native English speaker.

Note: If you want to make money with the Palfish app, I highly recommend working for the Official Kid’s Course. It is much easier than the Free Talk course and you’ll have a steadier schedule.

What Are The PalFish Teaching Requirements?

In order to work as a Palfish teacher, you will need to meet the following requirements:

1. Experience Working With Children

This experience with children could be in any setting.

So, whether you’re a nanny, a coach, or you’ve mentored kids in your community, you’ll qualify as a Palfish teacher.

2. TEFL/TESOL Certificate

Another qualification that you must meet in order to work for Palfish is you must have a TEFL or TESOL certificate.

These certificates (Teach English As A Foreign Language) are required by the Chinese government as of 2019.

If you don’t have a TEFL certification yet, you can easily get one here:

Premier TEFL 120 Hour Certificate

I got my TEFL certification through Premier TEFL because it is internationally accredited, it’s easy to complete, and it’s one of the cheapest options out there (only $37).

This TEFL certificate works for any online English teaching company; I work for 3 different companies and Premier TEFL has been accepted everywhere.

3. Native Speaker

Palfish only hires native speakers from the following countries: USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Ireland, ad the UK.

This company is looking for neutral accents, which is why they will only accept native speakers.

Note: Palfish also has a course called Palfish Philippines Course. This course is set up for Filipino teachers only. You will need a TEFL or TESOL certificate to be hired.

Do I Need A Degree To Work For Palfish?

Unlike VIPKID, the Palfish app does NOT require a Bachelor’s degree.

This is one of the few companies that hires teachers without degrees, so if you are looking for a great opportunity to work online, apply now.

What Are The Typical Teaching Hours With Palfish?

Since Palfish serves young children in China, your teaching hours will revolve around Beijing waking hours.

The peak Palfish hours start at 6pm each night and wrap up at 9pm (Beijing Time). On the weekend, you can fill your schedule entirely from 10am to 9pm (Beijing Time).

Of course, there are many more hours available to teach on the Palfish app. These peak hours are just when you can expect the highest probability of being booked.

Is There A Minimum Hour Requirement With Palfish?

Palfish does state that teachers must open at least 3.5 hours of availability each week, however, I have taken weeks off at a time and it hasn’t been an issue.

Note: You do have to have a certain amount of money in your account before you can withdraw it.

The amount is equivalent to two or three classes; so you do have to at least teach a few classes before you can cash out.

What’s The Pay For Teaching With Palfish?

Similar to other online ESL teaching companies, you’ll earn between $16-23 per hour.

Palfish pays its teachers based on a tiered scale. Every teacher will start at level one and move up based on how many classes they have finished and attendance.

The higher your level, the more money you’ll earn per class.

Here is what the Palfish pay scale looks like:

Palfish Pay Scale Review

As you can see, the more points you accumulate, the more money you’ll make each class. Classes last for 25 minutes, so you can fit two classes into one hour.

Teachers at level one earn around $17 per hour while teachers at level five earn nearly $23 per hour.

Therefore, the longer you work for Palfish, the more you make.

Speaking from experience, it takes about a month to move up to level two and earn more per class.

Bonus Pay

A huge perk is that Palfish also offers their teachers bonuses.

If you teach a trial class and the student signs up as a regular student, you will earn more money.

The amount you will earn depends upon if there are any promotions for teachers at that time.

For example, I have received $15 for selling a package to a student and other times they have specials where you can make double the amount, so I made $30 for selling a package to a student.

In comparison, as a VIPKID teacher, you only receive $5 for getting a trial student to sign-up. With Zebra English, you don’t receive any bonus for having trail students sign up.

How Do You Get Paid From Palfish?

Palfish pays their teachers via direct deposit or through Payoneer.

Payoneer is very similar to PayPal and it’s a secure way to get paid from Palfish if you don’t feel comfortable giving them your banking information.

Payments from Palfish are made one per month.

Does Palfish Pay Weekly?

Unfortunately, Palfish doesn’t give teachers the option to be paid weekly. You will be paid each month, which might require some budgeting on your end.

Filing Taxes With Palfish

As a Palfish teacher, you are considered an independent contractor.

Independent contractors are responsible for their own taxes, therefore, you should set aside 30% of each paycheck just to be safe.

In order to keep as much of your Palfish income as possible, I highly recommend hiring a professional CPA.

I use Jasmine from MomenTaxServices. She is professional, qualified, and works closely with online English teachers. She also works part-time for VIPKID, so she understands the online ESL world.

If you want to reach out to Jasmine about tax services, her email address is vipkid@momentaxservices.com. Be sure to tell her Laura Peters sent you!

Palfish Vs. Other Online ESL Companies

A big difference is that with the Palfish app, you are teaching from your phone or iPad.

This company is a lot more mobile than other companies, therefore, if you’re traveling you don’t have to carry around a big laptop.

But you will need to still have classroom materials like props and the classroom background.

Palfish Review: The Pros

An appropriate review will include all of the positive aspects of teaching wtih Palfish.

Here are the things you can look forward to if you plan to teach fro Palfish:

✅ Easy To Get Classes

It has been much easier to get classes with Palfish compared to other online ESL companies.

With Palfish, the parents do book you, but the app works more like social media for English language learning, therefore, it’s easier to fill your schedule with students.

✅ More Room To Market Yourself

On the platform, you’ll have a profile where you can upload pictures and a timeline where you can share pictures with your students.

The parents can follow you, like your pictures, and book classes based on your profile.

There is more wiggle room to market yourself to the parents on the Palfish app, unlike other companies where you have one short video that parents can watch and judge you by.

✅ Simple Hiring Process

To start teaching with Palfish, you will sign up through the app, build your profile, upload pictures, and started to follow students.

You are able to quickly get yourself out there for students and parents to see.

Once you submit your video and get certified, you can open teaching slots. Palfish will then start to give you trial classes.

✅ Easier To Earn More

As other online ESL companies transition to the tiered pay scale system, Palfish offers an attainable way to earn more money per class.

With Palfish’s tiered pay scale, you’ll easily be able to increase your base pay.

Palfish Review: The Cons

There are plenty of cons to include in this Palfish review.

Here are the negative aspects you need to know about before applying to Palfish:

❌ Lots of Trial Classes

Unfortunately, trial classes make up a lot of teachers’ schedules.

The reason why trial classes aren’t as great as regular course classes is that there are only two or three trial lessons to teach. If you teach five classes in a row, you might end up teaching the same lesson five times back to back.

❌ Mediocre Coursework

Another negative with Palfish is the coursework. The teaching materials on other online ESL companies are much better than the materials on Palfish.

For a 25 minute Palfish class, you’ll have approximately 17-19 slides.

I find myself getting really creative to try to fill that time because there isn’t enough material. I don’t have that problem with other companies; they always give more than enough material to fill an entire class.

How Can Others Start Working With Palfish?

You can sign up to teach with Palfish through the Palfish app on your phone or iPad.

When you first sign up for the platform, you’ll become a tutor to do Free Talk. In order to teach for the Official Kids Course (which I recommend), you will have to sign up and submit a demo video.

What All New Palfish Teachers Should Know

Before we wrap up this Palfish review, there is one important thing you should know.

Other teachers will see that you have joined the app and that you aren’t yet signed up for the Palfish Official Course. These teachers will try to convince you to use their promo code to get a bonus.

The problem is, many of those teachers don’t actually help you get through the process.

Whoever your referring teacher is should also be your coach and be there to answer your questions.

Another teacher convinced me to use his referral code to sign up for the Palfish Official Course and then didn’t help me at all through the process.

I learned the hard way and I don’t want that to happen to someone else. I can assure you that as your referring teacher, I will be there to answer your questions and help you through the process.

Use my invitation code to sign up with Palfish: 50616622. We will get you up and teaching in no time.

The Wrap-Up: Palfish Review

Palfish is a great remote teaching opportunity and it will help you break into the online ESL world.

Use this review to weigh the pros and cons of teaching with Palfish before beginning your journey.

A huge thank you to Miranda Rios for taking the time to answer our questions and giving us an in-depth Palfish review. Miranda uses her online English teaching jobs through Palfish and VIPKID to travel the world full time. If this sounds intriguing, use her referral code to start the Palfish application process today!

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Palfish review: how to teach English and earn money from your phone


  1. Hello! 🙂 I’m interested in learning more about teaching the kiddos on Palfish. I just got hired 2 weeks ago from VIPKid and I’d like to continue building my online teaching career. Could you provide me with some additional information?
    Hiring process? Teach from iPhone? Safe site to upload banking information?

    Thx for any information. 🙂


    1. Hi Nicole,

      Thanks for reaching out!

      I can answer a few of these questions based on the article; for example, teaching is from your phone. My friend who did this interview is an actual Palfish teacher. She has uploaded her banking information to this site and it works perfectly for her. The hiring process is quite simple and will require that you submit a demo video, complete a profile, and upload pictures.

      I’ll reach out to Miranda, my friend who did this interview for us, and see if she can give you more insight 🙂


      1. Hello I am interested in getting started with Palfish. I have my Bachelor’s Degree and would love to travel as I am a Student and mom. Definitely need some guidance with this because I only have experience with teaching my give kids.

        1. Hi Dorothy,

          Since this is a guest post, I can’t personally offer you guidance on working with Palfish. However, if you’re interested in teaching with VIPKID, I can absolutely offer advice. Let me know!


  2. Hi i failed my palfish kids demo I’ve no idea why I was quite nervous didn’t have clue what I was supposed to be doing really I’m qualified tefl advanced and tesol don’t know what to do now kind regards Karen smith.

    1. Hi Karen,

      Would you send me your email address? I’ll forward it to my friend. I am not personally a Palfish teacher, so I wouldn’t be able to give you much advice. But my friend can! Thanks!

  3. Thank you for your response. 🙂 I have a question. I submitted my demo mock class for PalFish. It’s under review but I keep getting messages from the company that says to upload my passport for the nationality section. I uploaded my drivers license because I don’t have a passport. Wouldn’t that work the same??

    The strange thing is that I already passed the verification profile part. I’m starting to question if PalFish is legit?? Or should I say it makes me nervous.

    What are your thoughts on what I should do?

    Thank you so much.

    Nicole 🙂

    1. Hi Nicole,

      Since I don’t work for Palfish, I can’t answer questions with complete certainty. However, I do know that many companies require an official ID. Drivers licenses are not the same as passports (or work the same, I mean). Passports are much more official than drivers licenses. Personally, I would email Palfish directly and ask if there is another form of identification you can use. Typically they will accept passports or birth certificates. I will ask my friend about it; she is the one I interviewed for this blog post 🙂

      Hope this helps!

    2. Hi Nicole!
      I’m a Palfish teacher and can reassure you the platform is legit.
      You won’t have to provide your personal banking details, however, Palfish only pays through an international service called Payoneer so you will need to open an account on Payoneer.com and provide that link to Palfish in order to get paid. It goes through like clockwork from 1-7 of every month and I’m very happy with the system. Payment to Payoneer is in US $ but it is very simple to withdraw from your account and credit your regular $ or € or £ account via Payoneer.
      The reason for changes in formal info/docs teachers need to provide, lately, depends on increased Chinese government regulations. It is very annoying for teachers who’ve already been accepted to have to suddenly provide additional info, or a photo or video (as has happened in 2019) but just part of the system. As we’re teaching children, I can understand the need for safeguards as to our identity/background/qualifications.
      Good luck and message me on Palfish once you’re in! I’m Teacher Ally ?

      1. Hi

        I am TEFL qualified and looking at the different online teaching platforms. I was about to begin the Palfish application process, but I sense (could be wrong) that they are looking primarily for young tutors. I’m at the more senior end of the age spectrum, so not sure if Palfish would be the best option for me.

        Any feedback greatly appreciated!

        1. Hi Andre,

          Unfortunately, I don’t work for Palfish so I might not be the best source, but I do know that they hire teachers of all ages. I would also recommend taking a peek at our other blog posts about other online teaching platforms like VIPKID and GoGoKid. I currently work for VIPKID and I know they hire teachers of all ages.

          I hope this helps!

  4. Thank you so much for your reply. I’m just so hesitant but the company sounds so interesting. 🙂

    Thanks for any information…I honestly appreciate it! 🙂


  5. Hello,

    I am looking into PalFish (and other online ESL options) and am concerned less about the hourly rate and more about the number of hours available and consistency of work.. For example, if I wanted to work 20-25 hrs per week will I be able to? I’d like to have a better idea of how dependable this would be as a source of regular income, and any information or advice you could offer would be greatly appreciated!

    Thanks again

    1. Hi Ryan,

      Since this is a guest post, I’m not 100% certain about the questions you’ve asked. However, I do know that Miranda teaches with Palfish enough to support her world travels. She mentioned teaching at least 3 hours every morning, which is the peak teaching hours.

      Do you have a Bachelor’s degree and have you looked into other teaching platforms? Check out this post for more info: Teach Kids English Online.

  6. Hey, great article. I am thinking of starting the kids course but don’t know what the minimum hours are, have you any idea? Also, I sometimes travel 2 weeks at a time or so, is it ok to take this amount of time off with Palfish? Thanks in advance.

    1. Hi Jack,

      Since this is a guest post, I can’t be completely certain BUT I do believe the minimum hours for Palfish are 4 hours per week.

      From what I was told by Miranda (who also travels full-time), it is okay to take time off. She has taken off weeks at a time and hasn’t seen any repercussions.

      If you decide to sign up for Palfish, be sure to use Miranda’s referral code. She is an expert and will help you through the entire process and answer all of your questions!

      Best of luck!

  7. Hi,
    Does Palfish refer you bookings as an Offical Kids course teacher? I’ve read that they only give you booking the first week or two then I’m on my own, but then I’ve read that’s only for the free talk platform, so I’m a bit confused. Thanks for your help. 🙂


    1. Hi Charity,

      Based on what I’ve heard, Palfish doesn’t refer you bookings after the first two weeks, even for the Official Kids course.

      I hope that helps!

    2. I have been teaching with PalFish for several months now. They do actually still send you trials throughout your time with them. There are some rules around that now. You get 50 trials sent to you and then if you sell an OKC package ( get a kid to sign up for the course) you are given up to 50 more trials. If you fail to sell then they will not send you anymore trials and you have to rely on regulars.

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