Is Primerica a Pyramid Scheme?

Is Primerica A Pyramid Scheme?

Since 1977, Primerica offered term life insurance and it’s less expensive than the whole life insurance. You may be invited to become one of its associates, but you wonder “Is Primerica a Pyramid Scheme?”

Today, I will share my findings from its business model and the compensation plan to evaluate whether I can make money or not. You are welcome to read my Primerica review and learn to leverage it to achieve your financial goal.

I am not associated with Primerica, so you won’t see me selling any Primerica products or convincing you joining Primerica to become my downlines. I will provide you everything you should be aware of Primerica and then you probably can make a better decision.

Shall we proceed further?

What is Primerica?

-Summary of Primerica-

Product Name: Primerica
Founders: founded by Arthur Williams Jr in 1977
Product Type: Insurance and financial products MLM
Price: $99 sign-up cost + $25 monthly fee
Rating: 30 / 100
Recommend: No

Primerica is founded by Arthur Williams Jr in 1977. Before he founded Primerica, his father passed away because of a sudden heart attack in1965 and the whole life insurance his father left wasn’t covered much. That’s where the idea of creating Primerica comes from.

When he introduced the term life insurance with the slogan “Buy Term and Invest the Difference“, Primerica sold many term life insurance through an MLM business model. The following decades, we saw many acquisitions and mergers undergoing.

In 2015, Primerica was on the list of “Americas 50 Most Trustworthy Financial Companies” by Forbes. In 2017, Primerica sales revenue exceeded $1.69 billion with 126,121 licensed representatives that mostly from the U. S, Canada, and Puerto Rico.

What’s inside Primerica?

Many insurance and other types of financial products, of course!

But, I have not purchased any of them, you won’t get my firsthand experience from their products or customer services. What I could share in my article is based on my research online.

Product Lines

Primerica products include the below categories:

  • Term Life/Long-term/Auto/Home Insurances
  • Debt Solutions
  • Financial Investment
  • Credit Monitoring Service
  • Prepaid Legal Protection

Primerica doesn’t provide any pricing on their official website which makes you need to find a representative to know the actual prices. This also implies their prices are higher than other competitive insurance companies in the industry, right?

Do Primerica Products Work?

Based on its page on consumer affairs, customers have both positive & negative feedback against Primerica. I think the feedback from both sides are equally important to get a clear picture of Primerica. Let’s keep an open mind and listen to what they have to say. Deal?

-The Positive-

Is Primerica a Pyramid Scheme? - Primerica Positive feedback 01
Is Primerica a Pyramid Scheme? - Primerica Positive feedback 02
Is Primerica a Pyramid Scheme? - Primerica Positive feedback 03

-The Negative-

Is Primerica a Pyramid Scheme? - Primerica Negative feedback 01
Is Primerica a Pyramid Scheme? - Primerica Negative feedback 02
Is Primerica a Pyramid Scheme? - Primerica Negative feedback 03

How Does Primerica Work?

Just like other MLMs, there are two ways to make money with Primerica:

  1. Sell Primerica financial products to get the personal commissions
  2. Recruit people to become your downlines and help them to make sales for extra bonuses

Before you can sell Primerica products, you need to take a three-month online training course & pass the exam. Once you pass, you are allowed to sell the products officially.

PS. The pass-through rate is only 16% in 2017. In other words, 84% people who joined Primerica failed to pass the insurance exam and they were never qualified to sell Primerica products to earn commissions.

Getting Started

First of all, you need to enroll as a representative with a $99 sign-up fee that gets you a Primerica Sales License and a background check.

Besides $99 sign-up fee, there is also $25 monthly fee for the access to Primerica’s tool and platform where you will find online training courses and marketing materials.

The Compensation Plan

I cannot find the official compensation plan on Primerica’s website, so my curiosity made me google for every detail that I need to know. Remember you need to get a Primerica License first to make money after you pass the insurance exam.

Here are what I found based on this 188-page Primerica Annual Report:

  • Sales Commissions: You can earn 25% to 95% commissions once you directly make sales to your customers. The higher ranking you are, the more commissions you can earn.
  • Overrides commission: This is the concept of a traditional MLM recruitment that comes into play. Once you recruit people under you, you can start earning overrides commissions from the sales they make. It’s 10%-70% and you are eligible to earn commissions 11-tiers down under you.
  • Others: commissions for selling other Primerica financial products, bonus to help your downlines to make insurance sales, etc.

You may also watch the below YouTube video to know more about the compensation plan. I know it’s not the greatest, but it’s the best one I could find to explain the basic Primerica compensation plan.

What I Liked About Primerica

TOP#1 Low Start Cost

Compared to other MLMs, you only need to spend $99 to cover your basic application fee and a background check. When we first start our MLM or making-money online journey, the affordable cost is the main factor that influences people’s will.

If any program costs too high, newbies won’t join them immediately. But, $99 is a nice and decent cost to start.

TOP#2 A Long History

You must know that 5 out of 10 new companies cannot survive longer than 5 years. For a company that runs business over FOUR decades, Primerica deserves applause and they must know how to do things right for their services.

Otherwise, I don’t think any scam/pyramid scheme could last for 4 decades without being forced to shut down by FTC.

TOP#3 Primerica Foundation

Primerica foundation aims to support community causes that contribute to self-sufficiency for low- to moderate-income families and individuals. It’s nice to see Primerica does something than nothing.

In 2017 & 2018, Primerica foundation and its employees donated half a million dollars to American Cancer Society. I believe they do deserve our respect on this.

Ugly Truth About Primerica

TOP#1 Not Transparent

Like I mentioned in the previous paragraphs, I cannot find the official compensation plan from the website. As for the income disclosure, I just found the below on the website:

“From January 1 through December 31, 2019, Primerica paid cash flow to its North American sales force at an average of $6,249, which includes commissions paid on all lines of business to licensed representatives.”

In short, most representatives who got a Primerica license normally got a $6,249 annual income. It’s only $521 per month. I think you won’t quit your job by this little amount of earning, right?

I will reveal my alternative to make money online in one minute!

TOP#2 Higher Price Insurance

Compared to other similar insurance companies, the pricing from Primerica is 11%-29% higher. The below quote is from ValuePenguin, and the highest price gap falls on the 15-year level term.

I understand that MLM’s products are expensive because they need to reward its representatives with retail commissions once they make any sales. When it comes to an insurance, the products from different companies are normally the same.

To be honest, I saw people complained that they can find the same insurance products from other companies with a lower cost but a bigger coverage.

Is Primerica a Pyramid Scheme? - Primerica's insurance products are expensive than other companies

TOP#3 Lawsuits

In 2012, Primerica was accused by Florida firefighters, teachers and other public workers because Primerica representatives convinced them to divest from safe government-secured retirement investments to the high-risk retirement products provided by Primerica.

In January 2014, the company set aside $15.4 million to settle allegations involving 238 cases.

Who’s Primerica For?

People have knowledge in finance, insurance or other asset management and love to share with people about Primerica’s business opportunity. If you are like this, you must try Primerica.

If you are like me, not good at math or other calculating skills, I suggest you to try other ways to make extra bucks.

Can You Make Money Selling Primerica?

Yes, the average annual income of Primerica representative who got a license and made some sales is $6,249. It surely can cover your bills, but it’s far from supporting you a physical-free and financial-free lifestyle.

Is Primerica A Pyramid Scheme?


According to Wikipedia, a pyramid scheme is a business model that recruits members via a promise of payments or services for enrolling others into the scheme, rather than supplying investments or sale of products.

Primerica has the legitimate term life insurances and its representatives are making money with it. It’s not a pyramid scheme at all.

Before you sign up with Primerica, I hope you can think twice and be responsible for your decision. Let’s rewind a bit about things I don’t like much about Primerica:

  1. Primerica is not transparent about the compensation plan and the income disclosure that make us doubt the possibility to make money with the business opportunity.
  2. The insurance products are more expensive than other companies that makes it less competitive to customers.
  3. Primerica has many lawsuits in 2012 and they paid $15.4 million for the settlement.

If you have bad feelings against any above, I recommend you to try my alternative way to make money online:

My Alternative Way to Make Money Online

My alternative way to make money online is through Affiliate Marketing instead of promoting Primerica products in person. Try to imagine you sell Primerica’s products to your friends, family, or anyone you know, don’t you feel embarrassed or super nervous? They might avoid you ever since.

Doing affiliate marketing will save you from that!

  • You don’t even need to buy any physical or digital products and sell to someone face to face.
  • You also don’t need to convince people to join you as you downlines to build a team.
  • You are not restricted to only promote Primerica prepaid plans. You can promote anything you like.

You only need to create a website or YouTube channel with quality content that makes people trust you then purchase them through your links.

The platform I am using currently is Wealthy Affiliate. The reasons for “Why Wealthy Affiliate?” are for all the training courses, every Friday night LIVE training courses, 24/7 sitesupport, and the most friendly community.

For more details or top secrets about Wealthy Affiliate, you could check my full review in the below link.

>>>Try Wealthy Affiliate Before Bed<<<

Wealthy Affiliate Income Proof

Here are some of the most active members from Wealthy Affiliate. Each of them did succeed in generating a sustainable income to replace their 9-5 jobs. You are more than welcome to check their stories HERE.

I hope you enjoy this review and you are more than welcome to share ideas or leave your comments below. I will reply as soon as I can, thanks.

4 thoughts on “Is Primerica A Pyramid Scheme?”

  1. I have never heard of Primerica even though it has been around for decades … I’m obviously not in the loop, lol. For a company to be around that long speaks highly of them, just like you mentioned in your article.

    I find, however, the negative reviews pretty bad. I read them and found that a company could not really do such things and still be in the market, but what do I know? Did those people ever get a resolution?

    My father once sold insurance as an extra income, and he made a nice extra buck with it. So, I believe that you can earn good commissions with Primerica, if you have good knowledge about finances, numbers, insurance … and that is definitely not me 😉

    I prefer your alternative way of making money much more, mainly because you can promote anything you like, and so choose something you are passionate about. And I don’t have to buy anything. How easy was it for you to build a website?

    • Hi Christine,

      Thanks for your honest feedback and I am not very good at numbers and finance, so Primerica is not my cup of tea. (I am not saying you cannot make money with Primerica. It’s just my preference.)

      For me, affiliate marketing is something that I would love to devote myself since you can promote anything you like without stockpiling, problematic cancellation, refund issues. It simply eliminates many hassles for us.

      My preferred way to build a website is through Sitebuilder inside Wealthy Affiliate. It helps you to create a website less in one minute. Check HERE if you are interested.


  2. Hi Matt,

    I noticed in the customer feedback items that you posted that none of the positive comments appeared to cover the point of actually getting their money paid to them when it was due.

    Meanwhile, the negative comments talked about not being able to get their money, or having to settle for less than they should have and only after involving a lawyer.

    I know insurance companies hate paying what they owe, but those comments would cause me to stay well clear of this company.



    • Hi Martin,

      You got my points from my articles, and I glad you made the right choice eventually. Considering both sides of the comments that I found on the internet, the negative comments seem more profound than the positive ones. I know there is no perfect company in the world, that’s the reason why we need to protect the money in our pocket.

      Selling insurance with Primerica might be good enough to make a few bucks to cover their bills, but it’s not enough for people who want to quit their 9-5 jobs with a nice and decent income.

      If you are interested in making money online, I recommend affiliate marketing and this platform I am using right now.

      Hope you find them useful,


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