Ultimate Guide To Taking Online Surveys For Money (Updated 2019)
Taking online surveys for money is a fantastic way to make money online, pass the time, and even strike it big with prize draws and sweepstakes. However, many people don’t approach them the right way. We’ve reviewed over a dozen survey websites to find which ones you should dedicate yourself too, and best practices to speed up the process.
This big guide will teach you how to get the most out taking online surveys for money. You'll learn how to earn more, which sites to avoid, and how to not get scammed. Let’s get in to it and start earning!
Common questions about paid online surveys
How do online survey sites work?
Survey websites work by allowing you to complete tasks in exchange points. These activities include watching videos, answering online surveys, downloading mobile games, comparing travel deals, and more.
The points you gain can then be exchanged for a variety of rewards, including cash, gift cards, and physical prizes like televisions. Every platform is a bit different. Earning points may be quicker on one site, but slower on another. As well, they will have unique rewards you might not find on the other.
How much can you make taking online surveys for money?
The average paid survey will net you anywhere from $0.25 to $5 or more. If you are able to complete a few surveys that pay this much every day, you could be making up to a few hundred extra dollars per month.
But, it’s all about what you put into it. If you don’t take the time to create a system like we’re going to help you do ahead, you won’t maximize your earnings. Those that take the upfront time to follow the tips below can make $100 to $300 or more every month, and will increase their chances of winning sweepstakes.
What other rewards are available?
The most sought after reward is cash. You can withdraw your points for money via PayPal or bank wire on some platforms.
Alternatively, gift cards are also very popular. You’ll be shopping at your favorite stores, such as Amazon, Target, Starbucks, and others.
Some paid survey sites also have sweepstakes and giveaways for bigger prizes. These include paid vacations, flat screen television, and expensive electronics. If you were to receive one of these, you could even sell it for a bigger cash reward.
Swagbucks is an example of a paid survey site that also features charity donations. Instead of redeeming your points for a reward, you can donate it to your charity of choice.
Are paid survey sites worth it?
Looking to make a couple extra bucks every month or shop at your favorite stores? Then yes, paid survey sites are more than worth it. Think about how much money you could be earning if you started taking surveys, answering questions, and doing tasks versus playing video games, watching Netflix, or scrolling through social media.
If you could consistently earn $100 per month, that’s an extra $1,200 per year! Imagine how much faster you’d pay off student loans, credit card debt, or other amazing things you could do with that money.
Are online surveys scams?
Most paid survey sites are not a scam. They are typically market research companies whose business is getting feedback for their clients products and services. They will give you points for your hard work even in some cases if you disqualify for surveys. You will also be awarded your gift cards and paid out time.
However, there are some red flags you need to be aware of to avoid getting scammed. The first of which is being asked for your social security number. Under no circumstance should you give this information to an online survey website. Similarly, you should avoid offering your bank account information, unless you have chosen to receive bank wire payment to withdraw cash.
We’d also suggest avoiding any websites that make you pay to join them. With an endless amount of free paid survey sites at your disposal, there’s no point in paying when you’re already investing your time and energy.
How to make the most out of paid survey sites
Don’t be like the majority of survey site users, randomly logging on, being disorganized, and limiting their earning potential. Instead, we want you to maximize how much you earn while minimizing how much time you spend. Here’s how to optimize your time taking paid online surveys .
1. Set reasonable expectations
If you’re in this for the long haul, you need to come at this with the right mindset. So many people think they’re going to strike it rich like the gold rush with survey websites. It’s just not going to happen. But, if you want to earn money on the side and while you’re bored, this is it!
Setting reasonable expectations, such as $100 per month or 3 gift cards per month will keep you motivated, achieving that goal, and doing this for years to come. While taking online surveys for money can be a great side hustle, should not be viewed as a substitute for a full time job. If you're looking to find a gig you can do from home, check out some of these options for legit online jobs.
2. Create a routine
We suggest creating a routine that works for your schedule in between work and school. For example, you can dedicate days of the week to certain websites or tasks. That way every time you log on to a survey site, you know exactly which one to use and what to do.
3. Use a dedicated email address
You’re going to get a lot of emails. From new surveys to updates and newsletters, survey websites like to send their fair share of emails. With that being said, it’s best to separate your survey adventures and regular email to avoid confusion. You probably already have an overload, anyway!
4. Download mobile apps
Several survey sites have a mobile app that you can download to make completing tasks easier. Harris Poll Online, SwagBucks, and Survey Junkie are a few of them. If you’re serious about earning rewards, take the time to download these. It’s much easier than continually logging into a browser that might not be suitable for your small phone screen.
Best online surveys to earn money
In this section, we are going to share with you what we believe are the best survey opportunities depending on what your goals are. We’ll share how we review and rate survey providers so you get a deeper understanding of the scores we give them.
How we perform our online survey reviews
Our reviews have one goal, which is to give you an honest take on individual survey websites without bias. We talk about the good, the bad, and the ugly. No bars hold. This is much different than most survey reviews that only talk about the good to send you their referral link.
So, how do we review websites? We look at the most important areas that users like you care about.
What is the process to sign up?
The first of which is the signup process.
Is it quick and easy? Or is it drawn out and requires too much personal information? The simpler, and least invasive the better.
What is the point system like?
Next, we look at the point system. Can points be easily earned relative to how much they can be redeemed for? Are you awarded points instantly or do you have to wait?
What are the rewards and payouts like?
Then, of course, we review the rewards. We don’t share just what rewards can be received, but how much points are required and the average time it would take to acquire them.
We also analyze the website design and overall user experience. We’ve found some sites to be more difficult to navigate and understand than others, as some had simple and modern sites compared to outdated ones.
How our rating system works
We give every platform we review a rating out of 5 in three different areas. Some excel in one area, but lack in another. These are the three most important elements or a great survey site, which is why they make up out rating system.
Examples of our rating system
1) Is the site legit?
Imagine how frustrated you’d be if you signed up for a website, spent time answering surveys, and then never got paid? You’d be very annoyed. That’s why ensuring a company is legitimate is a part of our scale.
The first step we take is to look at online reviews, including TrustPilot and social media. These give us insight into both the positive and negative experiences that previous users have had.
Similarly, we look into the company’s history with the Better Business Bureau. This is a non-profit that was founded in 1912 with the goal of making every business transparent. When you search for a survey site on the BBB, it will display a score, customer reviews, and history. We use this to document if a reward site is trustworthy, accredited, and has a solid track record.
2) Are there many opportunities to earn money?
You’re probably not taking surveys for fun. You’re taking them to earn money and rewards. That’s why this trait is included in our rating scale. Websites that have more opportunities and tasks to get points will score higher in this section.
3) Is there a reasonable earning potential?
Not every website will net you the same amount of money or rewards. This is because they have higher or lower thresholds for redeeming and award different amounts of points. Due to this, some websites will have more earning potential than others, reflecting their score in this category.
Most trusted online surveys sites
Out of all the survey sites that we've reviewed, the following stood out as the cream of the crop. These all have excellent track records, good earning potentials, and diverse offers that will keep you engaged for months.
Swagbucks is another one of the longest running reward websites. They aren’t just for taking surveys, but also competing in mobile game tournaments, participating in contests, and more. They awarded over $300 million in prizes since their launch, and you can get a piece of the cake by signing up today.
Originally named Active Measure and Blue Media Ventures, Survey Junkie was founded in 2013 and is one of the best survey sites we’ve reviewed despite being so fresh. Every point you earn is equivalent to $0.01, and you’ll earn anywhere from 25 to 90 points per survey. The minimum balance to withdraw is $10, so you’ll need to complete roughly 15 surveys on average before cashing out.
Survey for cash
Rewards and sweepstakes are great, but sometimes you just want to receive cash for your hard work. If that sounds like you, then these are some great sites to check out.
Vindale Research was launched in 2004 and they are headquartered out of New York. With dozens of positive reviews and a high BBB rating, they are one of the most legit online survey sites we’ve tested.
Surveys pay up to several dollars each, which gives this platform high earning potential. You can also earn cash by referring friends, joining other panels, and entering reward codes found on social media. They even offer a jobs section for you to find part time and full time work!
PointClub is a newer survey site, so they still have plenty of time to grow and improve their platform. Currently they offer paid surveys, daily draws, and award plenty of points for every completed survey. You will earn $5 worth of points just for completing your profile and verifying your account.
A loyalty programs rewards active users with bonus points depending on which tier they reach. This means that the more you use PointClub, the more money you will make over time. At this time, PayPal deposits and gift cards are the only available prizes.
Best user experience
If you are going to be playing games and taking online surveys for money, they better be engaging or you won't stick with it. They sites had tended to have the best overall user experience.
Ipsos is the third largest research firm with over 15,000 employees in 80 different countries. They’ve been helping businesses make better decisions with the help of people like you. The i-Say platform has completed over 70 million surveys, giving consumers like you a voice to influence big brands.
MyPoints has been around for 22 years, making them one of the oldest survey websites.They offer a huge range of paid tasks, including shopping online, watching videos, and comparing travel deals. This variety will stop you from getting bored, compared to taking survey after survey on other sites. Even if you don’t qualify for a survey, you’ll be awarded 10 points for your time.
Sites that pay fast
What's the point of earning points or cash if it takes forever to withdraw it? These sites have the lowest thresholds for payout. That means you can get your money quick, which is a good thing.
EarningStation was founded in 2011, making it a baby compared to many other survey sites. However, their wide selection of tasks, referral program, and exclusive coupon codes has made a name for themselves.
You will earn a few cents to a few dollars for completing surveys, roughly the same for videos, and 10% of earnings of those you refer. Imagine if someone earned 1,000 points per month. You’d get 100 without doing anything!
Reliable paid survey sites
When it comes to investing your time taking surveys for money, being reliable is important. These sites deliver on that over and over, offering consistent surveys, rewards, payouts, and all an around great customer experience.
OneOpinion is run by the company Critical Mix, who boasts an impressive A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau. You can earn points from taking surveys and product testing -- one of the most unique activities we’ve seen to date. They allow multiple accounts from a single household, meaning your whole family can get in on the fun.
Pinecone Research is owned by the Nielsen Company, and has been paying people like you to take surveys for 20 years. Many surveys will net you several dollars for only 5 minutes of your time. Aside from surveys, Pinecone Research also offers product testing to get your valuable feedback on how products should work. If you want to earn a couple bucks and voice your opinion, check them out!
Opinion Outpost lets users share their two-cents on a number of areas, including electronics, medicine, advertisements, and politics. Businesses, in turn, use this information for their research. Having been in the online survey industry for more than 10 years, Opinion Outpost boasts a reputation for providing trustworthy surveys, good customer service, and some of the best incentives to its members.
Harris Poll Online
Harris Poll Online has been operating for the past 45 years, paying users like yourself to partake in surveys. Some of your responses may even make into national news outlets, which is another bonus. Surveys take from 5 to 25 minutes to finish, and you can expect to receive 3 to 5 per week.
VIP Voice conducts over 12 million surveys per year, and you can get in on the action to make some money. They cover topics including electronics, fashion, health, and more -- giving everyone a chance to chime in. They are a very trusted survey site, with over 3 million active users.
LifePoints was launched in 1946 as Nation Family Opinions and later acquired by Lightspeed Research. LifePoints partners with over 1500 companies, in 70 different countries. As of 2019, they boast a total of 5.5 million active registered users across the globe.
Gaining prominence during the internet boom, LifePoints’s sole purpose was to provide companies with research data. The rise in internet users looking for ways to earn money online made it an earning opportunity for the customers who completed the surveys.
Survey Club was launched in 2005, in Colorado, and is recognized as a pioneer in the industry. It currently boasts over 16 million registered users across 6 continents.
The concept behind the set up was to provide companies with the market research they needed while giving the general public an opportunity to earn extra money by participating.
Surveys sites that are good but not great
These sites are great options for pairing with other survey sites, but aren't as strong on their own. If you're planning on signing up for one, make sure it's not your primary survey site.
Tellwut is one of the most established paid survey sites on the internet, having been started eight years ago in 2010. It is a female owned business, and it is located in Toronto, Canada. As with most online survey sites, Tellwut offers you a portal to loads of commercial surveys used for marketing strategies.
OpinionSquare is an online market research company that helps different businesses understand how consumers feel about their products. They do this working with online reviewers like yourself, who are paid to share their opinions.
According to OpinionSquare, they have over 2 million members, making it “the largest continuously measured consumer panel of its kind.” The panel’s size won’t have much of an effect on you, other than to tell you that this is one of the more popular paid survey sites.
If you’ve read this guide from start to finish, by now you should be a wizard at taking online surveys for money. You can make a reasonable amount of cash and cool prizes from these platforms, but you have do it correctly.
Make sure you create a routine based on your own schedule and set personal goals to reach every month. Use a dedicated email for these reward sites and download any mobile apps that are available, too.
Sign up for the websites we outlined in this article, but always do your own due diligence.
Most importantly, be patient! Once you get that first deposit or gift card, you’ll be incredibly motivated to keep this going for a long time.
If you follow everything we’ve taught you today, you’ll be ahead of the majority of users on any survey website.