Ultimate Guide To Taking Online Surveys For Money (Updated 2019)

Survey websites are a fantastic way to make money, pass the time, and even strike it big with 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 to, and best practices to speed up the process.

This 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 on taking online surveys for money

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 there?

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 websites 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. 

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. The first of which is the signup process. Is it quick and easy? Or is it drawn out and requires too much personal information?

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?

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

Inboxdollars rating
Swagbucks rating

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.

The 3 best 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

swagbucks login
swagbucks rating

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.

Pros:

  • The rewards: You can redeem your points for PayPal deposits, gift cards to your favorite stores, or charity donations if you’re feeling generous.


  • A mobile app: Complete surveys and tasks from anywhere with the SwagBucks mobile app for Android or iPhone. This makes earning money during work breaks, in between class, or when you’re hanging out easy.
  • Contests: You can win big prizes through sweepstakes and team games which is a unique feature among survey sites.

Cons:

  • Overwhelming design: As soon as you load into Swagbucks, you’re hit with a million different things. The UI feels very cluttered and it takes some time getting used to.
  • Country availability: Not every country is available to use Swagbucks at this time. The eligible countries include Canada, the United Kingdom, the United States, Australia, and a few others.
  • Difficulty qualifying for surveys: Disqualification from surveys is a common report in many reviews we’ve researched.  
swagbucks logo

InboxDollars

inboxdollars login
Inboxdollars rating

InboxDollars is an Inc. 5000 company that was launched in the year 2000. They aren’t your ordinary survey site, either. They’ll pay you for watching videos, using their search engine, playing online games, and reading emails.

Pros:

  • Quick money: Some activities on InboxDollars will net you tens of dollars at once. One task could equal to several surveys on other platforms.
  • Variety of activities: If you choose to use InboxDollars, you’ll gain access to over two dozen different paid tasks.
  • Reliable experience: InboxDollars was consistent across the board, from customer service to payment and awarding points.

Cons:

  • The website is outdated: While it is only a cosmetic flaw, the outdated website was a noticeable flaw during our experience.

  • $3 processing fee: If you withdraw before hitting the $40 mark, InboxDollars takes a $3 processing fee. It isn’t much, but it’s still a few dollars you’re losing that you worked for.
  • Pre-paid card eligibility: One of the rewards you can receive are pre-paid Visa cards to shop with, but they only available for United States residents at this time.
InboxDollars Logo

​Survey Junkie

Survey Junkie login
Survey Junkie rating

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.

Pros:

  • Low minimum payout: The $10 minimum payout helps users get their money faster, instead of waiting to hit a higher limit like other sites.
  • Bank deposits: Don’t have a PayPal account? No problem. You can get your cash directly deposited into your bank account instead. Survey Junkie is one of the only platforms that has this feature.

Cons:

  • No progress bar: While it is only a small feature, we did notice that Survey Junkie lacked a progress bar. This normally displays how far you are from completing a survey, motivating you to finish.
  • No big prizes: There are no sweepstakes, giveaways, or other big rewards on Survey Junkie -- just cash and gift cards.
Survey Junkie Logo

Best online surveys that pay 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

Vindale Research Login
Vindale Research Rating

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!

Pros:

  • Earning potential: If you completed a single $3 survey every day, Vindale Research alone would make you $100/month. They will also pay you $5 for submitting a picture and story about your experience using their website.
  • Ease of use: Signing up, navigating their platform, and withdrawing is super easy. We experienced no hiccups or problems with their website from start to finish.
  • Track record: Vindale has been around for 14+ years and has a proven history of payouts and positive reviews.

Cons:

  • Only cash rewards: Unfortunately there are no gift cards, giveaways, or physical merchandise to redeem at this time.
  • High minimum threshold: Users are required to have a minimum of $50 to withdraw from their account.
Vindale Research Logo

Pointclub

PointClub Survey Login
Pointclub Rating

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.

Pros:

  • ​Rewards are priced fairly: PayPal deposits are available in $10, $25, $50, and $100 increments. Seeing as you gain up to thousands of points for a single survey, the ratio of points earned to redeeming is very fair.
  • ​User experience: The website design, layout, and overall experience is straightforward and easy to maneuver.

Cons:

  • Wait time for points: Sure, you can earn tons of points quickly, however there is one big downside. You need to wait for your points to be approved, which can take upwards to weeks. From our experience, PointClub is the only survey site to do this.
  • ​Lack of customer service: Based on customer reviews found online, one of the most common complaints is a lack of help when experiencing problems using the PointClub website.
PointClub Logo

Best online survey site for a great 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 i-Say

Ipsos I Say Sign In Screen

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.

Pros:

  • Loyalty program: The more active you are on Ipsos i-Say, the more bonus points you awarded for finishing surveys. A.K.A you can cash out even faster! 
  • ​Refer a friend: When you refer another use with your special referral link, you will be given 100 points. Imagine how many extra points you’d earn if you shared your link across social media, for example..
  • Sweepstakes: Being an active member automatically places you into draws and sweepstakes. Some of the prizes include electronics and vacations. Imagine being on a resort with the latest iPhone, all thanks to completing surveys.

Cons:

  • Buggy interface: The UI is known to run into issues, such as buttons not working, or links to taking you to different pages than intended.
  • Low amount of surveys: It’s not uncommon to only receive a few surveys per week when using the i-Say platform. This lowers the potential earning power of the website since you can’t acquire as many points.
ipsos I-say logo

​MyPoints

MyPoints Surveys
MyPoints Rating

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, 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.

Pros:

  • Amount of tasks: You will enjoy using MyPoints because of how many ways you can earn points. Earning points for shopping through their special links or using coupons is a huge benefit for using their platform.
  • Refer a friend: Do you know any friends that would want to make money online? Send them your referral link and you’ll be awarded extra points. 
  • ​Mobile app: Earn on the go with MyPoints mobile app.

Cons:

  • Lack of rewards: Despite having so many activities to do, you can only redeem points for cash, air miles, and gift cards. These are great, don’t get us wrong. However, there is no physical merchandise, vacations, or big prizes.
  • ​Low points per task: Most tasks you complete will only net you a few points at a time, making the cashing out process much longer.
mypoints logo

Best online survey 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.

PrizeRebel

PrizeRebel sign in
PrizeRebel rating

PrizeRebel claims to the number one survey website on the internet. They’ve paid out over $15 million in the 7 years that they’ve been open. With over 8 million active users, they are also one of the most trusted paid survey sites.

Pros:

  • Earning is easy: You can expect to earn up to $10 per week with working much on PrizeRebel.
  • Plenty of survey options: There are many different surveys you can choose from to keep things interesting.
  • Low minimum payout: Unlike other websites that require you to earn at least $25 to $50 before cashing out, PrizeRebel allows you to redeem your points for a minimum of $5.

Cons:

  • Limited options under $5: While the low threshold is great, you’re only able to redeem this amount for an Apple or Dunkin' Donuts gift card.
  • Tedious surveys: Some surveys will require 20 minutes or more of your time for as little as $1.25. This can become tedious and discouraging.
  • Confusing offer signups: We noticed that certain offers had a cycle of sign ups that became confusing after a while.
PrizeRebel Logo

EarningStation

EarningStation Login
EarningStation Rating

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!

Pros:

  • Plenty of tasks: Don’t feel taking surveys one day? No problem. Watch videos, play games, or shop through EarningStation to earn points instead.
  • Bonus rewards: You will get an extra $10 for signing up for five other survey sites through their website, and $25 for completing offers 10 days in a row.

Cons:

  • Difficulty qualifying: Unlike most survey websites, you do not receive any points for disqualifying, and it can be difficult at times to get accepted.

EarningStation Logo

Most 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

OneOpinion Login
OneOpinion Rating

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.

Pros:

  • History and transparency: You don’t have to worry about OneOpinion being a scam, as they have a great track record and excellent customer service.
  • Fast rewards: Gift cards, pre-paid Visa’s, and PayPal withdrawals are awarded as soon as you redeem points for them.

Cons:

  • Survey disqualifications: A frequent complaint among user reports is that they experience a high level of disqualifications. This slows down the earning process and can be discouraging when it happens repeatedly. 

  • High payment threshold: The minimum payout amount on OneOpinion is $25. Users will have to complete more tasks than compared to other platforms before seeing the fruits of their labor. If you earned $2.50 per survey, you’d need to complete ten before cashing out.
  • Inconsistent survey availability: The surveys and offers that a reward site gives you are based on what they have to give based on your demographic and their partners. Due to this, sometimes there will be no surveys for you to do.
OneOpinion  Logo

Pinecone Research

Pinecone Research login
Pinecone Research Rating

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!

Pros:

  • Low payout threshold: You can withdraw your money at $3, meaning you don’t have to wait as long as other sites to get your hard earned cash.
  • High paying surveys: You’ll be earning as much as $3 per survey, which is much higher compared to other survey platforms.
  • Prescreening process: Instead of wasting your time getting disqualified, you’re automatically prescreened for offers so you can jump straight to earning.

Cons:

  • You need to remain active: Pinecone Research will remove you from their platform if you don’t remain consistently active. They are also known to kick members out if their demographics no longer fit what’s available.
  • Selective process: If you don’t meet the demographics Pinecone Research is looking for at the time, you may have difficulty being accepted.
Pinecone Research logo

Harris Poll Online

harris poll online login
Harris Poll Online Rating

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.

Pros:

  • Sweepstakes: Every two months, Harris Poll holds a sweepstakes for $10,000 in cash. You’re automatically entered by actively using their platform, too.
  • Consistent surveys: While you won’t get a heap of surveys every week, they are known to be consistent in the long term, which means regular money for you.

Cons:

  • Account suspensions: Across many user reports, suspended accounts appeared to be a common complaint. However, following their terms of services and not doing anything fraudulent will prevent this.
  • No cash rewards: A big reason people use reward sites is to get money, but unfortunately Harris Poll Online does not offer cash withdrawals at this time.
harris poll online  logo

VIP Voice

VIP Voice Login
VIP Voice Rating

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.

Pros:

  • Tier system: The more effort you put into VIP Voice, the more you get out of it. With their tiered reward system, you awarded bonus points for completing a certain amount of surveys over time.
  • Helpful FAQ: You’re bound to have some questions when using a new website. We appreciated their FAQ page which covers all types of  questions you’ll have about your account, points, rewards, and more.
  • Track record: Vindale has been around for 14+ years and has a proven history of payouts and positive reviews.

Cons:

  • No regular rewards: Interested in earning cash or gift cards to your favorite shops? Unfortunately you won’t find them here. VIP Voice only offers physical merchandise and bigger prizes.
  • No mobile app: With no mobile app available, you will have to manually log in through a browser every time you wish to use their website.
VIP Voice logo

Online surveys 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

TellWut Login
TellWut Rating

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.

Pros:

  • Generous upfront reward points for registration. If the individual survey rewards are not very high, then that makes the initial registration rewards that much more valuable.

  • Long history of successful operation Eight years is a long enough business history to suggest Tellwut is doing something right. New businesses are great, but an established company offers some security.

  • Reliable payment for those with accounts in good standing Those whose accounts aren’t suspended for “inconsistent voting” always report consistent receipt of payment.

Cons:

  • Too much time on surveys for which you don’t qualify - Because you can’t tell from a glance whether or not you’ll qualify for a specific survey, you spend a lot of time getting disqualified.

  • Reward system is not generous enough - Many customers report that the TellWut reward values are relatively low compared to other paid survey sites.

  • Sketchy website mechanics/IT - The survey personalization system clearly doesn’t work, and we experienced a few pages failing to load. Other long-time customers have reported problems with the website, as well.

TellWut logo

Opinion Square

opinion square login
opinion square rating

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.

Pros:

  • Big rewards selection: This quality is really rather impressive. OpinionSquare doesn’t just offer its users bland old gift cards or a limited number of unappealing items. If you can’t find a decent reward for yourself from OpinionSquare, we’re not sure what you’re after.

  • Good reputation online:  A paid online survey site doesn’t survive for two decades if it’s completely turning users away unless they’re treating their users pretty fairly. The BBB accreditation and rating seem to support their legitimacy.

  • Easy to get started:  Unlike some other sites, OpinionSquare doesn’t run you through the ringer during the registration process. They allow you to jump in, provide the necessary information, and get started without too much time and effort.

Cons:

  • Rewards are inconsistent: Survey sites that use a straight point and reward system make it easy for users to determine how many surveys they have to take in order to earn the rewards they want. The OpinionSquare system introduces a bit of mystery to that, and not all users enjoy that.

  • You have to download their software: -Some users may not mind this, as it does make for a better relationship between the user and the survey site. However, many users may be a little uncomfortable feeling forced into downloading software just to take advantage of its offerings.

opinion square logo

Next steps

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. Research the company on the Better Business Bureau, Reddit, social media, and Trust Pilot to make an informed decision.

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 90% of users on any survey website.

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