Amanda Page had serious student debt—$48,000, to be exact. She was working as an adjunct professor at a couple of different colleges, trying to piece together a full time teaching career, and she wasn’t making enough to tackle what she owed. So she started supplementing her income with side hustles like freelance writing, working as a temporary receptionist, and grading math exams online. As she dove into debt and frugality blogs, she came across a new gig: taking paid surveys online.
Once you’ve reached $30 or more in your InboxDollars account, you can request a payment, which will then be sent to you by mail. Keep in mind, in order for you to be qualified for a survey, you must be in the right candidate for that survey, that is why it is very important to take those four surveys in the beginning (qualifications, general, household, interest) – read more about these surveys here and how to qualify for future surveys.

Toluna. Unlike many other sites, Toluna lets users pick the topics of their surveys, such as electronics or travel, which made the work more interesting. However, this perk didn’t make up for its low pay. Upon converting points to cash, we earned only 71 cents per hour — one of the lowest rates of all the sites we tested. Our five hours’ worth of points weren’t nearly enough to redeem the cheapest gift cards. Learn more in our Toluna review.


After joining a survey site, you provide some personal and demographic information, which legitimate survey sites will keep private. That information will be used in choosing participants to take surveys on certain goods and services. If you get selected to take part in a survey, you will be notified through mail to take a short survey to see if your profile suits that survey. When you are deemed qualified, you will be requested to take a longer survey.
One Poll is a company that was founded in the United Kingdom, but it’s also open to consumers in the United States and beyond. It claims to be recognized by Money Saving Expert, one of the largest consumer websites in that country, which is a reassuring recommendation. What I recognized about it is that the surveys are short and easy to complete, so ideal if you’ve had a hard day and don’t want to do anything too taxing. New surveys are added on a daily basis, and some are amusingly quirky.

Velasquez says our information could be used for questionable studies or sold to health insurers, for example. Or it could be stolen, which is a risk with any website that stores personal data. Most of the information we gave away seemed harmless — our shopping habits and travel plans, for example. But information like your birthdate could be used with other stolen data to take your identity. So keep that in mind as you’re answering questions.

Privacy: 5.0/5.0 – Swagbucks' privacy policy for its own site is excellent; they always tell you exactly how your info will be used. We have not personally received any spam through Swagbucks. As with most other survey sites, Swagbucks does contain links to other sites which may have different privacy policies, so you should be careful when visiting other sites.  You can read Swagbucks' privacy policy yourself here.

InboxDollars. New users get a $5 bonus after confirming their email address with InboxDollars. But that didn’t make up for how little we earned per hour while taking surveys — 41 cents, the lowest rate among the 12 sites we tested. On occasion, instead of sending us surveys, the site directed us to promotions that required our address, phone number and birthdate. Read our InboxDollars review.


Harris Poll has made a strong presence in the market research industry. They are a member of the National Council of Public Polls (NCPP), the Council of American Survey Research Organizations (CASRO), the Council for Marketing and Opinion Research (CMOR), and the European Society for Opinion & Marketing Research (ESOMAR). The firm abides by the  standards of these organizations, thus proving their reputability.

Ultimately, it is very unlikely that participating in online surveys will provide you with a steady, livable wage. However, if you enjoy participating in online surveys (especially if you like the prizes, coupons, and other more typical non-monetary earnings), be sure to avoid questionable third-party sites. Look for real paid surveys online that don’t require you to invest money.
Our Daily Surveys have been around for years and are one of the "proven" free cash money makers on CashCrate. They're exactly like they sound--new paid surveys that you can take every day. We have several Daily Surveys that you can take advantage of. Some you can complete more than once a day. Cash reward amounts vary from survey to survey, meaning you can earn payout and more every month just by doing these surveys.
CashCrate is a great site pairing traditional surveys with a range of unique deals that can help you make money online. After signing up with a few details and filling in a brief survey for your profile, so CashCrate can identify some basic demographics, you’ll be awarded your first 25 cents and be on your way to greater riches! The best deals and offers are available for US users, and the minimum earnings to have a payout from CashCrate is $20 – which they pay you and their six million users as cash.
Wow, This is the first article I’ve ever read that 1. didn’t offer up filling out surveys as a serious way to earn extra cash, and 2. said everything I’ve ever thought about surveys as a side hustle. I don’t know why people keep suggesting this, when as you point out, there are much better side hustles to score serious cash more efficiently. WELL DONE! ;)
Don’t overshare. If you’re asked to give your Social Security number, bank account number or driver’s license number, leave the survey. Velasquez recommends being “intentional” with sharing other private information with survey sites. Answering questions about a TV commercial probably is fine, but giving medical information may not be worth the risk.
How much are you going to earn using iSay? Their rewards are average compared to the other survey sites out there. Just like with other sites, the amount you get paid is going to differ depending on the length of the survey. You’ll need to accumulate at least 500 points (equals $5) before you can request a payout with PayPal or transfer the money to a gift card. Sign up for iSay HERE. 
They used to be cash-only, but in 2013 they switched over to a points system. Panelists can share their opinions in surveys and complete other various offers in exchange for points. 100 points is equal to $1, and most of their surveys pay up to $3. Survey topics are diverse and cover a variety of different topics. Pinecone Research is unique in that they emphasize consumption related surveys more than other panels.
Toluna. Unlike many other sites, Toluna lets users pick the topics of their surveys, such as electronics or travel, which made the work more interesting. However, this perk didn’t make up for its low pay. Upon converting points to cash, we earned only 71 cents per hour — one of the lowest rates of all the sites we tested. Our five hours’ worth of points weren’t nearly enough to redeem the cheapest gift cards. Learn more in our Toluna review.
Something unique that MyPoints offers that most other similar companies don't offer is the ability to earn cash back on some in-store purchases at select stores, along with their online paid surveys. Also, although their online store cashback rates aren't the highest in the industry (ironically, Swagbucks beats them on several offers), they do have special offers that other companies don't have, such as a bonus to sign up for Amazon Prime.

Signing up with MyOpinions is super easy - simply complete our online registration form or register by connecting with your Facebook, LinkedIn or Google account. Once you provide this information, we will ask you a few simple questions and request that you accept our Privacy Policy and Terms & Conditions. All in all, the registration process takes less than 10 minutes. Once you are a fully-fledged Member of the MyOpinions community, you’re free to participate in a variety of paid surveys and start earning rewards.
Swagbucks remains popular as they are a reliable site, offering novel ways to earn rewards, including playing games and watching videos. Completing polls and surveys for money takes around 10 minutes each and can make up the bulk of your time on the site. You won’t always qualify, and getting to a late stage in a survey application process and then finding out you’re not qualified can be pretty galling. The slickly designed website is straightforward and pleasing to use and also allows you to make money on your shopping by offering a range of affiliate links. By simply clicking on the Swagbucks link and shopping at sites including Amazon, Walmart and Nike, you will earn points, as those companies are paying Swagbucks to link to them, and you get a share of their fee.
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