If you run the numbers, Page says, online surveys simply aren’t worth the time. “If you’re spending 20 minutes to make $3 on a survey, do the math. That’s $9 an hour—maybe—if you qualify for the $3 survey every time,” she says. According to Page, “the survey side gig is just not sustainable. There are wiser ways to spend your time that will earn you more money in the long run.”


Return on Time: 3.5/5.0- Their payrate isn’t overwhelming- the average per hour hovers around $3. Depending on the user’s activity on the website, it can take anywhere from a couple of days to as long as a month just to earn CashCrate’s cash-out amount of $20. You certainly won’t be making top-dollar with this site, but despite their low pay they do pay their members consistently.
The site will even allow you to monetise your internet searches, if you swap from Google or Safari to their own search engine. The Swagbucks search engine, which is actually running Yahoo, will pay you Swagbucks every time you search. For games, there are options like Scrabble and Wheel of Fortune, which won’t pay you much, but could be worth a go if you fancied playing a game anyway! Swagbucks TV allows you to watch advertising videos on a range of topics, including news, fitness and entertainment. There’s a snag – your earnings are capped at 150 Swagbucks, but it is worth a look if you’re prone to wasting time watching viral clips.

Swagbucks. This site offers a lot of opportunities for surveys, but disqualifications are frequent. Sometimes we got disqualified just from clicking on a link to a survey. Swagbucks aggregates third-party surveys, so some sites it sends you to are better than others. It takes a long time to earn points, but the site’s expansive rewards marketplace has hundreds of options to choose from, including gift cards, sweepstakes and PayPal payments. Check out our full Swagbucks review.


One of the most popular sites, and rightfully so, Swagbucks offers traditional surveys as well as a range of additional ways to make cash. Filling out surveys for money will reward you with points called Swagbucks which can be cashed out through PayPal, or redeemed as gift cards for shops including Amazon.com. As a sweetener, they’ll even give you $5 just for signing up.
Joining isn’t as straightforward as merely signing up, because you need an invite. However it’s not as tough as it sounds, as there are plenty of links doing the rounds online if you look hard enough, and Pinecone also advertises on websites, so you might get lucky by keeping an eye on banner adverts. Once you’ve signed up, you’ll be vetted to see if you qualify – based on whatever demographics their clients want at that point – and if so, the fun begins!
About that money: Survey companies typically don’t pay you for each and every survey—you have to meet a payout amount to earn your reward. Page says it took her months to reach the $30 payout on one survey site—time she could have easily spent on more lucrative side hustles. This presents a problem if you need money fast or if you decide to change course and try something else—you might end up answering tons of questions and never actually see that money.
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There have been some reports of technical glitches on the site preventing users from receiving their earnings, but customers services are contactable and said to clear up most issues for workers. Valued Opinions has a unique “badge” program, allowing its most active members to work up five levels of achievement from bronze through silver, gold and platinum to the top tier of diamond, by carrying out extra mini tasks.
Convenience: 4.5/5.0 – While the sign up form is easy to fill out, you will have to enter more information about yourself up-front than other survey companies ask for. Typically, you just need to enter your email address and create a password to join, but Ipsos also requires your name and physical address. We only gave a slightly lower rating for this because the sign-up process is still very quick and painless.
One of the most popular sites, and rightfully so, Swagbucks offers traditional surveys as well as a range of additional ways to make cash. Filling out surveys for money will reward you with points called Swagbucks which can be cashed out through PayPal, or redeemed as gift cards for shops including Amazon.com. As a sweetener, they’ll even give you $5 just for signing up.
Survey Club has been offering online paid surveys since 2005, and in the fast paced every changing world of the web that’s a reassuringly long amount of time. They are a bit of an acquired taste, in that they specialise in long, detailed surveys for high end clients rather than the quick and cheerful consumer surveys that you may be more familiar with. Whilst this does mean that you may have to commit a bit more time, it does mean that if you have the patience to persevere with them they pay more money than most survey and reward sites. They also offer local taste tests (see what I said about ‘an acquired taste’?), and secret shopper opportunities.
To take surveys, you need to qualify. This means answering a battery of questions up front—before the paid portion of the survey. Page attempted a variety of side hustles to pay off her debt, and says that taking online surveys was the “least helpful” side hustle she tried, mostly because she simply couldn’t even get to the surveys themselves. “You can spend almost 10 minutes just trying to qualify for a survey, and then [get] declined,” she says. “It takes way too long to determine if you’re eligible to take the survey, just to make $5,” she says. Short of magically being the right demographic for every survey, you’re looking at getting turned away more often than not, and wasting time answering questions that don’t come with a pay off.

Privacy: 5.0/5.0 – As a sister company to Swagbucks, MyPoints is governed by the same privacy policy, which is detailed and very reasonable. In our experience, MyPoints has never sent us spam. As is typical, MyPoints does link to other sites that have different privacy policies, but to be fair, our 5 star rating is based on the MyPoints privacy policy.  You can view the MyPoints privacy policy for yourself here.
Surveys can be super quick and take just a few minutes to fill out, or require around 15 minutes of your time. Five minute surveys pay $0.50 and surveys range from $0.40 up to the higher – and rarer – ones at $10.Paying out by the usual methods, Crowdology does PayPal and also vouchers. Most importantly, the minimum reward threshold is low so when you’ve earned $8, you can cash it out, unlike other sites which make you wait until you have earned much more money. The site offers prize draws from time to time for things like cinema tickets and surveys can be expected weekly.
As well as filling in the familiar surveys, you can sign up to complete free and paid offers, which is how many users say they make the bulk of their CashCrate money. In these cases companies will pay you to sign up to their website, or to try out the service they offer, such as a financial credit check. These are often quick, straightforward ways to earn a few bucks. As the name suggests, paid offers require you to pay out to claim the offer or to sign up for the service, but what you get back will cover this and add a small profit on top. If you’re signing up for a monthly service though, make sure to note in your calendar when to cancel it or you might find yourself out of pocket as they auto-renew each month.

MySurvey is actually an adaptation of a program that was started back in 1946. It began as the National Family Opinion organization that used to send out surveys through the mail. In 2001, they joined the digital age, and now they are one of the best survey sites around. According to the website, they have issued out more than $15,000,000 rewards to members.
As well as filling in the familiar surveys, you can sign up to complete free and paid offers, which is how many users say they make the bulk of their CashCrate money. In these cases companies will pay you to sign up to their website, or to try out the service they offer, such as a financial credit check. These are often quick, straightforward ways to earn a few bucks. As the name suggests, paid offers require you to pay out to claim the offer or to sign up for the service, but what you get back will cover this and add a small profit on top. If you’re signing up for a monthly service though, make sure to note in your calendar when to cancel it or you might find yourself out of pocket as they auto-renew each month.

Return on Time: 3.5/5.0- Their payrate isn’t overwhelming- the average per hour hovers around $3. Depending on the user’s activity on the website, it can take anywhere from a couple of days to as long as a month just to earn CashCrate’s cash-out amount of $20. You certainly won’t be making top-dollar with this site, but despite their low pay they do pay their members consistently.
Survey sites advertise that you can earn $5-$35 per survey (although a Student Loan Hero reporter found an average more in the range of $1-2 per hour). Paid online surveys are utterly ubiquitous—there are hundreds of sites that feature paid surveys. These surveys are typically run by marketing or research firms looking for consumer perspectives, and you could be asked questions covering just about everything under the sun.
Global Test Market is a decent standard of what you're getting yourself involved in.  Their practices are not any more or less shady or reputable than almost any online venue – survey or otherwise.  Just like Facebook, when you identify yourself accurately with Global Test Market, you can expect them to use that information in any way possible to make a penny.  The great news is they inform you and ask for consent first.

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Design and pre-test questionnaires: Designing the questionnaire carefully and then pre-testing it before fielding it to your entire sample is crucial to getting data that are valid and reliable. For example, careful questionnaire design and pre-testing can help reduce the chance that respondents may interpret the meaning of questions differently. Future posts in this series will tackle these important steps in much greater detail.
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