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.
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 very important to note before signing up at any site claiming to pay you cash to take surveys is that all legitimate sites offering online surveys that pay do not charge registration fees – they are free to join. Some sites may even offer you bonus as you sign in, to show you they are happy you have become a part of their team and helping them increase their revenue.

If longevity is a sign of quality, and let’s face it in the world of business it usually is, then there’s no doubt about Zoombucks deserving to be inside out 2018 paid survey sites top 20. This company has been carrying out paid survey panels since 1946, so just think how many consumers they’ve helped since then. Things have changed since the forties, so you won’t have to sit in a draughty hall, you can answer all the surveys over the internet. There’s lots of surveys to choose from as well, and they promise quick pay outs.
Like American Consumer Opinion, Harris Poll Online offers cash incentives to people who are willing to log in regularly and complete online surveys and questionnaires. Once you join, you’ll begin earning rewards for each survey you take. Once you earn enough reward “points”, you can turn them in for purchases made on websites like Amazon, iTunes, Home Depot and Walmart. Conversely, you can also turn in your points for movies, books, and home goods ordered straight from the Harris Poll website. Plus, you’ll be entered into a $10,000 sweepstakes each time you complete a survey.
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.
There are also many questionable "middleman" third-party paid survey sites that hype easy money for participating in online marketing research from home. Here, the old adage is true: if it sounds too good to be true, it usually is. Further, it’s worth knowing that there’s a lot of competition among these companies for your participation – which means potential for exaggeration, at the very least, if not outright scams.
The point of each survey is to present you with a topic you're interested in and qualified to discuss for the benefit of the researcher. Surveys range in time required, from very short to quite long. Because researchers are looking for opinions only from certain segments of people, you may find you have to try a few surveys before you're qualified to give your opinion on one. Keep at it, and you'll eventually find one that's right up your alley.

The number one reason why I liked MySurvey the best out of the 30-something sites I had the privilege or misfortune to try, was no doubt its versatility. This versatility is present not only in the reward system and the referral program – which are important aspects on their own – but clearly shows in their surveys too. Filling out boring surveys always feels like hard work, even though it’s really not if you think about it. With MySurvey, you will see a huge variety of different topics.
Like American Consumer Opinion, Harris Poll Online offers cash incentives to people who are willing to log in regularly and complete online surveys and questionnaires. Once you join, you’ll begin earning rewards for each survey you take. Once you earn enough reward “points”, you can turn them in for purchases made on websites like Amazon, iTunes, Home Depot and Walmart. Conversely, you can also turn in your points for movies, books, and home goods ordered straight from the Harris Poll website. Plus, you’ll be entered into a $10,000 sweepstakes each time you complete a survey.

Make sure you have an account on InboxDollars and it is activated. Be sure to activate your email by clicking on the email sent to you. After your account is activated, you will find 4 surveys on our homepage, the Qualifications survey, the General Profile survey, the Household survey, and the Interest survey. Each of these will unlock more surveys for you so make sure you take them first. Without taking these surveys, companies will not know what kind of surveys are right for you. New members get an addition $5.00 for signing up, so you’ve got yourself some money already! You can get started here. Also, be sure to read our Tips on Taking Paid Surveys for more ways to earn extra cash.

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.
As a member, you’ll receive regular invitations to participate in our paid surveys – so keep an eye on your inbox. Once a month you will receive a statement from us, outlining how many points you have accrued. The more opinions you share, the more points you will accumulate! And if you’re keen to build up your points balance and earn cash online, you’re welcome to login at any time to fill out any extra online survey that might interest you.
I don’t see PaidViewpoint on your list. I like using that site. I signed up for it on June 28, 2016, but I guess I forgot about the site and stopped using it on July 24, 2016 but had a total of $1.91. I started using it again on May 5, 2018, and I’m now up to $27.05 and have a trait score of 10, which is the highest. The surveys are easy and you don’t get disqualified. I mostly earn 10 cents, but once in awhile I earn some good money like 62 cents. It does take awhile to add up, but it’s free money.
The rewards for the MySurvey surveys are on par (or better than some) with most other sites. They offer $0.50 to $1.25 for every survey that you complete, with the shorter surveys only taking around 5 minutes to finish. When you want to cash out, you’ll have to accumulate $10, which is less than some of the other sites, and you’ll be able to get your money through a check, PayPal, Amazon gift card, or the more than 60 other gift card options. Sign up for a free mysurvey account HERE.
Opinion Outpost. Some survey sites bombard users with information and opportunities — but not Opinion Outpost. Its simple, intuitive website enabled us to take survey after survey without much thought. As beginners, we also appreciated the site’s straightforward points system, which works out to 10 cents per point. Most importantly, we actually made some money. We averaged $1.50 per hour on Opinion Outpost and were able to cash it out on Amazon. See our Opinion Outpost review for more information.

I’ve had bad experiences with iPoll. I’ll answer the “screening” questions and am told I qualify to take the survey, then once the survey is around 90% complete, I’m told the survey is “closed”. My guess is this is how they’re getting their data without having to pay participants. I’ve also gotten “invalid website” in the middle of some of their surveys as well, of course, after answering 15 minutes of questions.
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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