Post-recession, a lot of workers started looking for ways to earn extra cash. While most side gigs won’t supplant the steady cashflow of a regular job, they can pad a paycheck that hasn’t seen a significant boost in a few years. Paid surveys are often mentioned as one way to earn a few extra dollars fast. But are paid surveys a legitimate way to make money – or are they scams? The answer is that it depends on the survey and the company you are taking them for.
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.
Referral program: Referral programs are a common aspect of thousands of websites as they are a great way to get new registered members. As you may already know, some of the biggest e-commerce giants as well as other companies offer rewards and bonuses to users for referring their website to their friends and family. All you have to do is subscribe to their referral program and share a link to your friends.
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! ;)
CashCrate. Many sites reward users through a confusing point system, so we appreciated that CashCrate discloses the monetary value of each survey. However, during surveys, we often struggled to determine when we were actually earning money and when we were attempting to qualify for paid opportunities. And after five hours in this confusing process, we didn’t earn enough money to cash out. Read more in our CashCrate review.

Free to join, the site runs a range of special offers, including awarding prizes at random, giving you daily targets to hit for which you receive bonus points, and posting deals on their social media feeds. They have a great new app and a strong referral scheme. However, like everything, it’s not perfect – it can start to suck up a lot of your time. Swagbucks runs on the premise of incentivising day to day internet use to make both you and them money, so it is worth being aware of this so it doesn’t end up seeping into too much of your life!


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.
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.
I have a very serious question I have been a member of InboxDollars for over 2 years they send me emails that say here’s a survey for you and they waste 10 minutes of my time going through it to tell me that I don’t qualify I wrote them and said I gave you all my demographic information please do not send me this and waste my time but they consistently do that.
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.
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Like many survey sites, Toluna rewards you with points, which you can then cash out for vouchers for the usual suspects like Amazon and iTunes, or money through PayPal. A slightly novel element of the site’s payment plan is to offer the chance to take your points out early if you gamble them for prizes. While you have to store up a grand total of 60,000 points before you can claim vouchers for around $12 – something some people find to be a downside of the site – if you are willing to settle for a prize, you can play with just 500 points. You can decide to try your luck with a “giftie”, a kind of scratch card game. By gambling some points, you can see if you have won the gift or lost your points – so it is not one for the faint hearted!

First, thank you for providing this extensive list. I wanted to offer a quick follow up. After reading your post I decided to give Survey Junkie a try and I’ve already closed the account. Yes, I can tell it’s well organized and it is definitely a user-friendly platform. The problems I experienced were first that not one of the surveys they emailed me about were available. I did, however, complete several surveys from the site itself and I found them to be lengthy – in itself, not a problem, but 3 out of 5 told me I didn’t qualify after I’d already invested 10 – 12 minutes filling out the forms. They got more than enough information from me to be useful which is an old and highly unethical trick in market research – which happens to be my background. All in all, it was a LOT of wasted time.


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.”
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.

Above all, thanks for that great article. I really enjoyed reading it all for the last 5 minutes with a mug of coffee! Despite this article being next to perfect, if I can, I’d like to add one of the best survey sites, in my mind, to this list. It would be, “ClixSense”. They’re a really old, and huge, presence in the research industry and have partnered with many of those listed in this very post. So, signing up on ClixSense lets you take paid survey invitations from multiple survey sites and research firms, like Opinion Outpost, Nielson Media Research, YouGov, I-Poll, MySurvey, Toluna and more. Almost half of all of those survey sites are listed here.


“I participated in an in-home product trial study. A coffee machine company sent me one of the coffee makers along with about 200 coffee pods. I received $7 for completing 3 short surveys. Plus, after the study, the company said I could keep the coffee maker. So, I got like 4 mos of coffee for everyone in my household, a free coffee maker and $7!” - David W.
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