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.
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.
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.

Define the research question: This is critically important to the success of a survey research project. Without a clearly defined question, it is difficult to determine the best approach for conducting the survey. For example, based on the research question, are the needed data exploratory, descriptive, or causal? The answer to this basic question has huge implications for the entire research process, yet it is often not directly addressed.


OpinionWorld is an online survey panel maintained and operated by Survey Sampling International, LLC ("SSI"). SSI is a premier global provider of opinions and links companies with consumer views. Over 3,000 companies worldwide use SSI to gain insights to grow their business. SSI has 40 years of experience and 32,000,000 surveys are completed annually. SSI has several survey panels including Your Voice in India.
Watching video ads: Video ads certainly aren't uncommon in the online world. While generally they're a hassle getting in the way of the content you want to watch, many paid survey sites have turned them into a way for members to make money. It's pretty easy to make a tab, set a playlist of paid ads going, mute it, and carry on with browsing the internet or taking 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.
By only sending you questionnaires you are already qualified for, Pinecone wastes far less of your time than many sites which require you to fill our qualifying questions before starting each survey. However some users have said they don’t receive very many surveys, which could be a consequence of their careful filtering. Equally the site retains the right to remove you from their panel if you no longer fit their desired demographic, so make the most of your membership while you have it!

Unlike many sites, Valued Opinions doesn’t offer you the chance to take cash rewards, at the moment limiting users to retail vouchers and gift cards. Electronic vouchers are usually with you within 24 hours but gift cards can take four to six weeks to arrive in the post. Once $10 has been earned, you can claim Amazon vouchers, Macy’s gift cards and Visa promo codes, among many other reward options dependant on your location. Surveys are said to be varied, but the gift card options less so, so check they are for stores you’ll want to shop in before you tot up lots of points.


Illegitimate companies and scammers have a simple objective. They're after your information in order to get your money. It's much more common for internet scammers to target hundreds of people for small sums rather than a single person for thousands. This is because demanding large sums for a product that is somewhat unclear is an obvious red flag to most.

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.
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.

With one of the lowest cash limits in the industry, you can get $10 out when you have accrued just 100 points. If you want to take your earnings in the form of a giftcard, the threshold is even lower, as you just need 50 points, equivalent to $5. Many other survey sites will only pay out after you earn much more, like $50. As with all good survey sites, Opinion Outpost allows you to take your earnings away in vouchers for big firms like Amazon or iTunes, or if you prefer money, to do so through Paypal. As well as paying out early Opinion Outpost also pays extremely quickly, often the same day or in some cases, immediately.
By taking part in online surveys with Valued Opinions US, you can  tell brands exactly what you think  about their products and services. You can even get the opportunity to test new products and packaging, as well as reviewing advertising campaigns. Every time you take one of our paid surveys you're driving real change to help companies know what they need to do to improve - and earning credit for gift cards .
Illegitimate companies and scammers have a simple objective. They're after your information in order to get your money. It's much more common for internet scammers to target hundreds of people for small sums rather than a single person for thousands. This is because demanding large sums for a product that is somewhat unclear is an obvious red flag to most.
OneOpinion. This site is a survey aggregator with an effective screening process. Its dashboard is informative and displays helpful sections, such as your activity and a customer support form. The site was above average at picking surveys we qualified for. As for the points awarded per survey, 500 or 1,000 points may look high at first, but when converted to actual rewards, you’d get 50 cents or a dollar. Also, you can’t cash out until you reach 25,000 points, equivalent to $25. Read more in our OneOpinion review.
Great post! I find it really helpful and I like to try online surveys. I’m actually looking for information about this site that I came across with, it’s called iglobalsurveys.com. have you heard about this? Is this legit? I want to know more about this site before I join. I was hoping if you can give me some idea. Thank you in advance and once again this post is great.
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.

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.
Pros: CashKarma operates within an app, which makes for a simple, self-contained user experience. You can also watch videos, complete sign-up offers and earn bonus achievement badges. Plus, you’ll still earn points even if you don’t qualify for a survey — based on the amount of time you spend in a survey you’re screened out of — and you’ll earn an easy five points a day when you check in.

The cost of living has continued to rise, while the average salary is still somewhat stagnant when compared to a decade ago, and this is why so many Americans have started to look for ways to earn money at home without having to invest too much time or effort. Family and friends come first, but with paid online surveys, you will not have to cut out any portion of your routine to earn extra money online, as you can instead go through the processes in your sparest of spare time. 
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! ;)
It’s easy to earn cash for surveys. How much you get paid completely depends on how many paid surveys you attempt and complete. Each online survey has a different payout, with some offering as much as $50. Most will pay less, but also take less time. Expect to earn about 40 to 200 SB points per survey (100 SB = $1), with occasional opportunities with much higher earning potential.
×