No matter the site, the earnings from taking surveys can be meager compared with other work opportunities. The federal minimum wage is $7.25 per hour, for example, and our hourly earnings ranged from 41 cents to $2.03. Most survey sites also required a minimum amount of points before we could redeem them for rewards. On many of the sites, we didn’t reach that minimum amount after five hours of work.
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.
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.
A popular and free survey site, Toluna boats more than nine million users across the globe and is well known in the industry, having been running for 17 years. Offering questionnaires for you to fill in to provide leading companies with your opinions, Toluna also runs a range of internal games and schemes, as well as offering product testing to some lucky users who can bag free products.
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.
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.
And lastly, let's discuss privacy.  In some ways, Pinecone Research gets it right – they use the information to verify you are not a duplicate or in any way defrauding them out of a valuable opinion.  After that, they only use your personal information for developing metrics and usage statistics – not giving it out to every third party that comes along.  More importantly, they take consumer information privacy seriously.  When they compile their reports for their clients, they scrub all data of any identifying information.
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.
MintVine is a cool looking paid survey site that makes it easy to complete a survey, without having to spend too long learning how to do it. One of the things I liked most about MintVine is that they offer a huge amount of ways to get paid: there’s the old favorite PayPal of course, but you can also choose Starbucks cards, Amazon and other gift cards, and even restaurant cards. Your surveys can pay for your next meal, and it’s easy to rack up points here. Some users have reported delays in receiving payments however, but this isn’t a scam and MintVine are working hard to speed up their process and iron our any glitches. If they do, they could be heading into the Survey Cool top ten in 2018.
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.

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.
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.
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.
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.
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.

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.


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The only way to make this work would to be a serious survey junkie who can dedicate hours to the work, which defeats the purpose of a side hustle entirely. What’s worse is the idea that you can’t adequately plan your time—a survey might take twice as long as it says or five times as long. That kind of unpredictability means this isn’t a side hustle you can rely on.
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Most reviewed paid survey sites effectively promise not to share personally identifiable information or not to share it without your consent. It's an industry standard by which legitimate marketing research firms are bound. But many membership sites reviewed don't make either promise or do so only in a limited or wishy-washy way. Unauthorized go-betweens don't have to honor marketing research privacy standards.
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.
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.
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