How It Works: Swagbucks is a favorite of mine,  as well as a favorite of many readers here. Not only do they offer a wide range of surveys that pay cash, but you can also earn points for the everyday things you do online like searching, shopping, and watching videos. In total, Swagbucks has paid out over $187 million in rewards. Even if you’re not interested in doing surveys, it’s still easy on the platform to earn decent money with what you’re already doing online today.
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.
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.
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.
Survey Junkie. This site is a smaller survey aggregator, but it stands out. The site has a clean, easy-to-use dashboard and offers a high point value for each survey you complete. The point system is direct and shows you how much your points are worth in dollars right on the dashboard. But you have to get to 1,000 points, equal to $10, before you can cash out. Check out our Survey Junkie review for more information.
They include sites that seem to be their competitors because they earn referral fees when you buy memberships. A couple mentioned in scam forums even try to dupe you into buying the same list at other membership sites they own under different names. Naturally, these sites also have an incentive to exaggerate how much you'll earn from online paid surveys.

Survey Junkie. This site is a smaller survey aggregator, but it stands out. The site has a clean, easy-to-use dashboard and offers a high point value for each survey you complete. The point system is direct and shows you how much your points are worth in dollars right on the dashboard. But you have to get to 1,000 points, equal to $10, before you can cash out. Check out our Survey Junkie review for more information.

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.
But the most important factor that makes these better options is the fact that these gigs can bring in thousands. Web developers charge an average rate of $75/hour, copywriters make $60/hour, and QA testers make $47/hour. The reality is that if you want to bring in serious money, you might need to consider upskilling a bit—a worthy investment that will pay off massively. While mindless side hustles sound appealing, they often times simply don’t pan out and end up being a mega time waster. Don’t fall for it. Your time is too valuable, and you deserve to be paid well for it.
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 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.
“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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