Survey sites are the easiest way to make a bit of money online. Will you be able to quit your day job? Drop out of school? Get rich? No.
But, you can make enough for a weekend away or a special gift for a loved one. You can fun and monetize your idle time.
More than Surveys — Get Paid To (GTP) Sites
Survey sites area kind of Get Paid To site (GTP). The survey sites are typically companies that pay you to provide feedback to product owners. Usually, this is by taking an actual survey but it can also include other activities. Survey sites are companies that will pay you to …
- Surveys — This is what people generally first associate with survey sites. You are sent a questionnaire to take. You are selected based on the demographic information in your survey site profile. There is often a pre-survey demographic form to complete to further target the audience.
- Special Offers — Some companies give you points or fixed bonuses to join sites and otherwise subscribe to their clients information.
- Shop — Survey sites are often part of rebate sites. This allows you to earn points or cash-back when you shop with their merchants.
- Polls — These are like mini-surveys really. They pay very little but take a short amount of time to complete.
- Invite Friends — Many survey companies have a referral program where you get points when your referred user joins the survey company.
- Mystery Shopping — As part of their consumer research work, some survey companies have a mystery shopper program where you are paid to shop for an item at either an online or physical store. You typically report the experience in a survey.
- Surfing Internet — Companies collect data about your surfing habits and sue it as big data to analyze trends.
- Product Testing — This is a way to get feedback on a new game, software, or service.
Surveys generally pay the best but you need to be selective. Most of the other activities pay less but can add up over time.
The best thing is that anyone can do it. Surveys are great for …
Who are Surveys Good For
- Stay at home parents — Moms and Dads of young children have the most inflexible schedule. Surveys can be done anytime.
- Second Income — Extra income without a second commute.
- Unemployed — It happens. Stay active and engaged while making a few dollars.
- Disabled — You don’t need to leave home
- Retired Adults.- Pick up a few dollars for the grandkids or take off to somewhere warm for a winter vacation. Keep your mind engaged and active.
- Teens — Rather than closing hours on Reddit or Facebook, you can be earning a few dollars. It is also one of the few ways that teenagers can earn money online. Many have a minimum age of 13.
Who are Surveys Not For
First they are not for someone looking for a real job. You will definately make less than a minimum wage US job. Surveys can be problematic for are globe-trotting digital nomads or residents of foreign countries. Many surveys have specific geographic location requirements. Often it is required to be a US resident, though many are also Canada, UK, and some are available throughout the world.
Go to our online jobs and side hustles for more program reviews.
How do Survey Sites Work
Why do Legit Companies Run Surveys
Getting paid to take surveys seems strange to you right?
Major companies hire market research companies to send out surveys to a target demographic (income, age, married or not, children, where you live, etc.).
The companies are usually looking for information about ..
- Perception of the brand
- Demographic appeal of a product or brand
- Measure the effectiveness of a marketing campaign
- Information to improve product launches
- Test packaging, logos and other marketing components
The easiest way for companies to get this information is to survey large groups of people who match their target demographics.
The summary is; big companies need to collect information to make marketing decisions. They do this by surveying their target users. The survey companies act as a middle man by finding survey takers that match a companies needs.
The survey companies are paid by the product and brand owners. They then hire survey takers and to complete the job.
Survey takers like you.
It is worth noting that many of the survey sites you will join are actually also middle-men. They gather surveys available and introduce their member survey-takers to them. So don’t be surprised when you are redirected to a different domain to take the surveys.
How Much Money can you Make with Surveys
You won’t ever get rich or even replace a part-time job taking surveys. The price paid per survey is ususually between $1 and $5. It is not unusual for a shorter survey to be less than $1. While there are surveys that pay more than $25 you should be extra careful with these as scammers often use claimed large survey payouts as bait.
You will be paid for taking surveys, watching videos, donloading software and special offers. This is why the overall industry is often refered to as Pay to Do.
I really wouldn’t think of surveys as a job — it is a way to monetize your idle time. It certainly pays better than playing video games, bing-watching TV shows, or reading Reddit!
If you select surveys well, and stick with it, you can potentialy make $100 – $250+ a month.
Survey companies pay the survey takers in a few ways …
- Gift Cards
- Free Products
- Sweepstakes entry/winning
Of course cash and gift cards are the preferred way to get compensated. However …
Never give your banking or social security numbers to a survey company
Common Scams in Survey Sites
The survey industry attracts its fair share of people trying to take advantage of you. Some just don’t pay. Many simply want your email address to sell to others. so always use a separate address for your surveys. Some are more dangerous and ask for information that can lead to identity theft or worse. Here are some typical ways the bad guys will try to take advantage of you …
- Sites that charge you — You should never pay to join a survey site or to take a survey.
- Sites that just want to sell you other products — It is a bait and switch campaign. You are lured in with the idea of earning money. The surveys likely claim to pay a larger fee than normal. Then you are bombarded with offers from them. You should only get emails about surveys — not other pitches and offers.
- Sites collecting email addresses — Typically these involve sweepstakes. a chance to win an Ipad (just enter your zip and email). What they are really after is your email. The value of a double opt-in email average is $2. So this can add up for the email collectors. Another good reason to have a separate email address for surveys and other online activities.
- Phishing Sites — They will often represent themselves as being part of a legit survey company. They then send forms requesting personal data.
- Fake Checks –Another common scam is to send you a big check and ask for you to return a portion of it. You get a check for $5000 but they claim it was an overpayment and to please return $1,000. The check never clears and you are out the $1000.
Five Red Flags of a Potential Scam
1. They Ask for Money — You never need to pay a survey company — run!
2. They Offer Too Much Money — Start with companies in this list and get an idea of how much surveys pay. If a new company is offering you $50 for a few minutes work … you know it is a scam.
3. They Require a Huge Minimum Before Payout — You signup and start getting paid $1 per survey, but when you try to get paid you find the minimum payout is $100 or similar. You leave the survey company and they get free labor.
4. They want bank information or Social Security Number – Your social security number is the key to identity theft. Legit survey companies pay with PayPal or a gift card.
5. Declare they are not a scam — If a site tells you they are not a scam beware. Legit sites don’t lead with this claim.
How to Choose a Survey Site
Earnings Opportunity —
Though many enjoy taking the surveys and being an influencer, you are doing this to make a bit of money with your spare time. To get an idea of your opportunity with a survey site, determine …
- How you will be compensated — cash, points, samples, Paypal, gift cards.
- How many surveys you will be offered — surveys are a numbers game you want many offers
- Do they have a good paying history — are there many comlaints about not getting paid.
- What the pay out threshold is — You don’t want thresholds over $100.
How to check out the company–
These sites deal with millions of members so you will always find some complaints. Here are some places to check …
- Check if they are a member of CASRO – The Council of American Survey Research Organizations (CASRO) is the leading trade organization for legitamate consumer research companies.
- Check the BBB – If you have trouble finding them on BBB beacuse they used a generic words or lots of dashes and special characters be cautious. Real companies want to brand their name not obscure it.
- Check for reviews — Lookup the company on sites like Scam.com and RipOffReport.com. But do understand that these sites attract negative feedback. Be most concerned about identity theft and fraud claims.
Finally there are some general rules and tips that can make working with survey companies more productive and profitable …
There are some best practices when dealing with survey companies and getting started …
- Use a unique survey email address – Some companies pay you to “read email” (which is code for they’ll email you advertisements) and it can be a lot of email. Plus, if you end up accidentally signing up for a scam, you don’t trash your regular email address.
- Install a seperate browser — Best to do your surveys and otehr marketing in a seperate browser. Firefox has the most extensions. Opera has a built-in VPN.
- Install anti-virus software. Just in case one of the survey sites sends you to an infected third-party client.
- Install a seperate browser — Firefox has the most extensions. Opera has a built-in VPN.
- Check out their panel or dashboard– Look for intuitive and productive panels/dashboards for you to use.
- Check out their member area — The better companies have member groups to help each other
- Use Roboform (free) — This free download helps you quickly complete forms
22 Best Survey Sites
Our evergreen list of survey sites that we have reviewed. Keep in mind that survey companies are often changing their payment plans and policies. Also, since survey sites pre-screen you based on your profile, some sites work better for specific demographics. It is best to select a few and start taking surveys. Concentrate on the survey companies that return the best for you.
Payment Methods: Paypal, Gift Cards
Signup URL: surveys.gobranded.com
Branded was formerly Mint Vine. They have a solid program and give you a signup bonus of 100 points ($1 hey it’s something) when you complete your profile.
The surveys at branded are high-paying with many at the 300 point or $3 level.
The payout level is only $10 so they are worth a try to see if your profile aligns well with them.
Payment Methods: Paypal or Amazon Gift Card
Signup URL: crowdology.com/login/
A solid performer with no fancy bells and whistles. They have a low $8 threshold for payouts which is nice. The rates are average,perhaps a bit on the lower side at up to $2 per survey. There are reports of having many disqualifications towards the survey end. Try to keep your profile up to date and be sure your answers in surveys align with your profile.
Payment Methods: Paypal & Google Play credits
Signup URL: Playstore App
Even Google has a survey program. You get paid $1 per survey. On Android, users get paid with Google Play credits. These can be sued to buy paid apps from Google Play. On iOS apps users are paid with PayPal. Not very high-paying but the surveys tend to be shorter. There is no payout thresholds so you are paid straight away.
Payment Methods: Check, e-payments, pre-paid debit
Signup URL: inboxdollars.com
Inbox dollars has much more than surveys in their lineup. They may offer you games to test, surveys, web site surfing credits. They also have shopping rebates and even pay you to print coupons. The rates are pretty low for surveys and lots of disqualifications.
They get a Top 10 for a $5 signup bonus, historic payouts of over $50 million and the variety of ways to earn. The payout threshold is high at $30 so expect to take 1-2 months of semi-regular use.
Payment Methods: Check or Gift Card
Signup URL: ipoll.com/#appStores
iPoll was originaly Survey Head. In 2016 they were acquired by Survey Sampling and relaunched as an app for mobile survey taking.
The app get has well over 1 million downloads and near 4* reviews. iPoll has paid out over $30 million to survey takers.
With a 10-year track record and good reviews they are a solid performer. iPoll is an easy way to earn a few dollars while waiting in line or traveling.
6– Ipsos I-Say
Payment Methods: PayPal or Gift CArd
Signup URL: I-Say Setup
I-say is the online survey division of Ipsos,a research firm with over 15,000 employees. They have been around for many years and are a solid company.
Ipsos pays pretty well. You will get a few disqualifications during your sureveys which is a pain. A nice touch is if you are disqualified you will be entered into a contest.
The surveys pay from $.5 to $2. One nice thing about I-say is that when it is time to redeem your points for a gift card the payout is near instant.
They are one of the few sites to have a loyalty program. When you complete a certain number of polls, you will earn extra points.
Payment Methods: PayPal, Amazon and other gift cards
Signup URL: lifepointspanel.com/registration
Lifepoints used to be MySurvey and has a rich history in the consumer research industry originally doing mailed and mall surveys. This is not a fly-by-night operation. They are one of the few companies running survey sites for just one market research company — Lightspeed Research.
They made the top 10 for a number of reasons … their history, good payout levels of $1.25 for fairly short surveys, and a low payout level of $10.
Payment Methods: PayPal, Gift Cards
Signup URL: mypoints.com
MyPoints is a solid site that has a long history of paying out to survey takers. They have been around since 1996, paying out over $200 million to their members.
One of the special things about MyPoints is the many ways you can earn money …
- Shop online & local deals like at Groupon
- Watch videos
- Search the web
- Print coupons and buying at local store
- Play games
- Referring friends
9– My Soap Box
Payment Methods: Amazon and other gift cards
Signup URL: survey.mysoapbox.com/html.pro
MySoapbox is more of a community than some of the other survey companies. For instance, every month memebrs vote on the charity the company donates to.
You are paid mainly for surveys. The typical payout for a survey is $1 -$1.5. The payouts have a $25 threshold.
10– One Opinion
Payment Methods: Gift Cards
Signup URL: oneopinion.com
OneOpinion does a better job than most on prequalifying you for surveys. So there are fewer disqualifications. They even give you points for the first five disqualifications. They do have a $25 payout threshold which is on the high side. The good news is you can easily do this in under 1 month. They tend to send 3-4 emails a day with invites.
OneOpinion made the top 10 due to their high payouts and low disqualification rates.
They pay with gift cards include Visa gift cards. In the end OnePoints is one of the highest payers out there.
11– Opinion Outpost
Payment Methods: Paypal, Check, Gift Cards
Signup URL: opinionoutpost.com
Opinion Outpost does a prequalification survey before sending you to take the survey. This helps to reduce disqaulifications after you have started the survey (which is annoying and typical with surveys). Another nice touch is when you do get disqualified you are entered into a $10,000 monthly drawing.
The survey payouts are average to good and the payments come quickly. With a low $5 payout threshold, it is worth a go.
12– Panel Place
Payment Methods: Paypal
Signup URL: panelplace.com
Panel Place has one of the largest selections of surveys. They are basically a survey taking portal including surveys from other Survey Sites like Toluna and Valued Opinions.
Panel Place has one of the broadest geographic ranges with surveys available to residents of most countries. They have an app to take surveys on the go as well. There are free contests and an active FaceBook group to get the most out of the site.
The payouts are average and it is convenient to have a single account and access to many company’s surveys.
Payment Methods: Check or gift cards
Signup URL: pineconeresearch.com
Pinecone Research has a few different twists. First they require an invitation to join. You can’t just signup like you can on most sites. Second they a strong focus on testing of pre-released products. And finally they pay very well, $3-$5 per survey.
Pinecone has a closer relationship with their members do to their exclusivity. The made the Top 10 list for a number of reasons ..
- Very responsive support group.
- They pay on time
- No minimum balance for payout
14– Prize Rebel
Payment Methods: PayPal, gift cards, Bitcoin
Signup URL: prizerebel.com
Prize Rebel is a solid site with a good track record. The have many ways for you to earn …
- Online surveys
- answering emails
- watching videos
- downloading apps
- doing searches
- subscribing to services
- referring friends
The one issue is that they do not tell you in advance how much the survey pays.
15– Survey Club
Payment Methods: Gift cards
Signup URL: surveyclub.com/create-account
Survey Club has a long track record going back to 2005. They are a legit group.
One of the unique features is that they will send you local opportunities for product testing, focus groups, clinical trials, and more.
Survey Club is another portal and aggregator of surveys and other consumer research companies.
16– Survey Junkie
Payment Methods: Paypal or gift card
Signup URL: surveyjunkie.com
Survey Junkie has over 10 million members. I am not sure how many of those are active but that’s amazing.
Formed in 2005 they are one of the largest survey sites in the industry and should be on everyones shortlist.
The surveys pay well, anywhere from $1 – $4
They made the Top 10 due to their high payouts, industry leadership and quick payments.
One of the strong points of Survey Junkie is that they pay quickly. If you are using Paypal it is almost always within 24 hours or less.
17– Survey Savvy
Payment Methods: Check, gift cards
Signup URL: surveysavvy.com/registration
Survey Savvy is a good site with some nice features. One of the best features is that they payout with no minimums. They have a good assortment of surveys.
One of the strongest features for many is that Survey Savvy is available in almost all countries. You will be paid in USD however.
The only major complaint is that there are many disqualifications mid-survey. It is annoying to be well into a survey and getting kicked off after investing your time.
18– Survey Time
Payment Methods: PayPal, gift cards
Signup URL: surveytime.io
Survey Time has one great feature. You get paid immediately. Take a survey get paid. What a novel concept. They have a good assortment of surveys. But it is good to remmebr that you should sign up for multiple survey sites. When none are available at Survey Time you can flip over to another site.
The surveys pay pretty well and tend to be shorter. Most take less than 10 minutes to complete.
Payment Methods: PayPal. gift cards
Signup URL: swagbucks.com
Swagbucks is one of the first and largest survey and Paid to Do sites out there. They have so many ways to earn money …
- Special Offers
- Shopping Rebates
They made our Top 10 for being a solid industry leader, variety of ways to earn, payment history.
They do have more disqualifications than most and are not the leading payers.
Payment Methods: PayPal, gift cards
Signup URL: us.toluna.com/#/sign-up
Toluna is one of the better paying sites out there. They spend a lot of time trying to prequalify you for surveys and prevent disqualifications. To do this they have many profile surveys for you to take.
To take longer paid surveys you simply select a category and choose your survey.
Toluna made or Top 10 for their quality, prequalification system, variety of surveys.
They use a point system taht be tarded for gift cards, sweepstakes entries and more. The payouts are a bit lower than most sites though.
21– Vindale Research
Payment Methods: Gift cards
Signup URL: vindale.com/v/join.jsp
Vindale Research has been in the survey business for a long time. They are a research company not an agrregator so there may not be as many surveys to choose from.
The good news is they pay pretty well and are a reliable site. The survey payouts can range from $1 -$5 — nice. They also have a product evaluation program.
With product evals, you can earn as much as $50-$75 but there will be more time involved.
Payment Methods: Gift Cards
Signup URL: zoombucks.com
zoombucks is a great survey and Pay to Do site. They have many different ways you can earn …
- Social Sharing
They pay well. They pay on time. Definitely worth trying.
How to Successfully use Survey Sites
You will be pre-selected for most surveys based on your profile. A company may be looking for a specific age group, sex or other demographic criteria. You receive survey invitations based on matching a companies survey needs. You may also have an additional pre-qualification questionnaire to complete. One of the most frustrating things with survey-taking is being disqualified from a survey. This can happen after taking the pre-qualification questionnaire. You can even be disqualified at the end of the survey — and not get paid.
Some tips to qualify for more surveys and to complete them succefully …
- Allow time to complete a survey in one sitting. Always finish a survey you start as soon as possible. If the survey pool is filled befor eyou complete the survey you will be disqualified.
- Keep your profile current and up to date Your profile is how you are selected for a survey. Make it current, accurate, and complete..
- Do just one online surveys one at a time. Complete one survey before attempting to take another. Having more than one survey open at one time can cause the survey to become unavailable and then you’re not able to complete it.
- Cash out as soon as you can. Best to take your money when you can. Particularly with 2nd-tier sites. It is not unheard of to be dismissed as a member and any balance is lost.
- Take the best paying surveys Try a few sites and see which pays you the most for your demographic.
- Stay with it TSurvey programs are like your change jar. The small bills and coins add up.
- Don’t appear to be a pro survey taker Survey companies don’t want to be gamed so you should look like a consumer.
- Have Fun Find interesting surveys and other activities that are interesting.
Survey taking can be a fun way to earn money online. It is a way to get paid during your idle time. It is also a way for many who are homebound for whatever reason to stay engaged with the world and earn a few dollars.
Just be careful of scams. They should be easy to spot. Starting with a screened list like this article will eliminate almost all of them.
The main thing is that you never should be spending money or providing banking or social security numers.
So go forth and be surveyed.
Go to our online jobs and side hustles for more ways to earn online.