Survey sites have become a good way for people to make money in their spare time.
Instead of vegging out while you binge watch on Netflix or Hulu, you can make a little extra cash by answering questions that help companies determine what and which products are appealing to you.
Think of survey sites as a way to get paid to give your opinion about current and future products while getting paid. Even though you aren’t going to get rich filling out surveys or joining focus groups, it is still a pretty sweet deal.
Best Paid Survey Sites
I only currently use a couple of online sites, but there are tons and tons of them
This list includes my personal top 10 survey sites (plus 15 honorable mentions that are all on the same level) that I have personally used at some point in time, but I have detailed all the legitimate sites out there in the table following them.
If I were going to start with any site that deals with just surveys then I would start with Survey Junkie. Not only are the one of the longest running sites with over 3,000,000 users, they are part of the larger marketing company Active Measure.
Active Measure has an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau and many complimentary reviews on the BBB site.
Survey Junkie works on a points system. Once you reach 1,000 points you can cash out for $10. The surveys pay from $0.50 to $2 and they have one of the largest sources of surveys across any of the sites, so you don’t have to worry about not having surveys to take.
I became a fan of Swagbucks when they were only a search engine that paid you to use them. I even have a SwagBucks t-shirt.
Today they are a full featured get paid to program that allow you to earn via surveys, searching the internet, watching videos, playing games and more. My Swagbucks review covers all the details of how to earn with their program.
You get paid via their own currency, SB. This currency can be cashed in for gift cards at 100 SB for $1 and you can cash out at 300 SB with an Amazon gift card.
Swagbucks has proven to be one of the top services across several verticals and is still one of my personal favorites.
Inbox Dollars is one of the largest get paid to services on the internet. They made their name by paying you to get emails and have expanded into other get paid to verticals.
They offer an awesome $5 sign up bonus and on top of surveys allow you to earn money from search, shopping, watching videos and a host more which I cover in my InboxDollars review.
The best thing on the survey part of their offers is that they have a very low rate of people being disqualified for surveys.
InboxDollars has a 10 year record of paying out. You can receive a payout at $30 and they pay directly to your PayPal account.
Ipsos made its name as a political polling giant during elections. They are a much larger firm than just political polling and have a great platform for making a little extra money from their surveys.
The surveys mostly play between one to two dollars and take 10 to 15 minutes. They do offer some extremely lucrative top paid surveys, but these are VERY rare and you have to meet very specific demographics for each.
Ipsos has their own app called i-Say that also pays for your opinions and is a nice supplement to your computer surveys.
The company pays in points that can be redeemed for PayPal payment or giftcards. You can cash out at 1,000 points for $10.
E-Poll specializes in doing surveys on your favorite television shows.
The surveys are quick and frequent and have a low disqualification rate. The surveys pay between $0.50-$2.50 and every time you complete a survey you are entered into a monthly drawing (20 winners each month).
Unlike other points programs that give you gift cards, with E-Poll the more points you acquire the less expensive the gift cards become on a dollars per point basis. For a quick example, 3,500 points will get you $5, 6,750 will get you $10, 12,500 points will get you $20, and so on.
The minimum payout is $5 and you should get around 10 surveys per month.
With more than 12 years in the paid survey industry, Vindale Research has proven to be a reliable source in the surveys for money market.
The parent company, SayForExample Inc. has received an A- rating with the Better Business Bureau. This all to say that legitimacy is not an issue with the Vindale survey offers.
The only downside is the payout for Vindale Research is $50. This means it will take you a good while before you start to get money into your account. If the wait doesn’t bother you, they are definitely worth signing up for as a part of your survey earning strategy.
MyPoints was the very first get paid to program that I ever signed up for. The year? 1998.
The company was started in 1996 with simple stuff like earning points for emails. Over the years they have expanded to paid surveys, search, and online shopping rebates. You can learn more about the company and all the ways to earn with them in my MyPoints review.
You can cashout your points for either cash to your Paypal account or into gift cards. I consider this a gift card program only because the cashout to Paypal is more than 10% more expensive on your points than. With gift cards you can cash out once you reach enough points for $3.
Harris Poll has become a favorite because they are run by Nielsen, one of the largest market research companies in the country. The original Harris poll was started about 45 years ago and has a stellar reputation for polling.
Harris works off of a reward points system. Once you accumulate enough points you can cash them in for gift cards. Gift card options include Amazon, Walmart, iTunes, and Home Depot.
Harris Poll also has a program for contacting those who register as survey panelists to participate in local area focus groups. These groups can pay as much as $40 per hour and are a quick way to make some money.
Cashout is at $10 and the gift cards come in about 4 weeks.
MySurvey is one of the more popular of the paid for survey sites because it specializes in simplicity. With limited graphics and easy to understand instructions MySurvey puts their emphasis on the rewards, which is what we all really care about.
One thing I really appreciate about this service is that they do a good job of not hitting you up with junk offers that are not useful to our pursuit of paid surveys.
There was a time when their site was difficult to use on a mobile browser, but they have since fixed those issues and the platform now works effectively on a smart phone, tablet, or computer.
I signed up for Pinecone Research years before they allowed you to fill out the surveys online. Because of their long history of customer surveys for large manufacturers, they are one of the most respected information gathering companies in the country.
Pincone has one of the largest payouts on a per survey basis, at $3 per survey. They do not offer the same bulk of surveys that others on this list do, but the higher per survey payout makes it well worth making them a part of the survey sites you use.
Pincone Research pays out either to PayPal or from a catalog of available products.
Other Legit Survey Sites
How do Paid Survey Sites Work?
The concept is just as simple as you think. Sign up with any of the survey sites above, give them correct information about you and your family, and then they will send you notifications about surveys you may qualify for.
Each survey will be worth a specified number of dollars or rewards points. Those can then be cashed out at a specific threshold. For example, Survey Junkie lets you cash out at 1,000 points which translates to $10.00.
Are Paid Surveys Legitimate or a Scam?
Paid survey sites are definitely a legit way to make money. They are not, however a money making scheme that will make you hundreds of dollars a day or even a week.
There are opportunities from time to time that allow you to be a part of a focus group that can pay up to $200, but these are rare compared to the regular $0.50-$5 surveys that you will get on a regular basis.
So if you see some site advertising that you are going to be the next “Survey Taking Millionaire!” then you are probably looking at a survey site scam.
That being said, if you have the time and are willing to sign up for multiple survey companies, you can make a decent side income taking surveys.
What you Should Know Before You Start Signing Up
Signing up for you first survey site can be exciting, but make sure you understand the industry first. These tips will help you get set up with the right sites and make sure you know what to expect when you get started with one of the services.
Do Not Pay to Take Surveys!
I have yet to see a legit survey site that charges you to be part of their network. If the site you are signing up with asks you to pay any fee at all to be in the panel run, don’t walk, run away from that service.
Legitimate sites are paying you for your opinion, you don’t need to be paying to be on a panel.
Remember the survey sites are parts of legitimate marketing research firms. These firms treat your information very carefully and will only disclose any specific information about you with your permission.
I know it is a pain to read all the mouse type when you sign up for anything, but this is the one thing I search for before I sign up for a site.
Make Sure the Earnings are Clear
Points systems can be confusing with any rewards program. The same is true in the opinion research industry. So make sure you fully understand exactly how the payments for a service translate into money.
You may find you are wasting your time with one service when you could be making much more answering the same questions for somewhere else.
What You are Actually Able to Earn
The way to earn the most with paid surveys is to sign up with three to eight of the sites. There are only so many surveys available from each company, so being available for multiple sites is going to maximize your earnings.
From a per survey perspective, you can expect betweeen 50¢ and $4 per survey. Some of the sites will take your answers and demographich information and add you to a focus group. These groups will pay more in teh $75 to $200 range.
On a monthly basis, you can average $30-$40 per month per site. So if you are doing eight different sites I would expect to make close to $300 per month by doing surveys in your spare time (while watching TV, down time, etc.).
The more aggressive you are in pursuing the surveys the more you can make. Many times they have a cap on how many people can take a specific survey, so if you are quick to go fill one out, you will make more.