The Internet makes it relatively easy to run side hustles and find side gigs for extra cash. As a result, online surveys have become a popular go-to task for their ease of use and fun earning opportunities. Unfortunately, there are a lot of scams as well, so finding suitable survey sites and online surveys that actually pay can be a challenge if you’re just winging it. So, where do you start when it comes to finding legit sites to participate in online paid surveys to make money online?

Do surveys online really pay you?

Scams are everywhere. Just about anyone with some coding and graphic design experience can create an online survey or multiple sites that look and sound legit. But unless they’ve been around for a while, have a good membership base, and provide good online reviews, they’re likely bogus. Legitimate survey sites have been on the Internet since the world wide web was launched. Paid survey sites have strong membership bases and, for the most part, good reviews for specific reasons. One of the strongest reasons is because they actually pay.

The per-survey or average earnings often vary, and they’re usually not much. The point of a legitimate online survey is to pay the member something for their time so the survey sites can collect necessary market research. You won’t get rich, regardless of what any scam survey sites claim. But you can earn extra side money taking paid surveys with legitimate paid online survey sites. A legitimate survey site may offer to pay members for the following.

Taking Surveys

Per-survey and average earnings can vary significantly between survey sites. Sponsored or branded surveys, and those from market research companies, usually pay more than general or profile surveys. Paid survey opportunities can range between 5-30 minutes and always require acceptance due to the specific market research needed. So it may take several attempts to find paid surveys (especially market research surveys) that accept you. You’ll then earn points for completing surveys from the legit survey company, and those points can be converted to PayPal cash or gift cards.

Extra Market Research

Sometimes paid survey sites require additional market research help, which may include specific product testing and browser tracking. Survey takers can earn points for those extra tasks as well.

Playing Games

Online games and game apps often outsource survey sites to get the market research they require. Your favorite paid online survey sites that also function as task sites may offer specific games you can play to make money. Criteria must be obtained, such as reaching particular levels for you to earn points. But it’s another way to make money while waiting to qualify for online surveys.

Shopping Online

Some online survey sites also offer cash back options, rebates, money-saving coupons, and other money-making opportunities if you shop online. Details for specific stores, deals, and other qualifications are listed on the individual survey sites that offer this option. Grocery stores are also sometimes listed, so you could potentially make money just by uploading your receipts or shopping for what you needed to get or wanted to try anyway.

Which paid survey apps are legit?

Scams are common, but several legit paid online survey sites and apps offer real survey opportunities and provide online surveys for money. Of course, the actual per-survey payment and average earnings vary, but you’ll definitely be paid for completing relevant surveys. This is because some businesses outsource their market research to online survey sites, which then offer paid surveys to members in return for their valued opinions. While the complete list of legitimate paid online survey sites is far too long to post, here are some popular survey sites that consistently offer survey opportunities and compensate their members when they take online surveys.

Branded Surveys

Branded Research owns Branded Surveys, and the online survey site has been around since 2012. Branded Surveys was first known as Mintvine before the name rebrand. Branded Surveys is entirely legitimate and pays its members via PayPal cash or direct deposit once they reach at least $10 in earnings. The online surveys Branded Surveys release are targeted to members who may qualify to complete the surveys, so it may take a while to get invited to a study. Branded Surveys also has a lower per-survey pay of between $.10 and $3. But it does pay.

Inbox Dollars

Inbox Dollars is one of the oldest paid online survey sites. It claims to have paid members over $80 million in cash and gift cards since launching in 2000. Inbox Dollars compensates members for completing surveys and other tasks such as playing games and watching videos. Payout is relatively high at a $30 minimum which can be paid via PayPal cash or gift cards.

Harris Poll Online

Harris Poll Online is one of the oldest survey sites that deals explicitly with businesses, government agencies, and non-government organizations. Harris Poll first made survey opportunities available in 1975 via mail ballots and telephone surveys. Harris Poll Online ditched the pen-and-paper routine and merged into the mobile age as soon as the internet blossomed. Members are welcome to peruse the survey opportunities on the website, and they’ll be invited directly to any for which they qualify. Payment is converted via points per survey that participants may redeem for gift cards, charity donations, or items ordered through the Harris Poll rewards catalog. There is no cash survey payment method.

Opinion Outpost

Opinion Outpost has relied on the valued opinions of its members to conduct its market research since 2009. While other paid survey sites have merged into task options, Opinion Outpost has always focused on paid surveys. Points are rewarded for completing surveys, and those points can be redeemed once they reach $5 worth. In addition, opinion Outpost offers the survey payment method of gift cards or PayPal cash.

Pinecone Research

Pinecone Research is owned by the Nielsen company and launched online in 1998, making it one of the oldest online survey sites. Pinecone Research is incredibly selective and only accepts members through invitation. You’re welcome to apply on their website, but you won’t be accepted until they vet your application. Several scams claim to be Pinecone Research, so be sure to apply right at the correct website. There is no Facebook or other social media page. Pinecone Research primarily deals with paid surveys, but occasionally, they invite members to product testing opportunities. No other tasks are offered. Payment can be redeemed at $5 via bank transfer or gift cards.

Prize Rebel

PrizeRebel launched in 2007, and it’s one of the paid survey sites that can pay members weekly as long as they work smart on the online survey site. PrizeRebel pays members for taking surveys, of course. But the online survey site also offers other tasks like completing offers, watching videos, and referring friends. Per-survey amounts vary, but all online surveys and task completions are paid via points. Each point on PrizeRebel is worth $.01.

The site’s online surveys can pay members about 50 points ($.50) for completing surveys ranging between 10 and 20 minutes. While that’s not the most lucrative option when looking to make quick cash by taking online surveys for money, you can still meet the $5 minimum payout amount daily or weekly by completing the microtasks. PrizeRebel also pays members bonus points for task completions and referrals. Payment methods include gift cards and cash.

Survey Junkie

Survey Junkie launched in 2013 as an online survey site. It’s currently one of the best options for those who want to make money by taking surveys. Survey Junkie is free to join, and there are no bells or whistles on the website. However, daily online surveys are limited and available on a first-come, first-served basis. So you’ll need to grab the paid surveys you want before they fill up. Members earn points per survey, and each point is worth $.01. Survey Junkie offers new members $1 for signing up, and you can make $1.50 per referral. The minimum payment is $5, and the choice of survey payment method includes PayPal cash, gift cards, and bank transfer.


Swagbucks is a major go-to for the online survey crowd, as it’s one of the most popular online survey sites for those who like taking paid online surveys. Prices of the paid surveys can vary drastically, but that’s just part of the fun. Members can focus solely on taking surveys, of course, if that’s their preference. But unlike other paid survey sites that focus strictly on online surveys, Swagbucks also offers many tasks… a lot of them. Members can enjoy playing games, trying new products, completing offers, getting paid for online shopping, and watching videos. New tasks are released regularly, and some price points are impressive. But they do fill quickly, so you’ll need to jump on the ones you really want. Members earn points for taking surveys and completing tasks. Those points can then be converted to PayPal cash or gift cards. With all the ways to make money, it’s no wonder Swagbucks is one of the most popular online survey sites.

Which surveys pay the most cash?

Most survey sites mark their listed paid surveys clearly with the payment value. However, before a potential member joins online survey sites to start taking online surveys for money, they tend to want that information upfront, or at least as soon as possible, to ensure they get the most out of their time taking surveys. No paid survey sites will offer enough online surveys for money or provide paid surveys at a high enough value for members to get rich or quit their day job.

That being said, some survey sites, such as those owned by Nielsen and even a few task sites, can offer some of the highest-paying surveys in the range of $10-$50 per survey. However, these surveys tend to be rare, fill up fast, and require particular qualifications. They also tend to be quite long. The longer it takes to complete an online survey, the more it’s usually worth. So if an online survey has a 15-30 minute average completion time, you may want to jump on it before taking shorter surveys. Just be aware that longer online surveys don’t always pay more, so check the payment rate before spending time on an online survey that pays as much or less than a much shorter option.

What is the highest-paying online survey site?

Popular online survey sites set their own online survey prices, usually ranging from a few cents to a few dollars per survey. The higher-priced online surveys typically take longer to complete and fill up quicker than the lower-priced options, so you’ll need to snag them fast. The highest-priced surveys are most often offered through online survey sites owned by Nielsen, such as Nielsen Consumer, Nielsen Mobile, and Pinecone Research. However, those higher-priced online surveys are rare (like maybe a few per year) and fill up within minutes. The trick to making money with survey sites is to complete as many surveys as possible so you can consistently cash out. Two specific online survey sites offer consistent surveys and quick payout options so members can see their work rewarded before too much frustration sets in. These sites are:

Survey Junkie

Survey prices tend to range between $.50 and $3, but some are as higher. Members can cash out their points at $5.


Surveys range from a few cents to a few bucks, but higher-priced surveys can also be found at $10 and $35. Tasks help members make even more money, and the payout is as low as $1.

In Conclusion

Legitimate online survey sites have been helping people make side money for decades. You won’t get rich even if you join a slew of them, but you can make some decent extra cash. And since there are so many new ways to earn money through popular sites, you can have a ball doing it. It’s really a win-win.

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