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How to Take Advantage of Survey Reward Sites

What are survey reward sites?

Survey reward sites give you rewards for taking surveys. As a survey taker, you’re helping brands and companies conduct market research so they can create better products and surveys. 

There are a number of different online paid survey sites and paid survey apps. They offer you a variety of different survey rewards for taking online surveys, including PayPal cash rewards, free Amazon.com gift cards,cash, gift cards to popular retailers, or prepaid Visa or Master credit cards.

Do reward surveys work?

Reward surveys do work when you complete paid surveys on legitimate survey sites like InboxDollars, MyPoints, Swagbucks, Opinion Outpost, or Google Opinion Rewards. 

With these sites, you can complete online surveys from your mobile device (Android or Apple). For each survey you qualify for and complete, you’ll earn a set reward or payout. That amount will always be disclosed upfront on reputable survey websites.

Additionally, it should always be free to complete paid surveys or participate in online focus groups. Survey websites that ask you to pay upfront, or say they need your banking or credit card information, are a fraud. 

How do you qualify for a survey?

To start qualifying for and taking surveys, you’ll need to first create your account and set up a basic profile. This will give survey reward sites some idea of who you are (i.e. 41-year-old mother of three who works PT at a retail store to earn extra income) so they can find surveys that may be a good fit. 

Typically, it should take less than a minute to sign up and create your account. And there’s usually an incentive for joining, like cash or bonus points. On Swagbucks, for example, they offer a $10 bonus. On InboxDollars, you can get a $5 cash bonus to get started straight away.  

After, you’ll begin creating your profile by taking your first survey or two. These are surveys created by the survey reward sites, and it asks for basic information to help find you market research and survey earring opportunities. 

Next, you’ll be shown surveys that may be a good fit. Topics can be about anything, but common ones are: web-browsing activities and online behavior, social networks, online shopping, car ads, supermarket products, driving habits, and pets. 

When you find a topic that looks interesting, you’ll first complete a short screener to see if you qualify for the survey. The partner survey company (not the survey reward site) puts the screener together. Most are short (2-10 questions) while others can be longer. 

Based on the honest feedback you provide, if you qualify for the survey you can go ahead and complete it from your Internet device and earn the associated payout reward.  

You won’t qualify for all surveys. You probably won’t even qualify for most. But the more surveys you do qualify for and complete, the more you will build your profile and be able to be matched to more surveys that are a good fit for you. 

Why did I not qualify for a survey?

If you did not qualify for a survey, it could be for a few reasons.

Brands need people of all ages, races, and backgrounds to provide feedback; there is not one demographic that is more valuable than others. 

However, different surveys are targeted to different demographics. Some may be for stay-at-homes who homeschool, others may be for caregivers of spouses with a medical condition. And many are based on daily behaviors and spending habits, like people who are heavy gamers or those looking to buy a new Product A within the next month. 

If you don’t match the criteria, don’t get discouraged. Try another one. It’s important not to start “lying” or giving inconsistent information in the survey screeners to try and qualify. (i.e. For one survey saying you are a young Hispanic male, and then for another saying you are a 78-year-old grandmother of four.)  

When you give inconsistent information, survey sites cannot get an accurate picture of your profile. They will have more difficulty finding matching surveys, and the more screeners you answer inconsistently, the more surveys you will disqualify from. 

Another reason that you may not qualify for a survey is that brands have limited budgets. They may only need (or be able to afford) 1,000 participants. If they reach their quota while you are taking the screener, you will not be eligible for it. Luckily, this does not happen very often. 

Do survey sites really pay?

Legitimate survey sites really do pay. Common payout rewards include Amazon, cash (check), prepaid credit cards (Visa or Mastercard), or other popular options like Starbucks gift cards, Target gift cards, and other retailer gift card options. 

Usually, gift card and Paypal payments are the quickest to process because they are done electronically. Paypal is a popular choice because those funds can be used like cash online, or transferred for free to your bank account. (If you don’t have a Paypal account, it only takes a couple minutes to sign up for one for free.) 

Are paid surveys safe?

On legitimate paid survey sites like Swagbucks or InboxDollars, paid surveys are very safe. You can easily find information on their websites to let you know how your data is handled and stored. 

Legitimate survey sites disclose if the site uses third party cookies (or similar technology), a complete list of the companies they work with, and any on-site ads with every part of the online ad clearly labeled as an advertisement. 

If you’re looking at joining a particular survey site, look for this information. See if their third party partners drop cookies and what sort of ad tracking they do. If cookies are used, there will be a cookie notice shown to you right away when you enter the site.  

Other warnings to look for on a safe paid surveys site: 

  • Outrageous earning claims. No one can quit a full-time salary job or earn six figures doing online surveys. 
  • Blurred graphics of Better Business Bureau and news agency logos. If there is a Better Business Bureau logo, it should link directly to the Better Bureau website and feature substantiated reviews. 
  • No names of company leaders and employees. Authentic sites will have bios or mentions of their executive team with links to their credentials like LinkedIn profiles. 

Which survey reward apps pay the most?

Survey reward apps that pay the most are the ones where you put in the most time. That’s the simple truth of it. 

That said, there are some survey reward apps and rewards sites that work with more companies and have more surveys available to complete. 

Here are some surveys reward apps and reward sites that feature the most survey-earning opportunities: 

What survey sites pay instantly?

Swagbucks is one survey site that pays instantly – or almost instantly. Once you have reached at least $3 in earnings (a handful of surveys), you can request payment. Gift card or Paypal funds typically available within 24 hours. 

For other survey sites, you may need to reach a minimum threshold like $10 to $50 in earnings, and then you can request payment. Some companies may only process payments once a week (like InboxDollars), once a month, or even only once every three months (like consumer rewards site Rakuten). 

Are survey reward apps and sites worth it? 

If you’re looking for some extra income or some mad cash, then I think survey reward apps and sites are definitely worth it.

With my husband and I both working full-time, many friends are surprised that I buy used clothing, use coupons, and use surveys and reward apps to make extra cash. 

But a deal is a deal and money is money. I’m already on my phone while I binge watch shows anyway, I reasoned, so why not make some money at it. I try to complete 2-3 surveys a day, but I tend to go in spurts. Sometimes I’ll take a month or two (or three off). 

With this approach, over the past couple of years, I’ve earned nearly $3,000 by taking surveys in my spare time. (Not to mention the $800 more I’ve earned with shopping and receipt apps.)

I’ve used those funds in a variety of ways: car repairs, medical bills, and a few fun splurges. 

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