The Best Survey Sites To Make The Most Money In 2021

By: Stacy Garrels & Matthew Woodward

Updated: January 4, 2021

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The Best Survey Sites To Make The Most Money

There are lots of ways that you can make money while still in your PJ's. No need to shuffle out the door. With a smartphone, you can make money from your couch, a coffee shop, or anywhere you can connect to the Internet.

You can get paid to give your opinions. You have them; companies want them. There are plenty of great paid survey sites like InboxDollars, MyPoints, and Swagbucks where you can get paid to give your solicited opinions. (And you can even "gently" suggest your opinionated family members join too.)

In your free time, while binge-watching TV from your couch or hanging out with your friends, you can make a little bit of extra money by sharing what you think about products, services, sports, and other current events. Different market research companies will have varying reward payouts. Still, generally, you can earn cash or Paypal rewards, gift cards to Amazon, Target, iTunes, Walmart, and other retailers, prepaid Visa cards, and other prizes and sweepstakes rewards.

Let's take a look at some of the best survey sites where you can get paid for having opinions. If you've ever shared your mind with friends and family or on social sharing apps, you're already great at it. The best survey sites allow you to make money online through questionnaires and focus groups.

With online survey sites, you're also helping companies create better products and services. By product testing, answering short surveys, and taking polls, you can shape the brands you care about.

Not every survey club is legit. If a survey site promises you thousands of dollars or that you can quit your day job, run away. Legit paid surveys are a great side hustle to make extra cash, not a regular income source. But they are still a great side hustle for survey takers to get free Amazon gift cards, cash, and other rewards.

There truly is a market where your voice can be heard. This article is a definitive survey taking guide. It lays out everything that you need to know about taking surveys and when and how you can get expect to get paid.

Here's a look at the best legit survey sites of 2021 so you.

Information This Article Covers:

Which Are The Best Survey Sites?

There are genuinely many legitimate survey sites out there: Swagbucks, MyPoints, InboxDollars, OneOpinion, Prize Rebel, LifePoints, Ipsos, i-Say, Toluna, MySurvey, Vindale Research, Survey Junkie, and more.

For this article, I'm focusing on the survey sites that I have most tried, tested, and proven out. And where I have earned actual rewards. I've cashed out Google gift cards, Apple gift cards, Safeway gift cards, and checks (in the mail). I'll share how you earn on these survey websites and how you cash out. We'll look at some legitimate survey sites and evaluate how much you can make and how long it takes to earn, and whether or not they offer a signup bonus.

We'll take an in-depth look at these 12 survey sites:

All of these survey sites and market research companies are legitimate money-earning opportunities. You can voice your opinions, make money, and get your reward cashout.

And if you want to max your earnings, you can sign up for all of them. After reading the overview of these survey companies, read the next section to read up on making money right away by taking surveys.

Disclosure: I have spent a lot of time playing with various survey sites, rewards sites, and shopping apps over the last 10 years. That's what eventually led to my current job at Prodege, where I work in digital media. If there's a money hack, I want to try it. From flipping thrift store finds to extreme couponing to online surveys, I love a great side hustle. I've banked a few thousand dollars doing surveys. I've shared these sites and apps with my friends and family who either a) say it doesn't work or b) don't understand how they work.

And that's why I've written this piece. To break down the in's and out's of how to earn. We want to help consumers and members earn money taking surveys. Market research firms make money when authentic surveys are taken and completed. We want survey-takers to have a good experience and to understand the process. When consumers don't complete a survey or bail on a survey site, everyone loses out. And as a professional part-time hustler (I hope), it kills me when survey takers leave money on the table by missing out on little things like clicking a button or checking off a box on a list.

My rundowns on Swagbucks and InboxDollars are more through because I'm the most familiar with those survey companies. But from a survey insider to you, here's the scoop on how to earn money on the best survey sites.

Swagbucks

Swagbucks

Swagbucks is the best survey site, in my opinion. I have had positive experiences as a survey taker over the past couple of years and made around $800. Swagbucks typically pays within 24-48 hours. The first payment can take longer because Swagbucks will need to verify your account details. Cash funds get directly deposited into your Paypal account. Gift cards are delivered to you as electronic vouchers over email. You can enter the voucher codes online to redeem or store the voucher in your preferred digital wallet.

  • Average Payment (Payout) per Survey: 50 to 500 SB (or $0.50 to $5.00)
  • Time Investment: 5-25 minutes per survey (most surveys)
  • Minimum Earnings to Cashout: $3
  • Signup Requirements: Age 13+ in the US, available in many other countries including Canada, Australia, UK, France, Germany
  • Devices Supported: Desktop/laptop, Tablet/iPad, Mobile (Mobile Web, iPhone App, Android App)
  • Signup Bonus: $10.00 (Must complete $20+ shop activity)
  • Trustpilot Review Score: 4.3 of 5 Stars (18,500+ Reviews)

100 SB equals one dollar. On Swagbucks, as with any legitimate survey site, you need to qualify for and complete the survey to get the associated payout reward.

What Sets Swagbucks Apart from Other Survey Sites

  • Earn SB Even When You Don't Qualify. You earn SB even if you disqualify from a survey as a thank you for at least trying the survey and a nod of encouragement to keep going.
  • Low Cashout Needed. Some survey companies require that you've earned $20, $30, or $50 to redeem your rewards. At Swagbucks, you can cash out if you've banked at least $3 or 300 SB. At $3, you can cash out with an Amazon gift card. Swagbucks sets the lowest cashout amount required among all survey companies.
  • Variety of Payment Options. You can cash out with PayPal, a prepaid Visa card, or choose a gift card from over 500 popular merchants.
  • Discounted Gift Cards! When you cash out your rewards, you can get a $25 gift card to Target or to Amazon for 12% off. That's like spending $22 cash to get $25 in cash. (Since you can buy just about anything at Target or Amazon, a gift card to either merchant is basically cash in hand.) Other gift cards will have discounts throughout the year. For example, right now, you can get an Apple Gift Card for 10% off, or a Visa $25 card for 13% off (for $21.75, get a $25 Visa card).
  • Loads of Other Fun Ways to Earn. Swagbucks offers lots of other ways to earn, like playing online games, web search, trivia, uploading receipts, and watching videos. Recently, Swagbucks has added new features for shopping and savings. You can earn cash back from shopping at over 2,000 different retailers (including Kohl's, Macy's, Hobby Lobby, and buybuyBABY) when visiting their website from the Swagbucks shop page. You'll also find loads of online coupon codes and promo codes, printable grocery coupons, and local deals that you can redeem in-store to save money and earn cash back.

How to Get Started Earning On Swagbucks:

  1. Sign up. You can download the Swagbucks app, or register on their website with a phone, tablet, laptop, or desktop. Just provide your email and create a password.
  2. Confirm your email address. It can take anywhere from 10 seconds to 2 minutes for the confirmation email to arrive in your inbox. Make sure to check your spam folders just in case.
  3. Complete the new member checklist. It'll walk you through how to earn and how to find surveys.
  4. Every time you visit Swagbucks, complete the daily to-do list.

Swagbucks is very user friendly because there are lots of little ways to earn. 1 SB here, a few SB there. It all adds up. I recommend Swagbucks as a first stop.

And I know a few people who use Swagbucks to top up their bank account for the holidays or tackle a bit of debt. Not bad for answering a few questions from the sidelines at your kid's soccer game, right?

» You can sign up for Swagbucks here «

InboxDollars

InboxDollars

  • Average Payout per Survey: $0.50 - $5.00
  • Time Investment: 5-25 minutes per survey (most surveys)
  • Minimum Earnings to Cashout: $10
  • Signup Requirements: Age 18+ in U.S., 18+ in Canada, 18+ in UK
  • Devices Supported: Desktop/Laptop, Tablet/iPad, Mobile (Mobile Web, iPhone App, Android App)
  • Signup Bonus: $5.00
  • Trustpilot Review Score: 4.3 of 5 Stars (12,000+ Reviews)

InboxDollars has a good blend of surveys available, offering different kinds of surveys (lengths, topics, demographics), fun social engagement, and earning transparency. As with Swagbucks (and all other survey websites), you do need to qualify for the surveys, and there is a survey pre-screener you need to complete to make you are part of the target audience. I've made over $2,500 taking surveys on InboxDollars.

What Sets InboxDollars Apart from Other Online Survey Sites:

  • Generous Signup Bonus. New members get $5 free just for signing up to try InboxDollars. (You have to reach a certain threshold in earnings before you can cash out the $5 bonus.)
  • Generous Referral Program. You earn $1 for each qualified referral (when a friend joins), and then 30% of their qualified earnings for life. Many other survey referral programs only give you 10% to 20% of your referrals' earnings. Sometimes nothing at all.
  • Follow Social Media for Fun Extra Ways to Earn. You can earn a couple of cents to $50 or more for different social contests. The smaller prize contests (where you have a greater chance of winning a cash prize) run a few times a week or more.
  • Transparency. You earn money in dollars and cents, not in points or other virtual currency.
  • Other Fun Ways to Earn. InboxDollars has rolled out a lot of additional ways to earn over the years, including their daily trivia poll, printing free grocery coupons (earn 1-cent for each coupon you print, up to $0.50 a day or $183 a year), and scanning featured product barcodes in-stores.
Sign Up For InboxDollars

How to Get Started Earning On InboxDollars:

  1. Sign up. You can download the InboxDollars app or sign up on their website with a mobile, tablet, laptop, or desktop. Just provide your email and create a password.
  2. Confirm your email address. It can take anywhere from 10 seconds to 2 minutes for the confirmation email to be delivered to your inbox. Make sure to check your spam folders just in case. The email confirmation is how you activate your account and get the $5 cash bonus.
  3. Complete the new member checklist. It'll walk you through how to find surveys and other ways to earn on the site.
  4. Every time you visit InboxDollars, try to complete the Daily List of ways to earn. In addition to surveys, it will feature other tasks and activities like visiting current coupon promotions or visiting a retailer's website.

I've earned the most from InboxDollars over the years. Surveys and market research are the backbones of the site. Consistency is key. At first, my goal was to attempt X number of surveys per day, just attempt. Then it was to complete 2 per day. And now, my goal is to earn $1.00 per day.

» You can sign up for InboxDollars here «

MyPoints

MyPoints

Best known for its shopping offers (earn points when you shop your favorite stores), MyPoints offers a ton of survey earning opportunities. Most surveys pay 30 to 500 points, but you will find surveys that pay even more. Redeem your points for free gift cards to Amazon, Best Buy, Target, and other popular merchants. They also offer prepaid Visa gift cards as a payment option. The point to dollar ratio can fluctuate, but generally, it's 175 points = $1.

  • Average Payout per Survey: 50 points to 500 points (roughly $0.25 to $3)
  • Time Investment: 5-30 minutes per survey
  • Signup Requirements: Age 13+, except where local laws state you must be older. Additional rules apply for international issuers in terms of site usage, but non-U.S. members may join MyPoints.
  • Devices Supported: Laptop/Desktop, Tablet/iPad, Mobile (Mobile Web, iTunes App, Android App)
  • Signup Bonus: $10 (Must complete $20+ shop activity)
  • Trustpilot Review Score: 4.4 of 5 Stars (5,500+ Reviews)
Sign Up For MyPoints

MyPoints has its roots as a shopping deals website. So it has a fantastic selection of ways to earn points through shopping deals: cashback (or point back) shopping to thousands of merchants, promo codes, discount codes, printable coupons, visiting featured sites, booking discounted travel, and more.

If you've ever purchased anything online or will ever purchase anything online in the future, it's worth joining MyPoints. You'll get a free $10 signup bonus for joining. To get the bonus, you just need to spend $20 or more at any featured retailer on MyPoints (there are over 2,000), and your account will get credited 1,750 points that you can redeem for a free $10 gift card to the retailer of your choice.

» You can sign up for MyPoints here «

Pinecone

Pinecone Research

Pinecone is one of the higher paying survey sites. Most surveys pay 300 points ($3). Pinecone is more selective about its membership base, and there can be fewer surveys available. Additionally, Pinecone Research offers only survey-earning opportunities.

  • Average Payout per Survey: $3
  • Time Investment per Survey: 20-30 minutes per survey
  • Signup Requirements: Age 18+ in U.S., 18+ in Canada, 18+ in UK
  • Devices Supported: Laptop/Desktop, Tablet/iPad, Mobile Web
  • Signup Bonus: None
  • Trustpilot Review Score: 2.4 of 5 Stars (Fewer than 100 Reviews)

It takes longer to complete Pinecone Research surveys, but they're often for more well-known brands and companies, and you get a relatively high payout ($3) for each survey you complete. Typically you can join Pinecone Research by invite-only, but we have an affiliate invite link we can share with you to join.

If you do not get accepted right away, do not try to join again immediately (same day) or lie about your profile. This can get you blacklisted. It's better to wait a couple of weeks and try back again. Market research opportunities and demographic needs are always changing. And once you're in, you're in.

Survey Savvy

SurveySavvy

  • Average Payout per Survey: $0.15 to $0.50
  • Time Investment per Survey: 10-30 minutes
  • Signup Requirements: Age 13+, except where older age required by local laws. Members outside of the US may join, but they will have limited earning opportunities. Additionally, payment is sent via a check made out in USD and sent to the residence on file.
  • Devices supported: LaptopDesktop, iPad/Tablet, Mobile (Mobile Web, App)
  • Signup Bonus: None
  • Trustpilot Review Score: 2.6 of 5 Stars (Fewer than 100 Reviews)

The appeal with SurveySavvy is you only need to be 13 to join, and you can cash out after you've earned at least $1. But, none of the surveys pay $1. They all pay a lot less than the other sites.

There are other ways to earn, though; by connecting your smartphone, desktop or laptop, and tablet device, you can make $5 per device each month. (You need to remain an active member though and interact with SurveySavvy site or SurveySavvy Connect.)

Payment is made by check in USD, so it takes a little longer to cashout and gets your rewards. There is no option to receive funds electronically via PayPal, gift card, or other vouchers.

Although surveys don't pay as much as with other sites, you can get $10 a month just by connecting 2 Internet devices. $15 a month if you connect 3 devices. You are giving up some privacy (Survey Savvy is doing to research to better understand consumer behavior online), but it's not really that different from using Chrome or Bing to search the Internet.

Survey Junkie

Survey Junkie

  • Average Payout per Survey: $0.20 to $5.00
  • Time Investment per Survey: 10-30+ minutes
  • Signup Requirements: Age 18+ for residents of the USA, Canada, UK, Australia, and EU.
  • Devices supported: LaptopDesktop, iPad/Tablet, Mobile (Mobile Web, iTunes App, Android App)
  • Signup Bonus: $0.25
  • Trustpilot Review Score: 4.5 of 5 Stars (21,000+ Reviews)

On Survey Junkie, members can earn points for taking surveys or for having their digital activity monitored online in a program called SJ Pulse.

When you participate in SJ Pulse, Survey Junkie will track the ads you see, websites you visit, online shopping, and other digital behaviors. The data is anonymized. Survey Junkie is doing market research and building a broader picture of online consumer behaviors. You earn points as you search the web and go about your daily digital activities, but exact payouts are unclear.

You can cash out once you've reached $10 or more in earnings via PayPal or a gift card to a retailer of your choice.

YouGov

YouGov

  • Average Payout per Survey: 40-400 Points ($0.20 to $2.00)
  • Time Investment per Survey: 20-30+ Minutes
  • Signup Requirements: Age 16+ for residents of the USA, UK, and some other countries with limited earning opportunities.
  • Devices Supported: LaptopDesktop, iPad/Tablet, Mobile (Mobile Web, iTunes App, Android App)
  • Signup Bonus: $1.00
  • Trustpilot Review Score: 4.3 of 5 Stars (1,100+ Reviews)

YouGov is a British based market research company. Survey taking opportunities are open to residents of the US or UK who are 14 and older. You get a $1.00 signup bonus. You earn points for taking surveys, and 1 point = 1/2 a cent. You can cash out once you've reached 5,000 points ($25). Points can be redeemed for cash deposits to PayPal, gift cards to your favorite retailers and restaurants, or mobile credits.

Branded Surveys

Branded Surveys (formerly known as MintVine)

  • Average Payout per Survey: 25-300 points ($0.25 to $3.00)
  • Time Investment per Survey: 15-30 minutes
  • Signup Requirements: Age 18+ for residents of the US, or minors age 16+ with the consent of parents or guardians
  • Devices supported: Desktop/Laptop, Mobile Web
  • Signup Bonus: 100 points (or $1.00)
  • Trustpilot Review Score: 4.3 of 5 Stars (28,500+ Reviews)

Earn points you can redeem for Amazon gift cards, Visa cards, or Paypal rewards. Reach 1,000 points minimum (or $10.00) to cash out. Branded Surveys typically process payments within 15 days after the end of the month.

One Opinion

OneOpinion

  • Average Payout per Survey: 50 points to 2,500 points ($0.05 to $2.50)
  • Time Investment per Survey: 10-30+ minutes
  • Signup Requirements: Age 18+ for residents of the USA and UK, or minors 13+ with the consent of parents or guardians
  • Devices Supported: Desktop/Laptop, iPad/Tablet, Mobile (Mobile Web or App)
  • Signup Bonus: $5.00
  • Trustpilot Review Score: 2.0 of 5 Stars (Fewer than 200 Reviews)

The signup process is a little bit different. Instead of filling out fields or a short form like other survey sites, a virtual chatbot named Emily will get your info. She'll ask you for your first name, last name, agreement to terms and conditions and privacy policy, agreement to use cookies, agreement to how your data is used and shared, your birthdate, your street address, gender, and that you create a password. And at every step, you'll be asked to confirm "YES", you agree that. The info you've provided is inaccurate.

While it feels a tad annoying, OneOpinion is a legit company. I think it's a lot of personal information to give out to see what's behind the curtain.

After you've given that info to Chatbot Emily, you receive a message stating they will review your details and email you if you are accepted. The notification says it takes 3-5 days, but it can take less time in my experience. It can even come through the same day. This is just a security control measure.

Once accepted, invitations to take surveys are emailed to you. Or you can log onto OneOpinion and check out the available surveys in your dashboard. Earn points for completing surveys. Every 1,000 points = $1.00. After you reach at least 25,000 points (or $25), you can redeem your points for rewards like an Amazon gift card, Paypal, prepaid Visa card, or gift card to another popular retailer. OneOpinion does not pay cash.

Vindale Research

Vindale Research

  • Average Payout per Survey: $0.50 - $2.00
  • Time Investment per Survey: 5-25 minutes
  • Signup Requirements: Age 18+ in the US, UK, Canada, and Australia
  • Devices Supported: Desktop/Laptop, Tablet/iPad, Mobile Web
  • Signup Bonus: $1
  • Trustpilot Rating: 3.8 of 5 Stars Based on 4,300+ Reviews

Similar to InboxDollars, Vindale Research is transparent with how much money you earn for each survey. Survey takers are paid in dollars and cents, not points. Once you reach at least $50 in earnings, you can cash out via Paypal.

Fifty dollars can seem like a high figure to hit, but Vindale Research does occasionally offer longer, more complex surveys that can pay up to $75. These will generally require more time commitment (over multiple days) and require more in-depth knowledge or expertise.

Opinion Outpost

Opinion Outpost

  • Average Payout per Survey: 5-15 points ($0.50 to $1.50)
  • Time Investment per Survey: 10-30 minutes
  • Signup Requirements: Age 17+
  • Devices Supported: Desktop/Laptop, Tablet/iPad, Mobile Web
  • Signup Bonus: None
  • Trustpilot Review Score: 4.3 of 5 Stars (2,500+ Reviews)

Earn points for taking surveys. Redeem your points for Amazon gift cards, prepaid Visa cards, or Paypal. 100 points = $10. You can also earn points for testing products, watching adverts, and completing "real-world missions" in your neighborhood, like checking into stores or scanning products.

Prize Rebel

PrizeRebel

  • Average Payout per Survey: 60-85 points ($0.60 to $0.85)
  • Time Investment per Survey: 10-20 minutes
  • Signup Requirements: Residents of US, UK, Canada, or Australia. Must be 18+ or 16+ with • parental consent.
  • Devices Supported: Desktop/Laptop, Tablet/iPad, Mobile Web
  • Signup Bonus: None
  • Trustpilot Review Score: 3.3 of 5 Stars (Fewer than 200 Reviews)

Earn points for taking surveys. You can redeem them for payment via PayPal, Amazon, Bitcoin, game codes, or gift cards to popular retailers. 100 points = $1.00 on PrizeRebel.

Toluna

Toluna

  • Average Payout per Survey: 1,000 - 2,000 points ($0.33 to $0.66)
  • Time Investment per Survey: 15-20 minutes
  • Signup Requirements: Age 16+, US and Worldwide
  • Devices supported:
  • Signup Bonus: $5
  • Trustpilot Review Score: 3.9 of 5 Stars (3,500+ Reviews)

Toluna is a market research company based in France. Earn points for taking surveys. Once you're reached 30,000 in points ($10), you can cash out for prizes that include sweepstakes tickets, getaway vacations, electronics, and other merchandise, gift cards and vouchers, or cash.

You can also earn for participating in Topics, Polls, Thumbs it, and Battles. These are ways of participating in the Toluna community and creating discussion, and sharing feedback around products and ideas.

Toluna is intriguing because it offers more unique ways to earn rewards and some actual physical prizes. For points to dollars conversion on Toluna, it's 3,000 points = $1.00.

Other Legitimate Survey Sites to Check Out:

  • RewardSurvey
  • Harris Poll
  • E-Poll
  • MySurvey
  • Tellwut
  • i-Say
  • ClixSense
  • VIP Voice
  • Valued Opinions
  • LifePoints (Global Test Market)
  • MySoapBox
  • SURVEYEAH
  • American Consumer Opinion
  • Focus Forward
  • Surveytime

Why Should I Take Online Survey Sites?

Because the legit online survey sites really pay. If you ever waste time online or on your smartphone, why not get paid for it?

If you've ever through news headlines, Bored Panda or Reddit, or social media feeds, you're probably a good fit for it. Answer questions, make money.

You won't get rich. In fact, you might only make $0.55 while doing a survey from your phone, while watching the game on TV, or waiting for your friend to show up at the restaurant. But $0.55 every time you do that, it adds up.

You get paid $0 for scrolling through Instagram or Pinterest, or answering social quizzes about which Disney villain you are. Why not answer those same types of questions and make actual money. And at the same time, you're helping brands you care about create better products and services for you and your family.

I have friends who are "always broke" who do online surveys and find it a godsend for extra money to fill up the gas tank or buy groceries. And I have friends who don't need the extra money. They do online surveys as a way to make extra cash when they've got spare time to fill.

I am always fiddling around on my phone. Especially when I spend hours at a time sitting on the couch with a new baby. In the 3 months since his birth, I've banked $ 450 (about $5 a day). Instead of playing Candy Crush (old-school, but I am still so addicted), I just decided to spend that time on survey sites instead. I've used that survey money on a Dyson cordless vacuum (dream vacuum), and Christmas presents for the kids.

If you ever waste time, ever watch online videos, ever play games, or shop online, then there's no reason not to make money on an online survey site. You just need an internet connection and a smartphone, tablet, or laptop.

What Kind of Topics Do Online Surveys Cover?

Paid online surveys cover a number of topics. The sky is the limit. Common topics often include:

  • Automotive
  • Baby Products
  • Beauty & Cosmetics
  • Education
  • Electronics & Technology
  • Entertainment
  • Fashion
  • Finance
  • Food / Grocery
  • Food / Food & Beverage / Restaurants & Dining Out
  • Games
  • Healthcare
  • Hobbies
  • Home Improvement
  • Pets
  • Politics
  • Shopping
  • Sports & Leisure
  • Toys
  • Travel
  • Video Games

How Much Money Can You Make Taking Surveys?

You can easily make an extra $50-$150 per month if you use these survey sites and strategies in this article. Wall Street Journal, Forbes, Mashable, Fox News, The Los Angeles Times, and The New York Times have all written articles covering survey taking as a legit way to make extra cash.

I've made over $5,000 over the past 6 years by doing survey sites and a couple of other shopping rewards apps.

It's not about adopting new habits in 2021. Instead, it's about making money for the things you're already doing. If you search the web, use a different search engine that will pay you instead of, or in addition to, Google. If you play games on your phone, play games in the InboxDollars app. If you shop online, visit a website through a Swagbucks shop page link to earn cashback. It's about just getting paid for things you're already doing, and you can try out other site making activities too.

Another way to look at it: you already waste time on your phone. Get paid to waste time on your phone. And if you join multiple survey sites, you can build your earnings even quicker.

Imagine what you might do with an extra $1,500 (or more) this year. Things on my family's list:

  • Car repairs
  • Vacation
  • New Laptop
  • Pay Down Debt
  • Birthdays
  • Next Year's Christmas and Holiday Season
  • Just Have Extra Cash in Your Wallet

While you can't get rich from doing survey websites, online survey opportunities provide you with a steady way to add extra cash to your monthly budget. If the idea of earning a little extra money when you have spare time sounds appealing, find some more tips below on how to give it a go.

InboxDollars

How To Make $50 In the Next 60 Minutes

In your first 60 minutes on the paid survey site InboxDollars, you can earn $50. (Or easily a little bit more.)

  1. Signup for InboxDollars and create a free account.
  2. Confirm your email — total earnings at $5.00.
  3. Complete the welcome activities on the "My List" to get started for an extra $0.50. Total earnings at $5.50.
  4. Complete the profile survey (under "My List") to earn $0.50. Total earnings at $6.00.
  5. Watch your first video (link under "My List") to earn $0.02. Total earnings at $6.02.
  6. Play a game and confirm your first paid email (under "My List"). Total earnings at $6.02.
  7. Print 50 coupons on InboxDollars coupons page for $0.50 (50-cents per coupon). Total earnings $6.52.
  8. Complete your first survey listed as "Best Survey" on InboxDollars surveys page for $0.50. Total earnings $7.02.
  9. Complete 1 other survey for $0.75. Total earnings $7.77
  10. Complete InboxDollars top 17 free offers. They change frequently and may have specific eligibility requirements, but as of the article's publication's date, if you complete the top 17 free offers, you can earn over $45.00 cash. Offers include signing up for Betty Crocker recipes and newsletter, signing up for a free sample of Dove deodorant, getting insurance quotes (for free), Total earnings $52.77

There are plenty of other ways to earn: more surveys, more free offers, and free samples to sign up for, games, videos, and so on.

Keep in mind that it may take a couple of hours or a couple of days for the funds to post to your account for some of the activities. Even though you may be able to bank your first $50 quickly, it can take time for some of the earnings to credit to your account.

The $5 signup bonus and survey earnings do post right away, though. These funds post to your earnings dashboard within seconds.

So while you can quickly bank your first $50 (or more), it may take a couple of weeks before you can request payout and get your Paypal, check, Visa, or gift card reward.

And while you can legitimately earn $50+ going through this list, you will not be able to earn $50+ an hour consistently. For some items - the signup bonus, initial profile survey, and offers - you can only do them once. New surveys are continually added, and new offers too.

Remember to be honest when you sign up for free samples, freebies, and free offers, and when you take surveys too. This helps build an accurate member profile, so you can get matched with the best and most relevant surveys and earning opportunities. When you inconsistently answer questions repeatedly, you will see fewer surveys. (The system won't know who you are and how to match you up.) And your account can get flagged or even blacklisted.

Honesty pays.

Sit down and spend the next 60 minutes working through this list, and you can easily earn $50. If you're using your smartphone, it may take an additional 10-20 minutes. Thumb-typing can slow things down.

And if you need a spot of cash right now (or within a couple of days), check out Swagbucks.

Swagbucks

How To Earn $10 Right Now on Swagbucks

You can earn $10 right now on Swagbucks. 100 SB is one dollar.

  1. Create your free Swagbucks account.
  2. Take the initial profile survey - 5 SB
  3. Add the SwagButton to your browser extension - 25 SB
  4. Verify your first email from Swagbucks - 5 SB
  5. Complete your Daily Goal (to-do list of activities) - 30 SB
  6. Discover and play 3 Free Games - 30 SB
  7. Add select items to your virtual grocery list - 25 SB
  8. Upload a grocery receipt - 2 SB
  9. Print 50 free grocery coupons - 50 SB
  10. Join the Swagbucks Recognition Program - 3 SB
  11. Install & login to the Swagbucks app - 1 SB
  12. Watch & earn - watch your first video - 3 SB
  13. Discover and complete the featured offers (deals) that credit immediately. (After you click or tap the offer, it will tell you if the offer credits right away, in a few days, a week, or longer. Complete the free ones that credit right away. Please note that offers and offer availability change daily.) - 275 SB
  14. Complete 4 surveys with an average payout of 94 SB

Completing all of these items on your list, you can earn $10 right now on Swagbucks. If you're a new member, it will take a couple of days longer to get your first payout. (Your account details and personal information need to be vetted.) But otherwise, after you cash out, you can usually receive your payment within a couple of days.

Depending on how many surveys you try out, getting to your first $10 right now on Swagbucks could take away from 20 minutes to a few hours.

How to Spot Fake Survey Sites & Avoid Survey Scams

There are lots of legit survey sites, and we've discussed many of them in detail and we've listed dozens more. But there may be news ones you come across. Hopefully, most are legit, but there are plenty of scam survey sites out there too. Let's talk about what to look out for so you don't fall victim to a survey con job.

When sizing up a survey site, here are 8 things to watch out for:

  1. You're promised enough extra income to quit your job or retire. This should spike your BS meter. Survey sites are a good side hustle but not a regular income stream.
  2. You are promised free gift cards and free products for doing absolutely nothing. You can earn gift cards for answering surveys. Or evaluate free products (free samples) on legit survey sites. But you can't get paid for doing nothing.
  3. If the survey site asking for your bank account info, run. Huge red flag. A legit survey site doesn't need it. Not even to pay you. A legit survey site will send you payment as a check, Paypal, or gift card.
  4. The survey website charges you a fee to sign up. Another sure sign that the site shouldn't be trusted. It should be free to sign up and take surveys. You should never pay to take surveys; they should be paying you. (Survey sites may have other site activities that do cost money, like shopping or buying discounted gift cards. But taking surveys is free.)
  5. The reviews posted on the website look too good to be true. Fraud survey sites and legit survey sites often post reviews. But take a look at what the reviews are saying. Is it a man gushing about how he now has financial freedom? Scam. Is it a woman saying how happy she is to make $200 an hour or $7,000 a month? Total scam. If you read member reviews on legit survey sites, like Survey Junkie, LifePoints, or InboxDollars, you'll see that members write about being happy to earn some extra money to pay for back-to-school or Christmas. They will talk about lifetime earning amounts of $50 to $1,500 total, not thousands of dollars every month.
  6. The survey website is making fake claims of media coverage. Fake survey sites may claim to be featured in these news sites and display their logos. Often, these logos will be blurry or a little dated. InboxDollars, for example, will share logos of news sites that have featured them, like Forbes, Reader's Digest, and The Cut. And this can also be verified by doing a Google search.Google SearchTo see what sort of news coverage (if any) a survey site has, do a Google search of the website. And filter the results, so it only shows you results featured in the "News".
  7. Over 99% of the reviews are positive on third-party sites like BBB or TrustPilot. Huge red flag. Most people only take the time to leave a review when they're steamed. A clerk was surly to them, the item was damaged, or they couldn't get a refund. They've had an off experience. The same is true, with paid survey sites. Even the best-paid survey sites will have critical reviews from unhappy people. With reputable sites, good reviews should far outnumber the bad reviews. But if you only see glowing reviews with perfect scores, that survey site is somehow "rigging" the game. Run.
  8. The survey site does not have functional customer support. Fake survey sites will often advertise they have excellent customer support (and may show stock photos of smiling agents wearing phone headsets). Fake sites will display chat support icons or list a toll-free number. What happens when you try calling the toll free number? Or when you try to chat with an agent? This is where a fake website will fall apart. On an authentic survey site, there is legit customer support you can use to reach a human being.

These are 8 major red flags you should be looking out for when scoping out a survey site. You should be looking for signs that a survey site is legit.

Here are 6 signs of a legit survey site:

  1. Longevity. The survey company has been in the game for a while. They're not just claiming that they've been around for 10 years. You've looked at their Facebook page and review sites and see that they've been up and posting and responding to content for a long time. Fraud sites don't last as long.
  2. You've heard of it before - from people you trust. You have family, friends, coworkers, or people you know in real life who earn money on the survey site.
  3. The survey site has positive news and media coverage. When you search the Google site, you see results pop up for the survey website in Google's News results. The site has been featured in legit media outlets.
  4. Real-life customer service. You reach out to the survey site's customer support via chat or email, and you get a reply from an actual human being.Customer support
  5. The survey site has terms and conditions, disclaimers, and a privacy policy for its members. Typically you can find links to this data in the footer of a webpage on the survey site. Click on these links. Do they bring you to working pages? Now skim through the info. It should feature real physical addresses, real names, and actual dates. For fake sites, it will often have nonsense information listed (if anything at all). Like Company XYZ, or they'll put down an address that doesn't exist if you google it.
  6. The survey company has an active social media presence. The best survey sites are active on Facebook and Instagram, often Twitter, Pinterest, or TikTok too. This signifies that the survey company stands by its brand and wants to engage and interact with you. Look at the kind of content they post and check the timestamps of these posts, too. While some survey companies might be too small to do social media, an active presence with regular posts and updates is a very positive sign.
MyPoints Instagram

Advanced Survey Earning Tips

Below are some more advanced tips so you can make the most of your time on survey sites. You want to go for the juiciest bits on survey sites to make the most money. That's why I, for example, don't play games featured on survey sites. If it's a game I like, sure, I'm all in. But otherwise, games can take a lot longer than surveys to earn money.

I recommend waiting until you get to a hefty amount, like $50, $100, or more, before you cash out. The reward will feel that much more satisfying, and you can do something significant with your payout. Getting a $3 reward right away might feel good, but it can't buy you anything super special.

And if you sign up for the best-paid survey sites, you can earn the most gift cards and cash for your time.

Sign Up To 2-3 of the Best Paid Survey Sites

A nickel here, a dollar there, it all adds up. Earning $2.00 a day on a survey site isn't much. But over an entire year, that's $730. And now imagine you're doing two survey sites. That's $1,460 a year. And if you're doing three survey sites, that's $2,190 a year.

While you could do dozens of paid survey sites, I think that it becomes harder to manage. I think 2-3 is a good number, and if you have extra time, you could even go up to 4 or 5.

Belonging to multiple survey sites will increase your earnings and keep this side hustle fun. You could hit a lull with one survey site, where you are finding the surveys boring and tedious. Instead of giving up on that survey website altogether, you can just focus more energy on other sites (s) until the rut has passed. Also, different survey sites will offer different extra ways to earn. Swagbucks has a lot of coupons, promo codes, and cashback shopping offers. InboxDollars has a lot of social promos, daily trivia polls, videos, and games.

In addition to the money, you need variety. If you get bored, you'll burn out.

If MyPoints doesn't appeal to you today, check out YouGov or Pinecone Research. Also, there are times when survey sites are down for maintenance or technical issues. You'll want backups.

And if you decide to quit a paid survey site, don't leave money on the table. Figure out what the minimum is to cash out, get to that amount, cash-out, and then go. Don't walk away with $8 or $18 on the table.

Answer Surveys and Earn

Try to Answer As Many Surveys As You Can

Virtually all surveys on paid survey sites will have a screening process in place. Be patient. It's not a big deal and doesn't take that much time.

Brands are paying survey sites big bucks to get accurate market research data. They need to reach the right audience.

While a paid survey company like Toluna or Survey Junkie will have basic profile information about you that you've provided in a survey, they don't know everything about you.

If a market research company is looking for women age 25-44 (survey website knows this) who are interested in buying a new pair of boots for $50-$99 in the next 30 days, they'll need to ask some qualifying questions.

You'll answer a survey pre-screener to see if you're a good fit. The survey website will show this survey opportunity to its members' broad group: women age 25-44. But the survey website will have no idea if you're in the market for new boots soon, especially if you joined the survey site and completed your profile survey months ago.

Most pre-screeners take a couple of minutes to complete. Some can take a lot longer. It can be frustrating if you answer many pre-screener questions only not to qualify, but with most survey sites, you'll earn rewards just for applying. Swagbucks will give you SB, and on InboxDollars you will make progress towards a virtual ScratchCard (to win a cash prize worth up to $100).

In my experience, the longer the pre-screener, the juicier the reward.

The most important thing is, to be honest, and be consistent. If you answer surveys dishonestly, trying to qualify for as many as possible, that's a red flag. The survey matching algorithm will have no idea who you are or how to match you. If you say you're a young Hispanic mother in one survey, and in another, you say you're a 64-year-old male white retiree, this is a glaring discrepancy. These red flags add up. Over time, you'll be shown fewer survey opportunities (ones open to everyone because they don't know how to profile you). And eventually, you could be blacklisted from a survey website.

Please be honest

If you disqualify from a survey, it's not because you're not the right age, gender, occupation, or education level for that survey website. It's because you're not the demographic that one particular survey is looking for. That's all. Keep trying. The more survey opportunities you attempt, the more you'll complete, and the more you'll earn.

Go for the Low-Paying Surveys

It probably sounds crazy. Everyone doing surveys wants to earn lots of money. The juicy $3.00 surveys look way better than the $0.40 surveys. Everyone knows that. And that's the problem: everyone knows that.

When "everyone" goes for the same survey, these surveys fill up quickly. This can be another reason you don't qualify. A survey may only have the budget for 500 respondents. If the survey gets 500 valid completions while you're registering for the survey, you're not going to be able to take it. And you'll be frustrated at the time you put in on the pre-screener.

Lower-paying surveys are low-hanging fruit.

These surveys are way less crowded or competitive to get into, and usually shorter in length and easier to qualify for. They are often looking for a broader audience segment (i.e. people who like music).

Surveys Change All the Time, Check In Often

Surveys change all of the time. Some change by the minute. It's possible to see a dozen survey opportunities available at noon, and then only 1-2 just an hour later.

  • The refresh button is your key. Reload the page. (Put mouse or cursor in the URL bar that has the web address and hit ENTER.) On many sites, you'll see a different assortment of surveys.
  • Check back throughout the day on survey sites.
  • Many survey sites, like Swagbucks or InboxDollars, will have a browser extension. While you're online, it will notify you when a new survey opportunity becomes available. Not only are these extensions free, but there's also generally a cash or point award for installing it on your toolbar.
  • You can receive email notifications about good survey opportunities, too.
  • Make sure to read the beginning and ending survey instructions carefully. It can include information about other related survey and focus group opportunities.

You just need to be consistent. Some days, you'll hit the jackpot. Other days you'll come up short. But keep checking back and keep trying.

Do Surveys On Your Phone and Laptop

Generally, I do surveys on my laptop. When I have a 10-minute lull at work or over my lunch break, I'll try to crank through a couple of surveys. But by sticking with just one device type, I'm missing out on a lot of surveys.

  • While many (most) surveys are available on desktop and mobile web, some surveys are desktop web only or mobile-only. Try both ways.
  • The best survey sites have a mobile app version. Make sure to install it on your phone. It'll make the mobile experience much better, and there's probably an incentive (cash or points) for you to install it.

Set Small Daily Goals

If your goal is "I need $100", a survey site can be a confusing and overwhelming place. When I log onto Swagbucks or InboxDollars, my goal is usually to make at least $1 to $2 during my time on-site.

Or when I was a much more active survey taker, I made a set list of things every day.

  1. Answer daily trivia poll -- $3.65 a year
  2. Complete 2 surveys -- $1.50 a day or $547.50 a year
  3. Watch available video content (I watch-listen while doing spreadsheets at my desk) -- $0.15 a day or $54.75 a year
  4. Print 50 coupons a day -- $0.50 a day or $182.50 a year
  5. Complete the latest free offers -- $0.80 day (average) or $292 a year
  6. Complete 20 web searches -- $29.20 a year
  7. Redeem prize codes -- $1.86 a year
  8. Shop through shopping pages to earn cash back a few times per month. (If there is something you need to buy at Best Buy or Old Navy or Home Depot, make sure to visit the site through a special link in the shopping portal so you can earn cash back. Thousands of stores a featured.) -- $120 a year

WorldWinner Cash Tournaments

I don't regularly do games or other earning features, but those are other ways to earn too.

Completing a small list of activities everyday is manageable, easy, and fun. And when you do it daily, it becomes a habit. Some sites have additional bonuses for coming back every day. Doing all these things does add up. Pennies turn into dollars. And day after day, the figure is $1,231 for a year. My pace is closer to $730 a year (or $2 a day) right now, but the point is these daily tasks I was doing were easy and stress-free. And often, they were a nice 5-minute mental break.

Everyday at my office, I listen to all the available videos while loading reports, doing spreadsheets, and looking at email. I have earbuds in. I can't say I'm 100% focused, but I am listening and occasionally glancing over at the screen. I like the cooking and current event videos, and celebrity gossip is just a guilty pleasure. I mean, where else can you get paid to find out what Justin Bieber and Harry Styles are up to?

And the great thing is you can complete these tasks on other survey sites too. You can do this same set of activities on Swagbucks, Branded Surveys (formerly MintVine), MyPoints, InboxDollars, and ShopAtHome.

Popular Stores

Make Money Buying Products You're Already Buying (or Planning to Buy)

Survey sites Swagbucks, Branded Surveys, InboxDollars, MyPoints, and ShopAtHome all have shopping portals. This means survey sites partner with retailers who want more online web traffic. Survey companies send shoppers (you), and when you make a purchase the survey companies get a commission. And they share part of that commission with you in the form of cash back rebates.

You can make money from cash back rebates in the form of cash (like InboxDollars) or points or other virtual currency. Amounts vary, but typically cash back amounts range from 2% to 10%.

On Swagbucks, for example, there are over 2,000 different merchants in their shopping portal. Meaning you can earn cash back from shopping at any or all of those retailers. Some of the more popular cash back shopping stores include:

  • buybuyBABY
  • Amazon
  • Kohl's
  • Lowe's
  • Macy's
  • Home Depot
  • Best Buy
  • Overstock
  • eBay
  • Walmart

I made all of my holiday purchases online this year, and I'll admit it. And it only takes a second to see whether or not the survey site offers cash back for the retailer's website. And there are some items I bought online and then picked up in-store.

For example last month, I purchased a vacuum online at Best Buy and then picked it up in-store earned 800 SB (or $8.00) for visiting Best Buy from a survey site link.

I also employed this tactic when buying a baby shower gift at buybuyBABY just a few days ago. I'm getting 158 SB (or $1.58) for purchasing a registry gift that I would have bought anyway.

It only takes a second to check out the featured cash back stores. If you're going to make a purchase anyway, make some cash for doing it.

You just verified your Gift Card!

Summary (Or Cliff Notes on Making Money from the Best Survey Sites)

Here's a quick run-through or low-down.

There are many legit survey sites. You can join them and earn extra money, but it's not a full-time job. You'll need to qualify for and complete the surveys, and reach the minimum cashout amount.

Most survey sites pay you in points or virtual currency that you can redeem for cash, Paypal, or gift cards.

How to make the most money and have the best survey-taking experience:

  1. Sign up for multiple survey sites. The best survey sites to try are Swagbucks, InboxDollars, and Pinecone Research.
  2. Look for signs that the survey site is legit.
  3. Take as many surveys as possible or at least register for them. You won't be eligible for all of them. Be persistent.
  4. Be consistent and honest in how you answer questions. Inconsistent answers are a red flag and can lead to you getting blocked.
  5. Go for the low-hanging fruit. Take the lower or lowest paying surveys. They are less competitive to get into and are often shorter.
  6. Make sure to check out the survey site from your desktop or laptop machine and your smartphone. There are different surveys and different earning opportunities on different device types.
  7. Check out the extra, non-survey ways to earn, like cashback shopping, redeeming offers, trying free trials and free samples, playing games, watching videos, and using coupons.
  8. Bite-size goals! Try to earn a small, achievable amount every day like $1 or $2. Have a plan to reach this amount by doing a set of easy, achievable tasks.

And if you're like me, you'll become a survey addict after you get your first payment. It's a total rush. And it feels like *free money* or *prize money*. And it's not just surveys that you'll get hooked on. It's all the other fun ways you can earn on survey sites.

If you're consistent, you can make a tidy sum each year. Survey taking sites are a great side hustle for when you want to kill time or fidget on your phone while watching TV.

What Are Other Ways to Make Money Online

In addition to paid surveys, there are lots of other ways to make money online. There are lots of great gigs and apps that pay cash. Check out these other great reads to get you started.

Start putting cash back in your wallet!

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