January 15, 2021

Surveys for Money: Best Sites to Earn Cash

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Want to make extra money? Consider taking paid online surveys. Read this review to find out which sites pay the most and how to cash out.

Businesses want to know what you like so they can attract more potential customers like you. Many big brands hire market research companies to send out surveys to people in the right demographic. In return, you get paid for providing feedback.

But with so many online survey companies available, which is the right fit for you?

Find out how top sites (like Swagbucks, InboxDollars, and Survey Junkie) compare. Plus, discover how to tell a real money-making opportunity from a scam.

Since you can't qualify for every survey, legit survey sites have found other ways to pay members for their time. You can get paid for tasks like watching movies, playing games, reading emails, scanning shopping receipts, and more. Keep reading to find which sites offer the most opportunities to earn.

1. Swagbucks: Best Overall

Swagbucks offers the most opportunities to make money. In addition to answering surveys, you can earn points for shopping online, watching videos, and searching the web with their own browser extension. And right now, they're offering a sign-up bonus of $10.

screenshot of swagbucks

So far, they've paid out over $480,000,000 in rewards to their 13 million members.

Users can redeem points for gift cards to popular retailers like Amazon and Walmart or get cash via PayPal. Keep in mind, each survey takes about 10 minutes to complete and the rewards processing time is 10-14 days.

Swagbucks is available in most countries in the Americas, Europe, and Asia, and they've even expanded to a few countries in Africa.

What you can earn with Swagbucks:

  • Average Payout: $0.40-$2 per survey (40-200 points)
  • Payout Method: PayPal or gift cards
  • Minimum to Cash Out: $3

2. MyPoints: Best Sign-Up Bonus

MyPoints is currently giving away a $10 Amazon or Visa gift card just for signing up! It's one of the biggest welcome bonuses of any survey company.

Screenshot of Mypoints

Plus, you can find the latest sales, coupons, and deals from thousands of stores at MyPoints.com. Just use their links and you earn points on every dollar spent.

Members get up to 40% cash back with every purchase at popular retailers like Walmart, Best Buy, Home Depot, and Amazon. But you can also earn side cash by watching videos and playing video games, as well as with paid referrals.

MyPoints has 10 million active members and they've paid out over $230 million in rewards. They take 4-5 days to process rewards and are available only in the U.S. and Canada.

What you can earn with MyPoints:

  • Average Payout: $0.36-$2.85 per survey (50-400 points)
  • Payout Method: PayPal, gift cards and travel miles
  • Minimum to Cash Out: $10

3. InboxDollars: For Most Money

InboxDollars lets you earn cash for surveys, referrals, playing games, reading emails, and online shopping (with their cash-back program).

Screenshot of InboxDollars

Plus, they don't use a points system, so it's a lot easier to keep track of your earnings. On top of that, InboxDollars is currently offering a $5 bonus just for signing up.

Note, InboxDollars has pretty strict survey requirements, so it's common to get disqualified from surveys. And they take up to 14 days to process rewards (or 7 days if you're a Gold member).

InboxDollars is only available in the U.S., and you must be 18+ to join.

What you can earn with InboxDollars:

  • Average Payout: $0.50-$5 per survey
  • Payout Method: Check, Visa cash card
  • Minimum to Cash Out: $30

4. Toluna: For Students

Toluna's low payout threshold and high-quality rewards is perfect for students who are 16 years old and up.

Toluna is a reputable website that pays you for feedback on products and services. They work with leading companies like Amazon, CBS, Kellogg's, and more.

Beware, Toluna surveys can take 15-25 minutes to complete, so the hourly pay is minimal. But if you're in line at Starbucks or vegging out on the couch, it can be a good use of your free time.

What you can earn with Toluna:

  • Average Payout: 3,000 or $1 per survey
  • Payout Method: PayPal and gift cards
  • Minimum to Cash Out: $10 or 30,000 points

5. LifePoints: For Most Surveys

LifePoints has many more surveys than other sites, but you won't qualify for every one. They're also available in over 40 countries.

screenshot of lifepoints

You can get paid for writing about your day in "diary entries," or with mini-polls, product testing, and more.

Keep in mind, LifePoints is inconsistent with their points-to-dollar exchange rate, so it's hard to keep track of potential earnings. Also, their points expire three years after the date of collection, and they can take up to 10 days to process rewards.

What you can earn with LifePoints:

  • Average Payout: $.50-$1 per survey
  • Payout Method: PayPal and gift cards
  • Minimum to Cash Out: $5

6. Vindale Research: Best Referral Program

Vindale Research's referral program is pretty lucrative. You get $5 for every friend who signs up. They also calculate earnings by cash instead of a point system, making it more transparent.

screenshot of Vindale Research

Vindale Research requires $50 to cash out, but the average earnings per survey are higher than other sites. One downside to consider: the company tends to send a lot of emails to its members.

What you can earn with Vindale Research:

  • Average Payout: $0.50-$2 per survey
  • Payout Method: PayPal or mailed check
  • Minimum to Cash Out: $50

7. Opinion Outpost: For a User-Friendly Site

Opinion Outpost has 11 years of business under their belt and 350,000 active members. The site's interface is very user-friendly and they pay out in just 1-3 days.

screenshot of opinion outpost

Some users complain that the site has fewer income opportunities than other survey companies.

Opinion Outpost is available in the U.S., U.K., Canada, Italy, Spain, and Germany. You must be 18+ to sign-up.

What you can earn with Opinion Outpost:

  • Average Payout: $0.03-$3 per survey (3-30 points)
  • Payout Method: PayPal, gift cards, MileagePlus travel credits
  • Minimum to Cash Out: $10 for PayPal, $5 for gift cards

8. Survey Junkie: For Mobile

Survey Junkie's mobile app has a clean and simple interface. It's best for people who want to take surveys on the go as they're waiting at the doctor's office or in-between classes.

Screenshot of Survey Junkie

The site has been in business for over 9 years and has over 10 million active members. Survey Junkie takes your demographic information (sex, age, zip code, etc.) and vets each survey to suggest only ones you qualify for.

Survey Junkie even gives you points for surveys that disqualify you, so you waste less time.

You can also earn points through their affiliate program, focus groups, and product testing. They take less time to process rewards than many other sites (3-4 days). Right now, Survey Junkie is only available in the U.S., Canada, and Australia.

What you can earn with Survey Junkie:

  • Average Payout: $0.50-$3 per survey (50-300 points)
  • Payout Method: PayPal, gift cards and direct bank deposit (for U.S. members)
  • Minimum to Cash Out: $10 (1,000 points)

9. i-Say (IPSOS): Best Loyalty Program

i-Say has a cool loyalty program that every user automatically qualifies for. You get higher and higher bonuses the more surveys you take. You also earn 5 points for every survey you don't qualify for.

However, the payout time is slow (about 1-3 weeks), and it's hard to qualify for surveys. i-Say is available in the U.S., U.K., and 85 other countries around the world. You must be 18+ to join.

What you can earn with i-Say:

  • Average Payout: $0.45-$2 per survey (45-200 points)
  • Payout Method: PayPal, gift cards, Visa cash card
  • Minimum to Cash Out: $15 for PayPal, $10 for Visa cash card, $5 for gift cards

10. OneOpinion: For Disqualification Points

You can waste a lot of time searching for surveys you qualify for. Luckily, OneOpinion can match you with surveys from dozens of third-party survey sites.

You won't qualify for every single one, but they do award 50 points each for your first five disqualifications.

The rewards processing time takes a couple of days for virtual gift cards and 1-3 weeks for mailed gift cards. OneOpinion is available in the U.S. and U.K.

What you can earn with OneOpinion:

  • Average Payout: $0.50-$1 per survey (500-1000 points)
  • Payout Method: PayPal, Visa gift cards
  • Minimum to Cash Out: $25

11. Pinecone Research: For Highest Potential Earnings

Pinecone Research offers a minimum of $3 per survey, but their surveys are harder to qualify for than other sites.

Surveys are invite-only and Pinecone does not offer any other activities for earning money.

This site has quite a few downsides. Members have complained about deleted accounts and poor customer service. On top of that, they have an "F" rating from the BBB.

Pinecone is available in the U.S., U.K., Canada, and Germany. You must be 18+ to join.

What you can earn with Pinecone Research:

  • Average Payout: Minimum of $3 per survey
  • Payout Method: PayPal, check, Visa cash card
  • Minimum to Cash Out: $3

12. PrizeRebel: For Quickest Payout

If you need money right away, PrizeRebel is a good option. They pay out instantly and offer a variety of ways to earn cash: referrals, a tiered loyalty program, contests, and games, and points for watching videos, searching the internet, and purchasing from PrizeRebel retail partners

To sweeten the deal, you can get 10 points just for signing up.

PrizeRebel is available in the U.S., U.K., Canada, and Australia. You must be 18+ to join or 16-17 with parental permission.

What you can earn with PrizeRebel:

  • Average Payout: $0.40-$0.60 per survey (40-60 points)
  • Payout Method: PayPal, gift cards, and Dwolla cash
  • Minimum to Cash Out: $5

13. SurveyClub: Easiest to Use

SurveyClub filters through all available surveys and spits out only the ones you qualify for. This can save you a lot of time. You can also browse surveys by state and the homepage often features studies that pay over $100.

The site's bread and butter are paid surveys, paid referrals, and focus groups. So, if you want to get paid for watching videos and playing games, this won't be a good option. They also take a long time to process rewards (about 3-4 weeks).

They've been in business for 11 years and have more than 16 active million members. SurveyClub is available in the U.S., U.K., Canada, and Australia.

What you can earn with SurveyClub:

  • Average Payout: $0.10-$5 per survey
  • Payout Method: PayPal, gift cards, prepaid debit cards, checks, sweepstakes entries
  • Minimum to Cash Out: $25

Other Survey Sites to Consider

  • Valued Opinions: Earn up to $5 for each survey completed. Your credit is redeemable for gift cards at retailers like Amazon, Macy's, and Target.

  • YouGov: Get paid for sharing your opinion on politics, sports, entertainment, and more.

  • Opinion Bureau: This site offers a $5 welcome bonus and you get $1 for each verified referral. You can get up to $10 for completing a survey, and the cash out minimum is $10.

Now that you have a good idea of the top online survey companies, find out how to maximize earnings.

Ways to Make More Money with Survey Sites

As with any side hustle, you need to think about the ROI before you participate in any survey or task. Here are some best practices to make the most out of your time.

  1. Keep your profile up to date. You qualify for surveys with demographic information like age, income, marital status, and geographic region.

    The more information you fill out, the more surveys you're likely to qualify for. BUT be sure not to give out sensitive personal details like Social Security or your credit card number (more on that later).

  2. Check frequently for new surveys. Online surveys are a popular source of income for many and online surveys get filled up quickly.

  3. Use multiple sites. You'll have more chances to earn money. Plus, many sites offer welcome bonuses from $1 to $10.

    Some places also pay for online shopping, watching videos, and other tasks.

  4. Provide thoughtful responses. Sites can tell if you're phoning it in and writing answers that aren't relevant to the question. They may even kick you out of the survey.

  5. Pause your ad blocker. You might be missing out on promos or giveaways. Turn off your ad blocker for the survey sites you like to visit.

Online surveys are a convenient way to earn a little extra cash on the side. But you might run into a few copycat scammers that impersonate real survey companies. Stick around to learn how to identify fraudsters.

How Tell a Scam from a Real Survey

Avoid these red flags at all costs:

  • Membership fees in exchange for survey opportunities. A real website would never ask you for an upfront payment to start.

  • Requests for your Social Security number, credit card info, or full address. Survey sites only ask general demographic questions to match you with surveys.

  • Big payments of any form. Real survey sites don't pay very much, and they'll never suggest that you could quit your day job to do this full time.

  • Company emails with a @gmail or @yahoo address. Legit survey sites correspond from their own business email domain.

  • No privacy policy. ALWAYS look for a privacy policy (usually found on the footer of the webpage).

Bottom Line

Online surveys are a good way to make money while you're watching Netflix or getting an oil change.

Just remember to be careful and avoid questionable third-party sites. If they claim that you can "Earn $2,000 a month!" or "Quit Your Day Job and Work from Home!" - run away.

Well-known and reputable survey sites include sites like Survey Junkie, Swagbucks, and InboxDollars. To find the right one for your needs, consider their payout method (gift card vs PayPal vs check), the cash out minimum (some places require up to $50), and the quality of their customer service.

Write to Amber K at amber.kong@creditdonkey.com. Follow us on Twitter and Facebook for our latest posts. And remember that you can listen to CreditDonkey Radio any time.

Note: This website is made possible through financial relationships with some of the products and services mentioned on this site. We may receive compensation if you shop through links in our content. You do not have to use our links, but you help support CreditDonkey if you do.

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By Holly Z - Tips for I Need Money
Online surveys are a legit way to make extra cash. Find out which ones pay the most. Plus, get the pros and cons of each site.
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