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Did you know you can make money just by taking paid online surveys?
Paid surveys are all the rage these days. If you haven’t heard of them by now, you will see a lot more of them soon.
In fact, there are a dozens of sites offering paid online surveys. And some are a lot better than others.
That’s why our team sat down and studied ALL of the major survey sites to find out for ourselves which ones are legit (and high paying), and which ones are not.
At the end of this list, I go over many of the most commonly asked questions that new survey takers have, so be sure to read til the end!
DollarSprout’s Favorite Paid Online Surveys
Out of the dozens of sites out there offering survey opportunities, these are the best of the best. We have vetted each site using the following criteria:
1. Track Record: With so many sketchy sites out there, trust is our number 1 priority. We are only recommending sites that have been around for years and have a positive track record.
2. Number of Opportunities: If a site is on this list, it means they have plenty of surveys available for you to make money from. We don’t want you wasting your time signing up for sites with slim pickings.
3. Income Potential: You deserve to get paid well for your time. The sites on this list are, in our experience, the highest paying survey sites on the internet.
Pro Tip: We found that it’s smart to sign up with several survey sites so that you are eligible for the most number of surveys. That way you make the most money.
Since every site has different surveys (and each survey has its own demographic requirements, so you won’t qualify for all of them), it’s best to cast your net wide. You might even want to set up a separate “survey site only” email address so you can keep of everything in one inbox 🙂
– Online Survey Power Rankings –
1. Survey Junkie
Our favorite thing about Survey Junkie is how straightforward the platform is and how quickly you can start making money.
They’re also super upfront in telling you that you won’t get rich from taking surveys. We already knew that, but it’s refreshing to see some transparency.
Nonetheless, it’s still a great platform for making money in your spare time by taking surveys.
Much like Swagbucks, Survey Junkie works on a points system, and the points can be converted into cash.
The payout threshold is 1,000 points, which equates to $10. And since most surveys bring in somewhere between 100 and 200 points, it doesn’t take long to reach the threshold and get paid.
We found that most of the surveys here were fairly easy, and we were never forced to sign up or buy anything in order to complete a survey.
Here’s how Survey Junkie works:
• Create an account. (You can sign up with Facebook)
• Browse the categories.
• Pick a survey you like and complete it.
• Once completed, cash/points will be added to your account.
• Do as many surveys as you want and can.
• Cash out via PayPal when you reach the $10 threshold!
We found a lot of positive testimonials, including this one:
“It took some honest hard work, but I had fun doing it. Got my first PayPal payout. Thank you Survey Junkie for the reward.” -Miles O.
Register here: Free $5 bonus just for signing up
Once we got past the funny sounding name, we were able to see how Swagbucks is one of the most respected companies in the online survey space.
Here’s how it works: for every survey you take, you are compensated in “Swagbucks”, also called SBs. You accumulate SBs, then convert them into cash, gift cards, or PayPal credit (aka cash).
They have an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau and have been in business for over 12 years, so you know they’re legit.
As it turns out, surveys are not the only way to make money with Swagbucks (which is why we love them so much).
Here are other ways for you to earn:
• Cash back program for online shopping (Includes $5 bonus).
• Get paid for searching the web (Includes $5 bonus)
• Watching videos (Includes $5 bonus)
Use their web search tool (not a search engine, they just want to know what people search for), watch some videos when you are bored, and do a couple surveys each day while you’re enjoying your morning coffee. If you can consistently do that, your cash and rewards will add up quicker than you think.
3. Vindale Research
Vindale Research another well-established company; it has been around for over 12 years. They’re based out of New York City.
One cool feature about Vindale is that there is no points system; everything is cash. You complete the surveys – you get cash – simple and straight forward.
But our favorite part about Vindale?
They tend to pay out more money per survey than other sites. Vindale pays between $0.25 and $50 for each completed survey.
The higher paid online surveys are usually more complicated and take longer to complete, but are a great way to make extra money (assuming you meet the demographic criteria).
As is becoming more commonplace, surveys are not the only way to earn money on Vindale. There are other ways for you to earn money on the site when you are tired of filling out surveys.
Vindale is the secure, reliable and free survey site for anyone who wants to earn money online.Free $2 Bonus
4. Inbox Dollars
Register here: Free $5 bonus just for signing up
Cash and ease of use.
Those are the two biggest perks we found with Inbox Dollars.
Signing up was a breeze. I simply went to the page that said I would get a free $5 signup bonus and entered my email to get going. I had to answer a few basic questions — things like income level, race, education, and health questions.
After a few minutes of answering questions and watching a couple tutorial videos on how the site works, I had $5 added to my account. Pretty sweet!
Inbox Dollars works on a cash only system, so you don’t have to worry converting points to cash or only being compensated in gift cards. And according to their website, they have paid out over $57 million to survey takers over the years.
After my initial $5 bonus, I found that many of the surveys did not pay out a ton of money, which was a bit of a bummer. Nonetheless, clicking around and answering questions can still net you a couple of bucks an hour, which is better than nothing. You’re going to be on the internet anyway, so you may as well get paid for it!
Earn money by playing games, shopping, reading emails and signing up for products or services.Free $5 Bonus
Paid Online Surveys: Honorable Mentions
The four online survey sites above are our top picks, but they are by no means the only legitimate survey sites on the web. Far from it!
Here are a few additional sites worth signing up for:
Signing up with OneOpinion is free (you should never have to pay to sign up for any site, ever, FYI) and takes about one minute. The site works on a points system like many other sites.
1,000 points = $1 , and you can cash out once you reach 25,000 points. You can choose to receive your payout either via giftcard or Paypal cash transfer.
One of my favorite aspects of OneOpinion is that they do product testing too. As a panel member of OneOpinion, you may have the opportunity to test new products at home (before they are released to the public), and get paid for it.
We found compensation to be above average, which makes this panel worth signing up for.Start Earning
6. Survey Club
The best thing about Survey Club is also the worst thing about Survey Club. They are essentially a middle man for other survey sites. That means that when you make an account on Survey Club, you have access to an entire directory of surveys.
Since they are a middle man, that means that in most cases, your payout is going to be slightly lower than if you were to just find the surveys yourself.
Also, be careful about which email address you use. You will likely be put on a lot of mailing lists by signing up with Survey Club.
Nonetheless, having one centralized spot for surveys is nice. That’s why we have them listed here as an Honorable Mention.
It's convenient to have everything in one place, which is the biggest allure with this site.Access Directory
7. Earning Station
Earning Station is a very straightforward survey site owned by Massfinity, a well-established market research company.
The site works on a points system using “Station Dollars”. You can earn Station Dollars through a many different tasks (not just online surveys). SDs can then be converted into gift cards (Walmart, Amazon, etc) or Paypal cash.
The dashboard is really user friendly, which is one of our favorite things about Earning Station. To get started making money on the platform, we simply created a free account and picked what types of activities we wanted to do. Earning Station has paid online surveys, games, special shopping offers, and other ways you can earn.
The dashboard is easy to use, so anyone looking to make extra money can simply sign up and get started.Start Earning
8. VIP Voice
VIP Voice works a little differently than the other paid online surveys on this list.
The points awarded, called “VIP Points”, cannot be converted into gift cards or cash. Instead, members have the chance to enter into sweepstakes (they call it “SweepLand”) and auctions (aka “BidLand”) by earning points.
Common prizes are electronics, vacations, cash, and other products and services.
I’m personally not a huge fan of their system, since technically it’s possible to take surveys, earn points, and then never win any sweepstakes (and thus wasting your time). However, the site claims that thousands of prizes are awarded monthly.
VIP Voice conducts more than 12 million online surveys per year.
Survey takers help shape product development, pricing, distribution and other major decisions.Start Earning
Best Paid Online Surveys: Summary
To recap, below is a quick list of what we think are the best paid survey sites:
- Survey Junkie
- Swagbucks ($5 Signup Bonus)
- Vindale Research ($2 Signup Bonus)
- Inbox Dollars ($5 Signup Bonus)
- Survey Club
- Earning Station
- VIP Voice
From our research, here are some other reputable survey sites we liked:
How is it possible that can you make money from surveys?
I mean, the money has to come from somewhere, right?
As it turns out, big brands love using paid surveys to get a glimpse into the minds of average consumers. By going straight to the source (you), companies can improve their products, services, and marketing. Your input is extremely valuable to them, and they are willing to pay a pretty penny for it.
When brands want to find out what consumers think about their product and services, they turn to market research companies.
Market research companies are the ones actually administering the surveys on behalf of the corporations looking for data/feedback.
Think of online surveys as a type of focus group, except in this case, everything is done online. And you still get paid!
What kind of questions can you expect on online surveys?
When it comes to making business decisions, data is really important.
That means you can expect all sorts of questions on surveys. Anything that can directly or indirectly help a company fine tune a product or service is fair play.
Surveys can be on many different topics, like your TV-watching habits, your favorite places to eat, what material of sweater you prefer in the fall, etc. Many surveys can take less than 5 minutes to complete, although some take longer (and pay more money).
Despite the wide array of topics, the end goal of paid online surveys is usually the same: to get a better idea of what consumers are thinking and how they make decisions.
An example: Let’s assume Starbucks is conducting a survey for coffee drinkers.
Some of the questions you might be asked:
• Do you drink coffee?
• Do you prefer drinking coffee at home or at a cafe?
• Do you have a Starbucks Rewards card?
• If so, what new features would you like to see with the Rewards Program?
You get the idea. And again, some surveys are longer than others.
So why do they pay people to answer surveys? What’s the catch?
Because nothing in life is free! Companies understand that, which is why they are happy to pay survey takers like you to take time away from your busy routine to answer questions.
And where exactly is the money from again?
Here’s a recap of how it works:
Brand wants info (Original $$ source)
They pay a market research company to run surveys
Market research company (AKA survey site) pays you.
How do you receive your money from paid online surveys?
If you read the description of each paid online survey site earlier in this article, you know that not every site operates the same way.
Overall, there are three ways you can get paid:
- Cash – paid via PayPal or by check
- Points – that you can convert into gift cards or prizes.
- Sweepstakes Entries – using points to enter into cash and prize giveaways.
The current trend seems to be moving towards cash/PayPal compensation in addition to gift card options. Survey sites are beginning to realize that pretty much nothing beats cold hard cash.
How much money can you expect to make from taking surveys?
Ah, the big question on everyone’s mind.
So here’s the deal. You will not get rich taking online surveys.
I repeat, you will not get rich taking online surveys.
But to answer the question about what the true earning potential is from surveys, there really isn’t a one-size-fits-all answer. There are a lot of factors involved!
Factors that affect how much you can make from surveys:
• How many surveys you take
• Are you consistently taking them?
• Are you able to qualify for higher paying surveys?
With that being said, most surveys take less than 10-15 minutes and pay between $0.50 and $5, although I’ve heard of some surveys paying up to $200 (these are rare).
To increase your earning potential, I would suggest the following:
• Sign up for more than one site so you have more opportunities
• Make a weekly/monthly habit of taking a few surveys
If you can do that, I think it’s reasonable to make several hundred extra dollars per year. To make much more than that would require a serious time investment from you, at which point you might want to consider finding better uses of your time (like a part time job).
Something to be aware of: qualifying for surveys
Before you officially take a survey, often times a site will need to make sure you are “qualified.” This usually involves answering a few questions, and the purpose is just to make sure you fit the target demographic that the survey needs.
This is where a lot of people get confused…
They answer a few questions and then come to find out that they don’t qualify for the survey (and won’t get paid). A lot of people take this the wrong way and feel like they’re being scammed, which is just not true!
Unfortunately, a lot of people think that because they didn’t qualify for a survey, the company conducting it is somehow scamming them.
Remember, companies want to gather data and feedback from their target customers.
Remember the Starbucks example above? Well, if you are not a coffee drinker, it makes sense that Starbucks doesn’t want to spend money on giving you a survey on something that doesn’t apply to you!
That’s also part of the reason why almost every survey site asks you basic questions when you create your profile– so they can match you up with surveys that you are most likely to qualify for. But sometimes there are small criteria you won’t meet for a specific survey, which is where the screening questions come into play.
How to tell if a survey site is a scam
Sadly, not every survey site out there is legit. Some are scams.
It’s sad because these fake sites give the very legitimate survey industry a bad rap! Since taking surveys to make money in your spare time sounds like such a great gig, there’s always going to be someone out there trying to take advantage of people excited for the opportunity.
psst- That’s why you should start with the ones in this article. We’ve got your back and will only recommend the good stuff.
The 3 biggest tell tale signs that a survey site is a scam:
• They charge you a fee to join their network. Um, no.
• Promises that you will make thousands of dollars each month.
• They request your credit card numbers or social security numbers.
If you come across a site doing any of the above, stay away. You’re best off focusing on the survey sites in this article.
To start making money today, stick with our list of the best paid online surveys.
There are a lot of options out there for taking surveys to make money. Don’t let yourself get overwhelmed!
Start with the sites listed in this article. They’ve all been vetted to make sure you won’t be wasting your time by signing up.
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