Completing paid surveys online is an easy way to make extra cash on the side. You’re unlikely to get rich with the money from survey sites, but many of them do offer real cash, gift cards, and other perks for those who provide insights for their market research initiatives.
However, there are also scams out there that are just looking for your personal information or that never payout! So you need to make sure the sites you use are legitimate so you don’t end up wasting your time or worse.
Legit Online Survey Sites
The sites below include some paid survey opportunities that provide actual payouts. It’s important to always research specific survey sites before signing up since policies and processes can vary and change over time. But the platforms below offer actual payments and opportunities for those looking to earn points and get paid online.
Swagbucks touts its platform as a way to earn money for the things you already do. In addition to taking paid surveys, you can also earn money for surfing the web on their approved search engine, watching videos, or using their mobile app. You earn a bonus for signing up and then accumulate points whenever you complete these various tasks. You can then use those points to cash out with gift cards for various retailers or get cashback.
Average amount payout: $0.40 to $2 per survey
Payment method: Gift cards or PayPal
Requirements: Must be 13 years of age or older and a resident of the United States, Canada, U.K., Australia, or other approved countries.
2. Survey Junkie
You start using Survey Junkie by filling out a profile so the platform can match you with surveys that are relevant to your consumer preferences. Then, you can complete surveys on your computer or mobile device and earn points for each one. You can later redeem those points for PayPal cash or e-gift cards. You also only need to clear about $10 worth of points to cash out, which is lower than many other survey sites.
Average amount payout: $1 to $3 per survey
Payment method: PayPal or e-gift cards
Requirements: Must be 16 or older with a valid email address.
InboxDollars lets you earn cash for taking online surveys, watching videos and TV, playing games redeeming coupons, and even shopping. The site also provides a $5 bonus for signing up, and provides a variety of payment options. You can earn cash and cards for various retailers.
Average amount payout: $0.10 to $0.25 per survey
Payment method: PayPal cash, check, or gift cards
Requirements: Must be 18 or older and live in the U.S.
MyPoints is primarily an online shopping and rewards service. But it also offers users the opportunity to take a paid survey for money. You can sign up for an account to access all the promotional options, including shopping rewards, surveys, watching videos, or redeeming coupons. The site works on a points system, and you can even earn points on surveys you don’t qualify for. There’s also a $10 signup bonus.
Average amount pay out: $0.35 to $1 per survey
Payment method: Gift cards to approved retailers, or a Visa gift card
Requirements: Must be 13 or older; some surveys and activities have additional eligibility requirements
Once you sign up for a LifePoints account, you’ll receive relevant survey opportunities via email. Some surveys include basic online questions, while others may require you to visit specific sites or even test out physical products first. You can choose the one you want to participate in, and the site tries to send out surveys to only the most relevant consumers. There’s also a community of other consumers that users can connect with. The site uses a points system to allow users to redeem rewards, which can vary over time.
Average amount payout: $0.20 to $1 per survey
Payment method: PayPal cash, gift cards, and other rewards
Requirements: Must be 14 or older and live in one of the dozens of eligible countries, which includes the United States.
6. Vindale Research
Vindale Research uses a similar model to many other paid survey sites. You sign up and create a profile with your basic demographic information. Then it matches you with relevant survey opportunities. You can take a paid survey on any device, and get paid with other activities like watching videos and making referrals. The site also sets itself apart by offering quick payments via PayPal and hundreds of survey opportunities each day.
Average amount payout: $0.50 to $5 per survey
Payment method: PayPal
Requirements: Must be 18 or older and live in the U.S., Great Britain, or Australia
Toluna is an online community of influencers and survey takers. The site allows you to earn points by taking surveys, playing online games, or referring others. You fill out a profile and then get access to community features that are most relevant to you. Once you earn enough points, you can redeem them for vouchers to various retailers and businesses.
Average amount payout: $0.10 to $50 per survey
Payment method: Points that can be redeemed for vouchers, gift cards, or prizes
Requirements: Must be 16 or older; 18 for certain surveys and incentives
8. Branded Research
Branded Research is an online community for companies to collect relevant opinions from consumers. You can sign up with Facebook or your email address and then answer a few quick questions to get matched with relevant surveys to start earning points. From there, you get daily updates with polls, challenges, and other offerings that you can complete to get points.
Average amount payout: $0.50 to $3 per survey
Payment method: Gift cards, PayPal, cash, or charitable donations
Requirements: Must be 18 or older, or at least 13 with parent or guardian consent
9. Pinecone Research
Pinecone Research gives you the opportunity to take online surveys for money about new products and initiatives. You start by filling out some basic personal information. Then you can browse surveys on the platform and get points for each one. The compensation is a bit higher than many other sites. But some of the surveys and product tests can be more time-consuming. And participants may only receive a few opportunities per day. The site also has a full rewards section, so you can either redeem your points for cash or choose from a variety of prizes.
Average amount payout: $3 per survey
Payment method: PayPal, gift cards, or prizes
Requirements: Must be 18 or older and reside in the U.S., Canada, U.K., or Germany
CashKarma is a mobile app that lets you access quick surveys and redeem points for cash. You earn points for completing surveys, and even for spending time on surveys you don’t qualify for. There are additional opportunities and challenges, like making referrals or signing up for trials or services. The app offers a sort of gamified version of a survey platform, so you can earn bonuses and reach various levels the more challenges you complete. This means you can get more per survey the longer you spend on the site.
Average amount payout: About 50 points per survey, with a 300 point signup bonus; cash value varies
Payment method: PayPal cash or Amazon gift cards
Requirements: Access to a smartphone with iOS or Android
PrizeRebel lets you sign up for an account in just a few seconds. Then you can add a bit of personal information and start taking surveys and completing challenges to earn points and get paid. Those points can be redeemed for a variety of perks, which you can browse in a lengthy catalog on the site. This site also offers daily challenges, raffles, and giveaways.
Average amount payout: $0.40 to $0.60 per survey
Payment method: Gift cards, PayPal cash, direct bank payment or online game codes
Requirements: Must be 18 or older (or 16 or older with a parent or guardian’s permission) and reside in the U.S., Canada, U.K., or Australia.
12. Opinion Outpost
To sign up for Opinion Outpost, you simply add your name, email address, and gender and you can start to get paid online. Or you can sign up with Facebook or LinkedIn. You then receive an invitation by email, at which point you can add more personal details like your age, occupation, and location, and start taking paid surveys. You can receive survey invitations via email or browse the site for opportunities. And most take just about ten minutes to complete. Then you can redeem points for various rewards.
Average amount payout: $0.30 to $5 per survey
Payment method: PayPal cash, Amazon or iTunes gift cards, charitable donations
Requirements: Must be 18 or older and reside in the U.S. or other approved countries
13. Valued Opinions
Valued Opinions is an online market research site that lets users take surveys, test products, and review ad campaigns for cash. You simply fill out a profile to get matched with surveys that are relevant to you. Since the site offers higher compensation than many others, there aren’t a ton of opportunities to take surveys every day, but the ones that get sent to you are often relevant.
Average amount payout: $5 per survey
Payment method: Gift cards for select retailers like Amazon, Target, and Macy’s
Requirements: U.S. residents 13 or older
14. American Consumer Opinion
American Consumer Opinion is one of the oldest survey sites. The company has been around for decades and pledges not to sell your contact information to third parties. It sends out several surveys per year to its members. To sign up, you simply fill out a screener questionnaire and then the site will send you relevant opportunities directly.
Average amount pay out: $0.05 to $0.50 per survey
Payment method: PayPal cash or charitable donations
Requirements: Only one signup per household
15. Survey Club
Survey Club offers surveys, product testing, research panels, clinical trials, and even mystery shopping opportunities. You start by filling out a questionnaire with some basic demographic information. Then you can easily browse tons of opportunities on the site. Filter by surveys that are relevant to you, or you can even filter out those that are within a specific time range or topic area.
Average amount pay out: $0.50 to $5 per survey; each one includes a price in the description
Payment method: Amazon Gift Card
Requirements: Must be 18 or older
I-Say is a survey site that offers polls and a loyalty program where you can earn points and then redeem them for cash or gift cards. Once you sign up, you can get email notifications or simply browse opportunities on the website. Depending on your demographic information and how in-demand your insights are, most users get about eight survey opportunities per month. There’s also a loyalty program, so you can earn even more points the longer you keep your account going and the more surveys you complete.
Average amount pay out: $0.10 to $1 per survey
Payment method: Gift cards, PayPal cash, charitable donations
Requirements: Must be 16 or older and reside in the U.S. or U.K.
OneOpinion has a simple online registration form, so you can get signed up and start taking money surveys in just minutes. Once you’re officially registered, the company sends opportunities directly to you via email, so you just follow a link to start sharing your opinions and earn points. They offer a variety of rewards, including cash and gift cards, so you can choose whichever options best suit you as soon as you accrue 25,000 points (which equals $25).
Amount paid: $1 to $5 per survey
Payment method: Gift cards and virtual gift codes
Requirements: Must be 18 or older, or 13 or older with permission from a parent or guardian
18. Harris Poll Online
Harris Poll Online isn’t just a survey site for you to make money; it’s also a community where you can share your opinions and even see the results of the surveys you complete. It’s run by the Harris Panel, which is a member of the National Council of Public Polls. It has a 45 year history and keeps participant information completely confidential. However, some of the polls you participate in may sometimes appear in various publications. Of course, it does also offer the opportunity to earn some perks for sharing your opinions.
Amount paid: $1 per survey
Payment method: Gift cards, online vouchers, or charitable donations
Requirements: Must be 13 or older in the U.S. and Canada, or 14 or older in other countries
OnePoll is known for providing short surveys that you can complete very quickly. It’s a U.K. based site, but is open to survey takers in multiple countries. Some of the results are used for market research purposes, while many others are used for press coverage. Since most cover trending topics that are relevant in the news, many respondents find them to be fairly interesting. Sometimes you can see surveys you’ve taken in the news.
Average amount paid: about $1 per survey
Payment method: BACS or PayPal
Requirements: Must be 16 or older, and some surveys require respondents to be 18 or older
20. Panda Research
Panda Research works like many other survey sites at first; you sign up for an account and add some personal information. Then you can get relevant surveys and other promotional opportunities sent right to you via email. However, there are also a few key differences. For instance, the site offers two payments via PayPal per month, on the 1st and 15th (you do have to earn at least $50 before receiving payments though). The platform also lets you earn additional money by completing tasks like reading emails and referring friends. In addition to the actual payments, members can also access coupons, discounts, and giveaways.
Amount paid: varies widely; some surveys don’t include incentives at all, but each one should specify whether or not an incentive is offered
Payment method: PayPal deposits
Requirements: Must be 18 or older and reside in the U.S.
How to Protect Yourself When Taking an Online Survey
There are legitimate paid survey sites available where you can make money online by sharing your opinions. But there are also sites that just want to collect your personal information or surveys that might not be worth the risk. To protect yourself and your personal information online, keep these tips in mind:
- Don’t share sensitive information like your Social Security Number, bank account information, or driver’s license number
- Don’t pay any upfront fees or sign up for a site with a credit card
- Use a dedicated email address just for survey accounts
- Use anti-virus and anti-malware software on your computer
- Read reviews before signing up; past members often have helpful tips or warnings that may be useful
- Be wary of sites or apps that send you to third-party websites during a survey
- Request that companies don’t sell your personal information; many have forms available on their website for this purpose
- Take your time as you go through surveys; you’re less likely to share sensitive information if you actually think about it for a minute first
- Take frequent breaks so you don’t get overwhelmed or confused
- Avoid sites that offer thousands of dollars or perks that sound too good to be true
- If something feels off to you, leave the site
Frequently Asked Questions About Online Surveys
Even with these sites and best practices in mind, you may still have questions about how the process works. Many sites offer FAQs on their websites, and some of the answers vary from site to site. But here are some general insights that may be helpful for prospective survey takers.
Do survey sites offer other ways to earn money besides surveys?
Yes, you can watch videos, surf the web, and even play games to earn cash on many of these sites. Market research companies are generally looking for your opinions and experiences that relate to the brands they work with. So there are opportunities to provide insights that don’t involve a basic survey.
For example, Swagbucks lets you earn money by watching videos and then answering quick polls. MyPoints lets you earn cashback or rewards from retailers when you shop online. And InboxDollars pays you for watching TV ads.
How will I be paid for taking an online survey?
Depending on the site, there are often multiple ways you can be paid for taking online surveys including:
- Gift cards
- Mailed Check
- Charitable donations
- Physical products
- Online game codes
- Points you can use for a variety of perks
Will I be paid after each survey I take?
Most sites have a minimum amount you need to earn to cash out so, if it takes 5 surveys to reach that amount, you’ll need to take 5 surveys before you can get paid. Other sites payout after a certain amount of time or number of surveys or points.
How does a survey site earn money?
Legit survey sites don’t charge their users a fee when signing up. So it’s fair to wonder — what’s in it for them? In most cases, these sites partner with businesses that are looking for insights from consumers that can help them shape their products, services, or marketing. So the businesses pay for the information you provide. The survey site takes their cut and you get a small portion of it.
What do I need to start taking surveys?
Specific requirements vary from company to company. But you don’t generally need anything more than a computer or mobile device and a dedicated email address. Some of the platforms above have device requirements, so check to make sure your tech is approved before wasting your time on the signup process. There are also some opportunities for product testing that may require a physical address or P.O. Box, but these opportunities are usually not required for participation in online surveys.
How can I maximize my earnings on paid survey sites?
Aside from choosing the sites that work best for you, there are a few things you can do to avoid completely wasting your time on online surveys:
- Fill out the initial questionnaire or signup form fully; many survey sites provide more money for people to complete surveys that require respondents from specific demographic groups
- Pay attention while completing surveys; some include questions designed to make sure you’re actually reading and not just selecting random responses, so you’ll be paid less if you’re just going through the motions
- Take surveys during the week; more people are free on the weekends, so you may get more opportunities when others are busy
- Opt for the highest paying surveys first; some sites give you multiple opportunities at once — and if others jump on those high paid surveys first, you might miss out
- Refer friends to your favorite sites; many offer bonus points for referrals
- Sign up for a few different sites; you don’t need to have an account on all of them, but rotating between a few trusted favorites can help you access more survey opportunities
- Sign up for sites that offer free points just for activating a new account; many of the ones above include these incentives, though some only offer temporary promotions
- Follow your favorite survey sites on social media; some post exclusive opportunities that are just for their loyal followers
How long do online surveys take to complete?
This varies between sites and even within each individual platform. Many sites will tell you the approximate length of each survey, and some even let you see your progress as you work. In general, you can expect most surveys to take between 5 and 15 minutes. Often, those that take longer are those that pay a bit more, while shorter surveys may only make you a few cents.
What types of surveys for money can I take?
There are all different types of market research surveys available online. Some may ask you to evaluate potential ad campaigns. Others might ask about your shopping habits. Generally, sites try to match consumers with survey opportunities that are actually relevant to them. Some may also give you a bit of information about each one before you actually sign up and start taking it. So you can usually choose the ones that are of most interest to you.
Are paid survey sites worth my time?
That depends on how much you value your time. Generally, you’re not going to make more than a few dollars per hour for sharing your opinion. So if you’re just looking for ways to make money, online survey sites probably are not the best option. However, if you’re not doing anything else and are just looking for extremely easy ways to earn extra cash or want to get a gift card in the mail every now and then, survey sites may help you kill a bit of time in a semi-productive way.
Surveying for money probably isn’t going to get you rich. In fact, you probably won’t earn as much as you could with other business opportunities, like blogging, delivering food, or selling products online. But if you have a bit of extra time and just want to answer some simple questions while you’re watching TV or sitting in a waiting room, these sites give you the opportunity to earn extra cash, gift cards and other perks. Just make sure you protect your personal information and choose the survey sites that are the best fit for you. Then you can start having fun and helping companies shape the products and marketing initiatives that are most relevant to you as a consumer.
This article, “Legit Paid Surveys for Money” was first published on Small Business Trends