It isn’t too good to be true. There are paid online survey sites where you can earn extra money. Some of them are even reputable.
But is it easy cash? Will you be able to buy your own island soon? No and no.
Some of them may be worth your time, however, if you keep a few rules in mind:
1. Never pay to use an online survey site. You’re the one who is supposed to get paid. If you have to spend any money to join these sites, you are probably being scammed. Shopping at a retailer through these sites is obviously fine; in those cases, you’re buying stuff.
2. Don’t depend on the income from paid online survey sites. There are better side gigs out there. It’s best if you get some enjoyment by trying to score good deals and earn extra cash — but you don’t mind if you end up spending a few minutes filling out a survey, only to be told you don’t qualify because you fall into the wrong demographic.
3. You usually won’t be paid quickly. Filling out a survey sounds like something that will take just a few minutes. Don’t be fooled. Sometimes the surveys can take as long as 15 or 20 minutes.
4. Don’t spend much time on these online survey sites. If you’re having fun earning a little extra money (emphasis on little), great. If it feels like work, you should try to find some work that actually pays decent money.
With all of those caveats in mind, here are some of the best paid online survey sites that can help create a little extra income.
You can sign up or join through Facebook. You create a profile and answer a few questions about your life. The more personal information you give, the more the company knows about you (you really shouldn’t use any of these sites unless you’re OK with companies knowing some things about you) and so it can offer surveys tailored to your interests or lifestyle.
You earn points from doing surveys, and the points are redeemed for cash.
The average payout is up to (note the “up to”) 300 points per survey. According to BrandedSurveys, 100 points is equal to $1. You’re paid via PayPal or gift cards, and you can cash out once you hit $10.
Harris Poll Online
This is a respected company that’s been around for decades, and if you sign up to fill out its surveys, you will get email invites to surveys. If you qualify for them — based on things like your age and gender and profession — then you can participate. You receive what are called HIpoints when you fill out these surveys, which you can eventually redeem for gift cards to Starbucks, iTunes or Amazon. You can also donate your points to charity.
The usual drill: For taking surveys and watching videos, you’ll receive points, which you can redeem for cash. You can’t actually cash out until you earn $30, though, and so if you don’t enjoy taking the surveys, it may be a bit of a drag to wait until you reach $30. Meanwhile, payments are processed every Wednesday, and so if you reach $30 on a Thursday, it may take about a week to get paid. There is a $5 welcome bonus to help you get started, though.
Typically, you won’t get more than a buck to fill out a survey on LifePointsPanel.com, and you may get less. Once you reach $20, you can cash out through PayPal. Reportedly, most of the surveys can be finished in about 10 minutes or less. So, again, you won’t get rich doing this, but if you do a survey here or there, and you find the process painless, it may work out well.
That said, as with a lot of these sites, you will have to check various boxes when you’re signing up, agreeing to basically receive emails from this company whenever they want to send it. As if your email inbox wasn’t full enough already.
[Read: How to Make Fast Cash.]
This is also a popular website. You’ll earn gift cards for answering surveys, watching videos, taking polls and other activities, such as shopping. There is also a $10 welcome bonus. “Perfect,” you’re now thinking. “I’ll sign up, score $10 and never visit the site again.” Well, it doesn’t quite work that way. You have to spend $20 or more on the site, not counting taxes and shipping, on a merchant through the website or through MyPoints emails in your first 30 days of membership. Still, if you’re buying something you were going to buy anyway, that’s not a bad welcome offer.
It’s a pretty straightforward process. After registering, you’ll be given the chance to take surveys. You’ll be given points for completing surveys, like 500 or 1,000 points, which sounds utterly fantastic, until you learn that 1,000 points is worth $1 (and so if you earn 500 points, you’ll get 50 cents). Once you hit 25,000 points and have earned $25, you’ll be able to cash in those points through Amazon or PayPal.
You register at the site and you take surveys. You get points for each survey you take (generally, you can expect to make 10 cents per point). As with all the sites, you won’t make much money — maybe a buck an hour or a little more if you try hard — but the money you do make, you can redeem for useful things, like Amazon.com gift card claim codes and an iTunes gift card.
You take surveys, collect points, and you get money. In the website’s FAQs, it refreshingly says, “You will NOT get rich taking surveys.” But if you’re 16 or older and live in the United States, Canada or Australia, you can take surveys and get points. Once you get 500 points (which would be $5; 100 points equals $1), you can begin to cash out.
This is one of the more well-known websites. You take surveys and earn Swagbuck points. Earn enough, and you can redeem them for cash or gift cards. The average payout per survey is 40 cents to $2. You can start cashing out at $3 for gift cards and $25 if you want to be paid via PayPal. You can also get coupons at Swagbucks.com and free samples.
It’s one of those websites that will not make you rich at all — one Swagbuck is worth a penny. None of these websites will make you wealthy. Still, if you’re up for answering surveys, watching videos and just tooling around the site to see what points you can get and what coupons and free samples are to be had, you may find it worth it and even fun.
You can access Toluna Influencers surveys on its website, or it will email them to you. If you qualify for a survey, it will probably take between 15 and 20 minutes. You’ll get points — anywhere from 15 to 50,000 — and you’ll have a dashboard, which you can use to see how many points you’re accumulating.
Some users have suggested you’ll likely make less than a buck an hour, and so like so many of these sites, it may be interesting and fun rather than a good way to earn money. None of these sites, however, are designed for you to make a career out of filling out surveys.
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Update 07/06/21: This story was published at an earlier date and has been updated with new information.