Did you know you can make money just by taking paid online surveys?
Paid surveys are all the rage these days, and if you haven’t heard of them by now, you will soon.
In fact, there are dozens of sites offering paid online surveys for money. And some are a lot better than others.
That’s why our team sat down and studied nearly all the best-paid 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 till the end.
How We Rated the Paid Online Survey Sites
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 one 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 paid 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.
We found that it’s smart to sign up with several survey sites so that you are eligible for the most number of paid online surveys — that way you make the most money.
Since every site has different surveys (and you won’t qualify for all of them), it’s best to cast your net wide. You may even want to set up a separate “survey site only” email address so you can keep of everything in one inbox.
13 Best Paid Survey Sites (That Actually Pay)
Register Here: Earn a $10 Sign-Up Bonus
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. In fact, Swagbucks is owned and operated by the same company that runs MyPoints (Prodege, LLC).
Here’s how it works: for every survey you take, you are compensated in “Swagbucks”, also called SBs. Once you accumulate enough SBs, you can convert them into cash, gift cards, or PayPal credit (aka cash).
They have an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau (BBB) and have been in business for over 12 years, so you know they’re legit. And as it turns out, paid surveys are not the only way to make money with Swagbucks (which is why so many people use the site).
Other ways to make money with Swagbucks:
- Cash-back shopping
- Searching the web
- Watching videos
Our advice? Use their web search tool, watch videos when you are bored, and do a couple paid online 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. Learn more in our Swagbucks Review.
Register Here: Claim Your $5 Sign-Up Bonus
Cash and ease of use. Those are the two biggest perks we found with InboxDollars.
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.
InboxDollars 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 users who have completed paid online surveys 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. Learn more in our InboxDollars Review.
3. Survey Junkie
Register Here: Take Surveys for Free with 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 paid surveys for money. We already knew that, but it’s refreshing to see some transparency.
Nonetheless, it’s still a great platform to take surveys for money in your spare time. 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 paid online surveys work:
- 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.
- 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.
17 Genius Ways to Make Extra Money (Free Guide)
Register Here: Earn a $10 Amazon Gift Card
MyPoints is one of the oldest players in the online survey space, which goes a long way towards establishing trust in a sometimes-shady industry.
MyPoints has been around since 1996 and has paid out over $236 million to its 10 million members since then.
Beyond surveys, MyPoints has several other ways for members to earn rewards, including cash back shopping, watching videos, and playing games.
5. Vindale Research
Register Here: Claim Your $1 Sign-Up Bonus
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 highest-paying 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, paid 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 for money. Learn more about the survey site our Vindale Research Review.
6. Survey Club
Register Here: Take Surveys for Free with Survey Club
The best thing about Survey Club is also the worst thing about Survey Club. They are essentially a middle man for other paid 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 paid surveys makes adding them to the list a no-brainer.
7. Earning Station
Note from Editor: Earning Station is now closed. You can sign up for their partner site, Opinion Outpost, to continue taking paid surveys.
Earning Station is a very straightforward survey site owned by Massfinity, a well-established company that outsources paid market research.
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.
8. VIP Voice
Register Here: Earn 25,000 Bonus Points in Your First 30 Days
VIP Voice works a little differently than the other paid online survey sites 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 paid online surveys per year.
Register Here: Take Surveys for Free with OneOpinion
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; cash out once you reach 25,000 points. You can choose to receive your payout either via gift card 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’ll have the opportunity to conduct paid market research and test new products at home, before they are released to the public.
Related: 8 Ways You Can Get Paid to Test Products at Home
From our research, here are some other legitimate survey sites we liked:
11. Pinecone Research
12. Panda Research
Paid Surveys FAQ
Can you really make money doing surveys online?
As it turns out, yes. 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.
What kind of survey questions can you expect to answer?
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.
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.
How do paid surveys work?
Here’s a recap of how it works:
A brand wants information about their product; ➡️ they pay a market research company to run surveys; ➡️ market research company (aka survey site) pays you.
How do online surveys pay you?
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.
How much do online surveys pay?
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 paid surveys:
- How many surveys you take
- How consistently you take them
- Demographic information/user profile
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 $50 (these are rare).
To increase your earning potential, I 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.
Which paid survey sites are legitimate?
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.
3 Signs that a survey site is a scam:
- They charge you a fee to join their network.
- 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. There are a lot of options out there for taking paid online 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.