Our Top 10 Legit Paid Survey Sites Reviewed
- Our Top 10 Legit Paid Survey Sites Reviewed
- Other Ways to Make Money on Paid Survey Websites
- How To Spot a Scam
Paid survey site companies invest billions of dollars into marketing research online. They always want to find out more intricate details of a consumer's relationship with their product. Whether it's a new television show or just an existing product line, companies like Disney, Samsung, and Sony go to great lengths to find out their ideal audiences.
In the middle of all of this is a new breed of research corporation that relies on you – the survey taker – to determine this information. For your time? Many survey companies will pay you to take surveys for money or for other cash alternatives like gift cards or physical prizes and rewards. It depends upon the company as to whether they'll offer money or other offers and special deals.
This is where it can all go downhill quickly. In the pressure to make as many pennies out of a nickel, a lot of research corporations will not just sell your answers but the data associated with it. Details that you provide when taking paid surveys such as your name, address, age range can all be attached together quickly to fulfill a lot of larger companies' requests for information (RFI).
Let's break down the top 10 best survey sites online and see how they stack up against one another.
We recommend joining all of the sites listed below to maximize your earnings, because some survey companies offer only a limited amount of surveys each month.
Rating Scheme for Our Survey Reviews
We'll use four basic measurements in a scale of 1 to 5 – where 1 is probably ill advised and 5 is a great experience.
Convenience – From start to finish, how convenient is each company's site?
Accessibility – Is it a site that can be accessed on mobile as well as a standard browser? Does it require a lot of superfluous logins and duplicated information or do they do a decent enough job filling that in for you?
Return on Time – Is it an hour of your life for $2.00 or truly a fifteen minute survey? We find out if the Return on Time (similar to Return on Investment) pans out. Surely, some will be better than others for not wasting yours. Basically, we've evaluated not only how much you actually get paid to take surveys but also how long it takes to earn that cash
Privacy – How much personal information do you need to give to complete a litany of surveys and start making actual money? We'll determine that and rate appropriately. We'll also subtract points if we find out they use that personal information to send an unsolicited wave of junk our way.
One of the most well known online marketing and survey research companies, Swagbucks has risen to a new level of popularity through social media. Getting surveys and completing tasks is but a few of the ways to earn “swagbucks” which then equate to either cash or prizes.
One of the most refreshing things about Swagbucks is their commitment to keeping it all above the belt. Whereas a lot of the shadier survey companies won't be up front with how they distribute or take advantage of your information, Swagbucks let's you know exactly where it's going to be sent.
Not to mention a great setup, minimalist design, and timely customer service, Swagbucks has definitely become one of the crowd favorites. And it is certainly our personal favorite, so we consider it one of the best survey sites on the internet.
Convenience: 5.0/5.0 – Seamless and fast setup and a great selection of paid surveys and evaluations.
Accessibility: 5.0/5.0 – They even have their own app for Android and Apple platforms.
Return on Time: 5.0/5.0 – Industry-standard payout system; quick turnaround time.
Overall Grade: A+
Best known for the opportunity to earn money through shopping or signing up for special offers, MyPoints also has a great opportunity to take surveys for cash (other payout options include gift cards or travel points).
Backed by Prodege LLC, the same company who also owns Swagbucks.com, we feel very safe recommending MyPoints because of it's fine reputation, reliability, and payout rates.
If you're looking for a trustworthy, reputable way to take surveys for money, we recommend adding MyPoints to your list. Even though you might not get the highest-paying online survey offers, you can rest assured you'll get paid for everything you earn.
Something unique that MyPoints offers that most other similar companies don't offer is the ability to earn cash back on some in-store purchases at select stores. Also, although their online store cashback rates aren't the highest in the industry (ironically, Swagbucks beats them on several offers), they do have special offers that other companies don't have, such as a bonus to sign up for Amazon Prime.
Convenience: 5.0/5.0 – Very fast registration process. You can start taking surveys immediately after registering, even before you confirm you account via email.
Accessibility: 5.0/5.0 – Entire website is mobile-friendly, and they even have a mobile app.
Return on Time: 5.0/5.0 – Average return on time for surveys; above average for cash back opportunities.
Overall Grade: A+
Keep it simple, right? Nobody wants a convoluted sign-up process with a difficult way to differentiate between paying surveys and junk offers. This is where My Survey gets it right. Light on the graphics and minimalist design and heavy on the details where it matters – rewards.
This site succeeds where many other fail in simply letting the survey taker know exactly what's going to pay out the best and soonest. The problem? The higher end surveys run out surprisingly quickly so you have to stay really on top of new offers.
Convenience: 5.0/5.0 – From sign-up to actual first survey offer, this site is somewhat streamlined. And with payouts in either cash rewards or gift cards, it's not bad.
Accessibility: 4.0/5.0 – Works on desktop and mobile, but there are a couple awkward styling issues on mobile.
Return on Time: 4.5/5.0 – Fairly decent in terms of getting a good return on time invested.
Privacy: 5.0/5.0 – Also par for the course in terms of requiring consent prior to disclosing personal information. For most product and service surveys, they will scrub out any personal information you provided in sign-up.
Overall Grade: A
Ipsos is one of the biggest online market research firms. i-Say, which is a division of the company, offers the opportunity to take surveys for money.
Because their entire company is dedicated to market research, their survey requirements are more specific than we've seen at other companies, but that translates into fair pay for your time.
Unlike Swagbucks, MyPoints, and other similar companies, i-Say only pays you to take surveys, and not to shop online or complete offers. So although we wouldn't recommend i-Say as your one-stop shop, we do recommend setting up a free account and turning on alerts so you can see new paid survey opportunities when they become available.
Convenience: 4.5/5.0 – While the sign up form is easy to fill out, you will have to enter more information about yourself up-front than other survey companies ask for. Typically, you just need to enter your email address and create a password to join, but Ipsos also requires your name and physical address. We only gave a slightly lower rating for this because the sign-up process is still very quick and painless.
Accessibility: 5.0/5.0 – Website is mobile friendly. The accompanying free app conveniently alerts you when new paid surveys become available, and you can take surveys and cash out from your phone.
Return on Time: 4.5/5.0 – While some users are disappointed at the low quantity of surveys they qualify for, most people agree that the ones that you do qualify for pay enough to make it worth your time. We gave a slightly lower rating here because of the lower quantity of surveys available.
Overall Grade: A
Easily one of the most reputable survey companies on the market, Vindale Research has made a big name for themselves. Accessible for a first time user and not too cluttered with needless offers and unintentional subscriptions – this is honestly one of the best survey companies to make a few extra bucks with.
And a few extra bucks it truly is. Certainly not the highest-paying paid survey site on the market, although it is on par with most other survey sites.
Convenience: 5.0/5.0 – Very intuitive and easy layout.
Accessibility: 5.0/5.0 – Supported on multiple OS, browsers, and platforms
Return on Time: 4.5/5.0 – Surveys can sometimes take way longer than advertised, but overall time is on par with industry standards.
Privacy: 4.0/5.0 – They do a decent job of not just handing out your information to everyone. So far, we haven't received too many unsolicited offers or unwanted phone calls/mail.
Overall Grade: A
InboxDollars provides surveys and paid email opportunities that pay in actual cash.
You also have opportunities to make money buying products and services, although the amount of time and money spent buying these products takes you pretty close to break even.
Unlike some of the other sites, with Inbox Dollar, you essentially sign up to take advantage of whatever Inbox Dollar makes from their advertisers. They will send you emails which they get paid per receipt of you reading them or clicking a link. In turn, they give you a cut. Not to ruin your day but it's a rather small cut. The links that end up paying out the most usually have some stipulations attached – such as signing up for a service. This can end up being a lot more hassle than its worth and we recommend you pay VERY close attention to the stipulations.
Convenience: 5.0/5.0 – Simple sign up process. Interface design is a little basic, but pretty easy to navigate the site and sign up and take surveys.
Accessibility: 5.0/5.0 – Available through nearly any platform and operating system (desktop, mobile, mobile app).
Return on Time: 3.5/5.0 – We give a middle of the road grade for Return on Time because it can turn into an almost passive form of income if done properly. It won't, however, ever become a big cash prize sort of place. Numerous complaints about not qualifying for surveys after getting part way through the survey.
Overall Grade: B
Although lesser-known compared to some other big names in the industry, OneOpinion offers a great opportunity to earn money taking paid surveys and testing products.
They are owned by CriticalMix, which has an outstanding A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau. This speaks volumes for the reputability of any company, especially lesser-known companies like OneOpinion.
One thing that makes OneOpinion unique is their product testing opportunity. Although you don't get to keep the product, if you qualify you could be sent products to test. Once you send them back and provide an honest review, you earn points that you can redeem for cash or a gift card.
Convenience: 5.0/5.0 – Standard sign up process, and easy to access new surveys when they're available. Cash-out options are straight-forward.
Accessibility: 5.0/5.0 – Works well on both desktop and mobile devices. Mobile layout is optimized and easy to navigate.
Return on Time: 3.5/5.0 – Seems easy to qualify for surveys, only later to be declined. However, you get paid 50 points each for the first 5 declined surveys.
Overall Grade: B+
How much is your opinion worth? If it's through Toluna, roughly $1.50 per survey. Of course, it would be awesome if they said that right up front but 90,000 reward points to get a $30 PayPal e-certificate should be the rough equivalent.
Where Toluna gets it right is in terms of accessibility. They spared no expense designing apps for both the Android and Apple mobile devices. Why this is actually a great thing is it means pretty much if you have an internet connection and free time – you can be earning points towards money.
Did we say rewards points? Yep. That's because of odd taxation laws. So they can legally gift rewards points redeemable in prizes but would have more of a hassle just paying in money.
Convenience: 4.5/5.0 – Signing up is relatively quick and easy, although you are required to fill out several forms before account registration is complete. Relatively fast and easy to do, though.
Accessibility: 5.0/5.0 – Specialized apps for both Android and Apple mobile devices, as long as there is an internet connection, Toluna can be accessed.
Return on Time: 2.5/5.0 – It takes a LOT of surveys to get to the first increment of PayPal e-certificates – the truest sign of what it's all worth.
Privacy: 5.0/5.0 – They do a good job of informing you, the survey taker, of implicitly how much information they plan on getting, storing, and distributing.
Overall Grade: B-
Global Test Market is a decent standard of what you're getting yourself involved in. Their practices are not any more or less shady or reputable than almost any online venue – survey or otherwise. Just like Facebook, when you identify yourself accurately with Global Test Market, you can expect them to use that information in any way possible to make a penny. The great news is they inform you and ask for consent first.
The concept of data mining and profiting off that data mining isn't anything new. And while some companies engage in some rather disreputable practices to do this, Global Test Market seems to be doing just fine with the whole “consent to disclose” thing. More importantly, in some cases this may help you as some companies will offer to do more specialized product testing once they've identified you as their target demographic.
Convenience: 4.5/5.0 – We've noticed a couple pop-ups here and there, but nothing a pop up blocker plugin can't fix.
Accessibility: 4.5/5.0 – Somewhat streamlined process. Starting off it can be hard to identify what's a good survey and what's an offer for a superfluous product or service, but the site functions well on both desktop and mobile.
Return on Time: 3.5/5.0 – This site CAN pay top dollar. When it's good, it's good. Most times it isn't.
Overall Grade: C+
NiceQuest is similar to other paid survey companies in that you get rewarded for your time spent taking surveys. However, instead of earning cash for surveys you can instead redeem your points (called “shells”) for gifts in various categories including toys, kitchen accessories, gift cards, books, and more.
We've noticed a lot fewer surveys available through them, but the ones they do offer pay a pretty normal rate.
Convenience: 3.0/5.0 – While the sign up process is easy, you must be “invited” in order to join. Good news is that we're able to invite you (click here for invitation)
Accessibility: 5.0/5.0 – Site works on desktop and mobile, and the mobile app is free
Return on Time: 3.0/5.0 – Very few surveys available in our experience (1-3 a month), but pay rate is normal
Overall Grade: C
How To Make Money Taking Surveys Online
It's pretty easy to get paid to take surveys, especially if you're already comfortable using a computer and web browser. It all starts with signing up for free accounts at legitimate survey websites.
After joining a survey site, you provide some personal and demographic information, which legitimate survey sites will keep private. That information will be used in choosing participants to take surveys on certain goods and services. If you get selected to take part in a survey, you will be notified through mail to take a short survey to see if your profile suits that survey. When you are deemed qualified, you will be requested to take a longer survey.
Rewards vary based on the survey type and the company conducting the survey. You may get paid online through PayPal or a Visa gift card, or get free products so that you can try them and provide feedback. To get the best out of online surveys, it is recommended you join several websites (10 to 20) so as to give you sufficient invitations daily at the best time frame. Regularly check your email and be honest while giving your opinion. Don’t give up if you don’t get selected for a survey after the first screening process, as it will take a while before you get selected based on your demographic.
Something very important to note before signing up at any site claiming to pay you cash to take surveys is that all legitimate sites offering online surveys that pay do not charge registration fees – they are free to join. Some sites may even offer you bonus as you sign in, to show you they are happy you have become a part of their team and helping them increase their revenue.
In summary, if you’re really serious about making money taking surveys, here are some dos and don’ts:
- Have a dedicated email address specifically for surveys to avoid having your email address flooded. Create an email specifically for survey taking – you don’t want requests crowding your personal inbox, so stay organized.
- Spend your gift vouchers immediately so they don’t become invalid.
- Check your emails regularly so you can get paid for surveys in your inbox. Always log in as soon as you're able because surveys close when enough people have participated.
- Refer a friend. Most survey sites will reward you when you bring a new person to join.
- Set aside time everyday for survey taking.
- Sign up for multiple reputable sites to increase number of requests for which you qualify.
- Don't let cash pile up in your survey accounts; withdraw immediately when you reach the minimum threshold because there’s no protection if a site closes.
- Don't expect to get instantly rich from taking surveys. You can make decent money taking paid surveys online but you're not going to be able to quit your day job.
- Don't pay any registration fee. All legit paid survey sites are free to sign up. If you're being charged to participate, it's probably a scam.
Other Ways to Make Money on Paid Survey Websites
In addition to filling out online surveys for money, you can get rewarded for other actions, too. Some of the best paid survey sites are ones that offer lots of ways to make money other than earning money for surveys you take! The most popular websites maintain their following not only by offering various types of incentives but also by providing plenty of different and engaging ways for members to earn money. The purpose of these offers is to turn you into a loyal and active member of their community.
So, what are the different rewards and ways of earning on survey sites? Here are some of the most common:
Cashback shopping: Who doesn’t love getting cash back? It's a great incentive for shopping because it feels like you're being paid to do so. It's usually best to use the offers only when you were already intending to buy the product. If you love saving money at discount stores or at places that offer cash back, there are a lot of survey sites out there that will open a lot more offers to you. Survey sites can offer cash back because they're paid a portion of the profit for referring you.
This is commonly known as affiliate marketing, and it is definitely a very profitable win-win situation that benefits both the websites and the survey participant.
Referral program: Referral programs are a common aspect of thousands of websites as they are a great way to get new registered members. As you may already know, some of the biggest e-commerce giants as well as other companies offer rewards and bonuses to users for referring their website to their friends and family. All you have to do is subscribe to their referral program and share a link to your friends.
When they join the website through clicking that link, you’ll be rewarded either with a fixed sum or a percentage of your friend's earnings so that every time they fill out surveys for money, you get part of that money. Referrals are a great way to incentivize users to become more active members and to promote the site to others.
Searching the web: Some survey websites like Swagbucks offer rewards when you download and use their search engine. Essentially you're being paid for the ads you see when browsing the web. While this isn't usually the highest paying option, you can make some extra cash doing something you probably already spend hours on.
This does seem easy but you should be cautious about downloading software to your computer from any site. Make sure that it's not a scam before you do so.
Playing games online: if you like playing games, why not turn the hobby into a moneymaking activity? There are tons of websites out there that reward their loyal fan base with points when the complete a game or play for a certain amount of time. These points can then be exchanged for real money. Sites are able to do this by sharing the profit they make from ads as an incentive for users to visit the site.
This can be a lucrative way to add some extra bucks to your account even though the amount is generally quite meager. This method is usually not worth your time unless you genuinely enjoy playing games.
Watching video ads: Video ads certainly aren't uncommon in the online world. While generally they're a hassle getting in the way of the content you want to watch, many paid survey sites have turned them into a way for members to make money. It's pretty easy to make a tab, set a playlist of paid ads going, mute it, and carry on with browsing the internet or taking surveys.
This is pretty clever, and easy way for you make some cash during the time you spend watching cat videos or increase your profits during the time you spend taking paid surveys.
How To Spot a Scam
You can always rely on us to give honest survey site reviews as well as advice on which companies not to trust. That said, if you you want get paid to take surveys without wasting your time on scams, it's important to know how to spot a scam for yourself.
Illegitimate companies and scammers have a simple objective. They're after your information in order to get your money. It's much more common for internet scammers to target hundreds of people for small sums rather than a single person for thousands. This is because demanding large sums for a product that is somewhat unclear is an obvious red flag to most.
When offered a grand promise for a seemingly small price, many more are likely to fall for it. Being human, the idea of paying very little for great return is incredibly enticing. This is the leading idea behind offers like “Earn $200 every day! Just $10 for access to our exclusive list of high paying surveys.” When entering the arena of paid online surveys, it's important to be wary of any offer like this that seems too good to be true.
If you're uncertain whether a company is legit or not, you can do a quick online search on the site you're interested in for reviews, rating, or customer experiences. This information can be very informative when checking out a new site.
You can also check for an ‘about' or ‘contact' page. Scammers will usually omit these. And at the least, you'll be able to learn more about the company you're getting involved with.
Scammers use a diverse variety of methods to allure and dupe unsuspecting victims. Some ads and offers look so real that even the most seasoned internet veterans can be tricked. However, many scams target people new to the market who may be more susceptible to “get rich quick” schemes because they're unaware of what you can reasonably make taking surveys. It is incredibly uncommon to be offered more than $10 to complete a 20 minute survey. Not that one offering that or more is definitely a scam, it's just important to be cautious. While some experienced and well credited survey takers receive legitimate offers paying that pay big money, if you're new to survey taking you should definitely steer clear of anyone offering you hundreds to complete a survey.
Avoiding scams online is pretty easy once you’ve become familiar with how false ads work and have developed realistic expectation about how much money you can make for the time you spend. On the surface, making money taking paid online surveys may seem like a long shot, but it certainly is possible and many people enjoy the benefits of taking part in them. So don’t be afraid! If you want to try it, read some of our reviews and sign up for the ones that look interesting to you!
How much do online surveys really pay?
You can generally earn anywhere from $0.50 to $25 or more per survey. In our experience, that typically equates to about $2-$8 hour, although people with more experience have been known to make more.
Which surveys pay the most?
Typically, survey companies will pay more for surveys from people in a very specific target demographic, or if the company is in a time crunch and needs more responses sooner.
Pro tip: If you want to make the most amount of money taking paid surveys, we recommend filling out your demographic profile after signing up and then take only the highest paying surveys each day and wait for new high-paying surveys to appear on a later day or week.
Which survey sites pay the most?
The survey sites with the best reviews on our site generally pay the most. A couple worth mentioning including Swagbucks, Ipsos i-Say, Vindale Research, MySurvey, Toluna, Pinecone Research, and many more.
Can you really get paid to take online surveys?
Yes, if you know how to spot legitimate paid survey sites and avoid the scams. You won't get rich doing it, but you can definitely make money taking surveys online. In fact, it's one of the easiest legit ways to make money online.