When it comes to online surveys, it feels like there are two kinds of people: those who’ve never heard of them and those who have. And among those who’ve heard of doing online surveys for money, perhaps you’ve been curious but skeptical. Or maybe you tried them a while ago and didn’t love them but might be willing it another go.
This article will go over how paid online surveys work, some paid survey sites and apps that are legitimate, and how much money you can realistically expect to earn.
Online survey sites have changed a lot over the past twenty years or so since the Internet commonly began appearing in people’s homes. And over the past couple of years, online survey sites have really become a much smoother, user-friendly experience online.
What are Paid Online Surveys?
A paid online survey is a survey you can complete online (through the web or through an app) in exchange for some sort of compensation or reward.
Paid survey sites, like InboxDollars or Swagbucks, connect survey takers (you) with market research companies (brands, research groups, and advertising agencies). Companies like Pampers or Honda may want to gather consumer opinions 200 times a year.
But instead of going to the hassle of setting up hundreds of surveys and recruiting participants each time, companies will work an online survey site. Online survey sites already have thousands (or millions) of survey takers interested in giving feedback.
Compensation for paid online surveys can vary. Most paid online survey sites pay members in points or virtual currency that they can redeem for gift cards once they reach a minimum earning amount. Swagbucks, for example, rewards members in SB points or SB. SB can be redeemed (once you reach a couple dollars in earnings) for PayPal cash, a prepaid VISA gift card, or a gift card to hundreds of popular retailers, including Amazon, Target, or Walmart.
Are Paid Online Surveys Legit?
Yes, there are definitely legit paid online surveys out there. But asking whether or not paid online surveys are legit is a bit like asking if “cars” are legit or “Apple iPhones” are legit. You can find fake versions of anything out there. But there plenty of legitimate survey sites where real people earn real money every day.
Signs a Paid Survey Site is Legit
There are some positive signs you can look for with legit survey sites.
- When you tap or click to open them, the information is genuine.
- It references the company’s real name.
- There is contact information provided.
- You can search the physical address provided and verify it is a legitimate business location.
- You can email the contact email address provided to see if it is a working email address.
The company has real reviews from users and members.
- Reviews are from trusted sources like Google, iTunes Store, Google Play Store, TrustPilot, and Better Business Bureau.
There is a mix of good and bad reviews.
Many customers only every leave a review when they are angry, so reviews can tend to give you a distorted view. On scam sites, they’ll often leave dozens or hundreds of only perfect reviews.
The survey site lets you know how much money can you expect to earn per survey.
- Realistic earning amounts for online surveys are shared – generally $0.25 to $5.00.
- Any survey site promising you hundreds of dollars or more per survey is a scam.
- Any survey site guaranteeing you hundreds or thousands of dollars each month in earnings is a scam.
On InboxDollars, for example, you can see that InboxDollars has been active on Facebook since December 11, 2009.
Fake sites are less likely to have social media accounts, and if they do these accounts will be much newer and have suspicious looking posts. (i.e. Only glowing content from members) – and there will be a huge dump of posts in a short period of time.
How Much Can You Get Paid per Survey?
For different surveys, you can earn different amounts.
- $0.25 to $5.00 for online surveys ranging in length from 5 minutes to 45 minutes
- $25 – $200 for follow-up market research opportunities. (i.e. After completing panel, you agree to complete additional related surveys, or to participate in an online panel.)
- $2 – $20 surveys where you’re asked to use your webcam and/or microphone to talk and give your feedback.
Surveys that pay $0.25 to $5.00 are the surveys you will most commonly find.
What Are Some Legit Online Survey Sites?
There are a number of legit survey sites and survey apps where you can earn gift cards, cash, or other rewards for completing paid surveys.
Some of the Best Survey Sites
- InboxDollars: Earn cash, not points. Get a $5 sign up bonus for joining. Cash out with minimum of $15 in earnings. Prizes: cash (check or PayPal cash), prepaid Visa cards, gift cards.
- Swagbucks: Earn SB (points in Swagbucks currency) for gift cards and PayPal cash. Cash out with minimum $1 to $3 in earnings.
- MyPoints: Earn points towards gift cards and PayPal cash. Cash out with minimum of $5 to $15 in earnings.
- Pinecone Research: Earn 300 points ($3) for each completed survey. Fewer survey opportunities and many are by invitation only (email).
- Branded Surveys: Earn points for completing surveys that can be redeemed for gift cards or PayPal. Every 500 points is worth $5. Cash out once you have at least 1,000 points.
- Survey Junkie: Surveys pay $0.50 to $3.00. Get paid via PayPal or eGift card. New members can cash out at $5 in earnings, otherwise cashout minimum is $10.
- OneOpinion: Earn points for taking surveys that you can cash out for Visa gift cards, cash via PayPal, or Amazon eCards. Cashout minimum is $25. Sign up via chatbot to request invitation to join the site.
- Eureka Surveys: Newer survey company. Earn in dollars (not points) that you can cash out for a gift card to one of 70 popular retailers. They guarantee a $1 payout on their first survey.
Right now, Swagbucks is offering generous sign-up bonuses (up to $10) and a number of easy survey earning opportunities with Daily Live Trivia, and daily polls.
Final Thoughts on Legitimate Paid Surveys for Money
There are dozens more paid survey apps and sites where you can earn cash and free gift cards for taking online surveys. It seems like there is always some sort of new survey club of some kind is springing up.
Remember, the best paid survey websites and apps offer you a way to earn some extra money in your free time. Legit survey opportunities do not promise you the ability to earn hundreds of dollars each week or the ability to quit your job. Even if you’re super dedicated and dedicate 40 hours a week to it, paid survey sites are never going to be a full-time job.
I’m a casual survey taker, and when I get into a groove (of coming back every day), I can earn $2 to $5 a day by taking online surveys. Which works out to an extra thousand dollars a year for filling out questionnaires and polls from my phone. Candy Crush (yes, I’m still addicted) pays me zilch. And I love being able to use that money, guilt-free, on twirly dresses for my daughter and framed artsy photo prints. And even more, I love telling my grumbling spouse that those items were completely free.