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Make MoneySurveys

Getting Paid to Take Surveys

By September 28, 2022April 2nd, 2024No Comments

Making money online has become a necessary side hustle for millions of Americans. There are several legitimate opportunities to earn money at home in your spare time, but there are loads of scams as well. Survey sites are great ways to make extra money without wasting hours of your time for pennies or being tricked out of your existing hard-earned income. In fact, you can potentially earn extra cash or gift cards for your effort. But how do you choose the right paid online surveys? In other words, what paid survey sites are legitimate and pay the most money online?

>>> Since 2008, California-based Swagbucks has paid over $780 million in gift cards and PayPal cash rewards to users for taking surveys and completing online activities.

Can you really get paid for surveys?

Taking advantage of paid online survey sites is among the easiest and smartest ways to make extra money. Granted, you probably won’t get rich from completing surveys, but that’s not what they’re about. Legitimate paid survey sites offer several ways to make money online, and they don’t lie about earning potential. The best paid survey sites also offer to pay via gift cards. Since the current federal minimum wage is still $7.25 per hour, survey sites can be essential side gigs for earning extra money.

Successful businesses value the opinions of potential customers and require ongoing market research. They’ll often outsource that market research to paid online survey sites to save money on their own end. Many legitimate paid online survey sites pass branded surveys or survey opportunities to their members to obtain their sponsors’ essential marketing research. Branded surveys for market research companies can actually be some of the most legit and higher-paying survey opportunities.

How does getting paid to take surveys work?

Companies value the opinions of potential customers. So they often send surveys of varying lengths and content requirements for market research to paid online survey sites. Sometimes an online survey is clearly based on a specific company or product. Other times, an online survey is more general. In either case, there are some requirements for being able to earn money participating with survey companies or taking an online survey.

1. You must be at least 18.

Some survey sites are targeted specifically to teens, but most require members to be at least 18. That’s usually the legal age to be paid online for taking online surveys or for sites including survey opportunities. For most online survey sites, that rule is firm whether you’re there to earn cash online or be paid via gift cards.

2. You must actually join the paid online survey sites.

Some gaming sites allow you to play without signing up, but that’s not the case with task sites and survey sites. So the only way to access survey opportunities and make money for taking legit surveys is to join the site or sites. Fortunately, many survey sites offer a sign-up bonus so you can make extra money right off the bat.

3. You’ll need to qualify for the online surveys.

Taking online surveys can help you earn money, but you’ll need to first qualify for the online survey you want to take. In addition, survey opportunities tend to be short-lived and change quickly, regardless of the online survey site. So log in often and peruse the legit surveys currently offered.

4. You’ll need to be patient.

Taking online surveys is a great way to earn extra cash, but you’re not likely to get rich anytime soon, even if you’re active on the best survey sites. You’ll need to be patient when looking for legit surveys and understand that payment can be significantly delayed. This is because the marketing groups and businesses that sponsor the branded surveys must verify they’re completed outside the online survey site. In some cases, being paid online for taking legit surveys or branded surveys can take weeks or months. Fortunately, the best survey sites often include other options for their members to make extra cash in the meantime. These include:

5. Look for a sign-up bonus.

Not all online survey sites pay members a sign-up bonus to join the site. But many of the best survey sites, such as Swagbucks and Survey Junkie, do. As a result, you can make as much as $10 just for joining. Now, some well-known sites like Opinion Outpost refuse to offer a sign-up bonus, but there are still other options to earn money online.

6. Watch movies and ads.

If you’re not having much luck finding available surveys, fear not! Many survey sites also pay members for watching movies, movie trailers, and ads. Of course, you won’t get rich doing it, but you can earn money that way or get paid online through gift cards.

7. Play games.

Some traditional survey sites like Opinion Outpost still focus solely on branded surveys. But other places like Survey Junkie, Swagbucks, and MyPoints offer additional ways for members to make extra cash and get paid online with money or gift cards. One way to earn money is by playing games. Of course, you’ll need to regularly check the offers on your chosen survey or task sites, but games can be an easy way to earn extra money while waiting for the next online survey opportunity.

8. Sign up for products, services, and free stuff.

You can also be paid online for claiming free samples and trying new products and services on your Survey and task sites. Some products and services require a small upfront payment or extra effort. But others are entirely free to participate in or try. So check your offers often to grab the products and free stuff you want.

Is taking surveys for money safe?

Taking surveys for money is safe if you join and work with legitimate survey companies. That way, you can be sure you’ll be paid online with cash or gift cards. However, the following issues should be red flags regarding any potential survey or task site.

Beware if the online survey site promises huge payouts or offers get-rich tactics.

No legitimate survey or task site will promise you’ll get rich. There’s no way to do that in most cases, and those sites are just there to get essential market research and help members earn extra money online via direct payment or gift cards.

Beware if you have to pay fees to take surveys.

Some survey sites promise members lengthy lists of paid surveys for an  upfront payment. But that should be an instant red flag. Those same surveys are available for free on practically any legitimate survey site.

Beware if you’re required to give too much personal information to get paid online.

The only personal information you should need to give to any survey site is an email address and possibly your name and address to eventually be paid online or receive your chosen gift cards.

Beware if the payout information is sketchy or hard to find.

All genuine survey sites offer clear and concise details regarding their payment protocol. If a survey site fails to do so, or if you can’t locate the payment page, avoid it altogether.

Beware if the privacy policy is not clearly disclosed.

Any website you join should clearly disclose its privacy policy. That will tell you whether your information will be kept confidential or if it’ll be sold to third-party businesses (usually scammers). If that policy is unavailable or unclear, don’t join that website.

Which paid survey apps are legit?

There are a few scams out there. But there are also several legit survey apps to consider. The most popular options include:

Inbox Dollars:

InboxDollars pays members $5 for joining. The focus is on surveys, but other tasks include reading emails and playing games.

Survey Junkie:

Survey Junkie is an excellent site for those who want to do surveys. You can also earn rewards for allowing companies to track your Internet usage.


Swagbucks is a hugely popular survey site with loads of other tasks for members to enjoy. There are plenty of ways to make money on the site, including completing branded surveys, watching movies, playing games, and more.


I-Say focuses on product and market research by paying members to take surveys and try products. You have to be fast, though, because all surveys and product offers have participant caps.


LifePoints gives members 10 points for signing up, and the minimum payout is 550 life points for a $5 gift card. This can take a long time to accumulate, but the site is easy to use.


MyPoints offers a $10 sign-on bonus and cashback bonuses where you can earn up to 40% cashback at featured stores. There are thousands of eligible cash back merchants.

Opinion Outpost:

Opinion Outpost has been a favorite for survey takers since 2009. But Opinion Outpost focuses solely on market research and online surveys.

Pinecone Research:

The Pinecone Research app is new and not very popular because most members use the website browser version. However, this survey site allows a minimum payout of $1, which is great for those who want to be paid online quickly.

Vindale Research:

As one of the oldest survey sites, Vindale Research also occasionally offers product testing opportunities.

What survey site pays the most?

No survey site is going to drop loads of cash in your lap, but the following sites tend to pay the most:

 Survey Junkie:

Survey Junkie averages between $1-$3 per survey. Payment options are through PayPal or gift cards. 

Opinion Outpost: 

Opinion Outpost survey payments range from $.50 to $5.00. They also payout through PayPal and gift cards. 

Vindale Research:

Vindale Research survey payments also range from $.50 to $5.00. They only pay via PayPal. 

Inbox Dollars:

Inbox Dollars pays up to $5 per survey. Payout options include checks, Prepaid Visa, or gift cards. 


Swagbucks surveys range between $.40 and $35. The higher-priced options are fewer and further between, but they are available. Payout options include PayPal and gift cards. 

Important note: Neilson Mobile doesn’t offer many surveys, but when they have one available, the price is always $50. Payout is also $50, so you can complete your survey, wait for the payment to clear on the site, and put it through to be paid instantly via PayPal or gift cards. 

Does Swagbucks pay cash?

Yes! Swagbucks allows members to choose PayPal as their payout option. Earnings can go directly to a linked PayPal account, and the minimum payout is only $1. 

Can you make a living doing online surveys?

Online survey and task sites are great ways to make extra money at home and online in your spare time. But whether you join one online survey site or several, you won’t get rich, and you’re not likely to ever make a living wage.

In Conclusion

Legitimate survey sites are fun and effective ways to get your mind off life stress while making a little extra money online. The best survey sites are free to join, some offer sign-up bonuses, and payments can be made as cash or gift cards. So if you have the time and interest, there are really no drawbacks to this easy side-gig. 

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