If you're stuck at home with a schedule that's wide open, then you may consider surveys to make a few extra bucks. It's an easy way to make cash, but it does come with a major drawback: it's not an efficient way of making money and the amount you make isn't equal to the time you spend.
That being said, if you have nothing else on your plate then you can get a few gift cards or Paypal cash. It only requires an internet connection and free time.
I spent a week testing the following paid survey sites and our results were varied: some sites were easy to use and paid out immediately, while others were extremely frustrating and difficult to use or redeem rewards.
Your personal details and demographic also play a role in whether you qualify for a survey; depending on your personal information and profile, you may have a different experience.
The Most Popular Survey Sites
Surveytime was the site that I had the most success with. Not only was it easy to navigate, but I was able to redeem the rewards almost instantly.
Signing up with Surveytime was simple. Joining only required an email (we recommend using an email that is not your main one since you will receive nonstop requests for surveys). Once your account is created, you'll have to do the following:
- Verify your email and receive your password from the site
- Create a profile which may include personal information such as: * Age * Gender * Nationality * Ethnicity
- Answer questions that include the following: * Employment * Household * Any illnesses * Whether you are registered to vote * Ethnicity
- Verify that you are not a bot and you are good to go!
Surveytime offers a list of surveys. Before you take one, you'll usually have to answer questions to find out whether or not you are an ideal candidate.
I found that many times I would start a survey before it would suddenly quit out in the middle of it and inform me that I was unable to complete the survey. Many times this happened after I would answer a mundane question regarding my age, marital status, or ethnicity.
Eventually, I was able to complete a survey regarding my grocery shopping habits during Covid. The survey was simple and only took around 15 minutes.
Once completed, I was asked to verify that I completed the survey via text; however, I ended up receiving a call instead and simply had to enter the code into the site to redeem the reward -- $1 per survey. (Survey takers have the option of Amazon, Target, or Paypal cash.) The entire redemption process took less than five minutes.
Time taken (from signing up to successfully finishing the first survey): 45 mins User Friendliness: 8/10 Pros: Easy to sign up, easy-to-navigate site, quick payout Cons: Lots of "We were unable to complete the survey" Money Made: $1 Amazon Gift Card
Survey Junkie was another fairly user-friendly site. To create a profile, you simply have to provide the following information:
- Political affiliation
- Identity verification through email
Once you've created your profile, you can answer begin earning points by completing your individual profile (which helps find surveys that are right for you) and taking surveys; there is even an extension you can install to earn 150 points after 30 days of it being active. You need to earn 500 points before you can redeem your rewards.
Survey Junkie allows you to pick surveys with different point values (each option also lists the amount of time that is needed to complete it) to reach your goal. It has a simple layout and an easy-to-navigate dashboard.
I found that while trying to get 500 points -- the amount needed to cash out, which is equivalent to a $5 gift card -- I ran into two big problems:
- The surveys I was taking would expire in the middle of the session
- I would start a questionnaire to see if I qualified for any surveys and most of the time, I didn't -- luckily, I still got a couple of points for participating even if I didn't qualify
Time taken (from signing up to successfully earning the minimum amount of points needed to redeem): 2 hours User Friendliness: 7/10 Pros: Easy-to-navigate site, points are rewarded even for incomplete surveys that you didn't qualify for Cons: Lots of survey disqualifications Money Made: $5 Amazon Gift Card
Swagbacks was a site that offered plenty of surveys (along with other money-making opportunities that include shopping, gaming, watching videos, and surfing the web) but I found it difficult to complete the surveys (which are all third-party surveys, some more reliable than others) I was assigned since they would disqualify me within minutes -- sometimes even for clicking the link to the survey. As a result, I didn't meet the minimum amount of 100 Swagbucks ($1) to redeem the rewards with a gift card, PayPal payment, or sweepstakes.
Time taken (from signing up to giving up on finally completing a survey): 1.5 hours User Friendliness: 5/10 Pros: Earn money through more than just surveys Cons: Frequent survey disqualifications, not an organized site Money Made: N/A
MyPoints is a site that allows you to redeem your points for rewards such as:
- Gift cards from retailers such as Amazon and Barnes and Noble, which require a minimum of 700 points (equivalent to $5) to redeem
- Cash, which is directly deposited into your Paypal account
- Travel miles for your United MileagePlus account
Points are earned by doing the following:
- Taking surveys
- Making purchases from participating online retailers
- Watching videos online, referring a friend
- Playing games
- Printing and using in-store coupons
- Installing a browser extension
- Using the MyPoints Yahoo! search engine
- Reading promotional emails
- Referring a friend to the program
- And more
Registration is simple: you only need to click the "Join Now" button and fill out the required information.
Once you've joined, you can begin taking surveys to earn points, even if you are disqualified from a survey. You can eventually redeem your points (400 points minimum) for a gift card from over 75 merchants.
MyPoints offers many survey opportunities, but it was difficult to qualify, finish a survey, or being told why I was disqualified. As a result, I didn't earn the minimum points needed to redeem the rewards.
Time taken (from signing up to giving up on earning a respectable amount of points without getting frequently disqualified): 2 hours User Friendliness: 4/10 Pros: Earn points through more than just surveys and use them for gift cards, Paypal cash, and travel rewards Cons: Frequent disqualifications, high point amount required to redeem Money Made: N/A
Opinion Outpost is a survey site with a simple and straightforward layout. You only need 50 points minimum to redeem an Amazon gift card reward, or 100 points to redeem a Visa prepaid card or a gift card from Dominos, Target, Chili's, iTunes, or CVS.
While it was easier to find surveys to qualify for than many other sites, finding a survey that I qualified for still took some time. In the end, I wound up taking a survey about luxury beauty products, which helped me get closer to my rewards goal.
I attempted a few more surveys but was disqualified frequently, even before I took the survey or even halfway through. After a while, I gave up although I was short only ten points (Opinion Outpost's equals 10 cents per point).
Time taken (from signing up to giving up on 10 points short of the rewards): 2.5 hours User Friendliness: 6/10 Pros: Easy-to-navigate layout, variety of ways to redeem points Cons: Frequent disqualifications Money Made: N/A
i-Say is a site that provides surveys through the market research firm that owns it, Ipsos.
Because of this, i-Say has limited surveys and I was unable to qualify for any surveys at the time.
Time taken (from signing up to not qualifying for any surveys): 30 minustes User Friendliness: 5/10 Pros: Stay on the i-Say site for every survey instead of visiting third-party websites Cons: Difficult to qualify for surveys Money Made: N/A
Toluna is a survey site with a clean layout and has an easy signup process. I only had to provide some basic information and verify my account via email to begin.
Finding surveys was incredibly easy, and Toluna also gives you the option of receiving texts for a new survey. Another added bonus? Toluna lets you pick the topic of your surveys.
Unfortunately, Toluna's payout was not high and I was unable to redeem a gift card after several hours.
Time taken (from signing up to not meeting the minimum rewards needed): 2 hours User Friendliness: 6/10 Pros: Easy to find surveys Cons: Very low payout Money Made: N/A
Lifepoints, formerly known as mySurvey before it merged with Global Test Market, is easy to use and navigate. Creating a profile was quick, but I wasn't a fan of having to provide my address.
Once you've signed up, Lifepoint offers plenty of surveys on an organized dashboard. However, I faced frequent disqualifications with no clear reason, and reaching the 1,000 point minimum was difficult.
Time taken (from signing up to not meeting the minimum rewards needed): 3 hours User Friendliness: 6/10 Pros: Easy to find surveys Cons: High amount of points needed to redeem Money Made: N/A
Taking surveys may be useful if you don't have anything else on your plate, but no matter how many surveys you take, it won't even come close to the federal minimum wage of $7.25.
Additionally, many of these sites ask for extremely personal information, including your address, any illnesses, ethnicity, and more.
While many of these sites are safe, there is always a risk of having your information stolen. Be sure to install anti-malware software and as a rule of thumb, never trust a site that asks you to share your Social Security number, bank account number, or driver's license number.
You should also create an email address to use specifically for these sites since you will be receiving several survey offers a day.
Finally, keep in mind that while surveys don't replace steady income, you can use the extra cash to treat yourself.
Want to learn more about your finances? Turn to our reputable services here.
Are survey sites worth the time?
If you're sitting at home with nothing to do, these surveys can be a good way to make a few extra dollars in gift cards, but the time spent on these aren't as valuable as other potential work opportunities. On top of that, redeeming your points for rewards wasn't always a guarantee and took many hours to complete.
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