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The Best Survey Sites For Making Money In 2021

The Best Survey Sites
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There are dozens of websites that provide lists of the best survey sites for making money online. And most of the time, they try to cover as much ground as possible — often giving you 50+ survey sites to choose from.

While it can be a good idea to sign up for multiple sites in order to find the mix that works best for you, having such a long list of options can make it hard to filter out the junk and identify the sites that are actually worth your time.

So for this post, I wanted to do something slightly different. I researched over 70 paid survey sites to find and highlight the absolute best ones available right now, based on a combination of user reviews and my own analysis.

When available, I collected the following:

  • Trustpilot rating
  • Better Business Bureau rating
  • iPhone App rating
  • Google Play/Android rating
  • Payment methods available
  • Minimum to cash out

After analyzing this data (which was captured on September 18, 2020), as well as digging into the details of each site, I found only eight survey sites that made it into the top tier — what I would call “the best paid survey sites” overall.

If you’re looking to make money with online surveys, here are the eight to start with.

#1. Survey Junkie

  • Trustpilot: 4.5/5
  • BBB: B
  • iPhone: 4.5/5
  • Android: 4.1/5
  • Payment methods: Gift card or PayPal cash
  • Minimum payout: $5

Summary: Survey Junkie is one of the best online survey sites out there.

It’s an easy site to use, and it gets some of the highest user ratings across the board. Plus, you don’t need to provide a phone number when you’re signing up.

And unlike many other survey sites, which require users to be at least 18 years old to sign up, Survey Junkie is open to anyone 13 and older. That makes it one of the few earning opportunities for teens on this list.

What’s also nice is that Survey Junkie is an aggregator of surveys. So, they not only have their own surveys, but also surveys from other research companies. This can help eliminate the need to sign up for dozens of sites.

Survey Junkie also recently launched a well-received app that allows you to make money with your smartphone.

Read our Survey Junkie review.

#2. Swagbucks

  • Trustpilot: 4.3/5
  • BBB: A+
  • iPhone: 4.4/5
  • Android: 3.9/5
  • Payment methods: Gift card, prepaid Visa card or PayPal cash
  • Minimum payout: None, but most rewards start at $3

Summary: Swagbucks is known as one of the best survey sites for a couple of good reasons. First, it has a large number of surveys, so there are almost always opportunities to earn.

And second, you’re able to quickly sort the surveys by both payout and time to complete, which allows you to prioritize the most valuable ones and knock them out first.

It’s also a versatile site. You can make money by online shopping, using their search engine, watching videos and playing games — among almost a dozen other ways.

To get a better idea of how trustworthy and popular Swagbucks is, you can follow the money trail. So far, Swagbucks has paid out over $450 million to its users. That’s impressive!

To learn more about the site, check out our in-depth Swagbucks review.

Click here to join Swagbucks and get a sign-up bonus.

#3. InboxDollars

  • Trustpilot: 4.1/5
  • BBB: A
  • iPhone: 4.5/5
  • Android: 4.0/5
  • Payment methods: Gift card, prepaid Visa card or PayPal cash
  • Minimum payout: $30

Summary: InboxDollars hasn’t paid its users as much as some of the other sites on this list, but it’s no slouch either, having shelled out nearly $60 million so far.

And they not only have solid ratings on their app, but also over 200,000 combined reviews.

With this online survey site, you’ll earn money through surveys, as well as by reading emails, signing up for offers and playing games.

You can learn more about how the site works in our in-depth InboxDollars review.

Click here to sign up for InboxDollars.

#4. Google Opinion Rewards

  • Trustpilot: No rating
  • BBB: No rating
  • iPhone: 4.7/5.0
  • Android: 4.3/5.0
  • Payment methods: Google Play Rewards and PayPal cash
  • Minimum payout: $2

Summary: Google Opinion Rewards has a super-low minimum payout, which can make it appealing for a survey taker who doesn’t want to invest a lot of time before reaping his or her rewards.

The service (which is only available as an app) used to be invite-only. It’s now open to the public, but in our testing, there were not many surveys available.

Still, the low withdrawal threshold means you should be able to get some cash transferred into your PayPal account, even if you aren’t offered many opportunities to earn.

We also appreciate that, in most cases, your rewards are credited to your account immediately for each completed survey.

Click here to sign up for Google Opinion Rewards.

#5. Prolific

  • Trustpilot: 4.1/5
  • BBB: Not rated
  • iPhone: No iPhone app
  • Android: No android app
  • Payment methods: PayPal cash
  • Minimum payout: $6.50

Prolific is a relatively new, UK-based research firm that primarily works with researchers at academic institutions (although it does also work with many for-profit brands).

As a result, users report that the company’s surveys and question types tend to be substantive and more interesting than typical run-of-the-mill questionnaires that ask about things like your product preferences.

Participants earn a minimum of $6.50 per hour for their work, although some research opportunities may pay more. Earnings are accumulated in cash (which means there are no points or redemptions to worry about), and payment is issued via PayPal.

We appreciate Prolific’s demonstrated commitment to operating in a transparent manner. Some market research firms can be opaque, and it’s not always clear how much you stand to make, how or when you’ll get paid, or who runs the company you’re entrusting to appropriately handle the data you provide.

Prolific addresses all of these concerns clearly in their documentation, and even has a list of company employees, with headshots and links to their public social media profiles.

Click here to sign up for Prolific.

#6. National Consumer Panel

  • Trustpilot: 3.6/5
  • BBB: A+
  • iPhone: 4.3/5
  • Android: 4.3/5
  • Payment methods: Gift card or prepaid Visa card
  • Minimum payout: 9,000 points, the value of which varies depending upon your redemption options (but it’s around $10)

National Consumer Panel is operated by the Nielsen Company, which most people know as the company behind TV popularity ratings.

Getting accepted as an NCP panelist isn’t a sure thing. You have to apply to the program and provide demographic information for yourself and your family. Whether or not you’ll be accepted depends on their research needs at the time.

If you are selected as a panelist, the process will look a little bit different than the other options on this list. Instead of just filling out surveys, you’ll be asked to scan the barcodes of the products you buy and submit that data to NCP. You’ll then be assigned surveys based on your shopping habits.

Click here to apply for National Consumer Panel.

#7. Toluna

  • Trustpilot: 4.1/5
  • BBB: Not rated
  • iPhone: 4.2/5
  • Android: 3.0/5
  • Payment methods: Gift card or PayPal cash
  • Minimum payout: $10

Toluna is a global market research firm that works with some of the biggest brands in the world, and which is known for its high-quality (though sometimes lengthy) surveys.

Although it has fewer redemption options than most of its competitors, offering just a handful of gift cards to chose from, its solid user ratings reflect a relatively high survey qualification rate — meaning that users (which the company refers to as “Toluna Influencers”) qualify to complete many of the surveys they begin, and are usually notified of disqualifications quickly.

Click here to sign up for Toluna.

#8. Branded Surveys

  • Trustpilot: 4.4/5
  • BBB: Not rated
  • iPhone: No iOS app
  • Android: No Android app
  • Payment methods: Gift card or PayPal cash
  • Minimum payout: $10

Summary: Branded Surveys is among the newer market research companies to offer paid online surveys, but so far they’ve made a great impression by offering high-quality, good-paying survey opportunities from well-known brands.

While some survey sites focus on collecting general information about your online shopping habits and consumer preferences, Branded is more focused on gathering feedback about specific current and in-development product offerings.

Branded is also one of the fastest paying online survey sites.

Click here to sign up for Branded Surveys.

How To Maximize Your Survey Earnings

Even if you think filling out surveys is fun, you still want to earn all you can for doing it.

The following tips will help you earn as much as you can in as little time (and with as little effort) as possible.

Tip #1: Use A Separate Email Address

The first thing you should do before you sign up for any survey panel is create a separate email address. This will be the address you give the website while you’re signing up. You shouldn’t use your regular email address.

You might wonder why you’ll need another email when you already have one. It’s simple – this new one will be strictly for business.

You don’t want your regular email’s inbox cluttered up by the offers you’ll receive. And you won’t want to weed through your personal emails when you’re in work mode, looking for offers.

It will save you a lot of time if you take this step. You’ll spend less time scanning your emails to find new and potentially lucrative job offers. Keeping everything streamlined will help with your profits and your motivation.

Tip #2: Briefly Scan Your Inbox Every Day For The Best Opportunities

Looking at offers every day might seem like overkill. But there is a method to this madness.

Some of the best surveys are available for a very limited time, or have a limit on the number of participants. To score these deals, you need to try to look at your surveys every day. You don’t want the high demand survey opportunities (which pay better) to slip by.

Just because I’m suggesting you look at your offers every day, that doesn’t mean you need to take them.

The great thing about earning money through survey sites is that you can do it on your own schedule. But, realistically, everyone has a few minutes a day in which they could find time to fill out a quick survey.

So if you scan your inbox and look for the highest paying surveys, you’ll have those in mind if you find any downtime during the day. When you do have a few minutes available, you’ll know exactly how you’re going to spend it.

Tip #3: Take Advantage Of Other Ways To Earn Rewards

Don’t limit yourself just to surveys. You might find other means of making money that fit better with your time constraints or lifestyle. Plus, it can be much more enjoyable to have a variety of tasks to do instead of just filling out surveys.

If you want to branch out, Swagbucks allows you to earn points by shopping, or to earn passive income using the Swagbucks search engine. You can earn money on InboxDollars watching videos or reading emails.

If you feel most comfortable starting with surveys, that’s fine. But keep these other earning methods in mind — especially if you shop a lot online anyway, or find yourself drawn to watching videos.

You might find you like these other earning methods better, especially if you find yourself constantly being bumped off of surveys midway through.

Tip #4: Complete The Profile Survey

This may initially feel like a waste of time, but I promise you it isn’t.

The more targeted surveys you take, the better. They’ll pay you the most. And the only way to get targeted for the right surveys – the ones you’re qualified for – is to answer the profile survey.

So regardless of which paid survey site or sites you opt for, make sure to answer the profile questionnaire. You’ll get surveys more suited for you, and you’ll get kicked out of surveys less frequently as well.

Tip #5: Go Fast But Answer Correctly

To maximize your dollars, you obviously have to work quickly. Because the faster you complete the tasks, the quicker your earnings will add up.

But you have to answer your surveys in a way that makes sense.

Survey companies are smart, and they know whether you answer truthfully. If you contradict your own answers when a company asks a question twice in two different ways, they’ll catch on.

If you don’t take the time to read the questions and you contradict yourself, you might disqualify yourself from further high-quality surveys. So if you want to get the best surveys, answer the questions correctly and to the best of your ability.

Tip #6: Don’t Sign Up For Dozens Of Sites

This is a common pitfall. Some sites, like Survey Junkie and Swagbucks, are aggregators. They’ll use surveys from other sites and give them to you on their own platform. So a lot of the sites you sign up for may already have the same surveys.

As such, there’s no need to sign up for dozens of websites. Stick with a handful of legitimate ones. It’s fine to sign up for more than one, because doing so ensures that you’ll always have a survey available when you have a bit of spare time. You can look over your offers and then take one or two a day of the highest paying surveys.

But, especially in the beginning, you don’t want to overwhelm yourself by seeing a lot of offers in your inbox. It’s easy to spend more time scanning emails than taking surveys if you have too many offers as a newbie. You won’t be as skilled at spotting the highest paying ones yet.

Tip #7: Refer Your Friends

Most companies offer a small bonus for referring friends (even if it’s your spouse). That’s basically free money for you.

Of course, not everyone will want to be referred. You might want to stick with your friends who are highly motivated to earn a little extra cash, or those who seem to have a lot of commute time. They can be making money while they’re sitting on a train or in the passenger seat while heading to work.

Survey Sites User Review Data

Here’s an alphabetized list of every online survey platform for which we collected data in our September, 2020 research.

Survey PlatformTrustpilotBBBiPhoneAndroid
American Consumer OpinionN/AN/AN/A0.0
Branded Surveys2.4N/AN/AN/A
Catch PanelN/AN/AN/AN/A
Consumer VillageN/AN/AN/AN/A
CVS Advisor PanelN/AN/AN/AN/A
Datatelligence OnlineN/AN/AN/AN/A
Directive Analytics PanelN/AN/AN/AN/A
Engage Studies Consumer PanelN/AN/AN/AN/A
Engage Studies Healthcare PanelN/AN/AN/AN/A
Global Test Market1.6N/AN/AN/A
Google Opinion RewardsN/AN/A4.74.3
Institute for Online Consumer StudiesN/AN/AN/AN/A
Ipsos I-SayN/AA+3.74.3
Jobs 2 ShopN/AN/AN/AN/A
Medical Advisory BoardN/AN/AN/AN/A
Microsoft PlaytestN/AN/AN/AN/A
My Opinion NowN/AN/AN/AN/A
National Consumer PanelN/AN/A4.34.3
Opinion Outpost4.2N/AN/A4.1
Paid Viewpoint2.7N/AN/A0
Palm ResearchN/AN/AN/AN/A
Panda Research2.9N/AN/AN/A
Panel Champ2.9N/AN/AN/A
Panel PayDayN/AN/AN/AN/A
Panel Station1.7N/A2.52.8
Pinecone Research3.6N/A2.63.5
Product Report Card4.3N/AN/AN/A
Small Business Knowledge CenterN/AN/AN/AN/A
Springboard AmericaN/AN/AN/AN/A
Survey Club4.2N/AN/AN/A
Survey Junkie4.5B4.54.1
Survey Savvy2.8N/AN/AN/A
Survey site for GamersN/AN/AN/AN/A
Survey Spot3.8N/AN/AN/A
Teens EyesN/AN/AN/AN/A
Test Spin2.7N/AN/AN/A
TGM Panel0.0N/AN/AN/A
The Harris PollN/AN/AN/AN/A
Valued Opinions4.0N/AN/AN/A
Viewpoint ForumN/AN/AN/AN/A
Vindale Research3.9N/AN/AN/A
VIP Voice3.2N/AN/AN/A
Zoho SurveyN/AN/A3.73.8

Questions About Getting Paid To Take Surveys

How much will you make per hour?

There’s no easy answer to this question. It varies based on your demographics and what the survey companies want. With some surveys, you can earn a fair hourly wage. But with others, you can’t. That’s why it helps if you answer the profile survey — you’ll get those more targeted surveys that can pay more.

To help you figure out how much you can expect to earn with any particular survey, most sites give you an estimated “time to complete.” Let’s say the survey you’re about to fill out will give you 1,000 points and those points are worth $10. The time listed says the survey should take 45 minutes. In that case, the survey is worth $13.33 an hour.

That’s not bad money for an enjoyable side gig you can do whenever it fits into your life.

How do you get paid?

How you’ll get paid depends on which company you’re working with. Most offer more than one method. If you’re interested in getting that cash immediately, you might want to go with a site that lets you cash out through your Venmo or PayPal account. You’ll get your money right away and you won’t have to worry about the check getting lost in the mail.

But there are upsides to waiting for a check to arrive in your mailbox. For example, you’ll have to physically cash it, and studies have shown people tend to overspend less when they use cash instead of debit or credit cards. So if you have a problem controlling your spending, maybe you’ll want to opt for a site that pays by check.

Do you have to pay to join a survey site?

Don’t pay! The best, most reputable sites will never charge you a fee to join. They’re making money from the companies you’re providing feedback for, so there isn’t a need for them to charge you too.

There are plenty of legitimate free survey sites out there. And you need to keep in mind that you’re not going to be carting a wheelbarrow full of cash to your bank after you join these sites. You should look at this as a small stream of extra cash rather than a side hustle that can help pay the bills.

What are some of the survey sites that didn’t make the list?

There are a number of good sites that didn’t make this list, and they may still be worth checking out and signing up for. Some of these include:

Ipsos i-Say
Pinecone Research
Survey Club
Survey Savvy
Vindale Research

You can learn more about these companies in my roundup of survey sites that pay cash.

How Survey Companies Make Money

Brands are constantly wanting to improve their products. The better those products are, the more demand there will be for them. And the more they sell, the more money they make. So they’re willing to go to great lengths to create a product people love.

Surveys have long been a great way to get information from people. Companies use surveys to gauge all sorts of data, from how frequently products are used to how a consumer was first introduced to a product.

The data you provide in your survey is a great way for companies to get an ordinary shopper’s take on their product. And you’re providing an important service. The information you’re giving may ultimately lead to a better product for consumers.

To get this data, brands turn to websites like these survey sites. And the survey sites know that not many, if any, of their visitors will want to fill out surveys out of the goodness of their hearts. We’re all too busy for that!

So to entice you into sharing your opinion, they know they have to pony up some incentives. So they split a share of the money they’re receiving from these brands.

It’s a good deal for everyone involved. The company gets the much-needed information about their brand. The survey website makes money, and you do too.

How To Stay Away From Scams

There are plenty of scams out there, and you want to dodge those at all costs. But at the same time, you don’t want to shy away from a legitimate survey company because you’ve been burned by a bad one.

To avoid scams, stick with companies that have good ratings. But equally important is looking for companies with a lot of ratings. Don’t be fooled by a site that might have a few misleading reviews.

While looking at ratings, you should pay special attention to Trustpilot and/or BBB ratings.

Another important tip for avoiding scams is remembering never to pay for a site. If a site is asking you to fork over money in order to complete surveys, don’t do it. Go to one of the ones we listed above instead. These are all reputable websites with many reviews.

Best Surveys Sites: Summary

In our view, the best survey sites are those that offer a combination of (1) multiple ways to earn, (2) a reasonable (or preferably, low) minimum payout threshold, and (3) a decent reward for your time on a per-hour basis.

While there are dozens upon dozens of online survey platforms — many of which are totally legit and even worth checking out — the eight listed above are the ones that best fit that criteria.

Finally, as we’ve said countless times on this site, it bears repeating: there is no paid survey survey site that can make you rich, nor one that can replace any significant source of income. If you need to make money to pay your bills, save for your financial goals or get out of debt, you’re better of opting for a part-time online job or a side hustle.

But if you enjoy taking surveys and go into it with realistic expectations about the potential reward — perhaps a free Amazon gift card or a little bit of extra cash every month — then they can be a great way to monetize your bits and pieces of downtime.

R.J. Weiss
R.J. Weiss is the founder and editor of The Ways To Wealth, a Certified Financial Planner™, husband and father of three. He's spent the last 10+ years writing about personal finance and has been featured in Forbes, Bloomberg, MSN Money, and other publications.

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