If you’re going to invest time into trying to make money online, it’s important to work with reputable websites. The problem is that it can be difficult to know who to trust.

One barometer for trustworthiness in the United States is the Better Business Bureau (a.k.a., the BBB), a non-profit organization that uses a letter-grade scale to rate companies on their business practices and customer service.

A quick search for a company’s profile on the BBB’s website can reveal a lot. And while the BBB’s grading system isn’t perfect, it’s a great place to start.

After researching over 100+ popular money making websites, here’s a list of the ones that have an A- rating or better from the BBB.

Five Trusted Online Survey Sites

One of the most popular genres of money-making websites is survey sites. We all have opinions, and these sites will pay you for them because knowing what you think is an important part of market research.

Survey sites are a great way to make some extra money during your downtime, because while they require your attention they don’t require much effort (nor do they usually require a lot of time). You can complete surveys while you’re waiting to pick up your kids from school, while you’re standing in line at the DMV, or while you’re waiting to go into an appointment.

#1 — Swagbucks

BBB Rating: A+

Quick Summary: Swagbucks is one of the most popular money making websites because it offers so many ways to earn. Users can get paid to answer surveys, search the web, watch videos, shop online and more. The points you earn by completing these tasks can be converted into cash via PayPal, or into gift cards from retailers including Amazon, Starbucks, and Target.

Quick Tip: If you prefer shopping in brick-and-mortar stores rather than online, check out Swagbucks Local. It’s a separate app from the main Swagbucks app that gives users cash-back when they shop at participating local retailers and eat in local restaurants.

See Also: Our In-Depth Guide To Swagbucks

 

#2 — InboxDollars

BBB Rating: A+

Quick Summary: InboxDollars is one of the few survey sites that use a cash system rather than points. I find this to be a much more transparent way to reward users. On InboxDollars, you can earn money by answering surveys, searching the web, playing games, and reading emails (hence the name). The minimum payout threshold is $30, and can be claimed as either a paper check or a pre-loaded debit card.

Quick Tip: InboxDollars offers a generous $5 sign-up bonus for new members.

See Also: Best InboxDollars Hacks

#3 — SurveySavvy

BBB Rating: A+

Quick Summary: SurveySavvy is one of the best-paying survey sites out there. Each survey pays between $1 and $3, meaning you could theoretically turn this into a job that pays $20 an hour (if you could qualify for enough surveys). The payout threshold is just $1, which is much lower than most other sites, and payment is made by check.

Quick Tip: Join the SavvyConnect program, which allows you to connect up to three devices (like smartphones) and earn $5 a month for each device. If this sounds familiar, you may have read my Nielsen Computer and Mobile Panel review. The programs are similar.

#4 — Vindale Research

BBB Rating: A+

Quick Summary: Vindale Research is another survey site that pays cash, and like SurveySavvy it offers higher payouts than many other sites. For surveys requiring professional expertise on a topic, users can earn as much as $50 for a few minutes of work. Users can also earn money by watching videos and reading emails. Payment is sent via PayPal or paper check.

Quick Tip: Vindale has one of the most generous referral programs. Users are sent a sign-up link to share, and earn $5 for each new member who signs up using that link.

#5 — Google Opinion Rewards

BBB Rating: A+

Quick Summary: Google Opinion Rewards is strictly a survey site, so no getting paid to play games or watch videos with this app. You can be paid via PayPal or Google Play credit. Unfortunately, this is an invite-only program and registration isn’t always open, so you may need to bookmark the link and check back from time to time.

Quick Tip: If you enable location services on your phone, you may increase the number of surveys opportunities you receive.

Further Reading: 16 Best Survey Apps to Make Money

Four Cash-Back Shopping Sites

Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Card Art

There are so many good cash-back shopping sites that there’s no reason not to earn a little cash-back on almost everything you buy online.

These sites operate shopping portals with links to retailers’ websites. When you click on those links and then make a purchase, the cash-back company gets a commission from the retailer — and they share that commission with you. You can increase your rewards even further by using a cash-back rewards credit card to make your purchase. One of my favorite cash-back cards is the Capital One® Quicksilver® Cash Rewards Credit Card, which pays 1.5% on everything you buy

Compare this card to other top cash-back cards

#1 — Rakuten

BBB Rating: A+

Quick Summary: Rakuten may sound unfamiliar to U.S. readers, but it’s a well-known Japanese conglomerate that’s been around for years. On the other hand, you probably have heard of Ebates, which Rakuten recently purchased and re-branded using its own name.

So far, the site operates exactly the same as it did when it was Ebates. If you spend $200 at Amazon and there’s a 5% cash-back offer, you’ll earn $10. Once you make a purchase through the site, the money will appear in your Rakuten account within a week. The site pays out quarterly via PayPal or check.

Quick Tip: Rakuten has a lot of store coupons in addition to cash-back offers, so be sure to search for those before you check out.

See Also: Tips To Maximize Cash Back on Rakuten

#2 — MyPoints

BBB Rating: A+

Quick Summary: MyPoints has partnered with more than 2,000 retailers, so the odds are that if you’re looking to buy something, you can buy it through the MyPoints portal and get rewarded. You can also earn points by watching videos, answering surveys, doing web searches and more. The minimum cashout amount is $25, and you can get paid via PayPal or gift cards.

Quick Tip: If you make a purchase in a brick-and-mortar store rather than online, you can still earn points with MyPoint’s “Shop In-Store” feature. Just upload your receipt from a qualified location and you’ll earn points for any eligible purchases.  

#3 — BeFrugal

BBB Rating: A

Quick Summary: BeFrugal has partnered with more than 5,000 retailers and offers cash-back rates of as much as 40%. The money will appear in your BeFrugal account within a week of a purchase. The minimum cashout amount is $25, and you’ll be paid via PayPal, direct deposit, paper check, or gift cards.

Quick Tip: Use the available browser extension to find valid online coupons to save even more money.

See Also: BeFrugal Review

#4 — Mr. Rebates

BBB Rating: A+

Quick Summary: Mr. Rebates has partnered with more than 2,500 retailers who offer as much as 30% cash-back. The minimum cashout amount is $10, and you’ll be paid via PayPal or paper check.

Quick Tip: This site has a great referral program. You’ll earn 20% of the cash-back earned by anyone you refer.

See Also: Our In-Depth Mr. Rebates Review

Sell your unwanted items online

Five Legit Websites to Sell Your Stuff Online

If you’re looking for hobbies that make money, selling stuff online is a great one. You can make it as simple as selling the stuff around your house that you don’t need anymore, or you can create a whole branded shop to sell things that you’ve made or purchased in bulk. It can be either a source of extra cash or a legit work-from-home business.

#1 — eBay

BBB Rating: A+

Quick Summary: eBay is an e-commerce site where you can sell just about anything you can think of, from clothes to books to houses (really!). There are two ways to sell on the site: you can either set a fixed “Buy it Now” price, or you can run an auction in which customers bid on your item over a three, five or seven-day period.

Quick Tip: Some of the best-selling items on eBay include video games, beauty products, jewelry, and women’s clothing.

#2 — Etsy

BBB Rating: A+

Quick Summary: Etsy is an e-commerce site that specializes in handmade and vintage items and craft supplies created by the site’s sellers, ranging from jewelry to clothing to candles and more.

Quick Tip: If you’re going to open an Etsy shop, it’s worth your time to do a little research on SEO (search engine optimization) best practices. SEO helps you understand things like what keywords to use to help searchers find your items — it’s a crucial aspect of marketing for almost any type of online selling.

#3 — Amazon

BBB Rating: A+

Quick Summary: Often, the things we buy on Amazon don’t come from Amazon itself but from third-party sellers (like me and you). As with eBay, you can sell nearly anything on Amazon. And with tens of millions of visitors every month, it’s one of the largest and most powerful selling platforms on the internet.

Quick Tip: The easiest way to sell on Amazon is to become an Amazon FBA (Fulfillment by Amazon) seller. With FBA, you don’t have to store, manage or ship inventory. You simply send the items you want to sell to an Amazon warehouse, and they take care of the rest — including returns and refunds.

If you’re interested in getting started, here’s a link to sign up for a free email course that will teach you about selling on Amazon via FBA.

#4 — Ruby Lane

BBB Rating: A+

Quick Summary: Ruby Lane is an online marketplace for vintage items, including art, collectibles and fashion. Sellers set up their own shops on the platform, but note that each shop must have at least 10 items listed for sale.

Quick Tip: Ruby Lane is not suited for dabblers in antiques. Access to the platform is strictly vetted, so sellers must have a high degree of knowledge about the items they sell. Think of Ruby Lane not as a standard e-commerce platform but as an online antiques shop.

#5 — Bonanza

BBB Rating: A+

Quick Summary: Bonanza is a site similar to eBay in that it offers both fixed-price and auction-style listings. Users sell everything from home goods to books to antiques to art. The site offers numerous tools to help users improve both their photos and the text of their item descriptions, two factors that contribute to more sales and higher prices.

Quick Tip: The site has a feature that lets you easily import listings from eBay, Etsy and Amazon. If you’re already selling there, why not try Bonanza as well? The more eyeballs you get on your items, the better.

#6 — Shopify

BBB Rating: A+

Quick Summary: Shopify is “easy mode” for people looking to start an e-commerce site. It’s a subscription-based service that allows you to set up and manage an online storefront with zero technical knowledge in not much time at all. It’s so user-friendly that even the most tech-challenged person can have a shop up and running within a few hours — you don’t even need to know how to use HTML.

Quick Tip: Shopify allows for selling more than just physical products. Sellers can also use it to sell things like consulting services, event tickets, classes, and workshops.

Websites to Sell Your Services Online

With more and more Americans looking for freelance work — whether as a way to escape the 9 to 5 grind, or as a way to bring in a little extra money on the side — there are more and more websites popping up to help connect clients with freelancers. And while freelancing used to mean lower wages, today it’s often the opposite: you can sometimes earn more money working for yourself than you can working full-time for a company.  

#1 — FlexJobs

BBB Rating: A+

Quick Summary: One of the problems with finding freelance work is the number of scam listings out there. But job seekers don’t have to worry about that when browsing the listings at FlexJobs. All the jobs are screened by a FlexJobs employee to make sure they’re legitimate.

You can find work from home jobs, part-time jobs, and freelance jobs in more than 50 categories at FlexJobs. Note that it is a subscription site, but you can browse listings for free. If you see something you want to apply for, be sure to use The Ways To Wealth’s exclusive discount code (WEALTH) to save 30% off your membership.

Quick Tip: Make sure your LinkedIn profile is top-notch before applying for a job. Nearly all hiring managers will request a link to your profile (or just search for you without even mentioning it).

Click here to learn more and browse the listing at FlexJobs.

#2 — EF Education First

BBB Rating: A+

Quick Summary: EF Education First is an international education company that specializes in teaching languages, educational travel programs, and cultural exchange programs. Most of the work-from-home opportunities are for ESL (English as a second language) teachers.

Quick Tip: You’ll have to take part in a video interview over Skype, so make sure you have a laptop with a good webcam and a decent internet connection. Education First is selective about who it hires, so treat this just like you would an in-person interview.

#3 — Upwork and Fiverr

BBB Rating: A+

Quick Summary: Upwork is among the biggest freelance job sites out there. There are listings for everything from writing to marketing, and from data entry to virtual assistants. Using a site like Upwork gives freelancers a layer of protection against non-payment, as the site requires that clients put money into an escrow account.

Another similar site is Fiverr — the only difference is that on Fiverr, customers come to you. On Upwork, you choose projects you’re interested in and bid on them. Getting started is a little easier on Fiverr, but the pay rates tend to be lower.

Quick Tip: If you don’t have a large body of work to create a portfolio, low-ball a few jobs until you get enough projects to create a respectable portfolio for potential clients to see. It always stinks to work for less than you’re worth, but it only takes a few happy clients to get yourself into a position where you can compete for better-paying gigs.

#4 — Mechanical Turk

BBB Rating: A+

Quick Summary: Mechanical Turk is a platform on Amazon where users perform “micro human intelligence tasks,” which are small tasks like identifying objects in a photo or transcribing audio files. In other words, things that are better done by humans than by computers. Companies submit jobs to the site, and users can choose the ones they want to perform. Payments are transferred to your Amazon payments account, or can be redeemed for Amazon gift cards.

Quick Tip: The amount of time each task takes to complete, and the pay rate, varies widely. So use the filter to find jobs best-suited to the amount of time you have (or to the amount of money you want to make).

Further Reading: For more on micro-task job opportunities, see our article on online jobs that pay weekly.

#5 — TextBroker

BBB Rating: A+

Quick Summary: TextBroker is a marketplace for freelance writers where you’ll find jobs producing things like blog posts, whitepapers, and social media content.

Quick Tip: Your pay rate per article is based not only on word count, but also on the rating the editors at TextBroker give you. That rating is based on their evaluation of a test article you’re required to write and submit. So, make sure your submission is your absolute best work.

Bonus #1: Getting Paid to Lose Weight

BBB Rating: A+

A lot of us could stand to lose a few pounds, but it can be hard to motivate yourself. If you could use a little bit of additional incentive to skip dessert and opt for the stairs over the elevator, sign up for HealthyWage and get paid for achieving your weight-loss goals.

HealthyWage asks you to bet on your ability to set a goal and stick to it. The site has a prize calculator that you’ll use to set how much weight you want to lose, the amount of time you want to spend working towards that goal, and the amount of money you’re willing to wager that you’ll succeed.

After entering those details, the calculator will show you how much you can win if you hit your self-defined target. If and when that happens, you’ll receive your winnings via PayPal or paper check.

Keep in mind, this is a little bit of a gamble. While you may have every intention of hitting your weight-loss target, there’s a chance that you might not. So, it’s important to only put an amount of money on the line that you can afford to lose based on your budget.

If you consider it part of the costs of getting healthy (like a gym membership), then you can build it into your expenses. The best approach is to pick an amount you can live with losing, assume you’re going to lose it, and then work as hard as you can to hit your target and get rewarded instead. If you approach it that way, you’ll get a benefit no matter what, because being healthy will save you money in the long run.

Learn more about HealthyWage.

Bonus #2: Create Your Own Money Making Website

Instead of signing up for a money making website, you can create your own. There are dozens of ways to make money with a website you own — from generating revenue through advertising to working with brands on a sponsorship basis.

The thing to understand about blogging is that it’s not an overnight money maker. Building a profitable blog takes time. While it’s time well spent if you succeed, if you need money fast, you may want to consider one of the other money making websites on this list.

If you’re interested in learning how to start your own blog, sign up for my seven-day email course — it’ll walk you step-by-step through everything you need to know, and show you how to get one up and running in just one week for almost no money.

 

Money Making Website: Summary

If you’re just starting out in your journey of making money online, you’d be wise to stick to this list of reputable money making websites. While they might not tempt you with the instant riches less proven sites have been known to promise, their BBB status signifies that their overall customer experience has been positive and that they do in fact pay.

Further Reading: 18 Jobs That Pay $20 an Hour With Little or No Experience