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17 Highest-Paying FREE Online Surveys That Pay Cash

Best Survey Sites That Pay Cash
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Online surveys can be an easy way to generate a few dollars in extra income every month.

But let me emphasize the word “can,” because many paid survey sites promise high-paying surveys yet rarely deliver.

Fortunately, there are a number of high-quality sites out there. In this post, we’ll look at the top survey sites that pay cash in the form of PayPal, check or direct deposit.

You’ll also learn which sites didn’t make the top tier and why.

How To Take Surveys For Cash

Big corporations like Netflix, Target, Walmart and hundreds of others want your opinion. It helps them improve their new products and marketing, so they’re more than happy to pay you for it.

Large companies like these hire firms to conduct market research. In turn, these firms pay people like you and me to take surveys. So, your first step in earning cash for your opinion is signing up with these market research companies — a.k.a., paid survey sites.

Once you register with a site, you’ll be asked to complete a basic survey about yourself, answering questions about your age, the members of your household, where you live, your shopping habits, and other general background information. Market research companies use this profile information to match you with the right surveys.

In order to maximize your earnings, it’s important to understand that the company paying for the research is looking for responses from within specific demographics. For example, Netflix probably doesn’t want to know what a 45-year-old single male thinks about Riverdale, because that show is targeted primarily to teens and young women.

So it’s very important to provide accurate and complete background information — this will help you qualify for more (and better paying) surveys.

That’s because companies are usually willing to pay a premium for people with certain experience, or who are part of a certain demographic. For example, a company may be looking specifically for stay-at-home moms. If you only provide the minimum required information and skip the section about your occupation, you wouldn’t be invited to take that survey.

Here’s another example: as a financial planner, I was targeted for a survey that paid $50 and only took 10 minutes.

RJ's Survey Invitation

The best way to maximize your earnings is to take as many of these targeted surveys as possible. To do that, it’s important to sign up for multiple sites.

Pro tip: It’s best to use a dedicated or secondary email address to sign up. You’ll still need access to the email, but this way your main inbox doesn’t get clogged up.

Best Survey Sites That Pay Cash

There are dozens of legitimate survey sites that you can use to make money online. On the other hand, there are a number of not-so-legit sites.

After a lot of research, we narrowed down our list of the best overall survey sites to six top survey providers — five of which pay in cash and are ranked below.

Swagbucks

#1. Swagbucks

How it works: Swagbucks is a favorite of mine, as well as a favorite of many The Ways To Wealth readers. Not only does Swagbucks offer a wide range of surveys that pay cash, but you can also earn points for the everyday things you do online, like searching, shopping, playing games and watching videos.

In total, Swagbucks has paid out over $400 million in rewards. Even if you’re not interested in doing surveys, it’s still easy to earn decent money on the platform with what you’re already doing online today.

In my in-depth review of Swagbucks, I detail everything you need to know to take full advantage of the program.

Payment method: Redeem points PayPal and Visa gift cards.

Sign-up bonus: $10 when you use the link below.

Sign up for Swagbucks.

#2. Survey Junkie

How it works: With over 5 million members, Survey Junkie is one of the largest survey sites around. It’s super-easy to sign up and get started earning extra cash; just complete a short background survey, and then you’ll be sent surveys via email.

Payment method: Points, which can be redeemed for cash via PayPal.

Sign-up bonus: N/A.

Sign up for Survey Junkie.

#3. Branded Surveys

How it works: Branded Surveys supplies well-known companies with real data from current and potential customers. As a survey taker, you’ll be required to verify your identity and then answer a few questions about your demographics and consumer habits.

Whereas some market research companies collect general data about your preferences and shopping behavior, Branded Surveys is focused of gathering more specific data about existing and in-development products (as discussed in the video below).

Payment method: Branded Pay points that are redeemable for cash via PayPal and virtual gift cards.

Sign-up bonus: N/A.

Sign up for Branded Surveys.

#4. InboxDollars

How it works: InboxDollars is another legit survey site that pays cash. Partner companies include H&R Block, Netflix, Target, Walmart and many others. In total, they’ve paid out nearly $60 million in rewards.

InboxDollars is similar to Swagbucks in that you have access to surveys that pay cash, but can also earn by watching videos and making purchases through their online shopping portal.

My InboxDollars review runs down everything you need to know about the service.

Payment method: Check, gift card, or Visa prepaid debit card.

Sign-up bonus: $5 bonus applied to your account after you sign up, complete your profile, and view a short video.

Sign up for InboxDollars.

Vindale Research

#5. Vindale Research

How it works: Vindale is one of the oldest, most well-known, and most highly-rated survey companies around (boasting an “A+” rating from the BBB and a great Trustpilot score of 4/5).

The only thing that keeps this site from ranking higher on my list is the minimum cash-out amount, which is $50. It can take a good amount of time and dedication to hit that mark.

Still, the company provides high-quality surveys with good payouts, which makes Vindale a great choice for users who plan on filling out surveys regularly but less attractive for those who are thinking about just dabbling.

Payment method: PayPal or a paper check.

Sign-up bonus: N/A.

Sign up for Vindale Research.

Other Survey Websites Worth Checking Out

The top survey sites above made our list because they have consistently high reviews across a wide variety of platforms. And if you’re looking to get started taking online surveys for money, those are the places I would begin.

However, there are many other survey sites that also pay cash. While they didn’t make the top of the list, that’s not to say they’re not worth trying.

Some might offer higher-paying surveys for a certain demographic or have a small number of bad reviews from the Better Business Bureau (while the majority of people have had a decent experience).

So, if you feel you’ve maximized your earning potential on the above sites, give these a try and see for yourself.

#6. VIP Voice

How it works: VIP Voice is a site that offers easy-to-complete surveys and one of the lowest disqualification rates online. That’s a huge benefit for users, because it means you’ll waste less time answering questions just to learn you’re not a match for the survey.

The site also offers a unique payout structure. After completing surveys, your account is credited with points which you can use to bid on everything from prepaid Visa cash cards to casserole dishes in an auction format. You can also use your points to enter sweepstakes, but I never recommend this as you’re highly unlikely to win.

Payment method: Points, which you can use to bid on various items.

Sign-up bonus: N/A.

Sign up for VIP Voice.

Lifepoints Panel

#7. LifePoints

How it works: LifePoints is the survey platform of a company called Lightspeed, which is owned by Kantar (one of the world’s largest market research and consumer data analytics firms).

The platform was formed as a merger of two of the company’s other products, MySurvey and Global Test Market, and gives users a variety of ways to earn points that can be redeemed for cash:

  • Taking surveys.
  • Keeping diaries, in which you record notes about certain behaviors (like shopping, eating, etc.).
  • Product testing, with items shipped to you via LifePoints free of charge.
  • EarnOnTheGo, which gives you points (and qualifies you for more surveys) for sharing your phone’s location data with the company.
  • Daily challenges, which are quick surveys that give you streak bonuses; the more you complete in a row, the more points you can earn. Daily challenges are also used as a pre-screening mechanism to qualify you for more surveys.

Points can be redeemed once you have 5,000, which equals about $5 in value.

Payment method: Gift cards or cash via PayPal.

Sign-up bonus: N/A.

Sign up for LifePoints.

Survey Savvy

#8. Survey Savvy

How it works: There are two ways to earn cash with Survey Savvy. The first is, as the name suggests, by completing surveys (which typically pay between $1 and $3 each).

However, you can also make passive income with Savvy Connect, which is a lightweight and unobtrusive mobile app that runs in the background on your computer and/or mobile devices, collecting anonymous data to send back to the company.

Savvy Connect users can earn $5 per month per device, just for keeping the app installed.

Payment method: Cash via paper check. The minimum cash-out amount is only $1, but it can take up to 12 weeks for credit to be applied to your account after completing a survey.

Sign-up bonus: N/A.

Sign up for Survey Savvy and Survey Connect.

Survey Club

#9. Survey Club

How it works: With Survey Club, you can take part in some of the highest-paying research, clinical trials and surveys available. There are often location-based opportunities (such as focus groups), and unlike some of the other companies on this list, Survey Club often gives you the chance to test products that researchers will physically mail to you free of charge.

However, the money making opportunities are somewhat limited in number, and the qualification criteria tends to be strict. Aside from that, Survey Club has one of the best user interfaces for finding high-paying surveys, as you can sort by estimated time to complete, as well as by payout.

Payment method: Redeem points for cash through PayPal.

Sign-up bonus: N/A.

Sign up for Survey Club.

#10. Ipsos i-Say

How it works: Ipsos i-Say is a consumer and market research platform that offers one of the best user interfaces and overall experiences around — especially if you’re using the app, which is available for both iOS and Android devices (see the screenshots below).

i-Say gives you the opportunity to earn cash by completing surveys as well as polls, which ask quick questions like “Which bagel is better?”

Ipsos i-Say

Here are some quick facts about the program:

  • You’ll earn points based on the length and complexity of the survey/poll.
  • Points are credited to your account within minutes.
  • The minimum cash-out threshold is 500 points.
  • You can redeem your points for Amazon gift cards, cash to your PayPal account, iTunes download credits, Starbucks eGifts, and many other options.
  • You can choose to receive an email or a push notification whenever a new survey or poll is available, which can help you get to them before their participant limit has been reached.

There’s also an annual loyalty program that gives you the opportunity to earn extra points for being an active member of the platform.

Number of surveys completed:Extra points earned:
525
1050
25100
50200
75250
100300
125400
150500
200600

Payment method: Cash via PayPal or free gift cards.

Sign-up bonus: N/A.

Sign up for Ipsos i-Say.

MyPoints

#11. MyPoints

How it works: MyPoints is another large survey site, owned by the same company that runs Swagbucks. Founded in 1996, they’ve paid out over $236 million in cash and rewards. You can earn points through surveys, as well as through a number of other activities like watching videos and playing games.

Payment method: Redeem your points for cash through PayPal, or for a variety of gift cards to major retailers.

Sign-up bonus: $5 Bonus after completing five surveys.

Sign up for MyPoints.

Toluna

How it works: With over 100,000 members, Toluna is another large and legit site that pays cash. The company works with some of the world’s biggest brands, including Coca-Cola, Kellogg’s and Sony Music.

One thing to note about Toluna is that points do expire 12 months after they’re earned, so be sure to cash them out as soon as you have enough.

Payment method: Redeem your points for cash through PayPal.

Sign-up bonus: N/A.

Sign up for Toluna.

#13. YouGov

How it works: YouGov is one of the world’s largest research companies, with over 5 million members around the globe.

The company provides market research and polling for major corporations, as well as political campaigns — particularly in the United Kingdom, where their polls are frequently cited in the media.

Most surveys take between five and 10 minutes, and earn you 1,000 points. For reference, 1,400 points is worth about $1.

Payment method: Redeem your points for cash through PayPal.

Sign-up bonus: 2,000 points.

Sign up for YouGov.

Pinecone Research

#14. Pinecone Research

How it works: Pinecone Research is owned and operated by Nielsen, the billion-dollar data and measurement company responsible for Nielsen TV Ratings.

With Pinecone, you earn $3 per survey, which typically take 15 to 20 minutes to complete.

The downside to Pinecone is that they often have strict demographic requirements, which means that you may not qualify depending on your age, education, race or other profile factors.

Payment method: Cash through PayPal.

Sign-up bonus: N/A.

Sign up for Pinecone Research.

#15. Opinion Outpost

How it works: Opinion Outpost sends survey opportunities to your email address at a fairly significant pace, but you won’t qualify for all of them — as with most other survey sites, you’ll have to answer a few pre-screening questions to make sure you fit the demographic profile the company is interested in learning about.

You can also log on to the website and view available surveys without having to sift through emails.

Payouts are on a points basis, with each point equating to 10 cents in value. The minimum cash-out is 50 points, or $5 in value.

Payment method: Cash via PayPal, or an Amazon/iTunes gift card.

Sign-up bonus: N/A.

Sign up for Opinion Outpost.

#16. Springboard America

How it works: Springboard America is a legit survey site owned by the data services company maru/blue, and it offers some of the best per-minute payouts in the online survey landscape (with some surveys paying $1 for just three or four minutes of your time).

The only reason Springboard didn’t rank higher on this list is because some users have reported a limited supply of available surveys, making it difficult to reach the $50 minimum cash-out threshold.

However, the availability of surveys depends on your demographics — so my recommendation is to join, make sure your profile is 100% complete, and then see if enough opportunities come your way to make it worth your while.

One thing to keep in mind is that while your points never expire, they are terminated if you’re inactive on the platform for five consecutive months.

Payment method: Prepaid Visa or Amazon gift card.

Sign-up bonus: N/A.

Sign up for Springboard America.

#17. Panda Research

How it works: Panda Research is a market data company that claims to have paid out over $2 million to date. Users complete surveys, which can take anywhere from 10 to 45 minutes each.

The sign-up and survey completion process are both easy and typical, but there are a few things you should be aware of before investing too much time on the platform:

  • The screening process is long and strict. Users often spend as much as 10 minutes answering background questions only to be disqualified from the survey. While it’s normal for this to occur once in a while in the online survey world, disqualification should happen quickly — ideally in one or two minutes.
  • You can’t cash out your full account balance. The minimum payment threshold is $50. However, Panda only makes payments in increments of $50. So if you have $75 in your account balance, you won’t be able to collect the full amount.
  • You have to wait 30 days after money is credited to your account to request it.
  • Some users have had trouble getting paid. People have reported problems getting properly credited for their completed surveys, and have said that Panda tends to be unresponsive in correcting the problem.
  • You have to call them to get paid. The minimum payout is $50, and once you hit that number you’re required to call the company to verify your cash-out request. Payments are supposed to be issued on the 1st and 15th of every month, but some users report that payments were never actually sent — even after calling the company as required.

Interestingly, Panda Research’s terms of service actually state that you might not get paid for your time:

NO PAYMENT GUARANTEE. PandaResearch does NOT guarantee that a member will receive credit for a completed survey and offer. PandaResearch will make reasonable efforts to track and report your signing up for offers but does not guarantee the precision of the process. We reserves the right to refuse the credit to members for offers for variety of reasons, including, but not limited to , Lack of appropriate information, Improper signup, Improper browser settings, Errors in third party reporting, and / or any other reason.

Payment method: Cash via PayPal.

Sign-up bonus: N/A.

Sign up for Panda Research.

Common Questions About Online Survey Sites

Are there any surveys that pay cash instantly?

Most survey sites have a minimum amount you need to earn before cashing out. Swagbucks has no minimum, although most redemption options start at $3. That means you may be able to earn enough points to request a gift card the same day you sign up.

Is taking online surveys for money safe?

We’ve carefully researched and vetted every survey site on this list to make sure there are no scams and no time-wasters.

In general, taking online surveys for money is a safe way to generate some extra cash, although you do need to be aware that you’re providing data on things like your internet usage, shopping habits and consumer preferences.

Most of the time, the data you provide is anonymized — meaning that it can’t be traced back to your real name or identity. However, sometimes market research companies sell your data to third-party advertising agencies, which use it to target ads to you based on the information you provide.

Do I need to pay taxes on the money I earn from online surveys?

Yes, the money you earn from online surveys is considered taxable income — although survey sites do not report your earnings to the IRS.

Summary – The Best Paid Survey Sites

You shouldn’t expect to make a killing by taking paid online surveys. Instead, you should view them as a way to make a little bit of extra money in your spare time — while you’re in line or when you’re stuck in a waiting room, for example.

In cases like these, online survey sites can be a decent way to monetize your time. And while the payouts aren’t huge, even a few dollars per month can add up in a savings account and help you start to build a more solid financial foundation.

But if you have a lot of extra time on your hands and need to make more money to reach your personal finance goals, you should look for a legitimate side hustle — many of which pay five or six figures per year and give you the flexibility to make your own schedule.

Recommended: 33 Legit Online Jobs That Pay $50,000+

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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2 Comments

  1. I don’t know if you guys get paid or not to promote some of the above mentioned survey sites. I’m here to tell you there was one out the whole bunch (Lifepoints ) that isn’t really time consuming. I don’t expect to make a living doing surveys but I would like a fair chance, of making some side money. You need to do more research if you really want to help consumers.

    1. Thank you for the feedback.

      You can learn more about the research behind the recommendations on this page: https://www.thewaystowealth.com/make-money/best-survey-sites/

      In a nutshell, we took TrustPilot, BBB, iOS and Google Play Ratings, payment methods, and minimum payout in mind when determining who to list. For some survey sites, we also get data on how many of the people who sign up, get at least one payout, which factors into the ranking as well.

      Sorry to hear about your struggles.

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