YouGov is an international research and analytics firm based in the United Kingdom. Boasting a panel of over 9 million members across six countries, this research organization claims to be one of the world’s largest research networks.
How does YouGov gather its research information? One way is by rewarding survey participants with points that can be redeemed for cash and gift cards.
Like every survey site that promises rewards for sharing opinions, we wanted to put YouGov to the test to see if it’s really worth your time.
We found that while the interface and usability of both the company’s app and website is pleasantly surprising, there are a few drawbacks that make YouGov better as a hobby than a serious source of side income.
YouGov: Our Take
YouGov is an accredited and fully legitimate organization that creates interesting and unique polls for users around the world.
With that said, the payout for cash is a steep number of points, and the cheapest gift card option could take well over a month to complete.
Still, the fairly low amount of time-per-survey relative to earnings equates to decent reward potential.
YouGov Review: Paid Survey Basics
With a company motto of “YouGov. Best panel – Best data – Best tools,” the company spans 40 consumer markets, such as financial, health, and electronics, while gathering data points on consumer attitudes and behaviors.
Without a doubt, YouGov is a large and well-known paid survey site. The company has been conducting polls for over 20 years, and its survey results are frequently referenced in mainstream media, giving it an air of validity right off the bat.
Whereas some paid survey sites may seem like scams and a Google search turns up little to no reliable information, YouGov is an accredited organization with a reliable polling history, including in the political sphere (hence its name).
In the past, anybody could sign up for YouGov and give their opinion or view poll results, but these opportunities were not paid. Recently, the company launched a paid survey platform.
Signing up took around 10 minutes in total. During that process, YouGov will ask you a number of screening questions for the purpose of identifying which surveys you’re best suited for.
These basic demographic questions include, but are not limited to:
- Date of birth
- Zip code
- Email address
After completing these screening questions, you’ll earn 500 YouGov points. While this may seem exciting, understand that 500 points is a mere drop in the bucket of what is required to cash-out — something we’ll touch on later.
Your account dashboard should then look like the picture below:
The first thing you’ll notice is that you now have access to your very first survey. A key difference between this YouGov survey and any future surveys you take is that this first one is meant to learn more about you to ensure you receive relevant surveys.
You’ll notice there are five tabs you can select: the main survey, daily questions, more questions, opinions, and rewards.
The main survey box at the top will only be there if you have a survey available. Otherwise, the daily questions box remains at the top.
After answering the daily questions, no points were added to our account. So it seems as if you can only earn redeemable points through main surveys.
Let’s dive into these sections a little deeper.
YouGov Earning Potential
As mentioned, there are different tabs that have different surveys. It warrants mentioning again that you can only earn points through the main surveys.
So let’s start there.
The main survey is the red box that will occasionally be at the top of your screen. Your first survey will be the one used to gauge what type of surveys you will be sent in the future.
Completing this first YouGov survey will earn you an additional 1,000 points, giving you 1,500 in total within 15 minutes of signing up on the platform.
After this survey, you’ll be emailed each time a new survey is available for you, rather than having a list of surveys you can scroll through in an attempt to see if you’re qualified.
Fortunately, this first survey is quite short as well, claiming to last around three minutes. In reality, it took closer to five to complete, making the estimate fairly close.
Given that we signed up under a U.S. account, questions surrounding U.S. political party affiliation were also requested. YouGov says that all answers are kept strictly confidential and only used for statistics, such as, “50% of people within California believe X.”
Other questions asked during this first survey included topics such as:
- Level of education
- Voter registration status
- Marital status
- Household size and income
- Employment status
At the end of each survey, YouGov requests that you rate the survey and add any comments you think would improve the process. We found this to be a nice touch compared to some other survey sites that don’t accept such feedback.
After filling out this survey, it took around eight hours before we were notified via email about a new survey being available.
Unlike the first survey, this second survey only granted 750 YouGov points upon completion, bringing our total up to 2,250 points in roughly a day.
Since then, surveys have been sent at a rate of about one every eight to 12 hours, meaning someone would be able to take around one to two per day.
After taking the second survey, we wanted to explore some of the other sections even though they don’t give points.
On a daily basis, the “Your daily questions” section will have live questions that you can answer. They last for most of the day, and you can see how your answer to each question compares to the other users of YouGov, as seen below:
Typically, there are three to five questions per day. While you don’t receive points for your answers, it is entertaining to see the percentages change as more people cast their opinions.
There is also the “Answer more questions” category, which features topics ranging from “Reality TV” to “Environmental Policy.” Unlike the above category, it doesn’t seem as if you can view your answer compared to others.
There is also a fascinating social media aspect to the YouGov platform known as “Opinions.”
In this section, anybody can post their opinion in what looks similar to a Tweet, and viewers can vote to strongly disagree, mildly disagree, mildly agree, or strongly degree.
Unless you’re interested in reading seemingly random opinions from users on the app or answering a couple questions each day for fun, the real appeal of this platform remains the paid surveys.
This leads us to the final part of the platform: “Rewards.”
Without further ado, the section you’ve been waiting for.
As mentioned above, it took us roughly a day to earn 2,250 points on our account.
At a rate of one to two 750-point surveys per day (seemingly the average), you could grow your points daily by 1,500.
So, what does that equate to in cash?
On YouGov, there are two options for payout: cash via bank transfer or gift cards.
Let’s look at how many points you’ll need to take it to the bank:
As you can see, 55,000 points are required to cash-out for a $50 bank transfer, and 100,000 points for a $100 transfer.
Assuming you were able to earn 1,500 points daily — a big assumption as we’ll touch on shortly — it would take you around 35 days of consistent usage to earn $50 (or 70 days for $100).
Our research suggests that the average survey takes around 10-15 minutes. This means you could earn up to $50 in around a month for under 30 minutes of work a day — a decent reward rate compared to other survey sites.
Still, we were curious to see if the minimum cash-out for gift cards was any quicker:
Other notable companies under the rewards section were Footlocker, Target, and Bed Bath & Beyond. However, the lowest payout option is the $15 Amazon gift card for 25,000 points.
Using the same logic as above, it would take the average person around 15 days to earn that prize.
Here’s the catch.
Our research was pulled from using the app for around half a week. What we had yet to discover, while some others did, was that there seems to be a limitation affecting a person’s ability to cash-out: survey consistency.
It seems that after using the app for some time, the amount of surveys offered drops to merely a couple per week.
This would make achieving even the minimum cash-out a process that could take months.
All of the above is a part of YouGov’s main polling platform, known as YouGov Panel. There is another invite-only platform called YouGov Pulse.
Those invited are from the YouGov Panel platform and are asked to download a special app that tracks browsing activity, app use, media players, and general device information.
In other words, it’s a passive income app.
This confidential information is given to YouGov clients who are interested in the research components. In return, users get extra points.
The amount of points you earn depends on the devices enrolled and where you live, but a user is told how much they can earn when signing up. Based on our research, it seems you can earn as much as 1,000 extra points per month, per enrolled device.
In our opinion, this platform is similar to the Nielsen Computer and Mobile Panel, which tracks the same information. Theoretically, you could combine YouGov Pulse and NCMP, as well as other passive income apps, to rack up points on multiple paid platforms.
Given that YouGov Pulse points and YouGov Panel points go towards the same account, Pulse is a great way to increase the earning potential of the overall YouGov platform.
But keep in mind that you need to be invited — a process that is randomly decided depending on where you’re located and the information you’ve provided YouGov.
YouGov Review: Final Thoughts
YouGov is a global polling platform and paid survey site known around the world for its authentic and meaningful polls. The YouGov Panel offers users interesting questions in an easy-to-use mobile or desktop format.
While the earning potential may be on the lower end in the long-run, our immediate findings, as well as the option to get invited to YouGov Pulse, earns the platform a solid rating.
You certainly won’t get rich quick on YouGov, but it is possible to earn points slowly.
We would recommend this platform for anyone genuinely interested in contemporary topics, a social media research feel, and those who don’t mind the fact that earning rewards may not be as fast as alternative platforms.