Can you really make money with paid surveys?
To be honest, until last year, I thought all paid online survey companies are scammers.
But when I researched this business model, I realized I was wrong.
It is possible to make money by participating in online surveys.
In fact, out of all the different ways to make money online, filling online surveys is one of the easiest.
In this detailed article, I'll tell you exactly how paid surveys work, how you can get paid to take surveys online, the best survey companies you should sign up for, and several tips to help you maximize your earnings with paid online surveys.
Want to learn more?
What You'll Learn In This Article
- What are online surveys and why anyone would pay you to fill them
- How the online survey industry works
- The things you need to know before getting started with paid surveys
- 31 top paid survey sites where you can earn money quickly
- The pros & cons of making money with online surveys
- Proven tips to maximize your earnings from paid online surveys
Why Companies Pay You For Taking Online Surveys
Before anything else, let me ask you a question.
Why would anyone pay you for sharing your opinion in a survey?
What's in it for them?
I kept wondering about this until I understood the value of market research.
Organizations across the globe collectively spend billions of dollars every year on market research to identify customer needs, find market gaps, and introduce new products.
The insights they get from this investment allows them to stay ahead of their competition, retain their customer base, and expand market share.
It is a crucial part of their business and growth strategy.
According to The ESOMAR Global Market Research Report 2019, the global market research expenditure in 2018 exceeded $85 billion.
A major portion of that money is invested in gathering primary consumer data through online surveys.
A study by Statista found that 79% of researchers considered online surveys as the most reliable quantitative research method.
Looking at these stats, you can safely assume that companies spend a major portion of their market research budgets on funding online surveys and studies.
This is where you come in.
You might believe your opinion has no monetary value.
But the marketing insights researchers extract from online surveys are priceless for businesses of all sizes.
It gives them direction, helps them forecast the future, and devise strategies to stay ahead of their competitors.
This is why they pay you to share your opinion.
How Paid Online Surveys Work
Now that you understand why companies invest in paid online surveys, let's see how the whole process works.
Here's an infographic I created with Visme to help you understand the process easily.
First of all, keep in mind that almost all companies (especially the big ones) need data from online surveys to make informed decisions.
But most of them don't run surveys themselves.
Instead, they hire the services of leading market research firms who not only have the experience of running and managing online surveys but also know how to extract actionable insights from such studies.
They identify the target audience for different surveys, depending on their objectives and budgets, and develop the survey questions.
Next, they partner with different survey websites to roll out survey invitations to the people who match their ideal participant profile.
The invitations also include the details of how much the survey pays.
The applicants who're accepted for the survey are given access to the questionnaire that they need to fill out with all the required information.
Once they complete and submit the survey (in line with the guidelines) the survey site credits the fee to their accounts.
From your perspective, there are just 3 steps.
- Sign Up for a survey program
- Fill the relevant online surveys
- Get paid in the form of gift cards, coupons, and cash
It's that simple.
Online Surveys For Cash - Is It A Full-Time Income Source?
Can you make a living by filling out online surveys?
Does it pay enough to cover your bills, help you save money, and invest in your future?
You can't classify online surveys as a full-time income source because no matter how much time you spend doing them, they won't pay enough.
But that doesn't mean they're useless.
Consider the screenshot below.
Studies show that an average internet user spends around 6 hours and 42 minutes browsing the web every day.
99.99% of people spend that time on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, YouTube, news, gaming, and other random stuff that doesn't make them any money.
What if you could dedicate just 1 hour out of that time to filling online surveys?
Doing so can help you earn anywhere between $20-$300 per month from paid surveys.
That's not a lot of money but it's still more profitable than watching cat videos on YouTube.
While researching content for this article, I came across a Reddit thread on how much people make with online surveys.
There were some really interesting comments from people who regularly perform paid survey jobs.
Most of the people made between $20-$150 per month but there were a few who made $300-$500.
How did they make more than the others?
There are a few factors that can impact your earnings from paid surveys.
- The Time You Spend Filling Surveys
Filling surveys requires time. An average survey can take anywhere between 20-45 minutes to complete.
How much you earn from surveys depends a lot on how much time you can spare for it. It's not a full-time income source so you'll always be doing it on the sides.
Ideally, if you can spare at least a couple of hours every day, you can make decent money from it.
- Your Location
Your country and location play a big role in your earning potential from paid online surveys.
Although you will find survey jobs in all countries, there are generally more survey opportunities for people living in the US, UK, Australia, Canada, and some other European countries.
- Your Work Speed
If you have a slow internet connection that takes ages to load a website or if you get distracted easily and spend hours on Facebook instead of doing important work, you'll struggle to make a good side income from paid surveys.
You need to be fast to earn from surveys because you'll have limited time every day to do this.
The faster you work the more surveys you can fill and earn from.
- The Survey Sites You Sign Up For
There are hundreds of survey sites that offer different rates and payment terms for filling online surveys.
They have a definite impact on your earnings and the frequency with which you get survey opportunities.
To close this section, I'd say that you need to look at paid surveys as an additional income source that can give you easy cash every month that you can put into use any way you want.
It's not a full-time job or money-making method and does not have the potential to replace your day job.
But it's a really useful way to earn easy cash.
The Advantages Of Making Money With Paid Online Surveys
A quick search on Google Trends shows that there has been a consistent level of interest in paid online surveys over the years.
Look at this search trend for the last 5 years.
There are lots of reasons why making money with paid online surveys is so popular.
Let's look at some of them
1) Work On Your Own Schedule
Paid surveys give you the luxury of working whenever you want. It's not a full-time job and there no fixed hours.
It's completely up to you to dedicate any number of hours to this task and do it at your convenience.
However, surveys come with a deadline before which you need to complete and submit them.
2) No Special Skills Or Qualification Required
One of the things behind the universal appeal for paid surveys is that you don't need to be a rocket scientist to make money from them.
Anyone can sign up for paid survey jobs and start making money almost immediately.
Because most surveys are designed for the average consumer and companies are interested in getting their frank feedback on different topics to design their future course of action.
3) Quick Way To Make Money Online
Paid surveys are among the fastest ways to make money online.
There are no complex agreements or technicalities to getting started and you can get invitations to participate in surveys immediately after signing up.
As soon as you complete a survey, the payment is added to your account without any delays.
4) Wide Range Of Surveys In All Industries
It doesn't matter what industry you work in or what your past experiences are, you will get relevant survey opportunities because companies in all industries use market research.
However, the bigger industries like FMCG, retail, fashion, technology, medical, etc. usually have more opportunities as compared to the other sectors.
But there are still plenty of surveys for everyone.
5) Ability To Work With Multiple Companies
Another thing that attracts people to paid surveys is that you can work with dozens of survey sites at the same time.
There's no limit to how many accounts you can have with different survey companies.
This allows you to explore more opportunities and diversify your income so that you're not completely dependant on one source.
6) Get Paid For Your Opinion
Who doesn't like to share an opinion on important matters?
But what's better than getting paid for it?
If you open your Facebook timeline or Twitter feed, you'll find your friends and connections posting long paragraphs and voicing their opinions on different matters.
By signing up for paid surveys you can voice the same opinions for a fee.
7) Lucrative Gifts And Vouchers
Most survey sites offer multiple payment options to their users. One of the most popular options is payment via gift vouchers and discounts.
You can get coupons and vouchers for Walmart, Target, Amazon and many other popular retail and online shopping companies.
When added up, they can help you save a decent amount of money.
The Drawbacks Of Paid Surveys
Like everything, paid surveys also have some drawbacks and disadvantages as compared to the ways to make money online.
Let's quickly look at them.
1) Not A Long-Term Money Making Method
I've already mentioned that making money with paid online surveys is not a long-term career option.
At best, you can use it to generate quick money for some additional shopping or paying monthly school fees in some regions (or any other small expenses)
2) Opportunities Vary With Your Location
The frequency with which you get survey opportunities varies drastically depending on your location.
If you're not in the U.S, U.K, Canada, Australia, or in the EU, you'll get much fewer survey invites.
This is probably because the companies in these regions invest more in research.
3) Survey Rates Vary With Industries
All surveys are not equal.
You will find surveys in all industries but all of them offer different pay.
Surveys that require higher technical expertise or specific qualification usually pay much more than regular consumer surveys.
Similarly, the surveys that are longer or require additional information from the user are usually priced higher.
4) Consistent Work Required To Make Money
Filling online surveys is a labor-intensive job.
Filling one or two surveys here and there won't make you any significant money.
To earn a decent amount, you have to consistently work 1-3 hours every day filling surveys.
If you can't find that much time on a regular basis, you'll find it hard to make money with this method.
5) Data And Privacy Can Be Compromised
You have to be careful while filling paid surveys because many scammers and data thieves also use them to attract people.
Stay away from any surveys that ask for your bank account details, credit card numbers, or any other sensitive financial information.
Plus, only work with well-known survey companies otherwise there's always the risk of your information being sold online.
How To Get Started With Paid Online Surveys
Now that you know how paid surveys work and also understand their pros and cons, it's time to get started.
It doesn't take a lot of time to start getting survey invitations. But there are a few steps that you need to take before you start filling paid surveys.
In the list below, I've shared all the necessary steps in chronological order.
1) Analyze Your Strengths And Expertise
The first question to ask yourself is what kind of surveys can you fill.
To answer this, you need to analyze your knowledge, expertise, and general strengths and weaknesses.
What are the topics that you're most knowledgable about?
Do you have any hobbies or things you spend a lot of time doing?
What's your academic qualification and professional experience?
Are there any topics that people think you're an expert on?
Answering these questions will help you understand the kind of surveys you can answer.
For example, if you're a stay-at-home-mom and you have experience of raising children, you can easily target surveys from companies that manufacture baby products and accessories, infant diet plans, or any other products specifically for mothers.
But you might not be an ideal survey candidate for an automobile company.
Similarly, if you're a programmer, you can earn a lot more by filling technical surveys (sometimes as much as $200 per survey) as compared to a common person.
In short, knowing your strengths can help you target the right survey opportunities.
2) Set Realistic Financial Goals And Allocate Time
This part is crucial in determining your monthly income from paid surveys.
You need to determine how much time you can allocate to filling online surveys every month.
Can you do it daily?
If not, how many hours per week?
Whatever you decide, be realistic about it because it will have a direct impact on your earning potential.
Plan ahead and see if you can make space for 1-2 hours every day.
During this time, block off everything else - no social media, no random browsing, no news, and no family matters.
Just put your head down, be productive, and make the most of this time.
Without scheduling and planning ahead, you won't be able to fill surveys on a consistent basis.
3) Create A Separate Email For Surveys
This is another important thing before you start applying for paid surveys.
The survey sites you sign up for will send you a lot of emails about different opportunities.
By creating a dedicated email address only for your survey jobs, you'll be able to keep your main email inbox clean and at the same time ensure that you don't miss out on any survey opportunities because they can get mixed up with your regular emails.
Plus, there's always a risk that the survey sites you sign up for will share your email with other advertisers who will start bombarding you with spam.
When you have a separate email for survey jobs, you won't be bothered too much even if you get unsolicited emails.
4) Install An Anti Virus & Malware Tool
Don't start signing up for survey jobs without a trusted anti-virus and anti-malware software on your computer.
You should be careful in choosing the right survey sites but even then there's always a chance that a site might get hacked or isn't as well protected as you think.
If you sign up for such sites, your computer might get infected with viruses and malware.
To avoid all this trouble, simply download and install a reliable anti-virus program like AVG or Avast for free.
5) Sign Up For The Top Survey Sites In Your Region
You're finally ready to start signing-up with different paid online survey sites.
But do they support users from your country?
It's a difficult question to answer if you're outside the US, UK, EU, Canada or Australia.
Most of the leading survey sites support international users from different countries, but you still have to be sure that your region is supported by the site you're signing up for.
If there's any doubt, start with the survey sites in your region (a simple Google Search).
Otherwise, just go to the sign-up page of any survey site and you'll find out if they have your country in their list.
31 Best Survey Sites That Offer The Highest Paying Online Surveys
You're ready to sign up for paid survey opportunities.
In the list below, I've shared some of the most popular survey sites in the world and most of them support international users as well.
However, I encourage you to individually visit these sites, read their terms & conditions, and analyze the rewards they're offering for surveys.
In general, avoid any sites that either ask you to pay before accessing surveys or ask for sensitive financial information like bank account and credit card.
None of these sites do it as far as I know.
But don't put your guard down and study them closely before signing up.
SwagBucks is probably the most popular paid survey site in the world.
Other than surveys, it offers payments for online activities such as shopping online, watching videos, finding discounts, etc.
It has hundreds of thousands of registered users and has paid more than $400 million in rewards and cash payout over the years.
You can register with Swagbucks, fill surveys, and get paid via gift cards or cash to your PayPal account.
Toluna is another reliable and popular online survey site where you can get paid for sharing your opinion about different brands and topics.
It is trusted by companies like Amazon, Coca Cola, CBS, Lo'Real and many other leading organizations.
You can register as a survey participant and share your primary interests at the sign-up page.
The company will then send you relevant survey opportunities that you can use to earn points. The points can be redeemed for gift vouchers or cash.
With more than 2 million registered users, Survey Yeah is another popular survey site where you can make quick money from paid surveys.
The surveys on this site are 5 to 20 min long and you can earn anywhere between £0.5 to £4 for every completed survey.
LifePoints works with some of the world's biggest corporations and businesses to help them meet their market research needs.
It has a community of more than 5 million registered members who earn reward points for filling out relevant surveys.
Once you have enough reward points, you can redeem them for discounts, vouchers, and cash payments.
However, their services are limited to the US, UK, Canada, and a few other countries for now.
Survey Junkie is another top-rated survey company that has gained a lot of popularity in the last few years.
They have a community of 10 million+ members that actively participate in paid surveys in dozens of different industries.
Survey Junkie is known for its user-friendly interface and high-quality survey questionnaires.
Working with them, you won't have to worry about data security or any other such risks.
Opinion World is a paid survey site that has been around for a few years now.
They ask you for all your basic profile information like your academic qualification, demographic details, interests, hobbies, etc. at the sign-up page.
Based on this info they send you surveys that you can fill to earn rewards like gift cards and cash via Paypal.
Once you create a profile on Your Surveys, you'll start getting survey opportunities via email.
You need to be at least 13 years old to participate in their survey programs.
Plus, they have pre-qualifying surveys before the actual survey starts.
This means they'll evaluate whether you qualify for a survey or not before giving you access to the paid survey.
Ipsos is a world-class research company with a presence in more than 90 different countries.
Their survey program is quote well-organized and connected with billion-dollar brands in every region of the globe.
However, their sign-up process is more thorough as compared to the other survey companies and they individually review applicants and their profiles before approving them to access paid online surveys.
Inbox Dollars is among the biggest names in the paid survey industry and has been operational since 2000.
The most attractive thing about them is that their surveys are high quality and they pay you real cash.
When you sign up as a new member, you get $5 for free in your account.
However, their services are available in a limited number of countries and they'll only accept you in their program if you meet all their requirements.
iPoll is a unique survey program that is tailored to your online browsing and retail shopping habits.
When you sign up for this program, you need to install their mobile app that'll keep track of your browsing habits and the retail shops that you personally visit every day.
It will then send you surveys and questionnaires that are relevant to your habits so that you can share an informed opinion with them.
Panel Opinion offers around £0.50 for a ten-minute survey. Their surveys have pre-qualifying questions as well which means you'll have to answer them before you access the paid survey.
They also have a VIP draw for survey participants in which you can win $250.
However, their membership is open for people from the U.K, EU and a few other countries only.
This is the international survey program by Panel Opinion.
If you're crazy about perfumes, you'll love it.
Simply sign up for their survey program, answer their questions, and earn reward points that you can swap for different perfumes on their online store.
There are a number of ways you can earn with Hiving surveys.
First up, you can sign up as a survey participant and earn cash rewards via PayPal for every completed survey.
Secondly, you can make money by referring new survey participants to Hiving.
As a survey participant, you also qualify for their lottery program that pays up to €1000.
You can also get free products to test delivered right at your doorstep.
All this for sharing your opinions.
Panel Base is a survey company mostly for the consumers in the UK and EU.
They offer several types of surveys you can participate in, eg, online surveys, in-person focus groups, surveys via regular mail, and SMS surveys.
Their online surveys pay between £0.25 - £10.00 depending on the duration and the nature of the study.
Survey Club is another legitimate survey company, with over 15 million members around the world, that has been around since 2005.
They match your profiles with the relevant survey studies and reward you for completing the surveys.
However, most of their surveys have pre-qualifying questions which means it'll take longer to complete a survey.
MyPoints has more than 20 million registered users and it's considered as one of the top survey sites in the world.
The great thing about this site is the frequency with which you'll get survey opportunities.
They send out multiple survey invites every day in most industries including surveys that pay as much as $50.
PanelPlace is a marketplace where you can make money in a lot of different ways.
Filling online surveys is just one of them.
Like all the other companies, they ask you to fill their application form once with all the necessary details so that they can match you with the relevant survey studies.
With more than 7 million members and $30 million in reward payouts, ACOP is among the leading paid survey sites.
Other than paid surveys, they also give you the opportunity to make money with product testing jobs that are rewarded in the form of gift vouchers and discount coupons on your favorite retail outlets.
If you live in the U.S or Canada, QuickRewards is another survey site you can sign up for.
They have a pretty simple sign up process that asks you the usual details about your interests and habits.
After that, your profile is matched with the relevant surveys that you can fill to make quick money.
With hundreds of new surveys every day in industries ranging from automobile and aircraft to electronics and politics, Vindale Research is a great place to make money in a short time.
Their reward system is also pretty simple.
No points, no gift cards, no vouchers.
Just plain old cash deposited right into your PayPal account.
Nielsen is a multi-million dollar company and one of the biggest names in the global market research industry.
Their survey program is world-class and rewards experts and consumers for their opinions much more handsomely as compared to the other sites on this list.
However, getting accepted to their survey program is also harder as compared to the others I've mentioned in this article.
But it's still worth a try.
Survey Savvy pays you for your opinions.
But that's not all.
When you install their mobile app, you get free $5 in your account.
If you install their app to your computer and tablet device as well, you get $5 each for them.
Plus, you can make money by referring new survey participants to their program as well.
Pinecone Research is another trusted survey site that you can sign up for.
Their rewards include movie tickets, discount coupons, gift cards, cash backs on leading retail outlets, and plain cash payments via PayPal.
GrabPoints rewards you for watching online videos, completing different tasks, downloading apps, and filling online surveys.
Each activity helps you earn reward points that can be redeemed for cash or gift items.
To give you an idea, 3000 reward points are equal to $3.
QuickThoughts is a location-based money making app that helps you earn rewards for filling surveyed and reviewing local restaurants and retailers.
The app is available for both Android and iPhone. Once installed, it tracks your location and sends you personalized survey opportunities based on the shops or retailers you visit.
Prolific is a high-end research company trusted by some of the top universities and corporations in the world.
They pay at least $6.50 per hour to all survey participants.
But generally, the rates are higher than that.
However, their selection criterion is harder and it's not as easy to sign up with them.
Still, it's a good opportunity if you're living in the U.S or U.K.
If you're a computer engineer, a programmer, a tech business owner, or a marketer, you can make a to of money with Respondent surveys.
It's a high-end research company that offers participants as much as $700 per hour for just answering survey questions.
These are not regular surveys though.
Respondent surveys are often a part of detailed research studies that can go on for several days or weeks.
For anyone who qualifies for their program, it can be a great source of income.
Rewardia is available to users in the U.S, Australia, and New Zealand only.
It offers attractive rewards and cash payouts for filling surveys, playing games online, and watching videos.
Here's another research company with a huge variety of survey jobs.
No matter what niche you're interested in, you'll find relevant surveys with Pureprofile.
But their initial sign up questionnaire is a bit more detailed than other sites becuase they use it to match you with the relevant studies.
Really good site.
Voxpopme is different from the other sites on this list.
It's a video survey program that operates primarily through its mobile app.
Here's how it works.
You tell them everything about your self, your interests, hobbies, the brands you like, etc.
They send you tailored questions based on your shopping habits, your favorite brands, and your overall profile.
You have to respond to the questions by giving video feedback.
Every feedback results in reward points that can be spent online or enchased via PayPal
CitizenMe is another reputable research company that pays you for sharing your feedback and online browsing habits.
Here's how it works.
You need to install their Android or iPhone app after which they get access to your location and browsing habits. They also ask you a few questions at the time of sign up to create your profile.
It also uses different small quiz programs to understand your personality type and recommend brands and surveys based on your input.
After that, you're contacted regularly for different surveys and feedback about different brands you've used in the past.
7 Tips To Make Money With Paid Online Surveys
Before wrapping up, I want you to share a few small but important tips to help you get the most out of these survey sites and make more money with the time you spend on paid online surveys.
1) Never Pay To Access Surveys
First of all, remember that no legitimate survey site asks you to pay an upfront fee before giving access to paid surveys.
At least I haven't seen any such site.
So if any program asks you to pay before you actually earn anything, stay away from it.
2) Sign Up For As Many Survey Sites As Possible
To maximize your earning potential and get regular survey opportunities, sign up for as many survey sites as possible.
This would not only reduce your reliance on one site but also give you a chance to identify the best paying survey sites and devote more time to them.
3) Use Google Search To Find Industry Specific Survey Sites
The list of paid survey sites I've shared in this article is more than enough for your needs.
However, there's nothing wrong with finding more.
If you're a corporate professional or an expert in any industry, try searching for industry-specific survey jobs.
A simple search query like "paid survey for doctors" or "paid survey for teachers" etc. should do the trick.
4) Find Focus Groups And Private Survey Opportunities
Other than these sites, you can find location-specific focus groups or private survey opportunities in different Facebook and LinkedIn groups.
Try searching for them on these networks.
Plus, keep an eye on your industry publications and research companies since they also need survey participants on a regular basis.
5) Set Up Email Notifications For Survey Sites
I've already told you that you need to create a separate email for surveys.
But also don't forget to set up email notifications on your smartphone. Survey opportunities are sent via email to all the registered users who match their criteria.
If you don't apply immediately, someone else will grab the opportunity.
6) Use Auto-Fill To Submit Surveys Faster
I recommend using Google Chrome for filling all the surveys (you probably already have it).
Chrome has an auto-fill feature by default that will help you fill surveys faster by completing all the information quickly for you.
7) Avoid Disqualification To Save Time
You must've noticed that some of the sites in the list I shared have pre-qualifying questions that are used to determine whether you're the right candidate for a survey or not.
This can mean 5-10 additional min per survey before you even know if you can fill it.
If you're short on time, avoid such surveys if you're unsure about whether you'll make it or not.