Can You Really Make Money Taking Online Surveys?

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    Can you really make money taking online surveys?

    Are you in need of some extra cash? Have you ever wondered — do paid surveys really work?

    Money is tight these days, and with all of life’s expenses, every penny counts. If you look online for the best ways to earn money fast, you’ll come across something called paid survey sites.

    In this article, we will go over if paid surveys really work, how much you can get paid, and some of the best survey sites to join.

    What is a Paid Survey?

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    A survey is a data collection tool used to gather information about individuals.  An online survey is the same thing, but because of their easy accessibility, they are the most commonly used of the two.

    Over the past couple of years, survey sites have become an increasingly popular way to make money – for both companies and consumers.

    Companies like to use online surveys to acquire a better understanding of people’s likes and dislikes. With this information, they can revise their products to reach their highest selling potential.

    Ultimately, your participation in these types of offers not only helps you out financially, but it gives the company the statistical information they need to enhance their products.

    How Do You Get Paid?

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    Now that I’ve discussed the basic outline of online survey sites, let’s talk money. You take a survey, and then you get paid. But what kind of compensation are we looking at here? How do paid surveys really work?

    Gift cards, checks, and cold cash via PayPal are the three primary ways in which survey sites pay. There are some websites that give you merchandise, but it isn’t as common.

    Normally you perform various tasks and then you earn points. Once you earn the minimum threshold of points required, you can request pay out where your points will turn into real tangible rewards.

    It doesn’t just stop at surveys. Almost every website that I’ve encountered has had more than one way to make money. From friend referrals to watching videos, playing games and trivia questions, I guarantee that the chances you’ll get bored are low.

    Do You Get Paid Every Time?

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    Surveys really pay and they are a great money making idea when used correctly. As such, you should know about disqualification and that it happens to all of us. It would be a lie if I were to say it didn’t happen. Luckily, if you find a legit survey site, this won’t be as much of an issue.

    Sometimes you have the convenience of earning a small compensation, despite the fact that you were disqualified. Some of my favorite survey sites have this special feature.

    For example, Swagbucks has users complete a profile first so that disqualifications during a survey are minimized.

    How Much Do Survey Survey Sites Pay?

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    With the right survey site, there’s potential to make a couple hundred per month with the highest paying survey sites.

    Will it be enough to quit your job? Not necessarily.  Most survey sites prove to function best as a way to make cash on the side as another stream of income. Even though you won’t be making a years-worth of income, there is still some definite earning potential.

    Joining More Than One Survey Site

    Joining more than one survey site is a great way to maximize your profit for a number of reasons.

    The primary reason is that you can be more selective on which surveys you take, generally opting for the higher paying surveys.

    I joined a few different survey sites to increase my survey intake and profit potential. My current favorites are below along with links to each one reviewed more in-depth:

    Top Companies to Check Out

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    While there are a lot of great paid survey sites out there, it can be tricky finding the one that best suits you. Listed below are our “top 6” survey sites that are above the rest.


    Currently one of the most prominent marketing and survey research companies, they are certainly a crowd favorite. Panelists absolutely love Swagbucks for their great setup, minimalist design, and timely customer service.

    They are completely free to join and once you sign up, there is a huge variety of things to do. Getting surveys and completing tasks are a few of the ways to earn “Swagbucks”, hence the name, which can equate to either cash or prizes.

    With the help of social media over the years, Swagbucks has skyrocketed to an entirely new level. In 2011, they were ranked #43 on Inc 500 fastest growing company list. Los Angeles Business Journal ranked them as the 3rd fastest growing company in LA.

    One of the best things about Swagbucks is their commitment to keeping members in the know. That is a pleasant contrast to many of the shadier survey companies that can take advantage of your information. With Swagbucks, they let you know exactly how it is, no sneaky sidesteps.

    Swagbucks has given us enough positive results to be a personal favorite, so I’d consider it one of the best survey sites out there.

    Earn around $50 to $1,000 per year
    $10 welcome bonus

    Swagbucks offers a variety of ways to earn money online. You can take surveys, play games, surf the web, watch videos and more to earn points towards gift cards or cash.

    Start Earning Swagbucks Review

    Survey Junkie

    Survey Junkie’s interface is super smooth and intuitive (unlike the majority of survey company websites that look like they were built in 1997), and members are paid in cash via Paypal.

    Oh, and Survey Junkie also has an 8.9/10 rating on TrustPilot — the highest of any online survey company. This is one is the more reputable survey companies out there and I use it often.

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    Survey Junkie

    Survey Junkie is one of the highest-paying survey sites available. Earn up to $3 per survey with one of the highest-paying survey sites on the web.

    Start Earning Survey Junkie Review

    Branded Surveys

    Join Branded Surveys and you can earn up to $3 per survey for sharing your opinion about new products and services you buy. Branded Surveys also offers an outstanding referral program and other ways to earn. Earn extra cash by evaluating products and services. Get up to $3 for each completed survey, product and service reviews.

    Branded Surveys compensates its members to test out products, services and give feedback on those tested. It’s free to sign up and only requires a small amount of information.


    MyPoints is another popular survey panel, best known for the opportunity to earn money through shopping or signing up for special offers. They are owned and operated by Prodege LLC, the same company who owns Swagbucks.

    MyPoints also has a great opportunity to take surveys for cash (other payout options include gift cards or travel points). I’m confident in recommending MyPoints because of their excellent reputation, legitimacy, and payout rates.

    If you’re looking for a trustworthy, reputable way to take surveys for money, I highly recommend adding MyPoints to your list. You can rest assured you’ll get paid for everything you earn.

    Vindale Research

    If you want to direct your full attention to surveys rather than other paid offers, Vindale might be for you. Unlike other survey sites that include different offers such as product trials or downloads, they strictly focus on surveys.

    Vindale is one of the largest online marketing firms to date. Since their entire company is dedicated to market research, their survey requirements are more specific than I’ve seen at other companies, but that translates into fair pay for your time.

    Because of the company’s reliability and solid privacy policy, I feel comfortable recommending Vindale.

    Do Paid Surveys Really Work?

    There are many pros to taking online surveys. They are easy, accessible, and you can earn rewards in the comfort of your own home.

    Survey taking is a process. It takes time to rack up a sizable amount of rewards. If you have the patience for it, online surveys can be a great way to earn some extra cash. It just requires time.

    For those that don’t see online surveys as a good fit but as the concept of working from home on your own time, there are a few options to do so.

    Now that you’ve read about the ins and outs of taking surveys online, as well as some of the best survey sites out there, you are probably trying to figure out if this is a good opportunity for you or not.

    The bottom line is that survey sites work best as a way to make money on the side, with emphasis on “the side“. While you won’t be making a year’s worth of income, you can still make good money, especially with the “Top 5” that we’ve mentioned above.

    Do paid surveys really work? Yes, they do.

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    About the author

    Brian Meiggs
    Brian Meiggs
    Brian Meiggs is a personal finance expert, and the founder of My Millennial Guide, a personal finance site helping you put more money in your pocket. He helps millennials follow the smart money in order to increase their earning potential and start building wealth for the future. He regularly writes about side hustles, investing, and general personal finance topics aimed to help anyone earn more, pay off debt, and reach financial freedom. He has been quoted as a top personal finance blogger in major publications including Yahoo! Finance, NASDAQ, Discover, MSN Money and more.



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