As a teenager, I listened to the radio a lot. My favorite stations would often have contests in which a listener who called in at that right time with the right answer to some random question would win a prize.
I won a little money, tickets to a few shows and even a few small gadgets. They were never huge wins, but they were fun. I don’t dial in to radio contests anymore, but I’ve discovered something that could be just as fun and an easy way to earn a little extra money online: completing online surveys.
These sites allow you to take real paid surveys about all kinds of things — asking your opinions on everything from politics to brands to personal preferences — in exchange for points that can be redeemed for various rewards.
Not all of these sites are created equal, however. So, I set out to learn which survey sites were best for generating a little extra cash and put together a guide to help others. The follow sites caught my attention:
Swagbucks gives you what it calls “SB points” for taking surveys. You can also earn SB points for doing other online tasks, as we detail in “5 Ways to Score Free Gift Cards and Cash in 1 Place.”
The site boasts “lots of different kinds of online surveys,” such as:
- Advertising effectiveness surveys
- Brand recognition surveys
- Product appeal surveys
- Surveys about services
Swagbucks says you can expect to earn around 40 to 200 SB points as payout per survey, “with occasional opportunities with much higher earning potential.” Unlike other survey sites, Swagbucks will even give you a bonus if you don’t qualify to take a particular survey.
You can redeem SBs for various kinds of gift cards or cashed out via PayPal. One hundred SB points is worth $1, so check before filling out a survey to be sure it’s worth your time.
PointClub gives you points for answering surveys. The average survey is worth anywhere from 200 to 2,000 points. I found the site was really clear about how many points I would earn for any survey I chose to complete.
You also earn points just for signing up — there is currently a $5 signup bonus — and for providing certain information about yourself.
Points can be redeemed for gift cards or cashed out. Each point is worth $0.001 — so 1,000 points is worth $1. This probably won’t replace a full-time income, but it works well as a side-hustle.
3. VIP Voice
VIP Voice is part of the market research firm The NPD Group, which serves companies in an array of industries, from beauty and housewares to technology and video games.
At VIP Voice, the number of points you earn for taking surveys depends on your current reward level and the number of surveys you have completed.
Each point you earn is worth one entry into a sweepstakes or one bid in an auction. VIP Voice cites vacations, electronics and gift cards as examples of the types of prizes you stand to win this way. Unlike doing a fully paid survey, if you’re lucky you can earn a lot more.
4. Pinecone Research
SurveyPolice — a great website devoted to providing information about online surveys — named Pinecone Research the top online survey panel of 2017, recognizing it for “consistency” and having an “A+ reputation for years.”
Points that you earn from Pinecone Research can be redeemed for cash or for prizes that you “shop” for on Pinecone Research’s rewards site.
SurveyPolice named OneOpinion the top online survey panel of 2018, recognizing it for being “consistent” and having “good customer service.” In fact, OneOpinion lists a toll-free number on its home page and says the company can be reached “anytime.”
Points that you earn from OneOpinion can be redeemed for gift cards or cash.
Don’t expect to get rich
Since it’s not hard to get people to answer simple questions, most surveys don’t pay much. In addition, sometimes you’ll answer initial questions, then find you don’t qualify for that survey and won’t get paid.
Example: A company wants to know the purchasing habits of females between the ages of 25 and 40 who’ve never owned a dog. To screen for that audience, the survey asks a random group of people for their gender, age and whether they’ve owned a dog. But only respondents who fit the desired audience get to continue on and take the survey.
In short, the experience you have and the money you make will differ depending on who you are and what characteristics survey creators are looking for. To increase your chances to earn rewards from survey sites, sign up for multiple sites and treat it like work.