Photo by Andrey_Popov / Shutterstock.com
As a teenager, I used to listen to the radio a lot. My favorite stations would often have these contests in which — if you were the first caller, the tenth caller or even just the caller with the first right answer to some random question — you 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 recently discovered something that could be just as fun: online survey sites. These sites ask you to take surveys about all kinds of things — from politics to products to personal preferences — in exchange for either a chance to win a prize or to accumulate points toward gift cards from retailers.
Not all of these sites are created equal, however. Some don’t offer you much of a chance for a reward and ask for a whole lot of your time. So I set out to discover survey sites that were best for generating a little extra cash. Here’s what I found:
PointClub is a survey site that is really upfront about how its rewards work, so you know exactly what you’re getting. Here’s the deal: You earn points for doing surveys, and you can exchange those points for gift cards. The amount you earn will depend on how close a fit you are for the survey.
PointClub says that each of its points is worth $0.001 — so 1,000 points is $1.00. It also says the average survey “will earn you anywhere from 200 to more than 2,000 points, and you can redeem those points for a wide variety of gift cards to your favorite stores, restaurants and entertainment.”
One other thing I discovered in enrolling for PointClub was that I earned points just for signing up and entering my “pre-qualification” information — and that the site was really clear about how many points I would earn for any survey I chose to complete. Click here to register for PointClub.
Nielsen Digital Voice
If you’ve ever listened to news about TV ratings, you will have heard of the Nielsen ratings. Well, this is the web equivalent of that. For those who participate in its surveys, Nielsen Digital Voice promises a chance to enter a $10,000 monthly sweepstakes draw and says that it has more than 400 winners every month in this draw. I found that Digital Voice was easy to sign up for and asked relatively few qualifying questions.
It is probably the easiest of the sites to use because it’s actually just getting your permission to see what you do online rather than getting your opinion on what you see. Like its older TV equivalent, Nielsen wants to know what’s popular with you online — and provides software that will automatically keep track of that for you. What does it track? The company says its proprietary app “automatically collects information about computer and internet activity from the computer(s) you use to participate.”
Harris Poll Online (which is owned by Nielsen) is one of the country’s most well-established and venerable polling organizations — exploring opinion on everything from politics to marketing to careers. Some recent polls found that 3 in 5 adults would encourage their child to pursue a career as a video game designer or developer.
As well, a Harris Poll found that 8 in 10 Americans say that appearance is at least somewhat important when shopping for fresh produce. If you want to get in on the fun, take a Harris Poll. Harris offers its survey takers entry in a sweepstakes — and reward points can be exchanged for prizes. Check out Harris Poll Online registration page for more info.
VIP Voice just wants your thoughts on the products and services that you use — and says that if you share those thoughts with the site you’ll be treated like a VIP (hence the name). The rewards listed include opportunities to win vacations, electronics, gift cards and other prizes. Click here to see all of the VIP Voice rewards you can win.
Here come the Survey Police
Online surveys have become such big business that there are now sites dedicated to doing surveys of the survey sites — looking at which ones do the best job for those who use them. One such site is SurveyPolice.com, which provides research on more than 250 survey sites, user reviews as well as the results of the SurveyPolice Top Online Survey Panel Picks for 2017.
Here are the top three sites featured in the Survey Police list:
For the third time in the last three years, Pinecone Research won the top spot in the SurveyPolice list. In its summary of why Pinecone Research came first, SurveyPolice cited Pinecone Research’s ability to deliver surveys on cellphones, tablets and computers — and gave it high ratings for consistency.
In terms of the nuts and bolts, SurveyPolice reports that Pinecone Research has a standard payout of $3 per survey — and a lot of flexibility in how it pays people who take its surveys (options include PayPal, gift cards and merchandise). It also finds that most Pinecone Research surveys typically require less than 15 minutes to fill out.
SurveyPolice suggests that if you haven’t looked at OneOpinion in the last year, it’s time to take another look at OneOpinion’s newly redesigned website. When you do visit, take a look at the FAQs (frequently asked questions), which now make it pretty simple to understand how to use the site and earn “OneOpinion Points,” which can be cashed in (with payment either via PayPal or Visa prepaid cards).
At the 25,000 point mark, survey takers can begin claiming rewards on OneOpinion. That milestone is worth a $25 Visa prepaid card.
PaidViewpoint comes in at No. 3 in the SurveyPolice list and is notable for its ability to allow survey takers to start earning rewards more quickly. You only need to get your earned balance of survey rewards to the $15 mark before you are eligible to start redeeming the rewards.
SurveyPolice also lauds PaidViewpoint for getting money into the hands of survey takers more quickly. The site boasts a 72-hour processing time for rewards requests.
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. In order to screen for that audience, the survey asks a random group of people for their gender, age and whether they’ve owned a dog. Only those who fit the desired audience get to keep going and get paid for their efforts.
In short, the experience you’ll have and the money you’ll make are going to be different depending on who you are and what characteristics survey creators are looking for. To get the best chance of getting rewards from survey sites, sign up for all of them — it will improve your chances of being given surveys that are relevant to you.
Want to share your opinion about survey sites? Share with us in the comments below or on our Facebook page.
Disclosure: The information you read here is always objective. However, we sometimes receive compensation when you click links within our stories.