Let’s just get this out of the way: taking online surveys isn’t a very lucrative way to make money. But, the best survey sites will compensate you for spending your time answering survey questions.
Taking surveys for money is honestly one of the lowest stress ways to make extra cash – catch up on the newest Netflix show while making a few bucks. You won’t qualify for every single survey you try because each has specific demographic data it’s trying to meet, but there are lots of survey opportunities online.
You’re going to learn about 11 of the best survey websites, get tips to help you earn more, learn tips to avoid scams, and get answers to frequently asked questions about paid online surveys.
11 Best Survey Sites | Take Online Surveys for Money
1. Survey Junkie
Survey Junkie is one of the most well-known and best survey sites available in 2021. It’s 100% free to sign up for Survey Junkie, and the sign-up process only takes around 5 minutes.
Once you sign up for Survey Junkie, you’ll need to fill out several survey profiles about things like health, fitness, technology, and hobbies. Filling these out will help you get matched with the right surveys. You also earn 5-10 points for filling out the profiles.
New Survey Junkie users can cash out after earning 500 points. Previously, you needed 1,000 points to cash out. The points you earn on Survey Junkie can be converted to cash or gift cards, and one point = $0.01.
There’s also a web browser extension you can download to earn more points. You’ll need to keep it for at least 3 months to receive the payout, and it looks like what websites you visit, what ads you see, your online shopping activity, and the kind of content you engage with. It does not collect sensitive data like email addresses, credit card numbers, etc.
Survey Junkie quick facts:
- Average payout per survey: $1-$3
- Cashout/redemption minimum: 500 or $5
- How you’re paid: Cash via Paypal or gift cards to Amazon, Starbucks, Target, Sephora, Groupon, iTunes, and Walmart
Swagbucks offers more than just online surveys for money. You can also get paid for online and in-person shopping, watching videos, discovering offers (claiming offers for subscriptions, checking out web content, etc.), searching the web, playing games, and more.
You earn points that are called SB (for Swagbucks), and each SB is worth $0.01. You can redeem your points via PayPal or Visa gift card. Or you can convert them to an e-gift card for more than 140 different companies, including Amazon, Walmart, Target, and more.
Swagbucks also has a solid referral program that helps you earn more points. Every user gets a unique referral link to share with friends and family, and here’s how you earn points with it:
- When your referral sign-ups and earns their first 300 SB, you both get an additional 300 SB
- You earn 10% of their SB earnings for as long as they are using their account
- Earn an additional 100 SB if they add the SwagButton extension
Swagbucks quick facts:
- Average payout per survey: $0.40-$2
- Cashout/redemption minimum: $3-$5 for gift cards (depends on the company) or $25 for PayPal
- How you’re paid: PayPal, Visa gift cards, or e-gift cards to more than 140 different retailers
Learn more in my full Swagbucks review.
MyPoints is owned by Prodege, the same company that owns Swagbucks, so there are some pretty big similarities between these two top survey sites.
It’s free to sign up for MyPoints – new users receive a welcome bonus – and you can get paid to take surveys, shop online, download the MyPoints browser extension, read emails, watch videos, play games, and more.
There’s also a strong referral program that pays you points when friends or family sign up through your unique MyPoints link. You can earn extra points when they take surveys for money too.
MyPoints also pays in points, and 150 points are worth approximately $1.
MyPoints quick facts:
- Average payout per survey: $1-$3
- Cashout/redemption minimum: Depends on the cash out method – it’s 250 points to earn a $1 Amazon gift card, 1,500 points for a $10 Visa gift card, and 3,970 points for a $25 PayPal deposit
- How you’re paid: PayPal, Visa gift card, and gift cards for more than 80 different retailers and restaurants
Learn more in my complete MyPoints review.
One of the reasons that InboxDollars is one of the best survey sites is because they’re straightforward with the amount of money you can make – before you even sign up to start taking surveys.
InboxDollars says its surveys pay $0.50-$5 and take 3 to 25 minutes to complete. It’s free to sign up for this online survey site, and you see your earnings in dollars, not points.
You can also get paid to watch videos, play games, read emails, and earn cash back for shopping online.
InboxDollars quick facts:
- Average payout per survey: $0.50-$5
- Cashout/redemption minimum: $30
- How you’re paid: Check, PayPal, or gift cards
5. Pinecone Research
I know Pinecone Research is one of the best survey sites available because I used it to take online surveys when I was in college and trying to make extra money. Pinecone Research is owned by Nielsen Holdings, which is a really well-known company for consumer engagement ratings for TV shows and networks.
Pinecone Research is 100% free to sign up for, and you earn points for every survey you complete.
The paid surveys on Pinecone Research are invite-only, which means you’ll have to fit their demographic profiles to be chosen, but it means you’re less likely to get a late-stage disqualification.
Pinecone Research quick facts:
- Average payout per survey: $3
- Cashout/redemption minimum: $3
- How you’re paid: Check, PayPal, or gift cards (Visa, Amazon, Walmart, Starbucks, iTunes, and more)
6. Life Points
Life Points was founded in 2019 after the market research companies MySurvey and Lightspeed merged.
Most of the surveys on this site are around 10 minutes long – this is a little shorter than some of the other survey websites. Short surveys typically pay less, but most of the surveys on Life Points are easier to qualify for.
On this site, you earn points that can be converted to cash. Besides taking surveys, you can also earn points by completing online diaries. This involves recording your behaviors or habits related to a specific product or service
Life Points quick facts:
- Average payout per survey: $0.50-$1
- Cashout/redemption minimum: $20
- How you’re paid: PayPal, gift cards (Amazon, Starbucks, iTunes, and more), or donation to a charity of your choice
7. Vindale Research
Vindale Research has already paid almost $8 million to members. This survey website pays in cash via PayPal, not points that need to be redeemed for cash or gift cards.
There are additional ways to make money on this site, including getting paid to watch videos and a strong referral program.
The only downside with this survey company is that you need to earn $50 before you can cash out.
Vindale Research quick facts:
- Average payout per survey: $0.50-$5
- Cashout/redemption minimum: $50
- How you’re paid: PayPal
OneOpinion has a simple and quick sign-up process, and they email you with surveys you might qualify for up. You’ll see what the topic of the survey is, how many points you can earn, and how much time it takes to complete.
You’re paid the full points value only for surveys you complete, but you can earn partial points for completing qualifying questions.
OneOpinion values 1,000 points to $1. The surveys pay a little higher generally, but they can easily run 20-30 minutes or longer.
OneOpinion quick facts:
- Average payout per survey: $1-$5
- Cashout/redemption minimum: 25,000 points or $25
- How you’re paid: Amazon gift cards sent via UPS, virtual Visa debit cards, or PayPal
9. Opinion Outpost
Opinion Outpost is owned by the same company, Dynata, that owns OneOpinion. It’s completely free to sign up, and there are occasionally product testing opportunities as well.
The paid surveys from this company typically take 10-15 minutes to complete, which is on the shorter end, but longer surveys do pay pretty well – around $5.
Opinion Outpost also offers loyalty badges based on how active you are on the site. There’s a silver, gold, platinum, and diamond level, and you can earn additional achievement points the higher you go.
There’s also a referral program that pays $1 for every friend you refer, up to $5. They’ll need to complete at least one survey before you can get paid.
Opinion Outpost quick facts:
- Average payout per survey: $0.50 - $5
- Cashout/redemption minimum: 100 points/$10 for PayPal or 50 points/$5 for gift cards
- How you’re paid: Paypal or gift cards (Amazon, HomeDepot, iTunes, and more)
10. Harris Poll Online
Harris Poll Online is another survey website owned and operated by Nielsen, so you know it’s legit.
You can get paid to take surveys that run 5-25 minutes long. You only get paid for the surveys you complete, but you are entered in the Harris Panel Sweepstakes – a quarterly drawing to earn $10,000 – for any disqualifications.
Harris Poll has extra opportunities to earn money with focus groups and telephone-based surveys.
You’re paid with points that convert to gift cards, and each point is worth a little less than $0.01.
Harris Poll quick facts:
- Average payout per survey: 75 to 150 points ($0.50-$1.25)
- Cashout/redemption minimum: $10
- How you’re paid: gift cards to Amazon, iTunes, Starbucks, Walmart, ESPN, and more
11. Ipsos i-Say
Ipsos is a market research company that was founded in 1975, and i-Say is its online survey community. The sign-up process is quick and easy, and you earn points that can be converted to cash via PayPal or gift cards.
Besides online surveys, you can also make money with online focus groups, product testing, video surveys, diary surveys, and the refer-a-friend program.
Ipsos i-Say quick facts:
- Average payout per survey: $0.10-$1
- Cashout/redemption minimum: 500 points
- How you’re paid: PayPal, gift cards, prepaid debit cards, movie vouchers, Google Play credit, iTunes, sweepstakes entries, and donations to charity
Tips for the best survey sites
Don’t try to come up with what you think the target demographic is for the survey. There’s no way you can tell who they’re looking for, and if you falsify your information, they may kick you off the site.
Create a dedicated email address for taking surveys
You’ll get lots of emails from each survey site you join, and it can get pretty overwhelming and clutter your inbox.
Install anti-malware software
Many of these survey sites send you to a third-party site to take the survey. Just in case one of them is spammy, having anti-malware software will keep your computer and data safe.
Sign up for multiple sites
Most survey websites have limited survey opportunities – the surveys are only open for a certain number of days or take a set number of people. Signing up for more sites can open more opportunities.
Watch out for scams
All of the survey websites on this list are 100% legit companies, but there are definitely some scammy sites out there. Below are a few red flags to watch out for:
- The promise of a major payout. None of the sites above pay a ton, and that’s a sign of a legitimate company. Sites that say you can earn $100 taking one survey are probably too good to be true.
- There’s no “About” page. Some of these survey websites have antiquated looking home pages, but they all provide basic company info. You should be able to find out who the company is and how to contact them.
- They ask for sensitive data. Your Social Security number, bank account info, credit card numbers – you shouldn’t give that out to any of these sites, ever. Doing so puts you at risk for identity theft.
The final word on the best survey sites of 2021
Taking online surveys is an easy and mindless way to earn extra money. The commitment is low and pretty much anyone can do it.
Again, you’re not going to get rich taking online surveys, but it’s a little extra money that you can put towards paying off debt, investing, your vacation fund, etc. Every little bit counts!
While there are good opportunities with all of these sites, Survey Junkie is my top pick. They regularly list new surveys and the average survey payout is $1-$3. Survey Junkie also has one of the lowest minimum points/cash redemption rates so you can cash out sooner.
You’re not going to get rich taking online surveys, not even from the best survey sites on this list.
You’ll average around $0.25-$5 per survey, and you can realistically expect to make $20-$50/month, especially if you sign up for multiple sites. Not a ton of money, but it’s a decent little chunk.
If you’re looking for better-paying side hustles, check out 40 Best 2020 Side Hustle Ideas (Make $1,000+ Per Month).
Survey sites do market research for companies that want to know what consumers think about their products and services. Companies can use that information to come up with more targeted marketing campaigns, create better-tailored products, etc. Because this is such valuable information, they offer surveys for money.
Most companies are looking for consumers that fit specific demographics, and this is why you can suddenly become disqualified – you no longer match the target market.
For example, I remember being disqualified for a survey after they asked about my preferred allergy medication. Zyrtec must not have been one they were interested in.
Being disqualified or screened out of a survey makes you no longer eligible for the survey, and it happens when you’re no longer a good fit for the survey.
You’ll spend a lot answering questions that seem random or irrelevant, but these questions ensure that you are in the demographic the company wants to know more about – you’re the target customer. Something simple like not owning a dog or buying the wrong allergy medication can be the breaking point.
Everyone will be disqualified at some point, but you stand the best chance if you fill out survey profiles. These help companies match you with the right surveys, meaning you’re more likely to qualify.
It depends on the market research company and what the survey is about. They typically last anywhere from 5-50 minutes, and the longer ones generally pay more.
There’s a survey opportunity going around that promises a payout of $350, but it’s not just a simple survey. It includes a phone call, online bulletin boards, and in-person focus groups. The whole process runs several hours for a few weeks. That’s a lot of time and a major commitment.
You can take surveys for money while vegging out and watching Netflix, not many side hustles require as little mental energy. So while they don’t pay well compared to some of the best side hustles, it’s not bad pay for the work you’re doing.