Pinecone Research Review 2023 (Is It Worth It?)
Pinecone Research is a market research company where users can take paid online surveys and earn points that convert to cash. There’s a lot to like about Pinecone Research, like high-paying surveys and low minimum cashouts. But with downsides like restrictive membership and very few survey opportunities, you might be wondering if Pinecone Research is worth your time.
At a Glance
What we like
- High payouts
- Low minimum cashouts
- Very legitimate company
What Needs Work
- Restrictive membership
- Wait for surveys
- Limited survey opportunities
- Side hustlers
- Those looking for easy money
Ease of use
Disclaimer: This post may contain affiliate links. Please read our disclosure for more information.
Pinecone Research is one of the dozens of legitimate paid survey sites online, but poor online reviews might have you questioning whether it’s worth your time. Since I took paid surveys with Pinecone Research back in college, I know that they’re legit.
Now, are they worth your time? This Pinecone Research review will explore everything you need to know, from pay, signing up, and more.
What is Pinecone Research
Pinecone Research is one of the oldest and most trusted survey sites out there — they were founded in 1998 by marketing research giant Nielsen. I actually took paid surveys on this platform back when I was in college and making extra money.
Like other paid online survey sites, Pinecone Research conducts studies (this is what surveys are called on the platform) to discover what consumers think about different products and services. Companies pay Pinecone Research to run studies because they want valuable customer feedback, and that’s why they pay real people to participate in their surveys.
Most surveys are looking for feedback about how you interact with various products, and this could be information about how and when you buy something. They also want reviews about specific companies to get a better sense of public perception.
How does Pinecone Research work?
Pinecone Research is super simple and straightforward, but let’s break down each step of how it works:
Step 1: Sign Up for Pinecone Research
It’s 100% free to sign up for Pinecone Research. You should never have to pay for access to a survey site. If one asks you for payment, it could be a scam.
Step 2: Fill out a short questionnaire
Once you sign up, you’ll be asked to complete a short questionnaire that helps Pinecone Research match you with surveys. They will ask about demographic information, like ethnicity, household income, level of education, and so on.
They need this information because companies want reviews and feedback from customers who fit specific demographic data points. It also prevents people who work in specific industries from taking surveys related to those verticals. It makes sense, but it can limit your opportunities.
The good news is that companies are looking for different types of users for every survey. So if you don’t qualify for one, there’s a good chance you’ll qualify for one in the future.
Step 3: Start taking surveys
Pinecone Research will start matching you with surveys as soon as you finish filling out the questionnaires. The surveys are sent via email, and it can take a few days before one opens up.
Most users only qualify for 2-3 surveys per month, and the surveys range from 15 to 30 minutes long, depending on the level of participation required. Some surveys will ask you to click on responses that fit the question, while others will ask you to type out short answers.
One of the things I really liked about Pinecone Research was that there are very few late-state disqualifications, which is when you get disqualified for a survey midway through it. Pinecone Research has fewer than other sites because they request more demographic information upfront and only send you surveys you will be eligible for.
Step 4: Get Paid
Pinecone Research pays in points that convert to cash, and most surveys are worth $0.50-$3, and the range in pay is based on the length of the survey.
It generally takes 3-5 days after you complete a survey for your points to post to your account, and you can request a payment when you have $3 in your account. Theoretically, you could cash out after one $3 survey.
Until recently, Pinecone Research paid via PayPal, check, or gift cards, but they are now only paying via bank transfer.
How much does Pinecone Research pay?
Pinecone Research compensates you for every survey you complete, and you’re paid in points that convert to cash, which is a really common practice among survey sites. The surveys on Pinecone Research pay an average of $0.50 - $3 per survey, with the majority paying $3.
Get paid to share your feedback
Taking surveys on Pinecone Research is a mindlessly easy way to make extra money. You won’t get rich from surveys alone, but you can easily make money in your spare time.Join Pinecone Research
How does Pinecone Research pay?
Pinecone Research appears to only pay by bank transfer these days, and they use a third-party service called Wallet by Rewards on Demand to process the transfers. The good thing about bank transfers is that it’s good as cash, and money will hit your account in 3-5 business days.
You can redeem your points for a bank transfer as soon as you have $3 in your account. In theory, you could cash out after one high-paying survey.
Pinecone Research used to have multiple payment methods (PayPal, check, gift cards, and bank transfer). We haven’t discovered why they eliminated everything but bank transfers.
Because they pay via bank transfer, it’s worth mentioning that Pinecone Research does not keep your bank account information. The third-party site Wallet by Rewards on Demand will store that information on its secure servers.
Signing up for Pinecone Research
Pinecone Research only accepts new users when they have enough surveys to go around for everyone, so there may be times when they aren’t accepting new applicants.
If you go to apply and find that they aren’t accepting new applicants, set a reminder on your phone or calendar to try again in a month.
Pros and Cons
This wouldn’t be a quality Pinecone Research review if we didn’t give you an easy way to weigh up the pros and cons. Here are the benefits and disadvantages of Pinecone Research:
- High payouts. Most of the surveys offered on Pinecone Research pay in points that are worth $3. That’s higher than average compared to other popular online survey sites.
- Quick cashouts. You can cashout once you have $3 in your account, which is no big deal considering that most surveys are worth $3. This is also a considerably low minimum cash out compared to other survey platforms.
- Very legitimate company. Nielsen, the company that owns Pinecone Research, has been around since 1923, and they’ve become one of the most reputable market research companies in the U.S.
- Not always accepting new members. This is one of the biggest bummers about Pinecone Research: they don’t always accept new users. Overall, it’s a great company, but that’s only if you’re lucky enough to sign up.
- Wait for surveys. Pinecone Research sends surveys via email, so you’ll have to leave the site and wait for one to hit your inbox. Depending on the survey opportunities available, it could even take a few days before you receive an email.
- Limited survey opportunities. Most users only qualify for 1-4 surveys a month, which equals $3-$12 if they all end up being high-paying surveys.
Alternatives to Pinecone Research
There’s no shortage of paid survey sites out there, and this is really good news if you’re looking for alternative options. Here are my top recommendations for 2023:
Minimum cashout is 500 points (or $5)
Minimum cashout is 500 points (or $5)
Minimum cashout $10 for PayPal, $5 for Gift Cards
Minimum cashout $15
Get paid via PayPal, Bank Transfer, or Gift Card
Get paid via PayPal, Bank Transfer, Check, or Gift Card
Get paid via PayPal, Amazon Gift Card, or Visa Gift Card
Get paid via PayPal, Check, Visa Prepaid Card, or Gift Card
You can always sign up for multiple survey sites. Companies don’t all use the same ones, so there’s a good chance you’ll qualify for more surveys if you sign up for multiple platforms.
M$M tip: If you do sign up for a bunch of survey sites, we recommend setting up a new email address to do so or setting your inbox to filter your emails. The number of emails survey sites send out is pretty overwhelming, and this tip can help you minimize any stress.
The final word: Is Pinecone Research worth it?
Pinecone Research is one of many legitimate paid survey sites out there. They pay up to $3/survey and have a very low minimum redemption limit, and we like those two things. The biggest disappointment is that they’re not always accepting new members.
While you wait for a slot to open up at Pinecone Research, or if you want to explore your options, here are two other survey sites we recommend checking out:
- Survey Junkie pays in points that are worth $1-$3 per survey, and you can cash out as soon as you have $5 worth of points. Read our in-depth Survey Junkie review to learn more.
- Branded Surveys pays in points worth $0.50-$5 per survey, and you can cash out with gift cards, check, PayPal, or bank transfer once you have $5 worth of points in your account. Read our full Branded Surveys review to learn more.
Surveys don’t pay very well overall, so they may not be worth your time. If you’re looking for higher-paying options that make the most of your time, check out 40 Best Side Hustle Ideas for 2023.
Yes, Pinecone Research is owned by Nielsen, one of the oldest and most reputable marketing research firms in the U.S. Nielsen has been around since 1923! Unfortunately, Pinecone Research hasn’t received stellar reviews from the Better Business Bureau or Trustpilot users. The BBB has them rated with an F, and Trustpilot has them ranked at 2.1/5.0.
Pinecone Research surveys pay between $0.50 and $3, with most surveys paying closer to $3. You can expect to receive 1-4 surveys a month from Pinecone, which means you can make $0.50-$12 per month taking Pinecone Research surveys.
You can join Pinecone Research using my exclusive link, but be aware that they aren’t always accepting new members. Pinecone Research is more restrictive with its membership when you compare them to Survey Junkie or Branded Surveys, both legit paid survey sites.
Pinecone Research surveys take 15-30 minutes on average.
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Bobby Hoyt is a former band director who paid off $40,000 of student loan debt in 18 months on his teaching salary and then left his job to run Millennial Money Man full-time. He helps other Millennials earn more through side hustles, save more through budgeting tools and apps, and pay off debt. He is a personal finance expert who has been seen on Forbes, Reuters, MarketWatch, CNBC, International Business Times, Business Insider, US News, Yahoo Finance, and many other personal finance and entrepreneurship media outlets.