Taking surveys for money is one of the easiest ways to make extra money right now. You’re not going to get rich from surveys alone. Okay, in all honesty, you’re not going to pay your mortgage on surveys alone. But, it’s easy, easy money that you can make whenever you have a little extra time.
I took online surveys for money back in college, and it was a nice way to make some extra money. But I remember being overwhelmed with the number of survey companies out there. This article will help you sort through all of the options to give you only the best, most legit sites out there. You’ll learn how much they pay, how they pay, plus how to avoid scams.
9 best surveys for money in 2023
1. Survey Junkie
- Pays in points worth an average of $1-$3 per survey
- Pays in points that convert to cash via PayPal or bank transfer, and U.S. residents can also redeem points for gift cards
- Surveys average 15 minutes
- Must be 16 years or older and reside in the U.S., Canada, or Australia
- Survey Junkie lowered their minimum points redemption from 1,000 to 500 points, meaning you can cash out sooner
Sign up for Survey Junkie for free
Since they launched in 2005, Survey Junkie has become one of the most popular sites to take surveys for money.
Survey Junkie is 100% free for users, and the sign-up process takes around 5 minutes or less. Overall, the site is really straightforward. They pay in points that convert to cash, and 100 points = $1.
Surveys can take an average of 15 minutes to complete, and you’ll see how many points the survey pays before you start one.
Once you reach 500 points, you can start redeeming them for cash via PayPal or bank transfer, and U.S. users can redeem points for gift cards to Amazon, Groupon, iTunes, Sephora, Starbucks, Target, and Walmart.
Survey Junkie also has a web browser extension called SJ Pulse that you can download for more points. It collects information about your online activity, and you’ll need to keep it installed for at least 3 months to receive the payout. Don’t worry; neither Survey Junkie nor SJ Pulse collects sensitive data like birth dates, names, email addresses, credit card numbers, etc.
2. Branded Surveys
- Pays in points worth an average of $0.50 to $3 per survey
- Surveys average 10-20 minutes
- Pays via bank transfer, PayPal, check, or gift cards
- Must be 16 years old and a resident of the U.S., U.K., or Canada
Check out Branded Surveys today
Branded Surveys (formerly known as Mintvine) has been around since 2012 and has over 2 million users in the U.S. alone.
New users earn 50 points just for signing up, and you can start cashing out your points for cash or gift cards once you’ve earned 500 points. Each point is worth $0.01, so 500 points = $5.
What’s unique about taking surveys for money with Branded Surveys is that they also have a loyalty program where you can earn bonus points each week. The program has different tiers, and you move up based on the number of surveys you complete. Basically, you’re rewarded for spending more time on the platform.
You can also earn more on Branded Surveys by referring your friends, taking daily polls, and by trying to rank on the leaderboard.
- You can get paid to take surveys, shop online, watch videos, play games, browse the internet, and more
- Surveys pay in points worth an average of $0.40 to $2
- Swagbucks pays in points that convert to cash via PayPal, Visa gift cards, and e-gift cards to over 140 different retailers
- Must be at least 13 years old to sign up
Make extra money with Swagbucks
With Swagbucks, you can do much more than just get paid to take surveys. They were founded in 2008 and have created a full-blown rewards program that pays you in points 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.
It takes about 5 minutes to sign up for Swagbucks, and they pay in points called SB, with each SB point being worth $0.01. So, 100 SB = $1.
You can earn points from taking surveys, shopping online or in-person through their platform, watching videos, playing games, and more. Watching videos and playing games pay the least, but it’s worth knowing about all of the options.
Swagbucks has a really popular referral program that pays you 10% of the points your referral earns, and there’s no maximum limit.
- Surveys pay in points worth an average of $1 to $3
- Redemption minimums vary based on the cashout method you choose
- Pays via PayPal, Visa gift cards, and gift cards to over 80 different retailers and restaurants
- User must be at least 18 years old and reside in the U.S. or Canada
MyPoints is owned by Prodege, the same company that owns Swagbucks, so it’s no surprise that MyPoints offers more than just surveys for money. You can earn points for watching videos, playing games, shopping online, downloading a browser extension, and more.
This is one of the best survey sites because they pay points even when you disqualify midway through a survey. It’s only 5 points for disqualifications, with a maximum of 25 disqualification points per day, but it’s still nice to be paid for your time.
MyPoints also has a strong referral program that pays you whenever someone signs up and starts taking surveys through a unique MyPoints link they give you.
5. Pinecone Research
- Surveys pay in points worth an average of $3
- You need to earn at least $3 to cash out
- Pinecone Research pays via check, PayPal, or gift cards
- Must be at least 18 years old and live in the U.S., U.K., Canada, or Germany
Get paid to take surveys with Pinecone Research
I know for a fact that Pinecone Research has online surveys that pay well because I took surveys through this platform back when I was in college and trying to make extra money. That was a few years ago, but they’re still known as one of the best sites for paid surveys.
Pinecone Research was founded in 1998, and they’re owned and operated by The Nielsen Company, a highly reputable market research firm that has an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau.
You’ll make an average of $3 to $5 per survey, meaning Pinecone has some of the most high paying online surveys. You might not have as many survey opportunities, though, because their surveys are invite-only, and invites are based on the demographic data you provide in the unpaid profiles you need to fill out right after you sign up for the site.
6. Opinion Outpost
- Surveys pay in points worth $0.50 to $5 on average
- Must have a minimum balance of 50 points (equals $5) to start cashing out
- Pays in PayPal or gift cards
- Must be at least 17 and a U.S. resident
Sign up for Opinion Outpost today
Opinion Outpost has been in the business since 2005, and they’re owned by Dynata, a giant in global market research that’s been around since 1977.
The surveys on Opinion Outpost take an average of 15 minutes to complete and pay anywhere from 5 to 50 points each. You can also earn $1 for every friend you refer, up to $5. Referrals must complete at least one survey before you get paid.
Like Branded Surveys, Opinion Outpost has member tiers 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.
- Surveys pay in points worth an average of $1 to $3
- High cashout minimum of $25
- Must be at least 13 years old (under 18 requires parental consent) and live in the U.S. or U.K.
- Pays via Amazon gift cards, Visa debit card, or PayPal
OneOpinion launched in 2011 and is currently owned by Dynata - the same company that owns Opinion Outpost.
Overall, OneOpinion has some of the highest paid surveys on this list, but they run longer at 20 to 30 minutes each. Another major difference from other survey sites is that OneOpinion has a higher than average cashout minimum at 25,000 points or $25.
When you hit the 25,000 point minimum, you can redeem your points for e-giftcards, physical gift cards that are mailed to you, or PayPal cash.
8. Harris Poll Online
- Surveys pay in points worth an average of $0.50 to $1.25
- You can cash out once you hit $10 worth of points
- Pays in gift cards to Amazon, iTunes, Starbucks, Walmart, and more
- Open to residents of the Americas, Europe, and Asia
- Offers paid focus groups too
Make money with Harris Poll Online
Harris Poll Online is another survey site owned by market research giant Nielsen (Pinecone Research is also owned by that parent company), and its history dates back to 1963!
What’s unique about Harris Poll Online is that they also have paid focus groups. These take place over the phone, in online chat groups, in-person, or through the mail.
Harris Poll Online surveys range from 5 to 25 minutes long, and they only pay for surveys you complete. However, your name is put in the quarterly Harris Panel Sweepstakes for each disqualification, and the sweepstakes pays out $10,000.
9. Life Points
- New users earn 10 points for signing up
- Pays in points worth $0.50 to $1 per survey
- Open to users in over 40 different countries
- Pays via PayPal, gift cards, or as a donation to a charity of your choice
Founded in 2019 after a merger between MySurvey and Lightspeed, Life Points is one of the newer legit survey sites on this list.
Life Points surveys range from 10 to 20 minutes long, and they are invite-only — this means you’re more likely to qualify because Life Points is matching you with surveys based on demographic data you share with the site when you sign up.
The number of points you earn per survey varies on urgency and length, but they are clear on the points value for each survey before you start taking them.
How to watch out for survey scams
The unfortunate reality is that there are a lot of survey scams out there. Scammers generally prey on the elderly, people who need quick cash, and those who aren’t as technically savvy.
The survey sites listed above are all 100% legit, but if you have a question about another survey opportunity, here’s how to avoid a scam:
- Ignore anyone who promises you a big payout. Legit survey sites don’t pay very particularly well. You can realistically earn $0.50 to $5 per survey, with the very rare survey paying $10. So if you see an “opportunity” paying much more than that, it should raise a red flag.
- You don’t need to pay for surveys. All of the sites on this list are 100% free to sign up for, and there’s no reason you should pay for more or better survey opportunities.
- A site asks for your sensitive data. Run away from sites that ask for your social security number or credit card information. If you earn over $600 for a survey site over the course of a year, you may have to provide your Social Security number for tax purposes, but otherwise don’t give it out!
- The survey solicitation contains misspelled words, poor grammar, or bad word choices. This is a small one, but it’s a major red flag. Legit survey sites have teams of people they pay to make sure everything is properly edited.
If you’re ever unsure about whether a survey opportunity is a scam or not, do a little research. First, you can check the FTC’s website — which is currently warning about a vaccine survey scam. You can also contact the survey company the prompt claims to come from.
The FTC asks that you report any scams to help keep others safe in the future.
Tips for taking surveys for money
I know what you’re thinking… I know how to make money taking surveys. You just answer questions, right!?
That’s true, but I want to go over some best practices and tips that will help you make the most of your time taking surveys.
Tip 1: Sign up for multiple sites
You don’t need to sign up for every survey company on this list, but to sign up for more than one. You’ll have more opportunities to earn cash if you sign up for multiple sites, and that’s because different companies use different survey companies for market research.
Tip 2: Set up a dedicated email address for surveys
Your inbox will quickly become inundated with survey invites, especially if you sign up for multiple sites. You’ll stay organized and not get overwhelmed if you have an email address for surveys online. Just make a point to check it regularly so you don’t miss opportunities.
Tip 3: Install anti-malware software
Most survey sites send you offsite to complete surveys, and in case you’re sent somewhere spammy, having anti-malware or anti-virus software installed will protect you and your computer.
Tip 4: Be honest
Because surveys are looking for people who fit specific demographic data points, some try to game surveys to fit the target demographic. This is a no-no! Falsifying information about who you are can get you kicked off the site.
Tip 5: Understand that mid-survey disqualifications are a reality
It’s a bummer when it happens, but you will inevitably be disqualified from a survey after you’ve started taking it. Some sites, like Survey Junkie, still pay you a few points for disqualifications, but not all sites do.
Tip 6: Take occasional breaks
It’s better for your eyes and your brain if you take frequent breaks between surveys. Get up for a second and walk around your house, look out the window, or do something that doesn’t involve staring at a screen and answering questions.
Best surveys for money — the final word
I want to be very clear about something, while you can make extra money taking online surveys, they don’t pay as well for your time as other side hustles. Surveys can still be worth your time, though, because they are soooo easy.
You can sit on the sofa, watch TV, and make a few bucks. It’s like replacing the time you spend scrolling through social media with surveys that pay.
I highly recommend all the companies on this list, but my top picks are Survey Junkie, Swagbucks, and MyPoints. They’re all free to sign up for, so there’s no harm in trying multiple sites out.
Just watch out for any company that promises big payouts or wants your personal information!
There are 100% legit survey sites out there that will pay you real money for answering online surveys. You’re paid for providing valuable market research data used to create more effective ad campaigns and better products.
You will not make $350 for a single survey alone, and it can take months to make that much from multiple surveys. So if you see an ad promising $350 to take a survey, it’s either a scam or a multi-part survey that runs for several weeks.
Survey Junkie, Branded Surveys, Opinion Outpost, MyPoints, and Pinecone Research all have surveys that pay upwards of $3 or more. The average earnings for each of these sites is closer to $1-$3, but you will occasionally find surveys that pay more depending on the length and urgency.