Taking surveys that pay cash instantly is a really appealing way to make extra money. Fast cash surveys are a productive substitute for playing games and obsessively checking your email. Anytime you’re about to pull out your phone and waste time, why not get paid to take a survey?
You’re not going to get rich taking surveys, but you can make a little extra cash to pay down debt, save for emergencies, or even invest for retirement.
Back when I was paying off my $40,000 student loan debt, I did everything I possibly could to make extra money, including getting paid to take surveys online.
Surveys that pay instantly – do they really exist?
In reality, “instant” doesn’t mean that the minute you take a survey, you’ll have cash in your hands. It can take several days or weeks for money to hit your bank account.
There are a couple of reasons that fast cash surveys don’t pay as instantly as they sometimes advertise. First of all, most survey sites pay in points that have to be redeemed as cash via PayPal, and it can take a couple of days to process your redemption. You can get paid in e-gift cards a little faster, but there’s another reason it’s still not instantly..
Most survey sites require that you reach a certain point or cash threshold before you can cash out. The amount depends on the site, but it can be anywhere from $5-$25.
So when you hear “surveys that pay instantly,” it’s not immediate cash. Don’t take that “instant” too literally. However, I followed strict criteria when choosing which survey sites to include on this list.
These survey sites have low minimum payouts – this will help you get paid faster. They also have a PayPal option. Waiting for a check in the mail… ain’t nobody got time for that.
Now that you know my criteria, let’s get to what you came for:
10 Surveys That Pay Cash Instantly in 2021
1. Survey Junkie
Survey Junkie is an incredibly well-known and reputable option, and it’s my top pick for survey sites.
It’s completely free to sign up for Survey Junkie, and the process takes about 5 minutes or less. The sign-up process includes filling out several questionnaires so Survey Junkie can match you with surveys.
You want to fill out as many questionnaires as possible, and Survey Junkie pays you 5-10 points just for filling these out. These help Survey Junkie match you with surveys, and the more surveys you’re matched with, the better your chances are to get paid instantly.
Survey Junkie pays you once you reach the minimum cashout amount of 500 points. You used to need to reach 1,000 points to cash out, but Survey Junkie lowered the amount so you can get paid faster.
Each point you earn on Survey Junkie is equivalent to $0.01. That means 500 points = $5, and the average survey pays in points that equal to $1 to $3. In terms of surveys that pay instantly, it’s not unrealistic to cash out once per week.
Survey Junkie pays cash via PayPal – this is the fastest way to get paid. Or you can redeem your points for gift cards to Amazon, Starbucks, Target, Sephora, Walmart, iTunes, and Groupon.
Getting paid with Survey Junkie:
MyPoints is another top pick because they have several different cashout options, and they have a super low minimum payout. If you remember, a low minimum redemption rate is part of the criteria for finding surveys that pay instantly.
Once your account hits 700 points, which is equivalent to about $5, you can redeem your points for gift cards or cash via PayPal. MyPoints says it can take 4-5 days for the money to hit your PayPal account. Gift cards are delivered electronically and generally take less time.
You can make money with more than just surveys on MyPoints. You can also make money back when you shop online, play games on the site, watch videos, and read emails. There’s also a MyPoints browser extension you can download for 100 points.
MyPoints also has a referral program that pays 25 points for each person who joins through your unique referral link.
Getting paid with MyPoints:
Swagbucks is owned by the same company that owns MyPoints, and similarly, there are more ways to make money on Swagbucks than just surveys.
But since we’re talking about surveys that pay cash instantly, let’s talk about Swagbucks surveys first.
Swagbucks has brand recognition surveys, advertising effectiveness surveys, product appeal surveys, surveys about services, and brand surveys. These surveys provide brands with valuable market research.
The way you’re paid with Swagbucks is in points that convert to cash or gift cards. Swagbucks calls their points SB, and 100 SB = $1. The average survey payout on Swagbucks is 40-200 points, which equals around $0.40-$2.
You’ll need 300 points in your Swagbucks account to cash out, which means you can get paid instantly after taking a couple of the higher-paying surveys.
What I personally appreciate about Swagbucks is how transparent they are about payouts and what you can expect to make. They have an entire page dedicated to explaining survey scams and debunking the idea that you can make a ton of money taking online surveys.
Swagbucks says you can expect the payout process to take anywhere from 1-5 business days. The range depends on how quickly the third-party company (like PayPal or whoever the gift card is from) can process your request.
Like MyPoints, you can earn more by using Swagbucks to watch videos, play games, shop online, and by referring your friends and family.
Getting paid with Swagbucks:
4. Pinecone Research
Pinecone Research also has surveys that pay instantly, considering that the average payout per survey is $0.50 to $3 per survey, and you only need to reach $3 to cash out your earnings.
I took surveys with Pinecone Research when I was in college and trying to make extra money. It’s completely free to sign up for this site, and you earn points for every survey you complete.
The way Pinecone Research works is that after you sign up, you’ll go through and fill out demographic information about yourself. That’s how Pinecone Research matches you with surveys.
Pinecone Research only sends you surveys that you’re qualified to take, so you are less likely to get a late-stage disqualification, which can often happen on sites like Survey Junkie.
The fastest way to make money with Pinecone Research is to have your balance transferred to PayPal, but you can also request a check or gift card.
Getting paid with Pinecone Research:
5. Branded Surveys
Branded Surveys was known as Mintvine until 2017. As far as surveys that pay instantly, Branded Surveys has one of the fastest processing times, even on PayPal payments.
This market research company also pays in points that convert to cash, and you need to hit 1,000 points in your Branded Survey account before you can cash out. 1,000 points = $10.
Once you hit 1,000 points, you can cash out via PayPal or gift cards from various retailers. Branded Survey says it only takes 1-2 days to process payments, which is practically instant pay when we’re talking about surveys.
Branded Surveys also has a payout option called Branded Pay, which is a bank transfer. They say it also takes 1-2 days to process, and it’s an option for U.S. residents only.
Getting paid with Branded Surveys:
InboxDollars is very straightforward about the amount of money you can make per survey — its surveys pay $0.50-$5 and take 3 to 25 minutes to complete. I like transparency when it comes to survey sites.
Like the rest of survey companies on this list, Inbox Dollars is free to sign up. You can also get paid to watch videos, play games, read emails, and earn cash back for shopping online.
Another thing I really like about InboxDollars is that they keep track of your earnings in cash, not points. I don’t mind seeing earnings in points, but it’s so much easier to understand how much more you’ve earned so far when you see the dollar amount.
The only real downside to InboxDollars is that it takes $30 to cash out, plus 2-3 days to process your payment. That’s on the high end, and I wouldn’t have included them if it weren’t for the fact that they are very transparent and show your earnings in dollars.
Think about it like this: you can still take surveys on InboxDollars, and know that you’ve got cash coming once you’ve hit that $30 threshold. In the meantime, you can make money on other survey sites.
Getting paid with InboxDollars:
7. Opinion Outpost
Opinion Outpost is owned by the company Dynata — they’re a big name in market research, and as a result Opinion Outpost is a very legitimate survey company.
The surveys on Opinion Outpost take an average of 15-20 minutes to complete, but if you are matched with a longer one, you can earn around $5 per survey.
Like many of these other surveys that pay cash instantly, Opinion Outpost pays in points that convert to cash. You can get paid faster depending on how you want to cash out.
It takes 100 points to reach the minimum cashout amount for PayPal, which equals about $10. Or, it’s $5 to cash your earnings out and have them transferred to a gift card.
After making a payout request, Opinion Outpost pays in 15 minutes to 48 hours. That’s pretty close to getting paid instantly for surveys.
Opinion Outpost also offers loyalty badges based on how active you are on the site. There are silver, gold, platinum, and diamond levels, and you can earn additional achievement points the higher up 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.
Getting paid with Opinion Outpost:
LifePoints is another survey site that pays in points that convert to cash. Each point is worth about $0.09, and when you have 550 points in your account, you can redeem them for a $5 gift card to Amazon.
You can redeem your points even faster if you want to donate them to UNICEF. It only takes 205 points to donate to UNICEF, which equals a $1.80 donation.
You can also redeem your LifePoints survey payout to PayPal, but you will need to earn 1,200 points to do so. That’s the equivalent of a $10 PayPal cash.
Even though it will take longer to earn that number of points, your points are worth more if you redeem them as PayPal cash. Each point converted to PayPal cash is worth $0.083 instead of $0.09 when converted to an Amazon gift card.
Most of the surveys on LifePoints 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.
Besides taking surveys that pay points, you can also earn points by completing online diaries. This involves recording your behaviors or habits related to a specific product or service.
Getting paid with LifePoints:
9. Ipsos i-Say
Ipsos is a market research company that was founded in 1975, and Ipsos i-Say is its online survey community. It’s similar to the rest of these surveys because it pays in points that you convert to cash.
What’s interesting is that you can also use your points to purchase items through its GCodes catalog. You redeem points for home goods, beauty items, sports equipment, and more. It would take a while to earn enough points to buy anything from the catalog, but it’s worth mentioning.
For surveys that pay instantly, Ipsos i-Say lets you redeem your points once your balance hits 500 points, or $5. You can get an instant payout for a $5 electronic Starbucks card or Facebook Game eCard.
Ipsos also does instant deliveries on Amazon gift cards, but you’ll need to hit 1,000 points for that. Target e-gift cards are instantly delivered, and it takes 1,500 points to qualify for one.
There are no instant PayPal payouts on Ipsos i-Say. Not only will you need 1,530 points before you can redeem for PayPal cash, but it also takes 1 to 3 weeks to process.
Ipsos does pay for screen outs, which is what they call disqualifications, or what happens if you’re taking a survey and you answer a question that screens you out of the survey. You earn 5 points for every screen out.
Besides online surveys, you can also make money on Ipsos i-Say with online focus groups, product testing, video surveys, diary surveys, and their refer-a-friend program.
Getting paid with Ipsos i-Say:
10. Harris Poll Online
Harris Poll Online is a paid survey company that’s owned and operated by Nielsen Media Research, which is a very legitimate company known for consumer engagement ratings for TV shows and networks.
The average length of a survey on Harris Poll can run anywhere from 5 to 25 minutes, and the longer the survey, the more it pays. You only get paid for surveys you complete, which is kind of a bummer, because disqualifications aren’t uncommon on survey sites. But Harris Poll will enter your name in its quarterly $10,000 drawing for every disqualification.
Harris Poll pays instantly in points that convert to cash, and you’ll need to collect 1,250 points to cash out via gift card. That’s equal to $10. Harris Poll is one of the only companies that doesn’t pay cash via PayPal.
Getting paid with Harris Poll Online:
The final word on instant pay surveys
Taking online surveys is a mindlessly easy way to make extra money, and my top picks again are Survey Junkie and Swagbucks. They’re upfront about how much you can make, have a low minimum payout option, and pay via PayPal.
Even though you’re not going to get rich taking surveys, I think there’s a time and place for taking online surveys, and they’re worth it for many people.
When I was paying off my $40,000 student loan debt in 18 months, I took surveys on a pretty regular basis. Any extra money I made went towards my debt payoff.
There is definitely a place for surveys for many people, so take them instead of scrolling through your Facebook feed or playing games on your phone. But also know that they are best paired with more profitable side hustles if you want to make any big financial moves.
The closest thing to cash that you’ll get is a bank transfer or PayPal. Branded Surveys is one of the only companies on this list that pays instantly in cash via bank transfers.
Most survey companies will pay via PayPal, which is pretty close to cash these days.
Some survey ads are going around the internet claiming that you can make $350 per survey. This is an actual real market research study, but it takes much more work than mindlessly filling out surveys on your phone.
The $350 survey includes phone calls, online bulletin boards, and in-person focus groups. The whole process runs for several hours throughout many weeks.
You need to sign up for as many survey sites as possible and take as many surveys as you can. The downside is that you’re starting to make a major time commitment, and there are better ways to make money if you are willing to put in that kind of time. No one gets rich taking surveys, and even if you could, it wouldn’t be a quick process.