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Over the years, people have discovered a not-so-secret way to earn gift cards, free movie tickets, and even cold hard cash, all from their laptop or mobile device. How? By completing surveys online. These surveys range from a few questions to lengthy questionnaires, and you're rewarded by making money from home or on-the-go.
Now, taking paid surveys is not going to make you an overnight millionaire - but it's not impossible to bring in an extra $100 to even $1000 each month if you sign up for the right services. In the past, the only way to find these paid surveys was through membership providers who scoured the web for opportunities to pass along to their paid subscribers.
Sunday, January 23rd
Vindale Research wants you to know they're serious about helping you earn money through Paid Surveys: they'll give you a $1 bonus just for signing up for a free account. In business since 2005, this company is looking for survey-takers in the US, UK, Australia and Brazil, and has paid more than $5 million to its members. Some of the companies that have partnered with Vindale include Netflix, Amazon, and Disney - so this is definitely a site to consider if you're interested in providing your opinions to top companies.
Vindale rewards its members with good old-fashioned cash. You'll have to earn at least $50 to request payment, either via paper check (US residents only) or PayPal, and payments are issued on a bi-weekly basis. By the way - as with any contractor or paid survey position, you'll have to fill out a W9 tax form if you earn $600 or more from Vindale in a calendar year.
Vindale Research offers many ways to earn that money:
You'll need to create a free account to get started with Vindale. Although you can stop at filling out just your most basic information, you'll be invited to more surveys if your member profile is as complete as possible. Vindale posts hundreds of new surveys each day, and they use the information you provide to match you with the surveys you're most likely to be eligible for.
If you'd like a preview of the kinds of surveys Vindale offers before you create an account, check out the Survey Examples link at the top of the site. We love how upfront the company is: you can see that not all surveys pay the same for your time, how many Vindale members tried each survey, and what some of the topics have been. You'll see right away that some surveys pay as little as $1.50 even though it may take 20 minutes to complete, while others might pay $11 for 6 minutes of your time (check out that $110/hour effective pay rate!).
Vindale also has a solid reputation, established by thousands of 3-, 4-, and 5-star reviews from satisfied users of their Paid Surveys program. Their parent company, iGain LLC, has an "A" rating and accreditation with the Better Business Bureau as well.
If you prefer surveys that strictly reward you with cash, Vindale Research is an excellent choice. Their excellent track record, wide range of paid surveys and other ways to earn money, and easy-to-use website make this company the logical top choice among the providers in our review.
Survey Junkie focuses strictly on paid surveys. You won't have to shop through an online portal, scour the internet for "extra point opportunities", or have your inbox filled with spam to earn points with this provider. Registering for an account is free and easy: just enter your email, zip code, birth date, gender, name and password and you're ready to go.
Because Survey Junkie is nothing but surveys, their interface is much cleaner and simpler to navigate than many sources of paid surveys. You'll have no problem finding all of the possibilities available to you. Every survey will require you to qualify, and compared with other sites in our review, Survey Junkie seems to have a higher rate of success for most members. In other words, where some sites may disqualify you after just clicking on the link (they fill up quickly with other users), this company is more likely to disqualify you only if you don't meet the demographic they need (such as, maybe you don't shop at a particular grocery store, or your Netflix habits aren't a match).
You'll need to earn 1,000 points - equivalent to $10 - in order to redeem them. Redemption options include cash via PayPal, e-Gift cards, and direct bank transfers. Users say that payments come quickly, but sometimes they've had issues with getting the first payment/redemption set up properly. Be ready to contact Survey Junkie's customer service if you encounter any challenges; it may take some time, but the customer team seems to do a decent job of getting things resolved - and getting you paid! Almost 90% of Survey Junkie users give it a rating of "great" or "excellent": pretty impressive for a membership base of over 10 million people.
For all of these reasons, Survey Junkie is a great source of paid surveys, especially if you don't want to wade through "extras" like online shopping to earn points.
Swagbucks is a popular rewards program that offers gift cards and cash payments through PayPal in exchange for filling out surveys, making purchases through their online portal, and more. More than $300 million in rewards has been paid out by Swagbucks over the years, so you know that there's an opportunity to make money with this partner.
You might see a promo offering a $10 bonus for signing up for Swagbucks. Just be sure to read the fine print: at the time of our review, that bonus required new users to make a minimum purchase of $25 through a Swagbucks-featured store within 30 days of signing up. If you're looking for high earnings just from doing paid surveys, you might wind up frustrated with Swagbucks.
Swagbucks is owned by Prodege, which also owns another paid survey company we evaluated, MyPoints. Both companies connect consumers with businesses, rewarding members for offering insights into the brand and driving loyalty to those businesses. So, don't be surprised if you join both panels and see similarities.
One of those similarities is a higher-than-average chance that you won't qualify for lots of surveys. It seems strange that you can be sent an invitation to take a survey and then be disqualified right after clicking the link for it, but users say that's a regular thing.
The other ways of making money besides paid surveys - online shopping, making in-game purchases or playing free Swagbucks games, watching videos - are also very similar to what you'll see on MyPoints, so you might want to choose one or the other.
Swagbucks has a lot of regular users, and their overall customer satisfaction is higher than MyPoints (and some of the other sources of paid surveys we considered). More than 80% of their panel members give Swagbucks 4- or 5-star ratings out of 5, and the happiest users are those who don't have sky-high expectations of what they'll make. You'll have to spend time and/or money to earn points - which is fine if you know in advance that some opportunities come with a cost attached.
MyPoints is one of the longest-running Paid Surveys companies online, having started in 1996. They offer numerous ways to earn points that can be exchanged for cash via PayPal, gift cards, and even travel miles.
Some of point-earning opportunities include:
If you're curious about how any of these earning opportunities works, you can click on the How MyPoints Works link at the bottom of the page, then select the type of point category you want to find out more details.
Signing up for MyPoints is simple. Enter your email address and desired password, gender, name, birth date and zip code. From there, you'll see a pop-up that walks you through some good starter point-earning activities, like completing your member profile or watching videos. The main page is fairly busy, with scrolling shopping opportunities and a ton of stores that let you earn points. You'll need to scroll down to find the surveys and other non-shopping ways to get points.
While MyPoints is easy to use, it's not the highest-earning source of Paid Surveys we could find. You may get lots of invitations to participate in surveys, but the disqualification rate is pretty high. In other words, you may receive an invite to take a survey - and you'll get points just for trying to qualify - but you may not be eligible for the whole thing once you've entered more demographic information into the qualifying questionnaire.
It takes 700 points minimum to redeem for a gift card, and at least 3,970 points to redeem for $25 in cash via PayPal. According to some users, it can take a very long time to earn those points, especially if you're not interested in using the "get points for shopping through the MyPoints portal" type. One person even calculated their hourly pay rate at just over $1/hour, which might not be the best use of your time.
MyPoints is a Prodege brand, an LA-based company that specializes in creating "rewarding moments" for consumers while helping brands gain insights into their target audiences. At the time of our review, Prodege was accredited with the Better Business Bureau and maintained an "A-" rating. Another paid survey company in our review, Swagbucks, is also part of the Prodege brand family.
We like that MyPoints gives its members a broad array of ways to earn points, going way beyond the traditional paid surveys, and that the company has been around for a long time. You shouldn't expect to "get rich quick" when using MyPoints, but if you've got the patience to click through links, emails, and surveys (maybe while doing your next Netflix binge), you could come out with some extra cash or gift cards.
One Opinion has been in the Paid Surveys industry since 2011. They specialize in traditional surveys and may also offer focus groups and other opportunities. One Opinion is a point-based platform, where each survey or other activity you complete is worth a certain number of points; those points can then be exchanged for cash through PayPal or Visa gift cards, or even virtual gift cards that can be used immediately. You'll need to accumulate a minimum total of 25,000 points (equal to $25) before you can redeem them for rewards.
Joining One Opinion is free and easy. You'll go through a series of questions with a "virtual assistant" - it feels like doing an online chat with a customer service rep. Provide your first and last name, agree to the company's terms and conditions, enter your email address and birthdate, and street address. We had a problem getting the registration system to recognize our street address, so be prepared to call their toll-free number to get live help if you experience the same error.
One Opinion doesn't tell you much upfront about their surveys. How long are they? What kinds of topics do they cover? What's a typical amount of points for one of their paid surveys? We'd love to see more on their site that would cover the questions commonly asked by people considering joining their panel.
How easy is it to use One Opinion for surveys and get paid? The results are mixed, according to many members of the platform. On a positive note, we found a lot of comments saying that there are always plenty of surveys available, and that One Opinion pays higher than the competition. However, we also saw that more than a few One Opinion members had issues when they tried to cash out their points: rewards mysteriously disappeared, points vanished, and sometimes accounts were closed with little to no explanation.
One Opinion has a very available 24/7 customer service team, via toll-free number, email, and Facebook. For the most part, people who experienced problems with their accounts have been able to get a quick response - even when they didn't get the answer they were hoping for.
We love that One Opinion seems to pay their survey-takers well, and that they make their customer service team much more available than most providers of paid surveys. But, because of the challenges we had with setting up our account and the issues that some members have had with redeeming their points, One Opinion ranks in the middle of the pack.
When you first visit InboxDollars, you may be enticed by their $5 bonus for signing up. Is it the first step in a fantastic relationship with a reputable paid survey company, or just a trick to get you to hand over your information? Here's what we found.
InboxDollars pays in cash via paper check or through e-Gift Cards. Compared with other survey companies that pay in cash, this one falls a little short by not offering a PayPal option for people who don't want the hassle of cashing a paper check. Also, some members have mentioned that the available e-Gift Cards weren't to local stores, which meant they would have to use them to shop online. That's not necessarily a problem, but something to keep in mind if you're not interested in shopping on the web with your paid survey rewards.
When it comes to reputation, InboxDollars is rock solid. They have thousands of positive customer reviews, and they're both accredited and "A+" rated by the Better Business Bureau.
So, why does InboxDollars rank lower in our ratings? First, because they often send members to third-party sites for surveys, it can mean that you're asked to give private information to companies you may or may not trust. For example, you might click on a survey that's actually an "exclusive offer", where you have to enter your phone number or date of birth to earn a few points and a sweepstakes entry. (Hello, spam and junk mail!).
Next, you'll have to earn at least $30 before you can cash out your earned rewards. We found more than one user who said that they were given surveys that brought them just shy of that amount, and then the available surveys mysteriously dried up.
Finally, after spending hours on the platform, one person said their average hourly rate was a sad 41 cents. (In the words of an old meme, "Ain't nobody got time for that!")
In the end, InboxDollars is clearly doing some things right, to have earned many positive customer reviews and a good track record with the BBB. But, at the end of the day, you have lots of options for paid surveys, and this company doesn't keep pace with our highest-ranked services.
You know you're in for an adventure when your Paid Surveys provider uses a form that says "Sumbit" instead of "Submit", right?
Survey Den goes back to the days of pay-to-play: you give them $34.95 for a "limited time, special-offer" lifetime membership, and they give you access to numerous opportunities for taking surveys and getting cash through their partner companies. How many companies? How much cash? Good question. You'll only be able to find out once you sign up for a membership.
Survey Den name drops companies like eBay, Walmart, and Pepsi as companies that pay people to complete surveys - and while that's true, there's nothing guaranteeing that those well-known businesses have surveys that you can find while using the Survey Den service.
The site advertises a 60-day satisfaction policy, so you can try out the service and see if the Paid Surveys it connects you with are lucrative and enjoyable.
But, to get your money back, you'll have to contact Survey Den - and the only way to do that is through their online Request Support form. There's no toll-free number, no email address, no physical address for you to get in touch and request the refund. We suspect your chances of getting a refund would be slim to none.
The only reason Survey Den earned a 1.5-star rating instead of a rock-bottom 1-star is because their paid membership is a one-time thing instead of a monthly waste of your money. And, given that we found exactly zero reviews from satisfied subscribers to Survey Den's membership plan, there's just no good reason to choose this company for Paid Surveys when there are so many trusted and no-fee options available.
Those types of providers still exist, but in today's market there's no need to "pay to play": you can sign up for free accounts with reputable survey companies and start earning money, gift cards, and more without spending a dollar.
When looking at all of the companies offering paid surveys, what should you look for? Here are several criteria to keep in mind when deciding which services to use - keeping in mind that you're not limited to choosing just one:
TopConsumerReviews has reviewed and ranked the best Paid Survey programs available today. We hope this information helps you find the right service to start earning those gift cards and cash as soon as possible!
Paid surveys are designed to gather opinions and information from an individual and, in turn, offer a financial reward to those who are willing to take the time to complete the survey. Companies who want to improve their marketing strategy and/or product are the most likely candidates to offer a legitimate paid surveys work at home opportunity.
When it comes to online surveys, the best opportunities are those that use demographics to select their participants. This means that many paid surveys require the participant to first answer a series of pre-survey questions to ensure that they are a good fit for the program. If an individual is selected to participate in the actual survey based on the answers they provide, they will be compensated according to the terms of the program.
Online surveys are one of the simplest ways to earn money online because companies are always conducting marketing research. What this means for those who participate in paid surveys is a consistent stream of opportunities for sharing their likes and dislikes. Basically, you can use online surveys to get paid for your opinions.
As with any online work at home venture, there are both legitimate opportunities and there are those that are nothing more than a scam. It's always important to know how to recognize these as every company will sound legitimate at first glance. When it comes to online surveys, there are two types of scams. The first type involves collecting money for a subscription and then providing outdated information or, in the second type, some companies may simply take your money and run.
So, how can you spot the difference between a genuine opportunity in online surveys and those that are not worth your time? You may be surprised to learn that it's not as difficult as you may think. The best way to compare online surveys is to read product reviews and ratings from a trusted resource, which can provide you with some early insight and help you choose the best way for you to earn money from home in your spare time. Just like online auction feedback and retail product reviews, it's essential that you take the time to read reviews relating to online surveys. Once you become familiar with experiences that others have undergone with a specific company, you will be better able to choose the right option to help you earn money from home.
If you still wish to conduct some independent research, you can check with the Better Business Bureau and find out if the paid surveys opportunity that you are considering has received any complaints from other consumers. Once you are ready to start working with online surveys, be sure to read the terms or agreement associated with the survey and look for information relating to payment. Because each paid surveys program is different, payment schedules will also differ.
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