By Erin Huffstetler | 10/23/2017 | 7 Comments
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When my kids were little, I used to participate in a lot of surveys. It was a fun way to earn a bit of extra cash after they’d gone to bed, and sometimes I’d even get to test new products. One time we were sent a case of diapers to try out. That was awesome.
But then life got busier (as it tends to do), and I kind of got out of the habit. I just had too many other things taking up my time. But I think I need to get back into the habit. Because with a 13 and 15-year-old, I spend a lot of time waiting in the car for kids, and that would be the perfect time to answer surveys. Unlike back in the day, you don’t have to be tethered to a desktop computer and a dial-up connection to do it. You can actually complete surveys on your phone or tablet. Go figure. And you know what, I think the new way is a lot more fun. Clicking answers on a touch screen just seems like less work.
Whenever I talk about surveys, I hear from readers who want to know how much they can make. They’re hoping it’ll be enough to hang up their day job. And I’m here to tell you, the money will never be that good. But, if you sign up for several survey sites, and complete the surveys they send you, you could make enough to buy all of your Christmas gifts, to cover the cost of a family vacation or to make a dent in your debt (think extra credit card or mortgage payments).
So, after 15 years of survey-taking, which survey companies are my favorite? Here’s the short list:
Just So You Know: This post contains referral links. If you decide to sign up for some of the survey sites that I recommend, I may receive a small commission.
This survey site is almost like a secret club. Normally, the only way you can sign up is to spot an ad on the Internet during one of their recruitment periods. But, I just happen to have a link that you can use. They’re known for having some of the highest payouts in the survey industry. You can redeem your points for cash or prizes.
I think this is the first survey company that I ever signed up for, and I still love it as much today. They offer lots of survey opportunities, and pay you in points that can redeemed for cash or gift cards to places like Amazon. They were bought by Nielsen back in 2013, which really speaks to the quality of the company. I’ve worked with several Nielsen companies over the years, and I’ve never been anything but impressed.
If you’re a fan of instant gratification, Opinion Outpost is the survey site for you. You only need to rack up $5 in rewards to cash out for an Amazon gift card, $10 for a PayPal deposit. And you don’t have to wait 4-6 weeks for your reward to arrive in the mail. It’s instant. So, if you see something you want on Amazon, you can log into your Opinion Outpost account, and redeem enough points to cover the purchase. Love that.
This survey sites doesn’t use a points-based rewards system. Instead it assigns a cash value to each survey, so, you know just how much your time is worth. And you can cash out at any time – even if you’ve only earned $1. Just request a check, and they’ll send it on its way. Have a teen in the house? They can take surveys, too.
Tip: Increase your earnings by adding the SavvyConnect app to all of your devices. It anonymously records how you use the Internet to identify usage trends. You’ll receive $5 a month for each device that you have the app running on.
Respond to a survey invitation, and you’ll earn points – even if you don’t end up qualifying to take the survey. Zoom Panel sends out lots of survey invites, so it’s easy to accumulate points quickly, and they offer mobile surveys, too. The only downside is that you have to have a minimum of 2500 points (worth $25) before you can redeem them for an Amazon code.
Log into the Swagbucks website whenever you have a spare minute, to see what surveys are available. It shows how long each one takes and how many points you’ll earn by taking it. Today, I had a one-minute survey worth 4 points and a couple 20 minute surveys worth 80 points each. 500 points (called SB) will buy you a $5 Amazon gift card, so it doesn’t take long to earn rewards, especially if you take advantage of the other points-earning opportunities on the site. They also award points for watching videos, shopping through their website and using their search engine. Reward options include all sorts of store and restaurant gift cards, as well as PayPal payments.
Tip: Stretch your earnings by shopping the sale section in the rewards store.
Have a Particular Reward That You’re After?
Use SurveyPolice’s Pick-a-Perk Tool to access a list of the survey sites that offer the reward you want – whether that’s cash, Amazon gift cards, airline miles or something else entirely.
Do Your Homework
Not every survey site is as reputable as the ones I’ve listed here, so be sure to check companies out before you sign up to work with them. I use SurveyPolice and Volition to get the scoop on any survey site that I’m interested in.