At NerdWallet, we strive to help you make financial decisions with confidence. To do this, most or all of the products shown here are from our partners. However, it does affect our estimates. Our opinions are ours.
If we are thinking about taking surveys for money, think about our experience: three of us spend more than 50 total hours answering questions on these sites, and our combined earnings will break through $ 90.
So no, online surveys have used us to be an effective way to make money.
Low level of survey for money
That said, some websites paid more than others, and trying to poll was the easy side of rehearsing. The 12 pages we tested are free and require no education or skills. Depending on the website, surveys can be an easy – albeit annoying – way to make a few bucks or a frustrating little thing that pays off for nothing.
We appreciated the sites that found monetary value for each survey and aligned us with the relevant ones. We were scared of sites that compensated us with a system of confusing points and sent us surveys that we rarely qualify for.
Keep in mind that your demographic characteristics and other characteristics largely determine whether or not you have qualified for the survey. All three of us are single women in their 20s who live in urban areas. Depending on the survey, we may or may not be ideal participants. Your profile may lead to results that are different from ours.
Our review of 12 paid survey sites
Below are our insights from trying to spend one hour a day for five days. Some days there were not enough surveys in several locations to fill the clock. (We calculated the countdown to our total hours of browsing.) We have listed websites in the most popular order based on Google searches.
Swagbucks. This site offers many survey opportunities, but disqualifications are common. Sometimes we are disqualified by just clicking the link to the survey. Swagbucks integrates third-party surveys, so some sites send you better than others. It takes a long time to make money, but the expansive rewards marketplace on the site has hundreds of options to choose from, including gift cards, bonuses and PayPal payments. Check out our full review of Swagbucks.
InboxDollars. New users receive a $ 5 credit after verifying their email address with InboxDollars. But it helped offset how little we earned per hour while taking surveys – 41 cents, the lowest rate among the 12 sites we tested. Occasionally, instead of sending us surveys, the site directed us to the promotions required for our address, telephone number and date of birth. Read our InboxDollars review.
Outpost Opinion. Some survey sites bombard users with information and capabilities – but not Opinion Outpost. His simple, intuitive website allowed us to conduct poll after poll without much thought. As a beginner, we also appreciated the site’s direct points system, which runs at 10 cents per point. Most importantly, we actually made some money. We averaged $ 1.50 an hour on Opinion Outpost and were able to monetize them on Amazon. See our Opinion Outpost review for more information.
MyPoints. This site offers 75 interviewing opportunities, which is the majority of all sites we tested. But it also had the lowest success rate, 9.33%, and the lowest average hourly wage rate. In addition, the reasons for disqualifying the polls were often unclear. On one occasion we were disqualified after being asked to write the word “Purple”. (Yes, we spelled it correctly.) Check out our full MyPoints review.
CashCrate. Many websites reward users through a confusing scoring system, so we appreciated that CashCrate reveals the monetary value of each survey. However, during surveys, we often struggle to determine when we are actually making money and when we are trying to qualify for paid opportunities. And after five hours in this confusing process, we make enough money to monetize. Read more in our CashCrate review.
Toluna. Unlike many other sites, Toluna allows users to choose topics for their surveys, such as electronics or travel, which made the work more interesting. However, this perk is trying to make up for the low pay. We only made 71 cents an hour on converting points to cash – one of the lowest prices of all the sites we tested. Our five hours worth of points was almost enough to buy the cheapest gift cards. Find out more in our review of Toluna.
Global Testing Market. This site offers ongoing poll opportunities, a generally positive user experience and an hourly rate of $ 1.92, which is the second highest rank on any site we tested. But there are several common problems for many research sites, such as the occasional late-stage disqualification. See our Global Test Market Review for more information.
MySurvey. This site offers an easy-to-use dashboard, a steady flow of surveys and a decent qualification rate – 28.89%. However, we have encountered a number of issues with the site, which is why the experience of taking surveys is generally poor. The disqualification policy was vague and it was difficult to hit the requirement for a minimum monetary amount of 1,000 points. Check out our MySurvey review to learn more.
OneOpinion. This site is a survey aggregator with an effective screening process. Its dashboard is informative and shows useful sections, such as your activity and customer support form. The site was above average in selecting the polls we were qualified for. As points are awarded per survey, 500 or 1,000 points may seem high at first, but when it turns into real rewards, you’ll earn 50 cents or a dollar. Also, you must cash in until you reach 25,000 points, which is equivalent to $ 25. Read more in our OneOpinion review.
Say it. This site only provides surveys through Ipsos, the market research firm that owns it. The site offers fewer surveys than aggregators, but you stay with Say for each survey, making the overall experience easier. Sometimes you see polls you’ve tried before, which is confusing. You can redeem refunds starting at 500 points, which is $ 5. See the Say review for more information.
VIP Voice. This site offers relevant surveys, good overall user experience and the highest success rate of any NerdWallet site tested – over 50%. But its payment options are limited to bidding on auction items and stakes, so no guarantee will get any user fair (or any) compensation for their time. Read our review of VIP Voice.
Junkie poll. This site is a small aggregate for research, but it stands out. The site has a clean, easy-to-use dashboard and provides high value for every survey you fill out. The points system is direct and shows how much your points are worth in dollars right on the dashboard. But you have to get up to 1,000 points, which equals $ 10, before you can redeem. See our survey for more information.
Are these sites worth your time?
Regardless of location, the earnings from taking surveys can be small compared to other job opportunities. The federal minimum wage, for example, is $ 7.25 an hour, and our hourly earnings range from $ 41 cents to $ 2.03. Most survey sites also required a minimum of points before we could redeem them for prizes. In many places, we reach the minimum amount after five hours of work.
Regardless of location, the earnings from taking surveys can be small compared to other job opportunities.
In addition to our time, we have provided valuable personal information to these research sites. We often discover our birth dates, zip codes, income, medical conditions, ethnicities, living arrangements, and more. And after spending hours in Q&A, we rarely thought much about coming up with these details.
“The biggest risk is the unknown how the data will be used,” says Eva Velasquez, president and CEO of The Identity Theft Resource Center. “You really put yourself at the mercy of those websites and said, ‘OK, we went to trust you to be a good manager of the information I give you. “
Velasquez says our data could be used for questionable studies or sold to health insurers, for example. Or it can be stolen, which poses a risk to any website that stores personal information. Most of the information we provide them seems harmless – for example, our shopping habits and travel plans. But information like your birth can be used with other stolen information to capture your identity. So, keep that in mind in response to questions.
What to know if you take online surveys
Even with the drawbacks of online surveys, some people may still find polling to be an attractive option. After all, there are no barriers to entry, and they can be done from anywhere with an internet connection.
After a combined 55 hours of polling, here are our tips:
I prefer to overwrite. If you are asked to provide your social security number, bank account number or driver’s license, leave the survey. Velasquez recommends being “intentional” by sharing other private information from the research site. Answering questions about commercial television is probably fine, but providing medical information may not be worth the risk.
Create an email address only for survey sites. Most survey sites sent us several emails every day. Signing up for these websites with a separate email address prevents poll offers from overwhelming your main mail.
Install anti-malware software. We recommend this step if one of the survey sites directs you to an unwanted third-party client.
Take breaks. We often experienced long polling sessions, whose faces were glued to the computer screen all the time. To prevent eye strain, the American Optometry Association recommends 20/20/20 Rule: Take a 20-second pause every 20 minutes and look at something 20 feet away.
If you decide that surveys are worth your time, there are other ways to make money online, such as blogging, selling things and freelancing. These methods may require more effort, but the payoff is much higher.