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Best Sites for Paid Online Surveys to Make Extra Money

Learn how to earn money completing surveys with legitimate companies.

Do you wonder if those advertisements for paid online surveys are true? Can people actually make money?  I wondered myself and searched to find non-scammy and legitimate ways to earn money completing online surveys.

It took some time because the internet is littered with advertisements for paid survey opportunities. These ads promise big rewards and incentives, but many just trap you into an endless loop of popups and offers.

I know the legitimate online survey sites exist.

In fact, the online survey industry had a revenue of $4.2 billion dollars. It employees over 11,500 people in over 680 businesses, according to industry market researcher IBISWorld.

So with the help of my blogger friends, I found the legitimate websites. I learned there are actually quite a few trustworthy sites and some owned by well-known brands like Nielson.

Why do companies pay people to do surveys? These companies get paid from clients seeking feedback and consumer data. Basically, the online survey companies are looking for the right people that fit their client’s desired consumer base.

Clients pay the online survey company and they pay you.

Here’s what you need to know about paid online surveys and the legitimate companies that offer them.

How Paid Online Survey Websites Work

These websites will ask you to signup with your name, email and other personal information (but never your social security number). They want to know where you fit so they can find relevant surveys.

You will be required to verify your email address before completing your profile. Check your spam or promotions tab. During the profile creation stage, the questions are long and repetitive in an effort to ensure you’re reading the questions and answering truthfully.

With legitimate online survey sites, they want honest answers from real people. It doesn’t benefit them to have robots or fake personas. Too many phony responders, they’ll lose their paying clients.

Read the questions and be honest with your answers

Their system will determine your eligibility. For instance, I was able to join one online survey company, but the other stated they weren’t looking for my “specific profile at this time.”

Before you take a paid survey, you will be answering qualifier questionnaires to determine eligibility. Sometimes you’ll spend a good amount of time on the questionnaires only to find you’re not qualified.

Even if you’re accepted to participate, you may not qualify for every survey.

Be patient

The systems are getting to know you, so they can match you with the right surveys. It will get frustrating to answer the same questions. Again, it’s just their way of ensuring consistency of your answers.

When do you get paid?

That depends on the online survey company you’re working with. The amount you earned will most likely appear in your profile wallet after completing a survey.

When you earn money through a survey site, you will receive your earnings as a gift card, Paypal cash, or a check, but it depends upon the site. Most sites have a payout minimum that you must meet before you receive your money.

If you are screened out during the questionnaire for a survey, you won’t be paid. However, you will be offered another survey and asked to answer more profile questions. Some sites will enter you into a monthly or quarterly drawing for your time.

Now, here are the legitimate and free websites offering paid online surveys:

Opinion Outpost

Opinion Outpost is easy to join and have a high percentage of accepted survey takers. Additionally, they will enter you into a $10,000 quarterly drawing whenever you’re screened out of a survey. Opinion Outpost is open to anyone in your household because you have different preferences and consumer habits. Payments are made through Paypal or gift card. Get started with Opinion Outpost.

PineCone Research

PineCone Research is a bit stricter on who can join their ranks. They also focus more on consumption-based survey opportunities. The signup process is easy and in less than 30 seconds you’ll know if you’re accepted. PineCone Research offers online surveys and product testing opportunities. Payments are made through Paypal, mailed check, or gift cards. Only one person per household is eligible. Get started with PineCone.


Swagbucks is more than an online survey company. They offer search, shopping, and other ways to earn money online. You’ll find Swagbucks mentioned wherever online surveys are, so I’ve included them too. They are a legitimate company where people earn money, but their surveys were confusing. And unfortunately, you’ll only earn points not cash. You can redeem points for gift cards. Read my entire Swagbucks review and discover better ways to earn with Swagbucks. Get started with Swagbucks.

My Smile Summary: You can earn money with paid online surveys

Earning money through online surveys will not make you rich. However, this can be an interesting way to earn money for anyone who enjoys giving feedback about products. It can also be a more productive way of spending an afternoon earning while binge watching Netflix.

Many people, including myself, have taken online surveys for money. You can definitely try it, and I recommend you go to the sites I’ve mentioned.

Let me know if you do and comment below. Share your experience and how much you’re earning.

And one last thing, use a different email address for any survey sites you join. This actually makes it easier to view emailed survey opportunities. It also keeps your main email free of survey clutter.

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Jason Vitug

Jason Vitug is founder at phroogal, creator of the award-winning project the Road to Financial Wellness, and author of the bestseller and NY Times reviewed book, You Only Live Once: The Roadmap to Financial Wellness and a Purposeful Life.

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