Unlocking Extra Income: Navigating the World of Paid Surveys

If you find yourself with some spare time and a desire to earn a bit of extra cash, delving into paid surveys might be a worthy endeavor. With survey companies shelling out millions annually to users, it’s a legitimate online money-making avenue.

But is it really? Whenever this topic surfaces in personal finance circles, skepticism naturally follows, and for good reason. The scars from past encounters with purportedly “scammy” survey sites linger for many, resulting in wasted time and little to show for it. Let’s face it; filling out online surveys won’t make you rich. In fact, it might take some effort just to hit the minimum wage mark.

So, why bother? While survey sites may not be everyone’s cup of tea, they still enjoy considerable popularity. If you choose reputable sites and stick to them, there’s money to be made. It won’t pay your rent, but it might cover your monthly Netflix subscription or chip in for your coffee fix, making it a worthwhile effort for some.

In this article, I’ve selected what I consider to be the top survey companies today. Most of these companies have been around for years, establishing solid reputations. Of course, some outshine others. Before we dive in, here are some tips to help you maximize your online survey income.

Maximizing Your Earnings Through Online Surveys

As mentioned earlier, if you’re solely looking to make money from a single survey site, you might be disappointed. Most sites pay meager amounts per survey, usually less than $1. Even those claiming higher payouts, like $5 per survey, often send surveys your way infrequently. Nevertheless, if you’re willing to invest time, there are ways to boost your income.

  • Register on More Sites: It’s a no-brainer, but by signing up for more sites, you increase your potential income as the number of surveys you can participate in also rises.
  • Opt for Higher-Paying Activities: Beyond surveys, many sites reward you for other activities, such as web searches, watching videos, or participating in focus groups (albeit less frequently). Simple tasks yield lower rewards, while more involved tasks pay better. Keep an eye out for those higher-paying opportunities and stick with them.
  • Enter Sweepstakes: Many survey sites offer the option to enter sweepstakes using your points, with prizes reaching up to $500 or $1000. While winning is not guaranteed, consider using some points to enhance your chances of scoring a higher reward.

Now, let’s delve into some of the top survey companies in today’s market.

Survey Junkie

Key Features: Swift payment via PayPal
Typical Earnings: $1 to $3 per survey1

Established in 2013, Survey Junkie is a personal favorite. They reward users with points for completing surveys, which are then converted into dollars. Survey values range from 50 to 450 points, with 100 points equaling $1. Withdrawals can be made via PayPal or electronic gift cards. Unlike many competitors, Survey Junkie focuses solely on its forte – surveys. No distractions with rewards for online shopping, web browsing, or video watching. You can cash out once your earnings hit $10, a nice feature. Payments via PayPal are processed within 24 hours, a speedy turnaround compared to many rivals.


  • Key Features: Diverse money-making options
  • Typical Earnings: $1 per survey

Swagbucks isn’t just about surveys; it rewards users for online shopping, internet searches, playing games, and more. Survey earnings may be modest, often less than $1 per survey, but the site offers numerous ways to make money. Like Survey Junkie, users can redeem rewards via PayPal or gift cards. A notable advantage is the ability to cash in gift cards at just $3, while the minimum PayPal cash payout is $25. To kickstart your earnings, Swagbucks throws in a $5 registration bonus.

Pinecone Research

  • Key Features: Offers check payments
  • Typical Earnings: Minimum $3 per survey

Pinecone Research, a long-standing player, rewards survey completions with points. They pay relatively high fees, starting at $3 per survey. However, their operation is invitation-based, limiting survey opportunities. Still, as a way to diversify your survey income, registering might be worthwhile. Pinecone is operated by Nielsen, the organization responsible for TV ratings.


  • Key Features: $5 bonus after completing 5 surveys
  • Typical Earnings: $0.30 to $0.50 per survey

Owned by Prodege, the same company behind Swagbucks, MyPoints offers various earning avenues like online shopping, watching videos, and playing games. While individual survey payouts are low, completing your first five surveys earns you a $5 bonus. MyPoints allows users to cash out with a $3 gift card, with PayPal cash payments starting at $25.

Inbox Dollars

  • Key Features: $5 registration bonus
  • Typical Earnings: $0.50 to $5 per survey

Inbox Dollars pays cash for completing online activities such as surveys, tasks, video watching, and game playing. Although individual survey payouts can reach up to $5, average payments are lower. A benefit is the abundance of survey opportunities, enabling you to boost your income if you have the time. Inbox Dollars informs you of the reward before you start a survey or activity, allowing you to decide if it’s worth your time. Payment options include gift cards, PayPal cash, or check payments, with a minimum cash payout of $30.

Opinion Outpost

  • Key Features: Convert points to travel miles
  • Typical Earnings: $0.30 to $3 per survey

At Opinion Outpost, completing surveys earns you points that can be converted to various rewards, including PayPal cash or gift cards. Additionally, you can convert your earnings into travel miles by joining the MileagePlus program. Covering a wide array of survey topics – from electronics and medicine to sports and politics – Opinion Outpost requires filling out a questionnaire during registration. The number of survey invitations varies monthly, depending on the data being collected and your survey compatibility.

VIP Voice

  • Key Features: Opportunity for sweepstakes
  • Typical Earnings: No cash payment, chance for sweepstakes

VIP Voice differs from other survey companies on this list. While you earn points for completing surveys, these points can’t be converted to cash or gift cards. Instead, they can be used for sweepstakes entries or online auctions on Bidland and Sweepland. The downside is the uncertainty of receiving a tangible reward for the time invested in completing surveys. If you’re open to trying your luck with sweepstakes, VIP Voice offers plenty of survey options. Upon registration, you enter their signup sweepstakes, with a chance to win $1000.


  • Key Features: 10 LifePoints upon registration
  • Typical Earnings: $0.50 to $1 per survey

With LifePoints, you can convert points into PayPal cash once you reach the minimum $20 payout amount. Although individual survey earnings are relatively low, usually less than $1, they claim to have paid over $20 million to members in the past year. Survey invites arrive via email, with the number varying based on the types of data being collected and your survey completion history. While lacking the diversity options of Survey Junkie or Swagbucks, LifePoints serves well as a basic survey site.

Vindale Research

  • Key Features: $1 registration bonus
  • Typical Earnings: $1 to $5 per survey

Vindale Research operates without a points system, meaning your earnings are expressed in dollars. This transparency allows you to always know how much you’ve earned. Payments are processed via PayPal, but you need a minimum of $50 to cash out. Notably, Vindale offers additional high-earning opportunities beyond surveys. For instance, you might get paid up to $75 for writing product reviews. Of course, these opportunities don’t come around frequently.

Prize Rebel

  • Key Features: Loyalty rewards program
  • Typical Earnings: $0.40 to $0.60 per survey

In operation for over a decade, Prize Rebel has paid over $19 million to its members. Registering is quick and easy, requiring only your name and email address. Upon completing your first survey, they gather more demographic information, rewarding you with points. Prize Rebel stands out with its loyalty rewards program, offering bonuses to members based on the number of surveys completed. You can earn up to a 3% bonus on your income and receive a 3% discount when redeeming rewards (Diamond level). With 500 points equivalent to $5, earnings can be converted into PayPal cash, gift cards, or Dwolla cash.

Survey Club

  • Key Features: Various earning options
  • Typical Earnings: Up to $5 per survey

At Survey Club, you can earn up to $5 for individual surveys, though most payouts are significantly lower. They also present users with opportunities to participate in high-paying focus groups, some offering up to $200 per hour. Survey Club doesn’t host surveys itself but directs users to surveys on other sites. What sets Survey Club apart is the variety in how you can earn – cash, gift cards, charitable donations, prepaid debit cards, and participation in sweepstakes and contests. The minimum payout is $25.

Harris Poll Online

  • Key Features: Enter a $10,000 sweepstakes with each survey
  • Typical Earnings: $1 per survey

Using Harris Poll Online, you accumulate points by completing surveys, redeemable for shopping on various well-known websites. Their screening process is quite detailed, guiding you through a series of demographic questions. Surveys are conducted on their website and aren’t typically sent via email. The average payout is around $1 per survey, making the earning pace relatively slow. However, the more you visit their site and participate in surveys, the more you can earn. A notable feature is that with each completed survey, you’re entered into a $10,000 sweepstakes.


  • Key Features: Quick registration process
  • Typical Earnings: Up to $5 per survey

OneOpinion boasts a rapid registration process, allowing you to start earning effortlessly. While individual survey payouts can reach $5, typical earnings are lower. Users accumulate points, which can be exchanged for gift cards (no PayPal option with OneOpinion). You need to accumulate $25 worth of points before being eligible for withdrawal, with 1000 points equivalent to $1.

Ipsos iSay

  • Key Features: Low minimum payout amount
  • Typical Earnings: Up to $1 per survey

Similar to most other survey sites, Ipsos iSay rewards points for surveys, which can be converted to PayPal cash or used to redeem gift cards. While individual survey payouts are low, Ipsos iSay has a unique points multiplier, rewarding users with bonus points after completing a certain number of surveys. For instance, completing 5 surveys will earn you an additional 25 points. A standout feature is the low minimum payout amount, requiring only 500 points (worth $5) for PayPal cash redemption.

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