20+ Best Online Survey Sites that Actually Pay You Money

How to Take Surveys for Cash

 Updated 4/27/19

Answering surveys is an easy way to share your thoughts, make your voice heard and express your opinion on new concepts or products.

However, some people might sign up for panels under the assumption that they will make loads of money.

While online survey sites are an awesome platform to contribute your two cents while making some extra cash on the side, it’s rare (but not impossible!) for a survey to result in a massive payday.

Jump Directly to Survey Reviews:

Video Surveys:   Voxpopme, Methinks, Mindswarms

Survey Apps:  QuickThoughts, Surveys on the Go, 1Q, Zap Surveys, Survey MiniAttapoll, Thoughtbase

Survey Websites:  Prolific, Inbox Dollars, Swagbucks, Toluna, Ipsos i-Say, National Consumer Panel, 20/20 Research Panel, American Consumer Opinion, Survey Savvy, Branded Surveys, Harris Poll, Survey Junkie, Vindale Research

Taking surveys for cash is a legitimate Side Jam — just keep a few things in mind.

First off, you will need to fully qualify for the survey in order to get credit for completion.

Most surveys begin with preliminary questions to determine if you are within their target range.

This pre-screening will weed out applicants who don’t qualify for their particular target group.

In addition, the ones that pay higher amounts of money are usually directed at very specific individual criteria.

Which totally makes sense, right?

A company is not going to offer $20 for survey completion with the basic criteria of “Male or Female, Living in the U.S., Aged 18-62”.

That is a little too broad of a category — so many people would qualify, it would hardly be worth it for the company to pay for that feedback.

The premium dollar amounts will be for:

  • the exact demographic they are looking to market, or
  • the criteria they’re having a hard time finding.
    (ex. Wisconsin natives who now live in NYC, Aged 22-24, who make their living crocheting headbands for the NFL.)

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ir?t=sidejams 20&l=li3&o=1&a=B01K8EV35SThat’s why when you sign up to participate on survey panels, you need to be sure to complete the user profile and any associated questions.

These questions will help match you to the best online survey sites that actually pay.

Also, once you are an active member of a survey community, be sure to revisit your user profile every few months.

As your life changes, so will your qualifications for the surveys that are out there. Keeping your information current will allow you to be matched to more opportunities.

My List – Best Online Survey Sites that Actually Pay Money

Note:  Some of the links on this page are affiliate links. If you click on one of my affiliate links and make a purchase, I will receive a commission and/or credit for your referral.

1.  Quick Thoughts –

This app presents several screener questions, and then displays a qualifying survey (or surveys) based on your responses. Most surveys pay out $1.00 a piece, and if you are disqualified, you still earn 10 cents.

Note – At this time, it appears Quick Thoughts only makes payments in the form of iTunes gift cards if you own an iPhone, and if you are using an Android device, you are able to cash out for Amazon gift cards.

Also – If you access your Quick Thoughts Dashboard through their actual website, they are currently not offering a cash out option. On the website, they direct you back to your smart phone app for rewards redemption.

You need to have earned at least $10 before being able to cash out.

Available format:  App or Web
Current earnings: $56.40

2.  Inbox Dollars Surveys

See related section for Inbox Dollars on Paid Clicks page.

Inbox Dollars is also an app and a website for taking online surveys for cash. All of the available surveys are listed on the home page/screen, along with the amount of payment and estimated timeframe to complete.

In addition, you can sign up to receive email advertisements to your inbox, to get paid 1 cent for each email that you click on. I’ve used both aspects of this program — taking surveys and clicking on the paid emails. (It’s important to note that you don’t actually have to buy anything from the emails, just click on the location where it says “click to confirm paid email“.)

There are many other opportunities available on the website, which you may choose to test out for your own personal benefit.

For myself, I found it difficult to determine if offers were actually worth my while, and which might turn out to be spammy. At the very least, some items can appear to be a little persistent in trying get me to sign up for their product. So stick to the items you feel good about — there are tons of opportunities out there.

Available format: App and Web
Current earnings: $41.14

 Inbox Dollars Affiliate Link:

Inbox Dollars Signup

3.  Voxpopme

This one is one of my favorites.

This app will send you a notification with a question or topic to think about and discuss. Then you record a video response on your phone, stating how you feel about the topic/question and why.

You are given roughly 45 – 60 seconds to provide feedback. Also, you need to record 15 seconds at a minimum, or you won’t receive credit. This is to weed out bogus or non-thought out responses.

You will also receive notifications to complete brief surveys, in order to be matched/qualified for future video questions. The average payout per question is 50 cents and up. The highest amount I’ve ever received for a response is $2.

Available format: App only
Current earnings: $60.27

4.  Methinks –

To sign up for Methinks, you first need to download the app in the app store. After downloading, you will create a profile through the app.

With the Methinks app, companies solicit feedback from participants by conducting live video interviews and usability testing. As a participant, you complete your profile in order to apply for paid gigs. Each gig is compared to your qualifications, and shows your match percentage for it.

So gigs that show 100% mean you are a perfect fit, and should apply.

If a lower percentage is shown, then there’s a chance you may not fit within the company’s target group.

When you apply for a gig, there is usually a short survey, and then a free-form area where you are asked to identify why you’re a good candidate for their study. If accepted, you will receive a notification through the app, and will be prompted to set up an appointment for the study.

The business who hires you will coordinate appointment times with you. All appointments will take place through the app. By clicking on a link in the app, you are connected to a video call with the company.

At this point, they will either ask you direct questions, or show you images/videos for new products and ask for feedback. Or, if they are testing out a new app or game, they may ask you to enable certain software on your phone so they can view your experiences as you test for them.

The important thing with Methinks is for you to be honest in your feedback, as well as in your profile. You want to make sure you’re matched with the most appropriate gigs, and can provide useful information to the end customer. Since most of these are longer video interviews, you can expect to make higher pay for these gigs than you would in a normal online survey.

Available format:  App only
Current earnings: $75.00

5.  Mindswarms

With Mindswarms, you are able to respond to questions by recording a video on your smartphone, tablet, or webcam, and get paid for your opinion. Per the website, each full and completed study pays out $50.

Quote from site: “We pay you $50 to answer 7 questions or $10 to answer 1 question.”

Their stance is that they provide a higher quality of response to their customers, which is why they can pay participants more. So maybe that’s why it’s difficult to qualify for a study — they are honing in on the exact demographics the business customer is looking for, therefore screening out all other applicants.

Once you have signed up, you will see studies on your dashboard that you may or may not qualify for. Most have been vetted out based on your completed profile. You have to apply for each study, in order to determine if you qualify. Once you have applied (by completing a few multiple choice questions), your responses will be reviewed by a researcher and they will decide if you qualify.

If you clear the qualification stage, then you are in — You’ll be participating in the study.

As a study participant, you will be asked to answer up to 7 questions by video survey. This entire process should take approximately 10 minutes, and you will be done. 7 questions for a $50 payout? Sounds good to me —

***Update – I completed my first Mindswarms study on 10/4. It involved reviewing a potential ad campaign for a big brand. I was presented with 7 pieces of information (either written or visual), and had to provide feedback on each one. It was an awesome experience (that didn’t take long at all.) And I made $50!*** 

Mindswarms also has the capability to forward current studies to someone you know. This is in case you don’t fit the specific qualifications for a study, but your friends might.

Format: Web, Mobile (App) and Tablet
Current earnings: $50.00

6.  Swagbucks Answer

See related section for Swagbucks on Paid Clicks page.

Swagbucks Answer is an app and also a website where you can take online surveys for cash. The app has areas for the available surveys, a daily poll, and an About Me section where you can update your profile while earning swagbucks.

The Swagbucks website has multiple ways to earn credit (“swagbucks”), which can be redeemed for gift cards. Gift cards are available for regular stores, online retailers, gas stations, PayPal, iTunes and even a virtual MasterCard. Or you can choose to donate your credit to charity.

The different ways to earn swagbucks, other than completing surveys, include the following:

  • Shopping – receive credit for making purchases at certain online stores
  • Buying gift cards – receive a percentage cash back
  • Watching online videos that are sponsored
  • Exploring special offers – which may include signing up for services or monthly deliveries
  • Playing games on the website
  • Searching with the swagbucks toolbar or search engine

I mainly stick to the app surveys, since they are more straightforward. I’ve also used the search engine to collect swagbucks. In addition, you can receive swagbucks by reacting to Swag Code notifications that come out several times a day. If you find an active Swag Code (on the website, Facebook, Twitter or even through their toolbar), enter the code on the website to earn even more swagbucks.

Available format:  App and Web
Current earnings: 3,937 Swagbucks
(500 SB = $5 gift card)

Swagbucks referral link: 
You Can Get Free Gift Cards For Shopping, Searching and Discovering What’s Online at Swagbucks.com

7.  Thoughtbase – DELETED

Not quite sure how this one works, as I haven’t received any survey notifications yet. The app has been downloaded onto my phone. When you click on the app, it says you will receive a notification once a new Query is available. It also says demand for their service has been amazing, and they are currently working on some new features. Not much more I can say about this one. I’ll give it another month or two, but if there’s nothing new at that point, the app will be deleted from my phone.  Found no benefit from this one so deleted from my phone. Nothing ever happened — no contact, no surveys, nada. Has anyone ever used this app successfully, and what was the outcome??

Available format: App only
Current earnings: $0


8.  Surveys On The Go

So far, I’ve only received a small number of surveys on this app. I should also say that there is an available survey out there waiting for me, with a $2.00 reward. However, it requires that you take pictures of certain sections of your wireless bill, and I haven’t decided if I will follow through or not. The reasoning is partly lack of motivation, and partly not wanting my personal information floating around in cyberspace somewhere. (Ironic, no?)

Available format:  App only
Current earnings: $32.45

9.  Prolific

I’m a fan of this site — I tend to qualify for most of the screening surveys that they send over, and the surveys typically hold my interest. This is actually an academic research site, where survey participants are matched with researchers looking for participants for their online studies. It’s a crowdsourcing community that recruits participants representing various demographics.

The profile questions are pretty comprehensive and are constantly being updated, to ensure that you are matched with the most appropriate studies. I think that’s what I like most about it — you’re matched up from the get-go. So you don’t waste 10 minutes on a survey, just to get screened out halfway through.

Available format: Web only
Current earnings: $62.57

10.  Toluna

Toluna is an online community where you can contribute by taking surveys, polls, testing products and commenting on trending topics. The app mainly has a focus on surveys, but the website has a lot of different areas where you can really get involved. You can also use both the app and site to create your very own polls, to share with the rest of the community.

As far as the best online survey sites that actually pay you cash, you can get a $10 gift card for 30,000 points. Alternatively, you can redeem your points for sweepstakes entries or to donate to charity.

Available format: App and Web
Current earnings: 12,100 points

11.  Ipsos i-Say

This survey panel is another that’s been around for a while. I remember belonging to this site when I first started completing online surveys for cash, roughly 15 years ago. Now that I’ve returned to this venture, I was happily surprised to see they are still around.

It’s now an online community where you can take legit surveys that actually pay, contribute to polls on trending topics and enter contests. Their surveys also include a Bonus Points Loyalty program, where the more surveys you complete, the more bonus points you will get.

Available format: App and Web
Current earnings: 475 points


12.  National Consumer Panel (NCP Online) –

The National Consumer Panel offers various ways to complete online surveys that actually pay. Once you sign up and create a profile, you may receive email invitations for Panel View surveys, Specialty Panels, or Miscellaneous surveys.

Panel Views are special surveys that are focused on a specific topic, or could occasionally be for a variety of topics. Specialty Panels are for a specific topic that you’ve been recruited for, and may have several surveys related to that topic for a long term assignment.

Miscellaneous surveys could help boost your user profile, and also could encompass quick, “just for fun” topics.

In addition to answering surveys, NCP offers a rewards program for scanning your purchases.

If accepted into this program, you will be sent an electronic scanning device to track & submit barcodes on items you either buy in store or online. The scanner is connected to your computer router, so the data can be transmitted to NCP over the internet.

Also, they have recently offered an option to use a smartphone app instead of their scanner. I recently opted in for the app, and find it’s a lot quicker than the scanner used to be.

As long as you transmit your purchasing data weekly, you will earn points. And if you transmit consistently, you will even be awarded bonus points. Also, the longer you are on the panel, the higher the weekly value will be for points you receive. (Ex. 0-6 months = 150 points; 6-12 months = 200 points.) These points can then be redeemed through their online rewards catalog, or submitted for sweepstakes entries.

I really like this program, because you are in total control of how often you send information to them. If you’re looking to accumulate a lot of points to obtain a certain item in the catalog, you know what number you need to build up to. And you know the more you scan and transmit, the easier it will be to get those points.

Scanning and transmitting consistently will earn you bonus points, and then you’ll also receive “anniversary” points, as well as upgrading your point values for each weekly transmission.

Available format: Web and Scanner
Current earnings: 36,900 points

13.  20/20 Research Panel

By signing up with 20/20, you become available for Discussion-Based Studies and Surveys for Points. The studies are paid research studies based on your demographics. Payment can range from $50 – $300, but you need to pass the screener first. So far, I have not yet qualified for any of the studies. The surveys are a lot easier to qualify for, and you receive more invitations for those than the research studies. For each completed survey, you will receive points. Points can be redeemed for gift cards or through PayPal. 500 points = $5.00.

Available format: Web only
Current earnings: 1,060 points

14.  American Consumer Opinion

This website sends email survey invitations so you can provide feedback on advertisements, or test new products. You can earn points based on completing a pre-screener (5-50 points) or full survey or research project, which can range from 100 – 5,000 points. Points can be redeemed for cash payment, and 100 points = $1.00. You can cash out once you’ve reached 1,000 points ($10.00). So far, I’ve only qualified for the screeners, not any full-fledged surveys or product tests. But the good thing is that you still get points, even if it’s just for screeners.

Available format: Web only
Current earnings: 1,440 points

Get Paid For Your Opinion

15.  Survey Savvy

Survey Savvy has been around since 1999, so clearly has experience in seeking the voice of the customer. Any online survey site that’s been around this long most likely knows what it’s doing, and is not a fly-by-night scammer site. This site is the real deal. And you can cash out with as little as $1 earned.

You can receive survey invitations through email, or by downloading their app to your desktop (not mobile). In addition, they offer something called SavvyConnect, which allows you to earn money by connecting to your desktop, tablet and mobile devices. You can earn $5 for each connected device, as long as the program is installed and stays active.

SavvyConnect shares information on how you use the internet, which allows you to be matched with more paid research opportunities. You are in control of what is actually tracked, and the company adheres to a strict privacy policy which they share on the site.

Available format: Web and desktop app
Current earnings: $240.00

16.  1Q

When you download this app and complete your user profile, you need to determine if you will be paid 25 or 50 cents per survey. The rationale behind this is that those who select 25 cents will receive more questions. So far, I have only received a small handful of surveys (and yes, I selected the 25 cent payment in my initial profile.)

The most important thing with this one is to make sure you have notifications enabled on your phone. The questions come and go quite quickly, so time is of the essence, if you want to qualify. And I’ve missed out on half of them, because I didn’t see the notification on my phone in time.

Available format:  App or Text
Current earnings: $32.00

17.  Zap Surveys –

This app offers daily surveys generated from two different organizations — Peanut Labs and SaySo for Good. Both organizations state that with each completed survey, a donation is made to benefit child starvation. (That’s pretty cool, right?) Also, there are usually a good amount of surveys available whenever accessing the app, so you’re able to complete surveys for cash on your own schedule. The downside to that is you don’t always qualify for each survey.

Available format:  App only
Current earnings: $10.45

18.  Survey Mini –

With this app, you are able to answer short surveys based on specific places that you’ve visited. With what they refer to as “visit-detection technology”, they are able to send you notifications on available surveys. This technology allows the app to optimize the life of your battery, while still having location services enabled. The app notifications are generated based on stores and locations that you recently visited. Each survey earns points, which you accumulate and trade in for gift cards. (For 12,000 points, you can earn a $10 gift card).

Available format:  App only
Current earnings: 2,450 points

19.  Attapoll 

This app lets you select the frequency for how often you’d like to receive surveys. You receive a push notification when one is available. Surveys are paid out in credits, which translate to a certain dollar amount.

From looking at my survey history, I’ve received anywhere from 5 – 21 credits for each completed survey. And I’ve also received 1 – 2 credits for not completing a survey due to the following: survey incomplete (guess I got distracted), survey broken, survey declined, survey screen out, survey unavailable.

Apparently you still receive credit for attempting to complete a survey. (No credits for incomplete or declined.) Another bonus – you are able to redeem your credits through PayPal, Bitcoin or donate to charity.

Available format: App only
Current earnings: $1.69

Related Post:  Make Money & Earn Cash Back with Fetch Rewards


20. Branded Surveys (formerly Mintvine) –

Branded Surveys used to be called Mintvine. The website and brand has been totally revamped, and is now a lot more user friendly (in my opinion).

The main focus of the website surrounds surveys. However, there are other sections of interest, such as local deals and offers.

For payment, you will need at least 1,000 points to cash out. 1,000 points = $10. Payment can be sent via PayPal, Dwolla,  or various types of gift cards.

Also note, that if you had points accumulated through Mintvine, they have now transferred over to the new Branded Surveys site. (So you didn’t lose any points during the transition).

Available format: Web only
Current earnings: 3,906

21.  Harris Poll online –

The Harris Panel sends email survey invitations based on the online profile you create. Rewards are given in the value of HI points, which you can exchange for gift cards, prizes or sweepstakes entries. 625 HI points = $5 gift card. I don’t see that they have regular monetary gift cards available, they are all for stores or restaurants.

Available format: App and Web
Current earnings: 4,305 HI points

22.  Survey Junkie –

The Survey Junkie website allows you to complete various profiles to be matched with appropriate surveys. Most surveys are valued anywhere from 25 to 90 points, depending on length. When you log into the site, all of the surveys that you pre-qualify for are listed on your dashboard. You can choose which ones you’d like to take, so the site allows you to be proactive. In terms of payment, 100 pts = $1.00, and you need at least 1,000 points ($10.00) in order to cash out.

Available format: Web only
Current earnings: 4,839 points



23.  Vindale Research –

Vindale is an interesting nut to crack. By reading reviews, I see lots of people who love it, and lots who hate it. From the lovers, I see a lot of posts on social media with happy faces holding up paper checks. Proof positive that payouts are received. After further research on the website, I’ve discovered that once you cash out, they will award you $5 if you submit a photo of you holding up your rewards check.  

On the alternative side, I see many one-star reviews from unhappy people who say they keep getting disqualified from surveys and will never be able to earn enough to cash out. An important piece of information on this website is that you need to earn a whopping $50 before you can redeem your rewards. So if you are earning merely nickels and dimes, then it probably will take a little while.

But something to remember is that even if you do sign up with some of these legit survey sites that actually pay, no online survey site is going to be your cash cow.

It really is just a way to supplement your income, not take its place entirely. Even if you spend 12 hours a day completing surveys, it will be hit or miss with the most reputable of websites.

That being said, in comparison to some of the other online survey sites, this one you may decide to skip.

From my personal experience, you can see that I haven’t made much $ so far. On average, I receive 6-8 survey emails from Vindale each day. I probably skip over half of them, because they either require too much time, or the payment is too low. I’m not sure how many emails I’ve clicked on to then only be disqualified. But I can tell you that I’ve successfully completed five studies, including the initial “training tutorial”.

Available format: Web only
Current earnings: $4.46

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