I hate waiting in line. Whether it's at Costco, the grocery store, or just waiting in a parking lot for my kids, I really don't like to sit around.
It's a waste of time!
But, I recently discovered that I could use those five or ten minutes (or more sometimes) to make a little extra money. I won't get rich doing this but it's better than not earning anything. I'd rather be making a little money, answering a survey while I listen to the radio or my favorite podcast, than flipping through Facebook and earning nothing.
So, here are the five best survey sites I found.
I've used each one and I've been paid by each one, so each come with my personal seal of approval.
SurveyJunkie is one of my favorite survey companies because they only do surveys. They don't have games, videos, emails, and all that other stuff. They're 100% surveys and they pay you in points that translate directly into cash. No funny math here either.
Survey Junkie is the survey arm of Active Measure and was founded in 2013 in Glendale, California. They have an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau and I've personally used them to fill out surveys and make money.
Swagbucks has paid their members over $185 million (as of April 2017) for doing the things you're already doing.
Here's how it works. You earn Swagbucks for doing the things you already do online like:
- Shopping through their cashback portal,
- Searching the web, their search is powered by Yahoo,
- Answering surveys,
- Watching videos in a variety of categories like entertainment, food, music, etc,
- Playing games (this pays very little but is available),
- and printing coupons.
You earn the most points through cashback shopping, searching the web, and answering surveys. Everything you do will earn you points and you can redeem those points for gift cards or get cash deposited into your PayPal account.
Swagbucks, incorporated as Prodege LLC, has an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau (their highest rating) and is an Accredited Business. They've been around since 2005, which is nearly as long as Facebook, which is an eternity in Internet years.
The best part is that they give you $5 in SwagBucks to start. (read our Swagbucks review)
Pinecone Research was one of the first survey companies I signed up for. They used to send you these $5 blue checks before they sent the survey details and you could cash them – it seemed too good to be true. This was because they were extremely selective about who they let into their marketing research groups and so they carefully curated each person.
Pinecone Research offers surveys and pays in “points” but you can convert them into cash or merchandise fairly easily. Sometimes it involves a simple survey, sometimes you're part of a focus group that tries out new products, and you never know what you'll get.
Like all the others on this list, there is no cost to join.
IMPORTANT: If that link works and you enter your information, you will get your first survey – it's to fill out your profile. Fill it out! If you don't, there's zero chance you get accepted.
This is similar to Swagbucks, you can earn money for shopping online, watching videos, answering surveys, and even just clicking on links in emails (you don't have to sign up for anything, but you earn more if you do). The big difference is that it's just cash – no gift cards. They tell you how much you earn per task and then pay you that amount.
In terms of earnings, they're not the highest paying but you can turn a minute into money. You can earn a few cents each time you click a link in a PaidEmail. If you're waiting in line and have just a few minutes, you can turn it into a few cents.
The surveys themselves pay very little. That part surprised me. A just looked at a recent survey offer – $0.40 for a 20-minute survey. Sorry, no thanks.
But a few cents to click an email? I'll take it. You won't get rich but it's better than zero cents.
InboxDollars, incorporated as CotterWeb Enterprises, has an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau (their highest rating) and is an Accredited Business. They've been around since 2012.
In the world of surveys, you have survey companies and then you have market research companies. Opinion Outpost falls into the second category, where shorter online surveys are just the gateway to accessing larger, more lucrative market research studies.
Opinion Outpost pays for surveys on a points system, which you can redeem for gift certificates or cash into a Paypal account. They also enter you into an “instant win” drawing each quarter, which makes you eligible to win a cash prize. One of the nice things about Opinion Outpost surveys is that if you don't qualify, you still get an entry into the quarterly giveaway. Again, I wouldn't count on the drawing but at least you get something for answering the qualifying questions.
Opinion Outpost, incorporated as Survey Sampling International, LLC, has an A+ rating on the Better Business Bureau and has been in business since 2002. I'm not sure when Opinion Outpost was founded but the parent company has been in business for ages.
Honorable Mention: Vindale Research
Vindale Research is another survey company that will pay you for a variety of online activities, including shopping, watching videos, and reading email. They've reportedly paid out over $5 million to members, which puts them at one of the higher paid out companies. They've been in business since 2004, which makes them older than Swagbucks and practically a dinosaur.
One of the advantages of Vindale is that their surveys are of varying value. Sometimes you'll get short surveys that pay a little, sometimes you'll get short surveys that pay a lot; in rare instances, as a result of demographic targeting, you may hit the sweet spot of longer surveys that pay well. Along the way, you can get paid a few pennies for reading Reward Mail.
Vindale, incorporated as SayForExample Inc, has an A rating by the Better Business Bureau.
Here are few more market research sites that are worth checking out: