There are a ton of paid survey sites out there. Many of them look like they were made in 1990 and shady as all get out.
How do you know if a company is legitimate or a scam? How do avoid the ones that keep asking you qualification questions, that look like survey questions, and DQ you? It's hard.
You have to dig a little deeper and here at Wallet Hacks, we love digging. We dug deeper when we showed how market research and advance cashiers check scams work. We dug deeper when we learned how survey sites scam you by asking you to “pay to join” them.
So we're going to dig into five survey sites that are legit. They will pay you (they've paid me and countless others), they're backed by major market research corporations you'll recognize, and they don't play games.
Swagbucks is probably one of the well-known reward sites today. Born out of an era of paid-to-surf sites and cashback portals, Swagbucks is different in that they have nearly every single way to earn money interacting on the internet.
You can get cashback through their shopping portal, you earn points for searching the web (Yahoo search), answering surveys, watching videos, playing games, printing coupons, fulfilling offers, installing their toolbar/extensions – you name it.
Surveys are just a small piece of the puzzle. The best part about the surveys is that the qualification questions are typically short, there to confirm you're not breezing through it, and you can still earn points if you don't qualify. You will not answer 30 questions and then get denied, with zero to show for it. As of May 2017, they've paid out $191.5 million. They give out 7,000 free gift cards every single day.
Run by Prodege LLC, Swagbucks is a sister company to some other familiar names, like MyPoints. Prodege has an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau and has been in business since 2005, so they are not a fly by night company. (read our Swagbucks review)
Did I mention they give you a $5 bonus from the start?
Ipsos is a funny name for one of the oldest and largest global market research companies. They were founded in 1975 and if you follow US politics, you'll recognize them partnering often with Reuters to produce approval surveys of Congress, the President, and other notable figures. They're headquartered in Paris, France and publicly traded on the Paris Stock Exchange. They have revenues of over a billion dollars – Ipsos i-Say is just a small piece of their business.
It's small to them but big for us. Ipsos i-Say is their online survey rewards community and you earn points for answering surveys. Unlike some of the others on this list, Ipsos i-Say only does surveys and market research. There aren't videos to watch or points for searching the web, they only do surveys.
IMPORTANT: The link comes and goes so if it works, jump on it. 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 no chance you will be accepted.
You can earn cash by shopping online, watching videos, answering surveys, fulfilling offers, and clicking on links in emails (you don't have to sign up for anything, but you earn more if you do). They tell you how much you earn per task and then pay you that amount.
You won't get rich doing these things but it's legitimate and you'll get paid in the end. For example, you get a penny for each email you click. You get a penny for a video stream. You can earn dollars for fulfilling offers but those aren't nearly as quick as reading an email. They are up front in what you get paid so you can decide if it's worth it.
InboxDollars is run by CotterWeb Enterprises, which has a A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau and they've been at this since 2012.
Kind of a kooky alliterative name but Opinion Outpost is a market research company that uses short online surveys to assess your viability for larger, more lucrative studies. They pay for surveys on a points system, that you redeem for gift certificates or cash via Paypal, plus they give you entries into instant win drawings each quarter. Those offer bigger cash prizes. If you don't qualify for a survey, you still get that entry.
Here are some of the more lucrative studies they offer:
- In home product tests – you will be sent a product to your home and asked to try it out and give us your opinions
- Diary study – where we ask you to tell us about some of your daily activities over a few days or weeks
- Community study – we ask you to take part in an interactive online forum over a few days or weeks, giving and discussing your views with others
- Online tracking – where we ask you to let us monitor your internet behavior for a period of time and ask your opinions on what you have done
- Run activities which take up to 30 mins of your time and start right now. They’re similar to surveys but involve you writing down your thoughts and opinions on some ideas/questions that brands have
Run by Survey Sampling International, they've been in business since 2002 and have an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau.
MyPoints has been around for two decades. For years, they operated solely as a cashback portal and were one of the biggest in the industry. If you shopped at stores through their portal, you earned points. Those points could be converted into gift cards.
While they started as a cashback portal, they've added so many new ways to earn since being acquired by Prodege (which makes them sisters with Swagbucks):
For a limited time, you can get a $5 bonus when you take $5 surveys.
If you've joined all the ones above, here are few worth checking out:
Best of luck!