The 5 Best Paid Survey Sites for 2021

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.

Never pay to join. None of these companies will ask you to pay but there are hundreds of sites out there and some are scams. If they ask you to pay an application fee or membership fee, it’s a scam. They should pay you!
Table of Contents
  1. 1. SurveyJunkie [BEST OPTION]
  2. 2. Swagbucks – $5 bonus
  3. 3. InboxDollars
  4. 4. Pinecone Research
  5. 5. MyPoints

1. SurveyJunkie [BEST OPTION]

SurveyJunkie is the online survey arm of ActiveMeasure and they are a survey company that only does surveys – no points for answering emails, watching videos, or fulfilling offers you have to cancel.

They offer all kinds of market research surveys from those you complete in a few minutes online to those that involve a journal, a phone call, or testing out a product. You get to choose what you’re interested in so if you want a phone survey, you can take a phone survey (if you qualify).

They have a huge supply of surveys at any one time and they will pay you even if you do not qualify for a survey. There is a points system but it translates directly to cash, 100 points is worth $1 and you can cash out at $10. You can get cash via PayPal or opt for an e-GiftCard.

Join Survey Junkie

2. Swagbucks – $5 bonus


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?

Get $5 from Swagbucks

3. InboxDollars


InboxDollars is a “competitor” to Swagbucks but you can sign up for both! The biggest difference is that with InboxDollars you earn cash directly – no need to wonder how many points turn into what. (we say competitor in quotes because they recently merged!)

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. (here is a more detailed review of InboxDollars)

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 upfront in what you get paid so you can decide if it’s worth it.

InboxDollars is run by CotterWeb Enterprises, which has an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau and they’ve been at this since 2012.

Get $5 from InboxDollars

4. Pinecone Research

Pinecone Research is one of the oldest market research firms and one I used to do nearly two decades ago. Back then, they would mail you a paper check before each survey so that you had the money in your pocket before you completed it!

Nowadays they’ve streamlined their process so you get an electronic payment of $3 for each survey. The surveys are pretty quick and can lead to larger product tests that pay even more. They’re free to join, though they are only open for enrollment every so often, and one of the most straightforward in the business.

Here is our review of Pinecone Research if you’d like to learn more.

Learn more about Branded Surveys

5. MyPoints

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.

Get $10 from MyPoints

Best of luck!

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Pinecone Research Review: More Money for Surveys

Anyone who wants to make money online with surveys should consider Pinecone Research as each survey earns $3 with a time investment of 20 minutes. The platform can be a good option for enthusiastic survey takers looking to boost their side hustle income too.

About Jim Wang

Jim Wang is a thirty-something father of four who is a frequent contributor to Forbes and Vanguard's Blog. He has also been fortunate to have appeared in the New York Times, Baltimore Sun, Entrepreneur, and Marketplace Money.

Jim has a B.S. in Computer Science and Economics from Carnegie Mellon University, an M.S. in Information Technology - Software Engineering from Carnegie Mellon University, as well as a Masters in Business Administration from Johns Hopkins University. His approach to personal finance is that of an engineer, breaking down complex subjects into bite-sized easily understood concepts that you can use in your daily life.

One of his favorite tools (here's my treasure chest of tools,, everything I use) is Personal Capital, which enables him to manage his finances in just 15-minutes each month. They also offer financial planning, such as a Retirement Planning Tool that can tell you if you're on track to retire when you want. It's free.

He is also diversifying his investment portfolio by adding a little bit of real estate. But not rental homes, because he doesn't want a second job, it's diversified small investments in a few commercial properties and farms in Illinois, Louisiana, and California through AcreTrader.

Recently, he's invested in a few pieces of art on Masterworks too.

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  1. Cj says

    In regards GCJ Research opinion survey. I always seem to get these requests during a major election year. Always via snail mail. Addressed to me via my legal first name, which I only use for state, federal and medical documentation. All other times I have gone by my initials. The surveys I have taken from them have always been political in nature. The only difference this time around is they are providing payment via a digital Amazon gift card(code email to you immediately) instead of sending “cash” to the address they already had. Last time around I received two additional surveys that paid $10.00 each. Those surveys questioned If I had come any closer to making a choice in the candidate that I would vote for on election day.

    NONE of the questions asked pertained to ANY Personal Identification Information. The one letter sent to the house also included the name of a non-family member that also shares the residence. The only way this company would know that the person resides here would be via state or federal public records. Like automobile registration or voter registration.

    The letter received (“Florida Opinion Survey”)had a return address of GCJ Research, LLC 7557 W. Sand Lake Rd, Suite 1175 Orlando FL 32819) When Google Mapping the address, It was discovered it was a “PostNet Store”(a chain retailer that provides business services including but not limited to printing, copying & shipping.)

    I guess they use one service location like this in every state to outsource the printing and mailing operations.

    I never have found out much information on the company other than they did payout and never asked for information that would harmful.

  2. Judy Ostrom says

    Sadly, both Swagbuck sand Inbox Dollars seriously lack any customer service. I signed up years ago and no longer have access to that email and have tried getting my email changed with both companies with no success, very disappointed!!!

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