Pinecone Research Review: More Money for Surveys

Online surveys are an easy way to make some extra money. However, many survey sites are notorious for low payouts and requiring several survey attempts before you finally qualify for one that earns points.

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.

Learn more about this exciting opportunity and find out what to expect in this Pinecone review.

Table of Contents
  1. What is Pinecone Research?
  2. Who Can Join Pinecone Research?
    1. Pinecone Research Application Process
    2. Can You Get Kicked Off Pinecone Research?
  3. How to Make Money on Pinecone Research
    1. Online Surveys
    2. Product Testing
    3. Household Questions
  4. How Does Pinecone Research Pay?
    1. Bank Deposit
    2. PayPal Cash
    3. Prepaid Debit Cards
    4. Gift Cards
    5. Merchandise
  5. Do Pinecone Research Points Expire?
  6. Does Pinecone Research Have a Mobile App?
  7. Is Pinecone Research Worth It?
  8. Pinecone Research Pros and Cons
    1. Pros
    2. Cons
  9. Pinecone Research Alternatives
    1. Swagbucks
    2. Survey Junkie
    3. LifePoints
  10. Summary

What is Pinecone Research?

Pinecone Research is part of the ubiquitous Nielsen market research company that partners with consumer brands to offer short online surveys to evaluate consumer opinions and potentially test new products.

While it’s not possible to take unlimited surveys each day, panelists automatically prequalify for the surveys they receive invitations for and each survey takes up to 20 minutes. In addition, these surveys pay $3 making Pinecone one of the highest payouts for a survey site.

Unlike other platforms, Pinecone is a very exclusive platform and panelists must meet specific demographics to qualify. Therefore, you may need to join a waitlist if there are no current openings.

Who Can Join Pinecone Research?

The basic qualifications to join Pinecone are similar to other survey sites. One difference is that minors cannot become panelists.

Here are the minimum qualifications:

  • At least 18 years old
  • Only one person per household can be a member
  • You nor anyone in your household work for a consumer packaged goods company, marketing researcher or in the advertising industry

The platform is available in the United States, Canada, Germany and the United Kingdom.

In the past, Pinecone required aspiring applicants to apply through a special invite link instead of on the platform website to help find the most interested panelists. However, as of June 2021, you can apply directly through the website as well.

Learn more about Pinecone Research

Pinecone Research Application Process

Unlike other sites where membership is essentially a guarantee, Pinecone doesn’t accept every application. The platform only accepts a limited number of panelists from each demographic background to help maintain the high payouts.

Thankfully, the application process is relatively effortless and takes less than two minutes.

You can find out immediately if there’s a spot for you after providing these basic details:

  • Name
  • Email address
  • Birthdate
  • Gender
  • Highest education level
  • Race or ethnicity

If you don’t qualify right now, Pinecone states they will keep your application on file for a few weeks if an opening appears. Otherwise, you will need to periodically re-apply.

When you qualify to be a panelist, you can complete your membership profile and begin receiving paid surveys. Also, congratulations, as you belong to one of the most exclusive and highest-paying survey sites.

Can You Get Kicked Off Pinecone Research?

As qualifying to take Pinecone Research surveys is like finding a “golden ticket,” you will want to abide by the membership agreement to avoid losing your membership.

The platform can cancel your membership for several reasons, including:

  • Another person from your immediate household becomes a member
  • You share confidential information about products
  • Your account is inactive for at least 12 months
  • The platform needs fewer panelists

You will have the opportunity to provide input on unreleased products and services. Pinecone requires influencers to not share details or images about the product concept.

For example, you won’t share your experience with the product on social media unless you have permission. This essence of confidentiality is one reason these surveys pay more.

Another potential downside is that you may not have a lifetime membership. The platform periodically adjusts its membership base (i.e., panel composition maintenance) as population trends change. As a result, you may receive fewer survey invitations if the platform doesn’t need input from your demographic background and the service may deactivate your account.

How to Make Money on Pinecone Research

There are two primary ways to make money as a Pinecone member. You can earn money with similar effort as some of the other platforms you participate on already.

Online Surveys

Each online survey pays $3 and takes approximately 15-20 minutes to complete.

This completion time is average for online surveys. However, most survey sites are likely to pay a fraction of the income for the same time commitment.

It’s worth seeing if you qualify for Pinecone to make more money for the same effort.

How Many Surveys Can You Take?

While you earn more per survey, you must wait to receive survey invitations. There isn’t a dashboard with multiple open opportunities like most panels.

How many surveys you can receive each month depends on your background and the desired survey population. You may receive as few as one invite each month or as many as one per week.

Don’t expect to receive daily invitations like other platforms.

Typically, only answering a handful of surveys each month means it can take months or years to cash out. Thankfully, you can request payment after each completion. Earning $3 per survey offsets not being able to answer as many at a time. You can work smarter instead of harder.

If you need to make more money from surveys, you will need to continue using other platforms to earn consistent income. Here are some other survey sites to check out.

Product Testing

Manufacturers may also mail you products to test at home and leave a review. Depending on the study, you may be able to keep the item. In other instances, you may have to send the product back.

These opportunities can be less common than online surveys. You might be able to earn more if these tests require more time than the standard 20-minute survey.

Household Questions

Panelists will periodically answer short household questions. This activity doesn’t earn award points but helps the platform match you with relevant surveys and product tests.

Learn more about Pinecone Research

How Does Pinecone Research Pay?

The panel has a $3 redemption minimum making it possible to request payment after each survey you successfully complete. You will receive rewards points for completed activities (300 points=$1)

Here are your payment options.

Bank Deposit

You can transfer your earnings to a linked bank account. The transfer can take between 3-5 business days to complete.

Your first prize redemption may have to be a bank transfer to verify your account. Waiting at least 30 days after joining to redeem your prize lets you request the other prizes from the gift catalog.

PayPal Cash

You can also request cash payments by PayPal. There are no PayPal fees to erode your income.

Prepaid Debit Cards

Another cash-like payment option is a prepaid debit card. You can use the card online or for in-store purchases at merchants accepting Mastercard.

Gift Cards

Another popular option can be retail and restaurant gift cards. It’s possible to earn Amazon gift cards among other favorite brands.


A final redemption option is physical merchandise. Pricier items can require a higher minimum redemption.

Do Pinecone Research Points Expire?

Your Pinecone Research points won’t expire unless your account becomes inactive. You must complete a survey at least once every 12 months to keep your account active.

As there isn’t a redemption minimum, requesting small yet frequent redemptions can be the best option to ensure you don’t lose any rewards because of inactivity or account deactivations.

Does Pinecone Research Have a Mobile App?

Yes, there’s a Pinecone Research mobile app for Android and iOS devices. Influencers can use the app to take surveys, redeem points, and update their user profiles.

Is Pinecone Research Worth It?

Pinecone Research is worth applying for because you earn $3 per survey that takes up to 20 minutes to complete. You can make approximately $9 per hour completing surveys which is higher than most panels.

This service can be an excellent option for any person that likes taking consumer opinion surveys. It’s an ideal platform for people who only have the time or desire to take a few monthly surveys and don’t want to receive multiple survey emails from other sites.

People who rely on daily surveys for money can also benefit from the periodic Pinecone Research survey. The higher payouts and small time commitment can be worth the relatively infrequent survey opportunities.

If you must join a waiting list, you only lose a few minutes to see whether or not you qualify. There’s nothing to lose to see if Pinecone needs your opinion.

Learn more about Pinecone Research

Pinecone Research Pros and Cons

Here are some of the advantages and disadvantages of Pinecone.


  • Earn $3 per survey
  • Surveys take up to 20 minutes to complete
  • Can cash out after each survey
  • Multiple payment options


  • May receive infrequent survey invitations
  • Must apply for membership
  • May have your account deactivated as population trends change
  • Only 1 person per household can join

Pinecone Research Alternatives

You might consider these alternatives if you’re on Pinecone’s waitlist or want to take more paid surveys.


Swagbucks offers a variety of ways to earn points and the minimum redemption threshold starts at $1.

Some of the ways you can earn rewards points include:

  • Surveys
  • Online shopping
  • Signing up for product offers (free and paid)
  • Playing games
  • Watching videos

You can redeem points for $1 Amazon gift cards (140 points). PayPal and other gift card rewards for other brands start at $3 (300 points).

Read our Swagbucks review to learn more.

Learn more about Swagbucks

Survey Junkie

Survey Junkie lets you take several surveys each day. Survey payments vary by length and difficulty but most opportunities take 20 minutes or less.

Payment options include gift cards and PayPal cash with a $10 redemption minimum.

Another way to earn rewards is by installing the SJ Pulse feature. You can sell your internet usage data on your phone or computer. Brands can see how you use your devices, which products and online stores you research and what ads you might see as you surf the web.

Read our in-depth Survey Junkie review.

Learn more about Survey Junkie


LifePoints offers multiple daily surveys. Most take up to 20 minutes but higher-paying ones can take a full hour but pay several dollars. Unfortunately, this platform doesn’t offer non-survey tasks to make money.

You can redeem your earnings for Amazon gift cards or PayPal cash with a $5 balance.

Read our LifePoints review to find out more.

Learn more about Lifepoints


Pinecone Research offers some of the highest paying surveys and it’s also one of the most popular survey sites to join. Being able to cash out after each survey is another positive.

You can effortlessly apply to join Pinecone Research and share your opinion.

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About Josh Patoka

After graduating in $50k with student loans in May 2008 from Virginia Military Institute with a B.A. International Studies and Political Science with a minor in Spanish (he studied abroad in Sevilla, Spain for 3 months), Josh decided to sell his soul for seven years by working in the transportation industry to get out of debt ASAP and focus on doing something else with a better work-life balance.

He is a father of three and has been writing about (almost) everything personal finance since 2015. You can also find him at his own blog Money Buffalo where he shares his personal experience of becoming debt-free (twice) and taking a 50%+ pay cut when he changed careers.

Today, Josh relishes the flexibility of being self-employed and debt-free and encourages others to pursue their dreams. Josh enjoys spending his free time reading books and spending time with his wife and three children.

Opinions expressed here are the author's alone, not those of any bank or financial institution. This content has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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