10 Sites That Pay You Money (for things you’re already doing anyway for free!)

How much time do you spend on the Internet every day?

An hour? (yeah right!)

Two? Three? Five?

If you’re using search engines, surfing the web, watching videos, playing games or doing one of a dozen other activities – you could be earning a little extra money for your time. I’ve looked through a lot of the sites, many of which are listed on our epic post of 276+ confirmed sites and pulled out ten of the best. These names may be new but many of them are owned by major corporations you’ve heard of (does Nielsen Ratings sound familiar?).

Here are 10 sites that pay you money for doing things you’re already doing for free! 🙂

Table of Contents
  1. Survey Junkie
  2. Swagbucks
  3. Nielsen Computer & Mobile
  4. InboxDollars
  5. LifePoints
  6. Pinecone Research
  7. National Consumer Panel
  8. UserTesting

Survey Junkie

Do you like taking surveys and getting paid? If so, Survey Junkie is for you because that’s all they do. No games, things to download, offers to sign up for and cancel — just surveys. They pay you in points that are easily converted into cash via PayPal or digital gift cards (many vendors, including Amazon and Target) you can spend easily.

It’s one of our readers’ favorite sites and one of the most popular.

Join Survey Junkie


One of the biggest reward sites (they’ve paid out nearly $160 million), they pay you Swagbucks (worth a penny each) for answering surveys, surfing the web, shopping, using search, watching videos, playing games, and more. You turn your earned Swagbucks into cash or gift cards (300 SB = $3 Amazon gift card) and you get a $5 sign up bonus to start.

Join Swagbucks

Nielsen Computer & Mobile

Nielsen Computer & Mobile Mobile is a completely passive market research panel where you install their app and get paid for your activity. They use it to study internet behavior and it doesn’t impact your computer or mobile devices’ performance. They don’t collect any personal information, it just collects the contents of the websites you visit. Nothing private is tracked or stored.

To join this free panel – enter your demographic information, see if you qualify, and install their app. Then, just wait for your rewards!

Join Nielsen Computer & Mobile


A rewards site that pays out cash for answering surveys, watching videos, surfing the web, shopping, and more. The big difference is that you get paid in cash, no converting into gift cards here, and you can also earn for reading emails (and clicking a link inside them). If you want to learn a lot more about them, you can read our review of InboxDollars or just sign up and start earning!

Join InboxDollars


LifePoints is another platform where you can earn rewards for taking surveys. It’s run by Lightspeed Research Limited, which has been around since 1946 and one of the leaders in the market research space. They boast over five million members in 70 countries.

Get 10 LifePoints when you sign up. (our full review of LifePoints goes into greater detail)

Join LifePoints

Pinecone Research

Pinecone Research is a market research company that offers up short products surveys that pay out $3 each. They’re typically very quick, simple, and frequent enough – plus it’s free to sign up so there’s no risk. They don’t play any games with points and weird conversion numbers, just a straight three bucks a survey.

Join Pinecone Research

National Consumer Panel

National Consumer Panel (NCP) is a partnership between Nielsen (the TV and radio ratings company) and IRi (a massive market research company) that collects consumer shopping behavior. When you sign up to be a panelist, you may be sent (based on eligibility) a scanner or access to their phone app. Then, scan everything you buy to earn rewards. You’re going to buy it anyway, you might as well earn some rewards for it!

Join National Consumer Panel


If you have a computer, camera, and microphone, you can test websites for $10 a pop. Testing a website takes 20 minutes and consists of reading a script, so you understand what you’re doing, and then performing some activity on a website as you speak your thoughts out loud. Those activities include shopping for a product (you don’t actually buy anything, you just go through the steps), looking up information, and other typical website tasks.

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About Jim Wang

Jim Wang is a forty-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.

>> Read more articles by Jim

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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  1. Kyle says

    I use InboxDollars. Their surveys are okay if you have spare time. I have it set to not send me any of the advertisement emails, but about once a week I log in and click the dozen or so ads that have accumulated so I can get the ~25 cents. It only takes a minute for me to do that, and then I don’t have to sacrifice my everyday email inbox.

    I tried to do UserTesting once, but my social anxiety got the better of me! I will have to check out Validately, they seem like possible alternative. Thanks for the article!

  2. Lauren says

    Great list! I LOVE User Testing, I am averaging about $50 a month with them, and it’s super easy money!

    • Jim Wang says

      That’s awesome! I might give them a try to see how easy it is first hand – I know quite a few folks who have done it.

  3. Centsai says

    Great post! I am definitely guilty of spending at least 2 hours on the internet a day whether it is work, googling something, online shopping, or social media! Thanks for sharing ways to make money with things that I already do for free!

  4. Stephen says

    I’ll have to check out how many of these are available for Canadians. I find the US always gets the better deal on things like this.

  5. Amy says

    I’ve used most of these sites extensively. Prodege owns Swagbugs and several other sites. The sites are extremely time consuming and the money could be a lot better. The sites keep trying to revamp and evolve but it just gets frustrating. I quit them all.

  6. Dhruvir Zala says

    Hey there. I have started using the apps that you suggested and the great thing is all the apps are user friendly and compatible. Thank you so much for the valuable content. Keep posting great information.

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