Wondering if Survey Junkie is legit or a scam?
When I first heard about it, I had the same thoughts. There are a lot of survey companies out there and some of them aren't worth your time. Others are.
If you're like me, I bet the name threw you off.
But when I dug a little deeper, I learned that Survey Junkie was part of an organization that was much bigger. And they are worth a closer look.
About Survey Junkie (the Company)
Survey Junkie has been in business since 2013, having been founded in Glendale, California. They're the online market research recruitment arm of Active Measure, which was formerly known as Blue Media Ventures.
If you're interested in Better Business Bureau ratings, Blue Media Ventures has an A+ rating.
How Does Survey Junkie Work?
Much like many legit survey research companies, registration is free. They accept members from the United States, Canada, and Australia but anyone with an email can register (one registration per person).
You earn points by completing surveys, which can pay anywhere from $2 to $75 per completed survey. The longer and more detailed the survey, the higher the pay. There are also focus groups you can join and they will pay even more. Finally, if a company is interested in getting their new products into the hands of testers, they have those limited opportunities as well.
One differentiator with Survey Junkie is that if you do not qualify for a survey, you still earn some points for it. A lot of other sites will not give you any points if you are disqualified (DQ), which is a shame because some of the demographic questions can take a while to fill out. Being DQ'd over and over again, with nothing to show for it, is very frustrating.
Many survey sites will trot out their statistics – how they've paid out millions, how you can make a lot of money doing surveys – but we all know that's not true.
Survey Junkie is honest, here is their answer to the question of “How much money will I make for taking surveys?”
Their answer? “You will NOT get rich by taking surveys. The rewards for each survey will vary but with commitment and regular participation, you'll have the opportunity to earn extra cash each month.”
Market research is a notoriously fickle industry and while your opinion is valuable, it's not lucrative. You'll earn points, turn those points into cash or gift cards, and you can turn what is otherwise downtime into earning time. You won't buy a vacation home with the proceeds but with Survey Junkie you'll be happy to have spent the time answering surveys.
Sign Up & Survey Experience
The sign up process is fast. You provide your email address, zip code, date of birth, gender, and then a password. It takes maybe 10 seconds.
For all that work, you start with 25 points:
Complete a 16-question profile and you will get an additional 50 points. They're typical demographic and family make-up questions, some of which you can decline to answer (like income). Some of my answers may have unlocked an additional 4 more questions that involve family medical history and smoking.
There are quite a few “starter” surveys and point earning opportunities:
- Signing up – 25 points
- Complete profile – 50 points
- Confirm email – 25 points
- Take a “How it Works” tour – 5 points
- Profile surveys – 10 points each, usually a dozen or so questions about a subject
There seems to be a wide variety of different surveys too and they tell you how long it's supposed to take. As you complete the profile surveys, which give you 10 points each, you unlock higher paying surveys because the system knows more about you.
There were some surveys that paid “well,” like 40 points for 5 minutes (which usually takes only a couple minutes). Then there are those which seemed to pay not so well, like 40 points for 20 minutes. It's nice to know how long it's supposed to take.
Sometimes you start a survey and don't qualify – which stinks – but that's when you'll get a few points for your trouble.
One thing I don't fully understand are the really short surveys for 0 points. I took one and it was a Survey Monkey survey about cigarettes and e-cigarettes. I just answered my age, gender, and that I didn't smoke and have never smoked. I was actually given 0pts! 🙂
Finally, you get emails periodically (it's pretty frequent) telling you about surveys you can take. They look like this:
It's really just reminders to log back in because I checked for that survey 35 minutes after I received the email (that's when I checked my email) and it was already filled. Sometimes I click back in a few minutes and it's filled.
The ones that are “really good” are the 10 point surveys for a minute of work:
How Does the Points System Work?
Survey Junkie rewards you in points rather than direct cash. I suspect this is because sending e-giftcards (especially at the scale they probably do it) is cheaper, faster, and easier to manage than sending cash.
With Survey Junkie, you earn points for each survey you complete (and for the ones you're DQ'd from) and each 100 points is worth a dollar. The minimum threshold for cashing out points is just 1,000 ($10) – to gift cards or even to cash if you prefer. The threshold of $10 is one of the lowest we've seen, most places are $20 or $25 worth of points before you can cash out.
The only “catch,” if you want to call it that, is if you want to get cash then you must cash out all of your points. If you have 2100 points, to get cash via PayPal then you'll have to cash out all $21. If you want a gift card first, then cash out the gift card then get cash. Gift cards are in set denominations, like $10, $15, etc.
What Doesn't Survey Junkie Do?
Many survey companies have taken their platforms and expanded it to include other reward categories, like reading emails, surfing the web, etc. I personally think that adding those categories is often very good for consumers, with one exception – offers. Offers are when sites give you points to join a subscription that you'll then have to remember to cancel to avoid being billed. Sometimes canceling is difficult, people forget, and that's how survey sites get a bad reputation.
Fortunately, Survey Junkie has remained true to its core and avoided all that noise. They do get complaints but it's usually procedural, like someone getting upset they were paid when they were already paid. You don't get any offer related complaints though, which is what a lot of the other services seem to face. (someone signs up for a service, doesn't cancel in time, gets charged… and then gets upset).
Why I Like Survey Junkie
The only thing I don't like about Survey Junkie is the name – they only do surveys and they do them well. They are up front about how you won't get rich but you can turn your downtime into a way to make a few extra bucks, something we could all use.
The points system is straightforward – 100 points is $1. There's no weird system where it's 120 points is a dollar or some other discounting through math. What you see is what you get. You can convert the points to dollars, so they don't force you to get gift cards.
They don't have other ways to earn points but if you really want to do that then you can join one of the other programs too! Swagbucks will let you watch videos to earn points. InboxDollars will let you read emails to earn points. If you want a cashback portal, check out MyPoints or eBates.
If you're a survey purist, Survey Junkie is worth a look.