Surveys for Money: Here’s What We Earned
We spent more than 50 total hours taking surveys for money. Here’s the lowdown on the 12 sites we tried.
Perhaps you’re thinking of taking online surveys for money as you’re stuck at home. If so, consider our experience in 2017: Three of us spent more than 50 total hours answering questions on these sites, and our combined earnings didn’t break $90.
So, no, online surveys weren’t an efficient way for us to make money.
The lowdown on paid online surveys
To be fair, taking surveys was easy and could certainly be done at home, if you have an internet connection. The 12 sites we tested were free and required no education or skill. Depending on the website, surveys could be a simple — albeit dull — way to earn a few bucks or a frustrating chore that pays next to nothing.
Some sites paid more than others. We appreciated sites that disclosed the cash value for each survey and matched us with relevant ones. We dreaded sites that compensated us through a confusing points system and sent us surveys we rarely qualified for.
Note that your demographics and other characteristics largely determine whether or not you qualify for a survey. All three of us who took surveys in 2017 were single women in our 20s who live in urban areas. Depending on the survey, we may or may not have been the ideal participants. Your profile may lead to results that are different from ours. Back to top
Our review of 12 paid survey sites
Below are our findings from attempting to spend an hour a day for five days on each site. On some days for several sites, there weren’t enough surveys to fill up the hour. (We didn’t count that time toward our total review hours.) We’ve listed the sites in order of the most popular based on Google searches.
Swagbucks. This site offers a lot of opportunities for surveys, but disqualifications are frequent. Sometimes we got disqualified just from clicking on a link to a survey. Swagbucks aggregates third-party surveys, so some sites it sends you to are better than others. It takes a long time to earn points, but the site’s expansive rewards marketplace has hundreds of options to choose from, including gift cards, sweepstakes and PayPal payments. Check out our full Swagbucks review.
Survey Junkie. This site is a smaller survey aggregator, but it stands out. The site has a clean, easy-to-use dashboard and offers a high point value for each survey you complete. The point system is direct and shows you how much your points are worth in dollars right on the dashboard. But you have to get to 1,000 points, equal to $10, before you can cash out. Check out our Survey Junkie review for more information.
InboxDollars. New users get a $5 bonus after confirming their email address with InboxDollars. But that didn’t make up for how little we earned per hour while taking surveys — 41 cents, the lowest rate among the 12 sites we tested. On occasion, instead of sending us surveys, the site directed us to promotions that required our address, phone number and birthdate. Read our InboxDollars review.
MyPoints. This site offered 75 survey opportunities, the most of any site we tested. But it also had the lowest success rate, 9.33%, and a low average hourly pay rate. Plus, the reasons for survey disqualifications often were unclear. On one occasion, we were disqualified after being asked to write the word “Purple.” (Yes, we spelled it correctly.) See our full MyPoints review.