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I used to think those “Get Paid to Take Surveys Online!” junk e-mails were a scam and not worth my time. It took a personal suggestion from another user of a trusted online community for me to really look into the online survey option. After seeing what I was able to earn within just a few short months, I found myself wishing I had done this YEARS ago. My first experience with online surveys was through Opinion Outpost.
In 18 months, I made over $320.00 taking surveys through Opinion Outpost alone. Unfortunately, after merging with another site in October of 2011, my login to Opinion Outpost became very buggy and I ultimately terminated my account.
Thankfully, there are many other survey panels out there. There are some variations in the presentation among the panels. But generally speaking you have hundreds, if not thousands, of opportunities to take surveys online about any number of topics. You earn credit providing your opinions and experiences on a wide range of existing products and services as well as potential services or products still in the planning stages from leaders in the manufacturing and service industries. Each potential survey opportunity requires a qualification phase through a few initial screening questions. If you qualify for a survey, you then give your thoughts and opinions on the questions posed by that particular survey topic. Sometimes a survey is directed at a specific demographic group that you might not meet. Other times a survey might close out before you take part. When that happens, the survey ends early in the screening process letting you know that you do not qualify.
Under most circumstances, each survey you successfully complete adds a pre-defined range of points to your account. Before starting any survey, you should be told exactly how many points you will earn if you complete the survey. Once your account reaches a certain minimum point level (usually equivalent to anywhere from $10 – $25 depending on the panel), you can request a cash out payment or choose from various gift card options. Or you can leave the credit in your account and let it build up to a higher amount before requesting a payment.
If you like the idea of getting paid to offer your opinions and answer questions about your habits, give the survey panels below a try.
One VERY IMPORTANT thing to do when signing up with any of the survey panels below: you MUST complete the personal profiles associated with your account! The panels need to know generally about your purchasing tendencies, health issues, travel, education and career industry, family dynamic, etc. You aren’t giving any specific identifying information, but this is key to getting survey opportunities sent to you in the first place. The survey panels use this information to help match you up to surveys. I cannot stress this enough: YOU MUST COMPLETE THE PROFILES!!! If you don’t fill out the profiles, you will not see many IF ANY potential surveys come your way. Without surveys, you will lose interest, not return to the site, and forget that you ever signed up. If you do this, YOU WILL LOSE OUT on free and easy money. DON’T make that mistake!
Another thing to be aware of is that YOU WILL get turned down for many of the surveys you try. If you don’t fit the profile that the survey’s client is looking for, they won’t pay you for your opinions. DON’T LET THAT DISCOURAGE YOU!!! Other paying surveys WILL COME and YOU WILL GET PAID. Just be sure to check your e-mail regularly to see if any new surveys are waiting for you. Surveys not taken within a relatively short time frame will expire.
A few final words of caution before discussing the individual panels themselves: a UNIVERSAL RULE across the board for all online survey panels is that you cannot discuss or disclose the specific survey products or offerings outside of your household. Doing so can get your account terminated without warning!!! They all take the confidentiality pledge very seriously and for good reason. Your opinions will help in the development and marketing of various products and services and you are being paid for those opinions. You may see new product ideas or plans that the companies are not yet ready to release to the public and definitely do not want released to their competition. If you want to keep earning money, you must keep your lips sealed!
Also, many surveys are designed to take a certain amount of time to complete (the recommended time is almost always provided to you before you start) and require your full attention and critical thought in responses. If you take 10 minutes to speed through a survey designed to take 30 minutes to complete, the panel will likely invalidate your credit for that survey (or even terminate your account). The panels are paid money — some of which is passed on to you — in exchange for legitimate, attentive, well thought out responses. Completing a survey in significantly less time than it was designed to take is the best way to tell them that you weren’t taking the survey seriously. Some surveys occasionally throw in Quality Assurance questions instructing you to pick a particular multiple choice response to make sure you are reading all the questions completely. So you BETTER pay attention!!!
Here is my list of survey panels. Try a few to get your feet wet and expand at your own pace. I periodically update my comments and earnings and revise my rankings (and weed out panels that have gone defunct). The rankings and earnings below were last updated on December 14, 2016.
iPoll (formerly known as Surveyhead) pays you small amounts for completing the various profile surveys and they provide a lot of survey opportunities with a lot of earning potential. It takes a little bit of time for your survey points to be credited to your account and payouts often take up to a month or more to receive after you request them. But this site has consistently been at the top of my overall earnings, recently elevated to NUMBER ONE overall! iPoll payments are made through PayPal, but have many other gift certificate options for payment as well. I have earned over $1,116.00 since March of 2010 from iPoll, including a free Kindle device from them!
If you have a smartphone, you can download the iPoll app (if available on your OS) and take mini-mobile surveys available while you are out and about at various businesses in your community. These earnings are added to your standard iPoll account and you can check that running balance right from the mobile app.
iPoll really is a great survey panel with tons of earning potential.
Below are other survey sites I am currently using, endorsing, and getting paid by, listed in my personally ranked order of preference. I try to come back and re-rank these a few times a year based on changing trends and experiences.
In fairness to the survey panels, I no longer regularly check many of the panels past the first 7 or 8 rankings. The reason being, I don’t have the same amount f time available to devote to them that I once did when I first starting taking online surveys. While still profitable, I’ve found it easier and more time efficient to earn money using smartphone Apps That Pay! So in the limited time that I am able to devote to online surveys, the top 7 or 8 get the bulk of that attention. The lower ranked survey panels get less attention from me, limiting further my chances of increasing earnings from them.
2. PineCone Research* these guys have one of the highest ratings of them all. Surveys are infrequent, but you are guaranteed to qualify for every survey they send you. They pay a consistent $3.00 for each survey taken with no “minimum payout” to reach before you get paid and the surveys usually only take 15-30 minutes. PineCone is able to process payments either by check or electronically through PayPal. I’ve earned $799.00 from PineCone since March of 2010.
*Signing up to PineCone requires an invite. They only accept members who find and click on their active banner ads. Their sign up ads don’t stay up in any one place for very long and are only around when PineCone is actively recruiting new members. So you have to be very lucky to find one. And even once you’ve found one, you have to apply for membership and be accepted. Most other survey panels accept all sign-ups, but PineCone is very selective in their membership.
Occasionally PineCone releases sign up links to its active members to share. When I am contacted by PineCone with an active application link, I immediately post it here, so check back often to see if an open link is available. (NONE currently available)
3. My Survey has frequent surveys and slightly lower pay rates. Some of the surveys are worth a minimal amount of credit through the screening questions, even if you do not qualify to complete the full survey, although this does not happen as often as it used to. If you fit the right profile, you have a chance at a little bit larger payouts for continuing on in the survey. My Survey merged in 2011 with the former Lightspeed panel. Prior to the merger, I was a member of both panels for about ten months. This merger has greatly increased the value of My Survey. I’ve earned over $325.00 from My Survey since March of 2010. My Survey pays through PayPal.
4. Clixsense started a survey panel in March of 2011 after having been in the PTC industry for a number of years. I signed up at the very beginning and have earned over $255.00 from them since then. I am familiar with their integrity and reliability from the PTC site, so I expect to continue to see great things from the survey side of this panel.
5. I am excited about a new survey panel I just recently joined called MintVine. It is similar to many of the others here, but with a fresh “minty” taste! MintVine not only pays you for the surveys that you complete, but will also pay you a portion for any surveys that your referrals complete! I joined this panel in July of 2015 and made a quick couple of dollars filling out the initial survey profiles. I am also able to make a small bit of change by answering their daily poll. My current earnings with MintVine top $65.00.
6. PaidViewpoint is a nice alternative panel. Mini surveys are available quite often which usually pay 10 cents for a few minutes of multiple choice demographics questions. Depending on your responses, you might qualify for a longer higher paying survey, which will seamlessly appear as you complete the initial demographics questions. I joined PaidViewpoint in March of 2014 and have earned over $61.00 so far.
7. Survey Savvy has an extremely small cash out minimum of only $1.00. I’ve decided to let my earnings build up rather than cash out so frequently. They’ve put over $107.00 in my pocket since November of 2010 and offer some really great surveys!
8. I-Say is one of my favorites for a number of reasons. First, you get points for every survey offered whether you qualify to take the full survey or not. Obviously you don’t get a tremendous amount of points if you don’t qualify, but they still understand that your time is valuable to you. Second, they have an option at the close of a survey to guess the results of a poll question. Something like Out of 100 American males, how many would say they prefer ketchup to mustard on hot dogs. You pick your answer and based on how close you are to the correct answer you get a certain number of sweepstakes entries to apportion toward four different prizes offered. It’s a fun way to end your visit!
Now merged with the Synovate panel (of which I was a member at the time of the merger), I’ve earned over $140.00 since joining iSay in June 2010.
9. Vindale Research I’ve been a member for quite some time, but have not taken many surveys from them in that time, so my overall earnings are low. They have a high minimum cash out, but do offer a steady stream of earning if you read their daily emails and respond to survey offers. I’ve earned over $22.00 from Vindale Research, but they seem to be reliable on payouts according to other sources I have seen online. I am looking to give them more of my time to see what I might earn.
10. Initially American Consumer Opinion surveys came less frequently and it took me a number of months to reach my intial $10 minimum payout, but I’ve since had quite a few good paying surveys and my earnings have increased. All told, I’ve earned over $177.00 since March of 2010 from American Consumer Opinion. Click here to join!
11. Life Fun & Everything is a unique panel new to my list. Since joining in the summer of 2012, I’ve taken one survey per month reporting on my personal consumption habits in a specific area during the month prior. I earn $2.00 each month for a few minutes of my time. Not a tremendous return, but something I can count on regularly. I’ve earned $207.00 so far, including a $100 gift card to restaurants.com in a sweepstakes win!
12. Toluna has daily surveys and “mini-polls” to take all of which earn points. The mini-polls only earn fractions of a penny, but they can add up if you have some time to waste. They also give minimal credit for their survey screeners which often lead to larger paying surveys. I joined Toluna in April of 2011. Since then, I have earned over $76.00. A word of caution, they do not credit completed surveys right away and your accumulated points expire one year from being credited if you do not cash them in, so don’t make the same mistake I did! I left this panel go stagnate for a while and lost about ten dollars in earnings because of it!
13. Valued Opinions has quick payout for well compensated surveys. They just don’t pay directly in cash. I opted for the Amazon.com certificates which come by e-mail. Since June of 2010, I’ve earned $105.00 in Amazon gift certificates from Valued Opinions.
14. Mindfield Online offers infrequent surveys and a low cash out. I’ve earned $46.00 from them since January 1, 2011. Mindfield’s surveys tended to pay more at one point, but they have not been as profitable lately and I do not attempt many of their surveys because of that. Not a bad panel by any means, just not as promising as when I first started.
15. Global Test Market offers a lot of surveys, but many are only for sweepstakes entries and I’ve been screened out of a lot of the surveys for points. This site has taken me the longest to reach the $10.00 minimum payout primarily because the payouts on successful surveys are considerably less than many of the other sites. But I DID win TWICE on $50 sweepstakes entries, so my total earnings are above $110.00 since March of 2010. But after a few years of inactivity, I have suspended my use of GTM. Don’t let that discourage you if you are interested. They definitely are legitimate and do pay out.
Through these sites, I’ve also been asked to test some product samples. Not only were the samples free for me to keep after testing them, but I was actually paid money to give my feedback and opinions on those free products! Items I’ve tested have ranged from food products to personal hygiene products to other household items. These usually consist of a pre and post testing survey.
As I said above, one of the universal rules across all the survey sites is a strict non-disclosure confidentiality in the survey topics and products. So I am unable to disclose any of the specific products I’ve reviewed or physically received for testing, but I can tell you that I have received a couple of items that are and will continue to be used in our household. Regular everyday stuff that I otherwise would’ve paid for on a trip to Kroger or Target or Wal-Mart. Items that I otherwise would have purchased anyway – not junk that would never get used.
I started doing surveys in February 2010 initially on just a few of the above panels, picking up the others here and there along the way. By the end of 2010, I earned just under $1,200.00 on the survey sites alone.
If you would like a second opinion on any of these survey panels, go to Survey Police where other users have shared their experiences with each panel. Some rank higher than others, and many of the reviews are subjective in nature, but you can get a general idea of others’ experiences with these survey sites, independent of my own reviews above.
Good luck and GO MAKE SOME MONEY!!!