Looking to make a quick $100 tomorrow through online surveys? You’re much more likely to make that same amount in gift cards by the end of the month.
The lowdown on taking surveys for money
That said, some sites paid more than others, and survey taking was an easy side gig to try. The 12 sites we tested were free and required no education or skill. Depending on the website, surveys can be a simple — albeit dull — way to earn a few bucks or a frustrating chore that pays next to nothing.
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 are 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.
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.