Previously, we outlined the items that a stay-at-home mom can do to earn money from home. One of the easiest jobs that your can ever find online is by taking surveys for money. All you need is an internet connection and your opinion. But first, you’ll need to find legitimate survey companies, or else all your efforts will come to nothing.
Related: 99 Ways to Earn Money from Home
If you don’t have control over your schedule because of the several errands you have to do, not to mention you have to take care of your baby (change diapers, prepare food, do the laundry, give your little one a bath… oh I could go on and on!), taking surveys might be a good option for you. Not only can you do at any time of the day, it is also very easy to do! All you need is to open your mind and ready your opinion.
How Do I Start Taking Surveys for Money?
First off, you have to join a legitimate survey company and complete your profile. I always repeat the word “legit” simply because there are tons of offers out there for surveys requiring you to pay first. This is ridiculous! You don’t have to pay for anything in order to answer surveys. If you see something like this, no matter how ridiculously good their payout offers are, don’t go for it. They’re supposed to pay you for your opinion, not the other way around. Such companies that require payment to join are actually just MLM companies. This is not for you. There are tons of free online surveys that are legitimate.
The second important thing to do once you join a survey site is to complete your profile. Every survey requires a specific personal profile, depending on the needs of the business that is producing the survey. For example, a specific brand of laundry detergent is looking for the opinion of females in the age group of 30 to 40, with child/children, and has a household income between $30,000 to $80,000 a year. If your profile is incomplete, there would be little to no surveys available for you. It’ll only take at most an hour of your time anyway.
You Can Take Surveys for Money, But Manage Your Expectations
Yes, manage your expectations. You might see that some survey sites say they offer upto $75 per survey. Although it’s true, this happens very rarely. The usually price of qualified survey ranges from $1 to $20. Those who take surveys for money typically earn $5-$10 per hour. Some survey sites can match you up to 2 surveys a month, while there are those who offer new surveys for you to answer every day.
But don’t expect to answer high-paying surveys every time, and don’t hope to get rich doing this. It can wok as a part time job, though. The key here is to join several legitimate online survey sites all at the same time. The more surveys you answer, the more money or rewards you get.
Most survey sites offer rewards instead of outright cash. They offer gift cards and free stuff based on the points you’ve accumulated. It doesn’t look enticing at first, but for a working mom like me, every penny saved was worth a lot. Plus gift cards are good as cash anyway. Some survey sites offer vacation too, which is awesome.
Answering surveys is very easy work that even a beginner in the world of online jobs can do it. No special skills necessary to take surveys for money. Your only investment is your time.
Top 4 Best Paid Surveys Websites (Based on My Experience)
Here are my top choices:
Swagbucks is the first one I recommend because aside from surveys, there are a lot of other options to earn with them. Whatever activities you do online like searching the net, watching videos, playing games or even shopping, you’ll get a chance to earn if you do these activities with them. For instance, if you need to research on something, instead of using google, use Swagbucks’ very own search engine. Each search is equivalent to a specific number of Swag Bucks. The same goes for watching videos they are promoting or playing games that they recommend. Swag Bucks is like their points system or the currency. Each Swag Buck is equivalent to one cent (or more, depending on what you want to redeem using your swagbucks).
Cashback from Shopping
If you have any plans of shopping online, check if the store you plan on purchasing from is listed under Swagbucks’ stores. If it is, use Swagbucks’ link to get to the shop so that you’ll get points when you purchase. For every dollar of purchase, you’ll get a specific number of swagbucks depending on the shop. For example, you’ll get 3 Swag Bucks for every dollar purchased in Amazon, while you’ll get 6 Swag Bucks for every dollar worth of booking at Hotels.com. How can they do this, you ask? Because Swagbucks is an affiliate of these stores. If you buy using their link, they get a commission for every purchase you make. Essentially, they are sharing with you what they earned from your purchase.
What if you don’t usually buy online and prefer to purchase at your local grocery stores? It may seem outlandish, but you can also get points by using the free printable coupons that Swagbucks have. Not only will you be able to save using the printable coupons, you’ll also get 10 Swag Bucks (equivalent to 10 cents) for every coupon you redeem. You hit two birds with one stone with this one.
Of course the highest source of Swag Bucks is by answering surveys. The highest number of Swag Bucks I’ve seen so far is 300 Swag Bucks for a 20 minute survey, which is equivalent to $3. If you take three of those, you’re going to earn $9 per hour. High paying surveys are too few and far in between. But the great thing about Swagbucks is that I’ve never seen them run out of surveys to answer. If you don’t like the surveys available, you can simply watch videos and play games, and you’ll still earn.
Getting your Money
As for cashing out on your Swag Bucks, their Rewards Store is pretty straightforward. The best deal is 450 Swag Bucks for a $5 Amazon gift card. There are tons of other rewards options. But if you want cash for all your work, you can choose to cash out with Paypal. Just make sure that the email address you used to register in Swagbucks is the same email address that you are using for your Paypal. Also, your Paypal account must be verified before you are qualified to choose Paypal payout. Some members who were not Paypal verified and yet chose Paypal to redeem found out later that their cash out just bounced back to Swagbucks (after several weeks!). Getting verified by Paypal is important.
This is one of the oldest survey sites online. Like Swagbucks, there are several options to earn, aside from answering surveys. You can watch video for $0.25, or you can interact with advertisements sent to your email address. Interacting with email advertisements means opening the email, and then clicking the link towards the advertiser. Simple as that. The surveys pay $1 to $5, and you can answer as much as you can of whatever is available to you.
Another option for earning in Vindale Research is by participating in product evaluations. They would ask you to try out a certain service or product for a specific time frame. Some can be for a few hours, other for several days. They will also compensate you for the amount you spent on purchasing of a product or service. You can earn somewhere between $10 to $100. However, be sure to calculate how much you will really earn before trying something out.
Sometimes they would say the total compensation is $50, but then you have to purchase the item worth $40, which means what you’re really going to get is just $10! Would it be worth your time to evaluate something for a couple of days, only to earn $10? It’s up to you, but be smart with how you use your money and time. Also, it takes up to 5 days before you see the credit for your activities (surveys, evaluation) in your account.
No Points System — Straight Out Cash
The best thing about Vindale is that they won’t make you go into the trouble of computing how much you will really earn based on points. The only currency they use is dollars, in cash. You can either get it by check or through Paypal. However, the minimum cash out amount is $50, which is rather steep. If you just take surveys a couple of times a day, how long before you earn $50? This is one of the highest minimum payouts among all survey sites I’ve tried.
Vindale Research is perfectly legit and I have earned from them years ago when I was still active in answering surveys. But what I hate about them is that sometimes I’m already a third or halfway through the survey, and then they tell me that I’m not qualified! I mean what the hell! I’ve already wasted my time here, with nothing to show for it. Although I hated this part, I stayed with them because they pay in cash. Minimum cash-out is $50 as well.
Share your unique opinion and get paid for it! Product Developers are willing to pay reviewers between $5 and $75 per completed survey.
Global Test Market is a typical survey panel without frills, unlike the others. Its parent company has been around since 1999, so it’s a pretty established survey panel. GTM surveys are mostly about user experience on consumer goods, restaurants, cars and even movies. Much like Swagbucks, Global Test Market uses a points system which they call Market Points. Each Market Point is equivalent to $0.045. Each survey typically ranges from 35 to 250 points, which is equivalent to around $1.50 to $11.36.
Earn Points for Profile Completion
As I have mentioned at the beginning of this post, you must complete your profile in order to get as many surveys as possible. With other survey panels, they won’t be strict in requesting profile completeness, they would just skip you. But with Global Test Market, they would encourage you to complete your profile by providing Market Points based on completeness. So yes, the moment you complete your profile, you already start earning.
Another feature of GTM that I really like is that they inform you when a survey is a qualified survey, which means you need to possess specific qualifications before you start with the actual survey. They will ask you several questions to see if you qualify. If you don’t qualify, they will give you 5 Market Points for your time and effort. Although small, this is better than nothing. Other survey panels will give you nothing out of your effort if you don’t qualify (just like in Vindale Research). Furthermore, credit to your account is instantaneous, unlike other survey sites.
When it comes to cash redemption, the minimum is $50 or 1,100 Market Points. You can have it in the form of cheque, gift cards, or cash payment through Paypal. However, it takes a while to process; typically up to 5 weeks. But although it takes a while to receive payment, it is guaranteed. I’ve never experienced not receiving any payments from them, which is a relief. Global Test Market was one of the first survey sites I’ve tried, and I’ve never regretted trying them out.
Launched in 2001, MySurvey is one of the earliest survey sites out there. It has a fairly good reputation and frequently classified as the number one survey panel by actual users. As opposed to other survey sites, you’ll know faster if you don’t qualify for a survey. With others, you’ve already spent 20 minutes of your time before you find out that you are not qualified and that the time you spent will not be paid. With MySurveys, it only takes a few minutes to find out (maximum of 10 minutes). And although you will not be awarded points when you get screened out, you will gain an entry into the regular sweepstakes draw.
MySurvey uses a rewards points system, with one point equivalent to one cent. For short surveys that take around 10 minutes, you can get up to 50 points. If you want higher rewards, you can opt for longer surveys which usually take about 30 minutes to an hour to finish. The rewards are bigger at around 200 to 300 points. Take note that bigger rewards also means bigger competition, so you have to check in frequently to see if there’s new big ticket survey. Surveys that pay high disappear fast.
Now this is the reason why I choose Swagbucks over MySurvey; it’s because I have a chance to earn more for my time in Swagbucks than MySurvey. If you compare it, you can earn up to $9 per hour in Swagbucks (answering 3 surveys worth 20 minutes each), while you’ll only earn half of that in MySurvey (when answering maybe one long survey and a short one in one hour). But still, it is one of the best in the industry, so you shouldn’t leave it out.
Low Payout Threshold
The best thing about MySurvey is that it has a low payout threshold, as compared with my previous choices. When you reach 1,000 points, you can get an equivalent of $10 worth of cash (through Paypal) or gift cards (through Amazon and other online shops). Like the rest, it takes a while to see the amount reflected in your Paypal account (typically 5 to 8 weeks), but if you redeem Amazon gift cards, it only takes about a week.
Keep in mind that to continuously get offers for surveys, you have to regularly login and answer some surveys. It’s all about building trust, hence the more you login, the more they’ll perceive you as someone willing to spend his time answering surveys. Plus, the more you login, the more entries you get for the sweepstakes draw, which is pretty cool.