Paid surveys are a type of statistical survey in which participants receive incentives for participating, usually either in the form of a small cash prize, entry in a sweepstakes, or via store or product credit. Many marketing firms use paid surveys to carry out online marketing research, directly contacting consumers. However, there are also middle-men, third-party survey websites that promote survey-taking as an easy way to work from home or obtain supplemental income.

It's important to note that most websites pay very little per survey, or only offer token rewards such as good, services, coupons, or samples. Some also use a point system which is redeemable for goods, and yet others function as pyramid schemes, not paying much unless you recruit others. Still, if the paid survey website is legitimate, is can provide some additional income, and at the very least, free or discounted goods and services.

Some paid survey websites charge membership fees for access to the surveys, or for lists of marketing research firms that conduct paid surveys, most of which are available for free. These websites advertise inflated numbers on earnings from online paid survey completion, and are generally untrustworthy. Finally, beware paid survey websites that share your information with their marketing partners, opening you up to unsolicited telemarketing calls and approaches. Ultimately, it’s best to protect your information by making sure of its legitimacy, and reading its privacy policy.

Top 10 Companies

Our Partner
9.6 / 10
  • Joining is free and easy.
  • Earn free $5 to $25 gift cards.
  • Redeem points for gift cards to top retailers.
  • Featured in TechCrunch, BuzzFeed, Fox, Time, and ABC.
  • Wider variety of ways to earn.
Our Partner
9.1 / 10
  • A+ BBB Accredited
  • In compliance with SafeHarbor
  • Get rewards of up to $10,000 with monthly sweepstakes
  • Install the mobile app and you're ready to go!
  • $120,000 awarded annually to lucky members
Our Partner
9.0 / 10
  • Earn cash, $3 for every single survey!
  • Free samples of products to test
  • Invitation-only survey panel
  • Low pay-out threshold
  • Chance to win up to $500 every 2nd week on sweepstakes
  • Payment via Paypal
  • Surveys and product testing offered
Our Partner
8.7 / 10
  • Free account creation
  • Matches you with high paying surveys you qualify for
  • Decide which studies you’d like to participate in
  • Redeem reward through Amazon Gift Card, PayPal, or personal check
  • Easy online application
Our Partner
8.2 / 10
  • Free online registration
  • No minimum threshold
  • Redeem points through sweepstakes or Bidland
  • Bid on real items like flatscreen TVs, headphones, and vacations
  • Triple reward points for your first survey
  • Loyalty program with up to 10,000 loyalty reward points
  • Earn 25 points for completing a survey
8.0 / 10
  • Minimum of 30,000 points to request reward
  • Surveys on hot political topics
  • 500-1000 points awarded per survey
  • Variety of redemption options offered
  • 2,000 points sign-up bonus
  • Free to join
  • Earn 1000 points per referral program
7.8 / 10
  • Oldest survey website
  • Now offering instant online digital rewards
  • List of member opportunities offered
  • Quick online registration
  • Harris Panel Sweepstakes
  • A- BBB Rated
  • Mobile App Available
7.6 / 10
  • Earn up to $20 for every survey completed
  • Tons of different opportunities to earn cash online
  • Offers focus group of up to $100
  • Two-tier referral program available
  • Quick and simple online application
  • Receive 10% for every survey completed by your friends
6.9 / 10
  • Free membership
  • Easy to join with frequent, high-paying surveys
  • Minimum of $10 to request rewards
  • Great reward options
  • Win up to $1,000 on sweepstakes
  • A+ BBB Accredited
  • No points system
6.6 / 10
  • Join and get an instant 500 points
  • Cash out quickly with PayPal, Virtual Visa, or Amazon Gift Card
  • Great loyalty programs offered
  • Daily survey router available
  • Earn $100 per sign up each time you refer a friend
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How We Compare Paid Surveys



The most popular paid survey sites offer specific dollar amounts per each survey. This cash is typically disbursed via PayPal or sent by personal checks. Paid survey sites have a variety of other ways to reward their members as well. Some of the most popular reward options are gift cards, coupons, sweepstakes entry, loyalty programs, and referral programs. Users generally earn the most through sweepstakes, loyalty programs, and referral programs, that’s why a paid survey site should be able to administer such arrangements.

Gift Cards

  • Amazon Gift Cards
  • Home Depot Gift Cards
  • iTunes Gift Cards
  • Starbucks Gift Cards
  • Retail E-Vouchers
  • Walmart Gift Cards
  • Restaurant Gift Cards

Donations to Charity
Sweepstakes Entries
Loyalty Program
Referral Program
Cash Rewards via PayPal or Check

Before registering for a paid survey program, users should consider how a given provider weighs and scores their participation. Market research providers all have different approaches when it comes to compensation, including "point systems” or "dollar systems.” Users must take note of how much they can earn per survey or information-gathering activity they complete. In a point system, it is essential to be aware of the cash value of the points they are earning. When it comes to the redemption process, typical programs take 4-6 weeks to process each payment. If you can find a fast processing program with high compensation offered, make sure to check its other features before joining.

  • Point System – participants earn points with each completed survey, which can then be used towards purchases
  • Earnings Per Survey Completed – members earn specific dollar amounts per survey
  • Points for Disqualification – negative points/payments in the event a user has been disqualified while completing a survey
  • Minimum Threshold Required – refers to the amount needed for a member to redeem rewards
  • Redemption Process – period of time between the date when the redemption has been made and when it is received by the user



Users of paid surveys typically respond well to surveys that don't take much time. Obviously these won't pay as much but staggering many short surveys for less money a pop tends to be less tedious on the whole, and faster to complete than getting bogged down in longer, more in-depth ones. Sites that offer users the opportunity to take quick surveys for a realistic amount of money are listed higher in our rankings. Beware of sites that offer high-dollar amounts for short surveys. If they are saying they'll pay you $100 for a five minute survey, you can be sure it's a scam. As with most other things in life, if it sounds to good to be true it probably is.

Other Projects


Aside from surveys, other marketing research activities such as focus groups and product testing can give the user an opportunity to make significantly more money. Some sites offer links to many established companies that are willing to pay users for their opinions. More options means more opportunities for members to earn rewards. These kinds of activities can be much more in depth and require more of a commitment in terms of time and effort. Participation can include:

  • Focus Groups
  • Product Testing
  • Online Discussion
  • In-depth Input
  • Trial Offers
  • Web Research
  • Software Download

Instant Rewards


This is a very popular feature a lot of paid survey sites are now offering. Instant rewards can come in the form of online gift card codes for immediate redemption at retail sites such as Amazon, Sears, Kmart, and iTunes, or through items offered by the survey provider itself.  


Paid survey providers have different requirements and qualifications which users must have for them to be eligible to join. Other programs allow international users and minors to participate in their research study. Users should first read a program’s eligibility requirements to know if they qualified to be a member of their program.