How We Make Money Taking Surveys Online

A surprising number of 2012 holiday shoppers spent $700 or more on gifts. Our family spent less than $50 on nearly $500 worth of merchandise. This remarkable feat was accomplished via one simple task: taking surveys online.

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If you’re skeptical about this, you’re not alone. Yet, as a stay-at-home mom, I feel that one of my jobs is to make my husband’s paycheck stretch as far as possible, and taking surveys play a big role in accomplishing that goal. I usually dedicate about an hour total on the following websites — usually after the baby is in bed! Although making money taking surveys takes time and planning, there are a plethora of legitimate options out there!

So, if you’re struggling with money, looking to pay for next year’s Christmas presents, or if you’re just wanting to earn some extra cash so you can apply it to your debt reduction strategies, then consider the sites that we use to make money taking surveys.

Make Money Taking These Surveys

Survey Site #1:

I have been able to make money from this site for nearly five years, and although it does take several months to reach a reward goal, this survey site is definitely for the “lazy” survey-taker who wants to make money taking surveys online in their spare time.

After signing up at their site, you can look to receive about one email a month linking you to a survey that you qualify for, for an average of 500-1,000 points. That’s it — for about twenty minutes of your time each month, you can work towards a goal of your choosing, ranging from a charitable donation, to gift cards to various retailers and restaurants.

The catch?

Don’t expect to earn a reward anytime soon; it can take upwards of six months to earn a single gift card, but, if you start planning now, you can easily get a couple of stocking stuffers for 2013 taken care of via this site!

Survey Site #2:

Okay, so this one isn’t technically a “survey” site, but it is most definitely a rewards site! Like, can take a few weeks to accrue any worthwhile reward, but the nifty thing about this site is that it is educational, in addition to self-serving.

By taking “pledges” to commit various acts of green living (e.g. turning off the faucet when brushing your teeth), reading articles on green living, and the like, you accrue points that can be used towards discounts at various green retailers, magazine subscriptions, and gift cards. Because it defeats the purpose of living on a budget to take advantage of the fairly pricy green retailer discounts, and it takes a fairly lengthy amount of time to earn enough points towards gift cards, I’ve found this site to be great for magazine subscriptions, both print and electronic.

We currently get all five of our magazine subscriptions courtesy of this site—at roughly $20 per subscription, that’s an annual savings of $100, and that’s like making money! Not much, but every little bit helps, and they make great gifts for the readers in your life!

Survey Site #3:

The great thing about the survey site is that you can make decent money taking surveys online and you’re going to get as much out of it as you put into it.

If you only click on a couple of website links and take one survey a week, it will take you months to reach the reward, or make the money, you have your eyes on. However, if you are taking surveys daily, and explore other easy points options available, it is simple to accrue thousands of points towards dozens of rewards, including PayPal cash, restaurant gift cards, and retailer gift cards.

Mypoints makes it easy to save money as well — if you have to shop online, chances are good they have coupon codes available for your retailer of your choice. They also provide coupons each week — for each coupon you clip and redeem, you earn points…points which are as good as making money. It’s as easy as that! I have had excellent luck with being able to make money through surveys on this site, and it is highly recommended: it is even an accredited business by the Better Business Bureau.

Survey Site #4:

This is one of the old standbys in the taking surveys department. It runs along the same lines as, but Swagbucks doesn’t just offer gift cards to retailers — they also offer tangible items from their “Swag Store” ranging from stickers to computers!

Again, as with, the more time you dedicate to point-earning activities, the faster you get to your reward and the more money you can make taking surveys online! I was able to get my daughter’s Christmas and birthday presents from this site…and didn’t spend a dime.

Survey Site #5:

I am a newcomer to this site, but can honestly say it is the crème de la crème of survey sites.

The premise of this site is similar to Mypoints and Swagbucks in that you can take surveys for points, but is completely different in that to earn the really big points, you have to do video reviews of products you own or are invited to try for free from companies.

Since September, I have accrued enough points (which I chose to redeem for gift cards to and towards a Visa gift card) to successfully complete our Christmas shopping — all we wound up paying out of pocket for was wrapping paper! Obviously, this is not the site for you if recording a minute of yourself reviewing a product that millions can see online makes you squeamish, but if you are brave enough, this site is an excellent way to make money taking surveys as it pays well, and fast!

Bonus Survey Site:

This site will only be applicable to those in select metropolitan areas, but if you are a church-goer, and would like to help other churches improve, this may be a good fit for you.

Apparently, houses of worship pay pretty good money to get honest opinions from first-time visitors about how to be more welcoming; at $45 doing something I would have ordinarily done (i.e. go to church), and then taking surveys (which takes about an hour) on my experience, has helped fill in any budget gaps we have. Think mystery shopping for churches!

Some people may find this particular option in poor taste, however, if you happen to be looking for a new house of worship, or if money is particularly tight, this can be a good option for you; it is a very easy way to make money taking surveys online while “church shopping.”

Dedicate just a few hours a week towards taking surveys, and it is absolutely possible—guaranteed, even!—that you will be able to make money taking surveys, and thus save money in the process!

About the Author

By , on Jan 4, 2013
Amanda is a full-time mom and aspiring writer. When not chasing after her one-year-old or writing, she is figuring out creative ways to stretch a dollar.

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  1. Liz says:

    Haven’t heard of most of these (except Swagbucks). I will ave to check some of these out. I use American Consumer Opinion Pannel. You don’t get a ton of surveys but it is $20-30 of extra each year for me. I’ll take it!

  2. Meka says:

    I was actually able to buy all of my children’s Christmas presents last year using money and gift cards I earned by participating on sites like the ones you have mentioned. I’m not familiar with a few of them but I do know of swagbucks and epoll. Been paid by both. I also use Opinion Outpost and many other survey sites.

    It’s a bit time consuming but since I don’t work outside the home currently, it’s a good way to use my spare time to bring in a little extra money. Glad to see someone else making these types of sites work for them.

  3. David Landen says:

    I have never taken an online survey (for money) before but it does sound interesting. Of the five sites you mentioned above which one would you recommend for someone who is new to online surveys?

    • Amanda R. says:

      If you are good with being in front of the camera, I’d recommend Expo. But to ease into it, I recommend MyPoints. You can do as much or as little as you like with it!

  4. Sara says:

    I’ve had a Swagbucks account for quite a while, but I can never seem to earn enough points to be worth anything before burning out on it.

    My introverted self is not brave enough for video reviews, but that could be a great opportunity for my better half. How well does the expotv site pay/reward you?

    • Amanda R. says:

      Expo rewards add up fast, and the rewards are pretty awesome. I usually gravitate towards the Amazon gift cards, but they also have computers, e-readers, household items, and other gift card options as well!

  5. The downside of a lot of sites like swagbucks is that you have to provide some personal information. Make sure you use a “spam” email if you don’t want to be bombarded with stuff. It’s always good to have one.

    • Amanda says:

      That’s a very good point, and one I should have mentioned within the post. Having two email accounts–one for personal/work related items, and one for survey sites and the like–is a great idea.

  6. Boris says:

    This is a great list. I have tried the surveys and I would agree with some of your comments here that it just takes too long. As a finance blogger, I think trying to get some writing gigs can pay well.

  7. Hi Amanda,
    I’ve done the odd surveys but I prefer to review food products in home which we alot of in 2011 not so much in 2012. I found with the amount of time I was putting into taking surveys I could whip out a couple coupons and save money alot faster. I know some people who live for them, it’s all personal really but there is money to be made it just takes a lot longer.

  8. Thanks for the shout out, Amanda! We welcome everyone to apply to be mystery guests, whether you regularly attend church or not. If we are not currently working with churches in your area, we will keep you in our database and will let you know when assignments become available.

  9. I wasted an hour and a half once filling out a survey that promised to pay $20. Never got the money and had no contact information to inquire. That was the first and last time I ever tried an online survey. It was not however via one of the reputable sites you suggest.

    I’m forwarding this post to my wife who is also a stay-at-home mom and would like to make a little extra money on the side.

  10. Debt Roundup says:

    I used to try and do survey sites, but just didn’t feel it was worth my time. When I had an online business, it was one of the first companies to offer items on Swagbucks. I thought it was cool, but it broke my business for a few weeks. It never worked out that well for me as retailer, but it is great for the consumer.

  11. Anthony says:

    I’m not a big fan of survey sites they take far to much time for the effort. I agree with you that if you’re time rich then you might as well do something to earn money! I love swagbucks as it pays me for doing something I’m already doing. Have you tried signing up to email receiving sites?

    • Amanda R. says:

      Yep–survey sites are not for everyone, but while my daughter naps, it is the ideal situation for me. May as well use my time wisely! Which email receiving sites do you utilize?

  12. Jon says:

    I signed up for – you basically earn cash back when you use their affiliate links to store websites, but since I’ve signed up I haven’t shopped online yet!

  13. Swagbucks sounds interesting, I will have to check that out!

  14. I have heard of doing this but have never tried it! Good info. =)

  15. Pauline says:

    I tried a few sites and got discouraged as well, it does take a lot of time to reach their payout goals.

    • Amanda R. says:

      Yes, it definitely can. That’s what I liked about–fast payout, for relatively little work. As for the others, it helps to plan ahead what you want to “save” the points for.

  16. in our “hustle months” when cash is short, my wife and i both try to find surveys and focus groups to participate in…

    i signed up for faith perceptions a while back, but unfortunately, they usually dont have any in my area..

  17. Michelle says:

    I need to take a look at these sites! great list.

  18. I had never heard of any of these (except Swagbucks which everyone is talking about at the moment). I’ll have to let my wife know I have some activities for her while she is on maternity leave.

  19. I know both my wife and I have tried a few of these sites in the past but really is not worth the time in the long run for us. I’ve used E-poll on and off and it does seem legitimate, but many of the surveys just seem to take forever. Glad that you’re able to help stretch your budget some with them.

    • Amanda R. says:

      Survey sites are definitely not for everyone–you are right, some can take quite awhile! For some folks, time IS money. Since I don’t work outside the home and bring in another paycheck, I feel like this is my way of contributing to the family 🙂

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