If you don’t mind answering questions, are fairly detail-oriented, and have some free time to play around with, you may want to try doing reward surveys as a way to get free stuff and sometimes even cash.
Reward surveys are online questionnaires that companies want people to answer, and so they reward them in some way for their participation. There are many different companies that offer reward surveys, and the rewards may be different depending on the company.
Are Reward Surveys Worthwhile?
You won’t get rich doing reward surveys, but if you have any spare time and you’d like to use that time earn a reward or a little cash, you should consider reward surveys. Consider some of the unproductive minutes (or hours) you have in a typical day; it may make sense to use that time completing surveys.
There are a few people who make big bucks doing surveys, but it is unclear how much time they are spending on this pursuit. Typically, it can take as much as half an hour to an hour a day to earn a $25 or $50 gift card each month with most reward survey sites, and if you do the math, you will find that you probably only made $1-2 per hour for the time you spent.
Not everyone will think it’s worth it to spend their time this way, but some people do think it’s worthwhile to turn otherwise wasted time into cash or free stuff. $25 or $50 in free merchandise or extra cash each month turns into as much as $600 a year, which can help pay for Christmas or a vacation that you might not otherwise have been able to afford.
How to Earn Survey Rewards Online
Most survey apps or sites require you to create a free account in order to earn rewards. You will fill out some information about yourself first; this helps the site find surveys targeted to your particular demographics–your age, marital status, kids, job status or profession, and other information that distinguishes you from others.
Survey sites need this information because companies pay them to collect survey information, and they want to get information from particular target groups that use their products or that they want to do so. The more information you can give the survey site about you, the more likely you will be to get more surveys that fit companies’ needs.
Once you have an account with the site or app, you may need to check back frequently to see if there are surveys to take. Some sites may send you notifications or emails when surveys are available. Figuring out the navigation of each particular site or app may take a little time, but most are made to be very easy to use. Be sure to note how the site’s points work and how to redeem points when you have enough.
You can sign up with more than one site, which may be a good idea at first. That way you can see how each site works and which ones give the best rewards and/or the best return on your investment of time. Eventually, you will find one or several sites that seem to work best for you and may decide to focus on them instead of trying to do surveys on multiple sites.
What is a Good Payout for Online Survey Rewards?
Typical surveys will earn you between 50 cents and $5.00. Brief surveys and ones that have a very broad target demographic (all women, for instance) tend to pay less, while longer surveys and those that have a narrow target demographic (women between the ages of 35 and 50 who like watching sports on TV, for instance) tend to pay more.
For surveys that reward with points that must be redeemed, you can look at the value of the rewards offered and how many points are needed to get that reward to determine the payment amount of the survey. If a survey is worth 50 points and you need 1000 points to get a $10.00 gift card, for instance, that survey is paying you 50 cents.
You are in control of how many surveys you take and how much those surveys pay, so you can decide how many surveys to take and whether taking lower-paying surveys is worthwhile.
In addition, it is important to note that some surveys seem to require you to join an online site or create an account, which you may not want to do. Getting a bunch of spam emails or possibly even being charged for a membership may not be worth earning a few points in many people’s opinions. If you do decide to pursue these kinds of surveys, it may be a good idea to create a separate email address to use so that you aren’t getting large amounts of junk emails through your regular email account.
Some Sites That Offer Reward Surveys
Opinion Outpost offers the chance to carry out marketing research surveys in exchange for rewards. There are several ways to redeem rewards; via cash, Amazon points, and iTunes.
Survey Junkie is an app that gives you a chance to round out the same number of reviews as you need, gives you points for each one you complete. When you gain 1,000 points, you can catch a $10 gift voucher to begin stocking up on presents for next year.
Google Opinion Rewards is an app that offers between 10 cents and $1 per survey. Android users can redeem their points for Google Play credits, and iOS users have their earnings deposited into Paypal each time they reach $2.00 in rewards. Availability of surveys varies, and the surveys can be accessed when available just by going to the app.
Swagbucks is a website that offers a bunch of different ways to earn rewards, including surveys. Points earned on surveys can be redeemed for gift cards or deposited into your Paypal account at certain points totals. You can also earn points through Swagbucks by searching through its browser and when you make purchases online with participating retailers.
I-Say (formerly Ipsos) offers surveys and pays in Amazon vouchers or Paypal. You can participate through the website or the app and you can also enter contests for users to win bonus points or merchandise. The site has over 10 million users, so competition might be fierce, but it also might draw companies to it and be able to offer more surveys than other sites.
MySurvey offers Paypal and gift card rewards to users and pay about 100 points per 15-minute survey, which equals about $1.35 in rewards. The site said that it gave out $32 million in rewards in 2014.
Valued Opinions pays $1 to $5 for each survey of undetermined length and is redeemable in gift cards to Amazon, Target, and other top retailers.
Crowdology says that its surveys take from two to 15 minutes and that it pays up to $10 per survey, which would make it one of the higher-paying survey sites. Users can get their rewards in cash through Paypal or in (somewhat higher value) Amazon or Gcode vouchers.
You may be able to get as many surveys as you want from just one of these sites, or you can sign up for several in order to reach your daily allotment. It might be worthwhile to have at least one site that is available as an app in order to be able to earn rewards when you are waiting for a doctor’s appointment or standing in line at the grocery store (not while driving, please).
Making More Money Through Survey Sites
There are some survey sites that offer limited opportunities for higher value activities that could make you as much as $50 or get you free items worth even more than that. Some sites offer focus groups and in-home product testing opportunities that will probably take a lot longer than filling out a survey but pay significantly more.
Some sites also allow you to earn when you refer friends that sign up for the site. If you have a lot of friends who want to earn extra money, these earnings could add up. You can also put a link on your own website or blog or on social media pages in some cases, if you have them, to get referrals.
Keeping a Balance
While it is certainly fun and entertaining to take surveys and earn rewards, be sure that you are not spending too much time on these sites and apps and neglecting other areas of your life. The likelihood of making enough money taking online surveys to replace a job even at minimum wage is not very high, and the costs of neglecting your job or your family for these pursuits can end up being far more than the little bit of money you would make pursuing online survey rewards.
Still, it can be a fun pastime for some who have a little free time here and there and want to earn some extra cash or free gift cards for their efforts.