If you’re angling to earn some spending cash but don’t want yet another J-O-B, there are a ton of side hustle options to consider.
You could drive for Uber, run errands with TaskRabbit, or watch other people’s kids, for example.
The best part is, many of these hustles let you work when you want, meaning you can plan your hours around all your other responsibilities.
Still, not everyone wants to drive strangers around in their car or deal with people or pets.
For most people, it would be a better deal to be able to earn some side income from home. Online surveys can scratch this itch.
With a handful of different survey companies, you can get paid for answering questions about products and services.
Most survey companies use your responses to help companies decide their marketing plans or whether to launch a new product, too.
In that respect, you’re not just giving your time but also helping influence the range of products that hit the market each year.
5 Online Survey Companies to Try
With these pros and cons in mind, it’s important to note that you have nothing to lose by trying these companies out.
If you experiment with surveys and find they’re an excellent fit, that’s great. You may also find that they’re not for you for some reason, and that’s equally okay.
The best part about this hustle is the fact that there’s no commitment and it’s free to sign up.
Once you’re ready to take the plunge, consider these five companies to try first:
1. Prize Rebel
Like many other survey companies on this list, Prize Rebel partners with brands to complete market research surveys. When you answer questions in their surveys, you are helping companies craft business plans for their products and services.
To get started with Prize Rebel, all you have to do is sign up for a free account or link an account with your Facebook page. From there, you fill out a profile with your personal information and wait to be matched with surveys.
With Prize Rebel, you actually earn “points” that translate into cash later on. Survey payouts can vary but tend to fall in the 50 – 200 range.
Most surveys should take between 5 and 20 minutes, but Prize Rebel is kind enough to list an “approximate” test time next to each survey.
In addition, Prize Rebel does let you earn nominal amounts of points for completing other tasks like watching videos, inviting friends to use the platform, and liking Prize Rebel on Facebook.
Another benefit of Prize Rebel is the fact that you can earn more points for inviting your friends. Specifically, you earn 20% referral points from anyone you refer with no caps.
On the redemption side, Prize Rebel lets you cash in your “points” for Paypal cash or gift cards. Read more about Prize Rebel on my review of them here.
2. Survey Junkie
Survey Junkie is another survey site that awards you for answering survey questions from the comfort of your home (or wherever you are).
This website connects you with surveys that pay for completion along with focus group opportunities. If you get selected for an in-person focus group in your area, you could even earn up to $150.
Still, their main game is surveys. With this company, you start the process by opening a free account. From there, you’ll create a profile by answering questions about your household income, age, and family size.
Once your profile is complete, you’ll get matched to surveys that fit with your profile. Most surveys through Survey Junkie pay between 50 and 250 points.
But, what are those points worth? Like Prize Rebel, Survey Junkie assigns a value of one cent per point.
This means a 250-point survey is worth $2.50. You can also redeem your points for Paypal cash or gift cards to popular retailers. We cover more about Survey Junkey in our review here.
3. Survey Rewardz
Survey Rewardz is one of the newer platforms that lets people earn money via online surveys.
This platform is free to sign up for and easy to use if you’re able and willing to answer basic survey questions for surveys that fit your profile.
The process is simple. You’ll start by signing up for a free account and filling out your profile. You also have the option of signing up via Facebook, which can cut down on the time you’ll spend getting started.
Once you’re completely set up, you get the option to take surveys that are a match and earn rewards in return.
There is no maximum in terms of the number of surveys you can complete, although you’ll only be eligible for surveys where you meet the company’s criteria.
When it comes to cashing in your rewards, you have the option to redeem for Paypal cash, gift cards to Amazon, Visa gift cards, and even a check in the mail.
Most rewards options come with a $5 minimum to cash out, but a few let you cash out with as little as $2 in rewards.
Another website that lets you earn cash online is Swagbucks, although you can use this website for a wider variety of tasks. In addition to online surveys, Swagbucks pays when you watch certain videos, shop online, search the web, and print coupons at home.
You start the process by signing up for a free account. From there, you begin racking up points based on how many tasks you complete and how much time you spend surfing the web.
You can even earn points for playing certain online games.
Redeeming Swagbucks is also easy. You can cash in your points for gift cards or Paypal cash.
Last but not least, you should also check out a survey company called e-Poll. Like other options on this list, this company pays you for filling out a profile then answering survey questions that help businesses test their products and markets.
Signing up is free, and it’s easy to get started. Other than being at least eighteen years old, there are no requirements to start earning with e-Poll, either.
Best of all, you can cash in the points you earn for Paypal cash or for Amazon, Starbucks, Walmart, and more.
The entire process is cut and dry from beginning to end. Sign up, give your opinions and honest answers for survey questions, and you’ll rack up rewards over time.
It doesn’t get any easier than that.
Benefits of taking online surveys
The perks of turning to surveys for extra cash are obvious.
Unlike other side hustles, you don’t have to work in a service position or take orders from anyone.
You can also take surveys from anywhere, whether that’s in front of the television once the kids are in bed or in the waiting room at your dentist’s office.
If you have access to your cell phone, a tablet, or a computer, an internet connection, and some time to kill, you can take surveys and rack up some cash.
Finally, taking online surveys is easy. You won’t have to break out your old Algebra book or answer complex riddles to answer survey questions.
The vast majority of the time, the questions you answer are about how you feel or think about a product or service.
For that reason, taking online surveys is probably one of the easiest side hustles out there.
In summary, online surveys kick ass because:
- You can take surveys anywhere provided you have an internet connection.
- You don’t have to deal with customers.
- You never have to commit to a specific schedule and can work only when you want.
- Online surveys are easy since you’re really just offering your opinions.
Downsides of taking online surveys
The biggest downside of online surveys is the fact they don’t pay as much as a traditional job.
Many surveys pay between $2 to $5 apiece, meaning you’ll have to complete several per hour to earn a real wage.
Another pitfall of surveys is the fact that you won’t qualify for every survey offered. This is due to the fact that many surveys are set up for people from certain demographics. If you don’t fit what they’re looking for, you don’t qualify.
Finally, not all survey companies let you cash in your earnings to receive money.
Some offer Paypal cash that you can convert to money or purchases, while others offer gift cards for retailers like Walmart and Best Buy.
A handful of online survey companies also make you reach a certain level of credit before you can cash in, which can mean you’re leaving points or credit on the table.
In summary, online surveys can be a pain because:
- You have to complete a lot of surveys to earn real money.
- You may have to cash in for gift cards instead of cash.
- You won't qualify for every survey available.
- Some survey companies make you rack up a minimum number of points before you can cash in.
5 Tips to Earn More with Online Surveys
Now that you know where you can start earning money with online surveys, you should come up with a strategy to maximize your time.
While online surveys are easy to sign up for and complete, you can still get more “bang for your buck” if you follow a few simple tips.
The best ways to earn more with online surveys include:
Sign up for more than one platform.
One of the biggest downsides of online surveys is the fact you may only have a few available per platform each day.
For that reason, it helps to sign up for more than one program if you want to complete surveys all the time.
If you signed up for all the platforms on this list, you should be able to take ten surveys per day or more.
Since you’ll earn more money the more surveys you take, it helps to diversify as much as you can.
Complete extra tasks when asked.
Also remember that you can earn points for tasks other than taking online surveys. With Swagbucks, for example, you can rack up rewards for watching videos, printing coupons, and even playing games.
While a lot of these things may seem silly, taking part in a few “extras” per day can really pad your account balance over time.
To qualify for as many additional tasks as possible, make sure to fill out your profile completely.
The more these companies know about you, the more likely they are to offer you extras like focus groups.
Set aside an hour a day
Like any hustle, you need to invest some time if you want to make it work. Since surveys are easy and you can pretty much do them anywhere, it makes sense to set aside around an hour a day to check each platform for surveys you’ve been matched for.
If you don’t have enough surveys to fill an hour, you can work on those extra tasks as well.
Don’t forget to utilize your “down time.”
Maybe you’re extremely busy. In that case, don’t forget that you can complete surveys during your downtime.
You may be able to answer survey questions while you’re watching television at night.
Don’t feel like you have to treat surveys like a regular job because they may not require as much brain power as you think.
Complete surveys on your phone.
A final tip that can help you earn more with surveys is to complete surveys on your phone.
If you have an internet connection or a data plan, you can utilize any time you have as long as you bring your phone along.
This is good news since you may spend time each week waiting for kids outside of sports practices or rehearsals or sitting in your car to drop kids off at school.
Whenever you’re bored and you have your phone with you, you can log in to complete a few simple tasks.
The Bottom Line
While online surveys won’t make you rich, they can absolutely help you earn money in your spare time.
This is especially true if you set aside a certain amount of time to complete them each week or if you sign up for more than one platform.
Having some extra cash to spend never hurts, and surveys offer opportunity without the constraints of a traditional part-time job.
If you are looking for a way to earn more but aren’t ready for a big commitment, give them a try.
Guest writer Holly
Holly Johnson is a financial expert, award-winning writer, and mother of two who is obsessed with frugality, budgeting and travel. In addition to serving as contributing editor for The Simple Dollar, Johnson owns Club Thrifty and is the co-author of “Zero Down Your Debt: Reclaim Your Income and Build a Life You’ll Love.”
Holly Johnson is a financial expert, award-winning writer, and Indiana mother of two who is obsessed with frugality, budgeting and travel. Her personal finance articles have been published in the U. S. News, Wall Street Journal, Fox Business, and Life Hacker. Holly is founder of of the family finance resource, ClubThrifty.com, and is the co-author of Zero Down Your Debt: Reclaim Your Income and Build a Life You’ll Love. Learn more about Holly here.