When you’re doing paid surveys for extra cash, one of the all-important aspects of this side hustle is getting paid. After all, that’s one of the main perks of taking surveys, to begin with, right? But not every survey site is created equal. So when choosing the best place to work with, you’ll want to look carefully at the payout options that are offered to participants. That way, you’ll be able to spend your hard-earned dollars in a way that works best for you.

In this article, we’ll talk about how online surveys work and what options are available to you when it’s time to cash out your earnings. 

How Do Paid Online Surveys Work?

If you’ve never understood how online surveys for cash actually work, you’re in luck. We’re going to explain once and for all how this oft-misunderstood method for earning real money online functions.

Paid surveys operate as a vital part of the market research industry. When companies, corporations, governments, and other entities need data about their users, they often turn to surveys as a means of collecting this information. 

The potato chip example:

Suppose you are a snack manufacturer considering creating a new potato chip flavor. Let’s say you want to unveil rosemary-garlic ripple chips. How will you know if this new treat will be a huge success or an utter failure? You wouldn’t want to spend vast amounts of money on manufacturing, packaging, promotion, and advertising without knowing if anyone will buy your new chips, would you?

So you hire a market research firm to find out the answer to that question. The market researcher’s job is to determine if the new chips are likely to be profitable or not. The only way to know (other than offering them outright on the marketplace) is to test the waters. Market research firms accomplish this task via consumer surveys. 

However, people are busy and not likely to volunteer several minutes out of their hectic lives to answer potential new potato chip flavor questions. But they may be more inclined to do so if they are compensated for their time. This is where paid survey companies come in. 

Survey sites act as a bridge between consumers and market research firms. They pay their users to answer questions that will provide the data needed to make the final decision on whether or not the rosemary-garlic flavored chips are going to be a hit or a flop.

This same scenario is repeated over and over for all types of industries and products. Admittedly, gathering this data is a daunting task, but giving people a little financial incentive to answer questionnaires is a small price to pay compared to the millions of dollars that a company could lose on a failed idea.

What Are the Payout Options for Survey Sites?Two Smiling Women Sitting on Wooden Bench

While not all survey sites are the same, the best companies offer their users a variety of payout options to meet the needs of their participants. Let’s use Branded Surveys as an example. Branded offers their users the most variety when it comes to getting paid for taking surveys. You can earn cash, gift cards, or even donate your earnings to a charitable organization. In this next section, we’ll break down the range of choices.

Earning Cash For Paid Surveys—What Are the Options?

While some survey sites used to send out physical checks to participants, this method is typically not used anymore. Instead, thanks to digital payment options, users can get their money faster than ever. When taking surveys on Branded Surveys, for example, members can cash out via PayPal or Branded Pay.

PayPal for Surveys

Paypal is the most popular method by far when it comes to getting paid for taking surveys online. As far as payment processors go, this online financial service is recognized globally as a safe and secure way to send and receive cash. Plus, it’s super fast. Once you are paid via Paypal, the money will typically reach your account within minutes, if not instantly.

Founded in the late 1990s, the service was used primarily for purchasing things online. Now, however, it serves almost like a bank. You can deposit, withdraw, send, and receive money in your PayPal account simply by adding your bank account and credit or debit card information. Once you are set up, you’re also eligible to receive the PayPal debit card, which allows you to access your funds right away at any ATM.

Alternatively, you can transfer money from your PayPal account to your own bank account and withdraw the funds that way. You can also let your earnings accumulate in PayPal and use the service to purchase items online.

Many freelance workers use PayPal to get paid for services performed, and it’s the preferred method among survey sites because of its reliability. If you want to earn PayPal cash for taking surveys, all you need is an account. Once you’ve signed up and verified through PayPal, you can use it as your preferred payment method on a survey site again and again.

Branded Pay—Cash to Your Bank Account for Surveys

Branded Pay is a proprietary payout option exclusively for Branded Surveys members. Just like PayPal, it is highly secure and fast. Cashing out your earnings with Branded Pay is perfect if you want your money deposited directly into your own bank account. 

It’s a top-rated service with Branded Surveys users because it’s simple to use, and participants can have their funds in as little as 48 hours. Signing up is extremely easy as well. If you choose to go this route, you only need to navigate to the Branded Surveys payout options page and fill out the requested information. Then, once your account is verified, you can start using it right away.

Gift Cards for Surveys

The second most popular way of earning is to take surveys for free gift cards. Users often opt for gift card payments for a variety of reasons. Sometimes, they are reluctant to share their financial information with a third-party payment processor. Other times, they may be unable to verify their accounts properly. When this happens, though, it’s not that big of an issue. That’s because Branded Surveys offers so many options that earning gift cards is almost as good as cash.

For example, Branded offers a prepaid Visa gift card that allows you to spend your earnings anywhere that Visa is accepted. This is a perfect option for those who want to keep things flexible. For example, you can purchase groceries, gas and even pay specific bills with a Visa gift card. 

Other Gift Cards at Branded Surveys

Not all survey sites offer the variety of gift cards that Branded does. That’s why it’s essential to check the payout options before joining a survey site. Some sites don’t even let you cash out in gift cards but reward you with contest or sweepstakes entries instead. This can be fun, but nothing beats cold hard cash or a gift card. At Branded, you can choose from over 100 different gift cards for taking surveys! 

What’s more, the gift cards cover a vast range, including retail stores, coffee shops, restaurants, services, hotels, movie theaters, cruise ships, car repair shops, airlines, and more!  Here are just a few of the selections you can choose from if you decide to take surveys and earn gift cards:

  • Amazon
  • Airbnb
  • AMC Theatres®
  • Apple Gift Card
  • AutoZone®
  • Bath & Body Works
  • Boscov’s
  • Bubba Gump Shrimp Co.®
  • Celebrity Cruises
  • Chipotle
  • Crate and Barrel
  • CVS Pharmacy®
  • Delta Air Lines
  • Dunkin’ Donuts
  • eBay
  • GameStop
  • GAP
  • HomeGoods
  • Hotels.com
  • JCPenney
  • Kohl’s
  • LongHorn Steakhouse®
  • Lowe’s
  • Nordstrom Rack
  • Olive Garden®
  • Petco
  • Staples
  • Uber Eats

And that’s just a few of your options. But, of course, the most popular gift card option by far is Amazon. Everyone knows you can order just about anything you could want or need from this online giant, and with their merger with Whole Foods, you can even purchase groceries with an Amazon gift card. So taking surveys for Amazon gift cards is pretty much the next best thing to cash!


The last category of payment for taking surveys with Branded Surveys is donations. While it’s not the most coveted option for sure, sometimes it’s nice to be able to give back. This can be especially true if your budget isn’t set up for charitable donations and you would like the opportunity to give to a worthy cause. Some organizations of interest include:

  • America SCORES
  • Clean Water Fund
  • Code.org
  • Habitat for Humanity
  • Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health
  • National Park Foundation
  • Special Olympics
  • The Nature Conservancy
  • World of Children

Closing Thoughts

There are many ways to cash out by joining a legitimate paid survey site. The best sites will have multiple cashout methods, so you can choose the option that works best for you. You can even switch between payment methods, trying out a new option each time you make money with survey sites. Good luck!