Have you heard you can actually get paid for your opinion? Participating in online surveys is an easy way to make money from home, and it’s an activity that requires no special skills or training. Plus, you can get started immediately. No waiting for an application to be approved or sitting by the phone hoping someone will call you back. Online surveys are a proactive way of putting cash in your pocket now.

In this article, we’ll talk about the ins and outs of paid surveys, how you get paid by survey sites, and what you need to know to start making money online with surveys right away. If you’re ready to dive into a new internet side-hustle, read on for all the details. 

What Are Paid Surveys?

Paid surveys are essentially questionnaires you fill out online that reward you with cash, gift cards, or some other financial incentive. Companies and organizations want to know how you feel about their services and products because it helps them to make decisions about what to introduce to the market. Learning what color packaging people prefer, what commercial is most appealing, or what flavor you are likely to try next are just a few of the things product developers look for. This type of information is called market research, and the data gleaned from it is highly valuable. In fact, corporations spend big money on this type of research. 

Market research firms partner with survey sites and offer paid online surveys to acquire this data. Then, the survey companies recruit everyday consumers just like you to provide an honest opinion about new and existing goods and services. Since most people don’t have the time or motivation to complete questionnaires and get nothing in return, a small reward is offered to encourage participation. It’s a win/win for everyone involved. The market research firm gets the crucial data they need, and consumers get a little cash for their time.

It’s a process that makes a lot of sense. If companies can’t get insight into what consumers want, need, and prefer, they are unable to move forward with new projects. After all, if nobody wants to purchase that shiny new widget, millions of dollars will be wasted. If nobody will like the latest changes to a slogan or commercial, it would be best to keep the original. In terms of the bottom line, paid online surveys are critical for determining whether new products are likely to fail or succeed. 

If you have an opinion and a few minutes to spare every day or two, you can consistently make a little extra money during times when you would be hanging out online anyhow. Getting paid to do surveys can be an easy and entertaining way to add to your savings, pay off bills, or save for something special.

How Do You Get Paid for Online Surveys?Woman Holding Fan of Dollar Bills

This is a great question. After all, getting paid is the primary reason you would sign up at a survey site, right? While online survey sites all have different payout guidelines, you can expect the most common forms of payment to be cash, checks, gift cards, donations, or prize entries. Let’s break them down a little further:

Cash for Surveys

Cold, hard cash is king, and it’s the most popular method of cashing out with online surveys. Although you won’t actually get physical cash upfront, you’ll get paid via a payment processor and withdraw your cash earnings at your bank or ATM. The most common payment processor used by survey sites is PayPal. However, some sites (like Branded Surveys, which offers Branded Pay) also have their own bank transfer services. It works similarly to PayPal, and you can have your earnings deposited into your own bank account.

Gift Cards for Surveys

Earning gift cards is the second most popular method of cashing out since taking surveys for gift cards is almost as good as cash. If you don’t have or don’t want a PayPal account, gift cards are the ideal solution. With Branded Surveys, you can choose from dozens of online retailers, including Walmart, Target, Kohls, and more. You can also earn an Amazon gift card, a highly versatile option that allows you to purchase just about anything under the sun.

Additionally, the site offers gift cards for theaters, restaurants, and hotels. You can even choose from services like Instacart or get a Visa gift card to use anywhere. 

Checks for Surveys

This scenario is self-explanatory. You’ll request a check as your payout method, and it will be mailed to your address. The main downside, of course, is that you will have to wait for the check to be written and delivered, and this takes more time. 

Charitable Donations for Surveys

If you’re feeling generous, some sites give you the option of donating your earnings to a charity. Some examples include the American Cancer Society, Habitat for Humanity, Clean Water Fund, and others. If you struggle with earning enough at your regular job to donate to charity, this can be a way to contribute without taking anything from the regular household budget.

Prize Entries for Surveys

Although not as common as the other methods listed, some survey sites let users exchange their points for contest or sweepstake entries. If you’re a bit of a gambler and you’d like to take a chance on winning something extravagant, this can be a great way of sustaining a sweepstaking hobby. 

What’s the Best Payout Option for Surveys?Group of People Walking Inside the Mall

If you decide you want to participate in online surveys, you’ll want to go with a legit site that has a payment method that works for you. If you need cash, you’ll want to select a company that has a cash payout option. If you would prefer to save up for a particular item from a specific retailer or have a favorite store, a survey site that pays in gift cards might be for you.

If you’re just doing surveys for fun, you might even choose to join a site that offers entries to win cars, exotic vacations, or other big-ticket items. If you prefer to give to charity, select a site that allows you to donate your earnings.

Most reputable survey sites offer multiple cashout methods, so you may want to sign up with one where you can pick and choose according to your needs. 

When Is the Best Time To Take Surveys for Cash?

This is an easy one to answer. The best time to take surveys for cash is anytime!  One of the great things about paid online surveys is that you can work on them in your own time and within the confines of your personal schedule. Furthermore, you don’t even need to be tied to your computer. Surveys can be completed on a tablet or smartphone, as long as you have internet access.

This flexibility means that you can take surveys as a passenger during your commute, while the kids are down for a nap, in bed at night when you can’t sleep, during your morning coffee, or anytime you have a few extra minutes. Yes, we said minutes. You don’t need to spend hours at a time to earn with online surveys. A few minutes here and there will generate a consistent stream of spare cash.

One thing to keep in mind is that there is often a quota for the number of participants allowed for each survey. So you’ll want to check your survey dashboard and email regularly to make sure you get in on the best-paying opportunities.

How To Start Taking Online Surveys for Money

If you’ve read this far, you’re probably wondering how to start taking surveys so you can begin earning. We have some good news. It’s super easy!

Find a Legit Survey Site

First, you’ll want to find a legitimate survey site and sign up. There are some bad players in the industry, so the best way to find a suitable site is to check out ratings like Trustpilot and similar sites. Avoid websites that promise ridiculously high earnings or ask you to pay upfront to join. A site that has surveys for legit money will never ask you for any type of fee. 

Complete the Signup Process

Once you’ve settled on a site, you’ll need to go through a quick signup process, then confirm your email. Once your membership is approved, you will typically be offered some brief profile surveys to complete. Be sure to fill these out thoroughly and honestly, as they will help the company match you with the best survey opportunities.

Start Taking Surveys

After your profile surveys are complete, you can begin taking regular surveys. Select the ones that look interesting to you and dig in! Answer each question thoughtfully and take your time. Once you are finished, you will notice your account has been awarded points. 

Cash Out Your Earnings

Your points will accrue for each survey you take until you’ve earned enough to cash out. At this point, you can leave them in your account and continue letting them add up or exchange them for one of the payment methods offered on the site. 


That’s all there is to it! Once you’ve cashed out your first earnings, you’ll probably be hooked!  You can repeat the process anytime you like, completing more surveys and earning anytime you need some spare cash. Many people make a significant amount of extra money each month by participating in online surveys.