Can You Make Money Off Online Survey Sites?
Have you thought about doing online surveys for extra cash? I've been through this, so take it from my experience: unless you are super strapped for cash and have plenty of time on your hands - its not worth it. I'll deep dive into the most popular sites and tell you my first hand experience.
It all started during lockdown. I was looking for ways to boost my income now that I had all this extra time on my hands. I tried recycling cans, but that was too time consuming and to be honest, downright gross. I tried transcribing audio online, but again, far too time consuming and just plain hard work. Then I stumbled onto the idea of survey sites. I have opinions! (see this entire website) I'd like to get paid for them! I signed up to several and got started
On the surface, this looks like a great platform. The interface shows you how many points a survey is worth, and roughly how long it will take to complete. Every point you earn is worth 1 US cent, which you can cash out when you reach the threshold of 500 points, or $5US. If only it worked that way!
Another feature of Survey Junkie is that you can set your preferences, which should pre qualify you for surveys to save time. The preferences include things like age, pet ownership, smart phone usage, level of education, shopping preferences - it's quite indepth. Unfortunately, this feature does not work the way it is meant to. You spend a lot of time doing pre screeners to find out you do not qualify for the survey.
Another problem with the platform is that surveys often fill up before you have the chance to complete them. But you still have to waste time filling out the prescreener to figure that out. You will be doing a lot of unpaid clicking on survey junkie!
The final issue that I have with this platform is that the surveys often link out to third party sites. This can be buggy, and more than once I got to the end of a 20 minute survey, only to have it glitch out and not be able to receive my points
There is one redeeming feature to Survey Junkie however. There are plenty of surveys to choose from. any survey platforms suffer from lack of surveys available, whereas survey junkie will have plenty of surveys to keep you busy.
So, the question is, did I manage to make money? Yes, but it took a loooong time! I ended up making $6.64US dollars, which converted to $8.97 Australian dollars. This was in return for about 12 hours of clicking, frustration and time wasting. But hey, they paid up, so that's a plus!
Plenty of surveys
Paid in US dollars
points are hard to earn
sometimes points are not credited to your account after completing a survey
redirects to glitchy third party sites
That's a lot of cons and not many pros. Survey Junkie is the biggest site, let's review some of the other ones and see how they measure up
At a glance, Toluna looks a lot more slick than survey junkie. But it suffers from the same annoying problem. You have to fill out long prescreeners only to find that the survey has filled up. It's such an incredible waste of time! Toluna offers better rewards but I was unable to earn a single point due to scarcity of surveys. So this review is going to be a lot shorter. But make no mistake, it is definitely worse than Survey Junkie, its just easier to explain why its bad.
Also, Toluna pays in gift cards, not cash. Thanks, but no thanks.
Time wasting prescreening requirements
Surveys are always full
Impossible to earn points
Pays in gift cards not cash
Aussie Paid Surveys
I liked the sound of this one because it is an Australian company. Upon signing up, you get to choose which third party surveys you would like to participate in. Cool, I love choice! I chose them all, because I am greedy. Then, I get an email from each of the companies, and I have to sign up individually. Not a great start after all! The site itself is not a portal like Survey Junkie. You cannot manage your surveys or points there. Its just a way to get you to sign up toa bunch of other survey sites. Which means more screening questions and more time wasting. Earning more points that will never be able to be redeemed. I'm officially out
Does not have a portal to keep track of points earned
redirects you to sign up to multiple 3rd party sites
individual sign up with no collective points earns means more work and less earnings
I found this site through Aussie paid surveys. Through setting up my account I earned 210 points. It was a pretty easy process. Surveys range from 200 - 1300 points, and take up to 20 minutes. 1000 points = one dollar. Overall, it seems promising. Let's dive in!
Once again, I hit the same problems as the previous survey sites I used. I told them all my information, and was still offered surveys that I did not qualify for. I did a prescreening for my first survey, didn't qualify and earned 5 points for my trouble. Seeing as 1000 - $1, I earned a measly 0.5cents. Thanks!
A plus is that you can redeem points for gifts cards or cash, however you have a minimum transfer of $50 for this site, meaning you need 50000 points before you can cash out! Or, 10000 prescreener surveys at 2min each = 333 hours or 13 continuous days of clicking. Sorry Rewardia, you started out so promisingly but you too fail to cut the mustard.
Get paid in cash or gift cards
Easy account set up
Good rewards for surveys
$50 minimum payout
Prescreening feature does not work
The Bottom Line
Earning extra money can be tough. I can understand the desire to want to make a bit of extra money on top of your income. Online surveys are appealing because it doesn't require you to get a second job, outlay any money or interact with customers. But unfortunately it is not likely to me worth your time.
There are many paid survey companies out there. But after dipping my toe into the water with these three, I can categorically say that it is not worth your time to try and make money this way. Even with hours of lockdown time up my sleeve, it was not worth it. If you really want to make some extra money, start collecting cans.
If you are trying to make the most of the money you already have, have a look at my article about budgeting. You might find a little inspiration there to get you started on the road to financial freedom.