Online Surveys: Our Guide to Making Money Online With Surveys

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Catherine Tilke

Money Savings Advice Online Surveys: Our Guide to Making Money Online With Surveys

Marketers are hungry for feedback on their products and willing to pay in cash or in-kind for your opinion. If you have an internet connection and are willing to share your views on everything from shampoo to Sky Sports, you could potentially start earning £100s extra in cash and discounts every year, just by answering online surveys.

It’s probably one of the easiest ways to boost your paycheck from the comfort of your own home. And while you’re unlikely to earn enough to be able to quit your day job, you can expect to save money through vouchers and samples and earn modest cash rewards too.

This guide dives into how paid surveys work, what to expect- and beware of- when you sign up, gives tips on how to maximise your earning potential, and reviews some of the most popular survey-taking websites online.

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Making Money Online With Surveys, in Brief:

  • Earn: Cash rewards & vouchers can ease the strain on your budget
  • Reality check: You won’t earn enough to quit your day job

Making Money Online With Surveys, in This Guide:

  • How making money with online surveys works
  • How you can boost your survey earnings
  • 10 survey sites to get you started

How Does It Work? What Are Online Surveys?

To unravel the mystery of why strangers on the internet are willing to pay you for your opinion, we need to start with advertising. It’s big bucks. In the UK last year, companies shelled out £23.6 billion on ads- that’s more than £350 per head for every person living in the UK!

To make sure this money isn’t wasted, vendors hire marketers to get customers’ feedback on their products and research public opinion on the product or services they’re offering. This allows companies to fine-tune their ad campaigns and products to make them more appealing.

And it’s not just businesses, either! Political parties and policymakers regularly carry out surveys to gauge public opinion on the issues of the day before making decisions or launching new campaigns.

By asking these questions, companies and policymakers can arm themselves with information about who likes their products and services, who might like them, and where they need to improve. This means they can target their advertisements to customers who are more likely to buy their products and improve their service, saving them a lot of money.

When you’re paid to take a survey, the company just wants to hear your honest, unadulterated opinion on the subject at hand, which makes online surveys great-; you don’t need any special skills; you just need to be yourself.

How Do I Get Going?

There are thousands of websites online which advertise paid surveys. Some are better than others (more on this below), so it's worth doing a bit of research before signing up willy nilly.

That said, you don't need to limit yourself to just one website! If you're committing to the idea of paid surveys as a way to top up your income, you'll need to sign up to several websites to maximise your earnings.

When you sign up, you'll be asked a few questions about your basic personal information and have the option of filling out a profile, which goes into more detail about your personal circumstances, habits, likes and dislikes.

Filling out a profile helps the site match you with surveys you qualify for (this is one of the reasons it pays to sign up with several sites- you'll match with more surveys) and can save you time later on by skipping screening questions.

Surveys are screened to try and make them more relevant for the company which commissioned them. For example, a company selling formula milk is more likely to be interested in the opinions of new parents than those whose kids have already flown the nest.

After you've filled out a profile, you can start taking surveys! Some sites will let you do this through the website, while others will send surveys to your inbox whenever you match with one.

Whenever you complete a survey, you'll get points, vouchers, or cash rewards added to your account. Depending on the host, you can either cash these out straight away or save up until you hit the minimum threshold for withdrawals (from £20+).


Money Savings Advice Top Tip

If you're planning to sign up to lots of sites, it could be worth setting up a dedicated email inbox to help keep track of which surveys you've taken (some companies are better at keeping tabs on this than others) without clogging up your main inbox.


Beware of Scams

It should also be said that you should NEVER pay to sign up to a survey-taking website or focus group. Some sites claim to offer access to more 'exclusive' and higher-paying surveys- sadly, these are scams. Remember that you are the one with a product to sell (your time and opinions), so you shouldn't be parting with any cash to give these away.

After paying to sign up for the 'exclusive' surveys, you're likely to be directed back to the same surveys available to everyone else- but instead of the marketer paying you for your time and opinions, you will have just paid them for the privilege of giving both up.

Boost Your Earnings

How Much Can I Make?

Let’s be clear about one thing- you’re not going to be able to quit the 9-5 by taking surveys. However, that doesn’t mean that this isn’t a nifty way to save up some extra spending money in your spare time.

Making a regular habit of answering questions makes it possible to cash in rewards or deposits upwards of £100/month. By saving up points over the year, there is no reason why surveys can’t help you take care of big purchases, such as a renovation job or Christmas shopping.  

Very dedicated survey-takers could probably earn more than this, but for most people, the cost (in time and tedium) starts to outweigh any extra benefits at a certain point.

How Can I Maximise My Earnings?

The key to making money with surveys lies in consistency- you won’t be rolling in it from day-dot, but over time your earnings can add up and become a helpful addition to your budget. Work out how much time you can dedicate on a regular basis, and try to commit to it.

Follow these tips to streamline your experience and squeeze the most out of your surveys:

Sign Up to Multiple Sites

This is probably the most important bit of advice if you’re serious about turning surveys into a side-hustle. Most sites have a limit on how many surveys you can take in a given period of time, while others don’t post surveys very often- and even if they did, you wouldn’t qualify for every survey that’s published. By signing up to multiple agencies, you’ll get to top up your earnings more often.

Set Up a Dedicated Email Account…and Check It Frequently!

By signing up to multiple sites, you’re opening your inbox to promotional emails...and hopefully, lots of survey invites too! Keep things streamlined by opening a new email account just for surveys- it’ll stop your main inbox from getting clogged and help you spot new invites more easily. Just make sure you check it regularly, as invites can expire if you don’t respond quickly.

Keep Track of Your Surveys

The websites we’ve listed here are all generally well-reviewed, but other survey sites might not be great at keeping track of what you’re owed. Keep a list (and ideally screenshot) of any surveys you take in case you need to take it up with a platform at a later date.

Don’t Cash Out Vouchers Until You’re Ready To Spend

Vouchers come with their own T & Cs, which can include expiry dates. Avoid disappointment by not cashing out your vouchers until you’re ready to use them.


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Where Can I Sign Up?

Not sure where to get started? We’ve done the legwork for you. Below you can find a list of some trusted, popular survey websites and what you can expect from each of them.

Swagbucks

Swagbucks offers points (known as SB’s) in exchange for surveys, watching videos or searching the internet through its search engine.

What do they offer? Swagbucks points can be cashed out for Amazon vouchers, charity contributions, gift cards or Paypal and Mastercard deposits.

How much do they pay? It depends on which reward you opt for. Surveys start at 70SB – 700SB is worth £5 on Paypal, Amazon or Tesco.

Average survey time? 10-20 minutes

Threshold? There’s no set threshold- as soon as you have enough SB to cash out for a reward, you can go ahead.

Toluna

Toluna offers daily surveys in exchange for points, which can be cashed out in vouchers or PayPal deposits.

What do they offer? Rewards and cash in exchange for points. You get points by answering surveys, available daily.

How much do they pay? 1000- 50,000 points per survey (the higher-end surveys don’t appear as frequently). A typical £15 high-street goes for 80,000 points. 

Average survey time? 15 minutes

Threshold? You can enter prize draws with 500 points, but you’ll need at least 27,000 to start cashing out.

YouGov

YouGov focuses on social and political issues and are commissioned by everyone from quangos to universities.

What do they offer? Points, which can be converted to cash  

How much do they pay? Around 500 points (50p) per survey

Average survey time? Their surveys are a bit shorter than many sites’, averaging 5-10 minutes.

Threshold? You need 50,000 points (worth £50) to cash out.

The Opinion Panel

Targeted at teens and students, members get £10 credit just for signing up and can build credit by answering surveys relevant to students and recent graduates.

What do they offer? Amazon and high-street vouchers, and occasionally cash rewards for users invited to take part in online focus groups, which are more in-depth

How much do they pay? On average, surveys are worth around £1-2 in vouchers.

Average survey time? Most surveys are quite short, at around 10 minutes.

Threshold? You’ll need to save up at least £25 credit to cash anything out.

Valued Opinions

Valued Opinions is a long-established retail survey site. It deals in high-street vouchers rather than cash and charges users a small fee (50p) for postage when credit is cashed out.

What do they offer? High street/retail vouchers and gift cards

How much do they pay? Valued Opinions is more generous than some other sites, with a credit worth up to £5 per survey- although most are in the region of £1-5

Average survey time? Surveys can range from 10 minutes to half an hour.

Threshold? You’ll need to earn at least £10 credit before you can cash out-, although this takes less time than on some other sites due to the higher rates of pay.

Life Points Panel

Take surveys on Life Points to earn between £3-5/hour in vouchers or PayPal cash deposits.

What do they offer? Life Points allows you to rack up points that can be cashed in for high-street retail or Amazon vouchers, or PayPal cash deposits.

How much do they pay? A typical 15-minute survey is worth 7 points, which works out as just over 70p.

Survey time? From under 10 minutes to 30 minutes.

Threshold? You’ll need at least £5 credit before you cash anything out.

Opinium

Opinium collects political views in exchange for cash- although it doesn’t release surveys as often as some platforms, this one could be more interesting for people with strong opinions on current affairs!

What do they offer? Cash payouts in exchange for your opinion on politics and social issues.

How much do they pay? Around 50p per survey.

Average survey time? 10-15 minutes

Threshold? £25 before you can cash out.

I-Say

The new incarnation of research giant Ipsos, there are plenty of surveys available on the I-Say platform.

What do they offer? I-Say offers users vouchers for major high-street retailers in exchange for their views on a diverse range of topics.

How much do they pay? 5-250 points per survey, which works out at between 5p - £2.50.

Survey time? 10-15 minutes.

Threshold? You’ll need to earn at least £5 (around 500 points) before you cash out for vouchers.

One Poll

One Poll offers short surveys on all kinds of topics- there’s plenty of variety here!

What do they offer? PayPal or BACS cash deposits.  

How much do they pay? An average of 20p per survey

Survey time? Their surveys tend to be on the shorter side, topping out at around 10 minutes.

Threshold? You need £40 credit before you can cash out.

Opinion Outpost

Earn points in exchange for vouchers or PayPal deposits- and withdraw your rewards whenever thanks to a very low threshold

What do they offer? Opinion Outpost offer vouchers for major high-street and online retailers or cash deposits via PayPal.

How much do they pay? The average survey is worth around 50p.

Survey time? Anywhere from 10-30 minutes.

Threshold? You only need to earn the equivalent of £2.50 before cashing in your rewards.

Summary

There are lots of online surveys available and all enable you to earn money. We strongly recommend signing up for all of them and spreading your earning opportunities, will be surprised how much money you can make.

Money Savings Advice Author Catherine Tilke

Catherine Tilke

Catherine is our specialist financial news journalist. With over 7 years of experience and a raft of contacts in the financial world, she prides herself on delivering the most relevant and up-to-date financial news for our readers.

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