Surveys 101

If you enjoy trying new products and sharing your opinion, there are several companies willing to pay you to do so!  In fact, I’ve been able to stash away enough survey earnings to pay for Christmas for the past two years!  If you’re interested in giving them a try, I have outlined the sites I am a member of below.  Here are a few tips before you begin:


  • Set up a separate email account just for surveys.  This way you can keep all your invites coming to one place.  Yahoo, Hotmail and Gmail all offer free and easy set-up.
  • After you join, take the time to fill out the profile questionnaires available on most of these sites. These are used to determine which surveys you will most likely qualify for.  With this information on file, you’ll get more frequent invitations and you’ll qualify more often.
  • The sites on the list below are all free to join and all companies that have paid me.  If you come across other survey sites on your own, remember you should never EVER pay to join.  The legit ones are always free.  It’s also a good idea to Google the company and see what others have to say about them before signing up.

My Top Five
These are the ones I earn the most with – they tend to have good payout amounts and frequent survey opportunities.  If you’re new to surveys, I recommend starting with these first:

  1. iPoll – New members get a $5 sign up bonus!  Payout will vary with this company – some are very high paying and others are not.  As a general rule, surveys offered near the end of the month tend to pay the most here.  You’ll get email notifications that will tell you survey length and payout amount, so you can choose which ones you’d like to do.   Accumulate $25 in earnings and you’ll be paid via Paypal.
  2. Mindfield – I’ve been a member of Mindfield since 2008 and have earned a total of $133.  For the first several months of my membership, I only qualified for a few surveys.  But after I filled out all my profile questionnaires, I ended up with a lot more.  So don’t forget to do that (like I did)!  The thing I like best about this site is that most surveys are short, usually between 5-15 minutes. Cash out when your account reaches $5.
  3. My Survey – This one has yielded me more goodies than any of them. I’ve gotten product testing opportunities and high paying surveys. Most recently my teen was asked to fill out a daily log of the hygiene products he uses and was paid $10! I’d say it took a total of 20 minutes. 100 points = $1, and you are able to redeem them when you reach 1000 points ($10).  You’ll get 10 points for joining and up to 1500 points per survey. You’ll also earn 150 points for referring a friend.  My Survey has been responsible for the Consumer Confidence Survey every month for more than 40 years. These results are regarded as a leading economic indicator and are reported in publications such as The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, and The New York Times.
  4. Opinion Outpost – I like Opinion Outpost because they offer a fair payout for your time and plenty of opportunities.  Most surveys are worth 20-30 points and take 5-15 minutes.  Earn 50 points and cash out for $5.  Earn 20 points ($2) for referring your friends.  If you participate regularly, you should get some free product testing opportunities too!
  5. Valued Opinions – For each survey you complete, you will receive a reward, typically between $2 and $5 and occasionally up to $50! When your account reaches $20+, you can redeem for any number of gift cards. Including Amazon.

Other Good Ones!
Once you’ve tried these five companies and had a taste of surveying, I’m guessing you’ll want a few more opportunities!  So here are the other sites I am a member of.  While the survey invitations might not be as plentiful with some of these, if you’re serious about getting Christmas for free you’ll want all the invites you can get.  So here they are:

  • Send Earnings and Inbox Dollars – Get paid to read emails and take surveys. Each day you can participate in a new survey that generally pays $.50 and takes just a few minutes. Today my survey about a new movie. I was asked to watch the trailer and give my opinions!  Both sites offer a $5 sign-up bonus and you’ll get 10% of your friends earnings when you refer them.  Payment is by check when your account reaches $30.  Super easy.
  • American Consumer Opinion Surveys High pay $2-$10 per survey.  Fill out the initial questionnaire and based on your answers you’ll be matched up with appropriate surveys.  Invites will come by email only and are only available for a short time.  Not too many invites from this company, but decent pay when the do come.
  • Global Test Market Be sure to complete the profile questionnaires with this company in order to get the maximum number of invites.  Payout will vary so keep an eye out.  The amount for each survey is specified on the introduction page as you click to begin taking it.  If you don’t see any payout amount, it means you will not be paid – you’ll only get a sweepstakes entry.  Something to watch out for!  1000 marketpoints = $50.
  • HCD Surveys Earn $1-$5 per study and $.50 for referring a friend. Not too shabby. Redeem when you reach 1000 points ($10).  I usually only get 1 or 2 invites per month.
  • Panel Polls – This site is sponsored by Nick Jr., Noggin and It’s the most fun I’ve had taking surveys. It’s a site for parents and kids ages 6-17 to share their likes, dislikes and opinions. I have listened to unreleased music tracks, watched videos of future television shows, and have been sent DVDs to watch with my kids. You may need to have Nick Jr or Noggin as one of your television channels to qualify for most of these.  Most surveys pay 1000-10,000 points, with 1000 points worth $1. Once your account reaches $10, you can cash out. At present, they do not offer points for referring your friends.
  • Springboard America – This panel offers many opportunities to voice your political opinions!  They also offer consumer surveys, but I love the political ones – just for a change of pace. Once you have accumulated 50 survey dollars you can redeem it for $50 cash.  You’ll see the results of the surveys in the monthly Springboard newsletter or over at Angus Reid and Vision Critical.  I always find it interesting to see how my opinion weighed against the majority!
  • Daily Survey Panel– 4-6 survey opportunities per week. Each survey is worth 120 – 400 points, and they have generally been fairly quick and easy. Redeem your points for Paypal cash (200 points equals $1) or for gift cards to Olive Garden,, Target, Disney, WalMart, Starbucks and Home Depot. Refer a friend and earn 200 points each and every month they actively participate in surveys!
  • MyPoints – hands down, my favorite, but it isn’t on my top five because technically it’s not a survey site.  The majority of my earnings come from reading Bonus Mail that comes to my inbox 3-6 times per day!  It’s been so easy for me to earn free gift cards with almost no effort here. I have never spent a penny on MyPoints and I earn a $10 gift card about every six weeks when I read all my emails. Effortless.
    Not a survey site, but another amazon moneymaker:
    Swagbucks– I love Swagbucks. It’s so easy. And since I’m online a lot, it’s the perfect money maker for me. I use Swagbucks to do internet searches and win digital bucks redeemable for gift cards or merchandise. When I reach 450 Swagbucks, I redeem them for a $5 gift card.Plus, when I refer a friend, I get a Swagbuck each time they earn one for the first 1000 “bucks”. This means that for each referral, I can earn $10 in gift cards. That really adds up! By referring 6-10 friends and doing searches, I estimate that I will be able to earn $100 in time to use it for Christmas 2010!


  1. Jennifer says

    I emailed you to get a referral for the my points but have not heard back from you. I was hoping that I could enroll in this as well. I have done most of the other ones that you have posted. Thank you for your help. My email is jenfreemoney at gmail dot com.

  2. Marli says

    thanks for the list of surveys! I am a member of some of these, but you listed a few I had not heard of. Roboform would be SOOO helpful!

  3. Texan Mama @ Who Put Me In Charge says

    Hey, I’ve got a questions…

    I tried to fill out the survey for Nick Jr., but since I don’t have any pay-for-TV service (cable or satellite) the survey just ended. Is that the deal? You have to have cable to be a part of the panel?

    Just wondering. Thanks.

  4. justusseven says

    Hi Yes, it makes sense that you’d need to have the Nick channel for that particular company. I think that’s right. I’ll update my review to reflect that, thanks!

  5. Gretchen says

    Sorry to keep bugging you…

    Well, I signed up for EVERY site you listed here. WHEW!

    Now, my question: will all the sites send me emails for surveys, or are there some that require me to actually go to their site and check for new surveys? I don’t mind doing both… I just want to bookmark the sites that I need to go back to and put them in a special folder.

    Just let me know. Thanks!

  6. Corrie at "Cents"able Momma says

    I'd never heard of Survey Head before, so I just signed up through your link…I've been looking for some new survey companies to try.

  7. Angie.. says

    I tryed to sign up for mysurvey and it said email already exsist. so i went to see if i could get a password sent to that email and it said email does not exsist. Weird!! I guess that site is not meant for me..Thanks!

  8. Fabiola says

    Thanks for all this information. I just signed up for MyPoints, but I don't see where you can sign up for the Bonus Mail you mentioned. Would you be able to help. Thanks!

  9. justusseven says

    Hi Fabiola – the bonus mail is automatic. It comes to the email addy you registered with. You will love this program!

  10. Ashley says

    You mentioned this was a form of income. Do you have to pay taxes on the money you make from surveys? How about the gift cards?

  11. justusseven says

    Ashley – I'm not sure what the rules are, so I just claim it all. It is such a minimal amt anyway…consult a tax professional.

  12. Lindsay says

    Just signed up for swagbucks, but their rewards store has a $5 Amazon card for 450 points, not 45. Is that a typo on your post, or has it just changed in the last year or so?

  13. says

    Hi Lindsay – thanks for letting me know. They did change it. It use to be 45 SB = $5 Amazon GC, but they increased the amount of Swagbucks they give out, so they also increased the prize requirements. $5 Amazon GC is 450 SB.

  14. TheSHOP2003 says

    You have a new Texas member now and I just had to tell you how great your list of survey sites is! Yours if the greatest that I have seen since I started doing them a little over a year ago. Doing surveys can be overwhelming when first starting out. You join all the sites that make all these great prizee promises to you and they are pretty much fake. It is a hard task to weed out the bad ones to find the good ones. You are making this so much easier for new surveyers! In the past 3 months I have cashed out 150 bucks @ Amazon from Swagbucks, 30 bucks from Inbox Dollars, 30 bucks from Send Earnings, and several others like 20.00 card and a few I cant' remember at the moment. There is one that you have not listed that is a little harder to get into but the payout is 3.00 for each survey and sent to PayPal or a real check each time…I get them on average of 3 times a month.
    Pinecone surveys do not take referrals, when they need panelists, they send out banners on lots of different websites and blogs. They are GREAT, so if you ever see something saying they are accepting new members, go for it! It may take several times to actually get in, but it is well worth it!
    Great Blog…Keep us Texas women caught up with all the ways to save!!


  15. jennyboo says

    Just wanted to let you know that lightspeed panel has turned into mysurveys. I really liked lightspeed, it was easy to earn rewards there. My survey, its a lot harder.

    Also, for reward port, do you know how long it takes to get your reward? I was either going to get an amazon giftcard or walmart giftcard. I have enough for the $10, but was waiting for $25. tia

  16. Jennifer says

    Thanks so much for your recommendations on Surveys! I have just begun my first survey experience with Opinion Outpost! So far so good. I wanted to mention that some of the links in your first recommendations above are not working. The My Survey link just takes me back to your website. The Opinion Outpost link takes me to My Survey’s registration page. However, after looking up My Survey via Google, I found out they are not currently accepting new members, so you may warn people to check this before going directly to the registration page and spending time there. Also, it sounds like Opinion Outpost (and other sites) recently have been lowering their incentives. I think the OO surveys are now usually 10-15 points.

    Hope this info is helpful. Thanks again for pointing us to a fairly easy way to earn a little extra moulah!

  17. Lisa says

    I started some of these survey sites but the part I hate is filling out my name and address all the time. I thought I read on your website how to sign up for an app that would fill it in for you but now I can’t find it. Can you help me? Thanks Lisa