Best Paid Survey Apps To Make Money

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There are always times when you could use some extra cash. Whether you’re chipping away at student debt or covering some of your daycare bills, knowing the best online destinations for making a few extra dollars when you need them is good to have in your back pocket.

There are many survey apps out there, so we’re not going to throw a bunch at you. Instead, we’ve hand-picked a few of the best based on pay potential, usability, and reliability. All of our research was focused on minimizing time-in and maximizing money-out.

Here’s our list of the best paid survey apps to make money with:

1. Prolific

What is Prolific?

Prolific is an academic site where universities and Ph.D. students pay participants to complete surveys necessary to their research. It’s really fun for participants because they get to be a part of interesting research, and the pay is good too.

How does it work?

After you sign up for an account, you fill out a series of demographic questions and then receive email notifications for surveys you qualify for. Once you receive a notification, you go to their portal and sign-up to take the survey. These surveys are usually a bit more involved, but you’re getting paid more and the questions are more interesting than typical demographic surveys.

How much can I make?

Prolific aims for a minimum of $6.50 an hour and people report $30-$40 per month, but ultimately it depends on how much time you put in, how quickly you complete surveys, and how many surveys you qualify for. Prolific generally pays higher than other survey apps, though.

How can I get paid?

You can cash out on PayPal or Circle.

Pros of Prolific

  • Signing up is easy and free.
  • Payment is transparent and fast.
  • You earn cash instead of points or gift cards.
  • Surveys are quick and easy.
  • Academic surveys tend to be more fun.
  • You are guaranteed payment once you start a survey.

Cons of Prolific

  • Doesn’t always do the best job of letting you know when you qualify for a survey.
  • Doesn’t have a specific native app, but there is an app that enables you to receive survey notifications.
  • Completing surveys on your computer is easier than your phone. There are rumors of a Prolific app coming soon.

Where do I sign up?

Sign up for Prolific here.

2. Google Opinion Rewards

What is Google Opinion Rewards?

Google Opinion Rewards is a Google Program that pings users to fill out surveys in return for credit they can spend in the Play Store.

How does it work?

Everything is handled within Google’s fantastic app. You receive notifications to fill out surveys or answer questions. According to Google, questions can range from, “Which logo is best?” and “Which promotion is most compelling?” to “When do you plan on traveling next?” After you finish the prompts, your account is automatically credited with Google Rewards cash.

How much can I make?

Google offers up to $1 in Google Credit per paid survey, and their surveys are usually short. I’d use this app more as a way to buy Kindle books or pay for apps and/or subscriptions you’re already in the habit of buying.

How can I get paid?

Your earnings can only be spent in the Google Play store, so it’s best to use this to pay for subscriptions you’re already using or to buy books. Saving on entertainment is still saving.

Pros of Google Opinion Rewards

  • Fantastic app.
  • Reliable.
  • Short and sweet.
  • Good credit rewards for time spent.
  • Reliable notifications.

Cons of Google Opinion Rewards

  • Can only spend in the Google Store.
  • Limited survey availability — better for a reactive approach instead of proactive survey mining.

Where do I sign up?

Sign up for Google Opinion Rewards here.

3. dscout

What is dscout?

dscout is a platform that connects brands with users to create in-depth, video-based research experiences.

How does it work?

It’s free to sign-up, and everything is handled through their app. After you create an account, you can start applying for “missions.” These missions are usually 30min to an hour in length and involve you taking a video of yourself either experiencing a product or answering questions about a product or experience.

How much can I make?

Typically $40-$100+ per study that lasts around an hour, but spots fill up quickly and you won’t qualify for every opportunity.

How can I get paid?

You can get paid through PayPal, by opting for gift cards, or sometimes getting product samples.

Pros of dscout

  • Great, modern platform with a good reputation.
  • Great pay when you qualify.
  • Fun surveys and experiences.

Cons of dscout

  • Must be comfortable on camera.
  • You need to have a decent smartphone.
  • You have to be in a quiet place without distractions.
  • Spots for the “missions” tend to fill up pretty quick, so you have to stay on top of applying.

Where do I sign up?

Sign up for dscout here.

4. UserTesting

What is UserTesting?

UserTesting is a “human insight” platform that enables brands to view screen-recorded experiences of their product or website by actual humans. This lets them test changes before implementing them on a larger scale.

How does it work?

You sign up via email either on their website or through the User Testing mobile app, and then you sign up for tests manually. You can set up notifications for new testing opportunities, and the stronger your user rating the more tests you’re accepted for, generally.

How much can I make?

You get paid $10 per 20-minute test and can make even more when you’re interviewed, and some users report making hundreds of dollars a month. It just depends on how many reviews you manage to qualify for — the competition is pretty fierce.

How can I get paid?

You get paid in cash via PayPal exactly a week after you complete a test or interview.

Pros of UserTesting

  • More fun than traditional surveys.
  • Better pay than surveys.
  • Great chrome extension that makes recording simple.
  • You always get paid on time and in cash.

Cons of UserTesting

  • Takes time to build up a user rating good enough to attract enough tests.
  • Tests are really competitive and are often gone within minutes.
  • The mobile app isn’t as well-designed as it could be.

Where do I sign up?

Sign up for UserTesting here.

5. Survey Junkie

What is Survey Junkie?

Survey Junkie is a survey-only app that pays survey responders small amounts in return for filling out surveys for their brand partners.

How does it work?

You can sign up online or on their mobile app. It takes just a few seconds, and then you’ll have the opportunity to fill out your profile in return for points. After you get set up, you can view the available surveys and get started. It’s a straightforward platform.

How much can I make?

Survey Junkie’s points translate directly into cents, so 1 point = 1 cent. Most users report around $2-$5 an hour, and surveys take from just a few minutes to up to 20 to get through them.

Sometimes you can also qualify for focus groups that pay between $50-$100.

How can I get paid?

You can spend your points on gift cards or get paid out via PayPal.

Pros of Survey Junkie

  • You can earn a bunch of points off the bat by completing various tasks.
  • Can get paid out in cash.
  • You can combine your surveys with its browser for extra earnings.
  • Nice, modern app.
  • Low payout threshold ($5).

Cons of Survey Junkie

  • Payouts are much lower than the above sites.
  • Survey offerings can sometimes be limited.
  • It’s strictly surveys, so you can’t get extra points by product testing, etc.

Where do I sign up?

Sign up for Survey Junkie here.

6. Swagbucks

What is Swagbucks?

Swagbucks is the biggest player in the survey and free reward marketplace. It’s backed by Yahoo and offers rewards for surveys, searching the web, watching videos, opting into cashback product offers, and more.

How does it work?

Swagbucks is all about collecting points. There are a bunch of different activities you can complete to collect points, from watching videos to completing surveys. Your best bet is to take advantage of the daily polls, offers, and featured surveys. There are a lot of ways to waste time on Swagbucks, so taking the time to develop a strategy that minimizes your effort is ideal.

How much can I make?

Swagbucks is a reliable platform but is far from lucrative. $10-$20 a month with minimal effort is fairly standard, but some power users claim to make hundreds of dollars a month. It depends on the opportunities available and how well you can play the system, but don’t expect to make a lot.

How can I get paid?

You can spend your points on gift cards or get paid out via PayPal.

Pros of Swagbucks:

  • Trustworthy platform.
  • Many ways to earn besides surveys.
  • Good cashback offers.
  • Can combine with their browser to earn passively and actively.

Cons of Swagbucks:

  • Surveys take a lot of time and don’t reward you with a lot of cash.
  • You don’t always qualify for surveys.
  • It’s harder to make this platform work for you than the others, but it can be done with the right strategies.

Where do I sign up?

Sign up for Swagbucks here.

Pro Tips for Making Money on Paid Survey Apps

Use them to fill time when you’re bored.

Many sources quote $3-4 an hour as the average earnings on big survey app sites. While this can add up over time, it’s not going to be the best use of your time. Instead, use survey apps to fill otherwise non-monetary gaps like waiting for your kids at school or sitting in the dentist’s office, etc.

Mix passive earners with active earners.

This goes a bit beyond strictly paid survey apps, but there are many companies that also pay you for your browsing & choices around shopping. If you can have a healthy flow of more specific, higher-paying survey opportunities mixed with “always-available” apps like Swagbucks AND have an extension like Qwee rewarding you for your natural behavior on browsers, then you’ll have the best mix of paying opportunities.

Always aim for specificity.

Surveys that only apply to a small group of people always pay better. Whatever app(s) you use, be as specific as possible about who you are and the experience you have. Surveys that are looking for “25-34 non-white teachers with children under 10” will pay much more than “looking for women.” Aim for surveys you are uniquely qualified for.

Set up a separate email address.

Depending on how many apps you sign up for, you could be flooded with survey opportunities. I recommend setting up a separate email address like nathansurveys@gmail.com to have one place to collect all of those messages.

And then if you want to take it to the next level, set up a filter that notifies you when certain keywords related to your expertise are found in emails. E.g., if you have a non-profit background you could ping your other email address when “non-profit” is found — that way you know you should respond to that survey opportunity.

Diversify the types of surveys and reviews you do.

The opportunities in survey apps can vary quite a bit. From walking through websites with sites like UserTest to getting actual products and reviewing them on video with dscout, it’s mentally refreshing to diversify your work.

Rapid-Fire FAQ About Paid Survey Apps

What is the highest paying survey app?

There is no one app that pays the most. Each app offers varying opportunities and the pay scale for those opportunities can change dramatically, although apps that require you to record video usually pay more.

In general, the more you can qualify for surveys that are uniquely fitted to your demographic the better. I.e., a survey looking for random people regardless of who they are to fill out what they think of a logo will pay much less than a survey asking ex-accountants to review a new accounting software. Use your resume to your advantage.

Are survey apps worth it?

That answer is relative to your situation. There are many great ways to make money online besides surveys, but knocking out surveys in what would otherwise be wasted downtime is absolutely worth it. Plus, if you can sign up for enough legitimate survey sites and only fill out the high-paying, high-specificity surveys, you can definitely make it worth your time.

Which paid survey sites are legitimate? Are paid surveys even safe?

There are many legitimate and safe survey sites, but there are also many predatory sites. The best way to evaluate a site is to take a look at their user reviews & user experience. If they don’t have many reviews or if the app itself seems really hacked together, stay away!

How long do paid surveys usually take?

Many last around 5-15 minutes, but surveys can range anywhere from just a few short minutes to 60min+.

Do I need to pay tax on online surveys?

You definitely have to report it. Whether or not you actually pay taxes on it will depend on your financial situation & whether or not you claim expenses around the income.

Can you make a living off of surveys?

Not really. It’s smart to look at surveys as low-intensity, low-labor work that you can tap into to pad your main source of income. We don’t recommend attempting to make a liveable wage off of surveys.

Do the best survey apps vary for Android and Apple?

Not really. Most of the big players are on both!

What if we all got paid for our data?

What if you owned your data instead of Facebook, or Google, or any other internet service that takes your data and sells it for a profit?  What if you got paid for the targeted advertising these tech giants sell at your expense?  You deserve a piece of that, don’t you?

Permission.io has created a cryptocurrency that enables permission-based engagement and that compensates you for your data.

See what we’re up to.

Nathan Phelps
About the Author
Nathan Phelps is a Content Marketing Specialist for Permission.io. He is the founder of Crafted Copy, a boutique content company, and specializes in writing for SaaS, cryptocurrency, marketing, and general tech. His writing is released and seen by thousands every week, and he is currently building a music productivity startup out of his home office in Nashville, TN.
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