Earn money for answering questions online…sounds like a scam, right? But it’s totally not. In fact, I’ve earned about $50 a month just for answering questions.

First, the 411 on online survey sites.

Online survey sites conduct research for big brands like Sony, Disney, and Samsung. When you sign up for any one of them, you’ll first have to fill out a questionnaire so they know if you fit the right demographic for a specific consumer study. If you fit the right demographic you’ll be invited to take a survey. And in return for your opinions, you’ll get rewarded with points that turn into cash and prizes—plus, you can feel good about knowing that your opinion is being used to influence the future of our country’s products.

Here’s the thing about taking online surveys—you can’t just start taking them. In fact, you’ll probably only get to take a couple a month from each site depending on your demographics. The best way to get started is to sign up for all of these sites today or within the next few days; that way you’ll be sent plenty of surveys to choose from over the next few weeks. The more surveys you take, the more you earn every month. Here are my faves:

 

1. Pinecone Research

The beautiful thing about Pinecone Research? There’s no minimum payout amount. For every survey you take, you get $3, and it only takes about 15-20 minutes to take most of them—that’s about $12 an hour just for answering questions! Get paid via check or PayPal. I highly recommend Pinecone; it’s one of the more reliable survey sites out there.

Start earning with Pinecone Research here.

 

2. Springboard America

Springboard America is pleasantly different from other survey sites because their questions are interesting. Current events and controversial issues are often discussed on their Facebook page, and I admit—it’s quite entertaining (and sometimes frustrating) reading other people’s comments. The surveys force me to think about my own views, which can be enlightening. I recently took a survey on my technology usage and was given an analysis of my answers (kind of like those Cosmo magazine quizzes we used to take as teens).

The downside is the payout amount. $50 is quite high when you’re only taking a survey or two every couple of weeks. I look at it as a savings account, though, and hope to cash out by Christmas to help pay for presents (which shouldn’t be too hard when I consider the earnings from all my survey accounts).

Start earning with Springboard America here.

 

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2. Opinion Outpost

Opinion Outpost has been around longer than most survey sites, resulting in a smoother process for signing up and more overall surveys. They let you know right off the bat what kinds of questions you’ll have to answer—and they’re pretty basic inquiries like, “Do you own any of the following pets?” and “On average, how many minutes a day do you watch TV?”.

My favorite thing about this site is how quickly they reward you. I received payment via PayPal (minimum payout request amount: $10) only minutes after requesting my reward (you can also be paid with Amazon credit, iTunes gift cards, and charitable donations to the Red Cross as soon as your balance hits $5).

Start earning with Opinion Outpost here.

 

3. Swagbucks

I like Swagbucks because they’ll tell you upfront where your opinions are going. I also like that you can earn extra points (a.k.a. Swag Bucks that can be traded in for gift cards or cash) by doing other things. Taking the polls and surveys, going shopping, and doing all your Internet searches on this platform can get addicting. It’s really easy to become obsessed with earning SBs once you get started!

Start earning with Swagbucks here.

 

 

5. Inbox Dollars

Since the minimum cash-out amount is $30, it may take a couple of months for you to actually get paid. However, when you do get paid, it’ll be in the form of a nice check or Visa cash card. Think of it as a temporary savings account, and you’re golden! Inbox Dollars also has an app that is available on both Apple and Android phones, which means easy earning opportunities on the go. In addition to taking surveys, you can also refer friends and earn 10% of whatever they make, play games for cash, and shop online.

Start earning with Inbox Dollars here.

 

6. Bonus: National Consumer Panel

The same company that tracks TV ratings has a new NCP app that pays you to scan the groceries in your fridge. Every time you go shopping, just scan the barcodes on the back of each product and send your data off to NCP to get paid!

Start earning with NCP here.

 

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