The Best Survey Sites That Pay Cash For Real! My Top 5 Picks

October 11, 2018 Jordan Meola 34 Comments

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Survey sites are funky. They entice us with promises of fast, easy money taht you can make from the comfort of your couch.


The problem is that TONS and TONS of these survey sites are total wastes of precious time You have to pour absurd amounts of minutes in to these things to be paid the equivalent of peanut shells. Some survey sites use points systems to hide the fact that they barely pay you. Some pay only in gift cards. Some are outright scams.


The good news is, there ARE a few good survey sites out there that pay real cash. Keep in mind, they’re never meant to replace a full time income – they’re for micro-earning money on the side. ButI’ve managed to make thousands in extra cash just by doing brief, little surveys (and other similar things) online.


It took me a lot of painful trial and error, swimming through the weeds of outrageously lame survey sites, before I find these 5 good ones. So save yourself some time and stick with these! These are the best survey sites that pay cash online. 

1. Product Report Card



Don’t be deceived by Product Report Card’s clunky looking website! I didn’t give them 5 stars for having a pretty looking site. But when it comes to paying decent money for super small and easy tasks, Product Report Card is one of the most underrated, and undiscovered gems.


I was skeptical of Product Report Card at first. I’d had absolutely awful experiences with survey sites claiming to pay me for my opinion. A few months later and I’ve made over $100 in side through Product Report Card, and spent practically no time to get it. There’s a screenshot of my current balance from the last couple weeks:



Product Report Card emails you whenever a new survey comes up, and they do 2 things that EVERY survey site should do. They take you exactly how much it pays in cash, and how long it will take. Surveys will vary in pay from about $0.50 to $5.00 on average, and usually take between 5 and 20 minutes. Fitting these in between emails at work, but clicking through a survey half-consciously while watching Netflix is super easy, and the money racks up.


Like most survey sites, the best way to make  money on Product Report Card is NOT filling out surveys. It’s doing product tests. Product Report Card has sent me free tooth paste, free body wash, free tooth whitening, free snacks, and has paid me up to $30 just to try out the free stuff, and fill out a 2-5 minute survey about how I liked it.


Not only is that really easy money, but I get free things that I needed anyway!


The last thing I love about Product Report Card is that they pay me even if I don’t qualify for the survey! Most survey sites have a few screening questions at the beginning to see if you qualify for the survey. Some even make you waste minutes and minutes of time before they decide you don’t qualify. Product Report Card, instead, offers you $0.10 even if you don’t qualify. (I will sometimes click on surveys and instantly disqualify myself in a matter of seconds to make a few bucks fast).


Pros of Product Report Card:

  1. Pays decent money for surveys
  2. Tells you exactly how long the survey will take
  3. Pays real money by a check in the mail
  4. Provides product tests as another way to make good money
  5. Pays you at least $0.10 even if you don’t qualify for the survey!


Cons of Product Repord Card:


  1. PRC doesn’t really offer a refer-a-friend program for pay. They say they have an affiliate program, but it doesn’t work.

2. Pinecone Research


Pinecone Research is unique because it pays exactly $3 for every survey you take. Which is really awesome! The surveys are often only a few minutes long, so these $3 payouts can add up REALLY fast. I only did a small handful of surveys and surpassed $25 within the week, as you can see by the screenshot below (though it’s offering a gift card, you can opt to get this in the form of a pre-paid VISA card, equaling cash):



Pinecone Research is also awesome because they will only send you surveys that they’ve already pre-screened you for. So you won’t have to deal with filling out half a survey, only to have them disqualify you and receive nothing for your time.


Like Product Report Card, Pinecone notifies you of each available survey via email. And you always have the assurance of being paid 3 real dollars for every one. Don’t be turned off by the fact that Pinecone Research uses a point system, they translate to real world cash, not just gift cards. 100 points = $1. Each survey pays 300 points.


In addition to the pre-paid VISA card that Pinecone offers (real money), you also have options for prizes like Hymalean lamps, air fryers, speakers, etc.


The only downsides to Pinecone? 1. They don’t have a referral program, so you can’t make any extra cash by inviting friends. And 2. for that matter, they don’t have many other ways to earn at all. While many survey sites offer a plethora of offers and ways to earn, Pinecone is pretty exclusively about surveys.



  1. Only send you qualified surveys
  2. Pays $3 for every survey!
  3. Option to pay in a pre-paid VISA card (like cash), or prizes if you choose



  1. No referral program
  2. Very limited other ways of making money, besides surveys



3. PaidViewpoint


PaidViewpoint is a relatively new find for me. It’s without a doubt one of the best survey sites on the internet.


PaidViewpoint, more than any other survey site I’ve tried, is determined to make the surveys fun and easy to complete. Their are no long, complex questions, very few open ended questions – their surveys are all designed to be as quick and painless as possible. On top of this, PaidViewpoint does not take much of your personal information, or share it with with other companies, so your privacy is far safer than it is with most survey sites.


The pay is in cash, directly through PayPal, and with each survey you complete it also increases what’s called your TraitScore. The higher your TraitScore, the higher the surveys will pay.


The best part of of PaidViewpoint is that they have one of the best referral programs for a survey site. Once you join PaidViewpoint(which is free and easy), you can get paid up to $25 for every person that you refer to also join it. PaidViewpoint will give you a 20% commission every time your referral cashes out.




  1. Short, super easy surveys!
  2. Pay adds up fast
  3. You can’t be screened out of their surveys
  4. They don’t take, or sell your personal info
  5. Good referral program that pays well!




  1. Clunky website



4. Swagbucks


Swagbucks is one of the best money earning websites on the internet for fast and easy cash. But this is sort of a trick entry: it’s absolutely HORRIBLE as a survey site, and I 100% do NOT recommend it for surveys.


Swagbucks is known as a survey site, but truly it’s everything else on Swagbucks that really make it worth it. I have almost $120 sitting in Swagbucks, as you can see in the screenshot below, and I’ll make another $120 just as fast after I cash this out. 100 Swagbucks = 1 dollar, so 11,991 = $119.91.



The reason Swagbucks surveys are terrible is because they are very hard to qualify for, and if you get half way through the survey, and then get disqualified, SB will barely compensate you. It turns into a huge waste of time. The good news is that Swagbucks has dozens and dozens of different ways to make money. The area where I make the most money is through their paid offers. Swagbucks paid me $25 to get a FREE month of Hulu, $15 for a box of FREE snack foods, $5-$10 for FREE teeth whitening, $7 for a FREE box of clothing for my wife… and the list goes on. Get free stuff – get paid for it – repeat.


Swagbucks also has ways to make passive money. Watching TV on Swagbucks pays you pocket change on an endless loop. Hit play, mute it, and walk away.


On top of this, Swagbucks has a referral program! They not only pay $3 for every person referred, but you also get a 10% bonus commission on everything they make through Swagbucks for life! Try it out!



  1. Amazing pay for completing FREE offers!
  2. A bazillion ways to earn
  3. Passive money earning options
  4. Good referral program




  1. The surveys STINK!


5. Inbox Dollars


Inbox Dollars is like Swagbucks slightly inferior cousin. And also like Swagbucks, Inbox Dollars is a survey site that is absolutely horrible for surveys (for all the same reasons as Swagbucks).


The good news is that there are a million good ways to make money on Inbox Dollars. Playing Inbox Dollars videos, receiving paid emails from them (just open it, then delete it, and get some pocket change). Get paid to refer friends (10% bonus commissions like Swagbucks), get paid to try free apps and free trials, click on just about anything in Inbox Dollars and get paid for it. Inbox Dollars has sent me some nice paycheck!



  1. Good paying offers on free trials!
  2. Good referral program.
  3. Huge variety of ways to earn
  4. Passive money earning options




  1. Exactly like Swagbucks. The surveys STINK!



Making REAL Money Online


The truth is, if you’re looking to start a cash flow that will change the course of your life, survey sites are not the way to do it. A side-gig that puts some extra money in your pocket? Definitely. I love money earning websites for that, but micro earning will never let you drop your 8 to 5 job like a hot potato, leave the office forever, and start living life on your own terms.


This is why I found a way (actually a couple ways) to build an actual sustainable business online, that provides a residual cash flow capable of replacing a full time job. Check out my top recommendations here on Young Retiree, where I give you the details on the businesses I (and several of my friends) are running online to create 6-figure incomes without jobs.


And if you’re content to stick with survey sites, let me know some good ones you’ve used below!








34 People reacted on this

  1. I have always been wary of survey sites as they don’t really make qualifying as easy as it seem. I have tried swagabucks as you said they are easy to earn, but hard to qualify for. 

    Your reviews are great, at least I know which ones to stay away from. But if someone were considering making a full-time income off of this would be really hard. I would think doing online surveys is more off a side job. 

    Lots of work involved as some surveys can be at least an hour long, but the payout can be piddles. At least some will become more knowledgeable after reading here. 

    I hate wasting time, great stuff here.

    1. Hey! Same here,  I completely agree.

      These SURVEY sites ARE good for making money (only these ones. Most I’ve tried have been huge time wasters), but survey sites will never replace a decent income. There are business opportunities online for that. 

  2. Well i did start with surveys in my ventures to make money online, it really takes up most of your time with very little pay. It took me almost an year to make enough money that I can use. I only know of two sites that you have indicated above i.e Swagbucks and InboxDollar. Now i don’t get time to actually complete this surveys plus if there are other better ways to make money online, i would rather try them.

    1. I can understand.

      If you already have a really good income, the smaller amounts of side money you can make with products tests and survey sites aren’t very useful. For someone in a paycheck to paycheck situation, they can practically be a life saver. 

      I usually make about $2,000 a year off of product tests, survey sites, and passive money earning/saving apps. It’s not an income, but it’s some nice extra cash. Have you found some good alternatives? Selling insurance, real estate investing, affiliate marketing, and selling clothes through my Shopify store have been some of my best alternatives. 

  3. I’ve tried Swagbucks before & I still have $8 still in my account from surveys only. I do agree with you that surveys aren’t worth it. I didn’t know they had all that extra money waiting for someone to get it! Being able to try a FREE product & get paid for it?! Wow. I’m going to have to go back & look at what I’ve been missing out. Thank you for these other suggestions though. I’m not big on taking surveys but I will try the products & review them!

    1. Hello!

      Yes, I never found much use for survey sites until I found that there are a lot of really good paying product tests available on many of them. Swagbucks paid me $32 to try a $7 month of Hulu. That’s a $25 profit plus a reimbursed (a.k.a. free) month of Hulu. And they have deals like that literally on a weekly basis.

      It just takes some digging to notice the deals sometimes. 

  4. I have tried a few survey sites in the past and like you found them to be a massive waste of time mostly. Often they would shut me down half way through the survey which was very frustrating.

    After reading your recommendations I thought that maybe I should give Product Report Card a try. That looks worthwhile, especially if you get to try products as well. I just know that a lot of these sites only accept members from the US which often counts me out as I live in South Africa.

    I like the fact that this site also pays you even if you don’t qualify. Thanks for sifting through all the ugly survey sites for us and picking out the best.

    1. Hello! 

      I definitely agree, most survey sites are a huge waste of time. I’ve tried some terrible ones. But these particular ones have paid me a lot of money for doing almost nothing. I’ve gotten a ton of free things from Swagbucks and Product Report Card that I got paid just to keep and try. 

      Unfortunately, I think that most of these are only available in the U.S., but Swagbucks is available in many places, and may be available in South Africa. 

  5. PaidViewpoint, is really the best of it kind..Tried and trustedit;s really fun and easy to complete. and i guess, your information is secured. the joy of every online survey is to be quick and fast, and if i may say, it has all.

    I will also try Inbox Dollars.

    you really gave a nice review here!, And i can’t wait to see your updated posts

    thanks very much!

    1. Thanks you for your encouragement and I’m glad you found it helpful! 

      Yes, there are a ton of survey sites out there that are a huge waste of time, but these 5 have been great sources of fast, easy money for me. Inbox Dollars is good! They have some free offers that make you some quick money, and they also have a TV section that pays you for watching their TV. You can just leave it running when you’re away and make some extra cash! 

  6. Thank you so much for this post, I tried surveys site before and it was a waste of time, so I never ever try again, but as I can see from your recommendations there are a few of them that really works, I’ll join them right away so I can make the little incomes I need. Is never bad to have an extra money and I can do it instead of wasting time in facebook haha. Thanks again!

    1. Hey! I totally agree, I killed a ton of valuable time in the past trying to make money from survey sites, but it wasn’t until I found these that it was actually worth it.

      I gave them up for a long time, but if you’re just watching YouTube videos or answering emails it can be an easy thing to fit in quick between them, and make some extra cash. My survey sites and money saving apps bring in about $2,000 a year, which is nice to have around! 

  7. I cannot believe that this is a thing! I just signed up with productreportcard and I have already earned $8.25 in less than 10 minutes!! That’s crazy. Thank you so much for the detailed information about each site. I’m definitely going to sign up with pinecone research as well. I can’t wait to make some passive income on the side for just giving my opinion!

    1. Hi Victor, I’m glad you found it helpful!

      Yes, Product Report Card has shelled out a few hundred bucks to me for doing almost nothing, I’m really glad I found that one. Actually, the product tests pay a lot better than the surveys so keep an eye out for those!


  8. Hello,

    Thanks for the posts on the 5 Best Survey Sites, I like doing surveys, especially at work when I am just sitting around waiting my digital press to fin running. This a perfect time to slip in the occasionale survey. I know it won’t give me enough money to retire on, however, it is giving me some to go along with my other online earnings so that some day I will find I am earning enough which to retire on. I currently work on affiliate marketing with Wealth Affiliate, it eventually be my priority income, but to have other avenues of earning won’t hurt. All in all, I want to enjoy my retirement and not feel I am tied to the computer fulltime. So with the help of this post, I don’t have to spend several hours deciphering which is the best survey site and not a scam site. I am just wondering, are you earnings your income full time on the internet?


    1. Hello, thanks for dropping by!

      Yes, survey sites can be a great way to make some extra cash during down time at work, or when you have a really short period of time between activities. They won’t replace an income, but adding extra cash to your account without making much effort is possible if you’re using the right sites.

      I’m glad you’re doing affiliate marketing, Wealthy Affiliate is a great resource! It takes a while to get going, but it’s far, far more lucrative in the long run. I do a few other things besides just internet marketing – I own a clothing brand online, but I’m also a licensed insurance agent. 

  9. Great article on legitimate survey sites. I’ve always wondered if surveys are worth doing. I’ve heard of Swagbucks and Inbox Dollars, but not the other three. I have an acquaintance that does surveys, and she swears they are a great way supplement her income. Thanks for researching this information and sharing it. 

    1. Hello!

      There are TONS and tons of survey sites out there. And I have to admit, after trying many of them, I’ve found that most of them are terrible. They can really waste your time. But I wanted to share these 5 because these are the 5 that have truly made me money without taking much of my time. 

  10. I absolutely love learning about these things. I’m always looking into survey sites to help me make some extra cash on my free time. Who doesn’t want to make cash just by sitting at home and sharing your opinion. We all have busy lives anyway. We don’t have time for all that mumbo jumbo where we’ve got to work extra hard just to make a few dollars. So I love things like this and you brought up some great tools. Beautiful site and helpful article.

    1. Thanks so much for dropping by! I’m glad you found it helpful!

      There are a lot of bad survey sites out there that are huge time wasters, but these have made me hundreds of dollars with minimal effort, so I can recommend them with confidence! 

  11. I tired a few survey sites a couple of months back to try and bump up my monthly earnings…and I got completely irritated by the amount of times I got screened out…half way through the survey!

    It’s as if the survey grabs a few free questions off you, then kicks you out with no reward to pay you. 

    The survey sites you have listed above – do they suffer from these provider tactics or are they a little fairer to the survey taker?

    1. Hey!

      I know the exact problem you’re talking about, it drove me crazy too. I screened out any survey sites that do this and blocked them from this list. 

      Product Report Card will still pay you some compensation if you get screened out of one of their surveys, which makes them different from most. PaidViewpoint and Pinecone Research will only send you a survey if you already qualify for it, so you will never have to worry about being screened out of a survey.

      Swagbucks and Inbox Dollars are the 2 sites on which you need to NEVER TAKE THE SURVEYS! At all costs, never take surveys on either Swagbucks or Inbox Dollars. These sites are exclusively good for product tests and other offers. 

  12. This is a great site for beginners to take a look at.  Im not going to lie.  Survey sites are not for me.  However I will pass the link on to my wife as she does do surveys.  I have seen her with gift cards and trinkets and even a small payment to paypal.  So there is no doubt they pay out.  Just not enough for me.  Thank you for the hard work in attaining the information.

    1. Hello Dale, thanks for commenting!

      Yes, the majority of my site is about internet marketing and Shopify stores, and I do both of those things, but I wanted to share this because I’ve found that some survey sites can be a good way of supplementing income.

      My survey sites, product tests, and passive money earning apps bring in about $2,000 a year for me, so they’re ideal for some spare spending cash, more than an a source of income.

      All the best! 

  13. I was looking for survey sites that pay using Payoneer rather than PayPal or check and I came across your site. Would you know if any payout using Payoneer? I tried PaidViewpoint but it takes too long to get passed the $15 threshold in order to get paid and there aren’t enough invites to surveys. But I guess it differs based on your characteristics, everyone has a different experience with these survey sites. I think your ‘make real money online’ section at the end of your article is the way to go. Thanks.

    1. Hello sir!

      Admittedly, I’m not too familiar with Payoneer, though I know that any funds that are transferred to PayPal can then be transferred to Payoneer. Most survey sites and similar sites just use PayPal, though most of these will also send you a pre-paid VISA card that you can just use as a debit card, and some, like Product Report Card, pay with checks.

      PaidViewpoint is a good site to use in addition to others. I get requests for surveys once or twice a day, but I was still able to reach $10 in about a week. These are only useful for side income, though I’ve done many product tests that pay at least $30 for doing almost nothing. 

      Affiliate marketing, insurance sales, and running a clothing brand on Shopify has proved to be the best for me. 

  14. Thanks for sharing this list. It takes time to research and find the best survey sites and you have done a great job to introduce the best ones here. I was only familiar with the last two items of your list, SwagBucks, and InboxDollars. I will definitely check the other three.

    From my point of view, survey sites usually have a low earning opportunity and I prefer methods like affiliate marketing which because of the passive income. Do you agree?

    1. Hey Albert, thanks for dropping by!

      Survey sites are definitely a micro earning opportunity, not a way of making a full time income. I usually make about $2,000 a year off of these sites, with a minimal amount of time and effort spent. 

      Affiliate marketing and Shopify have both proved to be far higher paying, but also much harder and more time consuming efforts. Definitely worth it though. 

  15. This is one ofthe best make money survey articles.

    I am sure to try them all except swagbucks. I don’t like website that are difficult to navigate. 

    Do you get paid a month after you join these sites or is there a certain day they pay out on.

    I my really glad you posted this I can use some extra money. 

    Thank you for this wonderful opportunity to make so real cash.

    1. Hello Quinn,

      I’m glad you found it helpful! Swagbucks can be really tough to navigate, I actually quit it when I first joined it because of that. But it has more free stuff and money making opportunities than almost any other website I know.

      Most of these pay out whenever you want them to. Sometimes you need to reach a certain amount of money before you can cash out, but most of these allow you to get a payout whenever you want it. 

  16. For some reason Swagbucks cannot open, I do not know why!  However, I would love to try it out even with all the huddles.  Wait just for opening emails I get paid, now this is interesting, definitely a must try, lol.  I signed up for Paid View Point but I found it very hectic to say the list and did not know they had a referral program, but for the sake of earning some money I might as well resume the surveys. Pinecone Research does not dilly dally like the rest, I think it is also worth a try.  Product Report Card sounds too good to be true.  I however am in Africa, most of these surveys just dont apply, wish me luck!

    1. Hello! 

      Yes, Inbox Dollars will pay you a little money just to open the emails they send you, even if you immediately delete them. Those don’t pay much, but they add up. The combination of different passive money earning things from Inbox Dollars added up really fast for me.

      Product Report Card is a super great deal, they’re not well known so it was a lucky discovery. I’m sorry, I’m not sure what’s available in Africa! Swagbucks may be. 

  17. Hi there,

    I rarely post comments on the internet, but I couldn’t go without thanking you for this amazing article which contains a lot of detailed and honest reviews.As a user of Swagbucks, I can say that the review is very accurate! It was one of the first sites I stumbled upon while searching on how to make money online, but it takes a lot of time for a reward that is just.. meh. Don’t get me wrong I like it and still use it from time to time, and it’s perfect if you want a couple of bucks for going out with friends.


    1. Hey Nick, thanks for commenting!

      When I first tried Swagbucks I actually hated it, and quit using it for about 5 months. But when I gave it a second try, I found that if I dug through it a little bit there are some ridiculously easy ways to make money. The surveys on it are just… atrocious. The best money that Swagbucks has paid me has been for trying free trials. Hulu, SmileActives (which is like tooth whitening product), body wash, a free trial of Graze which sends snack boxes in the mail… they just sent me $120 through PayPal after trying just a couple free trials over a few weeks.

      It’s just a matter of finding the right stuff. Thanks again for dropping by! 

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