The best paid online survey websites
As a student you’ve always got your ear to the ground when it comes to making spare cash. The good news is that these days you don’t need to leave your doorstep to make it happen. Thankfully, it’s never been easier to log in and obtain extra income whilst chilling with your laptop, tablet or mobile device. A great way of doing this is by completing online surveys for companies who crave your views on their products and services, using the results to map out where they go next.
If you select the right online survey website, and trust us there are many to choose from, you can earn a reasonable amount of money from the comfort of your living room. You could also qualify for some great rewards in the process.
When it comes to managing student life, every little helps, and online surveys are a perfect way of topping up what you’ve got coming in. Our guide gives you a pick of the best, so you can make an informed opinion about which sites are worth exercising your hard-working fingers on. What are you waiting for? They want to hear from you…
Introduction to online surveys
Before we start, it’s worth giving an outline of what it is these sites do and how they operate. An online survey site could be representing the interests of big business or data analysers. Whoever they work on behalf of, their ambition is the same… to probe your brain and get its views on what they’re offering.
They ask you to fill in a variety of surveys, posing questions and collecting your responses. But it isn’t always a case of clicking boxes and giving yourself a sore wrist. Some sites expect you to watch videos, making life pretty easy for the stay-at-home earner. In return for your efforts you receive reward points, which like supermarket points grow in number. Once you cross a certain threshold you can then start redeeming the points for all manner of stuff, from cash to prizes.
A major element of online survey sites is trust. This may seem a strange thing to point out, as surely all you’re doing is filling out a handful of forms for a few quid. However, like with anything you invest precious time in, you have to be mindful of where you expend your energies. Some sites aren’t particularly reputable and if you’re bothering to offer them your opinion, or provide some valuable insight, the least they can do is be above board!
Another factor to consider is that some of these companies want you to sign up for paid services as part of their quest for feedback. Only do this if you’re very interested in the opportunity and don’t mind forking out for the chance to discover more. Remember, if you don’t want to spend to accumulate you don’t have to, there is ample choice when it comes to online surveys.
There are a good number of sites that are trustworthy and offer free access. The range of these surveys is quite wide-ranging though, and can baffle the beginner. With that in mind, we are taking you through some of the best paid examples of online opinion collecting, dividing the entries into 2 sections. Firstly we’ll introduce you to those that provide the biggest, quickest incentives. Then we’ll go into those sites that offer a bit of a challenge, in case you find the prospect of repetitive tasks too dull to care about! Hundreds of pounds can be earned each year from these surveys, so it’s the perfect extra-curricular pursuit for a student…
Here are some sites that pay well and don’t require a huge amount of effort on your part…
As well as having a catchy name, Swagbucks is also a go-to destination for students. Why? A big part of the appeal is the breadth of opportunity, from surveys to polls, from watching videos to road-testing apps and games. Once you create your free account and make yourself available, Swagbucks throws a lot of stuff at you.
It even has its own name for reward points, calling them SBs. 1 SB = 70 points and this is the amount you bag after each survey. The tasks generally take 15 mins and you earn £2.40 per hour. A single SB is the relatively low point at which you can begin claiming stuff back. Other sites have their own “minimum reward threshold” but we’ll go into these later.
620 SB = £5 and 16,000 SB = £100, meaning your SBs could increase quite fast, and can be redeemed for cash or gift cards from over 1000 retailers. You get a bonus simply by showing an interest and you can’t say fairer than that.
The site also gives you the option of a browser (via Yahoo) that puts you even more in touch with its content, and has fun details like a ‘to do’ list that appears onscreen, providing greater rewards if you complete all your tasks in a day. If you’re a selfless soul who fancies donating the money you make to charity, Swagbucks has that option too. Not a huge incentive for profit we know, but well worth mentioning…! Read more about Swagbucks here.
If keeping busy with lots of surveys and receiving more of a personal approach is what you’re after from an online survey company, then MySurvey could be your perfect match. Driven by consumer and market research, they’re preoccupied with your profile, and track down tasks that are best suited to your interests. As with Swagbucks, their tasks take up 15 mins of your time and you earn 100 points per survey. That’s the equivalent of between £3 - 5 per hour. £3 = 345 points, their minimum reward threshold, after which you’re eligible for Amazon vouchers and payments through Paypal. Read more about MySurvey here.
Like MySurvey, Ipsos i-Say has ties to major brands and companies. They pay you a straightforward £1 for every survey you complete, which isn’t spectacular but this is combined with a low reward threshold of a tenner. You won’t have to wait too long to get your hands on those retail vouchers and start spending. There’s also a prize draw to hold your interest. Ipsos i-Say have a decent reputation in the industry too, which as you’ve read is a quality that can go a long way. Read more about them here.
This company seek your views on various services and consumer issues, but the most noteworthy thing about Toluna is they’ve been known to send free products in the post for you to try out before offering feedback. A bit more exciting than the standard offer of excessive keyboard hammering! For each 15 min survey, you can earn between 3,000 and 6,000 points, with a £15 voucher waiting for you should you rack up 80,000. It’s estimated 4 hours will need to be put in before you can receive the voucher. This could be slow going for some, however bear in mind the free stuff you might receive through your letterbox and the whole deal is put into perspective. While you're with us, earn a £15 River Island voucher with Toluna here. Or read more about Toluna here.
Here are some online survey sites that put you through your paces, as well as give you a financial return. If you like to be stretched as you spend, you might want to take a look at these options…
This company are interested in more than your feedback. Their remit extends to tasks such as data entry and even creative tasks like written work. Vivatic host a range of surveys too, as you’d expect from an online survey site, only they sweeten the arrangement with these added extras.
At between £1 - £2 per survey they’re not the most generous on the block, and with a minimum reward threshold of £25 it isn’t exactly earth-shattering on the finance front. Having said that, it’s fair to point out the variety of jobs on display here. This makes Vivatic a good option if you’re after something a bit different from the usual survey workload, and want to broaden your horizons if not your bank balance. Read more about Vivatic here.
You’ve probably heard this company’s name on the news, in connection with political polling. So it’ll come as no surprise to learn YouGov are as eager as a surveying beaver to attract your interest. If you enjoy looking at the world and having your say about how society operates, they’re waiting for your views!
They have the same access to cash and prize draws as other sites, but arguably rely on their status as a high profile market research firm when it comes to rewards. You can earn as much as £3 for a survey, but also as little as 50p.
Add to this the 30 min completion time for each survey, and a reward threshold of £50, and maybe it seems like more of a duty than a way of raking in money. On the plus side, at least you’re getting something for being mentally stimulated. It’s worth bearing in mind the additional points you can obtain by referrals, i.e. recommending a friend. Read more here.
An intriguing combination of high incentive and challenging content, the Survey Bods site is a bit of a wild card, and could belong in either section of this article. As it stands, we’ve decided to stick it here and let you make up your own mind about it!
For starters, there’s the juicy prospect of being entered into what’s described as a draw with “huge prizes” on a monthly basis. It’s important to point out they’re very big on profile, so make sure you fill that in to collect your initial reward. The amount you earn per survey is fairly standard and can range from 50p to £3. Factor in the reward threshold of £15 and 10 min completion time however, and suddenly that doesn’t sound too shabby.
On the challenging side, they employ a “strike system” which penalises you if you aren’t honest enough when working on surveys. To be honest this sounds fun but slightly sinister, and we’re not sure exactly how Survey Bods establish how truthful you are. But if you’re sufficiently interested enough to find out you can read more about them here.
Should you be more media-minded, you might want to give PopulusLive a try.They collect data for useon TV current affairs output and also the national press. If you were anything like us as a student, you were spending a fair amount of time staring at daytime television whilst trying to write essays, so this could be a great opportunity to get involved in the making of such things!
The best thing about the company is once you’ve cleared the hurdles for registration, meaning you have to create a strong profile, the rewards for completing surveys are impressive. £2 per survey as an average earning certainly makes them stand out on this list.
In terms of reward threshold, you’re looking at £50, so not the fastest goal to achieve. On the flipside of that, you can’t argue with the solid survey fee. Plus the numbers wanting to use PopulusLive speak for themselves - you have to get in there quick, once they’ve signed all the opinionated people they need. Once they do, those surveys dry up. This is reflected in the quality aspect of the site. Reportedly they have a high standard and are known to pick you up on any rush jobs. They sound like an employer as much as an online survey site, something that will either motivate or depress you…!
We hope we’ve given you a rounded insight into online survey sites, and encouraged you to take the plunge and start offering your ten pence in exchange for multiple pounds...
For other ideas on ways to make money, check out our 100 ways to make money guide