Paid Online Surveys 101: Definition, Earnings, and Best Platforms

It’s difficult to find a person who has never shared his opinion in a survey. We all have done it at some point. Whether it was a survey at school or work or a door-to-door survey at home, it’s a crucial way to collect public opinion for organizations and the government.

But it’s much less known that you can actually get paid doing it. At first glance, it seems too good to be true. You don’t need any skills or specific knowledge. So why isn’t everyone doing paid online surveys? Here, we will cover all you need to know about paid online surveys.

What are Paid Online Surveys?

From the perspective of organizations, online surveys are a method of collecting the opinions of a target audience. This can be potential or current customers, students, citizens, or anyone else the survey is aimed at. Paid surveys are most commonly about consumer trends.

Think about it. Companies make money when they make well-informed decisions, so it makes sense for them to pay to collect them. The better the data they have, the more money they can make. It pays for them to pay for surveys.

You can expect paid surveys about branding, marketing, fashion, prices, habits, and everything else. Essentially, it’s data that may help companies make better products for you. As a participant, you are making a small contribution to making their products better. It only makes sense you get paid for it.

However, non-profit organizations and various branches of local and international government, for example, also use paid surveys to gather opinions. The problem they are solving is that people aren’t willing to spend their time with questionnaires.

Many people have already made filling out paid online surveys into a consistent side income. Paid survey platforms make it easier than ever. Most of them have apps or, at least, convenient websites you can visit from your phone.

Earning Potential

It’s just a matter of a habit to take out your phone and fill out a survey while you are waiting in line or watching a commercial. But how much can you actually earn? Making general estimates isn’t easy, as there are hundreds of paid survey sites.

Some are borderline scams based on how little they pay. Others are more decent, but you still shouldn’t expect to make a living out of paid online surveys. This is purely because the hourly rate is too low to replace an ordinary job.

On average, one online survey takes from twenty to thirty minutes to complete. There are shorter ones, but they are usually called pools and pay much less. Most common types of surveys involve a Likert scale, choosing pictures, multiple choice selection, or an occasional open-ended question.

You cannot answer too quickly or without reading the question, as you might be disqualified from the survey for dishonest answers. Sometimes, there are Attention Check Questions (ACQs) that are specifically formulated to see if you are following along or answering at random.

If you are doing well in the survey, you can expect to be gifted around $1 for your efforts. Again, this is just a generalization, as it highly depends on the platform you are using. Some platforms have more surveys for some demographics than others.

If you are from the United States or Western Europe, you can expect to get one or two surveys per day, which could easily amount to around $10 per week. It’s not much, but it’s an income you can earn while wasting time waiting somewhere. Still, it isn’t an amount you would want to risk getting scammed for.

Avoiding Scams

As with all things digital, there is some risk of facing bad actors who want to trick you. People who want easy money online are the favorites of scammers since they are in a vulnerable position. If you are really short on money, you better turn to your relatives and friends than internet strangers.

Common vigilance online is recommended with paid online surveys, but there is some more specific advice for paid online surveys.

  • Never pay money to participate
  • Never give away too much personal information
  • Seek proof from past users that the platform actually pays
  • Check payout options and thresholds before starting to fill out surveys

These tips should give you a head start for avoiding the worst type of scams. However, it’s much simpler in reality. You simply need to stick with trusted platforms and avoid suspicious channels where scammers look for their prey.

Best Paying Online Surveys

The platforms below are not only safe. They are one of the highest paying online surveys the internet has to offer. Take it with a grain of salt, of course, as the situation is constantly changing, and the offers of platforms evolve, not always for the better.

Pawns app is a relatively new player in the paid online survey field, as it was originally a bandwidth-sharing app. However, it offers some crazy good deals with several more than a dollar worth surveys per week. They work worldwide and pay via bank transfer, PayPal, gift cards, or cryptocurrencies. 


Swagbucks is an oldtimer that, unfortunately, is dropping in quality. Still, it’s worth checking out since they have an abundance of surveys and a great track record of paying out. Their questionnaires average around $0.80 per half-hour survey once or twice a week. It isn’t much, but you can earn a bit.

Survey Junkie

I like to recommend Survey Junkey to everyone starting out with paid surveys because it’s very convenient. They have a great app with hundreds of paid surveys on offer and all the payout options you would ever need.


Paid online surveys are beneficial for all parties involved. Companies get the needed opinions, and you get some almost effortless money. It’s gonna take some time to avoid scams and find the most profitable platforms, but once you do, it will be easy money.

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