Online Surveys for Cash:
Reward Yourself!

You will never become rich taking online surveys for cash, despite the grandiose claims you see all over the Internet! Here is the reality of earning money for surveys: it’s a great way to make a bit of extra money (every little bit helps!) and have some fun in the process, but it’s just not a feasible way to provide a second income for your family.

Nevertheless, taking online surveys for cash is popular for a great reason: you work at home (or wherever you happen to be) on your own schedule. It’s a 24/7 business, and that makes it attractive to many people.

Aside from the flexibility of scheduling, another plus for taking online surveys for cash is the flexibility of the workload. When survey invitations arrive via email, you can jump on them or choose to ignore them. You can sign up with one or two companies and leisurely complete a handful of surveys per week in your spare time. Or, you can be much more aggressive, signing up with 10 or 20 companies and spending several hours a day. It’s completely up to you.

How much extra money you can make taking online surveys for cash depends mostly on those two factors – how many companies you sign up with, and how much time on a daily basis you want to commit to taking online surveys. I’ve been taking surveys for about four years now, and because I don’t have a lot of time to devote to it, I’ve narrowed my survey providers down to just four companies that fit my priorities. Even at that I don’t get to all my survey invitations before they close.

I’ll tell you in a minute about the companies I signed up with, but first let me explain how it all works.

  • You sign up with a survey company. It’s free to register with most survey companies. If a company wants you to pay to sign up with them, steer clear.
  • They ask you to complete a profile survey (or a series of short surveys) so they can have an idea of your interests and what type of surveys to send you. The one requirement for taking online surveys for cash is that you must have an email address.
  • You receive via email an invitation to participate in a survey, usually including a brief description of what the survey is about and how much it is worth.
  • You click on the link and begin the survey. After several questions you may be told you don’t qualify, or you may be invited to continue.
  • Typically you are paid only when you qualify for the entire survey. However, some companies do compensate you a small amount just for trying to qualify. Some companies let you boost your earnings by giving you bonus points for referring new members.
  • You accumulate points for taking surveys. Once you’ve accumulated a specified amount of points (different for each company) you can redeem them for your reward.
  • Read their guidelines carefully. Some companies allow one registrant per email address while others allow just one participant per household. Some are for adults (18 and over) while others allow teens to participate.

While many survey companies allow you to redeem your points for cash, not all of them do. Some let you redeem points for gift cards at various stores and restaurants, and others compensate you with an entry into a sweepstakes. Some even let you donate your points for charitable causes.

I’ve never been very lucky with contests or sweepstakes, so I choose not to spend my time on surveys that pay me only with a sweepstakes entry. I much prefer companies that pay with gift cards or cold hard cash! On the other hand, a sweepstakes entry might be attractive to you. It’s important for you to determine up front what payment method is worth your effort.

Which brings me back to the four companies that I use to take online surveys for cash. If you would like more information from any of these four companies about how they work or how to sign up, just click on their names to check out their individual Web sites.


Global usually pays 40-75 points for a completed survey, and 5 points if you click on the invitation but don’t qualify for the full survey. Once you have accumulated 1000 points you can redeem them for a $50 check. Their site says to allow 4-6 weeks for the check to arrive, and my experience is that checks usually arrive around the 4th week. Global is a solid online survey company with a good reputation. Overall my experience with them has been good, although I don’t qualify for probably two-thirds of the invitations I receive. Tip: click on their survey invitations as soon as possible after they arrive because they tend to close quickly. When you're taking online surveys for cash you don't want the store to be closed!


This is the first company I started working with, and I’ve stuck with them. You have your choice of redeeming your points for cash, or for “raffle tickets” for monthly drawings for nice prizes. It takes 1000 NFO points to receive a $10 check. Their typical invitation survey pays 10 points, and if qualified, they’ll invite you to take a longer survey for more points – anywhere from 30-300 or so. I find that their surveys are usually quicker to complete than some other companies. Fun Difference: sometimes an NFO survey involves testing products and then answering questions. I’ve tested shampoo, paper towels, cleaners, deodorant, and several other items. It’s a nice change from the typical survey – and it’s fun to get free stuff once in awhile!


Harris Poll is an established, highly respected polling company that has stepped into the age of technology and now uses online polling techniques. Harris surveys are usually interesting. They typically pay 30 points, though I’ve received up to 150 points for a survey. Their points are redeemed for gift cards, which I enjoy. However, their rewards are smaller than the other companies – 800 points earns you a $5 gift card. If I don’t have time to do all the invitations I receive, Harris Poll invitations are the ones I pass up. Be aware, however, that if you don’t do a survey in 6 months, your accumulated points will expire – I found this out the hard way – so be sure to click in every so often to keep your account current. A Good Point: You don’t have to qualify for Harris Poll surveys. If they send you the survey notice you’re already qualified to take it, so there’s less wasted time.


With e-Rewards you get paid in e-Rewards Currency with which you “buy” special offers from e-Rewards partners, such as travel coupons, frequent flyer miles, magazine subscriptions, and money toward purchases at Borders, Pizza Hut, Blockbuster, FTD, and more. e-Rewards pays well. A typical survey invitation pays $4.00-$7.00 for a fully completed survey, and $0.50 if you don’t qualify. What’s rare is that you also receive the $0.50 if the predetermined number of participants was reached before you clicked in. However, e-Rewards is a “by invitation only” company. You join the e-Rewards Opinion Panel only by going through one of their partners. I was invited to join through the Borders Rewards program. Check out the e-Rewards site to see a list of their partners. Money for College: This is very cool! If you join e-Rewards through Upromise, you can convert your e-Rewards Currency for Upromise college savings for you, your child or grandchild, or anyone you choose.

  • $25 e-Rewards currency = $5 in Upromise savings
  • $50 e-Rewards currency = $20 in Upromise savings
  • $100 e-Rewards currency = $50 in Upromise savings
At $7.00 per survey, the savings for college can add up quickly! It’s free to join Upromise (and when you do you’ll find hundreds of other ways to save for college as well.) Check it out at Once on the home page, click on “& More” on the left navigation bar, then just scroll down to e-Rewards.

There are hundreds of companies on the Web who offer online surveys for cash. Many of them are reputable, and, as is the case with every industry, there are some that are not. It’s wise to do a little research ahead of time to weed out those companies that are not truthful, or who waste your time. There’s nothing more frustrating than spending 10-15 minutes doing what feels like a survey, only to be told that you didn’t qualify and therefore aren’t getting paid. Check them out and find the ones that work best for you, with a reward structure that you like.

Even with research done up front, some of these lessons will just have to come with experience. Once you begin taking online surveys for cash, you will learn quickly which companies you want to work with and which ones to let go.

Explore a little bit and have fun. With online surveys for cash, you have nothing to lose – and you definitely have rewards to gain!

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