Wandering For Money

Make money with survey apps

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Friendly Warning: some surveys are reserved for people that are in a different demographic group than you. But some are reserved for your demographic group and not someone else’s!

Now there are MANY apps and websites that pay you to complete surveys. Personally I prefer apps over websites because apps to me are easier to keep up with, and so I am beginning with some of the survey apps that pay. This is only some of the survey apps for money. I will cover others in time, as well as websites that pay you to take surveys.

Basics and Broad Overview of Survey Apps for Money

Things to keep in mind:

  • Some apps you may have to apply for a task. Some may just have few or practically no tasks available. There will always be a survey available. It may take time to find one that you qualify for, but one positive with surveys is eventually you can find one and make some money. It’s about as close to a guarantee as you can hope for with money making opportunities.
  • BUT don’t put all your eggs in this basket. You will not make a full-time income or even part-time income (in my opinion) or maybe enough to even afford to buy a few eggs.
  • Surveys can be long, annoying, and some pay very little.
  • Most, if not all, will at some point ask for information on your demographic group (age, state, zip code, income, house size, marital status, race, gender, education, employment status, etc.). Some do this at the beginning and then let you know you are not in the right group or that group is covered already. Others ask at the end and still say this. While some only ask at the end and do not disqualify you over it.
  • While it is commonly believed, and likely true, that you will not qualify for a survey unless you fall within a certain demographic, there are other things that can disqualify you. For example, whether you use a certain social media account, whether you traveled recently, to name a few. Try not to get *too* bitter over this. Also, don’t try to guess the *right* answers. These sites monitor for inconsistencies and you just never know, so no point in lying and getting it wrong or kicked off the app for it.
  • Now many of these surveys think you are a robot and/or someone just rushing through the survey without paying attention. Turns out they do not like this. So prepare yourself for some captcha’s, questions that tell you which answer to pick (e.g., choose favorite hobby is reading instructions to ensure you are paying attention), and various other quality control mechanisms. I think robots may be too smart to put up with all of this for a few cents, but what do I know. I am just a human.
  • Many surveys have technical glitches. Or decide at the end of the survey that you are not in the target group. Or inform that the survey quota is maxed out. Yes you would expect that the smart robots would know this at the beginning of the survey. But it happens.

Survey Apps that Pay (Part 1)

Here are some survey apps in which I tried to make some money $$

Surveys for money (or gift cards) available via apps

1. InboxDollars

Oh InboxDollars. If you google apps to make money, well chances are you are already familiar with InboxDollars. But if not, here we go.

  • Note: this overview covers the app which just has surveys on it. The InboxDollars website offers other ways to make money (search, play games, open emails, etc.) – which I find little benefit from these other tasks, but it is worth mentioning.
  • Sign-up bonus? Yes – $5.
    • although this makes your balance a bit misleading in the beginning.
  • Survey time: few minutes to 45+ minutes (but factor in that it may take a while to get to a survey that lets you complete it without a glitch or some other message such as you do not qualify)
    • Now the name itself bothers me. Dollars should be changed to cents..fair warning. Yes you will get emails saying here’s a new survey for $5 or see one for $2 on the app homepage. Try to click on it though and poof – but don’t worry! The app will happily inform you of an alternative survey that pays $0.25 for 30 minutes! Thanks..
  • Rewards: $0.15 to a few dollars for each survey
  • Consolation Prize (for when you do not qualify for a survey): Tickets for Billy’s wheel. 1 ticket = 1 spin (note: number of spins allowed per day are capped). Possible prizes: nothing, 1 sweep (2 after you cash out once), 5 sweeps (10 after you cash out once), $0.25 (only added after you successfully complete your next survey), $1 or $5. I have never gotten a $5.
    • Now what are sweeps? You can spend sweeps towards entries into sweepstakes. Sweepstakes award more sweeps (not too sure who is picking these so your chances may be high here) OR cash amounts ranging from $1-$100. Sweepstakes with larger cash prizes cost more “sweeps” for each entry. Sweepstakes appear to occur daily.
  • This app, in my opinion, is so frustrating yet almost addicting. Once you spend that much time, it became hard (for me) not to just get to the minimum to cash out.
  • Cash out minimum: $30. (MINUS FEE)
  • Payout method: Check, mailed prepaid Visa card, or electronic gift card. This takes a few weeks to receive the first time you cash out. Subsequent payouts take less time. Note: A fee of $3 is charged when you cash out and yes, even for electronic gift cards. However, after I requested to cash out, I received an offer to waive this fee IF I got my account balance up to $40 within a month. See how it sucks you in? I did not get to $40.
  • Time commitment: My experience with this app is you can easily spend a very long time and have only 15 cents to show for it. Your experience may differ, but I warned you.
  • Referral program: Yes. Refer friends and get 10% of what they earn.
    • While usually friends get an incentive too when you refer them to an app or site, from what I can tell, it is not the case with InboxDollars. The sign up bonus is automatic.

My take: It’s a legit app (and site) but the low payouts on top of the fact that you WILL spend time just to qualify for a survey and make it to the end of a survey (without disqualifying or some other glitch) adds up to: its not worth the effort. Some people say they make money on this – side money – so try it out. If you do and have 15 cents after an hour, there are other things out there.

And 15 cents won’t cover a therapy appointment when you start to feel insane.

So I had the worst one first 🙂 .

2. Surveys On the Go

  • Download: http://www.surveysonthego.com has download links for both the App Store and Google Play.
  • Time: surveys range from 5-30 minutes.
  • Pay: This app pays pretty well for time spent.
  • Consolation prize: If you don’t qualify for a survey you get 10 cents – so yes actual cash instead of a ticket to spin on a wheel to earn sweeps to enter into sweepstakes.
  • The best surveys come when you go to a participating store or restaurant and then answer a short survey about your experience. It will come up if you go to one of the participating places (so it doesn’t show you where to go beforehand).
  • Cash out minimum: $10
  • Payment method: PayPal (no fee – yes I do not like InboxDollars)
  • General time commitment: reaching $10 isn’t too bad and when you request to cash out, it hits your PayPal account fairly quick – usually 30 minutes or less from my experience.
  • Location services: it wants you to keep this on. This makes sense since a lot of the surveys are based on stores, restaurants and other businesses you visit. It doesn’t seem to do much to my battery life. If battery life and/or data are a concern, surveys are available from home; however, you may not receive very many.
  • Negatives: not many surveys. So you will probably have an app taking up space, especially if you keep location services off. If you don’t care about space or location services, this is one of the better ones as far as time spent per survey for the $$ reward (and fast payout to PayPal).
  • Additional opportunities: sometimes you will get a survey that can qualify you to go do a gig. I qualified for one but did not get to the store in time before it got snatched up, but it would have paid $20 for what looks like a short gig. Not bad.
  • No sign up bonus or referral program.

My take: payout is good. More surveys would be better. But you never know if you will get more than others since it does depend on location, demographic information and if you walk by a participating store.

3. QuickThoughts

  • Time: about the same as Surveys on the Go. However, sometimes you have to take a short survey first before possibly receiving a survey that you qualify for.
  • Good payout for surveys in terms of money awarded for time spent.
  • Surveys pop up fairly frequently.
  • Payout method: This app’s payout method is not my idea of dollars or currency. If you have an iPhone, you can cash in for iTunes gift cards ($10 minimum). Samsung users get Amazon gift cards. I use Amazon enough that an Amazon gift card would be fine with me. But I have an iPhone, and nope I cannot get an Amazon gift card instead. If you use an iPhone, your only option is an iTunes gift card. (I am assuming Samsung users only have the Amazon option but I don’t think anyone is wishing for an iTunes gift card instead).
  • No sign up bonus or referral program.

My take: If you are fine with receiving one of these gift cards (depending on the phone you use), you can get some gift cards pretty quick. But it is not money. And until I can pay my bills with an iTunes gift card, this will remain one of my least favorite apps.

If, however, you want these gift cards, this app sure does rake up money fast – especially for survey apps – but for apps in general, it has a lot of survey opportunities that pay fairly well based on the time you spend.

4. iPoll

  • Time: about the same as QuickThoughts (it almost seems like the same app at times, except this one pays in PayPal and surveys are not as plentiful)
  • Minimum balance to cash out: $25
  • Cash out method: PayPal
  • Surveys: very similar to QuickThoughts and some surveys seem to be the same. However, surveys do not show up nearly as often on iPoll as compared to QuickThoughts (based on my experience). Also, usually the ones that do come up have lower payouts. QuickThoughts seems to have more higher paying ones (paying in gift cards that is).
  • Consolation prize for not qualifying? If you don’t qualify, you do not get anything besides a sorry this survey was not a good match for you. I have had this happen when I was nearly done a survey. So it’s a little frustrating. Trade off for cash vs gift cards I suppose…
  • Other things: I haven’t had a secret shopper gig pop up on it yet but it says they exist in the App Store. I was unable to login at all for some time and when I finally could, the small balance I had was gone, so it is a bit glitchy in my experience.

My take: A lot of times you need to fill out a survey first for the app to provide a survey you qualify for (although it may still disqualify you once you begin). This is similar to QuickThoughts, except sometimes I can fill it out a few times on here back to back. Be careful with how much time you spend. A pre-survey (or surveys) before a “real” survey can add up in time when the survey itself may end up saying you are not a match, and sometimes wait until the end to say that.

Even though this app reminds me a lot of QuickThoughts, it does not rake up the cash balance nearly as fast.

5. 1Q

  • Time: 30 seconds a question probably.
  • This app is a bit different. Rather than surveys, it gives you one question. Short questions for 25 or 50 cents, which is deposited immediately into your PayPal account (you do not have to request to cash out or hit a minimum amount – you answer the question and it is immediately added to your PayPal account)
  • You set the amount at either 25 cents or 50 cents in your profile. The app says you get more questions if you set it at 25 cents. I have made $2.50 from this app in over 6 months – all when I first downloaded it – so I am not really getting any questions.
  • Time commitment: Questions are short enough for 25 cents to be worth it.
  • Negatives: The questions are scarce. It wants you to keep location services on. I do. I do not notice an issue with my battery but since I never get questions anyways, I will turn it off if my battery is low.

My take: If I got more questions, I would love this app. 25 cents sounds like nothing, but its for one single question. Like which airlines do you have a frequent flyer account with? It takes about as much time as reading a text.

6. Swagbucks Answer
  • Note: there are a few Swagbucks apps, as well as a Swagbucks website. This is for the Swagbucks Answer app. Available on the iTunes App Store and on Google Play.
  • This app awards “Swagbucks” for completing surveys.
  • Time: surveys can range from a few minutes to around 30. This pays out fairly well based on the time of the surveys.
  • Payout method: Swagbucks earned are used towards gift cards. PayPal cards are one option.
  • Suggests to have location services on and I have had some surveys pop up based on my location. If this is an issue for you though, I still get plenty of surveys sitting in my apartment.
  • Referral bonus? Yes. Use my link to start out with 150 Swagbucks: https://www.swagbucks.com/?cmd=sb-register&rb=36445920&cmp=197&cxid=2000-Answer

My take: I am new to this one (even though I have used the Swagbucks site) and am really surprised it is not mentioned more often. The surveys are interesting and the points you get are fair. I also have not run into a bunch of you do not fall in the target group messages that are notorious with survey apps.

One of my faves!!


In later posts I’ll dive into some more survey apps as well as apps that have surveys + other tasks and websites that pay for taking surveys.

In the meantime, try some of these if you haven’t yet. See if you get survey-ed out.

And let me hear from you on your experiences! Am I wrong about InboxDollars? Have you used other apps that you like or don’t like? Let me know in the comments!

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