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Ultimate Guide to Taking Surveys for Money ($$$) Best Paid Surveys in 2020

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If you’re looking for a great way to earn cash online, then you might want to consider taking online surveys.

Survey companies behave as a middleman with businesses that need market research and individuals who want to earn money online.

They pair individuals with surveys that they qualify for based on demographics, and then the businesses use the information they collect to refine their offerings.

Here is our ultimate guide to taking surveys for money and our picks for the best paid survey sites.

How to Become a Survey Taker

Simply put, to become a survey taker, you must have an internet connection and an email address. Additionally, surveys typically take a lot of time to complete, so having spare time and a bit of patience is vital to your success as a survey taker.

Best Sites to Take Paid Surveys

If taking surveys in exchange for cash sounds interesting to you, there are several options to choose from. Read on to see what some of the top companies are and how you can earn money today.

1. Surveys2Cash

Surveys2Cash’s website boasts that ‘your opinion can change the products of tomorrow, today.’ Read on to see how they change the products of tomorrow.

What is Surveys2Cash?

Surveys2Cash is an incentive-based market research site. They reward their members for completing surveys. However, they do not provide you the surveys. Instead, they help users find companies or websites that have surveys. Then, those sites are responsible for paying users.

How to Sign Up:

The sign-up process online is relatively simple. Users enter their personal information to get started. Then, they answer a series of questions about their interests, demographics, and more. After this step, users are shown a series of offers that they might be interested in. Some of these include being taken to third party survey sites to start completing surveys.

Where is it Available?

Anyone can sign up for Surveys2Cash. If there are websites that they partner with within your area, they will connect you with them.

Who Can Qualify?

The Surveys2Cash website does not have any information on the minimum age to sign up. This is likely because they do not administer surveys directly, so users may be turned away due to age, location, or otherwise at the sites that they are paired with.

Average Earnings:

Users do not earn money directly from Surveys2Cash. Instead, they promise to connect users to high-paying surveys on a different platform.

Payment Method:

N/A

Minimum Cash Out:

N/A

Join Survey2Cash

2. Opinion Outpost

Owned by Survey Sampling International, this site is headquartered out of Shelton, Connecticut, USA, and is one of the original survey websites.

What is Opinion Outpost?

Opinion Outpost works similarly to other survey websites. Users are presented with several survey options and can provide their feedback in multiple areas. Users must qualify for some surveys, as is standard in the industry.

How to Sign Up:

Users only must provide their name and email to sign up or can use their social channels such as Google or Facebook, to sign up. Users do not provide any unnecessary sign-up information.

Where is it Available?

Users must be in the United States,

Who Can Qualify?

Users must be over 18.

Average Earnings:

Users can redeem their points for cash, and 50 points are equal to $5. Most surveys are worth a couple of dollars. Every quarter, Opinion Outpost has sweepstakes for $10,000. To qualify, users can enter their names into the drawing every time they complete a survey. Therefore, users are incentivized to take more surveys. Additionally, users can refer a friend for a $1 bonus.

Payment Method:

Users earn points, but they are transferrable to cash. Users can also donate their earnings to the American Red Cross.

Minimum Cash Out:

50 points

Join Opinion Outpost

3. MyPoints

MyPoints is another website that has been around for over two decades. They offer more than just taking surveys, and enjoy a particularly user-friendly option, MyPoints might be perfect for you.

What is MyPoints?

MyPoints is a survey website that also pays people for shopping online. Users earn gift cards in exchange for providing consumer information.

First, users sign up online. Then, they start shopping online they way they usually would, but they must first access the retailer they are shopping with from MyPoints’ online platform. Users earn up to 25 points per dollar they spend online and get to redeem points for Amazon gift cards or gift cards with over 75 other online retailers or restaurants.

How to Sign Up:

Subscribers can visit the MyPoints website to sign up. They only need a valid email address to begin the sign-up process.

Where is it Available?

Users must be in the United States and be United States residents to use MyPoints. MyPoints has an app, but can also be accessed from desktop computers, tablets, and mobile browsers.

Who Can Qualify?

Anyone over 18 with a valid email address can sign up. Like other survey websites, when users sign up, they take a detailed survey that helps to qualify them for future surveys. Anyone who signs up must complete the intake questionnaire accurately.

Average Earnings:

Users can earn gift cards, cash, and travel miles through the platform. There are many ways to make, although online shopping is MyPoints’ bread and butter product. There are over 1,900 retailers that users can connect to through the MyPoints platform, and users can earn up to 25 points per dollar spent when using the platform.

Other common ways to earn points are to get alerts coupons and use them, read emails and get points for merely clicking on links within the emails, and to share opinions on their market research surveys. Users can also earn points for watching videos, using their website to search the web, and can print and use coupons for extra savings.

Earnings can fluctuate between the different methods of earning points, but opening emails typically yields about five points, and shopping online can fluctuate depending on how much a person spends. Surveys usually pay out approximately 200 points, and watching videos can range from 20 to up to 500 points per video. If using MyPoints to get cashback on spending, then the more someone spends in specific areas, the more they can earn in cashback.

Payment Method:

MyPoints users can receive travel points, cash, or gift cards. If they choose money, they can get their money as early as the same day when using PayPal but must have earned $25 worth of points before exercising this option.

Minimum Cash Out:

The minimum cash out amount is 480 points, which is valued at between $3-4. However, when cashing out in cash via PayPal, the minimum amount is $25. A $25 gift card is nearly 4,000 MyPoints. When redeeming airline miles on full-cost carriers such as Delta or American, a $500 gift card costs more than 15,000 points.

It can take a long time to earn enough points for a substantial payout. It is important to note that if users are inactive for over a year, they can lose all their accrued points.

4. InboxDollars

InboxDollars is a website that pays consumers in cash rather than points in exchange for their time spent on surveys and watching videos.

What is InboxDollars?

Daren Cotter founded InboxDollars in 2000 from the comfort of his Minnesota State University dorm room. After graduating with a B.S. in Computer & Information Systems, Cotter made InboxDollars his full-time gig. Since 2006, InboxDollars has paid over $60 million to users in exchange for their time taking surveys and providing other consumer information.

How to Sign Up:

Subscribers can use the website to sign up. They must be 18 years old and have a valid email address.

Where is it Available?

Users can access InboxDollars on nearly all their devices, but the web interface is the easiest to use. You can also use a tablet or phone, and they have an app option for both iOS and Android.

Who Can Qualify?

Anyone over 18 with a valid email address can sign up. When users sign up, they answer a series of questions that last multiple pages. Some questions are very personal and ask detailed questions about income, family situation, and more, so users must be comfortable answering these questions honestly. The information provided will help match users with

Average Earnings:

The average survey yields between $0.25 and $1 in profit. Some surveys can take over 20 minutes, so use your discretion as to whether this is a good option for you.

It is important to note that there are also ‘pre-surveys,’ which are a series of questions that determine if a person is qualified to take a survey. These take several minutes in addition to the surveys themselves and are unpaid.

Users can also play games on the InboxDollars platform in exchange for money. Most earnings are in the form of scratch-off tickets rather than cash. You earn them virtually, and winnings are anywhere from $0.01 to $0.05, but users have been known to win $10-25 per card on occasion.

The other way to earn money with InboxDollars is to open paid emails. The website sends three to five emails per day and users that open the emails and click through the links in the email. These clicks typically yield a few cents toward your overall balance.

Payment Method:

Users can elect to receive their payouts via check or PayPal. There is a $3 processing fee each time you cash out, so if you reach the minimum threshold of $30, the actual payout is $27. If you reach a $40 payout, there is no processing fee.

Minimum Cash Out:

$30

Join Inbox Dollars

5. SendEarnings

SendEarnings creates marketing solutions for large brands via their network of millions of survey takers. Prodege, a global marketing agency, owns the company.

What is SendEarnings?

SendEarnings works with a team of brands that pay them for consumer input. Then, they recruit members who sign up via their website or app to do online activities such as take surveys, watch videos, shop online, and more. Members can earn cash in exchange for doing these activities.

How to Sign Up:

Users sign up on the home page of their website using an email address. Users earn $5 for merely signing up, and the amount is automatically added to a user’s account. Then, users can receive 0.52 cents for filling out their profile, confirming their first email, and doing their first web search. Mostly, they are learning how to use the website and getting paid to do so.

Where is it Available?

Users must be in the United States or the United Kingdom.

Who Can Qualify?

Average Earnings:

In addition to making up to a few dollars per survey, users can invite their friends to use the platform. They will earn 10% of what their friends earn added to their balance automatically.

Payment Method:

Users can earn PayPal cash, gift cards, or a traditional check. It is important to note that the processing time is two weeks.

Minimum Cash Out:

$30

Join SendEarnings

6. Vindale Research

Vindale Research is one of the longest-standing and best-rated survey companies. They help companies hear the opinions of consumers so that they can improve their products and better reach their markets.

What is Vindale Research?

Vindale Research is an online market research company that gives community members money in exchange for taking surveys and completing other offers. Vindale Research was founded in 2006 in New York. While it still serves the American market, it has expanded to the United Kingdom, Canada, and Australian markets. They offer paid surveys, product testing, and incentivized email marketing campaigns, among other offerings. The company was sold to Reimagine Holdings Group in 2018 but maintains its offerings independently.

How to Sign Up:

Subscribers fill out information about their demographics and interests. Then, they will have access to available surveys on the Vindale Research website. They can also sign up to be notified when a survey that meets their interests becomes available.

Where is it Available?

Subscribers can take surveys on any of their devices.

Who Can Qualify?

Users must be in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, or Australia. Some surveys are only available in select countries or to citizens of those countries.

Average Earnings:

Most surveys take about 5-10 minutes and pay between $0.50 and $2. Users can also watch short videos to earn money. They are typically advertisements and last a minute or less. However, these have significantly smaller returns at about $0.05 each.

The first step to earning money is to sign up. Users will receive $1 just for signing up. Then, they can take surveys, watch videos, and refer friends until they reach the $50 threshold. It is important to note that there is a limitation on how long available funds can sit in a user’s account before they expire.

Payment Method:

When a user has $50 that they have earned, they must request a funds transfer in the Online Payment Center. They also should have a verified PayPal account set up, or plan to receive a check via mail. Then, they must authorize the payment, and Vindale Research will send the money via their choice of PayPal or check.

Minimum Cash Out:

$50

7. Swagbucks

Swagbucks is a rewards and loyalty-program operator. The California-based company connects users with companies who want their opinions. Their opinions are rewarded with cash or gift cards.

What is Swagbucks?

Swagbucks is one of the most popular survey sites for a few reasons. They give users $5 just to sign up, they have one of the highest reward-per-survey ratios, and they pay their users in either gift cards or through PayPal.

How to Sign Up:

Users can create a profile in minutes using the Swagbucks website. The necessary information required is an email address and proof via birth date that the user is over 18. Then, there is an intake survey that lasts several minutes. This information is used in the future to help qualify users for which surveys they will take.

Where is it Available?

Most of the United States, Canada, Asia, and Europe, and some African countries.

Who Can Qualify?

Users must be 13 or older.

Average Earnings:

Swagbucks is known for having many ways to earn money. Like other sites, polls and surveys are their bread and butter. These surveys take an average of 10 minutes to complete and pay anywhere from $0.25 to several dollars.

Swagbucks also allows users to monetize their searches. Swagbucks has its own search engine, and if users use this instead of Google or Safari, they can earn Swagbucks.

Additionally, users can earn money from playing games on the platform. There are popular options like scrabble and solitaire, as well as other games that you may not have heard of.

The final way to earn money on the site is to watch videos. Users can make a few cents per video toward their Swagbucks balance.

Payment Method:

Users can select to be paid in either PayPal or via gift cards that they choose online.

Minimum Cash Out:

$3 in gift cards or $25 in PayPal.

Join Swagbucks

8. LifePoints

LifePoints is a community of people who sign up to share their views and influence companies in exchange for points. These points can be used on the website to earn cash or gift cards.

What is LifePoints?

LifePoints is one of the longest-standing survey services. They have been around since 1946 and have over five million members worldwide. Signing up is free, as it is with most survey websites.

LifePoints also sets itself apart by offering surveys in 26 languages and has one of the broadest reaches of any survey site because it operates in over 35 countries. LifePoints is a combination of two companies: MySurvey and Lightspeed. Both are global market research companies, and the LifePoints brand helps them to reach individuals who can take market research surveys.

How to Sign Up:

Signing up is free, and users get 10 LifePoints solely for joining. Users sign up online and provide information about their date of birth, full name, and address. Like other survey websites, this information helps to qualify them for surveys in the future.

Where is it Available?

Members are in the United States, India, South Africa, Hong Kong, Mexico, China, and several other countries.

Who Can Qualify?

Users must be 16 years or older and have a valid email address.

Average Earnings:

Surveys start at a few cents each but are typically between $0.50 and $1 in earnings per survey. However, this number can be confusing because users do not earn a cash value but LifePoints instead. The typical payout per survey is between 20 and 100 points.

Users can also provide written feedback in exchange for LifePoints on their account, and the payout of each set of feedback varies based on the completeness of the input.

Another way that people earn money is through product testing. Some companies need specific feedback on their products and reach their testers via LifePoints. Users provide honest feedback for products and are rewarded with points. Sometimes, they can also keep the product they tested.

Payment Method:

Users can choose to be paid via PayPal, select gift cards, or donate their earnings to charitable causes.

Minimum Cash Out:

Because users earn LifePoints, there is not a dollar amount minimum for cashing out. However, the minimum point value to cash out is 5500 points. Various websites will value points at different thresholds, but the most common answer is that they fluctuate based on how many points a user has. The highest-value redemption is via gift card, and LifePoints expire either three years after earning them or after one year of inactivity on your account.

9. Survey Junkie

Survey Junkie is an online survey website that focuses on general consumer information. They connect companies with individuals who are willing to take market research surveys and be compensated in cash for their time.

What is Survey Junkie?

Survey Junkie is full of well-vetted surveys that users can sign up to take and begin earning money right away. Survey Junkie sets itself apart by making sure that their surveys are more specific than other sites, and they are very transparent about how many points each survey is worth and how much time it will take to complete.

How to Sign Up:

Subscribers can use the website to sign up. They must be 18 years old and have a valid email address. Users must also reside in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, or Australia.

Where is it Available?

Users must be in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, or Australia.

Who Can Qualify?

Anyone over 18 with a valid email address can sign up. When users sign up, they take a detailed survey that helps to qualify them for future surveys. Everyone should fill this out accurately to ensure that they receive their cash rewards in the future.

Average Earnings:

The average survey yields between 100-200 points and typically take up to 20 minutes to complete. Some surveys are worth quite a bit more, but often take a specific skill set to complete or take more time to finish.

Surveys are paid out in points, and 100 points are equal to about $1. Most surveys will pay between $1-3. The website makes it very clear how much each survey is worth, how long it is expected to take, and how long the survey has been active on their site.

Payment Method:

Survey Junkie users can turn their points into either cash or gift cards. The minimum to cash out is $10, and survey junkie has earned an excellent reputation because it does not take a long time to reach that payout.

If you want to earn money in cash, you must have a PayPal account. The account is free to sign up for, but if you do not care for money, you can choose gift cards from several vendors that are detailed on their website. The gift card option is only available in the United States and can be redeemed in increments of $5 at a time after reaching the $10 threshold. For example, users can take out either $10, $15, $20 or more in gift cards at a time.

Minimum Cash Out:

$10

10. Pinecone Research

Pinecone Research has earned a reputation for being a very exclusive company to join. It is invite-only, so do not plan to go online and simply sign up for this service. While it can be difficult to join, it can be a very lucrative program to be a part of.

What is Pinecone Research?

Pinecone is owned by the New York-based market research company, Neilson. Pinecone’s cornerstone product is surveys but has also expanded into other content and emails. Pinecone is also known for a streamlined process when it comes to bringing surveys to its users.

How to Sign Up:

Pinecone has a detailed sign-up process once people are contacted about joining. Additionally, people are not guaranteed to be accepted to take Pinecone Research surveys after filling out the sign-up form. Users must meet a specific demographic and pass quality checks before being approved.

The sign-up process ends in receiving a ‘welcome’ email that confirms acceptance and gives more complete details about completing surveys on the website.

Users can then complete their profiles on the website. They include information such as how often they want to be contacted about surveys, what kinds of surveys they want to take, and detailed demographic data.

This information behaves as screening information and helps Pinecone to streamline the survey delivery process. Unlike other survey websites, they have little to no pre-survey questionnaires because they only reach out to people who are qualified to take each survey.

Where is it Available?

Users must be in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, or Germany.

Who Can Qualify?

Anyone over 18 with a valid email address can sign up. When users sign up, they take a detailed survey that helps to qualify them for future surveys. Pinecone often is seeking specific demographics and can turn anyone away if they do not meet the demographics they are seeking at the time.

Average Earnings:

Most surveys with Pinecone Research yield $3-6. Users are paid in points, and 100 points are equal to $1. Users can choose how many surveys they receive each month, but because Pinecone is so selective, users do not typically receive as many survey options as other websites.

Payment Method:

Pinecone Research users can choose to receive their money in gift cards or via cash rewards. The cash option can be obtained via check or PayPal. PayPal recipients can receive their money by the next business day, and checks typically arrive within a week of requesting them.

Minimum Cash Out:

$3

11. Global Test Market

Global Test Market is one of the most popular and trustworthy survey sources. The company has paid over $32 million over its lifetime in exchange for consumers’ opinions.

What is Global Test Market?

Global Test Market offers users the opportunity to earn money from many countries around the world. Unlike its competitors, it operates in over 200 countries and maintains partnerships with over 1500 companies in over 60 countries. According to their website, they have over 5.5 million active members and add more daily.

How to Sign Up:

The registration process for Global Test Market is relatively simple. Users only need an email and their name to sign up and can even link through their Facebook or Twitter accounts for an even more straightforward process.

Like all other survey websites, it is free to sign up. Users will receive a validation email almost immediately and can begin filling out personal demographic information in their online profiles. Global Test Market will use this information to send surveys in the future that are personalized to your data.

The website makes it clear that they do not take users’ personal payment information immediately as a security precaution.

Where is it Available?

Users can be in almost any country to qualify to take surveys. The website is accessible and optimized for tablets, computers, and mobile interfaces.

Who Can Qualify?

Users must be 18 or older to take surveys.

Average Earnings:

Global Test Market has a unique points system. Twenty-three points are equal to $1, and most surveys offer about 35 points. Some surveys offer up to 250 points, but these are rare and often have particular requirements to be able to complete. Two hundred fifty points would equate to about $10 worth of rewards.

Users can also earn referral points for asking their friends and family to join. The referrals must become active members and complete at least two surveys for the person referring to earn points.

Unlike other survey websites, there are only two ways to earn guaranteed points: taking surveys and referring friends. However, the site also offers entries into sweepstakes in exchange for completing surveys, and drawings happen monthly or quarterly. Sweepstakes are not available in every country.

Payment Method:

Global Test Market takes pride in having a seamless and quick payment system. Users earn MarketPoints that are exchangeable for cash or other benefits. Users can choose how they want to be paid, including PayPal, checks, or gifts. PayPal is the fastest payout option, and users often get paid within one business day.

Minimum Cash Out:

The minimum cash out is between 1000 and 1200 points depending on the country that the user is from. This is about $10.

12. PrizeRebel

PrizeRebel is one of the newest survey websites on the market. Although it is relatively new, it has paid out over $19 million to its nearly 10 million users.

What is PrizeRebel?

PrizeRebel sets itself apart from other survey websites by having rewards levels. Like other survey websites, it is free to join, and members can take surveys in exchange for cash, gift cards, and become eligible for sweepstakes prizes. Unlike its competitors, the more surveys someone completes and the more points they earn, they can increase in status on the website.

When a user reaches 4,500 points, they reach Gold level status and begin earning a 1% bonus on all their earnings. Platinum level occurs at 10,000 points, and users earn a 2% bonus on all their earnings. The diamond level is when a user reaches 16,000 points. This status yields a 3% bonus on all points earned and a 3% discount on all redemptions.

How to Sign Up:

PrizeRebel boasts that their sign-up process takes only ten seconds. Users need an email address and their name to get started. Like other survey websites, there is an intake questionnaire that qualifies users for future surveys, and they can choose what types of surveys they want to take in the future.

Where is it Available?

Although it is a U.S.-based company, PrizeRebel is available in 183 countries. Users can log in via any browser on any device.

Who Can Qualify?

Users must be 18 or older to take surveys or can be as young as 16 with a parent’s permission.

Average Earnings:

PrizeRebel awards an average of $0.40-0.60 per survey but can increase depending on the complexity of the survey and what level the survey taker has reached. There are a few ways to earn on PrizeRebel.

The most popular earning option on PrizeRebel is to take surveys. Users can also check out the Offer Wall. The Offer Wall has opportunities to earn points in exchange for completing simple tasks. These tasks may involve watching short videos or signing up for email lists, browsing websites, or installing an app on your phone. Points for these tasks vary.

Users can also earn points by referring friends. When users refer to friends, they can earn 20% of their friends’ earnings. Each person who signs up gets a unique referral code that can be shared via social channels or emails.

Payment Method:

Users can choose to be paid via PayPal, Dwolla cash, or gift cards.

Minimum Cash Out:

The minimum cash out is $2 when choosing gift cards. If you select a PayPal cash out, the minimum is 500 points or $5. It is important to note that your PrizeRebel email address and PayPal email address must match.

13. RewardSurvey

RewardSurvey’s business model is different from others in that it does not promise cash or gift cards to its users. Instead, they can earn gifts or access to potentially expensive programs. Read on to learn more.

What is RewardSurvey?

RewardSurvey is an online survey website that has been around for over 15 years. It pays its users in gifts such as free magazine subscriptions and other services.

One of the most enticing things about this site is the promise of a $30 reward after only one survey. It is important to note that while after one survey, a user’s balance will say $30, and they can collect their gift, they must pay a $0.99 processing fee.

How to Sign Up:

The sign-up form is available on the top of the homepage and only asks for the user’s name, email, a new password, and their location. The sign-up process is very straightforward.

Where is it Available?

Users can select over 200 countries when signing up. The website then connects them to surveys available in their area.

Who Can Qualify?

The sign-up page asks for limited information and does not ask for age. Additionally, they allow people from around the world to sign up.

Average Earnings:

The first survey yields a $30 reward in exchange for a $0.99 processing fee. Most people do not pass this stage as they are on a survey website to make money, not give it away. However, people who continue can earn hundreds of dollars in rewards that they redeem for magazine subscriptions.

Payment Method:

RewardSurvey does not pay out in cash. Instead, users earn a dollar value toward magazine subscriptions.

Minimum Cash Out:

Users can cash out once they’ve received enough points to purchase the gift they want.

Join RewardSurvey

14. MySoapBox

MySoapBox is part of the Interview Service of America. This online membership service gives individuals a voice that brands will listen to so that they can improve their products and services.

What is MySoapBox?

MySoapBox is a trusted survey site that trades your opinion for cash. This website is like other top survey sites in that it is simple to sign up for and use and pays out up to a couple of dollars in exchange for opinions delivered via survey.

How to Sign Up:

The sign-up process is simple, requiring only a person’s name and email address. After signing up via the website, users complete their profiles. This helps to qualify them for future surveys. Then, users select if they want to be invited to surveys via email or text. After that, they take surveys and earn cash.

Where is it Available?

MySoapBox is available in the United States.

Who Can Qualify?

While anyone within the United States can qualify to sign up, each survey has different qualifications for who can complete it. These qualifications are based on demographics.

Average Earnings:

Users earn about 1,000 points per survey. A survey takes 5-15 minutes on average.

Payment Method:

MySoapBox pays out in e-vouchers or online gift cards. Users earn points, and 25,000 points are worth $25. The gift cards available are to major retailers such as Amazon, Target, Walmart, and more.

Minimum Cash Out:

25,000 points the first time, 5,000 points after that

Join MySoapBox

The Bottom Line

There are multiple survey websites available globally. When selecting which site to use, you should be aware that while this is a great way to earn extra money, this side hustle is not your next career move.

Survey takers can often make several dollars a day and cash out their earnings via gift card, check, or PayPal depending on what website they use.

Are You Looking for  More Surveys for Money?

Check out these alternatives:

  • LifePoints – This is a combination of MySurvey and GlobalTestMarket, as a result of a merger. Most surveys take about 15 minutes to complete and offer 100 points. Five hundred fifty points are about $5, and that is the rewards payout threshold.
  • Survey Club – This site’s surveys typically start with a qualification survey, which is unpaid. Users can participate in mini focus groups, teleconference focus groups, and two-way focus groups. The minimum payout is $20, and users can collect this through Amazon credit, PayPal, or a check.
  • OneOpinion – This site has a stronger screening process than most and pays out on its point system. With a 25,000 point or $25 cash out minimum, this survey aggregator is also worth checking out.
  • Harris Poll Online – This is one of the largest and oldest polling websites. It pays out in electronic gift cards in exchange for points. Surveys can often ask personal questions, including religious or moral beliefs.
  • Valued Opinions – This company specializes in broader demographics. Users receive vouchers that are typically about $10 per hour.
  • VIP Voice – VIP Voice has a high payout rate but limited options as prizes. Expect mostly auction items in exchange for points as well as sweepstakes entries but guarantee that you’ll receive anything in return.
  • OnePoll – This site is best known for its quick surveys and myriad topics to choose from. The minimum reward is about $45.
  • Panel Opinion One of the most popular survey sites on the market. Users receive cash via PayPal or check in exchange for surveys. The minimum payout is $10.
  • YouGov – This site pays about $0.50 per survey. YouGov is unique because it focuses more on social issues such as politics.
  • PanelBase – This should be on your radar if you’re looking for fewer surveys and a higher payout. The minimum reward threshold is $10, and most surveys pay at least $1.50.
  • Hiving – With a minimum payout of only $4, survey takers earn about $0.50 per minute on average. There is a referral bonus, as well.
  • Survey Bods – This site pays out in money, Amazon vouchers, and prizes. Most surveys take about 10 minutes and pay up to $3.
  • The OpinionPanel Community – This UK company accepts anyone age 13 to 30 and surveys on behalf of universities and large brands. These 10-minute surveys pay out about $1-2.
  • MindMover – Most surveys with MindMover take about 15 minutes and pay up to $1.50. It is known to take a long time to reach the minimum reward threshold of $20.
  • iPoll – iPoll is known for its mobile compatibility and has many opportunities to earn. The minimum reward threshold is $20, and most 15-minute surveys pay about $0.50-1.50. May have a limited amount of surveys available.
  • PopulusLive – The UK-based site provides statistics to the press and other clients based on its users’ surveys. The high payout limit of $50 can be difficult for users to reach.
  • New Vista Live – Owned by Walnut Unlimited, New Vista Live is open to UK residents 16 or older. Users take surveys and can enter sweepstakes in exchange for points. One hundred points are £1, but the minimum cash out is 5,000 points.
  • CashCrate – This site has a straightforward point system when it comes to trading them in for money, but a confusing process to deciding if a survey is going to pay out in the first place.
  • Crowdology – Crowdology offers money for every survey a user completes. They are known for having an excellent customer interface, but it has had a lot of reported glitches.
  • Survey Savvy – This is one of the few survey websites available worldwide. The minimum payout is $1, and they have a user-friendly app.
  • Zoombucks – Zoombucks allows users to redeem their points for cash or online gift cards with a minimum payout of only $3.
  • MintVine This company is now called Branded Surveys.
  • Branded Surveys – This company has a minimum threshold of $10 to payout, and users receive either money or gift cards. They are known for having a high volume of surveys.

The post Ultimate Guide to Taking Surveys for Money ($$$) Best Paid Surveys in 2020 appeared first on Your Money Geek.



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Finance

A Day in My Quarantined Life

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This post may contain affiliate links. Read my disclosure policy here.

Just for fun, last , I took pictures and shared in real-time on Instagram a peek into a pretty normal day in our lives. I say “normal”, but nothing is really normal right now due to COVID-19, our city’s current Safer at Home order.

But I wanted to document what this period of our lives was like — when we were home 24/7 all day, every day, as a whole family. This was two days before we brought Champ home from the NICU and it was during the few-day period when I was unable to visit him there due to the lockdown on visitors as a result of COVID-19. (In case you were wondering why I didn’t go up to the NICU on this day.)

I’ll be sharing another Day in My Quarantined Life post next week with the added addition of a newborn. That will look very different! 🙂

So without further ado, enjoy a peek into a day during this period of history when we were all self-isolating…

A Peek Into My Quarantined Life

6:50 a.m. — Up and make my favorite non-coffee drink (The Morning Motivator + Dandy Blend + half & half) and read my Bible reading for the day from She Reads Truth.

7:30 a.m. — I switch the laundry I had started the night before into the dryer and start another load in the washer.

7:45 a.m. — I fold a clean load of laundry while listening to an audiobook.

8:15 a.m. — I picked out my new books to read for the week and hopped on the treadmill for my morning reading/prayer time (yes, I walk while I read and pray!)

9:10 a.m. — I shower and get dressed for the day. I usually pick out my outfit for the day the night before to make getting dressed a snap in the mornings.

Kaitlynn usually makes some unique breakfast for herself every morning. Today’s breakfast was strawberry/peanut butter toast.

9:35 a.m. — I eat the same thing most every day for breakfast — a big bowl of Raisin Bran. Kaitlynn and I ate breakfast together this morning (breakfast is always on your own at our house right now, but sometimes I’ll sit down and eat with one child).

10 a.m. — I lie down to rest (since I’m near the end of my pregnancy, I usually have to lie down and rest once or twice a day). While resting, I watched the local news, talked to Jesse, and answered Instagram messages.

11 a.m. — Still resting. I go through my email inbox and answer all of the urgent messages.

11:45 a.m. — I took a break from business work to do my hair and makeup. (I usually have to lie down after my morning walk and shower because doing both of those things back to back wear me out for awhile!)

12:15 p.m. — Made Red Raspberry Leaf Tea, talked to Jesse, and checked my messages on Instagram.

12:45 p.m. — I sit with Silas while he works on his school for the day. I work on chapter 8 of my manuscript for my upcoming book. (I’m over 75% done with the rough draft!) (And yes, we allow PJ-wearing in our homeschool right now… provided you take a bath and put on clean PJs. :))

1:30 p.m. — I eat lunch and work on final edits to chapter 7 of my manuscript before I submit it to my editor who is working with me in the book-writing process.

The girls have been doing various creative projects since they are home 24/7. I love seeing the unique ideas they are coming up with. Kathrynne’s project for today was hand-drawing this coloring page to color in (the girls have also been super into making friendship bracelets right now — and you can see all their embroidery floss in the photo above).

Here’s a better photo of the coloring page she drew.

4 p.m. — Time to take my prenatal vitamins. (I spent the last two hours working on my book and working on foster care related phone calls + talking to Jesse about some decisions we needed to make there.)

5 p.m. — Snack time — dates with peanut butter (dates are for labor prep). I worked on getting my Hot Deals enewsletter ready to go + the blog post for the day and worked on some projects for my Mastermind group.

7 p.m. — Finished with my work projects for the day! And it’s onto making dinner. I used some bread crumbs, spaghetti sauce, mozzarella cheese, and chicken. I dipped the chicken in egg mixture and then in bread crumbs and browned the chicken on the stove top. Then I put it in a pan with sauce and cheese and baked it. It was a Chicken Parmesan dish of sorts — using what I had on hand.

7:20 p.m. — While the chicken was cooking, I unload and reload the dishwasher and listen to an audiobook.

8:15 p.m. — Dinner time! (I made mine chicken without sauce — since it gives me heartburn. We served the chicken over pasta with peas.)

After dinner: We did our before bed house cleaning (everyone cleans up their designated spaces) and everyone helped with some laundry while we finished watching a movie. I wrote out my time-blocked to do list and answered a few emails and then went to bed at 10:30 p.m.



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When Will I Receive a Coronavirus Check? Here’s What IRS Says

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There’s a good chance you’ll have your coronavirus stimulus check in your bank account by April 14, according to a report by The Washington Post

The first direct deposits will be made April 9, according to an IRS draft plan obtained by The Post. Most payments would be available by April 14 at the latest, though the exact date will vary based on how quickly banks can process them. 

Paper checks would be mailed beginning April 24, at a rate of 5 million per week, according to the plan. Those with the lowest adjusted gross incomes would receive the first payments.

Most single adults who aren’t claimed as dependents on someone else’s tax return will receive stimulus payments of $1,200, while married couples will get $2,400. Families with children 16 or younger will receive a $500 credit per child

Benefits for single people with AGIs over $75,000 and married people with AGIs over $150,000 are reduced by 5 cents for every $1 they earn above these thresholds. 

For more information about how the payments will work, check out our coronavirus stimulus checks FAQ

When Will I Receive My Coronavirus Check?

OK, so the big question on your mind is probably: When will I receive my coronavirus check? Here’s the timeframe for payments, as reported by The Post:

April 9: The first direct deposit payments will be made. The majority of these deposits will be available by April 14 at the latest.

April 24: Paper checks will be mailed out to people with adjusted gross incomes (AGIs) of $10,000 or less who don’t have direct deposit information on file with the IRS.

May 1: Checks will be sent to people with AGIs of $20,000 or lower. Each week, another round of checks will go out to those whose incomes are within the next $10,000. So on May 8, checks will be mailed to those with AGIs of $30,000 or less. On May 15, they would go to those whose AGIs are $40,000 or less, etc.

Sept. 4: The final checks would be mailed to eligible taxpayers with the highest AGIs.

Sept. 11: Checks will be mailed to people who need to apply for payments because the IRS doesn’t have tax information available for them.

How Do I Sign Up for Direct Deposit?

If you haven’t signed up for direct deposit via the IRS or Social Security — or if the information they have on file is for a bank account you’ve closed — there’s no easy way to do so at the moment.

The IRS is building a web portal that would allow you to set up and update that information. The feature will probably be available by the end of April to early May, according to a memo from the House Ways and Means Committee.

If you haven’t filed your 2019 tax return yet, you could do so ASAP so the IRS has your updated bank account information.

If you’ve closed your bank account and the IRS tries to deposit your payment to that account, the funds will ultimately be sent back to the IRS. The IRS will eventually mail your check to your last known address if you don’t update your account information in the portal once it’s available.

Is There Anything I Can Do to Get My Check Faster?

There are really only two things you can do to speed up this process:

1. File a 2018 or 2019 tax return if you’re not receiving Social Security benefits.

2. Sign up for direct deposit or update your bank account information if you haven’t already once the IRS makes its portal available. Check https://www.irs.gov/coronavirus frequently, as that’s where the IRS is posting all key information related to coronavirus relief.

If you’ve done those two things, the only thing you can do is sit back and wait.

Robin Hartill is a senior editor at The Penny Hoarder and the voice behind the Dear Penny personal finance advice column.

This was originally published on The Penny Hoarder, which helps millions of readers worldwide earn and save money by sharing unique job opportunities, personal stories, freebies and more. The Inc. 5000 ranked The Penny Hoarder as the fastest-growing private media company in the U.S. in 2017.



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Best Interest Rates on Cash – April 2020

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The Federal Reserve further cut their target Fed Funds Rate to zero in March, so we continue to see a steady stream of rate drops on cash savings. I hope that some of you got a nice rate locked-in if you tried to refinance your mortgage.

Here’s my monthly roundup of the best interest rates on cash for April 2020, roughly sorted from shortest to longest maturities. I track these rates because I keep 12 months of expenses as a cash cushion and also invest in longer-term CDs (often at lesser-known credit unions) when they yield more than bonds. Check out my Ultimate Rate-Chaser Calculator to see how much extra interest you’d earn by moving money between accounts. Rates listed are available to everyone nationwide. Rates checked as of 4/2/2020.

High-yield savings accounts
While the huge megabanks make huge profits while paying you 0.01% APY, it’s easy to open a new “piggy-back” savings account and simply move some funds over from your existing checking account. The interest rates on savings accounts can drop at any time, so I list the top rates as well as competitive rates from banks with a history of competitive rates. Some banks will bait you with a temporary top rate and then lower the rates in the hopes that you are too lazy to leave.

Short-term guaranteed rates (1 year and under)
A common question is what to do with a big pile of cash that you’re waiting to deploy shortly (just sold your house, just sold your business, legal settlement, inheritance). My usual advice is to keep things simple and take your time. If not a savings account, then put it in a flexible short-term CD under the FDIC limits until you have a plan.

  • No Penalty CDs offer a fixed interest rate that can never go down, but you can still take out your money (once) without any fees if you want to use it elsewhere. Marcus has a 7-month No Penalty CD at 1.70% APY with a $500 minimum deposit. Ally Bank has a 11-month No Penalty CD at 1.55% APY with a $25,000 minimum deposit. CIT Bank has a 11-month No Penalty CD at 1.70% APY with a $1,000 minimum deposit. You may wish to open multiple CDs in smaller increments for more flexibility.
  • CIT Bank has a few competitive term CDs at similar rates: 12-month CD at 1.86% APY ($1,000 min), 13-month at 1.82% APY, and 18-month at 1.85% APY.

Money market mutual funds + Ultra-short bond ETFs
If you like to keep cash in a brokerage account, beware that many brokers pay out very little interest on their default cash sweep funds (and keep the difference for themselves). The following money market and ultra-short bond funds are not FDIC-insured, but may be a good option if you have idle cash and cheap/free commissions.

  • Vanguard Prime Money Market Fund currently pays an 1.07% SEC yield. The default sweep option is the Vanguard Federal Money Market Fund which has an SEC yield of 0.68%. You can manually move the money over to Prime if you meet the $3,000 minimum investment.
  • Vanguard Ultra-Short-Term Bond Fund currently pays 2.08% SEC yield ($3,000 min) and 2.18% SEC Yield ($50,000 min). The average duration is ~1 year, so there is more interest rate risk.
  • The PIMCO Enhanced Short Maturity Active Bond ETF (MINT) has a 2.57% SEC yield and the iShares Short Maturity Bond ETF (NEAR) has a 3.16% SEC yield while holding a portfolio of investment-grade bonds with an average duration of ~6 months. Note that the higher yield came from a drop in net asset value during the recent market stress.

Treasury Bills and Ultra-short Treasury ETFs
Another option is to buy individual Treasury bills which come in a variety of maturities from 4-weeks to 52-weeks. You can also invest in ETFs that hold a rotating basket of short-term Treasury Bills for you, while charging a small management fee for doing so. T-bill interest is exempt from state and local income taxes. Right now, this section probably isn’t very interesting as T-Bills are yielding close to zero!

  • You can build your own T-Bill ladder at TreasuryDirect.gov or via a brokerage account with a bond desk like Vanguard and Fidelity. Here are the current Treasury Bill rates. As of 4/2/2020, a new 4-week T-Bill had the equivalent of 0.09% annualized interest and a 52-week T-Bill had the equivalent of 0.14% annualized interest.
  • The Goldman Sachs Access Treasury 0-1 Year ETF (GBIL) has a 1.42% SEC yield and the SPDR Bloomberg Barclays 1-3 Month T-Bill ETF (BIL) has a 0.88% SEC yield. GBIL appears to have a slightly longer average maturity than BIL. Expect these yields to drop significantly as they are updated.

US Savings Bonds
Series I Savings Bonds offer rates that are linked to inflation and backed by the US government. You must hold them for at least a year. There are annual purchase limits. If you redeem them within 5 years there is a penalty of the last 3 months of interest.

  • “I Bonds” bought between November 2019 and April 2020 will earn a 2.22% rate for the first six months. The rate of the subsequent 6-month period will be based on inflation again. More info here.
  • In mid-April 2020, the CPI will be announced and you will have a short period where you will have a very close estimate of the rate for the next 12 months. I will have another post up at that time.

Prepaid Cards with Attached Savings Accounts
A small subset of prepaid debit cards have an “attached” FDIC-insured savings account with exceptionally high interest rates. The negatives are that balances are capped, and there are many fees that you must be careful to avoid (lest they eat up your interest). Some folks don’t mind the extra work and attention required, while others do. There is a long list of previous offers that have already disappeared with little notice. I don’t personally recommend nor use any of these anymore.

  • The only notable card left in this category is Mango Money at 6% APY on up to $2,500, but there are many hoops to jump through. Requirements include $1,500+ in “signature” purchases and a minimum balance of $25.00 at the end of the month.

Rewards checking accounts
These unique checking accounts pay above-average interest rates, but with unique risks. You have to jump through certain hoops, and if you make a mistake you won’t earn any interest for that month. Some folks don’t mind the extra work and attention required, while others do. Rates can also drop to near-zero quickly, leaving a “bait-and-switch” feeling. I don’t use any of these anymore.

  • Consumers Credit Union Free Rewards Checking (my review) still offers up to 5.09% APY on balances up to $10,000 if you make $500+ in ACH deposits, 12 debit card “signature” purchases, and spend $1,000 on their credit card each month. Elements Financial has dropped to 2% APY on balances up to $20,000 if you make 15 debit card “signature” purchases or other qualifying transactions per statement cycle. Find a locally-restricted rewards checking account at DepositAccounts.

Certificates of deposit (greater than 1 year)
CDs offer higher rates, but come with an early withdrawal penalty. By finding a bank CD with a reasonable early withdrawal penalty, you can enjoy higher rates but maintain access in a true emergency. Alternatively, consider building a CD ladder of different maturity lengths (ex. 1/2/3/4/5-years) such that you have access to part of the ladder each year, but your blended interest rate is higher than a savings account. When one CD matures, use that money to buy another 5-year CD to keep the ladder going. Some CDs also offer “add-ons” where you can deposit more funds if rates drop.

  • Pen Air Federal Credit Union has a 5-year certificate at 2.20% APY ($500 minimum). Early withdrawal penalty is 180 days of interest. Their other terms are competitive as well, if you want build a CD ladder. Anyone can join this credit union via partner organization ($3 one-time fee).
  • You can buy certificates of deposit via the bond desks of Vanguard and Fidelity. You may need an account to see the rates. These “brokered CDs” offer FDIC insurance and easy laddering, but they don’t come with predictable early withdrawal penalties. Vanguard and Fidelity both have a 5-year at 1.60% APY right now. Be wary of higher rates from callable CDs listed by Fidelity.

Longer-term Instruments
I’d use these with caution due to increased interest rate risk, but I still track them to see the rest of the current yield curve.

  • Willing to lock up your money for 10 years? You can buy long-term certificates of deposit via the bond desks of Vanguard and Fidelity. These “brokered CDs” offer FDIC insurance, but they don’t come with predictable early withdrawal penalties. Vanguard has a 10-year at 1.50% APY right now. Watch out for higher rates from callable CDs from Fidelity.
  • How about two decades? Series EE Savings Bonds are not indexed to inflation, but they have a unique guarantee that the value will double in value in 20 years, which equals a guaranteed return of 3.5% a year. However, if you don’t hold for that long, you’ll be stuck with the normal rate which is quite low (currently a sad 0.10% rate). I view this as a huge early withdrawal penalty. You could also view it as a hedge against prolonged deflation, but only if you can hold on for 20 years. As of 4/2/2020, the 20-year Treasury Bond rate was 1.04%.

All rates were checked as of 4/2/2020.



“The editorial content here is not provided by any of the companies mentioned, and has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities. Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone. This email may contain links through which we are compensated when you click on or are approved for offers.”

Best Interest Rates on Cash – April 2020 from My Money Blog.


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