We all love a freebie. That feeling of getting something drop through the letterbox as a special treat or a nice little extra out of the blue in our inbox, but it’s that tiny bit more special when we don’t have to pay for it!
I’m sure we’ve all entered competitions online to win all manner of goodies, or prize draws run by various websites no matter how big or small the prize is, just for the anticipation of winning something, but what if there was an easier way of getting something that would be perfect to satisfy your inner geek?
The answer is survey websites. While they’re popular amongst people online generally most fail to live up to the promise of high earnings for answering surveys online. More often than not you’re faced with what feels like hundreds of surveys for a minimal reward and never reaching the threshold to be able to cash it in. Others see surveys dry up after a while so you seldom see anything or the worst offer such a large gap between what you earn and what you need before you can cash in that you lose heart before you ever see anything come back to you. Certainly there are probably tens of thousands of pounds worth of unclaimed rewards out there just for that reason alone.
However there are some that are worth using that allow you to build up funds quickly and can be done in a few spare minutes any time of day or night – watching TV, on the bus, waiting for a retro game to load or – for those of you with modern systems – waiting for a game to install. Here are five of the best…
I discovered this one completely by accident after receiving a promotional email from Sky of all places. Crowdology is a typical survey site that emails invitations to its members with surveys covering all manner of topics from health to shopping, technology to travel. Once you’ve signed up and gone through the laborious process of answering all of the profile questions, it’s basically a waiting game for the surveys to arrive.
As with most survey sites, there are usually screening questions at the start of each survey you are sent but Crowdology seems to offer alternatives if you are screened out of one so as soon as you get an invitation, the chances are that you’ll get through to a survey once you get an email. Payments and length of surveys vary from a couple of minutes to an estimated 25-30 minutes (although you can do these in the background) with promised payments ranging up to £10 per survey (although usually much lower). Payment is slightly different to other sites as well, making this an ideal choice for all of you reading this. The options are limited but work perfectly based on the way most of us would be likely to spend the money anyway! Amazon vouchers (that can be claimed £10 at a time) or via PayPal once your earnings total £4 or more.
Does it work? Undoubtedly. In my first ten weeks of membership I’d earned almost £24 making it the most successful survey site I have ever used, or at least on a financial level so it’s well worth signing up for.
Very similar to Crowdology in many ways, Toluna offers a range of surveys covering all manner of topics of varying lengths. Unlike Crowdology though it offers its rewards as points which you then need to accumulate and exchange for rewards. These can be anything from vouchers for various online stores, gift cards or “buy” entries into online draws. The stores varies but include retailers such as Argos and Amazon and there is an option to receive a PayPal payment as well.
Pros and cons? Rewards seem to require astronomically huge numbers of points to redeem them – a £20 Amazon voucher needs over 100,000 points – and while surveys promise members thousands of points it is usually worded as up to so you don’t always earn as many points as you hope to. However, the site does offer member interaction, Quick Votes (instant polls that earn 15 points each for less than a couple of seconds each) and opportunities for product testing with an optional app to make managing your surveys easier.
A similar format to both Crowdology and Toluna, MySurvey has been operating for a number of years now and is another points based survey site. As well as the surveys themselves, they offer quarterly cash prize draws for members with entries being earned through mini surveys, completing your initial profile and not qualifying for regular surveys. Rewards can be cashed in at relatively low thresholds compared to their competitors and they include Amazon vouchers, PayPal payments at various levels and most interestingly Nectar Points. This is potentially the most flexible here for those who do own a Nectar card (and if not, why not?) as in addition to using the points in Sainsburys stores you can spend the points in stores like Argos or link the card to your eBay account and earn more points and spend them online.
One of the more modern survey sites, Swagbucks is another points based site but goes that little bit further to offer members a chance to earn extra rewards. As with most other survey sites, points (or in the case here, SwagBucks) are awarded instead of cash for surveys successfully completed. If you’re screened out you are awarded SBs as a consolation and bonus SBs can be earned from answering quick questions on the website. Additional bucks can be gained by activating the Daily Goal bonus – this is a personal SB earning target that you are set each day. If you achieve this then you are awarded bonus SBs to your total, usually 10% of the goal.
Extra SBs can also be earned through watching videos or taking advantage of sign-up offers to different retail partners or purchasing goods from different online stores that Swagbucks have affiliated with if you want to build up SBs quicker than surveys alone. In terms of the rewards themselves, they’re available for a range of online stores as well as Facebook, Steam, Amazon, and XBox Live subscriptions as well as PayPal cash payments. One thing of interest is that they also run promotions with their rewards running “sales” where vouchers can be redeemed for an average of 15% less than normal so it’s one worth looking into.
Google Opinion Rewards
Not a website but this final one, an app for Android users, is definitely worthy of mentioning… Available from the Google Play Store, Google Opinion Rewards is different to most survey websites in two key areas. First, rather than lengthy surveys, everything it sends you via notifications to your phone or tablet is location-based and generally consists of just 4-5 short multiple choice questions. These are usually about your local shopping habits – what retailers you have visited, when, your opinions of them etc. Occasionally they cover online shopping trends but they rarely divert from these topics.
The other key difference is the payment. The surveys don’t pay a great deal – anything from 6p to around 25p each and you can’t receive cash, vouchers or anything else. Instead, the amount is credited to your Google Play account. However, with surveys being sent at a relatively steady rate it’s ideal for those of you who buy apps, music, digital magazines, rent movies from the Google store or make in-app purchases for games and you’d be surprised how quickly it can build up, especially as each survey only take a few seconds to complete so you barely notice that you’re doing them.
We hope you find these useful but if you have discovered any others that have proved to be a success for you, please let us know in the comments below!
Husband, father and lifelong geek. Originally from the West Midlands, now spending my days in South Wales with my family and a house full of animals. Passionate about video games, especially retro gaming, the Commodore 64 and PlayStation Vita. Love pro wrestling, sci-fi and I’m an animal lover and vegetarian.
Enjoyed this and my other articles? Why not buy me a coffee: http://ko-fi.com/simonplumbe