Do Online Surveys Really Pay You?



Check, check, X. Does it pay to answer questions online?

Do online surveys really pay you? Maybe they just collect your data and never pay?

Are they all outright scams? In many cases, probably most cases, they’re not. But the online surveys industry is generally very shady, and oftentimes, people who work for them do not end up getting paid. Indeed, trusted and worthwhile online survey companies are few & far in between.

Let me explain.

Why So Many People Don’t Get Paid

In my experience with online surveys, I’ve noticed a number of reasons why people don’t get paid. Some of these reasons apply even to reputable and honest companies; they are inherent to the online surveys industry. Others are a result of dishonest and unethical practices, which were designed and put into place with the intention of getting out of paying as often as possible, all the while adhering to the law.

Problems With The Industry

  • Online surveys can never offer even close to the minimum wage. With thousands of people online willing to take online surveys, added to the fact that companies simply don’t have enough money to pay normal wages because they don’t want to overcharge the businesses that they are analyzing data for, the average amount earned per hour taking surveys would be around $2-5.
  • Not everyone can qualify for all surveys. That’s just the way it is. Businesses analyzing data need data from people with specific characteristics, and that means that people will end up starting surveys that they will be later be disqualified from. Here, though, each company differs from the next. Some make sure to ask all qualifying questions at the beginning, try to match surveys to people’s profile, or try to make surveys as inclusive as possible in order to reduce the disqualification rate. Others, however, don’t care a bit. Rarely, a company will pay a small amount to be people who were disqualified, and that is excellent, because you will get at least something for your time. Most companies, however, simply enter disqualified participants into a prize drawing or give them nothing at all.
  • The unavailability of surveys. There are thousands of people vying to make some easy money online, and there are hundreds of online survey companies. Therefore, business can sometimes be slow, and there may only be a few surveys available daily. And because there usually is a minimum payout amount, it can take a LOT time to reach a payout.

Unscrupulous Practices

Sometimes, though, companies will do things to get out of paying as much as possible, all the while pretending to be legit. Here are some of those things:

  • Having a high payout amount, such as earning a minimum of $50. It’s unlikely for someone to actually make that much money taking surveys from one company.
  • Causing complications when it’s payout time, such as long payment processes, not answering to emails, and requiring identification proof.
  • Closing accounts do to “data” or “security” concerns, just as a payout is almost reached.
  • Making a complicated point system so that they can end up paying less.
  • Not offering cash as rewards, only merchandise or gift cards to some store that nobody uses.
  • Disqualifying people after taking a lot of information from them, and doing this on a regular basis.


I really understand why some people like to take online surveys. It doesn’t require any experience or qualifications, and it is not hard work. But I can’t really recommend taking online surveys as a way to make money online, not only because the pay rates are so low, but also because it usually leads to heartache and frustration because of being disqualified, not getting paid, running into problems when requesting a payment, and so on.

There are very few, if any, good online surveys companies. However, there are many other real ways to earn online. You can become a writer, or you can become an affiliate marketer.

If you have any other ideas on how to make money online, just leave them below. And if you liked this post, why not give it a tiny Facebook like below?


  1. Chris

    In my expereince most online survey sites do pay you, on time, but they are pretty awful work choices. At the end of the day they are saying that you are giving your opinion on interesting subjects but that is rarely the case. You are also working for about $3 an hour (on a good day) which is also irritating. What survey sites do you like best?

    1. Ben (Post author)

      Hi Chris,

      I don’t really do survey sites anymore. As you said, the pay rate is just too low. It’s actually more like $1-2 an hour. Instead, I do some freelance writing work and I focus on building up my online business.

      All the best,


  2. Chris

    Hi Ben,
    This blog is really helpful. I was actually trying out some online surveys and currently looking for information about this survey website called I’m thinking if you have an idea about this site. Have you heard about it? Is this legit? I really wanna try it but just want to have some idea about it before joining their site. Thank you in advance for your information.

    1. Ben (Post author)

      Hi Chris,

      Thanks for stopping by. I actually have not tried out iGlobal Surveys. At first glance, it seems legit, but that doesn’t mean that it’s worth it. As a general rule, online surveys don’t pay enough to justify the time spent on them.

      I would advise as follows: You can try them out, but be cautious — #1: Make sure that the minimum payout is not too high for you. Some scam sites only give you a payout if you have earned at least $50, knowing full well that it takes a very long time to achieve that amount just from taking surveys. #2: Try out the first few surveys they send you. Do you keep on getting disqualified? Then it may not be worth it. If you do not get disqualified, did the payment you received justify the time you put it? Whenever trying it a new survey site, you should always make sure that you’re comfortable with it. If not, just drop it like a hot potato — if it doesn’t work out at the beginning, it probably won’t get better.

      Hope this cleared things somewhat. If you have any other comments, just let me know!

      And if you do try out iGlobal Surveys, why not come back and give us an overview of how it worked out? We could even put up a new review on it!

  3. Michelle

    Hi Ben

    I wondered if those sites did really pay. From my experience my geographical location was always a hinderence among other criteria. It seems to me that as you say, your time could be better spent writing and affiliate marketing. I know that the latter certainly pays handsomely.

    The thing that really annoyed me was having to spend 15mins or more to see if you qualified. Of which I never did. Needless to say my fortunes were never to be made with online surveys! (Thank Goodness!)

    Great Read, Regards


    1. Ben (Post author)

      Yeah, getting disqualified after 15 minutes of answering questions is the #1 frustrating thing when it comes to online surveys. I did forget to mention that many surveys disqualify you if you’re not in the US or for some other geographical reason:

      Thanks for commenting


  4. Susan

    Hello Ben, Thanks for all the good info on all the different online sites. It looks as though you really did a lot of research on several sites. It’s good to have someone sort through all the data and save me the time I can spend somewhere else and maybe make some money. I was a little confused on the pay rankings…you had them listed like 1.2 / 1.4 …is that cents per word or something? Keep up the good work.

    1. Ben (Post author)

      Thank you, Susan. Initially, I thought it would be a good idea to rate these survey sites with a rating between 0-5, but then I decided that it’s not a good idea. I didn’t get around to erasing those ratings yet, but you can ignore them!

  5. Get Sport Supplements

    Great blog.

    I’ve personally tried online surveys thinking it was something I could do in my own time between my full time job. It very quickly prooves to be pointless as it is very boring and lacks any motivation so answering 100 dull questions in a survey to make a couple of dollars.

    If you enjoy that kind of thing there’s nothing wrong with it but if you want an opportunity to make a proper income than wealthy affiliate is the route to take.

    1. Ben (Post author)

      Unfortunately, people take surveys online because they don’t know better, and they think that it will actually pay off. Others simply don’t have another way to make money.

      Affiliate marketing is another way to earn online, but it requires that you put in a lot of time to set up your website. I agree that Wealthy Affiliate is a great platform where you can receive training in affiliate marketing, and it’s probably the best in the industry.


Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *