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My Money Machine - Surveys for Fun and Profit

Updated on February 7, 2013

My Money Machine

Since retirement, doing surveys on the internet has occupied much of my time and provided me with extra cash. The surveys take time and patience and are not a source of a living income, but enough to supplement our “fun budget.” The last three years the income from surveys has amounted to approximately $100/month.

Doing a search for “ways to make money on the internet” was how I discovered most of the surveys that I take part in. My son is responsible for informing me of others. At first, I was somewhat wary of registering and giving personal information. Over time I have relaxed a little and, up to this time, there have been no serious problems. Some surveys pay in cash, some pay in gift cards and some reward points that can be used to redeem for merchandise. Over half of the survey programs give you the option of depositing money into your PayPal account or redeeming for Amazon gift certificates. After some time you will discover that certain surveys are not worth your time and effort, and you can decide to no longer participate and close that account. As of today, I have around twenty-five registered survey accounts, but actively take part in approximately 50% of those.

National Consumer Panel

Just one of my surveys, National Consumer Panel, has rewarded me with a four-slice toaster, a George Foreman grill, an electric griddle, an iron, a slow cooker, a waffle iron, electric hedge trimmers, bird feeder and a cordless phone to mention a few. This is one of the first survey programs I joined, probably fifteen years ago, and one of my favorites. This is not a survey but I just refer to it that way. For this program, you have to register and the company acknowledges your registration and then puts you on a waiting list. After a period of time, if they need someone in your area, you will be notified that you have been accepted and they will send you a scanner and instructions. You will need a phone jack to plug the base of this scanner into and leave it plugged in. The scanner is used to register the bar codes on everything you buy, and it works just like the scanners in stores by waving it over the barcode on the product. At first it seems to consume much of your time, but after you become accustomed to the process, it is very simple and fun. Once a week, you need to plug your scanner into a USB port on your computer and send your information to the company. Every time this information is received, you earn points and they add up quite quickly. The company does email surveys from time to time which can earn an extra 150 points. There is a separate survey program that you complete each week with information about your prescription drugs. This survey earns you an extra 100 points each week. Sometimes when you scan your purchases, there will be a survey about one of the items you bought, and every one of these earns you 150 points. Super scanner bonus points are earned after you have belonged to the program for a certain period of time. Right now, I have over 10,000 points which I have accumulated since January 14, at which time I redeemed 44,000 points for my Chef’s Choice Waffle-Pro Iron. Thus, you can see how quickly the points add up in this program.

My Points Survey

Another favorite is My Points survey. Gift cards are received when you redeem your points in this program. There are many companies so you can usually find one that you would like. Normally I use these points for books through Amazon or Barnes and Noble. Recently they have added a PayPal account to their rewards program and I like that. Several survey programs have recently included PayPal as a reward for taking their surveys. You can earn reward points in the My Points program by reading their daily emails or by purchasing through their participating retailers. Each email that you click on and read earns you five points. This does not seem like much, but when you receive several emails every day, the points do add up. They have other ways to earn points also, like special games every now and then, printing coupons and redeeming them, etc. My eldest son made me aware of this website many years ago. He and I keep current with each other on survey opportunities.

Harris Poll Online

One of the first survey programs I joined was Harris Poll Online. Recently they have not sent as many surveys as usual and their merchandise rewards are not as desirable. My participation in this program has diminished considerably. Whenever you receive an email notifying you that there is a survey to complete, you first are required to qualify by answering questions about yourself. I feel that my age and where I live is beginning to keep me from qualifying for a considerable amount of surveys.

You Gov Poll

The You Gov Poll is an interesting survey, but any worthwhile reward requires a considerable amount of points. I do enjoy doing their surveys, as they are quite different from the other ones. Last year I decided to redeem my points for a WebCam. Since then I have accumulated 87,750 points and am aiming for 100,000, at which time I can redeem them for $100! Their rewards are not very interesting until you have earned around 50,000 points. Every survey/poll you do for this program, you earn 500 points and sometimes 1,000. Most of them are quite political, but not all. Since the beginning of 2012, I have received and completed fourteen polls earning 7,000 points. If that continues, I will reach my goal by August, and I can cash in for my $100. One important factor of this program is that you qualify for every survey and, therefore, no time is wasted answering qualifying questions.

PineCone Research

Another program I discovered is PineCone Research. These surveys ask you to evaluate new products that might be available. After you answer the questions, they ask if you would try the new product if they send it to you. One point to consider here is that they make you agree not to divulge anything about this new product except within your household. We have received several worthwhile products through this program, and every time I answer one of their surveys, they deposit $3 into my PayPal account within a day or two--no waiting.

Global Test Market

Global Test Market was one of my favorite survey programs when I joined many years ago. Since then my points do not accumulate very quickly as I no longer qualify for many of their surveys. You might have better luck, being new and depending upon where you live and your age.

Additional Surveys

After reading this Hub, you can see that I participate in many different programs and here I only mention a small percentage. Some other favorites over the years have been Inbox Dollars, Zoom Panel, My Survey, Global Opinion Panel, and Valued Opinions. The Zoom Panel survey points can be redeemed for movie ticket certificates and my husband and I like that as we go to movies regularly. The first time I redeemed my points and printed out the certificates, I wondered if the theater would accept them. But there was no problem. The attendant just entered in the certificate number and we had our movie tickets. Right now I just need a few more points and I can receive two more certificates, and they can be redeemed for any movie costing up to $12, even 3D!

Amazon Mechanical Turk

Amazon Mechanical Turk is another website I discovered by accident and have been spending quite a bit of time and effort to make money. This is a program where you perform “Hits” for other people and are paid a certain amount for each hit. Most of the amounts earned are small but if you do enough of them, the money accumulates. Since I first started in this program, I have earned over $1150. Every so often, you can earn a bonus by doing certain hits and my bonuses have come to a total of $83. When I first started working on this site, I really had to laugh at some of the “hits” as they seemed really ridiculous. You can search for certain types of hits, and I usually look for ones that include “words,” “puzzles,” or “surveys.” The amount paid for the hit also influences whether I work on it or not. Another way to search for hits is by entering the amount you want to be paid for that hit. Just search for Amazon Mechanical Turk, register, set up your account and start having fun doing “hits.” If you already have an Amazon account, you just sign in with that ID and password. The money you earn can be used to buy items on Amazon, or transferred to your bank account.


If you are spending a considerable amount of time on the internet with no special purpose, why not try some of these survey programs and earn money or rewards for your efforts? The purpose of most of the surveys is to help companies develop new products or to discover what the consumer wants, so your participation is useful for them as well as productive for you.

©joaniebaby - 3-29-12


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    • joaniebaby profile image

      joaniebaby 5 years ago

      Good luck. I hope you find some good ones.

    • katedonavon profile image

      katedonavon 5 years ago

      Informative and interesting hub! I also take surveys for a bit of "fun money" in my spare time and was hoping to find some new companies to sign up for. I think I will try a few of the ones you mentioned that I haven't joined yet. Thanks for sharing.