Rewards for Your Thoughts: Online Surveys with Real Rewards
© 2012 by Aurelio Locsin.
You’ve seen the come-ons. Sites that ask you to fill out a few easy surveys in exchange for rich rewards. You go through a laborious sign-in process asking for your shoe size and middle names of all your children only to discover that the so-called rewards are a raffle to win something. Or worse yet, it’s a scheme to force you to buy products.
Don’t lose hope! Here are three legitimate survey sites that I personally use to earn free goodies. There’s also one site to avoid.
United MileagePlus or Continental OnePass miles, which are soon to merge, expire unless you have activity in them every so often. This requirement may force you to spend money you don’t have or take trips on them despite their cost just to renew your miles. E-miles lets you add miles to these accounts without spending a dime.
You’re presented with a list of its merchant advertisers and the number of points you earn from filling out their surveys. This is typically 5 points. You can also remove a survey from the list. If you click the survey button, you’re presented with the ad offering, which you can take advantage of to get up to 1,000 points. However, this option costs money. If you skip the ad, you reach the regular survey, which asks about three product-related questions such as if you have need of the product and how often you would use it. Completing the survey instantly deposits the miles into your E-miles account.
Once you’ve received 500 miles, you can deposit that into your MileagePlus or OnePass accounts. Overages remain in your account, where they can stay until you earn 500 again. E-miles expire one year after the quarter in which they were earned, so they need to be deposited into your airline account more frequently than that.
E-rewards offers surveys on products and services for both consumers and businesses. What I like about their offerings is that they state approximately how long it takes to finish them and display a progress bar on most of them. (Surveys may have an inconsistent appearance as they come from different companies.) The intros also clearly state the reward amount if you complete all the questions, and the amount you receive if you do not qualify. The qualification questions can be extensive, so it’s nice to receive some money for those efforts. You typically receive $2.50 for a ten-minute survey, with longer surveys paying out more.
Rewards start at $10 and are in the form of discounts with such partners as Hertz, JC Penney, Macy’s, Golfsmith, Blockbuster Express , Delta and La Quinta Inn. I use mine primarily for yearly subscriptions to magazines. Options start at $15 for Smithsonian, Details or Maxim, and go up to $130 for The Economist. Other available titles include Conde Nast Traveler, GQ, Travel and Leisure, Real Simple, Time, Entertainment Weekly, Sports Illustrated and The Wall Street Journal.
I just signed up with ValuedOpinions and have yet to receive a payout but all the reviews have been good and my experiences have been positive. You need to fill in your initial profile survey as thoroughly as possible. It grants $1.
Be sure to fill in the six surveys under your personal profile, which you reach by clicking the drop-down by your name and choosing Personal Profile. You get no rewards for this but they are critical to determining what surverys you receive. You receive your survey invitations by mail and they typically cover consumer goods, entertainment, your personal interests and travel.
You normally receive $2 to $5 for each survey and up to $50 for specialized surveys. You need a minimum of $20 before you can receive a gift card from Amazon, Macy’s, FragranceNet or Magazines.com. You can also redeem $25 for a Marriott gift card or $30 for a Visa virtual account, which can be used online or on the phone at any place that accepts Visa cards.
One to Avoid: Opinion Outpost
This was once an excellent site that used to reward cash via Amazon credit or PayPal. It’s recently merged with SurveySpot and rewards have become sparse and difficult to obtain. Forget this one.