Willing to give views on politics, washing-up liquid or what goes on between your bedsheets? If so, it’s possible to earn £100s a year, without any special skill or talent.

It’s all about filling in online surveys for cash and attending face-to-face focus groups. This guide has a full rundown of the top 25 free paid survey sites, plus we’ve tips to max your survey income and the top focus group agencies.

How online survey sites work

Marketing is big business. By learning to target products at the right people, companies cut their advertising spend and increase sales. Add to that the focus group world of politics and the media, and it’s clear why businesses pay for your opinions.

Better still, because the whole point is focusing on different types of people, you don’t need special qualifications. You just need to be you.

How to take part

There are two ways to take part:

  • Online surveys for cash. All you have to do is sign up, wait for survey alerts to land in your inbox, then zip through the questions. Survey sites then add the cash or other rewards to your account. Polls are often fun – you get to vent about everything from video games to your sex life. For a full how-to, see Survey Sites below.
  • Focus groups. Traditional market research focus groups pay much more per session, but you’re limited to a few a year. All it involves is giving opinions on the chosen subject, usually with free refreshments, and you can walk away with anything from £30 to £160. See Focus Groups  for more.

Some inspiration…

Dedicated survey-stashers can make £200 a month in cash and vouchers. Some have even pushed it to the max and made £800. But if you combine this with mystery shopping, focus groups and other opportunities in the members area, you can easily make  £2000 full time income from home. But dont expect this from surveys alone, you must sign up with the higher cash paying companies and the other pages.

While we don’t want to give the impression that this is a way to earn thousands instantly, a little bit of inspiration may help. Please add your successes to the Survey Sites forum discussion.

It takes a few years to build up my accounts out with various sites, but I earned £800 last month in cash and vouchers. Comes in very useful! -ginny8

I have earned over £200 in the last few months just doing online surveys while watching sport on TV or listening to the radio. The money from these – I always get cash if possible – just helped me pay for my new boiler. Next stop new windows! Hguy

In the last year I’ve made over £1800 on online surveys, but it does take a lot of spare time and all survey sites were definitely not created equally. If I really busted a gut and did every survey I received I could probably double it.
– nehpets81

I am a massive fan of focus groups as a way of earning some extra cash – especially if you have time on your side. I go after work or in my lunch break, and I recently got £160 for half a day.

It’s good money for just being honest about your thoughts and you get free hot drinks and sandwiches. One group I attended even had free wine!
– MartinLewisisalegend

Survey sites: The DOs & DON’Ts

Before you become a survey stasher, there are a few things worth knowing. Remember, patience and consistency are key virtues.

DON’T store cash in survey accounts

DO set up a dedicated email address

DON’T expect to be instantly rolling in it

DO spend gift vouchers ASAP

DON’T tell porkies

DON’T forget to check your emails

DO keep a log

DON’T worry too much about screenouts

Top online survey sites

This isn’t about joining every single survey site you find. It’s about focusing on those with decent payouts, low payment thresholds and a reliable volume of surveys.

 


Ipsos


i-SayTop payer, £10 Amazon vouchers/mth typical

A must-join, i-Say (previously Ipsos) is probably the best-paying survey site. Its surveys are plentiful, and many rack up £10 or more of Amazon vouchers every month.

You earn points for taking surveys – between 5 and 250 points for each – which can then be redeemed for vouchers. You typically need 1,380 points to get a £10 voucher, and most members average four surveys a month.

Forumites report i-Say is refreshingly upfront about payment and survey length before you start clicking. It pays in retail vouchers, including John Lewis and “Compliments vouchers”, which can be used at a number of high street shops such as Argos and Boots. Once you cash in, vouchers take two to three weeks to arrive.

Quick stats
  • Payment method: High street vouchers incl Amazon, John Lewis and Argos
  • Typical ££ per survey: Between 5p and £1.80
  • Payout threshold: £10
  • Typical survey time: 15 mins
  • Feed back: Ipsos

Swagbucks

Swagbucks*Mega-popular with forumites

With a cult following in the MSE Forum, Swagbucks* pays you points to answer daily polls. You can also mix it up by getting paid to watch videos, search via its page instead of Google and even play free online games. Points can be spent on rewards in its Rewards Store – for example, 849 points equals a £5 Amazon voucher.

Swagbucks only lets you earn points once a day on certain types of poll – answer a second poll and you won’t get paid. So always read terms and conditions carefully.

Quick stats
  • Payment method: Cash via PayPal, Amazon vouchers and more
  • Typical ££ per survey: From 70-400 Swagbucks
  • Payout threshold: Depends on reward
  • Typical survey time: 10-20 mins
  • Feed back: Swagbucks

Globaltestmarket

GlobalTestMarket Reliable US site that sends £30 vouchers

US survey site GlobalTestMarket pays in vouchers or via PayPal once you’ve earned 1,000 points. Many forumites amass £100 a year from the site.

Vouchers and PayPal payments can take five to ten business days. The site often screens you out after a few questions, but usually bungs you a few points anyway.

GlobalTestMarket also sends surveys that enter you into a prize draw instead of paying you. Unless you’ve heaps of time, stick with surveys that pay.

We’ve seen a few responses on our forum where people have had their accounts closed without knowing why. If that happens to you, get in touch with GlobalTestMarket on its Facebook page.

Quick stats
  • Payment method: Cash via PayPal, or high street vouchers
  • Typical ££ per survey: £1.20
  • Payout threshold: 1,000 points (equivalent to £30ish)
  • Typical survey time: 20 minutes
  • Feed back: GlobalTestMarket


PopulusLive

PopulusLive Infrequent surveys but pays well

PopulusLive specialises in business, culture and politics research. It’s popular with forumites as it pays pretty well at around £1 for every five minutes you spend on there.

On the downside, some say you don’t get invites to surveys as often as with other sites (and quotas fill up sharpish so you have to be quick).

You get varying numbers of points for each survey, with a conversion value of £1 per point. The payout threshold is quite high at £50, so it’ll probably be a while before you’re cashing in.

Quick stats
  • Payment method: Cheque
  • Typical ££ per survey: £1 per five minutes
  • Payout threshold: £50
  • Typical survey time: 15-20 mins
  • Feed back: PopulusLive


Google Opinion Rewards
Google Opinion RewardsSuper-quick way to collect Google Play credit
For Android users only (tablet and mobile), the Google Opinion Rewards app is an easy way to earn credit for purchasing apps, games, books, music and movies on the Google Play store.The beauty of this is its speed – surveys take seconds (MSE Nick was once paid 36p for answering two questions), and can be done anywhere you’re online. Earnings are relatively small but can quickly add up, with forumites reporting they’ve raked in as much as £48.

I’ve got several ‘free’ movies by spending the credit you get from them. By far the easiest surveys and cleanest, simplest app I’ve tried.
– beansOnToast

I’ve earned £33.50 since starting – I don’t remember the last time I actually paid for an app. Surveys rarely take more than 30 seconds and they can be quite fun. – Lexy

  • What sort of surveys are they? Surveys might come from academic researchers, businesses or Google itself, and cover everything from whether you’re a movie lover to how romantic the restaurant you ate at last night was.
  • How do I do it? Download the free app – you’ll need to grant it access to your location, and provide some basic info about yourself.
    You’ll get a notification whenever a survey becomes available.
  • How does the credit work? It’s applied to your account immediately after you complete a survey, and expires after one year. It can be used to buy any item on the Google Play store (except subscriptions), though you’ll need enough to cover the entire payment, as you can’t pay part-cash, part-credit.
Quick stats
  • Payment method: Google Play store credit
  • Typical ££ per survey: Between 6p and 60p
  • Payout threshold: Enough for a single purchase (paid-for apps start at 10p)
  • Typical survey time: 15-30 seconds
  • Feed back: Google Opinion Rewards


Crowdology

Crowdology You only need to earn £4 before it pays

Another popular site, Crowdology pays hard cash via PayPal. The payment threshold’s a low £4, and many folks rack this up every month.

Unlike some other sites it doesn’t operate a points-based system – it just gives you straight cash for completing surveys.

On the downside, forumites have reported its payment system can be glitchy, though the cash arrives in the end. A top tip is to post complaints on its Facebook page to get a result.

Quick stats
  • Payment method: Cash via PayPal (incurs 2% handling fee from PayPal)
  • Typical ££ per survey: 40p-£10
  • Payout threshold: £4 (£10 if you want to redeem with Amazon vouchers)
  • Typical survey time: 2-15 mins
  • Feed back: Crowdology


MintVine

Branded SurveysPoints rack up swiftly for regular payouts

Forumites say that Branded Surveys (formerly MintVine) is easy to earn points with – some reach payout levels in as little as two days. It’ll pay once you reach $10 (£8) – a low threshold all things considered.

It runs a daily poll and ‘Quick Survey’ to help you nab points, with extra bonuses available for completing these on consecutive days.

Be aware some in the past have reported that they’ve had completed surveys and studies rejected for unclear reasons, though more recently it seems issues are rarer.

Quick stats
  • Payment method: Cash via PayPal, or high street vouchers
  • Typical ££ per survey: $0.50 (35p)
  • Payout threshold: $10 (£8)
  • Typical survey time: 10-20 mins
  • Feed back: Branded Surveys


Prolific Academic

Prolific AcademicBig payouts, but only if you’re eligible

Designed to support academics in need of high quality data, Prolific Academic offers top dollar for taking part in survey studies with some paying as much as £10 (though often it’s less).

Eligibility depends on a number of very specific factors though, so it’s pretty hit and miss as to whether you’ll get an invite.

Everyone has a “Prolific Score”, which drops if your submissions aren’t considered up to scratch, meaning you’ll get fewer invites to studies. We’ve heard that some academics can be a bit harsh with accepting or rejecting, so go in with a thick skin.

Quick stats
  • Payment method: Cash via PayPal or Circle
  • Typical ££ per survey: 30p-£10
  • Payout threshold: £5 with a fee, or £20 with no fee
  • Typical survey time: 30-45 mins
  • Feed back: Prolific Academic


Owners Direct

MySurvey You only need to earn £3 before it pays

MoneySavers earn cash quickly from MySurvey, as it has a low £3 payout threshold and abundant surveys. It pays in cash via PayPal.

You can get a £3 PayPal payment for 345 points, or a £5 Argos voucher for 550 points. The site also lets you swap 1,250 points for a £10 Amazon voucher, though bizarrely this is a worse value exchange than PayPal cash.

Quick stats
  • Payment method: Cash via PayPal & vouchers, eg, Amazon, Debenhams, M&S
  • Typical ££ per survey: Around 87p (100 points)
  • Payout threshold: £3 (345 points)
  • Typical time to complete: 20-30 mins
  • Feed back: MySurvey


Panelbase

PanelbaseDecent earnings on a range of subjects

Covering everything from newspapers to computer games, Panelbase is a favourite with some due to the frequency of its surveys, which can lead to decent earnings – some forumites have cashed in £100+ in just a couple of months.

Panelbase’s own surveys have been praised as pretty quick to complete, but beware its partner surveys which have been described as “tedious”. Forumites also complain about it regularly screening them out.

It also offers market research projects such as keeping a spending diary. It also runs focus groups and product testing from time to time.

Quick stats
  • Payment method: Cash via bank transfer, Love2shop and Compliments vouchers
  • Typical ££ per survey: 25p-£10
  • Payout threshold: £10
  • Typical survey time: 5-10 mins
  • Feed back: Panelbase


VRBO

OnePoll Best for fun, quick polls

Mega-popular for its speedy surveys, OnePoll runs polls for the press, meaning fun questions about celebs and your love life. It works slightly differently to other survey sites and doesn’t send out invitations – you need to log on daily to check.

The payment per survey is tiny, often 20p. But while hitting the £40 withdrawal target takes ages, it’s still worth it, as surveys are super-quick.

One bugbear of OnePoll users is getting stuck on £39.90, then not having any more surveys available for weeks. If that happens, try referring a friend to hit the threshold – you get up to £4 for each one who signs up.

Some forumites are also peeved by the number of surveys that just enter you into a competition, rather than giving you cash.

OnePoll also has a free iPhone app that lets you earn cash on the go. OnePoll tells us there are just as many surveys sent out via the app as the website, but we haven’t heard much feedback. If you’ve given the app a go, let us know your thoughts on the OnePoll forum thread.

Quick stats
  • Payment method: Cash (bank transfer or PayPal)
  • Typical ££ per survey: 20p
  • Payout threshold: £40
  • Typical survey time: 2-3 mins
  • Feed back: OnePoll

VRBO

PineconeInvitation-only – but very generous

The holy grail of survey sites, Pinecone pays megabucks, but is invitation only. You get £3 for every survey. Sadly, the recruitment process is more secretive than MI6. You have to wait until you’re invited or spot a web banner advert on another site to sign up.

We’ve included it so you’ll know to jump if an invite appears. If you’re lucky enough to be recruited, you get paid cash via PayPal or can redeem points for Amazon vouchers. Yet it’s tough to join, as the first rule of Pinecone is “do not talk about Pinecone”.

Quick stats
  • Payment method: Cash via PayPal
  • Typical ££ per survey: £3
  • Payout threshold: £3
  • Typical time to complete: 15 to 20 minutes
  • How to sign up: Look for banner adverts on websites (often mum and baby sites)


VRBO

Newvistalive Lucrative, but you need to earn £50 before it pays

While Newvistalive has a high 5,000 points (£50) payout threshold, many MoneySavers have racked up £50 cheques fairly quickly. It usually pays between 50p and £1 per survey – some forumites have made £50 in six months.

It’s especially important to read questions carefully and answer truthfully. Newvistalive adds in ‘quality control’ questions to weed out members who fib to get more surveys.

Quick stats
  • Payment method: Cheque
  • Typical ££ per survey: £1
  • Payout threshold: £50
  • Typical survey time: 15 mins
  • Feed back: Newvistalive


YourSayPays

YourSayPays Doesn’t pay much but surveys are quick & easy

Though rewards aren’t staggering, YourSayPays has been praised for its quick and simple surveys. Fortunately it has a relatively low payment threshold of £20.

Many have reported that they don’t receive email invites to surveys, though if you log in most say there’s usually a few available at any given time.

It also runs competitions from time to time, with prizes awarded in Amazon vouchers.

Quick stats
  • Payment method: Cash via PayPal, or Amazon vouchers
  • Typical ££ per survey: 50p
  • Payout threshold: £20
  • Typical survey time: 2 mins
  • Feed back: YourSayPays

Toluna

TolunaEarn vouchers or ‘gifties’

Another survey site to try is Toluna. Forumites earn regular rewards in the form of gift cards or a PayPal payment. Alternatively you can use your points to buy virtual items – dubbed ‘gifties’ – that have the potential of becoming the real thing.

Once you reach 60,000 points, you can start redeeming them for rewards. 55,000 will get you a £10 gift card for Marks and Spencer, Mothercare, iTunes and more.

Some forumites are frustrated about how long it takes to receive vouchers after you’ve ordered them. It also seems to take quite a long time for points to be added onto members’ accounts after they’ve completed surveys. Toluna says it can take up to six weeks sometimes for points to be added, although they try and limit this as much as they can.

Forumites have also complained of being locked out of their accounts for long periods and unable to claim their rewards.

Quick stats
  • Payment method: Cash via PayPal, or high street vouchers
  • Typical ££ per survey: 15 to 50,000 points
  • Payout threshold: 60,000 points (worth £10+ in gift cards)
  • Typical survey time: 15-30 mins
  • Feed back: Toluna



YouGov
Reliable, but a long slog to hit target

People either love or hate YouGov. The surveys are short ‘n’ snappy, and the site is commissioned by everyone from academics to charities, so you get to put in your tuppence on serious subjects. Yet MoneySavers say it takes three to five years to hit the payout threshold.

Surveys are infrequent (about one per month), and you can’t cash in until you hit £50. At 50p per survey, this takes years. The £50’s paid via bank transfer.

Quick stats
  • Payment method: Cash via bank transfer
  • Typical ££ per survey: 50p
  • Payout threshold: 5,000 points (£50)
  • Typical time to complete: 5 to 10 mins
  • Feed back: YouGov

 



Valued Opinions* Established site, pays vouchers incl M&S & TopShop

One of the most established survey sites is Valued Opinions*, though MoneySavers have reported glitches in the past. It pays in retail vouchers, including M&S, John Lewis, Topshop and Amazon.

Valued Opinions pays high amounts of £1-£5 per survey. Once you cash in your points, vouchers take four to six weeks to arrive.

Forumites report things have gone downhill slightly over recent years, and some haven’t been given their earnings because of technical glitches. Though customer services do seem to sort issues quickly if you email.

One thing to note is the 50p admin fee charged when redeeming gift cards and vouchers which means for a £10 voucher, you’ll need to cash in £10.50 worth of points.

Quick stats
  • Payment method: Vouchers and gift cards for Amazon, M&S, Boots, Sainsbury’s, John Lewis & more
  • Typical ££ per survey: £1-£5
  • Payout threshold: £8
  • Typical survey time: 15 to 20 mins
  • Feed back: Valued Opinions

VRBO

Panel OpinionPays in hard cash, up to £5 per survey

Paying in cold hard cash, PanelOpinion has a low payout threshold of £10. We’ve a little less feedback on this one than some other sites, but what we do have is good. MoneySavers have made up to £5 for one survey.

Forumite  says:

This is my favourite survey website. It’s simple but effective and I have made a lot of cash on here. It doesn’t take that long to build up a good amount.

Quick stats
  • Payment method: Bank transfer, PayPal or cheque
  • Typical ££ per survey: 50p
  • Payout threshold: £10
  • Typical survey time: 10 mins
  • Feed back: Panel Opinion

Survey Friends

Survey Friends Use points to bid on rewards including Kindles

This site works a little differently to the others. As well as spending Survey Friends points on retail vouchers, you can use them to bid on rewards such as Kindles, Tesco vouchers and TVs.

You can exchange survey points for £10 vouchers, including Love2shop (that can be used in over 75 high street shops) and Amazon, when you earn 20,000.

The other option is to use points to enter Survey Friends’s Gift Lottery. The more points you bid, the more chance you have of winning the prize.

The prizes are very winnable, and several MoneySavers have got lucky. Forumite stardaylily says:

I won a cool prize of a flat screen TV. I received my prize very quickly. Fab site.

Quick stats
  • Payment method: Vouchers & other rewards
  • Typical ££ per survey: 400-3,000 points (2p-£1.50)
  • Payout threshold: 20,000 points (£10)
  • Typical survey time: 5 mins or less
  • Feed back: Survey Friends

Vanson Bourne

Vanson BourneTop payer, but you must work in IT or business

For anyone who works in IT or business, Vanson Bourne is a must-join. It pays up to a hugely generous £10 in Amazon vouchers per survey. People usually receive the voucher by email just a few hours after completing a poll.

Only certain IT and business professionals qualify. Fill in your job details on the application form and it will let you know.

To verify that members are business professionals, it asks for details of the business you work for. It says it will only use this data to verify your eligibility and will never pass it on.

Quick stats
  • Payment method: Amazon vouchers
  • Typical ££ per survey: £5
  • Payout threshold: None
  • Typical survey time: 20 mins
  • Feed back: Vanson Bourne


Pureprofile

PureprofileReliable site, but infrequent surveys

One for dedicated survey stashers, Pureprofile is a reliable player, but surveys are scarce. With about one survey per month, it usually takes nine months to two years to reach the £25 target.

You usually have to log on to check for new surveys rather than getting alerts.

Once your balance does reach £25, the cash is paid into your bank account (can take up to 30 business days).

Quick stats
  • Payment method: Bank transfer or PayPal
  • Typical ££ per survey: 10p-£3
  • Payout threshold: £25
  • Typical survey time: 15 mins
  • Feed back: Pureprofile

VRBO

Vivatic Regular polls, but you need to earn £20 before it pays

For belt ‘n’ braces, Vivatic is worth a look. It’s been very popular for its regular surveys and payouts in past years. Forumites were less than happy when the site hiked its payout threshold to £25, but this has been reduced back to £20.

MoneySavers have also reported getting screened out after answering a mass of questions. So this one’s only worth joining if you’re a keen survey fan.

Quick stats
  • Payment method: PayPal
  • Typical ££ per survey: £1
  • Payout threshold: £20
  • Typical survey time: 5-30 mins
  • Feed back: Vivatic


Opinion Outpost

Opinion Outpost* Popular as you only need to earn £2.50 before it pays

Popular for its low payout threshold, Opinion Outpost pays Amazon vouchers or cash via PayPal. Forumites initially reported surveys were sporadic, but they appear to have picked up in recent years. You only need to earn £2.50 to get a payout, so should see cash quickly.

Other surveys enter you into prize draws rather than giving cash – less of a good bet.

It’s worth noting survey site Opinion World has now merged with Opinion Outpost. Members of Opinion World should all have been migrated to Opinion Outpost.

Quick stats
  • Payment method: Amazon vouchers or cash via PayPal
  • Typical ££ per survey: 50p
  • Payout threshold: £2.50
  • Typical survey time: 15 mins
  • Feed back: Opinion Outpost


VRBO

Answerpoints Slow burner, only for keen survey fans

Rewards at Answerpoints (formerly known as Justtheanswer) start at a mere 50 answerpoints, which you get just for registering. With 50 points you can buy one entry for the Answerpoints quarterly prize draw and you can enter as many times as you want.

If you don’t fancy the risk, save up 500 points for a £5 Amazon voucher. Be warned, it can take ages to earn points on Answerpoints thanks to an incredibly slow trickle of surveys.

This is only one for very dedicated survey stashers, as we’ve little feedback from forumites who’ve managed to cash in.

Quick stats
  • Payment method: Amazon vouchers, donations to Macmillan Cancer Support
  • Typical ££ per survey: 50p-£1.50
  • Payout threshold: 500 points
  • Typical survey time: 10 mins
  • Feed back: Answerpoints

Mindmover

Mindmover Infrequent but interesting surveys

Another slow-burner, Mindmover pays out cash via PayPal or Amazon vouchers when you reach £20 and can send you a cheque when you’ve got £30 in your account. Surveys are infrequent – forumites report it takes a while to clock up enough to get paid.

PayPal payment takes up to 30 days, while cheques can take 56 days. On the upside, some find the surveys more interesting than ones on other sites.

Quick stats
  • Payment method: PayPal, Amazon vouchers or cheque
  • Typical ££ per survey: 50p to £10
  • Payout threshold: £20 for PayPal/Amazon, £30 for cheque
  • Typical survey time: 15 mins
  • Feed back: Mindmover