How I Earn Money Online

I belong to several programs that allow me to make money from taking surveys, reading ads, searching online, sampling products, and so on, and a few people asked what sites I use, so I thought I’d compile them all here. I’ve explained the details on each one, how much you earn for doing what, whether I’ll get rewarded if you join, etc…  Keep in mind that if I’m telling you I earn some sort of referral points, that means you can earn points through referrals also.

I’ve also explained pluses and minuses of each program. (I would also like to clarify that I’ve spelled out how long surveys typically are, but they NEVER take me that long. Maybe half what they say they’ll take. I’m a very fast reader, and after a while you just kind of learn the drill about which sites ask what introductory questions, and I get through those really fast.)

There is no cost to you to join ANY of these programs. I’d advise you NOT to sign up for any sampling/surveying/cash from home/etc… program that requires a fee to join. You do have to enter your name, address, phone, and e-mail for all of them, so that they can send you invitations, samples, and ultimately your rewards.

Search Engine

I love Swagbucks. LOVE IT! I signed up, installed the toolbar, and set it as my default search engine, and now I have a chance to earn Swagbucks every time I search. You won’t win every time, but I use it several times daily, just whenever I would search normally for work or personal use, and I usually “win” once or twice a day.

I generally redeem my Swagbucks for $5 Amazon gift cards, because I feel like it’s the best point/dollar value. Plus, you can buy virtually anything on, so it’s almost like cash. I’ve been using it for three or four years, and at this point I’ve earned $80 in Amazon cards. Not a fortune, but “better than a sharp stick in the eye, ” as my grandpa used to say.

If you sign up for Swagbucks using one of my links, I will also earn points for the first 100 Swagbucks you earn.


My Survey

I’ve been a member of this site longer than any of the others. More than ten years! This one is a favorite because they pay cash! Or maybe I should clarify, they’ll mail you a check or do an electronic payment. In the last year they’ve paid me $80. I’ve earned several hundred dollars over the many years I’ve been with them.

Plus this program sends me free stuff to try all the time. Good stuff. I’ve gotten shampoo, laundry soap, dog food, deodorant, body wash, and moisturizer just to list a few. They send me the product, and then I take a survey telling what I liked or didn’t like about it.

The only tiny beef I have with them is that I seem to not qualify for a lot of surveys lately. If you don’t qualify for one, they give you a sweepstakes entry at least.

This site’s referral program requires that I email you to invite you. If you email me (address is in my contact page) or leave a comment with your email address, I will send you an email invitation. If you join using that invitation, I’ll earn 150 points. Or you can just use the link above to join on your own.

Ipsos i-Say

This site sends me a lot of survey opportunties, five or so per day. The reward amount depends on the length of the survey, and you won’t always qualify for the survey, but one thing I like about this site is they always give you 5 points for trying (and 45 to 90 usually if you qualify and complete a survey). Plus they have a Poll Predictor Game at the end of each survey, and you earn entries into a prize drawing for playing that. I’ve never won, but it’s kind of fun to play the game and try!

This site has also sent me products to sample and then complete surveys about. I always like getting to try free things, so that’s a bonus.

Once you’ve earned at least 1000 points, you can redeem them for a reward on this site. That amount will get you a $10 gift card at various places or a $10 charity donation. This one will actually pay you cash, in the form of a Paypal payment, at 1500 points or higher (for $15), so that’s a positive on this one. I’ve been with them about two years, and I’ve earned $170 in rewards so far.

This one has a referral program where you email people to “invite” them and each friend who joins earns you a sweepstakes entry. If you email me (address is in my contact page) or leave a comment with your email address, I will send you an email invitation. Or you can just follow the link above and join on your own too.

Mint Vine

This is the site I’m newest to.  I joined them about six months ago, and so far they have paid me about $25.  They pay by check, and you need at least $10 in earnings to request a check.  My advice is to skip the “funnel” suveys.  Those are a big time suck, and I never end up qualifying for anything on those, then you get nothing.  But the surveys they send me otherwise are fine, and they’ll give you a few points for trying on those, even if you don’t end up qualifying.

They do pay for referrals, so if you join by using my link, I’ll earn a 15% bonus on any points you earn.

Valued Opinions

This site pays more per survey (As in a dollar or two for a 15 or 20 minute survey usually), but I get fewer survey invitations from them, and it seems like I don’t qualify for very many of them. They do make it worth my while when I qualify. Once you reach $20 in rewards, you can redeem them for a Visa gift card or cards from various merchants. I’ve been with them almost two years, and I’ve earned $100 in rewards so far.

Their referral program requires that I “invite” you via email. If you email me (address is in my contact page) or leave a comment with your email address, I will send you an email invitation. If I invite you and you join and take at least two surveys, I’ll get $2. Or, you can just click on the link above and sign up without me inviting you and I won’t get anything.

My View

Depending upon what reward you want, this one can take some time to build up. If you want a magazine subscription or an iTunes gift card, you can earn them more quickly, but I try to save up until I earn say an Amazon or Kohl’s gift card. That can be 35,000 points for a $25 card, and you will only earn about 1000 for completing a 20 minute survey. I’ve been a member of this site for about five years, and I’ve earned $280 in rewards.

Like iSay, this one gives you a small reward, 100 points on this site, just for trying to take a survey and completing all the qualifying questions, even if you don’t end up qualifying.

This site’s referral program also requires that I email you to “invite” you. If you email me (address is in my contact page) or leave a comment with your email address, I will send you an email invitation. If I invite you and you join and take your first survey, I get 1000 points. Or you can just follow the link above and join on your own.


I don’t get very many invitations from them, maybe one per week. Plus, there is no referral program at all. (So, if you sign up using this link, I don’t get anything from it.) This site does pay cash (in the form of Paypal payments), as well as a number of gift cards, charity donations, etc… I pretty much always “qualify” for the surveys they do send me, and I like that.

I’ve been a member of this site for about five years, and I’ve earned a total of $130 in rewards. The average survey will be 500 points and take me 15 or 20 minutes. 9750 points is enough to cash in for $15 through Paypal.

Most of the surveys I get from this program seem to be about television and celebrities, which can be fun.  I’ve taken surveys here about Star Wars, Young and the Restless, and Big Bang Theory, as well as many others.

Harris Poll Online

This site also doesn’t have a referral program. I get three or four survey invitations from them per week, and this is a site that gives you a few points for trying, even if you don’t end up qualifying for a survey. On average, a survey is 100 points for about 15 minutes of my time. I just redeemed 2500 points for a $20 Amazon gift card. In the past two years, I’ve earned two of these, for a $40 value. They have a lot of other rewards available, many for lower point values.


This site does not have a referral program either. They don’t send me very many surveys, but when they do, and when I qualify, they make it worth my time. Most surveys pay a couple dollars for just a few minutes. And the program does pay cash (in the form of Paypal payments) when you reach $15 in your account.

The Pink Panel

If you are a beauty enthusiast like I am, this one is definitely worth a shot.  This site does not have a referral program, and I’ve only completed one product test for them, but it was 100% worth it!  I joined through their Facebook page (linked above) and responded to maybe eight study requests before I was chosen for one.  It was a makeup primer, and I got the product for free (to keep) then had to use it for 10 days and answer two surveys total.  For this I got a $25 Amazon card.  My advice is, do it!

Paid Emails

Inbox Dollars

This site pays cash (or rather, check), which is always a plus. It takes a while, because you have to get to $30 before they’ll pay you. You do get a $5 sign up bonus, so you’re on your way right off. In a little over four years, they’ve paid me about $340. They do take $3 off your check as a “processing fee” which is annoying, BUT they credit you $3 right away toward your next one. So, just know that you’ll only get $27, but you get the credit back into your account.

This site has a lot of ways to earn. One of my favorites is the paid emails. If you sign up for it, they will email you advertisements 5 to 10 times per day, and just for clicking on the email, you’ll earn 2 cents. Okay, not a lot, but it adds up eventually. And it just takes a second. (I will warn you, I think I get put on a lot of junk email lists from doing this, but whatever, I just unsubscribe when I get them, and then they leave me alone.)

This site will also send you survey invitations. They don’t pay as much as some of the others (Usually 25 cents and up for a 15 minute survey or longer), and I tend to not qualify for a lot (which you then get nothing for). But I do try them, and it all adds to my account total, along with the other things the site offers.

This site actually has a lot of options to get paid, like searching online, watching videos, playing games, and signing up for special offers. Mostly I just do the paid emails and surveys.

If you sign up using one of my links, I’ll earn referral bonus equal to 10% of whatever you earn.

My Points

This site also does paid emails. They send me 5 to 10 per day, and they give 5 points for each one you click on. They have TON of rewards you can earn, from charity donations to Amazon cards (my favorite if I can’t have cash). For example, 4000 points is a $25 Amazon gift card or 1600 points is a $10 Bath and Body Works gift card.

This site will also send a few survey invitations, and I like that they give you 5 points even if you try it and don’t qualify. Most surveys are worth 50 to 75 points if you qualify and take the full thing.

One unique thing about this program is you can also make purchases through the site at any of their partners (say or!) and earn points that way. So, you can earn points for shopping you might already be doing. If you remember to go to the store site through My Points. My points add up a lot faster when I remember to do this!

They also have printable coupons, which is awesome in itself. Then you earn points for using the coupons too!

This site’s referral program requires that I email you to invite you. If you email me (address is in my contact page) or leave a comment with your email address, I will send you an email invitation.  If you join using that invitation, I’ll earn 25 points, then I’ll earn a 10% bonus for whatever you earn. Or you can join on your own using the link above.

In Summary

All in all, I doubt anyone “gets rich” off these sites.  It’s a small payout, and it takes time.  I often do surveys while I’m watching television, so I’d likely be surfing the web anyway and getting paid nothing.  Might as well take a few surveys and earn a dollar while I watch The Bachelor.  I do enough that I end up making a few bucks a month, and I consider it completely my “fun money.”  I use it for nail polish or other shiny things I don’t need and might not budget for otherwise. I also consider all the free products I get sent to try part of the fun and “payment” for doing this.

If you have any other proven survey/search/paid email sites you know about, please share in the comments!

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