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12 Survey Site Hacks for 2020

Insider tips to boost your earnings on survey sites

Survey site hacks

We’ve spent 100+ hours researching and testing the best survey sites.

And in the process we’ve learned a thing or two about how to boost your earnings.

Give these survey site hacks a try and let me know in the comments if there’s any I missed.

Jump to…

Do NOT sign up to every survey site

I’ve seen many other review sites recommend that you sign up for as many survey sites as possible “to maximize your earnings,” 1 but we strongly believe less is more in this line of work.

Only a select few survey sites are worth your time.

Assuming your goal is to earn as much money as possible in as little time as possible, we recommend signing up for ONLY these three sites:

  1. Respondent
  2. Survey Junkie
  3. Swagbucks

To earn most efficiently, spend a maximum of 90 combined minutes per day on those sites, starting at the top of the list and working your way down as you notice the best opportunities drying up.

If you have more time available to earn money online…

Distract Yourself

Answering surveys is fairly boring and tedious work, especially if you’re putting in several hours a week.

The best way to handle this is to combine your survey sessions with binge-watching a show on Netflix, or listening to your favorite podcast.

Reserve your full attention for more demanding/rewarding kinds of online work.

Maximize sign-up bonuses and to-do lists

Many survey sites offer a sign-up bonus and easy cash for completing simple “get started” checklists.

For example, Swagbucks offers a $5 sign-up bonus, while Survey Junkie will pay you $1 just for completing basic profile info.

Swagbucks review: sign up page
Above: Sign up to Swagbucks and you’re rewarded with an immediate $5 bonus.

Fill out your profile and keep it updated

Companies pay survey sites for access to specific types of people who will answer their market research questions.

For example, The Home Depot might want to hear from people who own their own homes or work in the construction industry. Anyone beyond that isn’t going to be in their target market, so they won’t want to hear from those people.

Therefore, it’s very important that survey sites know your demographics and interests. Only through that knowledge can they match you with the right companies.

If a survey site does a good job of this, it’s a win-win-win:

  • The company wins because they get feedback on their product/service from someone in their target audience.
  • You win because you get paid for your opinion.
  • The survey site wins because the company pays them for the service and will probably keep doing so.

Do you see now why it’s important to fill out your profile on a survey site and keep it up to date?

It’s simple: with an accurate and up-to-date profile, you’re far more likely to receive relevant, high-paying surveys.

Keep your answers honest and consistent

You might think you could just lie on your profile in an attempt to get at some of the better, high-paying surveys.

  • Don’t do it.

Survey sites are good at spotting this kind of thing – their business depends on it, after all – and they’re quick to disqualify and sometimes even blacklist offenders.

Qmee, for example, shares why their users can sometimes be disqualified from surveys:

Some survey sites also employ trick questions like, “Have you ever visited XYZ Waterpark?”

The waterpark won’t really exist, and anyone answering yes will be immediately disqualified from the survey and perhaps even banned from the site.

Hack your email notifications

It’s best to use a temporary email address when signing up for survey sites, so your regular inbox doesn’t get cluttered with notifications.

If you use Gmail, here’s an easy way to do it:

Say your regular email address is corneliusfudge@gmail.com.

Any emails sent to the following addresses will also arrive in your inbox:

  • corneliusfudge+surveys@gmail.com
  • corneliusfudge+bestsurveysites@gmail.com
  • corneliusfudge+blahblahblah@gmail.com

Use a version of your email address like that when signing up for any survey site.

Then create a simple filter in Gmail so any emails sent to that particular version of your address skip the inbox and go to a special “surveys” tag or folder.

Once you have that set up, check your account settings on the survey site and make sure you’re opted in to receive email notifications of new surveys. (Many sites will alert you to particularly good opportunities via email.)

Then you can kick back and let the emails pile up away from your inbox. Batch process them once a day or whenever is convenient for you 👍

Answer surveys as soon as possible

The highest paying surveys are always the most popular, so they fill up fast.

If you do see a high-paying survey available – either via an email alert or when logged into the survey site – make sure to respond ASAP.

Be wary of the estimates

Most survey sites will provide an estimate for how long each survey will take you to complete.

As a general rule, you can expect each survey to take 3-5 minutes longer than what you see listed.

Survey Junkie review: surveys
Above: The Survey Junkie dashboard, showing time estimates for each survey.

Speed up repetitive data entry

Many surveys start out asking you the same basic questions, such as age, sex, address, race, income, etc.

Instead of typing out the same answers to these questions each time, use software like aText (Mac only) or RoboForm to speed up the process.

  • That said, be careful not to go too fast through each survey, as this appears spammy and may result in your account being blocked. Slow down and carefully consider your response to each novel question, and make sure to answer everything as honestly as possible.

Cash out as soon as you can

Some of the survey sites we’ve used and researched seem to offer users LESS surveys once they’re close to or over the minimum payment threshold 😕

Know what the minimum payment is for each survey site you use, and request payment as soon as you reach it.

Avoid the other ways of earning money offered by survey sites

Apart from answering surveys, many survey sites also offer additional ways to earn money online.

For example, you might be invited to make money by:

  • Performing searches
  • Playing online games
  • Watching videos
  • Finding and entering special codes
  • Shopping online

As a general rule, you should avoid all of these.

  • At best you might earn a little money – though rarely as much as you’d earn if you spent the same time answering surveys.
  • At worst you’ll be duped into spending $100 to “save” $30, or something equally ridiculous.

Set a target hourly rate and test each site for yourself

In our list of best survey sites, we’ve gone to great lengths to give you realistic estimates of how much you can earn for each hour you spend answering surveys on a particular site.

But we still recommend that you run your own tests to see if they’re worth your time.

For example, maybe you feel Survey Junkie is only worth your time if you can earn $3 or more per hour on there while watching Netflix.

If so, line up your favorite show, set a timer for two hours, and see if you can hit your target.

This simple test will give you a strong sense of how much you can earn long-term using Survey Junkie. If you can’t hit your target rate in those first two hours, it’s unlikely you ever will.

But hey, at least you won’t have spent much time figuring it out!

Which survey sites are best?

These are the survey sites we recommend, based on 100+ hours of research and testing…

🏆 Best Survey Sites 🏆

Best Overall

Respondent, Survey Junkie

Earnings Per Hour

Respondent – $20.56/hour

Survey Quantity


Payment Options


Quick Payout


Mobile App


Outside USA

Respondent, Swagbucks

Affiliate Program

Survey Junkie

Your Survey Site Hacks

Did I leave out one of your favorite survey site hacks?

Let me know via the comments below. Any tips that can help our readers earn more money from survey sites is much appreciated 🙏

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