There are hundreds of places you could go to take paid surveys, and the vast majority of them are a waste of time.
Most survey sites suffer from the same problems, including:
- Insultingly low rates of pay which do not value your time at all
- Survey routers, which bounce you between different surveys, filling in unpaid qualification questions
- Unattainable minimum cash outs
- Lack of actual surveys
What makes a survey site good?
Any respectable survey site must have the following attributes:
- Frequent, high paying surveys
- Low withdrawal limit
- Payments made quickly and in real cash (PayPal or bank transfer)
What is the best survey site to make money in the UK?
Based on the standards we have identified above, let’s take a look at which survey sites are best for making cash:
1. Prolific Academic
Labelling Prolific as a “survey site” seems somewhat of an injustice, due to the negative connotations of the term. Prolific is actually a platform which recruits participants for academic research.
Basically, university professors and students need to conduct studies and write scientific papers, so they pay people to take part in their experiments online.
As you might expect, most of the research is in the field of psychology- Ranging from cognitive performance to consumer behaviour. Some experiments might test your memory or reaction time, while others will involve a simple questionnaire. You may even find some of the studies mildly amusing.
Another feature which separates Prolific from standard survey sites is that they implement an ethical payment system. Participants must be paid a minimum of £5 per hour, with the recommended rate being £7.50 an hour. Since studies range from being 1 minute to an hour long, payments are scaled proportionally to the length of a study.
Having actual standards in place to protect participants is what makes Prolific the best and highest paid survey site of all time.
What’s more, you will often have the chance to earn bonus payments based on your performance. This is to help ensure that participants will take the study seriously, and provide valid results.
It is also very rare to be disqualified from a study, because the opportunities you receive are matched to your profile. As long as you fulfill the requirements explained to you at the start, and make an honest effort to follow the instructions, you should have no issues with your submissions being accepted.
In terms of study frequency, there will naturally be a high volume of studies appearing in the spring time, as undergraduates rush to complete their dissertations. You will still have something to do all year round, but there are busier and quieter days.
My only real problem with Prolific is the amount of competition from other users. Studies fill up within seconds, so you really need to leap at opportunities as soon as you see them. My advice is to install the Prolific Assistant browser extension. This is an officially endorsed toolbar feature which will notify you as new studies are posted. It’s common for me to drop whatever I am doing, even if I’m halfway through a survey on another site, when a superior opportunity pops up on Prolific.
Balances over £5 can be sent straight to your PayPal account. So far I have made over £1200 on Prolific, and will continue to fill up my savings account from future studies.
- Ethical rate of pay
- Almost always qualify
- More interesting than market research surveys
- Chance to earn bonuses
- Competition between users to get on studies
- Have to wait for researchers to approve payments
- Frequency of studies depends on academic calendar
No one really knows how to pronounce the name of this website. Is it “Q-me” or “Kwmee”?
Whatever the case, I am confident that Qmee is the best paid site (and app) for regular market research surveys in the UK. They regularly have surveys paying over £1, which is something that can’t be said for other platforms.
Qmee has the best withdrawal system I have seen on any website. You are allowed to cash out any amount (even 3p) instantly to your PayPal account. It doesn’t get better than this.
There are also a couple of additional ways to get extra pennies into your account.
Firstly, Qmee provide a free daily bonus in the form of a pop quiz question. There are two windows of opportunity each day to answer it, and the next opening time is displayed on the quiz itself. By closing the quiz after reading the question, you can pause the timer while you Google the answer.
Secondly, there is a browser extension you can add for Qmee which will pay you for performing searches on Google, eBay and Amazon. Certain terms will trigger sponsored links to pop up from Qmee, which you can click to earn the specified amount. Only one link can be chosen sadly, so make sure it’s the highest paying one. I’ve found that if you wait a moment on the sponsored page, you can use your browser back button and visit one more link. The payment is 1p less for the second click.
Sometimes you can bait these paid-to-click links into appearing, by guessing relevant search terms or trying what has worked for other users. The frequency of these adverts is limited however, and this only occurs once a day at the absolute maximum.
Qmee does have some flaws which are inherent to survey sites. Sometimes fake surveys slip through their quality control system, which try to sign you up for something instead of paying you.
There are limited features in place to protect users, such as an option to report scam surveys to have them removed, and partial compensation for surveys with late stage disqualification (these surveys can also be reported).
These problems are the exception and not the norm, and for the most part I have been able to earn lots of pounds successfully.
- Regularly has surveys for over £1 each
- Additional ways to earn a little extra
- Unlimited and instant PayPal withdrawals
- Quality control system needs improvement
- Pop quiz access is limited to certain times
- It’s a survey site
If you’re a new user, Qmee will add 50p into both of our accounts when you join using my referral link. It gets credited when you withdraw any amount, even if it’s just the 3p prize from the daily pop quiz.
Swagbucks isn’t solely a survey site, but rather a “Get Paid To / GPT” site, where users are paid for a variety of tasks. What’s good about this is you can supplement your survey income by performing other activities such as playing online games and searching the internet. You even have the option to forgo surveys entirely and focus on other earning methods offered by the site. However, completing their surveys gets you bonus points from other Swagbucks features like the To Do List and Daily Goal.
Similar to Qmee, the Swagbucks surveys will also make some attempt to compensate you for being disqualified. However, this is only 1 point per disqualification, up to a maximum of 5 a day. This is disappointing, and I prefer to use this feature intentionally when I need just a few extra points to cash out.
Swagbucks’ survey selection is inconsistent when it comes to the ratio of time vs. reward. It may seem like the numbers are generated at random; Some of the reported survey times clearly do not match what is stated at the beginning of the actual surveys. To complicate matters further, the amount of points that rewards are expressed as does not equate to Great British pennies. For example, 100 SB points is actually $1 and not £1. All of this needs to be taken into account when you are deciding which surveys are worth your time.
Sometimes this has gone in my favour, like when a 100 SB survey turned out to be 1 minute long instead of the reported 20 minutes. Other times, the joke options like “20 SB in 20 minutes” turn out to be real and must be avoided.
Swagbucks marks certain surveys with a star if they are particularly suited to your profile. I tend to go for these ones first. Some of the high paying ones turn out to be interesting- Things like watching and rating a new TV show episode, or product testing.
The lowest withdrawal option available is a £3 Amazon gift card at 480 SB, but in my opinion this is poor value for points. The PayPal transfer option starts at 700 SB for £5, but I prefer to save up 1300 SB for a £10 virtual Mastercard and convert it to PayPal money.
The survey experience offered by Swagbucks is not the best, but still miles ahead of most other sites. I use it as a back-up option, when waiting for Qmee to replenish their survey selection. It’s also helpful to use their easier earning features, like paid-to-click content, at the same time as completing surveys.
- Many different ways to earn
- Access to higher-paying consumer research
- Survey completion helps you gain extra bonus points
- Haphazard labeling of surveys
- Some survey rewards are disproportionately low
- Have to save up points to get the best value cash-out
New Swagbucks members can get $3 worth of points for free when they earn their first 300 points. Simply sign up via my profile link to redeem this offer.
How to make the most money doing online surveys
Aside from sticking with the best paid survey sites, the most important thing I can teach you is how to avoid getting disqualified on surveys as far as possible. There are certain strategies you can use to figure out what the aim of a survey is, and how to bend the truth to tell researchers what they want to hear. Check out my guide to learn all of the techniques. Note that this doesn’t apply to Prolific, since they have ethical standards when it comes to their user base, and therefore deserve honest data.
Another tip is to figure out which niches work well for you. I have a high success rate when qualifying for surveys about alcohol and gambling (ironically, I partake in neither of these things in real life). There might be topics for which you have a great deal of knowledge and experience (video games, in my case). Qmee attempts to categorise all of their surveys, so you can anticipate how easy it will be to qualify.
Surveys remain a useful earning opportunity when used as part of a wider money-making strategy. For the best results, you should prioritise academic studies (as featured on Prolific), and more involved consumer research including product testing and focus groups.
I don’t recommend spending all day answering market research surveys, because you will most likely experience diminishing returns as all of the highest paying options are used up. It’s best to only bother with the top opportunities and then move on for the day. If you do want to do extra, a good time to do it is when you are watching TV or YouTube, since surveys don’t deserve your undivided attention (again, Prolific is the exception here).
What you should pay attention to is how much you are being compensated for your time. If a survey is offering you a laughably low amount, they don’t value your time, and you shouldn’t give it to them. Find out which are the most profitable sites and survey topics for you, and stick with them.