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In my years spent taking online surveys, I’ve seen some great survey panels and some not-so-great survey panels.
How do I distinguish between the good and the bad? Here are some of my criteria for a good survey panel:
- Pays fairly per survey
- Pays on time
- Low disqualifications/screen-outs
- Frequent survey opportunities
- Legitimate market research company with years in the industry
- Helpful customer service
- Low payout amounts
The last one I mentioned is actually one of the most important factors in my consideration of whether or not I stick with a survey panel.
Why does it matter how high the payout amount is as long as you get paid?
I can understand why some people might question that.
Everyone is different. Some people won’t mind having a high amount needed in their accounts to get their cash.
Personally, I do mind. I like having consistent payments every month from taking surveys.
It helps me have a regular flow of extra cash, which makes me feel like I’m actually getting rewarded for my time.
Some survey panels require you to have $25 or more in your account to get a payment, while sites like Survey Junkie only require $10 or less to cash out.
What site would you rather be a member of?
The truth is that you can make money with PayPal, no minimum cashout required, if you find the right survey site.
This post will show you where to go so that you can stop waiting around to get rewarded for your time and start making more from surveys every month.
Why Do Some Sites Have Such High Minimum Payout Amounts?
If you’ve been taking online surveys for some time now, you’ll notice that each panel creates its own rules.
That’s fine – they’re entitled to do so.
One of the rules each panel has to make is how much members are required to have in their accounts before they can redeem their cash or points for a reward.
Each panel can set a different number.
I’ve seen panels let members cash out with just $1 or more, and I’ve seen others that require $100 (seriously!) before a member can get a gift card or cash.
Some panels choose to make their minimum cash out amounts higher than others to ensure that members stick around and keep participating.
They believe that if they set a high goal for members to work toward, they’ll be more likely to keep taking surveys to reach that minimum payment threshold.
That’s good for the survey panel, but it’s not a great way to reward panelists for participating in its surveys.
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Honestly, I think the panels that set their minimum payments high don’t have the best interests of their panelists at heart.
The Problem with High Payouts
Aside from being inconvenient to panelists who don’t want to wait forever to get their first payment, there are some other cons to joining a panel that has a minimum payout amount higher than $10.
One of the reasons I love taking surveys online is that I get consistent payouts.
Since I take surveys actively and as much as possible, I rack up a decent amount of points and cash with the panels that I participate in.
The problem with high payouts is that you can’t rely as much on a consistent payout schedule.
With a low payment threshold, like $5 or $10, it’s more likely for you to earn enough from surveys to cash out every month, or even every couple of weeks.
At the same time every month, I go into each of my accounts and hit the cash out button so that I can get payments right around the same time every month from all my survey panels.
It’s easier for me to keep track of everything I make this way instead of having to wait until I earn $25 from one panel and $30 from a different site.
I’m almost guaranteed to hit $5 to $10 with the sites I participate in, so this gives me an easy way to make some consistent side income.
Rewards Might Expire Before You Use Them
Some panels have expirations on the points or cash you receive from surveys.
When they couple an expiration time with a high cash out amount, you’re almost guaranteed not to receive your payments before your points expire.
Most sites that have an expired points clause make your rewards expire 12 months after you get them.
That may seem like a long time, but if you rarely get survey invitations from that site, you may never reach the $25 or more minimum payout the site requires.
The points you earn will expire, forcing you to start all over again.
You’ll Get Bored
What I found was that I got incredibly bored with taking surveys with that panel quickly because I never felt like I was rewarded for my time.
It’s human nature to want to be rewarded for the time and effort it takes to do something.
No one wants to work for free, and online surveys shouldn’t make us feel like we are.
But if we’re constantly taking surveys and not reaping the benefits, that’s basically what we’re doing.
Even though the balance in your account keeps going up with every survey, if you rarely get the cash sent to PayPal or a gift card emailed to you because you need $50 in your account before you can get it, you’ll start feeling like you’re not appreciated.
If you’re like me, you’ll get bored long before you ever receive your first payment and stop using that panel, wasting all the time you took taking surveys.
The worst-case scenario with survey panels that have high minimum payouts (like $50 or more) is that they could be scams.
Just to be clear, I’m not saying that they all are scams just because they have a high cash out amount.
There are several panels out there with $30 or higher payout requirements that have plenty of payment proofs floating around, and I’ve even successfully used some.
But the ones that turn out to be scams often are the ones with difficult-to-attain payouts.
Imagine spending months taking surveys, working your way toward a $50 payout.
You finally reach it six months later and cash out for your chosen reward.
A few days later, you check on your payment, only to be told that your account has been closed without warning.
This happens. I’ve seen it happen to others!
It’s almost impossible to keep scams off the internet, and the online survey industry gets hit hard with new ones all the time.
If you come across a survey site with a high cash out amount, it’s a good idea to research that site.
Look for proofs of payment by panelists and search for online reviews from people who have used the site.
The Better Business Bureau, Trustpilot, and Reddit are all good sources for finding out more about a site and whether or not it pays.
No Minimum Payout Survey Sites
The following sites either have a super low payment that you can get right after taking just one survey (making them just about as good as a no-minimum site!) or they have no minimum payments at all!
You’ll get $3, at least, for most surveys on this site.
You can cash out with at least $3 in your account for a check or PayPal cash, which you’ll make from just one survey.
So, technically, you don’t have to wait at all to request your payment!
Your first $3 will automatically come as a check to verify your mailing address, but after that, you can choose your reward type.
Read more: Pinecone Research Review: Why It’s the Best, or Is It?
This panel is a little different in that it sends your surveys via snail mail instead of through its website.
The benefit is that you’ll also receive your money for each survey through the mail when it sends your survey!
You won’t have to wait at all to get your money.
If you decide you don’t want to complete a survey, you can keep the money, and Consumer Opinion Institute will just deduct that reward from your next survey’s payout amount.
Tango gift cards are one of my favorite rewards because you can turn them in for a different gift card to your store or restaurant of choice.
Every survey will pay the same amount, and you should receive your gift card via email within three business days of successful completion of the survey.
Still, I thought I’d mention it because it’s one that has no minimum payout.
It might be worth it for you to take a survey or two, try to cash out, and see what happens.
According to the site, DollaPal pays via PayPal within a week after cashing out.
When you complete a full survey of 7 questions, you’ll get $50 paid automatically via PayPal within 24 hours after your survey is accepted.
There are no minimum payouts, and you don’t even have to request a payment. Mindswarms takes care of it all for you!
Low Payout Survey Websites
When I think of a low payout survey website, I think of one that lets you cash out with $10 or less in your account.
The following sites have minimums that range from $1 to $10!
InstaGC – $1
The site has over 350 gift card options to choose from, and many of them let you cash out with as little as $1 in your account.
SurveySavvy – $1
You can also sign up for SavvyConnect, the mobile app that collects data about your phone and internet usage for market research purposes, for an extra $5 a month!
PrizeRebel – $2
There are over 500 gift cards to choose from here, so you’ll definitely be able to find something you love.
Toluna – $5
You can choose from PayPal cash or emailed gift certificates.
E-Poll – $5
Most surveys give you 500 to 1,000 points each, and you’ll need 3,750 ($5) to cash out.
Prizes include Amazon gift cards, Walmart gift cards, and PayPal cash.
Opinion Outpost – $5
You’ll also receive an entry into quarterly cash prize drawings every time you take a survey successfully.
Consumer Village – $5
When you reach 500 tokens, you can cash out $5 with a check or an Amazon gift card.
The site also has charity donations available as a reward, or you can redeem points for sweepstakes entries for other prizes.
Crowdology – $8
You can also choose an Amazon gift code or a reward from GCodes, but you’ll need $10 to get one of them.
MySurvey – $10
Download the app for iOS or Android to take surveys on the go and make more money!
Survey Junkie – $10
With just $10 from surveys, you can choose to redeem your rewards for PayPal cash or an electronic gift card.
BrandedSurveys – $10
This site partners with several other top survey panels, too, so there’s usually never a shortage of surveys to go around.
Clear Voice Surveys – $10
The site has Amazon.com gift codes, or you can also get your cash sent to your Payoneer account.
Conclusion: Survey Sites with No Minimum Payout
I tend to stick with sites that have low minimum payouts because they motivate me to keep earning with online surveys.
That’s not to say that panels with high cash out amounts aren’t worth your time, but I personally find them difficult to stick with.
It’s nice knowing that after a survey or two, you can get paid quickly for your time.
Low cash out amounts also make it less likely for you to lose out on points that expire or get caught up in a scam.
Hopefully, this list of sites with low or no minimum payouts gets you on the fast track to earning consistently from online survey panels.