How to Make the Most When Taking Surveys for Money

Woman scrolling Swagbucks rewards

Would you believe me if I said you can earn $16 per hour taking online surveys? It’s okay if you’re skeptical; I was, too.

But lend me a minute to share how to hack survey sites so that you can literally control your hourly rate when you take surveys for money (without getting booted from the site).

Don’t worry, this is not a hack that uses bots or shady techniques. It’s completely legitimate and “legal” — meaning none of the survey sites will disqualify you for using this method.

You’ll still be doing the work and answering every survey honestly. If you think there’s a way around that, this is not for you!

So if you’re ready, I’m going to show you exactly how to make $16+ per hour taking surveys for money (and not a penny less).

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How Much Do Online Surveys Pay Typically?

Woman scrolling Swagbucks rewards

If you join a bunch of random high paying survey sites and start completing surveys with no rhyme or reason, then you’ll typically earn $2 to $5 per hour. You could land on a couple of winners and earn $10 per hour without even trying, but without a plan, your average will be brought down by the low paying surveys.

If you’re sick of being typical and allowing your time to be taken advantage of, you’re in the right place! There’s no reason to get stuck earning $2 per hour. No one’s time should be valued that low when taking surveys for money.

Related: How to Get Paid to Post Ads for Companies Online

Step-by-Step Guide to Earn More Per Hour Taking Surveys for Money

With the right tools, you can start earning at least $12 per hour for every survey you take. And if you want to earn as much as $16+ per hour, you can do that, too (but it still takes work). Here’s exactly how to do it.

Step 1: Sign Up With Multiple Survey Sites

Depending on how many hours per day you want to work making $12 to $16+ per hour, you’ll need to sign up for more than one survey site. This strategy involves searching the sites daily to grab the highest paying surveys first (I’ll show you the quickest way to determine which surveys pay the most per hour).

Step 2: Complete Your Profiles

When you first sign up with a new site, you’ll need to spend a few minutes adding your demographics. If you don’t, or if you add incorrect information, you won’t qualify for the best paying surveys. Plus, having your profile completed helps each survey site match you with more surveys.

Step 3: Verify Your Email Address & Allow Notifications

Don’t let this step scare you away from using my method to hack survey sites and earn higher hourly pay. It’s crucial that you have access to the newest surveys available all in one place (it’ll save you a lot of time). Make sure to verify your email with each survey site you sign up with and don’t unsubscribe from notifications.

If you cannot stand receiving the emails, then you’ll need to jump between survey sites while you’re working. While it’s possible, it may end up slowing you down and in turn lower your hourly pay.

Here’s a little tip regarding sending survey notifications to your email: sign up for a new email address and dedicate it to surveys only. That way other important emails will never get lost in the sea of survey notifications. Plus, if you decide to take a day off (or even abandon ship), you can just log out of this dedicated email inbox and never think about it again.

Step 4: Check Each Survey’s Hourly Pay (Custom Calculator)

Luckily, you don’t have to pull out a calculator every time you get a notification that a new survey is available. I’ve created these super simple calculators for you to quickly check your hourly pay rate. This will help you decide which surveys to tackle and which ones don’t pay enough.

Each site pays differently when taking surveys for money. Some pay in dollars and some in points. Some survey sites convert 100 points to $1 while others convert 150 points to $1. There are so many different conversion rates that it could get confusing to keep track of how much you’re earning per hour.

Surveys Hourly Pay Rate Calculation

Most survey sites show the payment amount and the estimated time it takes to complete each survey. You can use these two numbers to calculate your hourly pay rate.

Here’s a quick example: a $3.00 payment for a 15-minute survey on InboxDollars converts to $12 per hour.

Inboxdollars logo

InboxDollars keeps earnings simple and accumulates your income in cash. You can use the payment amount and the estimated time it takes to complete a survey to calculate your hourly rate.

You can learn more about InboxDollars in my review.

Survey Junkie logo

Survey Junkie pays its members in points. Most surveys are worth 30 to 100 points, or $.30 to $1. You can enter the number of points a survey will award and the estimated number of minutes it should take to complete to see your hourly rate.

I share more about the company in my Survey Junkie review.

Swagbucks logo

Swagbucks members earn points called SBs and each SB is worth $.01. You can use this calculator to quickly estimate how much you can earn per hour on any survey in your list of available opportunities.

Read my Swagbucks review to learn more.

MyPoints logo

MyPoints‘ points to USD conversion is not as cut and dry as other survey sites. If you cash out your earnings in gift cards, roughly 126 points are worth $1. But if you want PayPal cash as your payment, it takes about 159 points to earn $1. This calculator bases your dollar per hour rate on if you should redeem your points for PayPal cash. If you choose a gift card, your hourly rate will be even higher.

Learn more by reading my full review of MyPoints.

Step 5: Take High Paying Surveys as You Find Them

You might be tempted to go through all 15 email notifications before deciding which survey to start, but don’t do that! As soon as you find a survey that pays $12 to $16 per hour (or whatever minimum hourly pay you’re comfortable with), take it!

If you wait to go through all your notifications first, the survey could fill up. You’ll be more likely to qualify for the survey if you start it right away.

Step 6: Bookmark This Page!

Bookmark this page and revisit it often so that you can use the survey pay calculator every time you sit down to take surveys for money. There are far too many different conversion rates to remember, and if you calculate a survey wrong, you could end up earning $3 per hour or less. Yuck!

Step 7: Login Daily to Earn More per Hour Taking Surveys

If you want this survey sites hack to help you earn extra money on the side often, then you’ll have to hop on daily (or at least as often as you’re able).

Some days there are not going to be enough high paying surveys to go around, so you may decide to take a break. Other days there might be more than you can complete before they fill up. Just be consistent and this method will work.

Related: How to Get Paid to Watch Commercials Online

Paid Survey Tips to Increase Your Hourly Rate

There are a few more paid survey tips that could help you increase your hourly rate. Every little bit counts when you’re racing against a clock.

1. Sign up With Even More Survey Sites

If you find yourself waiting for high-paying surveys, you can sign up with more companies. That way you have a steady stream of surveys at all times. Yes, it’s more to sift through as you look for the lucrative opportunities, but over time you’ll learn which companies pay better and you can check those hourly rates first.

Related: Places to Sign Up and Get Money Instantly

2. Work on a Laptop or Desktop

Even though it’s awesome that you can make money on your smartphone while on-the-go, you can really amplify your results if you sit down at a laptop or desktop to take surveys for money. This will make it easier to use the custom calculator above and toggle between browser tabs.

If you don’t have the option to use a laptop or desktop, that’s okay! You can still make it work on your smartphone. You just might lose a few minutes here and there if you’re unable to maneuver websites as quickly.

3. Pay Attention to Survey Topics

Most available surveys reveal the topic that’s covered before you get started. If you’re often disqualified for healthcare surveys, then you can skip those before spending time on the qualifier portion of future surveys. Or if you never travel and rarely qualify for surveys on travel topics, you can skip those, too.

When you pay attention to the small things, you can shave time off your efforts which will increase your hourly pay when taking surveys.

4. Answer Honestly

This is worth mentioning multiple times. If you try to lie on a survey in order to qualify for it, the site could catch the error and potentially ban you from taking more surveys. This could cause you to lose the money you’ve already earned. The best way around this is to always be honest and consistent in your responses. It will help you earn the most money for taking surveys in the long run.

Related: How to Get Paid to Give Advice

5. Cash Out Your Earnings Right Away

If you reach the minimum payment threshold and qualify for a payout, then cash out. Occasionally you might come across a survey site that refuses to pay you—it’s better to find this out sooner than later.

Additionally, there have been glitches that cause member earnings to be lost, even with legitimate survey sites. While this is not normal, it can happen. You can always contact customer support to retrieve your earnings, but it may take a while, and no one wants that hassle.

Related: Surveys with No (or Very Low) Minimum Payouts

6. Cash Out Your Earnings for Gift Cards

Most sites let you take surveys for gift cards or PayPal cash. Make sure to calculate the value of your points before choosing the cash out option. If the company offers a gift card to a store you shop at often, you can earn more per hour by selecting this over cash.

Related: How to Turn a Visa Gift Card Into Cash

7. Refer Your Friends AND Teach Them How to Do This Right

Many survey websites will pay you a bonus per friend you refer to the platform. But your friends won’t join if they don’t think it’s worth their time. That’s why it’s important to go a step further and actually teach your friends how to make money taking surveys.

A good way to do that is to share this article with them and help them use the same strategies here to earn the most when taking surveys for money.

Earn a High Hourly Rate Taking Surveys for Money

You don’t have to settle with $3 to $12 per hour. You can set your sights on $15 or even $20 per hour taking surveys. If you only have a few minutes here and there to complete surveys for money, it makes sense to go after the highest paying ones.

But realistically, if you have the time and want to make a decent chunk of change, start with the surveys that pay between $10 and $16 per hour. You could end up earning more money in the long run since you won’t have to wait as long between finding the right opportunities.

Related: How to Get Paid to Answer Questions

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