Over the years I have found and tried those ideas to make enough extra cash to help pay for gas, movie nights, dinning out, holiday and birthday gifts for my family and even some bills.
These side hustles may not make you rich, but they are great ways to supplement your income, can be done online from the comfort of your home and during your spare time.
In this article I am going to share with you some money making opportunists that are: #1. all proven to be legitimate; #2. flexible – you can do them anytime you want; #3. easy to do – require no special skills; #4. are absolutely free with no cost to you. Now let’s get started!
Paid Surveys – money for your opinion
One of the best ways to make money online is participating market research surveys. Businesses are always looking for feedback from people before they introduce new products and services. They collect consumer opinion through paid market research surveys, product testing and focus groups.
You won’t get rich, but you can make pretty good extra cash (and gift cards) taking online surveys and testing new products at home.
How paid survey works
You join a market research survey company’s research panel, provide your basic (and sometimes more detailed) demographic information. Whenever there is a survey that matches your profile, the survey company sends you an email inviting you to take the survey. You will be asked a few initial questions to determine if you qualify for the survey, and if you do and complete the survey, you will get paid and rewarded for your time.
Often times market research companies offer more lucrative opportunities like paid product testing from home and focus groups.
Best legit online survey panels
I have been participating in market research online surveys, product tests and focus groups since 2005. Over and years I have found many legitimate market research survey panels, and following are the best ones I suggest you to sign up.
LifePoints (former GlobalTestMarket) – a global market research panel. Members are invited to participate in online surveys on numerous topics, and in return are eligible for cash, gift cards and various prizes, along with regular and frequent entry into sweepstakes. Accept member worldwide and minimum 14 years old.
Pinecone Research – one of the best online survey and product testing panels. Members get rewarded 300 points ($3) for completing each survey and testing free products from home. Members can redeem points for cash payment via Paypal or check, or various popular gift cards such as amazon. Minimum age to join: 13 years old, Open to countries: United States, Canada, United Kingdom and Germany.
PointClub Surveys – one of the top US online survey panels. They offer numerous online surveys, and reward members cash via Paypal for completing online and mobile surveys. Minimum to join: 18 years old, Open to USA.
OneOpinion – Members earn points for each survey completed and can trade in points for Visa Prepaid debt cash cards. Minimum age 13 years old to join. Open to countries: United States, United Kingdom and Germany.
Opinion Outpost – one of the most reputable brands in the survey business. Members earn points for each survey completed can and turn their points into cash (via Paypal) or gift cards. With a low minimum of only $5 redemption level, you’ll be claiming rewards in no time.
Springboard America – one of the leading online market research communities in the US, rewards members for participating in surveys and discussions with cash via prepaid visa cash card and amazon gift cards.
Ipsos i-Say – an online survey rewards community where your opinions are guaranteed to be heard. Each time you take a survey, you’re given i-Say points as a thank you for your feedback. You can redeem points for cash or gift cards! Open to countries: United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Australia and Germany, Minimum age required: 13 years old.
MySoapBox – Members make money by taking part in online surveys, product testing and focus groups. You earn points and cash out points for amazon or store gift cards. I have received great product testing surveys with great rewards. Open to United States & Canada, 13 and older.
Product Report Cards – Earn cash, Amazon gift codes, or free products for each online survey you complete.The more online surveys you take, the more money you will make.
SurveySavvy – a global survey panel with over 1.5 million registered members. SurveySavvy members provide feedback and opinion for companies and get paid cash for answering online and mobile surveys. Open to countries: worldwide, Minimum age required: 14 years old.
SurveyClub – one of the oldest online paid surveys panels where members participant in online surveys and product tests. Members are rewarded cash (paypal) or amazon gift cards for their opinion. Accept 13 and older, open to countries: United States, UK and Canada.
Yougov – YouGov conducts polls on the Internet about politics, public affairs, products, brands and other topics of general interest. Members earn points for answering surveys and points can be exchanged for gift cards (such as amazon) and prepaid visa cash card. Open to countries: United States, United Kingdom & Australia, Minimum age: 14 years old.
American Consumer Opinion – Members earn points redeemable for cash, paid via Paypal or Check. Minimum cash out $10 = 1000 Points. They accept members from US, UK, Canada, Germany and France,13+ years old.
Paid Viewpoint – a market research survey site pay cash (via Paypal) for every completed market research survey and you will never get screened you out once you’ve been invited into a survey! Open to countries: worldwide, Minimum age required: 13 years old.
E-Poll – an online panel where members express pinions on a variety of issues that affect your daily life. Earn points for every survey you take. Use your points like cash to fund your PayPal account or use your points to earn gift cards at major retailers: Amazon, Best Buy, Starbucks, Walmart and more.
LegerOpinion – is the largest Canadian-owned online survey panel with 400,000 active and representative members across Canada & US. They pay members cash (paid through check) for completing every survey. Open to United States and Canada, and 13 years and older.
Toluna – a global market research panel. You provide opinions for leading providers of products and services and earn rewards by participating in surveys. You receive rewards in the form of points which can be redeemed for cash and gift cards/vouchers for a large selection of stores including Amazon. Open to countries: worldwide, and 13+.
National Consumer Homescan Panel – Members receive an at-home scanner and earn points for scanning all the products they buy. You are also rewarded points for taking online and mail surveys. Member are also entered into a variety of sweepstakes. Redeem points for various cool stuff on the reward catalog. Open to countries: United States, Canada, Australia & Germany.
Go2Crowd USA – a new survey panel that rewards members points for taking online surveys. Points can be redeemed for amazon,iTunes, Walmart & Visa gift cards. Earn 50 points for confirming registration and completing profile survey. Open to Countries: USA, at least 18 years old.
PrizeRebel – a fast paying online survey panel that reward member points (exchangeable for cash via Paypal or amazon gift cards). Accept members worldwide. 13+.
Reward/GPT Sites – get paid to do easy things online
Rewards sites (also called GTP Get Paid To) sites pay you for doing a variety of activities you do online already, such as: search the web, watch videos/tv/ads, sign up offers, print and use coupons, click/read emails/ads, listen/review music, chat, write/post on forum, shop and take surveys.
There are many reward sites out there, and following are the reputable reward get paid to sites I recommend.
MyPoints – I love MyPoints and have been a member for many years. My favorite ways to make money with this site are: 1. read their emails (5 points for each paid emails) 2. take surveys (you will earn 5 points even if you don’t pass the screener) 3. watch videos; 4. search; 5. Printing & redeem coupons. New members received $10 bonus if spend $20 or more through MyPoints website or BonusMail in the first 30 days of membership.
Swagbucks – another popular reward site. The things I do to earn “swagbucks” are: check inbox (read emails), watch videos, search and take surveys that are very very short. They also have a mobile app and you can do all those things on the go! $5 sign on bonus for new users.
InboxDollars – You earn cash by reading emails, watch videos and search! They also have a great mobile app! Note that to continue receiving paid emails, you need to participant other activities (such as taking surveys), otherwise emails will stop coming. New users also receive $5 just for joining.
Cash Crate – One of the oldest GTP sites. You get paid to sign up offers and take surveys. They have a great community where members share ideas and tips, especially on offers that work!
Slice the Pie – is a music/song review and rating site. You listen to a 90 second song, then rate it and write a short review. The pay is low – about 5 cents for a song (at least for me), but is easy to do. A little great “gig” for teenagers make a little extra cash. They pay via Paypal once you reach $5.
Tips for Reward/GTP sites:
#1. Do not take surveys for rewards GTP sites.
Generally I do not recommend taking surveys for the reward sites, because most of their surveys are low paying and you can earn more money for taking the same surveys from the survey panels I listed earlier.
But, if you have time, you can take surveys for MyPoints and Swagbucks, because with these two sites, you can earn some points if you try the surveys but don’t qualify, which means at least your time is not completely wasted.
#2. Do not sign up offers (paid or free).
Personally I strongly suggest that you do not bother with any kind of offers because the following reasons:
If you sign up paid offers, your credit card will be charged and trust me it takes forever to cancel the offers (yes I have done that). Also Be careful sometimes “free” offers are not actually free – those are “trial offers” which means they are free only for the first week or month but will cost you money after that. Yes those terms and conditions are buried in the tiny fine prints!
If you sign up the with the so called 100% free offers – you will receive endless spam emails, mails and possible sales calls! Some people use a disposable email address for those free offers only require an email address. If you still would like to do 100% free offers, I suggest you join Cash Crate‘s discussion forum where community members share tips such as which offers work for them.
Cash Back Shopping – get paid to shop
You can earn cash back from all sorts of shopping, from online shopping to grocery shopping. There are many cash back sites or apps you can choose from, but the following are the best ones I personally use and recommend:
Top Cash Back – This is the site that offers the highest cashback for online shopping for a large selection of stores. They also frequently offer new members freebies! Reliable tracking, reporting and great customer support.
Ebates – Another top cashback online shopping site offers wide selection of stores and high cash back. and they have the largest selection of online and retails stores.
For online shopping, I visit Top Cash Back and Ebates, and compare the cash back amount between the two, shop through the one who offers higher cash back at the time! They are the best and I love using both of them!
iBotta – a great website/mobile app for cash back on shopping for groceries, especially name brands.
Checkout51 – Another great cash back website/mobile app that you can earn cash back on grocery shopping on name brand products.
Usability Testing – get paid to test websites & mobile apps
ErliBird – Pays you $10-$20 (via Paypal) for testing websites, mobile apps, products and software.
UserTesting – pays you to visit websites or apps, complete a set of tasks, and speak your thoughts aloud. Get paid $10 via PayPal for every 20-minute test you complete.
Userlytics – You also get paid $10 (through Paypal) for testing websites and mobile apps. Typical tests will require 10 to 20 minutes to complete.
Short Tasks – little extra for completing “micro” tasks
With short tasks sites, you make money by performing various “micro” tasks such as content viewing, image tagging, website evaluations, writing, and taking short surveys. Following are the reputable short task sites you can try:
Amazon MTurk – make money by working on HITs (Human Intelligence Tasks). HITs are simple tasks such as identifying objects in a photo or video, transcribing audio recordings, researching data details or taking short research surveys. Earning are paid through amazon gift cards.
CrowdSource – earn money performing easy micro jobs like image tagging, website evaluations, transcription and sometimes writing or editing jobs. You are paid through Paypal.
Clickworkers – earn money with micro tasks, such as text creation, editing, web research, data tagging and data categorization. They accept workers worldwide, and pay through Paypal.
Notes/tips: the pay for “hits”/micro tasks is very low, but I have heard people have “success” with them especially with amazon mturk.
Now you have learned some easy and free ways to make some extra cash! I suggest you to sign up and try all the opportunists I listed above, and if you do you will find yourself quite busy! After a while you will know which ones work best for you, and hopefully begin to make some pretty good side money!