So, now that I’ve had time to work with the companies and cash out a bunch, here’s the low down on the online surveys I think are worth the effort for a little pocket change or whatever.

Firstly, if you don’t spend a lot of time on the internet, don’t bother. If you don’t like taking surveys, hide from the census taker, hang up on telephone surveyors, don’t bother. But, if you like the prospect of making a little bit of extra cash for being opinionated, this might be worth a try. I started out on the Paid Twice blog post about her experience with surveys for this too, and then gathered some others. I

  • MySurvey – I still haven’t cashed in on this one yet, but I expect to in the very near future. This will mean that I have made about $20 in 6 months. They are definitely the slowest as far as the rewards building up, but the qualifying surveys are really short with a guarenteed small point value for bothering, and the extra winning possibilities are generous. It’s a low impact engagement. Click through the link, especially since I get extra points for referrals!
  • Opinion Outpost – I’ve cashed out from these folks, to the tune of about $45, and I qualify into a lot of their surveys. These are a little longer, but generally I find not too long. They pay out with a check and will pay you when you’ve reached $5 or more. They still do referrals through the person so, if you’re interested, let me know and I’ll shoot you one.
  • Lightspeed Panel – Their surveys are fun, and sometimes you get to participate in product trials that crack me up. They are, however, VERY bad at communicating with customers. There were several snafus for me being credited and it took me months and countless emails and phone calls before I got my money. When I did, though, it was about $40 for 3 months work. Ultimately, I decided not to continue with them because the effort for the reimbursement was such as trial it hardly added up for me. Your experience may be different, I have never heard another complaint about them.
  • TestSpin – I don’t often qualify into one of their surveys, but they tend to be very quick to let you know that you don’t qualify, which is nice. In six months I’ve made about $20 in Amazon Gift Cards from them nd they are excrutiatingly slow about crediting your account, but they have never yet made a mistake in credit. Better, I qualified into an online focus group through one of their surveys and got compensated with a $100 in Amazon Gift Card for about 2 hours of my time one evening. So, there is potential here for much more money to be made.
  • Survey Spot – Most of what you get on this site are sweepstakes entries, but sometimes they do have surveys for money, and also, I have been referred through them to some online communities that are more focused and offer rewards. In dollars, I have made $45 and qualified into a community where I get a $10 Amazon Gift Card every month, as well as the opportunity to get more depending on the offers they give. I’ll be getting an additional $20 Amazon card from the them soon. Plus the surveys on this site are all over the maps, so you never know what you’ll get. I think they are fun, and frankly, I’ve made the most money off of them. They pay out in checks for cash amounts earned about $5.

So, to date, I have made over $300 for sitting on my laptop, an activity I would be engaged in anyway. The amounts look small till you add them up, then it’s nothing to sneeze at. This money had been put aside, with any other little snowflakes I get, in a high yield HSBC account, which I was going to use to buy a new tiny computer, but will probably go to pay for my cats dentals instead. Well, 2 cats of 3 anyway.

I am a member of a couple of other site and I do participate, but I haven’t cashed out, am not cashing out soon, or am stll on the fence. I’ve also bailed out on a lot of sites because I didn’t like how they operated or dealt with me. If you want a place to get started, I would recommend these five, then you can go pick up some others if you like.