The True Value of Points for Surveys

Taking surveys is a fun way to make extra cash. But most market research companies choose to reward panelists with points for each completed survey rather than dollar amounts. These points can then be accumulated in the member’s private account and then cashed out when a minimum is reached. So how come you don’t just get paid in cash in the first place?

Why companies use a point-reward system

Survey companies often have branches all around the world, so using a point system rather than figuring out the various dollar amounts makes it easier for them to give out rewards. The companies also want to be sure that everyone gets rewarded equally for taking the time to complete their surveys.

For instance, if a panelist living in Canada earns $5 CAD for a survey and a resident in Europe fills out the same questionnaire, the survey company wants to reward both of them equally. Due to fluctuating exchange rates however, the European member may end up earning more or even less money for taking the exact same survey as their Canadian counterpart, or even a different amount than their neighbor who filled out the same survey on a different day!

By rewarding members with universal points, survey companies can keep the payment process fair. Collecting points with each completed survey also allows members to save up for a larger amount of money instead of cashing out smaller denominations each time. This way you can choose when and how to receive your earnings, and the incentives for completing the surveys stay competitive.

Benefits to you for earning points versus cash

Still not convinced that points are better than getting paid directly, or that your points aren’t worth very much? Here are some examples to help explain how the point system works.

Say that a survey company lists on their redemption chart that 1000 points is equal to $50. That works out to a survey for 100 points being worth $5.00, since each point is worth $0.05 ($50/1000 = $0.05).

The following is a simple ‘numbers’ example of points versus cash:
One survey takes you 20 minutes to finish and offers a cash payment for $3.00. Another survey offers 250 points in exchange for completing a 15 minute survey. Points are worth $0.01 each. With which survey will the survey taker earn more per minute? Answer: the second survey for points.

Here’s why. Survey 1 offers $3.00 for 20 minutes, which works out to $0.15 per minute. Survey 2 offers 250 points x $0.01 each, or $2.50 for a 15 minute survey which works out to ($2.50 / 15 minutes) $0.1667 per minute.

Survey companies who offer points for surveys:

  Ipsos Canada
  Opinion Outpost
  Web Perspectives