What are the best free survey sites that pay to refer? And Are they even worth your time?
Before we get started, you should know that ALL survey sites should be free to join.
Any site you have to pay to join for surveys, is either a total scam, or will give you a bunch of information that you can get for free.
However, there are lots of survey platforms out there that will pay you to refer others.
That means, they reward you to get other people to join the site.
Often times, you will refer someone and make a percentage of everything that they earn.
This could be 10%, 20%, or even 30% in some cases.
The thing is, there is no point just referring people – you need to send them to sites where they will ACTUALLY be active.
Therefore, the higher quality the site, the more likely they’re going to stick around.
Also, there is no point just referring a few people.
Realistically, you need hundreds of referrals, because most of them are not going to stick around and many will not remain active for long either.
So, for most people, the referral programs are useful.
A majority of regular people joining survey sites, don’t refer anyone.
However, if you want to get referrals, there are a few ways that you are going to be far more likely to be successful….
By Having A Blog Or Website.
You’ll also need a blog where people are actually going to be interested in joining these type of sites.
If you have a blog about luxury travel, for example, it’s unlikely your readers are going to be interested in making a few dollars here and there on a survey site!
If you don’t have a blog already and aren’t aware of the different ways you can make money then, you need to check out this free training first.
If you have a blog, but have never made money from it, the above training will also help.
In any case, this is a good way to generate referrals.
However, implementing the additional things below, will greatly increase your reach.
Having A YouTube Channel.
This is still a less competitive platform, in relation to blogging.
If you are knowledgeable about YouTube SEO, it’s still not difficult to rank your posts and it’s even less difficult ranking review based posts.
You can link people back to your blog from here and you can also earn Ad revenue from YouTube, once you have enough followers, (anyone used to be able to make money from Ads, but you now need at least …. subscribers).
Social Media Channels.
If you have a large social media following on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or Pinterest… this is also a way you can get additional referrals.
Again, this is going to depend on your audience on social media and if you combine this with having a blog, it’s a way you can share your content with people who are already interested in what you’re offering.
Personally, I am not very active on social media!
The one platform I am trying to grow, is Pinterest… but I have largely neglected social media, (so far!) and there are lots of ways you can leverage social media to get referrals.
For example; you can *boost* posts on Facebook, or experiment with Facebook Ads pretty cheaply.
However, remember that each referral is not going to be worth much to you if you’re just using the regular affiliate program.
What About When You Have Plenty Of Blog Traffic?
I started out only using the survey site referral programs directly, but once you have more traffic, you can join CPA, (cost-per-action) networks and programs, which pay you per sign up.
While you only get paid once per sign up, this can still end up being more profitable, because many referrals do not remain active, (or even become active at all in many cases!).
So, for example, I was approached directly by Swagbucks to join their CPA program and they pay to start with $1.20 per mobile sign up and $3.60 per PC sign up.
I also joined Maxbounty, which also has offers in a lot of survey sites.
You need to apply to sign up and will have to have a mini telephone or Skype call with your affiliate manager for Maxbounty, but it only takes about 5 minutes.
I think this puts some people people off, but it’s actually easier than you think.
Ok, so now I’ve given you some idea about how you can get referrals, what survey sites should you join?
The first sites I mention are the ones I recommend the most, but I also list a bunch more that are still legit sites with referral programs, but just not ones I’ve personally focused on with my blog as much.
I will explain why as I mention them! So, let’s get started!
This is one that I always recommend because it’s firstly one of the few I still use myself, (with the browser extension, I get alerted about cashback on so many websites, I can use their search engine for additional Swagbucks).
It also has a lot of different ways to earn, so you’re far more likely to get people that remain active, in comparison to sites that only have surveys.
The downside of Swagbucks, is that its promoted all over the place, by a majority of bloggers!
Therefore, it’s one that people are likely to have heard of already.
That being said, there will always be new people that aren’t aware of it, but you will need to promote it pretty heavily.
However, one of the reasons it is promoted so heavily by many bloggers, is because it really is one of the best and one that so many people use, (including the bloggers).
So many extra income sites are pretty so-so…But Swagbucks is fun, well-designed, has a long standing reputation,
Plenty of gift card options and probably the best aspect is their browser extension, because it reminds you and alerts you to offers.
If you don’t have that constant reminder, it’s going to be easy to forget to visit cashback websites.
I was on Fiverr.com the other day and the Swagbucks alert came on…
I’m so often surprised when it pops up, you have the option to get cash-back on so many sites…. You can read my full review here.
#2 Prolific Academic:
This is one that I AM just a general affiliate for, they don’t have a CPA program.
The reason I’m including this, is because the surveys are much higher paying than other survey sites I’ve seen and as a result, people are more active and even though you get 10% of earnings, that 10% is more than a lot of sites.
You only get paid when referrals cash out, that’s the other difference.
The other day, I got a £2.60 payout ($3.32) for a referral… So, they must have cashed out £26, ($32).
Yes, the Proflific platform pays in pounds, but you can still join from the US and many other countries, their intention is to go global.
Prolific is unique because the surveys on offer are created by students for research purposes, (as opposed to companies and brands).
As a result, the surveys are so much more interesting and pay more.
But you have to be so careful completing surveys, they have questions to catch you out and ensure you’re paying attention… Only complete these surveys when you can give them 100% attention.
You can easily exchange the pounds into dollars via PayPal.
It’s unusual for me to get a pay out like that for a referral, usually because you will get paid per action your referral does on other sites.
Because the pay is more and the Cash-out amount is low, (£5 minimum) people seem more motivated to continue.
Also, you don’t just get 10% once.
You get 10% of their earnings every single time they cash-out, for the lifetime of their membership.
If they stick around doing surveys for 10 years, you get paid for 10 years.
Also, this site (so far) has less competition. The big bloggers either don’t know about it or aren’t heavily promoting it.
That’s because most pro bloggers want to only promote survey sites that they get good payouts for PER referral.
So, with some CPA programs, you could get $3+ per signup and they’d rather promote those opportunities, even if they don’t really think they are the best.
You can read my full Prolific review here.
#3 Vindale Research:
Vindale Research offers the super high commission of $5 per referral, but you won’t get paid until they complete a survey for at least $1.
This is really generous as far as survey referral programs go.
Also, completing a single survey for $1 isn’t unrealistic.
Since joining Vindale, I get surveys sent to me with a lot of regularity – so, there seem to be a good amount of surveys available.
While there are some mixed reviews, it has managed to maintain a 4-star rating on Trustpilot, which is very good for a survey related company! Read my full review here.
This is another one I’m just a straight up affiliate for, (not with a CPA offer) but their affiliate program is a little better, because you can actually earn up to 30% commission for your referrals earnings.
It’s very similar to Swagbucks, it has a lot of the same ways to earn, although unfortunately doesn’t have a browser extension.
Another good thing is it’s popular, people seem to sign up regularly and, most importantly, take action.
As soon as you make 1000 points, your referral percentage goes up to 25%.
Once you have 16000, it goes up to 30%!
So, you do gain the ability to earn a lot more for your referrals over time. You can find my full review here.
Here there a few ways to earn, now including surveys!
If you have their browser extension, you’re alerted any alternative products you could buy instead of whatever you’re searching for.
They have surveys now as well and the actual APP itself is really good.
Qmee pays you $1 after your referral cashes out for the last time.
Another good thing about this, is there is no payout threshold, you can pay out from $1 if you really wanted to. See my review here.
#6 Branded Surveys:
Branded Surveys is a site that I have only recently reviewed. It’s a site that was originally called Mintvine, (which you may have heard of).
Most surveys seem to pay at least $1 and the overall layout and design of the site is good, it’s easy to navigate.
As with most survey sites though, disqualification rates seem quite high.
On the plus site, this site has some good, positive feedback online and has managed to maintain a four star rating on Turstpilot.
They have the chance for you to earn additional points, depending at what level you are, (bronze, silver, or gold).
You actually cannot make anything from your referrals, until you reach the silver level, (600 points) but it’s a good incentive for you to actually fully check out the platform.
At the silver level, you get 50 points for each referral. As a gold level member however, you get 200 points per referral! So, it’s definitely worth reaching that stage.
You can read my full Branded Surveys review here.
Cashcrate is another site that has a variety of ways to earn, with more of an emphasis on paid offers.
They also have plenty of surveys and some additional ways, such as watching videos.
Another thing that people are attracted to, is the tiered affiliate program.
Typically, I find the tiered affiliate program over-rated, as most people that sign up to your link do not refer anyone else, (as least that’s my own experience and I have heard the same from others!).
So, the idea is that you earn 20% from your direct referrals and 10% from anyone your referral refers too.
But most people will only refer people on a single tier, as most of their referrals will not recruit any referrals.
You can see some income reports from other people on Cashcrate and how much they’ve made from referrals… So, it is profitable for some people for sure.
I just haven’t personally had success with that and having talked to some other affiliates, they have shared the same experience as far as the two-tiers.
I personally switched from the Cashcrate referral program, to a CPA program with Maxbounty now. They pay $3 per lead.
Read my full Cashrate review here.
The above sites are some of the best, specifically for their referral program.
But there are tonnes more you can check out.
Here are a few more that you may want to check out….
You will get $0.10 for every sign up here and then 10% of earnings for the lifetime of the membership.
It’s good to get a little payment just for the sign up, could be more – but better than nothing!
This used to be one of my favorite reward sites.
Not because the pay was great, but because I loved doing the mini reviews and you used to earn a bit more.
The amount you can make seemed to go down over time though, so it’s not as good as it was — but still enjoyable.
You will earn 10% of earnings for your referrals, for their first year.
This is fine, as most people don’t stick with these sites that long anyway!
I really like the YouGov surveys, because they don’t screen you out!
As an actual survey panel, they’re one of the best purely for that reason.
Unfortunately in the UK they have a high payout threshold of £50, (less in the USA).
But the fact they don’t screen just overrides that issue IMO.
Unfortunately, their affiliate program isn’t great — BUT there are CPA programs you can join, such with Maxbounty.
I’m not sure if the US has the same referral program, in the UK you get 400 points after your referral completes 6 surveys.
I haven’t yet managed to join the CPA there, because you need to have made several hundred dollars with other panels before they accept you and I just recently joined.
But as soon as I can, I will jump on board that.
Inbox Pounds & Inxbox Dollars:
One based in the UK, the other the US – but not much difference beyond this.
The referral program doesn’t pay much at 10%
To make more money from these, you should join the CPA program on MaxBounty, which pay $2 (uk) and $2.80 (US) per lead.
The sites can have mixed reviews, but I did personally get paid several times from Inbox Pounds and found the best way to earn was completing their paid offers.
They’re still some of the mos popular options when it comes to survey sites online.
You will need to have a blog or website to join Maxbounty and can find out about it here.
Survey Sites With High CPA Payouts:
Don’t be intimidated by Maxbounty, as they do request a phone-call or skype call with every sign up… It’s just to check you out and make sure you’re a real person.
The call is really quick, you only have to let them know if you have any experience with other affiliate networks, what sort of offers you’re interested in and how long you reckon it will take you to drive traffic to the offers.
The amount you get per sign up is going to be subject to change.
For survey sites, anywhere between $1 and $4 is common per sign up, but some do pay more.
I don’t personally actively promote a lot of these, because many either have bad feedback online, or are just ones I didn’t have a great experience with personally!
Which really narrows down the ones I’m prepared to promote, but it’s personal preference.
Your best best is to sign up and just check out what is available.
They have new offers popping up regularly.
So, what about other referral programs?
Referring people to survey sites is just one way to get paid to refer.
With affiliate marketing, you can get paid to recommend people to all sorts of products and services.
Most companies online right now will have an affiliate program attached and as an industry, it’s growing all the time.
You can get paid anything from 1-100% of the sale, (in some cases).
Although between 4%-50% is more common.
One of the biggest and most famous affiliate programs, is the Amazon associates program, (read about it here).
They pay between 4-10% commission on every sale and pay out MILLIONS to their affiliates every year.
But that’s just for starters.
It doesn’t matter what your niche/interest is, you should be able to find an affiliate program to match.
I started to learn about affiliate marketing several years ago, but now I also make money from paid advertising and will soon create my own products.
Affiliate marketing is just the start, there are many ways you can make money from a blog or website – once your traffic and audience starts to grow.
Have you had much luck getting referrals for survey sites?
Let me know how you’ve got on in the comments!
All the best,