Surveys and points earn me about $1000/year. And I get asked all the time how I manage it because it can seem so frustrating (which it is).
So here are my top tips.
I just want to point out that these are what works for me, and if it doesn’t work for you then that’s fine. Just like everything personal finance related, it is personal. We all have very different goals and different priorities. I am writing this based on my experience, goals and priorities.
I have also included some links to sites. I don’t get paid for these but we both earn extra points if you click and sign up. Feel free to click on any of the links with no obligations.
A few things to note:
- If you find surveys WAY too annoying and its more of a chore then simply don’t do them. You don’t HAVE to do them and if you find a way to use that time to do something more productive then do that instead.
- This is not a get rich quick scheme – in fact most of the rewards are actually less than minimum wage. For me it is “worth it” but you will need to decide for yourself if it is worth the time for you. If you google surveys there are heaps that come up with “earn $500/month answering questions”. Be aware of these – I have never found a survey site that has achieved this goal so you just have to manage your expectations a bit.
- Consistency is key – you have to consistently answer surveys to get more surveys at any one site. You can’t expect to log on once a month and get $50 worth of surveys in one day. The more consistent you are with logging on and answering surveys, the more you will be offered them. Try to check one site a day – I always try to make sure I answer 1 survey a day and rotate the sites.
- All of the sites offer a range of vouchers, have a look through to find the ones that work for your family. I have listed the ones I redeem purely to let you know but you don’t have to do the same.
I haven’t scoped out any new ones recently and I know there are some additional ones out there. When I find the time to look into these, I will update this blog.
If you are just looking for the list of the surveys and point programs I use, here it is:
- Nielsen Homescan
- BNZ cashback credit card
- Perceptive Panel
- Valued Opinions
- Big Picture Neighborhood
If you are looking for how I use these to maximize points, read on…
Average $100/year (prezzy cards)
This is a nice little tool that I use for prezzy cards (which I then use to buy petrol). It is a shopping scanning app that is collecting data on households across NZ and Australia.
Basically, you have to apply to join the panel and once you get accepted, they will walk you through how to get started. You have to scan grocery purchases (and other shopping purchases) each week to earn points – once you have enough points you can trade these in for vouchers at various shops or prezzy cards.
You also earn additional points for birthdays, entering in monthly draws, mobile scanning and getting the monthly “scanned product”. It really doesn’t take me very long to scan my shops (and since I line it all up for a grocery photo anyway its easy). Word of advice, use your mobile app to scan if you can. I have heard conflicting stories about the handheld scanner.
Worth it for me? YES
Flybuys (New World Dollars)
Average $70/year (spend at New World)
I know you can use Flybuys to also earn fuel discounts or Flybuys points but I choose to earn New World dollars. There are also many more places than those listed below where you can earn Flybuys points based on your needs as a family.
These are the ones I use:
- Colmar Brunton surveys – This is by far my biggest earner of Flybuys. I make sure I prioritize these when they come into my mailbox. They are usually quite short and you can get 10-15 points per survey. They take 14 working days to show in your account though so there is a delay.
- Accommodation – mainly when I stay away for work. I use booking sites that allow me to earn Flybuys points per stay. I am not spending anything extra – just getting a little bit of an added bonus for me.
- Filling up my car – I fill up at either Z or Caltex and will sometimes swipe my Flybuys card. Since I have a company car I really only use my personal car for long trips and side hustles so I will earn maybe 1-2 points a fortnight from this.
- New World – I am not a regular shopper at New World because there isn’t one that is close to where I live. However, I spend a lot of time in small towns across NZ for work and they almost always have a New World. I will do a shop there for food for the day (I hate finding time to stop at a café 3 times a day, I would much rather get salads and hot chicken and eat during “down time”). I will also tend to save up a range of gluten free items I need then head to a New World once I know I will spend over $25 to get a point.
- Noel Leeming – every time I need something tech or appliance related, I make sure I wait until Noel Leeming is having a sale then head over there to get my discounts and my points. Since I don’t really buy that much, I only get a few points a year but they all add up.
Worth it for me? Yes (since I actually don’t spend more than I usually would to get points).
Average $50/year (gourmet direct meat voucher)
I know you can trade these for Mitre 10 vouchers too – which I might look into now that I have a house. But for now I am happy with my free meat.
- Flights – Every time I fly for work, I make sure I book Air NZ (not that hard because Jetstar doesn’t fly from Hamilton on the routes I need). I did a wee bit of travel with the old job and do a lot more now with the new job so I do clock up a fair few Airpoints dollars with this.
- Mitre 10 – I will buy things like bulk household supplies from Mitre 10 for the flat (and now the house) to earn the extra Airpoints dollars (it is also cheaper). Whenever I need to buy something for house or garden, I check the Mitre 10 website to compare costs then will buy from there if the costs work out.
- Filling up my car – when I am getting close to a reward, I will switch my point earnings from Flybuys to Airpoints when I fill up my car. This is purely because I am impatient.
- Onesmart – I always use Onesmart as a payment method when I am overseas (sigh, remember travel?). It’s a prepaid Mastercard that allows you to earn Airpoints on purchases. I don’t use it as much in NZ because you earn points at half the rate as the overseas earning. Also when you book Air NZ flights with OneSmart you get points and don’t have to pay the 2% booking fee – win for everyone!
Worth it for me? Yes
BNZ Cashback Reward Card
Average $165/year (cash)
DISCLAIMER: Please speak to the bank or financial advisor to see if this product is right for you. I have not included a link as I don’t want to promote or encourage the use of this financial product. I am stating it from my point of view.
This is the only credit card I own and it has a limit of $1000 – I am really pedantic and will transfer money back onto the card immediately. I know I can wait until the next month to pay without any interest but for my peace of mind I simply don’t. With interest rates so low I won’t gain anything by having my $40 in an interest earning bank account for an extra 2 weeks. I do pay $40 a year in fees so the profit is about $125/year.
I will try and use this for all purchases to maximize points (obviously I can’t for work purchases). The earning rate is $1 for every $150 I spend on it and I don’t have to do anything. It just gets credited into one of my accounts every month without me having to think about it. I have managed to try and get all of my expenses to come off this (including insurances and other direct debits).
The only thing to watch for is to make sure you won’t get charged the 2% credit card processing fee on payments as this negates any points you receive. I am that person that will ask about it and if I am going to get charged a fee then I just pay with my EFTPOS card instead.
Worth it for me? Yes
Average $300/year (cash or MightyApe vouchers)
This is my single biggest survey earner, it’s not a passive income like the other points as you still have to go on and answer surveys.
I try to answer at least one a day usually when I am watching TV at night. The best surveys to answer are the blue ones as they have the highest point to time ratio, and they will keep giving you additional surveys once you have answered the first one. The red surveys are also really good because you will still get 30 points even if you are screened out of the survey.
I don’t have much luck with the orange ones, I feel you answer a whole bunch of pre questions and never qualify for anything.
Rewardia are also the best at getting back to you if you have an issue, I will screenshot and send them a photo and they are generally pretty good at replying and giving you some bonus points if they are in the wrong.
The other thing I love about Rewardia is the games – you will never get anywhere playing the coral slots or scratch games alone but I always enjoy trying my luck if I am 5 minutes early to a client appointment.
To cash out for real $$ you have to hit 50000 points which can feel like it can take FOREVER, but if you keep going and answering then you will receive more opportunities. I can easily earn 10,000 for 30 minutes or so on a Saturday.
A couple of things to note:
- You will sometimes feel like you have answered an entire survey and then get screened out. Yes, it is frustrating, no I don’t know how to fix it sorry. It is what it is.
- It can chew through your data so if you are on a limited plan then I wouldn’t recommend playing the games when you are out and about. Try and tap into some free wi-fi.
Is it worth it for me? Yes
P.S. if you want to sign up and get some extra points use my referral code: DPHDC
Average $140/year (cash into PayPal)
This is my “morning walk” survey earner – I always answer these when I head out the door for my walk. They are relatively short and sharp and easy to answer. I also really like it because you still get $0.10 even if you are screened out of a survey. While it’s a lot of $0.10 to get to the $20 needed to cash out its still something (most sites you get nothing).
Pureprofile is also really easy to use and they have a really easy app, but it’s the same as the other survey companies. The more you do, the more you will be offered. It can also take up to 30 days to cash out into your PayPal so it’s a patience game with this one.
You can also choose to cash out smaller amounts in the form of fuel savings onto an AA card.
Is it worth it for me? Yes
P.S. If you want to sign up and get some extra bonuses then click here for my referral.
Average $100/year (cash into PayPal)
*These guys have JUST switched platforms so will update once I have been using it for a while*
This is another really easy platform to use and one of my favorites, the questions are easy and straight forward to answer. I also find the value you get for the time spent is much higher than some platforms as well.
The trick to this is make sure you have email notifications on and try and get to the survey as soon as you have time. They don’t stay open for that long but are good once you get into it. You can also cash out as soon as you have $10 worth of PayPal dollars so it’s a more frequent cash out rate.
Worth it for me? Yes
Average $60/year (Mightyape Vouchers)
This was the second survey company I ever signed up to and probably one of the easiest to answer.
They have changed their points system last year so now you have to wait to get 1000 points to cash out via PayPal. Otherwise you can cash out 500 points for different gift cards to various retailers.
I usually go for the Mightyape vouchers for this one. I usually save up Mightyape rewards from a few of the survey providers and buy pantry staples (like gluten free pasta, rice, oats etc). This of course helps reduce the grocery bill. This is usually my Saturday morning survey site – I now just answer it once a week.
Worth it for me? Yes
Average $20/year (Mightyape voucher)
I have been leaning away from this site in recent years as it can be frustrating in terms of timing out. I could be 90% the way through a survey and be “timed out” and get no points. It still gets checked about once a month.
Worth it for me? Maybe – might look at doing something else.
Big picture Neighborhood
Average $70/year (cash)
These guys aren’t so good in terms of surveys but I do get selected for their face-to-face interviews at least once a year.
It’s usually a 2-hour discussion on a chosen topic and they pay up to $70 – plus you get free snacks! It does take a while to be chosen for one, but I answer the pre qualification questions when they are emailed to me.
Worth it for me? Yes
Average $30/year (PayPal)
A good site but be wary of some of the offers.
They offer a thing called “prize wall” where they ask you to download apps onto your phone for points. Some of these have never given me points and some are a downright scam so please be wary.
The daily surveys are usually good to answer so I always just stick to those. The cash out is always in US $ so you actually get a bit more after the conversion rate.
Worth it for me? Yes
And that’s all the Survey words of wisdom I have for you today! I will update this blog when I try out some new ones and send out an email when this has been done.
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