2017 Best iOS (iPhone, iPad) and Android Survey Apps to Make Money

When people find out that there are ways to make money by taking surveys (by way of installed apps on their phone or tablet – or both), they usually get pretty excited. And yes, it is a good way to make a bit of extra cash in one’s spare time – and it can be fun.

But what usually happens is this: Someone gets started with a survey app and gets discouraged due to all of the “hoops” that have to be jumped through, sometimes to only find out that they are not qualified (profile is not a match) for the survey. That can be seriously frustrating and probably most often ends up in the person just deleting the app and calling it quits.

But – which survey apps are the best? I have waded through quite a number of them now, testing them out and becoming quite frustrated myself here and there. But I found what I consider to be the best of them all – the ones that actually do pay off without an excessive amount of time spent.

My theory on survey apps:  In order to make surveys worth the time, use apps that keep the surveys short, and use multiple apps.  Doing that makes the most money in the least amount of time.

Here is my “top 5” list or iOS and Android survey apps for you – I recommend checking them all out (links to download them are available for each, down the page). 🙂

1. Panel App

My rating:

As far as I am concerned, Panel App is at the very top of the list in terms of survey apps for smart phones and tablets. Not only is it easy to use, the surveys are fast and extremely clear with no wasted time.

If you (like me) are wanting to just take a couple or a few minutes and do a short survey once a day or even just once in a while, this is probably one that you will love.

Basically, two kinds of surveys are offered – opinion surveys and location surveys. Whenever I a take a trip to the grocery store, the gas station, go to the movies, etc., shortly thereafter there is a survey waiting for me to do afterward – simply having to do with where I was on a certain date and time. The map above the location question shows a marker, making it easy to remember where I was and what I was doing.

Simple. And fast.

Panel App operates and pays on a point system – you accumulate points from the questions and when you reach a certain level of points you can cash them in for rewards in the form of gift cards.  (Note:  When you sign up for Panel App, you get an immediate 100 points in your account.)

Bottom line:  This app is one of the few I have seen that truly lives up to its claims – Panel App touts that it rewards its users for, “simply going about their day,” and that is actually the case.


Panel App Tips

  • Points breakdown: 1000 points = $1.00, 2000 points = $2.00, etc.
  • There are two ways to cash in points – you can enter sweepstakes or choose “guaranteed” rewards. (I am not a big fan of sweepstakes so I opt to always choose “guaranteed.”) To get to the rewards page, from the main screen touch the “Redeem Now” button. That will take you to a page which has three tabs at the top: “All,” “Sweepstakes” and “Guaranteed.” Choose whichever you want, but if you’re looking to strictly cash in points for a gift card, choose the “Guaranteed” tab.
  • In phone settings, it helps to have notifications set to “on” for Panel App, because you will receive more notices when there is a survey available.
  • Check the app fairly frequently – I check mine once per day and almost always have a survey worth points. They show up whether I receive a notification or not.
  • Don’t plan to make a lot of money with Panel App – it’s not really made for that. Its main feature is this – it pretty much runs on its own, making it easy for the user which saves a lot of time. The time put in is worth it, and with regular use the points will accumulate and you can cash in!

2. 1Q

My rating:

Another survey app that I really like in terms of good return vs. time spent is 1Q. As you may have guessed, the name indicates that 1 question is given at a time.

Talk about simple, easy and fast!

From what I have seen so far, each question asked pays .25¢.  The only downside is that (at least so far) I don’t receive questions very often, but when I do – as promised – it is one question.  No qualifying questions, no any other hoop-jumping.  Just single questions.

That’s right up my alley.

Don’t expect to make much money with this app, but it will make some extra cash here and there, which of course adds up over time.

My favorite part of 1Q:  When you answer a question, you are paid right away!  No waiting until a certain cash or points level is achieved – it goes right to your Paypal account.  Sa-weet!




1Q Tips

  • Most important:  Really take notice when you get a question notification from 1Q – if you wait too long to answer it, it expires.  (I learned this lesson the hard way.)
  • Don’t expect a lot of cash or very many questions to come to you – at least at first (my experience).
  • It is my understanding is that the number of questions received is in part based on demographics, and part based on location.  I live in a small rural town, with not much going on.  Someone living in a larger city would likely receive more questions.
  • Use 1Q along with other survey apps to make the most of your time, and to bring in the most income.
  • Occasionally get into the app (even when you don’t receive questions) and check the “Know” section.  If there are questions there, answer them.  The questions don’t pay, but they enable you to receive more questions later on.
  • There is also an “Extra Credit” section of the app that you can check to find out how to make more money with it.
  • Make sure to keep notification and location settings on, on your smart phone or tablet.  This will enable you to receive more questions as well.

3. Zap Surveys

My rating:

Zap is another survey app that I use regularly.  Basically it consists of surveys from a couple of well-known survey companies, Peanut Labs and Say So For Good.


  • It’s an extremely well formatted app for a phone or tablet, making questions much easier to answer and get through surveys from start to finish.  (That is not the case with some other survey apps.)
  • Every time a survey is completed, a donation is made to help feed hungry children.  I’m all for that!
  • I have found that sometimes when I do not qualify for a survey, I am still compensated for going as far as I did (answering the pre-qualification questions).  Just a few cents, but that’s better than nothin’!
  • The app seems pretty robust – some apps freeze up, cause problems with the device etc.  This one definitely does not.


  • A bit more time than I would like to do the surveys (but less time than some).
  • Have to answer a series of pre-qualification questions before actually entering into the survey – you have to fit certain criteria for each survey before you can qualify and actually fill out the survey questions.  (Qualification might include living within a certain geographic region, having a certain occupation, certain kinds of shopping, etc.  It’s nothing personal – it’s just whether you fit the specific group being looked for or not.) This can seem pretty repetitive, and it gets kind of old.


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Zap Surveys Tips

  • If you’re really bound and determined to make some real money with Zap Surveys, be persistent.  My experience is that I have not qualified for a majority of the surveys they offer – if you are aware of that up-front, you will likely be less frustrated.
  • Plan to take more time than the surveys indicate – I have found that it takes a few minutes just to get through the “pre-quals,” and that the surveys take longer than their expected time.  (I am a fast typer and can also read and answer questions quickly.)

4. Swagbucks

My rating:

I have been using Swagbucks for quite a while now, and I really like it. While the surveys are not a favorite part of the app for me, it still ranks up there with some of the best survey apps around.

Swagbucks point system is based on the name of the site – you earn “Swagbucks” when you complete some sort of a task (including doing surveys).  Each “Swagbuck” (also abbreviated “SBs”) is worth 1¢ – so of course when you get 100 SBs you have earned a dollar, etc.


  • There are usually plenty of surveys to choose from, so you always have a good chance of qualifying for some and making a bit of money.
  • There are other parts of the app where you can score some Swagbucks (points), such as the “Watch” section of the app (watching videos), “Discover” (completing offers) and the “Shop” section (getting cash back for online shopping – much like Ebates).
  • The app is fun to use in general – it has a super-nice layout and design.
  • Receive occasional notifications on your phone or tablet when there are chances to make additional Swagbucks (points) – these are called “Swagcode alerts” and are pretty fun.  They send you a code or a link to a code on their Facebook page, Instagram or a specific page of their website – you can add the Swagcode into the field and get the specific number of points (I have found that this is usually around 3-7 Swagbucks).


  • Compared to the Swagbucks website, the app is quite limited.  There are quite a number of additional ways to earn from the website – in fact, I tend to frequent the site much more than the app.
  • The surveys can be pretty cumbersome when done on a phone – a tablet or laptop computer is better.  It seems like this part of the phone app has not been set up very well for survey questions – I have spent a good amount of time re-sizing the screen and scrolling around just to read questions on some of the surveys.  This is a pain in the you-know-what.
  • Another con on the surveys – there is a tendency to have to get pretty deep into surveys just into the qualifying questions – this can mean spending a lot of time just to find out that you do (or don’t) quality for a survey.  This is a huge pet peeve of mine – wasted time.

Note:  My rating is pretty low for this part of the app only – I actually like most everything else about it.  And sometimes I still do get in there and fill out surveys – and make a bit of extra money at it.



Swagbucks Tips

  • If you do surveys with the Swagbucks app, it is much better to use a tablet or laptop – the larger screen seems to accommodate the questions and “Next” buttons much better.
  • Use other parts of the app – it is easy to watch videos, answer the daily poll question and enter Swagcodes.  (As a note – it is also easier to enter the Swagcode on the website after you find it.)
  • If you do online shopping, you can use the Swagbucks app – go through the “Shop” section of the site and enter your chosen shopping site through there.  You will receive cash back into your account (in the form of Swagbucks) after shopping.  This is a definite bonus.
  • When doing surveys, plan on it taking longer to do the surveys than what is indicated – I have yet to complete a survey (including the qualifications questions) in the actual time that is stated it will take.
  • Use the website! There are ways to earn there that are super-easy and earn quite a bit with no additional work (think coupons, videos, etc.).

5. InboxDollars

My rating:

I have a bit of history with InboxDollars – and I know from personal experience that this site (now also an app) has been around for some time. Initially I was a member about 8-9 years ago, and just this year I re-signed up for it to give it another try.

Now that there is an app that works on a phone or tablet, it has become more versatile than it used to be.

But – I have a few scathing remarks to make about the surveys.

Yes, they are there and yes, you can make money. But compared to the rest of the apps listed above on this page, it is a rather futile effort to try to qualify for them – long story short, you can end up spending an awful lot of time, with almost no return on the time spent. Not my thing.

But for some reason, I do continue to do the surveys on the app once in a while – and do sometimes make some extra cash.

Here is my view of “pros and cons” on InboxDollars:


  • Get $5.00 right off the bat when you sign up for InboxDollars
  • There are other parts of the app where you can make money – pay attention to the areas that actually earn little bits of money in short amounts of time (reading emails, videos, offers, etc.).
  • The app itself is easy to navigate through – it is an attractive and sharp layout, and it’s quite easy to figure out what’s there.
  • As you do surveys, if you do not end up qualifying for one, you can earn “spins” on the “Billy’s Spin and Win” part of the app.  Sometimes you can make a bit of money there, sometimes you earn “Sweeps” (chances to enter sweepstakes).
  • You can make money in the surveys section of the app – although in my experience spending much time on the surveys is not worth it.
  • InboxDollars pays in money – you can see what you have earned at the top of the screen, and you don’t have to translate the points into dollars and cents.


  • Well, I just am not a big fan of the surveys themselves on the app (their website is better).  They tend to be difficult to navigate through and very seldom do I actually qualify for a survey – even when I do the “for you…” surveys.  (The “for you…” to me indicates that based on my profile information I should qualify for them – most often, I don’t.)  You might have already guessed this, but I get massively frustrated at this.
  • Also on the surveys – when entering a survey, the pre-qualification questions are redundant.  In other words, you jump through questions over and over having to do with your profile – age, gender, how many children, ages, etc., etc.  Not a big fan of answering the same questions dozens of times, I guess.
  • The “offers” section of the app is more than a bit confusing to me – I don’t want to sign up for services and products that I will probably never use, and I don’t think it’s quite honest to sign up for things just to cancel them.

Note:  See my InboxDollars Review page for more information on the app and website.



InboxDollars Tips

  • If you want to try out and do the surveys, you will have a much easier time of it using the app on a tablet or going to the InboxDollars website.  Using a smart phone for the surveys has been (for me) almost totally an exercise in futility.
  • Check out the “TV” part of the app.  It actually seems to work much better on the app than on the website.  You can watch short little videos in various categories and earn money that way.  Plus, sometimes between videos they put a scratch card up on the screen – when you scratch (rub) it, you can make a bit more money or earn sweeps (chances to enter sweepstakes).
  • While the app is more limited than the website in terms of ways to make money, it still has a broader spectrum of opportunities than most other survey or “get paid to” apps.

More iPhone, iPad and Android Apps That Pay

These days there are quite a number of apps that can make some extra cash for you – survey apps are certainly not the limit.  Here are some of my favorites (the ones that are tend to be more fun and where I get more “bang for the buck”):

  • ibotta – Grocery shopping app – I have earned quite a bit of cash back from this app just for the regular grocery shopping I already do.  Money gets sent right to my Paypal account.  Love this one.
  • Ebates – This one has been around for a while, and I can see why.  I only signed up for it about six months ago, and have had quite a bit of cash back on online shopping that I already do (through Amazon, Walmart.com, etc.)  I have found that linking a credit card in the “In-Store cash back” section has gotten me quite a bit of cash back as well.  And – another bonus – you get $10.00 just for signing up!
  • Perk – Another “I love it” app.  Actually, Perk makes a whole series of apps, you can sign up for all of them and have a group of separate apps that will all make you “Perk points.” Perk has all the bases covered when it comes to finding fun ways to earn points and cash – check in to locations in your area, watch videos, and yes, there are surveys too.  Fun!  Sign up for Perk here.
  • Lucktastic – I was going to stop at Perk, but I think this one is worth adding.  It’s a fun little app – all about scratch cards.  Earn “tokens” by rubbing off scratch cards, and occasionally hit some pretty chunky bonus points. Cash in tokens for gift cards.  You can also enter into several different sweepstakes, and there is always the possibility that you will earn some large sums of money!  Worth checking out – sign up for it here.

Alright – I will stop there. I am still in the middle of checking out various kinds of apps that make money – but after many, many hours that I have spent downloading and checking out survey apps, the list above on the page is my final “best of” list – at least for now. 🙂

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