The Hidden Downsides Of Using Survey Junkie

If you've been searching for a new side hustle, you might have stumbled across Survey Junkie and wondered if it's legit? Completing surveys from home to earn extra cash almost seems too good to be true, but it's definitely not a scam. The company's website promises, "When you join Survey Junkie, you are joining a community of millions of people who choose to share their opinions and behaviors in exchange for rewards." So how exactly does Survey Junkie work?


To start, create a user account with your name, age, gender, and country of residence. Next, begin building your profiles, so Survey Junkie can match you with appropriate surveys to take. Because market research firms are looking for specific types of people to take certain surveys, creating one or more profiles will increase your chances of getting asked to complete surveys. Users report that the profile questions asked things like if they owned a pet or what type of smartphone they use.

From there, survey opportunities should begin to arrive, with a brief description of how long each survey is estimated to take to complete, as well as how many points you'll earn for doing the task. Each point that you earn with Survey Junkie is equal to 1 cent and you can redeem those points for various gift cards or cash. So far, this probably sounds like a great way to score some extra cash, but don't quit your day job to become a full-time survey taker quite yet. Survey Junkie has some downsides, too.


The number of surveys is limited

Users report that survey-taking opportunities are abundant at Survey Junkie when you initially sign up, but as your account matures, that number can settle in a range as low as one to four surveys per week. It may appear like there's a decent selection of surveys on your dashboard, but they often fill up fast and may no longer be available when you click on the opportunity yourself. That also applies to survey opportunities you're notified about via email. Users note that the short, one-minute surveys are particularly popular and fill up almost instantly.


To avoid the sensation of missing out on surveys and potential earnings, some Survey Junkie users may spend excessive time checking their accounts for new opportunities. That's a poor — and unpaid — use of your time and resources, so be mindful that your time invested in searching for eligible surveys is worth the return.

Frequent disqualifications

One Savoteur writer reports attempting 152 surveys at Survey Junikie over a six-week period, yet only completed 52. Reportedly, that's actually a pretty good success ratio. Some users mention that they only qualify for 25% of surveys or less. If you begin taking the survey but don't qualify, you'll receive a small reward for your efforts in trying. But we do mean small. As in two or three points, which is equal to 2 or 3 cents. It can be extremely frustrating to spend several minutes answering survey questions, only be disqualified. You've put in most of the work, then only receive a few pennies for your trouble.


Per Survey Junkie, this happens because, "As they were gathering information from your responses, they determined you were not the kind of participant they were looking for, so they terminated the survey." The company continues, "This can happen at any point while in a survey, regardless of how much it is completed. We understand this is frustrating. which is why we award 2 or 3 points for every disqualification." Gee, thanks. After 100 disqualifications, you'll have enough earnings for a cup of Starbucks drip coffee.

Tricky rules for cashing out earnings

Once Survey Junkie users have earned a certain number of points, they're eligible to redeem the points for cash or gift cards. Cash can be transferred via PayPal or direct to bank accounts for users in the United States only. Alternatively, you can receive an electronic gift card to some practical retailers like Target, Walmart, Amazon, and a few others. 


There's much conflicting information over how many points you need to accumulate before cashing out and frankly, even Survey Junkie's FAQ page isn't crystal clear on the specifics. Some users report needing at least 500 points to redeem for cash or an e-gift card, while others claim that 1,000 points minimum are required.

Gift cards are only available in certain increments, so if you have 2,700 points, for example, you can't get a $27 gift card. You'll likely redeem for a $25 gift card and have 200 points remaining in your account. 

Cash withdrawals, on the other hand, have to be made for the entire balance. If you have 2,700 points, you'll need to redeem for $27 in cash. If you wish to redeem your points for a combination of gift card and cash, obtain the gift card first, then withdraw the remainder of your points in cash. It won't work the other way around.


Site can be glitchy

According to some sources, the majority of complaints about Survey Junkie come from users who experience difficulty cashing out their points earned. Some users grumble that the process to confirm their identity prior to receiving payment is cumbersome, while others report gift cards were never delivered. Remember that Survey Junkie is a reputable, well-entrenched organization, so if you do encounter a legitimate problem, don't hesitate to contact its customer support. According to Survey Junkie, a response can be expected within 48 hours.


Another recurring criticism comes from users being removed from the site for fraudulent behavior where none existed. To that point, the best way to remain in good standing is to complete your user profiles accurately and respond to surveys consistently. If your profile says that you earn $30,000 annually, but your response to a survey indicates earning of $60,000 per year, that's going to throw up a red flag if Survey Junkie catches the discrepancy.

And finally, certain surveys and other small tasks at Survey Junkie are only suitable for completing on a desktop or a laptop computer, not a smartphone.

Earnings potential is low

When it comes to earnings potential, Survey Junkie doesn't mince words on its website, with the proclamation, "You won't get rich taking surveys and it's not meant to take the place of a full-time job." The site continues, "Complete three surveys daily and earn as much as $40 monthly." Indeed, the amount of money you'll earn for completing surveys on Survey Junkie varies with the length and level of complexity of each survey. On average, most surveys pay between 50 cents and $3 each, though rare higher-value surveys do occasionally present themselves.


One source reports earning an average of $3.75 per hour over the course of their first week on the website, while another lists a range of $2 to $5 per hour. Granted, that's not a phenomenal rate of compensation, but unlike some other gig jobs, you don't need to own a vehicle or even leave your home to start earning. Some Survey Junkie users also consider the app great for killing time while waiting, such as in line to pay at a store or while riding public transportation (though, again, not all surveys are mobile-friendly). There are also virtually no barriers to entry, except that users need to reside in the United States, Canada, or Australia.