3 Women Who’ve Earned a Collective $811 on a Survey Site Tell Us How

A young woman looks at her mobile phone while walking in a grassy and wooded area.
Sarah Houston, who has turned herself into an InboxDollars whiz, at the Virginia Commonwealth University campus in Richmond, Va. Daniel Min for The Penny Hoarder
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The first time Sarah Houston tried an online survey site called InboxDollars, it didn’t do much for her. For whatever reason, she didn’t really take to it.

“I didn’t get in the habit,” she says. “I wasn’t logging on, so I never got a check from them. I didn’t bother to learn how to get the maximum benefit out of it.”

That was seven years ago. A few years later, she was looking for side gigs to make extra cash. She tried the site again, and this time it took.

Since then, Houston has turned herself into an InboxDollars whiz.

She’s gotten into the habit of logging on to take surveys in the morning, then doing it again while she’s watching TV at night. Persistence is how she makes it pay off.

It’s the same for Heidi Irvine, a 26-year-old in Detroit who makes a habit of clicking on every email InboxDollars sends her; and for Ashley Morris, a registered nurse who got into the habit when she was staying home with her newborn daughter.

“It sounds like a lot of work,” Houston says, “but once you’re in a routine, it’s a mindless, easy way to earn extra money.”

The Student Who’s Earned $600 Taking Surveys

A young woman with a coffee mug sits in a living area.
Sarah Houston, who makes extra cash by taking surveys on InboxDollars, at her apartment in Richmond, Va. Daniel Min for The Penny Hoarder

Sarah Houston is a 26-year-old nanny and business student at Virginia Commonwealth University.

She’s on InboxDollars daily. She’s earned $600 on the site in three years, and she has the screenshots to prove it.

“I get the majority of my earnings from surveys,” she says. “They run the gamut from financial services to radio music to food to restaurants to shopping.

She clicks on most of the survey links, even though she prefers the higher-paying ones that net her $1 or more.

Based on qualifying surveys on InboxDollars, she ended up doing some product testing and focus groups that paid $50 or $100 — “Double win!” she says, because she’d also been paid just to qualify.

She also referred her mom, so she gets 10% of her mother’s rewards from surveys and such, too.

A young woman and her mom walk in a park.
Houston walks with her mother Linda Mitchell at Maymont park in Richmond, Va. Since Houston referred her mother to InboxDollars, she gets 10% of her rewards. Daniel Min for The Penny Hoarder

The New Mom Who’s Banked $67 While Watching TV

Ashley Morris, 30, lives in Hartselle, Alabama. She’s an RN who works part-time as a wellness consultant for a local manufacturing plant.

A little over three years go, she left her full-time job to be home with her newborn. She ramped up her efforts on InboxDollars for a full year, and earned $60.

“I would use it while watching TV to earn a little extra change,” she says. “It wasn’t a get-rich-quick option, but it was neat to see my earnings adding up in the user-friendly dashboard.”

She liked the fact that there were several ways to earn, which prevented her from getting burned out. Whenever her total earnings hit $30, she’d cash out, and a real check would land in her mailbox.

Morris recently started going on InboxDollars again. She says she’s earned $7 in a few weeks with just a tiny bit of effort.

“I log into the website in the morning and leave it open all day to work on when I have a spare minute,” she says. “Sometimes, there’s a new list of action items to complete in the dashboard that might include answering a survey, watching a movie trailer or ad or opening an email.

“The change adds up over time, and it fills an empty moment when I’m waiting on something from my regular work-from-home job, or my kids are napping.”

The Emailer Who’s Earned $144, 2 Cents at a Time

Heidi Irvine, 26, lives in Detroit and delivers cars around the country. She’s been using InboxDollars for five years.

As a casual user, she received her first check in 2013 for $59. She cashed out again in 2017 for $70. Right now, her balance is $15, so she’s halfway to her next check.

She got into the habit of reading InboxDollars emails on her Mac for 2 cents a pop. The emails often lead her to surveys.

“My favorite, and fastest, go-to to earn money is simply opening the emails they send me,” Irvine says. “Each email only pays 2 cents, but I get at least two to four emails a day that take less than a minute to open and click on the link they send me. I check my email daily, so it’s convenient.”

Her late aunt Michelle got her started on this, and Irvine thinks of her every time she gets a check.

“Once you get that check, it’s real money in your hands,” Irvine said. “That’s when you realize that it’s worth it.”

How to Get Started

A woman holds a mobile phone showing her InboxDollars app on the screen.
Houston shows her InboxDollars account on her mobile phone. Daniel Min for The Penny Hoarder

Here’s how to get started using InboxDollars:

  • You fill out an initial survey to get a $5 sign-up bonus. Then you can start earning additional cash.
  • Navigate to the “Surveys” tab at the top of the webpage. Your dashboard shows surveys you might qualify for. Each entry lists the survey topic, the estimated completion time, and how much you’ll earn.
  • At the top of your window, you’ll always see your total earnings.
  • You must earn at least $30 to cash out and have a check mailed to you.

For everything you need to know about InboxDollars, check out our full review.

Mike Brassfield ([email protected]) is a senior writer at The Penny Hoarder. He’s good at surveys because he has so many opinions.