girl doing online tasks on her laptop

Have you ever heard of the GPT abbreviation? It stands for “get paid to”. Fair enough – but who pays whom, and for what? That’s what we’re here to talk about. Get paid to sites are paying their users to do various, more or less mindless activities that people used to do for free back in the olden days. These panels work as mediators between large corporations and us consumers. And they pay because people are more likely to participate in these market research campaigns when incentivized, even with a few pennies.

But it’s not just companies and corporations that are after opinions and habits of their prospective customers. It can be anyone, including you or me. If you have a pressing question that’s been troubling you for whatever reason, you can register with a get-paid-to site, pay a certain fee and put up a poll or survey. Sure, you can’t take the results with a 100% certainty – but you’ll at least get a picture of what the majority of your demographics thinks on the matter.

And why shouldn’t all of these GPT panels pay for our insight? Nobody can conduct a successful marketing campaign if they don’t know what appeals or doesn’t appeal to their audiences. Nowadays, nobody can even make a good product without gaining some deeper insight into opinions, needs, and habits of potential buyers. And what better way to find out than ask them? 

How Can I Make Money on Get Paid to Sites?

There are gazillions of activities that these platforms will pay for – and we won’t mention all of them. (We need to care about the upbringing of youngsters among our readership, ehem.) You shouldn’t be surprised to realize that many of these platforms will pay for many different activities, rather than a single type. Varied methodologies allow for more accurate results. Plus, employing multiple methods makes it more fun for their users. When you get bored with one activity, you can just switch to another without having to jump to another site – and a different set of rules.

But before we proceed with our list of the best ways to earn with GPT platforms, let’s make one thing clear. Some panels will only reward you with gift cards that you can count towards your future purchases on Amazon, Macy’s, Starbucks, iTunes, or other popular retailers and shops. Others will pay you in good ol’ cash – admittedly, in the virtual form of PayPal deposits, or Visa prepaid cards. Sometimes, you will even be allowed to choose your preferred payment method. But I want you to beware of panels that don’t pay at all. Not all of them are scam, but for some reason or another, they seem to think that sweepstakes entries or free MP3 downloads are enough of a reward. That’s why I won’t include either of those in this list.

So, off we go with the most common paid activities.

1. Taking Paid Online Surveys

This is one of those super easy activities that anyone can do, regardless of their profession or qualifications. The model is simple: you register with a paid survey panel, provide them with your basic demographic information, and then wait. As soon as a relatively well matched survey shows up, they will email it to you.

But this is not to say that those panels are necessarily the right place for ya. Many of them are scam – and you don’t want to learn that the hard way. To avoid that, you can search for them on this very site. Just take a look at the right-hand sidebar where you’ll find an alphabetic menu. From there, you can track down hundreds of reviews to provide you with whatever you need to know about the panel at hand.

Whichever panel you choose, you should also gear up for a bit of frustration. Even the best panels aren’t immune to a common disease: mismatched surveys. On your end, it means you’ll get disqualified in the middle of a survey every so often. Their usual explanation is that they are targeting as narrow a circle of respondents as possible, which is why they have to ask you a few introductory questions and then kick you out if you aren’t a precise match. In truth, they are just trying to get a portion of the results for free. Which, in turn, translates to a lousy user experience for you.

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The bottom line is, taking online surveys is an easy way to rack up some pocket money. But, as anything else, it does come with a few downsides.

Best Paid Online Survey Sites: InboxDollars, Swagbucks, Prize Rebel, Survey Junkie, LifePoints, Pinecone Research

people watching videos on multiple screens

2. Watching Videos or Ads

You know that feeling of guilt when you realize you’ve spent the past two hours watching various worthless videos? That funny cat video on Facebook got you started. Then, you switched to another one presenting 53 albino rabbits chasing each other’s tails. Which would have been completely fine had you not jumped to a great dinner recipe that you’re never going to try out.

Getting a few cents per hour of watching videos is bound to mitigate that guilt. Surely, a few cents is less than peanuts – but it beats doing the same thing for nothing.

But why would I waste my precious time on watching countless pieces of junk, you may ask. Take a look at your browser history before you condemn me for speaking so bluntly. ALL of us watch hundreds of videos every week. Most of which wouldn’t make us very proud in front of our peers or friends, not to mention grandma.

That’s why watching videos can definitely qualify for an easy side hustle. I could hardly think of a more mindless activity. You just need to register with the platform in case, turn on their videos, and rack up points or cash. There’s no need to even pay attention to the video. You can elegantly let it play in the background while you’re surfing the internet or watching Netflix.

Best Panels: InboxDollars, Swagbucks, MyPoints, National Consumer Panel, CashCrate, Zoombucks

3. Playing Games

As I’m writing this article, my tablet is patiently waiting for the lives to restore on my Bubble Witch Saga. Some of you are probably too young to remember this jewel. It’s a classic bubble shooter that used to be popular on Facebook back in the days of yore. But I still cherish it. Even though it isn’t the most intelligent game on earth, it still serves as a nice distraction during a pause, when I need a few minutes to reload and summon up some more focus for the task at hand.

Well, nobody is paying me to play this game, but that’s not to say that nobody would pay you for playing games. Many of the mentioned GPT panels have that activity as an option. Naturally, you can’t hope to get brilliant games, nor to earn hundreds of buckaroos. But it can add another cent or two to your wallet.

As for the variety of games they offer, most of them will catapult you back in time to the end of the 1990s. Various types of card games, MahJongg puzzles, poker, pool, bubbles (similar to Bubble Witch Saga), and more. None of them are challenging, which means you’re in for some relaxation! Just make sure to turn off your ad blocker. If you don’t, it won’t let any of the games load.

Best Panels: InboxDollars, Swagbucks, Opinion Outpost, Betabound (for beta testing games)

girl doing online shopping with her credit card

4. Shopping Online or In-Store

Why would anybody pay you for shopping – isn’t it supposed to work the other way round?

Well, yes and no. While many GPT panels as well as rebate apps will indeed reward you with some cash for buying particular products at specified stores, they are the ones that really earn with this model. It’s kind of like coupons. For every cent you manage to save, you will spend two or three more cents on products that you hadn’t even planned to buy in the first place.

These panels also function as loyalty programs, incentivizing customers to spend more. Seeing as they do make it easier for us to save some cash, I say it’s a win-win!

There are two basic types of GPT platforms that will reward you for online shopping. The first type is the so-called cashback apps, where they have you buy particular products and give you a certain portion of your money back. A drawback here is that most of the time you can’t really get your hands on the cash. The only thing you can do is spend that money towards your future purchases. Another type is apps that reward you with a certain amount of points, which you can then convert into gift cards.

If you decide to try out some of the mobile cashback apps, make sure to always check their current cashback offers before hitting the store. They won’t reward you for buying just about anything!

Best Panels and Apps: Ebates, Swagbucks, Ibotta, Checkout 51, Rakuten, Fetch Rewards, SavingStar, Shopalong, National Consumer Panel, TopCashback

5. Listening to Music Online

Some of these sites and apps will reward you just for listening to their selection on the radio. Others will require you to rate the songs and add them to your playlists, write short reviews, determine genres and performers’ general quality as you hear it. In fact, many of those panels are committed to helping independent, non-established artists build a career in music. And for that, they need feedback from their prospective audiences.

Generally, you won’t make much at the beginning. But the more trustworthy and detailed reviews you write, the more assignments you will get. Get ready for listening to many garage bands though. You can’t expect all of those artists to be the new Mozarts or Madonnas! That’s why this type of side hustle is only recommendable for patient listeners who really like music.

Best Panels and Apps: SliceThePie, InboxDollars, Earnably, MusicXRay, UniqueRewards, ResearchFM, PlaylistPush, RadioEarn

6. Web Browsing

This GPT activity is probably the most seamless on our list. Most of the time, you don’t have to do anything you wouldn’t do anyway. All you need is one of two things:

  • Install an app
  • Add a browser extension

It will run in the background, observing and monitoring your online behavior.

Does this sound a bit sketchy? I totally hear you if it does! I wouldn’t like anyone to peek into my online activities. And naughty sites should be the least of your concerns in that department! The problem is, we live in an era of mass surveillance. Most of it goes through without our knowledge or consent. So why would we willingly allow one more surveillor to monitor and record our online actions?

Now that I’ve had my rant, it’s only fair to present the other side of the coin. All of the below panels are legit and trustworthy. And all of them claim that they won’t sell your data to third parties. They will only ever use it as aggregate data, to inspect general tendencies of internet users. In other words, your data only matters as part of the big picture.

So, if you can live with the risk of compromising your privacy (however small that risk may be), you might as well earn some beer money while browsing the web. 

Best Panels and Apps: Swagbucks, InboxDollars, MyPoints, MobileXPression, Send Earnings

various junk mail and brochures

7. Selling or Reading Junk Mail

If you take a look at your mailbox, you’re bound to find at least a dozen flyers, brochures, and other worthless junk.

Maybe you’ve abandoned the physical mailbox entirely and switched to emailing only? Even worse! In spite of the “Promotions” and “Updates” tabs, our inboxes are usually clogged up to the brim. Even though we are the ones who signed up or subscribed to most of those services, we’re still sick and tired of constantly having to filter out all of those obnoxious messages. As if all the buzzing from our phones weren’t enough.

However, a person’s burden is usually a blessing for one company or another. These companies are actually willing to buy your junk. Admittedly, the compensation is small – but it’s still better than nothing! All you have to do is sign up with one of these panels, and either physically send your mail to them once a month, or just forward them your junk emails.

But what if you don’t receive enough mail to make it worth your while? Then you can get paid to read junk emails. Just make sure to create a special email address with which to register with the panels. You don’t want to contaminate your main inbox with more junk by trying to get rid of it! 

Best Panels: Small Business Knowledge Center, Hausernet, USMonitor, Quotas, InboxDollars, Send Earnings