I have a love-hate relationship with survey programs. I don’t enjoy answering a long string of boring questions about various brands of products. I also really dislike getting screened out of a survey after I’ve already answered a whole bunch of questions. And yet, I keep doing them because I like earning loyalty points.
I believe I have only ever participated in two survey programs – Rewarding Your Opinions and e-Rewards. There are many other survey websites out there where you can get cash back or gift cards. A little googling revealed far more than I expected but I’m just going to discuss those with which I have personal experience.
Rewarding Your Opinions
This is a survey site where you can earn Air Miles. It’s the one that’s usually included in the major Air Miles promotions like Mega Miles or Shop The Block. If you find it difficult to complete the required number of offers in those promotions and haven’t yet signed up for surveys, I suggest you wait till Mega Miles rolls around and join then.
I don’t often do these surveys because there are so many other ways to earn Air Miles around here. However, if you’re keen to accumulate Air Miles then I suggest completing one now and then, especially if you’re saving miles for a specific future redemption.
I’ve been a member of this survey program for about 10 years. I signed up through Priority Club (now IHG Rewards).
The obstacle with e-Rewards is that you need to be invited to join. You can’t just go to the e-Rewards website and sign up. And the particular loyalty program you join through can determine what rewards will be available to you. In the beginning, the only hotel program whose points I could redeem for was Priority Club (Holiday Inn, Crowne Plaza etc.) but many other non-hotel options were available as well.
Eventually, other hotel program redemptions became available in my account. I have redeemed for IHG, Hilton and Radisson points multiple times. Family members have redeemed for Alaska Mileage Plan miles as well. Back when IHG PointBreaks were all 5000 points per night, redeeming 100 e-Rewards dollars for 4000 points was a terrific value. They are still a good redemption but sadly not quite as good as before. Choice Privileges would be a nice option but I’ve never been able to get it to work for some reason.
Because you can only sign up through an invitation link, always read your marketing emails from loyalty programs. They won’t necessarily mention e-Rewards in the subject line. I recall one from Accor Hotels where e-Rewards was just one small portion of an email that highlighted various partners.
If you’re already signed up for e-Rewards, be aware that you don’t need an email alert for a new survey to be available. Just click on the link in an old survey email and see if a new one pops up.
My Approach to Surveys
Over time I’ve tried to develop the right attitude about doing surveys to prevent me from getting too annoyed.
- Always click on the email in case it’s an unusually high value survey
- Don’t just ignore the really low reward surveys as they’re often short and easy
- Quit a survey if it’s too tedious or intrusive
- Set a modest goal
- Don’t lie or rush
Although most surveys will be in the 1 to 5 range, I’ve done surveys for 25 and 40 e-Reward dollars. A family member once had one for 70. Many of the high value surveys will involve a diary. I had to tell them what beverages I consumed over a period of one week. They also wanted photos of each but it was optional so I ignored that. The oddest survey I ever did required me to watch a documentary about the Argentine soccer player, Messi.
On the flip side, those low value surveys are good when you don’t have much time. I remember one that involved only a single question, but that’s very rare.
If you’re doing a survey and it’s a real pain, just leave it. It will only discourage you from completing more so don’t hesitate to jump ship. I find surveys come along quite frequently so I don’t worry about the ones I abandon after being asked for the umpteenth time what personality a brand of laundry detergent would have if it could have one.
Getting screened out of a survey when you’re quite far along is the thing that bugs the most. You revealed your true feelings about every kind of breakfast cereal and then they kick you to the curb. It sucks but try not to let it deter you.
I find it helpful to set a modest target number of surveys to complete and if I meet that goal I consider the extras a bonus. I try to do 3 per week. So far I’ve done 2 this week – one about chicken wings and one about clothing. If I happen to complete 4 or more, I’ve given myself a nice artificial sense of achievement.
Lastly, don’t lie. Answer the questions honestly. Lying is bad for you. And don’t rush through it because there will occasionally be validation questions to ensure the survey taker is actually paying attention.
Sign-up links for US, UK and Australia
I searched for sign-up links that might be floating around the internet but I could not find one that would accept Canadian postal codes. However, if you’re reading this and reside elsewhere you might be in luck. Note that any of the links below could stop working at any time.
I definitely think doing surveys is worth it if you can fit them into your schedule. Maybe try to do one while you’re watching a TV show with commercials.
Just for kicks I’ll go click an old e-Rewards email to see if I have a new survey.
Indeed there was one ready to go. It was a banking survey estimated to take 15 minutes but it took me only 7 or 8 reading every question carefully. I received 4 e-Reward dollars and the questions were easy.
If I come across an e-Rewards link for Canadians I will post it on the blog.