There's all kinds of survey scams out there that promise to pay you for doing X-amount of surveys. The problem is that once you've answered 10 questions, they tell you that you're not qualified and will receive no compensation.
I've been lucky however to have joined up with two survey companies that do offer valid rewards for my time. The first is HiPoints, or Harris Poll Online Surveys. They offer HiPoints for every survey you complete as well as a chance to enter their sweepstakes. I never pay much attention to the sweepstakes as I'm not generally a lucky person. But the points add up and they have some good prizes. When we were in our money crunch, we took advantage of the $5 paypal deposit that one of the prizes offered. Higher levels offer appliances, books, dvds, cds, and computer stuff. One of the first things I used my points for was a magazine subscription, so I know it's valid. I'm currently saving up for either a coffee pot or a second crock pot.
The other one is called e-rewards and offers small "monetary" type credits for completing surveys. While you don't actually get the money, you do get to spend it on nifty rewards. This one is limited on what you can get, and some of the awards require that you spend money first. For example, you can save $100 at Omaha Steaks, but you have to buy $300 first. Or you can only get certain prizes once a year or once every six months. However, through this program I've gotten two really cool rewards. The first was $15 in Borders Bucks that I used at the mall on new cookbooks. The second was one we just redeemed today: two coupons for a free pre-viewed movie at Blockbuster. It seemed like such a neat thing for us to go pick up two new DVDs for our collection at no cost to us (Juno and Sweeny Todd if anyone was wondering).
If you can find a good survey program that really will offer you some good rewards, I say go for it. It's usually only a little bit of your time and there's nothing wrong at all with free stuff.
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