It is a truth universally acknowledged that a search engine in possession of a good fortune must be in want of more data. If you want to earn some extra money (in the form of Google Play Credit or PayPal money), Google will give you some in exchange for answering a few occasional survey questions.
The Google Opinion Rewards app (for Android and iOS) periodically gives you surveys consisting of a few simple questions. Most are based around your shopping habits and come from market researchers. If you’d like to know how your data will be used, you can read Google’s FAQ on the subject uses here.
The rewards you get won’t pay your bills or anything, but each survey rewards anywhere from ten cents to a dollar or so for a few seconds of your time. It seems small, but it can add up fast—and when it does, and you can get free movie rentals or buy a couple games on the Play Store (if you’re on Android) or PayPal money (on the iPhone and iPad). Remember, Google Play credit even works on in-app purchases, so you can buy Pokéballs or comic books. All for passing a few seconds of time when you’re bored waiting in line at the grocery store.
To get started, download the Google Opinion Rewards app for Android or iOS. The first time you launch it, the app will ask you a series of demographic questions. Once you’re finished with those, you can wait for new surveys to show up. You’ll usually see them when you get a notification like the one below.
When you get the notification, tap on it. Most surveys begin with an explanation of how this specific data is used. Tap “OK, got it.”
Next, you’ll see a set of questions. These differ from one survey to another, and in some cases you may get some questions that are used to verify your honesty. For example, if you’ve recently visited a store, Google may ask you which of five stores you’ve been to. If you answer dishonestly, the survey will be cut short and you’ll receive a lower reward than if you answered correctly.
Once you’ve finished answering all your questions, you’ll see how much credit you receive as a reward. Longer surveys tend to get more money, and honest answers (at least as far as Google is able to confirm them) get higher rewards than choosing answers randomly.
If you want to make extra certain that you don’t miss a survey, you can enable a notification sound. Normally, survey notifications are silent, but the sound (or vibration, if you keep your phone on silent) can give you a nudge so you don’t miss it. The surveys do expire, so the notifications can help make sure you don’t miss something.
To turn notifications on, open the app and tap the menu icon in the top right. Then, tap Settings.
On the settings page, enable the “Notification sounds” toggle.
Once everything is set up, all you have to do is wait for surveys to hit your phone. According to the product manager at Google for the app, the best way to get more surveys is to answer honestly and respond to surveys quickly. You’ll also get more surveys the more you get out of your house. Some stores will give you a survey every time you visit (usually a day or so later). Of course, you don’t need to upend your routine just for a quarter from Google, but if you stay at home all the time, you probably won’t see many surveys.
It should also go without saying that if you want to keep your data as private as possible, this app isn’t for you. Google will use this data to customize ads for you, on top of third-party marketing companies using it for analyzing your shopping habits. As long as you’re comfortable with that, enjoy your free money.