Pinecone Research Review 2021: Is it A Scam or Legit?

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Pinecone Research is a top survey site to make extra money. Our review covers how it works and if it's a legit way to earn money on the side.

Taking surveys is one of the simplest ways to earn extra cash. You won’t become wealthy overnight, but paid online surveys are a great way to make money in your spare time. If you’re familiar with survey sites, you have probably heard of Pinecone Research.

Many survey sites are not legitimate and can be a waste of time, but Pinecone Research is different. It is an invite-only website that offers one of the highest payouts available.

In this Pinecone Research review, we’ll discuss what makes the platform one of the best paid survey sites online.

What is Pinecone Research?


Pinecone Research conducts paid online surveys. It also offers paid product testing.

Operated by the market research firm Nielsen, the platform has been in business since 1998. Nielsen uses the program to generate feedback from consumers on different products and services. This helps their clients produce better offerings for their target markets.

You can take surveys on your computer or make money on your phone.

How Does the Survey Site Work?


Pinecone Research is an invite-only survey site. You can open an account in one of two ways:

  • Getting invited by another user
  • Clicking on the link below
Pinecone Research
Earn $3 per survey!

Get paid for your opinion. Earn points to redeem for cash or merchandise.

Get Started

Pinecone Research


Joining Pinecone Research is competitive and you may end up on a waiting list. If a spot opens up, you’ll become a panelist and can start taking surveys.

Once you join the platform, you’ll receive email notifications when a new survey is available. Each survey pays out 300 points, which is worth $3.

Pinecone Research also offers product testing, but survey opportunities are more common.

Unlike other survey sites, you cannot take multiple Pinecone surveys each day. You might only have the chance to take one or two surveys each month.

The platform does like its panelists to be active participants. If you don’t take a survey within 12 months, they can remove you from the panel. Taking surveys regularly means you might receive more invitations.



You can make money in two ways with Pinecone Research:

  • Answering surveys
  • Testing products

Some sites offer surveys with varying payouts, but that is not the case with Pinecone Research. You earn 300 points, or $3, for each survey you complete.

Taking Surveys

The best way to make money with Pinecone Research is by taking surveys. The time to complete a survey varies. While some surveys can take as long as 15-20 minutes, others require a shorter time commitment.

Survey topics vary. Before you start a survey, you can find out what it covers.

Surveys can be completed on the website or by using the Pinecone Research app.

Product Testing

The second way to make money is by testing products. These can be physical products or food they send you via cooler and dry ice. Most of the products you test are not for sale yet, so you get to be one of the first users.

If you get paid to test products at home, you’ll receive compensation to test the items plus $3 to complete a survey. Product testing is highly sought after, so jump on these opportunities as soon as you receive an invite.

Cash Sweepstakes

Pinecone also has two prize drawings to earn extra money. They are:

  • $500 bi-weekly drawings
  • $4,500 quarterly drawings

You earn one entry per survey you complete, so your chances of winning increase with each survey you finish.

Rewards Types and Amounts


Many survey sites have confusing rewards systems that make it hard to determine how much your points are worth. For example, your points might be more valuable with some gift card brands than others.

Thankfully, it’s easy to figure out how much your Pinecone Research points are worth.

As previously mentioned, each survey you complete on the platform earns you 300 points, or $3. You can receive payment in the following ways:

  • Check
  • Gift cards from various retailers

After completing your first survey, Pinecone mails you a check for $3. This is the only time they require you to accept your payout via check. If you like to earn free Amazon gift cards, Pinecone could be the perfect site for you.

Regardless of the payout option you choose, you can start redeeming rewards with as little as 300 points. You can redeem payments for gift cards and checks in $3, $5, and $15 increments.

Digital gift cards are the quickest payout option since you receive digital codes in your email. However, it can take up to five days to receive your virtual gift cards. In contrast, paper checks take three to five days to process before getting mailed.

Signing Up and Getting Started


Joining Pinecone Research is free and takes just a few minutes. To get started, submit your name, email, and answer a few demographic questions.

If Pinecone has openings for your household, you will complete a household survey. This survey helps Pinecone Research match your interests and daily habits with future surveys.

Pinecone Research offers some of the best online surveys that pay cash because they are very exclusive.



Since Pinecone is invite-only, they have a smaller social media presence than other survey sites. For example, Pinecone Research doesn’t have a Facebook account.

They won’t give you “mystery shopping” missions that have you cash a check. There are several scams where others impersonate Pinecone and steal your personal information, so be on guard for those.

In regards to privacy, Pinecone Research won’t sell your personal information and keeps your survey responses anonymous.

Finally, the company uses two-factor authentication to log into your account or mobile app.

Customer Service and Support


Pinecone has email customer support if you have trouble completing a survey or redeeming points. They also have FAQs on their site to help you troubleshoot common problems.

One benefit of Pinecone surveys is they save your spot if you have technical difficulties. For instance, you may have connection trouble or not be able to see a video. If this happens, you can reattempt the survey and start where you left off.

Pros and Cons


It’s important to go into any side hustle with your eyes open. Here is what to keep in mind when using Pinecone Research to make extra money:


  • Simple to use
  • Free to join
  • A $3 per survey competitive rate compared to other survey sites
  • Product testing
  • Cash or gift card rewards
  • Earn $3 immediately after taking your first survey
  • Excellent customer service
  • Bi-weekly and quarterly drawings


  • Exclusive site that selects users to join
  • Allows only one account per household
  • Points expire after 12 months of inactivity

Overall, Pinecone Research is a great way to earn extra money online. The surveys and product tests are simple to complete. Most can be done several minutes, making them ideal if you have a busy schedule.

Alternatives to Pinecone Research


If you are looking for additional options, here are some of the best survey sites with sign-up bonuses.

Survey Junkie$5 bonus Sign Up
MyPoints$5 bonus Sign Up
Ibotta$5 bonus Sign Up
Inbox Dollars$5 bonus Sign Up
Swagbucks$5 bonus Sign Up




Not every survey site works the same. Here are a few common questions people ask about Pinecone Research.

Is Pinecone Research Legit?

It’s easy to get taken advantage of when considering a side hustle, especially with survey sites. Some opportunities are scams, so it’s justifiable to ask ‘Is Pinecone Research legit?’

While some survey sites aren’t legit, that is not the case with Pinecone Research. It’s a safe and easy way to earn money from surveys. Additionally, they will not sell your information to third parties.

*Related: Looking for a unique earning opportunity? Read our guide on the best apps that pay you to workout to learn how to make money by staying fit.*

How much can you earn?

As with any survey site, you will not become wealthy overnight by taking surveys with Pinecone Research. But can the platform be a valid way to make money online? Possibly.

It may not be worth the effort if you do not get frequent survey invites. But for those who receive invites, Pinecone Research is a valid way to earn a little extra cash.

The more surveys you complete and products you test, the more you earn. While other survey sites have varying payouts, each Pinecone Research survey awards $3. The flat payment lets you easily determine your potential earnings.

If you take one survey each week, you can earn $144 per year. Online surveys are a great way to earn money in your free time, but they won’t replace your income.

There’s no limit to what you can earn since you can join multiple survey sites.

You can use your survey income for money goals such as:

  • Earning extra spending money
  • Growing your emergency fund
  • Paying off debt

Since you can cash out with only $3, you can request payment after each survey you take. After you open your account and complete your first survey, you’ll receive a check for $3.

How do I join Pinecone Research?

To join Pinecone Research, you must be at least 18 years old and have a valid email address. Then, you can click this special link to accept your exclusive invitation to join.

If you’re under 18, Swagbucks is a similar platform that offers more ways to make money than Pinecone Research. You can read our review of Swagbucks to see how the platform compares.

Survey takers in the United States, Canada, and the U.K. can apply. Only one person from your household can be a Pinecone member at a time.

How long do the surveys take?

You can expect most surveys to take between 15 and 20 minutes.

Product testing can take more time. As a result, Pinecone Research pays you extra points plus the standard $3 survey payment.

How do I withdraw my earnings?

You can request either a check or gift card payment. There isn’t a redemption minimum, so you can withdraw your earning at any time. It can take between three and five days to process your payout request.

To redeem your funds, click “Redeem” in the “Shop” tab of your member account. Then, you can shop the available rewards and choose the best one for you.



With each survey paying $3, Pinecone Research has some of the highest paying online surveys. You can earn additional money by testing products.

While the platform is selective, it’s a good way to earn extra money if you qualify. Once you become a panelist, you’ll discover that most of the surveys and product tests are simple.

Even though you won’t replace your day job, surveys are an easy way to earn some extra spending cash.


Have you ever tried taking surveys online to make extra money? What other methods have you used to make money on the side? How do you free up time to earn extra money?

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Choncé is a freelance writer who’s obsessed with frugality and passionate about helping others increase their savings rate, eliminate debt, and work toward financial stability. She chronicles her journey with balancing motherhood, work, and finances on her blog, MyDebt

1 Comment

  • Money Beagle says:

    I was in Pinecone many years ago and ended up being kicked out for not completing enough surveys. But by that point, I was sort of done anyway. I don’t know if they still do it, but at the time, they would send you a lot of surveys that you didn’t get paid for. At first they seemed pretty basic, where they would take maybe a minute or two, but then they got more complex, where they were basically the same level of detail as their paid surveys.

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