Taking surveys is one of the simplest ways to earn extra cash, and paid online surveys are a great way to make money in your spare time. If you’re familiar with survey sites, you’ve probably heard of Pinecone Research.
Many people consider it one of the best survey sites thanks to its high payouts of $3 per short study. In this Pinecone Research review, we’ll help you decide if you should use the site to take online surveys for money.
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What is Pinecone Research?
Pinecone Research is a platform that conducts paid online surveys. It also offers paid product testing.
Operated by the market research company Nielsen, it has been in business since 1998.
Nielsen uses the site to generate feedback from consumers about 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. The Pinecone Research app is available for Android and iOS devices. It offers the same functionality as the web platform.
Furthermore, it’s one of the rare survey sites that offer cash instantly. With most survey platforms, you must complete multiple tasks before reaching the minimum redemption. Fortunately, that’s not the case here.
How Does Pinecone Research Work?
Pinecone Research is an invitation-only survey site that doesn’t offer signups on its website, social media channels, or through a referral program where current members can invite friends and family.
Instead, the platform partners with select websites and displays online banner ads. You can open a free account by clicking on the link below.
Earn $3 per survey!
Get paid for your opinion. Earn points to redeem for cash or merchandise.
Since it’s one of the highest-paying survey sites, becoming a panelist is competitive. You may end up on a waiting list when the platform isn’t accepting new members.
If a spot opens up, you’ll create a personal profile and can start taking surveys.
After passing the initial screening, you will provide your household’s basic information to be matched with relevant studies. This means you won’t have to answer screener questions to see if you qualify for a full survey.
You’ll receive email notifications when a new survey is available. Each survey pays out 300 points, which is worth $3.
The research company also offers product testing, but survey opportunities are more common.
Unlike other survey sites like Swagbucks, you cannot take multiple Pinecone Research surveys daily. 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.
Who Can Use Pinecone Research?
Joining Pinecone Research is free and only takes a few minutes. You must be at least 18 years of age and have a valid email address. To get started, submit your name, email, and answer a few demographic questions.
Survey takers in the United States, Canada, and the U.K. can apply. Only one person from your household can be a member at a time.
If Pinecone has openings for your household, you will complete a household survey. This helps match your interests and daily habits with future surveys.
It’s important to note this initial screening does not earn a signup bonus, but you’ll make more per opportunity.
Pinecone Research offers some of the best online surveys that pay cash because of its exclusivity. However, you may need to apply several times before the platform accepts your membership request.
If you’re not immediately accepted, you can consider these other best paid survey sites that pay money for your opinion.
How Can You Make Money on Pinecone Research?
You will earn points when you answer surveys and test products. Here is a closer look at how it’s possible to make fast money with this side hustle.
The best way to make money with Pinecone Research is by taking surveys, and the time to complete a survey varies. While some surveys can take 15-20 minutes, others require a shorter time commitment.
Survey topics vary. Before you start a survey, you can find out what it covers.
Some sites offer surveys with varying payouts, but that is not the case here. You earn 300 points, or $3, for each survey you complete.
Surveys can be completed on the website or by using the mobile app.
Apex Focus Group is a similar option that focuses largely on focus groups. Read our Apex Focus Group review to learn more.
The second way to earn is to test products for money at home. These can be physical products or food they send you via a cooler with 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 try 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.
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.
How Much Can You Make With Pinecone Research?
You can expect most surveys to take between 15 and 20 minutes. Each survey earns $3, and users report taking up to four studies per month. Therefore, anticipate earning $144 per year if you take one survey each week.
Product testing can take more time. As a result, Pinecone Research pays you extra points plus the standard $3 survey payment. This additional pay can be as much as $75 per test.
As with any online survey site, you won’t replace your full-time income by taking surveys. But is the platform a valid way to make money online? Possibly.
It might not be worth the effort if you do not get frequent survey invites. However, for those who receive invites, Pinecone Research is a legit way to make extra cash.
The more surveys you complete and products you test, the more you earn. Being a frequent shopper and the primary decision-maker for purchasing groceries and household items can also help.
If you need consistent income, you can join another side hustle app to make money while waiting for new surveys from Pinecone.
How Can You Redeem Earnings on Pinecone Research?
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, with Pinecone, your reward points are worth the same amount for each redemption option. Regardless of the payout option you choose, you can start redeeming rewards with as little as 300 points.
Select users can link their PayPal accounts to redeem their rewards. However, this withdrawal method isn’t universally available like it was a few years ago.
If you want to earn free PayPal money, you may want to consider other alternatives.
Digital gift cards are the quickest payout option since you receive digital codes via email. However, it can take up to five days to receive your virtual gift cards, and this method may not be permitted for your first withdrawal.
You can redeem payments for gift cards and checks in $3, $5, and $15 increments.
If you want to earn free Amazon gift cards, Pinecone could be the perfect site for you.
After completing your first survey, Pinecone sends $3 to a linked bank account. This initial redemption is the only time they require you to accept your payout via bank transfer.
For peace of mind, the survey company doesn’t store your bank login credentials and uses a third-party app to complete your transfer requests.
The withdrawal method replaces mailing a paper check, so you can receive your earnings sooner and more securely.
Prepaid Cash Card
It’s also possible to request a prepaid virtual card that you can use for online purchases. You can stack your cashouts and reload your card multiple times.
Alternately, you can transfer your balance to Amazon or iTunes.
Do Pinecone Research Points Expire?
Your survey rewards expire after 12 months of inactivity. Regularly taking surveys renews your entire points balance and can keep your account active.
Additionally, cashing out after each study can also prevent losing points.
Is Pinecone Research Legitimate?
It’s easy to get taken advantage of when considering a side hustle, especially with survey apps. Some opportunities are scams, so it’s justifiable to wonder if Pinecone Research is a legit survey site.
Luckily, it’s a reputable site with verified payouts. Plus, it’s operated by a trustworthy market research firm that has been conducting studies for decades.
The platform also implements these security measures to protect your privacy:
- Two-factor authentication to prevent unauthorized logins
- Won’t sell your information to third parties
- Keeps your survey responses anonymous
- Won’t ask for your Social Security number
*Related: Looking for a unique earning opportunity? Read our guide on the best apps that pay you to exercise to learn how to make money by staying fit.*
While Pinecone Research is a legit survey app, there are several impostors. For instance, there isn’t a Facebook page or a signup link on the official website. You can safely join Pinecone Research here.
How to Contact Pinecone Research Support
Pinecone has email customer support if you need help 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. 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 gig 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 offers
- 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
- No signup bonus
Overall, Pinecone Research is a great platform if you’re trying to determine how to get free money online. The surveys and product tests are simple and quick to complete, making them ideal if you have a busy schedule.
Apps Like Pinecone Research
If you are looking for additional ways to make money online, here are some of the best places for surveys that pay cash and accept users as young as 13 years of age.
Consider Swagbucks to earn points through surveys, playing games, shopping online, and other short tasks. Most surveys award 25 to 150 points, which is equal to $0.25 to $1.50 in cash or gift cards.
Tasks requiring a purchase can pay more.
The redemption minimum starts at 500 points ($5) for PayPal Cash and most gift cards.
Amazon gift card redemptions start at one dollar, which is remarkable. New users can receive a $10 bonus cash after completing qualifying activities.
Read our Swagbucks review to learn more.
Survey Junkie lets you answer surveys for money with multiple invites daily and payouts from less than a dollar up to a few dollars. Active users can be eligible for online focus groups and extended studies that pay more.
Members can also install the SJ Pulse app or browser extension to passively earn extra income by anonymously sharing their digital activities and which ads they see.
The redemption minimum starts at 500 points ($5) for bank transfers, PayPal, or gift cards.
Our Survey Junkie review covers your earning potential and payout options.
Toluna specializes in short surveys that typically take up to 20 minutes, but you can also receive invites for paid product tests and community polls.
You can answer several studies each day, with gift card rewards starting at 30,000 points ($10) or 95,000 points ($30) for PayPal Cash.
Most surveys earn between 3,000 and 6,000 points but can pay as much as 50,000 points. In addition, new members can receive a 500-point signup bonus.
Pinecone Research Review
Ease of Use
Pinecone Research Review
Pinecone Research is a fun to use survey site that pays users to complete surveys and test products at home.
✔️ You can redeem earnings for cash or gift cards
✔️ Legit market research company with decades of success
✔️ Pays $3 for completed surveys
✔️ Drawings for additional earnings
✔️ Easy to use
❌ Points expire after 12 months of inactivity
❌ Invite-only survey site
❌ Limited customer support
Is Pinecone Research Worth It?
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 extra spending cash.
What other methods have you used to make money on the side?
Josh uses his personal experience of paying off over $130,000 in personal debt and changing careers to write about saving money, investing, and paying off debt. He has regularly written for notable outlets including Wallet Hacks, Well Kept Wallet, and Debt Roundup.
Josh was previously an operations supervisor for a Fortune 500 company for seven years. He is married with three small children.