Online surveys are a quick and easy way to earn a few extra dollars in your free time. However, many survey sites have low payouts and it can take a while to satisfy the redemption requirements.
Pinecone Research awards $3 per survey, which is substantially higher than many paid survey sites. The platform also has flexible redemptions with quick payment speeds.
So, what’s the catch? My Pinecone Research review shows what to expect as a panelist and how much you can earn.
Panelists can earn $3 per survey and redeem their earnings for bank transfers or gift cards. Pinecone Research offers high-paying surveys but you must apply for membership. Additionally, you must wait for survey invitations and cannot attempt several per day.
- High payouts
- $3 minimum redemption
- No screener questions
- Must apply to join
- Invite-only surveys
- No daily surveys
What is Pinecone Research?
Pinecone Research is a paid survey site that is part of the well-known Nielsen Research family of companies. Panelists can participate in online surveys about shopping habits, their preferred brands and opinions about specific products.
Many survey-takers enjoy this platform as you can earn $3 per completed study with instant rewards redemptions. Active participants can also be invited to test products and extended studies with higher payouts.
Despite being one of the highest-paying survey sites, it’s challenging to qualify for membership as the research company doesn’t accept new members year-round.
You can see if you initially qualify in less than a minute, so it’s worth inquiring as your earning potential is better than most sites. For instance, you may enjoy not having to answer screener questions before each survey.
However, you can answer surveys through the survey site’s website or mobile app once you’re a member.
How Does Pinecone Research Work?
After getting accepted for membership, you earn points by participating in research studies that you can redeem for cash or other merchandise. Here is what to expect as a panelist.
It’s only possible to apply for Pinecone Research through exclusive links and banners, like through our website. The research site doesn’t accept new members directly through its homepage or mobile app.
These application restrictions may sound like a scam, although it’s not as this research site has been operating for several years and has good customer reviews. It’s also free to join.
It’s possible that the market research site isn’t currently accepting panelists with your background. You can quickly submit an initial application to see if there are openings or to be put on a waiting list.
During the application process, you provide basic household information such as your age, gender and educational background to see if there are openings.
A common rejection response is, “Thank you for your interest in Pinecone Research. Unfortunately, there are no available openings for members with a household make-up that aligns with yours at this time.”
For example, this author has applied several times and is still waiting for approval. The message above is what he received when applying recently.
Only one person per household can be a member. The person who is the primarily responsible for buying essentials and groceries is likely to qualify for the most surveys.
The first step after joining is answering a Household Questions survey. This survey gauges your buying habits, employment industry, and family size among other factors that brands want to know about you.
Your responses help you qualify for surveys that don’t require answering a series of initial screener questions only to find out you’re not a good match. Instead, the survey app sends invitations when you’re eligible for the study to prevent wasting your time.
Unlike most platforms, this introductory survey doesn’t award points but matches you with relevant studies. Thankfully, it removes much of the frustration that accompanies most competing sites where you’re likely to attempt several surveys and never qualify.
Online market research surveys are the most common way to make money on this platform. Each survey takes between 15 and 20 minutes to complete and earns $3 (300 points). Long-time members may be invited to complete longer surveys that pay more.
Unlike many platforms, you must wait for invitations as surveys become available. The good news is that you won’t have to worry about failing the screener questions but some customer reviews mention getting disqualified mid-survey if there is a conflict of interest.
Your invitation frequency depends on your background and the survey topics. It could be at least one per week or only one or two per month. For many, it’s a handful each month.
Pinecone Research sends invites by email when there are new surveys available. You can also log into your account to look for openings and manage your contact details.
Be sure to complete surveys regularly as the platform periodically removes inactive users. In addition, it’s possible to contact the provider to request an account pause when traveling.
You should consider joining other survey apps if you want to complete daily paid studies to make more money. However, this platform can still provide consistent side income with minimal effort.
Members can also be invited to test product samples and share their feedback that brands use to improve their products and marketing. You can earn more as these offers require more effort.
These opportunities happen periodically and are a fun way to make extra money.
Beauty and grocery samples are the typical testing opportunities. The item is delivered directly to your front door to try out. Next, you complete a follow-up product evaluation survey covering your experience before receiving payment.
In most situations, you can keep the sample after submitting your responses. Sometimes, the manufacturer wants the product to be returned to test its durability or for other reasons.
You will receive rewards points after completing a study. It can take up to five business days for the points to deposit into your account as the manufacturer may wish to review your options. Further, point deposits can occur sooner with near-instant redemptions.
Redemptions start at $3, so you can cash out after each survey completion. Your redemption options include bank transfers and virtual gift cards.
Usually, a panelist’s first redemption is by bank transfer. Usually, it takes between three and five days to receive your cashout amount.
Gift card rewards are available after being a member for 30 days or your first bank transfer, whichever occurs first.
Additionally, your points expire after 12 months of account inactivity. As you can essentially redeem your rewards right away, the inactivity penalty isn’t a problem for most panelists.
Alternatives to Pinecone Research
You may prefer these survey sites as you can complete several studies per day but you must pass the screener questions. It’s possible to receive a more diverse range of survey topics. The rewards site may offer a couple of ways to earn points in addition to surveys.
LifePoints offers short surveys after verifying your email address. The payout varies by topic and length with the most in-depth studies having the highest payments. Topics can include shopping, politics, entertainment and your favorite hobbies.
Most surveys require less than 30 minutes but you can be invited for extended studies lasting up to one month and online focus groups. Gift card and PayPal redemptions start at $5.
You can answer online surveys on Survey Junkie. Active users can be invited to participate in higher-paying yet longer-focused studies. PayPal and gift card rewards have a $5 minimum balance.
In addition to paid surveys, you can join the SJ Pulse program by installing a phone app. This software monitors your browsing activity and the ads you see. You can effortlessly earn bonus points by sharing your history and qualify for exclusive surveys.
Swagbucks is an engaging micro-task site that offers points for various activities like surveys, mobile games, product offers and online shopping. Some offers require a purchase to receive points but many take less than 30 minutes to complete.
Amazon gift card redemptions start at $1. With a $5 balance, gift cards and PayPal rewards become available.
Frequently Asked Questions
When it comes to understanding this survey site, you may have more questions. Here’s a look at common questions about Pinecone Research.
Is Pinecone Research Worth It?
Pinecone Research offers some of the highest-paying surveys as you can earn $3 for a 20-minute study when competing sites may pay less than a dollar for a similar duration. It’s also easy to cash out after each completed study.
While there are several advantages, most panelists are only invited to a handful of surveys each month which minimizes your income potential.
Additionally, you must apply for memberships and the number of open slots are minimal.