Pinecone Research Review: $3+ Per Survey!?

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I have mentioned Pinecone Research so many times on the blog, such as in my surveys that pay instantly and best paid survey apps posts.  I highly recommend you go back and check out a few of them if you want to learn about the many ways I make money online with surveys.   You can also use the search bar above to find hundreds of posts that can help you succeed online.

In today’s post, I wanted to finally set aside some time and research the very popular and exclusive, Pinecone Research.

This simple research company always pays out $3+ per survey and even offers exclusive product testing opportunities.

While you won’t get rich with this panel, many survey takers often sign up due to the higher-paying survey opportunities.

If you have been thinking about joining and/or want another option to add to your online income stream, then let’s take a look at how the platform works and if it’s even worth your time.

Pinecone Research Review

What is Pinecone Research?

As with all of my reviews, I always want to research the company first to see who you’re working with.  Knowing about a company before you even consider signing up can tell you a lot about what you’re getting yourself into.  If you can find information, such as a physical address as well as contact information, this can be a good thing most of the time.

Pinecone Research is an invitation-only panel that’s owned and operated by one of the world’s largest research companies, Nielsen, based out of New York City.  It’s one of the oldest survey companies on the web as of today.  When you think of a survey leader, you will hear this name often.

Without a doubt, the company is, indeed, legit, so there’s no worry here.

As I write this, the company has a solid A+ BBB rating and a pretty good reputation online.  They are also part of the New York Stock Exchange, trading under the symbol, NLSN.

So, does all of this mean it’s worth joining?

Let’s see…

How to Sign Up for Pinecone Research

Pinecone Research is by invitation only, but don’t let that scare you as I have an invitation link that you can click on to successfully register.

Currently, it’s only available in the United States, Canada, United Kingdom as well as Germany.  Also, you must be at least 18+ years old to join.

Basically, the company only wants its current members, such as myself, to refer other members using a special link to keep track.  They seem to be the only research company that I have worked with that works in this way.  I don’t see a problem with it, but it can be a hassle for some if you didn’t know about this.

Again, since you can’t sign up via the company’s page, you will need to follow this link in order to sign up.

Now, Pinecone Research is often looking for specific demographics, so there could be a good chance they won’t accept you at first, instead, placing you on a wait list.   If this were the case, you will receive an email that looks something like this…

If they do, don’t be discouraged as you could soon receive an invite to join the panel in the future if a spot opens up.  For me, I did have to wait, but I was eventually able to join after a few months of waiting since they didn’t need my demographics initially.

What Can I Expect?

As a “panelist” on the platform, you can make money one of two ways, either via surveys or via product testing.

In each section below, I will talk about what’s expected of you as a Pinecone Research member.


Most of your money will be made in taking surveys, all of which are sent out via an email invite.  Depending on your demographic, you could receive a handful a month or none at all.   This can be said about any research company, however.

Seeing they don’t work like many of your research companies, such as Swagbucks and Survey Junkie, wherein you can log in at any time and take a survey, you will have to wait for an invite to make money.  I know this can be a bummer for some, but this is how a few of these research companies work, unfortunate.

However, the great thing about these surveys is that if you get an invite, you will get paid as long as you finish your survey.  Best of all, Pinecone Research will always save your progress in the case your computer freezes or you walk away for a while.  This is a huge perk as most surveys just crap out if something happens, leading to a lot of frustration.

Most of your surveys will last 15 to 20+ minutes, the industry standard, with the occasional short questionnaire sent out to learn more about you.  Like most of these survey companies, it’s important you fill out these profile screeners in as much detail as possible so that they can send you targeted surveys.  If you do receive a short questionnaire, you will not get paid for these.

Product Testing

Product testing isn’t as available on the platform due to the popularity, but you may be invited to test a product on occasion.  This can include food items or even a physical product.

Like surveys, these invites greatly depend on your demographic, so you may never see a product testing opportunity whereas your friend could see a ton.

Nonetheless, if you’re lucky enough to receive an invite, a company will generally send you a product and ask you test/sample it for a limited time.  After you’re done, then you will take a survey based on your experience.  This will pay out about $3~, just like the other surveys you receive.

In this case, you will get paid to take the survey and you will get to keep the product sent to you.


This isn’t a way to make money on the platform, but I wanted to include it here as the company often holds contests where you could thousands of dollars.

Every time you complete a survey, they will automatically enter you into a contest, where you could potentially win some cash.  Every other week, as well as quarter, Pinecone will draw a lucky winner, offering up to $4,500 in some circumstances.

While you have to win, at least you know you have the chance of earning even more cash on top of what you already earned.

How Much Can I Make?

This is hard to answer as it greatly depends on your demographics.  I can’t stress this enough as this can greatly affect your final numbers.

However, based on the averages I found online, it appears you could make anywhere from $3 to $30~ a month, on average, sometimes even more than this.

Like a lot of the survey companies I mentioned on this site, you won’t get rich in doing these, so don’t expect to quit your full-time job!


The cool thing about Pinecone Research is that they always pay at least 300 points per survey, which is equivalent to $3 (100 points = $1).  In a world of poorly paying surveys, it’s always nice to know that you can at least get paid $3 for your time.

While you will get paid at least $3, it doesn’t always mean you will get $3.  The longer you stay on the platform, the more you can make, with reports of some saying they get paid up to $5 per survey taken.  Not bad!

It seems as if you cap out at $5, but hey, a few surveys a month at $5 can easily make you $20+ per month.

Minimum Payout and Options

In order to cash out, you will need at least $3 in your balance.   But, the good news here is that since every survey is worth that, you can always cash out after you successfully complete one.  This means you can cash out at any time.

Pinecone Research offers a variety of ways to cash out, including PayPal, Amazon as well as a variety of gift card options.  Once you cash out, payments are generally sent within 48 to 72 hours, depending on the day of the week you do so.

As a note, the company will send you a physical check after you complete your first survey.  It will look something like this…

This is done as a security measure to make sure your address matches up with the one mentioned on your profile.  They will only do this for your first survey.  After that, you can then choose any of the rewards you want from their online catalog.

What Others Are Saying

As with all of my reviews, I always love to scan the internet and see what others are saying.  Since these reviews aren’t always about my opinion, I feel it’s only fair to include the thoughts of what others are saying.

In my research, I found both the good and the bad, all of which I include below.

The Pros

  • contests
  • $3 minimum (highest in the industry)
  • 100% legitimate, backed by a powerful research company
  • can earn more as you use it
  • cash payout
  • no minimum payout!
  • multiple reward options
  • fast payments
  • great customer support
  • good reputation online
  • 100% free to join

The Cons

  • not everyone is approved right away
  • exclusive
  • may not get a lot of survey invites (depends on demographics)
  • no mobile app
  • feels outdated in comparison to competitors
  • may be removed from the panel
  • points expire after a year

Is Pinecone Research Legit?

Absolutely!  This is as legit as they come.

Backed by one of the most reputable research companies in the industry, you can be rest assured that you will get paid if you complete a survey.  They pay big, they have great reviews online, and best of all, you can earn $3 per survey, a higher-than-average payout for answering questions.

Final Thoughts

In the end, I do recommend Pinecone Research.  You’re not going to get rich using them, but you could make $10 to $30+ per month — enough to maybe buy a dinner?  I wouldn’t expect much more than this.

You won’t get a ton of survey invites, but when you do, you can at least be assured that you’re getting at least $3 for your time.  I wouldn’t expect more than 10 to 15 invites in a month, at least according to my research.

8/10With all of that being said, I’m going to give them a solid 8 out of 10.  The only reason I’m going to knock them down a few points is due to the fact that you won’t get a ton of surveys and you can’t always log in to earn like Survey Junkie or Swagbucks.  This can be a downfall to some.  Other than that, I can’t find much wrong with them.

If you have joined Pinecone Research and/or want to share your thoughts below, then, by all means, you’re welcome to do so.

For now, I at least recommend you add your name to their list using my invite link and see how much you can earn in a month.

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Tom Nathaniel

Hi! My name is Tom Nathaniel, and I created LushDollar to help share my honest thoughts on everything money. You won't find gimmicks here. It's the Internet's most honest money site after all. I graduated from Arizona State University, and I have worked in the finance industry since 2006, consulting with multiple Fortune 5000 companies.


  • I’ve been a Pinecone Research member in perfect standing for many years. Suddenly, they won’t allow me to redeem points, worth $27. Message keeps telling me, I’m not a member. Then repeated attempts to contact them result in failures. They won’t even accept my messages on their contact page or by email. Seeing others speaking of similar issues. DON’T allow your points to add up! Cash out every single $3 that you earn. They WILL turn on you despite your years of sincere & thoughtful efforts on their surveys. I’ll never get the $27 that I earned. Beware.