UPDATED: March 08, 2022

Are you looking for ways to earn extra money? Did you know that you can earn cash by taking surveys online? One of your options is Prolific. If you've heard about this website, you’re probably wondering if it’s legit and worth your time and effort.

We’ve scoured the web and read dozens of reviews to help you determine if Prolific is worth trying. In this article, you’ll learn if Prolific is legitimate, how you can earn money with Prolific, and how much you’ll earn.

Don’t waste your time on survey sites that don’t pay. Read on until the end so you don’t miss out on the opportunity to make extra cash.

What Is Prolific?

Founded by Ekaterina Damer and Phelim Bradley in 2014, Prolific is an academic survey website that’s registered as Prolific Academic Ltd. It connects survey participants and researchers from different parts of the world. The platform currently has more than 150,000 members.

Prolific rewards participants by giving them cash when they engage in different surveys and studies. Meanwhile, researchers can use the responses for their work or university studies.  

Is Prolific Legit?

Prolific is a legitimate website that pays survey participants whenever they provide feedback on certain topics. It has run surveys for several famous institutions, such as the University of Oxford, The World Bank, Stanford, and Cancer Research UK.

Researchers, such as university students and professors, who are looking for responses for certain research studies turn to this platform to connect with survey participants.

How Much Money Can You Make On Prolific?

How much money you can make on Prolific depends on how many surveys you can complete. 

The minimum payment to survey participants is £5.00/$6.50 per hour. However, the platform recommends researchers pay their participants £7.50/$9.60 per hour.

How To Make More Money on Prolific

Prolific offers a couple of ways to help you make money.

1.      Surveys

As previously mentioned, you can earn at least £5.00/$6.50 per hour for completing surveys. The money will be credited to your account once it’s been approved.

2.      Referral Program

Prolific no longer offers the Participant Referral Scheme. As of writing, it only has a Researcher Referral Scheme. 

As a researcher, you can earn $50 and $100 if your referred researcher tops up their account. Both of you will earn credits under this scheme.

Fortunately, you can still make the most out of Prolific as a survey participant.

  • Join new surveys as fast as you can so you can earn more.
  • Answer it as accurately as possible so your submission will be approved.
  • Reach out to Prolific support if you think your survey submission has been wrongly rejected.
  • Never skip crucial questions.

How Do You Sign Up with Prolific?

Through the Prolific platform, researchers can understand the behavior of their target demographics. You get paid by taking part in their engaging surveys. Signing up is easy.

If you want to be a survey participant, here are the steps to take:

1. On the home page, click the sign-up button located in the upper right-hand corner.

Source: Prolific.co

2. Choose what you want to do in Prolific. Do you want to take studies or run research? For the purpose of this article, click on take studies.

Source: Prolific.co

3. There are instances when their slots are full. There’s a lot of interest in Prolific, so you may be asked to join their participant waitlist. You’ll get this message.

Source: Prolific.co

4. If there’s no waiting list, you have to provide a valid email address, and other personal information, such as your name and address. You’ll get greater chances of getting matched to a research study when you provide more details, such as your religious and political beliefs, education, hobbies, shopping habits, etc.

5. After your registration, you have to verify some of your details through your account page. Identity validation helps make sure that you are who you say you are so that researchers can get accurate results once you participate in surveys. These details are kept private and not shared with the researchers. Once you become a “verified user,” you will be eligible to participate in surveys.

The details you need to verify are as follows:

  • Email address – You will receive an email from Prolific asking you to verify your email address.
  • Mobile phone number – You need to enter your phone number with the country code.
  • ID – You have to take a photo of your ID and yourself using Berbix.

If you fail the verification process, you won’t be able to access Prolific and participate in surveys.

You’ll get a message that says:

Source: Prolific.co

6. Complete the About You page. You will be asked personal questions to better help prolific find surveys that are suitable for you. Your information will be kept anonymous, which means the researchers won’t be able to track the answers back to you.

7. If you’re a researcher, you have to fill in the form to sign up. You also need to provide a survey link so the platform can help find the best target audience for your research.

Source: Prolific.co

How Do You Get Paid?

Prolific pays its participants through PayPal. You need to add your PayPal details before you can cash in.

Here are the steps to follow:

  • Log in to Prolific.
  • On the Accounts page, click Cash Out Details and choose a PayPal account.
  • Enter your Prolific password, PayPal details, and log in.
  • Click complete.

Please note that you can only link one PayPal account to one prolific account. Prolific will place your account on hold if you try to add a PayPal account that’s already been linked to another Prolific account. In this case, you have to contact Prolific’s support team.

How Can You Cash Out Your Earnings?

You need to earn at least £5.00/$6.50 before you can cash out your earnings.

Here’s what you need to do:

  • Log in to your Prolific account.
  • Check your balance under Cash Out Details.
  • Click the Cash Out option
  • You’ll get our money during Prolific’s cash-out days, which are every Tuesday and Friday afternoon (GMT).
  • You cash out instantly after your first payments to the same PayPal account.

You need to wait for the cash-out day for your first four payments. But once you’ve made all 4 cashouts to your PayPal account, you will get access to instant cashouts the next time around. 

It means your payment will be processed immediately instead of waiting for Prolific’s cash-out schedule, which is every Tuesday and Friday afternoon (GMT).

How Long Does Prolific Take To Pay?

You will receive payment for a study or survey within 22 days after its completion. Researchers need to check your submission and approve it before you receive your payment.

You can check the maximum time until your study submission is approved by going to the submissions page and hovering on the awaiting review button. Get in touch with Prolific’s support team if 22 days have passed and your submission still hasn’t been approved.

Who Can Use Prolific?

There are some requirements you need to meet before you can become a participant of Prolific.

  • You must be 18 years old.
  • You must verify your account before you can take surveys.
  • You must live in an Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) country. You can find the list of countries here or refer to the table below.

OECD Countries

LatviaLuxembourgMexicoNetherlandsNew ZealandNorway
PolandPortugalSloveniaSouth AfricaSouth KoreaSpain
SwedenSwitzerlandUnited KingdomUnited States  

Why Is Your Prolific Account On Hold?

Your account may be temporarily put on hold for several reasons.

  • You’re not living in the country that’s been listed in your account
  • You’re using a VPN while you’re trying to take a survey
  • You’re a US resident but don’t have a PayPal account.
  • The PayPal account you’re trying to link is already used by a different Prolific account.
  • You’re below 18 years old.

You have to get in touch with Prolific’s customer service team so they can double check your details and lift the temporary suspension of your account.

However, there are instances when your account will be permanently stopped from taking surveys or rejected from the platform. It may be triggered by inconsistencies in your account or if you’re unable to verify your information.

Why Did Prolific Reject Your Account?

When you sign up for Prolific, you need to verify your account. The platform wants to make sure that all its participants are who they say they are so that researchers can get high quality results.

You’re required to verify your email address, mobile phone number, and ID to confirm that you’re a real person. You need to complete each verification step in order to become a verified user and participate in surveys. If you fail to do so, Prolific will reject your account.

What Are The Pros And Cons Of Using Prolific?

Just like any other get-paid-to or survey websites, Prolific also has its own set of pros and cons.

What Do Online Reviews Say About Prolific?

If you check TrustPilot, Sitejabber, and Survey Police, you’ll see a lot of reviews about Prolific. Here are the highlights of what the users say:

Positive Reviews

  • High pay rate compared to other websites
  • Highly recommended because of its low payout threshold
  • Interesting surveys, mostly from graduate students
  • You can choose from different topics from countless researchers across the globe

Negative Reviews

  • Receives only low-paying studies
  • No notifications or invites for studies they can participate in
  • Unresponsive customer support
  • Unable to take surveys because they’ve been flagged as using VPN or public network even if they were not using any
  • Problems with the verification process
  • Doubts on data privacy given that Prolific asks for personal details such as email, phone number, and ID

How Does Prolific Compare With Research Platforms?

Prolific is a good survey website. It’s better than other platforms in terms of the earning potential per survey. 

It also attracts many potential survey participants because of its minimum payout threshold, which is lower than Branded Surveys and Survey Junkie.

However, Survey Junkie tops prolific when it comes to the earning potential, which is up to $75.

Prolific Alternatives And Similar Opportunities

You’ll find other options if you’re interested in other survey sites that are similar to Prolific.

Survey SiteEarning Potential Per SurveyPayment OptionsMinimum PayoutAge Requirement
Prolific$6.50PayPal$6.50At least 18 years old
Branded SurveyUp to $3PayPal$10At least 18 years
Survey JunkieUp to $75PayPal, gift cards, bank transfer$10At least 16 years
LifePoints$5Gift cards, PayPal$10At least 18 years
Prize Rebel$10Gift cards, PayPal$2At least 18 years
Swagbucks$0.50 to $1.50Gift cards, PayPal$1 for gift cards, $5 for PayPalAt least 13 years
Inbox Dollars$0.25 to $5PayPal, Prepaid Visa Cards, Gift Cards, Check$30At least 18 years
MyPoints$0.27 to $2.13Gift cards, PayPal, Travel Miles$1 for gift cards, $25 for PayPal, 3200 points for 1000 travel milesAt least 13 years

Final Thoughts: Is Prolific Worth It?

Prolific is a legitimate get-paid-to site that pays you cash for approved surveys. You can earn as much as $6.50 per hour. It’s a free website that can be accessed through PCs, tablets, and mobile devices. It doesn’t have an app but the website is mobile-friendly.

It’s an excellent option if you’re looking for a side hustle. Bear in mind that Prolific isn’t designed to replace a full-time job. It’s a platform that lets you earn extra cash by occasionally taking part in fun and interesting studies or surveys.

Unfortunately, it doesn’t offer you any incentives or payments for rejected survey submissions. The approval of your survey submissions will take time and that means it’s not a very good option if you’re in need of fast cash. With a rating of 2.7 on Trustpilot and 3.7 on Survey Police, it ranks as an average survey website that still needs to prove itself.