Stephanie's HotSpex Review

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I’ve been a member of HotSpex for several years now. They are a survey panel that invites members (who they call “Hotspex Innovators”) to help leading brands in developing their products. Topics are diverse and include everything from food to technology. You earn “BUX” for participating in their surveys, which you can use to earn different rewards in their Prize XChange catalog.

There was a time when HotSpex only offered sweepstakes entries. I was a member of their panel just to try them out in 2008, but pretty much ignored their surveys until they started offering gift card and PayPal options a year or so ago. Although they don’t send a lot of surveys each month, I manage to cash out for gift cards and PayPal cash three to four times a year. I also find their surveys to be fun and not as repetitive and tedious as a lot of surveys I take with other survey companies. You also get a chance to win extra BUX or prizes (such as an iPod Touch) by playing their “Spin the Wheel” game during each survey, although I have yet to win anything significant.

Getting Started

To sign up with HotSpex, click the “Sign Up Now!” button on their homepage. Fill out the demographic information and be sure to reply to the confirmation email when you get it to confirm your account. It may take a week or so to start getting survey invitations in your email inbox. HotSpex usually sends me a couple survey invitations a week, but some weeks I get nothing from them. They tend to be pretty sporadic, so don’t be disappointed if you don’t get many survey invitations from them for a while.

You can check survey invitations (mainly the “fun” ones, though, which are explained below) on your homepage. You can also check your BUX balance at the top of the page, as well as participate in polls.

HotSpex dashboard

Taking Surveys

You can take a survey one of two ways: through an email invitation or through the website when you sign in and look on your main page under “Survey List.” The surveys on the website, however, are different from the ones you receive via email. These are what HotSpex calls “fun” surveys and are worth next to nothing (usually only 1-5 BUX for 5-10 minutes of your time). Since they are worth so little and take too much time to complete for such a little amount, I never bother with them. Instead, it’s much better to wait for survey invitations through email since those are worth the most.

Survey invitations will normally tell you the topic of the survey and how many BUX it is worth. It will also tell you how long the survey will be and if you will get any kind of incentive if you don’t qualify. There is also a “fun rating” and an “impact on new products” rating, which always seems to be the same. Also, if you complete the survey, apparently HotSpex will plant a tree in the Peruvian rainforest.

HotSpex email survey invitation

HotSpex surveys are pretty basic and well-organized. I haven’t had any issues with technical problems, either. They will first ask you a few questions to see if you qualify for the survey. Then, if you happen to be the person they’re looking for, they take you to a page where you read their confidentiality agreement and type in your name to sign it. After that, you proceed to the main product questionnaire, which is usually pretty self-explanatory. You will also have a chance to participate in their “Spin the Wheel” game mid-survey, where you can win more BUX or an iPod Touch. At the end of the survey, you can also rate the survey and voice your opinion on what you liked and didn’t like about it. You are also entered into their monthly sweepstakes drawing for completing a survey.

To check your survey history, click “My Profile” at the top of the home page and click “My Surveys” in the gray drop-down menu. All the surveys you’ve taken will be arranged by date taken and amount earned, as well as survey topic.


HotSpex offers Prize XChange, where you can redeem your BUX for different rewards. Most of the prizes involve spending BUX on sweepstakes entries. The prizes include many expensive items including camcorders, cameras, iPod Touches, and video game systems. I personally don’t bother with these because I never win anything and feel it’s a waste of my hard-earned BUX, so I save up my BUX for the Bank XChange part of the Prize XChange.

At the Bank XChange, you can redeem your BUX for gift cards and PayPal credit. In order to access the Bank XChange, you need to complete five or more surveys with HotSpex (which makes you a VIP member). They used to not even have this option a couple of years ago, so it’s definitely a welcome addition to their prize catalog and the main reason I take their surveys. Payment usually arrives in 1-2 weeks.

There is also something called the “HotPot” where you can contribute BUX to it in exchange for entries into winning 10,000 or more BUX. One lucky winner is chosen at the end of each month to win half of the money. The other half is given to a charity of the winner’s choice. I usually don’t participate in this and just save my BUX up for the Bank XChange.


Although HotSpex focuses a lot on entering their many sweepstakes, they are worth giving a try in order to earn gift cards and PayPal credit at their Bank XChange. They also don’t send out many surveys, but they send enough (in my experience) to cash out a few times a year. I also genuinely enjoy taking their surveys compared to some other survey panels. Their survey topics are fun and the surveys themselves are easy to take. You won’t get a lot of money from taking their surveys like some other, more popular survey panels out there, but they are a good panel to belong to if you want to earn some extra cash.

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