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Toluna Review – A Legit Platform for Paid Surveys


FEATURED PROMOTION

Toluna Logo

Our rating

4.3/5

Pros

  • thumbs-upVariety of survey lengths
  • thumbs-upAbility to select topics of interest
  • thumbs-upGood reward options

Cons

  • thumbs-downLow overall payment rate
  • thumbs-downReward points expire
  • thumbs-downMany survey disqualifications
  • thumbs-downFrequent technical glitches

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I have a hobby some people consider weird: taking online surveys. Maybe to them, it feels too much like taking a test — not something they’d ever do for fun. But to me, if I can help shape the development of new products and earn extra money for doing it, what’s not to like?

Over the years, I’ve been a member of several paid survey sites. One of the handful I’ve stuck with is Toluna. It has a few potentially frustrating glitches, but it generally provides me with interesting survey topics and useful rewards.

How Toluna Stacks Up

Toluna is only one of many survey companies you can use. Take a quick look at how it stacks up against another survey site, Swagbucks. 

TolunaSwagbucks
Per-Hour Rate$2 to $10 $0.60 to $6 
Rewards OptionsOver 25 Over 150 
Choose by TopicYesNo
Choose by LengthYesYes
Shopping RewardsNoYes

Key Features of Toluna

First things first: Toluna is definitely a legit survey platform and not a scam. It’s free to join and pays you with points you can cash in for real rewards — although it takes a while to earn enough points for a payout.

Toluna Influencers, which is what the company calls its survey-takers, have access to various features that make taking surveys on Toluna fun as well as profitable. 

Survey Center

The core of Toluna’s website is its Survey Center, which lists available Toluna surveys. You can select surveys by their general topic — such as lifestyle, food, or cars — or by length. Short surveys take up to 10 minutes, while longer ones run anywhere from 10 to 30 minutes.

When you complete surveys, you earn Toluna points. The number of points per survey varies, with short surveys worth up to 2,500 and longer ones worth up to 7,500. Since it takes about 30,000 points to earn a $10 gift card, that’s a maximum of $2.50 per survey. 

However, you shouldn’t expect to qualify for every survey you click on. I probably get screened out of around half the surveys I start. Fortunately, this usually happens within the first minute or two, so I don’t waste too much time on surveys I can’t complete.

Survey Emails

You don’t always have to go to the Survey Center to take a survey. Toluna emails you links to new surveys it thinks suit your interests. I get anywhere from two to eight survey invitations per day. 

Survey emails tell you the topic of the survey, how long it should take, and the number of points it’s worth if you complete it. That’s helpful for screening out surveys that look dull or don’t pay enough. I routinely delete low-value survey invites that pay less than 200 points per minute. 

Profile Surveys

There are two types of surveys on Toluna.com: full-length surveys and shorter profile surveys. These mini-surveys give Toluna a clearer picture of your interests and lifestyle. 

That helps the site select more relevant surveys to email you about. For instance, my profile says I’m very interested in environmental issues and natural products, so Toluna is more likely to send me surveys on these topics.

Profile surveys take only a couple of minutes to complete. They’re not worth much — just 100 points each — but they help improve your survey qualification rate and reduce screen-outs, which are disqualifications that happen when you don’t fit the criteria submitted by the survey sponsor.

Android & iOS App

Users who prefer to take surveys by phone can download the Toluna Influencers mobile app, available for Android or iOS. It gives you access to the Survey Center and Rewards Center, but not the Toluna Community.

You can access all the same surveys from the app you can from the Toluna site. However, I prefer not to use it because I find it difficult to scroll through answers on my phone’s tiny screen. Also, many surveys don’t seem to work with my ancient version of Android. 

Toluna Community

The community is the social part of Toluna’s website. In this area, you can:

  • Chat with other users on topics like your local weather, favorite movies, or news 
  • Respond to polls on topics like, “How many of these basic life skills do you know?” 
  • Give your thumbs-up or thumbs-down to news headlines, songs, or jokes
  • Answer quick questions to earn a few points or a sweepstakes entry 
  • Enter a daily scratch-and-win game
  • Use a photobooth app to upload and share selfies with amusing filters 

You can also earn up to 1,000 points by creating content to share in the community. For instance, you can introduce topics for discussion, create and post polls, or share images. 

According to Toluna, you’re most likely to earn points for submitting “quality content.” And the site’s definition of “quality” is that your poll or topic includes a title, a personal opinion expressed in clear language, and an image or video. It’s a pretty easy bar to clear.

Rewards Center

When you’ve earned enough points, you can cash them in for rewards in denominations ranging from $10 for 3,000 points to $50 for $150,000. The site offers over 25 reward options, including digital gift cards for major retailers, eateries, and entertainment options. Popular examples include: 

  • Amazon
  • Walmart
  • Target
  • Starbucks
  • iTunes
  • Redbox 

If you don’t like any of these options, you can choose a Reward Link e-gift card. It serves as a voucher for a larger reward marketplace offering dozens of gift cards and donations to nonprofits. You can also donate 10,000 points — about $3.30 worth — to plant a tree. 

A final option is to turn points into cash in your PayPal account. However, cashing out with PayPal costs a little more: 35,000 points for $10. 

The site conveniently shows you which rewards options you’ve earned enough points to redeem. Your points expire after a year, so it’s important to cash out regularly.

Advantages of Toluna

The advantages of being a Toluna Influencer include:

  • Variety of Survey Lengths. Toluna offers surveys ranging in length from a few minutes to around half an hour. You can choose a quick survey for your coffee break or a longer survey when you have time to spare in the evening.
  • Ability to Select Topics of Interest. You can screen surveys by topics, like household or movies. However, some topics, such as new products, give you only the vaguest idea what a survey is about.
  • Variety of Reward Options. You have a lot of options for cashing in your reward points. Between PayPal cash, donations, and digital gift cards from over 20 retailers, you’re sure to find something of value to you.

Disadvantages of Toluna

Toluna has a few downsides compared to other ways of making money online. These include:

  • Low Overall Payment Rate. Toluna surveys pay anywhere from 100 to 500 points per minute. At 3,000 points per dollar, that’s $2 to $10 per hour. Some surveys don’t have a cash payout at all. All you get is a sweepstakes entry. So while this may be an easy way to earn extra cash, it’s not a quick way.
  • Reward Points Expire. I used to let points pile up in my Toluna account until I wanted to cash them in for a specific reward. Then I learned (the hard way) that points expire if you don’t use them within 12 months. Now, I make it a point to cash out every few months.
  • Many Survey Disqualifications. Often, I get kicked out of a survey after answering the first few questions. Taking more profile surveys can reduce screen-outs but doesn’t eliminate them.
  • Technical Glitches. The Toluna website is plagued by glitches. I often have trouble signing into my Toluna account, and when I take surveys on Firefox, I get dumped out onto an error screen at the end. And on the latest version of Firefox, I can’t view Toluna.com at all.

Toluna FAQs

Still not sure if Toluna is right for you? Learn more about Toluna before creating your account.

How Does Toluna Work?

Toluna works pretty much like any other survey website. Companies pay Toluna to do market research for them so they can develop new products and services or improve the ones they have. 

To do that, Toluna has to recruit lots of people to take surveys online. So as an incentive, the company passes on a share of the money it earns to users. However, instead of paying cash, it pays points you can cash in for rewards.

How Do You Make Money With Toluna?

The primary way is by taking surveys. When you complete surveys, you earn points you can cash in for rewards like Amazon gift cards or PayPal credit. You can also earn a few points for submitting or responding to content in the Toluna Community.

How Do Toluna Points Work?

You can earn anywhere from 2,000 to 7,500 points for each survey you complete. When you have enough points, you can redeem them through Toluna’s reward center. In general, it takes 30,000 points to claim a $10 reward.

To cash out your points, select the gift card or other reward you want and click redeem. Points disappear from your account immediately, and your reward shows up in your inbox or PayPal account within a few days.

Is Toluna Legit?

Yes, it absolutely is. I’ve used it for years and earned hundreds of dollars in rewards. It takes a while to earn a payout from Toluna, but the cash is genuine.


Final Word

Taking surveys on Toluna is an easy way to earn extra cash. You can do it in your free time whenever you have a few minutes to spare — at home, in a doctor’s waiting room, on the bus going to work. Odd as it may sound, I even like to unwind with a survey or two before bed.

But if you’re looking for a lucrative side gig to supplement your paycheck, Toluna isn’t your best bet. For each hour you spend taking surveys, you can only earn $10 at most, and it could be as little as $2. 

That’s not bad as survey sites go. But it’s not nearly as much as you could make with a real gig economy job like driving for a rideshare service, delivering food, tutoring, or freelance writing. 

In other words, think of Toluna surveys as a hobby that can also earn you a little extra cash, not as a job.

Toluna Logo

Our rating

4.3/5

Pros

  • thumbs-upVariety of survey lengths
  • thumbs-upAbility to select topics of interest
  • thumbs-upGood reward options

Cons

  • thumbs-downLow overall payment rate
  • thumbs-downReward points expire
  • thumbs-downMany survey disqualifications
  • thumbs-downFrequent technical glitches
Editorial Note: The editorial content on this page is not provided by any bank, credit card issuer, airline, or hotel chain, and has not been reviewed, approved, or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities. Opinions expressed here are the author's alone, not those of the bank, credit card issuer, airline, or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved, or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.
Amy Livingston is a freelance writer who can actually answer yes to the question, "And from that you make a living?" She has written about personal finance and shopping strategies for a variety of publications, including ConsumerSearch.com, ShopSmart.com, and the Dollar Stretcher newsletter. She also maintains a personal blog, Ecofrugal Living, on ways to save money and live green at the same time.

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