How to make money with Toluna surveys
Toluna is most well known for its surveys, but there are a whole host of other ways to earn rewards on the site. Our review reveals what they are, and which are the biggest earners.
Looking for a way to earn some extra cash from the comfort of your own home? Survey sites could be the answer, and Toluna is one of the major players in the game.
Not only is it free to sign up, but the site has far more than just surveys to offer: we're talking competitions, product reviews and even some games – all of which can earn you points that can be exchanged for gift cards or cash.
Before we get started, you'll need a free account with Toluna.
Guide to Toluna
What is Toluna and how does it work?
Toluna is an online community platform that lists frequent surveys you can complete in return for rewards.
Users that fill in these surveys are known as 'Toluna Influencers' – so-called because the surveys you complete are used by major brands to help them figure out what they're doing right, what they're doing wrong and what they should be doing.
Toluna Influencers are paid in the form of points, which can, in turn, be redeemed for a range of things including gift cards, competition entries or good old-fashioned cash.
How much money can you make with Toluna?
It's hard to put an exact number on your potential earnings, as how much you get out of Toluna kind of depends on how much you put in.
That said, it's safe to say that surveys are undoubtedly the biggest and most reliable way to earn rewards on Toluna.
Their FAQs state that each one can pay between 15–50,000 points (depending on its length), but we've found that most of the surveys available to us pay 1,000–2,000 points (though a couple were less than half of this, and others were up to 20,000).
Judging by the number of points required to buy each value of a gift card, it seems that £1 is approximately 5,500 points.
You can only cash out to PayPal in £35 instalments – if you want to redeem points for a value below this, you'll have to go for a gift card (or one of the random items they sell, but we'd argue that they're not worth spending your hard-earned points on).
A few of the vouchers are for shops that sell pretty much everything (Tesco and Amazon specifically), so if you go for these, your gift card will basically be as good as cash.
What's more, based on the number of points required to buy each value of gift voucher, the Tesco and Amazon credits work out as better value than the £35 PayPal payout anyway!
What can you buy with Toluna points?
|Retailer*||Voucher value||Cost (Toluna points)||Toluna points per £|
|reward the world||£5 (one movie rental)||23,000||4,600|
|Marks & Spencer||£25||135,000||5,400|
* All credits are redeemed as e-vouchers which are delivered within a week.
** Paid as credit to your PayPal account.
Toluna will occasionally also offer non-monetary rewards for your points. For example, at the time of writing, for 14,000 points you could plant a tree in Peru, Thailand or Uganda.
When we asked students in our Facebook deals group what they thought of Toluna, one thing kept coming up again and again: the amount of time you need to invest to get rewards.
– I personally found it took too long to build up the points, but if you don't mind the time it takes than I'd recommend it. There's all sorts you can do on there, not just surveys. Narice
– I've used it for years and managed to get the £35 PayPal credit a few times. Takes such a long time to get there though. Rochelle
– It takes ages to build up the points, but you do get sent loads [of surveys] every day. [Your points] also expire 16 months after you earn them, so I lost £20 worth of points. Sophie
– Yeah it's good if you're willing to put in the time and commitment, takes an awful lot of surveys to build up points [though]. Shannon
9 ways to earn points on Toluna
These are the best ways to make money on Toluna:
As we touched on above, surveys are at the heart of Toluna's offerings. They're the most lucrative and reliable way of earning Toluna points, and there are usually multiple surveys available for you to complete at any given time.
The surveys are uploaded by brands who then use the responses to inform their work, and they cover a whole host of topics.
We've seen surveys on personal banking, shopping habits, films, travel, sports and loads more, and each one is listed alongside the number of points on offer, as well as the time it'll take to complete.
There are two benefits to completing Toluna surveys: the main one being that the more you do, the more you'll be rewarded. But on top of that, the more surveys you complete, the more Toluna will send you – and the more relevant to you they'll be.
As a new Toluna Influencer you'll often find that you're rejected from the survey after a couple of screener questions (e.g. "Do you have children?") which determine whether or not you fit the profile of respondent they want.
After a while, however, Toluna will take your responses into account and tailor the types of surveys they send you in future to your profile.
Oh, and just a quick heads up: when you head to the Toluna survey centre, don't be tricked into thinking that there's only one available to complete.
They'll make a big song and dance about the "recommended" survey (marked with a '1' on the picture above) and make it look like it's the only one available but, in reality, there are loads of extra surveys under the slightly hidden 'load more' button (marked with a '2' in the image).
How much money can you make from Toluna surveys?
The majority of Toluna surveys pay 1,000–2,000 points and take between five to 20 minutes, but there are occasionally some that pay far more than this (we found a 15-minute survey that paid up to 6,000 points) and others that take far longer.
5,500 Toluna points are roughly equivalent to £1, which isn't a huge amount – especially given that some surveys can take a long time and still pay a small amount. As such, it kind of goes without saying that you should always prioritise shorter surveys with bigger rewards.
Sometimes the differences in points and time taken can make this choice tricky. But don't sweat it – you can quickly calculate this by dividing the number of points on offer by the number of minutes Toluna says it'll take, leaving you with what we'll call the Points Per Minute (PPM).
To demonstrate this, let's use the two examples in the image above. The lifestyle survey pays up to 6,000 points and takes 15 minutes, meaning you can earn up to 400 PPM.
Meanwhile, the business survey pays 1,200 points and takes nine minutes, meaning you can earn up to 133 PPM. Clearly, the lifestyle survey is the most economical use of your time!
If you want to take things to the next level, you could even convert the PPM into an equivalent hourly salary. All you need to do is multiply the PPM by 60 to get the hourly points rate, and then divide the remaining figure by 5,500 (the approximate value of £1 in Toluna points).
We worked out the equivalent hourly rate for all of the surveys available to us at the time of writing and found that the average pay was up to £1.26 per hour. That said, there were some outliers (a few paying around £3 per hour and above), so perhaps a more telling figure is the median: just £1.16 per hour.
As you might have guessed, these figures fall well short of the UK National Minimum Wage. But rather than binning off the surveys altogether, we'd recommend sticking to the ones with the highest equivalent hourly rate.
The lifestyle survey from the picture above, for example, pays an equivalent of up to £4.36 per hour – still below minimum wage for those aged 18 or above, but not an awful way to earn a little extra cash.
Complete your profile surveys
Under the 'Surveys' tab at the top of the screen, you'll find an option called 'Profile surveys'. Unsurprisingly, these surveys help to give Toluna a better idea of the kind of person you are, as well as what you're interested in.
There are 13 profile surveys in total, with each one paying up to 100 points and taking a couple of minutes apiece. You can only complete each survey once, and it's best to do so when you first sign up to Toluna as going forward it should mean you're only presented with surveys relevant to you.
In terms of the effort required and the points on offer, profile surveys are definitely one of the best ways to start earning on Toluna!
Vote in sponsored polls
Head to the 'Surveys' tab at the top of the screen once again and you'll find an option for 'Sponsored Content'.
This will redirect you to the polls in the community which have a points reward (usually 15 points apiece) and each poll takes just a couple of seconds to complete.
We've found that the list can sometimes contain some polls without a points reward, so the trick is to check that there's a points value next to the 'Vote!' button, rather than the number of people who have already voted.
Use the picture above as a guide in case you're unsure – picture 1 is a non-sponsored poll, whereas picture 2 shows a poll with a reward.
Post in the Toluna community
Raced through all the sponsored polls? Worry not! There are still a few more ways to earn points in the Toluna community – perhaps the most lucrative of which is to start posting your own content.
There is, however, a caveat: not all user-generated content will be rewarded, and Toluna say that they value quality over quantity. Toluna themselves choose which pieces of content get rewarded, gifting up to 1,000 points for each piece.
But what counts as "quality content"? Well, each piece of content can be upvoted and downvoted by fellow community members, and anything with lots of upvotes is more likely to be rewarded.
Toluna also advises that polls and topics which have a title, an image or video and a clearly expressed personal opinion are in prime position for some rewards.
As for subject matter, it's worth going to the community and clicking the tab marked 'Popular'. This will show you the content that's getting the most interaction at that time and, in turn, what's likely to get a reward for you!
Take part in a contest
Toluna will often launch contests to encourage users to post more content in the community. In return, those who participate are rewarded with some points and entered into a prize draw.
Take, for instance, their 2019 Valentine's Day contest. They asked users to start their own topics detailing their plans for V Day, and all eligible entrants received 1,000 points. Toluna then chose the eight best topics and rewarded the authors of each post with dinner for two, delivered to their respective homes.
These contests will pop up every now and again, but if you can't wait for the next one to come along...
Start your own contest
Sick of waiting for the next Toluna community contest to roll into town? Why not start your own?
Of course, all good contests need a prize – and if you're unable to provide your own, you can get in touch with Toluna and ask them to help you incentivise the competition.
While you won't be eligible to win the prize yourself, Toluna will reward you with 5,000 bonus points as a reward for getting the ball rolling. Decent.
Refer a friend to Toluna
We love a referral bonus here at Save the Student, and praise be, Toluna has one too.
Share your referral link with your mates and you'll get 500 bonus points for every friend (up to 10 each month) that successfully signs up.
Oh, and before you try to set up some fake email accounts to refer yourself, Toluna say they check each referral to make sure it's legit!
Play Toluna's games
Under the 'Community' tab in the navigation bar, you'll see that Toluna also has a selection of games for you to play. Some games are always there, while some are only available for a limited time. But crucially, some can also win you points.
All the games are free to play, and the primary chance to win points is the Daily Toluna Wheel. All you need to do is spin the wheel and you could win anything from 80–1,000 bonus points – assuming, that is, that you don't land on the dreaded 'Better luck next time' spot. Gutted.
Clearly using Toluna is never going to make you a millionaire. But if you're willing to put in the hours, you can certainly make a small amount of extra cash on the site.
It's free to join, so it's worth signing up and giving it a go to see if it works for you!
Take your survey game to the next level – check out our list of the best product testing companies and start receiving all the freebies you could ever want.