Joining isn’t as straightforward as merely signing up, because you need an invite. However it’s not as tough as it sounds, as there are plenty of links doing the rounds online if you look hard enough, and Pinecone also advertises on websites, so you might get lucky by keeping an eye on banner adverts. Once you’ve signed up, you’ll be vetted to see if you qualify – based on whatever demographics their clients want at that point – and if so, the fun begins!
After you sign up, you’ll receive surveys on various topics and products via email. Once you complete these surveys and build up a stash of “points,” you can redeem them for cash via PayPal, purchases made through Amazon.com, or gift cards to various retailers. As an alternate suggestion, you can even redeem your rewards as a donation to the Red Cross.
I also have used Synovate Global Opinion Panels, which is now I-Say by Ipsos. They send you surveys pretty frequently and the points you accumulate can turn into actual money! You can receive an actual check from them, or choose to redeem for a gift card. I haven’t cashed out with them since they changed into the new system, just because I’ve really stopped taking the surveys because I’m lazy 🙂 Here’s the link: http://i-say.com/Rewards/RewardsProgram/tabid/203/language/en-US/Default.aspx
It’s a very well-known scam. You cash the check, then they ask you to either wire some of that money back to them as some sort of fee or buy something for them and send the item to them. So, you deposit the check, then wire some cash to them thinking that the check you just deposited will cover that. A few days later, after you already send them the money, the check will bounce and the money you send to them will come out of your own account.