Review: Runister 2.0, the fitness app that pays you to run

Get paid to run with the new Runister 2.0 app.

A free app that is available on the iOS App Store, Runister pays users 7 cents (in their home currency) per mile or kilometre (depending on whether users are electing to use metric or imperial measurements) when they open the app and go out for a run. Other than that though, the app works like any other running app, such as RunKeeper or MapMyRun, in terms of tracking your running distance, pace and calories burned.

Get paid to run with Runister 2.0.

To cater to users from all over the world, you can choose whether they want to use Metric or Imperial measurements in Runister.

Both running and walking will earn you money with Runister, but do be warned that trying to “cheat” and using the Runister app for other non-running related activities such as cycling, driving or bus/train commutes can get your account banned.

How the idea initially came about

How did the idea for Runister originally come about? According to one of the co-founders of Runister, Matej Jahnatek, in an interview with Forbes, it can be rather hard to drag yourself to get out of the house to run when the weather is not favourable or if it is too early in the morning – and so being paid to get out there to run would be a great source of motivation.

Sometimes it can be hard to go out for a run when the conditions are not favourable. That’s where Runister comes in.

Runister recently went through an overhaul

Runister had recently went through an overhaul in order to make it easier to use. The original Runister app was much more complicated, according to the developers, as it had required users to complete “qualifying runs” and pay a subscription before they were eligible to earn cash. There were also levels, which had entitled you to earn more money with more miles or kilometres completed. So people were always asking the developers questions on how the app worked via their Facebook page, and they had wanted to make things simple and do away with all of this.

So using Runister is made much simpler, with a flat earning rate and running tracking, and nothing else. So you can begin earning money immediately upon downloading the Runister application. There is also no need for a subscription and Runister is completely free to use.

Answering Survey Questions

Runister users need to answer survey questions.

How then, do the Runister app developers get the funds to pay their users? The answer is through surveys, according to Jahnatek. It works as follows: You get seven ‘rewarded’ runs stored in advance and this number decreases as you use Runister to record your runs. Rewarded runs are runs where you get paid.

You can restore your bank base of ‘rewarded’ runs by answering survey questions on your running habits and dynamics. These range from questions about the sports brands you use to the time of day that you run, and more. The questions are completely random and the format is also an easy-to-read MCQ type; this means that they are easy to answer as not much brain juice or typing on a small iPhone keyboard is needed for your responses.

Runister does publicly state that they will sell your survey answers for money, but your personal details will be kept strictly confidential though, so you need not worry about your identity being divulged with that. Indeed as you may have guessed, this is also where they get their funds to pay their users.

For every three questions you respond to, you will get one rewarded run. But the questions may get somewhat repetitive, and you may sometimes find yourself answering the same or similar questions, more than once.

But to me, answering the questions is still okay though. For three questions, it probably takes me less than a couple of minutes, to answer.

But if you really don’t like answering the questions though, there is also a ‘Runister Plus’ subscription model, whereby you can fork out a monthly subscription in order to continue using the app to earn money.

The new version, Runister 2.0, had been released in the iOS App Store a few days ago.

Runister is quite motivating 

I have been using the new Runister 2.0 app and I must say that even though the amount of money earned is not really much, it is rather motivating to be racking up the cents during my runs.

Interface is simple, clean and uncluttered 

The interface of the new Runister app is quite simple and this makes it rather easy to use. It is clean and uncluttered. Upon creating an account with Runister and logging in, you would be presented with a page showing your total distance run and the amount of money that you have earned to date. I must say that it is quite a good feeling to complete a run and see this figure increasing, even though the increase is probably a few cents to a couple of dollars each time.

Earnings are tied to your PayPal account

Your earnings are tied to your PayPal account.

Your monetary earnings are tied to your PayPal account and would be in the local currency that you are being paid with. Do note though that you need to earn a minimum of SGD6.70 or your country’s currency equivalent of that, before you can withdraw your cash earned.

To withdraw your earnings, you choose how much you want to take out at a time, and the money will be transferred to your PayPal account. I haven’t tried this feature out yet though, but I will be doing so eventually.

As well, if you choose not to keep the money you earn via Runister, there is also an option to donate it to a charity of your choice, if you are feeling generous.

Using the Runister app

In terms of using the app, there is also a Start button on the home screen and upon pressing this, you can choose whether to run based purely on feel, or run by distance, time or money. So far I have been only using the ‘run as you feel’ option in Runister as I do not want to be tied down in terms of my running. As such, this works exactly like the RunKeeper or Strava apps, in terms of mapping my runs with GPS.

It’s easy to use Runister 2.0.

But I think that the options are good for those who want to base their running on something, such as having a set distance or time in order to motivate themselves to pound the pavements or trails.

When you run, there is a three-second countdown set by default. You can switch this off or change it if you really don’t like it, but I personally feel that having the countdown present, is good in order to prepare me to start running.

As well, when you are running, Runister also alerts you via audio, at every kilometre marker, of your time, distance, pace, calories and amount of money earned. This is useful to me, and the feature can be turned off if you change your mind and don’t want to hear it anymore. In the settings, the unit (metric or imperial), language and auto-pause features can also be changed according to your preferences.

Accuracy of the GPS tracking

In terms of the accuracy of the tracking, I would say that Runister is no different to most of the other GPS tracking apps. Most of the time, the difference between the readings on Runister and the readings on my Garmin watch can be a few hundred metres, which I think is still rather acceptable.

Like most running apps, Runister also keeps a record of your runs and these are sorted out by month, so you can easily keep tabs on your monthly mileage and the amount of money that you have earned over each month.

Required to carry out your phone to run, to use Runister

You will need to carry your phone out to use Runister to track your runs.

The main drawback with Runister though, I feel, is that you need to bring your iPhone out to run each time you wish to exchange your running miles for money.

So this can be a massive drain on your iPhone’s battery life. Consequently, it is not possible to use Runister to track a full marathon for most recreational runners, unless you are perhaps willing to bring a portable PowerBank with you.

As it stands now, the app currently is not compatible with Garmin Connect, RunKeeper or any other popular running software at the moment. But according to the app developers though, they are currently looking into this though, and it could be possible to link Runister up with other apps in the near future.

Overall Thoughts

People can be motivated by rewards. So in that way, I think that the premise behind Runister is certainly interesting. In terms of the app itself, there are some minor setbacks, like the lack of syncing ability with other apps, but other than that, it is a basic, simple and easy-to-use running application that I would continue to support.

Runister is a free download on the iOS App Store. You can get it here.

It is not yet available for Android, however.

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