It can be tough to weed through all the noise online to find actual sites that can help you make money. And since I'm guessing your time is valuable (am I right?), it's our pleasure to research Swagbucks for you so you can move on to doing the tasks that will actually make you money.
Have you heard of Swagbucks?
If not, we're going to review Swagbucks and answer the questions:
Can you really make money with Swagbucks? And is it legit?
To start, Swagbucks is FREE to join so that you won't be spending any money right out of the gate.
The website is clear and straightforward. You're shown exactly what you will earn (in Swagbucks) for each task that you complete.
You might be thinking, “Hey, I want to earn money, not earn Swagbucks!”
Fortunately, Swagbucks can be redeemed for money (you get cashback straight to your PayPal account), or you can trade them in for gift cards to stores like Amazon, Target, Starbucks, Walmart, and many more.
12 Ways to Make Money with Swagbucks (SBs for Short):
1. $5 Bonus For New Users
Swagbucks rewards new users by giving them a $5 bonus when they earn 2,500 Swagbucks within their first 60-days of membership. Once you achieve this milestone, your bonus will be awarded within one day after you qualify.
2. Daily Poll
Each day the platform has a new daily poll, where users can answer a multiple-choice question for 1 SB. While this isn't a lot of points, it's a super-easy way to earn 365 SBs over the year. I have the Swagbucks smartphone app downloaded on my phone, and I log on and answer it every day. Along with the other short tasks that they offer, the SBs add up fast.
3. Shop Online
Just like Ebates, you can earn Swagbucks on your online purchases. The great thing about this is that if you were already going to do some shopping online, then you're not really doing anything extra to earn this way, other than using Swagbucks' website or SwagButton. You must start your purchase at their website to earn the SB credits unless you use the SwagButton, which is an extension that you download to your web browser. It tells you when a store you're visiting offers a cashback offer in SBs, and you just click the button to activate the rewards. Easy peasy!
I like that they have categories for every possible item you might be looking for, so instead of spending tons of time searching if you're looking for a pair of earrings, you just go-to jewelry, and it takes you to the stores that have jewelry.
4. In-Store Shopping
With their in-store shopping feature, you browse the participating retailers and offers, either online or via the Swagbucks smartphone app. If you see an offer you're interested in, you add it to your shopping list, then purchase the product, and snap a picture of the receipt. Once the purchase has been verified, you'll earn the specified number of SBs from the promo.
For instance, at the time of writing this post, if you purchased a bag of peanut butter or peanut butter and chocolate Popchips from Safeway or Albertsons, you'd earn 100 SBs.
5. Watch Videos
You can watch a wide variety of videos from partners like Hulu, Reuters, and the Food Network. It will show you exactly what you will earn when you watch a group of videos. Typical earnings are from 1-3 SB per group of videos. I don't generally don't earn SBs in this manner as it isn't worth my time. At the time of writing, a group of 40 videos, 48 minutes in length, only paid out in 2 SBs.
6. Answer Surveys
Earn gift cards for answering surveys and influencing brands. Most surveys take between 10 and 20 minutes to complete; the estimated time will be listed along with each survey. While an average survey pays about 75 Swagbucks, the amount will be listed as well. Note that you can get disqualified for a survey based on your answers, and if you don't fit the criteria the company is looking for, but Swagbucks will still give you one SB for your trouble and make sure you get better matches next time. You also have to promise (yes, promise!) to answer questions honestly, or you have the possibility of your account being deactivated.
You can also earn SBs just by searching the web for whatever you were going to look for anyway using the SB search engine. Either type your search term into the search bar on their website or download the Chrome Extension that will produce a search bar for you to use no matter what site you're using. According to this article on Frugal for Less, each web query has the potential to garner 2SBs; if you used SB search as your primary search engine, these points could add up fast.
8. Discover Offers and Deals
Get rewarded by discovering special offers from Swagbucks and other partners. The rules and rewards for each offer vary, so you'll want to be sure to read the special terms for all the details. At the time of writing this post, I signed up for Pillsbury's newsletter, which rewarded me with 40 SBs. Another offer on the site was to sign up for text deals and coupons from Sonic, which paid 20 SBs. New offers are continually being added to the platform.
9. Search for Swag Codes
Swag Codes are strings of text that you can apply for instant Swagbucks. They are only available within a specific time frame and are worth a certain number of points. You can find Swag Codes when you download the Google Chrome Extension. This will alert you to new Swag Codes and tell you exactly where to find it (for example, Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, or their blog). Once you find the code, you can log into your account and redeem it for instant Swagbucks.
10. Play Games
I'm not a gamer, so I never use this method to earn SBs. But, if you are, you can earn SBs for every dollar that you spend on in-app gaming purchases. There are lots of games to choose from, such as Deal or No Deal Slots, Wheel of Fortune Slots, Super Plinko, Angry Birds Champions, and many more. One example of how much you can earn with this method is if you make a $1 in-app purchase on Wheel of Fortune Slots, you'll receive 12 SBs. So, if you spent $10 on in-app purchases for this game, you'd earn a total of 120 SBs.
11. Print and Redeem Coupons
Another way you can make money with Swagbucks is by printing and redeeming coupons from Coupons.com. With this method, you'll earn 1 SB for every coupon you print (up to 50), and you'll receive 25 SBs for each coupon you redeem. To get started, click on the coupons you want to print, type in your mobile phone number, enter in the verification code, and then print off your coupons. This is a great way to earn money and save money at the same time!
One of the easiest ways to earn Swagbucks is by referring your friends to the platform. All you have to do is share your referral link with your friends and family (you can do this via email, social media, or your blog). Once your referral earns 300 Swagbucks, you'll receive 300 Swagbucks too! Plus, you'll also get 10 percent of their earnings for life. That means if your friend earns 1,000 Swagbucks, you'll get 100 SBs, sweet!
How Much Money Can You Make with Swagbucks?
The breakdown of how much a Swagbuck is actually worth varies as different partners have different offers. But from looking at the big brands such as Amazon, Target, and Walmart, it appears that 100 Swagbucks equals one dollar so that you can get a $5 Gift Card for 500 SB, or a $25 Gift Card for 2,500 SB, and so on.
One cool thing about Swagbucks is that you can refer your friends and earn 10 percent of their earnings for life! So if your friend earns 500 SB, you'll earn an additional 50 – which isn't too shabby for just one referral, right?! You can refer people via email or on your social media profiles; the same principle applies. Someone signs up through your link; you earn.
Although Swagbucks isn't going to earn you a full-time income, it's fair to say that you could easily earn an extra $20 – $200 a month. Of course, this depends on how much shopping and searching you do online or how much time you're willing to spend watching videos and completing surveys.
Other Noteworthy Facts About Swagbucks
- They have an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau
- They offer a $5 sign-up bonus
- They are a California-based company
- Since their inception, they've paid out over $365 million in cash and free gift cards to members
- They give out an average of 7,000 free gift cards every day
- Swagbucks is to open to worldwide residents
Be sure to read Holly's post here, on how she earns free Starbucks Gift Cards using Swagbucks and other survey sites!
Have you tried to make money with Swagbucks? If so, what did you think? Drop us a note; we'd love to hear from you!
Originally published May 24, 2016. Content updated August 16, 2019, by the website's Founder, Holly Reisem Hanna.