Have you ever wanted to make extra money on the side without committing to a second job or side hustle? Have you ever wished the stuff you do in your free time could generate income? Think how nice it would be to get paid for things like browsing the web, watching videos, sharing your opinions, or even shopping.
Amazingly, those opportunities actually exist with Swagbucks, an online rewards platform.
While you won’t get rich watching videos or answering surveys from your couch, you can earn a few extra dollars while hanging out online.
What is Swagbucks?
Swagbucks is an online platform where you can earn rewards for activities like:
- Taking surveys
- Watching videos
- Shopping online
- Playing games
- Searching the web
- Discovering offers
- Referring your friends
The rewards are Swagbucks points, or SB. You redeem them for gift cards for popular retailers like Amazon and Walmart or for PayPal cash. The formula is simple: 100 SB = $1.
Signing up is a breeze, and best of all, it’s free. You can start earning right away either from the desktop site or the mobile app.
Whether you’re chilling at home or on the move, you can use Swagbucks to earn some extra cash when you have a few free minutes.
Is Swagbucks a Scam?
Absolutely not. Swagbucks is a legitimate online rewards platform.
You might be wondering how it works, though. Why would Swagbucks pay you to answer their surveys, binge their videos, or search the web?
The answer lies in market research. Swagbucks partners with several third parties who want to learn about your opinions and habits – and they’re willing to pay for that info.
Now, don’t set your hopes too high. You can use Swagbucks to earn a bit of extra cash, but you’re not about to retire early.
How to Make Money with Swagbucks?
Swagbucks is one of the top online survey sites, and they actually pay you to share your opinions through online surveys and polls. Your earnings depend on the survey and its length.
For example, a quick glance at my available offers shows ranges from 25 SB for a 5-minute survey to 135 SB for a 35-minute survey. When you look at those numbers, you can see it’s a better bang for your buck to do several 5-minute surveys than a single lengthy one.
The beauty of online surveys is that you can do them anywhere – your couch, your doctor’s waiting room, public transit, you name it. Shorter ones can be completed quickly so you can capitalize on short bursts of free time.
A note about speed, though: Don’t answer randomly to get to the end in record time. Many of the surveys have questions designed to make sure you’re paying attention. You’ve been warned!
The Daily Polls is a single question that pays 1 SB per day. Even if you can’t squeeze in a survey, open the app every day and take a second to vote on the daily poll.
Swagbucks pays you to watch and rate video content. It also awards SB for watching a 15-video playlist.
You can choose videos by topic so it’s easy to find content you’re interested in. Entertainment, top stories, and even recipes are some of your options.
When you shop at your favorite retailers through Swagbucks’ online portal, you earn SB on every dollar you spend.
How many SB? It depends on the retailer since they all have their own arrangements with Swagbucks. Each has its own regular cash back rate, but keep an eye out for special bonus rates from time to time. You may be able to earn anywhere from 1%-11% or more on these offers!
To earn cash back on online purchases you were going to make anyway, all you have to do is launch the website through Swagbucks’ online portal.
Don’t think you’ll remember to go to the portal before you shop? No worries! You can download the SwagButton extension for your browser, and it will remind you to click to activate relevant cashback offers. It also scours the web for coupons to help you save on your purchase.
Calling gamers everywhere! Swagbucks will pay you to play!
There are two ways to earn:
- Play Swagbucks’ free games
- Make in-game purchases when you play GSN or World Winner games
The free games are like the videos—you need to play a certain number of rounds to get the reward. The paid games award SB as cash back based on the dollar value of your in-game purchase. For example, you might earn 4 SB for every dollar you spend.
Like online shopping, you need to launch your games through the Swagbucks portal to earn your reward.
Searching the Web
Want to earn SB just by searching the web? Make their Yahoo-powered search engine your default and carry on living your life. You’ll automatically collect SB for your regular searches.
Using the search engine is a dead-simple way to earn SB. All you do differently is install it one time. What could be easier?
Swagbucks partners with a ton of retailers and service providers to reward its members for trying out their products and services.
Certain offers award SB when you buy a product, but others only require you to sign up for a free trial. It’s a great way to try out a service for free and earn some rewards in the process. If you end up liking it, all the better.
For example, you may be able to earn hundreds of SB when you sign up for something like Apple Music’s free 3-month trial. If you’ve been thinking about trying it out, you might as well earn some SB while you’re at it, right?
Referring a Friend
Through Swagbucks’ referral program, you can earn 300 SB when someone you refer signs up and earns 300 SB in their first month. What’s more, you earn 10% of their earnings as long as they have their account.
Right now, you can earn a 100 bonus SB when your referral adds the SwagButton to their browser. That 400 SB is enough to buy you a $5 gift card on sale.
Because you earn 10% of whatever your referrals earn, it pays to refer people you think will be active on the site.
Earning Bonus SB with Your Daily To-Do List
Every day, Swagbucks offers you bonus SB for completing six of the seven items on your Daily To-do List. The list usually has tasks from each earning category. Examples include completing the daily poll, attempting a survey, completing a survey, signing up for an offer, etc.
When it’s time to redeem those not-so-hard-earned SB, the process is pretty easy. Click “redeem SB” and take your pick of the gift cards. The most versatile options are PayPal and Amazon, but you can also choose between Walmart, Starbucks, iTunes, and more.
Remember, 100 SB = $1, so 2500 SB gets you $25 in your PayPal account. But don’t worry, you don’t have to save up 2500 SB to cash out. You can redeem as few as 300 SB for a $3 Amazon gift card.
What’s really cool is that gift cards sometimes go on sale, making your SB go further. For example, a $25 Amazon gift card normally costs 2500 SB, but sometimes goes on sale for 1875 SB. That’s 25% in savings! To maximize the value of your SB, I recommend keeping your eye out for sales.
Once you’ve chosen your gift card, you verify your redemption via a link to your email or by answering a security question. Unfortunately, you don’t get your gift card instantly. Instead, the digital code arrives in the gift cards section of your account within 10 days.
Advantages of Swagbucks
- You Know How Long a Survey Takes – When you look at your available surveys, it’s clear how long the survey will take and how many SB you’ll earn. This transparency helps you decide if a survey is worth your time.
- Plenty of Ways to Earn – Most people think of Swagbucks as a survey site, but it’s so much more than that. If you find surveys annoying or boring, you can still earn SB by shopping online, watching videos, opting into offers, and more. With so many earning opportunities, everyone can find something that’s convenient for them.
- Versatile Redemption Options – You can redeem SB for PayPal cash or gift cards at retailers like Amazon, Walmart, and Barnes and Noble. PayPal and Amazon are likely the most popular options, but there’s tons of choice for anyone looking for something different. It’s also cool that you can redeem for as little as $3.
- Mobile App – Some online rewards sites work best on a computer, but I like that Swagbucks has a mobile app so you can earn SB on the go. The app isn’t as robust as the desktop site, but you can take surveys, watch videos, shop, and invite friends.
Disadvantages of Swagbucks
- You Don’t Know a Survey’s Topic Going In – When you select from available surveys, you see the estimated time to complete and the SB you’ll earn. There’s nothing to indicate the survey’s topic. That means you might get into a survey and realize it doesn’t apply to you, which wastes time.
- You Have to Wait for Your Gift Cards – It’s great that Swagbucks offers digital gift card codes, but it’s a drag that you have to wait up to 10 days to get it.
- Surveys Can be Repetitive – When you begin a survey, you often have to answer screening questions to make sure you fit the target audience. If you continue to the actual survey, you might be asked those same demographic questions again. This is repetitive and can be a little annoying, especially if you’re doing several surveys in one sitting.
- You May be Disqualified – Companies conducting market research are looking for a certain number of responses from specific target audiences. The screening questions at the beginning of the survey determine whether or not you qualify. Sometimes you might attempt multiple surveys before making the cut.
Who is Swagbucks Best For?
Anyone Looking to Earn a Little Extra in Their Down Time – Swagbucks is a easy way to earn extra money by doing simple online tasks. The tasks are things you would do anyway (like shop online) or things that you can do while you veg out on your coach (like watch videos or take surveys).
Anyone Who Doesn’t Have Much Free Time for a Side Hustle – If you’re serious about earning extra income in your free time, there are ways to make more than you ever will through Swagbucks. But if you only have a few minutes to spare, you can make the most of them with Swagbucks’ quick online tasks.
People Who Enjoy Surveys – Some people genuinely enjoy the opportunity to share their opinions. If you find surveys fun, Swagbucks is the perfect way to earn some extra coin.
People Who Spend a Lot of Time Online – If you do all your shopping online, spend a fair bit of time browsing the web, and enjoy gaming and watching videos, you might as well get paid for it!
Who Should Avoid Swagbucks?
Anyone Looking to Get Rich – Swagbucks is a great way to earn some extra cash or a gift card for your favorite retailer, but it’s not going to make you rich. People with those unrealistic expectations shouldn’t even bother. If you’re willing to put more time and effort into making money, check out this list of legitimate work-from-home jobs if you really want to move the needle.
Anyone Who Finds Surveys Annoying – If you’re not interested in sharing your opinions or if you get annoyed answering a lot of questions, you won’t enjoy taking Swagbucks surveys. That said, there are plenty of other ways to earn SB such as shopping, watching videos, and gaming.
People Who Don’t Go Online Often – If you don’t spend much time online, you won’t have an opportunity to benefit from Swagbucks’ offers.
The Verdict: Is Swagbucks Legit?
Absolutely! If you’re looking to earn a few extra dollars in your spare time, you can do it with Swagbucks. It’s free to join and the rewards are real.
If you enjoy answering surveys, watching videos, and playing games, Swagbucks is right up your alley. If you do any shopping online, you might as well earn cash back. You’re reading this which means you obviously browse the web. So, why not get paid for it?
Sure, some surveys are annoying, and not all the offers will appeal to you. Still, you can take what you like and leave what you don’t. It’s that simple. You don’t really have anything to lose by giving it a try.
Keep your expectations in check (think an extra $10 a month, not an extra $1,000), and you won’t be disappointed.