Have you heard of Swagbucks?
If you're here, you probably want to learn more about them.
It's consistently one of the most popular programs on our list of sites to make extra money and I wanted to do a deeper dive into them.
I first learned about Swagbucks after meeting with some of their folks at Fincon, a great personal finance conference held each year, and they're really great people. Unlike a lot of other online programs, Swagbucks really gets out into the community and it's good to put faces with names.
That said, the big question isn't whether they're nice folks but whether you can put more money into your pocket using them.
For that, we have to start at the beginning.
What is Swagbucks?
Swagbucks is a free online rewards program (you should never pay to join any program like this). You earn Swagbucks, redeemable as cash or gift cards, for doing your typical online activities through their portal. You can watch videos, search the web, shop, answer surveys, discovering new online content, play games and many more activities.
Swagbucks is run by Prodege, based out of El Segundo, CA. They were founded in 2005 and they run several sites online, including MyPoints and MyGiftCardsPlus. Prodege, LLC has an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau and are an Accredited Business (since 5/21/2010).
Since inception, Swagbucks has paid out over $185.5 million to its members (as of April 2017)!
How do you earn Swagbucks?
You earn Swagbucks by doing things through the website.
There are a lot of ways to earn Swagbucks:
- Watch Swagbucks TV (videos): You earn 1 SB for every 6 videos, with bonus points during promotions. Sometimes you earn 2 SB per 6 videos. You can do this on your phone too, I watch Movie Trailers to earn SB.
- Daily poll: Earn 1 SB for voting each day. It's a fun little multiple choice question.
- Daily “Crave:” Which is where you auto-surf websites, usually 2-3 for 1 SB on the first take.
- Searching the web: Swagbucks Search is powered by Yahoo! (which is powered by Bing) and you can randomly earn points by using the search.
- Special Offers: Various brands partner with Swagbucks to offer members trials or discounts, you can earn points by taking advantage of these offers.
- Answer surveys: There is an unending supply of third party market research surveys you can take for Swagbucks.
- Cashback shopping: Swagbucks has a cashback shopping portal too where you'll earn points for shopping through it.
- Playing games: There are games in Swagbucks that you can play to win Swagbucks.
- Refer friends: When you refer your friends, you can get 10% of their Swagbucks earnings for life.
- Daily bonuses: If you earn enough Swagbucks in a day, you get bonuses as shown at the top of the screen.
Swagbucks also has a mobile app you can use to earn Swagbucks by searching the web, taking special offers, watching videos and answering surveys (including the daily poll).
Try Swagbucks Today
(take advantage of the $5 sign on bonus!)
What is Swagbucks Local?
Swagbucks Local is a separate mobile app (separate even from their Swagbucks Mobile app) that gives you cashback when you shop at a physical store.
It's similar to other restaurant cashback programs like Yelp and I use it to maximize my cashback at restaurants. You sign up, link up a credit card, and then go about your day.
When you use your credit card at a restaurant in the program, you get cashback! There's nothing else you need to do. So easy.
What can you get for Swagbucks?
Each Swagbuck is worth a penny. You usually redeem them at 100 SB for $1 in gift cards or cash (you can get a Paypal deposit of $25 for 2,500SB).
There are periodically “sales” – where you can get certain gift cards on discount. A Visa $100 Virtual Reward for 9,900 SB, a $50 Cracker Barrel gift card for 4,900 SB, things like that.
My pick is always the $25 Amazon gift card. You get a 12% discount on your first $25 gift card redemption each month, so a $25 Amazon.com Gift Card comes out to only 2,200 SB. Amazon gift cards are as good as cash in this house.
Is Swagbucks Worth the Time?
Like many things in life, it depends on how much your time is worth.
For most people looking to earn an extra buck or two, it's a great way to turn your internet surfing time into profitable internet surfing time. You won't earn a ton of money but picking up an extra gift card or two each month is a nice little perk. When you consider that you're doing this stuff anyway, you might as well earn some money doing things you're already doing online.
I view it as an optimization tool. I wouldn't go out on a walk looking for pennies to pick up on the ground but if I saw one, I'm bending over to grab it. I want to make sure I don't waste time so if I have to wait somewhere, I might as well earn a few pennies watching a video or maybe a few dollars by taking a survey.
For example, you can earn Swagbucks by shopping through their portal. There are a lot of portals out there but I go through Swagbucks because I know I can cash it out easily. Just recently, I went through them to make a purchase on Amazon and now I have some points pending:
You will not get rich but you can monetize your down time easily.
If you download the toolbar, use their extensions, you can earn Swagbucks without extra effort. It's even easier than picking up pennies from the sidewalk.
For a limited time, you can get a $5 bonus for signing up.
Are you a Swagbucks user? What do you think?