Swagbucks is an online rewards program where you can earn points watching videos, answering surveys, playing games, and more. The points can be redeemed for gift cards.
There are plenty of these types of sites on the internet and the big question is – are they worth your time?
Swagbucks is 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.
When it comes to rewards programs, they are worth it. They are reputable with a long history of valuable partnerships. If you had to pick one program to join, this one is it.
Because they’ve been around a long time and have a large userbase (tens of millions), they are able to get partnerships and reward payouts you can’t find elsewhere. They have all the games and videos and smaller point earners, but they really shine when it comes to mainstream offers like bank bonuses (they recently had a 10,000 SB offer for opening a Discover Debit Checking account).
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Table of Contents
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. Since inception, Swagbucks has paid out over $552 million to its members (as of November 2023).
It’s one of the oldest programs of this type and one of the largest, which gives it some advantages over other platforms.
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. If you prefer to try to earn money playing games, our list of games that pay real money is a better fit.
- 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).
(take advantage of the $5 sign on bonus!)
The Discover section is where Swagbucks really shines, specifically their Featured Offers. They frequently will have big bonuses for signing up to various services or opening an account with someone. These are often on top of existing bonuses the service is offering to members.
For example, and this offer may not be there by the time you read this, is one from Draftkings Sportsbook:
You can get an extra 5,000 SB (worth about $50) when you sign up for DraftKings through Swagbucks and make as ingle $10 bet. If you lose the $10 bet, no big deal, you still get $50 from Swagbucks.
This is on top of whatever DraftKings promotions are being offered, such as their “Bet $5 and Get $200 in bonus bets” offer.
Swagbucks have a lot of these positive value offers because they are so popular.
Swagbucks Daily Activities
You can earn a few points each day doing a number of daily activities on Swagbucks, like answering a daily poll and watching a few videos. I don’t see these as being extremely valuable except they add a few cents to your balance each day until you see a good offer on Discover.
The lowest “fair” tier for point redemption is at 300 points so answering polls every single day means it takes you a year to get a $3 gift card – not worth it. But if you’re going to do a big offer, adding a few cents to the redemption seems OK.
I view it like receipt scanning apps – it won’t make you rich but every little bit counts. I have the receipt, I might as well turn it into a few cents before I trash it.
What is Swagbucks Local?
Swagbucks Local is a separate mobile app (separate even from their Swagbucks Mobile app) that gives you cash back when you shop at a physical store.
It’s similar to other restaurant cashback programs like Yelp and I use it to maximize my cash back 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 cash back! 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 often “sales” – where you can get certain gift cards at a 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.
Are there Swagbucks Alternatives?
There are plenty of similar services though few have the age and membership base as Swagbucks. If you’re looking for others, here are a few that might work well:
InboxDollars is very similar to Swagbucks in that you earn rewards in a similar way – watching videos, answering surveys, doing their offers, and shopping online. It’s not as big as Swagbucks but there are more ways to earn a few bucks here or there, such as clicking on emails. Our InboxDollars review has more.
PrizeRebel is newer than Swagbucks and doesn’t have the cashback shopping portal but it does have most everything else – surveys, videos, and more. Many of these services use the same survey panel software, which means you’ll see similar offers on both. PrizeRebel does have an “Offer Wall” that lets you earn points for doing a series of tasks.
SurveyJunkie is slightly different – they stick to surveys and pay slightly better on each. They don’t have videos or a shopping portal but they do offer surveys that pay slightly better than others. This focus allows them to have better higher paying partnerships.
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 purchase on Amazon and now I have some points pending:
You will not get rich but you can monetize your downtime 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.