Welcome to my Swagbucks review!
In this review, I’ll be going over:
- What Swagbucks is, and how it works
- Whether it’s a scam or legitimate
- How to make money with Swagbucks
- How much you can expect to earn
- Swagbucks complaints
- Pros and cons
- My final verdict, and why I still prefer this earning method over Swagbucks
What is Swagbucks?
Swagbucks is a website that pays you to search the web, complete surveys, do various tasks, and more. Swagbucks is one of the most well-known and popular GPT (Get Paid To) websites, and has been around since 2008.
As you’ve probably seen already, there are a lot of Swagbucks reviews out there. Most claim it’s a legit site and not a scam, but let’s dive into exactly how it works, and my experience using it.
Owners: Scott Dudelson, Josef Gorowitz, Ron Leshem and Eron Zehavi.
How Does Swagbucks Work?
Swagbucks pays you for completing certain activities on their website, and for using their search engine. You won’t be able to replace your income with Swagbucks, but it can be a good way to make an extra couple hundred a year for a few minutes of work each day.
The Swagbucks “currency” is fittingly named “swag bucks”, or “SB” for short. 1 SB is worth $0.01 (a penny).
The Sign Up Process
Signing up for Swagbucks is easy – all you need is an email and a password. You’ll also be asked a security question (such as “what’s your favorite hobby?”), to help protect against others hacking into your account. Click here to sign up.
There’s also the option to sign up with your Facebook account.
Is Swagbucks a Scam?
The word “scam” implies something that takes your money; a fraud. I have been using Swagbucks for about a year and half now with no problems.
Swagbucks does not cost anything, in fact, quite the opposite: it pays YOU!
So, since Swagbucks can’t take your money, what about your private information?
This is definitely a concern, as you do have to give some personal information when doing surveys and offers. But your information is pooled with millions of other people’s information, and it’s only be used for research purposes.
If this is a concern for you, there are ways to make money from Swagbucks that don’t require giving out your personal information.
Following is a list of ways to earn money with Swagbucks:
1. Use the Swagbucks Search Engine
By using the Swagbucks search engine, you can actually earn money while browsing the web.
Swagbucks’ search engine is powered by Yahoo, so the results you’ll get will be more or less the same as you get with Google, Bing, or any other search engine for that matter.
While surfing the web, Swagbucks will occasionally reward you a random amount of SB. The rewards are very random, but if you do a lot of searching you’ll get a few SB rewards per day.
The rewards start as low as 4 SB, but some users have reported earning up to 100 SB for one search. On average, however, 6-10 SB is pretty standard.
The highest I’ve earned with one search was 30 SB.
EDIT (several months later):
Well, count me into the “earned 100 SB for one search” club! That was probably the easiest dollar I’ve ever made. 😉 In fact, I wrote a whole post about it which you can check out here.
2. Take Surveys
Taking surveys is one of the fastest and easiest ways to earn SB. The payout is pretty bad for most surveys, but every now and then you’ll see a 5-minute survey offering a payout of 100 or more swag bucks. Unfortunately, like most survey sites, you will disqualify from a lot of the surveys you attempt.
One user on Reddit reported (with proof) making just over 1,000 swag bucks in one day just by doing surveys.
I wouldn’t recommend trying this yourself unless you NEED $10 right now, because it would take almost all day. And you’d probably disqualify from half the surveys anyway. Nonetheless, it’s an interesting stat and if you could do that every day for a year, you’d wind up making $3,650.
3. Complete Offers
Swagbucks has a list of offers that when completed, can each earn you several dollars. Completing offers is easily the fastest way to earn a bunch of swag bucks.
However, most of the offers require you to sign up for a free trial which you’ll have to remember to cancel, and others you actually have to pay for. Some of them will send you a ton of spam emails as well.
Unless you’re genuinely interested in these offers, I would not suggest doing them (here’s why).
4. Watch Videos
Although watching videos won’t earn you very many swag bucks, (something like 1-2 SB for every 6 videos), most of the videos are about trending topics which a lot of people will watch anyway. So why not get paid for it?
Some people like to let the videos run while doing other things, so they don’t have to waste their time watching for a long while only to earn a few cents. That way it’s essentially passive income, and can earn you a dollar or two per day.
Keep in mind that you’ll have to regularly click on the next playlist to watch, after the one before it finishes – so it’s not 100% passive.
5. Play Games
A fun way to earn some extra SB is by playing games.
There are lots of games to choose from, but most of them seem to be slots-related.
You can earn 18 swag bucks for every $1 you spend on in-game purchases, or by playing Swagbucks’ own games, you can earn a couple SB now and then without having to spend anything.
I played one of their games four times, and twice I earned 2 SB for a total of 4 SB. It only took a couple minutes, and the game was actually pretty fun.
6. Shop and Get Cash Back
One of the best ways to earn swag bucks is to get cash back for shopping online.
If you plan to purchase something online, make sure to go to the store through Swagbucks in order to get cash back. Almost every major online retailer gives cash back in the form of swag bucks, including Amazon and eBay.
Some offer as low as 1 SB per dollar, while others offer up to 50 SB per dollar. Savvy shoppers have saved a TON of money by doing this.
7. Answer the Daily Poll
Every day, Swagbucks posts a poll for its users. Answering it only takes a second or two, and you’ll be rewarded with 1 SB.
That’s $3.65 every year just for answering a poll each day!
8. Print Coupons
Swagbucks has hundreds of coupons available for all kinds of groceries.
For example, there’s currently a coupon for $2 off any two Pepsi Cola 12oz 12pk cans, and a coupon for 50 cents off any Windex product.
Each coupon you redeem at your local grocery store will not only save you money, but also earn you 10 SB!
9. Redeem Swagcodes
A couple times throughout the day, Swagbucks will post “Swagcodes” on their social media profiles and on their blog.
Each code will earn you a small amount (usually 2-3 SB) when you redeem them in the Swagcode box on the Swagbucks website or search engine.
Every once in a while, there will be a “Swagcode Extravaganza”, where Swagbucks will post a bunch of high value Swagcodes in a single day. On these days, it’s possible to earn 20-30 SB just from Swagcodes alone!
10. Watch Videos on the Swagbucks Mobile App
Available for free on both Android and iOS devices, the Swagbucks app offers the same sort of things that their website offers, but you can also earn an additional 50 SB per day for watching videos on the app.
The videos can be run in the background, so it’s virtually passive income.
11. Join the Swagstakes
Swagbucks has many sweepstakes or “Swagstakes” posted at any given time, and anyone can join them.
You have to pay a certain amount of SB to join, but if you’re randomly chosen as the winner, you can earn it back and then some.
I’m not the type to participate in these kinds of things, but I did try one that had a prize of 50 SB and cost 2 SB to join.
No, I didn’t win. What did you expect?
The Swagstakes definitely are legitimate, and plenty of people have been lucky with them. But it’s like that with any lottery. My advice is to stick with the more dependable ways of earning SB.
12. Refer Others to Swagbucks
A great way to earn some consistent swag bucks is by getting referrals. You make 10% of all the earnings your referral makes, so if they make 500 SB, you’d make 50 SB.
Also, once your referral reaches 300 SB, you both get an extra $3 (300 SB).
How Much Money Can You Make with Swagbucks?
If you take a lot of surveys, do all your browsing through the Swagbucks search engine, and are actively utilizing Swagbucks’ features, you can expect to earn a pretty decent amount from Swagbucks. Probably in the range of several hundred a year, but it really depends on how active you are.
I almost exclusively earn swag bucks through their search engine, and have already earned well over $20 in passive income.
Let’s do some quick calculations to see how much you can earn in a year if you are fairly active:
- 50 SB per week for using their search engine x 52 weeks = 2,600 SB per year
- 100 Swagcodes (at the value of 2 SB each) per month x 12 months = 2,400 SB per year
- Redeem 10 coupons per week (100 SB per week) x 52 weeks = 5,200 SB per year
- Answer the daily poll every day for 1 SB x 365 days = 365 SB per year
- Take one survey per day at 60 SB x 365 = 21,900 SB per year
- Refer 10 friends and they each earn 1,000 SB = 1,000 SB per year
- Play videos on the Mobile App for 50 SB per day x 365 days = 18,250 SB per year
- Watch videos on your desktop or laptop for 10 SB per day x 365 = 3,650 SB per year
- Play 2 games for 2 SB per day x 365 days = 730 SB per year
That’s equal to 56,095 swag bucks per year, or $560.95!
That’s enough to pay for a nice brand-new computer, or Christmas for an entire family.
As you can see, taking surveys and playing videos on the mobile app are easily the most lucrative ways to make money with Swagbucks.
But even if you only use the search engine feature, that’s still $26 per year. Not bad, considering it requires no extra work on your part.
How Does Swagbucks Pay?
There are many ways to redeem your SB.
The most common way is to redeem them for gift cards. There are a vast number of gift cards available, including all the big names such as Amazon, eBay and iTunes.
You can redeem gift cards for as low as 300 SB, and up to 50,000 SB.
You can also redeem SB for PayPal cash once you have 2,500 SB.
You also have the option to donate your SB to a charity of your choice.
Is There a Minimum Payout Threshold?
Yes, you need at least 300 SB to redeem certain gift cards. If you want PayPal cash, you’ll need at least $25 worth of SB before you can cash out your earnings.
So, although it’s quite easy to rack up 300 SB, Swagbucks won’t be the answer if you need cash RIGHT NOW. Qmee would be the better option in that situation, since it has no minimum cash out amount.
Every company has their problems, and Swagbucks is definitely no exception. Following is a list of complaints some people have against them:
They pay is quite low
This is true, but the thing is, Swagbucks isn’t supposed to earn you a full-time income.
Also, if you just use the search engine and don’t waste your time taking surveys, you can actually make some decent passive income each month for just browsing the web.
Take advantage of the passive income opportunities Swagbucks presents, and you won’t be disappointed.
Swagbucks isn’t available in many countries
Most sites like this only work in a few countries, unfortunately. In Swagbucks’ case, the countries supported are:
- United States
- United Kingdom
Sometimes Swagbucks won’t give you credit for the offers you completed
Some people are having trouble getting SB for offers they completed. Although this is unfortunate, it’s just another reason to stay away from the offers (like I said earlier).
Unless you are genuinely interested in an offer, I advise that you ignore it altogether.
You get disqualified from most surveys you attempt
Almost all survey sites pose this risk, and Swagbucks is no exception. However, if you want to reduce the chance of this happening, be sure to fully fill out your “survey profile”.
I actually found the Swagbucks surveys to be more reliable than, say, Qmee’s surveys, since I was actually able to successfully complete a couple of them (out of like 5 attempts).
Customer service is extremely slow
When people send in support tickets, customer service rarely gets back in a timely manner. Sadly, most similar companies have this same annoying problem.
Swagbucks Pros and Cons
- 100% Free
- Simply using the Swagbucks search engine can earn you several dollars per month in passive income
- Good referral system, with the potential to make hundreds each month
- Wide variety of gift cards to choose from when you’re ready to redeem your SB
- Swagbucks has been around since 2008, and throughout this time has maintained good reputation.
- Only available in certain countries (listed above)
- You aren’t guaranteed to qualify for every survey – in fact, you’ll probably only qualify for a small percentage of the ones you attempt.
- Slow customer service
Final Thoughts – Scam or Legit?
Swagbucks is not a scam. It’s a legitimate way to earn money online.
By just using their search engine, you can make some decent pocket change each month. If you’re an active user, take surveys, complete offers, and use the site to its full potential, you can make a modest side income.
I haven’t experienced any issues with Swagbucks except for disqualifying from most of the surveys I tried, but that’s normal with any survey site.
In my opinion, Swagbucks offers some excellent ways to earn a little extra each month, and can even pay for Christmas if you utilize everything it has to offer.
While Swagbucks is a nice way to earn a little extra pocket change, it certainly won’t make you a full-time income like some online ventures.
My favorite way to make money online (it’s far better than Swagbucks) is called affiliate marketing. I like affiliate marketing for several reasons, specifically:
- You don’t need an inventory of products to sell, since you’re promoting other people’s products
- All you need is a computer with an internet connection (so you can work from pretty much anywhere!)
- Even complete beginners can do it with the right training (here’s what I recommend)
- The amount of money you can make is virtually unlimited – some people make millions per year!
Since affiliate marketing is a real business, you won’t make money right away (like you can with Swagbucks). But if you put forth a serious effort, you will start to see your earnings grow, and possibly be making enough to quit your job.
It takes time, yes, but trust me: it’s well worth it.
Have you ever used Swagbucks before? What do you think of it? Feel free to leave a comment below, and if you have any questions, I’d love to help out!