Honest Swagbucks Review – Scam or Legit? [Updated 2019]

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Welcome to my full Swagbucks review! By the end, you should have a pretty good idea as to whether or not Swagbucks is right for you.

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

If you have any questions after reading through this review, feel free to place a comment below and I’ll get back to you shortly.

Since publishing this review, lots of people have added helpful comments. You may want to read through those before deciding whether or not to join Swagbucks.

Anyway, let’s get this started!

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.

Swagbucks home page

Website: www.swagbucks.com

Owners: Scott Dudelson, Josef Gorowitz, Ron Leshem and Eron Zehavi.

Price: Free

Rating: 91/100

How Does Swagbucks Work?


Swagbucks pays you for completing certain activities on their website (I’ll describe these below), 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).

Sign up for Swagbucks

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 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


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 post about it which you can check out here.

2. Take Surveys


Swagbucks 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 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


Swagbucks 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


Play Swagbucks 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


Shop & Get Cash Back with Swagbucks

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


Swagbucks 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


Print coupons and earn SB

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


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


Watch videos in 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


Enter in 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


Refer your friends 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:

  1. 50 SB per week for using their search engine x 52 weeks = 2,600 SB per year
  2. 100 Swagcodes (at the value of 2 SB each) per month x 12 months = 2,400 SB per year
  3. Redeem 10 coupons per week (100 SB per week) x 52 weeks = 5,200 SB per year
  4. Answer the daily poll every day for 1 SB x 365 days = 365 SB per year
  5. Take one survey per day at 60 SB x 365 = 21,900 SB per year
  6. Refer 10 friends and they each earn 1,000 SB = 1,000 SB per year
  7. Play videos on the Mobile App for 50 SB per day x 365 days = 18,250 SB per year
  8. Watch videos on your desktop or laptop for 10 SB per day x 365 = 3,650 SB per year
  9. 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?


Redeem SB for gift cards

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.

Swagbucks Complaints


Every company has their problems, and Swagbucks is definitely no exception. Following is a list of complaints some people have against them:

– The 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
  • Canada
  • Australia
  • Ireland

– 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


Pros

  • 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.

Cons

  • 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:

  1. You don’t need an inventory of products to sell, since you’re promoting other people’s products
  2. All you need is a computer with an internet connection (so you can work from pretty much anywhere!)
  3. Even complete beginners can do it with the right training (here’s what I recommend)
  4. 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!

19 thoughts on “Honest Swagbucks Review – Scam or Legit? [Updated 2019]”

  1. you evidently have not done this site. we know not gonna get rich except for one lady makes thousands and thousands i think she said in a month. NOT POSSIBLE i can’t find her post to double check but i think she said 4th trip to disney this year but she did post the amount of swagbucks she has supposedly earned. I think you should read their facebook page for several days to see how much they are cheating the people after they do the work to not get paid. It did use to be a good site not anymore

  2. Could be better and not ask the same questions over and over that are the same between so many surveys. Not having an error all the time that a survey isn’t available. But overall good for now let’s see if I get to $75 before end of year with surveys themselves.

  3. hi.
    i have been using watching videos to top up my sb level each day if i dont reach the daily bonus level after doing surveys. I have been happy with the site and am happy to continue to use it. I just want some information.
    In the last few days none of the videos will work. \i have tried to get an explanation why but can not find any thing out. I have tried putting in a complaint request but, surprise, surprise, there is no reply. any ideas of what to do next?

  4. Taking your numbers above and expanding on your maths: Assuming and average of 35 minutes per week typing searches, five minutes per video, 10 minutes per week finding and printing coupons, 2 minutes to load and complete polls, an average of 20 minutes per day for one survey, 10 minutes a day to play games and one hour per year to setup and send referrals….
    129,900 minutes per year = 2,164.833 Hours per year spent on all these
    earned you 78,500 SB for the year, which means you were effectively paid 36SB an hour or $0.36 per hour….

    • Very valid point. And that’s why I suggest if people really want to make money online, they pursue something like this which can replace any income in a few years.

      However, for those who don’t feel they have the time to start an online business, Swagbucks can be helpful and cover small costs. The time is difficult to justify though as you imply.

    • They do not honour their end of the deal on those offers. Sure you can collect SB points but have you tried cashing them in. They send you through hoops and then you get nowhere. Sure they are legit but they are still not great. I would not recommend these jerks

    • Are you sure it’s not PayPal asking for your password in order to log in? I know with PayPal, oftentimes it will be a popup over the other website, which can make it look as if it’s the website, not PayPal, asking for your password.

  5. When it comes to using Swagbucks, I try to stick to taking the surveys versus doing the offers. I definitely think that it is doable to make at least $3-5 a day if you keep up with it for sure!

  6. Please take the time and review the hundreds of complaints regarding Swagbucks practices. They do not credit your account unless you file a complaint and then you may never see your rewards. Something is seriously wrong with this site and I may never see the $60 PayPal payment that is owed me.

    • If you are using Chrome, you can delete the extension by right clicking it and selecting “Remove from Chrome…”. If you are using a different browser, you’ll want to do a quick search on how to remove extensions on the browser you’re using.

      If you set Swagbucks as your default browser and would like to revert to a different browser, you should find the option to do so in your browser settings.

      Let me know if this answers your question!

  7. Dear Wfhj,

    That’s a very thorough review on Swagbucks and you have really covered all bases. I strongly believe your article will help people in their decision making. Thanks for the useful information I will come back to your website to learn more information. Keep up the great work. Wishing you great success!

    Your Friend,
    Paul

  8. True a scam is someone who takes your money without a return. Swagbucks has a tracking problem. I completed 2 charity SB offers. Never got my SBs. They wanted screenshots. Isn’t tracking sufficient? Sounds like a scam to me.

    • Some offers require specific steps (such as screenshot proof) that others may not, so you just have to be prepare to complete each step. It can be quite a hassle sometimes. I’ve just stopped doing offers, and don’t recommend them as a good way to earn money on a ‘get paid to’ type of site like Swagbucks.

    • Hi Sylvia,

      I just went to Swagbucks to double check. It appears that 1 SB actually is worth one cent, and this can be confirmed when you visit the Rewards Store. For example, in order to claim a $5 Amazon gift card, you need 500 SB, and in order to cash out $25 to PayPal, you need 2500 SB.

      Cheers!

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