When it comes to making money online, Swagbucks is probably the easiest way you can find. It won’t make you rich, but with a little effort it can make a good dent in your budget for things like movie nights, summer camping trips, and annual holidays.
In this guide I'll explain how to earn money with Swagbucks, and of course, what I often get asked... does it actually work?
What Is Swagbucks?
You’ve probably heard of Swagbucks, and yes… they are legit. You can earn rewards such as gift cards and money through PayPal by doing tasks you’d normally do online anyway… like searching the web, playing games, and watching videos.
In fact, they offer so many different ways to make money, it’s hard to know which ones are best… especially if you’re just getting started.
In this guide I’ll talk about the fastest ways you can earn with Swagbucks, the easiest ways, and the riskier strategies you might want to avoid.
Does It Actually Work?
Most people don't make money from their couch, so when it comes to sites like Swagbucks it's common to feel like something isn't quite right. I mean... who's going to pay you to do small tasks online?
There are also a lot sites out there making big promises but either failing to deliver... or just flat-out ripping people off.
Swagbucks definitely has it's customer service issues and complaints, but as far as make-money-online sites go... it's one of the better ones...
You can also check out my full review of Swagbucks which explains who they are, how it works, and why it's a legit site that's safe to use.
The Fastest Ways to Make Money with Swagbucks
Let’s begin by defining the word fast and talking about expectations when it comes to making money.
For example, if you need $500 by the end of the month… Swagbucks is not going to get you there.
On the other hand… if $500 in a year to help with Christmas is what you’re hoping for, you’ve come to the right place.
One swagbuck (SB) is roughly equal to one cent ($0.01) and they do add up, but you only have 24 hours in a day, so it’s going to take time to accumulate them… whether you do it fast or slow.
So, fast does not mean instant and it also doesn’t mean easy (I’ll get to the easiest ways to make money with Swagbucks below). It means putting in some effort to accumulate as many Swagbucks as possible… as fast as possible.
Of all the ways you can earn money with Swagbucks, surveys are on the higher end of the payout scale… between 50 – 300 SB’s per survey, and surveys "average" about 20 minutes in length.
But there’s a catch…
You can also waste five or ten minutes trying to qualify for surveys.
Since surveys are targeted at specific demographic groups, this can get frustrating. You'll spend a lot of time trying to find the right surveys for you, but you do eventually find them and it can be one of the faster ways to rack up your points (your swagbucks).
For the right person, this can also be an extremely fast way to accumulate swagbucks. Finding referrals and getting them to sign up is the hardest part, but if you have a lot of friends and family, or even an online following… you will earn 10% of everything they make on Swagbucks (excluding their referral bonuses, swag codes, and daily goal bonus).
Also... when your referral earns 300 SB before the first day of the following month, you with both also earn a 300 SB bonus.
It’s not the fastest strategy out of the gate (because referrals can be difficult to get)… but in the long-run you are multiplying your swagbucks and earning passive income. Some would say this is the only way to really earn money with Swagbucks.
Special Offers and Free Trials
Inside your account you’ll find a “discover” tab which lists a bunch of offers (such as subscription trials to Audible for example) and when you sign up you earn swagbucks. Some of these offers are free and others are paid.
It goes without saying… don’t spend money on offers you wouldn’t normally pay for just because the SB payout is good. However... if you do find something you were going to pay for anyway… you might as well get it here and add to your SB total.
As a result of hitting it hard and going for the maximum number of SB’s… Swagbucks will reward you for hitting certain targets.
Each day they give you a goal, and if you can hit it they’ll reward you with a few extra Swagbucks (usually around 10%).
But we’re just getting started…
The Easiest Ways to Make Money with Swagbucks
The Surveys and Referrals discussed above may offer the highest returns… but they also require the most effort.
Fortunately... Swagbucks also offers easy ways to earn by doing things you’d normally do online anyway.
It should be noted that we’re not talking about a lot of money here (I mean… a swagbuck is only worth a penny), but the game is to accumulate as many as possible, so every little bit helps.
Searching the Web
There’s a good chance that you search the web everyday using either Google, Bing, or another search engine. What you might not know though, is that Swagbucks has their own search engine and you can earn up to 25 – 50 swagbucks per day by using theirs instead.
Google and Bing are certainly the gold standard when it comes to finding relevant information online, but having used the Swagbucks search engine, it does a really good job…
What could be easier than watching videos and getting paid?
Well... how about not watching them and letting them play in the background while you do something else? I shouldn't recommend that... but it is one way people are maximizing their SB count.
You can set up the Swagbucks TV app and let it run (while checking periodically because sometimes it will pause) and earn up to 150 SB a day. On average, you’ll be getting 2 - 3 swagbucks per video.
By simply installing the swagbutton, which notifies you of shopping offers and allows you to play videos in the corner of the screen… you can earn another SB per day.
If you have a game addiction, this is what you’ve been looking for. You can earn up to 10 SB per game.
If you’re really into games and regularly pay for them, they offer even higher SB rewards when you play popular games such as Tetris, or online slot machines.
Everyday in the right-hand sidebar, there is a daily poll. It only pays one swagbuck… but it also only takes 2 seconds, a click, and you’re done.
Daily Offer (NOSO)
These are no obligation special offers (NOSO)… meaning you can go through them, skip each one, and still earn 2 SB for a few seconds of your time.
As a way to keep you engaged with Swagbucks… they pepper their site and social media with special codes that when entered (into the safe icon at the top of your account page) are good for some instant points.
You can install the Swagbucks browser extension (50 SB just for downloading) and get notified when new codes become available… or you can skip the treasure hunt and find codes at sbcodz.com.
Reward Sales and Discounts
Another simple way to maximize your swagbucks is to redeem them when gift cards go on sale.
Once a month Swagbucks discounts certain gift cards. For example, a $25 card that would normally cost 2500 SB, may go on sale for 2200 SB (a 12% discount).
When you add it all up (videos playing in the background, using the Swagbucks search engine, discounts, etc.) you can really pad your account with swagbucks that others miss out on.
The Riskiest Ways to Make Money with Swagbucks
Okay… when I say risky, I’m not talking about dumping your savings into bitcoin or swimming with sharks. What I mean is that Swagbucks is not just about making money… it can also tempt you to spend money.
And, if you're spending more than you're making on things you don't need... Swagbucks may be hurting, not helping.
One of the popular ways to accumulate SB is by shopping.
You may have heard of affiliate marketing, which is a way for regular people like you and I to earn commissions by referring people to places like Amazon, Groupon, Expedia and even popular retailers like Home Depot, Sephora and Old Navy.
Swagbucks is also an affiliate partner with these brands and earns a commission when you buy something from them (at no extra cost to you). Instead of keeping the entire commission… they share it with you by adding to your SB total (anywhere from 1 – 5 percent of the amount you spend).
The reason I consider this risky is because chances are, most people will see something they had no intention of buying and instead of earning swagbucks… they’ll be spending real bucks. It kind of defeats the purpose.
But… if shopping is your thing, you might as well add to your SB earnings while you’re at it.
Print and Redeem Coupons
This is the same as shopping. You can earn up to 10 SB when you print and redeem a coupon which is great if you’re only buying things you’d normally buy anyway… but more often than not you end up with a few grocery items that were never on your list.
Sweepstakes (aka Swagstakes)
I think this one speaks for itself. Instead of redeeming your swagbucks for cold-hard gift cards… you can gamble them away in the high-stakes world of SB roulette.
The Best Way to Make Money with Swagbucks?
It all depends on your situation. If you shop a lot… you might find some great deals and SB rewards that make the most sense for you.
If you work a job where you can play videos in the background… then that might be the best way.
In most cases, the "best way" will be a combination of everything (although, I don't recommend throwing your swagbucks away on sweepstakes).
When you add up everything , it’s not unheard of for people to make $500 - $1000 per year in gift cards. That's a lot of time doing surveys, getting referrals and playing games, but it's possible. And, you can do it while sitting around home, waiting in the doctor's office... or if you're like me, standing around while my wife and daughters shop for clothes 🙂
At present… the total amount of money that Swagbucks has paid out is approaching $300 million, so there is plenty to go around.
There seems to be a wall that many people hit when they try to make money online. It's partly a belief issue, because many people just don't believe it's possible.
But... it's also because there are so many ways to do it, and so many people promising the Earth, Moon, and Sky that it gets overwhelming and people don't know where to begin.
I must admit, this isn't my favorite way to make money... I prefer to use the web to create passive income. If you're just getting started though and trying to earn your first dollar, Swagbucks is a great way to break the ice and get a taste of what's possible.
From there you can venture into more substantial work-at-home gigs and side hustles.