Thanks for stopping by to check out my SwagBucks review. One of the most common questions I get about making money online is about reward sites that pay you for things like shopping, playing games, and doing online surveys.
I mean... getting paid to do things online? It must be a scam, right?
So of course, the first question is usually are they legit and safe? The second question is which ones do I recommend? I have to say… Swagbucks is at the top of my list and I’ll explain the reasons why below. We’ll also unpack the countless Swagbucks reviews to find the good things and the not-so good things people are saying... and why some might even call Swagbucks a scam.
Please note, this Swag Bucks review has been researched with information and/or testimonials that are available online in the public domain. Any recommendations and/or conclusions are strictly opinions and may not to apply to, or agree with, all persons or situations. See full disclaimer for more info
What is Swagbucks?
Swagbucks is an online rewards website that pays you for things like participating in paid surveys, watching videos, signing up for free trials and a dozen of other online activities.
How Does It Work?
Signing up is easy, and it’s also free. You can either join with your email (my preferred method) or by using your Facebook account.
Best known for their online surveys… they also offer a multitude of earning opportunities which really sets them apart from similar websites.
I should be mentioned early in this review though that we’re not talking about big money. Most people report earnings of anywhere from $5 and $10 per month, to as much as $75 and $80.
That might not sound like much, but if you spend your spare time accumulating rewards (called swagbucks) over several months or a year, it’ll give you a good head-start on things like Christmas shopping and summer vacations.
But before I get into the many ways you can earn, let’s deal with the most common question I get… is it a scam?
Is Swagbucks Surveys a Scam?
Earning online is still one of those mysterious things that people are aware of, but don't really understand. Telling someone you make money online is almost like telling them you've seen a UFO or Bigfoot.
Of course many will think it’s a scam... or at the very least, question if it's safe and it's understandable why they'd be concerned. There's are so many scams and fake sites out there it's almost impossible to know which ones are legit and which ones are out to rip you off.
When it comes to Swagbucks, the scam accusations are minimal… but there is one area where people get suspicious, which is...
Qualifying For Surveys
There are a lot of great online opportunities out there, but it's a fact... there's also a ton of baloney. And with Swagbucks… we're not talking about a flat-out scam here (the kind that rips you off and you never hear from them again).
The issue here is that people end up wasting their time and sharing personal information while trying to qualify for surveys...
The reason for qualifying is because market research companies are looking for specific demographics to target, and depending on your situation… it can be difficult to get accepted.
If you don't qualify, you don't get paid for your time.
For example… if you’re single with no kids and rent a room in someone’s house… you simply won’t qualify for as many surveys as a parent with young kids who also owns two cars, a house, takes annual vacations and for good measure has a medical issue or two.
And it makes sense. The most common purpose for market research is to identify buyers and improve products and services.
If you own a lot of things, you are considered a buyer. If you have specific needs like medical requirements for example, you are a buyer.
If you have a lot of experiences (particularly with products and services) you opinion on how a product or service can be improved is more valuable.
A lot of people lie about their situations though, so to qualify for you must complete pre-qualifying surveys which often include a lot of personal questions. Since you don’t get paid for these, the suspicious person often wonders if the information they are sharing is being sold anyway.
That’s one reason some might accuse Swagbucks surveys of being a scam… but it’s usually just out of frustration of repeatedly trying but never qualifying.
As I write this review, Swagbucks is approaching 300 million dollars paid out to members. I’m not sure what your bank account looks like… but for me, hundreds of millions is a lot of money. 😀
There may be some complaints and unhappy members… but Swagbucks is definitely legitimate and safe.
Who is Swagbucks For?
Swagbucks is great for the first-time online income earner or the person who has spare time and is looking for a simple way to earn some gift cards.
If you’ve never made money online before… Swag Bucks is an easy way to get in and feel what it’s like. You won’t make a lot of money, and you definitely won’t be quitting your day job, but it’s a start.
Who It's Not For
If you’re serious about making money online and hate the 9 to 5 grind, an online business might be what you're looking for.
The real power of the web is that it gives you an ability to produce something once and make money from it repeatedly… to build a passive income.
Earning a passive income might even be something you need because of health issues for example or children at home you need to look after.
Knowing how (and where) to start is what you need in order to get what you want.
Earning swagbucks by doing small tasks doesn't give you the leverage an online business can give you though. You can however earn money with SwagBucks' referral program (which I’ll talk about more below).
I'm not sure what your financial goals are, but I like to do things once and earn passive income 🙂
What Is a ‘Swagbuck’ and How Do You Earn Them?
A swagbuck is basically a ‘point’. Most reward sites pay you in 'points'… Swagbucks cleverly calls them swagbucks.
One swagbuck (or SB) is equal to one cent and they can be redeemed for dozens of different gift cards as well as PayPal cash.
So… how do you earn swagbucks?
Aside from the surveys which we already discussed, I'll break down the many ways you can make money with Swagbucks. The easiest ways, the best ways and even the riskier strategies you may want to avoid.
First though... an important question.
Does Swagbucks 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, right?
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...
So to answer that question, yes Swagbucks works.
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 to pay off a credit card bill… 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.
We'll start with surveys because they 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).
To increase your survey opportunities you can also join legit sites that specialize in online surveys like Survey Junkie.
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.
If you have more time on your hands or you'd like to earn a full-time income online, an online business might be what you're looking for.
A health issue for example, kids at home to look after or a difficult job market can make an income at home more than just a nice thing to have, but also the peace of mind you've been looking for.
Knowing how to get started, and who you can trust is what you need in order to get what you want.
For further opportunities you can also check out this list of more than two hundred work-at-home gigs and side hustles.
Swagbucks Reviews and Complaints
Like most online companies, Swagbucks can stake their claim to both positive and negative reviews… but the good news is that the comments are overwhelmingly good (which is rare for sites like these).
Among the positive things people are saying…
- It’s relatively easy to earn $50 - $75 each month because Swagbucks offer so many ways to earn.
- It’s fun…
- Those who use it for shopping see it as a cash-back type website.
- Some people even claim to have given up on other similar sites and only use Swagbucks now, which is probably one of the best compliments you can give them.
Before you get too excited though, having read through hundreds of reviews, there are some common compliants that consistently come up…
- The surveys take longer to complete than advertised… and if you’re doing them often, all of those extra minutes add up.
- Not enough surveys and too difficult to qualify (a common complaint among most survey sites).
- And… unfortunately, there are some BBB complaints about people having their accounts closed for no reason or not getting credited for their rewards.
What I Like About Swagbucks
- You don’t see a lot issues with people not getting paid.
- Multiple ways to earn.
- No minimum payout.
- The ratio of good
to bad Swagbucks reviews makes it clear that this is one of the more credible reward and survey sites you can join.
What I Don’t Like
- Aside from starting a Swagbucks referral business… there is no passive income potential. Each task only pays you once.
- The pay is low. It’s not suited for people who want to change their life, or replace their job income.
- Surveys often require you to share personal information.
Where Do You Go From Here?
In my opinion, making money doing small tasks and surveys is not the best use of your time. But that’s just me.
If you've never made money online before, Swagbucks is a legitimate way you can get started. It’s also simple and fun and as I mentioned earlier, it's great for someone to earn their first dollar (or two) online.
If a full-time income is something you need though because of a medical issue that makes it difficult to work, a young one at home who needs you, or even just a job you hate...
... an online business is what you want. Knowing how (and where) to get started is what you need in order to get what you want.
Thanks for stopping by and reading… I hope my Swagbucks Review was helpful and if you have any comments or questions, or experience with Swagbucks, please share in the comments section below.