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Swagbucks Review: Why It’s My Favorite

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If you have ever landed on this site before, you probably have seen me mention Swagbucks.  It’s mentioned in quite a few posts as well as quite a bit in the online money-making communities.

It’s one of my favorite ways to earn money online, the main reason I promote them so heavily.  I only promote things can vouch for and would never mention something I personally wouldn’t sign up for.

Now, you won’t get rich with Swagbucks, but you can earn $50 to $300+ a month easily if you log in and complete a few surveys/offers a day.  Don’t worry, I will talk about how I do it in my review below.

Seeing I try to review almost everything I mention on this site, I figured it’s time to review one of my all-time favorites, Swagbucks.

Swagbucks Review

If you don’t mind answering survey questions and/or signing up for an offer, then you may want to at least check out Swagbucks.  It’s one of the best and largest in the business and has paid out hundreds of millions of dollars in rewards.  This is something very few research companies can say.  Yes, they are on a whole another level.

In this review, I’m going to talk about how you can sign up, what’s available to you on your dashboard, how the entire system works as well as what you can do to capitalize your earnings.  I will be sure to cover all grounds as I always do in my non-biased reviews.

If you want to make $100, $200 or even $300+ a month in your spare time from just about anywhere, then strap in and see if Swagbucks is something you can take advantage of.

What is Swagbucks?

Swagbucks is operated by the company, Prodege, an internet and media company dedicated to “creating rewarding moments” for its members.  The company was founded in 2005 and is currently headquartered in El Segundo, California.

As I write this, they have more than 100 million members and have paid out more than $407 million in rewards.  That’s more than 7,000 gift cards redeemed a day!  Out of all the companies I have written about in this field, Swagbucks beats them by a mile.  These numbers are huge, and very few companies come close.  This number continues to grow!

Aside from Swagbucks, It operates other big names as well, such as InboxDollars, MyPoints and ShopAtHome, all of which are very similar to that of Swagbucks itself.

Researching Swagbucks’ background initially, they definitely pass the test.  It’s a 100% legit organization with a physical headquarters address and more than 15+ years of experience in the business.

But, the question is, “Are they worth your time?”



Signing Up

To sign up with Swagbucks, the process is quite simple as all they ask from you initially is your email address as well as a password.  You can also sign up with Facebook as well if that’s your sort of thing.

Depending on when you sign up, they may offer a bonus, usually ranging from $5 to $10.  However, to get this bonus, you usually have to complete a certain number of tasks and/or make a purchase of sorts.  For example, if you follow my link, you will need to earn $25 in 60 days to qualify.  This isn’t hard at all.

You will be able to read the restrictions in the fine print when you join.  If you want to take advantage of this bonus, just make sure that you meet the restrictions as soon as possible because it often needs to be completed within 30~ days or so.

To qualify for Swagbucks, you need to be at least 13 years old and a resident of the US, UK, Ireland, Australia, Germany, India and Canada.

As long as you meet these terms and confirm your email address, you can start earning in seconds.

Best of all, it’s 100% free to join.

Your Dashboard

After you confirm your email address, you will then be able to access your dashboard, which will look something like this…

For this review, I’m going to cover the desktop version, but the mobile version is very similar.  The biggest difference is that your menu will be more of a drop-down menu rather than one you can click on.

On your dashboard, it can seem overwhelming at first, I get it.  There are a ton of things to do, but honestly, most of your money will be made in the “answer surveys and earn” and the “shop and earn” sections.  While other sections can earn you money, it won’t be as much as these two, at least for me.  They do make it very easy to browse the website.

Below, beneath each subheading, I will talk about each section in detail as well as the additional menu options within the sections and how you can make money in each.

The Answer Surveys and Earn Section

This is quite possibly the best way to earn money, and this is where I earn 99% of my cash.

When you click on the “answer” tab, it will direct you to a list that looks something like this…

You will be able to see how long the survey is, how much it pays you as well as the survey ID number.  Be sure to write this number down or copy it every time you take a survey in case the survey doesn’t credit you.   You can also sort the surveys so that the shortest and/or highest paying are near the top.

If a survey looks like something of interest to you, click on the “start survey” and complete it.  Keep in mind that you won’t qualify for every survey, so don’t be discouraged if you keep getting the boot.  From my experience, you should qualify for about 20-30% of the surveys you click on.

How many surveys can I get?

I always see surveys available to me.  In fact, I don’t recall a time when my list was empty, but this doesn’t mean it will be the case for you.  Plan on seeing at least 50+ survey invites a day, but how many you qualify for will greatly depend on your demographics as some people can do much better than others.

How much do surveys pay?

Surveys can pay anywhere from one to as many as 7500+ SB, with every SB worth $0.01.  So, a 7500 SB survey will net you $75.  Generally, your higher paying surveys will often be part of a panel that can last throughout the week and/or you may have to test a product that’s mailed to your home.  Anything less than 500 SB can be done in a few minutes and usually credits instantly to your account.  You should always see surveys valued 1 to 150+ SB almost all of the time.

How can I make the most with surveys?

In my experience, I usually try to tackle the quicker surveys, usually those that last less than 15 minutes.  I have found that while the surveys say it will take you 15 minutes, it’s usually much less than this.  I try to shoot for the 75+ SB surveys that take less than 10-15 minutes.  If it pays 100+, then I make sure it will take me no longer than 20 minutes to complete.  As you use the platform, you will learn which survey operators tend to be the best and which ones to avoid.   You can get good at it.

TIP:  Don’t Forget to Take the Daily Poll

Inside the “Answer” section, you will see something known as the “Daily Poll” in your menu.

This simple poll only asks one question and immediately credits you 1 SB.  It’s not much, but it only takes you five seconds to do.

The Shop and Earn Section

In the “Shop and Earn” section, you can earn SB for every dollar spent at a participating retailer.  Like the many cashback websites I have mentioned in the past, such as Rakuten, it works no differently.

All you need to do is search for a store you’re going to shop with and see if you can get SB for every dollar spent.  Click on the special shopping link and shop as you would.  Once your purchase completes and the refund period passes, usually no longer than 45 days, then Swagbucks will credit your account.

Keep in mind that Swagbucks doesn’t always offer the best cashback rate, so I would recommend you at least check out CashBackMonitor.com to see which cashback company is offering the best cash back rate at the time.

In the “Shop and Earn” section, you will find quite a few categories, including…

In-Store Cash Back

Aside from giving you cash back for your online purchases, you can also earn cash back in participating stores as well.

To take advantage of these offers, you will have to add a credit card to your Swagbucks account and then add any offers in your area.  Just make a purchase as you normally would and Swagbucks will credit you for the cash back amount.

This option can be found in the “Shop” section under “in-store cash back.”

Local Shopping

The “in-store” cash back option focuses more on the corporate chains, commonly found throughout the states, whereas the “local” shopping link focuses on your local companies.

Like the in-store cash back options, you will need to link a credit card to take advantage of any local offers.  Swagbucks lets you search a map, based on a zip code, and will then provide you with hundreds of participating companies.  From smaller chains to mom and pop restaurants, you can receive anywhere from 1 to 10%+ on your purchase.

At least check out the map to see if there are any stores you often shop at.  If so, consider linking your card to save a few dollars on your next purchase.  Since all you need to do is link your card, it’s almost a set it and forget it option.

Coupons

Aside from cash back opportunities, you can also search for coupon codes for a popular retailer as well as print coupons from the coupons.com portal in the coupons subsection.

For every coupon you print from Coupons.com and redeem in store, you will get 25 SB per coupon plus another 1 SB for printing.

You can also click on the “stores & coupons” link to shop popular stores as well as top money-making offers.  It’s quite the list.

Travel

If you plan on booking through any of the major travel portals, including Priceline, Hotels.com, IHG or Choice Hotels, to name a few, consider checking out your dashboard to see how much you can get back.  You may be surprised.

When I checked out the travel section, I swear they had cash back opportunities for almost every travel booking agency, including many of your name-brand hotels.

Like the cashback mentioned prior, if you plan on using the platform for cashback purposes, be sure to compare the rates to make sure it’s the best at the time.

Buy Gift Cards

In the last subsection of the “Shop” menu, Swagbucks allows you to buy gift cards, all while giving you cash back.  It’s known as “MyGiftCardsPlus,” but it’s powered by Swagbucks.

For instance, if you wanted to buy a Nike gift card, Swagbucks would give you 5% cash back on your purchase in the form of points.

If you know you’re going to purchase a gift card, consider buying it through Swagbucks to save a few dollars.  However, don’t just focus here as there are other platforms that sell gift cards at a discount as well.

The Discover Section

The “Discover Special Offers and Earn” section is another part of the site that can make you a ton of cash, especially if you can find what’s known as a “money maker.”  In short, a moneymaker is an offer that you can sign up for and Swagbucks will pay you more than what you signed up for.  This is my second favorite section.

Let me give you an example.

In the past, Swagbucks paid me $25 if I purchased $15+ in goods from an online pet store.  Seeing I had a dog, that was a no brainer.  I just bought him some food and pocketed $10.  It was almost like I was paid to shop!

Now, not all deals will be this good, but you may find some worth of value.  Basically, in this section, Swagbucks will pay you X for completing and/or purchasing an offer.

For example, as I was writing this, these were a few of the offers I was presented with on my dashboard…

So, for instance, if I signed up for a 30-day free trial with TIDAL, I would get 700 SB ($7 in rewards).  If I signed up for Hulu, I could get 1500 SB ($15 in rewards).

At any given time, there are usually 50-100 offers, many of which are worth your time.  Just keep in mind that since you will have to use your credit card 90% of the time, you will want to make sure you’re completing the offer to get reimbursed.  You will also want to make sure the situation makes sense.  If the offer pays you $7, but it cost $38 to sign up, then I wouldn’t sign up unless you already planned on doing so.

If the offer doesn’t require a credit card, just make sure it’s worth your time as some can take a long time to earn just to make a few dollars.

I can’t stress it enough; if going this route, just make sure you read the fine print to ensure you get credit and save your receipts/proof so that you have it in case Swagbucks decides to not reimburse you.

In-Store Deals

In the “In-Store Deals,” Swagbucks will present you with a few offers, wherein you can purchase that item and then upload your receipt to get the points.

For example, while I was writing this review, I could get 75 SB ($0.75 in rewards) if I bought Honey Maid graham crackers or 100 SB if I purchased a pack of Dannon Oikos yogurt.  Since I’m pretty sure you go grocery shopping, at least check out the list to see if you can get credit for any of the items you already planned on purchasing.

Featured Offers

If you plan on doing any of these offer opportunities, I would pay close attention to the featured offers subsection as this tends to offer the best value.

For instance, as I was writing this, you could earn 2200 SB ($22 in value) just for signing up for a VPN service that costs less than $2 a month.  That’s an easy $20 moneymaker.

Aside from the featured offers, you can also sort by popular offers, sign up and earn offers, free offers, shopping offers, online web offers as well as the most recently added offers.  Once you’re inside the “Discover” subsection, they let you filter through the offers to find exactly what you want.

Take a glance at the list and see which ones make sense.  Swagbucks adds offers every day, so it doesn’t hurt to make it a habit to see what’s available as the good offers go fast.

Third-Party Offers

As with a lot of the survey companies I talk about, Swagbucks also works with many of your bigger third-party offerwalls.  In short, these offers are through another platform, but you will earn your SBs after completing any offers.

Some of the most common offerwalls include Revenue Universe, AdGate Media, AdGem, Peanut Labs, Acorn and OfferToro, to name a few.

Swagbucks works with all of these if you want to take advantage of even more offers.

The Watch Section

I mentioned the Watch section before, briefly in my get paid to watch videos post.

Basically, in this section, Swagbucks will reward you to watch TV shows, clips and so forth.  The longer you watch a video, the more you can get paid It appears they use a third-party site, such as nCrave, but they also have their own sponsored videos as well.

In this section, you can either start exploring randomly or you can choose from a variety of Swag TV categories, ranging from “Editor’s Pick” to music, health, technology and parenting, to name a few.

Just click on a video of interest, start watching and earn.

Keep in mind that you won’t make much watching videos, but since it’s an option, I wanted to include it here.  Out of all the options I list, it’s definitely one of the worst options to make money on the platform.

The Search Section

This section is as it sounds — search and get paid.

Every time you use Swagbucks as your search engine, you can earn SBs for your efforts.

You can either download the Swagbucks search Chrome extension or you just search directly on their site, whichever you choose.  The extension is nice if you want to not have to go to the website each time.

Keep in mind that not all searches will yield SB, so don’t be discouraged if you don’t see your account credited.



The Play Section

If you love to play games, then you can earn SB in doing so.

Some games will require that you add cash to your account, but in doing so, you can earn SB for every dollar deposited, whereas other sites just let you play and earn.

Just like the discover section, Swagbucks lets you know what you need to do in order to get rewarded.

For example, in one of the games titled “Swag Jump,” you would  need to collect as many logos as you can to earn your SBs.  In other cases, they will reward you with a certain amount of SB for every dollar you invest.  In this case, you’re basically gambling your money.  Play at your own risk.

Promotions

I covered all of the sections where you can earn money, but the good news is that Swagbucks has even more ways to earn in its promotions category.  On your desktop, you can find this in the left-hand side menu, beneath the “Promotions” tab.

Here, you can do a few things, including…

Member Recognition

The longer you use Swagbucks and earn SBs, the more they will recognize you.  Right now, the company offers 10 levels, each of which offers rebates, double SB on your next survey completion and much more.

There’s a lot to the program, so for now, I took a screenshot and added it below to show you the perks you can earn as well as what you need to do in order to reach that level.  It was a large photo, so you will want to click on it to view the perks in depth.

These perks can change, but it just goes to show you that you can earn even more rewards the longer you stay with the program.  This is something that many companies don’t do.  When you do upgrade to the next level, just make sure you use your bonuses wisely and redeem them before it expires.

Swago

Swago is similar to that of Bingo.  You will join a Swago board and try to complete the tasks on the board to form the shape to earn an SB bonus.  It will look something like this…

You won’t earn much in terms of a bonus, but it could a fun way to earn a few extra points.  Be sure to check this out as the boards always change.

Swagstakes

The swagstakes is more like a raffle, wherein you can risk some of your SB points to win a prize.  You can view the raffles ending soon (as seen below) or you can browse by category if you have something in mind.

Take a glance at the list, enter any you feel you want to win.  If you do, Swagbucks will send you an email and send out your prize.

Of course, this is more like a raffle, and I don’t recommend doing it, but if you like the chances of winning a certain prize, I guess it doesn’t hurt to risk 10~ SB here and there.

Swag Code

The last option you will find in your promotions tab is the Swag Code entry, where you can simply enter a code and win a few SB.  It only takes a second to do.

To find these codes, you can find them on the official Facebook, Twitter or Blog, but you can also glance at the Swagbucks subreddit as the members do a good job posting there as well.  You can find links to all of their official social media/blog platforms in the menu under the “Socialize” category.

Just enter the code and earn what it tells you.  Usually, it won’t be more than 1-5 SB.

Invite Your Friends for Cash

And, as one of the last ways to make money, Swagbucks will pay you to refer your friends.  In fact, they will pay you for life as long as your friend earns money.

For every friend you refer, Swagbucks will give you 300 SB when they earn 300 SB within the first 30 days.  For the life of the account, you can earn 10% of their earnings.  You can also earn more if they install the “Swagbutton.”  This can start to add up.

As with any referral program, just make sure that you promote it ethically and never spam a forum, social media, etc.  Doing so can just get your account banned.

Rewards

Ah, here comes the fun part — the rewards.

As I mentioned, every SB you earn is worth $0.01, so 100 SB will be equal to $1.  This formula is a lot easier than some platforms that use a confusing point structure.

You will need at least 100 SB to start redeeming your rewards, which doing the math, is $1.  This makes Swagbucks one of the best options if you’re looking for one of the lowest redemption rates.  At the time of writing this, they offered a $1 Amazon card if you only wanted to cash out at a $1, that’s it.

However, if you’re willing to pool up your points, you can cash out for many more rewards, including more than 35 PAGES of gift cards.  Honestly, if you name it, it’s probably on here.  Aside from the gift card options, you can also choose PayPal cash if you so choose as well.

In the rewards section, you can sort by the value, the category or even gift cards on sale.  If you really want to capitalize on your earnings, take a look at the gift cards on sale as sometimes, you can find cards for as much as 20% off.  These change all the time, so keep checking if you want to redeem.

The rewards are A+ and you can cash out for just about anything.

How long does it take to get my rewards?

Once you redeem, it generally takes up to five business days to get your reward.  You will get a notification in your email when it’s ready, where you can then download your card and use it either in store and/or online.  It depends on the retailer you use.

What the Internet Is Saying

I think I covered how Swagbucks works in detail.  By now, you should have a great understanding as to how you can earn SBs as well as how you can redeem your points.

As in all of my reviews, I try to share my thoughts as much as possible, but I like to explore the internet as well to see what others are saying.  This is where this section can come into the picture.

In this section, I will list both the many pros and cons I found online, giving you an idea as to what you should expect if you were to join.

The Pros

A ton of survey opportunities in comparison to competitors.

One of the easiest ways to earn $100 per month.

Seeing they are one of the larger research companies in the industry, they partner up with many companies that offer $50+ survey panels.

One of the best refer a friend programs in the industry.

The biggest research panel of its kind in the industry.  As I write this, they have rewarded more than $400 MILLION in rewards, which equates to about 7,000 gift cards a day!

Wonderful support staff that gets back to you within 24 hours.

It’s 100% free to join!

Very simple and clean interface, making it very easy to use.

A+ BBB rating.

The Cons

Many feel it’s not worth the time, which can be the case with most survey companies.

Sometimes, they won’t register a shopping trip, survey and/or offer you completed.  In this case, save as much evidence as possible since the support staff will try their best to compensate you.

Survey malfunctions that often don’t work and/or fail halfway through.

It’s limited to a few countries, so, unfortunately, not everyone can join.

Final Thoughts

In the end, if you want to make cash right now, Swagbucks is tough to beat.  It will be one I keep on using as they offer me the most in terms of rewards and opportunity.

What I love is that they offer a ton of survey options, a ton of rewards and the possibility of joining panels that often pay upwards of $50+.  Plus, there’s no waiting period as you can get started right now.  Let’s not forget the awesome offers that can sometimes pay more than $50 each!

While you won’t get rich, you can easily make $5 to $10 a day if you answer a few surveys a day.  Consider it nice spending cash.  Just make it a habit to log in every day and you will be surprised with the results.  As long as you know you won’t get rich, it makes Swagbucks that much better.

For now, I will leave it up to you.

Have you signed up for Swagbucks?  Are you thinking about it?

Whatever is on your mind (Swagbucks related, of course), you’re more than welcome to share your thoughts in the comments below.

Remember, if you do plan on signing up, consider using my link to get a cool $5 bonus!

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Tom Nathaniel

Hi! My name is Tom Nathaniel, and I created LushDollar to help share my honest thoughts on everything money. It's the Internet's most honest money site after all. I have worked in the finance industry since 2006, consulting with multiple Fortune 5000 companies.

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