Swagbucks is an online reward and survey platform with over 20 million members. Amazingly, the site has paid out close to $580 million to members since its inception in 2008.
As a member, you can choose from a variety of ways to earn SB points, which you can turn into gift cards or cashback.
Tasks include everything from taking surveys to watching videos, plus other simple actions that you can easily complete in your idle time.
It isn’t quite passive income as you’ll have to spend time to earn points, but Swagbucks does serve as an easy way to make a little extra cash in your spare time.
To be clear, this isn’t a quit your job side hustle, but if you put in the time, you could pay for a night out each month.
In this post, we’ll cover all of the ins and outs of Swagbucks, including how it works, how much you stand to make, and whether or not it’s worth your attention.
Let’s start with a look at all of the features that come with the Swagbucks platform.
With any rewards-based platform like Swagbucks, the membership process is where you should always start.
A general rule of thumb for survey sites is that if you’re paying anything to use them, they’re probably not your best bet. At worst, sites that charge fees are scams, and at best, they’re a waste of valuable time.
This is because the amount you stand to earn on any site like Swagbucks will be relatively low. If you’re paying any sort of membership fee, the value and earning potential shrinks even more.
Fortunately, Swagbucks is an entirely free-to-use platform. Anyone can sign up online, and you can start completing tasks to earn SB points without paying a dime.
Think of the hours you spend scrolling through your phone, watching videos, or playing games. With the Swagbucks mobile app, you can turn that dead time into income.
The app allows you to complete all of the tasks you could from the website, no matter where you are. So, whether you’re waiting at the doctor’s office or standing in line at the DMV, you can get paid while you do it.
The Swagbucks app is available on both Android and iOS and currently has a 4.2-star rating (out of 5) in the Google Play Store and a 4.4-star rating in the App Store.
Plenty of survey sites restrict redemption options to free gift cards or discounts on shopping. In other words, you have to spend money to access your earnings.
One of the biggest draws of Swagbucks is getting paid in real cash to your PayPal account. The threshold to cash out is 2500 SB points, which is equivalent to $25.
There’s a fee if you move the money to your bank account, but you can use your PayPal cash to shop directly online, wherever PayPal is accepted.
Earning points takes time. But, if you use the platform regularly, you shouldn’t have any issues reaching the threshold.
The other option for redeeming points is opting for digital gift cards at leading retailers like Target, Amazon, Walmart, Best Buy, and Starbucks. You can also buy Visa or American Express reward cards.
In general, the conversion rate for SB points to gift cards is the same as a cash payout. One SB point equals $0.01, so, 2500 points will get you a $25 Amazon gift card for free.
The difference is that you don’t have to wait until you hit 2500 to cash out. Gift cards are available for as little as $1.
Swagbucks also offers regular sales on select gift cards, which typically range from 1% to 10% off. You may even see discounts as high as 20%.
Discounted gift cards yield the most points value, assuming the cards offered are with retailers that you would normally shop.
How Does Swagbucks Work?
Another thing that sets Swagbucks apart from its competitors is that there are always many ways to earn Swagbucks rewards.
While some sites only offer surveys or browser extensions, Swagbucks has it all.
Here’s how Swagbucks works to help you earn money:
Answer Online Surveys
Swagbucks connects you with a variety of surveys and daily polls run by brands or marketers.
Each day, you’ll have access to a list of available surveys, along with the payout and the amount of time you can expect it to take.
Surveys cover a variety of topics and may require that you belong to a specific demographic to qualify.
When you apply to take surveys, you’ll often need to run through a brief screener, which can take up to five minutes. Keep this in mind when you calculate your hourly earnings.
In general, the more tedious the survey is, the more it pays. Some surveys pay as much as 5,000 SB points ($50), though the vast majority you’ll see will be in the 50 to 100 SB point range.
Swagbucks offers a cashback program that pays you in SB points for the things you buy online.
It’s similar to a rewards credit card, and you’ll earn a certain number of SB points (usually between one and 10) with each retailer.
To earn points, head to the shopping portal and select the website that you’d like to use. As long as the transaction started with Swagbucks, you’ll earn rewards points from your purchase.
The other option is to install the SwagButton, a browser extension that automatically lets you know if there are coupons or SB points available for the site you’re on.
This way, even if you forget to Swagbucks before you start shopping, you won’t miss out on points.
Of course, the goal here is to earn points on things that you’re already buying anyway. So if you’re going out of your way to shop just to earn SB points, the return isn’t going to be worth it.
Watching videos is probably the easiest way to earn points, but it also comes with some of the lowest payouts. Don’t expect to earn more than a single SB point per video.
That said, once you enter Swagbucks Video, videos and ads will keep coming without having to click to the next one, so you can potentially leave it running while you do other stuff online.
Swagbucks Discover is one of the higher-earning areas of the platform. Basically, you can get SB points for trying out new products and services, which could be anything from a bank account to a new streaming service.
These special offers can range anywhere from just a couple of points to tens of thousands.
As expected, the more points up for grabs, the more time or money you’ll have to spend to get them. The key is to look for services that you were already planning to sign up for.
For example, there’s currently an offer for 20,000 SB points when you sign up as an Uber Eats driver
Of course, you probably don’t want to start delivering food just to earn SB points, but if you were thinking about doing it anyway, you’re in line for a $200 bonus.
Use the Search Engine
When you use Swagbucks Search, you can earn some extra points through your usual search engine activity. Swagbucks Search is powered by Yahoo and works much in the same way as any other search engine.
To use Swagbucks search, all you have to do is edit your browser settings to make Swagbucks your default search engine. Then, when you search the web from your address bar, you’ll automatically be directed to your results on Swagbucks.
It’s sort of random which searches will earn you points, and each one that does won’t yield very many. But considering that you’re doing plenty of searches each day anyway, you should see a few extra points in your balance with no additional work.
Swagbucks Search is compatible with Chrome, Firefox, and Internet Explorer.
If you love to play games on your phone or laptop, you have some options.
However, some of the game rewards are based on microtransactions and pay SB points for every dollar you spend.
Others, like casino games, require you to deposit money.
There are some free options, but as you might guess, the payouts are generally lower. Overall, unless you see a game you’re genuinely interested in, there are better value tasks within Swagbucks.
With Magic Receipts, you can earn SB points by shopping in-store. Just make a purchase of a specific item at a partner retailer, scan the receipt on Swagbucks, and earn points.
Magic Receipts mainly apply to grocery shopping. Most major American grocery stores, including Target, Costco, and Kroger, are eligible.
The only true way to earn passive income with Swagbucks is to bring other people in.
This is because in addition to a 300 SB point bonus when your referral earns their first 300 points within 30 days, you’ll get 10% of their lifetime earnings on the platform.
You can easily share your referral link on social media networks or send an email directly from swagbucks.com.
Is Swagbucks Free?
Swagbucks is an entirely free platform, so there aren’t any membership fees to worry about. That said, as you think about the cost of a Swagbucks account, there’s really only one thing to consider — your time.
No matter which features you use, Swagbucks can quickly become time-consuming.
If you’re committing unnecessary time to it while you could be earning more in other areas (e.g., starting a real business), then you’re defeating the purpose.
With this in mind, you should only use Swagbucks during times that you would otherwise spend idly.
For example, you can take surveys while you’re watching TV, run videos in the background while you work from home, or refer friends and let them do the work.
That way, you aren’t sacrificing time for less than it’s worth.
How To Sign-Up for Swagbucks
Signing up for Swagbucks takes just a few minutes. Just head to the Swagbucks website or download the app, enter and confirm your email address, and you’ll be good to go. You can also earn extra SB points when you link your phone number.
As a heads up, the platform is a little overwhelming at first. But once you get settled in, it’s easy.
You’ll have daily and monthly tasks to complete, and you can track your balance in the upper right-hand corner of your dashboard.
Swagbucks is currently offering a 1,000 SB ($10) bonus when you make your first purchase.
To get it, you have to spend at least $25 in an eligible category, which you can find on each merchant’s Shop page.
Once you make the purchase, the points will typically take a little over a month to show up in your account.
Is Swagbucks Safe?
Swagbucks is a secure site, and your personal information should be safe.
However, seeing that Swagbucks connects to thousands of third-party ads and merchants, there’s no guarantee your data will always be protected when you visit those external sites.
At the end of the day, survey sites like Swagbucks are masters are monetizing consumer data, so if you aren’t comfortable disclosing it, this probably isn’t the best avenue for you.
Through Swagbucks’ Help Center, you can browse through FAQs or submit a request for support.
You can also chat with someone on Facebook. Unfortunately, Swagbucks does not have a customer service phone number available.
Overall, its approach to customer support seems like an effective one. Swagbucks currently holds an impressive 4.3-star (out of 5) rating on Trustpilot.
Furthermore, its holding company Prodege, LLC, has garnered praise from the Better Business Bureau (BBB).
Pros & Cons
- Free platform
- Plenty of ways to earn
- Cash payouts
- Great referral bonus
- Low earning potential
- Limited customer service
- Questionable security
Alternatives to Swagbucks
If you want to check out some other survey sites, take a look at:
For other online shopping rewards platforms, head over to:
Is Swagbucks legit?
Yes, Swagbucks is a legitimate online rewards program. It’s been around for over a decade and has thousands of positive user reviews.
Does Swagbucks pay?
Yes, Swagbucks pays out in the form of digital gift cards or PayPal Cash in exchange for the SB points that you earn.
How much can you make from Swagbucks a month?
Swagbucks claims that regular users can expect to make around $100 per month, though the real average is likely a little lower.
Realistically, users can probably count on $40 to $50 per month with regular engagement.
Is Swagbucks Worth It?
Before you sign up for Swagbucks, the most important thing to consider is what you expect to gain.
If you’re looking for a side hustle that generates enough cash to pay off debt or launch a new business, you’re looking in the wrong place. But that doesn’t mean Swagbucks can’t be a useful personal finance tool.
As a Swagbucks member, you can save money on purchases, make extra money from the couch, and take care of small expenses each month with your earnings.
The key is to use it correctly. If you find yourself otherwise wasting time online, take a survey instead. You’d probably be surprised at how much time you spend on your phone without really accomplishing anything. Using Swagbucks instead could cover the cost of your gym membership or streaming platforms.
Here’s to turning that downtime into dollars and cents!