You guys have been asking for it nonstop, so here it is — our official Swagbucks review.
Swagbucks is a paid online survey site that we talk about a fair amount here on DollarSprout. Why, you ask?
Because it’s amazing.
Our readers who use Swagbucks absolutely love it. For the rest of you who said you need some more information, we’ve got it. Stick around and you’ll see what all the hype is about.
But first of all, the question on everyone’s mind:
Is Swagbucks legit?
The short answer: yes, Swagbucks is legit.
But you’re probably looking for a little more reassurance than that, so here’s what I’ll tell you:
I’ve been using Swagbucks for three years now, and when I cash out my points for prizes (I prefer the Amazon gift card), I actually get them.
To date, Swagbucks has paid members almost $241 million, and they hand out over 7,000 gift cards every day. We’re not talking about your typical paid survey site. Swagbucks is one of the largest, if not the largest online rewards program.
It’s safe to say legitimacy isn’t a concern here.
How does Swagbucks work?
Making money with Swagbucks is pretty straightforward. You collect rewards points (called Swagbucks or SBs) and once you have enough, you cash them out for cool prizes, like gift cards to your favorite retailers (Amazon, Walmart, Target, etc.) and PayPal cash. Or, if you’re feeling generous, you may donate your SBs to a charitable cause.
When you sign up for a free Swagbucks account, you can choose from a variety of methods (like, at least seven of them) to earn your SBs:
- Take surveys
- Shop online
- Swagbucks search
- Watch videos
- Play games
- Discover deals
- Buy gift cards
Don’t worry, there’s more.
Get Paid from Swagbucks Surveys
Taking paid online surveys is one of our favorite ways to make some extra cash with minimal effort. I mean, sitting on your couch bundled up watching Stranger Things and answering simple questions? It’s just too easy.
And when it comes to paid online surveys, Swagbucks pretty much takes the cake. When you create your account, you’ll enter some demographical information about yourself and your household (age, income, interests, etc.). Then SB will send you surveys they believe are a good match.
Even though it may seem like a good idea to lie in order to qualify for more or higher-paying surveys, we would strongly advise against it. Swagbucks is pretty clear where it stands on this issue:
Swagbucks surveys are worth anywhere from 1 to 1,000 SBs, depending on the length and value of the survey. Another perk that makes Swagbucks stand out amongst other paid survey sites is its accessibility. The website is very clean and simple, and there’s an app for both Android and iOS device, so you can earn SBs on the go!
Using Swagbucks for Cash Back
Shopping online with Swagbucks is a lot like using Ebates. Just sign in to the platform, click on the partner store you want to shop with, and do your shopping as per ushe.
Swagbucks offers cash back on over 1,500 retailers, including Amazon, Kohl’s, Starbucks, Groupon, and 1,496 more.
But seriously, that’s a lot of stores. You’ll get up to 20% cash back in the form of SBs for every dollar you spend. I say up to because that’s obviously the maximum. Most stores are closer to the 5-8% range.
Get Paid to Surf the Web
Swagbucks’ search engine is powered by Yahoo. So if you already use Yahoo for your Interweb browsing, you can earn money with your searches without making any drastic changes.
I wish I could give you an exact dollar figure as to how much you earn with your searches, but the truth is, it’s sort of a mystery.
You’ll know you’re making money because Swagbucks will tell you when you earn points. Other than that, all the world knows is that points are awarded based more on the time you spend using the search tool, not the number of searches you perform.
The good news? You can make Swagbucks your default search engine and make money doing your regular, day-to-day browsing.
If games are your go-to form of entertainment in your downtime, then why not get paid for it?
Swagbucks has a ton of free and popular games, like Solitaire, Bingo, Wheel of Fortune (geez, I sound like an old lady. Here are some you kiddos might like:), Bejeweled, Deal or No Deal, Tetris, and Trivial Pursuit, just to name a few.
The payout for games isn’t as much as some of their other earning methods, but if you’re going to play anyway, you might as well make some money while you do it.
In my opinion, this is one of the easiest ways to make money with Swagbucks. You can earn 1-4 SBs by watching short videos in a number of categories, including health, music, politics, entertainment, and others.
Let’s be real here — ain’t nobody got time to sit glued to a screen watching 20 videos for $0.04. We’re definitely not suggesting you do.
Here’s my little secret: I like to put SB videos on in the background when I’m doing work (like right now). That way I can earn a little money towards that next Amazon gift card with zero effort on my part.
Don’t hate me, Swagbucks!
Every time I visit the Discover section of Swagbucks, I’m always amazed at just how many ways you can earn with this site. Swagbucks offers deals on just about anything.
For example, right now you can earn 272 Swagbucks just for signing up for a free trial of Hulu. Or get 500 Swagbucks (i.e. $5) and $30 off your first order with the meal delivery service Blue Apron.
If you’re thinking about trying any new service, be sure to get your free cash back by signing up through Swagbucks!
Buy Gift Cards
This one shouldn’t need that much explaining. But I do have a handy tip you might find useful.
So first off, when you buy electronic gift cards through Swagbucks, you’ll get a percentage of the gift a card value back in the form of SBs. You’ll see the gift card in your email inbox in 1-2 business days, at which point you can turn around and use it to shop on Swagbucks.
BOOM! Double points.
Pros and Cons of Swagbucks
If you can’t tell, we kind of love Swagbucks. But we know nothing is perfect, and we don’t pretend like everything is just puppies and rainbows. When it boils down to it, here’s what we like and dislike about Swagbucks:
Pros of Swagbucks:
- Completely, 100% free to join
- Wide variety of ways to earn
- Simple, clean website with awesome mobile apps
- Relatively passive money without making any drastic changes
Cons of Swagbucks:
- Earning SBs can be a slow process
- No one knows exactly how search points work
Generally, we believe there are definitely more pros than cons. However, it also depends on how you plan to use it…
Is Swagbucks worth your time?
From our experience, there are two main types of Swagbucks users:
The Casual SB Earner: Runs videos in the background, takes the occasional survey, and earns points by purchasing gift cards and shopping online.
Swagbucks is awesome for these users. They’re not doing much different than what they normally would, and they earn the occasional gift card that makes what little effort they do put forth worth it.
The SB Points Chaser: Wants to earn as many SB as possible as quickly as possible. Spends hours on the website at a time watching videos, taking surveys, and raking in the pennies any way they can.
When I first started using Swagbucks, I was this kind of user. But I quickly learned this is not the way to approach this tool. Swagbucks can still be a great fit for these users if they accept the fact that Swagbucks is not going to make them rich.
There are other ways to make $100 fast. Swagbucks is not one of them.
Wrapping up this BOMB Swagbucks review
Swagbucks probably isn’t your path to financial freedom, but it’s an awesome tool for the casual user. You can make money from home doing things you’d be doing anyway, like searching the web, playing games, and shopping online.
If you’re not using it, you’re probably missing out on some free cash.
You know how we feel about Swagbucks. Try it for yourself and tell us what you think!