Most of us have heard of it as a way to make some extra money, but the question remains: is Swagbucks worth it?
After all, you’ll only ever earn a couple of dollars at best with many of the similar apps out there.
But we found that Swagbucks may be the exception. That is, there are definitely ways that you can earn enough extra cash to actually make it worth your time.
Sure, you won’t come out of this a millionaire. But you’ll definitely earn enough gift cards to cover your next few Starbucks coffees or Walmart runs.
(And that free $5 sign-up bonus isn’t bad either.)
So keep reading for our full, honest Swagbucks review – including why we think this app is actually a legit way to make some money on the side.
Free sign-up bonus: $5
A great app for making extra money, including with cash back from online shopping, watching videos, playing games and more.
And given it’s paid out over $400 million through Amazon, Paypal and other gift cards, it’s 100% legit.
What is Swagbucks
Swagbucks is a free online platform that lets you do a range of activities to earn SBs, their own in-platform currency.
SBs can then be exchanged for cash and gift cards.
It’s paid out over $300 million to its more than 20 million users since it was founded in 2010.
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Is Swagbucks worth it?
Swagbucks is worth it if you want to make some extra cash. Just make sure you keep in mind that you’re not going to get rich doing online surveys on any platform, including this one.
But if you’re happy to earn a bit of money on the side and kill some time, Swagbucks could definitely be worth it for you.
In particular, if you find yourself flipping through your phone while watching TV, on the commute to work or while waiting for your kids to finish at soccer practice, Swagbucks can be a great way to spend this time while making a few extra dollars.
How can I sign up for Swagbucks?
Signing up for Swagbucks is super straightforward.
1. Enter your email address and password
Click here to start the sign up process. You’ll first see the screen below where you simply enter your email address and create a password.
And as you can see from this picture, signing up (and then verifying your email – don’t forget), gets you a free $5 sign-up bonus.
2. Verify your email address
You’ll receive an email with a button for you to click to prove that you’re a real person.
Make sure you actually do this to get your free cash.
3. Provide some demographic information
This step is important for taking paid surveys with Swagbucks. The platform will ask for information such as your age, income and interests which are then used to match you with surveys that will fit your profile.
It’s good to make this as detailed as you can as it will save you a ton of time in the long run. That is, by doing this, you’ll make sure that the surveys you’re offered every day are less likely to disqualify you for not meeting their requirements – see below for some more information on this.
4. Add the Swagbucks Button (Chrome extension)
If you use Google Chrome, a great way to ensure you’re making as much money as possible from Swagbucks is to add the Swagbucks Button.
It’s a free Chrome extension that tells you when there’s a cash back offering on the site you’re currently visiting.
For example, if you’re about to buy something on Amazon, an alert will appear telling you you can get 5% cash back on your purchase.
Just click the button to ensure Swagbucks is tracking your purchase and the SBs you’ve earned will automatically be added to your account – which means they’re basically like an automatic discount.
5. Download the Swagbucks app
Swagbucks has an app available for both iOS and Android that lets you earn SBs on the go.
This app is a must-have if you plan to use Swagbucks to get cash back from shopping or as something to pass the time while you’re out and about.
This is because using the app is a much easier way to answer surveys or watch videos than through the web platform on your phone.
And if you do any online shopping through your phone, having the app installed is the best way to ensure you’re getting as much cash back as you can
6. Check out Swagbucks’ other apps
Swagbucks has a few other apps in addition to their main one mentioned above, all of which are available on iOS and Android.
- Swagbucks Live – win money by simulating that you’re playing on a game show
- Swagbucks Watch – earn money from watching videos through your phone
- Swagbucks Answer – complete surveys to make extra SBs
- MovieCli.ps – watch movie clips and trailers and get money
- Sportly – watch videos about your favorite sports for some cash
- IndyMusic.tv – check out some music videos in exchange for SBs
- Lifestylz.tv – earn money by watching videos about travel, home decor, food and fitness
- EntertaiNow – watch “entertaining videos” for SBs
Some of these may be good for you if you have a particular area that you’re interested in, like sports videos, or if you love trivia questions, meaning Swagbucks Answer could be your thing.
That said, we couldn’t entirely tell the difference between some of these – Swagbucks Watch and EntertaiNow seemed pretty similar, for example.
And it’s also worth noting that the standard Swagbucks app lets you do a lot of these things already.
So these could be fun to try out but are by no means essential to earning money with Swagbucks.
If you’re interested in giving them a go, just remember that you’ll have to sign up with Swagbucks first.
How can I make money with Swagbucks?
The first way to make money with Swagbucks is to sign up, verify your email and redeem your free $5 welcome bonus.
After that, there are a range of ways for you to make money with Swagbucks.
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1. Do surveys
Taking paid online surveys is probably the most popular way to make money with Swagbucks.
The way this works is that companies use the feedback they receive from Swagbucks users to shape their business activities. The companies then pay Swagbucks for this, some of which is then passed on to you.
The types of surveys that Swagbucks offers vary but can generally be categorized as follows:
- Daily survey
- Daily poll
- Every day surveys
Every day, you’ll see a list of possible surveys for you to take, with the list of daily surveys and polls being updated every day. Your profile will show you a list similar to the following.
You’ll have to answer some pre-qualification questions to make sure you’re who they’re looking for.
And if you don’t meet their requirements, there’s sometimes a small payment of SBs for your time (but not always). This is, however, why it’s a good idea to make your profile as detailed and accurate as possible.
How much can I earn from Swagbucks surveys?
Daily polls are just one question worth 1 SB.
Daily and every day surveys will vary in terms of how much you’ll be paid, but can range from 1 SB to 350 SBs or even more.
Generally, though, Swagbucks states that users will earn an average of 40 SBs to 100 SBs for each survey with the higher the payout, the more time the survey will take to complete.
Depending on how long it takes you to click through them, you may or may not think these Swagbucks surveys are worth it just on their own.
2. Watch Swagbucks videos
Swagbucks videos aren’t the best way to earn money on the platform, as they generally only pay 1 or 2 SBs for every 30 minutes of video content.
However, this could be a good option if you tend to waste a lot of time watching random videos on YouTube.
Unfortunately, you can’t simply leave a video playing in the background to earn SBs as it will simply stop playing.
A good trick, however, is to open Swagbucks Watch in a new tab and keep it in a split screen with whatever else you’re working on.
3. Play games
Instead of spending hours on Candy Crush, playing games through Swagbucks to earn SBs can be a great alternative.
You’ll earn SBs from either making in-app purchases in games like Bejeweled, Angry Birds and Solitaire. You can also earn these from certain free games, although these are more limited.
You’ll generally make around 12 to 15 SBs for each dollar you spend in the game and a bit less than that for the free games. The only requirement is that you keep your ad blockers off and make sure that Flash Player is up to date.
4. Search using the Swagbucks search engine
By installing the Swagbucks browser extension in Chrome, your default search engine becomes Swagbucks Search. This produces identical results compared to if you search in Google, except you earn SBs for using it.
The amount of SBs awarded per search seems to be completely random but, as you can see from the picture above, there are occasionally massive rewards.
The normal results from searching, however, are more often a couple of SBs.
This is one of the features that, in our opinion, makes Swagbucks most worth it. After all, you’re going to be Googling anyway, so you may as well make some money from it.
5. Get cashback from shopping online
If you do any of your shopping online, this is probably going to be the most efficient way for you to make money with Swagbucks.
Within the platform, there’s a page with various online retailers. These often include sites like Amazon, Macy’s and Walmart.
Simply click on one of them to be taken to their online store. Then, if you purchase anything, the percentage of cash back will be added to your account as SBs.
For example, in that picture above, you can see that Macy’s offers 5% cash back. This means that, for every dollar you spend on a Macy’s purchase after you click that link, you’ll get 5 SB added to your Swagbucks account.
There’s also the chance of getting a multiplier deal. To use the Macy’s example, if there’s a 2x deal, you’ll get 10 SB for every dollar spent instead of only 5 SB.
And as mentioned above, this can be even easier if you install the Swagbucks Button in Chrome as it will automatically tell you if an online store you’re visiting has Swagbucks cash back available.
6. Access new deals with Swagbucks Discover
Swagbucks Discover lets you earn SBs by trying new products, downloading an app, signing up to a bank card and more.
The rewards in this area of the platform can be even more lucrative than many of the other options to make money with Swagbucks.
That said, just make sure that you’re signing up for things that you actually need – there’s no benefit if you buy something just to earn SBs as the amount you’ll earn back will almost never be more than what you spend.
Certain offers can allow you to earn several thousand SBs while others are far less. A good trick can be to sort by the ones that pay out the most and then filter based on categories that you’re willing to try.
7. Refer friends
By referring your friends and family to also sign up for Swagbucks, you’ll earn 10% of the SBs that they earn in a day.
This can be an easy way to earn a good amount of SBs, especially if you have a few friends that sign up.
(And they also get the same free $5 sign up bonus that you got.)
8. Purchase gift cards
When you buy gift cards through Swagbucks, you’ll be sent to MyGiftCardsPlus.com, which is also owned by the same company as the one that manages Swagbucks.
There, any gift cards you buy will earn you up to 10% of the gift card value back in SBs.
This feature really makes Swagbucks worth it for making some money, especially if you were planning to shop at these stores anyway.
For example, if you were planning to buy something at Macy’s, you can purchase a gift card in advance to earn SBs there.
Then, you can take advantage of the cash back offer mentioned above, making even more SBs – all from the same transaction.
How much money can you make with Swagbucks?
The amount of money you make with Swagbucks will depend on a number of things.
For example, if you only have the chance to watch a few videos, you’ll earn far less than if you’re able to use Swagbucks Discover or buy the occasional gift card.
On the Swagbucks Reddit page, reports vary on how much you’ll probably earn on average. Many people, however, report earning around $50 to $150.
This generally seems to involve some lower cost passive activities combined with some more involved tasks, like completing surveys.
Related: 37 of the Highest Paying Online Jobs
How much is an SB worth on Swagbucks?
Each SB is worth one cent. This means that for every 100 SBs, you’re earning the equivalent of $1.
How can I make $100 a day with Swagbucks?
Let’s be honest: making $100 a day with Swagbucks is tough. And even if you achieve it as a one off, it’s certainly not guaranteed again.
If you consider how many Swagbucks is $100, earning 10,000 SBs is something you’re more likely to achieve in a month rather than a day.
That said, check out some of the Swagbucks Discover deals on any particular day. When combining that with some of the more intensive (and thus more lucrative) surveys, you may be in luck. But be prepared to consider a good day as more like $5 than $100.
You may also be interested in: Make $200 a Day Online: 17 Ways That Are Proven To Work
How many Swagbucks can I earn in a day?
In most cases, you’re only limited by the time you have available. Reports online suggest that a reasonably good day would see them earning between 200 SBs and 300 SBs.
Of course, this can rapidly increase if you’re using Swagbucks for its cash back feature.
Just think if you buy a $1,000 flight and get 5% back on that, that’s 5,000 SBs!
With a few clicks, major transactions like that could make Swagbucks more than worth it.
Is there a daily limit?
The only daily limit on Swagbucks is on the number of points you can earn from each of the Swagbucks apps.
At the time of writing, you’re only allowed to earn 18 SBs per app each day. However, this seems to change often, so consider double checking this before giving up on earning more.
How much can you make a month with Swagbucks?
The amounts you can earn from Swagbucks vary depending on how much time someone has to commit to making money in this way as well as pure luck in terms of the offers that are available.
So while it is hard to say an exact amount, reports online suggest that the average you can make a month with Swagbucks tends to be around $50 to $150.
It’s up to you to decide if that makes Swagbucks worth it for you.
How does Swagbucks pay me?
Swagbucks lets you exchange your SBs in two ways, with the minimum payout being $3.
1. Gift cards
You can redeem your SBs for gift cards to a range of places, like Amazon, Walmart, Target and Starbucks
2. Cash through PayPal
You can also cash in your SBs for, well, cash. This is deposited into your PayPal account which you can then use either to shop with or to transfer into your bank account.
Is Swagbucks legit and safe?
Swagbucks is extremely well known online, having been mentioned in articles on sites like Forbes, the New York Times and Reader’s Digest.
It also apparently distributes more than 7,000 gift cards every day.
Basically, Swagbucks is definitely legit. It’s also safe to use as there are no reports online of any hacks of data breaches.
Does Swagbucks steal your information?
You’ll have to provide Swagbucks with some information so that it can track your usage, make sure your profile matches any surveys you try to do and to pay out any SBs you earn.
That said, there’s nothing online suggesting that Swagbucks steals or otherwise misuses its users’ information.
FAQs about Swagbucks
How do I maximize Swagbucks?
There are a few tips and tricks you could use to maximize Swagbucks and how much you earn from it.
Most of them come from the fact that you can earn SBs while doing your normal, everyday activities on the web:
- Install the Swagbucks Button. This is an easy way to make sure that, wherever you are on the internet, your browser is automatically checking if there’s a way to earn SBs.
- Use Swagbucks in your free time. Instead of mindlessly scrolling through Instagram, consider doing the same in Swagbucks to earn a few extra SBs when you wouldn’t be doing anything else anyway.
- Buy gift cards anywhere you plan to shop. If you buy gift cards through Swagbucks for a certain store and then earn cash back from that store through Swagbucks, you’re actually doubling your SBs from just the one transaction!
- Fill in your profile as much as possible. That way, you won’t waste your time trying to qualify for surveys that don’t want someone with your profile. Instead, the system is more likely to only show you those surveys that you’ll actually qualify for.
How long does it take to get paid?
Most reports suggest that the payout for redeemed SBs is much faster than other similar sites.
On the Swagbucks sub-Reddit, for example, they state that the payout time can be anything from one day to two weeks, with an average of about 10 business days. It’s also apparently faster at the start of the month.
That said, this isn’t what’s reported everywhere, with some of the complaints on the Better Bureau Business site being based on slow pay out times.
How old do you have to be to sign up for Swagbucks?
The minimum age requirement to join Swagbucks is 13 years. This means that Swagbucks can be a good way for teenagers to make some money on the side.
How can you delete a Swagbucks account?
The various Chrome extensions can be removed in your browser settings.
To delete your entire Swagbucks account, go into your account page while on a computer, not a cell phone, and there’s an option there to delete your account.
Summary: Swagbucks review
So, is Swagbucks worth it?
Well, it’s definitely one of the better apps out there for making a bit of extra money in your spare time.
You’ll never become a millionaire from your Swagbucks earnings. But if you frequently shop online or spend hours aimlessly scrolling through Facebook, you could definitely do pretty well from Swagbucks.
Or at least earn some gift cards to pay for your next Starbucks coffee.
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About the author
Anna is the founder of LogicalDollar and a personal finance expert, having been featured on Forbes, HuffPost, Reader’s Digest, MSN Money, Yahoo! Finance, CreditCards.com and many more. She’s committed to helping others get on the path to financial freedom using the experience gained from turning $60,000 in debt into a six-figure investment portfolio. Find out more.