At a glance
- Features: Earn rewards for online activities through the Swagbucks website, browser toolbar, and mobile app; points are redeemable for rewards like gift cards, PayPal cash, or Visa reward cards
- Redemption Minimum: $1 for certain gift cards; $5 for PayPal cash
- Advantages: Earn money for online activities you already do; you don’t need special skills or previous experience to make money; multiple ways to earn
- Disadvantages: Can be time consuming; low earning potential
In terms of making money from home, one of the simplest methods is to use paid survey websites.
Popular websites like Survey Junkie let you earn small amounts of extra cash and free gift cards for sharing your opinion. You don’t need any skills to start, and there’s no monthly time commitment either; just go online and hustle as you please.
Swagbucks, another popular rewards website, also lets you earn prizes for answering surveys and completing other simple online tasks.
Swagbucks is one of the larger players in the survey space and states it has paid members over $500 million dollars since its inception. If you want to get in on the earnings and make extra cash in your spare time, Swagbucks is worth adding to your arsenal of money-making websites.
Swagbucks began in 2008 and has since grown into one of the largest get-paid-to websites in the business.
According to its website, members redeem over 7,000 free gift cards on Swagbucks every day. Prodege LLC is the parent company that operates Swagbucks, as well as other popular survey sites like InboxDollars and MyPoints.
Signing up for Swagbucks is simple. You’re eligible to use it if you’re 13 or older and live in most countries within the Americas, Europe, or Asia. Signing up requires your email address or connecting your Facebook account.
After you sign up, you’re ready to start earning Swagbucks, known as SBs, which is the platform’s currency. Unlike websites like Survey Junkie that only offer paid surveys as a way to make money, Swagbucks has numerous earning options to let you choose how you make extra cash.
1. Answer Surveys
Answering paid surveys is the most common method to make money with Swagbucks. Survey opportunities appear on your homepage and display a time estimate and how many SBs you earn upon completion.
Surveys cover a range of topics, including:
- Brand recognition
- Health and wellness
- Product appeal
- Services you might use
Surveys usually pay anywhere from 5 SBs ($0.05) to several hundred SBs (a few dollars). Most surveys take between five and 30 minutes to complete, with longer surveys paying more.
You usually answer several qualifying questions before getting into the actual online survey. This ensures your demographic profile matches what the group the survey provider wants to hear from.
Unfortunately, this matching requirement means disqualifications can happen at the beginning of a survey or even mid-survey, which is frustrating. However, Swagbucks says the site tries to learn from your answers and match you to surveys that are a good fit to reduce how often disqualifications occur.
Swagbucks also has a daily poll, which is a single-question poll you can answer every day. You earn one SB for answering the poll, so it isn’t a massive earner.
How much money you make with surveys on Swagbucks depends on several factors, including the number of surveys you qualify for and the length of surveys you complete. If you have the time, taking surveys on the site is the most efficient way to earn SBs.
2. Shop Online and In-Store
And, like Rakuten, Swagbucks has numerous partners, including:
- Best Buy
- Home Depot
Most offers pay between 1% to 2% cash back. But there are offers of 5% to 10% as well, and a “Featured Cash Back Stores” section highlights retailers with the best rates.
To ensure you earn SBs for shopping, download the SwagButton browser extension on Google Chrome. When you shop online using Chrome, SwagButton automatically searches for coupons and cash-back opportunities on the site you’re visiting. It then alerts you to available offers and applies coupon codes automatically.
This is similar to other shopping browser extensions like Capital One Shopping and Honey, which also apply coupon codes automatically at checkout. If you can’t find coupons with SwagButton or don’t like the cash-back rates, check other browser extensions to see if you find better savings.
3. Magic Receipts
Popular apps in this category include Ibotta and other cash-back apps like it such as Fetch Rewards. With these apps, you earn rewards for purchasing groceries and household essentials from hundreds of brands. To prove you bought an eligible product, you snap a picture of your receipt with your smartphone and upload it to your app of choice.
Swagbucks also lets shoppers earn SBs for buying specific products with its Magic Receipts program. You can find numerous cash-back offers across several categories, including:
- Fast food and dining
- Home improvement
- Warehouse clubs
You have to add a product to your Magic Receipts shopping list before purchasing it to earn points. This is the same system Ibotta and Checkout 51 use. Eligible Magic Receipt products have an “add to list” button you click to save the offer to your list.
Offers indicate how many SBs they pay and if you can shop in-store, online, or with both methods to earn. If you click on an offer, you can see which stores are eligible for the offer. You can also check the offer expiration date and any specific purchasing requirements, like quantity limits or the exact product size you need to buy for your offer to credit.
Many receipts pay a few SBs, although you can find offers for several hundred SBs, which is worth a few dollars. You can upload up to 60 receipts per month as long as receipts are newer than 10 days.
Examples of Magic Receipt offers include:
- Earning 2 SBs for buying grocery staples like apples, bananas, bread, and potatoes
- Earning 25 SBs for buying a pack of Beyond Meat sausages
- Earning 200 SBs for buying a 6.75 ounce Dash seasonings blend
- Earning 200 SBs for buying Suavite complete fabric softener
- Earning 900 SBs for buying Birds Eye frozen vegetables
- Earning 1,600 SBs for buying Rainbow Light multivitamins
This is free money, and the fact that Swagbucks lets you earn cash back for buying grocery staples and household essentials means you don’t need to significantly change your shopping habits to earn.
Because there are numerous offers that pay $5 to $10 or more, Swagbucks is also competitive with Ibotta and Checkout 51 in terms of cash-back rates.
4. Search the Web
One of the fastest ways to earn Swagbucks is to start using it as your search engine. This is because when you search through Swagbucks, you have the chance to earn SBs.
Rewards depend on how many searches you do each day and how lucky you get, but you usually earn about $0.10 for a lucky Swagbucks search. Search results are from Yahoo search results.
If search results for a particular query aren’t what you’re looking for when you use Swagbucks, you can always switch to Google to see if you get the answers you need. There’s no rule against switching back and forth from one search engine to the other.
If you want to maximize your Swagbucks search earnings, switch your default search engine to Swagbucks instead of opening up Google or Bing. The SwagButton browser extension also lets you search the web if you click on the extension icon and use its search bar.
5. Watch Videos
Swagbucks has a “Watch” section with short, informative videos on categories like food and travel. In exchange for watching videos and ads, you earn small amounts of SBs. Typically, video reels pay one to five SBs for watching approximately 20 short videos.
This isn’t the most lucrative way to earn SBs, but it’s simple because it doesn’t require attention or engagement. You can play the videos on mute in another tab on your computer while you work for a humble source of passive income.
You can also download the Swagbucks TV app for Android and set it to play back-to-back videos. Just make sure you’re connected to Wi-Fi so you don’t use up all your data streaming videos.
6. Play Games and Trivia
If you’re a fan of PC and mobile gaming, Swagbucks’ gaming feature is a massive plus.
Under the “Games” tab, Swagbucks has a collection of games you can play to earn SBs. You can find games under a variety of genres, including:
- Action and adventure
- Board games
- Multiplayer games
- Strategy games
Some games require spending money to play, like slot reward games or certain card games, so it’s not wise to spend money on these games to earn SBs unless you already play the games normally. But there are still free games like Pyramid Solitaire and Mahjong you can play to earn small amounts of SBs.
There’s also a mobile games section that pays you to download and try various mobile games. This is similar to Mistplay, a loyalty rewards program that lets you earn free gift cards for trying new Android games.
Trying new games usually earns between $1 to $5 worth of SBs. However, most offers require reaching a certain level or in-game accomplishment, so this earning option is best if you actually enjoy playing video games since you need to put some time into the games to earn.
Another way to earn SBs is to use Swagbucks Live, the trivia rewards platform. With Swagbucks Live, you enter free daily trivia games run by a Swagbucks Live host. Hosts ask participants 10 trivia questions, covering topics like art, entertainment, history, and random facts.
As you answer questions correctly, you earn small amounts of SBs. If you answer all 10 questions, you split a prize pool with the remaining players. Swagbucks Live typically pays $1,000 or more to winners each day, so if you and nine other people win, you all walk away with $100 of SBs.
Swagbucks Live is available for Android and iOS. Points you earn from trivia games appear in your main Swagbucks account. If you enjoy trivia, Swagbucks Live is definitely a money-making app you should try. If you prefer mobile and PC gaming, stick to the Games tab to make money.
7. Download the Swagbucks App
The mobile app offers the same earning options as Swagbucks.com. You can use the app to earn while passing the time if you’re parked in the carpool lane picking your kids up from school, enduring a long bus or train commute, or stuck in the waiting room at the dentist.
If you tend to scroll mindlessly through your phone during the day to fill time in between activities, consider downloading the app to earn a few points while doing so.
8. Refer Friends
As is the case with many reward websites, referring your friends to Swagbucks with your referral link is another way to earn.
When a friend signs up for Swagbucks through your referral link, you get a bonus of 300 SBs as long as they earn 300 SBs within the first 30 days, at which point they also earn a 300 SB bonus.
Even better, once you refer someone to Swagbucks, you earn 10% of whatever SBs they earn in select categories — Shop, Search, Watch, Play, Answer, and Discover — for as long as they’re active on the site. There is no limit on how many SBs you can earn from referrals.
If the person you refer downloads the SwagButton extension to Chrome within the first 14 days of signing up, each of you also gets an extra 100 SBs.
9. Extensive Rewards Section
Many reward platforms have high cash-out requirements. For example, InboxDollars requires $25 to redeem your earnings. This means it can take weeks or even a month or more to enjoy your first payout.
An advantage of using Swagbucks is its extensive rewards section and fast redemption process. Each SB is worth approximately $0.01 depending on the reward you redeem. But many rewards start at just $1, which is attainable within a day of using the platform.
As for reward choices, options include PayPal cash, prepaid Visa cards, and free gift cards to companies like:
Certain reward denominations can get discounts, making each SB you redeem slightly more valuable. For example, Swagbucks often lowers the price of many gift cards of $10 or more by 1% to 5%.
If you have patience, saving up for the $10 reward section can help squeeze out more value from Swagbucks. However, don’t hoard too many SBs in your account.
There are horror stories online of people collecting thousands of SB points and then having a hard time redeeming them, or having their accounts frozen by the site for one reason or another and losing all their points.
Also know that electronic gift card rewards usually take a few days to process and arrive in your email inbox. If you use your PayPal account to redeem points, the bank transfer can take additional time to complete, so plan ahead and give yourself plenty of time to receive the money before you spend it.
You can also spend your SB on entering sweepstakes to earn prizes like Apple AirPods, speakers, new televisions, and more expensive gift cards. Some sweepstakes also pay out thousands of bonus SBs if you win.
Sweepstakes sometimes display how many entries there are, but for others, you have no way of knowing your odds of winning. If you want to guarantee your earnings, stick with gift cards and PayPal cash.
Swagbucks is one of the most popular get-paid-to websites around. A variety of earning options, an extensive rewards section, and several other advantages make Swagbucks worth using if you want quick cash.
- Multiple Earning Options. Swagbucks is one of the most versatile get-paid-to websites with numerous ways to earn points depending on your preferences.
- Low Cash-Out Requirement. Many reward websites require $5 to $25 to redeem rewards, whereas Swagbucks only requires $1 worth of points to redeem many prizes.
- Extensive Rewards. Redeem for dozens of free gift cards, PayPal cash, or Visa gift cards, or donate your earnings to charity.
- Fast and Free. Signing up for Swagbucks takes a few minutes and only requires your email.
- Easy To Earn. You don’t need any special skills or online training to make money with Swagbucks.
- Somewhat Passive. Swagbucks lets you earn money by searching online, shopping, and playing games. If you already do these activities, completing them through Swagbucks is a fairly passive way to earn rewards for what you already do online.
Swagbucks is fast and simple to use, and the rewards structure also means you can realistically earn prizes in a short amount of time. However, there are still several drawbacks to note:
- Low Earning Potential. Payouts aren’t huge, no matter how much time you spend on the site.
- Survey Disqualifications. Surveys are the main way to make money on Swagbucks, but disqualifications can hurt your hourly earnings and create a frustrating experience.
- Opportunity Cost. Spending time on Swagbucks still requires some effort, so you’re potentially giving up other hobbies, spending time with friends, or more lucrative side hustle ideas like gig economy jobs.
You won’t get rich with Swagbucks, but it’s an easy way to earn some extra cash or free gift cards each month depending on how much time you put in.
If your budget is tight and you don’t have much disposable income, earning $10 to $30 per month through Swagbucks might be the answer you’re looking for to pay for small indulgences without feeling guilty.
However, don’t think of Swagbucks as a way to generate a ton of passive income to fund your lifestyle. If you want to boost your income significantly, you’re better off spending your time on various side gigs like driving for DoorDash or starting an online business because the income potential is much higher.
Swagbucks is a popular get-paid-to website for a reason. With multiple earning options and a variety of rewards, it’s a reliable way to enjoy extra cash and gift cards each month. Plus, since many rewards are redeemable at $1, you can realistically enjoy rewards in one day of using the platform.
Swagbucks ultimately faces the same earning limitations that other survey websites do. This makes Swagbucks an ideal choice for anyone looking to make a bit of extra pocket money in their spare time. But if you want to seriously improve your personal finances, Swagbucks isn’t the right choice.