What is Swagbucks?
If you like to watch videos, search the web, take surveys, or shop online, you can earn points, known as Swagbucks, that you can redeem for cash or gift cards. While something like this may sound too good to be true, since its conception in 2008, Swagbucks has paid out over $474,000,000 in cash and gift cards!
How do you earn Swagbucks?
The first step to earning rewards is to sign up for your free account. To sign up, visit Swagbucks.com where you can use either your email address or your Facebook login credentials to create an account. At the time of writing this article, there is currently a $10 bonus for signing up once you Activate and Update your Swag Ups section of the account.
Once your account has been created and confirmed, you will have access to the Swagbucks dashboard via your web browser, or you can also download their app if you prefer to work on your mobile device.
The dashboard is where you can find new surveys to take, trending deals, show cashback amounts offered for shopping at certain retailers, games that you can get credits for playing, videos to watch for points, and more.
Upon completing the various tasks or offers, you will receive points, and the more points you acquire will unlock different levels with additional benefits. Let’s go over the various ways to earn points so you can better understand how many rewards you can expect from using Swagbucks.
Surveys are one of the ways that you can earn points without spending any money. Each survey will tell you an estimated amount of time to complete the survey, tell you how many SBs you will earn, as well as if it is guaranteed you will be approved, or if there will be a screening process to take the survey. On average, the surveys take 5-30 minutes to complete and will reward you with anywhere from 5 SBs to 200 SBs depending on the need for responses for the particular survey. When I signed up for my account, in order to take any of the surveys, there was a mandatory survey that asked a lot of demographic-type questions, presumably so they know how to assign surveys to you that match your credentials.
If you do not qualify to take a survey after giving them your demographic credentials, you still earn 1 SB.
Shopping is certainly the easiest way to earn Swagbucks. You can go to the Dashboard or Swagbucks shop to see the various deals from many well-known retailers. When you shop on sites like hotels.com, homedepot.com, vistaprint.com, and hundreds of others, a percentage of your purchase will be turned into Swagbucks.
Does it sound like a pain to have to check their site every time you want to shop? Luckily, they realized this too and have created the “SwagButton”. The SwagButton is a browser extension that, when installed, alerts you if the site you are visiting offers cashback. Not only will the SwagButton let you know the amount of cashback available, but it will also search the Internet for coupon codes to apply to your checkout to ensure you save the most possible.
I think it is important to note that you will not see credits for your purchases right away. Due to the ability to return your purchase, it typically takes 32 days for your SB credits to appear in your account. As long as you keep your credit cards linked to the app, there is next to no work you have to do with the purchases.
One last way to make SB from your shopping habits is to buy gift cards through Swagbucks. You can buy gift cards from many major retailers and earn 1-5% cashback.
Watching videos is another option for earning SB points through Swagbucks. The good news with this feature is the ability to earn points, but the huge drawback is you will only earn 1 point per video or series of videos. They have software that knows if you watched the entire video (and ads) and prohibits you from leaving the video early. So while you can certainly earn points this way, they won’t amount to rewards very quickly. While I don’t think this is a good use of your time, it is better than getting paid nothing to scroll through Facebook or Instagram.
This is another feature that does allow you to earn points but might not be worth your while. You have the ability to earn SBs by downloading games, doing various tasks in games, and making in-game purchases. In order to be eligible for SBs for your gaming, you must log in to your gaming account via Swagbucks before downloading or playing the games.
It is important to note that all games have different requirements for your engagement or purchase to equal SBs.
For example, a game called Pop Slots, a Vegas-style casino slot machine game can earn you 3,500 SB. To do this, you must install the app through the Swagbucks link and complete level 35 within two weeks, but you do not have to make any in-game purchases.
If you like to play paid games, like Solitaire Rush, you would be able to earn 4 SB per dollar you spend in the game.
If you are someone who really likes to try out new games, this may be a lucrative way for you to earn SB but in order to do so, you have to play quite a bit of the game in a short amount of time.
Like anyone else, Swagbucks wants as many people as possible to use their service. To incentivize people to send more people to the platform, they offer a 300 SB bonus as well as 10% of the lifetime SB earned by those you refer. The only catch is that the person you refer must earn at least 300 SB in their first 30 days.
To help you get referrals, they have an option for you to send a message via email to friends or links to share on your social media.
The final way you can earn SB is by using the Web Search feature. With this feature, you use it just as you would a Google search, type in what you want to know, and once you do that, you will receive a code to verify that earns you 1 SB per search. Though it is a bit of a tedious process to verify your code, it is nice to be able to get rewarded for searching the Internet.
How do you cash in the SwagBucks?
While you are looking at the opportunities to earn more Swagbucks, keep in mind that each SB is the equivalent of a penny ( 100 SB = USD 1). Once you have accumulated a few hundred or a few thousand SB, you can go to Swagbucks to view the different ways to cash in your SB. You can pick from Featured Gift Cards, “On Sale Rewards” that are discounted for a limited time, PayPal deposit options, and Charity Donation options.
You will get more benefits if you wait to cash out until you have lots of SB. For example, a $1 Amazon gift card goes for 100 SB, while a $5 Amazon gift card is 500 SB.
If you are more interested in a gamble than a sure thing, you also have the option to use your SB for what they call a Swagstakes. In a Swagstake, you purchase essentially a raffle ticket for a gift card that you want. All Swagstakes have a designated entry fee and a maximum allowance of participants, so you know your odds of winning upon entry.
What companies are involved with Swagbucks?
You might worry that you will spend time taking surveys, shopping, and watching videos only to get rewards for no-name companies. That is not the case with Swagbucks.
If you want to cash out your rewards for cash value, you have the options of getting a PayPal deposit or a Visa gift card that can be used anywhere you use a credit card.
Amazon, Apple. Target, Lowes, Starbucks, Nike, and Fanatics are just a few of the brands you can get gift cards for.
They even have companies like Groupon and Living Social where you can earn SB while still saving large percentages on experiences and products.
If you prefer to give your SB to charity, they are partnered with Save the Children, UNICEF, Wounded Warrior Project, The Humane Society, ALS Charity, and many other reputable organizations. For every Swagbuck you donate, 1 cent will go to that organization.
There’s an App for That!
Swagbucks is so much more than a website and browser extension. They also have a ton of apps for Apple and Android devices.
Swagbucks Mobile is their app that is the mobile extension of their website and gives you access to all of the same features you could get on your desktop.
Swagbucks LIVE is the live trivia game show where you test your knowledge daily to win huge cash prizes.
Swagbucks Answer is focused on surveys, MovieCli.ps gives you rewards for watching movie trailers, and Sportly gives rewards for watching sports clips. IndyMusic.tv gives you rewards for discovering new music, lifestylz.tv will reward you for watching travel, food, fitness, and other footage. EntertainNow will also reward you for watching video clips.
The folks at Swagbucks certainly have figured out how to leverage technology to get you watching only their channels.
Should you use it?
I think overall this is a service that there is no reason not to use. If you are going to surf social media sites like Facebook, Instagram, or TikTok and watch clips for hours each day, you should consider making that habit on Swagbucks. Also, if you are a big internet shopper, I think it only makes sense to be a member of any site that gives you cash back for what you are already buying.
With all of the apps that they have created and the browser extension options, they make it incredibly easy to use their service and not have to go out of your way to get points.
There is only one “negative” thing about using this service: your data and personal information are what you are trading for your gift cards. In the privacy agreement, when you sign up for the service, it states:
Selling your information is how this company can afford to do business and interest companies to give shopping incentives. While I personally am not too worried about companies buying my internet habits, Swagbucks could be a target of hackers to steal the info. In the event that this was to happen, who knows what damage could be caused to any linked credit card or PayPal information?
In short, if you are looking for a firm, I say give it a try. It may be a lucrative site for you if you have a large amount of free time to do surveys and play games, or if you can get your friends to use it too.
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