April 20, 2021 4:00 PM PT

Swagbucks Review

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Swagbucks is a legit survey site, but how safe is it? Before downloading, find out if it's worth your time and if you can really make $100 in a day.

Swagbucks
$5 Signup Bonus

Overall Score

4.3

Earning Potential

3.5

Ease of Use

5.0

Trustworthy

4.5
5-point scale (the higher, the better)

Pros and Cons

  • Many ways to earn
  • User-friendly app
  • Lucrative friend referrals
  • Points add up slowly
  • Slow customer service

Bottom Line

Legit way to earn cash in your downtime

Get this: Swagbucks claims that average members can earn $500-$700 per year.

But how much work is really required?

Find out how to maximize your earnings with Swagbucks in this review. Plus, see how it stacks up against other apps to help you decide if it's right for you.

What Is Swagbucks?

Swagbucks is a site that pays cash back in the form of "swagbucks" in exchange for simple online tasks.

It's essentially a souped-up affiliate marketing website, but it offers much more than just cash back for shopping. With Swagbucks, you can make money by watching videos, playing games, using their search engine, friend referrals, and more.

To date, Swagbucks has paid $533 million to users in cash or gift cards to their favorite stores, like Amazon, Walmart, or cash via PayPal.

Swagbucks Quick Facts: Here's the fast facts to know about Swagbucks before downloading.
  • Average Payout: $0.10-$2 per survey (10-200 points)
  • Payout Method: PayPal or gift cards
  • Minimum to Cash Out: $3 (300 points)
  • How Long it Takes to Cash Out: 10-14 days
  • Apps: Available on Apple and Google Play

Is Swagbucks Legit?

You may hear claims of Swagbucks not being legit, but they are. It's usually the people who don't qualify for surveys or expect higher payouts who claim it's a scam.

There are thousands of positive reviews and testimonies from people who have earned money for doing fairly easy things, like answering questions and playing games.

Swagbucks is owned by market research company Prodege, LLC, which has an A- rating from the BBB and has been in business since 2005. Swagbucks itself currently has a 4.3 rating (out of 5) on Trustpilot.

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Multiple ways to earn: Their surveys are most popular, but you can earn by watching their videos, using their search engine, playing games, or with their cash back program.

  • Many options for rewards: Opt for a PayPal cash out, gift cards to your favorite stores (Target, Amazon, Best Buy, etc.), charity donations, or "lottery" entries for big-ticket items like TVs or laptops.

  • Plenty of available surveys: Other sites have so few surveys that it's common to not match with any in a given day. Swagbucks seems to have many more surveys to offer its users.

  • Low cash-out minimum: Swagbucks lets you cash out once you earn just $3, while similar sites require balances as high as $20 or $50.

  • High-earning friend referrals: Most sites do offer rewards for referring your friends, but Swagbucks' program stands out - you'll get 10% of every SB your friend earns, a bonus as high as $10, and $1 when your friend installs the Swagbutton.

  • Sign up bonus: Earn $10 just for signing up, which you can actually cash out immediately if you want (hello free lunch!)

Cons

  • Takes a while to earn enough points to cash out: While the cash-out minimum is low, it will take some time to reach it. Expect a couple days with regular usage.

  • Surveys can be hard to qualify for: Swagbucks has plenty of surveys, but like other sites, the qualification requirements are very specific and sometimes hard to satisfy.

  • Some people claim they don't get credit for their cash-back purchases: Swagbucks offers some advice to make sure you get your credit. Just be aware that it is a potential issue.

Is Swagbucks Safe?

To date, Swagbucks has paid out over $500 million, so it's safe to say they are "safe." They also have over 10 million members.

When you sign up, they don't ask for much personal information - just your name, email, DOB and location.

But if you're interested in earning money with surveys, Swagbucks will ask for some additional info. This is so they can match you to surveys that fit your demographic.

They'll ask about some employment info, household income, and behavior habits. You're not obligated to provide this info if you don't want to take surveys. But the more questions you answer, the better your chances of matching with a survey.

Looking to maximize your earnings? Try using a few different survey sites at a time. Our guide to online surveys can help you decide which sites are worth trying.

How Swagbucks Works

It's free to sign up for Swagbucks. Just head to their website or app, provide your email address and create a password.

Once signed up, you can complete your profile. This is how Swagbucks matches you with available surveys.

If you complete your profile (passing the screener), Swagbucks will reward you with Swagbucks (SBs) for your time. The surveys aren't high-paying (max 200 SBs per survey, which is $2), but the points add up for a few minutes of your time.

Below, discover all the ways to make money using Swagbucks.

How to Make Money on Swagbucks

Swagbucks offers multiple ways to earn, which allows you to pick and choose what you like. Find the best activities to fit you and your lifestyle below.

Shop Online & Earn Cash Back

Earn cash back at over 1,500 stores like Amazon, Walmart, Starbucks, and Target. You may even have access to exclusive coupons along with the SBs earned for every dollar you spend.

Swagbucks is an affiliate marketer for some of the largest retailers. This means the stores pay Swagbucks a commission every time Swagbucks sends them a new customer.

Swagbucks then passes some of that commission on to you.

The Swagbucks browser extension, called SwagButton, makes it easy to take advantage of every deal Swagbucks offers. You search and shop like you usually do, and if Swagbucks has an offer for you, the extension will notify you

Swag Codes

You can also enter special codes to earn instant SB Points. You'll find these codes on Swagbucks' social media channels, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and sometimes, their blog. To get alerts on available Swag Codes, just download the SwagButton, a Google browser extension.

Watch Videos

Swagbucks puts together video playlists based on your profile. Watch the videos and Swagbucks will pay you a few points for each one.

The good news is you don't have to watch the videos actively. It's not like there will be a quiz or anything afterward.

While you can only earn up to 150 SBs watching videos each day, make it a habit to play your playlist and earn those SBs even if you don't watch.

Some sites will even pay you to watch ads on videos. Find out which sites to try and how much you can earn in our guide to the best sites that pay for ads.

Swagbucks

Get Paid to Watch Videos

Earn gift cards on Swagbucks when you watch movie trailers

Discover Offers

Swagbucks has exclusive offers for services that pay if you sign up. You can get SBs for signing up with streaming platforms, meal delivery boxes, rideshare apps and more.

Most services Swagbucks offers require a credit card to sign up, so be careful. Most offers are a "free trial," but if you don't cancel the subscription before the free trial expires, you'll get charged.

Read the fine print to see what you have to do to get the SBs, because if you cancel too soon, you may not get the points.

Download the Swagbucks search engine and earn points when you surf the web. The Swagbucks browser works just like Google or Yahoo!.

If you still want to use Google, download the Swagbucks search toolbar, and anytime you do a search, use Swagbucks.

You won't earn a ton using Swagbucks to search. Most people make around $0.10 per 10 searches, but every little bit adds up if you search often.

Play Games

Play free games and earn a few points or make in-game purchases and earn even more cash back.

If you already play online games, playing them through Swagbucks can be a great way to earn a little side cash. You can play card games, video games, and strategy games - they offer a nice variety.

If you don't already play games, though, it may not be worth it. Some games don't pay you anything unless you make an in-app purchase, so read the fine print to learn more.

Download the Mobile App

If you're always on the go, be sure to download the Swagbucks mobile app. This will help you maximize your earnings.

You can do the same things on the mobile app as the online dashboard, which may increase your likelihood of earning money, especially if you spend a lot of time sitting and waiting.

Download: Apple, Google Play Store

Refer Friends

Like most affiliate sites, Swagbucks will pay you to refer friends and family to the site.

Use your referral link to tell friends or family about the platform, and you'll earn bonus points every time someone signs up using your link AND earns at least 300 SBs in the first 30 days.

You can do all of this online on the Swagbucks dashboard or on the mobile app, where you can also earn SBs to turn into gift cards or cash.

Who Is Swagbucks For?

Considering Swagbucks has over 10 million users, it's safe to say that it's for anyone who likes answering surveys or shopping online. Even if you only make a few bucks, every dollar adds up, right?

If you shop online (and who doesn't?), take advantage of Swagbucks' opportunity to earn a little side cash shopping, answering surveys, or even playing games.

How Much Money Can You Really Make Using Swagbucks?

To be honest, count on Swagbucks to earn pocket change or a little more. The key is how many surveys you qualify for or how often you shop.

The surveys have screeners, which many users claim are hard to get past, which means wasted time if you don't qualify.

Of course, the more activities you do and the more consistent you are with your habits, the more you'll earn. Printing out coupons, shopping through the Swagbucks dashboard, and watching videos/playing games daily will help your earnings add up.

Many users have reported earning about 89 cents an hour. For the most part, one Swagbucks Point = 1 cent. After 5 hours, users generally earn 400 points so one penny per SB point.

Can You Really Get $100/Day With Swagbucks?

Can you make $100/day with Swagbucks? It's possible, but you'd have to spend many hours a day using it.

Realistically, Swagbucks users earn a few dollars a day, and this is for spending only 15 - 30 minutes a day using it.

You don't want it to consume your life (it's not going to pay the mortgage), but everyone has 15 - 30 minutes they could spend on the app, making a little side cash.

Here are some popular activities you can do on Swagbucks and how they would pay:

  • Answer the Swagbucks daily poll: Earn 1 SB
  • Shop online: Earn an average of 1 - 4 SBs for every dollar spent
  • Watch a playlist of videos: Earn 5 SB
  • Take advantage of an exclusive deal (credit card required) : Earn 25 - 30 SBs
  • Take surveys: Earn 10 - 200 SBs depending if you qualify

What are Some Common Complaints?

Like any cashback app, there are common complaints users have about Swagbucks, including:

  • It takes a long time to earn cash back.
  • Most offers paying the most SBs require a purchase or a credit card sign-up.
  • It's hard to qualify for surveys.
  • Customer service isn't the greatest (or fastest).

How It Compares

Swagbucks is just one of many free cashback sites available today. Other alternatives include:

Survey Junkie
Survey Junkie is a popular survey site that pays cash in exchange for your opinion. Like Swagbucks, Survey Junkie pays you points for answering surveys. You can then redeem those points for cash or gift cards.

One Survey Junkie point is $0.01, so it takes 100 points to earn $1, and you can't cash out until you have 500 points or $5.

Like Swagbucks, you won't earn part-time income or even side hustle income, but it can be a fun way to make a few extra dollars. Read our full Survey Junkie review here.

MyPoints
MyPoints is one of the oldest cashback sites on the internet and has been in operation for the last 25 years. MyPoints is one of the closest sites to Swagbucks as you can get. As you probably guessed, MyPoints pays points for your activities.

You can earn points by playing games, watching videos, reading emails, shopping, answering surveys, and searching the internet.

You can redeem points in $5 increments, which is equal to 700 points. Alternatively, you can redeem your points for gift cards to over 70 retailers or as miles on your United Mileage Plus credit card.

Rakuten
Rakuten is one of the most popular cashback apps for people who love to shop online. Like MyPoints, they've been around for over 20 years, paying users as much as 40% back on their purchases.

Unlike Swagbucks, Rakuten is strictly a cashback website, aka an affiliate marketer. You can shop through your Rakuten dashboard or download the free browser extension and let Rakuten tell you when there's an opportunity to earn cashback.

Rakuten runs exclusive deals where you might earn a low percentage on your total order but a higher purchase rate in a particular category or specific type. Rakuten partners with over 1,500 stores. The downside, however, is Rakuten only pays out once a quarter, so you have to wait to get your cashback.

Rakuten

$10 Welcome Bonus

To qualify for $10 Welcome Bonus, you must be a new member and make minimum qualifying purchases totaling at least $25 within 90 days of becoming a member.

How to maximize earnings with Swagbucks

You're almost ready to start this side hustle. But there are a few things you should note to get the most bang out of your time:

  1. Set aside time - Since about 89 SB points = 1 dollar, you need to use Swagbucks consistently. Aim for 1 hour a day of Swagbucks.

  2. Be patient - You won't get a ton of money with the app. It's more about making the most out of your free time.

  3. Refer your friends - You get 10% of their earnings.

  4. Think outside of surveys - Chances are, you won't qualify for many surveys. And it's wasted time to find out you can't complete them so consider making money from online shopping, playing games, watching videos and more.

  5. Get the mobile app - Using Swagbucks when you're on the go means more opportunities to earn.

Bottom Line: Is It a Waste of Time?

Swagbucks is a great tool to have to pass your spare time. Sitting in front of the TV, waiting at the doctor's office, or sitting in the car waiting for soccer practice to end can result in you making a few dollars if you check Swagbucks daily.

While you shouldn't consider it a true side hustle, every dollar adds up, and if you have the time, why not make the most of it and make a few extra bucks?

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Write to Sam Hawrylack at feedback@creditdonkey.com. Follow us on Twitter and Facebook for our latest posts.

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