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Swagbucks Review: Easy Ways to Earn Money for Anything

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Swagbucks Review - Laptop sitting on a pile of money showing the Swagbucks website on the screen.
Swagbucks Review - Laptop sitting on a pile of money showing the Swagbucks website on the screen.

I get excited when I come across great deals and freebies, but what I love even more is easy ways to earn money!

You’re probably familiar with GPT (get paid to) sites that reward you for taking surveys, watching videos, shopping and more. Out of all the GPT sites out there, my favorite is Swagbucks.

In this review, you’ll learn more about Swagbucks, how to get around their site, and what I like and don’t like about them.

What Is Swagbucks?

Swagbucks is a free online rewards program launched by Prodege in February 2008. The company offers virtual currency — referred to as SB — to its members as a reward for using the Swagbucks website or mobile app to shop online and locally, answer survey questions, play games and more.

You can exchange SB for gift cards, cash back via Paypal or donate your earnings to charity.

What You Should Know Before Joining Swagbucks

First, Swagbucks won’t make you rich. This is purely something to do in your spare time, when you’re bored or even waiting for a doctor or other appointment.

Although you won’t earn a living wage, you can use the extra cash you do make to pay a small bill, pay off a small debt, purchase Christmas and other gifts, buy yourself something, start an emergency savings or even build on the savings you already have.

Membership Requirements

  • You must be 13 years of age or older.
  • Swagbucks accepts residents from Australia, Africa, Asia, Canada, France, Germany, India, Ireland, New Zealand, Portugal, Spain, United Kingdom and the United States (and its territories).

How to Start Earning Money

Before you can start making money, you have to sign up for a free Swagbucks account. Joining doesn’t take long and is simple.

Normally, you get $5 (500 SB) for signing up, but if you click on my link from above, you get $10 (1000 SB).

Easy Ways to Earn Money - Screenshot of the Swagbucks signup form.

Joining Swagbucks

  1. Enter a valid email address.
  2. Create your password.
  3. Click the Sign Up Now button. If you prefer, you can also join using your Google or Facebook account.
  4. Check the email you signed up with, open the email from Swagbucks, and then click the Confirm Your Email button in that email to verify that your email address is valid.
    Swagbucks Review - Screenshot of email you receive after signing up.
  5. After you join and confirm your email, log in to Swagbucks from your desktop to get an extra 50 SB.

Ways to Use Swagbucks

To begin earning money from Swagbucks, log in to your account from their website. You can also download the Swagbucks app, which has activities that are not available through their website.

The app is great for when you’re relaxing in bed or waiting to see the doctor!

Managing Your Swagbucks Account

Soon after you join and verify your email, head to your account and follow these steps:

Complete Your Survey Profile

To increase your chances of qualifying for surveys, you need to visit the surveys section by clicking the Answer link from the top navigation menu. Once there, select and complete the first survey you see.

Choose Your Notification Preferences

  • Go to your settings and enter your Swagbucks password.
  • Click Preferences located at the top right of your screen.
  • Choose which email notifications you want to receive.

Enroll in the Member Recognition Program

Swagbucks shows their appreciation to loyal members with additional perks through their free Member Recognition program. To get these awesome perks, the first thing you must do is enroll in the program.

  • Choose My Account from the left sidebar menu.
  • Select the Member Recognition link.
  • Click Enroll Now.

To learn more about this program, the levels and the perks for each level, click on the Learn More button after you enroll.

Currently, I’m at level four, and so far, I’ve received all the perks for each level I’ve achieved. The additional benefit I love most is the double SB for completed surveys. The cash back for purchasing gift cards is great too, but there aren’t many good gift cards to choose from. For instance, at the time of this writing, there are none for Amazon or Walmart, which is where I shop the most.

Check Out the Swag Button

The Swag Button saves you from having to go to the Swagbucks website everytime you want to earn cash back for shopping, enter a Swag Code or use Swagbucks search. In fact, when you’re shopping, if the merchant you’re shopping at is partnered with Swagbucks, the button lets you know that, and if there’s discounts, the Swag Button automatically applies the best coupon code during checkout.

Exploring Swagbucks

Although the website is simple to navigate, I’m going to share what you need to do to earn money when accessing Swagbucks from your computer. Let’s begin…

Locating the Easy Ways to Earn Money

The top navigation menu is where you’ll find the majority of the money-earning activities.

Easy Ways to Earn Money - Screenshot of top navigation menu at Swagbucks.

To see the available surveys, click Answer.

Screenshot of Answer link that takes you to Swagbucks paid surveys.

To the right of Answer are more links. When you click those, they reveal a dropdown submenu of other activities for earning money.

Screenshot of Swagbucks' top navigation dropdown submenu.

After arriving at the links from the top navigation menu, you’ll notice more links on the left side of the page.

Swagbucks Review - Screenshot with red arrow pointing to the left sidebar links at Swagbucks.

Tracking Your Earnings

The amount of SB you earn will always be visible at the top right. To see all the activities you completed, pending SB, how many SB you earn for each completed task as well as the grand total of all the SB you’ve earned since you joined, hover over your current SB total. Next, click Activity under Your Account.

Earn Money - Screenshot show the links to click to track your earnings on Swagbucks.

Viewing Rewards

Under Rewards in the top menu, click Rewards Home to see all the rewards and how many SB you need for each one.

Swagbucks Review - Red arrows pointing to the links to click in order to view the rewards on Swagbucks.

Updating Your Information & Preferences

  1. Mouseover your current SB total. Select Settings under Your Account.
    Swagbucks Review - Red arrows pointing to the links for updating Swagbucks profile.
  2. Enter your Swagbucks password.
  3. Click the buttons at the top to change your email or edit your personal information.
    Red arrows pointing to the buttons to update your Swagbucks email and profile info.
  4. Click Preferences at the top right to choose which email notifications you want to receive.
    Red arrow pointing to the Preferences button on Swagbucks.

15 Ways to Earn Money at Swagbucks

Immediately after you join you can start earning money, which is known as SB. One SB is worth a penny, but with the many activities to choose from, along with bonuses that I’ll explain in a little bit, it won’t take long for them to add up.

Here are the many ways you can start earning money:

1. Answer Survey Questions

I do many paid surveys, and so far, the ones at Swagbucks are my least favorite. Sometimes you can spend too long trying to qualify for just one survey. Regardless, I do try to at least qualify for and complete two surveys, but if 15 minutes passes and I still haven’t qualified for one, I will move on.

To make surveys worth my time, I go for the ones that offer the most SBs (50 or more) and take 20 minutes or less to complete.

Easy Ways to Earn Money - Screenshot of paid surveys at Swagbucks.

2. Visit Websites

When I don’t want to spend time taking surveys, my favorite thing to do is Click and Earn, found in the Discovery section. The reward is usually one SB, but clicking to visit sites only takes a second, and there’s quite a few to choose from.

The best and quickest way to do this task is to click on one after another. Each one you click on will open in a new tab.

Easy Ways to Earn Money - Screenshot of Click & Earn activities at Swagbucks.

Once I have around 10 to 20 new tabs open, I go through and close the tabs then repeat the process. I leave tabs open because you have to stay on the site for a little bit to get credit for the visit, and I think it’s so much easier and faster.

I noticed after a few minutes of opening one after another the websites began showing the human verification box. This can take additional time, so I usually stop at this point and move on to a different activity.

3. Sign Up for Offers

To get bigger rewards, you can sign up for offers. There are a variety of free offers as well as offers that require a purchase. Your goal at Swagbucks is to make money, unless it’s something you really do want. That being said, I don’t recommend unnecessary spending.

Earn Money - Signup offers at Swagbucks.

I don’t do this activity much. I will look through the free sign-up offers to see if there are any I have an actual interest in and sign up for them, but I don’t opt in to offers or spend money just for the SB.

Things to be aware of:

  • Offers can be dishonest. For example, all of the “get free samples” I signed up for only gave me an inbox full of spam. I never received any free samples.
  • Available offers may have requirements and don’t credit immediately. All you have to do is click the offer once to see what’s required of you to receive the reward and when you’ll get the promised SB.
  • Signing up for offers usually results in getting lots of spam emails.

4. Magic Receipts

If you use cashback apps that help you save on groceries, this activity for earning and saving may become one of your favorites. You’ll discover offers for “any brand” products as well as name brands. All you have to do is add the money-saving offers for the products you already plan to buy to your list. Then save your store receipts that have those products on it.

How to Get Grocery Rebates at Swagbucks for In-Store Purchases

  1. Take a photo of your receipt and save it on your computer’s harddrive.
  2. Go to Magic Receipts
    Screenshot with red arrows pointing to the links you need to click to earn money from Swagbucks' Magic Receipt
  3. Click the “Submit Receipt” button
    Screenshot with red arrow showing the link to click to earn money from your grocery receipt at Swagbucks.
  4. Find the store you shopped at, select it and click Next.
  5. Select the items from your list that are on your paper receipt. If your list is long, scroll down to view everything on your list. Once you’ve selected the products you bought, click Next.
    The Magic Receipt list at Swagbucks for earning money by submitting a paper receipts.
  6. Click Upload to select the image of your receipt from the location where you saved it.
    Screenshot of red arrow showing the button to click to upload a grocery receipt to earn money from Swagbucks.
  7. Look over the preview of the receipt you uploaded to make sure it’s legible and shows the date, store name, total of your purchase and all the items you’re claiming a rebate for. If everything is as it should be, click Next to submit your receipt.
    Swagbucks Review - My grocery receipt.

5. Link Your Card to Earn Money When Dining Out

Link your credit and/or debit card to receive cash back for dining out at participating U.S. restaurants.

Link card to earn money from Swagbucks - get a 500 SB bonus.

To see which restaurants are partnered with Swagbucks, on the Dining Deals page enter the zipcode for the cities you visit often or plan to visit.

Dining Deals page on Swagbucks.

To ensure you earn money for dining out, you must pay with one of your linked cards.

6. Print and Redeem Coupons

If you still use printable coupons to save on in-store purchases, Swagbucks will pay you one SB for every three coupons you print (up to a maximum of 60 per day). You’ll earn an additional 50 SB for every redeemed coupon.

Swagbucks Review - Printable Grocery Coupons Page

This Swagbucks activity is only for U.S. members. Also, the SB you earn for printing coupons won’t be credited until the next day, and credit for coupon redemption may take up to 12 weeks.

If you’re like me and don’t own a printer, you can save the coupons as a PDF file. Then after you print the coupons from a location where you have access to a printer, you can delete the file. I did receive the SB for saving the coupons I chose as a PDF file.

7. Shop Online and Travel

Do you do a lot of online shopping? Be sure to check and see if Swagbucks is partnered with the merchants you shop at. If they are, you’ll get cash back on your purchases. Merchants include Amazon, AT&T Wireless, Best Buy, Gap, Lowe’s, Old Navy, Sam’s Club, Straight Talk, Total Wireless, Turbo Tax, Verizon, Walmart and many more.

Easy ways to earn money - Some of the online merchants that's partnered with Swagbucks

Do you travel a lot, take vacations or stay in hotels? You can even earn money back on bookings, car rentals and lodging! Some travel merchants that have a partnership with Swagbucks are Best Western, Cheap Air, Country Inn & Suites, Expedia, Hertz, Holiday Inn, Hotels, Motel 6, Priceline, Trip Advisor and lots more.

Earn money - travel deals at Swagbucks

I do a lot of online shopping and love getting the cashback rebates, but rather than having to go to Swagbucks everytime I shop to see if a retailer is listed there, I downloaded the Swag Button.

Swagbucks Review - Swag Button Page

This tool is very handy, because it alerts me when I’m on a retailer’s page that is partnered with Swagbucks! It also tells me how much SB I’ll get for any purchases I make there. As long as I’m logged in to my Swagbucks account through the Swag Button, I’ll receive the promised SB after I make my purchase. I also love that the Swag Button notifies me of any available discounts at that merchant, and if I buy something there, it will automatically apply the coupon code for the best savings during checkout.

8. Play Games

I’m not a big gamer, but if it’s something you enjoy, it’s an easy way to earn bigger rewards while having fun and testing your gaming skills!

Earn money playing these games at Swagbucks.

There’s a great selection of games to choose from, and many have higher rewards. Some things to take note of are as follows:

  • Some games require a purchase to get the SB.
  • Since you have to install the app for the games, a mobile device will be needed.
  • You may have to reach a certain level in the game within so many days in order to get the reward.

9. Watch Videos

You can earn anywhere from one to two SB for watching videos. To get the reward, you have to click on the video that interests you and follow instructions. Usually, you just have to watch a few seconds of each video.

Earn money watching videos at Swagbucks!

This is one of my least favorite activities at Swagbucks. I find it to be too time consuming for the very small reward that is offered.

10. Participate in Swago for Bonus SB

Swago is similar to Bingo. After you join the game, you’ll see what’s referred to as a Swago card. You have to complete all the activities in the squares that form the pattern you’re going for. Patterns you choose from will be on the right of your Swago card, and each one offers a specified amount of SB. You must finish the pattern you select, then submit it before the end date and time.

Swago Card - An Easy Way to Earn Money at Swagbucks

When Swago first came about, I had quite a bit of fun playing. Now, I don’t enjoy it as much anymore due to the available activities requiring you to buy or install something to complete a pattern. In the beginning, there were more patterns you could complete that had all free activities.

11. Search the Web

You can earn a few SB by searching the internet from Swagbucks. However, not every search pays. Also, you can’t spam the search. You must do natural searches as you would do if you were actually looking for or researching something online.

The Swagbucks search is powered by Yahoo. From my experience using it, the results aren’t as good as Google. I also don’t like that after you get to the bottom of the results and visit the next page, you have to scroll all the way back to the top. With Google’s layout, it automatically puts you back at the top of the page.

The best way to earn money with Swagbucks search is to make it your default search engine, but you’ll have to ensure you’re logged into your Swagbucks account when using it in order to receive the SB.

When I first joined Swagbucks, I used them as my default search engine for a while, and I earned a few SB. However, I liked the quality of the results Google returned better, especially when I was doing research for an article. For these reasons, I went back to Google being my default search engine.

The small rewards — when I got them — for Swagbucks searches weren’t worth it to me. Therefore, it has become another one of my least favorite activities on Swagbucks.

12. Test Your Knowledge With Swagbucks LIVE

Register with Swagbucks LIVE and download the mobile app to take part in a multiplayer live trivia game show. A phone number is required, and it won’t accept numbers from prepaid, VOIP or fixed line services.

Earn Money - Trivia question from Swagbucks LIVE.

How Swagbucks LIVE Works:

  • Answer 10 multiple choice questions correctly to win the grand prize. You’ll be given 10 seconds for each question.
  • If you fail to answer all 10 questions correctly, you still earn SB for the questions you get right. You can also get a second chance by buying back into the game with your SB.
  • If you as well as other players win the grand prize, it will be split evenly.

I haven’t tried earning money with Swagbucks LIVE. However, after reading other online reviews and Reddit, I learned the questions can be challenging and the app lags often. People also say the pot is usually 1000 SB, sometimes more, and that it’s always split, so the winnings are usually small.

Because of the reviews, I decided this Swagbucks activity isn’t worth risking giving my phone number. You’re welcome to see what you think, of course. In fact, if you do try, use the comments area below to share your experience (good and/or bad).

13. Take Part in Monthly Team Challenges

Join other Swagbucks members for a chance to earn up to 300 SB. In order to earn SB in the form of a Swag Up rebate, you must contribute a minimum of 400 points to your team’s total by doing the activities listed. Each day, you can do as many activities as your heart desires. Remember, the more points you contribute, the chances of your team winning 1st place increases.

Swagbucks Review - Screenshot of Team Challenge

The first thing I do when I head to Swagbucks to earn money is check the activities in the team challenge. If there are any I plan to do that day, I will complete those in order to meet the 400-point minimum and help my team.

If your team wins, you receive your SB winnings in the form of a Swag Up.

Proof of my SB from a SwagUp Team Challenge.

14. Look for Swag Codes

Finding and entering swag codes usually results in two to four SB, but sometimes they’re worth 10. Swagbucks releases at least one code per day. You can find them on Swagbucks’ Facebook and Twitter pages.

Swagbucks Review - Red arrow pointing to the link to redeem swag codes.

15. Refer Others

If you know family, friends or coworkers looking for easy ways to make money, tell them about Swagbucks. All they have to do is click your referral link and sign up. Then if they earn 300 SB within 30 days, you both will get a 300 SB bonus! On top of the bonus, YOU get 10% of the SB your referrals earn for as long as you remain a Swagbucks member.

You can share your referral link on your website, blog and/or social media accounts. I share the link here at Living Frugally and through social media, and so far, I’ve earned over 18,000 SB.

Swagbucks Review - Total of My Referrals So Far

Best Activities for Earning Money Fast at Swagbucks

As you just learned, there are a variety of ways to earn money at Swagbucks. Since some tasks don’t pay much, and others that do may require a purchase, the following are what I think are the best things to do when it comes to easy ways to earn money.

  • Swago
  • Dining deals
  • Magic receipts
  • Grocery coupons
  • Click & earn content discovery
  • Sign up for the FREE offers, only the ones that truly interest you
  • Surveys
  • Team challenges
  • Online shopping, only when you plan to shop

Why Swagbucks Is My Favorite Online Rewards Program

There are many online rewards programs where you can earn money doing the same activities, but Swagbucks is the one I use and earn the most from. Why? Because of their extra perks that help increase my earnings. Let’s start with the first bonus opportunity.

To Do List

It will only take you a minute to check off the small tasks on this list. Before you can get the bonus, you must do at least six of the eight tasks on the list. I always do six, because at least one always requires a purchase.

Easy Way to Earn Money - Swagbucks To Do List

Daily Goals

I love aiming for the daily goals! As long as you earn the total SB specified for each goal, you’ll earn more money plus a monthly bonus! All you have to do is login everyday and go for the goal.

Easy Way to Earn Money - Swagbucks Daily Goals

Cashing Out Through Swagbucks

I’ve cashed out over 50 times at Swagbucks and have always received the rewards. I now request cash to be sent to my Paypal account, but in the past, I’ve gotten Amazon and Walmart gift cards.

Swagbucks Review - Proof of Rewards I Received

Minimum to Request Reward

As soon as you earn 100 SB ($1), you’ll be able to get an Amazon card. However, I suggest waiting until you have 500 SB ($5) so you can choose from many rewards, including Paypal.

There are occasions when Swagbucks will discount certain rewards. For instance, you can get a $25 Visa card for 2175 SB, which is normally 2500 SB.

Earn Money - Discounted Swagbucks rewards page.

Anytime you’re curious about what’s currently on sale, click On Sale from the left sidebar links.

Swagbucks Review - Red arrow showing link to discounted rewards.

How to Get Your Rewards

Redeeming SB is fairly simple and quick. If you choose Paypal, your first time won’t be as easy since you have to verify your Papal account. However, it’s not hard to verify, and the process is still pretty quick. Then future redemptions are even quicker.

Follow these steps to redeem your SB:

  1. Click your current SB total then Redeem Your SB.”
    Swagbucks Review - Arrow pointing to the link for cashing out.
  2. You can look through the available rewards and check which ones are on sale. Because I always go for Paypal, I just enter that in the search above and hit enter on my keyboard. The Paypal reward then comes up, and I select the one I can get.
    Swagbucks Review - Rewards Page
  3. Select the reward you want, and then click on the Claim a Gift Card button.
    Earning Money - Screenshot of link to claim SB reward
  4. If you’re going for cash via Paypal and this is your first time, click the Connect with PayPal button to verify your Paypal account.
    Earning Money - screenshot showing connect with Paypal button to claim SB reward
  5. Look over your information to ensure everything is correct. If it is, click Confirm in the lower right corner of your screen.
    Earning Money - Screenshot showing confirm link for verifying SB reward
  6. Finally, verify your order by answering your security question or entering your email. Answering the security question is easier and quicker.
    Earn Money- Screenshot of verifying SB reward

Rewards to Choose From

Aside from selecting cash via Paypal or a virtual Visa account, some gift cards include Amazon, Apple, Home Depot, Hotels.com, Southwest Airlines, Starbucks, Target, Uber, Walmart and many more.

Earn Money - Rewards to Choose From at Swagbucks

Best Rewards to Claim

In my opinion, Paypal and Visa are the best rewards to go for, because it’s cash that you can use on whatever you want, wherever you want.

Tips to Ensure You Get Your Rewards

The biggest complaints I’ve seen regarding Swagbucks and other online rewards programs are people not getting the credit for completing an activity. To ensure you receive the promised SB, read the advice that follows.

  • Don’t use a VPN while completing tasks on Swagbucks.
  • Turn off all popup blockers.
  • Browse and do tasks using the regular browser not the incognito version.

Is Swagbucks Worth It?

I’ve been a member of Swagbucks since June 2011 and can honestly say my experience has been a positive one. As you learned in my Swagbucks review, I prefer to skip some of the easy ways to earn money. However, with the variety to choose from, selecting activities you do enjoy isn’t a problem. Don’t forget the bonuses, especially the daily goal!

All that being said, I do think Swagbucks is worth it. Not for getting rich, of course, but definitely for earning a little extra money.

I hope my review helps you with the things you wanted to know about Swagbucks. If you still have questions, please leave a comment below, and I’ll be happy to help you.

After you join Swagbucks and have some time to get familiar with everything it has to offer, come back to this article and leave a comment to let me know what you think (good and/or bad) and your favorite ways to earn money at Swagbucks.

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