When we first heard about it, we had to ask ourselves, “Is Swagbucks legit or a scam?”
Swagbucks is often portrayed as a make money in your spare time website. Many of us have heard the “how to make money on the internet” pitches — how many of those are legit? And we’ve read stories about people getting all kinds of free things just for sending in their email address to a giveaway website. But have you ever experienced any of these bonuses?
A few months ago a blogger friend of ours mentioned earning gift cards with a website called Swag bucks, once again we doubted the validity of her claim. We Googled “Is Swagbucks a scam” and found some very compelling blogs written about it. Some people didn’t like this website, but others said, “Swagbucks is Legit!” We decided to evaluate it for ourselves . . . here’s what we found.
How we researched Swagbucks to see if it was legitimate or a Scam:
In this blog post, we’ll share the research we did to determine whether Swagbucks was a legitimate way to earn gift cards and other income for us and other families or was it a scam?
Swagbucks Earning Report
We’ll also share exactly how much we’ve earned from Swag Bucks and where the earnings came from – check out the end of this blog for our 14 month Swagbucks earning report.
Be sure to go to the bottom of this page to get the special Bonus Code from Swagbucks that will earn you an additional 70 SB when you complete your profile.
We’ve been skeptical of these kinds of pitches and websites.
But, on occasion we’ve signed up, we’ve tested and we’ve evaluated and mostly been disappointed. Rather than getting what was promised, it seems like the focus of many of these sites is to get your email address over and over again to sign you up for other companies’ mailing lists. But our test of Swag bucks proved to us that they are a legitimate site, they are different from other scammy sites, and it’s a difference we like . . . a lot!
Swag bucks is the 164th most visited website in the U.S; the 660th most visited on the planet and is constantly moving up in the rankings. Talk about popularity! Swagbucks is legit. But beyond popularity is the fact that you can regularly earn gift cards and other rewards with regularity. Basically, you earn Swagbucks (SB) by doing various activities on their website. Here’s how we earn Swag bucks (and these aren’t all of the options they offer).
1) Earn SB by Searching Making Swag bucks your default search engine (they use Yahoo.com results) can earn you 20 SB the first day, but using it on a daily basis can earn you between 5 and 32 SB several times each day . . . just for searching – that’s legit!. Click the link to learn how to make Swag bucks your default search engine.
2) Earn SB by watching Videos
There are dozens of videos you can watch on the Watch button of Swagbucks site – many are commercials or movie previews, but others are series of things like current events; news, politics; fashion; cooking and many more. You can earn about 5 SB for watching 30 minutes of videos. Several blogger friends say that they let the Swagbucks videos run on a nearby laptop or tablet while doing other tasks like ironing, preparing a meal or sewing. We don’t think this is a good use of time and a good amount of rewards – not so legit.
3) Earn SB by Shopping
You can earn lots of SB if you shop with their “partners.” Stores like Walmart, Old Navy, Kohls and Home Depot or websites like Priceline, Groupon, Amazon, BestBuy and Puritan’s Pride all offer varying amounts of points for every dollar you spend. You just click on the Shop button on Swagbucks and then select the store you want to shop at. We’ve earned a lot of SB this way – for instance, we bought $15 worth of pruning spray and some PVC fittings online at Home Depot. This particular day Swagbucks Shop button offered 5 SB for each dollar spent. We earned 75 SB buying things we could have walked the aisles of Home Depot to pick up. Instead, we drove to Home Depot and went to their Online Order counter where they had all of our items waiting for us. Convenience from Swagbucks and SB too! Swag bucks earnings can really add up quickly especially if you’re buying things you normally need. We’ve earned hundreds of points this way and it’s easy! – It’s legit!
We’ve earned more than $800 worth of Amazon, Walmart and Ebay Gift Cards since joining Swagbucks in November of 2015. We’re lovin’ earning SB through Swagbucks! Sign up here and start Earning!
READ OUR 14 MONTH SUMMARY OF SWAG BUCKS EARNINGS DOWN THE PAGE
4) Swagbucks Surveys But by far the quickest way to accumulate SB is by taking surveys. We’ve taken 10 minutes surveys that have earned us between 50 and 125 SB. Most of them don’t ask for personally identifying information, although a few we’ve started have requested information we didn’t want to share, so we declined. One problem we encountered was not receiving credit for finishing some of the surveys. We were pleasantly surprised that by contacting the Swagbucks Help Center, the missing points were credited to our account within 24 hours. Swagbucks customer service people have been very responsive and extremely helpful. We’ve learned to keep track of the Swagbucks survey reference number by opening the survey in a separate window before starting. That way it’s easier to receive credit through the Swagbucks help center if a problem arises. Taking Swagbucks surveys is a legit way to earn SB.
5) Earn SB through Daily Goals
Swagbucks allows you to also earn bonus points for reaching daily point goals and then by stringing together a number of days of reaching goals into Swagbucks winning streaks. The bonus SBs are distributed at the beginning of the next month. You’ll receive an email from Swagbucks notifying you of the bonus points, and then you’ll need to click on a link to claim your Swagbucks bonus. We’ve noticed that the daily goal to receive bonus points has been steadily increasing for us. But if we take a couple of days off the Swag bucks bonus goal drops back down.
6) Earn SB through daily SwagCodes
Just about every day there is a special alert (or two) that is sent out via the mobile app or on the Facebook page (Facebook.com/Swagbucks) announcing a new SwagCode (bonus SB). All you have to do is copy the code and paste it into a special SwagCode box on the Swag bucks menu bar. Sometimes these codes expire before we can get to them or they’re on Instagram (which we don’t currently use) – not so legit.
7) The Swagbucks Mobile App
We did download the Swagbucks app (you can get it from Google Play or the Apple App store) and have found it good, but somewhat limited when compared to the main website or accessing the mobile version of the website. Plus, there have been several surveys that disqualified us because we were on a mobile device. It’s far better to take Swagbucks surveys on a tablet, desktop or laptop computer. Because of the limited functions of the app, we don’t think it’s very legit.
What is a Swagbuck / SB worth?
You can redeem your SB for as little as 300 points / $3 gift card. A $5 Amazon gift card costs 500 SB. There are occasional sales where a $5 gift card will cost 450 SB. We just cashed in 2250 points for a $25 Amazon gift card (normally 2500 SB). The variety of gift cards is quite varied. Swag bucks limits your redemption of discounted gift cards to one per month. We tried to redeem SB for 2 Amazona gift cards for 2250 SB recently and were charged 2500 points for the second gift card. This is another reason we rate Swag bucks as legit: The Customer Service people in the Swag bucks help center was able to cancel the transaction and refund the SB to our account, they are really helpful. This is SUPER LEGIT! But what are Swagbuck SBs worth? This is sad, but still pretty cool. An SB is worth about a penny. So if you take a survey for 50 SB – you’ve earned 50 cents. Not much for 15 minutes of your time, but it does add up. And if you’re getting paid for things that you would normally do, like shopping online and searching, then why not do it. And if you get friends and family to sign up under you, then it gets even better. Several blogger friends have said that they’ve been able to do much of their Christmas shopping with gift cards earned with SB – what a great way to save! And if you shop through the Swagbucks Shop button you’ll earn more SB while you use up your gift cards! It’s like a double dip of Swagbucks earning!
How we earned 425 SB in 4 Days
Here’s a screen shot of the SB we earned over a 4 day period — 425 points on the Swagbucks website).
8) Swagbucks Referral Bonus: One last cool feature is the referral bonus. If you refer a friend or family member you receive a 10% bonus on all of the points they earn – this makes it really sweet! So Steve signed Annette up and now we receive a 10% bonus from Swagbucks for her points. So once you get started earning Swagbucks, then get your spouse, your kids, your friends, and your neighbors hooked too – you’ll all win! We think Swagbucks is one cool way to earn an extra gift giving money while searching, answering, learning or watching. Give Swagbucks a try and see how quickly you can earn a $25 gift card. It took us about 18 days to snag bucks! If you do decide to sign up for Swagbucks, and you appreciate the tips shared here, would you use our referral code: http://www.swagbucks.com/refer/MoneySmartFamily? We’d appreciate it.
9) BONUS CODE FOR SIGNING UP for SWAGBUCKS
Plus . . . because we’ve been referring so many people, Swagbucks has given us a special referral code that earns YOU an extra 70 Swagbucks when you sign up . . . just scroll to the bottom of the page to get the bonus code.
November marked our 14 month anniversary of using the Swagbucks website!
When we first joined we were skeptical. We’d signed up for other various online poll and shopping portals before. They promised cash rewards for taking surveys or a percentage back from purchases. The promised plenty, but delivered very little . . . except for frustration. We were disqualified from surveys, payments were never sent and the rebates that were promised never appeared.
In our year of testing Swagbucks, we’ve set up accounts for both Annette and Steve and we both have earned points called SB (Swagbucks). At the end of this blog, we’ll give you a summary of our earnings.
How We’ve Earned SB
There are many ways you can earn SB – that’s what makes the site so different.
We’ve taken scores of surveys and found this is one of the best ways to earn SB (Swagbucks). Sometimes we didn’t qualify for a survey, but most of the times we received a consolation SB for trying.
Other times because of a technical glitch we’ve been logged out of a survey or not been awarded the SB that we should have received. In those cases, we’ve taken a screenshot and submitted a report to customer service at Swagbucks. The Swagbucks customer service people have been extremely helpful. And each time we’ve contacted them we’ve received the SB we should have received (sometimes we had to follow up with a reminder email, but in the end, we received what we should have earned).
There are other ways to earn, like watching movie trailers and other videos, doing tasks and playing games, but we haven’t spent much time doing these things as you’ll see in our earnings at the bottom of the page.
SB for Shop and Earn
We’ve shopped through the SwagBucks shopping portal at Amazon, Home Depot, Walmart, and eBay. There are dozens of stores and e-commerce merchants to choose from. Each purchase earns us SB based on a percentage of the purchase amount. For instance, Ebay gives us up to 2% back on purchases. We’ve received 4% back from Walmart and 2% from Amazon. Sometimes the earnings from these purchases take a few months to be credited to your account. But what’s cool is that your Swagbucks profile tracks your Shop and Earn earnings, so you can see when the credit will be paid out. If you have any questions about missing purchases you can write to customer service to get the purchase credited to your account.
SB for Searching
We’ve also accumulated thousands of points by setting up Swagbucks as our search engine of choice. Every day, we earn SB just for searching on the internet . . . something we do a lot of as we write articles for our website.
Bonus SB for Searching – Swagbucks Collector’s Bills!
Every few weeks Swagbucks rolls out a promotion to encourage you to search, shop, or invite a friend to join. One of the promotions is called Collector’s Bills.
Basically, the more often you use the Swagbucks search page for your search queries, the more chances you have to earn Collector’s Bills which are worth extra SB.
A normal search will earn you between 3 SB and 20 SB and usually only once each day. This promotion increases the value and the number of times you’ll receive rewards. And on top of higher payouts, if you collect all four Collector’s Bills: 5 SB, 10 SB, 13 SB and 22 SB, you’ll receive a 20 SB bonus. And you can receive multiple copies of the Collector’s Bills for searching.
If you haven’t joined Swag bucks, scroll down to the bottom of the page to get a special code that will earn you 75 extra SB when you sign up!
We’ve made Swagbucks Search Engine our search page of choice. It’s really easy and when you use the Swagbucks Search Engine you accelerate your earnings of SB. Here’s how we changed our search engine to Swagbucks in the Chrome Browser:
- Go into your Chrome settings (click on the three dots on the top right of your browser window).
- Once you’re in settings look for “Search” settings (it’s the third option down the settings page).
- Click on the “Manage Search Engines Tab” and then either select Swagbucks or type/copy and paste this code: http://www.swagbucks.com/?f=55&t=w&p=1&q=%s
From September 15, 2015, through November 15, 2016 together Steve & Annette have earned 35,174 SB.
Here’s how it breaks down:
- Games: 6 SB
- Mobile Watch: 12 SB
- NCrave: 23 SB
- Bonus Swagbucks: 127 SB
- Swagbucks TV: 130 SB
- Swag Codes: 515 SB
- Special Offers: 538 SB
- Shop and Earn: 1,140 SB
- Searching: 3,217 SB
- Monthly Bonuses and Birthdays: 6,046 SB
- Surveys: 10,551 SB
- Referrals from family and friends: 12,869 SB (click here to learn how you can earn 10% for life)
Here’s what we do with our Swagbucks Earnings
We wait until we accumulate 2200 SB and then we trade them in for either an Amazon Gift Card or an Ebay Gift Card. Here’s the deal: Each month there is usually a discounted deal for $25 gift cards that cost only 2200 SB instead of 2500 SB. So over the past 14 months, we’ve cashed in our SB for fifteen $25 gift cards totaling $375. We’ve used some of the gift cards for presents for our kids and grandkids and the rest of the gift cards are being saved to purchase a new (used) digital camera (DSLR with video) for shooting more of our YouTube Videos.
So over the past 14 months, our Swagbucks earnings have averaged about $27. Not a bad way to earn some extra cash for gift giving and fun. With the holidays coming quickly, Swagbucks is a great resource for helping you buy presents online!
And we’re not really working at it. We have some people on our Swagbucks Referral team who are earning thousands of SB each month! Maybe you could be one of them.
Here’s how you can sign up and join our Swag bucks Team
We’ve chatted with people at Swagbucks marketing and they have authorized a special bonus code that you can enter when you sign up through our link below:
Just enter the code: MoneySmart and you’ll earn a 70 SB bonus!! This is in addition to the normal 30 SB sign up bonus you’ll get.
And once you sign up, encourage your friends and family to sign up under you and you’ll earn 10% of their earnings for LIFE! That could be really huge!
SHARE YOUR SWAG BUCKS TIPS
And if you have any success stories or tips for being more productive on Swagbucks we hope you’ll share them in the comments below, so all of us can benefit!
Here’s a fun video produced by Swagbucks about how easy it is to earn rewards with Swagbucks.
Because of the overwhelmingly positive response to this post, Swagbucks marketing has given us a special code for you to enter when you create your new account. This code will earn you an extra 70 SB in addition to the 30 SB you would normally receive when you complete your profile. You can count on it . . . Swagbucks is Legit!