Is Swagbucks Legit? Or is it a Scam? Our Review.

How we earn free gifts with Swagbucks. Swagbucks is Legit and is not a scam!

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When we first heard about it, we had to ask ourselves, “Is legit? Or is Swagbucks a Scam?”

We say Swagbucks is Legit. 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 and use the Special Bonus link from Swagbucks. By clicking on the link you can Earn up to $20 in bonuses.

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!

Stats for the Swagbucks Website

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 easy and quickly earn gift cards and other rewards with regularity. Basically, you earn Swagbucks (SB) by doing various activities on their website.

A New Milestone in Money Given Away

In September of 2017 Swagbucks hit a new milestone! They have returned more than $200 million dollars in cash and free gift cards to their users. We have been the recipient of some of this money. Check out this infographic (click on the small image to see it larger)

Swagbucks info graphic about money that they've given away.

Here’s how we earn Swag bucks (and these aren’t all of the options they offer).

Swagbucks Menu

1) Earn SB by Searching Making Swag bucks your default search engine (they use 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!

Blue Button - I'm a Swagbucks Influencer - Start Earning Now
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!


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 ( 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 screenshot of the SB we earned over a 4 day period — 425 points on the Swagbucks website). 

Swagbucks earnings of SB table from a four day period.

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 … FOREVER – 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 a $25 gift card!

And if you earn 3000 points in your first month, you’ll receive another 300 point bonus AND so will the person who referred you – so it pays to start earning points as soon as you join.


Plus . . . because we’ve been referring so many people, Swagbucks has given us a special referral code that earns YOU an extra $20 when you sign up . . . just scroll to the bottom of the page to get the sign-up link.


November marked our 14 month anniversary of using the Swagbucks website!Large pile of gift cards with a red bow on top.

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.

Swagbucks is Legit – Surveys

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.

Table showing earning from Shop and Earn from Swagbucks website.

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 on our website.

Bonus SB for Searching – Swagbucks Collector’s Bills!

Picture of Mount Rushmore with blue sky in the background - headline Mt. Swagmore 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.

Screen shot of earning Mt. Swagmore Collector's Bill.

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!

How to make Swagbucks your default Search Engine

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:

Screen shot from Chrome on how to set your search engine preferences.

  • 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:

Swag Bucks Earning Report: A Summary of 14 months of Swagbucking

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:

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!


Because of the overwhelmingly positive response to this post, Swagbucks marketing has allowed us to offer you $20 when you complete three milestones. You can count on it . . . Swagbucks is Legit!

Up to $20 in Bonuses When you Sign Up 

Here are the bonuses you can earn from signing up:

  1. $5 bonus when you earn your first 2500SB,
  2. $10 shopping bonus on your first purchase,
  3. $5 SB Local bonus when you earn your first SB through our SB Local App.
  4. Make Swagbucks your Default Search Engine 20 SB


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.


14 thoughts on “Is Swagbucks Legit? Or is it a Scam? Our Review.

  1. Rich

    You can also donate some of your points to legit…charities which I do on occasion…nice way to give Back! Don’t know if you mentioned that Steve.

  2. Joanna Post author

    Thanks for the tip about Swagbucks. I signed up in December through your referral link and just redeemed my second $25 gift card – It’s filling my tank with gas at Walmart! There’s still a lot to figure out on their site–so many tricks to earning, but pretty easy, too. And the customer service was great. Whenever a survey has a link that doesn’t work (won’t advance through to next page), Swagbucks customer service been really great about awarding credit for trying. Thanks again! So far I’ve earned more than 4700 SB in that time!

    1. Steve Economides Post author

      Joanna – That’s fantastic! Wow 4700 SB in about 2 months – you’re going to do way better than we did. What a great idea to use your Swagbucks gift cards to put gas in your car! That’s a super smart way to save money. Thanks too for reminding us about contacting Swagbucks customer service about Survey problems. We know the technology isn’t perfect, but their customer service responses and giving credit for problems is about as good as it gets!

  3. Skyler Palio

    I used Swagbucks and I have to say its so slow. After struggling, I found another website similar ( and started using it and accumulating points. I have accumulated over $600 and i have no regrets at all. Just easy polls, answering question was all I had to do. Comparing both I was amazed at how much I earned and how quickly I earned it. Try it and good luck 😀

    1. Steve Economides Post author

      Skyler, thanks for sharing about PrizeRebel – they look fairly new, but could be a good option to SwagBucks – keep us updated on your progress!

  4. margie w Post author

    I joined Swagbucks and it took me about 2 months to earn 900 points which I traded in for 2 five dollar amazon gift cards.

    The site is hit or miss IMHO. Several times I’ve been scammed by surveys. I did the whole survey that promised 100 to 400 points and I got nothing in return. I was too discouraged to try and fight it by contacting customer service, like you said in the article. I guess that’s my fault. But it is really discouraging when you put in the time and get nothing in return.

    1. Steve Economides Post author

      Margie, we have had the same experience with surveys. But each time we’ve contacted the swagbucks customer service center and have received a satisfying response. Honestly, there have been a couple of times that we needed to resend the message, but eventually they have responded and we’ve received the points we earned. Hang in there – we’re earning about $25 per month now mostly because we have a great team of people signed up under us! Thank you MoneySmart Swagbuckers!!!!

  5. mDcR Post author

    I’ve been doing Swagbucks for 4 months and love it. I’m earning swagbucks and turning my points in for Amazon gift cards. Then I had a thought and switched to redeeming my sb for Paypal gift cards. Paypal gift cards can be use everywhere, even on Amazon . . . and if i really want to, I can deposit it into my bank account. I’m trying to get lots of my friends to sign up under me so I can earn even more Swagbucks from their 10 percent referral bonus.

    1. Steve Economides Post author

      Love the idea of getting Paypal gift cards for the swagbucks you’ve earned. That’s brilliant . . . and the idea of depositing your Papal gift cards into the bank is a stroke of genius!!! Love it!

  6. Jenni W. Post author

    I’m amazed at Swagbucks! I joined about a week and a half ago and i’ve earned almost 4000 points! The surveys have been fun, except the ones that i was disqualified from, and i even learned a few things I didn’t know before. Thanks for encouraging me to try it!

    1. Steve Economides Post author

      WOW!!!! 4000 SB in 10 days — you are rocking the site!! way to go. How did you earn so many SB so quickly?

      1. Jenni W. Post author

        I took several surveys and then purchased a few gift cards when they offered a 5x bonus . . . i’m doing my Christmas shopping and getting swagbucks in return.

  7. Chicago-Allie Post author

    I really love Swagbucks! I’ve earned about $60 a month without much effort. I do have to be careful, because it can be a real time “sucker.” Yes, there are times when I’ve been addicted. But, I’ve done a lot of shopping for things like gift cards and tools – I love the rewards I’ve bought for myself and my family. This is a legit way to earn some extra spending money, but it can be a little confusing at first. Take time to figure it out. Get the App too, it makes it really easy.


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