Is Swagbucks Legit, or is it a Scam? Our Review [Earnings Reveal]

Is Swagbucks Legit? It is a survey company, search engine, shopping portal, movie previews, playing online games, and trivia contests online!, and something for everyone!

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

We had tried some of the other survey sites and were really disappointed. So we started researching this site to find out.

A blogger friend mentioned how she earned hundreds of dollars in gift cards through Swagbucks. We really doubted the validity of her claim.

We Googled “Is Swagbucks Legit or a scam?” and found some very interesting blogs. Some people didn’t like this website, but others praised it. The positive reviews also claimed to have earned gift cards and cashback through the program. Were those claims real?

We decided to find out for ourselves by doing a 14-month experiment.

What did we conclude?

Swagbucks is legit! Plus it is a fun and easy way to make some extra cash.

Many survey sites are often portrayed as “make money in your spare time” opportunities.

We’ve all heard the “how to make money on the internet” pitches. But how many of those are legit?

And how Is Swagbucks is different?

We’ve signed up for and tested other online reward programs and have mostly been disappointed. We rarely received what they claimed to be offering.

The focus of many of these sites is to get your email address over and over again. Then they sign you up for other companies’ mailing lists.

Our test of Swagbucks proved to us that they are a legitimate site.

1. What is Swagbucks and How Legit Is It?

Swagbucks is an online rewards program website where you can earn cashback and gift cards for completing a variety of tasks that include:

  • Online shopping
  • Watching videos
  • Taking surveys
  • Playing online video type games
  • Playing live trivia games
  • Downloading apps
  • Searching the Internet and more.

They claim to be the internet’s most popular rewards program.

According to Alexa (the internet measuring website), in 2019 Swagbucks is the 397 most visited website in the U.S; the 1459th most visited on the planet. And they are moving up every year.

Talk about popularity! As of September 2019, they had returned more than $390 million in cash and free gift cards to their users.

In our minds a company that reveals how much they’ve given away is legit!

We have been the recipient of some of this legit money.

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

This infographic illustrates how much money Swagbucks has given away. Click on the image to see a huge version.

2. How we Researched this Survey Site

It really is easy to earn gift cards. Simply join their program, earn points through various tasks, and trade in points for free gift cards.

In this blog post, we’ll share the research we did to test their legitimacy.

Here’s a fun video produced by Swagbucks about how easy it is to earn rewards through their site and apps.

It took us 14 months to test the Swagbucks program. We tested a number of different ways to earn gift cards.

Through our research, we’ve learned the best ways for us to use their different programs to earn gift cards quickly. We also discovered several options on the site that might be a waste of time for most people.

We also will disclose just how much we earned through our 14-month trial.

[Be sure to go to the bottom of this page and click the Special Bonus link. By clicking on the link you can earn up to $10 in bonuses.]

3. How we Earned Swagbucks

They offer more ways to earn points than any other online rewards program. Some of these ways work better and earn more than others.

Take a look at the methods we used during our 14-month evaluation.

Earn With Online Searches

Swagbucks Menu

You can earn SB by making Swagbucks your default search engine (they use results).

When you use their Swag-Button (Chrome extension) as your default search engine you’ll immediately earn a 20 SB bonus. By using their search engine (Yahoo) on a daily basis you could earn between 5 and 32 SB several times each day.

How much time do you spend searching for information online?

Imagine earning money just for using their search engine several times a day. We’ve accumulated thousands of points just by setting up Swagbucks as our search engine of choice. That’s legit!

(Learn how to make Swagbucks your default search engine.)

a. Earn SB by Watching Videos

Swagbucks watch videos and earn.

There are dozens of videos you can watch using the Watch button on the site. Many of the videos are commercials or movie previews. But others are series videos on 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.

You may have to click after each preview to keep them coming, but that is easy when you have a task that takes a while to complete.

If you want to get some curated news, fashion info, gossip updates, this might of interest to you. We generally didn’t find it to be a good use of time for the number of SB we received.

Swag Button

We’ve earned more than $1500 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!

b. Earn Cash Back by Shopping
Swagbucks shoping page.

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 of these sites offer varying amounts of points for every dollar you spend.

You just click on the Shop button and then select the store where you want to shop at.

We’ve earned many SB this way.

Shopping & Earning Example:

Check this out: We bought $15 worth of pruning spray (for trimming trees) and some PVC fittings online at Home Depot.

This particular day the 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.

What a deal we got convenience and SB too!

Table showing earning from Shop and Earn from Swagbucks website.

Swag bucks earnings can really add up quickly especially if you’re buying things you normally purchase anyway.

Depending on the shopping source, it can take several weeks or months for your shopping SB to show up in your account.

However, the site tracks all of your Shop and Earn purchases within your Swagbucks Profile so you can see when the credit will be paid out. Rarely have we needed to track something down that was missed. We’ve earned hundreds of points this way and it’s easy! It’s Legit!

c. Earn SB by Taking Surveys

One of the quickest ways 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 identifiable 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. Their’ customer service has 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 help center if a problem arises.

We’ve also found that sometimes we didn’t qualify for a survey, but most times we received a consolation SB for trying.

Taking surveys is a legit way to earn SB.

d. Earn SB through Daily Goals

Swagbucks allows you to earn bonus points for reaching daily point goals. Then you can string 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.

e. Earn Points through Daily SwagCodes

Almost 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. These alerts earn you bonus SB.

If you have the Swagbucks App on your phone, you’ll get a notification and all you need to do is click to earn.

Or on your desktop, just copy the code and paste it into a special SwagCode box on the Swagbucks menu bar.

Sometimes these codes expire before we can get to them or they’re on Instagram (which we don’t currently use) – Bummer!

[If you haven’t joined this program, scroll down to the bottom of the page to get a special link that will earn you $10 extra SB when you sign up and complete some easy tasks!]

f. Earn Swagbucks through 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 the app is the best way to earn SB.

g. Earn Bonus Swagbucks for 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. Generally, Collector’s Bills are released to celebrate certain holidays and special occasions. They are only available for a limited time.

Basically, the more often you use the site’s 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.

4. How to Make Swagbucks your Default Search Engine

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

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:

1. Go into your Chrome settings (click on the three dots on the top right of your browser window).

2. Once you’re in settings look for “Search” settings (it’s the third option down the settings page).

3. Click on the “Manage Search Engines Tab” and then either select Swagbucks or type/copy and paste this code:

5. Earn Points The Easy Way with a Referral Bonus

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.

Our favorite way to earn Swagbucks 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! As soon as Steve discovered this feature, He signed Annette up and now he receives a 10% bonus from Swagbucks for her points.

Once you get started earning SB, then get your spouse, your kids, your friends, and your neighbors hooked too and you all win!

We think Swagbucks is one cool way to earn extra gift giving money while searching, answering, learning or watching. Is Swagbucks Legit? You bet!

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! Where else can you do that?!

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.

[BONUS: Because we’ve been referring so many people, Swagbucks has given us a special referral code that earns YOU an extra $10 when you sign up . . . just scroll to the bottom of the page to get the sign-up link.]

6. Our 14-Month Earning Report

Large pile of gift cards with a red bow on top.

After 14 months after we started using Swagbucks, we were no longer skeptical.

We’d signed up for other various online polls 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.

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)

7. Buying Christmas Presents with Swagbucks

A Swagbucks eBay eGift Certificate.
This is a picture of a $25 eBay egift card. We just print it out and take it to the store or use it online. It’s easy to do and we’ve never had a problem redeeming them.

What do we do with all of our 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 Christmas and birthday 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.

Over the 14 month time period, our earnings averaged about $27 a month. At first glance that doesn’t seem like much, but it adds up quickly.

It’s not a bad way to earn some extra cash for gift giving and fun.

With the holidays coming quickly, This option is a great resource for helping you buy presents online!

The best part of using Swagbucks is that we don’t have to invest very much time earning them or working that hard at it. We have some people on our referral team who are earning thousands of SB each month! Maybe you could be one of them.

8. Comparing Swagbucks to other Survey Sites?

If you search online for websites and programs that offer rewards for filling out surveys and hundreds of results will pop up. You can read about the best survey apps here.

So, how do they compare to all the other reward programs? They are by far the most comprehensive and versatile rewards program online currently.

No other survey site gives you so many different ways to earn points to use for rewards.

Not only are there countless ways to earn SB, but the ways you can earn points are also so diverse that anyone can earn points quickly no matter what method they prefer. Another great feature of the program is that most survey sites don’t offer is a cashback offer.

Swagbucks offers that in the form of using Swagbucks to purchase PayPal gift cards. Once those gift cards show up in your PayPal account, you can just transfer the money to your attached bank account. So is Swagbucks legit, yes, yes it is!

9. Join our Team and Earn a $10 BONUS

Swagbucks has authorized us to share a special bonus sign-up link with you. (Be sure to complete the sign-up process by clicking on the confirmation email you received – otherwise, you won’t qualify for the bonus).

It’s easier to sign up on your desktop or laptop than on a mobile device.

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 for you and will help all of them start earning gift cards too!

Because of the overwhelmingly positive response to this post, Their marketing department has allowed us to offer you $20 when you complete three milestones.

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

Up to $10 in Bonuses When you Sign Up

Use this link to earn an extra $10 in SB. Just be sure to confirm your email address otherwise you won’t be able to claim your earnings. (It’s easier to sign up on a tablet or desktop than from a phone).

10. New Ways to Earn SB

Since we first signed up and started earning Swagbucks, several new earning programs have been created by Swagbucks to further diversify the ways to earn Swagbucks.

While we haven’t been able to test out all of the new options, it is clear that Swagbucks seeks to grow and change with the times, appealing to a wider range of audiences. Let’s take a look at some of these new earning options.

Other Swagbucks Mobile Apps

Originally there was only one Swagbucks mobile App. Now Swagbucks has 11 Apps! Yes, they really have 11 apps available, although some of the apps are specific to either iOS or Android.

Make sure you check the list to see what’s available for your phone. Most of their apps are related to watching videos, but instead of keeping videos all on one app, Swagbucks decided it would be better to create separate themed apps with carefully curated videos lists. Below is a breakdown of the available apps and a short description. Swagbucks can be earned on all of these apps. So figure out what apps seem like a good fit, download, and start earning SBs today.

Swagbucks Mobile (iOS & Android): This is the main Swagbucks App and has features for shopping, surveys, and watching videos.

Swagbucks Local (iOS): Available only for iPhones, Swagbucks Local allows you to earn SBs for eating at local restaurants. This App requires linking a debit card or credit card to the app for restaurant tracking purposes.

Swagbucks Shop (iOS): Earn SBs shopping online at popular stores you love.

Swagbucks Watch (Android): Earn SBs watching entertaining videos.

EntertaiNow (iOS & Android): Earn SBs watching entertainment news and behind-the-scenes footage from TV and movies. (iOS & Android): Earn SBs watching a wide variety of videos focused on family and personal growth, including food, travel, exercise, home, and more. (iOS & Android): Earn SBs watching music videos from popular and lesser-known artists.

Amped360 (iOS & Android) Earn SBs watching action sports videos. (iOS & Android): Earn SBs watching movie clips & trailers. (iOS & Android) Earn SBs watching videos about sports, athletes, and exercise.

Swagbucks Answer (iOS & Android): Earn SBs filling out surveys while on the go.

Live Games on Swagbucks

Swagbucks offers tons of online games on their website that will earn you SBs just by playing. Many of the games are trivia games. Some more popular games that can earn you SBs include card games like solitaire, poker and blackjack, Tetris, Wheel of Fortune, Trivial Pursuit, and even Angry Birds. If you love to play games, check out what Swagbucks has to offer.

11. NEW – Trivia Game Show – Swagbucks Live

Swag-IQ Trivia Game screen shots.

This is a brand new App and a fun way to earn SB. Every day Swagbucks hosts a live video quiz show. Kind of like Jeopardy. There is a host who asks questions and you, as a contestant, get to answer.

If you answer all ten questions correctly, you win a share of the prize SBs. There are usually more than 20,000 people participating in the live show. But the number quickly dwindles as the questions continue.

If you answer correctly you can continue. If you answer incorrectly you are disqualified from the possibility of sharing the prize money, but you can continue answering for a smaller prize.

We’ve played a couple of times and won a few SB. It’s fun, but not a great way to earn money.

The hosts are hilarious AND the questions aren’t that hard.

You Can Download the SwagBucksLive App Here

Discover: Shop Find Deals

Another way to earn SBs is by signing up for various offers from Swagbucks and other partners. The offers include free trials, shopping offers and coupons, donating to charities, and much more.

Some of these offers might require spending money so factor that into your decision of signing up for anything. There are some popular offers like free trials for Blue Apron and Hulu, so if you were already planning on checking either of those programs out, why not earn Swagbucks in the process?

The SwagButton (Google Chrome Extension)

Swag Button for swag codes.

The SwagButton is a Google Chrome extension meant to make shopping and earning easier for you. This SwagButton has many great features. The SwagButton automatically notifies you when you are on a website that offers cash back for online shopping.

In order to earn SBs all you have to do is click the button right on the store’s website instead of going through the Swagbucks website first. Also if any website has coupons the SwagButton helps find them. Also, if you use the SwagButton, you can get Swag Code alerts and redeem them from anywhere online. Swagbucks also has exclusive Swag Codes redeemable only on the SwagButton.

The SwagButton allows online searching as well to earn more SBs. This SwagButton will also pop up with real-time alerts anytime there is a new opportunity for earning SB. The SwagButton packs a lot of features all into one to save you time and earn you more Swagbucks.

The Swagbucks Daily “To Do List”

swagbucks to-do list.

If you log in to your account online, in the left-hand column you will notice a “To Do” List. It’s a list of tasks already mentioned in this article such as watching a video, responding to a poll, or performing an online search. Finish all the tasks on the list and earn bonus Swagbucks on top of what you already earn for those specific tasks. To answer the question, Is Swagbucks Legit? We think so, yes!

More than 5 million people are signed up and earning Swagbucks now as I type. Millions of dollars are making their way back into the wallets of users everywhere. Will you join them by signing up for Swagbucks? Join now and start earning gift cards today!


Do you have any success stories or tips for being more productive on Swagbucks? Please share them in the comments below, so all of us can benefit!

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

Related Article: There are dozens of other survey websites and apps out there. Read our Best Survey Apps blog to learn more.

20 thoughts on “Is Swagbucks Legit, or is it a Scam? Our Review [Earnings Reveal]

  1. Winnie

    I was really looking for these amounts! I have not yet tried Swagbucks but wanted to give it a try to earn money. Thanks for the details. I would definitely login into Swagbucks and earn some more bucks!

  2. Jasmine M

    I love the gift card options that Swagbucks has and I like that I can reach the payout within a week or a week and a half depending on how much effort I put into it. It is one of my favorite sites to use to make a little extra money on!

  3. Vivian

    I’d like to pin this post to a Pinterest board on earning online, but I do not see any affiliate disclaimers (unless I read your Privacy Policy Terms of Use #8).

    I’m new to affiliate marketing. Can you please give me a good resource for good practices on disclosures or disclaimers?

  4. 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.

  5. 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!

  6. 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!

  7. 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!!!!

  8. 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!

  9. 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.

  10. 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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