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If you’ve stumbled upon this article, you’re in the company of millions of others wondering one of a few things:
Is Swagbucks legit? Is Swagbucks safe to use?
Is it worth my time?
Can you actually make money with Swagbucks?
They’re all valid questions. And they’re ones you should probably know the answer to before you download the app, especially if you intend to use it to make purchases.
In our Swagbucks review we’re going to tackle all those questions and more.
We’ll also cover a few Swagbucks hacks that work, so you can make the most money through the app in 2018, should you choose to use it.
To help with our Swagbucks review we had Megan, a DollarSprout editor (and regular Swagbucks user), share her two cents, along with some helpful tips and tricks to earn the most.
Take it from here Megan.
I won’t waste anyone’s time so lets cut straight to the first question on everyone’s mind:
Is Swagbucks legit?
The short answer: yes, Swagbucks is legit.
But you’re probably looking for a little more reassurance than that, so here’s what I’ll tell you:
I’ve been using Swagbucks for three years now, and when I cash out my points for prizes (I prefer an Amazon gift card), I actually get them.
To date, Swagbucks has paid members almost $241 million, and they hand out over 7,000 gift cards every day. We’re not talking about your typical paid survey site. Swagbucks is one of the largest, if not the largest online rewards program.
They also hold an A-rating with the Better Business Bureau (BBB) with 13 years of continuous business served.
It’s safe to say legitimacy isn’t a concern here.
How does Swagbucks work?
Making money with Swagbucks is pretty straightforward. In addition to their generous cashback program, users can complete simple tasks to earn “Swagbucks”.
If you collect enough points (also known as SBs), you can cash them out for cool prizes.
Most commonly these are gift cards to your favorite retailers (Amazon, Walmart, Target, etc.). You can also cash our your SBs, in $5 increments, to a linked PayPal account.
If you’re feeling generous, you can even donate your SBs to a charitable cause.
When you sign up for a free Swagbucks account, you can choose from a variety of methods (like, at least seven of them) to earn your SBs:
- Take surveys
- Shop online
- Swagbucks search
- Watch videos
- Play games
- Discover deals
- Buy gift cards
Don’t worry, there’s more.
How to Make Money with Swagbucks Surveys
Taking paid online surveys is one of our favorite ways to make some extra cash with minimal effort. I mean, sitting on your couch bundled up watching Stranger Things and answering simple questions? It’s just too easy.
And when it comes to paid online surveys, Swagbucks pretty much takes the cake. When you create your Swagbucks account, you’ll enter some demographic information about yourself and your household (age, income, interests, etc.).
Then, Swagbucks will send you surveys they believe are a good match.
Even though it may seem like a good idea to lie in order to qualify for more or higher-paying surveys, we would strongly advise against it. Swagbucks is pretty clear where it stands on this issue:
Swagbucks surveys are worth anywhere from 1 to 1,000 SBs, depending on the length and value of the survey.
Another perk that makes Swagbucks stand out amongst other paid survey sites is its accessibility. The website is very clean and simple, and there’s an app for both Android and iOS device, so you can earn SBs on the go!
Using Swagbucks for Cash Back
Shopping online with Swagbucks is a lot like using Ebates. Just sign in to the platform, click on the partner store you want to shop with, and do your shopping per usual.
Swagbucks offers cash back on over 1,500 stores, including large retailers like Amazon, Kohl’s, Starbucks, Groupon, and more.
But seriously, that’s a lot of stores.
You’ll can get up to 20% cash back in the form of SBs for every dollar you spend. I say up to because that’s obviously the maximum. Most stores are closer to the 5-8% range.
Get Paid to Surf the Web
Swagbucks’ search engine is powered by Yahoo. So if you already use Yahoo for your Internet browsing, you can earn money with your searches without making any drastic changes.
I wish I could give you an exact dollar figure as to how much you earn with your searches, but the truth is, it’s sort of a mystery.
You’ll know you’re making money because Swagbucks will tell you when you earn points. Other than that, all the world knows is that points are awarded based more on the time you spend using the search tool, not the number of searches you perform.
The good news? You can make Swagbucks your default search engine and make money doing your regular, day-to-day browsing.
If games are your go-to form of entertainment in your downtime, then why not get paid for it?
Swagbucks has a ton of free and popular games, like Solitaire, Bingo, Wheel of Fortune, Bejeweled, Deal or No Deal, Tetris, and Trivial Pursuit, just to name a few.
The payout for games isn’t as much as some of their other earning methods, but if you’re going to play anyway, you might as well make some money while you do it.
Hack #1: Get your kids to play them for you. If none of those sound appealing to you, you can always let the minions to do the earning for you.
One of the things I wanted to do in this Swagbucks review was highly one of the easier ways to make money with that many people don’t know about. Believe it or not, you can actually earn 1-4 SBs by watching short videos in a number of categories, including health, music, politics, entertainment, and others.
Let’s be real here — nobody has time to sit glued to a screen watching 20 videos for $0.04.
We’re definitely not suggesting you do.
Here’s my little secret: I like to put SB videos on in the background when I’m doing work (like right now). That way I can earn a little money towards that next Amazon gift card with zero effort on my part.
Don’t hate me, Swagbucks!
Every time I visit the Discover section of Swagbucks, I’m always amazed at just how many ways you can earn with this site. Swagbucks offers deals on just about anything.
For example, right now you can earn 272 Swagbucks just for signing up for a free trial of Hulu. Or get 500 Swagbucks (i.e. $5) and $30 off your first order with the meal delivery service Blue Apron.
If you’re thinking about trying any new service, be sure to get your free cash back by signing up through Swagbucks!
Buy Gift Cards
This one shouldn’t need that much explaining. But I do have another handy tip you might find useful.
Hack #2: So when you buy electronic gift cards through Swagbucks, you actually get a percentage of the gift a card value back in the form of SBs. You’ll see the gift card in your email inbox in 1-2 business days, at which point you can turn around and use it to shop on Swagbucks.
Boom! Double points.
Pros and Cons of Swagbucks
If you can’t tell, I kind of love Swagbucks. But I know nothing is perfect, and I won’t pretend like everything is just puppies and rainbows. When it boils down to it, here’s what I like and dislike about Swagbucks:
Pros of Swagbucks
- Completely, 100% free to join
- Wide variety of ways to earn
- Simple, clean website with awesome mobile apps
- Relatively passive money without making any drastic changes
Cons of Swagbucks
- Earning SBs can be a slow process
- No one knows exactly how search points work
Generally, I believe there are definitely more pros than cons. However, it also depends on how you plan to use it…
Is Swagbucks worth your time?
If you’ve made it this far into our Swagbucks review, you’ve probably caught on to the fact that there are two main types of Swagbucks users:
The Casual SB Earner: Runs videos in the background, takes the occasional survey, and earns points by purchasing gift cards and shopping online.
Swagbucks is awesome for these users. They’re not doing much different than what they normally would, and they earn the occasional gift card that makes what little effort they do put forth worth it.
The SB Points Chaser: Wants to earn as many SB as possible as quickly as possible. Spends hours on the website at a time watching videos, taking surveys, and raking in the pennies any way they can.
When I first started using Swagbucks, I was this kind of user. But I quickly learned this is not the way to approach this tool. Swagbucks can still be a great fit for these users if they accept the fact that Swagbucks is not going to make them rich.
There are other ways to make $100 fast. Swagbucks is not one of them.
Wrapping up our Swagbucks review
Swagbucks probably isn’t your path to financial freedom, but it’s an awesome tool for the casual user. There are several ways to make money online doing things you’d be doing anyway (like searching the web, playing games, and shopping).
If you’re not using it, you’re probably missing out on a good bit of free cash (and that seems silly).
Even if it’s a few hundred dollars per year, that’s money that could go towards paying off a debt, financing a vacation, or pay for that extra special Christmas present for someone you love. Do yourself a favor and sign up for Swagbucks.
You’ll thank me later.
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