If you’ve ever spent time looking for easy ways to make money online, you’ve probably heard about Swagbucks.
This popular market research site lets its users earn money for completing super simple tasks, like filling out surveys or browsing online. Over 20 million people worldwide are subscribed, and the site is partnered with tons of top retailers to provide all kinds of deals.
But the question is: is Swagbucks legit, or is it just another online scam?
Read on for my honest Swagbucks review. This post will tell you everything you need to know about earning and shopping with this mega-popular online platform.
What is Swagbucks?
To understand what Swagbucks is and the service it provides, you have to know a little bit about these kinds of market research sites.
The purpose of sites and apps like Swagbucks is to provide major retailers with information about their consumers. They pay ordinary people (like you) to answer surveys, offer browsing data, test mobile apps and games, and more.
It’s a win-win – companies get the data they need to improve their marketing, and users get paid in points, cash, and gift cards.
Swagbucks is a prime example of this type of market research opportunity. It’s a website and mobile app that’s free to sign up for and super easy to use. Users earn points, or “swagbucks,” for completing tasks, and can then turn those points into gift cards or cash.
To be clear, no survey site is a replacement for your full-time or even part-time job. Swagbucks is a lot of fun and a great way to earn a few bucks in your spare time, but it’s not a reliable way to pay the bills. You can think of it as your ticket to a couple of free coffees each month or so!
Is it legit?
Now for the important question: is Swagbucks legit, or is it a scam?
If you’re skeptical of a site like Swagbucks, that’s totally understandable. There are a lot of scams out there that promise “free” money, but actually charge tons of unnecessary fees.
Fortunately, I can say with confidence that Swagbucks is not one of those sites.
This survey website and mobile app is totally legitimate. It’s free to sign up and safe to use – you won’t be charged any sneaky hidden fees, and you’ll only have your data monitored by the app or web browser if you give it explicit permission.
In short: yes, Swagbucks is legit; no, it’s not a scam.
Who is Swagbucks for?
Swagbucks is for everyone. There are no limits, and people all over the country can register.
That said, some people will get more out of Swagbucks than others. Like any survey site, it’s ideal for someone who has some time to kill and wants to use that time to earn a few easy bucks. Anyone with a long morning commute, for example, or who likes to play around on their phone while they’re watching Netflix, could get a lot of use out of Swagbucks.
You’ll also benefit from Swagbucks if you do a lot of online shopping. Shopping through their web portal is the easiest way to passively earn points.
That said, Swagbucks is not ideal for someone who’s looking to supplement their income with a profitable online gig. For that, you should look into freelancing or another opportunity – save Swagbucks for your spare time.
How does it work?
To get started with Swagbucks, all you have to do is go online and set up your free account. This should only take a few seconds.
Once you’re set up, you might be asked to fill out a few profile surveys with a little information about yourself – that’s how the site will know what kinds of surveys you’re eligible to take (based on your age, gender, shopping preferences, etc.)
After that, you can download the mobile app and start earning points! Swagbucks offers multiple ways to earn, so you won’t get bored completing the same tasks over and over again.
As you complete tasks, you’ll be awarded “swagbucks,” which get stored on your account. Each swagbuck (SB) is worth exactly 1 cent. So, once you have 100 SBs, you’ll have earned $1. You can redeem those SBs for gift cards or PayPal cash – however you want to get paid.
Ways to earn
Like I said, there are a lot of different ways to earn points with Swagbucks. I’ll run through each of them in detail here:
1. Take surveys
Surveys are the most common way people can earn money by participating in market research. Swagbucks, like most other survey sites, offers a certain number of points for each survey, depending on the amount of time it will take you.
When you log onto your Swagbucks dashboard, you’ll see a list of available surveys you can take. Just select one to get started.
Earnings per survey will vary, but the questions are always super easy and based on your experiences or opinions – it’s the fastest way to earn a buck.
2. Watch videos
The easiest – but not necessarily most lucrative – way to earn SBs is by watching videos.
Click on the “Swagbucks Video” section on your dashboard and you can watch away. There’s tons of video content, so you can have it playing in the background all day while you work on other things.
You’ll earn 1 or 2 SBs for about every 30 minutes of video you watch. It’s not much – but hey, it’s free money.
3. Shop online
If you’ve ever used Rakuten (formerly eBates), you’ll be a fan of Swagbucks’ online shopping portal.
It’s a lot like a shopping rewards program. You can access Amazon and tons of other online retailers through the shopping portal on your dashboard. When you buy through Swagbucks, they earn a commission, and you earn points – usually 3 SBs for every dollar you spend.
You can also install the “Swag Button” on your browser which will let you know whenever you’re looking at a product online that could earn you points if you buy through the portal.
4. Use the Swagbucks search engine
Instead of searching through Google, hop on your Swagbucks profile and use their search engine for whatever you’re looking up.
This is an easy way for them to collect consumer data (with your consent), and an easy way for you to earn SBs for doing nothing at all.
5. Play mobile games
Swagbucks will also reward you for playing games in your free time.
You can earn passive points just for playing, plus cashback on any in-app purchases. The amount you actually earn will vary depending on the game you’re playing, but in general, you’ll get 12-15 SBs for every dollar you spend on a game purchase.
If you play a lot of mobile games while you’re on the bus or standing in line, this is the best option for you.
6. Enter Swag codes
While you’re doing your everyday browsing, you might encounter a little Swagbucks icon with a code on various websites. Those are called “swag codes,” and they’re like little cash Easter eggs hidden across the web.
Enter the codes into your dashboard to earn some bonus SBs.
7. Swagbucks Discover
If you click on the “discover” tab on your dashboard, you’ll see tons of deals and discounts at major online retailers. When you buy through one of those links, you’ll earn points.
Obviously, this option isn’t worth it if you’re only clicking on deals to earn points – you have to actually make a purchase. But you should definitely check the page for deals on things you’re already shopping for!
How much can you earn with Swagbucks?
Now that you have a better idea of how it works, let’s talk about how much you can realistically make with Swagbucks.
The answer, unfortunately, is not very much. One user estimated their earnings per hour on Swagbucks to be a little less than $1. Like I said before, this is not a dependable way to supplement your income or pay the bills.
However, that rate is better than a lot of Swagbucks’ alternatives. No one is going to get rich with survey sites, but with Swagbucks, you have a decent chance of earning your next sweet treat or a couple of drinks with friends.
If you take advantage of all of Swagbucks earnings opportunities, you might be able to earn around $40-$60 a month. That’s not nothing – especially considering how easy the tasks are!
Swagbucks pros and cons
Before you get too excited, let’s go over all the upsides and downsides of Swagbucks in detail. No survey site is perfect. As much as there is to love about Swagbucks, there’s plenty to dislike, too.
Here’s everything users love about Swagbucks:
1. Variety of earning opportunities
Most survey sites only offer surveys (hence the name), but Swagbucks gives you all kinds of different ways to earn.
You’ll never get bored with this app – you can use it to shop, to play games, to watch videos, and more. If you’re taking advantage of every opportunity, you could be earning SBs all day long.
2. Ways to earn passive points
On top of the variety, another huge advantage of Swagbucks is that you can earn points without putting in any effort at all.
You can have videos playing in the background while you’re at work, shop through the online portal, or use the search engine to earn passive points. It’s essentially free money for doing something you would be doing anyway.
3. Clear points system
Some survey sites have convoluted, confusing points systems, so you never actually know how much money you’re earning.
With Swagbucks, each SB is worth exactly 1 cent. You’ll always know how much you’ve earned, and there are no surprises when you go to cash out.
4. Cash out in gift cards or PayPal
The option to exchange your SBs for gift cards is a really fun way to earn. You might treat yourself to a gift card to a restaurant or store that you never usually visit, or put some funds toward your monthly shopping budget.
Of course, you also have the option to turn your SBs into cold, hard Paypal cash if gift cards aren’t your thing.
5. Easy to use platform
Both the online platform and the mobile app are incredibly intuitive and easy to use.
As soon as you log onto Swagbucks, you can tell you’re on a legitimate, well-established site. There are no confusing pop-ups, and you’ll have no problem using the app while you’re on the go.
Here are a few things that Swagbucks’ users think could be improved:
1. Lower earning potential than some other sites
You can’t earn much on any survey site. But some of them do offer higher earnings rates than Swagbucks.
Unfortunately, that’s the trade-off of Swagbucks’ variety of earning opportunities.
2. Payment for watching videos is too low
Wouldn’t it be awesome if you could earn $20 an hour just for watching videos?
Sadly, the world doesn’t work that way. However, I do think Swagbucks could offer a few more points for watching videos on the platform. After all, there is some effort involved.
3. Limited surveys for some users
A lot of users have had difficulty accessing surveys they can take to earn SBs.
Swagbucks has a lot of subscribers, so surveys often get snatched up quickly. Depending on your individual information, you might not be able to take many surveys every time you log on.
Another way to earn: Swagbucks referrals
There is one more way to earn passive points through Swagbucks, which I didn’t mention above because it isn’t technically a part of the app.
Through the referral program, you’ll get an individualized code that you can give out to friends and family members when you tell them about Swagbucks. Every time someone signs up using that code, you’ll earn a 10% commission on their points – indefinitely!
Unfortunately for all the influencers out there, this only works if you refer one friend at a time. So, it does take a little bit of work, but it’s an awesome way to earn passive money for a long time.
Is Swagbucks worth it in 2020?
So, we’ve established that Swagbucks is a safe, legitimate, and easy way to earn money. But considering the amount you’ll actually earn, is it really worth your time?
The answer depends on who you are and how you like to spend your time. Of course, there are plenty of ways to earn more money than you would with Swagbucks – but there aren’t many methods that are this easy.
You can earn while you’re watching TV, sitting in a waiting room, or even sleeping (with the referral program). So, if you want to take advantage of those downtimes, why not sign up?
It’s also important to remember that Swagbucks is completely free to sign up for, and there is no minimum time requirement. In other words, you won’t waste any of your time or money giving this app a try.
Considering all that, I would say Swagbucks is definitely worth it in 2020. Give it a shot, and see for yourself if it’s right for you!