Get paid to watch a video or answer survey? Sounds good, doesn't it?
Well, this is the premise of Swagbucks, one of the more popular ways to earn a little extra cash on the Internet, and you do it by doing the things you’re already doing – shopping, playing games, or answering surveys.
The thing is, though: is it legit? Can you really earn big with this platform? Is it right for you?
Today we’ll take this paid survey site (and more, as you will see) out on a spin in this Swagbucks review that will end all Swagbucks reviews!
Swagbucks is a rewards and loyalty platform that is more than just a survey site. It allows members to earn points by doing online tasks like shop online, watch videos, and, of course, answer surveys. Members can then exchange these points for gift cards from major retailers, or cold hard cash straight to their PayPal account. It is one of the best and we feature it high among our top survey sites roundup.
Swagbucks is one of the more popular online rewards platforms. It has over 20 million active users to date with an average daily payout of 7,000 gift cards. It has also issued well over $371,971,527 worth of rewards to its members. This is a particular source of pride for the company and a guarantee for future users.
Swagbucks is owned by the digital marketing company Prodege and based in El Segundo, California. They are in the business of creating online portals and are behind the content distribution site Yowgo and the polling site SodaHead as well. They also manage a portfolio of other similar loyalty platforms like InboxDollars and ShopAtHome.
The Swagbucks site was started in 2008 by founders Josef Gorowitz and Scott Dudelson. It was an entirely bootstrapped operation throughout its startup years. In 2014, it received a hefty $60 million investment from Technology Crossover Ventures (TCV).
Over the years, Swagbucks has continued to grow and receive accolades. It was ranked among the fastest-growing private companies in 2014 by Deloitte. It also was included in the Inc. 5000 on that same year. Swagbucks founder Josef Gorowitz himself won the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award in 2014.
The site has also appeared in various media outlets, including ABC, The Huffington Post, and Buzzfeed.
Swagbuck’s main currency is called Swagbucks (SB) points. Generally, 100 SB points equate to $1 (or roughly 1 cent per 1 SB). Some rewards, however, will have a better conversion rate than this.
The site works in the same way as other survey sites, and answering surveys is still the primary way users earn in the platform. However, what sets Swagbucks apart is its flexibility.
Most paid survey sites typically put a limit on the number of surveys you can answer in a day. This caps your earning potential. Swagbucks gives you the opportunity for you to earn points beyond just answering these surveys. This allows you the earn more daily.
There are numerous ways you can earn points, and which tasks you do will depend on your routine and lifestyle. If you love answering surveys from other sites, this is a fantastic option for you. If you enjoy binge-watching videos, you can earn points from that, too.
In this way, you can fit Swagbucks to your life, rather than the other way around. You don’t need to force yourself to watch videos or answer surveys if that’s not your cup of tea. This is, in fact, the best strategy to earn points in the long run. It means you’ll stick with a task consistently because you love doing it.
Say you shop a lot online. One of the more effortless ways to earn is through Swagbuck’s cashback system. This works in much the same way as popular rebate site Rakuten (formerly known as eBates). But instead of earning cash as with Rakuten, you earn Swagbucks Points whenever you shop at any of Swagbuck’s partner stores.
You can earn points from a wide range of brands. In fact, Swagbucks is currently partnered with over 1,500 businesses and establishments. These include big, well-loved names like Amazon, Walmart, and Best Buy.
As with most cashback sites like Rakuten, the average rebate you'll get is roughly around 5% – 6%. It might not be much, but the idea is that you'll earn something that you're already doing anyway. In this case, shopping.
For those wanting to earn a bit more, answering surveys is still the best option.
Swagbucks will send you a choice of surveys you can answer daily. Most of these surveys are matched based on your profile information like age, gender, and interests. You’ll then have to qualify for the survey by answering some pre-survey questions.
Once you’re approved, you simply answer the survey and get paid. You can earn anywhere from 40 SB points to as much as 200 SB points per survey. Sometimes, they even conduct product trials with the actual products sent to you. These typically pay out more (and you often even get to keep the item!)
There are also daily polls you can participate in. These are even easier since you only need to answer one question, but they also pay out low, typically 1 SB point per poll.
Now, even if you get disqualified from a survey, you can still get paid a small amount of SB points. This is not like how other survey sites do it, wherein you get absolutely nothing if you don’t qualify.
While this takes a bit more of your time and effort, it’s actually not that hard. After all, you’re just giving your opinion of something. These insights are invaluable in helping shape product and market decisions and something that companies will gladly pay for, which is the entire business model of paid survey sites like Swagbucks.
Swagbucks also has its own referral system. You can refer your friends and family to use Swagbucks in exchange for SB point bonuses. With it, you earn a 10% commission whenever any of the people you referred earns their own SB points.
You may also be eligible for a 300 SB signing bonus. To qualify, the person that you referred needs to earn at least 300 SB in the next 30 days.
The referral system is an excellent boost to your SB earnings and can make for some truly passive income. If you’re a killer salesman or you know a lot of people, you can net a lot of commissions this way.
How Does Swagbucks Work?
To use Swagbucks, you first need to register an account. Generally, you need to be at least 13 years of age to sign up. For minors, parental consent is required.
Signing up for an account is free. In fact, you’ll even get a $10 bonus just for doing so.
While Swagbucks is widely available globally, it isn’t available everywhere. Most countries in North and South America, Europe and Asia are eligible to use Swagbucks. Some select countries in Africa are supported as well. When in doubt, simply signup and see if it's available in your country.
To register, you just enter in your email address and your desired password. Alternatively, you can join using your Facebook account. Once you’re in, you’ll be taken to the Swagbucks homepage. Here you can access all tasks and rewards, including available surveys.
Before doing that, though, you will need to make your profile 100% complete. Completing your profile opens up more surveys, plus it rewards you with free gift cards. A sidebar will indicate your current profile completeness (this will be at around 37%). To improve your completeness score, you'll need to perform a few tasks.
These tasks include answering a general survey (to determine your demographic information) and verifying your email address. Doing these will earn you bonus SB, so it's not entirely pointless. Plus, it will unlock more paid surveys you can do.
After that, you’re free to choose your preferred method of earning points. Let’s briefly look at each one of them:
You can select from a list of the daily surveys to earn SB points. It will tell you how much SB you can earn from doing a survey, and how long it will take to complete. You can use this to gauge how “profitable” a survey is for you.
Earning Cashback via Shopping
Click on any of the supported stores to shop in the Swagbucks main page. Note that you need to use the provided link in Swagbucks to avail of the cashback.
Buying Gift Cards
You can also buy gift cards from MyGiftCardsPlus.com, another Prodege-owned site. You’ll earn 10% of the price of any gift card you buy in SB.
Searching through Swagbucks
Yes, Swagbucks has its own search engine. And of course, you can earn SB whenever you use it to search for anything. The only downside is that the amount of SB you’ll get is random.
You can watch videos in Swagbucks Watch to earn SB. Video length can vary anywhere from 30 minutes to almost 2 hours. The longer the video, the more SB you can gain.
You can also get SB from trying out offers, like downloading apps or doing free trials. Most are free, but there are paid offers as well, which get you more SB points.
Once you’ve earned enough SB points and want to redeem, check out the rewards section for available prizes. Currently, you can select from Amazon and Zalando gift cards in differing denominations. When you redeem these, it will be credited directly to your respective Amazon or Zalando account within ten business days.
If you want to cash out, pick the PayPal option. This will credit the exact amount directly to your PayPal account. Note that your PayPal account’s email address must match the one you used in your Swagbucks account. This means you can’t send the money from Swagbucks to somebody else’s PayPal account. It takes around 7-14 business days for the payment to be credited to you.
One of the best things about Swagbucks is that you're not limited to using their website on your computer to earn. You can utilize the many apps it offers, including the main Swagbucks mobile app. It’s available for both Android and iOS devices.
The app is convenient as it gives you the functionality of the website on the go. You can use it to shop, answer surveys, and redeem rewards. This is actually how most users like to use Swagbucks. This is because they can still earn and be productive while they’re doing mindless tasks like commuting, waiting in line, etc.
Also, there are other dedicated apps where you can also earn SB. Examples include SB Answer, where you answer Swagbucks surveys and Moviecli.ps for watching videos. You can even participate in trivia games and win big SB payouts with the Swagbucks Live app.
Is the Site Legit?
From what we have gathered and as users ourselves, we can definitely say that Swagbucks is a legit paid survey site.
First, we looked at their Better Business Bureau rating. Swagbuck’s parent company, Prodege, has an A+ with the BBB. This is computed generated and based on a lot of factors, but notable among them is business transparency and compliance.
Furthermore, the BBB also allows customers to rate companies and leave them reviews. Prodege has earned a 4+ star rating based on customer feedback. This, combined with the BBB rating, tells us that Prodege is legit in the eyes of both the law and the general public.
Of course, a company can't wholly be without complaints. Swagbucks is no exception. Most negative Swagbucks reviews are based on the occasional glitch when answering surveys. Some have reported not getting credited the proper amount of SB. Others complain that getting disqualified after answering a survey for 25+ minutes is pretty disappointing.
More serious complaints include some not getting their gift cards at all, or it taking a very long time, but these are relatively few and far in between.
The majority of users praise the company for always being able to pay out their gift cards and cashback. People also like that they offer more than just surveys. A notable mention is their excellent customer service. Online reviews support that they are very responsive.
Overall Swagbucks reviews are mostly positive, citing it as a totally legit way to earn money online, and we 100% agree.
The Good and the Bad
While Swagbucks is a legit money-making opportunity and definitely not a scam, it’s not for everyone. You need to know the ins and outs of it before you commit a considerable amount of time with the platform.
Here are some pros and cons that can help you weigh your options to see if it is for you.
It’s free to use and even has a signing bonus
The best thing about Swagbucks is that it’s completely free. In fact, signing up will net you a $10 bonus. Doing tasks to complete your profile also gets you extra SB, which can help jumpstart your earnings.
Registering an account is easy, too. Just an email address and password will do. The way they get demographic information from you is actually pretty smart – they use a survey! That means there are no long forms you need to fill out. Alternatively, you can also login using your Facebook account for a truly one-click registration.
There’s a variety of ways to earn
One of Swagbuck's strength is in the many options it gives you to earn. This gives you a ton of flexibility in how you want to profit from the platform.
If you’re a casual user, you’ll be comforted by the fact that you don’t need to answer surveys if you hate doing it. Nor will you be forced to watch tons of video. You can adapt Swagbucks to your lifestyle, and that makes the platform even more attractive for long-term earnings.
For power users (a.k.a. SB chasers), this presents an opportunity to earn really big. Since you have so many possible tasks to do, there’s no ceiling on the SB you can get in a day. Survey-only sites have this limit, so it sucks from an earning perspective.
In the end, this makes Swagbucks cater to a more diverse and broader audience.
The system is easy to understand
The whole Swagbucks Point system is not rocket science; in fact, even a fifth grader will be able to understand it pretty well.
The SB point to dollar value conversion is, for the most part, consistent. Having a one-point system also simplifies everything, so users can just concentrate on the tasks and earning.
The promotions and offers themselves are also clearly explained. You know exactly what you needed to do and how much SB you would be earning.
The referral program is great for passive earnings.
The referral program is actually a golden opportunity, especially if you have potential power users in your circle. The 300 SB referral bonus is excellent, but what you're really after is the 10% commission. With it, you have the potential of earning SB without ever having to do anything!
It might take some time (and a lot of convincing), but it's fantastic if you can refer even just 10 active users. You can also clearly track your referrals from within the website, which makes monitoring easy.
The site is user-friendly.
Swagbuck’s overall website layout is pretty intuitive and clean. Everything is clearly marked, and you know exactly where to go. The sidebar on the left gives you three-click access to just about any feature – a good benchmark for any user-friendly site.
All information is also clearly marked and displayed. You know precisely how much SB you'll get for a task, and how long it will take to complete it. Cashback percentages and offer details are also explained well, so there's no confusion.
It has many bonus features.
Apart from the standard way of earning SB, there are also other extra features you can use to make even more SB.
One of these is the Daily Goals feature. You'll be given a certain amount of SB that you need to reach in a given day, week, or month. If you do, you'll get bonus SB. This is a great way to motivate you to do daily tasks.
Another feature is its Swagstakes. This is essentially a sweepstakes competition, where you stand to win SB or even great prizes. The only downside is that you need to gamble some of your SB to enter. If you love a little gambling, why not?
It's multiplatform so you can earn SB anytime and anywhere.
What we like about Swagbucks is that there are so many channels where you can access the platform. The most common way is through their website and offers the full experience, but for when you’re on the go, the mobile app is handy.
It has all the necessary features for you to do tasks and redeem rewards. This is, in our opinion, the best way to use Swagbucks. You can make use of the many but short free times you have throughout the day and put it to good use.
Search reward is completely random
Swagbuck’s search engine is actually an easy way to incorporate a little SB earning into your surfing or research activities. However, the biggest problem is that the SB you get is entirely random.
In fact, it's not accurately made clear how earning on the search engine feature works. This can make searching an unpredictable and unreliable source of SB. This can be annoying for power users or those who need to understand and plan their SB earning strategies.
We personally use it only when we need to.
It’s not enough to earn a decent income.
At the end of the day, Swagbucks still won’t replace your monthly income or even cover your rent. It really is just a way to earn a quick buck or two, maybe to have a nice meal every now and then, or at the very least, pay for your daily cup of coffee.
This is because the SB you earn relative to the task that you need to do is still on the low side. If you calculate your hourly “rate” from doing Swagbucks tasks, it will probably be below minimum wage. But whatever, you'd still get more out of Swagbucks than from lesser sites or middlemen-type platforms such as Survey Compare.
Not every country supports it
While the number of countries that support Swagbucks has grown exponentially since last year, there are still some countries where you can't access it. It's a shame, really, since the countries it's not eligible in are the very ones who can use some extra cash from this platform.
After this comprehensive Swagbucks review, we’ve concluded that the site is indeed a legitimate way to earn money from home. What’s great about it is that it offers plenty of ways to earn money, from watching videos to shopping online. Ultimately, this makes it easier to fit Swagbucks into your lifestyle.
Overall, our Swagbucks review 100% recommends this paid survey site. If you’re looking for a way to earn some side money, this is definitely an excellent and easy way to do it. If you want something to replace your monthly income or make you get rich quick, though, better look somewhere else.