I’ve been using Swagbucks as a way to earn money at home since my son was born 8 years ago.
It started as a way to offset the grocery budget. I would let videos run on the computer and at the end of the month I had earned $25!
A lot has changed since then except for one important fact: I’m still earning money!
A lot of people have asked questions about Swagbucks – especially when I share how I’m using it to buy items that would normally come out of my grocery budget.
Today’s post explains how it all works, including your time investment and how Swagbucks actually puts money in your pocket!
This post is part of a How to Make Money series. Here are some of the other ways we’ve talked about making money at home:
What is Swagbucks?
Swagbucks is a site that works with various companies. They connect these brands/companies/products with Swagbucks users (you) and reward users (you) when they participate in activities.
Activities range from using the search bar (in lieu of Google or Yahoo), taking a daily poll, watching videos or signing up for free samples, just to name a few.
Note: You can also earn Swagbucks by making purchases too, but you don’t have to. There are plenty of ways to earn that don’t require any purchase at all.
In exchange for completing these activities, you earn Swagbucks. As you accumulate Swagbucks, you can redeem them for gift cards to over 144+ stores, as of this posting, and they’re always looking to add more.
How does it work?
First, you create an account. You can do that by clicking HERE and following the prompts.
Then you complete whatever activities you prefer. Some reward with 1 SB, others reward much higher, like 500 SB or 1000 SB.
When you reach the threshold needed to redeem a gift card (as little as 300 SB), you hover over the arrow by the smiley face in the top right corner and click “Redeem SB.” Shop for whatever gift cards you like and they’re delivered via email in 7-10 days.
How to Maximize Your Earnings
The best way to get the most out of your Swagbucks is by having a goal in mind and then choosing a gift card that will help you either a) meet that goal OR b) give you the most bang for your buck.
I’ll use myself as an example. In 2015, I earned a total of $350 from Swagbucks and my goal was to help off-set some of the non-perishable items that end up on my grocery list. I chose Amazon gift cards for all of my rewards and used them to buy things like contact solution, cashews and peanut butter. I even included this in the grocery accountability post I did that month.
If your goal is to pay off debt or to help pay the monthly bills, I would recommend choosing Paypal and having cash deposited into your checking account instead.
If your goal is to pay for Christmas, you can redeem Swagbucks for a variety of gift cards to give to friends and family, like an REI gift card for the friend who likes to hike and a Best Buy gift card for the father that likes gadgets (yes Dad, I’m talking about you!).
Another way to maximize your earnings is to shop the gift card sales.
Swagbucks discounts various gift cards each month, which allows you to get a full value gift card for less Swagbucks.
Typically you can only redeem the sale once per month, so if you snag $25 to Amazon for only 2200 Swagbucks (instead of 2500), you’ll have to wait until next month before you can do that again. And you might not be able to. It all depends on what Swagbucks has on sale at the time.
How to Make Money with Swagbucks
Are you ready to get started? There are simple things you can do on a daily basis that will earn you Swagbucks every week. They take no more than 2 minutes or so, and if you do them on a consistent basis, you’ll be earning money with Swagbucks in no time!
#1. Complete the daily poll
It’s a super simple multiple choice or true/false question. For example, today’s question was “What do you think is the best way to celebrate a one year anniversary?” Just pick an answer and submit.
#2. Complete the daily NOSO
NOSO stands for “No Obligation Special Offers.” Each page is a different offer, but I recommend clicking the “show me more deals” until you get to the end. You’ll be prompted to enter a CAPTCHA and you’re done.
Use the Swagbucks search engine until you win. On a typical day, it takes me up to 5 searches before I win, but sometimes it’s on the first try.
I’ll “search” for things I normally type into the URL bar, like “yahoo mail” or “facebook” or “mother earth news.” You typically earn a random award from 7 SB to 15 SB for a typical daily search, but they often have bigger rewards like 50 SB or 100 SB too.
#4. Swag Codes
A Swag Code is an alphanumeric phrase that Swagbucks issues for a very short time frame. It is usually a mix of upper and lowercase letters and will be available for only an hour or two. Here are the best ways to get notified about Swag Codes:
- Installing the Swagbucks extension on your browser
- Following Swagbucks on Facebook
- Following Swagbucks on Twitter
- Following Swagbucks on Instagram
- Read the Swagbucks blog
Once you know a Swag Code is available, simply copy/paste it into the Swag Code box and click “Redeem Swag Code.” Just that like you’ve earned a few extra Swagbucks!
It’s worth noting that Swagbucks will sometimes do code extravaganza’s, where a new Swag Code is issued every hour in honor of a holiday or a certain event. Follow the Swagbucks blog in any of the ways above to be notified when these events are happening.
#5. Swagbucks Inbox
Swagbucks issues each user an inbox and sends special offers directly to the inbox on a daily basis. These offers range from polls and quizzes to surveys and offers, and they’re not usually the same ones that are posted on the Swagbucks homepage. Definitely check your inbox each day to see if there’s any easy offers to take advantage of!
#6. Meet the Daily Goal
Each day, Swagbucks sets a daily goal for you to meet and if you meet it, you earn extra Swagbucks. The bonus Swagbucks range from 3 to 10, so do your best to meet that goal as often as possible to earn even more.
#7. Use the Mobile App on Friday
Each Friday is Mobile Swagbucks Day which means you can earn more, more often, by searching on your phone. If you win Swagbucks on mobile and share your win with the hashtag #MSBD and your Swag Name, you’re entered into a drawing. At the end of the day, random members are chosen to win 25 Swagbucks.
#8. Shop & Earn
You can earn Swagbucks by shopping through Swagbucks first. It doesn’t cost you anymore, but you earn either a flat reward or a percentage of your shopping total, just by starting at Swagbucks first. For example, as of this posting, you could earn 4 SB per $1 spent at Walmart and 7 SB per $1 spent at Amazon.
If you know you’ll be shopping online, it’s worth a quick check to see if Swagbucks offers a reward incentive for the site you’re shopping from.
#9. Featured Ways to Earn
This isn’t a separate category, rather Swagbucks rounds up its highest paying offers from all the categories above and places them here. It’s worth scrolling through every few weeks or s to see if there’s anything that looks interesting to you.
For example, if you were interested in a new cable provider, there’s an offer worth 20,000 ($200) to consider DirectTV. We don’t have cable, but if we did, it would be worth looking into this offer!
#10. Answer Surveys and Earn
The average survey takes 10-20 minutes and the average survey rewards 75 SB.
Most times the surveyor is looking for a specific demographic, so if you don’t quality, you’ll know fairly quickly. You still earn 1 SB if you don’t qualify.
#11. Earn Easy SB With Sponsored Videos
These tend to be short video ads that require interaction like answering a question or typing an answer to a question. The whole experience lasts less anywhere from 30 seconds to 3 minutes, and you earn a flat rate for each video activity completed (usually 2 SB).
There are a limited number of these videos available, based on your demographics and your account, so for me it’s easy to do all the videos at one time (there was only 3 today) and checking back for new videos each week.
#12. Discover Special Offers and Earn
Many of the offers in this category in particular will ask you for an email address and/or a physical mailing address. I set up an email address specifically for Swagbucks offers, and I don’t give out my physical address unless it’s something I’m truly interested in (like free samples).
Once you’re in this section, you can explore around but I recommend clicking the “free offers” from the left column right off the bat. These offers are easy, and rewards range anywhere for 100 SB for an insurance quote to 750 SB for signing up to be an Uber driver.
This category also includes specific opportunities to the current season. For example, tax services for tax season and flower delivery for Valentine’s and Mother’s Day.
#13. Watch Videos and Earn
These activities require you to watch a certain amount of videos in order to earn Swagbucks. The typical payout is anywhere from 2-4 SB and the videos range in length from 30 seconds to 2 minutes.
There is a meter under the video player that will move up when you’ve watched the required amount of time for each video, which seems to be about 10-20 seconds. If you’re going to be working on the computer, re-size the windows so you can see the meter as you work. Then you can click “next” to earn Swagbucks while you’re working!
#14. Play Games and Earn
These activities are similar to videos except you’re playing games. Many of the games require you to pay to play, but there are a few games you can play for free and earn up to 10 SB. I don’t recommend sitting and playing games all day, but it’s a fun way to enjoy your lunch break if you’re eating at your desk!
This is only the tip of the iceberg in terms of earning with Swagbucks! We’ve been able to buy groceries (via Amazon), clothes (via store-specific gift cards like Gap and Old Navy), appliances (through Sears) and even redeem Swagbucks for straight up cash (via Paypal)! If you’re looking for a legitimate way to earn extra income at home, Swagbucks needs to be on your list!
You’ll also find lots of higher earning opportunities, which are perfect for helping you achieve big goals like paying for Christmas or birthdays or a vacation – and yes, Swagbucks can help you do both without you paying a dime out of pocket!