Product Name: Swagbucks
Minimum Payout: $5 gift card, $25 cash
Rating: Good For Side Cash
What Is It?
Earn “Swagbucks” for doing small tasks that you can trade in for money or gift cards.
I've reviewed literally hundreds of products similar to Swagbucks, and none of them worked out. Although I was (very) skeptical at first Swagbucks turned out to be much better than I expected. Yes, I earned money, and that's what counts.
Don't think you're going to get rich though! You'll spend a lot of time here, and you won't make more than minimum wage (USA). For lots of people, that's good enough. It means you don't have to leave the house for a second job, and can work when you want. You won't be buying any Lamborghinis with your Swagbucks money, but you'll be able to buy a couple extra things from Amazon each month, or maybe enjoy a nice dinner out.
You can join Swagbucks here or keep reading for details on my experience using them.
Before You Start Swaggin'
Swagbucks doesn't pretend it's going to make you rich, which is already a good sign. At least they are honest! Lots of other scammy companies will try to catch your attention by focusing on how much money you're going to make. Instead, this company draws your attention to the tasks you'll be completing to actually earn money or gift cards.
There's a lot to view on the site, so getting started can be a bit overwhelming, but it's not that hard to learn. The site simple to navigate, which is a major improvement from other rewards sites which seem to thrive on sending you down a click-hole that never ends.
As you can tell, I've tried so many scammy sites that I have very little patience with poor quality user experience or misleading claims!
What I Liked About Swagbucks
There are good and bad things about any company. Here are some of the things I enjoyed about working with Swagbucks.
TV & Movie Clips
The TV was actually not that bad. They were clips from real movies and real TV shows, not just boring advertisements. Of course, you don't get to watch the full movies…wouldn't that be nice?
I saw a clip from 22 Jump Street and Coherence. Update 2018: By now, those are pretty old movies, but back in the day I was really looking forward to seeing them!
There were lots of topics to watch, including fashion, health, food, music, entertainment, home & garden, pets, travel, and more.
However, be forewarned! It's not as profitable as you might think. To get paid your Swagbucks, you need to fill your “TV meter”. One 40 second clip fills about 1/10 of the meter, so you'll have to watch 10 clips. 1 full meter will get you 3 bucks. You max out at 150 bucks watching TV each day.
A $25 cash out from PayPal requires 2500 bucks. That would take you 17 days of maxing out your daily watching time, and your total watching volume would be over 8000 clips.
The Search Engine
Their search engine is actually Bing. If you are searching for stuff anyway why not?! I use a search engine about 200+ times per day (I work online, so this was easy to rack up some points)
You'll have to set your browser up so it's convenient to have the Swagbucks search engine easily accessed, otherwise you will grow to dislike that extra step between you and your searches. Maybe set it to your home page to remind yourself to log your points every day.
But searching for swag is not as easy as it sounds! I searched for 10-20 different terms over the course of about 30 minutes, and earned only 1 point. I don't know if there's some kind of algorithm or feature that protects from gaming the system like that, but for a decent amount of searches I was surprised to find out how little reward there is. I guess this activity is so easy that the rewards are lower. Again, if you set Swagbucks search to your home page, I think you can passively earn these points and not worry too much.
Still, a $5 gift card costs 450 Swagbucks, so you might need to perform about 5000 searches before earning your first $5 for the search engine feature! If I go off my previous guesstimate that I do 200 searches in a day, that's about 25 days to complete 5000 searches. $5 per month for searching isn't that bad of a deal, considering we all do it anyway.
The games I played were actually fun! It was matching puzzle pieces. The graphics were not bad for a simple game, and it was surprisingly challenging.
Too bad I didn't earn any money the first time around. Playing the free games doesn't always earn you any points. The second time around I got a decent score and earned a 2 bucks. Like I said – you won't get rich here, but if your'e just killing time in the evenings or on your day off, why not.
In order to rack up the big money playing games, you have to pay with your own Swagbucks. If you are a top scorer, then you can win something like 10-20 buck! If you lose, sorry, you just lost those points you paid. In this way, it's a bit like gambling. That can be a good or a bad thing, depending on your perspective.
==> Sign Up For Swabucks Here (it's free!)
What I Didn't Like About Swagbucks
Not all of the ways to earn Swagbucks were good, or worth your time. Here are the things I didn't like about working with this website, or I recommend you be careful with.
Probably my most disliked aspect of these types of websites is the trial offers. I hate handing over my personal information to a place that is clearly interested in sending me advertisements. Junk mail and telemarketers are absolutely the worst. But by submitting your phone number and email addresses to these places, you are essentially opening up the door and saying, “sure, come sell me some stuff.”
Trial offers are sometimes free, sometimes paid. Many require you to use up a certain percentage of the free version before you get credit. For example, a free 30 day subscription to Netflix may require you use 20 days before canceling in order to receive the reward for signing up. Free is free, but be careful!
The problem then comes up if you try to rely on this method for making money consistently. You have to juggle multiple offers at once, and pretty soon you have 20+ offers going at one time. They all started on different dates, requiring different time periods, and they all have your credit card information just waiting for that first billing cycle.
You might complete 10 offers and make a couple bucks, but one accidental billing and that could set you back a big chunk of money, or even start costing you more than you are making. You need to keep good notes about everything!
Spending Money To Make Money?
Of course the shopping aspect is completely option, but shopping with coupons means you are still spending money. Did you come here to make money or spend money? In my opinion, when I spend $10 to save $2, I'm still spending money. Saving money is not making money!
I'd stay away from this portion of the site, as it's just going to fuel your inner consumer, and you might end up shopping instead of working.
1 buck was given to me for completing the “daily poll”. This is another slow burner task. Do it every day, and it takes just a few seconds.
Some people don't mind these, but I dislike them. I've tried hundreds of surveys (on top of hundred of “pay to play”) type programs. Online surveys can be huge waste of time, especially if you get disqualified halfway through the survey. The survey portion can be a consistent source of fresh Swagbucks, so I'd recommend you try it, especially if you are serious about cashing out and getting a gift card ASAP. However, I personally don't like surveys.
Swagbucks is only available for
Final Review of Swagbucks
Swagbucks isn't a program program to make you rich or to even earn a consistent “income”, but it's free to join, easy to do, and they do pay legit money if you complete enough tasks. It's also the only company of this nature that I can honestly recommend.
Have you made money here? How much time do you spend on it and is it worth it?
Personally, I spend my time building website about topics I find interesting. I write about the topics, and place affiliate links to recommended products. For example, I have a website about making craft beer at home, and I recommend things like beer making kits, personalized glasses, grain, hops, and clothing. You can repeat this process with any topic, including health, fitness, computers, travel, or just about any hobby.
You can learn how to do what I do here. Keep in mind, it does take a couple months to see any kind of profit, so you have to enjoy your topic you write about! But once it gets going, you can turn it into a real business, earning thousands of dollars per month. The internet never sleeps, and neither does your website. It's like having a virtual storefront that's open 24/7 and accessible from every country in the world.
I started my first website back in 2010, and now work full time from home. You're looking at just one of my many websites!