What I think of Swagbucks

I’m probably the last person in the frugal blogosphere to give Swagbucks a try, but just in case there are a few of you out there who haven’t already signed up, I thought I’d share my thoughts on the program (Swagbucks has not asked me to do this or paid me to!).

What is Swagbucks.com?

Swagbucks is basically a search engine that rewards you with Swagbucks on a fairly random basis when you do searches on the site. In my experience, you usually get between 10-20 swagbucks at a time. These Swagbucks are redeemable for a variety of prizes, but it seems that most swaggers choose to use them for Amazon.com gift cards. A $5 Amazon gift card will run you 450 Swagbucks, so the Swagbuck numbers don’t at all correspond to real dollars.

How do you get Swagbucks?

You can also earn Swagbucks by doing other things, such as shopping through the Swagbucks site or checking the Swagbucks blog for codes. There’s also a Swagbucks blog that sometimes includes Swag codes, and which sometimes sends you on an internet version of scavenger hunts to find more Swag codes. If I was really bored, REALLY hard up for money, or if I really enjoyed that sort of thing, I might bother with the scavenger hunts, but as it is, I’m too busy. And scavenger hunts don’t really blow my hair back. ;)

I mostly have just earned Swagbucks by doing searches, and I really haven’t put a whole lot of effort into it. I usually go to the site once or twice a day when I need to search for something, and I end up winning 10-20 Swagbucks a day. I definitely don’t think it’s worth my time to sit there and try to think of more and more searches to do in hopes of winning a few more bucks (plus, I lack the patience for such an endeavor!).

Is it worth doing?

At my 10-20 Swagbucks/day, it takes me a while to get enough Swagbucks for a $5 Amazon card (like, over a month!). But, considering that it takes very little effort on my part to do this, I’ll probably just keep using the program when I need to do searches. I am pretty patient, after all…if I can wait for leaves to grow on a stick, I can wait for Swagbucks to pile up.

If you’re crazy busy and you have lots of other ways to earn a little extra money on the side, Swagbucks is probably just going to be kind of frustrating to you. Your wallet might be happier if you used your extra time to engage in some money-saving activities, like planning a menu or cooking a meal at home. Because it’ll take a LOT of Swagbucks to offset a $25 takeout order.

If you’re as patient as I am (or if you really like scavenger hunts!) and you’d like to check Swagbucks out for yourself, just visit the site and sign up for a new account. You’ll get 30 bonus Swagbucks to start you off, with no scavenger hunt required. ;)

Those of you that are more on the ball than I am and are experienced with Swagbucks, what are your thoughts? Do you think Swagbucks is worth the time? How do you earn Swagbucks?

(full disclosure: If you click on one of the Swagbucks links in the post and open an account, I will get some sort of Swagbucks bonus. I’m not even entirely sure what it is, but I’d be grateful for it. I think I might win Swagbucks when you do. Or something. And in case you want to sign up later, I also have a Swagbucks graphic in my sidebar that functions the same way. )


  1. says

    I have done very well with Swagbucks for over a year now. I earn between 20-30 most days I would guess, and have a few referrals. You can earn up to 1000 swagbucks from each referral, so that adds up somewhat. The last 5 months I’ve been cashing out the max 5 $5 amazon giftcards — $25 a month means we almost never have to pay for new books!

    I don’t do the code hunts either. It really is not worth the time with so much else going on. But I do use the swagbucks toolbar for searching (so I dont even have to go to the site), and sometimes the toolbar gives you extra codes!

  2. Lori says

    Signed up, and hope you get some kind of referral bonus.

    That’s a really cool service. I could definitely use some Amazon gift cards. ;)

  3. says

    Thanks for taking the time to explain how it works, I have heard of Swagbucks but never knew exactly how it worked.

    I just signed up so I hope you get a good bonus. :) You do so much for your readers, it would be nice to give something back.

  4. Angie says

    We’ve only been doing this for about 3 months, and already have $15 in Amazon gift cards ready to be cashed out, and that is without having any referrals. Not the greatest income ever, but we’re hoping to use this to help with Christmas gifts for the family this year- nieces, nephews, siblings, parents, etc. Every little bit helps- we just recently cut out my income so I can be a SAHM. Its been a great program for us so far, and its super easy to do.

  5. Laurie says

    Um…. Isn’t it Wednesday? Lol, sorry, I couldn’t resist.

    I’ve been swag bucking for about a month now the same way as you are – just my everyday searches. I too get between 10-20 SB a day. I just passed the 450 range. I’m planning to let it ride. I signed on when the nonconsumer advocate said she had earned her pyrex that way. Free Pyrex. Sweet.

    If and when I ever decide to make some random online purchases, I will try to through them beacuse you do get 2 SB for every dollar spent.

    P.S., still thinking on the HS Q 4 U. It’s been a busy week.

  6. Colleen says

    I’m like you — I don’t spend a ton of time searching, because that’s not worth it to me, but what I do is use it in place of bookmarks — so the websites I use regularly I use a search. Takes an extra second or so, but earns me a $5 Amazon giftcard every three weeks or so, which I think is a good trade.

    I hope people take you up on your referral — if so, I think you get all SB won up to 1000 per referral (I haven’t gotten any referrals, but I think that’s how it goes).

  7. HeatherS says

    I’ve been using swagbucks since the first of the year and have $60 in my Amazon account so far. I get between 20-50 per day (average around 30 most days) by searching and get a couple each day by signing into the toolbar and doing the daily special offers that you can skip and get a couple swagbucks. I have also watched the videos for a couple of swagbucks. I don’t bother with any of the other special offers b/c they involve you needing to download things I don’t want to or they often don’t get credited. Though I’ve heard some do. If I happen to catch the codes they put out I will enter them but I don’t spend alot of time doing the ones you have to really search for.

    To get ones for searching I use the toolbar and will search for the things I normally would use any other search engine for. Got 12 bucks this morning for searching for the hours of operation for our local recycling center! I also use the toolbar to search for the blogs I visit daily such as this one, or ebay or whatever site I might be needing to go to.

    I like to cash in as soon as I get 450 bucks for the $5 Amazon cards. It’s a better deal than the other Amazon card and I cash in as soon as I can b/c I figure if the Swagbucks site were to go under or something at least all the “money” I’ve earned is safely stashed in my Amazon account. I plan to use mine for Christmas money or towards a new digital camera for our upcoming fall vacation.

  8. Karen S. says

    THANK YOU!!!!!! I was never sure what Swagbucks was, and was scared (believe it or not) to sign up for it. I wasn’t sure if it was a scam. But now that you’ve “endorsed” it and explained it, I feel much more comfortable. I’m going to sign up, using your link.

  9. says

    Swagbucks is pretty great…. I love that we can get rewarded for basically doing nothing.
    I don’t know if this helps any, but I have found that I can search & win in the morning, around lunch time, and then again in the evening. Usualy winning three times in one day is the max (at least that is my experience).
    Don’t forget that you can get a few swagbucks by visiting the “Special Offers” section once a day, clicking through offers and then you’ll be rewarded (usually 1-3 swagbucks). Sometimes there are videos in the “Special Offers’ section that you can earn a few swagbucks for watching.
    Just like with survey sites, etc. you won’t become a millionaire, but it is nice to get a little something.
    Just like many others, I cash my swagbucks in for $5 Amazon gift cards… I’m saving for a Flip Video recorder. Only about $20 more to go… it will be so cool to say “I bought that with Swagbucks!”

  10. says

    I’ve been using Swagbucks for a few months now. Sometimes I do hunt down the daily codes (when I have a bit of time and I’m in the mood for a treasure hunt). I’ve gotten most of my Swagbucks so far from the toolbar and searches (although I still forget to use the Swagbucks search engine a lot of the time, lol!).
    One thing I do really like about their program is that they have Amazon.ca gift cards available. Being Canadian, I’m happy to have this option, as many reward programs only offer American goodies! So that’s a big plus in my book.

  11. says

    I’ve been doing swagbucks for a while now too and I have about $50 in Amazon.ca gift cards and $5 in Amazon.com (oops) gift cards. I too use the tool bar and I am a fan on Facebook so it is a really easy to get swagbucks. I don’t go out of my way to look for them and I haven’t had any referrals either – hope that gets you some more. Even if it grows slowly it is free money for doing something you are already doing, can’t beat that!

    Have a happy wednesday!

  12. Dawn P. says

    I have been doing swagbucks for awhile now and just let the points add up. In October I use all of my points to buy video games for my kids Christmas presents. I was able to get three games at no cost (not even shipping) that would have cost me over $100 in the store. So I do use it, probably not as often as I could, but love it the same.

  13. says

    I just signed up, I was enticed by the possibility of earning rewards that can be used in Canada. It sounds like Swagbucks is quite similar to Mypoints? Am I about right with that assumption?

    • says

      Yes, it is, except that My Points mostly has you look at advertisements to earn points, and Swagbucks is more about searching to earn points. I’ve been doing MyPoints forever, but I think I like Swagbucks better.

  14. says

    I’ve been really happy with Swagbucks and earned enough Amazon gift cards ($25) to order a 18 piece Pyrex storage set, as well as a small gift for my son’s birthday. I have enough Amazon gift cards right now to get my husband a birthday present, which will be a “Schrute Beet Farms” T-shirt.

    Swagbucks is certainly an inferior search engine, but most of the time, that’s all I need anyway.


    -Katy Wolk-Stanley
    “Use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without”

  15. says

    Maybe I’m overly suspicious but I suspect that organisations offering something for nothing are usually getting far more from you than you are ever likely to get from them.

    • says

      I suppose one could say that about my blog too…I offer information for free, and like Swagbucks, I earn money from the advertisements on my blog. I guess my blog is a little different, though, in that I don’t pay you guys to come read it! lol I’d be in the hole really fast if I did that. =P

      I guess it just depends on how much you trust the person/company/site giving you something for free.

      I totally understand not wanting to do Swagbucks though, and like I said, there are a lot of other ways to spend your time that are probably much more effective financially speaking. :)

  16. jen b says

    I don’t remember who I signed up under, but I did a few months ago- I make sure I do enough searching to win some bucks everyday, and get little bonuses for having the tool bar. I’ve earned enough for $25 in Amazon gift cards since I’ve been doing it, so worth it to me :)

  17. says

    You are totally throwing my days off at work. Yesterday I kept thinking it was Wednesday and today I think it is a Thursday. If your food waste shows up tomorrow I will be all messed up. ha.

    Per the post, whenever I have kids that need the internet and we get internet at our house, I will probably do swagbucks again. I was just getting used to using it when I got married and became internetless at my house. I thought it was really fun to use when I was in school.

  18. WilliamB says

    I’m not a fan because I prefer anonynimity – computer cookies are not my friend. I use Scroogle Scraper, which strips most identifying information, doesn’t use cookies, and deletes records after 48 hours.

  19. Emily says

    I joined Swagbucks last October (’09) and I’ve earned $35 in Amazon gift cards so far (I’m close to my next $5). I didn’t have any referrals until I got my husband to sign up under me, so now I earn Swagbucks when he does searches. We both have the Swagbucks toolbar so we can do searches without going to the site itself. It’s true that the Swagbucks search engine isn’t as great as others, but I always search through Swagbucks first to earn bucks, and if that doesn’t give me the results I need (that’s rare, actually), I’ll go to Yahoo, my search engine of choice (except it doesn’t pay me!).

    Just remember, if you sign up under someone so they can “get a referral bonus,” they won’t unless you do some searching and earn Swagbucks yourself. They earn an equal number of Swagbuck up to your first 1,000.

  20. says

    I do use swagbucks for my searches, both at home and at the office. BUT I do have to say, IF I need something quick and reliably fast (like legal issues for the office), I don’t use it then. I don’t know if it’s just me but seems that the search results are funky and not really site related alot of times. BUT I do enjoy the $25 or so worth of paypal I cash in a month … and NO, I do not have any referrals linked to me … just me searching. No treasure hunts for codes, no facebook, no blogging, just straight searching :)

    OH – don’t forget to download the toolbar … you will get swagbucks just for launching the web …

    • says

      Yep, it’s definitely not as good as Google. I use Swagbucks first, and then Google if I need to. Or I use Google when I’m in a big hurry. lol

  21. Jennifer says

    Thanks for explaining this and for comparing it with MyPoints. I did MyPoints for a while last year and got a $25 LLBean gift card I’ll be giving to my stepdad for his birthday on Friday! Then I got really busy and stopped opening the emails…
    Swagbucks sounds much simpler and more straightforward. I think I’ll give it a try!

  22. says

    I love Swagbucks! I usually do a lot of searches throughout the day (and did even when I used Google) just because I frequently come across things I want to look up and learn about. I figure it’s no skin off my teeth to use Swagbucks first, and then move to Google to resume the search if I can’t find what I need easily. I’ve earned about $55 in Amazon gift cards since I started using the site last fall.

  23. Emily says

    I also regularly use the Swagbucks search to type in the name of a site that I already know, just to get Swagbucks. It takes a couple of extra seconds, but it’s worth it.

  24. Linda says

    Are you familiar with GOODSEARCH, it donates to the charity of your choice every time you use it for a search. Now that I know about Swagbucks I’ll try it for my searches but if it is much of a hastle I’ll go back to GOODSEARCH, btw goodsearch is also not as good as the big name search engines

  25. says

    I like the fact that the amazon gift cards also pay for shipping, so it truly is free. Next time, I will wait until I have forty dollars to spend, then I will get free shipping, too. (Live and learn, I was excited to get my free book!) Also, I’m Canadian so many of the swagbucks prizes, which aren’t worth the time it takes to collect the bucks anyway IMHO, aren’t even available to me in this country, so it’s great that I can get the freebies from amazon.ca.

  26. says

    I’m a big fan of Swagbucks too. In less than 2 months, my husband and I have $45 in Amazon cards, and we’re very close to another $5. We’re going to put our Amazon funds toward our Christmas shopping this year. For many if not most items with Amazon, if you spend over $25, shipping is free so that’s even more savings. I’ve not gotten any additional spam, advertisements or other junk because of using Swagbucks for searches.

    I hope you get lots of referrals today as they really are the best way to earn more Swagbucks more quickly. I don’t have all that many referrals, but because of them I am earning enough for an Amazon card every 4 days or so. Swagbucks search is on my homepage, and I run a search for *everything* through it. I can’t tell you how many bucks I’ve gotten for searching for Google, Facebook or The Frugal Girl! I especially love the ones I get for searching for the Swag Code Spoiler!

  27. Anne says

    I use Firefox and it lets me have swagbucks as one of the available search engines up on the toolbar. I use it instead of bookmarks to search for sites I go to regularly but don’t like to type in. I’ve cashed in maybe $30 in giftcards over about 6 months so I figure it’s worth it. Oh, and I buy my pet stuff from one of the shopping partners so that helps.

    I never bother with the codes either.

  28. says

    Big fan of swagbucks! I have been doing Swagbucks since about Nov. or Dec. and have earned $20 in Amazon gift cards that I have used for great deals that I have found on Amazon. Right now, I could get $10 more, but I am saving up all my points until Christmas time to use them all for some extra Christmas shopping money. I use the Swagbucks toolbar, so it makes searching real easy. I’m glad you’re getting some extra swagbucks here by referring people. Unfortunately, I have never had any luck referring people to swagbucks or ebates…oh, well….maybe someday! I still can’t convince my husband to use the swagbucks tool bar though for his searches…I bet we would earn a lot more if he wasn’t such a google fan. hehehehe

  29. Karen S. says

    How do you figure out what to purchase each week at the grocery store? I clip coupons, but never seem to be able to “match” stuff up by store, sales, etc.

  30. says

    I’ve used swagbucks for a month or two now. I haven’t made too many, but I do get excited whenever I win some! I’m not sure what I’ll cash them in for… Amazon giftcards sounds like a good idea. I think I’m going to do a search now. I need that happy rush of winning. haha

  31. Stef says

    Hello Hello Hello! :)
    I just signed up at this Swaggy Thingy! I hope you buy something cute for the kiddos, ;). Thanks for your website and THIS one especially! Just came from Aldi and cooking up a storm in here, O gotta go Chicken is boiling in the pot! :) GOD BLESS YOU AND YOUR FAMILY FOR ALL YOU DO! (and yes I am yelling)…..:)…You know God smiles down at his children? I too I am smiling sister, so proud to have a christian sister like you thru the web……………..

  32. Vicky Kelly says

    Thank you! Oddly enough I’d not heard of this before! Guess that makes ME the last person on the internet lol
    I did sign up under you Kristin. I love any way that helps me earn perks that I’d otherwise not be able to have.

  33. says

    oh you will start rocking in the swag bucks if someone signs up under you!! seriously! i only have 10 people and i got like 3000 swagbucks in no time flat! lol i you basically earn EVERY swagbuck your people do until they reach 1000. i think that is the earning max.

    i love swag bucks!

  34. Julia says

    I must be some sort of Swag loser—I almost never got any Swag bucks when I used it, and I found it to be an inferior search engine so I sorta lost interest and forgot about it…I’ll try again and see if I get as lucky as the rest of you.
    We do have an Amazon visa card, we charge 90% of our expenses for the month (including groceries and drugstore, and as many utilities as will allow a credit card to be used) and then I pay the bill in full when it comes. Doing this, we earn a minimum $25 per month in Amazon gift certificates and don’t pay a dime in interest. We’ve been doing this for 5 years and I keep wondering when Chase is going to realize they’re not going to make any interest off of us!

  35. Jean Mac says

    I signed up about a month ago and already have over 600 Swagbucks. They only thing i find frustrating is that anytime I make them aware that there are issues with the site they always blame my computer settings rather than go and investigate to see that it’s indeed their issue!!!!

  36. says

    yeah so i’ve been on Sb for like a month or two…i only got 58 sb…why? Idon’t know either…like i search but get no points…what’s all this about? =( plz help me out !!!

  37. eric says

    The way I see it is that if you are diligent.. you can maybe mke enough sb to buy one $5 card every 2 days. People think WOW IN ONLY TWO DAYS?? So you could do that, or..you could make that in <1hour at a real job. In order to make a decent amount at this site you have to work at it, surveys, offers, keeping up with freebies, using subpar search. It easily eats up more time than its worth. Hell, you could walk dogs and it would be easier and you'd make a lot more money doing it. Its one of the better ones I've seen but as much concentration as it takes its really REALLY stupid to waste your time on this site. Just go do an oddjob or a parttime job. I mean free sounds good but you are trading your time and that same amount of time could be put to much more profitable means.

  38. says

    I know I’m pretty late in the discussion, but just thought I would pop in over here.

    I’ve been on Swagbucks approximately a week, and currently have just over 1,000 points. The biggest way that I earn points is the SwagbucksTV mobile app. When I am home during the day or evening, I plug my phone in and turn the app on, with the media volume muted. It keeps continuously playing videos on my phone. For every 5 videos I play, I get 2 SBs. You can get a max of 100 SBs a day this way.

    Also, every morning while I sit down to check my email I do a few things that will earn me points, like looking through the No Obligation Special Offers, taking a survey, or looking for any free offers I can do. I don’t normally spend more than 30 minutes in the morning doing this.

    If I am sitting down at the computer to do any work, I will turn on Swagbucks TV. I open it in another tab or window and play videos while I am working with the sound off. These videos don’t play continuously like the mobile one’s do, so every so often you have to switch to the next video. For every 10 videos you watch you get 10 SBs. This is only a good option if you are already going to be working on the computer.

    When I need to, I’ll use the search engine. I don’t like it, and I don’t normally win much, but I always try to use it.

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