Honest Swagbucks Review 2020: Is it Legit or a Scam?

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Today, I’m going to give you my honest Swagbucks review so you know if Swagbucks is safe to use and if it’s worth your time.

I joined this rewards site back in 2009 so I’ll share my personal experience with you and let you know the truth whether Swagbucks is a scam or a legitimate website that pays you cash and free gift cards.

If you follow my blog, you’ll know that I mention Swagbucks a lot!

I can’t help it because they are one of my favorite surveys and rewards programs since using them for over 10 years! That’s how my fiancé and I got our hands on those delicious free drinks at Starbucks as broke students back in the days!

Being able to redeem free $25-$100 gift cards (such as Amazon, Walmart, Sephora, and Starbucks) from Swagbucks was a great way for us to earn extra money on the side!


Swagbucks Review

Overall, I really can’t complain about the FREE gift cards and cash that we earn with Swagbucks to help with our spending. I will elaborate more on how I use Swagbucks to make extra money.

Don’t worry, I’ll let you in on my Swagbucks hacks and secrets I’ve learned over the years throughout the post so you can maximize the money you can make with Swagbucks to get the most out of this absolutely free money resource. 🙂

But first, let’s go through what Swagbucks is and whether or not it’s a scam!



What is Swagbucks?

Swagbucks is a FREE online rewards program that allows you to earn free gift cards and cash by taking paid online surveys, watching videos, surfing the web, shopping online, playing games, and more!

They have a Trustpilot score of 4.3/5 making it one of the highest and trustworthy survey sites.

Swagbucks is owned by the parent company, Prodege, LLC, which is a reputable internet and media company that started in 2005. The company also owns these popular brands:


Swagbucks sign up promo

When you sign up for Swagbucks for FREE here, you can start earning money online immediately and claim your $5 welcome bonus!

Swagbucks is legitimate since they have paid out over $398,360,353 to its 10 million members!


Swagbucks sign up promo code


Is Swagbucks safe and legit?

Just like you, I had questions about whether or not Swagbucks is a scam and if it’s safe prior to signing up.

After using this free rewards website and app for over 10 years, I can attest that Swagbucks is 100% legitimate and safe website. It’s a credible way to earn real money in your spare time.

Would any fake and spam sites pay out almost $400 million to its members? I highly doubt it.

Similar to other survey sites, Swagbucks is absolutely free to use and one of the most legitimate ways to make money online without paying anything.


Swagbucks Review on BBB

To put your heart at ease, Swagbucks has been in the business for 13 years with an A-rating under the Better Business Bureau (BBB).

I’ve been an active Swagbucks user since 2009I know, it’s been a decade already! My fiancé is a user himself. My friends and his friends are all users as well.

And since the time we’ve all been using Swagbucks, we never had any issue redeeming our gift cards and cash!

In fact, we’ve heard and seen many positive Swagbucks reviews, such as this one here:


“My most rewarding moment with Swagbucks is using the gift cards I earn to buy gifts for my child’s Christmas and February birthday.” Kim, Member since 2009


On top of that, here is a screenshot of other reviews on BBB:

swagbucks review - honest reviews from users at BBB
Source: Better Business Bureau


Is Swagbucks free?

Again, Swagbucks is absolutely free to sign up for and use. You can create a FREE Swagbucks account and get a $5 sign up bonus today!

🌟 Important note: Make sure you verify the e-mail from Swagbucks in your inbox so that you can start earning and redeeming your rewards! All it takes is one simple click on the “verify” button. Grab your FREE $5 offer before it’s gone!


Swagbucks review - sign up for a free Swagbucks account


Be careful of scams where survey companies ask you to pay a small fee to have the opportunity to complete unlimited paid surveys. As survey takers, you get paid to answer surveys, not the other way around. Avoid companies these companies like a plague.


How does Swagbucks work?

You earn Swagbucks (SB) points by taking quick paid surveys, searching the web, shopping online, playing games, and watching videos in exchange for FREE gift cards or cash through PayPal. You can redeem free gift cards from retailers such as Amazon, Starbucks, Walmart, Target, Sephora, and more!


How many Swagbucks equal a dollar?

Some of you may be asking, how much is one Swagbuck point worth?

Answer: Every 100 SBs is equivalent to $1.


How to make money on Swagbucks

Now, I will go through the tutorial and hacks to show you how to use Swagbucks to earn some extra cash!

Swagbucks is available to use on both desktop and mobile. With the mobile option, you can use the Swagbucks app if you like the idea of making money with your smartphone!


1. Take paid surveys online with Swagbucks Surveys

swagbucks review - take paid surveys for cash

You can earn Swagbucks Points (SB points) by taking paid surveys.

I’ll be honest. Taking surveys online won’t replace your full-time income. NOT. EVEN. CLOSE! So, whoever tells you that you can earn thousands of dollars every month is lying.

However, you can earn extra money effortlessly by taking easy surveys in your spare time while you’re relaxing in your room listening to music or waiting for your food to be delivered.

I personally take surveys with the Swagbucks app when I’m sitting in the passenger seat while my fiancé is driving. You can earn enough to buy a few rounds of groceries, fill up a tank of gas, or stack up on those free gift cards worth over $100 with these hacks.

Based on my personal experience, Swagbucks is one of the best survey sites with the highest payout you’ll find online. 🙂


2. Take Swagbucks Gold Surveys

Here’s a quick pro-tip and Swagbucks hack that I use to earn and collect more SBs.

When you decide which surveys to answer, I highly recommend you to take the “Gold Surveys” (the surveys with a blue star next to it) because it gives you the highest SBs for the same amount of time it takes to complete regular surveys. This is the best use of your time with Swagbucks.

For example, this may range from 70 SBs (for 1 minute of your time) to 600 SBs (for 13 minutes of your time).

When you run out of Gold Surveys and you still have some time to spare, I recommend going for the surveys that take the least amount of time to complete regardless of the amount of SBs you earn. That way, you’ll get rewarded with SBs for completing short surveys with your remaining time and won’t need to quit a survey halfway. Swagbucks won’t compensate you unless you complete the survey.

Use your judgment and attempt surveys that provide the highest SBs given the shortest amount of time.

For example, it may require 1 minute of your time to earn 37 SBs. This payout may not be as high as the example I gave above (70 SBs in 1 minute) but they do add up, especially when you are mindlessly answering surveys during your free time. You won’t get rich doing this, but taking paid surveys with Swagbucks when you have time to kill is definitely worth it.


🌟 You can sign up for a FREE Swagbucks account here to give their surveys a try. Again, you’ll get a FREE $5 bonus when you sign up through my link. Just remember to verify the e-mail from Swagbucks in your inbox so that you can start earning!


Swagbucks review - sign up for a free Swagbucks account and get your $5 bonus


3. Use Swagbucks Swag Codes

Aside from getting paid to take surveys with Swagbucks, you can also earn SBs by hunting for Swag Codes online. This is like treasure hunting online for cash.

A Swag Code is a string of text that could look something like this: DYSON1DayteRgPY5 (this is just an example). You must enter the code exactly as it appears on your Swagbucks account since it is case sensitive. Your best bet is to directly copy and paste the Swag Code.

When you redeem Swag Codes into your Swagbucks account within a certain period of time, you can earn extra Swagbucks points. These points, in turn, can be redeemed for gift cards or PayPal cash.

The catch is you have to be quick at finding and redeeming the codes before they expire!

You can find these Swag Codes on the Swagbucks website, Swagbucks blog, and Swagbucks newsletter. Swagbucks also gives out these codes on their social media accounts via Facebook, Flickr, Twitter, and YouTube.


4. Searching the web with Swagbucks

If you’re always searching for things or doing research online, why not get paid for it?

Swagbucks will reward you with SB points when you use their search engine (powered by Yahoo!). My fiancé and I installed and use the Swagbucks search engine every day to look for typical things such as daily news, weather and online retailers’ websites (Amazon). You use it just like how you would with Google. Personally, I still use Google when I’m on my desktop doing researches, but with my laptop, I use the Swagbucks search as my default search engine for leisure browsing.

To this day, I still don’t know the exact amount of SB points you earn when you use their search bar (because it’s completely random and Swagbucks doesn’t say much about this), but you can easily earn 30-50 SBs a day by using Swagbucks’ search bar for all your daily searches. Again, it’s completely passive and doesn’t require any effort, so why not make some money on the way? I’ll take whatever is free and effortless! 🙂


🌟 You can activate the Swagbucks search bar here to start passively earning money online.

swagbucks review - get paid to surf the web with Swagbucks


5. Shop online and earn cash back with Swagbucks

swagbucks review - earn cash back by shopping online

Another great feature about Swagbucks is you can earn up to 30% cash back just by shopping for the things you normally buy. The norm is anywhere between 2% to 10% with stores like Amazon, Etsy, Gap, Best Buy and many more!

This is very similar to the Rakuten cash back program (formerly called Ebates) and I believe Swagbucks has recently stepped up their game with their cash back program.

I personally still prefer using Rakuten when it comes to earning cash back. But that shouldn’t stop you from using Swagbucks for this feature (plus, they have other activities that allow you to earn rewards). In fact, I’m starting to see that more people are using Swagbucks for their cash back deals today.


🌟 Swagbucks is currently running a promotion where you’ll get a FREE $10 welcome bonus for making any purchase over $25. That’s equivalent to getting $10 off your $25 Amazon purchase that you were going to make! Claim your FREE $10 off before the offer ends!


Using the SwagButton

I also want to mention that I installed the SwagButton on both my computers because it automatically sends me a notification about how much cash back I can earn each time I shop.

When I’m on the store’s website, let’s say Sephora, it would tell me how many SB points I can earn — all I have to do is click the SwagButton to activate my rewards before I shop.

This also allows me to do a quick comparison between Swagbucks and Rakuten to see which website gives a higher payout for my online purchases.

When both offer the same deal, I would purchase my stuff through Rakuten, only because I’m used to them when I shop online. However, Swagbucks is now trying to compete with Rakuten and is offering better cash back deals. For example, Rakuten may offer a 2.5% cash back at Sephora, but when I see that Swagbucks offers 4 SBs per $1 (equivalent to 4% cash back), I activate my cash back with Swagbucks.


Here’s a quick screenshot of how the SwagButton looks on my computer (the little blue logo of Swagbucks on the top right):

swagbucks review - swagbutton


6. Earn Swagbucks points by watching videos

What I’m about to say next should not alarm you. But I really don’t recommend sitting in front of your computer watching videos all day just to earn SB points because I find that this activity the least effective way to earn rewards (that’s just me).

Some Swagbucks users have said they enjoy watching the videos (apparently there are some pretty funny cat videos going around right now), while others recommend leaving the videos on autoplay in a separate tab to rack up free SBs.

From my experience, each video (roughly 20-40 seconds) rewards you with 1-3 SB points. Unless you have some time to spare (or you really enjoy watching videos) then, by all means, there is really no harm to watching videos to earn some SB points. To me, watching videos on Swagbucks is not worth your time. You’re better off making money taking paid surveys.


7. Play video games to earn money online with Swagbucks

If you enjoy playing video games after a long stressful day from work (or even during your spare time), then you may as well get paid for it!

There are many fun games to choose from and Swagbucks includes both free and paid games. For the paid version, you’ll have to buy them to earn points.

Still, you can play the free version and earn SB points. The games they offer popular games, such as Bingo, Bejeweled, Solitaire Rush, Wheel of Fortune, Deal or No Deal Slots, Angry Birds Champions, and many more!


🌟 You can start earning and redeeming rewards by playing games online via Swagbucks. Again, get a FREE $5 bonus when you start using Swagbucks.


Here is a sample screenshot of how the games section looks on my account:

swagbucks review - watch videos swagbucks


Swagbucks gift cards (MyGiftCards Plus):

Swagbucks also offers something called MyGiftCards Plus where you can buy gift cards online at a discount for up to 30% off.

Here is a screenshot (below) of the Swagbucks gift card shop when I select Banana Republic.

In this example, I can choose a $100 gift card (choice of an eGift or Physical) where Swagbucks will reward me with 500 SBs for the purchase (equivalent to $5 or 5% off). The best part is you can combine their deals (e.g. discounted gift card + cash back deal) with sale prices (e.g. the store promo) to save even more!

Who doesn’t like to stack on deals to save money especially when it doesn’t require much effort? As the financial experts always say, $1 saved is $2 earned! 🙂

swagbucks review - swagbucks rewards and gift cards at discount


How much can you earn with Swagbucks?

There are Swagbucks users who put in more effort to earn $100 to $200 each month with Swagbucks. That’s pretty good considering that Swagbucks is absolutely FREE to use!

Some people even report making an extra $500 per month alone with Swagbucks but that is extremely rare and I would discount those claims — they’re either spending A LOT of time on surveys or spending a lot of money shopping online (which defeats the purpose of saving money)!

With that said, you definitely won’t earn several thousands of dollars per month.

Realistically, even if you’re a casual user, you can still expect to earn an extra $300 to $1,000 per year, which is a good amount of money to put towards your holiday shopping!


At the end of the day, how much money you earn with Swagbucks really depends on various factors such as:

  • your demographics and whether you qualify for more surveys (always answer the survey questions truthfully).
  • if you’re willing to put in a bit of effort to do some surveys.
  • whether you enjoy watching videos and/or playing games.
  • how many searches you do in a day.
  • how often you shop online and whether Swagbucks is offering any BONUS cash back deals at that particular time (e.g. 5% cash back instead of the regular 2.5%).
  • whether you take advantage of their new feature, MyGiftCards Plus, which I talk about next.


Earn an extra $50 to $100 per month with survey sites like Swagbucks:

If you’d like to earn an extra $50 to $100 on top of Swagbucks, I recommend checking out these other highest paying survey sites that are similar to Swagbucks.


Earn with Survey Junkie

For example, another free reward and survey app I use is Survey Junkie. This is another great survey site that I enjoy using during my spare time to earn extra for the month.

Swagbucks (4.3/5) and SurveyJunkie (4.5/5) are two of the best survey sites with the highest ratings on Trustpilot Reviews.


Is Swagbucks worth it?

Swagbucks is worth it when you’re looking for ways to make an extra $300 to $1,000 per year during your spare time by doing paid surveys, watching videos, surfing the web, and playing games.

It’s also worth it when you’re looking for an efficient way to save money by 1) getting cash back from your online purchases and 2) buying discounted gift cards from their shop.

With that said, almost anyone can benefit from signing up for a FREE Swagbucks account today.

Despite the fact that I have a full-time job and make money blogging on the side, I still use Swagbucks as a fun side hustle to earn extra money each month — it’s really just icing on the cake! 🙂

On the other hand, Swagbucks is NOT for those who are looking for a real side hustle to replace their full-time employment or retirement supplement. It’s also NOT for those who want to get rich quick! Just a side note, there is no such thing as getting rich quick without putting in any effort!


What’s better than Swagbucks?

If you’re looking for higher earning potential, you can check out these creative ways to make 100 dollars every day.

But just because you are looking for full-time opportunities, doesn’t mean you can’t try Swagbucks to see how you like it. After all, Swagbucks is free to test out here. Worst comes to worst, you don’t ever have to use it again.


Summary of my honest Swagbucks review

Overall, Swagbucks is 100% legitimate and you can definitely earn FREE gift cards (e.g. Amazon, Starbucks, Walmart, etc.) as well as a bit of extra money each month just by doing surveys, surfing the web, shopping for things you normally buy, watching some funny cat videos and playing games online.

It is NOT something that can replace your full-time income or supplement your retirement, but it can make spending more affordable.

Like I always say, I like how I can use the free gift cards or money towards groceries, coffee, a tank of gas, birthday gifts, household items, and Christmas spending.


Other ways to make money aside from Swagbucks:


Readers, I hope you enjoyed my Swagbucks review. Have you ever tried earning extra money with Swagbucks? If so, what’s your favorite Swagbucks hack?


Enjoyed this post? Don’t forget to bookmark and share it on Pinterest! 🙂

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1 Comment

  1. Hey Ling this was an insightful review of Swagbucks. I’ve been using this with mypoints for a couple and been successful with earning points and cashing out gift cards. I haven’t tried PayPal yet as I only prefer the gift cards to restaurants or department store. If you know of anymore opportunities please let me know.

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