Swagbucks Review: Is It a Legit Way To Earn Gift Cards and Cash?

GOBankingRates Score

4.5
Our take: If you want to get free gift cards by doing things you probably already do online, you might consider becoming a Swagbucks member. The website allows you to earn points while you shop online, watch videos, search the web, answer surveys and find great offers. Those points can be redeemed for gift cards at major retailers like Amazon and Walmart, or even to get cash back through PayPal. Keep reading this Swagbucks review to learn more about this clever way to make money online and find out whether Swagbucks is legit.
  • Money-Earning Options
    4.5
  • Transparency
    5.0
  • Ease of Use
    4.0
  • Mobile App
    4.5
How did we calculate this?

To start the Swagbucks review, a quick overview gives you an idea of the program’s strengths and weaknesses.

Pros

  • Make money from your online activity.
  • You'll have different ways to earn.
  • Joining is free.
  • There is no waitlist to get started.
  • Get gift cards or cash back to your PayPal account.
  • You can also earn money using the mobile app.

Cons

  • It probably won't replace your monthly income.
  • There are four different apps to keep track of, depending on the activity you choose.
  • Taking surveys can be time-intensive and you may not qualify for many.

What Is Swagbucks?

Swagbucks is an online rewards program that allows members to earn gift cards and cash back through their online activities. So far, Swagbucks has already paid out over $554.7 million in cash and free gift cards.

Is Swagbucks Legit?

A Swagbucks review isn’t complete without addressing if it really works. The best way to find out whether Swagbucks is legit is to look at what others who have tried Swagbucks have to say. Here’s a look at user ratings from top sources of customer reviews:

  • Trustpilot: 21.5K reviews, 4.3 out of 5 stars
  • App Store: 39.7K reviews, 4.4 out of 5 stars
  • Google Play: 56.9K reviews, 3.9 out of 5 stars
  • Better Business Bureau: 1,294 reviews, 4.1 out of 5 stars

Ratings are generally high for Swagbucks. Most of the users are happy with how Swagbucks works and seem to get paid for the points they earned. As long as you don’t go in with big expectations of making thousands of dollars per month, you should be pleased with the extra side cash you can make by passively taking part in a few random online activities.

How Does Swagbucks Work?

There are several ways to earn points that can be redeemed for free gift cards or cash on Swagbucks. The first step is becoming a member. You can sign up for Swagbucks using your email address or Facebook account, and the membership is free. You can start earning points by participating in the activities of your choice.

How To Redeem Swagbucks

If you’re wondering how Swagbucks pay users, the answer is through Swagbucks points, which you can redeem for gift cards and cash back through PayPal. The ratio of points to dollars earned is typically $1 for every 100 points, so you could get $25 from PayPal with 2,500 Swagbucks points, or a $10 Amazon gift card for 1,000 Swagbucks points.

To cash in your Swagbucks points for rewards, simply visit the rewards store to browse what’s available for the points you have earned.

You could also donate your Swagbucks rewards to numerous charities, including The Humane Society and the Breast Cancer Research Foundation.

How Much Can You Earn?

According to Swagbucks, some users have earned over $10,000. It would be rare to make that much, unless you commit to the platform full time. Once you hit the mark, you earn Level 10: Ruby status through the Swagbucks Member Recognition Program. Earning over 1,000,000 points takes a lot of hard work. Realistically, the average Swagbucks user earns between $25 and $100 in PayPal Cash or gift cards every month.

7 Ways To Earn Money on Swagbucks

There are many different ways you can earn money on Swagbucks. It’s one of the reasons the app is so popular. There are seven ways:

1. Online Shopping With Swagbucks

One way to earn points is through online shopping at over 1,500 popular retailers, including Amazon, Walmart, Target and Starbucks. Other retailers include:

  • Hotels.com
  • Expedia
  • Macy’s
  • HSN
  • Old Navy
  • Sam’s Club
  • Kohl’s
  • HP
  • Restaurant.com
  • Lands’ End
  • Gap
  • JCPenney
  • Groupon

You’ll earn cash back in the form of points for every dollar you spend when you shop. Additionally, you’ll get access to exclusive deals and retailer coupons.

2. Swagbucks Answers

Fill out surveys to earn free gift cards. You can earn 40 to 200 Swagbucks points for an approximately three-minute survey. It’s an easy way to make money online.

3. Swagbucks Watch

You can also earn points by watching online videos. The videos span topics including news and politics, TV and film, food, sports and fashion. The videos vary in length, with some as short as 10 minutes and others longer than an hour, and the amount of points you’ll earn per video is clearly marked.

4. Swagbucks Discover

You can earn points when you buy or read more about one of Swagbucks’ featured deals. These deals are usually for membership services, such as Blue Apron.

5. Swagbucks Search

Earn points just by browsing the web when you make Swagbucks your search engine.

6. Swagbucks Play

Get Swagbucks points when you play online games like Angry Birds and Tetris. You’ll typically get four points for every $1 you spend in gameplay.

7. SwagButton

Add the SwagButton Chrome extension to your browser. The extension will notify you if you’re shopping at a site that offers cash back for shopping through Swagbucks, help you find relevant coupons when online shopping, give you Swag Code alerts for additional discounts and alert you when there is a new earning opportunity.

Pro Tips To Maximize Your Earnings

The Swagbucks Reddit thread and Swagbucks Facebook groups are great places to go to learn from other seasoned members how to make the most money using Swagbucks. Some ways to max out your earnings include the following:

  • Set time aside every day: Make it a habit to spend some time to earn points during breakfast or before bed.
  • Download all the apps: Get each of the four apps (Live for trivia, Answer for surveys, Watch for viewing videos and the general app for everything else) so you can use them while you’re on the go to make cash while you commute, take a lunch break or wait in line.
  • Install all the features: Adding the SwagButton and enabling Swagbucks to work as your search engine could help you earn money while you’re doing other online activities.
  • Sign up for free trials: The Discover section of the website has offers that pay large sums of up to 10,000 points.

How Swagbucks and Other Options Compare

If you’re looking for a way to make extra cash, there are lots of options. How does Swagbucks compare to other alternatives?

Swagbucks vs. InboxDollars

Like Swagbucks, InboxDollars allows you to earn money for taking surveys. You can also watch videos and read emails for cash. Swagbucks has more ways to earn money and has organized them into categories so you can choose your favorite method.

Swagbucks vs. BestMark

While most everything you do with Swagbucks is online, BestMark is a mystery shopping service that may require you to sometimes try out actual products sent to you or to go out and work as a secret shopper by trying new restaurants or shopping at a store. Some jobs pay you cash while others reimburse you for products or a meal. Swagbucks may be a better option if you’re looking to earn cash instead of products and experiences.

Swagbucks vs. Rakuten

Both companies offer ways to earn cash back on your shopping and help you save money by offering easy access to coupon codes. But when it comes to user ratings for their Chrome extensions, Rakuten has the edge with its higher average. Here’s how their ratings compare:

  • SwagButton: 12.1K reviews, 4.2 out of 5 stars
  • Rakuten: 43.4K reviews, 4.9 out of 5 stars

On the other hand, if you’re trying to make some extra cash, Swagbucks offers more ways to do so, making it the better option.

Is Swagbucks Worth It?

Swagbucks is worth it if you have a little spare time each day and already spend time online as a favorite way to unwind. Making thousands of dollars per month is harder to do and could require most of your time. Some of the more lucrative ways to earn require you to try out subscriptions, which can take a bigger commitment of your time.

Swagbucks FAQ

Here are the answers to some commonly asked questions about Swagbucks.
  • Is Swagbucks legit?
    • Swagbucks is legit. The points you earn can be redeemed for gift cards, and the cash equivalent of the points can be transferred to PayPal.
  • How old do you have to be to join Swagbucks?
    • You'll need to be 13 years or older to sign up and earn.
  • Does Swagbucks pay cash?
    • You can opt to redeem your points for PayPal deposits. You can forward the cash to your bank account or withdraw it if you have a PayPal debit card. Visa Rewards prepaid cards and Walmart or Amazon credits are also as good as cash.

Gabrielle Olya contributed to the reporting for this article.

Data is accurate as of May 20, 2021, and subject to change.

About the Author

Cynthia Paez Bowman is a personal finance writer with degrees from American University in international business and journalism. Besides writing about personal finance, she writes about real estate, interior design and architecture. Her work has been featured in MSN, Brex, Freshome, MyMove, Emirates’ Open Skies magazine and more.

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