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Swagbucks is an online rewards platform that pays out a virtual currency to users who complete certain tasks (online searches, surveys, watching videos, etc). Getting paid for browsing the web sounds pretty amazing but does it actually work?
Update: I have shared my 2 month results and earnings in this 2015 Swagbucks review.
I’ve heard about Swagbucks over the years but I’ve never actually tried it (until recently). I had to see what it really was for the sake of this review. So here it goes.
How Does SwagBucks Work?
SwagBucks pays out its virtual currency (the swag bucks, duh) when you complete certain tasks. Each swag buck equals to about $0.01 (a penny). Now you aren’t actually getting paid in cash but rather in gift cards (amazon, PayPal, etc). $5 Amazon gift card is the smallest payout you can claim and it costs 450 Swag bucks.
Earning 450 Swag Bucks could actually take some time. When you first sign up to SwagBucks and fill out your profile you will be awarded 30 swag bucks. Filling out the profile takes a few minutes (adding your name, uploading a photo and a few other things). These are probably the easiest swag bucks you would ever earn, then it gets more tricky.
Swagbucks Paid Surveys
For instance you can earn for filling out surveys. I filled out a 10 minute survey and got 10 swag bucks for it. If you are paid 1 swag buck for 1 minute of work, you’re earning about 1 penny per minute or $0.6 per hour… talk about low wage job. There were some other surveys that promised 50-70 swag bucks but I was not qualified for any of them. I read quite a few testimonials from other members and it seems like no one is ever “qualified” for these surveys. You also need to spend a few minutes answering some “pre-survey” questions in order to see if you are qualified. Although after wasting 10-20 minutes on pre-qualification questions you may be rewarded 1 Swag Buck… More time wasted.
Some people also talk about spending their time filling out this surveys in full only to see their reward rejected because “their answers didn’t register” or because they didn’t qualify for the survey AFTER filling it out. Something’s shady here.
SBTV – Get Paid to Watch Swagbucks Videos
Next task I did was watching some yoga videos. 10 videos later (about 2 minutes each) I earned a whopping 3 swag bucks… yep, 3 pennies for 20 minutes of my time. You can earn some swag bucks watching videos if you have a smartphone though. Simply install the SwagBucks app and let the videos run on your phone. The payout is about 2 SB per 15 videos watched and most videos are 1-3 minutes long. The good thing is that you don’t actually have to watch them. As far as I understand there is limit of 36 Swag Bucks per day that could be earned through videos. So just let your smartphone run the videos while you reach the daily limit. Please note that it’ll probably take 10 hours to reach the 36 credits limit (your bandwidth is probably more expensive than that).
You can also gamble away your swagbucks by participating in SwagStakes. You can buy one or more entries to diferent sweepstakes for a chance to win 25-50-500 or more swag bucks. You can also buy a chance of winning gift cards ($10, $25 and even $100). Most entries cost from 2 to 25 swagbucks. Some people win, some don’t so you can’t really count on this. I spent 10 swag bucks on some of these giveaways and I didn’t win anything so it feels like a total waste to me.
Get Paid to Search
This is another low payout feature but it doesn’t actually require any extra time. If you set up SwagBucks search as your default search engine (instead of Google, Bing, etc) you can earn some swag bucks by simply performing your regular online searches. There is no algorithm to this so you can’t earn more by searching more (or searching for something specific). SwagBucks allows you to “win” credits while you are searching the web. In 2 days I got 5 payouts of 8 swag bucks each (and I do a lot of searches on daily basis). So I’d say you can win the credits for searching about 3 times a day. At 8 credits each you can earn 24 SBs (or $0.24) per day.
This can work for most people who don’t really care which search engine they use. This feature can earn you an average of $7-$8 per month. Hey, you’re searching the web ever single day anyway, why not get paid for it?
Get Paid to Play
You can play basic video games (really simple and basic games) on Swagbucks and you will earn 2 swag bucks per 2 plays. Another very low payout and I wouldn’t recommend playing these games in order to earn money. Go ahead and play them if you have time to kill (read: office job). You will also have to watch an ad before every game which is annoying and wastes even more time. You can also simply launch games and not play them – you’d still be awarded two swag bucks for every two plays.
SwagBucks Special Offers
There are lots of offers and trials available which will also reward you with swag bucks. Most of these offers are cheap but you will have to pay for them ($1, $2, $4+ trials and subscriptions). You can get a magazine subscription for $15 which will award you with 1,500 swag bucks (that’s $15) so you aren’t actually earning anything. You can apply for a credit card and if you are approved you will get awarded 5,000 swag bucks ($50) – that could be interesting for someone who needs a credit card. I looked at these offers but didn’t try any of them because I don’t want to spend money on these offers or even give out too much personal information.
SwagBucks Referral Program
SwagBucks offers an affiliate (referral) program which allows you to earn a commission from your friends’ earnings. For example, you refer a friend to SwagBucks, that friends performs some tasks and earns 100 swag bucks. You will get a commission of 10 swag bucks in this case. Some time ago the commission was available ONLY for search, it was 100% but it was limited to 1,000 swag bucks. The new commission structures applies to most tasks (not only search) and has no cap. So if you refer 100 friends who’ll manage to earn 100 swag bucks per day, you could be making 1,000 daily credits or $10 per day! That sounds great but I think it’s be really really hard to convince most of your friends to use swag bucks (even though it’s 100% free). Feel free to use my Swag Bucks Referral link 😉
This program is legit and certainly not a scam. However, the payout are very low. I am sure you can earn $10-$20 per month with it without doing much work however if you wish to earn more you’d have to waste a lot of time. If we look at videos, surveys and other tasks you would be earning $1 per hour (or less). I’d recommend using the search functions since we all search the web anyways. By simply using SwagBucks search instead of Google you can probably earn $100 worth of git certificates within a year, it isn’t much but it can offer some cool gifts from Amazon, right before Christmas time.
Filling out surveys for $1 per hour (or less) is totally uncool. You can spend that time building an online business that has a potential of supplementing your income or even becoming your main income source. I’ve been earning an “extra paycheck” online since 2007, that’s when I first joined Wealthy Affiliate training. Just like SwagBucks, Wealthy Affiliate is free to join! If you’re wiling to learn I highly suggest this program (pretty much the ONLY program I recommend).