This is the definitive Swagbucks review for 2020.
We’ve spent 100+ hours researching and testing the best survey sites.
Here’s how Swagbucks rates against the competition…
What is Swagbucks?
Swagbucks is a popular website / app which pays you for completing a variety of activities, such as answering surveys, watching videos, searching the web, and playing games.
This way of making money online is known as GetPaidTo.
Table Of Contents
This review is a joint effort between Niall Doherty (founder of eBiz Facts) and a hired freelancer named Hannah based in the USA.
- We hired Hannah to sign up to Swagbucks and test out certain parts of the site.
- Hannah documented her work and tracked her progress.
- We searched online for additional information about Swagbucks and carefully noted our findings.
- We wrote a first draft of this review.
- We sent the draft to our Freedom Business Builder community and asked for feedback.
- We made our final edits and published the review.
Note: We may earn a commission if you decide to join Swagbucks via a referral link in this review. Read our full disclosure here.
Is Swagbucks legit? Is Swagbucks safe?
A few of the most popular things people search for in relation to Swagbucks:
- Is Swagbucks legit?
- Is Swagbucks safe?
- Is Swagbucks a scam?
- Swagbucks scam
Having spent 5+ hours using and researching the site ourselves, we can tell you that Swagbucks is legit and definitely not a scam.
Swagbucks is owned and operated by Prodege, LLC.
They’ve been in business since 2005 and have long been accredited by the Better Business Bureau, which has awarded the company an A- rating, and notes that 500+ customers have given the company an average review of 4.1 stars.
That said, Swagbucks is NOT a very effective way of earning money online.
Even when compared to other survey sites – none of which are great for earning big money online – we find Swagbucks lacking.
🏆 Best Survey Sites 🏆
Why so many people ask if Swagbucks is legit
Most likely, it’s because there are many misleading Swagbucks reviews online.
Many of those reviews are written to generate affiliate commissions, and so tend to make exaggerated claims about how much money you can earn on Swagbucks, in the hopes that you’ll get excited, click an affiliate link and sign up.
For example, we’ve read reviews claiming that you can earn $5 in only 30 minutes on Swagbucks. Based on our experience and research, earning such amounts is extremely rare if not outright impossible.
In summary: Swagbucks is legit, but most Swagbucks reviews are not.
How does Swagbucks work?
First of all, you can only sign up for Swagbucks if you live in one of the following countries. 7
Once you’ve signed up and verified your account, you can start earning SB.
- 1 SB = $0.01 USD (one penny)
- 100 SB = $1
- 1000 SB = $10
There are several ways to earn SB, which you can then exchange for cash or gift cards.
Ways to earn on Swagbucks
Answer Swagbucks surveys
Answering surveys seems to be the most popular and most effective way to earn money directly on Swagbucks.
As per the official website:
Here’s how it works: brands and market research companies invite Swagbucks users to fill-out online surveys about products and services. When users complete a survey, Swagbucks pays its users between $0.05 and $2.50 (and sometimes as much as $25 – $35).
Try products and services
Be careful here, as this is one of those “spend money to make money” type deals.
The official word from Swagbucks:
Marketers and brands literally pay Swagbucks users to try their products and services. In many cases, the amount of money that marketers pay will cover a portion of the cost of the product or service itself. However, there are some cases where companies reward users with more than the cost of the service.
Some of the best offers we’ve seen here are for Hulu ($10 reward), Bluehost ($60), and Dollar Shave Club ($15).
But again, you need to spend money on these services via Swagbucks before you can claim your reward, so it’s really only worth doing if you were going to buy them anyway.
Watch Videos / Swagbucks Watch / Swagbucks nCrave
You might get a kick out of this if you like watching videos online and discovering new content.
From the official site:
Swagbucks has a section of its website and a number of mobile apps that are dedicated to rewarding users for watching video playlists and reviewing the content of various websites.
If you’re committed, you can consistently make about $5 per day watching videos on Swagbucks. There’s a range of interesting video categories. They include Entertainment, Food, Home & Garden, Health, Tech and Travel.
Nested inside this section of the website you’ll also find Swagbucks nCrave, described as:
nCrave is your place to discover amazing videos, articles and websites on the Internet and earn SB at the same time.
Just click on the link and you have the opportunity to discover new videos and articles that are trending across the Internet. Choose one of the options in the list or just start from the top and work your way through the list.
Get cashback for shopping online
As with #2 above, this is only worthwhile if you’re going to buy something online anyway.
Otherwise, you’re spending a lot to earn a little, which is a sure-fire way to end up broke.
So please be careful here.
Here’s how Swagbucks describes this option:
Whenever you plan to make an online purchase, find the store at which you intend to shop within the Swagbucks Store Directory. Then, simply click through from the store’s page on Swagbucks.
You will then earn a certain cashback amount for any purchase made at that store’s website.
Two other things to note here:
- The first time you make a purchase through the Swagbucks cashback portal, you’ll receive a $10 “new shopper bonus.” That’s essentially free money if you’re planning to buy something online anyway.
- Swagbucks offers a free browser extension that alerts you about available coupons and cashback amounts when you shop online, so you don’t have to remember to go through the Swagbucks portal and can maximise your cashback earnings.
Get cashback for dining out (Swagbucks Local)
Another one where you must first spend to earn, but there really doesn’t seem to be any downside to this one if you eat out regularly.
As per the Swagbucks website:
The best way to save money, and essentially make money, when you dine out is to use a service like SB Local. With it, you’ll effortlessly receive cashback when you dine out or shop at any of the 1,000s of participating restaurants and retailers nationwide. And, you won’t have to show a coupon or do anything other than pay with the credit card you link to the Swagbucks Local program.
Note that you can also get a 500 SB bonus ($5) when you use SB Local for the first time.
Swagbucks daily poll
Swagbucks posts a new poll every day for users to answer.
You will earn only 1 SB ($0.01) for answering each poll, which means that answering the Swagbucks daily poll every day for a year would earn you only $3.65.
Given that, it’s not really worth the time.
How much does Swagbucks pay?
As noted above, there are a variety of ways to earn money with Swagbucks, but let’s first focus on what’s generally considered to be the most lucrative: answering surveys.
Your earning potential on any survey site comes down to two primary factors:
- How much you can earn per hour, on average.
- How many surveys are available for you to answer each day.
If you can earn a high amount per hour and there are endless surveys available, you can earn a lot of money.
On Swagbucks, as with most survey sites, those two factors can vary greatly depending on demographics.
The official line from Swagbucks:
When users complete a survey, Swagbucks pays its users between $0.05 and $2.50 (and sometimes as much as $25 – $35).
Based on our research, “sometimes as much as $25 – $35” is incredibly rare.
Instead, the average person seems to earn only $1 per hour answering surveys on Swagbucks.
That’s on the low end for survey sites. (See which survey site is best here.)
On the plus side, there are pretty much endless surveys available on Swagbucks.
Which is how one user managed to earn more than 1000 SB ($10) in a single day.
Of course, there are many ways to earn more money per hour working online, but the reason many people like using Swagbucks for this purpose seems to be because answering surveys is easy and doesn’t require your full attention.
However, the same is true of Survey Junkie, and your earnings per hour there will be more than 2x what you’re likely to earn on Swagbucks.
How much can you earn watching videos on Swagbucks?
Sammy here is representative of a typical person watching videos on Swagbucks…
- Watching videos on Swagbucks
- $1 – $5 per day
You can watch videos via the nCrave section of the website, or via the nCrave mobile app.
The Swagbucks website claims that you can earn about $5 per day watching videos on the site or app:
Earnings reports from Swagbucks/nCrave users on Reddit would seem to confirm that $5 per day is the upper limit…
🔥 Hot tip: I haven’t seen any rule saying that you can’t watch Swagbucks videos at a faster speed, which is exactly what a free Chrome plugin called Video Speed Controller allows you to do.
You might be able to increase your earnings that way.
How does Swagbucks pay?
If Swagbucks excels at anything, it’s their payout options.
While you must earn at least 2,500 SB ($25) before you can cash out with PayPal, you can redeem as little as 200 SB ($2) for cell phone data and as little as 300 SB ($3) for popular gift cards.
If you want to be able to spend your hard-earned SB on anything you please, your best option is to choose a Visa reward card.
Swagbucks Sign Up Code
If you click through to the Swagbucks sign-up page – use this link for a $10 bonus offer – you’ll see that there is an option there to enter a sign up code.
Click on “I have a sign up code” and try entering REDDIT to get an extra 70 SB.
Swagbucks Swag Code
You might have found this Swagbucks review by searching online for one of the following:
- Swagbucks codes
- Swagbucks coupons
- Swagbucks swag code
- Swagbucks code
Swagbucks Codes or Swag Codes are simple text strings which can be redeemed to boost your earnings.
They usually look something like this (these are not valid Swag Codes):
Where can you find real Swag Codes?
- Random pages on the Swagbucks website
- The Swagbucks newsletter
- The Swagbucks Facebook page
- @swagbucks on Twitter
Note that Swag Codes are usually only available for a limited time, so you should use them fast.
Swag Codes can be redeemed on the Swagbucks homepage or your account page.
How much are Swag Codes worth?
The vast majority of Swag Codes we’ve seen are worth only 1-5 SB ($0.01 – $0.05), so we don’t recommend spending much time looking for them.
If you really want to make money on Swagbucks, your time would be better spent answering surveys.
Swagbucks sign up
Joining Swagbucks is easy.
But remember, you can only join if you live in a few select countries.
If your country appears in that list, you’re good to go.
To sign up for Swagbucks, follow these steps.
- Use this link for a $10 bonus offer on the Swagbucks sign-up page.
- Sign up using your email address or with Facebook.
- If you sign up via email, you will have to verify your address by clicking a link Swagbucks will email you.
To log into Swagbucks, go to the Swagbucks homepage and click the Log In button at the top right of the screen.
You should then land on a page like this where you can log in:
Swagbucks Hacks (i.e. how to earn Swagbucks fast)
Try the following tips to maximise your earnings on Swagbucks.
Watch videos while doing something else
One of the ways to earn money on Swagbucks is to watch the available videos.
A common hack is to let those videos play in the background while you’re doing something else.
Note however that this kind of behavior may be against the Swagbucks terms and conditions. They have written that users should not “play videos, open articles or access content that awards SB without actively engaging with that content.”
So use this tip at your own risk.
Watch videos faster
We haven’t seen any rule saying that you can’t watch the videos at a faster speed, which is exactly what a free Chrome plugin called Video Speed Controller allows you to do.
Earn on the go
Swagbucks offers several mobile apps which allow you to earn money from your smartphone.
Be selective with the surveys
If you answer every available survey on Swagbucks, you’ll only earn about $1 per hour.
Be selective and you can earn much more.
For example, in the list of surveys shown below, the third pays out $3 for an estimated 10 minutes.
Granted, you won’t always qualify for such high-paying surveys, but if your goal is to maximize your earnings, then you should be trying these first and foremost.
Speed up repetitive data entry
Many of the surveys start out asking you the same basic questions, such as age, sex, address, race, income, etc.
That said, be careful not to go too fast through each survey, as this appears spammy to Swagbucks and may result in your account being blocked. Slow down and carefully consider your response to each novel question, and make sure to answer everything as honestly as possible.
Set a target hourly rate and test for 2 hours
Maybe you feel Swagbucks is only worth your time if you can earn $3 or more per hour on there, answering surveys while watching Netflix.
If so, line up your favorite show, set a timer for two hours, and see if you can hit your target.
This simple test will give you a strong sense of how much you can earn long-term using Swagbucks. If you can’t hit your target rate in those first two hours, it’s unlikely you ever will.
But hey, at least you won’t have spent much time figuring it out!
There isn’t just one Swagbucks app.
No, there are a whole fleet of them.
Pretty much all those apps reward you for doing something or other, such as answering surveys, watching videos, shopping, etc.
The best rated Swagbucks app is Swagbucks LIVE. It’s a trivia app which awards prizes in the form of SB.
The official description:
Swag IQ is now Swagbucks LIVE – the interactive livestream app where you can win $1000s every week. Download now to enjoy daily 10-question IQ trivia games with $1000s at stake plus bonus SB for everyone!
Judging by the reviews we read, nobody actually wins more than a couple of dollars at a time using the app. And that’s if they’re lucky.
So again, as with everything on Swagbucks, don’t expect to earn a lot of money here.
Swagbucks affiliate program
This is how some folks earn BIG money with Swagbucks.
We’ve read of people earning $10,000 or more per month as affiliates for survey sites, and Swagbucks has one of the best affiliate programs in the business.
Essential info for Swagbucks affiliates
- You must sign up for the Swagbucks affiliate program via Awin.
- Swagbucks only accepts traffic from the Australia, Canada, Ireland, the USA and UK. Anyone who clicks on your affiliate link from another country will land on the Swagbucks homepage, but won’t be able to sign up for an account.
- The payout is $2.20 “per email verification of new user registrations.”
That second point really separates Swagbucks from the pack.
Most affiliate programs only pay you once a sale is made, but Swagbucks pays you just for sending them new users who sign up for a free account.
That’s not to say it’s easy to earn money as a Swagbucks affiliate. Becoming a successful affiliate marketer usually requires quite a bit of work up front.
Swagbucks referral program
Yes, the Swagbucks referral program is different from the Swagbucks affiliate program.
The referral program is for users of Swagbucks to invite their friends.
When you sign up to Swagbucks, you receive a special referral link. Share this link with your friends, they sign up using it, and then Swagbucks awards you 10% of whatever they earn, indefinitely.
You Earn 10% of Whatever They Earn. Whenever They Earn it.
So if your friend Jane earns 700 SB in a single day, we will give you 70 SB in return. The more your referrals earn, the more you earn.
Is Swagbucks worth it?
- YES if you’re looking for a survey site with lots of rewards options.
- YES if you’re looking for a survey site with loads of mobile apps so you can earn a bit of money on the go.
Sites Like Swagbucks
🏆 Best Survey Sites 🏆
We’re on a mission to review all the best survey sites.
Here’s our progress so far…
|1. PrizeRebel|| 3.9/5||PrizeRebel review|
|2. Survey Junkie|| 3.6/5||Survey Junkie review|
|3. QuickThoughts|| 3.1/5||QuickThoughts review|
|4. Vindale Research|| 3/5||Vindale Research review|
|5. OneOpinion|| 2.9/5||OneOpinion review|
|6. Swagbucks|| 2.5/5||Swagbucks review|
|7. MyPoints|| 2.3/5||MyPoints review|
|8. PaidViewpoint|| 2/5||PaidViewpoint review|
|9. Pinecone Research|| 2/5||Pinecone Research review|
|10. Qmee|| 2/5||Qmee review|
|11. Tellwut|| 1.9/5||Tellwut review|
|12. Opinion Outpost|| 1.8/5||Opinion Outpost review|
|13. InboxDollars|| 1.5/5||InboxDollars review|
|14. NeoBux|| 0.5/5||NeoBux review|
|Full list of best survey sites »|
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Other ways to make money online
There are many other ways to make money online, to work from home or anywhere in the world.