July 5, 2013

on Swagbucks (my personal tips and tricks!)...

Psst! You can read my most current Swagbucks guide right over here!

Okay, here's where I tell you this is the last mention of Swagbucks for a while, so as not to drive you absolutely crazy. Still friends? Okay, just checking.

After mentioning my pure love for Swagbucks last month, I realized I didn't give too much information on how I was so successful, which wasn't exactly fair to those of you who were curious. I ventured onto this website on my own, without anyone really guiding me, and I know something like this could help. I thought I'd break it down into a few steps that I think makes it easier to get started without being ridiculously confused. I ended up earning $50 in Amazon gift cards in one month (without any points I earned from referrals; true story). I didn't expect that at all, and was so pleasantly surprised that I couldn't (and can't) keep it to myself.

So, for those who are interested…here are my tips (and a sign-up code to get an extra 70 Swagbucks when you sign up—weeee!):

1. Surveys
This is the way I make most of my Swagbucks. I've filled out surveys providing feedback on everything from diaper designs to beer brands to restaurant commercials. I actually enjoy the whole survey process (but maybe I'm just weird). To have the best luck with the surveys (and to avoid the dreaded "you don't qualify for this survey even though you just wasted five minutes of your life filling in basic information" thing as much as possible), here is what I recommend:
  • When you log in to your survey dashboard, be sure to fill out all the profiles on the right-hand side. It's kind of monotonous and annoying, but once you fill that out you're more likely to be offered surveys that you will qualify for.
  • When prompted, be sure to sign up to receive targeted surveys via email. It's not spammy at all, and I only receive a couple emails per week (so it's not annoying). And many of the surveys I'm invited to participate in are worth a lot of Swagbucks (150+). I don't qualify for 100% of the emailed surveys, but I'm typically able to complete most of them.
  • Don't bother with surveys with a very low payout (for instance, a survey that offers 50 Swagbucks for a 30 minute survey—not worth your time!). I typically try to fill out surveys once a day, and will only try for the surveys that pay at least 80+ Swagbucks. The ones I always hope for are worth 125+ and take only 20-25 minutes to complete (and usually don't take that long, when all is said and done). I'll usually set a time limit for myself, and if after 10 minutes of trying for surveys I still haven't qualified, I wash my hands of it and move on. Can't win 'em all...
2. Search Bar
This is the simplest way to get Swagbucks every day! By using it, you will periodically earn Swagbucks (which will pop up near the search bar, so you know when you've won). I use this instead of Google (most of the time, because it's not as reliable with the results) and also do a search for websites I'm headed to instead of typing the address in the browser. For example, when I want to go to my email, I'll go to the Swagbucks search bar and type in "Gmail"—the same with Twitter, my favorite blogs, and any other websites I frequent. It may sound like an unnecessary step, but I find that it doesn't really bother me. It's worth it, I say.

3. Special Offers
I very rarely take part in the special offers, and I definitely don't recommend signing up for a credit card just so you can earn the motherlode of Swagbucks. However, it may be worth it to take a peek at the offers once a month or so. I was able to get a nice amount of Swagbucks after signing up for a free Redbox Instant trial (which I was able to cancel without being charged), and I also have taken part in two other offers for things I was going to sign up for anyway—so earning the Swagbucks were an added bonus. All in all, if you're someone who is easily tempted into unnecessary spending, I'd say stay away from the special offers, because they may end up costing more than anything you'd earn with the Swagbucks they pay.

4. Reaching Daily Goals
On the left sidebar of the main page, you'll see your daily goal, and how many extra Swagbucks you can earn if you reach it. There's no way I'm able to spend enough time online to reach the goal every day, but I know last month I reached it more than 50% of the time—which, even then, can earn me an extra 130+ Swagbucks per month for doing absolutely nothing.

I'm still trying to find the best way to quickly reach my daily goals when I'm only 10-or-so bucks away. If you have any tips, feel free to share in the comments!

5. Rewards (the good stuff!)
So far, I've only "cashed in" my Swagbucks for Amazon $5 gift cards. This is because they are the highest value gift cards for the least amount of bucks! (You're limited to only 5 per month, but that doesn't bother me, since I'm planning on hoarding them mostly for Christmas gifts and other things we need throughout the year that are cheap on Amazon.) While most $5 gift cards cost 500 Swagbucks, the Amazon $5 cards cost only 450. If you want to get a $15 Amazon gift card (the next available level) it costs 1500 Swagbucks—so you can see how it makes more sense to just stick with the $5 gift cards, so you can get more for your money, so to speak.

Also, when you order any gift cards, it can take a a week or two for them to be available to use. It took me a while to realize this, but that's just how it works (for the Amazon cards, at least). But they do notify you when they're ready to spend, which is nice. So, just keep in mind that although you can earn them quickly, you may have to wait a bit to actually use them.

If you haven't yet signed up and are eager to give it a whirl, here is my referral link! Someone from Swagbucks contacted me after I mentioned them in my previous post, and I was given a code that you can enter when you're signing up, and you'll get an extra 70 Swagbucks in addition to the 30 you automatically get. That starts you out with 100 Swagbucks right off the bat, which isn't too shabby! Use the code: wishcakeswag (which is good for the entire month of July). ETA: Enter this code on the very first page—the one you sign-up on. It should be right below where you enter your info! Any trouble, let me know.

And again, I'm recommending this to all of you because I've used it for more than a month now and can only sing its praises. For those of you who spend a lot of time online during the week, I think it's an easy way to make some extra money and can be kind of fun, too. Who knew?

If you have any additional questions, leave 'em in the comments! I'll be happy to help.

Further reading: How I Earn Money with Ibotta

Affiliate links included in this post. Yep, yep.


  1. I've used Swagbucks for years now, and while I've gone through ups and downs with my attention to it, I always appreciate the extra cash.

    If anyone is seriously interested in SB, and wants to be efficient with it, I recommend taking a look at this thread at kboards.com (formerly kindleboards.com) where we help each other stay aware of earning opportunities: http://www.kboards.com/index.php/topic,137948.0.html

    (There are rules, though! SB will deactivate your account if you are "gaming the system," so be sure to know what you're allowed to do vs. not.)

    1. Oh oh oh! And I should say: SBTV is a fantastic way to get easy points. (It used to be even easier than it is now but... ah well, the past is gone.) If you are able to "babysit" a computer for a couple hours each day, you can get like 50-100 SBs just from letting videos play in the background. There are separate apps for mobile SBTV points too - and these don't even require babysitting! (Except for the occasional timeout error.)

  2. I haven't been super consistent with SwagBucks (I always seem to forget about it) but I can never qualify for surveys! I honestly don't think I've ever qualified. Maybe I just need to try every day. I get the emails, but I can never do them in a timely fashion. Oh well, I still earn bucks slowly over time.

  3. Thanks for the low-down! I've been curious to try it but never have. Now I know what to expect. I'll use your link to sign-up. :)

    1. Hmmm....I signed up, entered your code and it said it was invalid as it's for new members only -- which I am. Any thoughts, K?

    2. I know I already emailed you about this, but in case anyone else has any trouble:

      Be sure to enter the code on the very first page you register from (should be below where you enter your info). If you've already signed up and forgot to enter the code, contact support ASAP with the info and the code, and they should help you out! :)

  4. I used Swagbucks for awhile and I might start doing the surveys, but Bing offers search rewards and I feel their results are more reliable and more visually appealing. Their point system is different, I think you get 1 point for every 2 searches? And I'm pretty sure there's a daily limit. There's also less options for rewards but Starbucks and Amazon and Redbox are on there. I'm not sure which turns out to be the better deal, but I just like Bing search better.

    1. I didn't even know Bing had search rewards! Thanks for sharing, Katie. :)

  5. I signed up! The code wouldn't work for me either... but hope you get the referral credit!

    1. Erin, I'm so sorry I'm late getting back to you! (Vacation kept me away from everything. Yikes.) If you didn't enter the code on the very first page you sign-up on, then that may be where it got mixed up. I know it's been a while since you signed up, but if you want to contact Swagbucks support and let them know what happened, they may help you out! Let me know if you have any other questions!

  6. I signed up the first tme you blogged it and already have 553 points!

    1. Booyah! :) What are you having most success with? Surveys or search bar or something else? I'm always curious what brings people the most bucks! In any case, I'm glad it's working for you. Hurrah!

  7. You gotta try the mobile apps (there are like 5 different ones!) for earning quick, easy swagbucks! I just recently discovered them and now meeting my daily SB goals is sooooooo much easier!


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