Swagbucks Review: If you use Rakuten, you should be using Swagbucks as well. They have many similarities, but Swagbucks offers even more ways to earn cash. Not using Rakuten yet? Check out our Rakuten review.
Now you may be thinking, do I really need another cash back app? Is Swagbucks worth the time and can you earn real money from Swagbucks? Also, is it safe to use Swagbucks? Those are valid questions, especially for cash back apps you use to make purchases.
In this review I will cover the answers to these questions, and show you why I have chosen to add Swagbucks to my limited list of cash back applications I use.
Signing up for Swagbucks
Swagbucks is free to join with an email address or Facebook. The app is available on Google Play and the App Store. There is also an extensive website if you prefer to earn your cash back from a computer.
You’ll earn a $10 bonus by spending $25 at one of the stores featured in the ‘Shop’ section within 30 days. This is easy to do with so many stores to choose from. Be sure to activate the $10 bonus in the Swag Ups section under My Account.
How it Works
Like Rakuten, you can earn cash back for your online and in-store purchases. You earn this cash back in the form of Swag Bucks (SB), which can be redeemed for gift cards or cash through PayPal. 100 SB equals $1 and you can cash out with as little as 300 SB for a $3 gift card. Popular options include Amazon, Walmart, or a Visa Reward Card.
Swagbucks also offers a discount on your first gift card every month. Discounted gift cards will be noted with a SALE tag as shown below.
Swagbucks in Action
Whenever you make an online purchase, compare offers from Swagbucks and Rakuten. For example, Swagbucks may offer 2% cash back (2 SB per $1) from Best Buy while Rakuten only offers 1%. You can also find Best Buy coupons, and coupons from other retailers for even more savings!
In addition to online shopping, there are many other ways you can earn Swagbucks. Here are all the variety of different methods to earn SB:
- Earn cash back from online shopping
- Answer Surveys
- Watch Videos
- Discover Deals
- Play Games
- Swagbucks Search
While watching videos and taking surveys can earn you modest returns for your time, your earnings can add up quickly with offers from the ‘Discover’ section. These can be as simple as subscribing to emails, or signing up for Hulu. Right now you can earn a quick $20 signing up for 6 months of Sirius for $30 and receiving $50 back in SB. Just remember to cancel any memberships before the next billing cycle. I’ll put a reminder in my calendar for a couple weeks after I sign-up.
Is Swagbucks worth the time?
When I first signed up for Swagbucks in March 2017 I was skeptical. I received my first $5 Amazon gift card quickly but wasn’t sure about continuing to use the site. Fast forward to today and I’ve earned over $500 in cash back, without much effort, from online shopping and offers, along with occasionally completing surveys or watching videos. I now cash out every month for a $25 Amazon gift card, taking advantage of the 12% discount mentioned above. So yes, it is definitely worth the time.
Can Swagbucks be redeemed for cash?
If you are in need of cash, and do not wish to take advantage of the discounted gift cards, Swagbucks has you covered. You can redeem Swagbucks for PayPal $25, $50 and $100 options. So for example if you wish to get $25, you will need to redeem 2,500 SB. Once you have that money in PayPal it's as good as cash. You can transfer the money out of PayPal to your linked bank account, or use it for retailers that accept PayPal.
Maximizing Cash Back With Little Effort
Using Swagbucks every time you shop online only takes an extra minute or two and will earn you anywhere from 1% to a whopping 70% in cash back. All with a couple extra clicks. When I’m relaxing on the couch I’ll pull up the Grocery Coupons in the ‘Shop’ section and print them to a PDF. I rarely actually print out or use these coupons but just saving the PDF earns me up to $1 every day (2 SB per coupon up to 50). Bonuses are offered on a regular basis, earning you even more SB per coupon printed.
Every few days, instead of playing Candy Crush, I’ll browse through the ‘Discover’ section on Swagbucks. I don’t waste time with offers that earn me less than $5. I focus on high cash back offers like Gillette On Demand, where I spent $10 on a razor with 4 cartridges and earned $40 in SB. Not only did I make an easy $30, but I now have extra razor blades. That sure beats finishing a level in Candy Crush.
If you remember to do your online shopping through Swagbuck, and spend a few minutes each day printing coupons and looking through offers, you’ll be surprised how fast your cash back will add up.
Partner Offers – A Word of Caution
Swagbucks works with thousands of partners to offer you cash back. Like with anything you do online, you need to be cautious and do your due diligence. Review any Disclaimers. Many will state, “This offer is presented to you by Swagbucks on behalf of a third-party merchant or sponsor (“Merchant”). Swagbucks does not endorse (and therefore is not responsible to you for) the Merchant's views, policies, products or services.”
When I shop on well known sites like JcPenney or CVS I know I have nothing to worry about. When I’m looking through Swagbucks offers I go with companies I’ve heard of, or make sure to read up on them before clicking on the offer. If I’m not familiar with the company and I see any negative reviews I move on to the next offer.
An Easy Way To Earn Cash Back with SwagButton
Swagbucks has a browser extension called the SwagButton that will alert you when you are on a retailer’s site that offers cash back. It will also show available coupon codes to save you even more! Right now on Groupon I can earn 8% cash back and the Swagbutton shows me a coupon code for an extra 20% off local offers.
Swagbucks currently offers the SwagButton extension for both Chrome and Firefox web browsers. Installing the SwagButton is easy, and you will earn 50 SB just for doing so.
Just click on the Add the SwagButton option and it will walk you through the option to add the extension to your browser. Once you install the SwagButton, earning cash back is easy. Each time you visit a retailer that offers cash back you will get an alert like the one shown below. Just click activate to earn cash back for your purchase.
Is Swagbucks legit and safe to use?
Swagbucks was founded in 2008 by Prodege, LLC. Parent company Prodege, LLC has an A- rating from Better Business Bureau and has been accredited since 2010. As the site states, they have paid their members over $315 million dollars and every day they give out 7,000 free gift cards. As a member, I’ve cashed out for 20 gift cards over the past year and a half with no issues.
Swagbucks Referral Program
Refer your friends. When they earn their first 300 SB, you will both get a $3 bonus. Plus you’ll get 10% of their earnings for life!
Swagbucks Review Final Thoughts
With so many ways to earn money with Swagbucks, it's not hard to understand why it’s so popular with its members. I have generally stuck to using it for earning cash back and completing offers. However, there are occasional bonuses associated with other activities like taking surveys, playing games, and watching videos that make these other activities worthwhile as well.
When doing my online shopping, my go-to apps for cash back are Ebates, Ibotta, and Swagbucks. It's not uncommon for Swagbucks to have offers the others do not, or offer a higher percent cash back for select merchants. By using Swagbucks when it’s the better cash back option, I am able to earn enough each month to cash out for $25 to $50 worth of Amazon gift cards.
OUR VERDICT: It's SAVVY
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