Ah, Swagbucks. The site that some people avidly adore and that others hate with a passion. It’s a site which pays you cold, hard cash for taking surveys, participating in polls, using affiliate tags when shopping, and much much more. If one is attentive, one can easily earn $300-$400 or more a month by this site. I know I have and that a number of my friends have.
What is Swagbucks, and how does it work?
First, let me say that Swagbucks has gone through all sorts of evolutions during its years. It could be that a user who was there in the beginning is grumpy about how things are “different” now. That’s just something that happens on the internet (and heck in life in general). Things change. One needs to stop moping about the past and use the NOW to its best advantage.
Let’s talk about what it offers now, in 2020, and how to make solid money with those systems.
First, the basics. You want to sign up for SwagBucks with someone’s affiliate code. I of course recommend mine :).
When you’ve signed up, you then want to ask all your friends and family to sign up with your link. You get credit for each person who signs up with your link. So always sign up with a referral code and when you recommend Swagbucks to others have them use your code.
Make note of the email address you sign up with. Often, when you do third-party apps for credit you need to use that same email address. This might be a good time to set up a special email address just for this project.
Everything you do in Swagbucks earns you “swagbucks” which are worth a penny each. Sometimes you just get a few pennies and sometimes you get $20 or more for an action. Even those pennies add up. And especially if it involves mindless clicking while you watch TV, it adds up quickly.
Every day you have a simple “to do list”. It includes taking a poll and so on. If you can do that every day you get extra bonuses for the chain so it’s worth doing that.
Most online stores have affiliate programs with Swagbucks. So for example my hard drive is failing and I had to get a new one from BestBuy. I used the Swagbucks link to get to Bestbuy. That gives me 8% cash back from Swagbucks for a purchase I was going to make anyway. If you buy things online, this kind of money adds up quickly.
Deal of the Day / Daily Discover
This is where I currently make most of my money. Swagbucks has all sorts of programs they will pay you cash incentives to try out. Most of these are wholly free. You download a game and get paid $10. Sometimes you download a game and need to reach level 7 (it’s always a fairly easy task, not complicated) to get $20.
Sometimes the offer does involve you putting in some money. For example, I chose one where I paid a $19 donation to the ASPCA and was paid $30. So while I paid in $19 (to a good cause I believe in) I still got paid $11. I consider that a win-win.
Sometimes the deals are things like 50% off on a first order at an online store. Sure, it’s not worth it if you wouldn’t shop at the store. But if you like the things the store has to offer, you get a discount on something you enjoy.
Just this past week I made about $200 just installing different apps on my phone and trying different things out. I can always de-install them later if I want to – the money doesn’t require you to keep them forever. But some of these apps I really like and will keep – which is exactly why companies like Swagbucks do this sort of setup.
If you don’t have a smartphone, I recommend installing BlueStacks or something on your PC to emulate a smartphone. Many of the more lucrative offers involve smartphone apps right now.
For people who grouse about Swagbucks, the Surveys area is usually the key reason they’re grumpy. Surveys used to be quite lucrative. Then a number of Swagbucks started lying on surveys in order to make money without providing honest answers. That made the survey company people upset and lowered the value of the surveys. Companies were using these for actual market research. So now surveys are worth less money and often have longer lists of questions to try to weed out the fakers.
Some people just have to ruin it for everyone.
So that being said, in current times you can make maybe 50 cents to $5 by taking a survey. Because of all the “pre-check” questions, you could spend five minutes answering questions before being told you aren’t suitable for the survey, and you’re only paid a penny for that time. So yes, I understand, that’s frustrating when surveys used to be great. But still, you’re getting paid for sitting at home answering questions. And I found it immensely fun answering questions about “which commercial do you like better” and then to later see one of those commercials on nation-wide TV. I helped with that process.
There’s a fun mobile phone live trivia game every weekday evening – SwagbucksLive – which I adore. It’s just so much fun. And you make money doing it. The questions used to be really hard and you could win $50 or more. Now the questions are easier and you win less because more people are sharing in the prize. That’s bad for the people like me who used to win but it’s nice for people who now at least have a better chance to win sometimes. So it’s a balance.
How You Get Paid by Swagbucks
Swagbucks lets you cash your money out at any time through gift cards. Some are for online stores like Amazon or Dick’s Sporting Goods or Walmart or so on. You can also get a PayPal card or Visa card or other options.
I highly recommend setting up a tracking document to keep track of each card you order. It takes 3-4 days for a card to process. This way you know when each card was ordered, when it became live, and how much is left on it. You don’t want to lose track of your money.
Tips for Making Money on Swagbucks
Here are some key tips for earning the most money on Swagbucks.
- Check in daily. It takes five minutes and those consecutive bonus points adds up quickly.
- Set up a Document to track Apps / purchases. Some of them require you to make it to level 7 in an app or to register something in 30 days. Whether it’s a paper notebook, a Word document, an Excel spreadsheet, keep track of those things. That way you never miss a dime.
- At the start of every month, cash out at least one gift card. You usually get as special discount for one card a month, so make sure you take advantage of that. It’s even extra money. Then look through the cards to see which gets you the best value. Sometimes the cards are 1:1, so you can get $25 PayPal credit for 2500 SB. But sometimes you get a discount like a $25 Visa card for only 2175SB. If you watch for those sales you can increase your earnings by 33% or more. Just as with your app tracking, set up a document to track each gift card you order. That way you don’t lose track of how many you have and for what amounts.
I’ll note there are games in the system like SWAGO which used to be lucrative, which over time have become less so. Again, instead of complaining that “everything changes”, just focus on where the current money can be found. An extra $400/mo for clicking buttons and playing with your smartphone is incredibly useful for many of us.
Ask with any questions – I’m happy to help out!
And please sign up with my referral code – I appreciate it immensely!
Note: I am not an employee of Swagbucks – I am simply a loyal, very happy user of their system. I do get a referral credit when people choose to sign up for Swagbucks with my referral code.