What Is Swagbucks and Is It Worth It?

FT Contributor
The screen of a smartphone displays the Swagbucks app icon.
Reading Time: 4 minutes

If you’re looking for an easy side hustle that you can participate in online from the comfort of your couch, you may have already heard of Swagbucks.

The website was started back in 2008 and has dispensed hundreds of millions of dollars in rewards ever since. In addition, while the number varies, there are somewhere between 10 and 20 million users signed up for the service.

The question that often arises is whether Swagbucks is worth it, and the resoundingly unsatisfying answer is: maybe.

To begin with, the site is certainly legitimate, so you don’t have to be worried about falling for a scam. However, it can be difficult to generate significant amounts of money using Swagbucks’s platform. This doesn’t disqualify it as a way to earn some extra cash, but it does make it difficult to turn Swagbucks into a serious source of income.

How Swagbucks Works

Swagbucks provides a variety of different methods to track your behavior, submit your information, and use your participation to generate cash. As you perform activities, such as filling out surveys or tracking your Google searches, you’re rewarded with Swagbucks that are credited to your account.

Each Swagbuck (SB) is typically equivalent to one penny, making 100 Swagbucks roughly equal to $1. To put this in perspective, if you were to take a survey that lasts roughly five minutes, you might receive fifty Swagbucks (50 cents).

A minimum of 300 Swagbucks or $3 worth of points is required in order to cash out your rewards. However, it’s wise to keep an eye out for reward discounts, as they can enable you to get a higher value reward for fewer Swagbucks.

Redeeming Swagbucks

When it comes time to redeem your Swagbucks, you have multiple choices.

On the one hand, you can cash your SBs in for one of a huge variety of different gift cards. These come from major retailers and restaurants, such as Amazon, Target, Walmart, and Dunkin’ Donuts.

On the other hand, if you want to maintain your purchasing freedom, you can simply get paid in cold, hard electronic cash via PayPal. Once paid, you can transfer that cash to your checking account and spend it however you’d like.


Swagbucks has many different features that allow you to generate SBs including:

  • Swagbucks Search: If you’re comfortable with Swagbucks’s Yahoo-powered search engine, you can cash in your normal search engine activity for some Swagbucks.
  • Answer Surveys: There are countless surveys you can take and, if you qualify, you’ll be rewarded with SBs.
  • Shop Online: You can earn Swagbucks simply by conducting your ordinary shopping.
  • Discover Offers: You can get free gift cards or earn SBs when you sign up for a specific service, try a free sample, or commit to a deal from a host of different well-known brands.
  • Swagbucks LIVE app: This app allows you to participate in surveys throughout the week in an attempt to win cash prizes.
  • Play Games: If you’re a gamer at heart, you can earn some extra cash by playing one of Swagbucks’ many different games.
  • Swagbucks Video: You can also receive a few Swagbucks at a time in return for watching videos that they provide for you.

With so many different options available, it’s possible to integrate Swagbucks into your normal routines and activities without experiencing much of a change in your day-to-day activity.


While Swagbucks has many positive elements, there are a few that are specifically worth calling out:

  • Swagbucks allows you to donate your earnings to charity.
  • Swagbucks provides a great selection of high-quality rewards — if you can earn them.
  • Swagbucks lets you easily capitalize on existing activity so that you can earn extra cash without really trying.
  • Swagbucks is FREE to join.

There’s no doubt that Swagbucks has several solid benefits, whether you’re using the Swagbucks search engine for normal, everyday searches, supporting a charity you like, or choosing a reward that you actually want.


Of course, nothing in life is perfect. Here are a few of the areas where Swagbucks falls short:

  • Swagbucks can lead you to spend excessive time on mind-numbing, low-paying tasks that can feel monotonous and grating, especially if you’re using your free time.
  • Swagbucks will try to pair you with good surveys, but you can be — disqualified based on your information.
  • Swagbucks might, at its best, allow you to reach a minimum wage level of earnings, if you’re lucky, although most reports show users typically making $6 an hour at the most — and at times much less than that — no matter how hard they try.

These cons tend to reinforce the idea that Swagbucks is fun as a source of earning a little spending money if things are tight. However, it can’t be relied on as a dependable, substantial stream of income. If that’s your goal, you might want to look into other side hustles as an alternative.

How to Sign Up for Swagbucks

If you’ve gotten this far and you’re still interested, the next step is to sign up for the Swagbucks platform. You can do this by creating an account either on the Swagbucks app on your smartphone or directly on Swagbucks.com.

Keep an eye out for any signup bonuses you may be offered. It may also be a good idea to reach out to any friends or family you know that may already use the service. If they have a referral code, you may be able to help them earn extra SBs during the signup process.

At the end of the day, signing up is FREE. Give it a shot and see if Swagbucks is right for you.

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