Swagbucks App Review 2021: What is Swagbucks and How Does it Work?

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If you’re interested in earning extra cash, you’ve probably considered taking surveys online.

Taking surveys is a simple and effective way to pad your budget, and one site you can use to do that is Swagbucks.

Swagbucks is one of the more well-known survey-taking platforms and has been around for ten years.

But you should consider if it’s worth your time before you download the app and start using the platform.

There’s also more to Swagbucks than just taking surveys for extra cash.

What Is Swagbucks?

Swagbucks is a platform that allows users to complete surveys and perform other tasks to earn their branded virtual currency, called SBs. You can exchange SBs for gift cards and cash.

It’s a subsidiary brand of the media company Prodege, LLC along with three similar sites: MyPoints, ShopAtHome, and InboxDollars.

Since its start in 2010, Swagbucks has gained over 20 million users and paid out over $400 million in cash and free gift cards to millions of users. Swagbucks’ reputation is well known in the online sphere and appeared in publications such as Reader’s Digest, Cosmopolitan, and U.S. News & World Report.


  • Variety of ways to earn SBs
  • Low cash-out threshold
  • Easy to use
  • Multiple ways to access the platform (browser extension, website, app)


  • Payouts and SBs earnings are small for the amount of work required
  • Won’t always qualify for surveys
  • Long wait time to get paid

Is Swagbucks Legit?

Swagbucks is a legitimate company that pays its users real money. It boasts a 4-star rating on Trustpilot with more than 13,000 reviews and has an 8.3 TrustScore of 10.

Swagbucks’ parent company, Prodege, LLC, currently holds a B+ rating with the BBB. There are a few hundred complaints on Prodege’s profile, but there are zero unanswered or unresolved complaints.

How Does Swagbucks Work?

The Swagbucks rewards program is pretty straightforward.

First, you sign up for a free Swagbucks account. Once you’re a member, you earn rewards points, known as SBs, when you take surveys, play games, watch videos, use Swagbucks’ search engine, and shop online.

Cash out your Swagbucks for PayPal cash or gift cards to Amazon, Starbucks, Target, or dozens of other retailers. You’ll need at least 300 Swagbucks to redeem the lowest reward available, a $3 Amazon gift card.

The Swagbucks App

You can download Swagbucks Mobile on any Android or Apple device. The app is intuitive and lets you watch videos, shop, and answer surveys on your phone.

Swagbucks offers other apps, such as Swagbucks Live, which let you earn points for answering trivia questions correctly, and MovieClips where you can watch the latest movie trailers for additional SB.

The SwagButton

The SwagButton is an extension you can add to your Google Chrome browser. Whenever you shop online, it will search the Swagbucks database for coupons, codes, and cash-back opportunities at your chosen retailer.

By using this extension, you don’t have to shop through the Swagbucks website to take advantage of its deals. You can shop as you normally would and let the SwagButton alert you to available offers.

8 Ways to Earn Swagbucks Rewards

Swagbucks users can earn rewards in seven different ways. You can use only one method or pick several. It all depends on what you like to do and where you see the most value.

1. Take Swagbucks surveys

One of the more popular ways to make money with Swagbucks is through paid online surveys.

Major brands rely on companies like Swagbucks to get feedback from consumers. When you take a survey, those companies pay Swagbucks for your answers, and Swagbucks passes on some of their earnings to you.

When you first sign up for Swagbucks, you’ll fill out demographic information such as your age, income, and interests which Swagbucks uses to match you with surveys that are a good fit.

You’ll still need to answer pre-qualification questions to take the survey, and there’s a chance you’ll be disqualified. If that happens, you may end up with a small reward or no points at all.

Each day, you can find survey options in your account. The more accurate and complete your profile, the better your survey matches will be, which should mean less time answering pre-survey questions just to be disqualified.

Swagbucks offers three main survey options:

  • Everyday surveys
  • Daily survey
  • Daily poll

The daily survey and poll renew each day. Daily polls are 1 question worth 1 SB. Other survey payouts range from 1 SB to 300 or more depending on the time required and value of the survey.

Swagbucks Surveys

Occasionally, you may get the opportunity to earn as much as $50 for a single study. The higher the payout, the more time it will take to complete. Swagbucks’ website says users can expect to earn 40 to 100 SBs for the typical survey.

2. Watch videos

Swagbucks Watch isn’t the most lucrative way to make money, but if you find yourself consuming a lot of video content already, it could be a good way to earn rewards for something you already do.

You can choose from over 10 categories, including entertainment, fashion, health, food, and travel. When you click on a category, you’ll find a playlist of videos, and you’ll see how many SB that playlist is worth. Playlists are typically 15 or 30 videos and range from less than 30 minutes to more than an hour’s worth of content.

Swagbucks Videos

Most playlists are worth 1 or 2 SB. If you have multiple tabs open and click away from Swagbucks, the video will pause until you come back. However, you can get paid to watch the videos on a split screen, which gives you the ability to earn points with Swagbucks Watch while working on other things.

3. Get cash back

Swagbucks shopping works like Rakuten, formerly known as Ebates. When you shop through one of their links, Swagbucks receives a small commission. They pass on part of that commission to you as cash back.

For example, a 5% cash-back deal on Amazon means you’ll get 5 SB for every $1 you spend when you purchase something through a Swagbucks link.

Related: How Does Rakuten Work and Can the App Really Save You up to 40%?

Swagbucks Shopping

The Swagbucks shopping page also offers coupons for local and online retailers. When you find a deal you like, just click the link that directs you to the company’s site where you can complete your shopping trip.

Sometimes Swagbucks offers multiplier deals for specific retailers. So if a store normally offers 1% cash back, but has a 10x deal, you’ll receive 10% cash back, or 10 SB, for every $1 you spend. There are no codes necessary for the multiplier deal.

It can take 30 days or more for your Swagbucks points to show up in your account depending on the retailer.

Related: 12 Cash-Back Apps to Save Money on Everyday Purchases

4. Use the Swagbucks search engine

This tool rewards users for searching the web with the Swagbucks search feature. You can even install the Swagbucks Search Chrome extension to make the site your default search engine.

Swagbucks Search

The platform rewards points randomly. It’s unclear how many SB each search is worth, but the more you use Swagbucks Search, the more points you’ll earn.

5. Play games

Swagbucks offers a handful of free games that you can play for points. You’ll need to turn off any ad-blocking software and make sure you have the latest version of Adobe Flash Player installed.

Swagbucks Games

Swagbucks also offers a number of popular games including Bejeweled, Solitaire, Bingo, Angry Birds Champions, and Slots. For these games, you can earn points for each dollar you spend on in-app purchases.

If you already like or spend money on computer games, then this could be a good way to earn cash back on your hobby.

Related: 20 Real Money Earning Games and Other Ways to Get Paid to Play Games

6. Discover deals

With Swagbucks Discover, you can earn SB by signing up for product trials, donating to charities, downloading mobile apps, and more.

Not all offers are that high-value, but you can sort and filter to find the ones that make the most sense for your situation. If you want to earn points without spending money, you’re probably better off browsing the free offers section.

Swagbucks Discover

If you’re interested in exploring new brands and earning the highest rewards, you’ll want to check out the featured deals and sign-ups listings.

Not all of the offers are still valid, so you might have to search to find one that hasn’t expired.

Related: Branded Surveys Review: An Easy Way to Make Extra Money

7. Buy gift cards

This is one of the easiest and most straightforward ways to earn with Swagbucks. When you click a link to buy gift cards on Swagbucks, you’ll be redirected to MyGiftCardsPlus.com, a Swagbucks-run site.

From there, you can buy gift cards from dozens of retailers and earn up to 10% back in SB. Once you make a purchase, your points will be added to your Swagbucks account within one to two business days.

SB Buy Gift Cards

Buying gift cards can be a great way to earn cash back on purchases you were going to make anyway. For example, if you already know you’re going to buy something from Bed Bath & Beyond, you can purchase a gift card from Swagbucks beforehand.

Now you’ve earned points on the purchase of your gift card, and you can earn even more points when you check out online.

8. Refer friends

If you enjoy using Swagbucks, you might want to encourage your friends and family to use it as well. You can make extra money by sending them your referral code. When they sign up and start using the site, you can make 10% in SBs on whatever they earn in a day.

For example, if your coworker registers using your referral link and earns 1000 SBs in a day, you’ll get 100 credited to your account. It’s one of the simpler, more passive ways to collect SBs.

Swagbucks FAQs

Using Swagbucks is fairly simple, but the site’s offerings can seem complicated if you’re a new member.

How does Swagbucks make money?

Swagbucks makes money from companies and brands who pay them to advertise on the site and ask users to perform tasks on their behalf, like taking surveys and watching videos.

How often can I take surveys?

You can take surveys every day as long as you qualify for the ones offered.

How much money can I make with Swagbucks?

The amount you earn depends on the number of tasks you perform. It also depends on the value of those tasks. However, most of the tasks are not high-value, and it can take you a long time to earn the minimum amount to cash out (300 SB).

How long does it take to get paid?

It can take anywhere between 10 to 14 days to receive payment or gift cards.

Related: 40 Creative Ways to Make Money Fast

Alternatives to Swagbucks

Swagbucks isn’t the only survey-taking site on the market. You can also use Swagbucks and do surveys on other sites.

InboxDollars. InboxDollars works like Swagbucks in that users complete surveys, watch ads, and redeem cash-back offers. Like Swagbucks, you need to qualify for surveys before you can take them. Unlike Swagbucks, they won’t send you them automatically. You’ll have to login or visit the website to complete questionnaires each day. It’s available as a website or an app.

Branded Surveys. Unlike Swagbucks that offers multiple ways to earn, this site focuses solely on surveys, polls, and survey challenges. However, their Branded Elite program gives you the opportunity to increase your earnings for completing multiple consecutive surveys. As you earn more, you’ll be entered for the chance to win additional points. At 1,000 points, you can cash out via direct deposit or PayPal or exchange your earnings for gift cards to your favorite retailers. Get a 100-point bonus for creating your account.

Survey Junkie. Survey Junkie is another site that pays users to take surveys. Like Swagbucks, users can download an app, web browser, and register for email notifications about survey opportunities. However, unlike Swagbucks, users can only earn money through surveys, focus groups, and testing products. There are no shopping portals or search engines, and users must redeem their rewards in increments of $5.

Ibotta. Ibotta is a rebate app that lets users redeem cash-back offers at grocery stores, drug stores, and other retailers. Sometimes you’ll have to watch an ad or take a short survey before being able to add the offer for redemption, but there’s less work involved with Ibotta than Swagbucks. However, the options are more limited, and you must select the offers in advance.

Related: 15 Places That Offer Paid Research Studies

Swagbucks Review Summary

The best way to use Swagbucks is to look for ways to fit it into your daily life. If you frequently shop online, then installing the SwagButton on your computer could help you cash in on easy rewards.

If you spend evenings watching Netflix while scrolling through Facebook, consider downloading the Swagbucks app and answering survey questions during that time.

Swagbucks isn’t a get-rich-quick scheme. If you’re interested in earning cash back for things you already do, Swagbucks can be a great tool for the part. However, if it’s a high-earning side hustle you’re searching for, you should consider other work-from-home jobs.

$10Sign-Up BonusTerms and conditions apply.
DollarSprout RatingEasy rewards for things you already do.

Swagbucks is an online rewards platform that offers up to 20% cash back when users complete surveys, shop online, purchase gift cards, watch videos, sign up for free offers, and more. Points can be redeemed for gift cards and PayPal cash, with a minimum payout of $3.

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  • Free to create an account
  • $10 sign-up bonus available
  • Wide variety of ways to earn points
  • Clean website and mobile app with easy-to-use interface
  • Relatively passive money without making any drastic changes


  • Earning points can be a slow process
  • No one knows exactly how search points work
  • Some of the best cash-back opportunities require you to spend money

Megan Robinson

Hi! I'm Megan. I'm a personal finance enthusiast on a mission to help millennial men and women understand and make more money. Along with writing and editing content, I work one-on-one with individuals as a financial and behavioral money coach.

Destiny Barrios
Destiny Barrios

Will this help me pay half my rent?

Jeff Proctor

Definitely not. But it can probably pay for a few meals or a tank of gas each month! If you are looking for something with a little more earning potential, I’d check out Uber or Instacart if it’s in your area.

Rachael C
Rachael C

I signed up for this app and never received my $10 sign up bonus. Pretty disappointing!

Ben Huber

Hey Rachel!

Sorry to hear that. Have you taken a peek at the requirements to unlock the $10 sign up bonus? It looks like they’re currently requiring 300 earned Swagbucks to unlock the bonus so just wanted to check to see if you knew that because that’s a common issue we see!

Jeanette Mccay
Jeanette Mccay

I have cashed out to PayPal with Swagbucks and it seems okay for the most part. Just have to wait 3-10 days to get your PayPal money but usually, it’s pretty quick.


Is Swagbucks strictly for US citizens or can people from other countries apply (for example, from Balkan countries)?

Ben Huber

It doesn’t look like Swagbucks is currently available in any Balkan countries just yet, but it does look like they’re moving in your direction (currently available in several western European countries).

Here’s the full list of countries Swagbucks is available in.

Robin Daughrity
Robin Daughrity

I did a few surveys and made a few purchases like I normally would. In a few days I had enough SB to buy a $25 Amazon card. It took maybe 4 to 5 days for it to be sent to my email. Not bad for a couple of hours doing what I normally do plus a few surveys.

Ben Huber

That is exactly the way to do it! It’s one of those things where you’re probably not going to get rich, but a $25 gift card for doing what you were going to do anyways is pretty hard to beat.

William Gipson
William Gipson

Swagbucks is one the best apps I have used to earn some extra money. So far I have earned $150.00 with Swagbucks (in $50.00 increments and on my way to earn another $50.00). The site is legit but you definitely have to grind for it. I will rate Swagbucks 4.5 out of 5 stars!

Ben Huber

Our thoughts exactly — thanks for the feedback Will!

Valentin Tudor
Valentin Tudor

I’ve been a member since December 2016 (almost 3 and a half years now) – in Canada. During this time, I earned 80499 SB; I usually get $100 Amazon gift cards – the best way is to get them in $100 increments. As Canadian, I have fewer opportunities than a US resident, however, I can get a $100 Amazon gift card for 7000 SB, so I could say that I made $1,100 in Amazon gift cards in 3 and a half years. Videos have really gotten awful lately, so I’m not putting as much effort as I used to, but still, it’s “free” money if you have the time to work on it. They also have daily bonuses, and at the end of the month, you might also get some extra SB’s, depending on how you did during the month – for last month (March 2020) I got 232 SB’s. As everybody else has said above, you have to work at it…

Adam Smith
Adam Smith

A word of caution on the free (vs. paid) product trials. All of them require you to stay in for at least 1-2 days past the trial end date (triggering a credit card charge). So if it’s a seven-day trial, you have to stay in for eight. If it’s a month-long trial period you have to stay in for thirty-two days, etc. Either way, you’re going to have to pay a fee to that company to get the credit. Ultimately, it becomes a paid trial in order to get the SB credits, anyways.

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