Thursday, January 26, 2012


As I mentioned earlier this week, I made about $180 worth of cash and gift cards in the past three months (much of which I used to stock up for the baby) through rewards and survey sites.  Of that, the majority was from rewards sites.

Swagbucks is the rewards site from which I have earned the most rewards so far, however, it is also the site I’ve belonged to the longest and understand the best.  There also are a vast array of ways to earn Swagbucks compared to other reward sites I belong to, so I think it is also the site that works for the most people.  Since there are many different ways to earn, each individual can find a way to earn points that works with their lifestyle and time commitment.

How it works:  Once you join the site, there are a variety of ways you can earn Swagbucks.  Swagbucks are a form of currency that you can redeem for rewards. 

Rewards:  Although Swagbucks can be redeemed for a variety of rewards, I highly recommend that you redeem yours for Amazon gift cards.  For 450 Swagbucks, you get a $5 Amazon gift card.  Sometimes other gift cards are offered for less Swagbucks, however, read the fine print closely because most of these cannot be combined with other gift cards or discounts.  Amazon gift cards can be combined (meaning that I was able to save up my $5 gift cards to buy my dad a $50 tripod for Christmas).  Another benefit of Amazon gift cards is their high value relative to their “price” in Swagbucks.  For example, there are several board games offered for around 2400 Swagbucks but you can redeem those same Swagbucks for $25 in Amazon gift cards (and then buy the exact same board games for around $15, with $10 to spare).  Your Amazon gift card will be emailed to you about a week after redemption.

How to earn Swagbucks:  As stated above there are many ways to earn Swagbucks and once you use it regularly you’ll figure out which methods work best for you and which ones aren’t worth your time.  Keep in mind that each Swagbuck (if you are redeeming for Amazon gift cards) is worth a little more than 1¢ and use your time accordingly.

1. Search.  The top way that I earn Swagbucks is through using the Swagbucks search engine for my normal daily web searches instead of a regular search engine.  Swagbucks aren’t earned per search, however, you will randomly “win” Swagbucks while searching.  I’ve earned between 7 and 28 Swagbucks at one time.  If you do 5-10 searches every day, you probably would win at least once, and the more you search, the more you’ll win.  There is a search box on the homepage, but I strongly suggest that you download the Swagbucks toolbar so the search is more accessible.   (On Fridays, there are supposedly more chances to win through searching.)

2. Daily Poll and NOSO.  These are sure ways to earn Swagbucks each day.  By answering the daily poll, you get 1 Swagbuck.  By clicking through the No Obligation Special Offers (NOSO) - you don’t have to sign up for any of them, simply click “See Next Offer” or “Skip” until you get to the end and fill in the Captcha - you receive 2 Swagbucks.  I know, that doesn’t sound like a lot, but those little points add up and they only take seconds to do.  These are available on the “Earn” dropdown menu on the home page. 

3.  Swag Codes.  There is usually at least one Swag Code released every day.  If you find the code on the Swagbucks blog, facebook, twitter, etc., and put it in the “Enter your Swag Code” box on right side of the homepage it’s usually worth 5 to 10 Swagbucks (sometimes more).  These are sometimes difficult to get because they are available at different times everyday and expire after only a few hours, but if you get them, they are worth it.  And every once in a while, Swagbucks announces that they are having a code extravaganza and will have several codes throughout the day.

4.  Swagbucks TV.  For every 10 videos you watch on Swagbucks TV, you get 3 Swagbucks.  This is how I earn many of my Swagbucks.  While I’m doing other things on the internet, I’ll click on the videos and listen to them (although not necessarily watch).  Most of the videos are short (often a minute or less), and I usually watch the news clips or catch up on my celebrity gossip, but they also have cooking videos, fashion advice, home improvement how-tos, etc.

5.  Check your email and Swagbucks inbox.  I get Swagbucks newsletters every once in a while (thankfully these are the only emails I get from Swagbucks!) and they have some great advice on how to earn Swagbucks and any special events they are running that can help you earn points.  There is a Swagbucks inbox (you can see whether you have mail on the top bar of the Swagbucks homepage) where you will receive other information and offers to earn more Swagbucks.

6.  Special Offers.  There are many “special offers” that you can complete to earn Swagbucks.  I will warn you though, some of these require you to buy something, fill out personal information, etc. so be careful about what you complete.  I don’t earn a whole lot through special offers, but I do check them out often, because sometimes they are as easy as downloading a Facebook app, watching a short video or ad, or signing up for a mailing list (I have a separate email for these so I don’t clutter mine up). 

7.  Ad Rewards.  If you click on “Special Offers” in the “Earn” dropdown menu on the homepage, you’ll see a menu bar with many types of special offers - click on “Ad Rewards”.  Although I warn you to be cautious about the other Special Offers, I definitely suggest Ad Rewards.   You’ll watch commercials and get Swagbucks for them.  Pretty quick and easy.

8.  Shop.  If you are going to buy something online, check to see if you can buy it through the Swagbucks site.  If the store you are planning to buy from is one of those listed on Swagbucks (and there are hundreds of the most popular stores, so you've got a good shot that they are), you’ll get 2 Swagbucks per dollar spent if you get to the site by clicking through Swagbucks "Shop and Earn".  Sometimes there will be special rates, and you will earn even more at certain stores (that’s one of the reasons you should check your Swagbucks mailbucks, you’ll be notified about these special rates).

9.  Daily Deals.  If you are going to buy something through a daily deal site, you can get to those sites through Swagbucks too and earn Swagbucks while getting your amazing deal.  Groupon deals aren't often listed on Swagbucks "Daily Deal" page, but you can still earn Swagbucks by searching for Groupon on the "Shop and Earn" (see above) and entering the site that way.

10.  Surveys.  You can take surveys to earn Swagbucks.  However, often you can take these same surveys through survey sites and make more money that way (post on my favorite survey sites to come).  However, if you don’t want to mess with signing up for other survey sites, you have a lot of extra time, etc., you can make many Swagbucks this way.  Do be prepared though, sometimes you’ll spend 5 minutes answering questions only to be told that you didn’t qualify and therefore you didn’t earn anything for your time.   

11. Coupons.  You can print online grocery coupons through Swagbucks and you will receive 10 Swagbucks for each coupon you use.  This one is definitely win-win, you save with coupons in store and are earning toward free gift cards!  It takes several weeks or months for you to receive those Swagbucks, but it is really nice when you notice that your Swagbucks jumped and you realize it was due to a coupon you used!

There are many other ways to earn as well, these are just the ways that I use regularly and that I have found work for me.  If you join or already belong to Swagbucks and want to earn more, I suggest you try out different methods to earn, as well as search the internet for other suggestions from other Swagbucks users. My goal every day is to earn 50 Swagbucks through a combination of these methods, which would mean that I’d earn a $5 Amazon gift card every 9 days.  Usually I exceed my goal.  Good luck!

If you plan to join Swagbucks, please consider doing so through one of the affiliate links in this post.  Thank you!


  1. Thanks for writing about this Mandi! I've been wanting to learn more about I have no excuse :)

  2. This is helpful- especially the break down of what you feel is worth it or not. I recently joined but it's sort of slow going since I can only do it before/after work and often times that time is eaten up by other things. I'm going to try to spend a bit more time on the weekends getting swagbucks because I use Amazon a LOT!

  3. This is a great post! I've had Swagbucks for several months and haven't really ever done much of anything with it other than use the search engine. Blogs would post the "secret codes" but half the time I couldn't figure them out (i'm not a very good puzzle solver). I've recently learned about Swagbucks TV and have been successful with that.

    I didn't know about the daily polls I will be checking those out. I know I want to get Netflix back again and will be joining through swagbucks to get some points :) will have to remember when I buy stuff online to check.

  4. I love swagbucks! It really is so easy to collect points :) I did a Random 11 and would love for you to join in on the fun. Here is the link :


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