Swagbucks is a platform that has been growing immensely since its inception, thanks to its ability to let users make money with simple tasks in their free time. With its growing popularity, Swagbucks has attracted its fair share of criticism, with some users doubting its legitimacy.
At HUSTLR, we’ve recommended Swagbucks numerous times for those looking for an easy side hustle to make a few bucks. In this article, we want to clear up the air on Swagbucks and discuss its legitimacy in-depth for those of you who have doubts about the platform.
How does Swagbucks work?
Founded in 2008, Swagbucks allows its members to earn Swagbucks, also known as SB that are redeemable for various rewards in exchange for watching ads, playing games, using their search engine, and other options. SB are redeemable for gift cards or can be cashed out using a linked Paypal account.
Swagbucks has a fully-fledged mobile app and a web page, making it easily accessible to just about anyone.
So how does Swagbucks make money when they pay out millions of dollars to their users? The simple answer is that Swagbucks has contracts with large brands that are paying to collect consumer insights and data or display ads through Swagbucks.
Simply put, as the consumer, you are getting paid to watch ads, play games, or participate in surveys. The only difference is that Swagbucks does an excellent job of consolidating all of these options into a single platform, which has been instrumental to its success over the past decade.
Is Swagbucks Safe?
If you’re looking for the short answer, then yes, Swagbucks is absolutely legitimate to use and is most certainly not a scam. They have maintained an A-Rating with the BBB (Better Business Bureau) for 13 years, and have paid over $400 million to their members to date.
On top of that, Swagbucks also boasts an 8.3 out of 10 rating on Trustpilot, a renowned reviews website. Moreover, this rating is based on more than 16,000 reviews amassed over many years, representing a good sample size of Swagbucks users. These credentials should be enough to put any doubts on Swagbucks’ legitimacy to rest.
How do you make money with Swagbucks?
As we’ve alluded to earlier, there are numerous ways that you can earn money with Swagbucks. The beauty of Swagbucks is that it allows you to explore multiple options to earn money in a single platform, which means you don’t have to waste time going back and forth between different sites to manage your payouts or complete tasks.
In this section, we’ll explore each way that you can earn with Swagbucks so that you can decide which is the best for you.
1. Cash Back
Similarly to credit card rewards points, you can earn simply by shopping with the Swagbucks platform. Swagbucks has a wide selection of partner stores, including Amazon, Kohl, Starbucks, and even Groupon. There are more than 1,500 partner stores on the Swagbucks platform, which means there’s a decent chance that whatever you are shopping for can be found in the Swagbucks platform.
In terms of cash back, you can earn up to 20% of your total as SB, which is a great deal considering it beats most other cash back payouts out there. With that said, the average cash back rate you can expect for most of your purchases will be between 5% to 8%; it’s not as amazing, but can still add up if you can make shopping on Swagbucks a habit over a long period of time.
2. Changing your Search Engine
We’ll be upfront in saying that this probably won’t make you a lot of money, but you can get paid to use Swagbucks’ search engine on your browser. Since searches are highly personalized, there isn’t a fixed amount of SB stated for each search. Swagbucks’ search engine is powered by Yahoo, and while we understand that most people would prefer Google over it, we think getting paid for your searches is a great way to compensate for the inconvenience.
3. Watching Videos
Let’s be real; we’re all guilty of spending way too much time watching YouTube videos, especially during the quarantine period. Swagbucks allows you to monetize this time by paying you between 1-4 SB for various types of videos available on their platform.
This is by far the easiest way to earn SB, and the kicker here is that you can even leave the videos to play in the background without actually watching it. In fact, you can lower the volume and just leave your media device to play the videos even when you’re not in the same room to let it earn you SB passively.
4. Doing Surveys
Paid surveys are probably your best bet to rack up SB quickly, as they can pay up to 1,000 SB per survey.
However, surveys are not readily available all the time, and you’ll quickly run out of surveys to do if you’re trying to binge through them to earn as much as possible. The right approach here is to do these as they appear on your dashboard from time to time.
Surveys are relatively easy to do, and can easily be done in small pockets of free time, such as when you’re in the line at the grocery store or in the subway.
Swagbucks will automatically notify you if you are qualified for a certain survey on your dashboard, so do keep an eye out for these offers at all times.
5. Earn Money Playing Games
If you play some mobile games during your downtime, consider doing so with Swagbucks, as they do pay you SB when you play their games.
Granted, the games on the Swagbucks platform are fairly basic, with titles such as Tetris, Trivial Pursuit, Bingo, Bejeweled, Solitaire, and so on, but if you’re going to be spending some time in games anyway, you might as well get paid for it.
This isn’t going to earn you a lot of money, but if you have some kids that are constantly looking to play games on your phone, you could be making a little money here and there if you can convince them to play these games instead.
6. Deal Hunting
Everyone loves a good deal, and the satisfaction of discovering a killer deal to share with your friends or family. Well, on Swagbucks, you can get paid to take advantage of deals on the platform, such as a Hulu or Blue Apron subscription.
We don’t recommend purchasing things you don’t need, but if you found a deal on something you were going to buy anyway, taking advantage of Swagbucks deals makes the deal even better when you consider you’ll be paid in SB for taking advantage of it.
7. Making the most out of Gift Cards
If you have gift cards lying around or have earned gift cards using Swagbucks, you can utilize them in a way that will net you nearly double the amount of SB if done correctly.
First off, whenever you purchase a gift card through Swagbucks, you get a small kickback from your purchase, which is the first way you get to earn.
Then, you get to earn a second time from the same gift card when you use it on a Swagbucks store, effectively doubling your monetization.
In short, if you are going to buy something from a Swagbucks store, simply purchase a gift card for that store to Swagbucks to get the most SB out of your purchase.
8. Download and Install Apps
Similarly to watching videos and playing games, you can also get yourself some SB by installing apps. These offers usually require you to install the app on your phone and use them for a certain amount of time to earn the rewards. You are free to uninstall the app after if you don’t see yourself using it ever again.
The rewards for installing apps can range from 10-50SB, and paid apps tend to pay a lot more.
9. Earn Passive Income when you Refer Friends
One of the reasons that Swagbucks has gained so much attention over the years is their incredibly generous referral program.
When you refer a friend to starting earning on Swagbucks, you get a whopping 10% cut of their lifetime earnings. That can add up to a ton of SB earned passively if you manage to recruit a lot of people.
Also, when your friend earns their first 300SB, both of you get awarded with 300SB each!
This is one of the most effective ways to earn as much SB as possible if that is your goal with using Swagbucks. By referring a large group of friends or family to join using your referral link, you stand a chance to earn recurring SB entirely passively.
10. Consistently Hit your Goals
Swagbucks has a daily goal program in place to incentivize you to consistently earn on the platform, and you can get a huge reward if you can keep this up.
Every day, Swagbucks will present you with a list of your goals for the day, and if you achieve those goals – usually in the form of earning SB, you get a huge payout in the form of a bonus.
For example, hitting your daily goals for 30 days straight will get your 300 SB on top of the bonuses you get daily.
Be it a casual user or a full-on hustler that goes the extra mile to maximize their SB earning potential, Swagbucks is a safe platform that can be used by anyone. From their solid ratings across 16,000+ reviews on Trustpilot and their BBB A-rating, you can rest assured that Swagbucks is completely legitimate and safe to use.
While not incredibly profitable in the short term, developing a habit of using the Swagbucks platform can lead to decent earning potential over some time. From simple tasks such as changing your search engine, using coupons on Swagbucks, shopping on the platform and playing games, there is something for everyone on Swagbucks to start earning.
Want to try out Swagbucks for yourself? Sign up for Swagbucks here.
Bernard currently works full-time as a growth hacker and content researcher for HUSTLR. When he was studying in the US 2 years ago, he flipped Yeezys on eBay as a side hustle to fund his degree and living expenses. He’s currently working on his Amazon FBA business & dropshipping on the side.