Are you currently in a position where you’re looking to earn a bit of extra cash from home? While a number of options are at your disposal, nothing is as straightforward as signing up to a survey website.
In a nutshell, online survey platforms such as Swagbucks will pay you a small amount of money for giving your opinion on a range of subject areas. This could be anything from home insurance, to the new Apple iPhone, to your favourite holiday destination!
However, the key word here is ‘small’ – as you certainly won’t get rich by joining a survey platform, nor will you be able to earn anywhere near enough money to do it full-time.
Nevertheless, if you’re thinking about joining Swagbucks for your online survey needs, be sure to read our comprehensive review. We cover everything from how the platform work, who is eligible, how much you can realistically earn, whether it can be trusted, and more.
Let’s start by exploring what Swagbucks actually is.
What is Swagbucks?
- 1 What is Swagbucks?
- 2 How Does Swagbucks Work?
- 3 Opening an Account at Swagbucks
- 4 Earning Swagbucks Points
- 5 Checking your Swagbucks Points
- 6 What are Swagbucks Points Worth?
- 7 What can I do With my Swagbucks Points? Cash and Gift Cards
- 8 Do Swagbucks Points Have an Expiry Date?
- 9 Is Swagbucks Safe?
- 10 Swagbucks Customer Service
- 11 Swagbucks Reddit
- 12 Swagbucks Customer Reviews
- 13 Swagbucks Review: The Bottom Line?
- 14 Swagbucks
- 15 Pros
- 16 Cons
Launched way back in 2005 and backed by parent company Prodege – Swagbucks is a third-party survey platform that matches everyday consumers with companies that are looking for data. By data, we mean personal surveys to gauge the opinions and viewpoints of the general public.
In return for your time, the companies that are partnered with Swagbucks will pay you a small fee. However, rather than initially being paid in real-world cash, Swagbucks will pass your earnings on in the form of ‘Swagbucks Points’. Much like in the case of a traditional rewards program, these points can then be traded in for money or gift cards – once you meet the minimum threshold.
According to the Swagbucks platform itself, the company has paid out more than $375 million in either cash or gift card earnings since its inception in 2005. Regarding the latter, Swagbucks also claim that they are now processing more than 7,000 gift card awards each and every day.
On top of answering traditional surveys, the Swagbucks platform also allows you to earn additional points for completing other tasks. This includes watching videos, signing up to websites, or buying goods and services online. However, the core of the Swagbucks business model centres on its native survey framework.
Finally, and as we will cover in more detail further down – although it costs nothing to join the platform, Swagbucks is only available to residents of certain countries. On top of the UK, US, Australia, Canada, Ireland, and New Zealand, the platform is only available in Germany, India, Portugal, and Spain.
So now that you have a general idea of what Swagbucks is, let’s explore how the process actually works.
How Does Swagbucks Work?
In order to understand the full ins and outs of Swagbucks, it’s probably best that we take you through the end-to-end process. As such, let’s start with the account opening process.
Opening an Account at Swagbucks
As we noted earlier, it costs nothing to join Swagbucks. You’ll initially be asked to enter your email address, and you’ll need to choose a strong password. Regarding your email address, we would suggest creating a new, dedicated email address that you should use primarily for Swagbucks.
The reason for this is that you are likely to start receiving quite a lot of promotional emails – especially if you start signing up to websites with the view of earning points.
Nevertheless, as soon as you confirm your email address, you’ll officially have a Swagbucks account
After signup you will see some initial offers you can do straight away or you can click through to the member dashboard and begin exploring everything that’s available to you.
Note: If you are situated in a non-eligible country, don’t attempt to get past this. As soon as the team at Swagbucks notice, you’ll instantly lose all of your Swagbucks points and your account will be shut down!
Earning Swagbucks Points
So now that you have opened your Swagbucks account, you are now ready to start earning some points.
Your members dashboard is packed with options to start earning Swagbucks – Let’s break down the main earning channels in more detail.
The easiest way to begin earning some Swagbucks points is to start watching some videos. The kind of videos that you will be ‘watching’ will vary quite considerably. This could be anything from a viral video to a conventional advert.
Whether or not you actually watch the video is your prerogative, insofar that some Swagbucks users simply have the video playing in the background. Nevertheless, with each video averaging 15-30 minutes, you’ll typically get 2-3 Swagbucks points per video. As per the Swagbucks platform itself, you can earn a maximum of 150 points per day by watching videos.
Swagbucks Search Engine
If you’re looking to keep your Swagbucks points tally ticking along throughout the day, why not consider using the Swagbucks search engine?
The search engine itself is backed by Yahoo, so you’ll have no issues with the search results that the default engine yields. You can actually earn between 10-20 Swagbucks points every day for performing around 20 daily searches, so it’s well worth considering.
First and foremost, there would be no point in purchasing goods and services via the Swagbucks cashback scheme purely for the purpose of earning Swagbucks points. However, if you are looking to purchase something anyway, why not do it through a Swagbucks link?
Essentially, the program works largely in the same way as any other cashback scheme, insofar that you’ll receive points for every £1 that you spend. For example, if you were to purchase your weekly groceries from Asda Online, you’d get 2 points per £1 of spending.
Download Specific Apps
Although this earning opportunity might sound somewhat laborious, once again it can allow you to start ticking your points tally along. In some cases, all you need to do is visit the Google Play or Apple Stores, download an app, and you’ll receive a fixed amount of points.
Some apps will allow you to earn even more points if you perform certain account functions. For example, you might need to download a game and get to a certain level. This is a way for game developers to market their games to a wider audience, which is why you have the opportunity to earn Swagbucks points.
The best opportunity that you have to amplify your Swagbucks points is to engage in as many surveys as you can. While some online surveys are awarded to all users, some select specific accounts. The general consensus is that this is largely random, so you’ll need to keep an eye out on your emails, as many of these surveys are ‘invite-only’.
Nevertheless, surveys can range in comprehensiveness, insofar that they can require anything from just 3 minutes of your time, up to 20 minutes. Surveys can pay between 40-100 Swagbucks points, with the longer surveys obviously paying more.
One of the easiest ways to keep your Swackbucks points ticking along nicely is to make the effort of completing your daily goals. If you click on the ‘To Do List’ – which is situated on the left-hand side of your Swagbucks dashboard, you’ll be presented with eight tasks that need to be completed every day.
This could be a combination of surveys, videos, and app downloads. While you are under no obligation to complete all eight tasks, in doing so you will receive bonus Swagbucks points.
Refer Your Friends
If you have any friends or family members that might be interested in earning some extra cash on the side, why not recommend the Swagbucks platform? For every new member that you sign-up, you’ll receive 300 Swagbucks points.
Moreover, you’ll also earn 10% of all Swagbucks points that your referred members earn – forever! Take note, in order to receive the referral bonus, the registered user must earn at least 300 Swagbucks points, so do bear this in mind.
This particular earning opportunity might not be for everyone, not least because you need to spend some of your hard-earned Swagbucks points in order to enter.
However, it’s still something well worth considering. Most competitions require 2 Swagbucks points to enter, although prizes can be highly significant. If you’re not lucky enough to win a tech-related product (like an iPhone or digital camera), you might win a big batch of Swagbucks points.
Checking your Swagbucks Points
In order to keep tabs on how many Swagbucks points you have earned thus far, head over to your account dashboard and select the ‘My SB’ button. Once you click on the ‘Ledger’ button, you’ll be able to see a full breakdown of all of the points you have earned.
What are Swagbucks Points Worth?
So now that you have a firm understanding of how you can accumulate Swagbucks points, we are now going to explore how your points amount to real-world rewards.
First and foremost, rewards can be exchanged for either cash or gift cards. Furthermore – and perhaps most importantly, every Swagbucks point that you earn amounts to $0.01 in rewards. For example, if you were to complete a 20-minute survey and you were paid 100 Swagbucks points, then this would amount to a real-world monetary value of $1.
In reality, this is absolutely tiny in comparison to the amount of time that you are required to commit. Sticking with the same example, if you completed three 20-minute surveys at 100 points per survey, this would yield 300 points per hour. In real-world money, this amounts to just $3 per hour. This is why you might be wise to stick with tasks that yield a better time-to-points reward.
Nevertheless, let’s take a look at what you can exchange your points for.
What can I do With my Swagbucks Points? Cash and Gift Cards
Exchange for Cash
If you want to exchange your Swagbucks points for cold-hard cash, then the only option available to you is to receive the money via your PayPal account. Firstly, the minimum cash-out threshold is 2,500 Swagbucks points, which amounts to a $25 PayPal voucher.
Until you reach this figure, you won’t be able to make a withdrawal. After this, PayPal cash-out requests go up in $25 increments. As there is no guarantee that you will reach the next increment, you are best advised to cash-out every time you reach $25.
Take note, when you request a withdrawal from Swagbucks, the PayPal account must hold the same email address that you used when you first signed up. As we suggested earlier in our guide that you should set up a dedicated email address for your Swagbucks endeavours, this is something that you need to bear in mind.
Moreover, PayPal withdrawals are painstakingly slow with Swagbucks. Although the specific amount of time can vary, the general consensus is that this typically takes between 10-14 days. This is a major pit-full to using Swagbucks, as there is no reason why withdrawals should take this long.
If you’re happy to accept a gift card for your Swagbucks point instead of cash, then you have the choice of Amazon or Zalando. In some cases, it can actually be more beneficial to opt for a gift card. First and foremost, Amazon gift cards start at just $5, meaning that you can cash-out your Swagbucks points much quicker.
For this, you would need to earn 500 Swagbucks points, which shouldn’t take you too long – especially once you get through the introductory tasks. Furthermore, Swagbucks will sometimes offer discounts on its gift cards. For example – at the time of writing, you can get a 5 Euro Amazon gift card for just 500 Swagbucks points.
When we did the conversion, 5 Euros amounts to $5.48. This means that you get an extra $0.48 when opting for an Amazon card denominated in Euros, as opposed US dollars. Although these discounts are nothing to write home about, it’s well worth considering.
In terms of the fundamentals, once you redeem your chosen gift card, you will then need to verify the request via an email confirmation, and you’ll also need to answer a number of security questions. Much like in the case of a PayPal cash-out, receiving your gift card can take a laborious 10-14 days, which is super slow.
Donate to Charity
If for some reason you decide not to use the cash or gift card option, Swagbucks does allow you to donate your accumulated points to charity. You only need to earn 5 Swagbucks points to do this, which amounts to a real-world value of $0.05.
Do Swagbucks Points Have an Expiry Date?
As per the Swagbucks terms and conditions, you will only have two years to exchange your accumulated points before they expire. Once again, this is why you should cash-out your points at the first given opportunity, as opposed to letting them build-up.
Is Swagbucks Safe?
In a nutshell, the Swagbucks platform is extremely safe to use. The platform has been offering its services since 2005, which makes it one of the most established rewards websites in the space. As long as you do not breach the platform’s terms and conditions, you’ll have no issues getting paid.
By this, we mean attempting to register an account from a non-supported country, attempting to open multiple accounts, or skipping through surveys as quickly as possible.
Regarding the final point, the underlying algorithm that supports Swagbucks will want to see that you are actually completing the survey honestly. If you are getting through a 20-minutes survey in less than 5-minutes, then this might be flagged up.
Swagbucks Customer Service
One of the biggest drawbacks to using the Swagbucks platform is its customer service department. With millions of members using the website at any given time, Swagbucks simply doesn’t have enough staff to respond to requests in a speedy manner.
In fact, Swagbucks themselves state that it can take around 5 business days to respond to account queries. As such, if you’re missing some Swagbucks points or you’re looking for an update on your cash-out, be prepared for a long wait.
The only way to speak with a member of the customer service team is via an online support ticket. As such, there is no live chat or telephone support facility.
If you are a Redditor, then you can find out a whole lot more about Swagbucks and chat to other members in the r/swagbucks sub-reddit. This is a popular and busy forum which has over 40,000 members so you can quickly get an answer to any questions you may have or just discuss earning with other people.
Swagbucks Customer Reviews
In terms of reviews available in the public domain, Swagbucks actually does very well. For example, across more than 14,000 individual reviews, Swagbucks has a TrustPilot rating of 4.5/5.
Taking into account the sheer number of reviews, this is a very good sign. The negative reviews that we did come across were mainly centered on customer support.
Swagbucks Review: The Bottom Line?
If you’ve read our Swagbucks review from start to finish, you should now have a comprehensive overview of how the platform works. More importantly, you should now know whether or not the Swagbucks platform is worth your time.
Ultimately, it is important to remember that Swagbucks is never going to earn you enough income to replicate a full-time job. On the contrary, you should only consider using it when you have a bit of spare time. By taking the odd survey, watching the occasional video, and using the Swagbucks search engine, you have a chance to accumulate points over time.
Just make sure that you cash-out your points once you reach the minimum threshold!
- Free to Join
- Easy to Use Website & App
- Plenty of Ways to Earn
- Excellent Reputation - A Top Survey Company
- Referral System to Earn More
- Customer Service can be Slow
- Requires time & Effort
- Not Available in All Countries