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The name is cheesy as hell. It sounds like a middle school currency, doled out to unenthusiastic students for good behavior and hard work. I understand if you’re skeptical.
So, what is it actually?
Swagbucks is the world’s most popular rewards and loyalty website that has given over 275 MILLION dollars of cash and gift cards out to its loyal users over its ten-year history.
It’s kind of a big deal.
Users earn Swagbucks (SBs) by streaming videos, answering trivia, filling out surveys, online games, testing out products, searching the web, printing coupons, and more. One SB is worth a penny. Accumulated earnings can be redeemed for cash (via Paypal) or any number of gift cards.
But is Swagbucks a scam or is it legit?
That’s the common question among those trying to make a few extra bucks online.
I’ve been dabbling in the world of Swagbucks for a while now and must say I’ve been very pleased with the results. I’m making around $125 a month in rewards that I use to invest, save for awesome gear, and travel the world.
Swagbucks is Legit. The rewards are real. There is no catch.
To make your life easier, I’ve mapped out the method I use every day that can earn around $1500 a year of stress-free income.
A Few Important Rules for Swagbucks
Swagbucks is only available in the following countries:
- The United States
- New Zealand
- The United Kingdom
Do not try to use Swagbucks outside of these countries.
Using a VPN to disguise your location will result in your account being deactivated. The website uses software that can easily detect VPNs. If you get caught, you’ll miss out on thousands of dollars of earning potential. Not worth the risk.
When I am traveling outside of these countries I log out of Swagbucks and focus on other things, like walking across glaciers.
So, without further adieu, I present the Ultimate Swagbucks Checklist.
✔ Stream Videos on Your Mobile Device
My Average Daily Earnings: $1.25-$1.50
Swagbucks has seven (yes, seven) different apps available for your smartphone or tablet to stream videos and earn money:
- Sportly TV
I use a few old smartphones to stream videos while I go about my day. Each phone runs a different app until said app has reached its earning limit for the day. I try to max out earnings on each app every single day.
These apps play videos automatically. This means you can let your phones passively earn SBs as you plan your next big trip.
Free money at your fingertips
To earn SBs as quickly as possible add the shortest videos to your ‘Favorites’ list on each app. Press down on the video and hold until the ‘Add to Favorites’ option pops up. Next, visit your favorites and select a video to play. Now, only your selected videos will stream.
Keep an eye on the phones occasionally as they play videos. Often times ads will get stuck or the apps will quit altogether. Swagbucks does discourage the ‘set it and forget it’ method. Just so you know.
Here’s a list of the short-length videos that I currently run for each app:
- Swagbucks: No ‘Favorites’ list option available
- SBTV: ‘Four types of morning people’ (0:12)
- MovieCli.ps: ‘Boss baby first funny clip released’ (0:31)
- EntertaiNow: ‘E.d.i. mean is rapping on the red carpet about all eyez on me’ (0:20)
- Sportly TV: ‘Soccer teams join forces to push ambulance stuck in the mud’ (0:33)
- Lifestylz: ‘Adorable toddler goes on paint soaked rampage in family home’ (0:29)
- IndyMusic: ‘Man accused of urinating on family during metallica concert’ (0:37)
Streaming videos on mobile apps is my most consistent way that I earn money on Swagbucks. The rewards may not be huge, but they sure are steady.
✔ Complete Two Surveys
My Average Daily Earnings: $1.25-$1.50
Ah, surveys. The most annoying way to make money on Swagbucks, but also one of the quickest and most lucrative.
For me, the majority of surveys I take are fairly boring and soul-crushing. They can be a fast way to earn, however, which is why I aim to complete two per day.
The surveys I take usually average out to about 60 SBs each. I try not to get involved in any questionnaire that takes over 15 minutes. I’ve just got better things to do with my time.
I get turned down from about 80% of the surveys I attempt after I answer a few screening questions.
This is frustrating, but I usually have no problems completing my two surveys after enough tries.
As tempting as it may be, don’t lie on the surveys in an attempt to get accepted more often. Companies are paying money for you to give them honest information. Lying and speeding through surveys are frowned upon by Swagbucks. Nobody likes a liar.
Some people can sit in front of the computer and fill out surveys all day long. If you have the patience for this, bless your heart. You’re a stronger person than I am.
✔ Stream Videos on Your Computer
My Average Daily Earnings: $.50
Swagbucks also has an option to stream videos on your computer, although it isn’t quite as seamless as doing so on your mobile devices. What a bummer.
Simply click the ‘Watch’ tab on Swagbucks.com and you will be presented with a number of different playlists valued at different amounts of SBs. Pick a playlist that gives you the most SBs in the shortest amount of time and let it play. Viola, more free money.
There are three inhibiting factors to watching videos on your computer:
- The videos have a propensity to stall out, get stuck on ads, or just generally be finicky. There is nothing convenient or passive about this. You must constantly monitor the videos.
- Streaming these videos demand a lot out of your computer’s memory and will make it labor thoroughly. My MacBook Pro has 16 GB of RAM, which apparently isn’t enough to constantly stream one video. I’ve read online that 32 GB of RAM is ideal. That’s overkill.
- You cannot set up playlists like you can on the mobile apps, meaning you can’t choose a short video to play over and over. The SBs will be a bit more time consuming if you’re not paying attention.
Again, it is against the spirit of Swagbucks to simply run the videos in the background without paying attention to them. They want you to watch the videos and view the ads. Just so you know.
All in all, I stream as many videos as my computer and I can handle. The possibility to earn more does exist, but I just don’t have the patience (or RAM) to see it through.
✔ Search the Web
My Average Daily Earnings: $.30
Now, this is an option I love. Swagbucks will randomly award you SBs for using their (Yahoo! hosted) search engine and, you guessed it, searching the internet.
No, I don’t enjoy using the search engine as much as Google, but I got over it once Swagbucks started giving me money.
Here’s how you can switch your browser’s search engine to Swagbucks.
I have filled my bookmarks bar with links to my most popular searches on the internet. So, instead of typing in these searches, I simply click a button. And occasionally I’m rewarded.
Swagbucks discourages searching solely for the sake of rewards. I think they have some fancy software that can detect repeat or illegitimate searches. You know, because rules.
✔ SB Bowling
My Average Daily Earnings: $.50
Behold! My absolute favorite way to earn Swagbucks: an addictive bowling app that pays you for every game you complete.
As of now, SB Bowling is an app that is currently only available in the iOS app store.I have no idea if and when it will be available for Android. Hopefully soon.
Pretty much, you will be awarded between one and four SBs for any non-perfect game you bowl depending on your score. If you bowl a perfect game, you will be awarded 25 SBs and if you fail your perfect game on the very last roll, you’ll be awarded 10 SBs. Not bad.
I’m unclear if Swagbucks will pay out this 25 SBs more than once for a perfect game, but I’m actively trying to find out.
You’ll have to sit through boring ads between every few frames, but that’s just how life goes sometimes.
SB Bowling Tip
You can spin the ball whichever direction you’d like as it rolls by simply swiping at the screen. Do your best to roll the ball down the middle of the lane. Don’t try to get fancy or you will roll a gutter ball and get very upset.
I limit myself to 20 games a day and usually earn around 2.5 SBs per game. Games take between 3-4 minutes, most of that time being ads. I usually bowl when I’m watching a Rockies game or filling out surveys. I try to avoid bowling during my free time, but that doesn’t always go so well.
✔ Swag IQ
My Average Daily Earnings: $.05-$.10
Swagbucks has their very own free daily game show that takes place on yet another app: Swag IQ. Lucrative? Not usually. Entertaining? Most of the time.
A live host will talk you through a series of ten questions with three multiple choice answers. If you get the answer right, you move onto the next question. Get the question wrong and you will be allowed one chance to buy back into the game before you are eliminated.
Get all ten questions correct and you will split the daily prize, usually around 125,000 SBs ($1250).
Each question you answer correctly will net you between one and five SBs. You have to stay until the end of the game to collect them.
Winning Swag IQ is very difficult. The questions get progressively harder throughout the game and you only have ten seconds to choose your answer. It’s worth a shot, however, as the payout can be well worth your time.
I choose never to rebuy. Even with an ‘extra life’ the chances of me winning are pretty slim. Still, I can usually get more than a few questions right and walk away a (small) winner.
✔ Swag Codes
My Average Daily Earnings: $.05-$.10
One last low-earning option. Remember, I never said this website would make you rich.
ALERT! Free money!
Swag Codes are simple: at various points throughout the day, Swagbucks will send you a link to page that contains a code. That page is usually an advertisement or the Swagbucks Facebook page. Find the code, copy it, and paste it into the Swag Code Box on your app or browser. Boom, more free pennies.
Swag Codes only take a few seconds to redeem, making them a quick and painless way to build your balance.
✔ Bonus Money! Refer a Friend
As I mentioned earlier, Swagbucks has an extremely generous referral program. Here’s how it works:
- When you refer a new member and they earn 300 SB before the 1st of the following month, you’ll each earn a 300 SB bonus.
- The referrer will earn 10% of the referrals lifetime earnings. The 10% will not be subtracted from the referrals earnings, it will simply be a bonus given from Swagbucks to the referrer.
- Note: don’t refer anyone who lives under the same roof as you. Only one Swagbucks account per household is allowed.
Think about that for a minute… if you refer ten friends who earn roughly as much as you, you will double your yearly earnings for life. That’s generous.
Final Thoughts: Swagbucks is Legit
Swagbucks is an incredibly easy way to stack up an extra few dollars a day. If you follow my checklist, you will earn between $4 and $5 a day for minimal work.
I know, that doesn’t sound like a lot, but it will add up (to about $1500 a year to be exact).
With $1500 you can do a number of great things:
- Fly across the world and back
- Buy a laptop and camera to start your own travel website
- Enroll yourself in classes to learn a new language
- Pay for 150 nights in hostels all over the globe
- Invest in yourself
Thanks for reading! If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to contact me or leave a message in the comments below.