Is Swagbucks a Scam? (My Honest Review 2023)

Looking for a review of Swagbucks? You may be wondering if it’s a scam or not. Many people aim to make money online without starting a full-fledged business.

However, it’s important to note that it can be time-consuming and may only provide a small income. Still, if you’re motivated, there are legitimate ways to supplement your income online.

Swagbucks is one such option, where you can earn points for gift cards or cash by participating in various income-generating activities.

As an Internet entrepreneur, I’m in a good position to share with you everything I know about online surveys. Over the years, I’ve reviewed many survey sites.

As a disclaimer, I’m not affiliated with Swagbucks. It means I’m not paid to write this review. So you can rest assured that you will get an honest and unbiased review from me.

At the end of this review, I’ll also tell you the best alternative to Swagbucks that has enabled me to make a full-time passive income online.

Swagbucks Review – Key Takeaways

What Is Swagbucks?

Swagbucks is a rewards network where users can earn a virtual currency called SBs. They can do this by completing tasks such as taking surveys, watching movies, and more.

SBs can be converted into cash through PayPal or gift cards to popular retailers like Amazon, Walmart, and Target. Users can also donate their SBs to organizations such as the United Nations Children’s Fund and the American Red Cross.

Swagbucks is a trademark of media company Prodege, LLC, and since its launch in 2010, over $556 million in cash and gift cards have been distributed to users.

The platform has gained popularity among internet users and has been featured in publications such as Reader’s Digest, Cosmopolitan, and U.S. News & World Report.

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Red Flags For Swagbucks

Extremely low pay

Let’s start with the most obvious drawback of Swagbucks: the pay is very low. You might spend 20-30 minutes completing a survey, only to earn a few cents in return. Some tasks pay as little as $0.01, which means you’d have to complete hundreds of them just to make a few dollars. You might not make enough money to consider it a job, and in fact, you might earn less than $2 an hour.

Junk email

Another issue with Swagbucks is the amount of junk email you’ll receive. The more you participate, the more offers and advertisements you’ll get, mostly through email. If you’re not careful, you might end up signing up for things you don’t want or need, and your inbox could become cluttered with unwanted messages.

Frustrating survey disqualifications

One of the most frustrating things about Swagbucks is getting disqualified from surveys. You might spend several minutes answering questions, only to find out that you don’t qualify for the survey after all. It can feel like you’re pushing a boulder up a mountain, only to have it roll back down. It can be disheartening to work towards a goal, only to be disqualified and have to start again.

Opportunity cost

Finally, the biggest downside to Swagbucks is the opportunity cost. The low pay is discouraging, but the worst part is the time wasted. Think about all the other things you could have done with the extra 21 hours you spent on Swagbucks. You could have read a book, gone for a walk, or spent time with friends and family. Instead, you were completing tasks for pennies.

Deactivation without reason

Several users have reported that their accounts were deactivated without any clear reason or explanation. This can result in losing any money or points earned on the site. Swagbucks has also been known to ban users who earn too much money, indicating a potential risk for successful users.

Poor customer service

Users who have encountered problems with their accounts or rewards have reported poor customer service from Swagbucks. Some users say that they received generic responses or no response at all from the support team.

Verification Entrapment

Some users have complained about having to submit a government-issued ID to verify redemption orders for the first time. They argue that this is an unnecessary and sensitive document to request and it may deter them from using the platform.

Swagbucks complaint on trustpilot 1


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Swagbucks complaint on trustpilot

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Green Lights For Swagbucks

Flexible earning options

Swagbucks offers a wide range of activities to earn points, including completing surveys, watching videos, shopping online, and more. This means that users have the flexibility to choose the activities that suit their interests and preferences.

Legitimacy and Trustworthiness

Swagbucks has been around for a long time and has a good reputation for paying out rewards to its users. With over 22,000 Trustpilot reviews and media reports confirming its legitimacy, Swagbucks is a trustworthy platform for earning rewards.

Redeem for Cash or Prizes

Although the cash-out threshold is high, Swagbucks allows users to redeem their points for cash or a variety of prizes, including gift cards and merchandise from popular retailers.

Fun and Easy-to-use Platform

Swagbucks is user-friendly and makes it easy to earn points while enjoying fun activities. The platform also offers bonus points and discounts, making it more exciting and rewarding for users.

Is Swagbucks a Scam?

Swagbucks is a legitimate website and not a scam. To ensure its effectiveness, it is best to read reviews from people who have already used it. 

On trusted review sites such as Trustpilot, App Store, and Google Play, Swagbucks has received positive feedback with an average rating of 4.3-4.4 out of 5 stars. 

Many users are satisfied with the service and report receiving payments for their points. 

If you’re looking for a way to earn some extra money by participating in online activities, Swagbucks may be a good option for you. Just keep in mind that you may not earn hundreds of dollars every month.

Learn more: Make Money Online Scams: How to Avoid Them?

Recommendation: Here’s The Best Alternative

Ways to Earn Swagbucks Rewards

Swagbucks is a website that allows users to earn money in several different ways. Here are the seven methods by which you can earn money on Swagbucks:

  1. Answer surveys
  2. Shop online and get cashback
  3. Send them your paper or e-receipts for rewards
  4. Sign up for free samples and deals
  5. Watch short videos
  6. Use the Swagbucks search engine
  7. Play computer and phone games

I’ve personally tried all of these methods on Swagbucks. In this review, I’ll give you an overview of each option, including my own experiences, my thoughts on whether they’re worth using, and any potential downsides to keep in mind.

1. Answer (taking Swagbucks surveys)

Swagbucks is a platform where you can take surveys to earn rewards. Large companies use platforms like Swagbucks to gather customer feedback, and they pay the platform for your participation. In turn, the platform shares some of the profits with you.

When you sign up for Swagbucks, you fill out a profile that includes information about you, such as your age, income, and hobbies. 

This helps the platform find surveys that are relevant to you. Some surveys may require you to answer pre-qualification questions, and there’s a small chance you may be excluded. In that case, you may only receive a small bonus or none at all.

Your account will be updated daily with new survey offers. If your profile data is correct and comprehensive, you’ll have access to better surveys, saving you time in the selection process.

There are four main types of surveys to choose from on Swagbucks: 

  • Gold Surveys
  • Peanut Lab Surveys
  • Your Survey Profile
  • Daily Polls

Gold Surveys are the platform’s highest-paying survey options. They take 5-45 minutes to complete and pay out 20-500 SBs.

Peanut Lab Surveys allow you to earn points by donating to charity, signing up for free trial offers, and buying new goods and services.

Your Survey Profile and Daily Polls offer a new survey every day, each with a single SB required to answer. For every correct answer, you get 2 SBs. These questions are short and multiple-choice, so the test is over quickly.

2. Shop (get cashback)

Swagbucks is a rewards program that lets you earn points for purchases at various vendors. When you click a link from Swagbucks and make a purchase, the company receives a commission and a portion of that commission is returned to you as points, called SB. 

For example, if Swagbucks offers a 5% cashback deal on Amazon, you will earn 5 SB for every dollar you spend. Popular vendors include Amazon, Athleta, Lowe’s, Banana Republic, and travel sites like Priceline and 

You can also find Groupon coupons on the Swagbucks shopping site. Swagbucks occasionally runs promotions where you can earn more points than usual at a particular store, such as a 10x promotion, where you will earn 10 SB for every dollar you spend. 

Note that your points may not show up in your account for up to 30 days, depending on the store.

3. Magic Receipts (send them your paper or e-receipts)

Magic Receipts is a cashback app similar to Ibotta. By shopping at stores like Walmart, Target, and Kroger, you can earn rewards called “Swagbucks” for the items you purchase. To earn these rewards, simply scan your receipt and upload it to the app.

Keep in mind that some items will earn more rewards than others. For example, basic fruits and vegetables like onions and apples will earn 2 Swagbucks each, while rarer items like tequila or cleaning supplies can earn up to 3,000 Swagbucks. 

Also, note that some offers may only be available at certain stores or online merchants, so be sure to read the “fine print” of any offer before making a purchase. Additionally, some offers require a minimum purchase to earn rewards.

Submitting receipts to Swagbucks is easy, simply pull up your grocery list after shopping and take a photo of your receipt. The app will automatically deduct the rewards from your account.

4. Discover (sign up for free samples and deals)

Swagbucks is a rewards program where you can earn points, called SB, for completing various tasks like trying new products, supporting good causes, and using mobile apps. 

The offers available through Swagbucks are similar to surveys from Peanut Lab, which you can access through a link on the “Offers from our trusted partners” page. 

These offers are provided by affiliated companies and can vary in terms of the commitment required, with some requiring payment and others just requiring a sign-up. 

Some offers can take up to a month to appear in your account, while others may appear within a few days. 

To maximize your benefits, you can filter through the offers to find the best one for you and take advantage of free offers that do not require a purchase. Keep an eye out for highlighted sign-ups and promotions to try new products and earn more points.

5. Watch (short videos)

Swagbucks Watch offers more than ten different video genres for you to choose from, such as pop culture, fashion, fitness, cooking, and travel. Each genre is worth 1-2 SBs.

When you select a sub-genre, a new browser window will open for that section. The typical length of a playlist is three videos. You can easily move on to the next video if you don’t want to watch the entire video.

Each movie has a limited duration of 30 to 60 seconds. Simply open a new tab in your browser to watch a live demo. Once the timer runs out, you can move on to the next video.

If you go back to the original tab where the timer is located, the countdown will be temporarily paused. However, if you switch to a different tab, the video will continue playing, allowing you to earn money with Swagbucks even while doing other tasks.

6. Search (use the Swagbucks search engine)

With the Swagbucks Search feature, you can earn points for your online research. The Swagbucks Search Chrome extension allows you to set Swagbucks as your default search engine or search directly from your account. 

The number of points earned on the platform is not fixed, as it varies with usage. However, users on Reddit have shared some tips on how to earn points:

  • You will be informed of the number of points earned on making a successful search
  • To avoid being mistaken as a robot, you will be prompted to fill out a captcha.
  • You can win between 5 and 25+ SBs for a successful search.

7. Play (computer and phone games)

Swagbucks offers several ways to earn points by playing games. You can make in-app purchases, reach a minimum level within a certain time frame, or play online and win randomly. 

Some popular games on the platform include Bejeweled, Solitaire, Bingo, Angry Birds Champions, and Slots. 

By spending a dollar on game currency, you can earn a certain number of points. 

To get the most out of your game-playing experience, make sure to read the requirements before you start playing so you know what you need to do to earn points.

Learn more: Legit Ways To Make Money Online

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How Much Can You Earn with Swagbucks?

Swagbucks is a rewards program where you can earn points, called SBs, for participating in surveys, uploading receipts, and using the Play and Watch features. It’s important to note that while you can earn money through Swagbucks, it’s not a way to get rich or make a living.

You can redeem your SBs for gift cards or cash, with the value of each SB fluctuating and being worth more when redeemed for larger rewards. For example, 140 SBs can get you a $1 Amazon gift card, while 500 SBs will get you $5.

There are various ways to earn SBs on the site, including through referrals, reward points, and using mobile apps. You can earn between $10 and $30 per month with Swagbucks, or even more with referrals and reward points. 

The most lucrative incentives include cashback shopping, Gold surveys, and Discover offers.

  • Referring friends: Share your special referral code with others to earn 300 SBs when they sign up and accumulate at least 300 points within the first 30 days. You will also earn 10% of their future earnings as long as the account is active.
  • Daily goals and streaks: Swagbucks sets a daily earning goal for you based on your past earning history. You can earn bonus points and streaks for reaching your daily goal for seven consecutive days.
  • Swagbucks mobile apps: There are seven Swagbucks apps available for download, each with different ways to earn SBs. The most popular app is Swagbucks Mobile, which has over 40,000 users rating it 4.0 or higher on Google Play and 4.4 or higher on the Apple Store.

Who Is Swagbucks For?

Swagbucks is a perfect opportunity for students who have some spare time. It allows you to earn money while doing other activities, like watching TV. 

Though, it’s important to keep in mind that you’ll need to put in many hours of work for a relatively small monthly paycheck. 

For example, working three hours a week for less than a dollar an hour results in about 12 hours a month and around $10 in earnings from Swagbucks. However, the earning potential can be increased through bonuses and other incentives.

How To Maximize Your Earnings?

Want to earn more money on Swagbucks? Check out the Swagbucks Reddit thread and Facebook groups for tips from experienced users. Here are a few suggestions to maximize your income:

  • Make it a daily habit to collect points, for example, during breakfast or before bed.
  • Download all four of the following apps to earn money on the go: Live for quizzes, Answer for surveys, Watch for watching movies, and the general app for everything else.
  • Install SwagButton and set Swagbucks as your default search engine to earn money while doing other things online.
  • Take advantage of high payout offers (up to 10,000 points) in the Discover section by signing up for free trials.

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Alternatives Survey Sites

My experience with Swagbucks was not great. The minimal pay was disappointing, but the worst part was thinking about all the things I could have done with the extra 21 hours I spent on the site.


InboxDollars is similar to Swagbucks in that users can earn money by taking surveys, watching videos, and redeeming special offers. However, just like Swagbucks, users must meet certain criteria before they can participate in surveys.

Branded Surveys

Branded Surveys is a site that focuses solely on surveys. However, if users sign up for the Branded Elite program, they can increase their earnings by taking many surveys in a row. As earnings increase, users will be eligible for additional prizes. When users reach 500 points, they can withdraw money via direct deposit or PayPal, or exchange their points for gift cards to their favorite stores.

Survey Junkie

Survey Junkie is another service that compensates users for their time and effort in taking surveys. Users can sign up for email alerts, use a web browser, or download an app to earn points by taking surveys, like Swagbucks. 

However, unlike Swagbucks, where users can do a variety of other activities to earn money, Survey Junkie users can only earn money through surveys, focus groups, and product testing. Users can only redeem their rewards in $5 increments, and there are no integrated shopping sites or search engines.


Ibotta is an app that allows users to earn and redeem discounts at various stores, including supermarkets, pharmacies, and others. To redeem an offer, users may need to view an ad or fill out a short survey.

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Other Things You Should Know

Q: Is Swagbucks legitimate?

A: Yes, the Swagbucks platform is 100% authentic. You can use the points you earn for merchandise or convert them to PayPal cash.

Q: How old do I have to be to join Swagbucks?

A: To join and earn money, you must be at least 13 years old.

Q: Does Swagbucks pay cash?

A: You can redeem your rewards for PayPal credit or use a PayPal debit card to withdraw the money or transfer it to your bank account. Prepaid Visa cards and balances at stores like Walmart or Amazon can also be used like cash.

Q: Does Swagbucks pay real money?

A: Yes, you can cash out your earned Swagbucks through PayPal. While you may not receive cash every time you complete a survey or watch a video, you can earn real money with Swagbucks.

Final Verdict

Swagbucks is a great resource for earning extra money, but it can be a bit confusing to navigate. One of the best ways to earn points is by participating in online surveys, using Magic Receipts, and shopping online. While searching the web is another way to earn points, it’s not something I personally use often.

The key to making the most of Swagbucks is to find ways to integrate it into your daily routine. For example, installing the SwagButton on your computer can help you earn points while you shop online. You can also earn points by taking surveys in the app while watching Netflix or browsing Facebook in the evening.

Keep in mind that Swagbucks is not a get-rich-quick scheme. It’s a great way to get paid for things you’re already doing online, but if you’re looking for a more lucrative side gig, there are other options to consider.

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Is There A Better Way To Make Money Online?

If you want to make a stable and secure stream of passive income, I would suggest you start an affiliate marketing business online.

Affiliate Marketing is perfect for anyone who is new to online business. 

In fact, of all the online business models I’ve tried, affiliate marketing is the easiest and most rewarding so far.  

In affiliate marketing, you can actually run your business almost with zero cost and achieve a steady and sustainable passive income to pay for your bills. You don’t need any initial capital and can even do it as a side hustle.

And if you really want to learn affiliate marketing and build a business from scratch, I’d recommend you to get started with the most reputable platform for affiliate marketing: Wealthy Affiliate.

Wealthy Affiliate is an all-in-one platform for building your affiliate marketing business from scratch. It offers you a free account (including a free website) with comprehensive training on SEO (free traffic methods), which enables you to get started with affiliate marketing right away without paying a penny.

But How Much Can You Earn with It?

A 21-year-old student from Wealthy Affiliate was able to earn $7,395 in just 1 week, which means he made more than $1k a day…all while using free traffic methods.

Wealthy Affiliate testimonial

Wealthy Affiliate has existed for 15 years and there are many success stories in the past decade.

You can read our full review of Wealthy Affiliate here.

Where to Join Wealthy Affiliate?

Wealthy Affiliate has a very simple pricing scheme. It has a free and premium membership.

If you want to feel about Wealthy Affiliate, you can sign up for the free starter membership here (no credit card required). You can select to be a free member with no time limit.

And as a starter member, you can get instant access to the community, live chat, over 500 training modules, 2 classrooms, networking, commenting, 1 free website, and access to the keyword tool.

You can enjoy all these values without paying a penny. 

So I strongly recommend you register a free account and see it yourself.

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