Budget: Swagbucks — time sink for little return

Budget: Swagbucks — time sink for little return


Swagbucks gets touted as a way to make  money but it functions better as a discount place for some major stores.  Honestly, watching 6 videos for 10 minutes total to earn 6 pennies is not my idea of making money.  And most of the times, it’s more than 20 minutes because usually during the 2-4th video, it stalls.

The first thing that bothered me is that it says you get $10 for joining — not quite true.  If you shop at certain stores and spend $25 or more, then you will get a $10 giftcard.  That is not $10 for joining.  That is $10 for shopping so it functions as a discount or rebate.   It does have a good selection of stores to spend the $25:   Amazon, Walmart and a bunch of others.  You have to shop from Swagbucks, click the link and it will take you to the store. You have 30 days from first registering.  Since I don’t have anything I want to spend $25 on right now, I can’t verify about getting the giftcard personally.  They do have a button you can download so you can go directly to the store, click the button and have your purchase count for your Swagbucks account.

In Swagbucks, you earn swagbucks but each $1 in Swagbucks equals 1 cents in real money.  They have different categories you can earn swagbucks in.  So let’s hit the nonshopping ones first.

The Daily Poll:  Earns $1   (1 penny)
Easy, takes a minute to answer one question in a poll

The Daily Search: Earn $0 to $5   (0 to a nickel)
kind of a weird one.  they have a search bar at the top that you can use to do regular searches on the web.  It’s seems to me kind of random how much you get.

The Daily Crave: Earn $1 to $2 (1 or 2 pennies)
A short selection of 1-3 videos each day.  Each one is about the length of a short commercial and it varies. Most of the times I can do the videos.  Today, it kept freezing on the 2nd of 3 so I didn’t earn my penny. Darn.

Attempt a survey:  depends if you get rejected after answering a series of questions, you get $1.  Otherwise they range in time from 5 min to 20 minutes and in pay from $20 to $200 swagbucks  (20 cents to $2).
On this one, while I tried a number of surveys, I always got rejected — probably because I have no income right now.  So each time, despite answering up to a dozen questions, I only got $1 — a penny.  Although one survey I got disqualified for paid $2 for my name and $2 for my zip code plus the $1 for disqualified so I ended up with $5, a whole nickel.

Discover: varies.
It says it’s about completing activites but mostly it’s about shopping.  You buy something and you get Swagbucks. Thinks like joining the Disney Movie Club will get you $2,000 Swagbucks (that translates to $20 real money).  There are also free samples on this page — like free Kotex!  The free stuff may require a bunch of questions plus signing up to a site to get item.  I didn’t do that so I don’t know if there are other conditions once you sign up on the other sites.

Watch: varies. $1-$3 for watching ( 1 to 3 pennies).  For example the $1 is likely for 6 videos totaling about 10 minutes.
My real grief with this section is the videos regularly freezes  so it’s never 10 minutes.  I was using Explorer.  Maybe they perform better on Firefox or Chrome. You might be able to make money doing this page but it’s pennies on the hour and it will take a long time. I do like watching the food videos though.

Daily List: $3 (3 pennies)
If you do 5 activities on the list, you get a bonus $3.  So if you complete a daily search, a daily crave, a daily poll, a survey and a discover, you will get 3 pennies. Most days i can do 5 but today the daily crave and watch list kept freezing so couldn’t.

Shopping: varies plus a discount at the store
A bunch of shops are listed.  If you click and buy through them, you will generally get a percentage off, typically 1%-10% plus swagbucks for each $1 spent.  Swagbucks depends on the store and will be $1-$10 swagbucks for each $1 spent.  If you do a lot of xmas shopping on line, I can see this adding up to some savings if you are buying from these stores anyways.  They have a lot of big names: Amazon, Walmart, Old Navy, Macys, Gap, Sam’s Club and a bunch of others.

Getting Friends to Join: They pay $3 swagbucks (3 pennies) per friend but you will also get 10% of whatever your friend earns for as long as both of you are on swagbucks.  So if you have a friend who loves to shop online, they might be willing to go through Swagbucks to get to Amazon and you will get a little kickback every time they shop.

Here’s my referral link if you want to “give” me $3 swagbucks (3 pennies)


I read some reviews where people said they made money on this site.  I don’t see how.  I do see it as useful in getting a discount while shopping online. Discover which touts itself as activities also gives you shopping discounts rather than activities.

The videos just take too long — 10 minutes for one penny doesn’t seem like a good return to me.  You could set them to play while you are doing something else like cleaning house — you have to keep an eye on the videos though — sometimes you have to click “like or don’t like” or click “next”.

Surveys might net you a little — I don’t know as I haven’t qualified for any despite trying at least 1-3 daily for a week. So each one gave me $1 (a penny) for around a dozen questions.

Customer service is not good.  They have an initial 5-minute survey that you have to complete before you are allowed to try for any other surveys.  The first day I tried it, it hung up on the first page — and all it asked was gender and age.  It would not allow me to input my age.  I sent a note to their help desk.  I got a computerized email saying we have received your request.  I never received a human response actually answering or helping me with the problem.  Luckily after 3 days of trying, I was finally able to complete the 5-minute survey.  Meantime, during this time, it had other polls and things I could click that worked just fine that asked the same sort of questions the survey asked.   It’s a problem that they don’t actually respond to problems.

In a week of doing various activities, I have earned $290 swagbucks — a whole $2.90.  If I can get it up to $500 swagbucks, I can exchange it for a $5 Amazon giftcard.  I am so excited, not.

My overall view: Rate it at 3 out of 10 stars.

  • Not a great site to make money.
  • The videos are glitchy.  I watch you-tube videos with no problem but on the Swagbucks videos freeze on the 2nd or 3rd video and you have to watch a minimum of 6 videos usually to get $1 swagbuck (a penny).
  • The lack of customer service to solve problems is a major minus.
  • It’s hard to qualify for a survey — would be simpler if they just showed you the qualifications so you didn’t have to waste time answering questions to get rejected.
  • Sometimes in a survey prelim, they want to look at your cookies.  Feels invasive to me — especially when you end up not even qualifying for the survey anyways
  • The polls work great and are fast.
  • They also make a little gaming atmosphere of a swagcode that pops up in various locations — if you find it and input it, you get a little bonus.

I might revisit when I need to do some shopping and see how it stands up to saving me money. For right now, in my opinion, it’s a time sink for very little return.







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