Last week I started using a search engine called SwagBucks, and I’ve already earned enough points (swag bucks) to buy a $5 Amazon gift card. Are you in on the latest way to win free prizes?
How SwagBucks Works
SwagBucks is simple. Perform searches at their engine and occasionally you win points for those searches. However, they also offer other ways to earn points, and that’s where they really rack up. You can then use those points to buy prizes in the SwagBucks store. Most people opt for the $5 Amazon.com gift card, but they offer many other prizes, too.
How to Earn Extra SwagBucks
In addition to the random bucks awarded through searches, you can also earn points for various other tasks, such as:
- Answering the daily poll question
- Completing surveys
- Completing special offers
- Trading video games and other items
- Turning in an old cell phone
- Participating on Facebook, Twitter, and other social media
- Downloading the Toolbar
- Promoting SwagBucks.
They also release Swagcodes on their blog, Twitter, Facebook, or toolbar, usually one a day, that earn additional points if you see the code and enter it before the deadline.
Search Results Accuracy
My first concern was that Swagbucks wouldn’t be as accurate as Google. The truth is, they’re not always, but I can usually find what I want on a search and if I can’t, I switch to Google. You’ll also notice that there are a lot of sponsored results mixed into their results. Some of these are helpful, some aren’t. However, they are always labeled as Sponsored in the URL, so you can weed them out.
Swagbucks has special offers you can complete, such as signing up for a credit card or joining the Netflix free trial. Some are as simple as watching a one-minute video, but the big rewards could cost you real money or require real effort. If you’re tempted by a big offer, you might find that those same offers earn better rewards through your credit card rewards program or one of the shopping rewards sites, so compare the rewards carefully before choosing.
For example, DirecTV is offering 9975 bucks for subscribing to the service. You could also earn $50 back from ShopatHome for the same thing. So, you have to decide which is worth more to you – the points or the cash. It appears that most rewards in the 9000SB range are worth about $50, so it could be a break-even.
Surveys are a great way to rack up lots of points, but they can also be frustrating.
The surveys interface offers several surveys in a variety of categories. The system indicates how likely you are to get accepted for a survey. I tried to take one that said 90% acceptance, and I was rejected. I suspect that my income level, education level, or lack of children is excluding me from most of the surveys. I was able to take a financial service survey worth 75 bucks however. It took about 15 minutes.
The frustrating thing about the surveys is that you have to answer several questions before even being told if you qualify. Sometimes it takes as long as 5 minutes to get rejected. Do that six times and you’ve wasted half an hour.
In addition to surveys, you can complete profiles, which help them figure out which surveys are appropriate for you. You earn bucks for these profiles, and you may be able to cut some of those preliminary questions by completing the profiles, but I haven’t done them all yet.
If you want to earn prizes just for searching, or if you’re willing to take surveys, sign up for Swagbucks. I earned 400 points my first week, and you only need 450 to get the $5 Amazon gift card.
Note: I will earn Swagbucks for referring you through the links above. If you’re not comfortable with that, go directly to Swagbucks.com without clicking the link.