What: Swagbucks proposes to pay consumers to complete surveys and play games, but don’t expect to make minimum wage

Expected pay: 1 cent to $2 per survey — about $1 an hour

Husl$core: $$

Commissions & Fees: NA

Requirements: Be over the age of 13; have computer or cell phone and loads of free time; other qualifications vary by the survey

Where: Nationwide


You’re not going to make a living taking surveys online at Swagbucks — or any other survey site, for that matter. Even fans of the site talk about making tens of dollars. A month. If you’re lucky. And if you spend an inordinate amount of time finding the fastest ways to earn money on the site.

After wasting 5 minutes filling out general profile questions, for instance, I was offered the opportunity to earn 5 points — worth five cents — for filling out another survey. Swagbucks helpfully cautioned me to fill out the survey carefully and accurately or I might miss out on this and similar money-making opportunities in the future.

Given that this job pays roughly $1 an hour (if I’m efficient), I was not concerned about the threat. If you accumulate enough points, you can turn the points into gift cards at a rate of 1 penny per point.

As far as I can tell, the best way to make money on Swagbucks is to convince your friends to sign up, which could get you a referral fee of $3. Other activities that might earn a decent number of points involve buying something — bad idea — which will “earn” a rebate. You will invariably pay more for the product than you get back in points. So get lured into buying things you weren’t buying anyway. Even if you do buy here, make sure you price-compare to make sure that your rebate isn’t just giving you back the amount that you’re overpaying for the product.

Survey sites, Swagbucks included, also require that you give up a huge amount of personal information. To be sure, you give out a huge amount of personal information to data miners on Facebook too — and they don’t even offer to pay pennies for the privilege. Still, it’s something to think about. 

I have a friend who likes taking surveys on Swagbucks when she’s stuck in the airport. She sees it as an alternative to reading a book or playing Sudoku. That seems like the most reasonable way to approach this site.

If you have something better or more lucrative to do, Swagbucks isn’t worth your time. But, if you’re stuck in an airport or, say, languishing in prison, and happen to have an internet connection, go for it. You might earn some cigarette money. Notably, though, you may be able to make a bit more at FocusGroup.com, FindFocusGroup.com or Consumer Opinion Services

What their users say

(from SurveyPolice):

I initially signed up for this website because there seemed to be so many people raving about it. However, once I was a member, I saw this site isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. I was a member for months and barely earned a thing from taking surveys that were either disqualified (even after putting in minutes of information) or didn’t match my stats. When the surveys continued to be a failure, I decided to try the Watch feature. Then, like a lot of people it seems, I was having difficulty earning points from watching videos. Sometimes the videos wouldn’t work or I just wasn’t be credited for watching them. I’d literally sit and let an entire playlist run, only to realize I hadn’t earned a single point.

I had been a member of this site since the earlier part of this year, and only earned a little over 200 points [$2]. I just deleted my account today after seeing numerous emails in my inbox from Swagbucks for their “panelist offers.” I’ll stick to survey sites that I can actually cash out with.

Accruing enough points to cash out will be difficult. I only do surveys that pay cash, I am not interested in $5 amazon cards that Swagbucks promotes as fast earners. All the surveys with decent points were disqualified or had errors, basically you need to get to 5000 points to cash out $50, one point at a time. If you dont mind the slow build up of points then its a fun place, If you want to provide your opinion & be paid quickly, then its probably not the best place for those needs. Overall you will have fun with all their options to earn points but you wont earn much or earn it quickly.

Yes I have received money from this site, but the time taken to get anything is not remotely worth the effort. 

The surveys always seem to screen me out. Bearing in mind I am on a few survey sites for it to occur every single time i try and answer a survey seems questionable. It honestly feels like a lot of stuff on this site doesn’t work properly. You need A LOT of SBs to cash out on anything. Even a £5 Amazon voucher can take months to get unless you can put a lot of time into it. Only persevering until the next cash out, but quite frankly in 4 years I’ve probably only really managed to cash out about £50.

Guide from a fan

[Editor’s note: What follows is a long explanation from a Swagbucks fan about how near full-time activity can allow you to earn $19 a month. It’s instructive in telling you how little you make for each activity. We have translated the points into cash in brackets. You can skip this if you’ve already figured out that your time is valuable and want to look for work elsewhere.]

How to make Swagbucks:

1. Do the daily poll everyday for 1 SB. [1 cent]

2. Play any of their games to get 10 SB a day [10 cents]. (Only 10 SB total for all their games, not each game).

Just play Swaggasaurus run:-Play, die straight away. (You won’t get points). Close the thing that says game over.-Wait 5-10 second-Play again, die straight away. You should get 2 SB. [2 cents]-Rinse and repeat until you’ve made 10 SB [10 cents]

If you have a smart phone, which I assuming you do, install their apps, there’s 6, they work for both Android and iOS. 1. SBTV 2. Sportly 3. Lifestlyz 4. EntertaiNow 5. Moviecl.ips 6. Indymusic.TV. If you max out these apps you’ll make 60SB a day [60 cents] from just this alone.

Maxing out the apps, plus doing the daily poll, playing any game should make you a min 1988 Swagbucks. [$19.88]

You can also do surveys and other offers, but they’re not required to make $19 a month, if you want to make more, go ahead.

The reason the title says $19+ is because you can make more than $19 with the bonuses.

Btw you won’t make money really fast with Swagbucks but it’s money for very little work.

Try Swagbucks