The Many Ways to Earn Money Online with Swagbucks
So you’re thinking about joining Swagbucks, or perhaps you already have and you are totally confused about where to begin and how to earn their digital currency. Have no fear. This post should help clear up many questions. If you read my Swagbucks overview you know that there are many ways to earn points. However, it can take a while to discover them on your own. My goal is to cut that learning curve down so you can begin earning money online faster. Below is an explanation of the many ways you can earn online at Swagbucks. Important: Please keep in mind that the descriptions are for users in the U.S. If you live in a different participating country and can provide some insight into the earnings opportunities there, please let me know in the comments section! In a future post I’ll describe my process for earning Swagbucks that allows me to easily earn $100 per month.
By using the Swagbucks search engine when you are logged in you can be rewarded with points which can theoretically range from 1-1000. According to the many faithful Facebook posters, a 1000 point search win has never been seen. The highest search win to be seen is a rarefied 100 points for a single search. Searches in the 6-15 range seem to be the most common with 29-47 point search wins, while not as common for individual users happen a lot.
Collector’s Bills (CBs)
Periodically, about once per month, sometimes two, Swagbucks will release these. They follow a theme that the site is celebrating like Halloween, or summer or any number of things. The bills have a special design and come in specific denominations (i.e. 7, 9. 15). The way you get these special bills is by using the search function like you normally do when trying to earn points. The goal of this activity is to collect all of the bills in the set within the time period determined by Swagbucks. When you do, you earn bonus Swagbucks. So for instance, let’s assume that there are five CBs in a set, each worth a different amount. Once you collect all five by searching, Swagbucks will award you additional bonus points, like eleven or thirteen points. The specific bonus amount is determined by Swagbucks.
Tip: CBs are fun and a nice perk, but don’t stress over it if you don’t collect them. On the Swagbucks Facebook page I have read too many people express being sad, upset, and angry at not being able to collect the entire set and the bonus. Clearly Swagbucks does a great job of getting people to care about this stuff. Relax and enjoy it.
Mega Swagbucks Fridays
On Fridays, search wins are supposed to be larger (i.e. 10, 15, 29, 33). In my experience Mega Friday hasn’t yielded much higher search wins. Perhaps this is something that was instituted in the past that hasn’t officially been removed from the books.
There is a theory that search wins are easier to come by after midnight (PT). The reason is thought to be because that is when the clocks at Swagbucks reset for the new day and there are an abundance of search wins available. Swaggernauts (a name for Swagbucks users) have been known to win multiple times in a short amount of time.
Swagbucks TV (SBTV)
From the homepage, if you click the “Watch” tab at the top you’ll be taken to SBTV. There you can watch videos. Every 10 videos earns three points (Swagbucks). You can earn 150 points a day by watching SBTV. It is my opinion that the great majority of users never max this out as there are other, faster ways to earn. However, it does have its uses (more on that in a future post).
Swagbucks Mobile TV (SBTV Mobile)
If you have a smart phone or tablet, you can download a Swagbucks TV Mobile app for Apple or Android devices that allows you to watch videos. You receive 2 swagbucks (SBs) for every five videos up to 50 points. Many people use this option and it’s a good way to quickly earn points. You can usually hit the majority of the daily goal with this method. You can use this in ADDITION to the regular Swagbucks TV. Stay tuned for a post about other ways to earn Swagbucks with your phone. Some people seem to have issues with the app. I have never had a problem.
Swagbucks has found a way to
get you addicted keep you motivated by providing daily goals. The reason the goals are so enticing is because hitting the point goals will lead to an additional monthly bonus worth $5-$25 or more! Here’s how.
Daily Goals- A meter on the home page displays a Swagbucks number that is the user’s goal for that day. If the goal is reached, bonus Swagbucks for those days will be awarded at the start of the next month. Meeting the daily goal for many days in a row will earn additional bonuses. In addition, once you meet your daily goal you have an opportunity to work towards a “Bonus Goal,” which nets even MORE bonus points for the month.
Daily goals are typically between 60-100 with the average being about 80 or 90. Goals of 60 or 70 tend to happen on the weekend to give members a break. Sometimes daily goals can be 110-140. On these high point days there is typically something else going on like a code extravaganza (see Swagbucks Code Extravaganza for more info). If you reach Goal 1 you receive a bonus that equals 10% of that goal. For instance, (as illustrated in the picture to the left) if the Goal 1 is 90, you’ll receive 9 bonus points if you reach it. If Goal 1 is 100 points, you’ll receive 10 bonus points. Reach your daily goal for 7, 14, 21, or 30 days and you will receive even MORE bonus points.
If you make Goal 1 for seven days in a row you receive 25 bonus points. Fourteen days gets you 100 bonus Swagbucks. Twenty-one days in one month nets you 200 bonus points and thirty days in a row gets you an additional 300 bonus. So at the end of each month you will have earned your daily bonus PLUS your bonus for meeting the goal for 7, 14, 21 or 30 days. That’s a minimum of 500 bonus points ($5) every month just for hitting Goal 1 every day for the month. But that’s not all! Factor in your second “Bonus Goal” that Swagbucks gives you, and you could earn even more.
Daily Total Bonus Goal
Once you complete the daily goal, Goal 1 you can try for your daily Total Bonus Goal. This is totally optional and if you choose not to do it it will not impact any bonuses that you are eligible for when meeting Goal 1. BUT, if you do achieve the Total Bonus Goal for the day, you could see a significant increase in your monthly bonus numbers.
I believe that Swagbucks sets the Total Bonus Goal based on your average earnings for a certain time period. So for instance, if you typically earn 300 Swagbucks a day, your daily Bonus Goal (as illustrated in the picture to the left) may be 300 for the day with a 10% bonus of 30 Swagbucks if you hit it. Compare that with the average 9 Swagbucks you would receive if you decided to only complete Goal 1 (see Goal 1 above for additional information if needed), the first and lower goal of the day. There are people who have daily Total Bonus Goals of 400, 500, or 700! If you had a daily Total Bonus Goal of 700 Swagbucks, your bonus would be 70 additional Swagbucks a day. Do that for a month and you’d have 2100 bonus Swagbucks which is equivalent to $21 (each Swagbuck is worth one penny). AND because you hit Goal 1 for thirty days, you’d receive the ADDITIONAL 300 Swagbucks for a total of 2400 bonus points for the month which equals $24…just for hitting daily and bonus goals. That’s almost $300 a year by hitting the Bonus Goal. By the way, with this example, if you earned 700 Swagbucks a day, at the end of the month you would have earned enough points to redeem them for $234. Not bad.
Each day on the homepage Swagbucks has a daily poll. This is always a simple question which you answer. For example, a question might be, “Do you like video games?” After you answer it you receive one Swagbuck. It’s not much, but it’s guaranteed every day.
No Obligation Special Offers (NOSO)
The No Obligation Special Offer (NOSO) is located on the homepage. You can earn two Swagbucks every day by completing this task. When you click on it you will be taken to a page with a number of offers and advertisements. You simply click “skip,” or “no thanks,” until you get to the end which is usually three or four clicks. Once completed you earn two Swagbucks. It takes maybe ten seconds.
Besides trial offers, surveys are probably the most lucrative activities on Swagbucks. Point values can range from 25 – 500 and the time commitment can be as little as 2 minutes or as long as an hour. Completing multiple surveys a day are how many high earning Swaggernauts make their point goal. People regularly post on the Facebook wall that they have completed five or six surveys. The trade-off is the potential time commitment.
There are many ways to find surveys. If you click on the “Answer” tab on the homepage it will take you to the survey portal. From there you’ll see the different survey categories. For instance, surveys can be sent to you via email, or you can go to your “dashboard” where a list of available surveys are waiting.
Personally, I complete very few surveys because I’m impatient and the repetitive nature of some of the questions annoys me. Also, I don’t like getting halfway or more through a survey only to be told that I have been disqualified (DQ’d). It happens often enough to be annoying and it happens to everyone. Persistence is key and those who enjoy the surveys (and the higher points associated with them) tend to do well. If you want more information about getting paid for taking surveys, see the survey section of this site (coming soon).
Tip: It appears that Swagbucks is the host for a lot of the surveys from different companies. By that I mean that Swagbucks allows other survey companies to place their surveys on the Swagbucks site. Since Swagbucks earns money through advertisements, referral and affiliate programs, it stands to reason that Swagbucks gets a cut of the survey reward. I don’t know this for certain. It’s a theory I have. This is my way of saying that if this true, if you like taking surveys, you might earn more if you went directly to the original hosting survey site. Sometimes the name of the company is on the survey, You can research that company to see if they have a program you can join and keep the full amount, instead of just a cut.
Swagbucks provides many opportunities to earn Swagbucks by playing games and entering contests and sweepstakes. However, only one is guaranteed to give you 10 points every day. Two options can be accessed from the homepage by clicking “Play” on the top navigation bar. You’ll be taken to the “gaming” portion of their website. The games are flash based so whatever device you’re using has to be flash supported. If you are using a smartphone or tablet that doesn’t support flash there is an awesome app available that will allow you to do so. It is called the Photon app. It is available for the iPhone, iPad, and Android phones and tablets. The Phonton app is not free. It costs $3.99, but I have found it to be completely worth it. Especially if you use it to complete some of the lucrative video activities (my section on how to earn Swagbucks fast is coming soon).
Earn 10 Points Every Day with Games
Once in the game section of the site click on any game labeled as a free game. You’ll earn two points for every two games played up of 10 points. If you did nothing but spend a few minutes playing a game on the site for a year that adds up to $36.50. It’s an easy way to earn money online.
These are hosted by Swagbucks where people compete against each other to win a large sum of Swagbucks equal to $50 or more. There are tournaments happening all of the time and to find them just go to the “Games” page and look at the available tournaments on the right. Tournaments are not free. Competitors pay to enter with their Swagbucks. It could be a small amount like four Swagbucks or it could be 50 Swagbucks. It appears that the amount to enter is based on the size of the winning pot. Your chances of winning depend on how many people have entered the tournament and how good you are at playing the game.
If you like entering Sweepstakes (more information about free sweepstakes sites coming soon), Swagbucks has its own sweet prizes to win. People have won mattresses, meal delivery plans, computers, cash, and more. To see the available swagstakes, click on the “Rewards” link located on the top navigation bar. Like tournaments, you must use your Swagbucks to enter and you can “buy” multiple entries. Swagbucks often offers 2-for-1 entries which allows you to double the number of entries you get for each Swagbuck.
This is a fun activity that happens on the Swagbucks Facebook page. A lot of people post on the page about what they win, what survey disqualified them, even what they are eating for dinner. Swagbucks is known to comment on people’s posts throughout the day. Sometimes, when a particular post intrigues them they will reply to that post and invite others to input. People who do this may be given some extra Swagbucks. Sometimes two, four or five. The highest I have seen is thirteen. So for instance, someone posted that they were making cookies. Swagbucks responded that it sounded yummy and asked people what their favorite cookie was. People then replied with their favorite cookie. It’s a simple as that. Sometimes everyone who replies gets points, sometimes only selected individuals get points. This works best for people who are on Facebook regularly and read down the wall as the game does not happen at a set time each day. Sometimes there is one game and sometimes there are multiple games per day.
Tuesday Twitter Word of the Day
Every Tuesday Swagbucks tweets a word. To win 25 points, all you have to do is use the word in a sentence and retweet it to Swagbucks. Swagbucks selects some of the entries and awards points to those tweeters.
Thursday Twitter Trivia
This game is relatively new. Throughout the day Swagbucks will tweet a triva question. The goal is to figure out the answer. That answer is a code that is entered into the Swagbucks Codes box (See Swagbucks Codes for more info) for points. The trick to this game is that the code is only valid for a certain number of users, perhaps the first 500, 1500 or 3000. There are a total of 20 Swagbucks awarded throughout the day.
Each hour on the Swagbucks blog page a username is selected and posted. If that user clicks on the hourly winner box within that hour s/he will win 1000 Swagbucks ($10).
This is Swagbucks’ version of sweepstakes. There are always a variety of swagstakes available from free Amazon gift cards, cash through Paypal, computers, and more. To see what’s available to enter, click the “Rewards” link on the top navigation bar on the home page. There you’ll see the swagstakes page. Swagstakes are not free to enter. You enter by using your Swagbucks and the costs depends on the prize. Typically the more valuable the prize the more Swagbucks needed to enter. There is often an opportunity to double entries. People do win these sweepstakes so it is legitimate. If you like entering sweepstakes, this is a fun opportunity.
Invite a Friend Program
If you like Swagbucks and know others who would like it, invite them to join and earn some Swagbucks for yourself. You can earn up to 1000 ($10) Swagbucks for each friend who joins. The only drawback is that way you earn your referral points is through your friends searching. When they search and win, you also earn Swagbucks. That’s awesome, but it’s the only task that earns you those referral points. Still, if your friends enjoy the site, you’re sure to receive your full amount. Every once in a while Swagbucks will expand how you can earn referral points. This is typically a time limited offer.
If you are familiar with sites like Ebates where you get cash back for shopping on their site, then you’ll quickly understand how it works at Swagbucks. Swagbucks offers a “Shop and Earn,” where you shop online as you normally do and if you click on the link from the Swagbucks site, you’ll earn Swagbucks for your purchases. I have read that many people take the free gift cards that they have earned through Swagbucks and use them through shop and earn which then gets them more Swagbucks which gets them closer to the next free gift card. Not bad. Like Ebates, there are many stores to shop through like Target, Walmart, Home Depot, etc. Each store will offer a certain number of points per dollar spent (i.e. 4 Swagbucks per dollar). Sometimes Swagbucks will offer double, triple, or quadruple points at certain stores.
In addition to the Shop and Earn, you can earn Swagbucks by using coupons printed from their website. Anything from canned goods, to meat, to home goods and more. Each month you can earn ten Swagbucks per coupon printed from the site.
This is the crowdsourcing portion of the Swagbucks site. Similar to Amazon.com’s Mechanical Turk Program (review coming soon), the tasks section is maintained by Crowdflower, a crowdsourcing site. In essence, people earn Swagbucks by completing simple tasks like performing a search, writing a review, entering data, etc. Similar to my thoughts about the surveys on Swagbucks, I suspect that Swagbucks receives a portion from the tasks its users complete. Just my thoughts. If this is true and you enjoy these tasks, my recommendation is to go to the host site to see if you can join their program directly. You’ll probably earn more. Stay tuned for a post about other micro job programs.
Sometimes once, sometimes multiple times a day, Swagbucks will post codes in their blogs, on their Facebook, or in their Twitter feed. The code will be in the form of a word or a few words (i.e. OneandWon), which you then enter into the Swag Code box which is located on the top of every page on the right side of the navigation bar. The code is available for a certain period of time and then it expires. Swagbucks will periodically offer bonus codes such as during Thursday Trivia, and Code Extravaganza days.
During these events, which typically happen once per month, Swagbucks will release a number of codes throughout the day. Sometimes they tell you in advance what time they will be released, sometimes they don’t. Catching all of the Swagbucks codes can usually earn you an additional 20-60 Swagbucks. Extravaganza days usually means a higher daily goal which people grumble about. However, as you’ll see in an upcoming post, it’s no big deal and is a wonderful bonus.
This is probably the most low effort way to earn Swagbucks there is. About once per month Swagbucks hosts a Team Challenge which is announced on their blog and Facebook page. Basically, if you join you are assigned to one of two teams. The team names are based on whatever theme Swagbucks is recognizing that month. For instance in June it was “Dads vs. Grads,” recognizing that both Fathers Day and graduations were occurring that month. After you are assigned to a team, you earn points by doing the things you normally do. The top earners on each team earns 500 points for winning. Everyone else, whether on the winning or losing team will earn a smaller amount of bonus points. The winning team members earn a larger bonus amount than the losing team. The point is, everyone assigned to a team will earn points. It’s a win-win.
With the Swagbucks Trade In program you can trade in game consoles, games, accessories and books and receive Swagbucks.
Okay this is a HUGE category and encompasses many activities. These offers can be found on the homepage, in your inbox, and on the Special Offers page accessed by clicking on the “Discover” tab on the top navigation bar. Special offers range from watching videos, to signing up for newsletters, following businesses on Facebook or Twitter or trying trail offers. Basically how it works is that companies pay Swagbucks to be featured on the site and users in turn receive a portion by completing the offer. Points can range from 1- 1000 or more. Typically, the higher the point value the larger the commitment.
There are a lot of good offers, all free that you can try, but it can take some work to find. Luckily, people who post on the Facebook page are a generous bunch and will quite often tell you which offers work (or don’t) and how long they take to credit. Sometimes the companies who advertise neglect to pay. Sometimes they are scammy. It’s part of the experience. Many people complain and turn in support tickets for help. My motto is to move on to the next one. It is very important to use caution with special offers. If you haven’t already, check out my tips and suggestions.
It seems everyone has a toolbar these days and Swagbucks is no exception. By downloading the toolbar you can earn one Swagbuck every day by using it. In addition you are supposed to be alerted to swag codes as soon as they are posted (many users say this function doesn’t work), conduct your searches from there, access videos and more. Personally, I don’t download toolbars so I have no comment. From what I have read, some people love it and some people hate it.
On your birthday, Swagbucks will give you fifty Swagbucks. They’ll send you a birthday email notifying you that your bucks have been deposited into your Swagbucks account. That’s all there is to it. Happy birthday.
Double Swagbucks Day
Periodically, Swagbucks will offer Double Swagbucks days. On these days as the title suggests you earn double the amount of Swagbucks within the categories of Swagbucks’ choosing. You could get double points for watching videos, playing games, searching … whatever Swagbucks chooses. Like Code Extravaganza days, the daily goals tends to be higher on these days, but I never find that to be a problem. Post coming soon on how to quickly earn Swagbucks.
If you have a smart phone, consider downloading the Swagbucks app. It allows you to earn points from your phone. This free app is different than the SBTV app. It’s a great little app. However, if you REALLY want to earn Swagbucks from your phone, you’ll want to able to complete Jun Videos and Encrave videos (more on this coming soon). These two types of videos can only use completed on a PC or MAC because flash is needed for those videos. Flash is not supported on the iPhone, iPad and some Android devices. There is a great app that allows you to watch these flash videos. These videos can literally be worth hundreds of points a day if you watch them. The app is called the Photon app. It is not free. It costs $3.99, and in my opinion is totally worth it if you are serious about earning from your phone. There is a free app or two that other have recommended. In my opinion the free ones are so glitchy that they are not worth it. You spend more time trying to fix the problem than watching the videos. (Photon for iPhone. Photon for iPad. Photon for Android phones and tablets.)