Let me tell you about my dirty little secret, Swagbucks. It’s a site where you can earn money by watching videos, searching the internet, taking surveys, trying out free offers, and more. A friend recommended it to me and I thought she was crazy. I mean really? Make money doing that? Plus when I first went to the site all of the colors and categories just screamed “scam” to me. But I trust my friend, gave her the benefit of the doubt, and joined. Know what happened? I earned $50 my first month, $100 my second month, and as of today, just under $3,000 in lifetime earnings. So yes, I can say that it is a legitimate site that delivers.
It was my dirty secret because when I began telling people about Swagbucks I was greeted with skepticism, and quite frankly, ridicule. Why would a person in my position (I was a college VP at the time) waste energy on a site like this? I became embarrassed, wondering if playing around on this site was “beneath me.” I clammed up and quietly went about my business, which included using Swagbucks.
But I’m done with that now because, here’s what I decided. Since Money Under the Cushions is about sharing my experiences it would be unfair to leave this out. Swagbucks puts several hundred dollars a year in my pocket. Money that is used on home improvement projects, entertainment, gifts, vacations, whatever. It means being able to save that much more, whether I “need to” or not. Best of all, because I’m in front of a computer all day, it’s very easy for me to participate in Swagbucks activities
The site is headquartered in the United States, has been in business since 2008, and has awarded more than 150 million dollars in cash, free gift cards and prizes. The following information should help get you started:
Who Can Join Swagbucks?
People thirteen and older living in the following countries can join and earn money online with Swagbucks:
- United States
How Do You Earn Swagbucks?
First, let me explain Swagbucks currency. At Swagbucks, members earn digital currency called, well, Swagbucks which are exchanged for cash or free gift cards when one has accumulated enough points. What do you do to earn your Swagbucks? One or more of the following:
- Swagbucks TV
- Swagbucks Mobile TV
- Hitting Daily Goals
- Special Offers
- Hourly Winner
- Invite a Friend
- Shopping (think Ebates type cash back)
- Swag Codes
- Team Challenge
- Special Offers
- Birthday Bucks
- Swagbucks Local
What Exactly Can You Earn with Your Swagbucks?
So many things! My favorite is cold hard cash which I receive when redeeming points for cash which is sent to Paypal. You can also redeem your Swagbucks for retailers like Amazon, Target and Walmart, Best Buy, T.J. Maxx, Marshalls, J.C. Penney, Boscov’s, Toys “R,” Us, Home Depot, Lowe’s, food and drink like Starbucks, Macaroni Grill, Maggiano’s, Applebee’s, Morton’s Steakhouse, travel such as hotel and cruise gift cards, numerous charities… you get the idea. There is a LOT of variety.
IMPORTANT: The redemptions listed above are specifically for the United States and may vary by country. I can’t see what is available in other countries. I would hear from members in other countries so please comment below!
How Many Swagbucks Do You Need to Redeem for Money or Free Gift Cards?
First let me quickly explain their currency (U.S. only). It’s easiest to think of each Swagbuck earned being worth one penny. If you earn ten Swagbucks you have the equivalent of ten cents. If you earn 100 Swagbucks, you have $1.00, 1000 Swagbucks equals $10 and so on. There are a number of charities that you can donate to for as little as 5 Swagbucks ($0.05). The free gift cards start at $5 or 500 Swagbucks.
Even better is that Swagbucks offers the opportunity to get discounted gift cards. For instance, Every month Swagbucks offers the opportunity to cash out one gift card at at a 12% discount. So a $25 card (the equivalent of 2500 points or Swagbucks) can be cashed out for $22.50 (or 2250 points). I love this because you’re getting discounts on the extra cash you earn!
As great a deal as the discounted gift cards ar, (every month I run the pros and cons of getting that or just getting cash), 98% of the time I opt for cash. It just works for me. The minimum threshold for exchanging your Swagbucks for cash is $25 (or 2500 Swagbucks).
What I Do to Earn and Other Sites like Swagbucks
I was going to include the exact activities I do (my goal is $30 a month), but I wasn’t sure if anyone would be interested since each person is different. However, if you let me know in the comments that you want more details, I will gladly share.
If you like Swagbucks, you might also like CashCrate and/or Gift Hulk. They essentially have the same type of earning opportunities as Swagbucks, just with their own flavor. Some people like these sites better, some people do all three. I prefer Swagbucks.
Well, there you have it. Be patient when you first join and use their Facebook page as a resource. It can seem overwhelming until you become familiar with the site, but it’s easy once you are. Let me know about your experiences!