(Updated 4/02/18) As most of you already know, I’m a big fan of cashback websites. In particular, I’m a total nerd when it comes to figuring out how to use them to score free money and gift cards to places like Amazon, Walmart, and Starbucks. When it comes to earning gift cards without spending a dime, SwagBucks is clearly my new favorite site. Here’s my Swagbucks review which details how I use the site to score free money every month.
(Note: I was actually quite skeptical when I read about others having success with it and wondered “is Swagbucks legit?”. I figured it was simply too good to be true and must take hour upon hour to earn anything substantial. I was mostly wrong.)
How to Score a Monthly $50 Amazon Gift Card
So, I figured it was time for an experiment. I decided to see how hard it would be to score a free $50 Amazon gift card in a month’s time. My goal was to spend no more that 10 minutes a day (on average) using SwagBucks for the entire month. That comes out to about 300 minutes or 5 hours. That’s like earning $10 an hour, not to shabby, especially when you consider a majority of the time I spent was in waiting rooms, standing in-line at the store, or zoning-out in front of the TV.
Well, I’m here to say that it absolutely can be done and I have the $50 Amazon card to prove it. How handy would it be to have a few $50 gift cards come Christmas? Here’s what you need to know to earn a $50 Amazon gift card every single month using SwagBucks.
- What the heck is Swagbucks? – Swagbucks is a free online service that hands out reward points, known as SwagBucks, for doing things that you’ll probably be doing anyways.
- How do you use SwagBucks? – You use the service by earning SwagBucks (SBs). SBs are earned by doing various tasks like using their search engine (powered by Yahoo!), shopping at your favorite online retailers, redeeming coupons, watching sponsored videos, doing surveys, and even by playing online games.
- What are their Payout Methods? Redeem your points for gift cards from popular retailers like Amazon, Target, Lowe’s, Starbucks, and Walmart, or request a PayPal gift card.
- Do They Offer a Sign-Up Bonus? Yes. They gave Rather-Be-Shopping readers an exclusive $5 bonus (equivalent to 500 SwagBucks) if you sign-up and accrue 2,500 SwagBucks within 60 days.
- How Do I Sign-Up? Sign-Up Here and score your free $5 bonus.
How Many SwagBucks Are Needed for a $50 Amazon Gift Card?
5,000. Exactly 5,000 SwagBucks are needed to score a $50 Amazon gift card. Totally do-able on a monthly basis, and before you gawk, it doesn’t take much time either. To prove it to you, and turn you into a believer, here’s exactly how I scored a free $50 Amazon gift card last month. With Christmas expenses on my mind, I plan on doing it again every month until the end of the year.
- Search the Internet (520 SwagBucks). In August, I earned 520 points just by using the SwagBucks search engine (it’s Yahoo!) to search the web like I normally would. Search enough times and you’ll score a bunch of random SB bonuses like I did in the screenshot below. I’d guess every 8-12 searches yields a SwagBucks bonus. Time spent? Not much as I would have been searching the web anyways. Key: Be sure to set SwagBucks as your default search engine and you’ll never miss a bonus. Also, install the SwagButton browser extension so you can use it to search the web as well.
- Online Shopping (1005 SwagBucks). For the entire month, I made just 2 online shopping purchases via SwagBucks. I made a $75 back-to-school purchase from JCPenney and got 9 SB per $1, which came out to 675 SBs. We also bought some new shoes for our three kids via Famous Footwear, spent $110 and got 330 SBs for our efforts. Both stores also had coupon codes available that I used to essentially stack my savings.
- Redeem Printable Coupons (120 SwagBucks). Print out a few grocery store coupons via SwagBucks and get 10 SBs for every one you redeem. Talk about a no-brainer as you’ll earn SBs for saving money on stuff you’ll be purchasing anyways. I ended up printing and redeeming 12 coupons in August for 120 SBs.
- Watch Videos (954 SwagBucks). Try the “Videos” section and just let them run in a separate browser window, with the volume down, while you’re working. Or do what I do and just fire up videos on your iPad and let them play with your tablet plugged in. It’s a painless way to build up some easy SBs. I did this for 18 days in August for about 8 hours a day. My math came out to 1 SB for every 9 minutes of video which equated to approximately 53 SB per day. 18 x 53 = 954 SBs.
- Take a Survey (40 SwagBucks). I don’t spend much time on surveys. I was disappointed with the time they took and how you weren’t guaranteed anything other than a measly 1 SB if you didn’t qualify for the full survey. I ended up doing a couple short surveys that paid 20 SBs each.
- Free Trials (1650 SwagBucks). Free trials, found in the “Discover” section, are a great way to earn a bunch of SwagBucks. For the month I ended up joining 3 offers/trials and earned 1650 SBs. After I signed-up for the free monthly trials, I made an alert on my smartphone to remind me to cancel in 29 days. Here’s how I did it:
- Dollar Shave Club.com – Earned 800 SBs for signing up for a 1-month trial. I did have to buy a $8 tube of shave butter, but it’s cool as I’ve been curious about it. I actually might keep this one.
- Took an Uber Drive – Tried Uber, got the 1st ride for free and got 500 SBs added to my account. I always wanted to try the service and it actually worked out great.
- Gwynnie Bee – My wife gave their clothing subscription service a try for free for 30 days and earned 350 SBs. It’s actually pretty cool. You pick the fashion styles that you like, then they’ll select the apparel to mail to your front-step. Free shipping both ways. You wear it for as long as you like and return it for free.
- Find Swag Codes (90 SwagBucks) – Every single day SwagBucks releases what they call a “Swag Code” worth 3 SBs. Often they’ll pop-up on their site or Facebook page, but if you miss one, stop buy a site called Swag Codes Spoiler and grab today’s code. You enter the code in the Swag Code field at the top of the SwagBucks website and collect 3 SBs.
- Meet Your Daily Goal (325 SwagBucks) – Because I’m doing all of these things to earn free SBs, I’m constantly meeting my 30 SB daily goal, and thus my monthly goals, and getting some killer SB bonuses in the process.
- Play a Game or Two (260 SwagBucks) – If you have kids, this is a fun, and profitable, one to get them hooked on. Our favorite free games are Swag Jump and Swag Memory. We got to be Swag Jump ninjas by the end of the month. The most you can earn per day playing games is 10 SBs.
- Get Referral Earnings (125 SwagBucks) – Just by referring family and friends to SwagBucks, you’ll earn 10% of however many SBs they earn for the life of their membership.
- Don’t Forget your Sign-Up Bonus (500 SwagBucks) – Remember, if you’re new to SwagBucks, and you sign-up through this link, you’ll get 500 free SBs added to your account once you accrue 2,500…which won’t take long.
Boom! Mission accomplished. Even without my 500 bonus SBs, I easily hit my 5,000 SwagBucks monthly goal and got my $50 Amazon gift card. Interestingly, I made my goal with only making two online purchases. Some months I make a lot more than that, so my plan during those months is to just back off a free trial or two. Also, you don’t have to shoot for 5,000 SBs, you can earn 2,500 and score a $25 gift card, 1,000 for a $10 card, or even 500 SBs for a $5 gift card.
Bonus SwagBucks Tips and Hacks:
Here are even more ways to enhance your SwagBucks experience.
- Use the SwagButton. The SwagButton is a free browser extension, also known as an add-on, that makes it much easier to collect SBs whenever you’re online. Not only will it notify you when you’re on an online retailer’s website with SBs available, but it’ll actually tell you what coupon code you should add to your purchase for additional savings. Heck, the thing will even let you watch videos from the corner of your browser window as well as let you search the Internet and find SB bonuses. It’s currently available for Chrome, Firefox, and Internet Explorer. Hopefully a Safari version will be available soon.
- Learn to Double Dip and Earn Mega SwagBucks. I actually had a SwagBucks employee tell me about this cool tip. Were you aware the SwagBucks owns a site called MyGiftCardsPlus.com that does nothing but sell gift cards to a zillion different stores? The really cool part is you’ll earn SwagBucks when you buy gift cards via this website. Then you can turn around and use the gift card when you shop through SwagBucks and earn even more SBs. For example, right now you can buy a $50 JCPenney gift card and earn 150 SBs, then turn around and use the gift card via SwagBucks and earn another 450 SBs. Pretty cool.
Ask The Reader: So…what do you think of my Swagbucks review? Do you still wonder if it’s legit or not? If you did what I did every month you’d end up with $600 in gift cards to use on your Christmas shopping. Seems worth it to me. What say you? Let me know your thoughts and experiences with SwagBucks.
By Kyle James
P.S. – While I get a small cut if you sign-up for SwagBucks, all opinions in this review are my own. I’ve got a $50 Amazon gift card burning a hole in my pocket to prove it. Go get yours too!