Swagbucks Review – Legit Paid Survey Site or Time Wasting Scam?

swagbucks review

When discussing paid survey sites, it’s hard not to mention Swagbucks. It’s easily one of the largest and most well-known surveys site online today.

Although it stands out from the rest in terms of popularity, does it live up to that hype? We’ll break that down in this review.

What is Swagbucks?

Swagbucks is a site that’s owned by its parent company, Protege. Protege also own another popular survey site, MyPoints.

Swagbucks, which launched in 2005, has over 20 million members and has paid out over $262,650,357 total to date. Which goes to show this isn’t a small scale survey site, but rather, one that’s well establish. Even so, just because it makes these claims doesn’t necessarily means it’s “legit.” We’ll judge that.

So Swagbucks uses a points system where users earn “Swagbucks.” I realize that’s a bit confusing and honestly, I was confused at first too. Swagbucks are earned by doing various tasks on the site such as taking surveys or watching videos, but we’ll get more into that later.

For now, just understand that 100 Swagbucks is roughly equivalent to $1. It taking 100 Swagbucks to just earn $1 seems a bit intimidating, but with the right strategies, it’s not as hard as you might think. But it does take time.

Overall, Swagbucks is a rewards site that pays you for completing various tasks. Users from the US, Canada, UK, Australia, Germany, Ireland, India and France can all enjoy the services that Swagbucks has to offer.

How Does Swagbucks Work?

Swagbucks works by first going to their site and signing up for a free account. As I said above, users from the US, Canada, UK, Australia, Germany, Ireland, India and France are all eligible for an account.

From there you are ready to start earning Swagbucks (which will turn into cash).

The interface is pretty straightforward but Swagbucks helps to guide you through the introductory process. One of the first things that you’ll need to do is complete your profile. When you signed up you supplied some basic info, but Swagbucks needs a little more info on you so that they can assign you with the most relevant surveys.

sign up for swagbucks

How much does taking those surveys pay? Well it all depends on the survey’s value and length. Some surveys may be as low as 1 Swagbucks ($0.01) and as high as 1,000 Swagbucks ($10).

The amount and value for the surveys you get vary. For example, certain demographics may get access to different surveys than others because those conducting the surveys may be looking for the feedback from a particular demographic. In all, there are typically plenty of opportunities for members to take surveys.

However, Swagbucks has a strict honesty policy and will terminate your account if they find that you lied about your personal information upon signing up and/or are dishonest when completing surveys.

Ways to Earn


Possibly the most popular option for earning Swagbucks is to take surveys. Don’t expect to get enormous payments from taking surveys but sometimes there are surveys available that will pay you a few bucks for a couple minutes of your time.

Gold Surveys (Swagbucks most notorious survey type) are worth looking into first when logging in. Even if one survey doesn’t pay that much, doing a couple can add up.

Just know you may get disqualified from the survey shortly after starting it if the surveys finds your initial answers not to be along the lines of the focus groups they’re looking for.

swagbucks take paid surveys

Swagbucks Search Engine

The Swagbucks Search is a great way to passively earn Swagbucks without changing the way you use go about your day.

earn with swagbucks search engine

Basically, you are directed to do all of your internet searches through Swagbucs search engine (search.swagbucks.com). You’ll be rewarded with Swagbucks for doing so and the results in the search engine are decent as it uses Yahoo’s search engine in the backend.

The points you earn for searching seem to be random, but hey, it’s fine if you needed to surf the web anyway!

swagbucks search engine results


You can complete offers such as signing up for a free trial of Hulu or joining Blue Apron for a month. These offers let you try a service you may be interested in, in addition to getting paid a few Swagbucks.

Although this is a very easy way to earn with Swagbucks, I’d suggest you only sign-up for the offers you’re interested in.

swagbucks featured offers

Shopping (Cash Back)

You can earn cash back for clicking an offer and buying an item from the corresponding site. Keep in mind, you must click the link to that site through Swagbucks’ site first in order to claim the offer.

After the transaction on the retail site completes, Swagbucks will load your account with the Swagbucks promised from the offer. These Swagbucks can eventually be redeemed for cash and so are essentially, cash back!

swagbucks cashback

Watch Videos

Watching videos are a relaxing way to earn a few Swagbucks without really doing any hard work. Most of the videos are pretty interesting.

You can just let the videos play as you complete surveys or other tasks. You’ll have to keep clicking on the next video to keep earning but it a super simple way to earn. Keep in mind, this method will only earn a maximum of a few bucks in a day.

swagbucks watch videos

Play Games

One of the most fun ways to earn is by playing games.

You can try out a few of Swagbucks’ games and earn a few Swagbucks for just playing.

Additionally, you can play some of their partner games and get paid Swagbucks for each $1 spent on in-app purchases. This is a bit deceiving, as it sounds like getting paid to play games but really, you can get paid to play games while making purchases within the game.

It’s understandable if this method isn’t for you, we’ve got plenty more.

swagbucks play games

Daily Poll

Every day, Swagbucks offers a Swagbuck or two for it’s “daily poll.” You simply answer a multiple choice question and earn.

A simple and easy way to earn each Swagbucks each month!

swagbucks daily poll

Swag Codes

“Swag Codes” are codes Swagbucks will post on places like their website, social media and even on their search engine! These are simple codes Swagbucks releases that award a few Swagbucks if found and redeemed in the required time limit.

On special days throughout the month, high value Swag Codes are released, so be sure to lookout for those.

swag code


Swagbucks offers a lottery type system where you can enter drawings for particular prizes you’d like to win.

Those drawing cost Swagbucks in order to be entered into, but if you win, you’ll get back your investment and then some. Key word, “if” you win. This isn’t the safest way to earn with the site as you can lose your hard earned Swagbucks, fast.

But you could win something like a $5 Paypal gift card for an investment of 75 SB - not bad!

swagbucks raffel

Referral Program

The site also offers a referral program. By inviting your friends to join Swagbucks, you can make money!

Typically you’ll be awarded a few Swagbucks if your referral signs up and you’ll also recieve a percentage of their lifetime earnings. Pretty cool!

swagbucks invite friends

Printing Coupons

You can print out some of their coupons and redeem them at your local grocery. Using this method, you’ll not only save on your grocery bill, but also make a few Swagbucks!

swagbucks printable coupons


The Swagbutton is a browser extension you install to your favorite web browser (Chrome, Safari, etc) and it notifies you of any deals available for each relevant site you visit.

For example, let say you go to Walmart’s website and the Swagbutton pulls up an offer that says “1 SB per dollar you spend.” You’d simply have to activate that offer, checkout and receive those Swagbucks!

It will also alert you if it finds an specific deal or coupons for the site you are on.

There’s specific Swag Codes that can only be redeemed through the SwagButton as well.

Really the Swagbutton is key to any Swagbucks user, it will even alert you when you have new surveys available.

That’s Not All!

That’s just the top ways to earn with Swagbucks, there’s still a few other methods on the site and they’re constantly adding new ways to earn. You definitely won’t run out of things to do with Swagbucks.

What Are the Payment Options?

There’s certainly a variety of ways to get paid with Swagbucks. The two most popular methods are Amazon gift cards and PayPal.

You can typically cash out with those offer when you reach 300 to 500 Swagbucks.

However, you can get more value out of your Swagbucks if you go for some of the less popular gift cards like Walmart or Target. Those type of gift cards are typically offered at discounted rate and so allows you to do a little better than the standard 100 SB = $1 exchange rate.

You also have the option to use your Swagbucks to donate to charity, which is great way to donate your free time.

swagbucks payment options

Swagbucks Coupons/Deals

Swagbucks typically offers a sign-up bonus at any given time.

Right now, they are running a sign up bonus of $10!

When it comes to those types of offers it’s important to read the fine print, though. In order to redeem that $10, you must spend $25 in the Swagbucks shopping portal. That is a bit tricky, but if you wanted to do some shopping, it would be a great way to achieve that bonus.

Swagbucks Hacks

The primary Swagbucks hack is to create a game plan. Set up a schedule you’d like to follow for earning with Swagbucks everyday, and stick to it.

For example, you could start your morning by doing a few quick activities like the daily poll, using the Swagbucks search engine and browsing their social media for Swag Codes.

While at work you could let some of the Swagbucks videos play on mute while going about your day and earning easy Swagbucks.

Then in the evenings you could complete as many of the top surveys as possible.

Repeat the next day! Crafting such a structure will allow you to optimize your time with Swagbucks.

Pros and Cons


  • check
    Variety of ways to earn Swagbucks
  • check
    Many forms of payment
  • check
    The website/app is simple and easy to use
  • check
    Sign-up bonus
  • check
    Referral program is decent
  • check
    The effort required is simple


  • Payment can take time
  • May have to wait for more surveys to become available
  • Search engine isn’t the greatest

Other Customer Reviews

Swagbucks reviews, like other paid survey site reviews, vary somewhat.

However, for the most part, Swagbucks is thought of in a positive light online.

sitejabber logo

SiteJabber.com gives Swagbucks an average rating of 4.5/5 stars based on just under 4,000 reviews. Reviews have highlighted things like “I’m getting paid for things I would’ve done anyway” and “great site to get paid for shopping I wanted to do.” Some less positive reviews touched on that fact that “you need patience and time to actually earn Swagbucks.”

trust pilot star logo

TrustPilot.com gives Swagbucks an average score of 4/5 stars. Reviewers stated things like “it’s a good opportunity” and the “website is easy to use” while others less positive reviews stated their frustration by saying “it took some time to get the hang of it.”

Although users have expressed their issues with the amount of time it takes to make money, there’s no doubt you can actually make some money with Swagbucks. You just need to keep your expectations in check.

How Does It Compare?

How does Swagbucks hold up against the competition? Quite well actually!

When comparing it to sites like Survey Junkie and MySurvey, Swagbucks has way more opportunities to make money. Beyond just surveys, you can watch videos, take polls, surf the web and more.

Though some sites, like CashCrate, may have a better average payout per survey, Swagbucks is definitely an important site to keep in your rotation due to its wide array of opportunities.

One of the points to make is many Swagbucks users have reported being disqualified from surveys. However, I didn’t find this occurrence to be any more or less than other popular survey sites.

Is Swagbucks Legit or a Scam?

One perks Swagbucks has going for it is that they are honest about how they use your personal information. They are up front with how they handle personal information from the start and compared to a few less credible survey sites, Swagbucks has a decent policy.

BBB logo


Protege, LLC (Swagbucks’ parent company) is accredited by the Better Business Bureau and has an “A” rating on the BBB website. Therefore, in terms of being legit, this site passes the test.

From my experience the payout process was relatively painless and quick.

Is Swagbucks Worth It?

Overall, Swagbucks is one of the top quality paid surveys sites among the others online. While it may take some time to earn real money, they do pay and are honest with you.

Their website and app (Apple/Android) interfaces are clean and easy to navigate. Plus the ability to earn money in so many different ways is definitely unique.

Swagbucks is not going to make you rich, but it’s certainly a decent way to bring in some extra cash.

So, is Swagbucks worth it? We’d have to says yes. If you have the extra time, patience and are interesed in earning money though taking surveys, watching videos, surfing the web, etc. then Swagbucks is worth a try.