Earlier last year I started seeing a lot of tweets on Twitter about making money on Swag Bucks. In a nutshell: people use the search box on their site or a special downloadable toolbar to search for topics like they normally would through any search engine (Google, Bing etc.) except while using Swag Bucks they earn points. Other ways to earn points included watching TV ads and videos, answering surveys, and playing games (there are other options too). These points can later be traded in for gifts or gift cards (GC). You need a lot of points to get anything substantial. For example:
- One $5 Amazon gift card was 450 points
- One $25 Amazon gift card was 3150 points
For kicks I signed up via a referral link from someone I follow on Twitter and kept a record of my point accumulation for a few months.
May 5 – 83 points
May 8 – 282 points
May 10 – 301 points
May 11 – 325 points
May 14 – 359 points
May 15 – 394 points
May 16 – 416 points
May 17 – 502 points
As I mentioned above a $5 Amazon gift card (GC) is 450 points and a $25 Amazon gift card is 3150 points. Doing some basic math I noticed that getting five $5 cards for 2250 points required 900 less points that going for the larger gift certificate amount. To get my money’s worth, so to speak, I decided on working toward the $5 GC increments.
Once you trade in your points it can take up to a week to receive a digital gift card in your Swag Bucks account. “Most gift cards from the Swag Store are e-gift cards. These prizes are delivered to the ‘My Gift Cards’ section of your account within 10-14 business days of prize verification.” Then they have to verified and added to your Amazon account. It is not a super hard process but time consuming.
After redeeming 450 points for my $5 GC I spent 46 of my remaining bucks on a few entries in the Swagstakes area for bigger Swag Bucks (250 and 1000) giveaways and an iPad (no luck there).
May 17 – 6 points
May 19 – 31 points
May 21 – 50 points
May 23 – 117 points
May 24 – 140 points
On May 26 I got an email telling me that my gift card “order has been delivered to your account”. They can be left in your Swag Bucks account or you can take the code and enter them into your Amazon account under “your account” and “your gift certificates”. It was super easy to do so I would recommend putting them into your Amazon account immediately (that is the paranoid part of me).
May 26 – 192 points
May 27 – 216 points
May 28 – 245 points
May 30 – 285 points
June 1 – 629 points (2 surveys, one 250 points)
June 3 – 686 points
June 4 – 701 points
In June I submitted for $5 in PayPal money and received and email stating it would be “7 to 21 business days for payment email to be received”. At this point I also discovered Swag Codes which were special codes hidden within the site’s blog posts and elsewhere and were good for another 10 to 100 points if submitted in the special “gimme” area before the deadline ended.
June 4 – 1 points
June 6 – 6 points
June 10 – $5 paid into Paypal account.
June 23 – used points for $5 Amazon GC
After a few months I think I gained a good feel for Swag Bucks. Yes, you can definitely earn money via their method but it does require conscious thought and effort to work within their guidelines (they have strict guidelines so the system is not abused by users). For the two month period I earned $20 in Amazon GC and $5 in Paypal money.
In my opinion, this is not a suitable source of income when you take into account the time involved to make up the points. If you are already online anyway you can make an extra $5 to $10 bucks a month using their search engine a few times a day, playing a few games a day, doing a few surveys (which take anywhere from 15 to 45 minutes to complete), and any of the other options from their dashboard. But honestly, you are not being paid for your time — that is if you value your time — which you should. Not to mention the aggravation of spending 15 minutes doing a survey then being told you do not qualified (happens often and no points attributed).
That being said, it was an interesting experience and if you blog I recommend trying it out and documenting your results. This, of course, is my referral link which offers me points if you use it. At the moment I am not using Swag Bucks as a search option or participating in any other of their offerings (I have other ‘extra’ toolbars taking up space at the moment). Depending on how many people use the referral link provided I will update this post with further information on results. If you use it stop back and let me know how you like/hate it.