Swagbucks: internet “money” you can make into Amazon, Starbucks, or iTunes gift cards — or cold hard cash


I’ve been on Swagbucks for a few years. I go back and forth between months of hyperactivity and then long stretches of nothing. On the one hand, getting free cash via PayPal or free gift cards for Amazon is wicked, on the other hand it takes FOREVER to accumulate enough Swagbucks to do so. But should you say no to free money just because it takes a long time to get? Probably not. Right now I’m on a Swagbucks earning bender because I’m broke and Amazon has lots of household items. They also have the entire 4-volume Game of Thrones series for $20, and since I can’t get Season 3 on iTunes yet, I’ve decided I NEED to read the books.

Anyway, if you already have Swagbucks or you don’t care, disregard this post. For those of you that want some free money and free stuff for your daily internet activities:

Sign up for Swagbucks here.

I was initially wary of Swagbucks, but it is a real thing. Here’s a snapshot of my current and lifetime Swagbucks earnings.

Screen Shot 2013-07-14 at 9.21.14 AM

Previously I’ve redeemed for PayPal cash, Amazon gift cards, and Starbucks gift cards. To see all the gift cards you can redeem for, click here. And let’s begin. Here’s how to get at least 20-40 Swagbucks per day doing nearly nothing:

  • open your browser with the Swagbucks toolbar (+1)
  • complete the NOSO’s: no obligation special offers (+2)
  • answer the daily poll (+1)
  • use the search bar for items you search every day, like PF blogs (+5 to 25) — seriously, I just go through searching all of my favorite blogs until I get Swagbucks for it, then I read the rest in my reader. I find you can get Swagbucks searching at least twice a day, so I usually do once in the morning and then again in the evening.
  • check your Swagbucks inbox for special offers (variable, usually +2 to 50)
  • check for a Swagcode (I still don’t really know what this is but one time I found a Swagcode on Facebook and got +9 Swagbucks for it so that was pretty easy)

That above will get you 700 – 1000 Swagbucks per month (which is enough for two $10 in Amazon gift cards) and it’s not even out of your daily internet routine.

If you did all of the above and it’s a super-swaggy day so the bucks are just pouring in, you might as well go for the “goal”. Everyday Swagbucks will set a goal, usually 70 to 100 Swagbucks, and if you earn that amount you’ll get a 10% bonus. Normally I’m too lazy to go above and beyond, but if I’m on a roll I have a tendency to keep rolling so here’s what I do next:

  • complete a survey (variable)
  • watch some videos (+2 for watching a minimum of 45 seconds of any Swagbucks video)
  • check special offers (ie. currently GoDaddy is offering 1,125 Swagbucks just for registering a domain name. If you’re a blogger you know you do this on a pretty regular basis so why not cash in?


Groupon. Now, I know you use Groupon because you’re all frugal and money conscious, that’s why you’re reading a PF blog, so why not double your perks here and be logged into Swagbucks when you buy your Groupon. Oh, my favorite restaurant is 50% off? And you’ll give me 50 Swagbucks to buy the Groupon? Done deal.

Shop online. There are hundreds of Swagbucks to be had if you just go through the Swagbucks site before you go browse Banana Republic or Amazon. Walmart, Sears, Kiehl’s, Starbucks, iTunes, Macy’s, Aldo. Seriously, this is a real thing. You shouldn’t shop to get Swagbucks, but if you’ve been planning an online purchase for awhile, why not get more out of it?


Giftcards. From other PF blogs I’ve read, I know a lot of my friends are fans of stockpiling Amazon gift card obtained with Swagbucks until they have enough for whatever is on their Amazon wishlist. Personally my favorite giftcards are Starbucks, iTunes and Sephora. Yep, I’ve turned my mindless internet clicking into lattes and lipstick.

Money. You read that right: you can redeem Swagbucks for PayPal gift cards, which get credited directly to your PayPal account. $25 via PayPal is the first thing I ever redeemed Swagbucks for, mostly because I couldn’t really believe I was getting actual money for internet surveys. I was.

Coupons. Get Swagbucks for buying coupons, redeem Swagbucks for other coupons. These will vary based on where you live, but you might be surprised what’s available – I was! From local cafes to restaurant chains (like Red Robin, Marble Slab, Papa John’s pizza), you could buy percent discounts or buy-one-get-one promos for really little amounts, like 35 Swagbucks. Do you know how long it takes you to earn 35 Swagbucks? No time at all! (see my how-to list earlier in this post). M&M meat shops will give you $4 off a $50 purchase for 35 Swagbucks. Red Robin will give you a free tower of onion rings. Cinnzeo will go 2 for 1 on cinnamon buns. This is 100% the reason I came back to Swagbucks, because I can turn them into food.

So that’s how that works if you’re up for the tedium of earning Swagbucks, eventually you do accumulate enough to get free things!


  1. I remember airmiles did this a while back where you would earn I think 50 miles a month if you did 100 searches every day. Really doesn’t take that much time but I had developed a recent addiction to Google Chrome and the search bar + address bar in one. I might have to give this a try though.

    The Amazon gift card is it for Amazon.com or .ca? Because amazon.com has a life goal of keeping me from awesome cheap things because of my love for maple syrup :s

    • Bridget (Author)

      oi. 100 searches a day is a lot… but I guess I could probably get that at work haha

      You can get gift cards for Amazon.com OR .ca! I usually choose Amazon.com because they have more stuff lol

      • I don’t remember the technicalities of it, just that I think I got a total 10 air miles over the few months I did it. Amazon.com does have way more stuff but like I said they don’t like my attempts to buy anything from them. But I’ll definitely give this one a shot

  2. I joined swagbucks and MyPoints awhile back. Both are ways to earn money from searching, clicking through offers, taking surveys, or going through their sites to get to your online shopping. I don’t use them too much, but it’s nice to have that little reward every once in awhile.
    A lot of credit card companies also do the “click through to shop” option, where you earn more cashback/points on your purchases if you go to your online store through them.

    All good options for earning a little extra spending money! Though I’ve read magazines that push these sites as a really good way to make money (especially the sites that are big on surveys), but I don’t know how much return on your time investment you get.

  3. I’ve been doing swagbucks for years and I’ve earned quite a bit through them. I do keep videos running in separate tabs and just go back to them every minute or two and pick a new one. It’s easy and it adds up fast in addition to everything else.

    • Bridget (Author)

      haha I do that too!

      I’m at 915 Swagbucks now so that means I’ve gotten 30 since I posted this yesterday. Not too bad, I find they’re pretty easy to earn.

      I have enough for $10 of Amazon gift cards! Halfway to Game of Thrones! lol

  4. Oh that’s not bad. Doesn’t seem terribly intrusive…which is always my biggest fear

  5. You can follow Swag Code Spoiler on Twitter and they will alert you when there is a Swag Code. I get them sent to my phone and if I am around a computer it’s an easy way to get 5-10 that I wouldn’t have otherwise.

  6. Hey, did anyone already try dshini.com? We can finally use Dshini.com also in the US. If you like, you can get free gift cards there.