Found Money Source: SwagBucks

by Julie on October 1, 2012 · 12 comments

I earn Swagbucks by using their search engine, and then redeem them for Amazon gift cards.

This week I redeemed $15 in Amazon gift cards from a found money source I had forgotten about: Swagbucks.

I was a daily user of Swagbucks before my computer crashed last December. When I replaced it with a Mac and started using the Safari browser, I never made the switch back to SwagBucks.

Then Melissa from Mom’s Plans reminded me about Swagbucks while we were chatting at the Financial Blogger Conference. Big thanks go out to Melissa, because I logged on when I got home and discovered I had enough points to claim those Amazon Gift cards.

So What is Swagbucks?

Here’s the official description, straight from the website:

Swagbucks.com is the web’s premier rewards site. Swagbucks.com allows web users to earn virtual currency by doing the things they do every day – search the web, shopping at their favorite retailers, and by engaging in other activities such as phone recycling, submitting polls, and completing special offers.

How I Use Swagbucks

I earn the vast majority of my Swagbucks currency — called “Swag Bucks” — by using the site to do something I already do everyday: search the web.

Prior to the computer crash, I had the Swagbucks toolbar for Firefox installed so it was easy. Swagbucks doesn’t currently have a toolbar for Safari, which is what I use, although one is in the works. To combat that issue I’ve done two things:

  1. I’ve made Swagbucks one of my favorites on Safari, so that when I’m ready to search, it’s a click away.
  2. I downloaded the Firefox browser on my Mac and am training myself to use it and the Swagbucks toolbar more.

Other Ways to Earn

Although I earn the majority of my Swag Bucks through the search feature, there are a number of other ways to earn them:

  • Games
  • Polls
  • No Obligation Special Offers
  • Printing Coupons
  • Online Shopping (similar to how I earn with Mr. Rebates)
  • Purchasing a Daily Deal through Groupon and similar sites
  • Playing Games
  • Special Offers
  • Watching videos on Swagbucks TV
  • Trading in Books, Video Games and Consoles (Cash4Books is another good option for getting rid of unwanted books)
  • Taking Surveys

If you’re already playing games, printing coupons, or buying Groupon offers online, you might as well earn Swag Bucks for doing it. It’s kind of fun to browse around the site and see all the ways you can earn and which ones might work for you. I saw a few I should try.

And sometimes you get Swag Bucks for doing nothing at all, unless you count being born. Last week I received 50 Swag Bucks for my birthday.

Redeeming Swag Bucks

Just as with earning Swag Bucks, there are a number of options for redeeming them.

Probably the most popular is cashing them in for gift cards. That’s what I do. 450 Swag Bucks gets you a $5 Amazon gift card. There are dozens of other stores to choose from too.

Swagbucks as Found Money

Swagbucks is a great tool to have in a found money tool box, because it’s a regular, ongoing source of funds.

In that way, it’s like the cash back from my debit card and cash back from online shopping.

When you combine a few of these small, regular sources of money you earn from things you’re doing anyway, it can start to make a big difference in your financial goals.

I’ll use my Amazon gift cards for something I would have purchased anyway, and then send the $15 to build up savings, which is the job I’m currently giving my found money.

If you’re interested you can check out Swagbucks here: Swagbucks.com.

And please let me know if you have any questions. I’ve been using the site quite a while and have earned quite a few gift cards, so I’m happy to answer anything I can.

Are you a Swagbucks user? Have any tips to share?

Note: This post contains referral links. Please see my disclosure policy for more information.






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{ 10 comments }

Little House October 2, 2012 at 8:44 am

I really need to start using this again. I signed up for it a long time ago, then never used it. I love earning “rewards” for free stuff. I’d better reactivate my account!

Julie October 2, 2012 at 9:12 am

Sounds like you are in the same boat I was, LH. Good to be reminded, huh?

Ryan @ TheArtofSimpleTrading October 2, 2012 at 4:31 pm

I like this… do you know if the toolbar has any impact on computer performance overall? I’ve had trouble with toolbars at times, so I limit them to my “non-work” computers which can obviously impact my point gathering.

Either way, thanks for sharing.

Julie October 2, 2012 at 6:02 pm

Ryan, I don’t have any trouble with computer performance when using the Swagbucks toolbar. I know what you mean, though. I don’t like to download things if I don’t have to. In this case, it was worth it to me. Hope that helps!

Christa October 4, 2012 at 12:28 pm

I learned about this last year and forgot to sign up. I’ll have to do so right now!

Julie October 4, 2012 at 12:30 pm

Hope you like it, Christa. I’m having fun since I rediscovered it.

Jackie October 4, 2012 at 8:50 pm

Do they have any other options for things you can earn besides Amazon gift cards?

Julie October 4, 2012 at 9:29 pm

Oh yes, lots, Jackie.

Amanda November 29, 2012 at 11:32 am

I love Swagbucks! My goal is $50 each month from it, and $50 from an app I use. I run Swagbucks TV in the background on my work computer and get a lot of mileage from that, plus surveys and special offers. It’s easy and it’s mostly paid for Christmas this year, new stuff we needed when we bought our new house, and, my favorite, my robot floor cleaner!

Julie November 29, 2012 at 11:34 am

That’s awesome, Amanda. I love that you have goals for the $$ and have given it a job. Thanks for sharing.

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