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Getting Paid To Search With SwagBucks Review: Is It Worth Your Time?

Updated on September 8, 2012

Getting paid to make internet search queries sounds great, doesn't it? Over the years, the concept has been experimented with by various internet start-ups. Not surprisingly, most have failed thanks to a combination of a lousy search engine, lack of marketing, limited number of sponsors, and a void in the place of a long-term business plan. SwagBucks, yet another rewards-based search engine, is one of the few to get everything right ... almost.

Get paid to search?

The primary reason to sign up with SwagBucks is to use their search engine to earn points. Once you have accumulated enough points, you can exchange them in their Swag Store for products, gift cards, and even cash via PayPal.

The assumption is that since you already use search engines to find relevant content on the web, why not use SwagBucks' search instead? Whether you set their website as your homepage or integrate their search into your browser's toolbar, you can effectively get paid to do what you would do anyway without adding an extra step.


How long does it take to earn anything?

In one month's time, I generally earn enough points from doing searches through SwagBucks to snag one or two $5 Amazon gift cards (450 SwagBucks each).  While the $5 PayPal option (700 SwagBucks) sounds wonderful in theory, the Amazon card is significantly cheaper.  If you are one of the rare consumers who can not find a thing to buy on Amazon, the PayPal cash converts better than anything else I've found in the Swag Store.

Depending on your perspective, $5-10 per month for doing practically nothing might not do enough to get your adrenaline pumping.  If so, SwagBucks has put together a package of options for increasing your monthly haul.  Surveys, games, special offers, and even tasks a la Amazon's Mechanical Turk program pay you in Swag Bucks if you are willing to put in the time. Refer some friends to SwagBucks and you can snag a share of their earnings as well. 

Sounds great ... am I missing something?

When you first join SwagBucks, it is very easy to get swept in by the numerous activities that can boost your accumulation of Bucks. I recall blowing the first few weeks on filling out surveys and taking advantage of every special offer that didn't require buying a product.

Eventually, I came to the realization that I could be putting that time trying to earn an extra $5 per month to better use. For instance, I can make nearly $4 an hour mindlessly typing away at Key For Cash. Depending on what is available, it can take many hours to accomplish the same earnings through SwagBucks.

In my opinion, the best way to take advantage of SwagBucks is to stick solely to the search engine. While I still prefer Google, I've grown comfortable with using the SwagBucks toolbar for making my web searches. Besides, the search results aren't horribly different from Google's anyway.

If you really feel the need to speed up your Swag Buck stockpile, subscribe to one of the various Swag Code feeds circulating online and enter the codes when notified. You can easily earn 50-100 additional Bucks a month for seconds of your time. I don't make Swag Codes a priority, but I will enter them on occasion depending on my mood.

Alright, so is this worth my time?

To wrap all of this up:

  • Stick to just using the search engine (and possibly entering Swag Codes)
  • If you are able to, refer friends and readers of your web content
  • Don't bother with anything else unless you actually enjoy the other activities
  • Always choose the $5 Amazon cards (as long as they remain at 450 Swag Bucks)

$60-80 year for doing searches you already make is worth the trouble of signing up.  I've been with SwagBucks for over a year and have always received my Amazon gift credits in a timely manner.  I give them a strong recommendation.


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    • profile image

      John H 2 years ago

      Signing up for Swagbucks JUST to use the search is the WORST way to make money on Swagbucks. I make over $250 a month by clicking Ngage and Ncrave along with SBTV and all of Swagbucks' autorun apps. I do maybe 4 searches a week and rarely get paid for them. If you want to get paid for searches, sign up with Bing rewards. Bing rewards is ban happy beware.

    • profile image

      matt c 2 years ago

      Swagbucks from my experience seems to revolve around the offers and not the surveys. The surveys themselves are limited and not worth the time you put into them. There are many better survey related sites out there that would not waste your time like Swagbucks. It's a template style offer page more or less. One survey site people seem to have more luck with is . The success varies from person to person on the specific surveys they do but they do have more success than the low paying survey/offer sites out there.

    • profile image

      Jacobb9205 2 years ago

      In my opinion I don't think the Swagbucks search engine is worth it as it barely gives you swagbucks.

    • profile image

      Red 3 years ago

      I make 2 dollars a day on Swagbucks by mostly watching videos, you can earn $1.50 each day just watching videos, (I open a tab and minimize the page [ctrl -] to my fitting and do whatever I want while running the videos). You can also install the SBTV app and get 50cents a day by letting the vidoes autorun (US only). Other than that you could do much more thing but those will require concentration. Like tasks and Surveys.

    • profile image

      mike 5 years ago

      Swagbucks is the biggest scam out there - they wait until you have enough points to redeem a prize and then they deactive your account, mailing out faulty reasons from a robot that do not explain what has happened and without providing you with a prize. DO NOT USE SWAGBUCKS IF YOU DONT WANT TO WASTE TIME AND MONEY

    • vparker profile image

      Veronica Parker 5 years ago from From Mars

      So far I've now turn my attention to the Amazon (450 sb) and walmart (500 sb). The walmart gift cards I think will have more mileage since you can use them to buy almost anything even food or gas (you can use them at Sam's Club).

    • articlesbyalex profile image

      articlesbyalex 5 years ago

      Nice Hub, I was using it for a while and might start again to try and earn even a little more money!

    • profile image

      nick 5 years ago

      I have used swagbucks and honestly, it is a waste of time, it is easier to make money with Infobarrel.

    • mskills profile image

      mskills 5 years ago from North Carolina, USA


      Sure, it has been 6 months since you posted your comment. But in the (very) off chance that you return -- TELL US YOUR SECRETS! /anxiety attack

      @Moon Willow Lake,

      Unfortunately, I'm multi-tasking-impaired. The fact that I'm missing out on hundreds of pennies because of my disability is a curse and a mockery. A hex upon you, pesky Y chromosome!




      If I was capable of writing a concise, quality statement instead of spewing words on a page, the result would closely resemble your comment.


      Though CantBeatFree looks tempting, my too-much-work meter is threatening to vibrate out of my pocket. I'll stick with doing the usual ... nothing.


      Wow, and to think I was satisfied with making a mere fraction of that. Congrats!


      Affiliates are certainly the way to go with just about anything money-related on the web. If I ever decide to climb out of my fallout bunker and make some friends, I'll be sure to get on that pronto.


      Oh, I'm one step ahead of you. Since my Amazon gift cards go directly into a shared account with my wife, I pretend that the money never existed in the first place.

    • ElvenaDracos profile image

      ElvenaDracos 6 years ago from Far far away lol

      Yeah as a set and forget thing the points mount up over time just don't think of it as a way to make money because you won't get much from it lol.

    • nakmeister profile image

      nakmeister 6 years ago from Lancaster, UK

      Good hub, thanks. I totally agree that you should only do anything other than the searches if you enjoy it, otherwise it's not worth it. Referring though is definitely a good thing, you can earn a sizable chunk if you have a few active people who you've referred.

    • vparker profile image

      Veronica Parker 6 years ago from From Mars

      I get $50 dollars in cash (via Paypal) from Swagbucks a month. All I mainly do is watch the videos on the internet and on my cellphone, do the web searches and look for codes. I find it fun and very easy to do.

    • profile image

      John 6 years ago

      also check out Cantbeatfree. they have no restrictions on what you can make per a month. there's no limit on $5 gift card per a month and they have a community that is always helpful respectful. the admin is great and will always answers your questions.

    • carlhuber profile image

      carlhuber 6 years ago

      Thanks for the thoughts on this - I find swagbucks to be the most well developed and professional of these "contentless" moneymaking web sites. I think the searches can help if it's something you are going to do organically anyway. If you have to go out of your way to do it you're probably better off doing something else to make money.

    • profile image

      True 6 years ago

      I gotta admit this is pretty cool

    • Moon Willow Lake profile image

      Moon Willow Lake 6 years ago

      I have been using Swagbucks and I generally get 30 to 100+ Swagbucks a day with little effort. For example, I can click on easy one/two minute videos and let them play while I do things in other tabs or on another browser. I'm big on multi-tasking like that. I personally love Swagbucks! I've opted for money and for prizes. I've even racked up 700 points for the $5 Paypal payout in a week before. (I think results for every user will be different for a variety of reasons.) Thanks for article on them.

    • sabrani44 profile image

      sabrani44 6 years ago

      Thanks for the review. I love swagbucks, Im earning at least $25 a month! Definitely recommend everyone to join.

    • profile image

      betty 6 years ago

      i use for all my swagbucks codes

    • mskills profile image

      mskills 6 years ago from North Carolina, USA


      Thank you, thank you.

      @Jennie Demario,

      Very true, I agree that hard work generally creates great reward. Being a bit thick-headed, though, I'll continue looking for the easy money express. SwagBucks ain't it, but at least the "easy" part applies.


      If you manage to find something better than those gift card rewards, please let me know. I rarely browse the SwagBucks store nowadays, and am likely missing something more lucrative.


      Definitely sign up. SwagBucks isn't going to rock your world with its rewards, but there isn't a whole lot of downside to it either.


      Precisely. If SwagBucks required anything more than using its search engine, I'd be too lazy to bother with it. May your email inbox be flooded with $5 gift cards.


      I could tell you, but then I'd have to ... well, I don't even know. HubPages' doesn't appear to approve of a hyperlink to SwagBucks, which I didn't realize until after I wrote this hub. Oh well.

    • Uzdawi profile image

      Uzdawi 6 years ago

      Great article, voted up!BUT, why isn´t there a referral link to the site, you would profit from it, as well the quests(it is more comfortable for them:P).

    • Powerpoe1 profile image

      Powerpoe1 6 years ago

      Thanks for sharing, sounds great to earn from searches you'll perform on a daily basis. Bookmarked for future use~& Voted Up for being useful! Happy Hubbing~

    • clintonb profile image

      clintonb 6 years ago from Adelaide, Australia

      This a completely new thing. Thanks will make sure to check it out.

    • BethanRose profile image

      BethanRose 6 years ago from South Wales

      Thanks for this informative hub. I joined SwagBucks not long ago, and am still discovering the benefits of it.

    • Jennie Demario profile image

      Venture Boyz 6 years ago from Floating in the clouds

      Sweet. Thanks for sharing your insight mskills. I always believe that when something looks to good to be true it probably is. However, we anything success is dependent on hard work. If you put in the time and work you deserve the reward. Nothing is given to you in this world, you need to go get it!

    • htodd profile image

      htodd 6 years ago from United States

      Thanks great post..Nice

    • mskills profile image

      mskills 6 years ago from North Carolina, USA


      SwagBucks will issue codes during the week through various outlets, such as their blog and the SwagBar. Entering these codes will earn you extra SwagBucks. I would recommend subscribing to the following feed for the codes:

    • Gabrielle Javier profile image

      Gabrielle Javier 6 years ago from Rochester, NY

      "Stick to just using the search engine (and possibly entering Swag Codes)"

      What does entering swag codes mean?


    • mskills profile image

      mskills 6 years ago from North Carolina, USA


      Ah, well ... HubPages doesn't like links to SwagBucks because of its advertising method, so you'll have to sign up without one. I do appreciate the thought.


      Hang in there, they invite new workers in batches. Sometimes it only takes a few days, though I've read elsewhere that it can take a few weeks to receive the invite.

    • alocsin profile image

      alocsin 6 years ago from Orange County, CA

      Alas, although I passed the KeysForCash tests, they have yet to invite me onboard.

    • Gabrielle Javier profile image

      Gabrielle Javier 6 years ago from Rochester, NY

      In case I decide to go for it - what's your referral link?

    • mskills profile image

      mskills 6 years ago from North Carolina, USA


      Totally understand being tied up with kids (have two of my own). You still might want to consider SwagBucks, though, as the beauty of it all is that you can set it as your homepage and earn enough to claim the gift cards just from doing searches.

    • Gabrielle Javier profile image

      Gabrielle Javier 6 years ago from Rochester, NY

      Very interesting info. but not for me personally. too much time involved. (gotta kid to run after :-) )

    • mskills profile image

      mskills 6 years ago from North Carolina, USA


      Hope it proves to be lucrative for you. Hope I was able to help you with your Google Analytics issue.


      Welcome aboard! I'm new as well, having signed up two weeks ago. I don't have profound wisdom to impart yet, but best of luck to you in your HP journey.

      Thank you for backing me up on the conversational voice thing. Many of the articles that I write for the content mills expects an authoritative, 3rd person tone that quite honestly bores me to tears (sorry for the cliché.) For my personal time, I wholeheartedly prefer to leave a trace of myself in my articles.

    • profile image

      lesleysrose 6 years ago

      Thank you for the info. I would also like to say that I would much rather read something in conversational tone. Reading something that is too formal on the internet makes me feel like I am at work. @ JGoul is right - it's more about what the content is about. If you were writing about the functions of a particular computer program or how a hard drive stores information, more formal could be possible. It also depends on the type of audience you are looking for. Thank you for the information - I am new to hubpages, internet writing, as well as making money on the internet. However, I will be putting up several articles over the next few weeks. At this point, I am making my decision on which articles will be the best to submit.

    • alocsin profile image

      alocsin 6 years ago from Orange County, CA

      Thanks for the info. But I think the KeysForCash description sounds interesting. I'll check out your posting on that.

    • mskills profile image

      mskills 7 years ago from North Carolina, USA


      Thank you, I appreciate your compliment and the vote.

    • Susan D Tyndall profile image

      Dianne Tyndall 7 years ago from Sanderson, Texas

      Great information, I like the way you write ;o) voted up and useful.

    • mskills profile image

      mskills 7 years ago from North Carolina, USA


      I know I prefer conversational voice, but it seems like so many print publications endorse a formal tone in their reviews that I'm unsure if I'm making the correct impact.

      Glad you read my comments. You are the second person I've chosen to follow since joining HubPages.

    • JGoul profile image

      JGoul 7 years ago

      I don't think your voice is too casual at all. You're writing about making money on the internet, not metaphysical philosophy, so a conversational tone is fine, and maybe even preferred.

      Great article, I'm checking them out right now.

    • mskills profile image

      mskills 7 years ago from North Carolina, USA


      Thank you so much for the compliment! I was afraid that my voice is too casual for writing product and service reviews. I will try to keep my impatience from deterring my HubPages experience.

    • DIYweddingplanner profile image

      DIYweddingplanner 7 years ago from South Carolina, USA

      MSkills, I've never even heard of any of these moneymaking opportunities on the Internet, but seems there are a gazillion out there if you're willing to put in the time and effort. Enjoyed reading, your writing style is very easy to read for the average reader. Be patient. Your time will come! Best wishes in HP land!

    • mskills profile image

      mskills 7 years ago from North Carolina, USA


      Since SwagBucks isn't paying me in cash, I'm not being directly taxed. However, even though Amazon does not charge tax on orders, my state requests that I report any online purchases when filing my return.

      Thanks for reading!

    • tHErEDpILL profile image

      Alem Belton 7 years ago from New York

      Thank you sir for sharing this income gaining information with the world, you are a great American. Too bad it probably gets taxed like everything else, seems like were in quicksand :(

    • mskills profile image

      mskills 7 years ago from North Carolina, USA


      Thanks for the reading. SwagBucks doesn't produce a ton of income, but combining it with other online income streams puts a silly grin on my face when it comes time to tally up my year-end income totals.

    • orangecountyjill profile image

      orangecountyjill 7 years ago from Orange County, California

      Thanks for sharing this information. Always great to learn about additional ways to make money on-line.


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