What is Swagbucks and How Does It Work?

Whether you’re a blogger or not, I can vouch for this method of earning online. (If you’re not a blogger but would like to make money blogging, I’ll show you how to get started, step-by-step here.)

What is Swagbucks and how does it work?

What is Swagbucks?

Swagbucks allows you to earn digital points called SB. These points can be redeemed for merchandise or gift cards.

I was reluctant to start myself because I’m generally skeptical of such things, but I’ve earned hundreds of dollars worth of gift cards (mostly Amazon) in the years I’ve been participating.

Note: This post contains my referral link. Read my disclosure here.

How to get started

1. Go to Swagbucks and click “Not a member? Join today” at the bottom of the white box. Use signup code HEYAMY for a possible bonus.

2. Once you’re signed up and logged in, learn about the ways to earn. You can click through the options in the “Ways to Earn” menu at the very bottom of your screen…

ways to earn swagbucks

…but I personally prefer the “How it Works” link under the “Information” column (also at the bottom of the screen to the right)…

swagbucks how it works

There are so many ways to earn, I think you’ll find your Swagbucks points add up quickly. Another great way to earn is to refer friends (click the “Invite Friends” link at the top of your screen to learn more).

How to redeem SB

Once you’ve collected enough Swagbucks points, you can redeem them for prizes or gift cards. There are a lot of prizes and gift cards to choose from (click “Redeem SB” at the top of your screen under your profile), but I always go for the $5 Amazon gift card for 500 SB or the $3 Amazon gift card for 300 SB. Another option I like is the PayPal cash deposits starting at $25 for 2500 SB.

Update: The $5 Amazon gift card used to be one of my favorites because it cost 450 Swagbucks, thus giving you the most bang for your buck. However, they raised the required number of SB to 500 at the beginning of 2015, making it the equivalent value of many of the other options. In addition, they added a $3 gift card option which is nice because you don’t have to wait as long to redeem.

These are the steps to redeem:

1. I log into my account from time to time (I have a reminder on my calendar the 1st of every month in case I forget). Once I see that I have 500 SB I go to the “Redeem SB” (link at top of screen under profile). Then I simply search for “Amazon” and look for the $5 card. Tip: Bookmark your favorite reward (like the Amazon $5 gift card) in your browser and in the future you can go straight there!

2. Click the “Snag This!” button.

3. Next, check your email inbox for the verification email. Click the verify button in this email. You’re all set for now.

4. In 7-10 days, you’ll get another email, this time letting you know your reward is ready. Simply follow the link in the email to grab your reward from the Swagbucks site.

(For me, this means I copy the long Amazon gift card number, log in to my Amazon account, go to “Your Account” –> click “Apply a Gift Card to Your Account,” and paste the gift code I copied from the Swagbucks site. Then, when I’m ready to make a purchase at Amazon, it’s already in my account and is applied when I check out.)

That’s it! It’s painless really. You won’t get rich with Swagbucks, but even a little spending money is fun. Sound interesting? Click here to sign up now.

What is Swagbucks and how does it work?

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  1. Devesh says

    Please can you tell me whether swag bucks is available in South Africa as i have heard about SwagBucks and want to give it a try. Thanks

  2. Jess says

    Don’t forget about the new “Local Deals” that you can redeem swagbucks on. I have found this to be a great deal for certain things. I have used 35 Swagbucks to get a Buy One Get One Free admission to our local Monkey Joe’s (Inflatable indoor playground). That is a $5 value for us, so an even better deal than a $5 Amazon card for 450 swagbucks. I don’t know what is available in other areas, but it is worth checking into. (Also, this coupon was not available the other day, but was back today, so these coupons may come and go).

  3. Amy C says

    Hi there!
    Do you know if Swagbucks works for countries outside of the USA and Canada? I am based in South Africa and I was wondering if it would be worth the trouble!

  4. says

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  5. Mary says

    I just found your blog, and I’m learning so much! Can you tell me how the IRS views Swagbucks…. Do they count it as income? Thanks for your time!

  6. Mary says

    I just found your blog, and I’m learning so much! Can you tell me how Swagbucks are seen by the IRS… Do they count as income? Thank you for your time!

  7. jackie cady says

    I love swag, I am saving up for the $25 pay pal… sbtv from the tool bar is a very easy way to earn swagbucks…every 10 videos =3 sb you can do this til you get 50 sbs :o} it took me a while but i think i am at the best sb per the amount of time i spend on swag….and right now they have march madness going on you reach their goal for the day and they give you a bonus!

  8. Gloria says

    if you signed someone else in your household into swagbucks. How do you delete them since it is no legal to do. I don’t want to get eliminated.

    • Amy says

      We accidentally did the same thing at the beginning too. If you sign into the account you want to delete, there is an option under “Account Details” to cancel your account.

  9. Jessica @ Acting Adult says

    Thanks for the tutorial! I wasn’t sure about how to use my Swagbucks but now that I realize the $5 cards are the best value, I want to use them that way. But how long does it normally take for the gift cards to appear in your account after redeeming them?

    • Amy says

      It usually takes a bout a week or so. I think officially they say something like 7-10 business days, but I usually get an email about a week later.

  10. Debbie says

    How do the surveys work? Are they safe? This message concerned me …
    “I accept that the nurago GmbH, Kurt-Schumacher-Str. 24, 30159 Hannover, Germany, may access and save my Internet browsing activity on their servers”

  11. April says

    I use google chrome to browse. Does swagbucks work with google chrome? I cant seem to find anything on that?

  12. Christine says

    I am a little concerned about the fact that many things other than searches show up on my Swagbucks toolbar. Parts of emails, coded passwords, etc. Is this normal? Also, I cannot find codes. Where does one look for them? Thank you.

    • Ginger says

      Anything you highlight or use the “copy” function on your computer will automatically show up in your toolbar. I *believe* that’s because Swagbucks thinks if you copy it, you must want to “search” for it…at least, that’s what I’ve always assumed.

  13. Rita says

    Yes, that does indeed help. I have found their site a little difficult to navigate—in terms of finding answers to specific questions. I did my purchase by trial and error last night. I wish I had found you yesterday—–it would have gone so much smoother. Thank you for replying so quickly. I appreciate so much your help and your kindness in answering my question. Thanks again.

  14. Rita says

    I made my first swagbucks purchase last night! It was exciting. I feel a little foolish asking this because I’ve been doing this for several months, but Could you please explain what the referral code is? Thank you.

    • Amy says

      Congrats on your first Swagbucks purchase — yay!

      Please never feel foolish here. Ask as many questions as you’d like…I can’t promise to answer all of them, but I’ll do my best when I can! :) And hopefully other readers will jump in when they know the answer too!

      Your referral code is the special code that uniquely identifies you as the referrer. So, for example, here’s my Swagbucks referral link: http://www.swagbucks.com/refer/amyandrews

      That’s the link I give to people when I refer anyone to Swagbucks. When they click thru to Swagbucks via that link, I am credited with the referral. Does that make sense?

      To find your referral link, go to Swagbucks.com, login, and click the “Promote” tab at the top of the window. Click on “Promote Banners” and you’ll see your referral link. Also in the same dropdown menu, you’ll find other ways to promote (like via Facebook, email, etc.) and in those cases, you don’t need to worry about inserting your referral link as it will be done automatically for you.

      I hope that helps!

  15. haleemay says

    Make sure you do the Daily polls. It’s free to do & gives you one swag buck per day. You can only answer that day’s poll for credit, though. I always use the $5 Amazon cards-got one today. Yeah!

    • Amy says

      Yes, that’s another easy way to win! You can find the daily polls in the “Ways to Win” menu when you’re logged in like this.

      Thanks haleemay!

  16. says

    Just signed up recently and I’m basically only using it for searching. I don’t understand the FB, blog, and Twitter though. How you earn more bucks thru these venues??

    • Amy says

      The idea is that you can follow them on FB, Twitter, their blog etc. and sometimes they’ll release Swagcodes there too. I typically hear about the available Swagcodes from other people first though! LOL!

    • Amy says

      Just go to Swagbucks.com and login to see your total. Or, if you use the Swagbucks toolbar, you’ll see your total in the top right corner of your search results.

  17. says

    Hi Amy!
    I LOVE Swagbucks too! In fact, I just wrote a posting about it a couple of days ago too! Ha! I guess great minds think alike? 😉
    I find it is best to always be logged in on my toolbar, instead of logging in every time I go online (just a way so I don’t forget). I have had referrals sign up, and then not get any points…I think it might be that they don’t understand how to really use Swagbucks effectively.
    Thanks for a great tutorial! :)

  18. Emily says

    Carol…..Swagbucks only allows one account per household, so you and your husband cannot both have an account. I’ve heard of people’s accounts being inactivated because of this. Just an FYI if it happens to either of you.

  19. carol says

    i signed up a few days before the 70 bonus offer…my husband signed up today and the code BackToSchool wouldn’t work. also..i didn’t know anything about the referral thing….is it too late to do it? thank you!

    • Amy says

      Hi Carol,

      If you were referred by someone when you signed up and you used their unique link, that’s great! Just a head’s up that sadly, only one Swagbucks account is allowed per household so not sure if that’s the reason your husband had trouble??

  20. says


    When you shop it sometimes takes quite a while– check out the FAQs on the Swagbucks site in the Shop and Earn section for more details!

  21. Sue says

    I went to the swagbucks site (via your link) and it only shows a 30 swag bucks bonus for signing up. Is there a different page or special code to enter when signing up?

  22. Jenny says

    How do you get points for shopping? I went through the site and spent $40 and did not get any points. I was not sure if I had to do something else or not?

    Thanks for posting this!