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My Honest Swagbucks Review: is this Site a Scam?

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With over 4 million registered members,, a Los Angeles based company, has become one of the fastest growing online rewards programs, where members can earn cash and prizes for doing virtually anything they already do online, from watching videos, surfing the web, and playing games to shopping, performing searches with Swagbucks search engine and more.

In July 2011, SB ranked #43 on the Inc 500 fastest growing company list. Not to mention that it was also ranked as the third fastest growing company in Los Angeles by the well-known and widely read Los Angeles Business Journal.

Yet, with all that stuff behind it, lots of people are concerned about the so called “Swagbucks scam” and complaints against the company. So, they are wondering if SB is indeed a trustworthy loyalty program or just another online scam.

Of course, there are lots of reviews written about SB as well. But as always, I wanted to see for myself. So, I signed up, and after a long time being with them, I decided to write my version of Swagbucks review, which is what you are reading now.
SwagBucks Review

What Is Swagbucks?

My hat off to their marketing department people. I mean, not only they came up with a great concept to base the site on, they also gave it a great memorable name. They created a very unique and unusual reward site, different from other rewards programs! I actually visited their blog and left a comment their,  praising them for it, lol.

Any way, here is how this site works:

  1. For starters, you simply sign up for the site, that is if you are 13 years of age or older, and live on either the US, UK, or Canada.
  2. Then, whenever you want to search online, you simply use their search engine to do it. This search engine, basically displays results pulled from Google and So, you do get good answers for your search queries, as the results are from two of the most reliable search engines.
  3. Every once in a while, during your search, you win what’s called a “Swag buck”. Each Swag Buck equals to a little less than 1 US cent (¢). And according to them, how often and how much you win is totally random.

I should mention that the site started as a search engine that rewarded members for using their engine. And that is what they are known for, a “get paid to search” site. But as SB began to grow bigger and attract more members, they have expended their site, and are now offering lots of other options for earning cash and rewards, which includes playing games, filling out online surveys, as well as watching SBTV (SB’s official online video channel), and more.


Ways To Earn Swag Bucks

Till date, Swagbucks has given out $27 million dollars in prizes, according to

They offer a variety of ways for members to earn free cash and prizes. And I am glad they do! Because with just their search engines, you can only earn a few Swag bucks a day, which equals to almost nothing. So, having other options, make singing up with this site worth your while.

  • Search Engine:You simply do your searches there, and if luck is on your side, you win anywhere from 1 to 1000 Swag Bucks (SB) throughout the day. Some people try to use boats to perform searches all day long in hopes of increasing their chances of winning, but beware that they will ban your account, if they find you are using “bots” to do automated searches.
  • Toolbar: Here is a tip – instead of loging to your account everyday to do searches, you install the toolbar and search and earn from any open browser.
  • Tasks:This is a lot like Amazon Turk tasks where you do simple tasks like collecting important data for companies, transcribing audio, etc. The difference here is that instead of earning pennies like on MTurk, you earn Swag Bucks. This section of SB is actually powered by the famous crowdsourcing company, CrowdFlower.
  • Special Offers:These are offers from different companies who are trying to promote their business. You can earn virtually any number of Swag Bucks by completing such offers.
  • Surveys: SB also partners with various market research companies in helping them to conduct online surveys. As a member, you can earn Swag Bucks for every survey you participate in. Obviously, the longer a survey takes, the bigger the pay out is.
  • Swagbucks TV: It’s almost the same as YouTube, but with one big difference – here you actually earn 3 Swag Bucks for watching every 10 videos. However, you are limited to earning 75 SB a day for watching videos.
  • Games: Who wouldn’t want to get paid online to play games! Here you can receive Swag Bucks for playing Flash games.
  • Shopping: With SB’s shopping, for every dollar you spend you earn a set amount of Swag Bucks. Their shopping portal include big name stores such as Apple, Walmart, Kmart and many others. You can also use their coupon codes (provided by when shopping, which will earn you additional SB’s.
  • Daily Goals: To keep members motivated and active, they display a meter on your account dashboard, with a number in it as your Swag Bucks earning goal for the current day. If you reach that goal, you will receive bonus Swag Bucks.
  • Swag Codes: These are strings of text that are “hidden” throughout the Swag Bucks network. You can earn Swag Bucks by finding these texts and entering them into an especial box on the front page.
  • Trade-in: Here is something you don’t see on other get paid to sites like CashCrate – SB actually lets you exchange video games, consoles and books for Swag Bucks. Cool, isn’t it!
  • Referral Program: Like virtually all other get paid to sites, this one also has a referral program, where you can earn more by referring other people. The cool thing is that when you refer someone, for every search win they receive you earn matching Swag Bucks, up to a maximum of 1000.

SwagBucks Prizes


Redeeming Your Earnings

  • Swag Store:
        Here you can redeem your earnings for cool prizes and gift certificate from different offline and online stores, such as, Gap, Walmart, etc.

    Discount Shopping:Another great feature of SB is that it has partnered up with to offer discounts and savings to active members. In order to qualify for these discounts and deals, you must use your Swag Bucks to pay for purchases.

    Swagstakes:They have special sweepstakes with different prizes. You can buy entries to these sweepstakes to win prizes which can also include more Swag Bucks, which if you win, will be credited to your account.


To sum it all up, is a legitimate online rewards program and not a scam. Having said that, if you are looking for a site where you can make a living off of, you may want to look elsewhere.

It simply is not possible to make a living off of this site, as many would like to claim. Non the less, if you are looking to get some free money while having some fun on the Internet, you should sign up with Swagbucks.

31 Comments So Far...

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  1. endi says:

    may i interest try this 1

  2. endi says:

    i have been review but it’s not suiteable with my couuntry
    can u refer me a welcome international option?

    • Satrap says:

      I am sorry, but unfortunately Swagbucks only accepts members from the US, Canada and the UK.

  3. I use Swagbucks frequently. However, I also redeem my points for Amazon Gift Cards. You can combine more than on gift card per transaction at Amazon. I do it this way because I may not need something that is offered at the Swagbucks store but I can always find something to fill a need at Amazon. And sometimes, I’ve been able to cover all shipping costs, too.

    • Satrap says:

      @Jason Mitchev,
      Thats an interesting strategy you have got going Jason. Thanks for sharing it.

  4. Yea I heard about this site. It takes forever to make money. Most people give up before they even collect a dollar. Doesnt mean its a scam…just probably a waste of time

    • Satrap says:

      @Kent Mauresmo,
      To be realistic, yes, you wont make a living on sites like swagbucks, however, what may seem like waste of time for you and I, for many people could be a little extra money that they can use.

  5. Sabs says:

    I’m signed up at Swagbucks. Much like survey sites, it doesn’t pay a lot relative to how much time you put in, but it does pay out and I’ve not found anything scammy about it.

    • Satrap says:

      Thats true Sabs, you can’t expect to make a lot of money with swagbucks, but you can certainly make a little extra cash.

  6. Peter says:

    I’ve used this site before, and just like all other types of gpt sites I think they are a waste of time.

    Btw I like the controversial title ;)

    • Satrap says:

      I would make the same argument that I made responding to Kent Mauresmo’s comment.
      Thanks for your comment.

  7. Sire says:

    Sounds like an interesting concept. I wrote a post on Snap Dollars which is a similar service, minus the search engine, and they payed in real money. Does swagbucks do the same?

    • Satrap says:

      Yes, Swagbucks does the same, but has a bit more earning opportunities such as earning swag bucks for searches you perform.

      • Sire says:

        @Satrap, That sounds very interesting. I have a bit on my plate at the moment but I must put swagbucks on the back burner for a later date.

    • annog says:

      Yes, you can redeem your Swagbucks for PayPal cash, which you can then deposit to your bank account.They also have amazon (450 Swagbucks= $5) Target, Wal-Mart, etc…Right now most are 1 Swagbuck = 1 cent. EASY to get $25/mo and more if you put a little time into it!

  8. Stewart says:

    I haven’t tried Swagbucks but I’ve tried and now they’re gone. Since then I don’t trust sites like these. They’re just a waste of time.

  9. Thanks satrap for letting us know about swagbucks.

  10. sharron says:

    I have been hearing about SB for a while now, but I was kind of not sure about it. Thanks for the honest info you provided. I feel a bit safer going into it now.

  11. megan says:

    I have earned lots of points on swag bucks! There are so many prizes you can choose from. You can earn prizes for yourself, or I have been earning Amazon gift cards and then getting my Christmas Shopping done completely free with those cards!

    You can earn by searching, taking surveys, taking the daily poll, even making purchases online.

  12. Mike says:

    Swagbucks is relilable, and actually, I’ve gotten a gamecube and madden 04 from Swagbucks. Just do the daily poll and trusted surveys every day and I got the game and the gamecube in 4 Months!

  13. Anish says:

    Hey Satrap. Thanks for outlining the pros and cons. Hadn’t heard about this service – seems very interesting, and better than typical GPT sites that are just too darn annoying.

    • satrap says:

      Hey Anish,
      I am glad you liked the post. Thank you for taking time to comment.

  14. Allie says:

    I am really liking SB. I love the interface and all the ways you can earn. They make it fun. You are right, it takes a long time to earn. I think the trick there is referrals. They help you earn while they earn too.


    • satrap says:

      I agree Allie, the trick is to get as many referrals as you can. Thanks for sharing your thoughts Allie.

  15. TJ says:

    I agree swagbucks is completely legit I love it! Also if you like Swagbucks you will probably like check out my blog for all the details and invite links

    • satrap says:

      Never heard of SuperPoints TJ, I will check it out to see how it works and if its legit, maybe I will write about it. Thanks for the heads up.

      • TJ says:

        @satrap, Your welcome! It also takes a while to earn a lot, unless you get referrals, the cool thing though, is you earn what your referrals earn on the super lucky button and also earn a little when they do surveys.

        swagbucks maxes out at 1000 SB’s from 1 referral but Superpoints does Not max out, ever!

        I have 25 referrals now and the past couple weeks I made $10.00 just from them and my super lucky button clicks Each week!

    • Art says:

      I worked for almost 3 months to make enough points for an giftcard. The same day I earned the points and requested the giftcard, I received an email from Swagbucks accusing me of breaking a specific rule. I went to their site and reread their rules. I had not broken any of them. I responded to them that I wasn’t breaking any rules. They responded accusing me of breaking a different rule, which was using software that helps you watch videos. I responded that I am disabled and use software specifically designed to assist me in navigating and using internet sites but that the software in no way gave me any kind of advantage over anyone else and that it is necessary for me to use it. They closed my account and refused to give me the giftcard I’d spent months earning.

      Swagbucks is a SCAM. Don’t waste your time with them. As soon as you earn a decent prize, they kick you off.

      And more importantly, they discriminate against people with disabilities.

      • Satrap says:

        Hi Art,
        I am sorry for your experience. To be honest, I have never had anyone with such a scenario. I kind can of understand why they would do that, as using softwares is strictly forbidden, but at the same time, I would think they would be more helpful when they were told by you about your disability and that you use the software for that matter, and not as a way to cheat. Having said that, I can also understand that it would be hard for them to verify such claims since they don’t actually knwo every one of their members.

        Again, I am sorry for your experience. Best of luck to you.

      • MEC says:

        I’m so sorry that your experience was so bad. Maybe you could contact them and ask them if there is a way to run your program that won’t interfere with their policies.

        They really don’t discriminate against disabilities. I won a prize, was notified, then the prize was recinded… but I had been in the hospital for a week & hadn’t gotten any of the emails, when I told them the situation, they gave me the prize anyway… I had earned a couple hundred dollars for Christmas 2012. Now you buy a WalMart gift card, shop at WalMart through their site and earn more swagbucks…

  16. Richard says:

    Don’t bother. They randomly cut me off after months because I apparently failed the “quality check” which I was not told. So they let me work for months building points and then I find out I can’t use them. They totally used me. You have been warned.