Journal of a Ragamuffin Father, Cook and Web Developer
by Michael
December 17, 2018


I have been using and promoting Swagbucks for years now. In the nearly ten years since I started putting the effort into the site, I’ve earned almost half a million Swagbucks.  Now, that’s not as impressive as it sounds, each Swagbuck is worth a penny, give or take, but that’s still close to $5,000 in earnings. When you factor in the fact that many gift cards were “on-sale” when purchased, it’s even better.  

Over the years, as more and more people have signed up, it’s gotten to be less lucrative, but Sandra and I still earn a minimum of $50 a month each through the site.  


So what is Swagbucks?  Swagbucks.com is one of the biggest of many sites that are often referred to as “GPT” or “Get Paid To” sites.  Essentially, Swagbuck’s parent company makes money by putting advertisements in front of people, or by matching people to surveys.  Unlike your favorite TV Network, however, Swagbucks shares a bit of the money they make with their users.   Anywhere from a few cents to several dollars depending on the offer in play.  


So, what are the best ways to make money with Swagbucks?   I primarily do 5 different things regularly:

1: Surveys

For myself, and many others, Surveys are one of the standards.  How successful you’ll be doing them depends a great deal on your age, income and other demographical data. I can go days with no surveys being completed, and some days I could make several dollars at it.  Surveys usually pay anywhere from twenty-five cent to a couple bucks. Occasionally, you’ll see $10+ rewards for surveys (I rarely qualify for those).  If you get really lucky (Or unlucky) there are sometimes high paying surveys that involve watching a pilot for a new TV show.  I’ve done 3 of them. One of them was a great looking show, one was okay, the third, I don’t know if it was worth the money to put up with it.

2: Apps

These use to be one of the easiest earning programs on Swagbucks, and some days, they still are.  I use a cheap pre-paid android phone that was never activated to run up to 6 apps per day.  These apps show you content that you can choose, and in between the content, ads are displayed. Every 6-10 videos, depending on the app, you earn 2 Swagbucks.  Most of the apps have been dropped to only a guaranteed 4 Swagbucks, but most of the time, you end up earning more, and as of this writing, two of the apps still pay out a minimum of 10 swagbucks. Not a super earner anymore, but the phone has long since paid for itself, and some days, when all is well, one app can still earn over a dollar. 

3. Web Videos

This is one of the more reliable methods.  It helps that I have 3 monitors, so I can run these videos while I do stuff on other monitors, there are multiple “Watch and Earn” type offers on their site, and it’s not all garbage content, there’s some good cooking and home decor type videos, as well as entertainment, so you may actually find some good stuff in these.   Depending on how the wind blows, I’ve earned as much as 2-3 dollars some days on these items. 

4.  Buy Stuff

Swagbucks has numerous ways to earn a little cash back on purchases.  If you shop online, there’s kick-backs for Walmart, Amazon.com, Best Buy, Target, pretty much all the big stores.  Depending on the store, some categories of products may not make any swagbucks, and other items may make bonus.  They tend to range from 1-5 swagbucks per dollar.  

In addition to the shop and earn area, there are also “In-Store Promos” on the site. Usually for Wal-Mart, but sometimes for Target or other places.  These are purchase and submit a receipt for a rebate type offers.  Many times, these offers actually make more money for you than you spend.   As of this writing, there is an IN-Store offer for Coffee-Mate seasonal creamers.  You buy two 32oz creamers and you get 800 Swagbucks, which is $8. The creamers are less than $3 each, so it’s an automatic money maker.  If you combine it with a coupon, that may be available still, it’s even better. In the past, there have been offers for Ziploc bags and containers, Reynolds products, Windex and other things you may actually buy.  I book mark the page for these offers and check often.  If it’s a money maker, I don’t particularly care if I need or use the product, I can probably find someone to give it to. 

A 3rd method to buy and earn is through the “Swagbucks Local” program. You register your credit or debit card with the site and when you make qualifying purchases at participating stores and restaurants, you earn up to 10% back. (Baskin-Robbins is a 10% at the moment I believe).  Now you do have to be willing to trust the system with your card number. I have used it since we started having participating places around here, and never had a problem. They utilize a third party that other rewards programs use I believe.  You’ll have to look at the participating places and decide if it’s worth it or not.

The last main “Buy” method that I use very often is a site called MyGiftCardsPlus.com.  It’s an on-line Gift Card mall, where you can buy gift cards to many major retailers.  Home Depot, Lowes, Applebee’s, Red Robin, and many more.  Depending on how big of a card you get, you can earn anywhere from 1-10% back. As long as you find a store you like in the list, this can be easy money.  Many of the stores are also part of the “Shop and Earn” program, so you can double dip.  Buy a Best Buy gift card from this site and get money back, then spend the gift card through the Shop and Earn site and get more cash back on the purchase.   

5. SwagIQ

SwagIQ isn’t a HUGE money maker for me, but I have made money playing the game.  It’s a daily (Mon-Fri) trivia game. Most of the time, the prize pot is $1,000.  You have 10 questions to answer. IF you get all 10 right, you split the prize with everyone who made it through.  Sometimes it’s only a few cents, but 3 of my wins were for over $10 and I’ve seen games where there were only a couple winners and they made over $100.  If you like Trivia, this alone could be worth signing up.  


There are other ways to earn money, little things here and there, but these 4 are where the bulk of my earnings come from.  Other things to watch out for are big rewards for signing up for things like Hulu, Dollar Shave Club, or other types of services.  Not all of the services are good, but many are, and you can get a lot of money for signing up.  I joined Disney Movie Club and got $25 back.  Yes, I had to buy 4 or 5 movies at a bit higher rate than I’d have paid at Walmart or Target,  but when I got 5 movies for a buck and $25 back for signing up, in the end, I did well.   

If you use my referal link to the right, it’ll help us both out. If you hit 300 SB you and I both get a bonus reward.  I’ll also earn 10% of what your earning are for referring you.  ANd that doesn’t come out of your earnings, so don’t think you’ll make more by skipping it 🙂 

Share This