finances, money makers, passive income

Top 5 Tips for Making Money with Swagbucks

May 28, 2015

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I get a lot of asks on the Orphan Survival Guide Tumblr from students wanting to know how they can make money without having a job, or by working at home where they don’t have to deal with human beings. I think everyone should have to work in a soul-sucking call center and wait tables at least once in their lives to have a better appreciation for the people who spend their entire lives in those jobs. But there are ways to make money that don’t require human interaction or any skills whatsoever.

You just have to know where to look, how to spot the scams, and how to play their systems.

In addition to my full-time soul-sucking call center job, I have a few side hustles and I do little things like surveys and browser extensions to accrue gift cards or points for the future. In the past, I’ve had really good luck with Opinion Outpost, and some luck with Toluna and the National Consumer Panel.

But Swagbucks seems to be the big draw lately.

I am not a huge fan of Swagbucks, but I do use it with some regularity it’s an incredibly popular and easy way to earn gift cards and cash online. Your best bet is to multitask: go through your survey and points sites while you’re doing other things like watching a movie or even in class.

Most of the tasks require minimal effort or interaction, so it’s a great form of passive income–but it’s not a lot of income. In most cases, one SB is equal to one cent. It’s up to you to decide if that’s really worth the effort of messing with some of the tasks, which can be time-consuming or impossible to work with.

I have the browser extension and default search, as well as the mobile apps which have essentially stopped working for me and many other users. Sometimes I fill out surveys, but it’s hard to qualify for a lot of them, and it takes too much time and effort to get rejected 95% of the time they come up.

Sign up for Swagbucks here. If you use my referral link, we both get a bonus! After you sign up, go through and answer questions for your profile, then start looking through the ways you can earn SBs.

Here are my top five recommendations for efficiently making money with Swagbucks:

  1. Complete all of your To Do List items every day.
  2. Meet your Daily Goal every day–and try to hit the Total Goal.
  3. Play the video apps with the volume off while you’re doing other things.
  4. Explore the header bar and homepage.
  5. Buy stuff through Shop & Earn.

Daily To Do List

Here are the tasks you’re given to complete each day in SwagBucks and their maximum daily payout, which just totals 5SB.

  • SwagButton: 1SB
  • Daily Poll: 1SB
  • NOSO: 2SB
  • Daily Crave: 1SB

To Do List Tips

You get 50SB when you install the SwagButton (and only on the first browser you install it on), and then 1SB each day afterwards as long as you sign in or search with Swagbucks. Another benefit to the SwagButton if you are on your computer a lot, is it will notify you of available SwagCodes. These are random bonus SBs, usually just 2 or 3SB.

Once you install the SwagButton, it will prompt you to make Swagbucks your default search engine–you should definitely do this, because you get surprise SB when you search. If you don’t usually do a lot of searches, just search for the websites you already visit (like Swagbucks or Swag Codes Spoiler) If you don’t mind corporations knowing your search history, you can combine SwagSearch with other data tracking extensions like Screenwise Trends Panel and Qmee for extra cash.

After you finish the Daily Poll, don’t read the comments. Never read the comments.

And there really is no obligation for the NOSOs, so you can Skip to the end without actually committing to anything.


There are three types of goals: the Daily Goal, which is usually around 30SB and earns you an extra 3SB; the Total Goal, which is a secondary daily goal where you need to earn a lot more (usually around 100SB) and get a 10SB bonus; and the long-term goals:

  • 7 Day Star: 25SB Bonus
  • 14 Day Fanatic: 100SB Bonus
  • 21 Day Triumph: 200SB Bonus
  • Monthly Master: 300SB Bonus

These are the bonuses you’re promised, but there’s no guarantee you’ll actually get any of these SB. So don’t get your hopes up.


Apps Tips

I started using the apps a couple of months ago, and they were great for a few weeks, but then the latest update completely disabled them. They don’t come up at all or they crash after one video.

You can run the apps on multiple devices at the same time, but you will not get extra SB. The daily limit on each app is set to your account, not to the app itself. Some days, if you run them on multiple devices, you’ll get to your limit faster–and some days, you’ll stall out and get the same video several times in a row before you get credit.

A lot of the videos come bundled with ads, so it takes about 3 minutes to get through each video–and depending on the app, it takes anywhere from 2 to 10 videos to get a single point. This means you could spend upwards of half an hour to get a single cent. However, some of the apps allow you to bookmark or favorite videos, so your best bet is to favorite the shortest videos and then just play those on repeat.


I first started using Swagbucks as another paid survey site, but it’s so much more than that. There are still dozens of surveys you can fill out every day in the hopes of getting points, which you can find on the homepage or on the menu under Answer.

And while you don’t really get anything extra from running the apps on multiple devices, you do have a separate allotment of SBTV you can earn through the Swagbucks Watch page.

And once you’ve run out of videos, head over to Radio Loyalty to earn more SBs while you’re doing stuff online.

There are secret video pages that work a lot like the Daily Crave, but you can get more SBs out of them and they’re sneaky–they only appear on your homepage offers sometimes. Referred to as the laptop guy and laptop lady, these are buried in your homepage offers under surveys and shopping offers.

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You probably already shop online, so why not get some cash back? If you have the Swagbucks extension installed, you can activate Shop & Earn to get SBs when shopping at some of their affiliate sites like Amazon or Walmart. Some of them are even better than the cash back offered by the stores–plus you can still collect your cash back along with the SBs. It’s a win-win!

There are tons of other things you can do with Swagbucks, like syncing up your Bing Rewards for points, or referring friends. But these are the most efficient ways to earn points, at least from my experience. I tend to cap out at around 180 SB a day–the equivalent of about $1.80.

How about you? What do you do to get cash from Swagbucks? Do you think the tasks are worth it?


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