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    How To Make $$$ With Swagbucks

    October 20, 2017 Amanda Cross 10 min read
    Note: This post may contain affiliate links. Please see my disclosure for more details. Thanks for supporting the brands that make The Happy Arkansan possible!

    First off, I wanted to start this blog by saying that this is not sponsored. I will include some Swagbucks links throughout the post though. If you want to sign up for an account after reading my blog, I would love for you to click any of my links to Swagbucks to sign up.  These are affiliate links, so when you click and use them, I can potentially earn a bit of money from that.

    I have been a member of Swagbucks for years. I have amassed over 21,000 Swagbucks in that time (or around $210), and I have learned a lot about the platform over the last year or so. A good chunk of the Swagbucks I have made came in the last year and a half. Today I am going to share my best tips for actually making some money back with Swagbucks. Also, I sometimes use SB in place of Swagbucks throughout this post.

    Note: This post contains affiliate links.

    How To Make $$$ With Swagbucks | Do you want to learn how to use the website Swagbucks to get actual cash? Today on the blog I am sharing my favorite ways to earn money on the Swagbucks site that has earned me over $150 in gift cards.

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    The Proof Is In The Screenshot

    Before I go jabbering on with my best tips, I wanted to share a screenshot of my earnings. I know they aren't much in the grand scheme of things, but I do want you to know that I've earned what I said I've earned. So, here is a screenshot of my earnings:

    As you see in the corner I have earned a grand total of 21,081 SB over the lifetime of my account. This is not a short lifetime, obviously, but these are the Swagbucks that I have earned since I started my account in 2009.

    1. Download The Swag Button Extension

    The Swag Button extension is really the hub for so many activities on your computer. It makes it easy to recognize sites that you can shop from, let's you watch videos, allows you to search the web and earn, and it allows you to enter Swag Codes. Not only that, but it alerts you when those Swag Codes are happening which is really beneficial because it's often the only way you hear about codes unless you are stalking them on their various social media sites.

    Also, Get The Mobile App

    For those same reasons, I also encourage you to get the Swagbucks Mobile app. The mobile app allows you to shop from your phone, enter Swag Codes, answer surveys, invite friends, and even update any settings you need to change. It is very similar to the online website, and it's just a great resource to have on the go.

    2. Shopping Is Where It's At

    Now, we are going to chat about shopping. There are SO many ways to earn Swagbucks on the site, but I have found most of my luck with online shopping. If you love to shop online, this will probably be great for you.

    I would suggest that you get the Swag Button extension if you want to take full advantage of shopping. There are SO many stores that allow you to get Swagbucks back on your purchases.

    Here's a screenshot with proof of how much I have made with shopping on Swagbucks:

    Online Shopping Is Bae

    So, first things first, let's chat about simple online shopping.

    Retailers like Amazon, Old Navy, Macy's, etc. all have a connection with Swagbucks, which I believe is like a simple affiliate program. When you shop with Swagbucks, they are getting a portion of your sale, just like if you click on one of site's affiliate links.

    When you click to shop a site through the Swagbucks website, or you activate it using your Swag Button extension, you are going to get a certain amount of Swagbucks per dollar spent.

    Usually, this is around 1-2 Swagbucks per dollar spent, but it can be way higher. I once got a 10x multiplier through Nike once where I paid $100 and ended up getting 1,000+ Swagbucks back. I was shopping for myself and Christmas gifts, so I was going to shop there anyway, and I ended up getting a $10 gift card on top of my shopping trip.

    Now, online shopping Swagbucks do take a while to show up on your account. This is to account for changes in your order, you canceling your order, returns, etc. This waiting period is around 30 days.

    I don't use Swagbucks every time I shop online, but if you love online shopping, you may as well do it!

    Go For The Daily Deals & Special Offers

    Another great way to earn some Swagbucks is through the Daily Deal section.

    Earlier this week they had a great one time deal with Schwan's. Normally, when you place your first order, you got 2,000 Swagbucks, but on this particular day, you got 3,500 Swagbucks. I also got 30% off and free delivery with my first order.

    So, all in all:

    • Bought $50.95 worth of food.
    • Paid an additional $1.96 in sales taxes bringing the total order to $52.91
    • Got 30% off that which brought the total down by $15.29 to $37.62
    • Got 3,500 in Swagbucks which is around $35 in gift cards.
    • So, with gift card cashback I only spent around $2.62 for the order.

    Daily Deals are not always this generous, but it's worth checking out which deals are laying around so that you can take advantage of them.

    As a word of caution, you also have to make sure that these are beneficial and that you aren't being locked into something too big.

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    Swagbucks Local Can Help You Too

    Recently, Swagbucks launched a new way to earn Swagbucks called Swagbucks Local. This works particularly well with bigger cities, but it's essentially a way for you to earn Swagbucks on purchases that you are making in the real world.

    So, you want to try out a new place for dinner? If you live in a bigger city, you might be surprised to know that they allow you to get Swagbucks for the money you spend there. It seems like a lot of these restaurants and stores have a pretty high Swagbucks ration. I see a ton of 7SB per $1 and 9SB per $1 restaurants and stores using Swagbucks Local right now.

    It's also pretty simple to use.

    1. Link your card or cards with Swagbucks that you may use to eat at participating restaurants.
    2. Find the restaurant you want to eat at using the Swagbucks Local app or the website before you leave.
    3. Eat at the restaurant or shop at the store.
    4. Pay with the credit card that you linked to your Swagbucks account.

    It's that simple! Valid purchases will show up as pending in your account in about 3 hours, and the transaction will be completed within three days!

    It is important to note that your Swagbucks total is based solely on the amount of your food before taxes and tips. So, you can't tip your waitress extra and get it back in SB. Feel free to tip your waitress graciously, though!

    Clip Some Coupons

    This is not a part of Swagbucks I have ever used, but I checked out Swagbucks the other day, and they had HUNDREDS of coupons in their coupon section. Not just any coupons though, legitimate ones that I feel like people could use, as well as pretty generous coupons like $.75, $1, and $3 off!

    For each coupon that you use, you get the discount of the coupon, plus 10 Swagbucks credited into your account.

    That does mean that you have to use 50 coupons to get a $5 gift card, but the $5 gift card is nothing compared to the amount of savings you will have amassed after using 50 coupons! As long as you are using the coupons to purchase something you will have legitimately bought otherwise, you could easily save $50 using the coupons you clipped, and get a $5 gift card on top of that!

    Buy Gift Cards Through Swagbucks

    Swagbucks also has a pretty cool site called MyGiftCardsPlus. It's a cool way to purchase some gift cards to places like Groupon, The Container Store, Red Robin, Sephora, and more. If you are planning to make a gift card purchase, this can be a great way to get a little more bang for your buck.

    Take this example down below from PetCo. This site does 5.5% back on all of their gift cards. If you needed to pick up a few things for your pet, you could purchase a PetCo gift card from MyGiftCardsPlus; then you can turn around and use that gift card with your Shop & Earn on to make even more back.

    Earlier this year I used this with a $50 Old Navy gift card. I was going to shop at Old Navy anyway, so I just used a gift card instead of my own money (although I ended up going $2.96 over the gift card.

    So, with that purchase I got:

    • 300 SB from buying the gift card itself because it was usually 200 SB and they had a promotion going that week for an extra 100 SB when you bought an Old Navy gift card.
    • 318 SB from my Old Navy order.

    So, all in all, from an order I was already going to place, I ended up getting 618 Swagbucks.

    3. Fun Team Building & Challenges

    Many challenges happen on Swagbucks throughout the year. I am going to list a few of my favorites so you can see how they can make you money.

    Team Challenges

    The first are Team Challenges. Every so often Swagbucks puts on Team Challenges. These are usually themed, to fit some holiday or activity happening. You can participate in these team challenges with other Swagbucks members.

    You will be given a specific set of tasks that are worth points such as:

    • Using the Search & Win feature
    • Using your Swag Button extension to enter Swag Codes
    • Buying gift cards
    • Using Shop & Earn

    Each of these tasks will give a certain amount of points to your team. The team with the highest amount of points at the end of the team challenge wins.

    Now, I have personally started to stay away from the team challenges because they don't make all that much money back, and you usually have to provide a ton of points to your team, so I usually steer clear of participating in them.

    Swag Code Extravaganzas

    When a team challenge is in effect, one of those days are usually devoted to a Swag Code Extravaganza. During this day around 30-45 Swagbucks are given out through codes throughout the day. It usually happens once every 2 hours wherein you have one hour to claim every code, a break for an hour, and then you get a new code. These codes are usually announced on Swagbucks' social media platforms, in the Swag Button extension, and via the mobile app.

    I like these extravaganzas because on an average day there is usually only one Swag Code worth 3 SBs, and on the weekends they are generally only worth 2 SBs. It's a nice way to pick up some extra SBs.

    Swago/Spin & Win

    One of my other favorite Swagbucks games is the Swago and Spin & Win games. Swago is like Bingo. You have a board that is filled with various activities you can do on the site. Some are as simple as going to a website and activating shop and earn, but it can be as complex as actually purchasing a gift card. Depending on how much of the board you fill up you can win up to 100 Swagbucks usually from playing Swago.

    Spin & Win is usually something that you get as a result of Swago. For every piece of the Swago board you fill up, you get a certain amount of spins on the Spin & Win wheel. There are various prizes on the board such as low amounts of SB (think 1 SB or 3 SB), along with sweepstakes entries, and even higher levels of Swagbucks. I usually either get entries to a Swagbucks raffle or I get a low-level Swagbucks win.

    4. Other Fun Swagbucks Options

    Let's wrap this up with a quick chat about some of the other options for winning Swagbucks.

    Search & Earn

    If you have to search for something, you have the potential to use Swagbucks as your search provider. I am awful at this, and it's so much easier for me just to Google something. Some people set the Swagbucks search page as their homepage, so they are more likely to go through it, but I love Google too much.

    You can get some pretty interesting Swagbucks awards through searching though, so I encourage you to do it when you think about it.

    Take The Surveys For An Extra Boost

    Surveys are another great way to earn Swagbucks. I can never seem to make it past the initial screening questions, though. Usually, you get paid a few Swagbucks for answering the qualifications of the survey, though so it's a great way to get a few Swagbucks here and there (even if you don't take the entire survey.)

    Use Your Referral Power

    You have a lot of referral power, and that can be used to make a pretty penny on Swagbucks. You get 10% of your referrers earnings for their life, so if you can recruit some active Swagbucks users, you can then create passive Swagbucks through the friends you refer.

    Play Some Video Games/Apps

    Swagbucks has many games that you can play which offer you a certain amount of Swagbucks based on how much you spend while playing the game or how long you play the game. They also do a similar thing for apps where they give you a certain amount back for getting to a certain level.

    Watch Some Videos and View Some Web Pages

    Their Daily Crave/nCrave and sponsored video section you can also earn money by engaging with the video and written content on a website. This doesn't pay amazing, but you can make a few Swagbucks here and there through it.


    This is NOT a comprehensive Swagbucks guide. The more I wrote this article, the more I realized there are SO many ways to earn Swagbucks. When I first created my account in 2009, I could never imagine that this site would come to amass so many different options.

    I think the best way to earn money on Swagbucks is definitely through shopping. If you are already doing the shopping, it just adds a layer of cash back on top of it all. I think that with shopping you get the highest return on your investment and that's what I tell anyone who is wanting to make cash back with Swagbucks.

    You shouldn't buy things you weren't already planning to purchase or needed around the house.

    Have you used Swagbucks before? If not, will you give it a try now?

    Related Readings:

    The Best Apps For College Students

    How To Save Money While Shopping In College

    10 Apps To Help You Save Money In College

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    1 Comment

  • Maya October 21, 2017 at 3:31 am

    I love using SwagBucks when I have time! It’s a nice easy way to make extra cash doing barely anything.

  • Leave a Reply

    About Amanda

    Hey Y’all!
    My name is Amanda Cross, and I am the blogger behind The Happy Arkansan. I am a blogger, freelance writer, and podcaster. When I am not creating content for any of my content online, I can usually be found baking, watching YouTube, or napping. I love helping millennials and young adults navigate the mess that is adult life. Keep reading for my thoughts and experiences.

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