If you don’t already know what Swagbucks are then you’re probably sitting there asking, “What ARE you talking about?!” Swagbucks are cool. Swagbucks are fun. Swagbucks are reward points that you earn while searching the internet (and a few other ways) that you can later redeem for real life prizes.
No, really. REAL LIFE PRIZES.
There is no catch. There is no trick. There is no little man behind the curtain.
I signed up with Swagbucks a long time ago but never really did anything with it until a few months ago. After a short period of time I earned enough Swagbucks to exchange for two $5 Amazon e-Gift Cards almost two months ago. I turned around and used those to place a small order on Amazon for a trial run — homeschool stuff, of course. It worked!
I redeemed my points, I got my card numbers, I placed my Amazon order, I used my cards and I got my $10.00 off my order. That’s it.
Since then I’ve been stockpiling my points to save up enough for five $5 gift cards (enough to get the free shipping see?) so I can get some more things from our homeschool wish list. I have several items we didn’t need immediately at the beginning of the year and my plan is to keep building up Swagbucks, keep redeeming for Amazon gift cards and get all of our homeschool items that way.
This is stinking awesome.
There are plenty of other things you can redeem your Swagbucks for: posters, office supplies, Starbucks cards (tempting…), and all kinds of stuff. For me, for now, I’ve decided to stick with the Amazon cards.
It’s true, you can choose a $25 gift card instead of five smaller ones, but I did the math on the required Swagbucks and it seems the five smaller ones are a better deal. It’s a little more of a hassle, you have to wait for each one of them to be available in your Swag account, and then you have to enter all those redeem codes. But as far as I can tell right now, there seems to be no reason you can’t use the smaller ones. When I used the two on my previous order, I noticed no limit of gift cards that can be redeemed at one time. If I find out otherwise, I’ll let you know.
In order to get these mysterious Swagbucks there are a few things you need to do.
First you need to sign up for Swagbucks. If you feel so inclined, you may sign up with my referral link. The only compensation I get for this is that I’ll receive matching Swagbucks when you earn them, up to your first thousand Swagbucks and then no more. But this is also true for you and anyone who you sign up with YOUR referral link. Your referral link is automatic when you sign up, you don’t have to do anything special to get one. (P.S. All the links to Swagbucks in this post? My referral link. Except for this one. If you just really don’t like referral links for some reason.)
The 2nd thing you need to do is login and go to the “Toolbars” page. Scroll down and you can find plugins for your browser that add the Swagbucks browser to your search engine options. Every time you search the internet using your browser you have the opportunity to win a random amount of Swagbucks. You’ll know because when your results come up, there will be a big Swag Buck with a smiling guy or girl at the top of the results page. It will look something like this:
Searching the internet with their browser is the main way that I earn Swagbucks. Most of the time, their search results are satisfactory and I am able to find what I need. Every now and then I didn’t find what I was looking for or I want to browse through more results and then I search through Google. But I always search through Swagbucks first because a.) most likely they’ll have what I’m looking for and b.) I might win some free Swagbucks. ;0) P.S. Fridays are Mega Swagbucks days – you have the possibility of finding some bigger than normal Swagbucks rewards while browsing!
You might also choose to install the toolbar (or you may wish to do this instead of the plugin.) The advantages to having the toolbar are that, in addition to being able to search the internet with their search engine (did I mention that it’s ad free?) you can also get notifications about swag codes. Swag codes are free codes for free bucks, we’ll get to those in a minute. You might be wary of installing toolbars, as I know I am. I’ve installed too many on our computers that came infected full of junk. I haven’t had any trouble with this toolbar (but then… I’m, ahem, using a Mac, which, sorry, but typically has less vulnerability to those sorts of things. If you have known issues with the toolbar, I’d really like to know!)
Swag Codes! Swag Codes are awesome.. if you catch them in time. To catch Swag Codes I recommend using the toolbar, and/or installing the swag widget on your blog if you have one, and/or following Swag Bucks on Facebook if you use that. I also sometimes receive tips via Twitter. I usually pass on tips about Swag Codes when I see them, through my Facebook & Twitter pages. There are rules about telling others about Swag Codes, though. I cannot tell you what the code is.. but I CAN tell you that there is one and where to go find it. Once you find it (before the time expires) you can go login to Swagbucks and enter that code to receive whatever the reward amount is.
I’ve already mentioned earning Swagbucks for referrals. And that there’s a limit of 1000 Swagbucks. So it stands to reason that the more referrals you get, the more Swagbucks you earn, and the more you space them out, the more they will keep coming when people start hitting 1000 Swagbucks. Also, you get a special Swagbucks prize of 50 SBs on your birthday! Isn’t that nice? =)
There are even more ways to earn Swagbucks that I have not taken advantage of. They have a cell phone trade in program, there are ways to earn while shopping online. There are also reward offers that you can complete for Swagbucks. Oh! They also have a daily poll on their page, which I have done, where you earn a point or two for participating in the poll. And sometimes, if you tweet about Swagbucks (using their Twitter name and hashtag) they sometimes reward random Tweeters with random amounts of Swagbucks. I won 100 SBs that way once! Dig around on their site a little to learn more about all the ways that you can earn.
I have high reward days and I have low reward days, I have days where I search the internet and some days not at all. But for what it’s worth, I really feel like I’m collecting Swagbucks at a pretty good rate. Another 700 Swagbucks or so and I’ll have the 2250 needed for the five $5 Amazon gift cards!
I love getting stuff for free. Don’t you? Especially when its stuff I earn but doing something that I’m already doing!
Updated to add: Swagbucks has since changed their policy to limit prize redemptions to 3 of the same prize each month. This is supposed to make it fair for everyone to have a shot at the physical prizes. Unfortunately this also applies to unlimited e-prizes like gift cards. What this means is that if you earn enough swagbucks to redeem more than 3 $5.00 Amazon gift cards, you’ll need to save more swagbucks and purchase larger Amazon gift cards instead.
Also, as one commenter pointed out, you can stockpile your Amazon gift cards in your Amazon account. Once your redeemed gift card is available for use, you can enter the gift card into your Amazon account and add it to your account balance. You don’t have to spend it right away, it will sit there and wait for you to choose to spend it. You can keep adding and keep adding and they will never expire!