How (and why) I Earn Swagbucks

I first learned about and began using Swagbucks back in 2010, when we were in the throes of getting rid of our debt. Back then I focused on earning Amazon credit, which helped us cover the cost of lots of small, necessary but sometimes expensive items, things like vacuum cleaner bags and such. The Amazon credits I earned through Swagbucks over the years funded Christmas and birthday gifts, numerous household items, and Southwest Airlines gift cards to help defray travel costs. I earned enough to get myself a Cuisinart food processor and slow cooker, and even earned enough to purchase a much-desired KitchenAid stand mixer for only $4.95 out of pocket.

I’ve done Swagbucks off and on over the past decade, but I am back at it again as I want to earn Delta Airlines gift cards to help cover our travel expenses in the future. Swagbucks now offers $500 Delta cards for 50,000 Swagbucks each, which is a LOT, but doable. I have a goal this year of earning two of those Delta cards, so that means earning 100,000 SB. I divided 100,000 by 365, and come up with a baseline amount I need to earn each day: 275 Swagbucks. Somedays that amount is easily and quickly earned, but other days it’s a slog and I honestly wonder if it’s worth the time. I keep plugging along though.

Swagbucks is a completely legitimate rewards program that lets people earn gift cards by doing the things they are already doing online, things like searching, using coupons, shopping, playing games, etc. Every activity you do using Swagbucks has the potential to pay out in points, called Swagbucks (SB), which can then be redeemed for awards.

I have what I consider a BIG advantage when it comes to earning Swagbucks these days: I live in Hawaii. A new Swagbucks day begins at midnight PST, meaning a new day starts for me at 10:00 p.m. HST, or even better, 9:00 p.m. during daylight savings (because Hawaii does not observe daylight savings). This means I can get a head start on earning for each day, and can sometimes meet my daily goal before I go to sleep (easier when a new day starts at 9:00 p.m.). It also helps that I’m retired and my time is pretty much my own to organize each day. Earning Swagbucks is easily accomplished while I’m watching TV, but I also check it out throughout the day when I have a little extra time.

Although I earn a good amount of Swagbucks every day, I am in no way a fanatic. There are many ways to earn on Swagbucks, but I only do a few things. For example, I never take advantage of any of their “special offers,” nor buy things advertised on the site. I don’t enter contests, download or use coupons, nor do I watch videos. All of those things will earn Swagbucks, sometimes lots of them, and if they work for someone else I say “great.” 

Here’s the five ways I earn:

  1. I pay attention to and earn my daily goal every day. This is an easy way to earn extra Swagbucks every month. By making or exceeding the first goal every day of a month (the goal is listed in a bar at the top of the Swagbucks page), I earn an additional 300 Swagbucks. Added to that are the extra SB I earn each day by making the goal (there are two goal levels; I only aim for the first and lower one, but I do earn the upper goal and extra Swagbucks a few days each month). By making sure I reach the goal every day, I typically make an additional 500-600 SB each month – that’s 6000 -7200 Swagbucks a year! You can win smaller amounts by making your goal every day for 7, 14, or 21 days in a row, but the whole month is the big enchilada.
  2. I take a few surveys every day. This is the quickest and easiest way to earn the most Swagbucks. Being able to handle rejection is a necessary skill to earn Swagbucks this way because I get kicked out of way more surveys than I am chosen for, but I usually manage to do at least three or four every day. Sometimes I get lucky and get one survey that covers my daily goal, but that doesn’t happen very often. There is usually a long list of available surveys under the Answer button (I do Gold surveys only, and avoid Peanut Lab surveys unless I am desperate). I go for surveys that pay out the most for the least amount of time, usually less than 20 minutes. If I don’t get a hit from any of those, then I’ll move to the 20-30 minute range, but I almost never will take on a survey that requires any more time than that. Surveys often have glitches and sometimes I don’t get paid, or they quit mid-way, or something else goes wrong – it can be very maddening and frustrating at times. I have learned though to take a screen shot of the closing page so that I can file an official help request if I don’t get paid for some reason. The Swagbucks Help Center is usually (but not always) quite good about making sure I get the SB I’ve earned.
  3. I use the Search function. I do this twice a day, and earn anywhere from 10 to 50 Swagbucks. I have a list of search terms I work through every day, with a couple of stops along the way to check out the sites I’ve searched for, but I just click through most of the list until I get the reward. It takes me less than 15 minutes total. In the past I used to run everything through Swagbucks search, but their search engine is not the best, and the way I do it now is faster and easier.
  4. I play games once a day. I earn 10 Swagbucks a day for playing two of their free games, Pyramid Solitaire and Mahjongg Dimensions (there’s one more free game but I don’t enjoy it). Pyramid Solitaire is quick so I earn six SB through that, but while Mahjongg Dimensions slower it’s more fun and I earn another four SB playing that (2 Swagbucks for two rounds with both games). It may seem foolish playing games, but that 10 bucks has sometimes meant the difference between winning a 7 SB bonus or a 21 SB bonus. Other games cost to play so I avoid them.
  5. I shop through Swagbucks if I am ordering something online. This doesn’t happen often, but sometimes I earn extra SB if I run the order through their site. Swagbucks has a long list of online companies that team with them, and you can earn anywhere from 1% of your purchase in SB and on up if your order qualifies.

That’s all I do these days to earn. For me, it’s easy, uncomplicated, and doesn’t take up too much of my time, although there are days when I seems like it does. I do a lot of my surveys, searching, etc. in the evening when I’m watching TV, and have made it a habit to check Swagbucks first whenever I pick up my computer to see if there might be a survey I qualify for. There are lots of good tips out there about how to maximize your Swagbucks earnings; they are worth searching for. 

For the record, it’s been difficult to earn these first few days of the new year (holidays can be tough), but I’ve managed to meet my goal each day, and things are beginning to pick up again. I just ordered the $500 Delta card that I earned last year, and I’m determined to earn another two of them this year – $1500 will go along way toward covering the cost of our flights in 2022!


14 thoughts on “How (and why) I Earn Swagbucks

  1. Thank you so much for the very specific details of how you are earning so many SB a day! Amazing!

    About six weeks ago I started doing the Swagbucks Live trivia quiz, which is at 5:00 PST M-Thursday and noon PST on Fridays and takes about 10 minutes. It is only available as a phone app. Winnings vary depending upon how I do and how many other people are playing. I consistently earn 6-7 each time and when I answer all 10 questions correctly, I get 12-15 SB.

    I usually earn $150 in Amazon gift cards each year, which I love, but your goal of $1,000 of Delta cards is tantalizing! You Go Girl!


    1. I may just have to check out the trivia quiz! I am always looking for new ways to earn that are fun, and this might be right up my alley (I have a mind filled with trivia). I’ll just have to get the time difference right.


      1. Mondays are the easiest quiz day with Thursdays being the hardest. There are usually only 2-3 challenging questions and the rest are super easy. If you get eliminated, keep on playing until the very end in order to collect your SB.

        Occasionally they offer “free rejoin” weeks, when you earn rejoins just for playing. You are allowed to use one free rejoin per game if you miss a question.

        Happy playing if you try it!


  2. Very thorough post. I mainly do Prolific and Amazon Turk these days but when I do SB its mainly the offers actually and the shop through after the daily list. Good for you on that goal.


    1. Thanks. I know nothing about Prolific or Amazon Turk, but am now going to check them out. I wish that Bing still ran their game/rewards site, but that’s unfortunately gone now.


    1. I don’t know what ID valuation is! I must be good though because I had no problem starting up again, and no problem earning and receiving the first Delta card.


  3. I have been earning Swagbucks for years. It helps pay for our children’s Christmas presents. I also do Instagc (gift cards)-although this has been very slow for me lately, Bing searches, and Inboxdollars (you can do cash or gift cards). I can’t do as much as I used to but every little bit helps.


    1. Once I get the Delta cards I’m going back to earning Amazon cards and such for Christmas gifts – earning those really helped out when we were paying off our debt.

      And you’re correct: Every little bit helps!


  4. I have been doing SB for years as well , on and off but I need to kick it up. I usually do it for Amazon, Paypal (if I have a balance) or Southwest GC


    1. I started off slow this time, with no real goal in mind, but when I saw that Delta gift card I knew that’s what I wanted to earn. Delta is our favorite airline to fly to Japan, and earning these cards will help out.

      I am trying not to get too invested this time though. I was at near fanatic stage before we left on the Big Adventure, and I burned myself out.


  5. Thank you for sharing how you accumulate your SBs. I have been doing this for years but very casually. I am inspired now to set a goal and get after it.


  6. Thanks for posting this. I have been a swaggernaut for years but have never pursued the monthly bonus. A foolish miss on my part. Think that I’ve been too scattershot with surveys on too many sites. One of my favorite ways to earn swagbucks is by running the “watch” feature on my phone when I go to bed. And, more recently, uploading grocery/drugstore receipts.


    1. Can you tell me how you manage doing the Watch feature overnight. I tried, but it didn’t work. Let me know your secrets – it would be a great way to earn more. I used to earn lots of Watch points using an old computer, but we no longer have an “old computer!”

      I am rethinking my goal of 100,000 in a year, especially after the past few days of being kicked out of so man surveys and/or having surveys fail to credit me SB for completion. I feel like I’m wasting valuable time when there are other more enjoyable or worthwhile things I could be doing. Is it worth it to push myself so hard is what I’m asking myself now.


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