An Honest Swagbucks Review – Scam Or Legitimate Website?

In this honest review of Swagbucks we look to see if it’s a scam or legitimate website to make money online. Swagbucks is a website that lets you earn points (called Swagbucks or SB for short) that can be redeemed for gift cards and other rewards for completing the following:

  • Searching
  • Shopping
  • Answering Surveys
  • Watching Videos
  • Referring friends

How Much Are Swagbucks Worth?

Before we get started, it’s important to understand how much Swagbucks are worth. The easiest way to think about it is that 100 SB = $1. It’s possible to get better value out of your points, but that’s a basic guideline. We have more information on redeeming Swagbucks for the best value here.

Earning Swagbucks

Now that we have that out of the way, let’s take a look at the different ways you can earn Swagbucks.

Sign Up/Referral Bonus

Currently Swagbucks is offering new users a total of 500 Swagbucks for joining when they use a referral link (mine is here if you want to use it). Broken down as follows:

  • 300 SB when you earn 300SB or more
  • An additional 200 SB when you spend $25 or more through shop & earn

You can also refer friends to the site, you’ll earn the same bonus mentioned above when your friend completes the requirements. You’ll also receive 10% of the points they earn (don’t worry, your friend still earns the same amount of points they’d normally earn) for life. This means if your friend earns 10,000 Swagbucks you’d receive 1,000 as well.


Swagbucks has a shopping portal (similar to Topcashback) that lets you earn SB for you’re online shopping. For example if you wanted to make a purchase at eBay they might offer one SB per $1 spent at eBay. Obviously this is just a bonus that can be applied to your normal spending, but keep in mind that Swagbucks doesn’t always offer the best rates. In our example above another shopping portal might be offering 2% cash back on that same eBay purchase.

I recommend looking up the shop your planning on making a purchase with on cashbackmonitor and then you can see what portal is offering the best rates.

Watching Videos

Swagbucks let’s you earn points for watching videos, the amount of points you earn varies. I find this a giant waste of time, the earning rates are incredibly low and the videos are mostly boring. For example, sometimes they might give you 1 (yes, one) SB for watching ten videos. Unless you have an obsession with pennies or just don’t value you’re time properly this is a terrible option for trying to earn money.

Answering Surveys

You can earn SB for answering surveys, the amount you earn will vary based on your demographic (e.g student age people will generally be offered much less than somebody in their mid-40’s) and the survey itself with longer surveys offering more money.

Personally I also find answering surveys to be a huge waste of time, I don’t really like the prospect of making less than $1 for answering a survey that takes 20 minutes. That being said, I know some people that like to do this when they are multi tasking something else/are just bored.

The other thing I don’t like about answering surveys is that often they ask you questions to see if you’re eligible to take the survey. Sometimes these “pre-surveys” can take several minutes and then they say you’re not eligible and you receive nothing.


“Discover” is probably the most profitable part of Swagbucks, this where they offer you SB for trying new things and they can often be very profitable. For example some previous deals are:

You can view recent deals we’ve covered here. It’s usually a nice mix of getting some freebies and some extra points.


You can get a few SB by using swagbucks search engine as a replacement for google. Personally I find it cluttered with ads and more difficult to use, so it’s not worth the small amount of points you earn.

Cashing Out

I have never run into any issues with cashing out my SB for Paypal credit or gift cards. They do require you to click a confirmation link that they sent to your e-mail whenever you cash out to verify it’s really you that is cashing out.

swagbucks proof

Issues With Swagbucks

There are a number of issues with Swagbucks and as I said, this is an honest review. The two biggest issues are:

  • Deactivated accounts. Some readers have reported having their accounts deactivated (really shut down), with all of their points forfeited. This seems to most commonly happen to readers who sign up and then take advantage of several of the Discover/Deals. Contacting support rarely ends up with a satisfactory outcome.
  • Not tracking purchases/deals correctly. Readers also report not receiving the SB they should be eligible for due to tracking issues with Swagbucks. It’s sometimes possible to get this fixed, but often it takes so long it’s not worth the effort. This post has some tips on dealing with this.

I’ve never had either of the above two happen to me directly, but readers report it often enough that I believe they are real issues on the site. The chances that these will affect you are likely to be low, but it’s something to consider.

Our Verdict

A lot of the site is a huge waste of time and I wouldn’t recommend those parts at all. As mention the shopping portal can be useful sometimes, just remember to check competitor rates first. The deals section is probably the most useful/profitable part of the site and the only thing we really recommend/blog about. You can make a bit of side money and get some freebies if you know what you’re doing and pay attention to the fine print. We try to point out the more profitable/useful deals on our site.

Hopefully if found the review helpful, if you did then you can help us in two ways:

  • Retweet/share this post on social media (by doing this our post will rank higher on the search engines and more people will be able to read a more unbiased review).
  • Sign up using our referral link.

If you do sign up, make sure you follow us on Twitter or regularly check back as we will post any good money making Swagbucks deals we can find here.

Notify of

oldest most voted

PK (@guest_1634833)
June 15, 2023 10:56

Public Service Announcement:

Just be aware that despite constantly telling DOC, that so many of us have never received payouts from Swagbucks, that you continue to use them at your own risk. There is a good chance they might decide to keep your bonuses and not give them to you, even with screenshots and support tickets.

Pac-Mistar (@guest_1585264)
March 26, 2023 15:38

“Obsession with penny’s”😭🤣😂
I do love the copper ones though 😉

fdic (@guest_1514334)
December 19, 2022 13:18

Has anyone been able to change the phone number associated with SB or MP?
They once asked me to verify something and I added a phone number thinking it was a one time deal. That number shows up nowhere in profile or settings.
Now once in a while they again ask me to verify the code sent to that same old number. I want to change that number but cant seem to find where. Created a support ticket simply saying change my number from this to that, and they want me to do some sort of id verification. What non sense?

HarryTheFirstHarry (@guest_1403122)
July 1, 2022 10:27

Looks like VGC AND 13% are gone. MC now but only 2% Amex with instant redemption has 12% but I was not able to get the card working for online transactions (not sure what the issue is at this point).

July 1, 2022 16:14

Hmm, I got a 12% discount earlier today

sg77 (@guest_1403456)
July 1, 2022 17:36

I don’t see VGC, but I see MCGC $25 at 13% off.

Tom MacDonald
Tom MacDonald (@guest_1298391)
December 13, 2021 07:41

Is Swagbucks an “extension” that tracks you?

Bob (@guest_1246254)
August 30, 2021 14:08

For PayPal redemption, does your primary PayPal address have to match your Swagbucks address, or can any address registered with PP match? At SB, I use email A, but at PP, my primary email is B, with A listed in my account also.

Eric (@guest_1223845)
July 16, 2021 19:32

Be aware of pending-award games SWAGBUCKS played.

I signed up for the GoodRx with 20000 SB offer terms, the activity is completed in 2-3 days, tracked but they only awarded 10000 SB, after pending for a month(you can’t tell beforehand because some pending awards don’t show amount). Luckily, I kept the screenshot, emails and even prescriptions, and opened a BBB complaint to get the difference back. Still, they insist it is “courtesy” credit.

Hard-learned lesson: the awards can be constantly changing, and they are in power to set up the terms.

I would not recommend completing any offer that comes with a time lag that out of your control, either it’s review period or pending without showing specific amount. I was not so lucky when I was doing Chime offer and it ended up half short. Unfortunately, more and more offer on Swagbucks fall into this kind of trap recently.

Tom (@guest_1279175)
November 6, 2021 22:35

I agree … I opened a SB account a few weeks ago and racked up about $75 in rewards in about ten days. Most of this was still pending when all of a sudden I couldn’t log in anymore. I asked for help and they claim I violated their terms of service. I cannot imagine what I could have done to do this.

Caveat emptor!

Kim Jong Un
Kim Jong Un (@guest_1194919)
May 23, 2021 16:52

Absolute scam. Wouldn’t touch with my dog’s pole.

Erin (@guest_963303)
April 23, 2020 18:38

*SB will appear as Pending for 7 days. Must enter valid sign-up information, including credit card information to earn SB. SB asks it for Aspiration checking account bonus. I’ve just signed up in sb. What else should I do? Add a CC for in-store purchase??? Is it ok that there is no place for my first and last name? What valid sign up information I should give them if they asked only email and password???

ayem (@guest_957450)
April 15, 2020 00:26

 Chuck  William Charles Do we need to use the email id registered with swagbucks to be used for all the shopping for successful tracking? Does anyone got swagbucks while using different email id for shopping?

April 17, 2020 15:09

They sometimes stipulate that you must do so. I think if they don’t stipulate that requirement then you don’t have to do so, though it might be a good practice to do if possible.