While one of the main topics of our blog is increasing income with dividend paying stocks, it is only one of many ways to increase your passive income. There are thousands of online websites that reward users that use their website as a “middleman” to access the most popular websites. One of my favorite reward websites is Swagbucks.
Swagbucks offers users rewards points (“Swagbucks”) for watching videos, shopping, answering polls, surfing the internet on their website, etc. Users can cash out Swagbucks in small increments, like $5 gift cards, or you can accumulate for larger rewards, like $25 gift cards. This aids us in our goal to save 60% every month and to hit all of the goals we have set for the year, by reducing the actual out of pocket cash we are spending.
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In total, I have earned $400 in rewards (Note: Lanny has earned $525+ using the site) since I began using the website at the end of 2013. Based on my experiences, I believe the Pros far outweigh the Cons. However, that will be for YOU to decide!
Swagbucks – The Pros
- Easy to Use. Swagbucks website is very user friendly. The front page offers endless means to earn and the extensive list of rewards is amazing.
- Competitive Shopping Rewards. Many websites offer cash back rewards to use their website for online shopping. Swagbucks offers users a per Dollar kick-back rate to use their website for online shopping. When considering that a $5 Amazon Gift Card can be redeemed for 450 Swagbucks, the online shopping bonus is competitive (if not better) than the competing cash back websites (such as Rakuten or iBotta). For example, at the time of the post, Swagbucks is offering a 6 SB per $1 spent on Hotels.com. If we spent $100 on hotels.com, the reward would actually be 650 Swagbucks or *$6.67 in Amazon Gift Cards (100 * 6 Swagbucks = 600 SB. Value is equivalent to $6.67 Amazon Gift Cards (450Sb).
- Search Engine is Strong. While the search engine will never function like Google, Yahoo, or Bing, I have never run into any problems with Swagbucks’ search engine. It may not be as ascetically pleasing as the other websites, but the search engine has always produced results. In addition, the website will randomly reward Swagbucks after any search. It is a nice small incentive (one that hooked me) to start using their search engine as your default search engine.
- Toolbar. The website offers a small plug in that appears next to the web address bar that notifies users when new opportunities for Swagbucks arise. I love it because it notifies me when I am not even on the website. Most importantly, it is small. It does not span across the entire screen like the case with other toolbars.
- $10 Welcome Bonus. Swagbucks provides a generous $10 welcome/sign-up bonus. Can’t beat that, what are you waiting for, check out Swagbucks!
- Many Different Options to Earn Rewards. This isn’t a website that forces you to fill out surveys to earn rewards. Swagbucks allows users to earn rewards through games, answering polls, searching, watching videos, reading articles, redeeming coupons, etc.. I enjoy the many options to provide a change of pace. It helps keep me on the website for a longer time and work towards the cash out.
Swagbucks – The Cons
- Slow Earning Rate for Certain Activities. Some of the categories take watching at least 5 videos or reading at least 10 articles to earn a small reward. I usually exhaust all other higher-earning activities before resorting to these. However, these run very easy in the background so you can minimize the screen and continue on with your internet surfing, while earning the rewards.
- The First Reward for Cash is 5X Greater than a $5 Gift Card. In order to receive a $25 PayPal credit, you must accumulate 2500 Swagbucks. On the other hand, you can begin cashing out $5 Amazon gift cards for a much smaller amount. I use Amazon a lot for shopping, so this isn’t a con for me per se. However, for people looking to earn cash, this can be a con.
In the end, I enjoy using this website and would recommend it to a family or friend member. If you are interested, I included a link below to sign up (Full disclosure: It includes a referral link. Swagbucks also has a very generous referral program!). Give the website a shot. It may not be for everyone, so please let me know if you try the website and do not like it.