Monday, October 07, 2013

Got Swag?

Disclaimer - contains referral links

Swagbucks bills itself as "the web's premier rewards site", and as far as I'm concerned, they're right.  I've done MyPoints.  I've done multiple survey sites.  And Swagbucks is, by far, the most consistent, easy way I've found to get rewards.  I've been a member for over four years and, in that time (usually with little to no effort on my part), I've received over 80 free $5 gift cards. 

How it works:  You earn points, called Swagbucks, for doing things online - watching videos, doing internet searches, completing surveys and special tasks, looking at offers, etc.  Then you can take those Swagbucks and cash them in for gift cards, merchandise, "Swagstakes" (sweepstakes entries purchased with Swagbucks), etc.  I'm a purist - I stick to the $5 Amazon gift cards.  Without trying, I can get one a month.  If I make a little effort, I can get one a week.  I mainly use them to feed my Kindle habit.  I have a serious Kindle habit, LOL.

Want to sign up?  Here's my referral link:

How I do it:

First, I get a point (aka Swagbuck) a day just for having their toolbar installed.  I use it for all my searches.  When you use their search tool (which, last I heard, was powered by Bing and Google), you will be randomly awarded Swagbucks.  I get between nine and 40 Swagbucks a day from searching.  I rarely go to a website without searching for the name first (for example, instead of typing in the Facebook URL in the address line I search for "Facebook" and click through that way).  It's an extra step but it only takes a second. 

Second, I answer their daily poll, found on their home page.  I get another point for this.  Then, I do their "No Obligation Special Offers" (aka NOSO), also on the home page.  I just click through them all for two quick points.

I also run videos.  I spend a lot of time on my computer, reading through blogs, pinning things, etc.  During these times, I have my internet open on two screens - one is running Swagbucks TV, the other is for whatever I'm doing online.  For every 10 videos I watch, I get three Swagbucks. As I type this, I'm watching the "Uzoo" channel, which has tons of interesting videos about animals. 

On my iPod Touch, I run Swagbucks Mobile.  You can do just about anything on this that you can do on the regular Swagbucks site, but I mostly use it for videos.  On the mobile app, you get two points for every five videos, but on this you do have to go through ads also.  I like to turn on the music channel and use it as my background music at work. 

My last regular way to earn is through "encrave" activities.  You can find these through the little blue "e" button on the Swagbucks Toolbar.  These are a series of videos and articles that you can look at to earn bucks.  Some take as little as a minute, others might take three or four.  You get between one and three for each activity.  I've found some really interesting things there - clips from TedTalks, interviews with popular chefs, information about different health-related topics, news, etc.  These are quick and easy ways to earn a few bucks.

I also try to get referrals.  When a new user signs up using your referral link (here's mine again!, Swagbucks will credit you with a match for their first 1,000 points.  That's 2+ Amazon gift cards right there, folks! 

Swagbucks also offers points for online shopping at certain retailers, as well as points for redeeming manufacturers coupons for groceries and such.  I sometimes do these, if they're things I would be doing anyway. 

Things I don't do unless I'm desperate for points?  Surveys, special offers, and most of their activities.  I have found that surveys take too long for the rewards I get (they'll give you a point if you don't qualify, but often you are five or more minutes into the survey before you find out you're not qualified).  Special offers that don't require a credit card or a lot of personal information are few and far between, so I skip those, though if there's something I'd be doing anyway, I certainly take advantage of it, because you can rack up a lot of points that way.  I haven't explored their "Activities" section fully, but from what I've seen, it's similar to Mechanical Turk and more work than I want to do for the points I would get. So I skip it.

Each day they give you a daily goal (today mine is 90), and if you reach that goal, they give you a 10% bonus for that day at the end of the month.  The more consecutive days you rack up (starting with seven in a row), you get an extra bonus, up to 300 if you meet their goal every day of the month.  I aim for 50 - 100 Swagbucks a day.  It takes 450 Swagbucks to earn an Amazon gift card.  They have tons of other options as well - Target and Starbucks are two others I've contemplated if I ever reach the five Amazon cards per month limit. 

So what are you waiting for?  The rewards are waiting - and they couldn't be easier to obtain!

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