Swagbucks Review 2015
With an Alexa ranking putting all other online rewards and loyalty programs to shame, Swagbucks.com is one of the leading destinations for earning virtual currency that is redeemable for goods and gift cards. Attracting global website traffic faster than you can say ‘Swag Buck,’ there are plenty of reasons why users turn to the site as a way to save money and take advantage of many available benefits, such as printable coupons that allow individuals to earn additional rewards.
What is Swagbucks.com?
With web and mobile access to multiple opportunities to earn digital dollars (known as “Swag Bucks”), Swagbucks.com is considered one of the premier hotspots for enjoying online rewards. Since launching in 2008, more than $60 million in rewards have been given to the more than 11 million users that reportedly use the site; download toolbars; and subscribe to newsletters to increase their chances to earn. The foundation of the site’s success is primarily based upon utilizing the actions that people do naturally, such as searching the Internet, watching videos, playing games, shopping online, and participating in market research activities.
Over the years, Swagbucks has introduced consumers to a variety of opportunities to earn rewards that includes shopping at affiliated retailers, downloading the mobile app, as well as their very own credit card. As users accumulate enough Swag Bucks, they can be redeemed for rewards, such as gift cards for online and offline retailers and restaurants, like Amazon.com, Target, Walmart, Chili’s, TJMaxx, Game Stop, Best Buy, Kohl’s, and JCPenney’s.
You might be wondering…how can Swagbucks afford to keep virtually ‘giving’ rewards away? The answer is quite simple; it’s no scam – the advertising that companies receive in return for their participation in the Swagbucks platform far outweighs the rewards being paid to members.
Advertisers get the chance to engage potential customers in an interactive manner that doesn’t feel gimmicky or aggressive. Retailers looking to advertise and form partnerships with Swagbucks also have a wider spectrum of ways to reach consumers that makes an individual’s experience much more interesting than simply taking surveys and watching videos. Overall, there are plenty of benefits to reap along the way for all involved – Swagbucks.com, advertisers, and users.
How Can I Start?
A Swagbucks.com account costs nothing, but you need to sign up in order to earn rewards and participate in activities and promotions. You will be asked to enter your email address, and create a password for the site.
To keep up with the latest special offers and surveys, it is suggested to sign up to receive the Swagbucks newsletter.
What to Expect with Swagbucks…
Offering a wide range of opportunities to engage and participate, Swagbucks.com works on a system of paying out “Swag Bucks” that can be redeemed for gift cards, goods, and exclusive merchandise.
Users set their own level of activity, which ranges from completing a few surveys per week to simply using the site’s search engine like they normally would.
For members, the site’s homepage showcases a collection of offers and options for earning Swag Bucks. The left-hand side of the screen features your ‘Daily Goal’ to earn bonus SBs, and keeps track of how many Swag Bucks have been earned for the day.
A ‘To Do’ List highlights quick daily activities that add up to earning a total of 5 Swag Bucks.
A blue navigation bar at the top of the site provides easy access to multiple ways to engage with the site, and stay an active member.
On the left side of the navigation bar, users will find direct links to the primary methods of earning Swag Bucks.
* Shop: Shop & Earn opportunities for retailers, such as Walmart, Groupon, Levi’s, Hotels.com and Skullcandy, are offered from Swagbucks with reward values that are subject to change without notice. Searchable by Store, Category, Coupons and My Favorites, users can shop and browse popular and featured offers (as shown below) to earn a set number of Swag Bucks for every dollar spent. This is the company’s version of offering ‘cash back’ – using their links to make a shopping transaction.
* Search: Clicking ‘Search‘ on the navigation bar opens a separate page where users can conduct keyword searches using the Swagbucks search engine. This is currently powered by Yahoo.
* Watch: Members can earn Swag Bucks for watching videos, such as movie trailers, celebrity gossip, food and recipe clips, and the latest news. As you watch videos, a Rewards Meter fills up, and once it reaches 100% (for every 10 videos viewed on “SBTV”), members earn 3 Swag Bucks. You can earn up to 150 Swag Bucks a day watching videos.
* Play: From Solitaire Rush to Mahjong Dimensions, the opportunity to earn Swab Bucks also comes through free games and game tournaments offered on the site. A small SB entry fee is required for tournaments, where participants get a chance to win a higher amount of SBs. Games are separated into the following categories: Arcade, Casino, Educational, and Puzzle.
* Answer: A drop-down menu reveals the following three different ways to earn Swag Bucks by answering questions; participating in research activities; and sharing insight with companies:
Paid Surveys: Members gain access to their own personal Survey Dashboard, where they can monitor available opportunities; sign up for Targeted Email Surveys (based upon Profile responses); earn rewards through Gold Surveys; and complete Peanut Lab Surveys (free activities, like interacting with a video ad).
Daily Polls: Worth 1 SB, daily polls ask anything from how much you spend at Walmart to your favorite Fall activity.
Tasks: From reviewing a website to answering brief surveys, a handful of ‘Tasks’ can add SBs to an account.
* Discover: A drop-down menu highlights the following ways to earn Swagbucks:
Special Offers: Users have many different chances to earn Swag Bucks when participating in one of many special offers, such as accepting a free product trial or answering a company survey.
Coupons: For every coupon featured on Swagbucks that you redeem at the local grocery store, you’ll earn 10 Swag Bucks.
Extension: Download the Firefox add-on for quicker and easier access.
Encrave: Watch videos and read articles for a specified time period to earn Swag Bucks.
Read: Click to read excerpts from new books to earn an average of 5 Swag Bucks each.
* Rewards: There are two ways to redeem the Swag Bucks you’ve accumulated: Rewards Store (where you purchase gift cards and items using your Swag Bucks, like getting a $10 Starbucks eGift card for 1,000 SB); and Swagstakes (where you use Swag Bucks to gain entries into sweepstakes to win gift cards and goods).
On the right side of the navigation bar, users can learn more about their overall process (such as the number of current Swag Bucks they have earned); gain quick access to the referral program; and review an Inbox filled with the latest offers to earn Swag Bucks (like special offers and limited-time surveys). There is also a convenient drop-down menu for entering Swag Codes (the fun phrases that equate to Swag Bucks, which are located on the main website, blog and the company’s social media accounts (Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram).
The very last icons on the Swagbucks navigation bar include a member’s profile avatar and a drop-down menu connected to their account that leads to a detailed summary of earned Swagbucks (under My Swag Bucks); My Shop & Earn; My Settings; My Referrals; My Gift Cards; Order Status; My Stagstakes; and My Wishlist.
Step-by-Step Instructions on Redeeming Swag Bucks for a Gift Card
1. To redeem Swag Bucks (SB), log into your free account.
2. From the ‘Rewards’ drop-down menu found on the main navigation bar, select your preferred method of “spending” your SBs: ‘Rewards Store’ (to purchase gift cards) or ‘Swagstakes’ (use SBs to buy entries into sweepstakes).
3. To redeem your SBs for a gift card, browse a list of categories located on the left hand side, which includes thousands of options for Food & Beverage, Department Stores, Gas, Sports & Outdoors, and Travel gift cards. Let’s say you decide to spend 450 SBs to get a $5 Amazon.com Gift Card. Click the green ‘Snag This!’ button.
4. A confirmation page appears with the transaction details and your physical address, which is used solely for confirmation purposes. Click the blue ‘Submit Order’ button.
5. You must then verify your order in one or two ways: (1) by clicking a link on a confirmation email sent to your inbox OR (2) verify the order by answering a security question.
How Long Does It Take to Get an e-Gift Card?
When a gift card order has been fulfilled, the e-Gift Card is deposited into the ‘My Gift Cards’ section of your Account Page. This process can take up to 10-14 business days. A follow-up email is sent once the gift card is ready for use.
Is There a Swagbucks Referral Program?
One of the newest additions to Swagbucks.com is the ‘Invite-a-Friend’ referral program, which promises users a 10% earning capacity of the Swag Bucks that their referrals earn. This is a lifetime offer that takes place after you send email invitations to friends, family and associates who sign up using a special link connected to your account.
Swagbucks.com posted the following video to illustrate what a Swag Buck is, and the many different ways you can earn them:
Swagbucks Consumer Review Video
To get an idea of a consumer’s experiences using Swagbucks.com, the video review below provides an in-depth critique of the site, which touches upon the legitimacy and benefits of the site:
Special Features of Swagbucks
Considered the leading online rewards programs by many, some of the reasons Swagbucks.com is a highly-trafficked site is because of the following benefits and special features:
* The Ability to Earn On-the-Go: Available for free on iTunes App Store and Google Play, a convenient mobile app allows users to earn SBs while out and about. The app also comes with a few benefits not found on a computer. For example, the mobile version pays 2 SB for every 5 videos a user watches instead of 3 SB for every 10 videos on a PC.
* Hourly Random Winner: Every hour, a random user is selected to win 1,000 Swag Bucks. The username and avatar of winners are displayed in a special section on the site’s blog, where they must click “Claim Your Swagbucks” within the hour. Unclaimed winnings do not go to anyone.
* Swag Codes: Throughout the day, Swag Codes are revealed on various social media platforms, including Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. When downloading the Swagbucks Toolbar, users receive alerts when these Swag Codes are available. Each code is valid only for a limited time, and must be entered correctly in order to count. Swag Codes can be entered directly on the toolbar, or by clicking ‘Swag Code’ on the navigation bar, as shown.
* A Secured Visa Card: You’d be hard-pressed to find rewards programs such as this one that have their own credit card, but Swagbucks.com does. Users have a chance to earn reward points for ‘everyday Visa purchases‘. The aim of the credit card is to help consumers build or re-establish their credit with the major credit bureaus. Swagbucks Secured Visa Card members earn .50 points for every $1 spent on qualifying purchases, with an additional 500 bonus points awarded after their first $500 spent. They also get another 1,000 bonus points after a total of $1,000 or more is spent.
Any Complaints Regarding Swagbucks?
For an online rewards site with millions of users frequenting it on a daily basis, there are bound to be a handful of complaints. Some of the repeated criticism associated with Swagbucks.com includes the following:
* Users Not Getting Credited for Completed Offers: A common criticism of Swagbucks.com is that the company does not always follow through and fulfill every completed special offer. Many consumers warn that if you are missing Swag Bucks, it is best to contact customer service as soon as possible.
* Surveys Collecting Information for Free: Answering a few demographic questions at the start of a survey is commonplace; it’s how the company identifies targeted consumers. However, some users complain that many surveys have a tendency to ask a greater number of questions than needed before they tell a user they do not qualify. Others complain that surveys freeze up or do not lead to completion, causing a loss of time and Swag Bucks.
* Success Has Gone to Their Head: A handful of long-time users who have seen the progression of the site from its early stages complain that the company was much easier to work in the past, and the level of customer service and rate of returns on rewards has diminished as a result of becoming increasingly successful.
* Swagstakes Seem Impossible to Win: Users have voiced concerns about the sweepstakes portion of the site, which takes Swag Bucks in exchange for entries. Some feel the sweeps are “complete scams and actually nobody wins them.”
* Captcha on Swagbucks Search Engine: Many find it cumbersome to enter letters before receiving Swag Bucks earned during searches, watching videos, and completing NOSO activities.
* Accounts Being Deleted: A growing number of users believes that Swagbucks.com deletes accounts at will, and makes false accusations of cheating without explanation. Despite pleading their case or questioning the penalty, users say the company refuses to reactivate accounts. They also describe having all activity and earnings from that point erased and irretrievable.
In a Nutshell…
There’s no denying the popularity of Swagbucks.com, which on its most basic level, allows you to earn rewards for doing something you’re going to do anyways…use a search engine to look up information. It’s up to users to decide how far they’re going to take their earning capacity, meaning how fast they’d like to earn gift cards for retailers, such as Amazon.con, Target, and Walmart (some of the more popular selections offered). With no commitments, purchase requirements, or monthly quotas to meet, there is no pressure when it comes to earning Swag Bucks…definitely worth a try.