I’ve been doing SwagBucks for a few years now and this will be the third Christmas that has been at least partially funded using gift cards earned through them. I’ve been talking about this method in the Simplify Money series and have received a lot of feedback from people who have signed up but find it overwhelming or time consuming. I used to feel the same way! I was watching people rack up some major gift cards each month, but it just wasn’t clicking for me.
So how can you use the SwagBucks platform to fund your Christmas?
1. You have to sign up!
You can sign up here and use code “SimplifyMny” to start yourself off with 70 Swag Bucks.* When you complete your profile, you’ll earn 30 more SBs!
*Code good through November 10, 2013.
2. Meet the daily goals.
Everyday you’ll get a goal and a stretch goal. When you meet these goals, you get bonus SBs. And when you meet the primary goal for so many days in a row, you’ll get even more in bonus. Bonuses for each month are paid on the 5th of the next month. This bonus system is brand spankin’ new, but doing the math, meeting the goal everyday will be more than enough SBs for a $5 gift card of your choice.
3. Keep an eye out for Swag Codes.
4. Use the search engine.
Swag Bucks actually started as a search engine with rewards. Over the years they’ve added many other ways to earn SBs, but the original still stands. Periodically, they have a Collector’s Bills promotion where searching can get you special SBs and you get a bonus when you’ve collected an entire set. I’ve never had much luck for searches, but when I spend time on their Facebook page, I’ve found hints of phrases to search that have proven to turn up double-digit rewards!
5. Play games.
This is something I don’t allow myself to do during the day, but when we’re spending time watching tv together in the evening, I might do this for a bit. Other Swaggernauts have told me that if you get really good at particular games, you can make major SBs playing in the tournaments. Some of the weekly ones net up to 2000 SBs.
6. Watch Swag Bucks TV.
This is particularly handy if you have a smart phone. The SBTV apps or EntertainNow (Droid only) will allow you to do this on the go. Since I work from my computer almost all day, I just let the videos run while I’m on here. You can earn up to 150 SBs each day using this mode. My kids love the animal videos and it’s an easy way to entertain them while I’m cooking dinner.
7. Complete trusted surveys.
This is a good way to get mid-range amounts. You can earn up to 100 SBs in about 20 minutes. The trick here is getting through the pre-screenings. I noticed that my husband gets selected for twice as many as I do, but I’m sure there aren’t a ton of 20-something guys out there trying them and he’s a wanted demographic.
8. Make online purchases through Swag Bucks.
You can earn SBs for online shopping you were already going to do. Click through their site to go to Amazon, Groupon, or a number of other popular retailers and earn up to 6 SBs per $1 spent.
9. Complete special offers.
These range from small tasks of pinning or tweeting something to signing up for free trials of things like Netflix and Hulu Plus. Not all of these are free, but I don’t do paid ones unless it was something I would have purchased anyway (like Shutterfly gifts). If you do sign up for free trials that require a credit card, I suggest setting a reminder on your phone or calendar with a link to cancel within the allotted time.
10. Print and use coupons.
This one is super easy, but can take up to 12 weeks to reap the rewards. Simply print a coupon and use it in store. I don’t do these often, but I have in the past and do know they work without a hitch. Patience is key.
Once you’ve earned your SBs, it’s time to spend them! Swag Bucks recently overhauled their entire reward system and it’s now much simpler to navigate and pick your rewards. There are gift card options to a variety of retailers: restaurants, Best Buy, Game Stop, Walmart, Target, Starbucks, and so many many more. My favorites are Amazon.com and PayPal Cash. All of the cards cost 100 SBs to the dollar and can be bought in increments of $5. The Amazon.com $5 card is the only one that doesn’t follow this rule. It’s only 450 SBs for a $5 card. The other cards go on sale for fewer SBs at various times, so just keep an eye out! The ONLY catch here is that you can’t purchase more than 5 of the same card in a month and the cards take about 10 business days to appear in your account.
For my husband and I, we each get the five $5 Amazon.com cards that go toward our gifts fund and then the rest of our SBs go toward whatever we want individually. I’ve been doing PayPal cash because I have a PayPal debit card and can then use that money for ANYTHING. But now I’m doing Best Buy cards to save up for the new computer monitor I want.
A few last tips to get you going with Swag Bucks:
1. Open up a separate email account to use when filling out offers.
2. Remember to set reminders on your phone for any free trials that will need to be cancelled.
3. Copy out your gift card codes to a safe place as soon as they appear in your account.
4. Review the Do’s and Dont’s.
5. Do the daily tasks for quick SBs.
Do you use Swag Bucks? What’s your best tip for making the most of it?