So if you’re in the personal finance blog-o-sphere, you know about Swagbucks. If you’re not, you may still have heard about it. I just love it, and so I wanted to tell you all about it.
Swagbucks is a essentially a search engine that tracks search data. Sometimes (1-3 times per day) when you search for an item you get rewarded with points (called “Swagbucks”) and you can turn them in for prizes. I’ve used all of my Swagbucks for Amazon.com giftcards. So far I’ve earned $125 in Amazon.com giftcards and have enough Swagbucks at the current moment to cash out another $40 in Amazon.com giftcards. I plan on using all of my giftcards to pay for my Christmas presents this year!
Now, I won’t tell you that searching Swagbucks will make you rich overnight. But there are a few easy ways to get some points. So let me tell you what I do:
1. Get your friends to join using your referral code.
Every Swagbuck that your friend earns, so do you – up to 100. I got all of my labmates to join under my referral code and most of them have gotten me their full 100 Swagbucks. It is also fun rooting for my co-workers as they won Swagbucks – and seeing them get their prizes as well.
2. Do all your searches through Swagbucks
Sure, you could just type in the name of your favorite site “amazon.com” and go directly to the site, but for a few extra seconds you could type “amazon” and then do the search. I always search for every website that I go to, and it benefits me in at least one Swagbuck a day.
3. Get the Swagbucks toolbars and search engines
I use Chrome, and have the Swagbucks search engine set up as the default search engine. I also have it as the default for Firefox (when I choose to use it over Chrome). If you use the Swagbucks search engine as your default engine you’ll be more likely to win Swagbucks since you’ll be automatically using it for all your normal searches. For whatever browser you use, Swagbucks gives detailed information on how to set it up as your default search engine.
4. Get the Widgit
I put the Swagbucks widgit on my old blog, and check it daily. Why? Because it tells you if there is a Swagcode out. What’s a Swagcode? Well, usually once a day (sometimes more), Swagbucks puts a code out. You usually have to find it somewhere in a newsletter they send out (remember to sign up for this), in the Swagbucks Blog, on Twitter or Facebook, or in a scavanger hunt around the website. If you’re not one for digging around the internet all the time, I just check out the widgit to see if there is a code and then immediately go to the Slick Deals Swagbucks forum. Someone has usually already found the code and can give you “hints” as to where it is and what it is. I find this much easier than having to click around forever. =)
4a. Follow Swagbucks on Twitter or Facebook.
If you don’t want to get the Widget, you can also follow Swagbucks on Twitter, Facebook and add the blog to your RSS feeder. You won’t catch all of the Swagcodes this way, but you’ll catch a good percentage of them.
5. Shop through Swagbucks
I have never done this, but I know that Okturn DelMoniq has. He buys his iTunes music through Swagbucks and gets rewarded for each purchase. If you’re one who likes to buy things online through the shops that are partnered with Swagbucks I would recommend doing it – might as well get something free for buying stuff you would buy anyway, right?
6. Trade in your electronics
Swagbucks also offers the ability to trade in your old electronics for Swagbucks. Okay, while you can get a few Swagbucks for this, I don’t know how good of an idea it is. My old phone only would have given me 1 Swagbuck – which is hardly anything. So proceed with caution here…
7. Don’t Over Expect
It is really easy to get discouraged when you only get 1 or 2 Swagbucks a day and see people who get TONS. The way I figure it, even if I only got 1 Swagbuck a day, that is still 365 a year – and that is a FREE $40 per year in Amazon.com giftcards that I wouldn’t have gotten otherwise. Most days I get at least 3 Swagbucks, so that is $120 – just for searching the internet.