The Swagbucks Principle
Let’s start at the beginning: what is Swagbucks? It is a site offering to earn money in the form of vouchers. It’s possible to get a hard cash transfer on Paypal, but it’s the only platform available for this kind of transfer: all the others are shops where you can get vouchers.
The Swagbucks name refers to both the site and the currency it uses for its rewards. Video game fans will appreciate: the platform offers, for example, vouchers from Steam and G2A. That said, if you’re not a fan of games, there is also the possibility of finding vouchers for Amazon, Zalando (shoe lover, you recognized yourself!), Mango, and even Center Parcs. And these are just a few examples! There’s pretty much something for everyone, although it’s not the most comprehensive reward park I’ve seen for an app of this type.
Ways to get SB
By the way, I’ve talked about Swagbucks as an app so far. But in reality, Swagbucks is available in different formulas: application, a plug-in for your browser, search engine… I would even say that the main advantage of “SB” is the diversity of the means of acquiring points :
- By installing the search engine from SB. Because yes, Swagbucks has its search engine, and its use earns you points: from time to time, the engine sends you a code to enter (it takes a nano-second), and that’s it. The idea is attractive since, in concrete terms, you earn vouchers without changing anything in your daily life.
- You can complete the previous point by installing the SwagButton plug-in on your browser (in the “Extension” section of the Swagbucks site ). The SwagButton performs several tasks, including telling you if the site you are browsing is eligible for a cashback operation. Again, a pretty cool alternative: are you planning to buy something on CDiscount? Hop! Swagbucks gives you 1% of your purchase in cash back! If this cashback rarely exceeds 5%, the panel of sites and brands concerned is impressive.
- It is then possible to respond to paid surveys (“Reply” activity). They last between 1 and 20 minutes and can earn a tidy sum of points.
- Similarly, it is possible to get paid to respond to offers or download applications: just choose the “Discover” activity on the Swagbucks site. Again, there are quite large sums of points at stake.
- Swagbucks has also launched a variety of apps: apart from a dedicated cashback app, all the others give you rewards for watching themed videos (generalist, movie trailer, sports, music, travel, and entertainment).
Please note: Swagbucks ‘ “Apps” link leads to an empty page for now, where video apps are supposed to be featured.
- And finally, you can also play to earn SBs. For me who said I love video games, this is the best! I will add to this category the Swagstakes, lotteries consisting in using a few SBs to try to win a large amount. Choose the “Swagtakes Entrees” option from the Swagbucks menu.
The important cashback catalog of Swagbucks.
In short, there is a choice! And that’s not all: each of these categories is divided into other sub-services. For example, you have the possibility in the “Cashback” section to mark your favorites or to sort the long list of brands to find what you like more quickly.
But you also have to look at the other side of the corner. If you commit to Swagbucks, you will quickly be caught up in the harsh reality. Because indeed, many of these initiatives are affected by more or less embarrassing defects. Warning: I did not say that the platform was good to throw in the trash from the start. Let’s say rather that there are problems and bugs to be aware of.
Swagbucks Abilities and Flaws, Service by Service
I admitted I didn’t know where to start. Because on the one hand, Swagbucks is an interesting platform: yes, it is possible to earn many points, and I understood that the team had tried to create an efficient platform. But on the other hand, there are so many different services, with so many flaws of all kinds that it seemed difficult to tell them all.
So, I’m going to start with the services that seemed the most solid to me, to go down little by little to what the platform has produced the worst.
Cashback and the SwagButton
Let’s start with cashback, which is presumably the most reliable part of Swagbucks. This reliability is due to several points. If only one had to be retained, it would be the imposing catalog: all the major brands are represented there. Expedia, Groupon, Nike, Lidl… So there are a lot of them that interest me, and I know in advance that there will be some that you will like too.
So if you’re the type to order on the Internet, and you want to earn SB points, I suggest you install the SwagButton: it will notify you each time you are in a shop accessible to cashback, so don’t forget anything.
The only glitch has to do with the very nature of cashback, which is to give money to earn it. In other words, it’s more of a bonus than a real way to get SB, since I’m not going to spend money just to get points. In short, nothing to complain about with this first service (which I haven’t tested personally, but given the reviews, I have no reason to think that it doesn’t work).
The search engine
Swagbucks has a search engine, based on Microsoft’s Bing search engine. The site also tells you how to make it your default search engine in Chrome. The interest: with each search, you have a chance to obtain points via a code to enter.
The points won are not counted by the hundred: after a few days of testing, my best code brought me 20 SB. And in terms of frequency, it’s on the order of one to three codes per day. Again, an interesting bonus. But there are some slight problems because it is not Google who wants…
Indeed, compared to other search engines, Swagbucks’ is not the best I’ve seen. For example, advertising links are more present there.
Warning: Google also regularly gives me ads in the header. However, not only are they less frequent overall, but more importantly, they are visually well identified, which is less true at Swagbucks.
And then, the Swagbucks engine is globally less relevant in its results.
Also, it doesn’t have the advanced search criteria that Google suggests.
And then, it does not have as many additional services like Google (Shopping, Maps, News…).
I’ll stop there before you start to believe I have stock at Google. But the Swagbucks engine indeed has a lot of details that can be more or less irritating for long-term use. However, for the use to be interesting in terms of SB, you must agree to use only it. A word of advice: if you decide to make it your default browser (essential to earn SB effectively), keep Google in the corner anyway.
I will quickly go over the thematic videos, and this is for a simple reason: they are not available in France. And that’s a shame because the initiative is promising.
The site already links to a host of apps that all rely on Swagbucks. Apart from one which is dedicated to cashback, all the others invite you to watch thematic videos: sport, travel, music, etc. So, it’s interesting since we can have videos corresponding to our centers of interest. I could already see myself watching my little travel videos before sleeping.
But, if it’s not available in France, it’s immediately less interesting. From there, two solutions: either tweak one of its terminals to be able to download foreign applications (which is not necessarily recommended), or wait. Indeed, Swagbucks is a booming brand, and it is more than likely that all of its features will be available in France in the coming months.
Games and Swagstakes
Then come to the games.
Three games are available on the Swagbucks site:
- A game is similar to Geometry Dash. A character automatically advances from left to right. You can’t stop it. All you can do is make him jump so that he avoids the obstacles on the way.
- A jumping game. This time, the character jumps from platform to platform to climb higher and higher. If he misses a platform, he’s lost.
- A memory game. This is the famous game of pairs. Turn over the cards one by one, and for each of them, find its twin that remained face down.
SwagJump is a not very interesting jumping game.
Let’s be clear: these games are not very interesting, just like the associated winnings.
They are “casual” games, that is to say, the type of games you will play when you are bored on public transport or in the waiting room of your dentist. Nothing that isn’t truly entertaining, then. As for points, I focused on the jumping game: it seems like it takes at least 70,000 points to get 2 SB. 70,000 points is a lot (knowing that you will lose a certain number of times below this threshold). But 2 SB is 2 euro cents. The beginning of fortune, of course, but all the same…
In short, if you only have that to do, the games can be made for you. For me, I’ve found vacuuming my apartment to be more profitable and more fun than those games. That says it all!
On the other hand, there are the Swago and Swagstakes, these lotteries allowing you to bet a few points to win the big prize. I prefer to earn my points slowly but surely. But if you are a Lotto fan, there is no doubt that you will appreciate this corner of the site.
Surveys and findings
Little by little, I descend into the abyss of Swagbucks with the discoveries and the paid surveys. Because they are extremely poorly thought out, they never allowed me to earn points. Yet they promised me hundreds.
This is a problem that arises on most platforms offering these famous surveys: no sorting is done, even if the site tries to suggest the opposite. Therefore, with every survey you try to complete, you will always be returned to the home page at one point or another. And no Swagbucks, please!
It wouldn’t be so bad if the polls didn’t take very long. But some can last 20 minutes. Imagine my frustration when, after spending 15 minutes describing myself in detail, the site stops polling with the message “Not all polls are successful…Here’s 1 SB in consolation ”.
And I repeat: it is sys-te-ma-tic. I tried about 20 surveys for this test, and couldn’t complete any of them. However, the site could perfectly well ask me for information about my life from the outset (the brand of my car, my clothing habits, etc.) and then only send me the surveys for which I am eligible…
I’ll be a little less defeatist when it comes to finds, but that’s only because I haven’t been able to test many of them. At the time of this test, only a few offers were available. It is a question of going to such a site and seeing the available hotels, of going to such another site to consult the products, etc. And there again, none gave me the points that were rightfully mine!
Unfortunately, not all polls are successful…
Balance sheet time
There was a time when I didn’t know what to think of Swagbucks: good or bad platform? After reflection, I preferred to keep a positive opinion. Moreover, FoxyRating users are quite satisfied with this site, but I still recommend that you check out Moolineo or Toluna if you want to make ends meet. These sites are more reliable.