Frugal NationFrugal Nation

Get free gift cards from Swagbucks

The popular online program lets you earn Amazon cards, PayPal cash and other rewards.

By Donna_Freedman Mar 2, 2012 3:02PM
Image: Gift card © Thinkstock Images/JupiterimagesSwagbucks bought my underwear. Not from me -- for me. I earned Amazon gift cards from the rewards site and used them to buy long johns for a two-month trip to Alaska late last year.  (Now that I live here full-time, I'm finding those snuggies quite useful.) Wool socks, too, and some Horlicks malt beverage for my hostess up north.

The cards also helped me pay for Christmas presents (read "Christmas for less than $100") and for things like flax seed, quinoa and vitamins. It's great when your get-healthy New Year's resolution costs nothing out of pocket. (Post continues after video.)
I think Swagbucks is the best rewards program out there. Here's why:
  • You can earn seven to 59 points at a time just by using its search engine. There's never been a day when I didn't win at least twice; usually I win three to five times daily.
  • Survey opportunities (some as short as 10 minutes) appear throughout the day. Generally they're worth between 50 and 150 points. Recently a survey paid 10,000.
  • Everyone qualifies for the one-question daily poll.
  • You can earn points by watching movie trailers on your smartphone or by viewing short videos (generally 30 seconds to three minutes).
  • You can also earn by buying stuff (which I don't) and through the usual mix of "special offers," such as Netflix memberships.
  • An hourly random drawing awards 4,000 points.
  • "Swag Code" clues, good for extra points are released almost every day, sometimes two or three times per day.
Worth my time
Sound complicated? It isn't. I'm probably one of the least-savvy Swagbucks users out there, yet I earn points steadily. Sometimes I've gotten 100 or more per day just through the search engine.

Although you can cash in for physical prizes, gift cards are "our most popular item," according to spokesman Scott Dudelson. Cards are available for restaurants and retailers as well as for and PayPal.


A $5 Amazon card costs 450 points; a $5 PayPal one is 700. Points add up quickly, though, especially if you get bonuses for referring new users. For specifics, visit the site's FAQ section.

How much you earn depends on how much time you want to spend. On the Facebook page, many “Swaggernauts” post daily earnings in the hundreds or thousands.

I'm nowhere near that productive. But I'm persistent, and I've had some referrals, so every month I add up to an additional $25 worth of Amazon scrip to my account. Christmas will be here before you know it. I might also want to buy more socks.

More on MSN Money:

Mar 1, 2013 6:46PM
I love swagbucks!

I also like InstaGC. Very similar, only its an instant cashout!
Jun 25, 2014 11:57AM
Check out
Please help us to maintain a healthy and vibrant community by reporting any illegal or inappropriate behavior. If you believe a message violates theCode of Conductplease use this form to notify the moderators. They will investigate your report and take appropriate action. If necessary, they report all illegal activity to the proper authorities.
100 character limit
Are you sure you want to delete this comment?


Copyright © 2014 Microsoft. All rights reserved.

Fundamental company data and historical chart data provided by Morningstar Inc. Real-time index quotes and delayed quotes supplied by Morningstar Inc. Quotes delayed by up to 15 minutes, except where indicated otherwise. Fund summary, fund performance and dividend data provided by Morningstar Inc. Analyst recommendations provided by Zacks Investment Research. StockScouter data provided by Verus Analytics. IPO data provided by Hoover's Inc. Index membership data provided by Morningstar Inc.


Donna Freedman's Frugal Nation blog is for readers who want to live cheaply -- whether due to necessity or a lifestyle choice. It explores living sustainably and making life more meaningful at the same time.


Donna Freedman

Donna Freedman, a writer based in Anchorage, Alaska, writes the Frugal Nation blog for MSN Money. She won regional and national prizes during an 18-year newspaper career and earned a college degree in midlife without taking out student loans. Donna also writes about the frugal life for her own site, Surviving and Thriving.