Swag Bucks 101 | How to Earn Free Prizes with Online Searches

Search & Win

Swag Bucks is one of my favorite rewards programs. It is so simple and rewarding. Since I talk about it so much on my blog, I thought it might be helpful to write a post all about the program.

What is Swag Bucks?

Swag Bucks is a search engine powered by Google and Ask.com. Whenever you search on Swagbucks.com, you have the chance to win points (aka Swag Bucks) that you can redeem for prizes and gift cards. You can easily earn enough points to get a $5 Amazon gift card every month if you do regular searches!

Daily Activities

NOSO (No Obligation Special Offers)

Complete the NOSOs to earn 1 Swag Buck daily by doing this.  You do not have to purchase or sign up for anything to do this.

Just choose “NOSO” from the navigation menu under “Ways to Earn.”  Then click on “Get Started” and begin viewing the offers.

While you can sign up for any that you want, most are just junk that you should ignore.  I typically do not even read them and choose one of the following responses:

  • No
  • Skip
  • See Next Offer

The whole process typically takes under a minute and you can only do this once per day.

Daily Polls

Vote in the daily polls to earn 1 Swag Buck daily!  Just choose “Daily Polls” from the navigation menu under “Ways to Earn.”

Swag Bucks are only awarded for answering the current daily poll.  You are free to vote in any of the other polls if you wish, but you won’t earn anything from it.


I usually earn 1 Swag Buck daily just by having the Swag Bucks toolbar.  Every day when I open my browser I get a pop up showing that I’ve won 1 Swag Buck.  Just make sure to stay signed in to your account to be awarded your free toolbar Swag Buck.

To download the toolbar, just click “Toolbar” on the navigation menu and the click “download.”  It is compatible with Firefox, Safari, and Internet Explorer.

They also award Swag Bucks codes via the toolbar.  Look for “From TSG” with an envelope icon next to it.  If there is a new message, you will see it there.  They frequently award limited time Swag Codes there.


Of course, make sure to search the internet daily!  I usually win Swag Bucks at least once per day by doing regular searches.

The search bar can be found on the swag bucks home page.  You can also make Swag Bucks your browser homepage so you don’t forget.  It is also very easy to search via the toolbar.

Swag Codes

Swag Codes are a string of letters and numbers that will award you a certain number of Swag Bucks.  If you are too late finding the Swag Code, it will simply say EXPIRED in place of the code.  To redeem the codes, copy the code – it must be exact, including capitalization – and paste it in the swag code box found on your homepage. It looks like the image below.  After you paste the code, click on the button that says “gimme” to get your Swag Bucks.


As I mentioned above, you can earn Swag Codes via messages on your toolbar.  Be sure to check it daily because Swag Codes are typically only available for a short time.

Swag Bucks Blog

Swag Codes are frequently found on the Swag Bucks blog.  Just look for an unusual string of letters and numbers within the blog posts.  They will also host Swag Code hunts that will lead you on a search to find a swag code.  Sometimes they are hard and I personally do not find them worth the effort, but occasionally they are very easy.

Twitter and Facebook

Swag Bucks is on both Twitter and Facebook and they occasionally share exclusive swag codes on there.  Be sure to follow or “like” them to be alerted when they post these codes.

More Ways to Earn

Mega Swag Bucks Friday

Every Friday you have a higher chance of winning the Mega Bills (30 – 1,000 Swag Bucks).  If you’ve neglected searching all week, then you could possibly make up for it by searching on Fridays!

Refer Your Friends

Click on “Invite Friends & Earn” from the navigation menu under “Promote.”  You can then send them an email telling them about Swag Bucks.  If you prefer, you can also click “promote” on that page to get a unique referral link that is great for using to share about Swag Bucks via your blog, Twitter, Facebook, etc.

Once someone joins Swag Bucks using your link, you will begin earning Swag Bucks every time the win Swag Bucks.  Swag Codes, Daily Polls, and NOSO bucks earned by your friends are not counted toward your own earnings, only Swag Bucks they earn from searches.  You also can only earn up to 1,000 Swag Bucks for each person you refer.

Trade In

Recycle cell phones, MP3 players, video games, and gaming consoles.

“Don’t throw your old cell phone in the trash — electronics aren’t biodegradable and they even contain toxic parts that could leak into landfills and pollute our environment! Instead, put your old cell phone junk to better use.”

Just choose “Trade In” from the navigation menu under “Ways to Earn” to get started.

Shop Online

If you’re planning on making a purchase online, you can shop through the links on Swag Bucks to earn from every purchase!  Just choose “Shop” from the navigation menu under “Ways to Earn” to get started.


While I personally don’t think it’s worth the time invested, you can earn Swag Bucks by taking surveys. Just choose “Trusted Surveys” from the navigation menu under “Ways to Earn.”


There are tons of prizes ranging from the easily attainable to the ambitious.  There are gift cards to stores like Amazon and Starbucks, iPods, TVs, Cash via PayPal, magazine subscriptions, and many more. Some prizes like Amazon gift cards are limited to 5 per account per month.

To redeem your prize, begin by choosing “Swag Store” from the navigation menu under “Rewards.”  After you’ve chosen your prize, click on the green “Snag This” button.  You will then need to confirm your shipping address and click on “Submit Order.”  You will then receive a verification email.  You will need to click the green “Verify this Order” link in the email to receive your prize. Unverified orders will be cancelled and refunded after 7 days.

For online gift cards, the gift card code is store in your Swag Bucks account. To view your codes, go to the Swag Bucks home page and sign in. Then click on the number of Swag bucks you’ve earned, found in the top right corner. From the drop down menu, select “My Gift Cards” then enter your password. You can then copy the gift card code and use it when shopping online. After you’ve used it, make sure to mark it as used in your account.

By completing the Daily Activities and doing regular searches, you can easily earn at least 10 Swag Bucks per day.  It only takes 450 Swag Bucks to earn a $5 Amazon gift card, which is my favorite!

Plus, when you join Swag Bucks, you get 30 Free Swag Bucks to get you started!


  1. Hi Stephanie,

    Your blog is new to me but, I’m glad I found it!! I have a new years resolution to save money through couponing and deals. I signed up with Swag Bucks through your link(THANK YOU). Quick Question…I’m sure you use Ebates, Does Swag Bucks give you any money back or just Swagbucks? Which reward system do you think is better to shop online- Swag Bucks or Ebates? Last question. Do you get Swag Bucks based on the dollar amount spent??? while shopping online or Do they randomly dish out the amount?

    So Glad to be here


    • I’ve never used their cash back program (I prefer Ebates), but from what I can tell, they only give swagbucks. It looks like you earn a specific number of swag bucks when you make a purchase.


  2. Can you link your sb account to multiple browsers? As in, I have an iPhone, iPad and a personal computer, all of which I use to search. Could my husband also add it to his droid and work computer, all linking back to one sb account?

    Thanks so much, Stephanie! You’re awesome! Have been following you for awhile.


    • I’m sorry you are having problems but I cannot help with this. When having problems with Swag Bucks you will need to contact them directly. Look for a contact or help section on their website.


  3. Have any of you linked with facebook by allowing the application? When I am on the swagbucks site there’s a button that says invite freinds and then it lists different ways to do so, one way is facebook. I’m just not sure if I should do this. Please help me out!


  4. I’ve not had any spam/viruses/junk mail from SB as of yet. I’ve been using it for over a year. I prefer the $5 Paypal card, although it is more expensive than the Amazon card.
    My comment though is about Google Chrome. If you have Chrome, you can not use the download the toolbar. You can change your search box to SB as your default though and it will work the same way. It’s a little more complicated than simply downloading the toolbar, but we’ve been very happy with SB.
    I’ve never done any of the other Ways to Earn, only the searches and I earn $5 Paypal cash about every other month. When I select it, I usually get an email within 24 hours and then the money is in my account within 48.


  5. Thanks for the information! I’ve been reading your site for a while now and finally decided to register.

    I have a question, though. How do I get rid of the “AdChoices” pop up on the bottom left of my browser. It’s driving me crazy!


  6. I want to sign up for Swag Bucks but their is some kind of picture code you have to input during the registration and I can’t see the picture code, just a red X. 🙁


  7. How long does it take before I receive my amazon card in the mail?? Or will I get a code?? I’m confused. I just ordered my first $5 gift card and the code is not in “my giftcards”


        • @Andrea, No, the Amazon gift cards are e-gift cards so they do not come in the mail. The ones labeled e-gift cards only give you a code to enter online, but the ones that aren’t labeled e-gift cards do come in the mail (like Starbucks gift cards).


          • Hi, Stephanie, thanks for the info–I signed up. Do you know anything about the KMart gift card? It says it’s an e-gift card, but under the description it says it can be used at stores. I would shop online at Amazon, but I would prefer to go to the actual store for KMart. Would they send a physical card?

  8. whoa. 10 swag bucks a day for 45 days worth of surveying and getting spammed to death so i can get a $5 amazon card. That’s $0.003 per hour based on an 8 hour day for 45 days.


    • @J to the K, I haven’t had any spam from this. You earn more the more often you search. I don’t go out of my way to search – I already search on a daily basis anyway and I think most people do too. I usually earn 10 – 15 swag bucks per day JUST from searching like normal – which would get me a $5 amazon gift card per month. If I do other things like take the daily polls, use the toolbar, and enter free codes, then I’ll earn much more than that. 🙂


      • Can you earn swagbucks by doing more than 1 search per day? I’ve done several searches today along and my account isn’t getting credited..


        • Yes I found that if you search every 4 hours you norm get SwagBucks. Ive been doing this for 5 weeks without any referrals and already have 2,067 SwagBucks. I put together a video that will show you how to get 24 without searching. Add the searching on top of that and I norm get over 50 a day easy. Here is the video http://bit.ly/qepDlX


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