5 Ways to Score Free Gift Cards and Cash in 1 Place

With this website, you can earn extra spending money by doing five different activities -- which you probably already do anyway. Here's how to get started in seconds.

5 Ways to Score Free Gift Cards and Cash in 1 Place Photo by Monkey Business Images / Shutterstock.com

There are seemingly countless ways to make some extra money online — for starters, check out “50 Ways to Make a Fast $50 (or Lots More!)

In fact, there are so many options that some folks get overwhelmed. Others assume earning spare cash online in their downtime isn’t for them because they don’t have enough time or patience to register with multiple websites.

If you can relate to all that, Swagbucks.com might be a good site for you.

Swagbucks describes itself as a “rewards program.” But it’s effectively a single website — or app, if you prefer — that offers its members multiple ways to rack up free gift cards and cash.

So, Swagbucks is more versatile than the many websites that allow you to earn extra money by doing one particular activity. It has also been around longer than many sites, launching nearly a decade ago, in February 2008.

Since then, Swagbucks has handed out more than $200 million in gift cards to its members, a milestone the site just announced this week.

How it works

You have to sign up for a Swagbucks account before you can start using the site, but it’s free and takes only a few seconds. Just enter your email and create a password to get started.

Having an account allows Swagbucks to keep track of how many points you’ve racked up. Whenever you do an activity on the website — like answer a survey, for example — you earn what are known as “SB points.”

Once you’ve accumulated enough SB points, redeem them for gift cards to all kinds of places. Or, if you’d rather have cash, choose the PayPal payout option.

5 ways to score freebies

The activities for which Swagbucks will pay you include:

1. Taking surveys: Yes, you can get paid for your opinion. The site advises that you read all questions carefully before answering and always answer honestly, but there are no hitches.

Money Talks News contributor Krystal Steinmetz, who has used this Swagbucks feature, has written, “I earned 10 SB today by taking a general household information survey that only took about four minutes to complete. Some surveys reward users up to 300 SB.”

2. Watching videos: Steinmetz explained, “Swagbucks pays you to watch video content — including movie trailers, health tips, parenting advice and more — from dozens of media partners, including Hulu, the Food Network and Reuters. The number of SB you earn varies widely depending on the content and length of the video playlist you choose.”

3. Shopping online: The savviest consumers use what’s known as a cash-back portal when shopping online. These are websites that provide cash rebates. Ebates.com and TopCashback.com are two well-known examples, but Swagbucks also has its own cash-back portal, called “Swagbucks Shop.”

This page of the Swagbucks site explains:

Use Swagbucks’ Shop for all your online purchases at thousands of stores, from Amazon to Walmart. You’ll earn SB for every dollar you spend (earning 1 SB is equal to earning 1% Cash Back). It’s one of the fastest ways to get free gift cards.

4. Searching the web: If you use the internet, you probably also use a search engine like Google Search. You could be getting paid for this activity, though, if you switch to Swagbucks’ search engine. To learn how exactly it works, check out “3 Ways to Get Paid for Searching the Web.”

5. Playing games: Swagbucks will pay you to play games like Bejeweled 2, Tetris Burst and a variety of casino-style games.

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