Welcome to October’s series on 31 Ways to Earn Extra Cash Before Christmas. In this series, I’m highlighting simple and legitimate ways you can earn extra cash in the next three months for those of you who could use a little extra cash to help you pay for Christmas — or just for your living expenses if you’re in a tight spot right now.
If you’ve found a great way to make extra cash before Christmas that doesn’t require an outlay of cash upfront, please email me your tip. I’d love to hear it and possibly share it during this series!
Idea #2: Earn Gift Cards From Swagbucks
If you’ve read my blog at all, you know I’m a big fan of Swagbucks. And you probably signed up a long time ago and have been earning gift cards ever since.
For the handful of you who have yet to sign up for Swagbucks or for the many others who have signed up but feel like you’re not earning much from it, this post is for you.
What Is Swagbucks?
Swagbucks is a search engine that rewards you with Swagbucks for searching. You can use it just like Google (though I still like Google better) for searching and you will be randomly awarded Swagbucks for searching, usually around five to 10 Swagbucks once or twice each day.
These Swagbucks can then be redeemed for a variety of different free items, such as Amazon gift cards, Starbucks gift cards, and much more.
While Swagbucks started out as solely a search engine, over the past few years, they’ve morphed into much more. In fact, they now offer many different ways to earn more Swagbucks making it much easier to earn enough Swagbucks to cash in on their prizes. Some of the most popular ways to earn Swagbucks are doing online searches, signing up for offers, printing coupons, completing special offers, or taking polls.
When I first heard about Swagbucks, I was a little leery because it sounded too good to be true. But I went ahead and tried it — and after earning multiple gift cards every month for the past two years, I’m here to tell you that it’s not too good to be true. Swagbucks works!
I’ve earned many gift cards plus some electronics from them since I’ve been using them for the last few years. In fact, we were able to lavishly bless our families with Christmas gifts this year thanks, in large part, to the gift cards I’d accumulated through Swagbucks.
And I’m not alone. I know dozens of friends who’ve also had great success with Swagbucks — earning at least a gift card or two every month and sometimes much more than that.
Here’s what Andi emailed me today:
I started using Swagbucks at the end of 2010 and since then, I have earned $325 in Amazon Gift Cards. Last year, I bought all of my husband Christmas gifts, and a few gifts for the Grandparents. This year we have used it mostly for “extras” that I didn’t want to pay for, but really wanted to have (aka: my blow money). I normally earn $5-10 a month in gift cards — and I don’t have any referrals under me. I simply search on my laptop and my Android. -Andi
And Alicia Hansen posted this on my Facebook Page today:
Last year, I started about this time and saved enough up to pay for my daughter’s Skylanders game for Christmas for $60. I’ve also saved up at least another $100 in Amazon gift cards, a $50 Paypal gift card and the most important one, a $100 Southwest gift card that I used to get my daughter here for the summer. I’ve slowed down since the summer but I am hoping to have enough to get at least a $50 Southwest card to help bring my daughter here for Christmas. It’s made a huge difference! -Alicia
How Do You Get Started Earning With Swagbucks?
Just sign up for a free Swagbucks account. Once you’re signed up, I encourage you to read through my 15 Ways to Earn More Swagbucks series and pick a few different options of ways to earn. Experiment with different ones until you determine the ones that works best for you.
I encourage you to set an earnings goal each day and try to login and hit that, if possible. If you can even just put in 5 to 15 minutes each day, it can really start to add up! I loved what Megan posted on my Facebook Page that she does:
If you earn the $5 Amazon cards it usually is the most bang for your buck. You only need to earn 15 SB in a day to earn $5 in Amazon gift cards each month (these are 450 Swagbucks). So if that was all I did, I would easily have $30 to help out with Christmas with six months of savings. I have found that watching (usually with the sound off) about 30 seconds on 10 videos on Swagbucks TV is a fast way to earn bucks… in addition to doing the daily poll, noso, and using the toolbar. In about 10 minutes of your day, 15 Swagbucks is pretty doable. We have a tight budget, so the 10-15 minutes a day is worth it for us. I have several little kids so can’t commit much time or energy to it, but every little bit helps and has worked for our family. I am able to catch codes and such while I’m at work too and with searches usually earn well over the 15 Swagbucks each day. -Megan
Do You Have To Refer People To Make It Worth Your Time?
Swagbucks has a great referral program: you’ll earn matching Swagbucks (buck for buck) for the first 1,000 Swagbucks anyone you refer earns. Obviously, this is a fantastic way to increase your earnings — and one way that has helped me earn quite a few more Swagbucks over the years.
If you try Swagbucks and it works well for you, be sure to share your referral link with your friends or write a post about it on your blog. Don’t keep a good thing to yourself.
That said, you can still earn a decent amount with Swagbucks even if you have no referrals at all. I outline how you can earn 15 Swagbucks each day in less than 5 minutes per day here.
How Much Can You Earn?
You can easily earn $5 per month in Amazon gift cards with almost no effort. However, if you want to earn more in a shorter time period, I highly recommend checking out Swagbucks TV — especially if you spend a lot of time working on the internet every day. You can increase your earnings significantly by watching Swagbucks TV each day while you’re working online — or through their smartphone apps.
In addition, if you have friends you know who would love to try out Swagbucks, by referring them in the next few weeks and helping them be successful, you’re likely going to significantly increase your Swagbucks earnings, too. And this will result in more gift cards for you to use toward Christmas gifts!
I’ve earned over $75 this year through Swagbucks and I honestly don’t even spend three minutes a day earning points. Not too shabby when I combine this with earning by taking surveys with Mindfield Online as well as programs like MyPoints and Treasure Trooper! You can follow my Swagbucks progress on my weekly Swagbucks Christmas 2012 Savings Challenge posts on my blog each Wednesday. -Theresa
How Do You Redeem Your Swagbucks?
Once you’ve earned enough Swagbucks to cash in for a gift card, you just log into your account and request your gift card. You’ll have to confirm your request and then your gift card will show up in your account within a few weeks.
There are dozens of different gift cards to choose from but I’d recommend going for the $5 Amazon gift cards for 450 Swagbucks each. This is the best deal and you can use an unlimited number of Amazon gift cards per order on Amazon.
I’d love to hear your experiences with Swagbucks! Tell us your secrets to maximizing your earnings, give us the scoop on how much you’ve earned so far, and share any insider tips you’ve uncovered. Let’s help each other be more successful in earning free gift cards to use toward Christmas this year!
(Note: The link in this post is my referral link. Read my disclosure policy here.)