Saving Money Online 101: Earn gift cards by searching the web

by Angela Davis on November 15, 2011

The very best way I know to save money on the internet is to actually earn money by using the internet. And the best way to earn on the internet without adding much to your daily routine is to use a site called Swagbucks.

Swagbucks allows you to earn virtual currency, called Swag Bucks, by doing the things you do every day — searching the web, shopping at your favorite sites and completing special offers. Redeem these Swag Bucks for gift cards to places you already shop — Amazon, Starbucks, Lands’ End, Fandango, The Home Depot, Lowes, The Macaroni Grill, Southwest Airlines and more!

Here’s how you can earn Swag Bucks:

:: Searching the web — The easiest way to earn Swag Bucks is to use it to search the web, just as you would Google. Every few searches, you will win Swag Bucks, usually between 5 and 10. Honestly, the results are not as good as Google, but for most searches you do, the results will work perfectly. About every tenth search, I need to do a Google search to find what I’m looking for.

I just installed the Mozilla Firefox Plugin so there’s a handy search bar in the top right corner of my screen. There’s a plugin available for every browser. You can also make Swagbucks your homepage for easy searching access.

By doing 4-5 searches per day, you should win enough Swag Bucks to get a $5 Amazon Gift Card within 1-2 months.

:: Online shopping through Swagbucks links — If you’re going to make an online purchase, check to see if Swagbucks is offering an incentive to make the purchase through their site. For instance, you can earn 135 Swagbucks for purchasing a $100 voucher to a local framing store for $40. You get a great deal and earn Swag Bucks.

:: Redeeming printable coupons – You will earn 10 Swag Bucks for every coupon you print and redeem through Swagbucks. You will only get credit for those printable coupons you actually redeem in the store.

:: Completing special offers — Swagbucks offers you Swag Bucks for completing random offers, like watching commercials or signing up for a trial of Netflix.

:: Finding random codes — Swagbucks periodically offers codes worth 1-10+ Swag Bucks. These codes are usually released in one form or another on the Swagbucks blog, Facebook page or Twitter.

:: Referring others to Swagbucks — Every time your referrals earn Swag Bucks, Swagbucks will match it, up to 1000 Swagbucks. This is the quickest way to accumulate Swag Bucks. You can add a widget or a banner to your personal blog, post your referral link to Facebook or Twitter or simply email your friends with your link.

Every member in your household can have their own Swagbucks account and you should be able to refer your family members.

I have earned the vast majority of my Swag Bucks by searching the web and referring others to Swagbucks. I use my Swag Bucks to buy Amazon and Starbucks gift cards. This is a fantastic way to either help off-set the cost of Christmas or to fund your coffee habit (or a little of both).

There are other ways to earn Swag Bucks, like watching videos, clicking through offers and more, but I think this is unrealistic for most of you given the amount of time required. If you spend a lot of time on your computer and can have videos playing while you work or have kids who are willing to play some computer games for you, you can earn gift cards even quicker!

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{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Laurie J. November 15, 2011 at 3:00 pm

Love swagbucks and those gift cards. I redeemed some today for a $10 starbucks card. Free coffee tastes so much better. :)

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Iris November 15, 2011 at 1:30 pm

I sometimes search through GoodSearch, and I earn $0.01 per search for my indicated non-profit. That’s another option, and it makes me feel good to do it.

Often GoodSearch results are as good as, or better than, Google’s. Google’s search results tend to reflect the practice of consultants doing “Google search optimization” with their website design and wording, so I often don’t like the order of the results or can’t find what I’m looking for.

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Christan November 15, 2011 at 12:47 pm

I don’t search randomly…basically if it is in my favorites list, then I do a search for it. I will typically average some points in the morning, then points again at night. Once I earn points for my account, I log off, then search to earn points on my husbands account. (It is now allowed to have more than one account per household.)
Remember to sign up your spouse underneath you as it counts as a referral! :)

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