As a student, even with a student loan, money is a valuable and hard to come by thing. Once you’re done spending that loan on equipment, learning resources and travel expenses, you’ll often find that you’ll have to live off of what’s left for weeks at a time.
Being thrifty is key, saving money where you can, but there are also some options out there for earning a little extra cash on top, all without actually leaving the house, too. Enter; Swagbucks.
How does Swagbucks work?
Swagbucks - a big deal site over in the US that’s made its way over to our shores in a big way in recent years - is an excellent way to earn some extra cash inside or outside of term times. To put it simply, Swagbucks as a service (and as a website), offers you reward points in exchange for watching videos on their site, completing a series of surveys, and more.
As you earn points (known as SBs), you can then redeem them and get yourself gift cards at a whole range of leading retailers including Amazon, Argos, iTunes, Starbucks, and more. Alternatively, you can convert your SBs into cold, hard cash (well, money into your PayPal account) or even donate your points (and the monetary equivalent) to charity.
In terms of how much you’ll end up earning and how quickly, for an example, you can pick up a £5 Amazon gift card for 849 SB (occasionally on sale for 700 SB), while a £5 PayPal payout will run you 800 SB. Meanwhile, a £25 PayPal payout will cost you around 4949 SB and you can grab a £10 Marks & Spencer gift card for 1360 SB.
Now, while those number all sound large and incomprehensible to some degree, once you get started on Swagbucks you’ll see that you actually end up earning and accumulating points much quicker than you might have thought at first. This is mostly due to the fact that there’s a wealth of activities and things you can complete to earn them, all under the Swagbucks umbrella.
How to earn rewards
There are a whole variety of ways you can earn SBs (and in turn, rewards and cash) through Swagbucks, so here are a few of them.
Answer Surveys: this one is as simple as it sounds. If you fancy it and you have some time to spare, you can answer a bunch of surveys. These are usually questionnaires asking your opinion on various products or services. Share your opinion and you’ll earn SB for your time. Surveys are generally between 2 and 20 minutes long and you’ll earn anywhere from 40-100 SB when completing it.
Watch Videos: once again, as simple as it sounds. Log into Swagbucks and head to the video section, there you can pick from a variety of subjects and categories. Check out some videos and you’ll earn SB for each video watched. This averages about 3 SB per 30-minute video.
Shop Online: One of the easier and most attractive ways to earn Swagbucks is arguably the online shopping side of things. When you fancy some online retail therapy, you can head to Swagbucks’ huge list of retail partners. Click through from the Swagbucks website into one of those retail sites and when you shop, you’ll earn up to 8% cashback, depending on the site, in SB.
Swagbucks Search Engine: If you want to earn SB and rewards without even noticing it, for the most part, you can opt to switch your default search engine to Swagbucks own engine (powered by Yahoo). This means that any time you search online, you’ll be earning SB. Think about how many times you search for something during a day - for every 10 searches, you’ll be getting around 10 SB, depending on what you’re searching for you. Over time, this can really add up, potentially into hundreds of pounds over a few months.
Daily Tasks: Every day you log into the Swagbucks site, if you check the left part of your dashboard, you’ll see the to-do list for the day. Complete all of the tasks on that list and you’ll earn yourself a nice stack of extra SB on top of all the SB you’ve accumulated from actually finishing each task. It’s a nice way to add some extra cash on top of what you’re already earning.
Discover brands: You can also earn SBs by signing up for free trials of services like Amazon Student Prime or even getting free products like Graze boxes and more. For each service or product you sign up to try out for free, you’ll earn SB you can exchange for cash.
Those are only a few of the ways you can earn rewards and cash using Swagbucks, all from the comfort of your own home - or even without leaving your bed. You can sign up for free here, by the way, and you'll get an extra £5 as a bonus.
Speaking of those retail partners, if you fancy earning some points while shopping online you can choose from a wide array of stores, including (but not limited to) Gap, Banana Republic, Route One, Expedia, Hotels.com, BT Broadband, Aviva Car Insurance, Bose, Amazon, Very, Asda, Argos, Fnatic, Canon, Toni & Guy, TripAdvisor, Kiwi.com, Superdry, StubHub, Tidal, NewEgg, Casio, Gillette, Thorpe Park, Nike, Boohoo, Microsoft, AliExpress, Claire’s, Red Bubble, LoveHoney, Currys PC World, Carphone Warehouse, Boots, and many more.
We really weren’t kidding when we said it was a huge list of retail partners - there are over 1200 stores and brands included - all of which will give you SB for your purchases and get you some cash back.
With all of this in mind, if you’re looking to earn some extra cash while you’re at uni, Swagbucks makes a lot of sense. You’re not required to keep up with it on any kind of schedule, but you will get more out of it if you put more into it. To start earning SBs now, you can sign up for free over on the Swagbucks site. You don’t need to spend extra money in order to earn SBs, but with a free sign up, you don’t have anything to lose and could make some decent extra cash over time.