Swagbucks vs. Survey Junkie

Swagbucks and Survey Junkie are two of the most popular paid survey sites on the internet. If you’re looking to make money taking surveys, these platforms should be at the top of your list.

To be clear, you won’t get rich from either of them, but you can use both sites to turn your spare time into extra cash.

In this post, we’ll compare Swagbucks vs. Survey Junkie.

Here’s a quick comparison summary:

Ways to Earn🏆 Surveys, videos, games, shopping, browser extension, sweepstakesSurveys, browser extension
Referral Program🏆 300 Swagbucks per referralNone
Payout OptionsPayPal Cash, Gift cards🏆 Bank transfer, PayPal Cash, Gift cards
Sign-Up Bonus🏆 $20$0.50

Keep reading to get a better idea of how to make money on both sites, where each one shines, and where they fall short. 

Swagbucks Overview

Swagbucks is a paid survey website founded in 2008. It pays in its own currency, Swagbucks, or SB for short. In addition to surveys, you can also earn SB by watching ads and playing games.

Swagbucks is free to use, and it takes just a couple of minutes to sign up through its website or mobile app. You’ll get a $20 sign-up bonus for joining. Your bonus will show up in your account once you make a purchase of $25 or more through one of Swagbucks’ partner merchants.

How to Earn Money on Swagbucks

When you complete tasks on Swagbucks, you’ll earn SB, which you can later redeem for gift cards or cash in your PayPal account. The conversion rate is simple: one SB equals one cent.

Different tasks come with different payouts, and some tend to be more lucrative than others. Here are some ways you can make money on the site. 

Online surveys

Market research companies pay Swagbucks to collect consumer opinions. In turn, Swagbucks pays you to complete surveys. 

Log into Swagbucks, and you’ll see a list of available survey opportunities in your dashboard, along with the payout amount and an estimate of how long each one should take.

Each survey starts with a brief screening questionnaire. If you meet the requirements, you’ll be able to proceed with the survey and earn points. Keep in mind that surveys typically require a specific demographic profile, so you won’t qualify for all of them.

Payouts range from a couple of SB to a few hundred. In general, the longer the survey takes and the more specific the qualifying requirements are, the more you stand to earn.

Online shopping

If earning cashback is your life’s calling, Swagbucks has you covered. 

Swagbucks partners with a ton of retailers, and each partnership comes with a different cashback percentage, which hovers somewhere between 1 percent and 8 percent. All you have to do is log into Swagbucks, choose where you want to shop, and watch your SB balance grow after you check out.

Would you rather shop in person? No worries. You can still earn SB by uploading your receipts to Magic Receipts. Swagbucks also offers printable grocery coupons to help you score discounts, plus extra SB when you use them.

Videos and games

For those looking to make money while kicking back, you can earn SB by watching video ads or playing games. These aren’t the highest-earning options, but they take the least amount of effort — and are the most fun, to boot.

The videos are mostly ads for consumer and entertainment products and usually last just a few minutes. Games are primarily mobile-based. You earn points by purchasing in-game perks or downloading free, ad-filled games

Browser extension

Swagbucks offers a Chrome-compatible browser extension called the SwagButton. You get 25 SB just for installing it, and it’ll automatically let you know if the site you’re shopping on has a cashback deal available.

The SwagButton also automatically adds any available coupon codes at checkout. So you won’t have to scour the internet to find one.


Swagbucks also offers regular sweepstakes, called Swagstakes, that pay rewards if you win. Prizes range from Amazon gift cards to big SB payouts. Keep in mind that Swagstakes cost a handful of SB to enter.


You can also earn easy points by referring your friends to the site. When you make a successful referral, you and your friend each receive a 300 SB bonus.

On top of that, you’ll get 10% of your referral’s lifetime earnings on the site. Refer a lot of friends who become heavy Swagbucks users, and you can continue to rack up SB as long as they stay active.

Swagbucks Payout Options

To cash out with Swagbucks, you’ll need a minimum balance of 300 SB ($3), although some rewards have a higher payout threshold.

PayPal Cash

If you want real money, your best bet is to cash out through your PayPal account. The minimum balance for PayPal Cash is 1,000 SB ($10), and the email associated with your Swagbucks account must be the same as on your PayPal account. 

You can easily spend PayPal Cash online wherever PayPal is accepted, but keep in mind that there could be a fee if you want to transfer the funds to a bank account. 

Gift cards

If you want to cash out faster, you can opt for gift cards to popular retailers like Amazon, Walmart, and Target. 

Gift card values as low as $1 are available, and you’ll have hundreds of options to choose from. You can even opt for gift cards from companies like Visa and American Express.

Survey Junkie Overview

Survey Junkie is an online market research community. It’s completely free and available to residents of the U.S., Canada, and Australia. 

Arguably the best-known survey site out there, Survey Junkie boasts more than 10 million members. The platform connects its members to consumer brands for paid opportunities through surveys, focus groups, and shared browsing data. 

Once you’ve joined Survey Junkie, you can take surveys on the website or mobile app. If you’re familiar with other survey companies like LifePoints or Opinion Outpost, you already have a pretty good idea of what to expect from Survey Junkie.

How to Earn Money on Survey Junkie

Unlike Swagbucks, Survey Junkie’s earning options are narrow. When you complete surveys, you’ll earn points you can redeem for cash or gift cards. Like Swagbucks, the conversion rate is one point to one cent. 

You’ll get 25 points just for signing up and another 50 for completing your initial survey profile. After that, you can expand your profile by completing sections on topics — like health, technology use, and shopping habits —- which will help the site match you with opportunities. Plus, you’ll get 10 more points for finishing each questionnaire.

Online surveys

Once you’ve completed your member profile, Survey Junkie matches you up with relevant surveys. Most completed surveys pay between forty and 200 points, and the average time to completion is around 15 minutes.

From new product testing to consumer trends, there’s a wide variety of subject matter to cover. You might even get an invite to join a focus group. 

Like any survey site, disqualifications are common. You won’t have the right demographic profile for every survey. That said, the more you fill out your profile, the better chances you’ll have of finding the best surveys for you. 

Browser extension

Survey Junkie also offers a browser extension called SJ Pulse. Unlike the SwagButton, which tips you off on shopping deals, SJ Pulse works in the background and monitors your online habits.

This includes the websites you visit, what you search, your shopping activity, and any content you engage with. SJ Pulse is entirely optional, and you can either install it on your browser or opt-in through the mobile app. 

It might feel strange to allow Survey Junkie to monitor your online activity. But the data is used exclusively by market research companies to understand consumer trends. The company protects sensitive data such as credit card numbers and passwords with encryption.

If you choose to join SJ Pulse, you’ll get 150 bonus points after thirty days. As an SJ Pulse member, you’ll also get access to exclusive surveys and other perks.

Survey Junkie Payout Options

You need to build up a balance of at least 500 points ($5) to cash out on Survey Junkie. When you hit the minimum payout threshold, head to the My Points page and choose your reward. 

Bank transfer

Unlike most rewards sites, Survey Junkie offers direct bank transfers rather than cashouts through third-party sites or free gift cards. All you have to do is link your bank account to your Survey Junkie profile.

PayPal Cash

If you’d rather not share your banking information, you’ll also have the option to use PayPal to cash out. This is the only option available to Survey Junkie members in Canada and Australia. 

Gift cards

The last option is to take payment in the form of electronic gift cards. Survey Junkie offers a ton of different options, including Amazon, Walmart, Target, and iTunes.

Swagbucks vs. Survey Junkie: Which Is Better?

In many ways, Swagbucks and Survey Junkie are similar. They’re both legit reward sites that offer tons of opportunities to take paid surveys. And they both give members the option to get paid in PayPal Cash or gift cards. 

However, both sites offer relatively limited ways to earn money. And it will likely take a while to build up your balance with either option.

Swagbucks: Pros and Cons

Here are some of the pros and cons of Swagbucks.

Where Swagbucks shines

Swagbucks stands out for a couple of reasons. First, it has more money-paying tasks. Even if you don’t have any available surveys, you can still find ways to earn. 

At the same time, the Swagbucks app offers a better referral program. If the people you refer are active on the site, you’ll earn passive income. You’ll also receive $20 just for signing up.

Where Swagbucks falls short

The downside of Swagbucks is the same as many online survey platforms: It can be tough to earn enough to make it worth the time.

The key is to be strategic about how you use Swagbucks. Complete tasks during otherwise idle time and get cash back only on the things you’re buying anyway. That way, the free money you earn truly makes a difference. 

Survey Junkie: Pros and Cons

Here are some of the pros and cons of Survey Junkie.

Where Survey Junkie shines

There are several reasons why Survey Junkie is one of the most popular online survey companies.  

For starters, it’s a true paid survey site, rather than a massive collection of ads and online shopping opportunities. As such, the website’s dashboard is clean and easy to navigate, and the mobile app is well-reviewed by users.  

On top of that, the crown jewel of Survey Junkie is the option to cash out via bank transfer. While PayPal Cash is a solid option and definitely better than a gift card, nothing beats the ability to pad your actual bank account. 

Where Survey Junkie falls short

If you don’t like taking surveys, this site isn’t the one for you. Survey Junkie is in the business of surveys and nothing else.

Survey Junkie also falls short when it comes to member bonuses. You won’t earn anything for bringing in referrals, and the sign-up bonus of 50 points (a.k.a. $0.50) is less than inspiring. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some of the most frequently asked questions about Swagbucks and Survey Junkie.

Does Survey Junkie really pay you?

Yes. Survey Junkie offers real payouts via bank transfer, PayPal, or e-gift cards.

How much do you make per survey on Swagbucks?

Swagbucks surveys pay as little as a few cents and as much as a few dollars. Most often, you’ll earn less than $1 per survey.

What’s the best paid online survey site?

It depends on what you’re looking for. If you just want to take surveys, your best bet is a site like Survey Junkie or Branded Surveys.

If you want more variety, rewards sites like InboxDollars and Swagbucks offer other tasks on top of survey-taking. 

The Bottom Line

Overall, Swagbucks and Survey Junkie both provide easy ways to make money online. However, whether the time investment is worth it is entirely up to you.

Always be conscious of your true earning potential. These sites aren’t scams, but they also aren’t going to pay the bills. Instead, think of them like low-effort side hustles you can do in your downtime.

TIP: Check out my list of the best side hustles to earn even more money.

If you’re still excited to make money by taking surveys, you should probably sign up for a few survey apps to see which one you like the best. You’ll also be able to multiply your survey income by engaging with several platforms. 

Whichever side hustle you choose, the most important thing is you’re growing your account balances. This way, you can pay off any debt you have and invest your profits — putting you that much closer to financial freedom.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.