Thursday, May 31, 2012

Which gift card is the best value on Swagbucks?

Search & Win

Welcome to this week's Frugal Follies Frugal Tip!

I had an interesting dilemma related to Swagbucks this week.

I had earned 450 Swagbucks, so I went to get a $5 gift code with my points.  But I couldn't!

You see, Swagbucks only allows you to get 5 of the same prize per month.  And thanks to lots of great search wins by myself as well as those of you who have used my referral link, I had already gotten five $5 Amazon codes.  (I'll have a giveaway soon for these codes - stay tuned!)

This is the first time this had happened.  So I had a dilemma - what should I get with my points?

I decided to figure out which gift cards were the best value.  I checked the values of the cards for, Barnes & Noble, Target, and (a household products purchasing site), as well as PayPal cash. I ranked them in order of how many Swag Bucks you would need to buy $1 of card or cash value.

 Here's what I found:

Card Value Swag Bucks SB per $1
Amazon $5 450 SB 90 SB per $1 $25 2,650 SB 106 SB per $1
Amazon $500 54,995 SB 110 SB per $1 $10 1,150 SB 115 SB per $1
Barnes & Noble $100 11,549 SB 115.5 SB per $1
Amazon $100 11,599 SB 116 SB per $1
Amazon $50 5,900 SB 118 SB per $1 $5 595 SB 119 SB per $1
Barnes & Noble $25 2,985 SB 119.4 SB per $1
Barnes & Noble $10 1,225 SB 122.5 SB per $1
Barnes & Noble $5 625 SB 125 SB per $1
Paypal $100 12,549 SB 125.5 SB per $1
Amazon $25 3,150 SB 126 SB per $1
PayPal $50 6,330 SB 126.6 SB per $1
PayPal $25 3,215 SB 128.6 SB per $1 $5 649 SB 129.8 SB per $1
PayPal $10 1,335 SB 133.5 SB per $1
PayPal $5 700 SB 140 SB per $1

These values are the regular-priced values for each of the cards as of this writing (5/31/12).  Values can change at any time, and sometimes the cards go on sale.

So what did I learn from making this chart?
  • The $5 cards are the best deal!  I always assumed so, but this list makes it clear.
  • PayPal is the worst deal.   If you had 2,250 Swag Bucks, you could by 5 $5 codes, but only $15 in PayPal cash (with 215 Swag Bucks left over).
  • is a pretty good deal if you want to use that site to purchase your household products.  However, the prices there are higher than what you'd spend if you play the drugstore game.
  • A Swag Buck is basically worth 1 cent.  So when you look into doing a survey on Swagbucks, think about how much you're actually earning.  If you're doing a 15 minute survey that is worth 25 Swag Bucks, that means you're earning $1 per hour.  
  • Other than the Amazon $5 codes, most of the small-value cards are not as good a deal as the higher-value cards.  But unless you do some serious Swagbucksing, it's hard to get to those values.  I've been doing Swagbucks for 2 years, and had I not bought Amazon $5 codes as soon as I had 450 Swag Bucks, I still would not have enough to get an Amazon $500 code.
So what did I do?  I decided not to get anything.  Tomorrow, June 1st, I'll purchase a $5 Amazon code with the Swag Bucks I earned in May.  If I get 5 of the codes before June is over, I'll have another decision to make then!

For more frugal tips, please go to my Linkup Parties page and check out the bloggers listed under Frugal Tips Linkups.  There are lots of great ideas on each blog and I'm sure you'll find lots of wonderful tips
(This post may contain affiliate links. Please see my disclosure policy for more information.)


Unknown June 1, 2012 at 5:45 PM  

Love this! I was just looking the other day at the gift cards on Swagbucks and was disappointed. I was somewhat apprehensive in getting any other gift card because I always get the $5 Amazon card. You just confirmed I was doing :)
Stopping by from Frugal Friday hosted by Life As Mom

Stacy Makes Cents June 5, 2012 at 9:32 AM  

Thank you for the awesome break down! :-) I get several per month and I was buying one $25 and the rest $ that I could get my 5 per month.
I knew the $25 wasn't the best deal...makes me reconsider what I was doing. :-)
Visiting from Frugal Tuesday Tip!

Jim,  June 5, 2012 at 6:07 PM  

I've tried SwagBucks before, yet I cant figure out how to earn points. Any advice?

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