You’ve probably seen these sites advertised that offer you cash back just for shopping online, taking surveys or doing other tasks. Maybe you’ve been interested in trying them out. Perhaps you immediately dismissed them as scams. After all, why would a website offer free money?
Bottom Line Up Front: If you are looking to make a quick decision…
- Go with InboxDollars here if you are looking to make straight cash.
- Go with Swagbucks here if you want to earn more per action, but willing to convert Swagbucks to Cash or Gift Cards
These sites partner with companies who are interested in market research. By taking surveys, shopping, watching videos and playing games, you are contributing to the market research. The companies pay the websites commissions when you perform certain tasks. The websites then pass a portion of the money on to you.
There are many websites that work off this model. Two popular sites are InboxDollars and Swagbucks. These sites are both free for you to use. They are not scams and are 100 percent legitimate. You simply sign up and start earning cash. These sites offer various tasks that you can do to earn cash and rewards.
What do these sites offer? How do they differ from each other? Are they worth the time and effort? Read on for an in-depth comparison of InboxDollars and Swagbucks, and the benefits and disadvantages of each.
What is InboxDollars?
InboxDollars was launched in 2000 and has paid more than $50 million to its members throughout the United States and United Kingdom. You can earn money on this site thanks to the site’s partnerships with popular companies such as Walmart, Target and Netflix. This allows you to earn rewards for doing things you would normally do online, such as complete surveys, watch videos, read emails, play games and surf the web. You can even receive money for using grocery coupons.
Pros of InboxDollars
There are many reasons to consider InboxDollars, such as the following:
- There are many ways to earn money. Some sites only offer cash back when you shop online. While InboxDollars does offer this activity, you can do many other things as well to maximize your earnings.
- The site is legitimate. You may be worried about scams, but rest assured that members do get paid. While some offers may require you to pay for a trial or use a credit card, these offers are not the norm and you typically don’t have to pay anything to make money.
- You’ll receive a $5 bonus just for signing up. Once you earn $30, you will receive your bonus.
- You get paid for each task. The rewards may be small, but by doing these simple tasks, the money adds up.
- You can request money after earning $30. You can opt for a check or get the money quickly through PayPal.
- The site partners with big companies. Some of the rewards are large, like $10 for signing up for eBay or Netflix.
- You can make good money by referring friends. You will make 10 percent of each referral’s earnings, which is 10 cents for every dollar. The more people you refer, the more you make.
Cons of InboxDollars
Some users have had frustrating experiences with InboxDollars, though. Here are some disadvantages to be aware of:
- The rewards are often small. Even if you’re very active on the site, getting to the $30 threshold can take months. You could spend 30 minutes taking a survey that’s ultimately worth a mere 10 cents. You may earn 1 cent for watching a 30-second video. Over the course of a day, you may not even earn a dollar. If you’re looking to make quick cash, this site isn’t for you.
- Tasks are limited. You cannot spend all day doing the same thing. You will have to do other activities in order to earn money.
- You’ll get bombarded with emails. Many people create email accounts solely for this site because your inbox will get clogged with irrelevant emails. You’ll receive dozens of emails daily, which can seem overwhelming and even spammy.
- Accounts are often deleted for no reason. Many users have complained that their accounts were suddenly deleted right after they became a member or just before they reached the $30 minimum. What’s even more frustrating is that these users did nothing wrong and were never given a good reason why their accounts were no longer valid. This seems suspicious, so be wary that this could happen to you.
- Payment issues are common. Many users have complained about not receiving money right away. Sometimes it takes several weeks to receive payment.
- Offers are outdated. You won’t see a lot of fresh offers, which can be frustrating if you’re using the site to get rewards for shopping online.
- You must keep your account active. If you don’t log in for a few weeks, your account will be suspended and all your earnings could be lost for good. Be diligent about logging in several times a week or even daily, if you can.
What is Swagbucks?
Swagbucks is a popular site with millions of members and more than $225 million paid out in cash and gift cards. It is different from InboxDollars in that you are rewarded in points instead of actual dollars. This can be a bit complicated for some users, but you can convert these points into cash and prizes once you have earned enough.
Many people use Swagbucks to earn points for shopping online, since there are more than 1,000 stores to choose from. If online shopping isn’t your thing, you can earn points in other ways, such as taking surveys, watching videos, playing games, signing up for free samples and offers, and searching the internet, take surveys and watch videos.
You can redeem points for gift cards for retailers such as Walmart and Amazon. You can also elect to receive cash via PayPal.
Pros of Swagbucks
Here are some reasons to consider Swagbucks:
- There are many ways to earn points. You can shop online, take surveys, play games, watch videos and surf the internet.
- Get access to exclusive deals. Swagbucks offers coupons, deals and other ways to save money when shopping online.
- Receive a $10 bonus just for signing up. This is equivalent to 1,000 Swagbucks. However, note that there are some conditions that must be met first. In order to receive this bonus, you spend $25 at a featured store within 30 days of registration.
- There are many rewards to choose from. You can go the traditional route and opt for cash or choose from one of many gift cards.
- The surveys pay better. The surveys often pay $1 or more each, rather than the 10 cents that many InboxDollars surveys tend to pay. Even if you don’t qualify for a survey, you will receive a bonus, so you won’t lose out on earning Swagbucks.
- You can use Swagbucks as your search engine. You’ll earn rewards every time you use the internet.
- You can enter sweepstakes. Use your Swagbucks to enter contests to earn gift cards and more Swagbucks.
Cons of Swagbucks
Swagbucks has some disadvantages that may deter users. Here are some things to consider:
- You are paid in Swagbucks, not real money. This can be confusing to many users, but basically 100 Swagbucks is worth $1.
- You need to earn 2,500 Swagbucks if you want cash. This gives you $25 through PayPal. You can earn gift cards for less Swagbucks.
- Gift cards options are limited. Currently, the gift cards are for Amazon, Walmart, Burger King, Bass Pro Shops and Magazine Gold. There’s not a lot of variety there.
- You earn Swagbucks slowly. If you’re looking to get rich, this isn’t the site for you. You’ll accumulate rewards slowly, making this site ideal for those who aren’t on it 24/7 trying to earn every little Swagbuck.
- Limited mobile site. If you prefer to use your smartphone to search the internet, you’ll find many limitations. There are not many features.
- Many glitches have been reported. Many users take surveys or perform tasks and never get paid for them. Customer service tends to ignore these types of issues, which can be frustrating for users.
- The site can be a huge time waster. Many users take surveys and are told 20 minutes later that they do not qualify. Many users benefit from the rewards from online shopping, but the other tasks do not always pay consistently.
Which Should You Choose?
Now that you know more about what InboxDollars and Swagbucks offer, which one should you choose?
Both sites have the same setup, where you earn rewards from doing various tasks. The only major difference is that InboxDollars lets you earn money, while Swagbucks pays you in Swagbucks that can be converted to cash and gift cards.
Either site would be a good choice for casual users. If your goal is to make money to pay bills, then your best bet would be to get an actual job. Even if you use these sites 24/7, you will not get rich. At best, you will earn a little extra cash to pay for gas in your car or dinner for a special occasion.
You are not limited in which site you can choose, so why not opt for both? You can double your chances of earning cash back rewards and at the same time, you can compare deals and offers to see which one will be more rewarding for you in the long run. Both sites are free, so you have nothing to lose.