Survey Junkie vs. Swagbucks [2024]: Swagbucks Has More Money-Making Opportunities

I've tried both Survey Junkie and Swagbucks. While they both pay for taking online surveys, Swagbucks won me over with its variety of money-making options.

A man ticks a box for an online survey.
Updated June 14, 2024
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I signed up for both Survey Junkie and Swagbucks, two paid survey platforms, to see which one could help me make more money in my spare time. After using each for a while, I have to give the edge to Swagbucks. Don't get me wrong. Survey Junkie's platform is great if you mainly want to take online surveys. But I liked having more options with Swagbucks, like playing games and shopping online to rack up extra rewards on top of surveys.

Both sites are free and easy to use, so you really can't go wrong with either one. But if you want to maximize your side hustle earnings, Swagbucks is the way to go. Here's a deeper look at how they stack up.

In this article

Compare Survey Junkie vs. Swagbucks

Survey Junkie

Earning activities
  • Online surveys
  • Product testing
  • Focus groups
  • Online surveys
  • Playing games
  • Partner offers
  • Online shopping
  • Scanning receipts
  • Referrals
Redemption options
  • Gift cards
  • PayPal
  • Bank transfers
  • Gift cards
  • PayPal
  • Donations
  • Sweepstakes (Swagstakes)
  • Mailed check
Minimum cash out Gift cards: $5 (500 points)

PayPal: $5 (500 points)

Gift cards: $1 (~100 points)

PayPal: $5 (500 points)

Rewards expiration After 12 months of no activity Points don’t expire
Platform availability
  • On desktop via a web browser
  • On iOS devices via the App Store
  • On Android devices via Google Play
  • On desktop via a web browser
  • On iOS devices via the App Store
  • On Android devices via Google Play
Minimum age requirement 18 13
Best for... People who want to earn money taking online surveys People, including teens, who want to earn money taking online surveys, playing games, and more
Visit Survey Junkie Visit Swagbucks

Our verdict

Swagbucks makes more sense for most people looking to make extra cash from home. The lower age requirement of 13 makes it great for teens, and the array of money-making options kept me more engaged than just filling out surveys.

Survey Junkie is a strong choice, too, especially if you want to focus on online questionnaires as your side gig. But if you're open to mixing it up with other activities, Swagbucks is the better option.

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How does Survey Junkie work?

  • Free and easy to use
  • One of the most popular online survey platforms available
  • Have to be at least 18
  • Limited earning options

Once I signed up for Survey Junkie, I found it simple and straightforward to start earning. I just filled out online surveys and racked up points for each one I completed. Most surveys took me about 15 minutes, but the points varied. Once I hit 500 points (worth $5), I was able to cash out via gift cards, PayPal, or direct transfer to my bank account.

One example: I filled out a 10-minute survey about my cable TV provider and earned 60 points. It's not a get-rich-quick deal by any means, but I could see the points adding up from a few minutes of effort here and there. If you've got some spare time to click through questionnaires, it's an easy way to make a little extra money.

Visit Survey Junkie or learn more in our review.

How does Swagbucks work?

  • Available to teens as young as 13
  • Free and easy to use
  • Multiple earning options
  • Earning opportunities could change with little notice

What drew me to Swagbucks was the variety of ways to earn points (called “SB”). Taking online surveys is definitely one method, but you can also get paid to play games, shop online, scan receipts, take advantage of partner offers, and more. If you're at least 13, you can sign up for free and start exploring all the different money-making options.

The partner offers were a nice bonus. For example, I wanted to try out a Sunbasket subscription, so I signed up through Swagbucks and got 12,500 SB points, which translates to $125. If you're going to spend the money anyway, you might as well get rewarded for it.

That kind of flexibility made it more engaging than Survey Junkie's setup. Whenever I had a few free moments, I'd check for new money-making opportunities. The points really do add up over time.

Visit Swagbucks or learn more in our review.

Survey Junkie vs. Swagbucks: What both survey platforms excel at

  • Making money: Whether I'm on Survey Junkie or Swagbucks, I know I can reliably earn some extra cash or gift cards. They're both solid options when I want to pad my pockets from the comfort of home.
  • Free and easy: I've tried other money-making sites that were glitchy or charged hidden fees. Survey Junkie and Swagbucks are truly free to use, and I had no trouble navigating the sites.
  • Flexible access: Sometimes I feel like earning on my laptop, other times I'd rather kick back on the couch with my phone. Both platforms work seamlessly whether I log in from my browser or through their mobile apps.

4 important differences between Survey Junkie and Swagbucks

1. Earning activities

When I'm in the mood to make money on Survey Junkie, I'm pretty much limited to filling out online surveys. Occasionally a product testing or focus group opportunity will pop up, but those are rare. I spend most of my time on the site answering questions.

That's why I appreciate the variety of these money-making options on Swagbucks.

  • Online surveys
  • Playing games
  • Partner offers
  • Online shopping
  • Scanning receipts
  • Referrals

If I get burnt out on surveys, I can switch gears and make money in other ways. So even though both sites are among the best survey platforms, Swagbucks goes above and beyond.

Winner: Swagbucks wins because it offers more options to earn money.

2. Payouts

On Survey Junkie, I need at least $5 worth of points (500) before I can redeem them for gift cards, a PayPal deposit, or a bank transfer. Not too shabby.

But Swagbucks has an even lower threshold of just $1 (roughly 100 SB points) for gift cards. If I want to cash out via PayPal, the minimum is $5, just like Survey Junkie.

So while the payout options are pretty similar, I can turn my Swagbucks into a gift card faster thanks to that low $1 minimum.

Winner: Swagbucks wins again because it has a lower minimum payout threshold for gift cards.

3. Minimum age

To join Survey Junkie, you've got to be at least 18. But Swagbucks opens the door to industrious teens, letting anyone 13 or older participate.

This one's a clear win for Swagbucks. As a parent, I love that my teenager can start learning about earning and budgeting early on.

Winner: Swagbucks is the better choice here because it has a lower minimum age requirement.

4. Rewards expiration

I learned the hard way that Survey Junkie points can slip away. If I'm inactive for 12 months (meaning I don't take any surveys), my account balance goes back to zero. Ouch.

With Swagbucks, I don't have to worry about losing my hard-earned points. As long as I'm a member in good standing, my SB points never expire.

Of course, if I'm regularly using either platform, the expiration policy is a moot point. But I do appreciate that Swagbucks lets me take a break without penalizing me.

Winner: Swagbucks beats Survey Junkie again because points won’t expire.

Which survey platform should you choose?

When you should choose Survey Junkie

  • You’re only interested in taking online surveys
  • You want a low minimum payout threshold for PayPal
  • You want to use multiple online survey platforms for more earning opportunities

When you should choose Swagbucks

  • You want multiple ways to earn money, including online surveys, playing games, and using partner offers
  • You want a low minimum payout threshold for gift cards
  • You want to use multiple online survey platforms for more earning opportunities
  • You’re a teen or have a child (at least 13) who wants to learn how to make money in their spare time

What factors to consider before choosing

  • Earning opportunities: In our opinion, the more earning opportunities, the better. However, preferences vary, and you might only care about taking online surveys or testing mobile games. Whatever your preferences are, make sure they align with your chosen rewards platform.
  • Ease of use: You can quickly test out different platforms to see if they’re a good fit. If any are difficult to use, it’s probably better that you move on to another platform.
  • Age requirements: Rewards platforms can make a lot of sense for teens who like to spend time online and want to earn a bit of spending money. Swagbucks is one of the only platforms that lets teens (13 or older) sign up and participate in earning activities.
  • Payout options: Most platforms offer gift cards as a redemption option, but some also offer PayPal deposits or bank transfers.
  • Minimum payout: Rewards platforms won’t make you rich because the payouts are generally small. That makes it important to find a platform that will let you cash out in small amounts, such as $5 or less.
  • System compatibility: Depending on your preferences, look for a platform that’s compatible with multiple systems, including web browsers and mobile apps.


Which one is better, Swagbucks or Survey Junkie?

Swagbucks is the better option because it has a lower minimum payout than Survey Junkie. With Survey Junkie, you need at least 500 points ($5) to cash out while Swagbucks only requires around 100 points ($1). Swagbucks also offers ways to earn money beyond taking online surveys, including playing games and shopping online.

What website pays the most for surveys?

Our recommended online survey sites include:

Does anyone actually make money from Survey Junkie?

Yes, Survey Junkie is a legitimate online survey platform that rewards you with points that you can redeem for gift cards or cash. We’ve successfully used it to earn rewards, but we had some frustrations with screening questions that disqualified us from participating in a few surveys.

Survey Junkie vs. Swagbucks: bottom line

I tested both Swagbucks and Survey Junkie, and Swagbucks is the clear winner. The lower cashout minimum, a wider range of money-making options, and lack of point expiration put it a cut above.

That's not to say Survey Junkie isn't worth your time — if you're all about online surveys, it's a great choice. I've earned gift cards and cash from both platforms, so you really can't go wrong with either.

But if you want to maximize your side hustle potential, Swagbucks is the clear winner. I've racked up hundreds of dollars in gift cards from casual use, and the whole experience has been a breeze.

If neither one feels like your cup of tea, don't worry — there are plenty of other ways to make extra money on the side. Explore our list of the best side hustles and see what interests you.

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Author Details

Ben Walker, CEPF, CFEI®

Ben Walker, CEPF, CFEI®, is credit cards specialist. For over a decade, he's leveraged credit card points and miles to travel the world. His expertise extends to other areas of personal finance — including loans, insurance, investing, and real estate — and you can find his insights on The Washington Post,, Yahoo! Finance, and Fox Business.