If you’re anything like me, you spend a lot of time on the internet. Wouldn’t it be cool if you could make some extra money, just for doing the things you already do online? You can! Rewards programs like Swagbucks and Ebates make it easy to make money for the things you do online.

But, which is better? Let’s look at Ebates vs. Swagbucks, their similarities and differences, and which of the two is going to make you the most money for the things you’re already doing online.

What is Swagbucks?

Swagbucks may be the undisputed king of online rewards programs. For the most part, Swagbucks functions a lot like Google, Bing and other search engines. You’re able to earn points, called SB, and you can redeem those points for gift cards to tons of different stores, or you can receive a cash deposit to your PayPal account.

With this rewards program, you’ll earn SB for lots of different things you do online each day, like watching videos, browsing the web, shopping, taking surveys or playing games. These actions can all earn you SB which you can redeem for gift cards or cash.

The company is located in El Segundo, CA. Their parent company is Prodege LLC. While you may just be hearing about them now, they’ve been around for almost ten years. Before Swagbucks got off the ground, Prodege experimented with producing branded search engines.

The company would partner with an organization, charity, celebrity or musician to create a branded search engine for their fans, and using that search engine would earn the fans special experiences or rewards, or a donation to their favorite charity.

These early ventures gave Prodege the knowledge they needed to launch Swagbucks, which is an immensely popular service. Today, well over 10 million people worldwide use the platform to earn extra money, and they’ve paid out over 194 million dollars to their members!

The platform works as a two-sided network. Swagbucks serves two different entities. On the one side, you have people like me and you who are looking to make some extra money on the internet.

On the other side, you’ve got companies who are willing to pay good money to reach people like you and me with information about their products or services. Swagbucks connects those businesses with their members.

These businesses pay Swagbucks for their part in bringing these companies closer to the people, and in exchange, Swagbucks rewards their users with a portion of the money they receive from different companies.

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What is Ebates?

Compared to Swagbucks, Ebates.com is a bit less complicated. Chances are, you shop online often. Ebates provides you with cash back for your online purchases. Ebates works with over 2,000 different popular stores to provide their members with cash back for their everyday purchases.

Unlike Swagbucks, Ebates is only an cash-back network. With Swagbucks, you earn points for all sorts of things you do online. With Ebates, they receive a commission when you shop through their affiliate links.

Then, they pass some of that commission on to you in the form of cash back. Are you planning on doing some online shopping? Head over to Ebates, and see what kind of cash back they’re offering for purchases from your favorite stores.

Just use their link to shop your favorite stores, and receive cash back for what you buy. It’s simple and effective, and it’s a great way to save money.

Ebates was founded nearly 20 years ago in San Francisco. From their humble beginning in 1998 through today, not very much has changed as far as their business model is concerned. It’s simple: Use Ebates to shop and make your purchases. Once, you make a purchase, Ebates earns their affiliate fee. Then, they share that affiliate fee with you.

As Ebates continues to grow, they’re making it increasingly easy to earn extra money for shopping. In 2016, they launched a new feature that allows you to earn Ebates for the purchases you make in person, at brick and mortar stores.

All you’ll need to do is add your different credit or debit cards to your Ebates account. Whenever you shop at a store that offers Ebates rewards, and you pay for your purchase with a card you’ve connected to your Ebates account, you’ll earn cash back, just like you would if you completed your purchase online.

Ebates is a great way to earn cash back, and they often have incredible offers on the site that can put serious green back in your pocket. But, it’s not perfect. Take Amazon, for example, the largest and most used marketplace on the internet.

You’ll only be able to earn cash back on items from a few different categories. If you’re like so many others who use Amazon each day to make purchases, you’re going to be missing out on cashback from Ebates for most of those items.

Regardless, there’s still over 2,000 other retailers that do participate in the program, so even without much help from Amazon, you can still earn cash back in so many different ways.

Join Ebates (Free Account)

What Kind of Cash Back Deals Can I Expect?

So, we’ve covered how each of these two platforms works. You’ve probably realized that Swagbucks is a great way to earn money by doing all sorts of things online. Ebates, on the other hand, is a great way to receive cash back when you shop.

With Swagbucks, you can earn points that you can redeem for cash back in a myriad of different ways. Not only can you earn SB on the things you do online, but there’s also contests and prizes.

Swagbucks regularly chooses random members and awards them with a bunch of extra SB, just for using the site. Plus, there’s also sweepstakes you can enter in exchange for a few SB. Win one of these contests, and you might get a huge SB bonus, a luxurious vacation, or cool merchandise.

Meanwhile, Ebates is more straightforward and provides you with cash back for the purchases you make each day. The only way to earn cashback with Ebates is to shop. So, in this case, you have to spend money to make money.

How to Earn

First, let’s look at how you can earn points with Swagbucks. Like we said earlier, you can earn SB for lots of the things you already do online. Once you sign up for Swagbucks, you can use their platform to earn SB by watching videos, searching the web, taking surveys, using coupons to shop online and more.

Every time you complete an action that earns you SB, the SB you earn is placed into your Swagbucks account. You can also earn additional SB with something called Swagcodes. You can find these codes throughout their network.

Whenever you see one, just copy the code, and paste it into the swag codes box on your Swagbucks dashboard and you’ll earn some extra SB for doing so. These codes are practically everywhere. There are even entire websites dedicated to rounding up all the active codes from that day so you can be sure to never miss out on a code.

Once you sign up, you’ll realize just how many ways there are to earn SB. It may seem like in no time; you’re going to be rolling in the money. But, if you do the math, each SB is worth about a penny. So, you’ll need to earn an awful lot of SB to make an impact. Since you’re earning these points for a large portion of the things you already do online, though, they may add up faster than you think.

When it comes to Ebates, the process is more streamlined. To earn cash back, just use their affiliate links to shop for the things you’re already buying. Each quarter, you’ll receive cash back for the purchases you’ve made. When it’s time to cash in, you can have Ebates send you a check for your earnings, or you can have them transfer those earnings into your PayPal account.

For the most part, Ebates will save you a few bucks here and there. But, if you use Ebates to make major purchases, like booking a vacation, for example, you’ll be able to put a pretty substantial amount of money back in your pocket at one time.  

Refer a Friend Bonuses

When it comes to Swagbucks, they have a pretty cool bonus system in place. Each time you refer a friend or family member to Swagbucks, you become eligible for a referral bonus. That bonus is calculated like this: Each month, you earn a 10% bonus for the SB that your referral earns on the platform.

So, let’s say you get a friend to sign up and they earn 15,000 SB this month. You’ll receive a bonus for 1,500 SB! You receive this bonus each month for each person you refer. The more people you refer, the more you’ll be able to earn as a bonus.

With Ebates, you’ll also get referral bonuses. Refer one of your friends, and you’ll net $5 for yourself once they use Ebates to make a qualifying purchase. Refer a second friend who makes a qualifying purchase, and you’ll receive another $5, plus a $40 bonus.

The more friends you refer, the larger the bonus you receive. However, unlike Swagbucks, your referral bonuses are a one-time thing. With Swagbucks, you receive a referral bonus each month that’s based on the amount of SB your referral has earned each month.

Regardless of which network you choose, there’s plenty of opportunities to earn large referral bonuses if you can get your friends and family on board with you.

How to Get Paid

In the case of Swagbucks, you have two options when it comes to cashing out. You can choose a gift card, or you can choose a Paypal deposit. Gift cards are available from some of the most popular retailers in the world, and you’re sure to find something you like.

If you’d prefer cash instead, you can cash in your SB for a deposit to your PayPal account. You can then either use your new PayPal balance to shop almost anywhere online, request a check from PayPal for the total of the balance, or transfer your balance directly to your bank account.

Ebates works much differently. Each quarter, you’ll receive cash back for your qualified purchases from that month, as well as any referral bonuses you may have earned in that period. Then, they’ll cut you a check, or transfer the cash back you’ve earned to your Paypal account.

Ebates vs. Swagbucks: Which is Better?

When it comes to Ebates vs. Swagbucks, it’s almost impossible to pick a clear winner, since both platforms are so different. Each one certainly has their place, and both can be a very lucrative way to make some extra cash online.

When it comes to Swagbucks, there are more ins and outs to learn, and a seemingly endless way to earn SB to redeem for gift cards or cash back. On the other hand, Ebates is super simple; shop online, earn cash back.

For savvy shoppers that make most of their purchases online, to begin with, Ebates may be the best way to earn some extra money. Meanwhile, Swagbucks is a great option if you’re looking to find a way to monetize all of the different things you do online.

Keep in mind that for Ebates to be effective, you need to shop. So, to make money, you need to spend money. With Swagbucks, you can earn SB and redeem them for cash or gift cards without ever cracking open your wallet.

On the other hand, you could always join both networks and end up earning even more money for the things you do online. Regardless of which direction you decide to go, it’s clear that both Swagbucks and Ebates are great ways to put some extra green into your pocket.

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Join Ebates (Free Account)