Categories: Travel Hacking

Travel Hacking with Swagbucks

Plenty of bloggers have touted sites like Swagbucks to put a few extra dollars in your pocket by taking surveys and playing games. I’m not here to tell you to do that. Honestly, I think it is a waste of your time. But if you want to, please go ahead!

Instead I’d like to share how you can save money while traveling by using sites like Swagbucks to earn cash back rewards or points toward future travel.

What is Swagbucks? It’s an interesting concept. You sign up for an account and complete a variety of tasks in order to earn points that they call “Swagbucks” or SB. These SB points are worth 1 cent each. Accumulate enough and you can use them to purchase gift cards for and other vendors as well as get Paypal credit.

You can earn SBs just for signing up, and SBs for taking an online survey, playing games or surfing the web. But I think the best way to take advantage of these Swagbucks is to earn points for shopping that you already will be doing. In this case, shopping for flights, hotels, rental cars and cruises.

Swagbucks partners with a variety of companies that offer travel services. If you click through the Swagbucks site to these partners you can earn SB points for each dollar you spend on flights, hotels and rental cars. Usually you can still earn miles and points on the sites’ loyalty programs as well. Sometimes there are restrictions, and I’ll explain some of those below.

Also read here about how to use Ebates for travel hacking and the difference between Ebates and Swagbucks.

Why is Swagbucks great for saving money on travel? Most purchases via the Swagbucks site earn at least 1 SB per dollar spent. Many earn much more – up to 10 SB per dollar. Yes, that’s right – 10% off! And most travel bookings are higher dollar value, so you will be maximizing your SB earnings.

Let’s say you need to reserve a 2 week rental car for your upcoming trip. Most of the prices you found are around $120/week for a total of $240 spent. You’re also booking two weeks of hotels at $50/night, for a total of $700. With Swagbucks you could earn up to 3% on the car and 10% on the hotels for a total of 7720 Swagbucks. That’s $77.20! Not bad for just a few extra clicks of your mouse. And guess what? There are a few additional hacks that could save you even more money. Read on!

Let’s take a deeper look at some of the Swagbucks partnerships with travel companies. Be sure to read the fine print on all these websites as these rules and benefits could change at any time. Also keep in mind that Swagbucks is not available in every country and the rules may be different depending on where you live.

Swagbucks & Expedia

Sign up to Swagbucks and get ready to earn some cash back on your Expedia shopping. Click through the Swagbucks portal to the Expedia website and you will earn SB points for all the bookings you make on the site.

You can earn up to 10 SB per dollar for travel and activities booked on the Expedia site. The most points are for cruises, while hotels will earn 3-8% and rental cars will earn 3%. Flights also earn SB but this is typically capped at 250 SB per booking.

Swagbucks credit will show up in your account after the travel is completed, so don’t worry if you don’t see it immediately.

Bonus for Expedia:

Expedia also has its own point system. Sign up to become a member and receive 2 points per dollar spent. These points can be redeemed for hotel stays or car rentals at a rate of 0.71 cents per point or 1.42 cents for their “VIP hotels”.

Another way to save extra when shopping on Expedia is to book via their mobile app and earn 2x regular points. However I could not seem to make this work effectively on my phone when going via the Swagbucks mobile site. Try it yourself and see!

Finally, stacking rewards is the ultimate way to maximize savings. Use a cashback or points credit card for this shopping and save even more.

Swagbucks &

Click though Swagbucks to and earn up to 10 SB per dollar. This is a great deal of 10% cash back on your booking.

If you are a member of the loyalty program and want to earn rewards (see below),  you can still do so and earn 5 SB per dollar instead of 10.

You can even earn 2 SB per dollar when buying gift cards on via Swagbucks. often offers coupons and discount codes, if you use these you will not be able to earn any Swagbucks, so be sure to do the math to see which is a better deal.

Swagbucks credit will show up in your account after the travel is completed, so don’t worry if you don’t see it immediately.

Bonus for

As mentioned above, also has its own loyalty program in the form of free hotel nights. Sign up and receive one free hotel credit for every 10 nights you stay. The average price is calculated and you get credit for one night equal to that average, plus taxes and fees. You can still earn these rewards nights when booking via Swagbucks but you will not be able to get as many SB points. Check the websites for details.

There is another travel hack that you can use to save money on Purchase discounted gift cards and use them to pay for your bookings. Swagbucks has a sister site called which sells gift cards and pays you SB for each one you purchase, effectively giving you a discount on the card. At the moment the gift cards earn 5 SB per dollar – or a 5% discount. Stack these bonuses to save extra money. Plus the gift card site also give SBs back on cards from Airbnb and Uber too. Check out this post to lean more about how to use gift cards to save money on travel.

And again, if you use a cashback or points credit card for the transaction you can save even more.

Swagbucks &

Click though Swagbucks to and earn 2 SB per dollar spent on your hotel stays. This is a great option for those who prefer over or Expedia for hotel stays. Sometimes it pays to shop around and see who has the lowest rates at a particular hotel. Also is based in Europe and often has more lodging options in small cities and towns in Europe than the competitors.

Swagbucks & IHG

Use Swagbucks as the portal to book IHG hotels and earn up to 9 SB per dollar spent. If you are a member of the IHG loyalty program this can be an excellent option, as there aren’t any stated restrictions about members.

If you are looking to travel hack with the IHG Rewards Program, check out this post on Go Curry Cracker, one of my favorite blogs.

Swagbucks & Hilton

Non-members can earn up to 8 SB per dollar spent when booking hotel stays at the Hilton through Swagbucks. If you are a member with status you may prefer to earn points though the Hilton program but you can still get 1 SB per dollar.

Swagbucks & Hertz

Click though Swagbucks to Hertz and earn 1 SB per dollar spent on your car rental. There are some restrictions but luckily you can still earn Hertz loyalty points on your reservation.

Be sure to check out the Swagbucks site to see all the travel partners and deals. They have many more hotel, airline, rental car and even cruise deals. You’ll need to sign up as a member to see all the deals, so use this link to sign up and get up to 300 free Swagbucks! It’s my affiliate link so I’ll get a few SBs too, so thanks!

How to redeem your Swagbucks for cash or credit?

So you’ve earned a ton of SBs from all your travels. Now let’s get them into your wallet! There are a few ways to do so.

You can trade your SB points for Amazon and Walmart gift cards, starting as low as 300 SBs or $3. If you do a lot of shopping at these stores or have something in mind that you’d like to buy, this can be a great option. There are also many other gift cards that can be exchanged for your Swagbucks, check the website to see them all.

However, I usually am fond of cash, because I can use it anywhere for anything. Sadly, Swagbucks does not do straight up cash payments. However you can exchange a minimum of 2500 Swagbucks for a $25 Paypal gift card, which is really just a deposit into your Paypal account. You will need a “verified” Paypal account with the same email address and name as your Swagbucks account. Keep this in mind when setting up your Swagbucks account for the first time. Paypal can be used for online shopping in many places so it is pretty useful. Your balance can even be transferred from Paypal into your local back account, usually for free.

You Can Get Free Gift Cards For Shopping via

I hope this article helped shed some light on how you can travel hack using Swagbucks. There are other similar deals and discount sites that can be used too like Ebates. Read here about how to use Ebates for travel hacking and the difference between Ebates and Swagbucks.

And check out this post to stack these Swagbucks earnings by using discounted gift cards to pay for your travels.



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