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Swagbucks: Earn rewards for shopping online

Swagbucks.com offers rewards for shopping online.

Swagbucks.com offers rewards for shopping online. (Credit: swagbucks.com)

These days, most of us spend a lot of time online. For some, it's research, browsing websites or shopping. For others, it's playing games, watching videos or social networking.

Swagbucks.com's chief rewards officer, Eron Zehavi, thinks you should be rewarded for your time.

That's the idea behind the site, which launched in 2008 and has gathered a following of about 6.5 million users.

Just for signing up (it's free) you earn 30 points, known as Swag Bucks. You then continue to gain points as you use the site as a search engine, watch videos, answer polls and shop at more than 300 major retailers.

”They're like frequent flier miles for shopping online,” Zehavi says of the rewards points. Local deals such as discounts at eateries, stores, spas and more start at just 30 Swag Bucks. Once you earn 500, you can start redeeming gift cards to places like Amazon, iTunes, Best Buy, Walmart and Target. One swagbuck is worth one penny (for 500 Swag Bucksyou get a $5 gift card), but they add up quickly.

The ”Shop and Earn” feature launched in November, just in time for the holiday shopping season. Through Dec. 14, every purchase made will enter you to win a $100 gift card of your choice. One is given away each day.

Participating retailers include QVC, Macy's, Banana Republic, the Apple Store, Sephora, The Children's Place and many more. Right now at Amazon.com, you earn six Swag Bucksfor every dollar you spend.

You can also use just a few Swag Bucksto enter drawings and win big prizes such as TVs, Xboxes and $100 gift cards, or donate your Swag Bucks to charities such as the American Red Cross Superstorm Sandy Relief Fund.

Zehavi says many of the site's most frequent and successful users are mom bloggers who refer readers and friends. Every time your referral uses Swagbucks.com to search for something, Swagbucks matches the amount of points he or she earns and puts them into your account. ”Some have been able to cover basically their full holiday budgets in Swag Bucks,” he says.

The video below demonstrates how it works.