I have been using/playing Swagbucks for several months now. When one first starts playing, it seems that it takes forever to earn enough to make it worthwhile. But, as I've played more and more, I've discovered how to earn amounts that make it worthwhile. Here are my tips:
Do searches three or four times throughout the day; morning, mid day, and evening. You won't win more than three times a day on most days, although often they pay out four times a day. Search slowly like you are really trying to find something. I search twice, go to another web page, come back and search a few more times. Sometimes I have to do this three or four times before winning.
If I haven't won after doing this four times, I give up and try again later in the day. If you over-search SB will block you from winning. For some reason they tell you that you're blocked by displaying a sweepstakes entry page instead of just telling you that you're blocked. Being blocked only lasts for a few hours.
Visit the Swagbucks Facebook page several times a day for a minute or two to read down the wall. People post tips that will help you earn. This is the place to find out if people are receiving their second ("doubles") third ("triples") or fourth ("quads") win for the day. If others are winning, you likely will too, although about a fifth of the time, you won't.
You will also find out here about special promotions or games happening at that moment. There are coupons and promtions that will pay for a few seconds of work, and people are happy to share their discoveries. (For instance, Kmart will often post coupons and videos that only take a few seconds to view and/or print. It may not seem like a lot of bucks, but they add up.)
People who post on this Facebook page are very helpful, but it also does have its share of drama and nasty folks.
This is how I earn most of my Swagbucks. Although I only earn from surveys about 3-5 times a week. Most of the surveys that will show up on your "dashboard" are almost worthless, and my advice is not to bother. Either they pay very poorly, they are long and tedious, and/or you will put in many minutes completing them and they will disqualify you or reach their quotas.
Watch for surveys that pay at least 400 Swagbucks per hour (100 per 15 minutes) and are less than 20 minutes in length. You don't see them often, but they will show up maybe 5-10 times a week if you check several times a day. They come and then disappear very quickly though because other folks will jump on them and get them done very quickly and Swagbucks will reach it's quota of valid surveys responses. They will then remove them from your dashboard after only moments.
Many of my successful survey attempts are related to the fact that I operate my own home business, and that I had a high level management job for many years. If you have these types of attributes, you may get some high paying surveys also.
Special Offers That Pay: This is a Facebook discussion where folks share offers that have been successful for them. About half the time, I don't have the same luck as others, so I've stopped visiting this page. But you may have luck with their suggestions, especially when you are first getting started.
If you've got a website or blog, put the Swagbucks link on your site (mine is shown above and below). If somebody clicks through that link, you will earn referral points equivalent to your referrals' for the first 1000 search win bucks that they earn. If they have a search that wins them 10 bucks, you will also receive that 10 bucks.
What not to do:
Many offers require you to give out your email address. Set up a free email account just for these offers. Don't give out your main email address or you will be inundated with junk.
Don't give out your phone number or especially your cell phone number. Again, you will be inundated with junk. The "insurance quote" offers pay many swagbucks, but the trade off is that they require a phone number, and I've heard that many agents will start calling immediately, and never stop.
Don't download anything. I don't believe that Swagbucks checks to make sure that their offers are virus free.
Once you win 450 points, you can turn them in for a $5 Amazon gift card. The $5 cards are the best value for your points. They take less points than the $25 or $50 Amazon cards, and I don't think the other prizes that they offer have as much value. But that may change.
Using the strategies I've described above, I am able to win five $5 cards (the maximum allowed each month) and win some higher cards. I am currently a couple of days away from my first $50 card!!!
Good luck and have fun!