A few weeks ago I finally looked into Swagbucks.com. I had read about it on several blogs, but I didn't pay much attention. I also assumed it was only open to Americans.
A little investigation, and I discovered that it is open to Canadians, and by using their search engine, which is powered by Google, you periodically win points or Swagbucks. After you collect Swagbucks, you can use them in their special online store to buy all sorts of things. The most appealing prize to me is the $5 Amazon.ca gift card, for 45 Swagbucks. There are all sorts of other prizes, ranging in price from 1 Swagbuck to thousands of Swagbucks. I registered on May 11 and redeemed 45 points for a gift card on May 31st, about 3 weeks later.
The Swagbucks.com search engine gives similar, but not identical results to a Google search. Some of the search results are sponsored, and clearly marked as such. Google as sponsered results too, although they show up separately from the main results. Most of the time, I find using Swagbucks to search works as well as Google. I added Swagbucks as a search engine option in the top right corner of my Firefox window. I can type my search terms in there and if I don't like the results, I can just change the choice of search engines to Google and search again, without having to re-type my search terms.
I have already got in the habit of typing the name of the pages I go to regularly into the Swagbucks search box. The search finds the page I want, and I click through. Some of the time, I end up with a Swagbuck or two. It does take one extra click if you ususally type your URLs straight into the address bar, but it doesn't seem to slow me down.
I will let you know I have a little ulterior motive in telling you about Swagbucks. If you use my referral link, then if you win any Swagbucks, I will get some too, up to your first 100 Swagbucks. My brother said "Oh! A pyramid scheme!" when I told him about it. I will point out that I won't get Swagbucks when you get Swagbucks indefinitely. It is only for the first 100 points, which so far doesn't look like it will take long to collect. Since I redeemed my 45 points, I have collected another 20 Swagbucks already! That makes 65 Swagbucks in less than a month.
If you decide to join Swagbucks based on my recommendation, I would appreciate if you would consider using my referral code! Thanks!