Paid search: 8+ search engines with rewards

When you search the web, these sites give you relevant paid search results …

If you’re reading this right now, odds are fantastic that you know how to search the web for what you need. I sure know that Google is my friend.

I’m having a hard time remembering what I did to find stuff out before the rise of search engines. Not only are the results from search engines pretty close to the mark – and getting closer every day – they’re fast.

Great, instant answers are gratifying by themselves, but getting rewarded on top of that for doing nothing else but searching the web is really cool.

Paid search is not “get rich quick”

Or even “get rich ever” for that matter.

I’ll give a reality check about paid search before talking about the sites that offer it.

  1. The bounty for a paid search is a few extra sprinkles on your ice cream sundae. The bounty for a paid search is around a cent. A few extra rainbow sprinkles on your already-loaded chocolate sundae. The ice cream sundae is the set of search results (what you’re really after!)
  2. Even if you wanted to do this all day (why?) you’d run out of work pretty quickly. In addition to the searches not paying a whole lot, there’s a tight cap on what can be earned each period. The sites will keep serving you search results, of course. You just won’t get paid beyond the daily / weekly / monthly limit.
  3. It’s not game-able. Think you can type the same search terms over and over again, or search for sdfopgiubgpoij after you run your elbows over the keyboard? Nope. The big search engines don’t pay for garbage traffic, so paid search engines won’t pay you for it. They expect you to do real searches for real things out of real interest. Besides, unless you do a lot of searching anyway, beyond a certain point you’re likely to start fabricating things to search for, and that ultimately doesn’t do anyone any good.

Sites that offer paid search

MyPoints has been around since 1996. I’ve gotten hundreds of dollars worth of Starbucks gift cards over the years mainly by completing a few offers and reading a few paid emails.

Their Search & Earn feature is pretty generous if you do at least 41 searches in a month. That’s the threshold to earn 100 Points. The searches are worth a bit more than 1.5 cents apiece at that point. This works out to two or three searches a day for the first few weeks of the month.

I created this short video to show where to find Search & Earn search bar (it’s not the search bar on the homepage):


SearchSmart: 41 Searches in a calendar month for the maximum bounty of 100 points ($0.66)

InboxDollars started up in 2000 with a combination of paid emails, surveys, games, sweepstakes, and paid search.

Paid search at InboxDollars here gives a combination of cash and “sweeps” (sweepstakes tickets which can be turned in for chances in sweepstakes). Each four searches in a day earns a few cents and/or a few sweeps. You can earn up to 15 cents per day with paid search.

The easy money in the paid searches on InboxDollars comes from loyalty bonus doing one search at least four out of seven days in a week (Sunday through Saturday). The search results page keeps track of this progress for you (after you’ve signed up and signed in, of course!) and awards you $0.05 (or $0.10 if you’ve already cashed out once) for your loyalty.

SearchSmart: One search per day for four days in a week gives 5 cents or 10 cents (1.25 cents per search or 2.5 cents per search)

Bing Rewards

All of the paid search engines here serve up results from one of the big search engines, but Bing is the only search engine that offers a paid search program itself: Bing Rewards. The results are exactly what you’d get from Bing … because it is Bing.

The rewards are 1 point per two searches (up to 15 points per day) on desktop, and 1 point per two searches (up to 10 points per day) on mobile. One point is worth a hair less than 1 cent so signing into your Bing Rewards account and just searching with Bing will be enough for a $5 Amazon card every few months.

SearchSmart: Sign up and use Bing like you always do!


When I met up with Swagbucks at FinCon this past fall, I told them that they were one of the most fun rewards sites out there. They really go over the top in terms of engagement.

Search and earn on Swagbucks is more of a “jackpot” reward than many sites, but it all works out. I might search a dozen times and earn nothing, and the next time earn 50 SB (the Swagbucks “currency” comes in points called SB). One SB is worth about 1 cent.

SearchSmart: Sign up and have fun! Paid search is just one of the ways to earn SB.


InstaGC is short for instant gift card. The site has been around since 2011, and has paid search along with other ways to make money (like Swagbucks).

I’ve cashed out one gift card (an Amazon $8 code) and it was indeed instant. No waiting around! These guys deliver.

Earning from search on InstaGC is on a lottery method. Sometimes you win, sometimes you don’t. The one catch here is that you or your referrals need to have earned something within the previous five days.


iRazoo is also a site much like Swagbucks, and the paid search functionality is also of a “jackpot” variety: get a biggish bonus occasionally, but nothing most of the time. (I just got 13 points for a search. A $5 Amazon gift card goes for 3000 iRazoo points so that search was worth a little over 2 cents.)

Visit Mighty Bargain Hunter for more articles on recognizing life’s good deals!

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