If there's one thing I love about the internet it is Swagbucks. About a year ago I signed up at Swagbucks.com, installed their toolbar, and continued using the Internet like I do everyday. The difference is that now I earn Swagbucks as I search the Internet and I can redeem them for gift cards at Starbucks and Amazon. There are about two dozen other gift cards you can get, for items such as t-shirts, books, magazines, movies, music, and trading cards.

If this sounds like a gimmick, you've got a healthy amount of skepticism. The thing is, I've earned enough gift cards to sustain my Starbucks habit, order books from Amazon once or twice a month, and have Swagbucks leftover for iTunes and Target gift cards. If you sign up and don't like it, you can always un-install Swagbucks.

There are many other search-and-reward programs out there, such as UPromise and MyPoints. I've never used either of these, but am curious about how they compare.

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