40 Creative Ways to Make Money Fast

You’re broke and payday is still a week away. You need to figure out how to make money fast.

Alas, you’ve arrived at the right place.

Whether it’s the end of the month and you’re short on cash for rent, or you’re a college student looking to make a little extra spending money, often all we need are a few easy ways to bring in some cash (and preferably something you can start today).

If you need to know how to make 100 dollars in a day (or maybe even earn 200 dollars in one day) you should be able to find a few options on this list to help you pull it off.

On the other hand, if you’re in debt and need 2,000 dollars fast, this list probably isn’t for you. Outside of selling thousands of dollars worth of belongings or taking out a payday loan, anything that promises four-figures in a short time frame is likely a scam.

Be safe and stick to the legitimate ideas you’ll find on this list. Everything here has been vetted as a real way to make money; be it a short-term work-from-home gig or cashing in on a unique opportunity a company has to offer, we’ve done the due diligence on these different money-making ideas so you don’t have to.

40 Best Ways to Make Money Fast

The best way to start making money fast is to get some quick wins. Here are a few ideas to get you started.

1. Switch banks

How much does it pay? $150-$200 cash bonus released after a predetermined time period. Variable thereafter. Dependent on deposit size and account interest rate. 

Traditional brick and mortar banks are offering historic low rates on savings accounts. So low that you’re actually losing money to inflation by keeping funds in them.

For example, the national average savings account APY is hovering around 0.09%. The current inflation rate is above 1.2%. If your savings account doesn’t offer more than 1.2% per year, you’re actually losing money.

Defeat that statistic by moving your money to an online savings account that offers something higher than the current inflation rate.

Now, an increased interest won’t help you earn quickly, but a $150-$200 cash bonus will. Certain banks are offering new customers exactly that just to make the switch. Discover and Chase banks are but two of the many banks offering such bonuses.

Our advice? Read the terms and conditions, find out how long you need to leave your deposit in the account before unlocking the bonus, and then immediately move your money to another bonus eligible account with another bank. It’s like travel hacking except for banks. This is super easy to do and only takes 10 minutes of your time.

2. Deliver groceries with Postmates

How much does it pay? Experienced drivers make up to $27 per hour according to Postmates.

Gig economy jobs have quickly changed the way Americans earn money.

They’re not always the highest-paying, but they do offer a more flexible means of earning than you’re traditional 9 to 5.  As a Postmates courier you’ll capitalize on this trend by delivering things like groceries, takeout food, or even alcohol depending on the state .

Worth noting is that Postmates doesn’t even require that you deliver by vehicle — a bike will do.  Better yet, there are no startup fees or time commitments with Postmates and all you’ll have to do is pass a basic background check to get started. Once Postmates verifies your identity, they’ll send you a delivery bag and a prepaid card (in the mail) that you’ll use to purchase delivery items.

One perk worth noting: you take home 100% of what you earn for each delivery; furthermore, you can see exactly what you’ll earn before you begin a delivery.

Related: Is Becoming a Postmates Driver Worth It? We Find Out in Our Postmates Review

3. Take paid surveys with Survey Junkie

How much does it pay? Variable. Earn between $0.25-$3 per completed survey.

Companies want to understand consumers better, and one way they do that is by compensating survey-takers. Websites like Survey Junkie will pay you a decent chunk of change for the low-maintenance, borderline mindless task of completing surveys.

When you sign up for an account, Survey Junkie will ask you a few questions. They’ll want to know about your interests and shopping habits so they can match you with surveys that are applicable to you. Answer as accurately as possible to ensure you’re eligible for the surveys they send you.

Survey Junkie adds new surveys every day, which means you’ll want to circle back frequently to see if there are newly available surveys. You won’t get rich by taking surveys, but they are a legitimate way to earn a few bucks with very little effort. Earned points can be redeemed to cash via PayPal.

Check out our full Survey Junkie Review for more information.

Related: 13 Best Places to Take Paid Online Surveys for Money

4. Make Swagbucks your default search engine

How much does it pay? Up to $50 per month for active use + earn a $10 sign-up bonus.

Another easy way to score some quick cash is to use Swagbucks as your default search engine (rather than Bing or Google).

In doing so, you’ll earn points (Swagbucks) just by surfing the web like you normally do. You can’t game the system (as they have systems to prevent that), but you can expect to earn 10 to 20 Swagbucks for every 10 to 20 eligible searches you complete.

Other ways you can earn with Swagbucks outside of search:

  • Cash back program for internet shopping
  • Take paid online surveys
  • Watching videos

Redeem your Swagbucks for cash via PayPal. 100 SB = $1.00 (or more). Check out our full Swagbucks Review to learn more about the app and the requirements for unlocking their $10 sign-up bonus.

5. Become a LifePoints community member

How much does it pay? Between $0.50-$1.00 per completed survey + 10 bonus points.

Similar to Survey Junkie, LifePoints rewards members for sharing their opinions on the products and services that they use on a daily basis.

The feedback you give them helps the world’s largest companies and brands make alterations to their products for existing and future customers. In return for your contribution, they award you with LifePoints that you can redeem for amazing rewards or free gift cards.

Bonus: By registering today, LifePoints will award you 10 bonus points immediately.

6. Get paid to read email and watch TV with InboxDollars

How much does it pay? Variable. Earn $4-$5 per month for watching daily TV content (and up to $50 per day when utilizing all earning activities) + a $5 sign-up bonus.

As the name suggests, InboxDollars will pay you quick money for opening and skimming emails, and answering questions about the emails you read. There is also a $5 signup bonus.

Most question sets pay from $0.50 to $5.00 and take 3 minutes to 25 minutes to complete. There are some that pay $10, $20, or even more if you match the demographic profile they are looking for. Beyond the email earning component, InboxDollars also allows you to earn by watching daily TV clips on their site.

InboxDollars works on a cash-only system, so you don’t have to worry about converting points to cash or only being compensated in gift cards. Learn more in our official InboxDollars review.

7. Let Trim slash your bills by 30%

How much does it pay? Variable. Trim states they can slash certain bills up to 30%. Reduced rates will show up at next billing cycle.

While not a “side hustle” per se, Trim does the hustling for you and acts on your behalf as a full-service bill crusher.

When you sign up for Trim, they immediately begin analyzing your spending and look for ways to reduce it. They’ll call your internet service provider and negotiate you a better deal on the same service. Same for your cable package (or any other recurring service you have). They’ll also look for hidden or otherwise forgotten about subscriptions and cancel those if needed. Think of them as your bill guard dog. No one gets by without their permission.

Better yet, the service is free. Trim makes money by keeping one-third of the savings they get for you. Meaning they only get paid if you save. A pretty fair trade-off, and one where you get money back that you were otherwise content in spending. Learn more about the app in our Trim Review.

8. Let Nielsen learn about your internet usage

How much does it pay? $50 per year. Entry into $10,000 monthly drawing.

Nielsen has been around since 1923, has over 44,000 employees, and is the same company you hear about in conversations about TV ratings (Nielsen Ratings).

Beyond TV research, however, they have a super unique program called the Nielsen Computer & Mobile Panel, and it likes to pay you for one thing: data.

The premise is simple: rather than have you take surveys (for which you might not be eligible), Nielsen skips the process and uses AI to automatically make inferences about user internet usage.

It’s non-invasive, doesn’t slow down your device, and runs anonymously in the background. It’s a little bit slower to earn than many items on the list, but if you’re not one to care if Nielsen collects data (just like every app on your phone does anyway), you can collect $50 per year just for registering your device and leaving the app installed.

Related: 22 Best Money-Making Apps to Have on Your Phone 

9. Get paid to test products with Pinecone Research

How much does it pay? Variable. $3 per completed review. Occasional free products by mail.

Another market research company, Pinecone Research polls consumers about products on behalf of larger companies looking for answers.

But, with Pinecone Research, there are 2 distinct twists:

1. Pinecone will occasionally send products to your home for you to use and test. This is brand-dependent, but often, in exchange for a quality-review, they’ll let you keep the product rather than send it back. Free product + get paid to review it? Alright by us.

2. Even without occasional free products by mail, Pinecone offers a robust payout method for survey takers that is unmatched in the survey industry. Every completed survey earns you exactly $3. Cash out in $3, $5, or $15 increments and expect a check or PayPal deposit in 3-5 days.

Related: 8 Ways You Can Get Paid to Test Products at Home

10. Flip (or sell) textbooks for profit with BookScouter

How much does it pay? Variable (vendor dependent).

Textbooks cost hundreds of dollars. In fact, it’s not uncommon for engineering and healthcare-related books to come in just below $1,000.

But with the high cost of textbooks comes opportunity. Flipping them for profit. By using a service like BookScouter, you can instantly compare book prices across 44 different vendors. You pick the one that offers the best price and voila. Book sold.

If you’re a student trying to offload books at the end of each semester, this is a sure-fire way to get the most for your books (instead of going with whatever price the local bookstore gives you).

If you’re a savvy entrepreneur, you can make cash offers to students you see in Facebook groups, Craigslist, or yard-sale groups, and then flip the books online for profit. You may not make thousands, but running an ISBN through BookScouter’s tool only takes seconds, and if you see an opportunity to flip a book for profit, take it.

Related: 17 Best Places to Sell Your Textbooks for Money

11. Rent out your extra space with Airbnb

How much does it pay? Variable. The average Airbnb host makes $924 per month. Superhosts can make $100,000+ per year.

If you have a room to spare in your home, Airbnb could be the perfect way for you to score some extra dough.

The premise is simple: see how much your space might be worth, list a single room (or the whole house) on the app, screen potential guests, get paid. Airbnb provides up to $1,000,000 worth of insurance to cover your belongings (and home) in the event something goes wrong.

To get started, create a listing by filling out a description, take and upload photos of your space, and set a price. Your listing helps guests get a sense of what your place is like. Then, set the dates the space will be available and draft your house rules. Once your listing is live, guests can book their stay at your home, and you start earning money.

Related: A Step by Step Guide to Profitable Airbnb Hosting

12. Rent out your car with Getaround

How much does it pay? Variable. Per Getaround, users can make up to $800 per month (about $10,000 per year).

Have a spare vehicle or hardly use the one you have? Rent it out with Getaround.

Getaround lets you list your vehicle on the app and automatically connects you to people in your area who need to borrow one. Renters can view, book, and retrieve your car straight from the app, so you don’t have to mess around with scheduling a meetup to exchange keys.

As a Getaround car owner, you get access to premium parking as well as a $50 monthly rental credit. And with $1 million insurance coverage, you can rest assured your property is in good hands.

It only takes a few clicks to put your car to work with Getaround. Just sign up and name your car, set the location and availability, and enter a description. Rental earnings accrue on a monthly basis and are paid on the 15th of the following month.

13. Get earning with Uber Eats

How much does it pay? Get paid up to 5 times per day. Earn between $10-$15 per hour.

Do you have any of the following? Car 🚗, Bike 🚲, Scooter 🛵, Feet 👣.

If so, you can get paid to deliver food in your spare time with Uber Eats. Think of it as the ultimate pizza-delivery side gig except you have an even more diverse base of clientele. Instead of just pizza, you’ll be delivering any and all food items on planet Earth.

It takes just minutes to sign up, you have no boss, and your “hours” are whatever you want them to be. An hour here and there. Nights. Weekends. Whatever. And with Instant Pay, you get same-day cashouts (up to 5 times per day!). If you need cash immediately, this is about as easy as it comes.

Pro Tip: Once you get registered, you’ll want to head to Google and learn everything there is to know about Boost and Surge Zones, Quest Goals, and Choose Your Quest — they’re all ways to multiply your earnings on top of base fares and other offers.

14. Become an Instacart shopper

How much does it pay? Shoppers in some regions earn up to $20 per hour.

One positive development out of the gig economy is the rise in affordable services available to those who have difficulty leaving home.

Be it someone caring for a sick family member or senior who’s unable to drive, there are those who are unable to complete even a simple task like grocery shopping.

As an Instacart Shopper, you work to help these people. When a customer places an order, you retrieve the items from the desired store and deliver them to that person’s home.

It works in a similar way to Uber Eats in that whenever you need to figure out how to make money, you simply sign into the app and mark yourself as available for shopping.

The best part? You get to put a smile on someone’s face — and you get paid to do it. Though exact wages will vary, Instacart Shoppers can earn as much as $20 per hour. If you committed to a typical 40-hour workweek, your compensation would come in at just under $40,000 per year (without taking into consideration expenses like gas and wear and tear on your vehicle).

Related: How to Become an Instacart Shopper

15. Refer new users to Vindale Research

How much does it pay? Variable. $5 per referred user + a $1 sign-up bonus.

Vindale Research is exactly what it sounds like: a company that helps companies learn about consumers.

And while you can earn up to $50 per survey you take, they have a more generous earnings opportunity. Refer them a new survey taker and they’ll award you $5. Take a survey if and when it’s available to you, but focus more on referring users. It’s a guaranteed income stream that isn’t dependent on eligibility, and if you get good at recruiting, you can make some serious coin.

To start, register for Vindale Research, log in and grab your referral link, and then get creative about how and where you’ll find new users. Learn more in our Vindale Research Review.

16. Get paid to be a freelance proofreader

How much does it pay? Freelance proofreaders earn $56,762 per year on average according to ZipRecruiter ($4,730 per month).

Are you good at catching typos, poor grammar, or other mistakes in written text?

If so, you may want to consider becoming a freelancer proofreader. In 2014, Caitlin Pyle made over $43,000 working as a freelance proofreader — in her spare time.

After she had a ton of success doing that, she started Proofread Anywhere to teach others how to do the same. At Proofread Anywhere, Caitlin shows how you too can capitalize on businesses looking to outsource content proofreading (as opposed to hiring expensive full-time employees).

Sign up for one of her [Caitlin] free workshops to learn more about proofreading, or check out our guide on how to become a proofreader.

17. Become a freelance writer

How much does it pay? Freelance proofreaders earn $63,809 per year on average according to ZipRecruiter ($5,317 per month).

Like the idea of getting paid to write? There are hundreds of thousands of immediate-hire job openings available nationwide for writers who specialize in certain topics.

Take advantage of niche-specific bloggers, small business owners, and big brands that are willing to shell out serious cash for high-quality freelance writers. They do this because it’s often cheaper to hire high-rate per project writers than it is to employ a staff member full time with benefits.

One such writer, Holly Johnson from ClubThrifty, makes over $200,000 per year from her freelance work. She too has a course that teaches others how to do the same.

Expect to spend some money upfront in learning how to hone your writing skills and pitch clients. But in as little as a few days, you’ll be able to quickly generate positive cash flow as you build your resume of clients.

Related: How to Make $200,000 per Year as a Freelance Writer

18. Become a real estate mogul with Fundrise

How much does it pay? 8.7-12.4% annual returns since inception, according to Fundrise.

Traditionally, real estate investing was reserved for wealthy individuals that had hundreds of thousands of dollars in liquid assets. (Either that, or hundreds of thousands of dollars in mortgage debt).

Today, Fundrise has changed all that.

As their site says, “Regardless of your net worth, you can now benefit from real estate’s unique potential for generating consistent cash flow and long-term appreciation. This is a level of real estate investing that was previously reserved for only the wealthiest investors and institutions.”

Most simply, you can invest your money, according to your goals, in a portfolio filled with dozens of real estate projects — each one carefully handpicked and proactively developed with the goal of growing your net worth.

Start with as little as $500 and take advantage of their expected 8.7 – 12.4% annual returns. Learn more in our Fundrise review.

19 . Start a blog with HostGator

How much does it pay? Variable. From $0-$100,000+ per month.

If you happen to be even a half-decent writer, you can do what you love and make money while doing it.

DollarSprout uses blogging as a way to share information about earning and saving more money. You too can be a source of information (or amusement) for just about anything that interests you.

Whether you’d like to start a lifestyle oriented blog where you share your favorite home decor ideas or a beauty and fashion blog where you film makeup tutorials and write product reviews, you can  turn your favorite hobby into an online business.

Some elite bloggers are even pulling in over $100,000 each month. For example:

  • Michelle @ Making Sense of Cents made over $159,000 in her last published report;
  • or Pat @ Smart Passive Income, who made over $167,000 in his most recent report;
  • and lastly, there’s Rosemarie @ The Busy Budgeter, who also made over $100,000 in her most recent report

To get started for less than the price of a cup of a coffee each month, check out HostGator or follow along on our start a blog tutorial.

Pro Tip: Use code BTOP42 and see what happens. 🥰

Want to see how we built a $1,000,000+/year blog?

In this FREE 7-day email course, you’ll join 50,000+ other readers in:

  1. Seeing the exact steps we took to earn our first $1,000 blogging (and beyond).
  2. Starting your own blog (and learning how to write epic, money-making content).

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20. Buy dividend paying stocks through Ally Invest

How much does it pay? Variable. Dependent on deposit size, stock market performance, and asset allocation. Earn up to a $3,500 cash bonus with a qualifying deposit.

Outside of starting your own business, investing in the stock market has been one of the most consistent ways to create wealth over the past 100 years. In fact, since its inception in 1957, the S&P 500 has consistently returned 8% per year on average. A far higher return than savings accounts, CDs, money markets, or any number of other vehicles for saving and investing your money.

If you have “extra” money sitting around or want to get serious about building wealth for later in life, consider investing it in the stock market with Ally Bank (whose investing branch is included on our list of best investment apps). If you don’t have immediate debts and aren’t currently living paycheck to paycheck, investing can be a powerful tool for generating passive returns.

To get started, we recommend a discount broker like Ally Invest because they have some of the lowest fees in the industry, are easy to use, and generally offer a generous sign-up bonus. Their two most popular options are:

Managed Accounts (Recommended):

    1. No advisory fees.
    2. Completely automated investing.
    3. $100 account minimum.
    4. Interest-earning cash buffer.

Self-Directed Accounts:

    1. Commission-free trading*.
    2. $0 account minimum to get started.
    3. Up to $3,500 cash bonus.
    4. Transfer fee reimbursement.

*Commission-free trading for U.S. listed stocks, options and ETFs.

21. Get paid $10 to invest with Acorns

How much does it pay? Variable. Dependent on deposit size, stock market performance, and asset allocation. Get a free $10 at registration.

Acorns is a simple investing app that helps you grow your savings by putting your money into investments designed to grow in value over time. If you are new to investing and want to get your feet wet, this is a great app to start with.

Acorns works by “rounding up” the spare change from your everyday purchases and investing the difference in the stock market. For example, if you buy a coffee for $3.64, Acorns will move 36 cents into your investment account (so you spend $4 total). Over time, these small contributions can add up.

Acorns is now offering a $5 signup bonus for new accounts opened. After completing your account registration, Acorns will deposit a free $10 into your account to help you get started. Read our full Acorns review to learn more.

22. Try peer-to-peer lending

How much does it pay? Variable. Users can expect between 5.06% to 8.74% APR according to Lending Club.

Have you heard of peer-to-peer lending? It’s a financial system that matches borrowers with investors that are willing to fund their loans.

As an investor, you act as the bank and fund projects that have promising potential returns. Using a service like Lending Club takes the guesswork out of determining who is a potential good fit for your money. They screen potential investments, determine your risk, and assign a percent expected return on your investment.

How to get started:

  • Open an account and transfer as little as a $0.01 minimum initial deposit.
  • Quickly and easily build a portfolio by investing in a range of Loans in increments as little as $25.
  • Receive monthly payments of principal and interest as borrowers repay their loans.
  • Reinvest payments or withdraw.

In the simplest terms, you’ll be investing in consumer credit. For example, Lending Club will charge a borrower 10% APR on a loan, and they’ll pass on 4-7% of the annual returns back to you for taking on the risk.

Related: 18 Passive Income Ideas to Earn 24/7

23. Collect $10 cash back with Rakuten

How much does it pay? Variable. $25 per referred user + earn a $10 sign-up bonus. Hundreds (or more) per year in cash-back savings.

If you’re going to buy something outside your house every day of your life, why not get money for doing it? Technically you’re not making money, but you’re getting cash back instantly on purchases you would have made anyways.

The cool thing is, this is on top of any discounts/coupon codes you already have. Use Rakuten (formerly Ebates) in tandem with your choice of cash-back credit card and you’ll be paying 10%-45% less on all the items you buy throughout the year. They’ll even give you $25 for each and every friend that you refer that ends up using the app.

This adds up to thousands and thousands of dollars for just about everyone over the course of 12 months — even if you’re not a big spender. Learn more about the app and the requirements for unlocking their $10 sign up bonus in our Rakuten Review.

24. Automate your savings (and get a cash bonus) with Digit

How much does it pay? $5 for joining + savings bonus every 3 months on existing balance.

You won’t make a ton of money fast, but that doesn’t make Digit any less of an amazing app.

Digit’s purpose is simple: the app analyzes your spending and automatically saves the perfect amount every day, so you don’t have to think about it. From the site, “Share what you’re saving for and Digit does the rest. It can budget for your next vacation, pay off credit cards, or put money away for a rainy day.”

FDIC insured with over $1 billion in assets securely saved, there’s no account minimum, overdraft prevention, and a 1% cash bonus on your account balances. If you’re terrible about saving, take 10 minutes out of your day and set up your account and get a free $5. Think of the 1% quarterly cash bonus as your future self thanking you for being more responsible about your finances.

Related: Digit App Review 2020: How to Reach Your Savings Goals Every Time

25. Get paid to play video games with MyPoints

How much does it pay? Variable. $10 Amazon gift card sign-up bonus. Unlimited earnings potential (but points accrue slowly).

MyPoints is a rewards site that pays users to perform micro tasks on a daily basis.

For example, users can earn 500 points per day by watching videos, earn 5 points by visiting certain partners (in an internet scavenger hunt of sorts), or 10 points per dollar for playing games.

As with many rewards sites, consistent daily use is important, so you’ll want to bookmark MyPoints or make it your homepage (so you don’t forget to check in). Refer users to the program and earn 25 points when they join, 750 points if they spend $20 or more through the app, and most importantly, 10% bonus points on all the points they earn, forever.

1,750 points is equivalent to $10, and you can withdraw your earnings via free gift cards, travel miles, or PayPal cash.

26. Link a card to Dosh and get a free $5 instantly

How much does it pay? Variable. $5 sign-up bonus when you link a card. Hundreds (or more) per year in cash-back savings.

The Dosh cash back app has been creating a ton of buzz on social media lately, and for good reason.

They’re offering free money to attract new users.

Here’s how it works:

  • Download the Dosh app and connect your credit and debit cards (they use bank-level encryption technology to keep your info safe).
  • Earn cash back on all your purchases without scanning receipts or using coupons.
  • Deposit your earnings into your bank account.

Furthermore, the perks of Dosh are simple: All rewards are pure cash, you get $5 when you link your first card, and you’ll earn a quick $10 for each friend you refer to the app. Get a few family and friends to sign up and the money adds up fast.

Related: Is Dosh Legit? Find Out in Our Official Dosh App Review

27. Become a Facebook ads specialist

How much does it pay? Variable. $1,000 per client per month on average.

Facebook ads are nothing new. They’re also not going away any time soon. Think for a moment about the last time you saw a Facebook ad for a local small business. (And not the giant brands around you like Kroger, Walmart, etc.) Can’t remember? That doesn’t surprise us. It’s because while local small business would like to advertise, odds are they don’t have someone in-house that’s wise enough to effectively run campaigns for them without losing money.

That’s where you — the Facebook ads specialist — can come in. If you learn how to effectively run campaigns and generate leads for a local small businesses, you can earn anywhere from $1,000 – $2,000 per month per client. You don’t need to have a degree or prior experience in the field to get started, and as your portfolio of clients expands, you can start to up your rates and charge more.

To get started, you’ll need to learn the ins and outs of Facebook ads. There are several such courses that can teach you this, but they’ll require an upfront investment, usually around $100-$300.

28. Walk dogs in your neighborhood with Rover

How much does it pay? Set your own hourly rate. This Rover app user charges $50 per hour and made over $100,000 in 2016.

Rover is a dog walking and pet sitting website that is always looking for qualified dog walkers in cities all over the United States.

So when you take your pup on a walk, you can also take a second (or third) dog with you and get paid to walk. You’ll need to be 18 years of age to get started, so it’s not a great job for teens or kids.

For adults, 30-minute walks generally fall in the $10-$30 range. With a neighborhood route, your earnings can add up quickly. 

Related: How to Start a Dog Walking Business with Rover

29. Do virtual assistant work

How much does it pay? Variable. VAs typically earn between $19 and $25 per hour (or more).

Perhaps our favorite of all the fast ways to bring in extra income, virtual assistant work is the most realistic way to earn good money without a degree or crazy amounts of experience.

That’s because virtual assistants help small businesses complete everyday tasks that they merely need additional manpower for.

Things like:

  1. Customer support
  2. Administrative support
  3. Social media management
  4. Website management
  5. Email copywriting and marketing

In fact, Gina Horkey, a renowned virtual assistant coach, says there are over 150 different services you can offer as a virtual assistant.

She even has a course that will train you on these exact services, and help you land clients in the next 30 days or less.

Related: How to Earn $19-$25 per Hour as a Virtual Assistant

30. Earn rewards easily with the Drop App

How much does it pay? Variable. $1 for every 1,000 points you accumulate. 5,000 point minimum redemption.

Drop is a free app that rewards you for your everyday spending. The way it works is simple:

Once you download the app and create an account, you’ll need to link a debit or credit card to start earning. Whenever you shop with one of Drop’s hundreds of partner brands, you’ll earn points. In addition to the points you earn for shopping, you can earn more rewards for completing simple tasks. Every friend you refer is worth 1,000 points. You can also earn additional points for integrating other apps or completing a Linked or Mobile offer.

Every 1,000 points is worth $1. Once you’ve earned 5,000 points, you can redeem them for gift cards to your favorite places such as Amazon, Starbucks, Target, and more.

Bonus: Drop is currently running a 5x promotion — every friend you refer is worth 5,000 points.

31. Earn $25 when you tell 5 friends about Ibotta

How much does it pay? Make $25 fast for referring 5 friends + nearly $300 more in additional yearly earnings.

Cash-back apps have become all the rage as consumers look for ways to save on common purchases. And where all of these money-making apps want new users, they’re willing to offer sometimes crazy one-time cash bonuses in order to get them.

The Ibotta app is another opportunity to get such a bonus. They’re currently giving people $10 when they sign up. And unlike some of the other best cash-back apps mentioned in this article, Ibotta specializes in getting you cash back at grocery stores.

Bonus: Refer 5 users and they’ll credit you with an additional $25.00.

Related: Ibotta Review 2020: Are You Missing Out on Easy Cash Back?

32. Complete micro tasks

How much does it pay? $5-$130 per task completed. Up to $300 in one day.

Looking for the simplest of ways to make $300 fast. You found it — micro tasks (also known as micro jobs).

What are micro tasks, you ask?

Mostly simply, “micro jobs are small, easy tasks that can be completed in a short amount of time, and generally earn you between $3 and $100. They’re often online jobs that you can do from home, but there are local opportunities, too. They don’t require an interview, meetings, or set hours, which makes them the perfect vehicle for making extra money on the side.”

To find micro jobs in your area, check out this list of the best places to find micro jobs.

33. Explore cryptocurrency

How much does it pay? Highly variable.

You’ve probably heard all the mania surrounding Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. If you are looking to get in on the action, you can do it with the Coinbase app. If you sign up for Coinbase and invest $100, Coinbase will deposit $10 into your account — an instant 10% return.

Warning: Trading cryptocurrencies is very risky, and you should never invest more than you can afford to lose. That being said, you can make a lot of money fast if you buy low and sell high.

Related: Should I Buy Bitcoin? 4 Things to Know Before You Do

34. Find unclaimed money

Unclaimed.org is an awesome site for finding money that’s due to you that you may have forgotten about. Examples: A utility deposit on an account you had forever ago, money left in a bank account you had as a kid, or a check from a former employer.

35. Make $100 fast with Listverse

Do you love to write? Listverse, a popular site featuring tons of list articles, will pay you $100 to write a “listicle” of your own. “You don’t need to be an expert — you just need to have English equal to that of a native speaker, a sense of humor, and a love for things unusual or interesting.”

36. Earn a $1,000 bonus as a new Lyft Driver

If you’ve got some free time and don’t live in the middle of nowhere, becoming a Lyft driver can be a very lucrative side hustle. And right now, they’ve got a promotion going on where any new driver can earn up to a $1,000 bonus after completing their 125th ride. If you start now and hustle hard on the weekends, you can probably unlock that bonus within a few weeks of driving (the bonus is cleared on top of your normal earnings).

Note: Bonus amounts are always subject to change, so be sure to check Lyft’s site for the most up to date figures.

37. Drive with Uber

If Uber Eats or Lyft weren’t a great fit, Uber is yet another option. By driving with Uber, you have the flexibility to drive whenever you want, which means you can start making money as soon as you are approved to drive, and it’s all on your own schedule. They’re currently offering a $1,050 bonus to new drivers in our area (Virginia Beach, VA) but that amount will vary based on your regional market. See their website for more details.

Pro Tip: Sign up for Uber, Uber Eats, and Lyft so you can compare fares and keep yourself busy.

38. Get a promotion

If you’re willing to go above and beyond and prove your value to your boss, you can move up the corporate ladder. Check out this article from The Balance on how to get promoted at work.

39. Ask for a pay raise

Getting a raise is harder than getting a promotion. Think about it from your boss’s perspective, would you rather a) pay more money for the same service, or b) pay more money for additional responsibilities? Regardless, sometimes a raise is in order, especially if you have worked for several years without one.

40. Work overtime

It’s not glamorous, but at a lot of jobs, the opportunity is there to rack up overtime hours. At time and a half, overtime pay will beat out nearly all side hustle alternatives, merely for performing a skill you already know how to do.

Earning More Money Means Having More Freedom

No matter what your circumstances may be right now, remember one thing: earning more money means having more freedom.

Freedom to eat what you want to eat, live where you want to live, vacation when and where you want, and more. Making extra money starts with a simple decision: do you want more freedom in your life?

If the answer is yes, it’s time to go for it. You may have to try more than one idea on the list before you find one that sticks, but once your income starts to rise, you will gain control of your life and find even more opportunity than you could ever imagine.


35 Legit Ways to Get Free Money with Little to No Effort

Free money. It’s something that no one in their right mind would ever turn down.

But is there really such a thing as free money that you don’t have to work for? If you have to earn your “free money” by completing a simple task or signing up for an app, is it really free?

As far as we’re aware, there are no magic words to make money fall from the sky or sprout from the ground.

But there are a few simple ways to earn some quick money with minimal effort. All it costs is a few minutes of your time.

Table of Contents

What is “Free Money”?

Definitions vary widely for what are considered “free”. For our purposes, we define free money as cash or a reward you receive:

  1. Without having to pay money upfront, or
  2. For doing something you were going to do anyway.

Most of the items on this list don’t require you to make a purchase in order to receive the reward. However, some do.

For example, the first item on the list offers a $10 sign-up bonus, but you have to make a $25 purchase in order to qualify. For those, we only consider it “free” if you were going to make a purchase anyway and the cash is just an added bonus.

Keep that in mind as you decide which opportunities on this list make sense for you.

Start By Getting Free Money for Things You Already Do

If you shop online, buy groceries, or go out to eat, chances are you could get free money for things you do every week, if not every day. These aren’t the most lucrative ways to make money, but they’re definitely the path of least resistance.

Cash Back for Shopping

Whether you shop online or in store, the best cash back apps will pay you for your purchases. Most of them also come with a sign-up bonus for new users.

1. Swagbucks ($10 Sign-Up Bonus)

Swagbucks is a popular rewards site that compensates users via “Swagbucks” (or SB) when you complete short online tasks.

You can earn rewards with Swagbucks when you take surveys, watch short videos, shop online, use their search engine to browse the web, and more. Exchange your SB for PayPal cash or gift cards to retailers like Amazon, Target, Best Buy, or Sephora.

While you won’t make a significant income with the app, it’s certainly reasonable to earn a few gift cards each month. Use them for yourself or save up your rewards to pay for Christmas or birthday gifts.

As an incentive for signing up, Swagbucks offers $10 for all new users who download their mobile app.

$10 Bonus

$10 Sign-Up Bonus Terms and conditions apply.


DollarSprout Rating Easy rewards for things you already do.

Swagbucks at a Glance:

Swagbucks is an online rewards platform that offers up to 20% cash back when users complete surveys, shop online, purchase gift cards, watch videos, sign up for free offers, and more. Points can be redeemed for gift cards and PayPal cash, with a minimum payout of $3.

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In order to qualify for the bonus, you’ll need to make a purchase of $25 or more from one of Swagbucks’ qualifying retailers within 30 days of creating your account. If you already have your eye on something from Amazon or one of their other partner sites, then you can get $10 off by signing up and making your purchase through Swagbucks.

For more details, check out our full Swagbucks review.

2. Rakuten ($10 Sign-Up Bonus)

Rakuten (formerly Ebates) is one of the biggest and most well-known cashback websites. Similar to other cashback sites, Rakuten offers a free gift for new users.

When you create your Rakuten account, you’ll receive a $10 welcome bonus once you spend your first $25 through the site. Since Rakuten offers cash back at over 2,500 retailers, that isn’t difficult to do.

Another great way to earn with Rakuten is to install the Google Chrome browser extension. Whenever you’re shopping at a Rakuten partner retailer, the extension will alert you of any deals or opportunities to receive cash back. All you have to do is click the alert and continue shopping.

You’ll get free money in the form of cash back to your Rakuten account. It can take a few hours to several days for your Rakuten rewards to update.

Every three months, you’ll receive your cash back via paper check or PayPal credit, whichever you choose.

Most cash back websites and apps operate the same way. However, not all of them have the same deals.

That’s why I like to sign up for several sites and install the Google Chrome browser extension for each. When you go to check out, the browser extensions will notify you of the deal available for each site. (That way you can ensure you’re getting the most cash back possible.)

For example, if you’re shopping for shoes on Nike and Rakuten shows an offer of 6% cash back while Swagbucks shows 7% cash back, you’ll probably want to buy through Swagbucks.

Take a look at our Rakuten review if you still have questions.

3. Ibotta ($10 Sign-Up Bonus)

While Ibotta was originally designed to give users cash back on grocery purchases, the app now supports over 300 retailers, including restaurants, grocery stores, pharmacies, clothing brands, and more. However, most would probably agree that grocery rebates are still where the app shines.

Users new to Ibotta can receive up to a $20 welcome bonus by creating an account and redeeming offers within the first seven days of signing up.

Before you go shopping, you’ll need to log in to Ibotta and select your offers. Once you’ve chosen your deals, there are two main ways to earn rewards with Ibotta. You can either scan your receipt after shopping or link a store loyalty card and have Ibotta deposit your rewards automatically.

Regardless of which method you choose, you’ll see a credit to your Ibotta account within 48 hours. When your rewards balance reaches $20, you can transfer it via PayPal, Venmo, or convert your earnings into a gift card.

Our Ibotta review covers more ways to earn rewards by creating a team, completing tasks for bonuses, or inviting friends to sign up.

4. MyPoints ($10 Sign-Up Bonus)

Prodege, LLC — the company that owns Swagbucks — is also the parent company of MyPoints. Both sites work similarly.

You can earn rewards with MyPoints for shopping online, playing games, taking surveys, and reading emails from their partner companies. When you create a MyPoints account, you’ll receive a $10 bonus after you make $20 worth of qualifying purchases in your first 30 days. 

You can cash in your rewards for a gift card, travel miles, or PayPal cash.

5. Dosh ($5 Sign-Up Bonus)

Dosh’s website describes the app as “the easiest money you’ve ever made,” and it’s honestly hard to disagree.

Unlike other cashback apps where you have to choose your deal before you go shopping, Dosh links directly to your credit or debit card.

When you shop at any of their thousands of partner restaurants or retailers, you’ll receive up to 10% cash back on your purchase.

You can also get a free $5 for every friend you refer who signs up and links a card to their Dosh account.

For more ideas on how to get the most from Dosh, check out our complete Dosh review.

6. Nielsen ($50/year)

Nielsen, the TV rating company, will pay you $50 a year to keep their app on your smartphone, tablet, or laptop. You’ll also be entered into the Nielsen sweepstakes for a chance to win even more prizes.

The app itself collects statistics on your internet usage anonymously in order to learn more about consumer trends.

For instance, it might look at your search habits and see that you love reading about sports and shopping online for Pittsburgh Penguins gear. By tracking real-life examples of “buyer personas,” they can help companies better understand their customers.

Everything with Nielsen is done anonymously, so you don’t have to worry about any data being linked to you. The app only requires a small amount of space, so it shouldn’t slow down your phone or tablet.

7. Shopkick

Shopkick rewards are called kicks. As a user, you can earn kicks by walking into stores, scanning bar codes of certain products, visiting online stores, watching videos, making a purchase with a linked card, and more.

So if you already plan to make a trip to Target, you could earn kicks not only for the things you buy, but also just for being in the store and scanning a few items with your phone along the way.

Every 250 kicks you bank are worth $1.

Redeem your kicks for gift cards to Amazon, Target, Starbucks, TJ Maxx, Uber, and dozens of other popular stores.

Earn Free Money with Your Car

Most vehicles lose value over time, so you’ll probably never sell your ride for more than you paid. However, there are a few ways you can use your car to bring in some free money to offset gas and maintenance costs.

8. Getaround

If your car sits idle for most of the day, turn it into an extra source of income with Getaround. When someone wants to rent your car, they can do so straight from the app. You don’t have to worry about meeting up to exchange keys or handling the logistics.

As a car owner, you can make $5+ per hour just by letting someone else borrow your car. Getaround takes a 40% commission, and the rest is yours to keep. You benefit from 24/7 roadside assistance and $1 million in primary insurance coverage, so you don’t have to worry about damages from renters.

Payout is once per month on the 15th for your earnings from the previous month.

9. Wrapify

Wrapify turns your car into a moving billboard. Companies pay to advertise their brands on your vehicle. The more space you give them, the more free money you can make. Drivers who choose a full wrap can earn up to $450 per month.

First, you’ll need to download the Wrapify app. Inside, you’ll find instructions on how to drive with the app to ensure you meet minimum qualifications. Once qualified, Wrapify will alert you when campaigns are available in the area. They’ll wrap your car so you can start to earn money for the driving you already do.

When your campaign is complete, the wrapping comes off clean. There won’t be any permanent damages or marks to your car.

10. Lyft

Driving strangers around in your car doesn’t exactly qualify as “free money.” However, there’s a hack that can help you earn money with Lyft without straying too far from your normal routine.

It’s called Destination Mode.

In Destination Mode, you tell Lyft where you’re headed and the app will only give you rides along your route. So if you have somewhere to be, you can leave a few minutes early to fit in a few rides along the way.

Get Free Money for Opening an Account

The following offers pay you money just for opening an account. Of course, each company has its own set of conditions to receive the bonus. Be sure to read each one carefully before signing up.

Survey Companies

Survey websites commonly offer an incentive for new customers. It’s usually as simple as creating an account, filling out your profile, and completing a few simple tasks.

11. InboxDollars ($5 Sign-Up Bonus)

InboxDollars is similar to Swagbucks. They pay you for taking surveys, watching videos, and shopping online.

One thing that makes InboxDollars unique is that they also give you rewards just for reading their emails. Every time you confirm you’ve read one of their emails, they’ll reward you with cash.

But what really landed InboxDollars on our list of ways to get free money is their $5 sign-up bonus for new members. If you don’t already have an account, simply create one and fill out the new member survey and you’ll receive a $5 credit.

There is a small catch — you need $30 in order to withdraw your earnings. But with all the options for earning rewards, that shouldn’t take long to achieve.

12. Vindale Research ($1 Sign-Up Bonus)

Vindale Research is similar to other survey sites on this list. The company rewards members for taking surveys, watching videos, and reading their promotional emails.

Members can also earn by referring friends, finding rewards codes on the company’s blog and social media pages, and sending in a photo or video to show off their earnings.

Vindale’s minimum payout is a bit higher than some of its competitors. You have to wait until your account balance reaches $50 in order to cash out via PayPal. However, they also have some of the higher-paying surveys on the market, with many in the $10 to $15 range.

Earn your first $1 by creating your account.

Saving and Investing Apps

If you’re looking for ways to automate saving and investing, these apps can help.

13. Acorns ($10 Sign-Up Bonus)

The Acorns app is for the non-financially savvy investor. The app connects to your checking account and credit cards.

Whenever you spend with a linked account, Acorns will round up the transaction to the nearest dollar and transfer the change to your Acorns investment account.

To qualify for the $5 bonus, you’ll need to sign up for Acorns and link a funding checking account.

Answer a few questions so Acorns can put together your portfolio.

Once your account is set up, Acorns will add $10 for free to help you get started.

$10 Bonus

$0 Account minimum You’ll need $5 to start investing.

$1-$3/mo Monthly Fees


DollarSprout Rating

How Acorns stands out:

The Acorns app is very easy to use, which is perfect for new investors who are learning the ropes. Users’ everyday purchases are rounded up and the change is invested, which makes investing a daily habit.

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14. Stash ($5 Sign-Up Bonus)

When you sign up for Stash and deposit at least $5 into your account, you’ll receive an additional $5 of completely free money.

As a Stash investor, you can buy and sell fractions of shares in your favorite companies or invest in themed ETFs to support a cause or industry you’re passionate about.

Options vary from blue-chip companies to cannabis distributors and everything in between.

The Stash learning center has dozens of articles and guides on how to invest, and the Stash Coach is there to uplevel your investing knowledge through fun challenges and games.

If hands-on investing isn’t your forte, there’s an automatic investing option as well.


$5 Signup Bonus

$5 Account Minimum

$1-9/mo Monthly Fees Beginner: $1/mo, Growth: $3/mo, STASH+: $9/mo


DollarSprout Rating

How Stash stands out:

Stash is a simple investing app that makes it easy to start putting money to work, even if you’re only looking to invest a small amount of money. Stash allows you to invest money online by letting you choose from 150+ stocks or investment “themes”; pick from the best options for your goals, interests, and beliefs. Each theme includes a group of companies to invest in rather than just one.

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15. Stockpile ($5 Sign-Up Bonus)

Update 07/17/2019: The $5 sign-up bonus for Stockpile is currently unavailable. We’ll update this article with new promotions if/when they become available.

Investing hands on is a great way to learn the ins and outs of the stock market and take control of your portfolio earnings. However, high stock prices are a deterrent for many would-be investors.

That’s where Stockpile comes in. With Stockpile, you can buy and sell fractions of shares at a much lower price point. For example, if 1 share of a stock is $1,000, you can buy 0.05 shares for $50. This allows you to invest in major companies like Amazon and Netflix at a more accessible price.

Stockpile even offers mini-lessons to help you get started and continue building your portfolio. On top of a $5 sign-up bonus, your Stockpile account comes with $0.99 trading fees, no account minimums, and zero management fees.

Bank Account Bonuses

Many banks offer a cash bonus when you open a new checking or savings account. The terms vary from bank to bank, but you’ll likely need to open an account, set up direct deposit, and keep it open for a few months.

16. Open a High-Interest Savings Account

One of the easiest ways to get free money is to upgrade your savings account. If you currently use a brick-and-mortar bank, you could earn 25+ times more in interest by switching to a high-yield online savings account.

Many brick-and-mortar banks offer interest rates of 0.01%. Since online banks don’t have the costs of operating physical locations, they can afford to pay customers 2.00% or more on a regular savings account.

For example, right now TD Bank is offering a $300 bonus when you open a TD Beyond Checking account and receive direct deposits of at least $2,500 within the first 60 days. As long as you set up direct deposit and meet the terms, it’s legitimate free money.

There are plenty of banks with similar offers. Before you sign up, just be sure to read through the offer conditions. And keep in mind that your bonus is subject to taxes, so you’ll need to report it come tax time.

Find Free Money in Your Budget

Even if it feels like you’re living paycheck to paycheck, chances are you have extra money floating around somewhere in your budget. Here’s how to find it.

Automatic Saving Apps

These automatic saving apps analyze your money and show you where you could save. So even though you’re not bringing in additional income, it feels like free money because you don’t have to work for it or see it come out of your account.

17. Trim

Trim is a simple, free tool that combs through your spending habits and finds quick, easy wins to put more money in your pocket. For example, Trim can negotiate your cable bill, suggest subscriptions you can cancel, and even help you find more affordable car insurance.

Your free Trim account comes with a dashboard overview of your finances, spending alerts and reminders, overdraft fee detection and negotiating, and more.

If you want Trim to negotiate bills on your behalf, all you have to do is send them a copy of your bill or sign in to your account through Trim and give some information about your service provider. They’ll look for better plans or promotions and notify you on what they find.

To learn more about how it works, read our full review here.

18. Qapital

When it comes to saving money, Qapital makes it about as painless as possible. The app offers nine different ways to save money using rules.

There’s a round-up option for saving your spare change. Each time you make a purchase with your linked account, Qapital will round up to the nearest dollar and deposit the difference into your savings.

The Payday and Set & Forget rules make a transfer daily, weekly, monthly, or whenever you get paid. If you want to make saving a regular habit without crunching numbers to figure out how much you can set aside, let Qapital find free money for you on autopilot.

Our Qapital review goes into all the ways to save money with this app.

30-Day Free Trial

$3-12/mo Price Three plans offered at $3, $6, & $12 per month

$0 Account Minimum


DollarSprout Rating

Qapital At a Glance:

Qapital is a low cost savings app that aims to make it easier to save towards your goals. Unlike most other savings apps, Qapital comes with a Visa debit card, which makes it several “goal” accounts within the app. After you’ve established a goal, you can create savings rules that will automatically move money from your linked checking account to your Qapital account.

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19. Digit ($5 Sign-Up Bonus)

Saving money is a difficult habit to get into, especially if it feels like you’re already living paycheck to paycheck.

Digit analyzes your spending patterns to find money you didn’t even know you had. The app keeps close tabs on your spending and transfers savings to your Digit account a few dollars at a time.

You can withdraw your savings any time via text.

If Digit ever gets it wrong and overdrafts your account, they’ll reimburse you for any fees. Start your free 30-day trial with Digit to grab the $5 sign-up bonus.

If you decide to keep your account after the first 30 days, you’ll pay a $2.99 monthly fee.

20. Refinance Student Loans

If you have high-interest loans, you could free up hundreds of dollars per year by refinancing to a lower interest rate.

For example, if you have a $20,000 loan with a 6.55% APR and you refinance to a rate of 3.75%, you’ll save roughly $600 per year in interest charges.

If refinancing sounds like it might be a good fit for you, a comparison site like LendingTree can help you get started. Select the type of loan you’re looking for, fill out some information, and LendingTree will give you a list of potential lenders so you can easily compare your options.

Your lender will need to run a credit check and review your financial information. Keep in mind that if you refinance your loan for a longer period, then you may end up paying less per month but more in interest over the life of your new loan. Keep an eye out for origination fees and use an online calculator to make sure refinancing your loans makes sense.

It may not be free money in the sense that it increases your income. However, refinancing loans could free up cash in your budget and save you money in the long run.

Get Free Money Online By Selling Your Stuff

That guitar you got four Christmases ago but never played, your old textbooks from college, that Anthropologie shirt that’s never seen the light of day — all opportunities to earn free money for things that otherwise just take up space and collect dust in your house.

Sure, it’ll require a few minutes of your time. But other than that, it’s free money in the bank.

Sell Your Electronics

Those old DVDs and gaming systems that haven’t been touched for over a decade could be worth more than you expect. Collect your essentially free money from an app that specializes in selling electronics.

21. Decluttr

Decluttr accepts CDs, DVDs, video games, gaming consoles, smartphones, and all varieties of tech gadgets. You can get an instant valuation on the website before sending off your goods.

For tech devices, just select the make, model, and condition. Decluttr will instantly show you what they’re willing to pay, and you’re guaranteed to get their first offer or request your item back for free. For CDs, DVDs, and everything that’s not a tech device, scan the barcode on your smartphone to find the value.

Once you’re ready to ship, Decluttr will send you a free label. Pack up your goods and drop them at any UPS location. When Decluttr receives your package, they’ll check everything over, remove any personal information you forgot to erase on your tech devices, and process your payment the next day.

22. Gazelle

Gazelle offers a similar hands-off selling experience for tech products. Search for your device on their website, select the condition of your item, and get an instant quote.

If you can’t find your exact item on the site, then Gazelle won’t accept it. When you find an offer you like, finish checking out and select check, PayPal, or Amazon gift card as your payment method. Ship your items for free. Once they’re processed, Gazelle will send your payment.

23. List a Room on Airbnb

Source: Airbnb

Use Airbnb’s income calculator to see how much you could earn renting out space in your home.

As a host, you get to choose your prices, availability, house rules, and renters. Each guest is verified by Airbnb, but you can request additional information, such as recommendations from previous hosts.

There are two options for renting your home on Airbnb. You can rent out a spare room while you’re home or rent your entire space while you’re away traveling for work, visiting family, on vacation, etc. If you choose the latter, just be sure to set up a lock box with a key and anything else your guests might need ahead of time.

For more tips, check out our complete guide on how to be an Airbnb host.

24. Sell Your Textbooks

BookScouter is one of the best places to sell textbooks online. The site serves as a price comparison tool, checking over 42 buyback vendors to find the best deal.

The way it works is simple. Go to BookScouter and type in the ISBN Number of the book you want to sell. BookScouter will search the ISBN on buyer sites like Amazon, Bookbyte, Cash4Books, and dozens more. From there, you can see the offer on each site and decide where to sell your book.

Ship your book off for free and get paid a few days later. Each vendor has a different payment schedule and method. For a PayPal deposit, your payment should arrive one to three days after the vendor receives your book. Mailed checks will take a little longer.

Sell Old Clothes

There are lots of places to sell your used goods online. But to get the most for your money, you’ll want to use an app that specializes in the type of thing you’re selling. When it comes to clothing, there are two options that stand out from the rest.

25. ThredUp

thredUP provides free Clean Out kits to help you sell your old clothes. You can order a free kit on their site. Once your kit comes in the mail, fill it up with the clothes, shoes, handbags, and accessories you no longer want.

thredUP covers shipping — just drop your bag off at any FedEx or USPS location. Regular processing time takes about three weeks once your items arrive at a thredUP location. If that’s not fast enough, you can pay a fee to have your order processed within a week of arrival.

Since thredUP acts as the middle man between you and the buyer, you probably won’t earn as much as if you sold each individual piece of clothing yourself. However, it takes most of the effort out of selling, which makes it feel more like free money than if you had to post each item, respond to buyers, and ship everything yourself.

26. Poshmark

Poshmark is a platform that connects sellers to buyers. For each piece you choose to sell, you’ll need to take pictures, add a description, and set the price. However, there are a few convenient features that set Poshmark apart from other selling apps.

You can attend real-time virtual shopping events called Posh Parties. Each party has its own theme. Previous parties include best in makeup, warm weather looks, men’s fashion, and maternity wear. These themed parties are a great way to get your listings in front of more people.

Once an item sells, Poshmark will send you a pre-paid, pre-addressed shipping label. Drop your package in a USPS mailbox and you should see a credit within three days of your item being delivered.

More Creative Ways to Get Free Money Right Now

These methods are a little off the wall. If you’re not afraid to step outside your comfort zone, there’s money to be made.

27. Get Paid to Lose Weight

If you already have a goal to lose weight, then free money can be a good incentive to get and keep you motivated. HealthyWage allows you to bet on yourself with a weight loss challenge.

With a personal challenge, you get to choose your entry fee and dates. If you meet your goal, you’ll get the predetermined prize amount. If you don’t quite make it, HealthyWage will keep your money to pay future successful challenge winners. Check out the HealthyWage prize calculator to see how much you could win based on your weight loss goals.

Team challenges require five willing participants. You can either create your own team or be matched with one. The team that loses the greatest percentage of total weight wins the grand prize of $10,000.

For more details on how the weight loss challenges work, read our HealthyWage review.

28. Get Paid to Take Selfies

Pay Your Selfie is an app that pays you to take selfies, which makes it a perfect way to get free money for something you already do. Just download the app, create an account, and complete some selfie-related tasks.

For example, you can earn your first $1 with the app by taking a profile selfie and filling out some basic information. Other tasks include taking a picture with your best friend, showing off your meals, and recording holiday plans. Tasks pay anywhere from $0.20 to $1.50 each.

It can take 5 to 7 business days for your selfies to be approved. Once you reach $20 in rewards, you can cash out via PayPal.

29. Donate Your Plasma

Many people volunteer to give blood and platelets, myself included, but did you know that selling plasma is growing in popularity?

While it’s not technically donating since you are being paid, selling plasma is still a good deed that is always going to be in high demand. Many people make between $200-300 per month from this.

Here is an in-depth guide on selling plasma that has lots of helpful tips on how to prepare for your donation and where to donate.

30. Sell Your Junk Mail

Send your junk mail to the Small Business Knowledge Center and get paid for something you would otherwise throw away.

The SBKC collects email and direct mail related to insurance, investments, banking, credit cards, and more. Forward your emails and send your direct mail in a postage-paid envelope once a week to earn points towards Visa Debit cards.

Your personal information is kept 100% confidential. According to the website, frequent participants earn up to $20 in points every 6 to 10 weeks.

How to Get Free Money from Uncle Sam

Most of the time, we are used to paying the government via taxes. However, that’s not always the case. Here are a few ways that you get free money from the government.

31. Unclaimed.org

This is a website set up by the National Association of State Treasurers as a way to connect U.S. residents with “forgotten” money. Think of things like old security deposits on apartments and utilities, uncollected insurance reimbursements, account credits that were never used, that sort of thing.

32. MissingMoney.com

This is a similar site to unclaimed.org. MissingMoney.com works by “thoroughly searching all participating states to find your family’s missing, lost, and unclaimed property, money, and assets.” It doesn’t hurt to check.

33. Federal Pell Grant for Education

College doesn’t appear to be getting cheaper any time soon. If you need help paying for college, scholarships are one option. But did you know that there are many educational grants from the government as well? Unlike student loans, grant money doesn’t have to be repaid.

A Federal Pell Grant can offer as much as $6,195 (2019-20 school year) to students for each year that they qualify. Qualifications are based on income, cost of attendance, and other factors. You can learn more at the Federal Student Aid website.

34. Child Care and Development Fund

If you’re having a hard time covering child care expenses, there might be some government assistance available to you. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has a directory of state and local contacts you can check out to see about getting help with childcare costs.

35. Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program

According to the U.S. Department of Energy, the average U.S. family spends at least $2,200 per year on energy bills. Nearly half of that goes towards heating and cooling. Depending on where you live and your income level, the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP, for short) may be able to help you cover those costs.

How to Avoid Free Money Scams

While there are lots of legitimate opportunities to earn money for free, there’s also no shortage of scams.

Here are few things to look out for to make sure you aren’t falling for scams offering free cash:

  • Any legitimate free money opportunity will not ask you to pay any upfront fees.
  • Be careful with sharing your personal information. Don’t give your SSN to just anyone.
  • If you’re looking for government assistance, make sure the sites you’re visiting are trustworthy sources such as .gov and .edu domains.
  • If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Even the companies with sign-up bonuses are very transparent about the fact that the bonuses are meant to attract new users.

Opportunities to Get Free Money are All Around

You just have to know where to look and which options make the most sense for you. If you don’t normally shop online, then spending $25 on something you wouldn’t typically buy to get a $10 bonus probably isn’t your best option. You’re better off renting out your car or cashing in on savings account sign-up bonuses.

All “free money” opportunities require at least one of two things: time or money. Before you decide how to earn free money, choose which one you’re willing to give. Are you okay with spending money to make money? Do you prefer not to spend anything, but don’t mind investing some time?

Answering those questions will help you decide which opportunities are worth your effort and which ones you should avoid.


22 Best Money Making Apps for Your Smartphone or Mobile Device

Need some extra cash? In this article, we’re sharing the best money making apps to help cushion your wallet.

Do you spend a lot of time on your smartphone? I know I do. Seems like I’m not the only one.

For a lot of us, our phone is a permanent fixture in our hand or pocket, and whenever we have a moment of idle time, we check it for messages, emails, social media, or we’re sucked into a pointless game with endless levels.

In fact, according to a recent study from Britain’s Nottingham Trent University, the average young adult now spends nearly 5 hours a day on their phone.

Crazy, right?

What if, instead of wasting time on your iPhone, you could actually make some money instead?

As it turns out, there are a ton of money making apps out there that allow you to work online — more than you might expect. 

Whether it’s money deposited directly into your PayPal account, getting free gift cards to your favorite retailers, or cash back on all your purchases, companies are eager to get new app users — and they are willing to pay you! If you’re going to spend one-third of your waking hours on your phone each day, it can’t hurt to make a little extra money while you’re at it.

I recently decided to give a few of the most popular money making smartphone apps a try. I figured it was worth a shot, given my recent Candy Crush addiction. Something had to give!

Table of Contents

22 Best Money Making Apps for 2020

This list of best apps to make money using your phone is broken down into the following categories:

  1. Survey and Micro Task Apps
  2. Cash Back and Receipt Scanning Apps
  3. Apps That Pay You for Simple Tasks
  4. Best Apps for Selling Stuff

In the process of trying out these apps, I did come across a few duds that I decided to leave off the list. Choose from this list, and you won’t end up wasting even more time with the apps that are glitchy, hard to use, and under deliver.

This list has only the best apps for making money, both for Android and iPhone.

Note:  Some of these offers are only available in certain areas and on certain platforms. We just wanted to give you a heads up if you were wondering why you can’t install a certain app on your phone.

Survey and Micro Task Apps

1. Swagbucks – $10 Bonus

Without a doubt one of the best money making apps out there, Swagbucks allows you make money using your phone in 6 different ways. Plus you can get a free $10 just for signing up.

Swagbucks allows users to earn SB Points by watching videos, taking paid surveys, playing games, searching the web, or shopping online. You can then redeem your SB points for cash deposited directly in your PayPal account or by claiming gift cards to one of over 1500 retailers (like Walmart or Amazon).

The best part is that there is no limit to how much you can earn. You’re not going to replace your full time income from it, but if you use Yahoo! as your browser, play a few games and take a few surveys, there is no reason you can’t boost your income by at least $25-50 each month.

With an A+ rating with the BBB and over $166,000,000 paid to members to date, there is no reason not to try one of the highest paying apps out there.

2. InboxDollars – $5 Bonus

As the name suggests, InboxDollars will pay you for opening and skimming emails and answering simple surveys. There is also a $5 signup bonus.

InboxDollars works on a cash only system, so you don’t have to worry converting points to cash or only being compensated in gift cards. And according to their website, they have paid out over $57 million to users who have completed surveys over the years.

After my initial $5 bonus, I found that many of the surveys did not pay out a ton of money, which was a bit of a bummer.

Nonetheless, clicking around and answering questions can still net you a couple of bucks an hour, which is better than nothing.

3. MyPoints – $10 Bonus

Want $10 for a few minutes of your time? MyPoints is one of those money-making apps that bribes users to sign up by offering $10 Amazon gift card for new users. But that’s not where it ends.

By installing the app, and using on a regular basis, users accumulate points that they can exchange for cash, gift cards or physical gifts. Its basically a rewards program for your phone…and that is exactly how you should look at it.

These money making apps are not get rich quick schemes. Their purpose is to add a few bucks to your bottom line each month by doing things you’re already doing.

You can sign up here with your email address and then download the mobile app.

Related: 13 Best Places to Take Paid Online Surveys

4. Pinecone Research

The thing about many survey apps is, they can be a major time suck for almost no reward.

That’s why Pinecone Research is particularly attractive for survey takers. Each survey pays a flat $3, and they’ll often match you with surveys that match your interest and demographics.

Cash Back and Receipt Scanning Apps

5. Rakuten – $10 Bonus

You’ve probably heard of Rakuten (formerly Ebates) before for desktop, but they also have a mobile app

All you have to do is shop at the stores you love (either online or in person), and you get cash back on your purchases. If you take advantage of special events, holidays, and promotions, you can earn up to 12% back in some cases.

Better yet, they’re offering new users $10 just for signing up.

All you have to do is log in to the app and search the retailer you’d like to shop with. You’ll go directly to their e-commerce store and start collecting rewards automatically when you buy. You have the option of redeeming those rewards as cash, gift cards or a PayPal deposit. 

Cool thing is, this is on top of any discounts/coupon codes you already have.

6. Ibotta – $10 Bonus

Ibotta is yet another of the money making apps you’ll see on this list that revolves around cash back shopping.

But unlike some of the others, Ibotta has become immensely popular worldwide because it extends to grocery brands and it has an affiliate program that allows users to invite friends and make even more money.

You get $10 just for signing up, and similar to an app like Lucktastic, they pay you $5 more for each friend you refer.

Your earnings potential is unlimited. Not bad considering you’re helping your friends save money and handing them an extra ten bucks at the same time.

7. Dosh – $5 Bonus

Dosh is a smartphone app that gives you cash back every time you make a purchase at participating outlets using your credit card.

Not having to jump through hoops to earn cash back is probably the biggest perk of Dosh. For instance, I’ve been getting cash back from Exxon each time I fill up my gas tank and I didn’t even realize it until recently. The money just gets added to my Dosh account.

Just download the app, link your credit card (this is secure), then you’re off to the races. You can start shopping at participating merchants using your credit card and points will be added to your “Dosh Wallet” straight away.

Once your balance reaches a minimum of $25, you can cash out via Direct Deposit or PayPal.

8. Receipt Hog

This receipt app was the first one I tried, and still my favorite to this day. They don’t always accept new users, so check back regularly if you’re not able to sign up.

With this app, you can get credit for any receipt imaginable with the exception of restaurants and a handful of stores. However, you should still scan those receipts because you’ll be entered into monthly drawings.

Related: Top 10 Best Shopping Apps for Epic Savings in 2020

Passive Income Earning Apps

9. Acorns – $10 Bonus

If you want to start saving up for your future and investing for retirement, consider checking out Acorns.

This is a beginner-friendly investing app that can help you get started with investing using just your smartphone.

Better yet, Acorns is now offering a $10 signup bonus for new accounts opened.

After completing your account registration, Acorns will deposit $10 into your account to give your investments a head start.

10. Nielsen – $50 per Year

Have you heard of Nielsen ratings for TV shows? Well, it turns out that Nielsen collects data on a lot more than just TV. One area they’re really into is internet usage research.

What does that mean for you? It means Nielsen will pay you $50 a year to keep their app on your favorite internet browsing device. The app itself collects statistics on your internet usage anonymously, so you never have to worry about any data being linked to you.

The app takes up barely any space and doesn’t slow down your phone or tablet at all!

11. Stash

Stash is another investing app designed to make investing simple. For most people that’s a good thing. If you’re a seasoned investor you may find the app too simple for your taste (but that’s kind of the point).

Stash does most of the work for you. You pick what you are interested in (like tech, or clean energy, or retail stores) and Stash can provide a user with diversified portfolio options. From there you can setup the app to pull a few bucks a week from your bank account and can start to grow your investing principle.

If you’re interested in investing, but have no clue to start, try starting with as little as $5 and let Stash do the rest. Better yet, Stash will spot you $5 just to get started.

*DollarSprout is a paid Affiliate/ partner of Stash. Investment advisory services offered by Stash Investments LLC, an SEC registered investment adviser. This material has been distributed for informational and educational purposes only, and is not intended as investment, legal, accounting, or tax advice. Investing involves risk.

12. Slidejoy

Slidejoy belongs on this list because it is without a doubt one of the easiest money making apps out there. I am not saying this because its going to make you rich. It won’t. But it will make you a cool $5-15 per month according to the developers.

So how does this money making app work? Per Slidejoy:

Upon turning on your phone, you will view an aesthetically pleasing ad on your lockscreen. Then,

  • You will have a choice to ignore the ad by sliding right and unlocking your phone
  • You will also have a choice to engage with the ad by sliding left. Upon sliding left, the phone will unlock and you will be directed to a destination specified by the advertiser (YouTube, advertiser website, Google Play, coupon page, etc.)
  • To prevent bias, you will make an equal amount regardless of whether or not you engage with an ad
  • Over time, Slidejoy learns your ad preference based off of your behaviors during different times of day and curates a more relevant user experience
  • You can cash out your earnings via PayPal/several gift cards or choose to donate it to charity

As long as you can put up with your smartphone’s lock screen being trending news stories or ads (which disappear when you open your phone), you’re looking at $180 a year (or more). Slidejoy says that as the ads get more catered to your interests, the payouts actually go up. They don’t say by how much but getting up to $200 a year shouldn’t be too hard. Not bad for selling your phones lock screen to the highest bidder (literally).

Side Hustle Apps

These are some of my favorite apps on this list, simply because they require some hustle. If you are willing to put in some time, downloading these apps and doing the work can pay serious dividends.

13. Uber Eats

Tons of folks nowadays have started delivering food with Uber Eats because it’s is a flexible, easy way to earn money on your own schedule. You can deliver day or night, whenever it is convenient for you. If you are approved, you just sign onto the app, and you can start receiving delivery requests in your area.

With Uber Eats, you can choose how you deliver. Depending on your city, you may be able to deliver food with your car, bike, or scooter. Between deliveries, it’s just you, so you can turn up the music and cruise around town.

Once you finish a delivery you can take the next request, or sign off for a few hours or the rest of the day—it’s totally up to you how many deliveries you make. And just like other delivery gigs, at the end of each delivery, you’ll be eligible to receive a tip.

14. Instacart

Instacart is a simple app that pays you to deliver groceries to people who hate (or don’t have time for) grocery shopping.

As an Instacart “personal grocery shopper”, you are the one who is doing both the grocery shopping and the delivering (so be sure not smash anyone’s bananas).

Your rate of pay will depend on many different factors, such as the average size of your orders and average number of miles drives per trip. You can also get tips in addition to the pay that comes directly from Instacart.

Most people report an average earnings rate of about $15 per hour. If you desperately need cash, this is definitely something to consider.

15. HealthyWage

I haven’t tried the HealthyWage app yet (as I am scrawny and actually trying to gain muscle), but if you’ve got a few pounds to lose, why not get paid $10,000 to do it.

HealthyWage offers a variety of ways to earn money – you can take on a weight loss challenge all on your own or you can enter a team challenge and motivate each other to shed more lbs. Prize payouts are based on a % of body weight lost and if you can manage to shed 10% of your body weight, you’re free rolling the competition (at no financial risk to you).

This totally beats those at-work pools where people don’t pay up, or worse, the competition never gets started all together.  People are always looking to gym buddies to hold them accountable. But know what does an even better job? Your wallet.

16. Rover

Do you love dogs?

Rover is an up and coming app that connects dog walkers and sitters with dog owners. That means you now have the opportunity to hang out with pups, and make money using your phone in the process!
For pet sitters, typical rates charged on the site range from $25-$100 a night.

Pop-in visits for 30-minute walks fall in the $10-30 range. With a neighborhood route, that can add up quickly!

As the service is still relatively new, your area is likely not yet oversaturated with animal pros. Get started before everyone finds out about this awesome gig!

Related: 13 Apps That Pay You to Walk (By Tracking Your Steps)

17. Lyft

If you’ve got some free time and live in a reasonably busy area, becoming a Lyft driver can be a great money making side hustle.

And right now, they’ve got a promotion going on where any new driver will instantly get a $1000 bonus after completing their 125th ride.

If you start now and hustle hard on the weekends, you can probably unlock that bonus within a few weeks of driving (and that’s in addition to your normal earnings).

Get on it!!

Note: Bonuses are always subject to change, so be sure to check Lyft’s site for the most up-to-date information.

Apps to Sell Stuff

18. Airbnb

Airbnb is one of the best money making apps available. If you own a home, consider listing a room on Airbnb to make money from your space.  Hosting can help you pay off debt fast, save money for an awesome vacation, or even provide a full-time income.

Here’s how the Airbnb app works:

Create a listing by filling out a description, taking and uploading photos, and setting a price. Your listing helps guests get a sense of what your place is like.

Then, you set the availability and house rules for your listing. Once your listing is live, guests can book their stay at your home, and you start earning money.

To up the “trust” factor for both the host and the guests, Airbnb does require some verification information, including phone numbers. After a visit, everyone gets the chance to write a review. Reviews keep guest accountable for treating hosts and their homes with respect, and helps ensure hosts make their space as welcoming as possible.

Check out our complete guide to Airbnb hosting here.

19. BookScouter

Have a local book buy-back store that you frequently use? Stop. You’re basically at the mercy of that singular store and their willingness to offer you a decent price on your book. Why settle for a monopoly when you can let the free-market system work for you.

Let BookScouter compare book prices across 44 vendors and then choose the one that offers you the best price (much like Expedia does for flights and hotels). With no listing fees, free shipping, and the best price for your book, there is no reason to sell anywhere else.

If you’re a college student and the bookstore is no longer buying it back because it isn’t the latest and greatest edition still on the market, BookScouter is your best friend. Be smart, get the most back out of your education investment.

20. Decluttr

If you’ve got piles of used DVDs, CDs and Blu-rays or video games lying around your house, you can make a few dollars for each one with the Decluttr app. They also accept electronics like phones, tablets, and game consoles.

If you have a smartphone then all you have to do is scan the barcode on the item and Decluttr will give you an instant cash price for the item. No auctions or silly listing fees like the likes of eBay. Just instant hard cash for items you don’t plan on using again. Stop hoarding!

What I love about this app is how easy it is to use and get money back. All you do is scan the barcode of the item, and you’ll know instantly how much you can get for it. When you’ve got your haul ready to mail in for cash, they’ll send you a pre-paid box. Doesn’t get any easier than that!

21. OfferUp

OfferUp is one the most convenient and flexible selling apps I’ve ever used. You can list your items, just like Craigslist, but your buyers have profiles you can check out.

Plus, if you don’t want to meet up with strangers, you can opt to ship your items to them instead and get paid with PayPal.

With this option, you may be wondering if you could sell nationwide, and not just locally. The answer is “yes!” This new feature is a game-changer. In the past, I would list items, and then… crickets.

Then I’d get three or four people all in one day suddenly interested in my item. With the ability to sell to a larger audience, I’m able to get rid of my stuff so much faster!

22. Letgo

Think of Letgo as a cross between Craigslist and Pinterest. If you feel more comfortable selling your personal items in person rather than dealing with a stranger over the Internet this is the way to go. But unlike eBay or any of the other online market places out there, Letgo is totally free to use. They don’t charge a listing fee and they don’t take a cut of the final sale.

By selling on other platforms you often lose 10-20% of the final value of the item in fees. Not cool. But not with Letgo. If you’re looking to make a few bucks in the next couple days, this is one of the easiest ways to do it at almost no cost to you.

App Developers Are Constantly Looking for Ways to Reward Users

And that’s a wrap! Well not really, there are numerous other money making apps out there. If you’re a complete hustler you can make money with your phone in no time at all.

If you don’t mind getting the legwork out of the way and filling out a bunch of registration forms over the next hour, you can get started with many items on the list right now.

If one of these deals expires or you know of any other awesome money making apps that I somehow missed, give me a shout out in the comments below and I’ll be happy to amend the list!


14 Sneaky Ways to Get Free Gift Cards (Apple, Visa, & More)

Everyone loves free gift cards.

Getting a gift card is like being handed a guilt-free pass to spend on something you otherwise might not have purchased.

New clothes, books, video games, a massage — anything you wouldn’t normally buy is free game with a gift card.

But outside of birthdays and holidays, free gift cards don’t normally fall into your lap.

You either have to purchase them yourself or wait for those special occasions that only come once a year.

That is, unless you know where to look.

Table of Contents

Earn Free Gift Cards for Everyday Purchases

Many apps and services give away free gift cards when you shop through their website or app. Oftentimes, these companies receive a small commission on your purchase. That said, there’s no additional cost on your end, and you can get them without taking the surveys stores pester you to take at the bottom of your receipt.

1. Buy Groceries with Ibotta

If you like saving money with coupons but hate the idea of clipping them, carrying them around, and remembering to bring them with you, then the Ibotta app may be your perfect solution. Ibotta began as a cash-back app for grocery stores, but they’ve added other retailers like Target, Macy’s, and Walmart.

In the app, you’ll find offers for cash back on various products. Select the ones you want, then claim the offer by completing a simple task (read a short fact, answer a poll, etc.).

Purchase the item and upload your receipt to the app to redeem your cash-back offer. If you link your store loyalty card, then you can skip the receipt upload and get paid automatically within 48 hours of your shopping trip.

Once you reach $20 in your Ibotta account, you can cash out through PayPal or select free gift cards from major retailers like Lowes, Home Depot, iTunes, Starbucks, and dozens more.

Something unique about this app is that you can participate as part of a team. Build up your network and earn rewards faster together than you would as an individual. You can also earn rewards by referring friends and taking advantage of bonus offers in the app.

Earning Potential: 4.0/5.0 stars

Minimum to Cash Out: $20

Related: 10 Apps Like Ibotta That Pay You to Scan Receipts

2. Shop with Drop

Drop is another rewards app that’s 100% free to join and use. The iOS app currently has over 1 million downloads and 37,000 reviews averaging 4.5 stars. There are several ways to earn gift cards with Drop.

One option is to shop offers directly through the app. You can also link a credit or debit card and earn points automatically when you shop at your chosen retailers. If you like the app and share it with others, you’ll earn another 5,000 points for the first 10 friends you refer that link a card and confirm their email address.

It can take 5-8 days to see the rewards from purchases with your linked retailers and up to 60 days for in-app offers. Once you reach 5,000 points, equal to $5, you can redeem them for gift cards to Netflix, Starbucks, or other popular retailers.

Earning Potential: 4.5/5.0 stars

Minimum to Cash Out: $5


17 Genius Ways to Make Extra Money (Free Guide)



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3. Join Fetch Rewards

You don’t have to preselect your offers with Fetch Rewards. Just download the free app, shop as you normally would, then scan your receipts after.

Fetch Rewards partners with some of the biggest household brand names, including Pull-Ups, Dove, Lay’s, and dozens more. According to their site, “Every time you purchase one of these brands you are guaranteed to get points and save on your shopping trip.”

You can also earn points for referring friends and family. Every time someone signs up through your referral link, you’ll each receive 2,000 points when they submit their first receipt. There’s no limit to how many people you can refer.

You need at least 3,000 points to cash out for free gift cards to retailers such as Airbnb, Sephora, Best Buy, and Stitch Fix. However, some offers require a minimum of 5,000 points or more.

Earning Potential: 4.0/5.0 stars

Minimum to Cash Out: $3

4. Sign Up for a Rewards Credit Card

Credit cards aren’t for everyone. If you have a history of overspending or are trying to get out of debt, then this probably isn’t your best option.

However, if you don’t have credit card debt and trust yourself to only spend what you can pay off every month, then consider getting a rewards credit card. These cards typically pay 1-3% in cash back or travel points, depending on the card.

Some offer higher rewards for certain categories, such as groceries or travel, and there are many rewards credit cards with no annual fees. You’ll need to do some research to figure out which card makes the most sense for you.

Earning Potential: 4.5/5.0 stars

Minimum to Cash Out: Varies

How to Get Free Gift Cards without Spending Money

Shopping isn’t the only way to earn free gift cards. Here are a few options for earning rewards that don’t require you to spend money.

5. Use the Swagbucks Search Engine

Swagbucks is a free rewards site where users earn points for activities like taking surveys, shopping online, playing games, and searching the web.

When you make Swagbucks your default search engine, you earn points each time you browse. Swagbucks isn’t clear on exactly how many points each search is worth, but you’ll receive a notification each time they credit your account. You won’t earn free gift cards fast with this method, but the upside is that it requires very little effort.

Swagbucks also offers a $10 sign-up bonus for new members. You only need $3 to cash out for free gift card codes or $25 to exchange your points for PayPal cash.

Earning Potential: 2.5/5.0 stars

Minimum to Cash Out: $3

6. Scan Products with Shopkick

Shopkick offers several ways to earn free gift cards, three of which require no spending.

When you download the Shopkick app, you can earn points (called Kicks) just for walking into certain stores such as Target or CVS. Once you’re inside the store, earn additional Kicks by scanning products in the app. If you have kids in tow, you can turn it into a family scavenger hunt — keep them entertained while earning rewards in the process.

While you’re waiting in line to check out or find a few free minutes in your day, earn more Kicks for watching in-app videos. The exchange rate is roughly 250 Kicks per dollar. Choose from free gift cards to clothing retailers like American Eagle and Aerie or department stores such as Target or Walmart.

Earning Potential: 3.5/5.0 stars

Minimum to Cash Out: $20

7. Ask for Free Gift Cards Instead of Gifts

This method doesn’t involve any apps or technology, and it’s probably the fastest and easiest way to get free gift cards.

All you have to do is ask. When it’s gift-giving season or your birthday and people ask you what you want, tell them you’d like gift cards to your favorite store. Or, if you want the flexibility to spend your free gift card money in more than one place, ask for a Visa prepaid debit card.

Your friends and loved ones want to get you something that you genuinely want. Some people think gift cards are a cop-out. But in some cases, they actually make the perfect gift.

If you’re saving for a large purchase like a new MacBook Pro or home appliance, tell your friends and family how gift cards would help offset the expense. More than likely, they’ll be glad to help you reach your goal.

Earning Potential: 4.5/5.0 stars

Minimum to Cash Out: N/A

8. Use Instagram to Find Gift Card Giveaways

Companies are always giving away free stuff on Instagram. You can enter these giveaways and win free gift cards. The rules of the giveaways vary, but you’ll usually need to follow the account that posted the contest and like the image, comment, or tag someone.

The best way to find these opportunities is to search for hashtags like:


Instagram allows you to follow hashtags, which means you don’t have to manually search these terms every day. Instead, once you follow the hashtags, they’ll show up in your feed automatically. If you win any of these giveaways, the host should get in touch and let you know how to claim your prize.

Earning Potential: 4.5/5.0 stars

Minimum to Cash Out: N/A

9. Refer Friends to Services You Love

When we find something we really love, the first thing many of us want to do is share it with the people in our lives. In many cases, you can earn rewards and free gift cards for doing just that.

Banks, apps (Airbnb, Uber, Lyft, etc.), games, and retail websites are all good places to start. Check to see if any of your favorites have referral programs. If they do, grab your referral link or code and send it to people you think would also enjoy or benefit from using it.

Anyone you refer will likely need to complete a certain action, such as setting up direct deposit or booking their first ride or trip, before you receive your referral reward. Be sure to read the program details for each one so you know what to expect.

Earning Potential: 4.0/5.0 stars

Minimum to Cash Out: N/A

Get Free Gift Card Codes with Online Surveys

Taking paid online surveys won’t make you rich or even help you pay rent, but they’re an easy way to earn free gift cards without much effort. For the best use of your time, be sure to fill out your profile completely when you first sign up for each site.

That way you’ll receive the surveys most relevant to you and spend less time answering qualifying questions only to be told you’re not eligible for the study.

10. Swagbucks

Swagbucks offers more than one way to earn free gift cards. Making it your default search engine is the most passive option, but you can earn points (Swagbucks or SBs) faster by watching videos, shopping through their portal, or completing online surveys.

Swagbucks’ survey options include:

  • A daily poll
  • A daily survey
  • Everyday surveys

The daily poll and survey change each day. Daily polls are one question and worth 1 SB each. Most other surveys range between 1 to 300+ SBs. The more points a survey is worth, the more time it will likely take to complete. Conversion rates vary depending on the free gift card or reward you choose, but 1 SB is worth roughly $0.01.

Earning Potential: 4.0/5.0 stars

Minimum to Cash Out: $3

11. InboxDollars

InboxDollars is currently offering a $5 sign-up bonus for new members. The site is free to join and has a 4-star Trustpilot rating based on over 7,400 reviews.

According to InboxDollars’ site, most of their surveys take 3 to 25 minutes to complete and pay from $0.50 to $5 each. Occasionally you’ll find surveys for up to $20 if you match the demographic profile for that study.

Once you reach the minimum payout amount of $30, you can request payment via PayPal, a check in the mail, or free gift cards. You can also donate your earnings to the American Humane Society, Red Cross, or another charity of your choosing.

Earning Potential: 3.5/5.0 stars

Minimum to Cash Out: $30

12. Survey Junkie

Unlike some other survey sites that offer multiple ways to earn points for free gift cards, Survey Junkie focuses solely on paid online surveys. The biggest benefit of this for you as a user is a simple, easy-to-use platform.

When you sign in to Survey Junkie, you won’t be overwhelmed with options or find yourself watching multiple videos or playing games for a few cents each. Each available survey shows the payout and estimated completion time. After you complete the questionnaire, points will be credited to your account immediately.

You need at least 1,000 points, worth $10, to redeem your rewards. Choose a gift card, transfer your earnings to PayPal, or send cash straight to your bank account.

Earning Potential: 3.5/5.0 stars

Minimum to Cash Out: $10

13. MyPoints

MyPoints users can earn points for participating in online panels, completing surveys, and testing products from home. As a new user, you can claim a $10 sign-up bonus when you create your free account and make a purchase of $20 or more through their online shopping portal.

When you sign up for SurveyMail, MyPoints will send surveys straight to your inbox. You’ll earn points each time you click and complete a survey.

The number of points you can earn depends on the length of the survey, but they typically range from 50 to 600 points each. You’ll also earn five points for every 10 profile questions you answer and up to 750 for each friend you refer.

The lowest amount you need to cash out is 480 points, which will get you a $3 gift card. Redemption requirements vary depending on the retailer and free gift card value. For example, a $10 gift card from Retailer A might be 1,400 while a $10 gift card from Retailer B requires 1,580 points.

Earning Potential: 4.0/5.0 stars

Minimum to Cash Out: $3

14. PrizeRebel

According to its website, PrizeRebel has paid out over $19 million in prizes and free gift cards since its inception in 2007. There are currently over 500 gift cards and rewards to choose from.

As a PrizeRebel member, you can earn points for gift cards by taking surveys, watching videos, completing daily challenges, and signing up for offers with partner companies. Once you complete a task, points are instantly added to your account. Exchange your points for free gift cards to places like XBOX, Gap, Kroger, and iTunes.

You can also use your points to enter drawings for larger cash prizes.

Earning Potential: 4.0/5.0

Minimum to Cash Out: $2

Earn Gift Cards for the Things You Already Do

The best way to get free gift cards is to find a way to earn rewards for things you already do. For example, if you buy groceries or do at least some of your shopping online, then you could potentially benefit from apps like Ibotta, Drop, or Fetch Rewards without changing your spending habits.

If you don’t do much of the shopping for your household, then you may be better off earning free gift cards with online surveys, Shopkick, entering giveaways, referring others to your favorite products and services, or another method that doesn’t require you to spend money.

Regardless of your shopping habits, there’s likely a way for you to earn free gift cards in your spare time. You just have to try a few different options and find the methods that fit your lifestyle.