(Updated 11/22/17) Who doesn’t love free money? Bueller. Bueller. Yeah, that’s what I thought. Since this is something we all love, I figured it was time to research some fun and easy ways to score free cash. I came up with 10 different ways to get paid that involves 15 different websites. The one thing they all have in common is there pretty darn easy to use. I’ll be sure to add more resources as I discover them. Hope this helps you get some extra money in your pocket today.
While I realize some of these are “Spend money to get money” propositions, you might as well get some cash coming your way if you’ll be doing the spending anyways. This especially makes sense around the holidays as you finish those Christmas gift lists.
1. Get Cash Back When You Shop Online
If you’re not using a cashback site when you shop online you’re losing money. Here are my four favorites:
- TopCashBack: They’ve been around since 2005 and are becoming the gold-standard in cash back sites. High payout rates, strong customer service, and great freebie offers from stores like Walmart and Target. Also, from now through 10/16/17, you’ll get a $5 sign-up BONUS.
- BeFrugal: Very competitive cash back rates and they offer a $10 Bonus just for signing-up. The bonus is payable when you confirm your BeFrugal account and earn $10 or more in cashback.
- Ebates: They’ve been around forever, offer good cashback rates, but will only pay you quarterly.
- SwagBucks: Besides earning cashback on online shopping, they have a bunch of other ways to score free money. More on them later.
2. Buy Gift Cards for Less Than Face Value
A great way to score free money is to pay less than face value on gift cards.
Check out Raise.com as they have a zillion discounted gift cards for stores like Walmart, Amazon, Target, Best Buy, and hundreds of other retailers.
This tip especially make sense if you know you’ll be shopping at a particular store in the near future as you can buy a cheap gift card in advance.
3. Get Paid to Give Your Opinion
Taking online surveys is an easy way to make some money with very little work involved. Just give your opinion using these 2 reputable companies and you’ll score some extra cash quickly.
- Toluna: I use Toluna all the time to collect free Starbucks gift cards. You can also opt for cash instead of gift cards. I like to use their app to take surveys when I’m waiting for my kids to finish practice or get out of school.
- Global Test Market.com: Get paid to give your opinion via surveys. They select surveys that’re a good fit for you and they pay pretty darn well.
SwagBucks also offers surveys that pay. More on them below.
4. Sign-Up for Credit Card Bonuses
While the idea of credit card churning is not a new one, many folks simply don’t want to do it as it requires you to open and close various credit cards in order to get the “Sign-Up” bonus.
But…there are 2 cards that are worth your time and pay quite well.
- Chase Sapphire Preferred Visa: The card gives you 50,000 bonus points for signing-up. Just spend $4,000 within the first 3 months and get your 50,000 bonus points. That’s equivalent to $625 toward travel (or $500 cash) via Chase’s Ultimate Rewards program.
- Bank of America Cash Rewards Visa: Spend $500 during the first 90 days and you’ll score a free $150. The card also pays you 3% back on gas and 2% back at Costco and other grocery stores.
So both cards in total could net you $650 cash. I get nothing if you sign-up for these, strictly my opinion and personal experience that I recommend them.
5. Get Rebates on Grocery Store Shopping
The best part? They’ll even give you money back on stuff like milk, eggs, and produce. Regardless of what store you purchased them at or what brand they are.
Start using Ibotta regularly and the free money will start pouring in. You can redeem your balance at any time for gift cards to dozens of stores or for cash via PayPal.
6. Score $5 from Stash and Start Investing
Start investing with the Stash app with as little as $5 in your account.
That’s cool enough, but the really cool part is that Stash will give you a free $5 sign-up bonus for trying out their app.
The app is great for beginning investors as it takes into account your risk tolerance and experience level and guides you through the process.
You won’t be investing in risky stocks, but rather Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs) which work like index funds and typically have lower fees than mutual funds.
7. Snag a Free $20 from NetSpend
The NetSpend pre-paid Visa card will give you $20 free when you sign-up for their card.
All you gotta do is open an account, activate your card once you receive it, add at least $40 to it, and collect your free $20.
Took me about 10 minutes in total to get my free $20, not too shabby.
8. Check to See if the Government Owes You Money
The site Unclaimed.org is a great place to check if the federal government owes you any money.
You could have money coming back to you from the following: Unclaimed savings or checking accounts, stocks, uncashed dividends or payroll checks, refunds, trust distributions, insurance payments or refunds and life insurance policies, customer over-payments, mineral royalty payments, and contents of safe deposit boxes to name a few.
In 2015, over $3.2 billion in money was returned to its rightful owners in the United States.
Go check RIGHT NOW if you have any money coming back to you.
9. Get Your “Swag On” and Earn
I gotta admit, at first I wasn’t sold on SwagBucks but I’m starting to become a believer. Here are 3 ways you can earn with them.
- Get paid to watch videos: I wrote about how you can make over $2,000/year watching videos online via SwagBucks. Seriously, I did, go check it out.
- Get paid to shop: Gonna shop online? Do it through your SwagBucks account and earn cashback on all your future purchases.
- Get paid to play games: If you’re a gamer, you might as well get paid for your time and play some new games in the process.
Do you use SwagBucks? How do you earn your SBs?
10. Score a Free $5 from Amazon
If you’re an Amazon Prime member, here’s a WAY cool trick to score a free $5 from Amazon via their Reload Program.
It works like this: When you reload $100 or more onto an Amazon gift card, they’ll give you an extra $5 on the card.
I realize it’s only $5, but if you know you’ll be spending at least $100 with Amazon in the near future, you might as well take advantage.
This offer was a $10 bonus until recently, so keep an eye out for it going back to $10.
Ask the Reader: What tricks do you have to score free money? Let me know in the comments and I’ll check them out. If their indeed legit, I’ll add them to this article.
By Kyle James
Photo credit to Dustin Moore.
Disclaimer: In the interest of full disclosure, some of these sites pay me a referral fee if you click through and check them out. Money I use to keep the lights on around here and feed my Krispy Kreme addiction.