Treasure hunters would revel at the idea of getting free money. But is it really a thing? I mean, are there seriously companies out there that will just give money away because they are nice?
More on that in a minute…
16 ways to get cash:
- Take Online Surveys
- Earn points redeemable for gift cards.
- Score an easy $10 with Ebates.
- Sign up for a rewards credit card.
- Score a bank bonus.
- Provide valuable feedback in exchange for cash.
- Refer friends to NetSpend for $20 each.
- Rebates from local retailers.
- Rack up some Swagbucks.
- Earn a free $5 with Inbox Dollars.
- Invest money with Motif.
- Participate in more consumer research.
- Take an iPoll.
- Get $5 for installing an app.
- Trade your junk mail and get free money.
- Get Paid for Selfies.
We all need our savings account to much larger than they are. But with bills, credit card debt, and our careers, it feels almost impossible to increase our savings.
If you don't think it's possible to boost your savings, then you might be surprised to find out how easy it is to score a few extra bucks each month. And thanks to the internet, all it usually requires is filling out some paid surveys, playing around on the web, or signing up for a few specific offers.
Doing just a few of these things can easily add up to thousands of dollars in cash each year, so what are you waiting for?
16 Ways to Shower Yourself with Free Money
Want some free money of your own? Are you a college student looking for ways to make money while in school? Check out these 16+ companies that offer free money when you complete simple tasks in your spare time:
1. Give your opinions for money.
Online survey sites have become a top way for people to cash in doing something pretty mindless in their spare time. While there are a ton out there to choose from E-Survey Junkie has one of the longest histories and has a consistent record of paying their users.
Other reputable survey sites include:
Just sign up for any one of these free accounts and you’ll be on your way to scoring free money for your musings on everything from new products to advertising campaigns. Some, Pincone Research for example, will ship you products to try and then answer questions on them.
Payouts vary, but the points you earn can add up fast. You can even redeem your points through PayPal if you want, with a $10 redemptions starting at just 1,000 points.
2. Earn points redeemable for gift cards.
Ever heard of MyPoints? Simply put, it’s a website that offers points for nearly anything you can do online – from shopping to online surveys.
With MyPoints, the “points” you can redeem are good for cash back and a variety of gift cards to stores like Amazon.com, Best Buy, CVS Pharmacy, and even GameStop.
A gift certificate to Applebee’s, for example, starts at just 1,650 points. Paypal cash, on the other hand, starts at just 4,550 points.
To get started with MyPoints, all you have to do is sign up for a free account and use the site to shop online, take surveys, watch videos, or participate in fun, daily polls. It’s as simple as that.
3. Score an easy $10 with Ebates.
Simply open an account, spend $25 at an online store like Walmart.com, Kohls.com, Groupon.com, or Amazon.com, and the $10 bonus is yours for the taking.
And if you use Ebates for the long haul, you’ll earn even more. Just by clicking through the website when you shop online, you can earn up to 40 percent cash back at certain stores. Sounds pretty good, huh?
4. Sign up for a rewards credit card.
Rewards credit cards offer something for nothing if you are able to meet a small minimum spending requirement. This free cash usually comes in the form of a signup bonus, and can easily be worth hundreds.
Since a lot of rewards credit cards don’t even charge an annual fee, you can get this money for free provided you never pay interest on your purchases. Super cool, huh?
Check out these cards for the best deals at the moment:
- Chase Freedom® – Sweet $150 Bonus
- Chase Freedom Unlimited℠ Card – Sweet $150 Bonus
- Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card – $500 in Free Money
5. Score a bank bonus.
All kinds of banks offer a bonus if you are willing to put a certain amount of cash on deposit or sign up for direct deposit. From Chase to Huntington Bank and others, these bonuses can add up to some serious cash if you can meet their requirements!
My post on the best online checking accounts highlights some of the best deals in this space, but you can also check with local banks to see what they offer. Just make sure you read the fine print and watch out for any “gotchas” or requirements you don’t understand.
6. Provide valuable feedback in exchange for cash.
Here we are again – yet another company wants to pay for your opinion. Popular Harris Poll Online doles out cash to consumers willing to share their opinions, ideas, and feelings on a variety of matters from commercials to political campaigns. By signing up, you’ll be able to participate in many of these polls and get free money in the process. Does it get any better than that?
Your rewards will come in the form of “points” you can redeem for purchases made on websites like Amazon, iTunes, Home Depot, and Walmart. Or, you can turn them in for merchandise purchased directly from the Harris Poll website itself.
Whether you need extra cash for groceries, bills, or supplies for your home, this is one smart way to make it happen. Best of all, signing up is completely free!
7. Refer friends to NetSpend for $20 each.
Netspend prepaid cards offer an easy way to track your cash, but did you know you can get paid for having one and referring friends?
This part is easy. Simply sign up for a NetSpend card of your own, then activate it when it arrives in the mail. After that, you can refer your friends indefinitely and earn $20 a pop!
Each time a friend gets a card and loads it with $40, you’ll get $20. And each time they refer a friend who loads their new card with $40, they’ll get $20. And on and on it goes.
But it all starts with signing up, so make sure you sign up for NetSpend today.
8. Get Rebates at Local Retailers
The apps allow you to select coupons for things you are already buying and then upload your receipt for those coupons. You get the money back and all it took was a quick picture of your receipt.
If you are a Walmart shopper, then use the Savings Catcher on the Walmart app. When you are done with your purchase, scan your receipt and the app will go out over the next several days and search competitor pricing for your products. If they find that someone offered that item for less, you will get a rebate for the difference in the form of a Walmart gift card (redeemable directly from the app.
9. Rack up some Swagbucks.
Swagbucks are ridiculously fun and easy to earn. Believe it or not, this website will pay you free money to shop online, watch videos (or space out and pretend you’re watching) surf the internet, or answer survey questions. Have you ever heard of a part-time job that will pay you just to hang out?
Once you start earning Swagbucks, you’ll learn all the fun ways you can redeem them as well. For example, you can cash in your Swagbucks for a wide range of gift cards. Don’t like that option? Turn in your points for PayPal cash instead.
Signing up is free and you literally have nothing to lose, either. If you’re going to be on the internet, why not get paid?
10. Earn a free $5 with Inbox Dollars.
Inbox Dollars is yet another website intent on paying you for living and breathing. In all seriousness, the tasks Inbox Dollars pays for are crazy-easy. Simply surf the internet, use the website to play games, compete surveys or questionnaires, or print grocery coupons to score free cash!
It’s fairly easy to earn an extra $20 – $30 per month for regular use, plus you can get a free $5 just for signing up.
If you like to get free money, it’s hard to beat this offer.
11. Invest money with Motif.
Motif Investing makes it easy to build a portfolio with a wide range of underlying investments called Motifs. Best of all, you can get a free $100 just for opening an account and depositing $1,000!
My review of Motif Investing highlights exactly how this all works, but suffice it to say Motif Investing offers a smart way to invest your money in the long-term.
If you were thinking of joining already, you might as well earn an extra $100, right? Join today for a free $100 bonus, and you’ll be glad you did.
12. Participate in more consumer research.
Companies like Concepts Consumer Research will pay you to participate in any number of research studies. After signing up, you can receive anywhere from $20 to $1,000 for each evaluation you participate in. Now, how’s that for free money?
Since this firm asks you to evaluate products, you may be asked to try experiment with any product from shampoo to barbecue sauce. But if you’re honest – and if you meet each study’s requirements – you can get free money seriously fast.
Sign up today!
13. Take an iPoll.
Yes, iPoll is yet another company that offers cash in exchange for participating in a poll or product research. Once you sign up using any of your social media accounts, you can get paid for commenting on and evaluating the products you use and the places you visit every day.
In exchange for your efforts, you’ll get gift cards to popular retailers, free cash, and entries into a quarterly drawing for $10,000. What are you waiting for? Sign up today.
14. Get $5 for installing an app.
Smart Panel is a market research app aimed at gathering valuable insights from people who use their smartphones. To sign up, you’ll fill out a simple questionnaire to see if you qualify. Once you do, you’ll get a free five bucks just for installing the app on your phone.
For each month you keep the app installed, you’ll score another easy $5. Plus, you’re promised some kind of loyalty bonus every three months.
The only way to see if you’re eligible is to fill out their questionnaire. You can do so here.
15. Trade your junk mail and get free money.
While this might sound absolutely nuts, it’s absolutely true. A company called Small Business Knowledge Center will actually pay you to mail in your junk mail and forward them your spam email.
This might sound bonkers, but it works! According to the company’s website, the company uses information from our junk mail to help their clients develop and market their own products with a watchful eye on their competitor’s practices.
If you sign up and qualify, you’ll be rewarded for your junk mail with gift cards to some of your favorite stores. That’s a pretty sweet deal considering you were probably going to throw your junk mail straight in the trash, right?
16. Get Paid for Selfies
This is a funny one. Basically, a company called Pay Your Selfie will pay you to take pictures of yourself in various locations.
They use the information to help companies do marketing in different parts of the country based off of demographic data (age, gender, race, etc.)
The pictures are all very easy and your first $1 is just for taking a quick pick of yourself. There are always a good number of selfie tasks waiting and people are making a little side money just for taking a few pictures.
The Bottom Line
The internet offers a treasure trove of ways to get free money in a pinch. And most of the time, all you have to do to get started is sign up and complete mindless tasks like watching videos or answering survey questions.
The free money is out there for the taking; it’s up to you to get out there and seize it!