Money does not grow on trees, but what if you could get the next best thing to money? Gift cards are the closest alternative to cash, other than a check. They are convenient, versatile, and easy to earn. By doing what you are doing, you can get free gift cards.
Do you want to earn money using your smartphone during your free time? According to a recent survey, nearly half of us spend five to six hours daily on our phones unrelated to work usage.
Undoubtedly, you have been hit with the highest inflation in 40 years, paying more for groceries, gas, rent, and eating out than you can recall. The Federal Reserve uses its tools to slow down the economy by raising interest rates, but it will take time for them to stabilize prices.
Saving money can only do so much, but you can earn free gift cards in simple ways we will share below. With the holidays coming, the extra money would be helpful right about now. We put together a list of apps and websites that give you free gift cards:
- Online surveys
- Watch videos
- Play Games
- Use cash back shopping
- Doing healthy activities
- Perform tasks
Many apps are easy to use to earn anywhere from pocket change to something more meaningful through engaging in activities. Try them out and have some fun making money. Remember that under federal law, gift cards generally must be good for at least five years.
Once you accumulate your gift cards, you can either use them or sell them for cash if you decide you aren’t going to make use of them.
36 Easy Ways To Get Free Gift Cards And Earn Money
Some apps may have a variety of ways to pay for specific tasks like watching videos, playing featured games, reading emails, and doing quizzes, as well as paid online surveys. It depends on your time, energy, interest, and research into these apps.
Swagbucks provides several ways to get free money through SB points that convert (i.e., 100 SB points equals a dollar) into cash and popular gift cards from popular retailers and companies. It is worth taking a closer view of Swagbucks. You can earn a $10 bonus just for creating an account and participating in the various activities:
- Online surveys on numerous topics like lifestyle and personal finance.
- Shop online with coupons.
- Search Swagbuck’s search engine.
- Scan receipts for cash-back rewards.
- Find exclusive deals.
- Watch videos.
- Redeem Swag codes.
- Enter Swagstakes for higher points.
- Play games from Swagbuck’s library.
- Get cash back from PayPal credits.
InboxDollars pays cash rewards to users doing everyday online activities. They are similar to Swagbucks but pay a $5 bonus to create an account.
As a member, you can earn points and gift cards from over 200 popular retailers, including Target, or cash by taking online surveys, reading emails, clipping coupons at popular retailers, playing games, watching videos, and watching TV. They have ongoing promos and contests and give out samples to their members.
In addition to Target gift cards, members can earn free PayPal, prepaid Visa credit cards, cash (checks), gift cards from Amazon, and other top merchants like iTunes, Apple, Nordstrom, Xbox, Safeway, eBay, and many more.
Additionally, members can sign up for MobileXpressions, a market research community dedicated to the mobile internet, and get paid by InboxDollars.
3. Harris Poll Online
Harris Poll Online is a well-regarded market research company that has been around since 1975. They conduct national and international surveys for governments, corporations, and non-government organizations. Upon creating an account, users provide their background so that Harris Poll Online can match them to particular surveys.
The surveys typically take less than 30 minutes, and you earn points that you can redeem for gift cards from brands like Amazon, iTunes, or Starbucks. You’ll start to earn gift cards with a minimum cash out beginning at 1250 points.
4. Pinecone Research
Pinecone Research is another trusted leader in voicing the opinions of consumers in the US and seeing their participants as influencers. They match people with qualified surveys. Once you sign up, you will get study notifications and collect redeemable points. You can convert your points for cash, gift cards, or prizes.
They are one of the highest-paying survey sites, paying about $3 per survey. Reward points may go to cash or popular gift cards. As you stay longer on their site, you may begin product testing.
5. National Consumer Panel (NCP)
Create a free account on National Consumer Panel, and on becoming a panelist, you’ll share your shopping experiences and opinions through your mobile app to help manufacturers and retailers decide what products to develop and improve.
Panelists earn redeemable rewards points towards popular gift cards like Amazon, iTunes, and Google Pay. NCP collects data through online surveys matching their clients with panelists based on their shopping and household demographics.
The longer panelists stay on NCP, the greater the rewards, including bonus points and access to participate in NCP sweepstakes to get cash and merchandise from the NCP catalog.
6. Branded Surveys
Branded Surveys is a market research firm for various companies with over two million members as part of its community. You’ll get a $1 bonus for becoming a member. They will ask you to fill out a profile to help you get more qualified surveys and profile questionnaires and participate in daily polls. You can get into the Branded Elite program with great point perks as you progress to higher levels.
Deposit your cash into PayPal or Branded Pay account, or convert points into gift cards with popular stores and restaurants in the US. The more surveys you do, the higher the points. You can accumulate more points by referring friends to join Branded Surveys. Members can redeem points for cash or gift card rewards.
7. Survey Junkie
You will fill out a survey for Survey Junkie, providing information about your background and interests so they can better match you with the respective surveys. Those who sign up can earn up to $50 per survey in cash or redeem gift cards in set amounts (e.g., 10,15, 20+). Once you have a minimum of 500 points, you can redeem rewards in cash, PayPal, popular gift cards, or direct deposit to your bank. Gift card redemptions may require speaking to a customer support professional.
There are two ways you can participate in Survey Junkie’s communities, SJ Opinion or SJ Pulse. At SJ Opinion, you will answer survey questions online, while SJ Pulse is about attitudinal research and looking for answers related to the participants’ behavior. Those who do the surveys can stop anytime, but you must complete the survey for cash rewards. The company doesn’t distribute points.
Join one of the largest influencer communities in the world. Upon signing up for their app, you’ll get ten LifePoints and become a member of LifePoints Panel. They will ask you to fill out a profile giving your background, interests, and lifestyle characteristics. Once completing the onboarding, you will receive surveys on various general topics and favored brands in your emails.
Each survey should take about 10-20 minutes, and you earn redeemable points towards e-gift cards and PayPal credit.
Once you are a member of MyPoints, you’ll earn points convertible to gift cards for completed tasks. By shopping at your favorite places, you’ll get up to 40% back with each purchase, receive promo codes and coupons at over 2,000 top retailers, and earn points for every dollar you spend
10. Opinion Outpost
There are more than two million earners on Opinion Outpost, offering their opinions in various ways:
- Product testing
- Advert reviews of the ad before the launch
- Write a diary tracking your lifestyle habits.
- Focus groups
- Location-based services
- Ad video-baed surveys
Opinion Outpost rewards users with Opinion Points, averaging ten points per survey but could go as high as 250 points depending on your participation and survey completion. These points are redeemable for cash, PayPal points, a Virtual VISA Prepaid card, or popular gift cards from Target, Domino’s, CVS Pharmacy, The Home Depot, Apple, and more
11. Survey On The Go
This app will help you earn cash (not points), PayPal, or a Visa gift card for answering surveys on exciting topics like entertainment in your spare time. Once you download the app, you’ll make your first buck on your PayPal account.
12. Survey Premium
Survey Premium offers survey participants a variety of rewards, including a $25 restaurant gift card determined by their advertising partners. You need to complete the answers within a specific timeframe, and it may take six weeks to get your reward depending on the advertiser.
13. Prize Rebel
Prize Rebel has over 12 million registered users and has connected market researchers with opinion-takers since 2007. You earn and redeem points by completing short surveys for rewards, including PayPal cash or various gift cards from Amazon, Walmart, Visa, Roblox, or PlayStation.
The distinguishing feature of Qmee is that its rewards are cash-oriented and paid to your PayPal account in real time without minimum requirements. You’ll earn rewards for completing surveys, engaging, and purchasing deals from various brands. From time to time, they may provide participants with the option of gift cards.
Like many apps, iRazoo, backed by companies and big brands, encourages members to sign up for cash and reward points in return for their opinions and activities. iRazoo pays in cash and points for gift cards from all major brands.
Among those tasks that members will earn iRazoo points are:
- Online surveys
- Play games like solitaire, bridge, and crossword puzzles
- Watch videos or iRazoo TV
- Online offers to complete.
- Downloading apps such as the newest games
Apps That Earn Gift Cards To Play Games
Mistplay is a social experience app for Android users only. The app encourages your loyalty to play games for reward points. There is a game library for you to find your favorite games like Words With Friends 2 or Konami Slots, play with friends, or meet new people.
Mistplay says they have paid over $120 million in cash and rewards, validating their popularity. You will earn units by choosing among games to redeem your units for cash and gift cards from Amazon, Google Play, and PayPal. Each month they have new contests, and you can compete for the grand prize.
Cash Back Shopping Apps To Earn Gift Cards
Ibotta is a popular app that has broadened its appeal, supporting over 2,000 retailers, food delivery services, travel sites, and more. Users on the Ibotta platform can get gift cards or cash back by shopping online, in-store, or using their phones by submitting their receipts. It is also an excellent way to track your spending.
Instacart is already a popular grocery shopping app. You can earn money working for Instacart in your free time by shopping for groceries at a local store. You can also deliver groceries to people’s homes and get paid even more if you have a car.
19. Capital One Shopping
Capital One Shopping is a free browser extension (not an app) that opens up opportunities for saving money on trending product deals. It is an excellent way to compare prices and apply coupon codes that the browser helps you find. You can earn shopping credits to exchange gift cards from preferred vendors like Target. You don’t need a Capital One credit card to participate on its site.
The popular Paribus app is now part of Capital One Shopping, and you can link the two accounts. Paribus has a free tool that instantly checks for coupons, better prices, and rewards.
20. NCP Mobile
NCPMobile is the exclusive grocery shopping app of the National Consumer Panel (we review under surveys) that lets you earn gift cards and other shopping rewards for telling them about the items you purchase.
Besides shopping, you can earn rewards for taking surveys, scanning receipts, and playing games. You’ll scan the UPC barcodes of the items you buy or share your thoughts about non-barcoded things on all your purchases, from gas to prescriptions. You’ll earn reward points to redeem gift cards and other rewards.
The Shopkick app can get reward points called kicks by scanning participating product bar codes from top retailers and major brands when shopping in the stores or online. These kicks are redeemable for popular gift cards, including Amazon, Starbucks, Target, Ulta Beauty, and PayPal. You earn kicks without spending money, although rewards will be higher when you make purchases.
22. Fetch Rewards
Fetch Rewards is another top rewards app for over 13 million active users who are part of the Fetch platform. Users can shop at virtually any retailer or popular restaurant. Participants can earn points by submitting receipts and making more points by buying partner products. They can redeem points for gift cards or charities at their option.
23. Rakuten (formerly Ebates)
You will receive a $10 Welcome cash bonus for free joining Rakuten. Since 1999, Rakuten has paid over $2.2 billion in cash back to over 3,500 retailers that provide discounts. You can exchange your money back for many gift cards of virtually every brand. You can access Rakuten through its website, an app, or a chrome extension.
The average member got cash of $63.50 in 2020. You will receive your money via a check or through PayPal.
TopCashBack is like Rakuten. TopCashBack offers its users 100% of its commissions, ensuring its cashback rates. It is free for users to register, but you won’t get a cash bonus. You are opening the door to over 4,000 online top brands and retailers, offering a brand extension to get more deals and cash back. Members earn an average of $400 cash back and get paid as they prefer: directly to their bank account, PayPal, or gift cards.
They even have a “Highest Cashback Guarantee,” so they will match higher cashback from another site.
25. Be Frugal
You will receive a $10 welcome bonus when you open an account, its mobile app, or browser extension. Be Frugal features over 5,000 retailers where you can earn cash back whenever you purchase by shopping online for deals. Then you can request your cash from your Be Frugal account via direct deposit, check, PayPal, Venmo, Zelle, or gift cards.
Fluz provides up to 35% cash back for shopping at your favorite stores through their free app or by taking photos and scanning the QR codes. There are several ways to earn money, coupons or gift cards. Some participants claim they make over a thousand dollars a month. App users get through PayPal or credit card points.
27. Receipt Hog
Like Fluz, Receipt Hog turns your receipts into cash and gift cards. The more receipts you upload, the more coins you’ll earn; the more coins you make, the more rewards you’ll get! It’s a top-rated app, so expect to end up on a waitlist for a few days. But once you’re in, it’s easy to earn coins by making regular purchases!
The GetUpside app enables you to earn cash when you spend money at gas stations, grocery stores, and restaurants that offer deals using your debit or credit card rewards. You’ll be able to maximize existing card rewards to maximize your savings and loyalty benefits. You can direct your cash to your bank, PayPal, or gift card.
GetUpsiders can earn up to:
- $0.25 per gallon at the gas station, stackable with their first offer of up to $0.45 in savings.
- 45% at their restaurant partners.
- 30% at its groceries.
GetUpside provides more ways to earn bonuses when you become a referral of the company’s app to family and friends.
Healthy Activity Apps For Gift Cards
Evidation pioneered person-generated health data to drive healthy outcomes through research. According to the company, the Evidation app has paid out over $7 million in rewards to over four million members for doing healthy activities.
Participants earn $10 for every 10,000 points earned in several ways, including tracking steps, logging food and sleep, answering surveys, and partnering in health programs. You can redeem your points as a PayPal deposit, charity donation, or gift card from Amazon or Walmart.
The Sweatcoin app pays you for walking steps. They convert into their currency with 1,000 steps equating to 0.95 sweatcoins. You earn money by inviting friends and gaining daily rewards. Use these rewards for restaurant discounts, vacation vouchers, and more significant prizes.
For those inspired to walk a healthy amount of 5,000 to 10,000 steps per day, this app is for you. They charge a 5% commission per sweatcoin created. The company partners with governments, brands, and insurance companies interested in healthcare. They have a 250K step challenge awarding 25 sweatcoins with a chance to get a $250 Nike gift card. Participants can earn cash, gift cards, discounts, or PayPal.
Apps That Make Money For Performing Tasks
You can collect cash, redeemable coins, gift cards, and rewards by helping big brands improve service by answering surveys, taking smartphone photos, and doing other location-based tasks. Additionally, you can get cash rewards, including a Visa Virtual credit card, Mastercard credit card, and PayPal.
If you like downloading apps, try the Whaff rewards app and earn some pocket change paid out with cash or gift cards from Amazon, Google Play, Facebook, and PlayStation. They will pay users cash in three ways: installing apps, keeping them on their devices, and playing them. You can pick the apps you want to work with from Whaff’s list.
Do you like to shop or dine in restaurants? Companies will hire mystery shoppers (secret shoppers) to buy retail items, eat at restaurants and get information about their customer service. These companies engage these shoppers to collect valuable data to measure sales and service quality and understand the market, including its competitors.
Shoppers earn fees and incentives for their assignments and reimbursements for their spending. Mystery Shoppers are employees who uphold sales and service excellence and receive gift cards as rewards.
34. Nielsen Computer and Mobile Panel
Nielsen is probably a familiar name that has tracked TV ratings for over 70 years. By signing up and letting them access your computers, smartphones, and tablets for Nielsen Research, they will analyze your consumer behavior, and in turn, you can earn up to $50 in points redeemable for gift cards.
35. Media Insiders Panel
Like Nielsen, the app will track your activities on your TV and social and consumer outlets. For those insights, they will pay you $15 per month per device for up to three devices, or $45 per month, plus a $5 bonus about three months later. You can redeem cash rewards for gift cards from popular retailers or PayPal.
36. Mobile Xpression
This app wants to install its software on your mobile device in exchange for earned credits you can redeem for gift cards. Mobile Xpression has given its members over $5 million in eGift cards.
Who wouldn’t want to earn more money with the holidays coming and high inflation? Find various ways to get free gift cards to put some cash back into your wallet during challenging times.
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With a passion for investing and personal finance, I began The Cents of Money to help and teach others. My experience as an equity analyst, professor, and mom provide me with unique insights about money and wealth creation and a desire to share with you.