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How would you like to get some free gift cards? It probably sounds too good to be true, but there are lots of legitimate ways to do it. Plenty of companies are looking to pay people like you with gift cards to your favourite stores including major ones like Amazon, for sharing your opinion, using their app, or even just browsing the web.
If this sounds like something you might be interested in, keep reading to find out all the best ways you can start earning free gift cards today!
The Best Ways to Earn Free Gift Cards
Complete Paid Surveys
Paid surveys are typically conducted by market research companies which use data accumulated through user responses to improve their products, services, and marketing. This information is very valuable to the companies who seek it out, so they are willing to pay for it.
The platforms that provide these services are usually owned by consumer, marketing, and data analytics firms that have been hired by brands and manufacturers to collect data from consumers who are relevant to their product or brand.
These platforms provide you with access to an aggregate of user surveys and offer you the ability to turn the payments you receive directly into gift cards of your choosing.
Most paid user surveys will begin with a few short questions to determine if you are part of the consumer base that is relevant to their product or market. These questions may ask about your general demographics including age, gender, family status, and household income—as well as more targeted questions to discover if you have heard of the product, if you are already a customer, or if you are in the market for such a product.
After you have answered these introductory questions, you may be selected to proceed to the actual survey, or sent on to the next opportunity. You will not be provided any information about the product or its target market directly in order to keep your answers honest. Some companies will offer you a small amount of compensation for providing your demographic and basic market information even if you aren’t selected to move on to the survey.
These surveys are conducted completely anonymously, so you don’t have to worry about your privacy when sharing basic information. A market research survey will never ask you for your name or address.
We’ve collected some of the best platforms that provide paid user surveys below. These platforms have been vetted for quality and authenticity, so you can trust that you will be fairly compensated when you use them.
SwagBucks is one of the best sites if you’re looking to earn free gift cards, you’ll see it pop up in a few categories on this list as it offers users a variety of different ways to earn, with something guaranteed to suit everyone.
The company has paid out more than $300 million to its members since its launch in 2008 and allows users to trade the points they earn through the platform for gift cards to major retailers like Amazon, eBay, Starbucks, Sephora, Nordstrom, Target, Walmart, Best Buy, and many others.
On the paid survey side of things, they offer surveys covering a wide variety of topics including everything from the products you use in your home to the local radio stations you prefer, so you are sure to regularly find at least a few surveys that you qualify for.
InboxDollars is another site you’ll be seeing a lot of on this list. Like SwagBucks, you have a lot of different ways to earn on InboxDollars, including through paid surveys.
You can use InboxDollars worry free, the company has paid out over $57 million dollars to its users during its lifespan, making it a great place to turn your spare time into gift cards.
Survey Junkie is one of the largest paid survey platforms around, boasting more than 10 million users, so you don’t have to worry about getting paid.
Unlike lots of paid survey platforms, Survey Junkie saves you the time and effort of looking for relevant surveys by having you fill out a profile which is then used to match you to the surveys you are most likely to qualify for.
You only need to make $10 to withdraw your earnings from the platform, which you can do with cash, gift cards, and prepaid Visas.
Launched in 1996, MyPoints is one of the oldest and longest standing platforms that offer you cash for completing tasks, including completing surveys.
MyPoints has one of the lowest withdrawal thresholds, only requiring users to earn three dollars before they can cash out gift cards, travel rewards, or through direct Deposits to their PayPal account.
SurveyClub is a lot like the other paid survey sites on this list, with two major distinctions. First, you can sign up to get text notifications when new surveys become available. Second, every time you log on and complete a survey, you will be entered into a sweepstakes with a chance to win a substantial payout. These features definitely make SurveyClub worth a try.
Similar to InboxDollars and SwagBucks, LifePoints provides its users with a number of ways that they can earn points, which you can turn into cash by redeeming them for gift cards for some major retailers.
This platform has the usual paid surveys, but it also has a number of opportunities you won’t find elsewhere. Get paid for product testing, tracking your food and shopping habits, and completing short daily quizzes that reward you for regularly logging on.
Once you’ve started earning, you’ll be able to collect gift cards right away as LifePoints has an ultra-low minimum withdrawal threshold of 5,000 points or approximately $5, making this a great site if you are looking for a quick payout.
If you are looking to get the maximum value for your time, look no further than Springboard America. It offers some of the highest payouts available, with users reporting earning as much as $1 for a 5 minute survey.
There is a bit of a catch, the platform has far less surveys available than many others and they target niche demographics, so you’ll qualify for even less. Additionally, the minimum withdrawal is set pretty high at $50, so you won’t be able to collect until you’ve been using the platform for some time.
The best way to cash in is to sign up and fill out your user profile as thoroughly as possible so you are picked for as many surveys as you qualify for. Providing your age, gender, location, household income, and similar will help you cash in a lot more frequently.
When you do reach that $50 withdrawal minimum, you’ll be able to withdraw your funds as gift cards for a number of major retailers such as Amazon, and digital only platforms including the App Store and Google Play Store.
Vindale Research follows the usual set up, take surveys and get paid, but the surveys they send out are for companies you already know and love. Your opinion could have a real impact on the next generation of products you already use, plus they’ll give you $2 just for signing up.
Shop With Cash Back
Wouldn’t you love to be paid for the shopping you already do online? With these platforms you can earn money back on every purchase you make, with the amount you’ll receive determined by how much you spend. If you’re already a regular online shopper, this is an easy way to earn, and it can be pretty lucrative!
Companies that pay you to shop are usually affiliates of the shopping platforms you use, meaning they make a commission off every purchase made on a retailer through their platform—and with cashback shopping, you get a piece of the revenue your purchase generates.
Swagbucks makes the list again! It really is one of the most versatile platforms if you’re looking to make money or earn free gift cards online.
If you are interested in earning cashback with your online purchases, you’ve gotta sign up for Swagbucks. The platform has some of the highest cashback rates available and occasionally runs limited-time offers which can net you up to 20% cashback on your purchases. If that wasn’t enough, they also have ‘money maker’ deals where you actually get paid to shop.
If you are a regular Amazon user, or just like to shop online, you could already be earning free gift cards with your day to day purchases just by using SwagBucks.
Even if you haven’t heard of it, you probably already know Rakuten, it used to be known as Ebates. When you shop with Rakuten, you can earn up to 40% cash back on your purchases online, which is one of the highest returns by far.
Shopping and earning with Drop couldn’t be simpler. Complete the quick and easy sign-up process, link one or more of your credit cards or accounts, and shop! Any time you make a purchase with one of your linked payment methods at a participating retailer like Safeway, Trader Joe’s, Walmart, Costco, Whole Foods, and others, you’ll get paid for your purchases. After you’ve earned $5, you can cash out for free gift cards or other rewards.
With ShopKick you earn “Kicks”, their branded equivalent of points, for browsing shops online, visiting your favorite stores, and on any purchases you make. You also qualify for discounts and special offers at a huge number of retailers when shopping through or with the app.
The Kicks you earn can be traded in for free gift cards or directly for additional merchandise at all the places you love to shop, and you only need to earn $2 before you cash in!
Dosh is very similar to Drop, with a higher withdrawal minimum. Link your cards and shop at any of their thousands of top participating retailers and earn money back on every dollar you spend.
You can withdraw your money in cash or gift cards after you’ve earned $25 on the platform, which isn’t hard when you’re earning on every dollar spent at places like Walmart, Sam’s Club, Target, Walgreens, Forever 21, Sephora, and Pizza Hut.
BeFrugal offers its users as much as 40% cashback on all the purchases they make through their selection of over 5,000 qualified online retailers.
If that wasn’t enough to pique your interest, when you sign up with the platform you will also get coupons and deals delivered directly to your inbox to help you save even more, and you can still collect cashback on purchases made using the offers.
With its high cashback rates, comes a high minimum withdrawal of $25 which can be paid out in gift cards or as a direct deposit to your bank account.
Use a Credit Card With a Rewards Program
This is a method that must be used with caution but can provide good returns if used correctly.
First, if you don’t already have a card that offers a relevant rewards program, you can sign up for one, but don’t do so at the detriment of your credit score. If you aren’t in the market for a new card or can’t afford to take one on, don’t!
Second, don’t overspend. Rewards are a nice perk, but they won’t offset reckless spending. Don’t buy things you wouldn’t have otherwise just for the sake of earning rewards.
To maximize the benefit you receive from credit card reward programs, you should pay your balance off in full each month. Carrying a balance will result in interest charges and fees that will eat away at your bottom line.
Two of our favourite options for rewards cards are:
The Chase Freedom credit card makes you money right from the start, offering a $150 sign up bonus if you spend $500 within the first three months after opening the account. This is very easy to achieve, just buy your groceries or pay other expenses with your Freedom card and pay them off immediately.
On your regular spending, you can earn 5% cash back for purchases in specific categories that rotate every quarter. This is a great way to turn your regular spending into extra cash, especially since previous reward eligible categories include groceries, gas, and travel.
Chase offers you a few ways to redeem your rewards, one being gift cards for a number of major retailers, but you can also get paid out in cash or statement credits.
Chase Sapphire Preferred
If you tend to be a bigger spender, through personal or business expenses, you should consider the Chase Sapphire Preferred card.
The card has a considerably higher minimum spend on its introductory offer, requiring you to spend $4,000 within your first three months as a cardholder. With the $4000 minimum met, you will receive 60,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points, which have a value of 1 to 1.5 cents each, and can increase in value depending on how you redeem them. For example, if you put those points towards travel expenses you would receive approximately $750 in value.
In addition to the generous signup bonus, you will earn two points on every dollar spent on travel and dining expenses and one point per dollar on all other purchases.
You don’t have to sign up with Chase only to get a cash rewards credit card, just about every bank and credit provider has at least one on offer, but these two offer some of the highest reward rates available.
Scan Your Receipts
If you keep your receipts and don’t mind sharing them with a third party, this is another great way to earn some rewards.
The companies that offer payment for a copy of your receipts generally make money through referrals, meaning they receive payment for directing customers towards a specific brand or product.
There are also coupon apps that retroactively provide you discounts when you submit a copy of your receipt. Either way, you get paid and the process is fast and simple. If you can take a picture with your smartphone, you can earn rewards with your receipts, you don’t even need to make a purchase through the platform.
If you want to maximize your rebates, check out the platforms to scope out the best rates and keep an eye out for deals on purchases you were already planning to make. Don’t let a deal entice you to spend extra money on unnecessary purchases as this ruins the purpose of earning free gift cards.
If you haven’t already downloaded the Ibotta app, you are missing out. Available on iOS and Android, Ibotta pays you for something you are already doing each month, buying groceries.
Before you go to the store, simply load up the offers you want to cash in on, and shop! The app offers cashback on branded items in every category, including all the household staples like bread, eggs, and milk. The offers rotate, so you’re sure to find a discount on something you regularly shop for.
Even though it’s primarily billed as a grocery shopping app, Ibotta actually gives you cashback on apparel, cosmetics, and household purchases made either in-store or online.
When you’ve finished your shopping, simply submit a picture or screenshot of your receipt to get paid out for all the offers you collected within 48 hours. When you’re ready to withdraw, you have your choice of gift cards or cash through PayPal or Venmo. It couldn’t be any easier!
Even better, Ibotta is unique in the way that you can create a team and earn points as a household, so if you aren’t the only one who buys the groceries, you can still collect points on the purchases made by anyone on your team, so you can cash out even faster.
Other Ways to Earn
There are lots of less traditional ways to earn rewards and free gift cards, some only offer one time payouts while others are repeat but don’t bring in rewards quite as fast as the more lucrative methods mentioned above. Still, it never hurts to have multiple streams of income, and lots of these methods are so easy you won’t mind the slower rate of earning.
That’s right, you can even get paid for watching videos through SwagBucks. Of course, there is a slight catch, the videos are pre-selected, so you can’t just go on a YouTube binge and get a bunch of free gift cards.
But there are videos in a ton of categories including entertainment, home, games, and travel, so it shouldn’t be hard to find something that interests you! Between the movies and videos SwagBucks provides, you can earn $5 each day just by running the content in the background during your daily activities.
With MyPoints you can earn by watching videos through your desktop web browser or their custom video app. They don’t offer support for Safari yet, but all of the other major browsers are supported.
Depending on your dedication and the amount of free time you have, you could be bringing in as much as $225 per month just watching videos through InboxDollars. You only earn a cent or two for each video you watch, but bonus payouts are frequent through the “Spin to Win” tickets you earn while you watch.
Play Browser Games
Ever wish that you could get paid to play games? Here’s your chance! A number of the platforms that offer various ways to earn have a selection of browser games that you’ll get paid to play. The better your performance, the more points you earn. Interested? Check out the selection of games offered by Swagbucks, InboxDollars, and MyPoints.
Use An App
With the Lucktastic App, you can win between $1 and $10,000 every time you scratch one of their digital lottery tickets, with your earnings paid out in gift cards for top retailers including Amazon, Kohl’s, Sephora, Walmart, and many others. While you might not get the same satisfaction as you would from one of the scratch-offs you get at the gas station, you also don’t have any risk as all of the games are free to play, supported by advertising within the app.
Get Paid For Searching Online
Most of us already use a search engine at least a few times each day, so why not get paid for it?
Some market research companies provide their own custom search engines that track your searches and monitor how you interact with the results, which is something major companies like Google and Bing are already doing, so you might as well make money off sharing your data.
One important thing to note, you can’t game the system with a bunch of rapid fire nonsensical searches, these systems have a filter to detect organic search activity which is what they pay for. Most paid search engines also have daily income caps, so don’t plan on spending all day entering queries to make cash.
Would you believe that on top of everything else it offers, SwagBucks has its own search engine? Well, it does and they want to pay you for using it!
InboxDollars also has its own paid search engine. On your very first organic search, you’ll be paid one cent, and another cent for every two organic searches following to a minimum of 15 cents a day, or $50 per year. That’s not a bad payout for something you would be doing anyway!
Claim a Sign-Up Bonus
Lots of companies offer users a monetary bonus for simply signing up on the platform, no strings attached. This is a lot like how many online shopping platforms offer you a discount when you join their mailing list or make your first purchase.
Full disclaimer: some of these platforms have withdrawal minimums so you may need to actually use them for a bit after you sign up in order to get your bonus paid out, but if you’re already looking to earn free gift cards that shouldn’t be a problem. Plus, the payouts are pretty generous for simply creating an account!
After reading this list, you are sure to want to give SwagBucks a try. To make things even sweeter, the company gives you a $10 welcome bonus just for signing up!
Creating an account with SwagBucks is easy, all you need is your name and email address to start earning, and it’s just as easy to get paid. All you need to do is meet the minimum withdrawal amount of $25, which isn’t hard with all the ways to earn on the platform, and the signup bonus puts you almost halfway there.
Signing up with the Personal Capital budgeting and investments app is one of the easiest ways to earn a free gift card.
The company offers a generous $20 Amazon gift card when you sign up with their platform and link an investment account, and there’s no minimum on withdrawals so you can get paid immediately. It might be the easiest $20 you ever make.
InboxDollars gives you a lot of reasons to sign up with their seemingly endless ways to earn, but if you needed one more they also give you $5 when you create an account.
The platform has a minimum withdrawal limit of $30, so you’ll have to spend some time on it to take advantage of the signup bonus, but with so many ways to get paid, you are sure to reach the minimum in no time.
Sign up for Rakuten, make a purchase, and you’ll earn a $10 gift card right away through their welcome offer. The offer applies to any purchase of any cash value, so you can cash in on this with your regular shopping, no strings attached.
As if you needed another reason to grab the Ibotta app, they will give you $10 just for signing up, which puts you halfway to their $20 minimum withdrawal limit, so you can get your free gift cards even sooner.
Sign up for MyPoints and complete just five surveys to earn a $5 welcome bonus. While this might not be as easy to claim as some of the other sign up bonus mentioned, with MyPoints $3 minimum withdrawal you can collect your payment right away.
On top of its attractive cashback rates, generous coupons, and exclusive deals at more than 5000 leading retailers, BeFrugal also gives you a $10 starting bonus when you become a member with no minimum purchase required.
Use a Browser Extension
Honey is a browser extension available for Google Chrome that helps you save money on your everyday purchases by finding you all the best promo codes available online. In addition to saving you money, you can actually earn cashback through using the extension. Every purchase you make with Honey will earn you Honey Gold, which are the points you can exchange for gift cards.
When you make your first purchase with Honey you will receive a welcome bonus of $5 in Honey Gold, which puts you halfway to the minimum withdrawal of $10 or 1000 points.
Join the Nielsen Computer and Mobile Panel
By simply installing the Nielsen Computer and Mobile app on your phone, you can earn as much as $50 a year which can be cashed out in gift cards.
When you sign up you will be asked to fill out a short registration form with questions about your demographics, family and living situation, and the devices you use on a regular basis. After that, the app will collect data about how you use your device and your online activity. You don’t need to do anything, except check in occasionally to collect your payments.
Turn Your Clutter Into Gift Cards With The Amazon Trade-In Program
The Amazon Trade-In Program allows you to earn gift cards while decluttering your house. If you have old books, electronics, and other miscellaneous items lying around that you don’t use anymore, send them into Amazon and they’ll pay you with an Amazon Gift Card.
The company will let you know right away if the item you want to trade in is eligible, and you’ll get paid as soon as it’s received. This is a great way to make some quick money off your old phones, consoles, and textbooks which would otherwise just sit and collect dust.
Complete Simple Tasks Through Amazon’s MTurk
Amazon’s MTurk, short for Mechanical Turk, is a crowd-sourcing platform that allows you to earn money and gift cards through the completion of simple Human Intelligence Tasks, or HITs, such as identifying pictures, transcribing audio recordings, data entry, research, and taking surveys, among others.
Most of these tasks help Amazon improve it’s Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence technologies, used in things like automated CAPTCHA.
Like all of Amazon’s platforms, signing up is quick and easy, so you can start earning right away and the minimum withdrawal is $1.
This method is a little less reliable than the others on the list, as you are leaving your free gift cards up to chance instead of earning them in some way, but it requires so little effort that we have to recommend it anyway.
Instagram is a great place to get started with gift card giveaways as you can search for them directly using hashtags. Even better, the platform recently made it possible for you to follow hashtags, so you can curate a feed full of freebies, and get notified when a new one becomes available.
To get you started, here are a few hashtags we recommend:
As you can see, there are SO many ways to get free gift cards online, and it’s really easy to cash in. No matter what your interests are or what you’re saving up for, you are guaranteed to find something you’ll enjoy, and make money doing it! Plus, there’s no risk, so you might as well sign up, try a few platforms out, and earn some free gift cards. Happy earning!
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Founder of The Modest Wallet, Ricardo is an entrepreneur and investor who enjoys working out, spending time with his family and friends, travelling and creating great content. He’s passionate about helping others achieve their financial goals.