how to make free money online (for yourself and for charity!)
Who doesn’t love free money? If you aren’t participating in some of the rewards website and apps out there, you are seriously missing out. With little or no work, I earn hundreds of dollars in gift cards and cash every year. It’s not enough money to quit your day job, but it’s enough to pay for your latte habit or cover this year’s Christmas gifts.
I know this post sounds like the workings of some spam website, but smarmy headlines or not, I want you guys to get in on this. I’m not getting paid or comped from any of these companies to talk about them. That being said, most of these links below do contain referral codes, which means that I get some sort of credit for referring you to the site. If you’d prefer not to go through my referrals, that’s cool! I just want you guys to be making free money, too! So at the bottom of this post, I’ve included referral-free links for the sites. Feel free to use those links if you prefer. Whatever you do, just make sure you sign up and start earning yourself some free cash, k?
Swagbucks is hands-down my favorite way to earn free gift cards. Basically, with Swagbucks, you do a whole bunch of different tasks (as simple as just searching the web to as complicated as completing offers from sponsors) and for each task, you get rewarded with Swagbucks. Then, you trade in those Swagbucks for things in the Swagstore (DVDs, electronics, gift cards, etc.). My favorite thing in the Swagstore? $5 Amazon gift cards. I make about $800 a year from Swagbucks in Amazon gift cards. And those guys help pay for our Christmas gifts each year!
You can also choose to donate your Swagbucks to various charity drives that they offer. Right now, Swagbucks is collecting for Boston Marathon victims, Doctors Without Borders and the U.S. Humane Society. They always have great charity drives going on, and I try to donate a few of my bucks to the causes every time I get a new gift card.
Oh! And my friends at Swagbucks have given you all a referral code that puts 70 extra Swagbucks in your account! When you sign up on the homepage, click the “I have a sign up code” link and enter the code BACK2ROOTS70.
If you shop online and aren’t using Ebates, you missing out on quite possibly the easiest way to make extra cash online. All you have to do? Click a button before you checkout at an online store. Say, for example, you need to order some new workout pants from Under Armour. You go to Ebates, search for Under Armour and then click the big button that says “Shop Now”. That’s it. You are then redirected to the Under Armour website and you can start shopping. That’s all you have to do! After your order goes through, you’ll get 6% of your order total deposited into your Ebates account, and then, you get a payment deposited into your PayPal account from Ebates every three months. Almost all stores online are on Ebates and some of them have cash back percentages as high as 25%! If you shop online a lot, Ebates is a must. I made about $200 in cash back last year, just from clicking a button!
If you’re a TV fan, Viggle is the app for you. It’s available on iPhone and Android, and after downloading, you can “check in” to live TV. It works by listening to your TV and identifying the show you are watching. You get Viggle points for watching (and bonus points for watching certain special events). You can then redeem the points for gift cards, movie tickets, magazine subscriptions, and more. We like to use our Viggle points for free Redbox rentals or CVS gift cards. We don’t watch a ton of live TV (only sports really), so we don’t earn points as quickly as you could, but we manage to get a few free Redbox rentals a month.
I’m new to shopkick, but what I’ve seen so far is that it’s a great way to earn free stuff just for being out and about at stores. It’s an app for iPhone and Android that earns you rewards for shopping. You check-in to stores and get “kicks” and then you can also go on scanning scavenger hunts, earn kicks for buying certain items, and sync your debit card to earn even more. Just like other sites, you then redeem those kicks for gift cards for everything from Target to Tiffany! Because I live so far away from many of the stores in the app, I don’t earn points quickly, but if you’re a frequenter of Target, Kohls, or other similar stores, you’ll earn gift cards lightning fast!
If you have a charitable streak, GoodSearch is for you! It’s basically like Swagbucks, but all the money goes to a charity you choose. You can search, watch videos and play games, and all of your reward points go to helping out a charity. There are over 100,000 charities in the database, so you can go big or you can go small and local (I donate my GoodSearch money to our county’s humane society).
This is in no way a comprehensive list of all the apps and websites that let you earn rewards, but these are my favorites. Go forth and earn some free cash!