Are you ready to make some free money? If you’re in need of money today, are trying to pay off debt or are just a college student looking for ways to get free money, this post is for you.
Thanks to the internet and smartphones, if you have a little bit of time, there are plenty of legitimate ways to get free money.
Table of Contents
- How to Get Free Money
- 1. Get Paid to Take Surveys
- 2. Sell Data From Your Smartphone
- 3. Use Rakuten For Easy Money
- 4. Use Trim to Save on Each Month
- 5. Sign Up as a New Lyft Driver
- 6. Rent A Room or Home
- 7. Get Money for Taking Selfies
- 8. Get a Rewards Credit Card
- 9. Rent Out Your Car
- 10. Refinance Student Loans
- 11. Open a New Bank Account
- 12. Open an Internet Savings Account
- 13. Donate Plasma
- 14. Sell Old Clothes
- 15. Invest With Motif
- 16. Sell Old Textbooks
- 17. Download the Nielsen App
- Get Paid for Online Tasks
How to Get Free Money
Learn about these methods that will hook you up with cash or gift cards.
1. Get Paid to Take Surveys
There is no shortage of people who want to hear from you online. And let’s face it, some people love sharing their opinion, probably way too much (thanks, Twitter). Might as well get paid for it, right?
There are many places to take surveys for money.
One company to consider is Survey Junkie a top survey company with a high Trustpilot score of 4.5 out of 5.
This isn’t the most lucrative experience on the list but it can be done pretty easily while sitting on your couch watching Netflix.
2. Sell Data From Your Smartphone
Thanks to apps, you can get paid for the smallest things in today’s world. Smart Panel will pay you just to install its app.
Verto Analytics, the company that owns Smart Panel, is a market research firm that gathers insights from people about smartphone usage. It sells this data to companies who use it to improve their websites, apps and other technology.
All you need to do is go to the website and see if you qualify as a participant. As soon as you download the Smart Panel app you’ll get the easiest $5 ever! Each month you decide to keep the app installed you’ll make another $5.
Start by filling out a questionnaire to make sure you are eligible to use this method to get some free cash.
3. Use Rakuten For Easy Money
Rakuten is one of the most popular ways to get free money. It is an awesome site for earning cash back on shopping you do. Plus, when you sign up, you receive a $10 welcome bonus on the first $25 you spend.
And spending $25 through Rakuten is easy. All you need to do is go to the Rakuten website and click through to the online retailer where you want to shop. There are hundreds of retailers in the program, including Kohls, Macy’s, Groupon, Walmart and other stores where you’re probably already shopping regularly. Once you spend the $25, they’ll send you your $10.
If you shop online regularly, then you can continue to make money with Rakuten. Make sure you keep clicking through the Rakuten website when visiting your online retailers. You’ll earn up to 14% cash back on your purchases.
You can earn cash back for shopping in-store at a select group of stores, too. Nothing like getting rewarded to shop at places you spend money at anyway, right?
4. Use Trim to Save on Each Month
Does it feel like you’re wasting money on subscriptions each month? Canceling subscriptions is an easy way to shrink your budget and get extra cash in your hand. But so few people actually do it. Why is that?
Let’s face it, calling your cable provider is a pain. You have to sit on hold and talk to several people, maybe even speak with a manager. If you’re busy, you may simply not have the time to do it. Or, you may just think it’s not worth the time and effort.
It doesn’t have to be that way, thanks to Trim. Trim can make that cancellation call for you, and so much more.
While Trim doesn’t give you free money, it does help you effortlessly cut back and save money. Trim is a free tool that looks through your spending habits and finds ways to trim them. It can help reduce your cable bills, find useless subscriptions, and even find cheaper car insurance options.
To figure out whether it’s for you, read our full review of Trim here.
5. Sign Up as a New Lyft Driver
If you haven’t noticed from the insane amount of ads online, ridesharing is uber competitive (get it, because of Uber?). Seriously though, Lyft is making a huge push to get more drivers. There is a big bonus to sign up with Lyft over Uber if you want to start driving for a side hustle.
At the time of this post, Lyft is guaranteeing $1,000 of earnings for all new drivers in the first month!
Driving for Lyft and Uber are great side hustles, as you get paid weekly, make your own schedule, and can work as little or as much as you want. Plus, you might meet some cool people along the way.
You may want to stick to earlier hours for safety and to encounter fewer intoxicated customers. Get started with Lyft today!
6. Rent A Room or Home
Airbnb is a great way to get free money from your house. If you are okay with people sleeping over, you can rent out a spare room for a steady revenue stream. You can rent out the entire house as well if you’re going on an extended vacation or have a rental property.
Just be sure to check your local city ordinances. Some cities have begun putting restrictions on short-term rentals.
For more information, check out our post on how to make money with Airbnb.
7. Get Money for Taking Selfies
Yes, it’s true, you can now get money for taking selfies. If you’re like most people, you’re already taking them.
Now, a company called Pay Your Selfie will give you money to take pictures of yourself with different products that you use or clothing that you wear.
Don’t worry, they won’t use your pic for some internet smear campaign. Instead, they use it to help companies run marketing campaigns. The pictures help marketers better understand how their products and services are used in everyday life.
You won’t get rich. Each time you take a shameless selfie, you earn the equivalent of a handful of change — up to $1. Still, it’s an easy way to earn some extra cash. Once you’ve earned $20 you can get paid via PayPal.
You never know, you could parlay it into building an Instagram empire!
8. Get a Rewards Credit Card
I’ve used this idea several times and it works great. If you open up a new cash-back credit card, often the card company will give you an incentive to spend a certain amount of money in a specific window of time. If you hit that target, you’ll get a certain amount of money back.
The “free cash” is rewarded as a signup bonus. You can usually choose to receive it as a statement credit or a check.
But beware. You should only try this if you’re religious about paying off your credit card balance in full every month. Otherwise, you could easily end up spending more in interest than you’ll earn in cash back.
To truly make this free money, you’ve got to sign up for a card that has no annual fee. I’ve gotten this with my Chase Freedom card as well as others. The Freedom card has no annual fee the first year and then costs $95 a year after that.
9. Rent Out Your Car
If you have a car that isn’t getting much use, consider using a peer-to-peer car sharing service to rent it out. Services like Getaround pay you to rent your car out to other people.
Getaround will come up with a rate for the rental based on your car’s market value, location, time of year and other data. Rates for renters are $5 an hour and up. You keep 60% of that. That’s at least $3 an hour — enough to put a dent in your car payment every month if you’re able to rent it out often.
After signing up with the company, someone can rent your car for an hour or more with hardly any effort on your end. Everything is done straight from the app.
Getaround vets the drivers to make sure they’ve got a safe driving record. It also offers insurance, including $1 million of liability coverage.
But be sure to check with your own insurance company before renting your car out to strangers. Some insurance companies will drop your policy if you do so.
10. Refinance Student Loans
Tired of paying your high student loan rate? I completely understand.
Have you thought about refinancing your student loans? If your credit situation allows it, you can save big by doing it.
If you’ve never refinanced a car, house or student loan, know that it’s not that hard. When you refinance, you’re replacing your high interest rate for a lower interest rate. All the lender requires is a credit check and other financial documents. Unlike refinancing a house, which is a very extensive process, this is easier to get taken care of and start saving money.
Just keep a couple of things in mind. If you refinance for a longer loan term, you’ll end up paying interest for longer, which could mean you may more in the long run. There are lots of student loan refinance calculators online that you can use to figure out whether you’ll save money.
Also, loan companies usually charge origination fees, so make sure you include those when you calculate whether it makes sense to refinance your student loan.
While technically not a way to get free money, refinancing can save you hundreds or thousands of dollars each year in interest payments. There are plenty of places to choose from, but make sure to check out best student loan companies here.
11. Open a New Bank Account
This is another free money hack I’ve recently used and it worked great! A lot of banks will offer you a bonus for depositing a certain amount of money when you open the account. Usually, you have to keep the money in the account for a specific time period as well.
For example, I signed up for a Chase business account earlier this year. For signing up and keeping $1,500 in the account for 90 days, I was rewarded $300. I literally did nothing else other than not let the balance dip below $1,500.
The only thing I did have to do is follow up with Chase, as they had “forgotten” to add my bonus. Otherwise, it was legit free money!
It’s not just Chase, either. There are other banks that offer bonuses for opening new accounts with a certain amount of cash. Sometimes you have to hold the money in the account for a specific time period or set up a direct deposit into the account. But otherwise, it’s free.
Note that the money you earn for opening a bank account is subject to taxes, so watch out for a tax form from the bank when tax season starts.
Also, remember to read the fine print and look for any part of the terms you don’t understand. Most big companies like Chase or Bank of America make it pretty clear, but do your research before you take action.
12. Open an Internet Savings Account
If you’re not a fan of dropping by the old brick and mortar bank, I recommend opening an online savings account. This is another easy way to make free money, as they typically offer much higher interest rates than Chase and other big banks. Most online savings accounts earn 1% or more, while the savings rates at big banks are more like 0.1%!
For example, I first started a savings account in 2017. Since then, the interest rate has risen from 1.2% to now 2%. That is so much higher than you’re going to find at traditional banks. If your money is sitting in low-yield accounts, you’re literally losing money with inflation.
I’d recommend opening an online high-yield savings account so your money is working for you. It’s quick and easy to sign up and get the 1% – 2% APY.
Right now CIT Bank is paying up to 1.55% on a high yield savings account, which is incredible. To open an account you only need to meet their $100 minimum.
13. Donate Plasma
This method isn’t for everyone, but it’s a good way to get free money and help other people. In college and shortly after, I donated my plasma.
You can make $200 to $300 per month by donating your plasma. I will say that for me it ended when there was an issue with the needle and it got a little sketchy. But it is considered safe to donate plasma every few weeks.
Again, this method isn’t for everyone, as there are needles, blood, and pre-screening involved. Plus, it does take some time when you visit. But if you meet the requirements and don’t mind waiting while you donate, it can be a legit way to earn money.
14. Sell Old Clothes
Got a closet full of clothes that you never wear? Don’t let them clutter up your house. Start selling them for money! A good rule of thumb is if you haven’t worn the item in a year, sell it.
There are plenty of places to sell your clothes, including consignment shops, eBay, Poshmark, Thredup and many others. This is easy money for items that are sitting in your house collecting dust. Not only will you get free money, but you’ll have less clutter.
Each time I buy a new piece of clothing I make sure to donate or sell one or two pieces of old clothing. Give it a shot!
15. Invest With Motif
Motif Investing offers a smart way to invest your money in the long term. They make it easy to build your portfolio, with a huge selection of low-cost index funds. If you’re scared of investing but know that you need to start, this is a good place to go. It’s one of the best robo advisors on the market.
Plus, you get $100 just for opening an account and depositing $1,000.
16. Sell Old Textbooks
Let’s get real, those college textbooks that helped put you in student loan debt aren’t going to get opened ever again after graduation. Don’t let those textbooks just sit in your house taking up space. Sell them to start paying off that debt!
17. Download the Nielsen App
You may have heard of Nielsen. It’s the company behind TV ratings. Now it’s collecting data on the popularity of websites and online videos.
One of the ways it does so is by getting users like you to download their app. The company will give you $50 a year to keep the app on your laptop, tablet or smartphone. The app collects data on your internet usage to learn about trends.
While this sounds kind of Big-Brother-ish, Nielsen says that it’s done with 100% anonymity. Plus, the app takes up barely any space and won’t slow down your devices.
Get Paid for Online Tasks
There are a number of sites that will pay you for performing small tasks online. They’re called get-paid-to (GPT) sites.
Swagbucks is one of the best-known GPT sites. It will pay you to watch videos, shop online, surf the internet and take surveys. It literally pays you to hang out and browse the internet.
You earn points that you can later cash in for a huge selection of gift cards. Or, if you don’t find any you like, you can always cash in your points for a PayPal deposit.
Signing up is 100% free, and there are no membership fees or hidden terms.
InboxDollars is similar to Swagbucks. It will pay you for surfing the internet, taking surveys, completing questionnaires and watching videos.
It’s super easy to use InboxDollars. And you can make $20 or more each month without much effort. Once you sign up, you also get a $5 bonus, so it’s pretty much a no-brainer.
MyPoints is another website that will pay you points for performing online tasks. They include everything from shopping online, to taking surveys, to watching videos.
The main task they highlight, however, is shopping. In that way, the site operates a lot like Rakuten.
MyPoints will give you points for these tasks, which you can later use to buy gift cards. For shopping, you can earn up to 25 points per dollar you spend. There’s a cash option as well.
Some of the gift card providers include Best Buy, Amazon, CVS and other specialty stores. There are restaurants, too, so this a great way to save money the next time you eat out. For example, Chili’s gift cards start at just 1,650 points.
If you want to get cash via PayPal, you’ll need to meet a higher threshold — roughly 4,500 points total. Signing up with MyPoints is free and it’s another easy way to make money on the internet.
As you can tell, there is no shortage of legit ways to get free money. Start using some of these methods today to earn more money, pay off debt or enjoy some extra cash.
Start with the simple, mindless ones and work your way up to ones that require a little more time (which still isn’t much). Doing these little tasks might just change your finances or help you enjoy life a little more.
Which of these ways to get free money are you already using? Let us know on our social media accounts.