You’re probably wary of anything free, especially when someone offers you free cash. Being cautious is understandable because, unfortunately, there are so many scams. While this site primarily focuses on travel, you can’t travel if you don’t have money. (It’s the sad, sad truth, is it not?)
This article written by a colleague of mine will show you how to get free money with legit ideas. Just think of what you could do with free money! You could use the extra cash to build up your savings account, pay off debt, start a vacation fund, or use it for entertainment.
How to Get Free Money Online and From Apps
Earn Free Cash from Online Survey Sites
Earning free money doesn’t have to be complicated; it can be fun. Get paid to take surveys online, click on ads, watch videos, shop, etc. Taking surveys is so easy that sometimes it feels like companies offering them are giving away money for free. Some survey sites even offer a free bonus simply for signing up. Payment options vary, but many survey companies will pay you cash through Paypal or free gift cards.
Here are some top-rated survey sites:
- Inbox Dollars: Earn money by watching videos, taking surveys, and shopping.
- Opinion Outpost: Earn money taking surveys.
- Survey Junkie: Earn money taking surveys.
- Swagbucks: Earn money by watching videos, taking surveys, and shopping.
Cashback Apps and Sites
When you shop through cashback sites, you are given back a percentage for every dollar you spend. Essentially, you are getting paid to shop for things you already buy. Cashback apps might become your new favorite way to make money.
Below are some cashback sites:
- Fetch Rewards
Make Free Money From Banks and Financial Institutions
Cash Back Credit Cards
Cashback credit cards are a great option if you already put everyday purchases and expenses on a credit card. Pay your balance in full each month to take full advantage of cashback credit card perks. (If you get charged interest by running up a monthly bill you cannot pay, it doesn’t make the cashback worth it.)
Use the following tips to help maximize your savings if you usually pay off your monthly credit card balance:
- Put every expense that accepts credit card payments on your cashback card. The cashback from monthly bills will add up quickly.
- Double down on your rewards: Using a cashback credit card combined with shopping through a cashback site will help you earn even more money.
Credit Card Welcome Bonuses
Many credit card companies offer welcome bonuses for opening a new card. However, there are typically spending stipulations to receive your reward. For example, you have to spend $1,000 in the first three months after opening the card to get a $250 welcome bonus. You can see the latest credit card promotions after a quick search online. Remember that you typically have to have a good credit score to get approved.
New Bank Account Bonuses
You can earn free money by opening a savings or checking account, similar to credit card bonuses. There are usually rules to get your bonus, like keeping your accounts open for a certain amount of time or depositing a certain amount of money.
High Yield Savings Account
If you have some money available to put into a high-yield savings account, then you’ll see a return on your money that is much higher than a regular savings account. The bank rewards you with high-yield interest accrual for having your money sit in an account.
Free Money for Students
Are you a college student who needs some cash to pay for your education or school-related expenses?If you’re a long way from entering the workforce and having a job that pays $50,000 a year or more, these ideas are perfect.
The Pell Grant is given out by the U.S. Department of Education. It awards money to pay for school costs to those who financially qualify. Though you don’t have to pay the money back because it is a grant, not a loan, the amount of money you receive varies after you’re approved to receive the assistance.
Employer Tuition Reimbursement
Some employers provide education payment assistance to their part-time or full-time employees as part of their benefits package. Each company has stipulations for using the tuition assistance, like working at the company for so many years. Many companies offer tuition reimbursement, including:
- Wells Fargo
Free Money for Employees
Employer’s 401k Match
If you don’t need free money now, having your employer match your 401k contribution is a great way to build your wealth for the future.
Employer Stock Options
If they’re available, taking advantage of employer stock options is an excellent opportunity to purchase stock shares at a lower market value. If the stocks go up in value, you could make a large sum of money. This is not typically a way to make quick cash, but it can be profitable over time.
Ask for a Raise
Getting a pay raise will feel like you’re finding free money because you still are doing the same job yet will be earning more. For example, going from making $55,000 to $60,000 a year is a significant increase in income. You have nothing to lose by asking for a raise. If you get a pay increase, it’s well worth the time you took to ask.
Other Ways to Earn Free Money Now
What if you have free money out there that you don’t know exists? While it may sound too good to be true, there are databases you can check to see if you have any unclaimed funds. You could be owed money from private businesses, unclaimed tax refunds from your state or the IRS, etc. USA.gov has a lot of helpful information to learn about how to find unclaimed money.
Class Action Lawsuits
According to classaction.org, “Millions of dollars are left on the table in unclaimed settlement funds every year.”There are a couple of ways to determine if you are entitled to any money from a class-action lawsuit.
- Regularly check your mail and email. It’s common to receive correspondence about class action lawsuits through these channels.
- Check classaction.org for a list of current lawsuits and see if any apply to you.
Friend Referral Bonuses
Many companies will pay you money just for referring people you know to sign up for or use their services. To find these referral bonuses, search online for the company name and add the words, “refer a friend,” or “referral program” to your search. These programs are great because they help your friend by recommending a company you like, plus you get a payout at the same time; it’s a win-win situation. For example, if you know someone new to your area, they may need to sign up for multiple services after they move. These are things like finding an internet provider (like Xfinity), opening new checking accounts, and more.
Here are some of the latest refer a friend promotions:
- Paypal: Get up to $50.
- Chase: Get $50 per person you refer.
- Rakuten: $30 for every person you refer.
- Swagbucks: Get 10% of whatever the person you referred earns.
- Xfinity: Get up to $175 in Visa prepaid cards for each person you refer.
Travel hacking is a strategic method that involves using credit card points and bonuses to pay for travel. While technically it’s not free cash, getting your travel expenses paid or heavily discounted can free up the cash you would be spending on paying full travel prices. If you travel frequently, it’s a great way to get paid to travel or travel for low cost.
If you want to earn cash easily, get paid to donate plasma. Can you believe you can make $300 to $400 per month just for donating? It’s a good payout that takes low effort. It involves commuting to the donation center, then sitting in a chair for a small amount of time for medical professionals to extract the plasma.
Pay Off Credit Card Debt
Interest and minimum monthly payments can drain your cash on hand when you have credit card debt. Though it won’t happen overnight, you’ll have more money once you become debt-free or eliminate some debt. If all of your combined minimum payments come to $500 a month, you’d feel like you’re getting a free $500 monthly once you pay off your debt. Paying off debt can be overwhelming if you don’t know where to start. Dave Ramsey’s debt snowball method will give you a clear-cut plan.
Are you someone that likes to share your opinion? Then getting paid to be part of a focus group will be right up your alley. Companies conduct focus groups for market research purposes. They gather a small group of people to ask them questions and get feedback about products and services. It’s an almost effortless way to earn some cold hard cash. Focus groups are done in-person or online.
Here are a couple of good focus group resources:
- User Interviews has many online opportunities.
- FocusGroups.org has both in-person and online options.
Using one or more of these ideas to make free money will leave you and your wallet happy. You’re most likely not going to make a 6 figure income from the ideas above, but that’s okay. You still have the potential to score a significant amount of cash without much hard work. How much money can you get for free? Try one of these ideas today to start finding out.
This post originally appeared on Savoteur.