Wouldn’t it be nice to have a few extra dollars in your pocket that you didn’t have to do much to earn? Starting a business or doing overtime hours at your job is a great way to earn more dough, but it’s much nicer to pad your wallet with minimal effort. And contrary to popular belief, these opportunities do exist. Below are several ways to get free money from companies with little to no effort. 

Online Surveys

There are scores of sites that make it easy to get free money by completing simple surveys that only take a few minutes of your time. 

InboxDollars 

Not only can you make money from home for taking surveys, but InboxDollars will also pay you to shop and watch television online, and redeem free food and grocery coupons. Your options for earning dough on the platform are as follows:

  • Online surveys: the average pay ranges from $0.50 to $5.00, but others pay up to $20. Expect to spend between 3 and 25 minutes completing each survey. 
  • Watch videos: you’ll earn a percentage of the earnings paid to InboxDollars by big brands to watch snippets of their content 
  • Play games: InboxDollars will pay you 18 percent cash back for each purchase you make with GSN casino
  • Shop online: you’ll have exclusive access to deals offered by retailers that allow you to save a ton while earning cash back from Inbox Dollars 
  • Read emails: get paid to read emails from InboxDollars and if you decide to move forward with the offer presented to you, you’ll earn even more money 
  • Coupon cash rewards: Inbox will send you coupons that can be redeemed on everyday purchases, and you’ll earn cash back for putting them to use 

You can get started right away by signing up on their website. There’s no fee to join and it only takes a minute or so of your time. 

Global Test Market 

Established in 1999, Global Test Market has paid out over $32 million in rewards to members in the past five years. They offer surveys in multiple categories, including automotive, electronics, restaurants, media, social, tourism, and much more. 

When you complete surveys, you’ll earn rewards points that can be redeemed for cash. Most surveys will earn you up to $5. You can also swap points for donations that can be made directly to the charity of your choice. 

There’s no fee to get started. Simply visit their website to learn more and get started. 

Opinion Outpost

Opinion Outpost is another outlet to get paid for taking surveys online. In most instances, surveys are related to advertisements, appliances, electronics, medicine, politics, and sports. 

It’s free to register, and you’ll earn points each time you take a survey. Points are redeemable for cash or gift vouchers that can be used at some of your favorite retailers. 

Vindale Research

Not only will you earn money in exchange for taking surveys online, but y’all also earn $1 just for signing up. Payments are made via PayPal so you won’t ever have to worry about redeeming points, and there’s a ton of opportunity to earn as over 100 surveys are added to the platform on a daily basis. To date, they’ve paid out over $7,939,326 to their members. 

Cash Back Apps

Dosh

This cash back app earns you up to 10 percent cash back at over 1,000 of your favorite stores and restaurants. You can transfer the earnings directly to your bank account or donate to charity. Dosh also offers a refer-a-friend bonus of $5.  

Ibotta

Ibotta is another cash back app that allows you to earn money when shopping online or in-store. And they make it even more convenient by allowing you to shop and make your purchases directly through the app without all the hassle. To date, they paid out over $526,4418,296 in bonuses. 

Seated App

Available on the iOS platform, Seated will pay you up to 30 percent in rewards each time you book your dining reservation through their app. And while you don’t technically earn free cash, the rewards can be redeemed for gift cards and exclusive VIP experiences. And if you wish to take it a step further, you can sell your fit cards online for cash using sites like Gift Card Granny, Card Pool, and Card Cash. 

Swagbucks 

Swagbucks is offering a $10 bonus to all new members who spend $25 or more with a retailer at Swagbucks.com/Shop. Members who are a part of the network have been paid over $354,798,144, and you can unlock your earning potential by shopping online, watching videos, performing web services, and completing surveys. 

Members are compensated with points that can be paid using gift cards. You can also choose to receive cash back from PayPal. 

Money Management and Transfer Apps

The following smartphone apps offer generous sign-up bonuses to new customers 

  • Acorns: earn a $5 reward for both you and a friend when you register for an investment account with Acorns 
  • Cash App: earn $5 when you refer a friend to the platform and they use your unique referral code to send $5 or more with 14 days of opening their account. You can ready our cash app review here.
  • Metal Pay App: earn $6 in Metal (MTL), which is convertible into USD, when you sign up for an account, and an additional $6 in MTL when someone uses your referral link 
  • Mezu: earn $5 for you and a friend through the Refer a friend campaign once both you and your friend give or send $5 to an external source from the linked default payment method found in the app 

Banks

Online Banks

Have you ever considered opening an account with an online bank? Even if you haven’t, it’s worth taking a look at what they offer to determine if you could save money on monthly maintenance fees and earn a greater return on your money by switching over since they have lower overhead and pass those cost-savings on to consumers.

Sign-Up Bonuses 

Many brick-and-mortar banks offer a generous sign-up bonus to open an account with them. All you have to do is make the minimum opening deposit, set up direct deposit, in most cases, and keep the account in good standing for a set period of time to earn the bonus. 

If you want to ditch the bank once you have the free cash, feel free to do so. But be sure to read the fine print to determine how long the account needs to remain open so you won’t be penalized. 

Ride-Sharing Services 

You’ve used ride-sharing services to get from point a to point b when you didn’t have your car on hand. So why not drive for them and put some more money in your pocket? 

For a limited time only,  you can earn a signing bonus of up to $1,000 when you become an Uber driver and meet certain conditions. Lyft is also offering an incentive of $1,000 when you give 125 rides in your first 30 days of coming aboard. 

Government Sites

Funding for Higher Education

Planning to return to college in the near future? Don’t forget to apply for free money using the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), which can be found on the Federal Student Aid website

The most lucrative funding opportunity is the Pell grant, which is worth up to $6,195 for the 2019-20 award year. Your college of choice may also have other scholarship opportunities available and you’ll need to complete the FAFSA for consideration. 

MissingMoney.com

Endorsed by the National Association of Unclaimed Property Administrators, this MissingMoney.com is designed to help individuals find unclaimed money, property, and assets they have rightful ownership to. 

It’s free to use this service. To get started, simply visit the website, enter your first and last name in the form, and hit the red search button. A comprehensive list of results nationwide will be displayed, but you can narrow down the results by entering your city and state.

If there’s a match, select claim and you’ll be forwarded to your respective state’s unclaimed property office to submit your claim for review. You can also visit unclaimed.org to initiate your search for unclaimed property that belongs to you. 

Other Options

Call Up Your Creditors 

Didn’t think that you could get free money by contacting your creditors? Think again. While they won’t be writing you a check, you could save a bundle in interest by: 

  • Refinancing your auto and student loans
  • Requesting a lower credit card interest rate
  • Enrolling in a hardship program that may possibly freeze your interest and lower your interest rate for a set period of time 

Rent Your Space 

Is there a spare bedroom in your own that hardly ever gets occupied? If you want to make some extra dough each month, considering posting it on Airbnb to generate a monthly rental income. 

Rent Out Your Car

Or loan it out, that is. But instead of just letting relatives hold it for free and putting yourself at risk because they aren’t on your insurance policy, list it on Getaround. The peer-sharing platform app allows you the earn $5 or more per hour each time you rent your car out. And you don’t have to worry about insurance as you’re covered by up to $1 million under their umbrella, and the renter will also receive free roadside assistance if needed. 

You can list your vehicle on the mobile app and start earning money in a jiffy. Furthermore, you should know that renters can unlock your vehicle with The Getaround Connect device (found in the mobile app), so you won’t have to worry about connecting with them to hand over your keys. 

Sell Some Stuff

Now’s the perfect time to tidy up your space, but it’s even more appealing to get free money in return by doing so. And that’s where selling your belonging comes in. This doesn’t mean that you need to gather everything you own, drive to the nearest consignment shop, and sell it off. However, if you have old household items, apparel, footwear, electronics, and textbooks lying around, it doesn’s hurt to kiss them goodbye so they can go to a home where they’ll be appreciated. 

Remember, one man’s trash is another man’s treasure. And this ordeal is a win-win and you’ll get a clutter-free home in exchange for free money. 

Wondering where to sell your belongings. Here are a few ideas:

  • Household items
  • Apparel and footwear: consignment shops
  • Electronics: Decluttr
  • Textbooks: 

Sell Plasma

If you’re willing to endure needle pokes and hang around at a plasma donation center for a few hours, you could earn $20 to $50 per visit. Generally, you’re allowed to donate twice per week, but it can’t be done on two consecutive days for safety reasons. 

Beyond helping save lives, other benefits of selling plasma on a consistent basis are the sign-up bonuses offered to first-time donors, along with the incentives and higher compensation rates extended to those who’ve been donating for quite some time.  

Considering selling plasma? Reputable donation centers include Biolife Plasma Services, Biotest Plasma Center, BPL Plasma Donation, GRIFOLS, and KED Plasma. You can also locate donor facilities near you by visiting donatingplasma.org and using the online search tool

The Bottom Line 

You may find that it’s much easier than you thought to secure free money. But before moving forward with any opportunity you run across, do your homework to ensure they are legitimate. Search for unbiased reviews and avoid sites that have a bad reputation, ask for money upfront, or request too much personal information. 

Author

Edwin is the founder of Voy Media. He started his career at an investment bank before moving to the biopharmaceutical industry. He is currently an editor at Dollar Genie, a finance blog that teaches you how to save money, make money, and live well.

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