How to Get Free Money: 25 Legit Ways to Score Extra Cash
How would you like to get free money? If you’re in need of money today this post is for you.
While most people may think the only way to get free cash is to win money via the lottery, that’s not the case.
Thanks to the internet and smartphones, there are plenty of free ways to get some extra money to pad your bank accounts.
In This Article
How to Get Free Money
Here are some tried and true ways to start earning free money online with little effort.
1. Get Paid to Take Surveys
One of the easiest ways to get free money fast is to take online surveys from reputable survey companies.
They are willing to pay you free cash for just sharing your thoughts and then they use this information to improve their offerings.
When it comes to ways to get free stuff, you can even use survey sites to get gift cards or products. Plus, you can take these surveys on your mobile device.
There are many places to take online surveys for free money, but one of the best companies to consider is Survey Junkie as they have a high Trustpilot score of 4.4 out of 5.
2. Use Rakuten For Free Money
Rakuten is one of the most popular ways to earn 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. That is free cash directly in your account.
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?
3. 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.
4. Sell Data From Your Smartphone
Thanks to apps, you can get paid for the smallest things in today’s world. Smart App will pay you just to install its app. That’s free money for just installing an 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. That’s ongoing free money.
Start by filling out a questionnaire to make sure you are eligible to use this method to earn free cash.
5. Sign Up as a New Lyft Driver
If you haven’t noticed from the insane amount of ads online, ridesharing is very competitive. Seriously though, Lyft is making a huge push to get more drivers.
There is a big cash bonus to sign up with Lyft over their competition if you want to start driving as 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 with Lyft and other driving companies 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.
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, limiting your ability to get free money from your home.
7. 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, some credit card companies 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. This is free money as long as you are responsible enough not to make your monthly payments and avoid ending up in credit card debt.
The “free cash” is rewarded as a signup bonus. You can usually choose to receive your payout as a statement credit or a check. Plus, you can get credit card rewards every time you use your card.
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 cashback.
You could also find yourself in credit card debt, causing you to lose money.
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.
8. 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 and earn free money.
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 free 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.
9. 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 private student loans, 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 earn 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.
10. Open a New Bank Account
This is another ways to get free money 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 a new checking account.
Usually, you have to keep the free money in the account for a specific time period as well.
For example, I signed up for a Chase business account recently. 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 free 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 Capital One, Chase, or Bank of America make it pretty clear, but do your research before you take action.
11. 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%!
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.
CIT Bank tends to offer a higher yield APY than your traditional local bank for savings accounts. To open an account you only need to meet their $100 minimum.
Plus, a high yield savings account might offer free money when you sign up.
12. Donate Plasma
This method isn’t for everyone, but it’s a good way to earn free money and help other people. In college and shortly after, I donated my plasma.
You can make $200 to $300 per month in extra money 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 free money.
13. 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:
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!
14. 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 your books to get money and start paying off that debt!
15. 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 the Nielsen 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.
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 free gift cards. Or, if you don’t find any you like, you can always earn free cash by trading your points for a PayPal deposit.
Signing up is 100% free, and there are no membership fees or hidden terms. Plus they offer a great incentive for referrals of new customers. Use your android or apple device to get started.
If you want free money, 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 to get free cash.
MyPoints is another website that will pay you points that you can convert to free money for performing online tasks. They include everything from shopping online, to taking surveys, to viewing 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 free cash option as well.
Some of the gift card providers include Best Buy, Amazon, CVS, Starbucks and other specialty stores. There are restaurants, too, so this a great way to start saving money the next time you eat out. For example, Chili’s gift cards start at just 1,650 points.
If you want to get free 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 free money on the internet.
19. Find Lost Money
Your previous bank, landlord or a government agency may owe you money in the form of unclaimed funds. You may be due a security deposit or refund, for example.
The business doesn’t get to keep your unclaimed property after an extended period. Instead, they report the unclaimed money owed to the state government.
It’s free and only takes a few minutes to see if someone owes you money. You can search at Unclaimed.org. Your state may have an unclaimed money or property website as well.
Basically, this is like finding free money that is owed to you.
20. Child Care Assistance
Not every parent has the luxury of being able to work from home and relies on child care to work. Child care is expensive for most families but those with small incomes suffer more.
It’s possible to qualify for child care assistance. You will need to apply for aid from the state government. Aid programs vary by state.
21. Down Payment Assistance
States and select cities provide down payment assistance grants for qualifying first-time homebuyers. The grant money can also cover closing costs in many instances.
The program may cap the benefit at a specific dollar amount or a percentage of the home purchase price.
22. Food Assistance Programs
Food is another essential items. Getting food can skip the step of first receiving free money and buying groceries.
Going to a local food bank is one way to get free food when you’re family is hungry and cannot buy groceries. Another option is with the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).
The elderly and households with a disabled person can qualify for additional benefits.
Another program benefit is SNAP Education (SNAP-Ed) that teaches healthy eating habits and cheap meal planning. Being able to reduce costs is an indirect way to get free money.
23. Get Free Stock
Some free investing apps offer free stock shares to new members. These apps may require a minimum $100 initial deposit to get the free shares.
Each share can be be worth few dollars or, in some cases, over $100. Referring friends to invest can give you more free shares.
Webull has exciting promotions and gives aways stock shares worth between $2.50 and up to $1,600. This investing app has free stock and ETF trades. Its stock research tools are good too.
Another free investing app to consider is Robinhood. New members can get one free share worth between $2.50 and $200.
This app offers fractional investing at $5 for stocks and ETFs which makes it easy to earn passive income with small amounts of money.
With either investing app, the free stock shares you get are random. You won’t know the worth until you open an account and choose to receive your free shares.
24. 401k Matching Contributions
If your employer has a 401k retirement plan, see if they offer matching contributions. When the answer is yes, consider investing enough each paycheck to earn the full match.
Your employer may match up to 6% of your annual salary, for instance. Earning the full match is like an instant pay raise.
You also have more incentive to save for retirement. The employer match can also mean you have to invest less of your income to meet your savings goals. You have more money to spend on upfront expenses, as a result.
Matching contributions are tax-deferred and do not count toward your annual contribution limit. In 2021, the annual contribution limits are $58,000 for those under age 50 and $64,500 if age 50 or older.
25. Sell Old Tech
You may have several old electronics at home that you will no longer use. These items can get a second life by selling them.
Some of the old electronics that sell for cash include:
Decluttr provides an instant price quote for many small electronics. You get a free prepaid shipping label to mail your items. Your payment options include PayPal and paper check.
If you want to avoid shipping your items and need to earn money sooner, you can sell them locally. EcoATM has instant buyback kiosks in many cities.
You can also try selling on Facebook Marketplace to get more money.
As you can tell, there is no shortage of legit ways to get free money online. Start using some of these methods today to earn money to help with your personal finance goals such as paying off debt or enjoying 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.