Have you ever heard that old saying, “there’s no such thing as free money?” Well, believe it or not, there actually is.
There are tons of ways to get free money – you just have to know where to look. This article will walk you through all the tricks, websites, and companies you can use to earn free money on a day-to-day basis.
Ready to learn more? Just read on.
How free is “free?”
Let’s start at the beginning. By “free money,” do I really mean 100% free?
Yes – in the sense that you don’t have to actively work or invest to earn this money. That said, no one is just handing out free cash in the streets. You do have to put in a little bit of effort to get your free money.
That effort might be as minimal as signing up for an online service, or it might be a long-term commitment like starting an employer-sponsored savings account. The point is: this is money that doesn’t come directly from your hard work and time.
Can you earn enough money through these free methods to replace your full-time job? No. But you can save up for your future, treat yourself to something you wouldn’t normally buy with your paycheck, or just pad your pockets a little to make your workweek more enjoyable.
After all, it is free money – so why not go for it?
Are all these opportunities legit?
If you’re a little skeptical of someone offering you free money, that’s understandable. There are plenty of online scams out there. An internet-savvy person will always look into a deal that sounds too good to be true before signing up.
So, scams do exist, but legitimate free money opportunities do, too. All of the opportunities I’m going to talk about in the list below are 100% legitimate and safe. These are resources offered by established companies and institutions that anyone can take part in.
Sounds awesome, right? Let’s get into the details! Here are 12 easy ways you can get free money right now.
1. Get paid for browsing and watching
One of the best ways to earn free money is to get paid for things you would be doing anyway, like watching TV or browsing the internet.
That might sound too good to be true, but there are actually a fee companies that will pay people for exactly that. Market research firms want to know more about what people are searching and watching, so that companies can improve their marketing practices.
It’s easy to get started, and even easier to earn. Here are a few platforms you can use:
Inbox Dollars is a free market research platform that pays users to provide some simple information about how they shop and consume media.
You can earn money by taking surveys on this site (an option I’ll talk about later in this article), but the easier method is to earn by watching select videos and TV content.
As you watch, Inbox Dollars will send you points to your account. You can then redeem those points for gift cards, prizes, or cold hard cash.
One of the oldest consumer research firms around, Nielsen will pay ordinary people like you to share your TV and internet usage.
When you sign up for Nielsen, you become a “panelist.” Then you just have to download their software to your devices to track your browsing and streaming data. It’s perfectly safe – you can uninstall the app any time, and none of your date will be used without your permission.
Once you get started, you won’t ever have to worry about updating your profile or re-downloading the software. Money will just trickle into your account as you browse!
If you spend a lot of time browsing on your phone, Mobile Xpression is the perfect free money opportunity for you.
Just download the app and browse like you normally do. Your data will go towards a better consumer experience on apps and search engines. As you browse, you’ll earn points that you can eventually exchange for a gift card to your favorite retailer or restaurant chain.
2. Get paid for saving
If you don’t have an advantage savings account with your bank, you’re missing out on free money.
Unlike a checking account, most savings accounts will collect interest as you save your money. The longer you save, the more you’ll earn in interest. Talk to your bank about your high yield savings options. If you leave all your money in a checking account, you’re essentially letting it trickle down the drain!
This isn’t the best way to make some immediate spending money, of course – but it will pay off in the long run, especially if you save over a period of years.
3. Get back money you didn’t know you were missing
Do you know how much money is coming out of your bank account every month? How about every year?
Most of us have hidden subscriptions, fees, and charges to our accounts that we aren’t even aware of. You could be losing $50-$100 every month without knowing it! Fortunately, there are tons of apps these days that can help you get that money back.
This isn’t exactly a way to get paid free money – technically, it’s your own money already. However, these apps will help you to recover funds you didn’t even know you were missing. The more you save, the more you’ll see your bank account grow.
Here are a few of the best apps and digital tools to help you save those pennies:
Have you ever signed up for a free trial of a subscription, only to forget to cancel it? It happens to the best of us (that’s why so many services offer those free trials), but there’s an app to track down and cancel all those forgotten subscriptions.
Trim is free to download and doesn’t take any effort to use. It will analyze your monthly bank statements and send you a notification through text if it finds an unnecessary payment. The best part is, the app will cancel your subscriptions for you if you don’t want them anymore.
Paid versions of Trim can also negotiate lower bills for you, to help you save as much money as possible every month.
Similar to Trim, Truebill is a digital assistant that will help you lower your monthly bills and cancel unwanted subscriptions.
This app is a little more involved than Trim – it will actually track your spending and help you stick to your budget. You can also use it to negotiate lower cable bills and set reminders for upcoming bills so you never get charged late fees.
If you have trouble keeping track of your budget, Truebill is an awesome resource.
Most of us can’t afford a personal financial advisor – but most of us could use one. That’s where Personal Capital comes in.
This app let’s you view all your investment and banking accounts in one place. It’s sort of like getting a bird’s-eye-view of your finances: you’ll be able to see where all your money goes, track upcoming bills, and avoid late fees.
This is a great tool for someone who’s a little scatter-brained (like me) and tends to overspend without meaning too.
4. Sign up for an employer-match 401K
When you think about free money, you’re probably not thinking about your retirement savings. But the truth is, an employer-match 401K is one of the most profitable ways to grow your wealth without every lifting a finger.
Here’s how it works: when you sign up for a 401K program at your work, you’ll be able to set a certain portion of your paycheck aside into a retirement savings account. For every dollar you save, your employer will match it.
That means that if you set aside $2,000 for retirement in one year, you will earn another $2,000 for free. Employer-match programs are the best way to stack up your retirement savings without putting in any extra work.
Of course, you won’t be able to access that free money until you reach retirement age – but that makes it even easier to save those funds and grow your wealth over time.
5. Ask for gift cards instead of gifts
Have a birthday coming up? What about a wedding? Holidays right around the corner? Whatever the occasion, you have an opportunity to get some free money.
It might seem strange to ask your relatives and friends for money, but there is so much value in receiving a gift card. If you’re on a tight budget, gift cards allow you to buy the things you need or want without digging into your savings. They give you the opportunity to treat yourself to a nice meal out, or finally get those new shoes you’ve had your eye on, guilt-free.
Fortunately, the days of considering gift cards “shallow” are coming to an end. It has become increasingly normal to ask for gift cards, instead of material gifts, on special occasions. If you’re working hard to stick to your budget, your friends and family will understand!
6. Get paid to shop
It might sound like an impossible dream, but thousands of people across the country get paid to shop every day.
Companies want to know what their consumers are buying and what their experience in the store (or online) is like. That’s why they pay ordinary people to become mystery shoppers and report back on their experience.
On top of that, plenty of companies partner with market research sites and survey platforms to promote their products. So, when you buy a product through a certain link, you’ll earn free money in cashback.
If you like the idea of getting paid to shop, check out these websites:
Want to get paid to shop and eat for free? Check out Market Force. This is one of the most established mystery shopping firms out there.
If you’re at least 18 years old and have a high school diploma, you can sign up for Market Force and become a mystery shopper. Then, just accept jobs through the platform, and go shopping! All you have to do is report back on your experience in the store or restaurant.
Market Force pays their shoppers once a month through a check or direct deposit.
Ibotta is one of the most popular and trusted apps to get cashback on your shopping.
The coolest thing about this app is that it applies to grocery shopping, too – so you’re essentially getting paid for buying the things you need to buy anyway. That’s free money!
Head to their website and make your free account to get started. You can browse through deals, select the store you want, then just upload a picture of your receipt after you make your purchase. Ibotta will give you money back in your account.
Formerly known as Ebates, Rakuten is the easiest way to find coupons and cashback deals online.
If you download their free, safe software, Rakuten will work in the background while you shop online. Whenever there’s a deal or coupon available for the product you’re looking at, the app will let you know.
Of course, you won’t be earning free money with Rakuten if you only buy things to get the cashback deals – but if you’re getting cashback on the things you would be buying anyway, it’s an effortless way to save.
A Customer’s Point Of View
A Customer’s Point Of View (ACPView) is another popular mystery shopping service, perfect for someone who’s looking for an easy side hustle.
Head to their website and select “apply to be a mystery shopper” to get started. If you get hired, you can start accepting random mystery shopping tasks and get paid through PayPal. There is some work involved, but it’s a whole lot easier than a part-time job!
7. Earn passive income from your photos
Have an eye for photography? You don’t have to become a professional photographer to make money from your photos. There are tons of stock photo sites online that will pay you for your work.
The best part is that these aren’t just one-time deals. A stock photo site like Alamy will pay you up to 50% in royalties every time they sell one of your photos online. That means that you can be earning money all day long – even while you sleep.
The more stock photo sites you submit to, the more passive income you’ll earn. Check out iStock and Shutterstock for high royalties on every sale.
8. Find refunds you might have missed
We don’t always know when stores owe us a refund. They can be sneaky about it – that makes it difficult to get the money we’re owed.
Fortunately, there are apps that will help with that. Paribus, developed by Capital One Bank, works in the background while you shop. It will monitor price drops on things you want to buy, so you don’t have to waste your time browsing for sales.
But here’s the coolest part: if you buy something from an online retailer, then the price drops a day or two later, Paribus will get you a refund for the difference! That means you’ll never have to worry about missing a massive sale.
Paribus is partnered with tons of major retailers to bring you refunds, including Amazon, Target, and Home Depot. It’s free to sign up, so there’s no money wasted – just money earned.
9. Get paid to share your opinion
How much time do you spend browsing through social media or watching TV every day? If you use just an hour of that spare time to answer a few questions, you could be earning free money.
Survey sites have become increasingly popular in the past few years, and it’s not hard to see why. All you have to do is share your opinions by filling out survey questions and you get paid in cash or prizes. You could earn money while you’re sitting on the couch, waiting for your bus, on your break… basically, whenever you have a few minutes to spare!
Not all survey sites offer the same deals, so it’s safest to stick with the most popular and trusted options. Here are a few of my personal favorites:
Survey Junkie makes it easy to get paid for your opinion. Just go online, make your free account, and provide a little information about yourself so they know which surveys you’re qualified to take.
As you complete surveys through the platform, you’ll earn points. Those points can then be redeemed for PayPal cash or gift cards to your favorite retailers.
It’s a great way to earn free money. Plus, your opinions will go towards improving the products and shopping experience of your favorite brands!
If you want to earn free money, you have to get on Swagbucks. This survey and market research platform fits into a lot of the categories on this list – you can get paid to watch videos, to shop online, and even to play games.
But above all else, Swagbucks pays users to answer simple survey questions. Similar to Survey Junkie, you’ll earn points every time you complete a survey. Once you have collected enough points in your account, you can redeem them for a gift card to the retailer of your choice.
With so many ways to earn, this site is absolutely a must-try for anyone who wants to make some super easy money in their free time.
Not interested in all the bells and whistles of a site like Swagbucks? Try Vindale Research. This site pays its users to answer survey questions, plain and simple.
When you sign up for your free account, you’ll earn a $1 bonus right away. Then you’re free to start answering survey questions and participating in research panels. The more you answer, the more you’ll earn.
Vindale Research pays directly in cash to your account, which you can send to yourself through PayPal or a check.
Survey Savvy is another popular site that pays consumers like you for their opinions.
The best thing about this platform is that you don’t have to waste your time browsing for surveys. Just fill in your information online, and Survey Savvy will send you an email every time a survey you can take is available. Each survey will tell you exactly how much you’ll earn before you get started.
Each time you finish a survey, the cash value will be credited to your account.
10. Sell your old devices
We all have old phones, laptops, and other tech sitting around the house. Those devices might still be in perfect working condition, but selling them takes a lot of time and effort.
Decluttr is an awesome site that can help with that. Instead of trying to determine the price, posting an ad, and negotiating with buyers on your own, this site will take all the work off your hands.
Here’s how it works: just head to Decluttr’s website and fill in some information about your device. They’ll tell you right away (and free of charge) how much it’s worth. Then you just print out your free shipping label, pack it up, and send it off!
After your device has been received and evaluated by Decluttr’s staff, you’ll get paid through PayPal. Couldn’t be easier, right? This is a great way to clear some of the clutter out of your home and make free money with your old tech.
11. Get paid to play games
Calling all gamers – you can actually earn free money for doing what you love: playing mobile games.
Game developers want feedback on their new products so that they can continue to improve them. They’ll also pay players to try out their games just to give them some exposure. That’s where you come in!
As I mentioned before, Swagbucks is one site that will pay users to play mobile games. But it isn’t the only option out there. Here are a couple of my favorite sites that will pay you to play:
Although it’s primarily known as a survey site, Inbox Dollars also offers rewards for playing games.
You can test out new games through the platform and earn cashback on every in-app purchase. As you play, you’ll automatically earn points in your account. You can use those points to get PayPal cash or a free gift card later on!
Paid Game Player
Paid Game Player is exactly what it sounds like: a site that pays game players.
Once you make your free account with the site, you’ll have access to over 600 mobile and online games. You can get paid to try them out and write short reviews. On top of that, Paid Game Player also offers surveys and other easy tasks to earn additional points.
Because there are some gambling games on this site, you have to be over 18 years old to register and start earning.
One of the most popular paid gaming sites out there, Gamesville is currently undergoing a full overhaul of their site to improve user experience. You can sign up now to take full advantage of those upgrades.
This site offers tons of web-based games that pay players in “GV Rewards,” their in-app currency. The more GV Rewards you earn, the bigger cash prizes you’ll receive. You can cash out for a gift card or through PayPal anytime.
If you’re a gamer with some time to kill, this is one of the best sites to earn free money.
12. Host guests on Airbnb
There’s no better way to generate passive income than with rental properties. But if you’re not a homeowner, renting out a space to tenants isn’t exactly easy.
That is, until Airbnb got started. By posting a room on the site, you can host travelers for a nightly fee. All you have to do is set up and monitor your profile. It will help your ratings if you keep your guests comfortable with a few snacks and some travel advice, but that’s really as far as the effort goes!
Better yet, if you’re going on vacation, you can earn passive income while you’re away by renting out your whole home. Airbnb guests are held accountable for how they treat your property, so your home and belongings will always be safe.
Get Free Money? It’s Totally Possible
It might sound like an unachievable goal, but earning free money every day is actually very realistic.
Whether you want to generate passive income, kill some time by sharing your opinion, or get paid for your everyday activities like shopping and playing games, you have tons of options! You won’t make a living through these opportunities, but you can earn a little spending money and save up for the things you really need.
All of the sites and companies reviewed on this list are established and legitimate. You can get started right away. It’s free money – so why not give it a shot?