Believe it or not, free gift cards are a thing. The truth is that I love free stuff and whether it is a free iTunes gift card or free Starbucks gift card, it doesn’t really matter. As long as the card works like cash and can be used to make purchases at one of my favorite retailers, it’s good enough for me.
For example, during the year, I load up any Amazon gift card codes I come by onto my Amazon account in preparation for Prime Day or Christmas shopping in December.
This extra cash creates room in my holiday budget that I can reallocate to other spending categories or simply use to top up my investment account and cover shortfalls in my financial resolution for the year. Especially if I’m a poor college student.
Even back in 2013, gift cards already began the most-request gift during the holiday season, and they have only grown in popularity since. Score free gift cards and take care of your holiday shopping months before the mad rush.
15 Ways to Score Free Gift Cards
There are lots of ways out there to score yourself a free gift card. I have personally tested many of the strategies detailed in this post in my search for ‘free’ money. From online surveys to cashback apps, you can be certain that these tips work.
Here’s what we will cover:
- How To Get Free Gift Cards From Online Surveys
- Cash Back Shopping Apps For Free Gift Cards
- Additional Ways To Get Gift Cards
Keep reading to find out more!
How To Get Gift Cards From Online Surveys
Most of the offers you will find online for free gift cards are from survey sites. The challenge with this is that there are probably more scam surveys on the internet than there are legitimate ones.
Here are my three tips for identifying and avoiding survey scams:
- They offer to make you rich. The reality is that no survey will pay you that much money.
- They ask you to pay for membership or request private information like your social security number or credit card information.
- The earn rate per survey and the minimum payout threshold are unreasonable. If you are earning 10 cents per survey and the minimum cash out is $50, it will take you an eternity to actually cash out.
I have put in the work and selected some of the best paid and legit surveys you can try today.
Swagbucks pays you to complete a variety of tasks, including taking surveys, watching videos, playing games, surfing the internet, and even, shopping online.
Members earn points known as SBs for every task they complete and can redeem their points for a variety of gift cards (like Walmart, Home Depot, Amazon) or choose to cash out via PayPal.
As of July 2019, Swagbucks has paid its members over $357 million. Even better, you receive a $5 welcome bonus when you join.
2. Survey Junkie
Survey Junkie is your go-to rewards site if you want a varied mix of surveys to choose from on a daily basis. Their rewards system is transparent and you know how many points a survey offer will give you before you click on it (anywhere from 50 cents to $5).
When you have accumulated enough points, you can cash out your earnings as cash or gift cards from Amazon, Target, Walmart and several others. The minimum threshold to redeem your free gift card is $10.
3. Inbox Dollars
Inbox Dollars is owned by CotterWeb Enterprises which also manages Inbox Pounds in the United Kingdom. Membership on the panel is free and you earn cash by answering paid surveys, watching videos, shopping online, reading emails and more.
The company credits your account with your cash earnings and you can request a check or pick one of the prepaid Visa or e-gift cards on their website. Inbox Dollars has awarded its members over $60 million and new members receive a $5 bonus when they sign up.
4. Pinecone Research
Pinecone Research is one of the best paying survey sites I know with each of their surveys offering a minimum of $3 or 300 points. The panel is managed by The Nielsen Company which is recognized as a global market research brand.
Opportunities for earning rewards on Pinecone Research include taking online surveys, testing products and participating in their regular sweepstakes.
The first 300 points ($3) you earn must be redeemed via a check that is sent to your address for verification purposes. Thereafter, you can redeem your points for free gift cards, cash or merchandise.
To become a member of Pinecone Research, you need to register using a special invitation link.
5. American Consumer Opinion
ACOP is another rewards site you can use to rack up points and later convert them to gift cards. As their name suggests, you get points for providing your opinions on various subject matters and can earn up to $5 (5,000 points) per survey.
Easily cash out your points for PayPal cash or free gift cards.
Cash Back Shopping Apps For Free Gift Cards
Getting paid to shop is literally a thing! There are numerous free apps that will pay you cash to make purchases you would ordinarily make, such as your weekly grocery shopping.
To claim your offers, some of these top cashback apps require you to scan and upload your receipt, while others track your purchases automatically and credit cashback to your account. They are all free to download.
6. Ebates (Rakuten)
Ebates is the ultimate cashback site for your online shopping. To start, sign up here and get a free $10 bonus (cash or Walmart gift card) after your first purchase of at least $25 within 90 days.
It is easy to use the Ebates portal to earn a return whenever you want to shop online at Amazon, Adidas, Old Navy, Kohl’s, Gap, Macy’s, Walgreens and over 2,500 other stores. Simply visit Ebates and proceed to the retailer from there.
I often forget to use Ebates for my shopping, and so, I recently installed their free browser extension which prompts me to activate cashback when I’m on one of their partner sites.
Every quarter, Ebates sends you your earnings (free money) as a check or through PayPal. If you prefer a gift card, simply visit Ebates and purchase the gift card of your choice using your earnings.
Drop App is similar to Ebates for earning cashback on both your online and in-store purchases. This is how the app works:
- Download Drop and get a $5 bonus
- Link your debit and/or credit cards
- Shop at your preferred stores
- Automatically earn cashback points
You can redeem your points for several free gift cards. Simply click on the ‘Redeem’ tab on the app and enjoy your freebie!
MyPoints is a ‘get-paid-to’ site and app that offers its users many ways to earn rewards including when you:
- Shop online at over 1,900 stores
- Share your opinions by taking research surveys
- Watch entertainment videos
- Search the web
- Shop local deals
- Play games
- Refer friends and more.
New members receive a free $10 Amazon gift card and when it is time to redeem your points, you have the option of cash, gift cards or travel miles.
Ibotta is one of the most popular grocery cashback apps in the United States. With access to over 500,000 store locations, the Ibotta app provides an opportunity to earn cashback at every turn. To get started, download the app and check for the available offers before buying anything.
Their versatile app allows you to scan receipts, pay for purchases in-app, and get automatic cash back at thousands of stores. It is easy to cash out your earnings when your balance reaches $20. If you sign up using one of their promo links, you may qualify for a $10 bonus.
This reward app has been around for a decade and gives you points (kicks) for shopping online and in a physical store. You don’t always have to make a purchase and can earn kicks just by visiting a store, scanning barcodes of select products and watching videos.
When it is time to use your rewards, you can redeem your kicks for digital gift cards. Get started with Shopkick here.
This last shopping app on my list is similar to the others. Basically, when you have a BeFrugal account, you can find your online store of choice and proceed to shop as usual. The site tracks your purchases and cashback is deposited within 7 days.
BeFrugal offers check, PayPal, e-Gift cards and Visa Prepaid card as payout options.
Getting free gift cards is not the only benefit of using this site. Discounts of up to 40% are available on everyday shopping items, helping you to cut on your shopping expenses. When you sign up, you also get a free $10 bonus.
Additional Ways To Get Free Cards
Let us take a look at a few other ways to make money online and earn free gift cards.
12. Free Amazon Gift Cards
How about getting your Amazon gift card directly from the company itself? I will show you a few ways to accomplish this.
Amazon Trade-In: Trade in those unused and unwanted gadgets cluttering up your home in exchange for an Amazon gift card. Amazon pays for shopping, so this won’t cost you. Items eligible for the Amazon Trade-In program include electronics, video games, books, and tablets.
Amazon Mechanical Turk: MTurk is an online marketplace to find mindless jobs that people are looking to pay you to do. During your leisure time, you can answer surveys, transcribe audio, search the internet and more. While you won’t be paid a lot for completing tasks, it is super-easy to redeem your earnings for Amazon gift cards.
Amazon Promo Offers: Amazon often offers its Prime members opportunities to gain free Amazon credits. For example, during the last Prime day, members could earn $10 for downloading the Amazon app and $5 for making their first purchase using the app. These offers are generally available around popular shopping days or during the holidays.
13. Download Apps
When you download the Mobilexpression app and keep it installed for one week, they send you a free $5 Amazon gift card. It is as simple as that.
If you choose to keep the app installed after the initial one-week period, you will get weekly credits that you can use for gift cards.
14. Microsoft Rewards
Sign up for Microsoft Rewards and earn points when you use the Bing search engine or buy Microsoft games and computers. You earn 5 points for every search you do on Bing and 1 point for every $1 you spend at the Microsoft Store. Occasionally, they also send other opportunities to earn points.
It is easy to redeem your rewards points for gift cards and if you have ever played on Xbox, used Skype or have an Outlook or Hotmail account, you already have a Microsoft Rewards account created for you. Simply sign in and start earning.
15. Credit Card Offers
Now, don’t go racking up credit card debt in your quest to get free gift cards. That’s not how this game is played!
If you plan on applying for a new credit card, look out for some of the offers online where they offer juicy sign-up bonuses that may include free gift cards.
Enoch Omololu is a veterinarian by day and a personal finance blogger by night at Savvy New Canadians. He has a master’s degree in finance and investment management and his writing has been featured in the Toronto Star, Financial Post, MSN Money, Nest Wealth, The Motley Fool, Rockstar Finance and many other personal finance publications.