18 Easy Ways to Make Free Money Fast
Treasure hunters would revel at the idea of getting free money. But is it really a thing? I mean, are there seriously companies out there that will just give money away because they are nice? Yes, and no. Companies often pay out sign up bonuses when you use a new service. Some of the best (and easiest) ways to get free money are to switch services that you use every day anyway, such as bank accounts or credit cards.
Other companies will pay smaller bonuses for you to try their app. Take a look at this list of ways to get some free money fast, and choose the best options for you.
Attention student loan holders: Now is a great time to refinance your private student loans to get a better rate and save on your overall monthly payments. Best of all, this is totally free to do! However, if you have federal loans, we recommend you not refinance them at this time as you may lose forbearance and other protections.
We all need our savings accounts to be much larger than they are. But with bills, credit card debt, and our careers, it sometimes feels almost impossible to increase our savings.
If you don’t think it’s possible to boost your savings, then you might be surprised to find out how easy it is to score a few extra bucks each month. And thanks to the internet, all it usually requires is filling out some paid surveys, playing around on the web, or signing up for a few specific offers.
Doing just a few of these things can easily add up to thousands of dollars in cash each year, so what are you waiting for?.
Want some free money of your own? Are you a college student looking for ways to make money while in school?
While you might not get rich quickly with the items on the list, you’ll be getting free money with very little effort.
Check out these 18+ companies that offer free money when you complete simple tasks in your spare time:
1. Refinance Student Loans
Chances are good you have student loans. Have you considered refinancing them?
Refinancing means a lender pays off your existing loans and creates a new, single loan to be paid back at (ideally) a lower interest rate. This is appealing to borrowers because it consolidates monthly loan payments and saves you money!
The *extra* good news is that many refinancing companies will pay you cold, hard cash to refinance with their company.
Check out our review of the best student loan refinance companies
2. Give your opinions for money.
Online survey sites have become a top way for people to cash in doing something pretty mindless in their spare time. While there are a ton out there to choose from, Survey Junkie has one of the longest histories and a consistent record of paying its users.
Just sign up for any one of these free accounts and you’ll be on your way to scoring free money for your musings on everything from new products to advertising campaigns. Some, like Pinecone Research, for example, will even ship you products so you can try answering questions on them.
3. Lower your mortgage payment.
Today’s historically low rates are spurring a refinance boom. By refinancing your mortgage, you not only can lower your interest rate and free up cash flow in your budget, but you can quite possibly take equity out of your home, and put it in the bank.
While not everyone owns their home, refinancing at a lower rate is an easy way to get hundreds of dollars per month free by simply lowering your interest expense.
4. Consolidate your debt to find extra money.
Personal debt such as medical or credit card debt can be consolidated at a lower rate. In a similar way to refinancing a home, if you consolidate your debt, it should be at a lower average rate in order to free up money in your monthly payments. There are two great ways to consolidate your debt:
Personal Debt Consolidation Loan
Online lenders such as Upstart, will work with you on a variety of debts to get them into one low payment, freeing up cash.
Open a 0% Balance Transfer Credit Card
Another great option if you’re only working with credit card debt, is to use a 0% balance transfer card. Many cards have 0% interest options out to 18 months or more. Make sure you have a long-term plan to pay your card off, but this option will net you some short-term reprieve from bills.
5. Get rebates at local retailers.
Ever heard of MyPoints? Simply put, it’s a website that offers points for nearly anything you can do online – from shopping to online surveys.
With MyPoints, the “points” you can redeem are good for cashback and a variety of gift cards to stores like Amazon.com, Best Buy, Nike, and even GameStop.
A gift certificate to Applebee’s, for example, starts at just 790 points. Paypal cash, on the other hand, starts at just 3,970 points.
To get started with MyPoints, all you have to do is sign up for a free account and use the site to shop online, take surveys, watch videos, or participate in fun, daily polls. It’s as simple as that.
You do not have to limit yourself to MyPoints, there are many options available, here are some of our top picks:
$10 Sign Up Bonus, $20 after redeeming 10 offers
Earn a $10 gift card when you spend $20
6. Earn a free $5 with Inbox Dollars.
Inbox Dollars is yet another website intent on paying you for living and breathing. In all seriousness, the tasks Inbox Dollars pays for are crazy-easy. Simply surf the internet, use the website to play games, complete surveys or questionnaires, or print grocery coupons to score free cash!
It’s fairly easy to earn an extra $20 – $30 per month for regular use, plus you can get a free $5 just for signing up.
If you like to get free money, it’s hard to beat this offer. Read more in our Inbox Dollars review.
7. Rack up some Swagbucks.
Swagbucks are ridiculously fun and easy to earn. Believe it or not, this website will pay you free money to shop online, watch videos (or space out and pretend you’re watching) surf the internet, or answer survey questions. Have you ever heard of a part-time job that will pay you just to hang out?
Once you start earning Swagbucks, you’ll learn all the fun ways you can redeem them as well. For example, you can cash in your Swagbucks for a wide range of gift cards. Don’t like that option? Turn in your points for PayPal cash instead.
Signing up is free and you literally have nothing to lose, either. If you’re going to be on the internet, why not get paid? You can learn a little more about Swagbucks in our full Swagbucks review.
8. Score an easy $10 with Rakuten.
Ebates (Rakuten) is a great place to earn money for all sorts of online tasks, but you’ll also get a $10 welcome bonus just for signing up and making a $25 purchase.
Simply open an account, spend $25 at an online store like Walmart.com, Kohls.com, Groupon.com, or Amazon.com, and the $10 bonus is yours for the taking.
And if you use Ebates for the long haul, you’ll earn even more. Just by clicking through the website when you shop online, you can earn up to 40 percent cash back at certain stores. Sounds pretty good, huh?
9. Let Trim save you money automatically.
Trim is an app that tracks your spending and automates the day-to-day process of saving money for you, helping you cut out recurring charges for services you no longer need.
Trim markets itself as an assistant that saves you money, helping you tackle debt and strategically cut down on your spending. The app even checks competitors’ prices on products like your auto insurance to ensure you’re getting the best rates for the services you use.
10. Get refunds with Paribus.
Have you ever bought something only to find out the price dropped a few days later? With Paribus, you can get that money back with zero effort. All you do is shop online as usual and let Paribus monitor your confirmation emails from retailers. Whenever the price drops on what you buy, Paribus helps you get refunded.
You can use Paribus to save with popular retailers, like Target, Amazon, Walmart, Nordstrom, and more. Paribus also applies its services to hotel bookings through Expedia, Priceline, Booking.com, Marriott, and Hilton.
11. Collect Cash from Microinvesting Apps
You might think that the only way to make money by investing is through the…. Investments, right?
Nope! These investing platforms and microinvesting apps will pay you cash just for signing up!
$5 Welcome Bonus
$5 Sign-Up Bonus
12. Score a bank bonus.
All kinds of banks offer a bonus if you are willing to put a certain amount of cash on deposit or sign up for a direct deposit. From Chase to Huntington Bank and others, these bonuses can add up to some serious cash if you can meet their requirements!
My post on the best online checking accounts highlights some of the best deals in this space, but you can also check with local banks to see what they offer. Just make sure you read the fine print and watch out for any “gotchas” or requirements you don’t understand.
$150 for a $15k deposit, $200 for a $20k deposit
$400 for a $5k deposit
BANK OF AMERICA
$100 if you set up Direct Deposit
$100 for all new customers
Another way to score bonuses from the bank is to simply have an interest-earning savings account. So after you get that checking account bonus, find a high yield savings account, too.
13. Invest money with Stockpile.
Stockpile makes investing easy and affordable, offering you thousands of stock and ETF options. You can buy fractional shares of companies like Apple and Netflix. Best of all, you get $5 to invest when you sign up.
If you were thinking of joining an investment app already, you might as well earn $5, right? Join today for a free bonus, $0.99 trading fees, zero management fees, and no account minimums. You’ll be glad you did.
14. Get Paid to Budget
How good are you at managing and saving money? If you’re like most people, the answer is not that great.
But the procrastination to “finally get your financial order in life” is over, my friend! The following companies will actually pay you if you let them help you.
$5 Welcome Bonus
$5 Welcome Bonus
15. Get Paid for Selfies
This is a funny one. Basically, a company called Pay Your Selfie will pay you to take pictures of yourself in various locations.
They use the information to help companies do marketing in different parts of the country based off of demographic data (age, gender, race, etc.)
The pictures are all very easy and your first $1 is just for taking a quick pic of yourself. There are always a good number of selfie tasks waiting and people are making a little side money just for taking a few pictures.
16. Sign up for a rewards credit card.
Rewards credit cards offer something for nothing if you are able to meet a small minimum spending requirement. This free cash usually comes in the form of a signup bonus, and can easily be worth hundreds.
Since a lot of rewards credit cards don’t even charge an annual fee, you can get this money for free provided you never pay interest on your purchases. Super cool, huh?
Below are a few cards I recommend from financial institutions I’ve worked with in one capacity or another over the years and trust:
Card Requirements Bonus
Capital One Quicksilver Spend $500 in first 3 mos $150
Wells Fargo Cash Wise Spend $500 in first 3 mos $150
Chase Freedom Spend $500 in first 3 mos $150
Bank of America Cash Rewards Spend $1k in first 3 mos $200
17. Earn a Guaranteed $1,000 with Lyft
I assume you’re familiar with Lyft, the ridesharing competitor to Uber. I actually find Lyft to be cheaper and have better experiences with the drivers.
Speaking of, how would you like to earn a guaranteed $1,000 to become a Lyft driver? Yup! That’s what the company is offering right now.
It’s part of a program called Earnings Guaranteed. According to the Lyft website, the promotion says drivers will earn a guaranteed amount within a certain time frame. If the driver does not make the guaranteed amount within the time frame, Lyft will cover the difference!
And right now the guaranteed amount is $1,000! Easy money.
18. Book reservations with Seated
Seated is an app that can earn you up to 30% back on your meals, and it’s practically effortless. Seated is incredibly easy to use. You just download the app and book your dinner reservations with one of Seated’s partner restaurants.
Each time you book, you’ll get up to 30% back in the form of gift cards for companies like Amazon and Starbucks. The only drawback when it comes to Seated is location. Seated is currently only available in major cities, currently Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, NYC, Philadelphia, and San Francisco.
If you live in one of those cities, you can get free money as fast you can download the app and get to your favorite restaurant.
The Bottom Line
The internet offers a treasure trove of ways to get free money in a pinch. While many of these options won’t make you rich, they will hopefully meet your short-term needs. And most of the time, all you have to do to get started is sign up and complete mindless tasks like watching videos or answering survey questions.
The free money is out there for the taking; it’s up to you to get out there and seize it!
About the Author
Jeff Rose, CFP® is a Certified Financial Planner™, founder of Good Financial Cents, and author of the personal finance book Soldier of Finance. He was a financial planner for 16+ years having founded, Alliance Wealth Management, a SEC Registered Investment Advisory firm, before selling it to focus on his passion - educating the masses on the importance of financial freedom through this blog, his podcast, and YouTube channel.
Jeff holds a Bachelors in Science in Finance and minor in Accounting from Southern Illinois University - Carbondale. In addition to his CFP® designation, he also earned the marks of AAMS® - Accredited Asset Management Specialist - and CRPC® - Chartered Retirement Planning Counselor.
While a practicing financial advisor, Jeff was named to Investopedia's distinguished list of Top 100 advisors (as high as #6) multiple times and CNBC's Digital Advisory Council.
Jeff is an Iraqi combat veteran and served 9 years in the Army National Guard. His work is regularly featured in Forbes, Business Insider, Inc.com and Entrepreneur.