The internet is a treasure chest of free cash — you just have to know where to look.
No, you can’t order money-tree seeds or buy a fully loaded cash cannon, but you can complete some quick and simple tasks to start making money online.
There are a number of companies, websites and apps that offer easy money, so we scoured the internet to find the best — and most legitimate — ways to tap into that extra cash.
1. See if You Can Get Free Money From This Company
Here’s the deal: If you’re not using Aspiration’s debit card, you’re missing out on free money. And who doesn’t want free money?
Yep. A debit card called Aspiration gives you up to a 5% kickback every time you swipe.
Need to buy groceries? Free money.
Need to fill up the tank? Bam. Free money again.
You were going to buy these things anyway — why not get free money in the process?
It takes just five minutes to sign up for a new debit card and see how much free money you could earn with the Aspiration Spend and Save account.
Get a $100 bonus: Open your Aspiration account by February 29, 2020, and set up and receive a direct deposit from your paycheck or government benefits by June 30, 2020 to get a $100 bonus. The bonus will land in your account by July 17, 2020. (This bonus is not advertised on Aspiration’s website but available to Codetic readers who use this special link.)
2. Search For Unclaimed Money
State treasuries throughout the United Sates have more than $43 billion in unclaimed funds, according to The New York Times. Just sitting around! Waiting for you to come play lost and found.
There are a few websites that allow you to check for unclaimed property, including the National Association of Unclaimed Property Administrators and MissingMoney.com. (Beware of scam look-alike sites!)
It takes less than a minute to check. Codetic reader Kelli Howell heeded our advice, performed a quick search and found unclaimed money in her husband’s name — $56 from a “matured insurance policy.”
Sure, it’s $56, but what an effortless way to tap into some extra money fast!
3. Take 5 Surveys and Get a Free $5 Amazon Gift Card
Listen. We all spend too much money on Amazon, but here’s an easy way to get $5 toward your next order: Take five online surveys through a website called MyPoints.
MyPoints is a research company that’ll pay you to answer questions about different products and services you use. In return, it’ll give you free gift cards. You can even do this from your phone.
To date, MyPoints has paid people more than $236 million in gift cards.
To get your $5 Amazon gift card, just sign up and complete your first five surveys.
4. Send This Company Your Junk Mail
How many ads do you receive in your mailbox each day? What about in your inbox?
The Small Business Knowledge Center is a market research firm that studies the way companies advertise via mail and email marketing — and it wants to see what you’ve been receiving.
Sign up as a panelist, and start sending your qualifying junk mail in, via postage-paid envelopes. You can also forward your emails. You’ll earn points along the way, which you can redeem for a Visa debit card.
The site says frequent participants earn up to $20 every six to 10 weeks — not bad for getting rid of your junk mail.
5. Get $5 When You Buy a Piece of Corporation
Take a look at the Forbes Richest People list, and you’ll notice almost all the billionaires have one thing in common — they own another company.
But if you work for a living and don’t happen to have millions of dollars lying around, that can sound totally out of reach.
That’s why we like the app Stash. It lets you be a part of something that’s normally exclusive to the richest of the rich — buying pieces of other companies. But Stash lets you start with as little as a $5 investment.
You can buy pieces of well-known companies, like McDonald’s, Apple, Tesla* and more.
The best part? When these companies profit, so can you. Some companies even send you a check every quarter for your share of the profits, called dividends.
It takes two minutes to sign up, plus Stash will give you a $5 sign-up bonus. (You just doubled your money!) Stash offers subscription plans starting at $1.00 a month.** As a reminder, Investing involves risk.
You might not be in the next issue of Forbes, but this is a great way to get started.
Codetic is a Paid Affiliate/partner of Stash.
* This material is not intended as investment advice and is not meant to suggest that any securities are suitable investments for any particular investor. Investment advice is only provided to Stash customers.
** You’ll also bear the standard fees and expenses reflected in the pricing of the ETFs in your account, plus fees for various ancillary services charged by Stash.
6. You’re Missing Out On a Free $150 by Using the Wrong Credit Card
It might sound too good to be true, but the Chase Freedom Unlimited credit card will give you a $150 bonus if you spend $500 within the first three months of signing up. That basically means you’d just need to use the card to buy groceries.
Plus, it’s probably better than any other credit card in your purse or wallet. You’ll earn 1.5% cash back on all your purchases, all the time, so you don’t have to keep track of revolving categories or anything like that.
And unlike a lot of competing rewards cards, there’s no annual fee.
Applying for the card online takes no more than about two minutes. Then you could be well on your way to that free $150.
Just remember to spend responsibly and pay your balance off each month!
*The information for the Chase Freedom Unlimited card has been collected independently by Codetic. Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of the credit card issuer, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuer. Codetic is a partner of Credible.
7. Copy This Strategy to Get Checks in the Mail Totaling $526
Remember when getting the mail was fun? Now it’s just bills. And Valpak envelopes.
But for Colleen Rice, checking the mail meant finding checks. For doing nothing. Seriously. Since she started using a free website called Rakuten, she’s received $526.44.
Rakuten has the hookup with just about every online store you shop, which means it can give you a kickback every time you buy toilet paper on Amazon — even book that flight home for Thanksgiving.
Rice says she uses Rakuten for things she already has to buy, like rental cars and flights. She even used the money she earned to help her pay for her recent cross-country move.
It takes less than 60 seconds to create a Rakuten account and start shopping. All you need is an email address, then you can immediately start shopping your go-to stores through the site.
Plus, if you use Rakuten to earn money back within the first 90 days of signing up, it’ll give you an extra $10 on the first check it sends you.
Talk about money for nothing.
8. Turn Your Grocery Receipts Into Visa Prepaid Cards
What do you usually do with your receipts? You check out, they hand you a mile-long piece of paper, and you frantically stuff it to the bottom of a grocery bag. Pretty worthless.
But a free app called Fetch Rewards will turn them into Visa prepaid cards. It partners with tons of brands to give you points for every grocery receipt you share.
And it’s perfect for those of us who don’t want to put a ton of work into this. All you have to do is send Fetch a photo of your receipt, and it does everything for you. No scanning barcodes or searching for offers — and you can use it with any grocery receipt.
When you download the app, use the code PENNY to automatically earn 2,000 points when you scan your first receipt. Then start snapping photos of your recent receipts to see how many points you can earn without a single trip to the store!
Not so bad for a useless receipt, right?
9. This App Gives You Up to $500 in Free Stock
OK, so it’s not necessarily free cash, but free stocks are almost better because they have the potential to increase in value over time.
So, whether you’ve got $5, $100 or $800 to spare, you can start investing with Robinhood.
Yeah, you’ve probably heard of Robinhood. Both investing beginners and pros love it because it doesn’t charge commission fees, and you can buy and sell stocks for free — no limits. Plus, it’s super easy to use.
What’s best? When you download the app and fund your account (it takes no more than a few minutes), Robinhood drops a share of free stock into your account. It’s random, though, so that stock could be worth anywhere from $5 to $500 — a nice boost to help you build your investments.
Enjoy Your Free Money, Honey! (Just Be Careful of Scams)
Congratulations! You’ve made it through our list of ways to get free money.
Now, want to go out and find some more money on your own? Just remember: The internet can be a scary place, so be wary of scams. To vet a “free money” opportunity like we do, take these steps:
- Search the company or website’s name on Google. Read reviews, look up Better Business Bureau ratings, and sign up for scam alerts from the Federal Trade Commission.
- Don’t offer your personal or financial information unless you absolutely trust the site. You should never have to pay money in order to receive it.
- Give the company a call, and ask questions.
- Be skeptical, and if something’s too good to be true, it probably is. Don’t think you’ll get paid $1,000 for taking a five-minute survey.
Overall, just be smart! Or the easiest way is to just keep checking back in with Codetic to find more ways to earn free money.
Carson Kohler ([email protected]) is a staff writer at Codetic. She’s a big fan of free money.