We all enjoy receiving (and giving) gifts. But, what about receiving gift cards…for free? Believe it or not, there are quite a few ways you can rack up free gift cards easily. It just takes a little creativity and knowhow, and you might just have a little fun doing it, too. It can be a great way to help pass the time while pumping up your spending budget a little. Here are 9 ways to go shopping for free without tapping into your bank account by earning free gift cards.
Scan receipts to earn free cash. One of the easiest ways, obviously, to earn free gift cards is by downloading the free Fetch app. Then, all you need to do is scan receipts, and connect your email and scan for ereceipts, from purchases in store and online to earn back a percentage of what you scan in the form of gift cards. It’s an easy way to make money for just a few minutes of your time.
Complete surveys. Several online survey companies like Branded Surveys, InboxDollars, MyPoints or Survey Junkie will allow you to earn cash for filling out market research surveys. Some may be targeted to key demographics, but others are open to everyone. This is a simple way to earn money, often in the from of gift cards, while learning a bit about how advertisers and marketing companies develop or target their products to different consumer groups. College students may find it an entertaining way to study business practices while earning a little extra spending money, too. If you have a long commute where you’re not driving or are often waiting in long lines, it’s a great way to pass the time.
Returning gifts. If you received duplicate gifts or something that you’re not completely in love with over the holidays, consider returning it. Don’t stash it away in the back of your closet to sit unused forever. Take it back to the store where it was purchased. Hopefully, you have a gift receipt that came with it, but even if not, if it is clear that the item came from that store, they will often exchange unopened or unused items for store credit or gift cards. This is an easy way to streamline what you have at home and actually turn those unwanted gifts into something you really like. Go through your closets, if you have something that is still on the shelves and it has its original tags, you could exchange it and buy something else.
Trade in old items. Even if you have older items that you have used, some popular retailers like Amazon, Banana Republic, Staples and Target have trade-in programs. These allow you to exchange used items like electronics (phones, tablets, laptops, etc.), clothing that passes a particular inspection and other goods. They get repurposed and sold again while you earn a small fee in the form of gift cards to that particular retailer for trading in the things you no longer want or use. It is extra motivation to declutter your home and get paid for the things you no longer need or use. Someone else might be able to benefit from them.
Cashback apps or shopping portal. For the everyday, online shopping purchases you already make, consider starting that search by going through a shopping portal. You might just be leaving a lot of free cash on the table! Rather than going directly to the website itself, you earn a percentage back of everything you buy online simply by clicking through these shopping apps or portals. It is one of the easiest ways to make some bigtime cash as there are hundreds of stores and websites that you probably already visit including places like Bath & Body Works, Dell, Gap, Marriott and Walmart among many more. Sign up and start your shopping search via portals and apps, like Fetch.
You can get receipt rich with Fetch as it will pad your wallet with free gift cards from your favorite retailers just for taking a few extra seconds to scan your receipts. You can even connect your online orders and earn points from your ereceipts from the leading online stores, including Amazon, Walmart, and Best Buy, and get extra points and rewards in the process.
Use a specific search engine. Swagbucks is a popular search engine where you can accrue points for every search you do. Other options include earning cash back by using Bing and Microsoft Rewards to make online searches. You can then take those points and convert them into rewards like gift cards. If you spend a lot of time researching things or looking up information on the Internet, this could be a great way to earn money for the things you already do. While it may take awhile to rack up enough for your favorite gift cards, it is an easy way to make money without drastically changing your habits.
Watch videos or ads. Many companies want to get their products, ideas or content in front of new eyes to see how it is received. These include places like Swagbucks and AdWallet. Again, this could be a great way to pass the time on the bus or train while commuting or if you spend a lot of time waiting in line (that includes carpool lines at school)! You might just learn something new while also making a few bucks in the process.
Product referrals. Many businesses know that it is more difficult to acquire new customers, and this is why they incentivize existing customers to help them to earn new ones. By referring people (using a dedicated code) to products and services you already use, you could earn a gift card or credit in the process. Many popular places offer such a program including Comcast, Lyft, T-Mobile, Uber and many credit cards. If you can’t find details on a referral program, contact the company via social media or customer service to see if they reward existing customers for referring new ones.
Scanning bar codes. It’s true. With the Shopkick app, you can earn points for visiting participating stores or scanning particular product bar codes when shopping. Once you earn enough points, you can exchange them for gift cards. This could be a great way to entertain your older kids by sending them on a hunt around the store while you get your shopping done faster.
While you won’t get rich quick with any of these ideas, you can pad your wallet with a little bit of extra spending money while cleaning your home, passing the time, entertaining your kids or learning something new.