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A little extra cash in your pocket never hurts. And if it’s free money? Even better.
We all dream of finding new ways to make extra money with minimal effort. But let’s be honest: most opportunities out there DO take time and effort.
As the saying goes, “Where there’s a will, there’s a way.” If you want to make more money and are willing to put in your dues, there are tons of ways to make extra money on the side.
Believe it or not, there are a few scam-free ways to make some quick free money today. Right now.
Even if you’re still in bed or on the couch watching Friends re-runs on Netflix for the millionth time. (It’s OK, I do it, too.)
How Can You Get Free Money?
Most companies are always striving to promote their services to as many people as they possibly can. And if it means giving away free money to get their foot in the door and gain access to consumers like you, they consider it a small price to pay.
What’s in it for them? Usually they’re interested in gathering data to improve their marking and sales. And since most people guard their email addresses like Buckingham Palace, they offer free cash as an incentive to gain your trust.
I’ve researched a handful of the best free money offers, money saving apps, and services on the web to help put $45 or more in your pocket today. Each one on the list is 100% free to sign-up, but they also provide powerful value beyond the sign-up bonuses they offer.
My wife and I use each of them every month to keep a few more bucks in our wallets – especially Ibotta, Digit and Rakuten– with minimal effort.
We’ve even found some pretty creative ways to get free Starbucks drinks, too.
Read on to see the companies who want to help you get free cash now – no strings attached.
1. Ibotta: Redeem an Offer on Your Next Shopping Trip and Grab a $10 Welcome Bonus
Ibotta is pretty much the undisputed king of helping people earn cash back on everyday purchases. Their app helps you get real free cash –not points or credits –and works at hundreds of stores.
With Ibotta, the cash back process is unbelievably easy:
- Use the app to find and select offers on the products you already buy before you shop.
- Buy the products you selected at a participating store.
- Redeem the offers by taking a photo of your receipt in the app. Ibotta will handle the rest.
- Cash back will be deposited in your account in 48 hours.
- Transfer cash back directly to your bank account via PayPal (don’t worry, you won’t pay any service fees).
There’s a reason Ibotta users have earned over $526 million (yes, million) in cash back rewards as of June 2019. It’s easy to get started, it works almost everywhere, and you can even earn additional rewards and bonuses when you refer friends and build your own team. (Our little team currently has over 300 members.)
Why you should sign-up for Ibotta: you’re already going to continue shopping as you normally do, so you may as well get some free cash in the process. After getting $10 for signing-up, you’ll continue to get free cash back (anywhere from $1-10 per grocery trip, we’ve found) every week.
2. Drop: Free Gift Cards With Little Effort
In our rankings of the best cashback apps, Drop is quickly shooting its way up the list.
I guess we’re just softies when it comes to any app that helps us get free gift cards for doing stuff we normally do anyway, like shop for clothes, buy a hot coffee, or book a trip.
We picked 5 Drop-approved store partners and now we earn points for shopping just like we normally would at those stores. The points add up faster than we expected, and you can redeem 5,000 points for a $5.00 gift card to places like Target, Starbucks, and Amazon.
3. Inbox Dollars: $5 Sign-up Bonus
Inbox Dollars is one of the oldest names in the survey industry, and they’ve lasted so long because they treat their survey takers well and pay them for a variety of simple tasks.
If you like answering questions honestly, checking your email, and watching TV, it’s worth signing-up for InboxDollars.
Why you should sign-up for InboxDollars: Of all survey companies, we routinely hear great reviews of InboxDollars.
4. Acorns: $5 Free Cash to Start Investing
Roboadvisers and microinvesting are two of the biggest buzzwords in the investment world. There are plenty of choices out there today, but we’ve used Acorns for years.
Why? Acorns has been around longer than much of their competition and is one of the leaders in this sector by virtue of helping investors put their spare change to work. Here’s how it works:
- Sign-up and link your bank account (totally secure thanks to military grade encryption). Then allow Acorns to “round-up” on your purchases.
- Live life like normal and shop like you always do.
- Acorns will round-up your purchases to the next dollar and literally invest your spare change for you.
- You can always set-up regular savings transfers (we do $5 per work) and Acorns will invest this money according to the risk tolerance you select.
Why you should sign-up for Acorns: The bonuses keep on coming with this offer. And even if you feel like you don’t have enough money to start investing in a traditional way, Acorns is affordable and accessible to everyone.
Another bonus: Acorns will plant a tree when you sign-up.
5. Rakuten: A $10 Bonus For the Online Shopping You Already Do
With a new TV ad campaign that’s been on the airwaves for several months, Rakuten is probably the most recognizable name on this list. Yes, they changed their name from Ebates, but they’re still the same great company.
When it comes to saving money, they’re the REAL deal – and my favorite money saving tool – no matter they may decide to call themselves!
Here’s how it works:
- Rakuten offers savings of up to 40% off in the form of cash back at over 2,000 stores.
- Savings are now online and in-store, which makes it even easier for shoppers like you to get free cash back on your normal shopping purchases.
- Think of Rakuten as a major influencer. They send customers to stores, and Rakuten earns a commission. They pass a portion of that on to you.
Why you should sign-up for Rakuten: With a big $10 sign-up bonus and an always growing list of savings partners, Rakuten is one of the easiest ways to save money on purchases you already make.
6. Vindale Research: Sign-up For an Easy $2 and More
This one’s short and sweet. Vindale is one of the leading survey companies, and they’ll toss free money your way just for signing up.
Why you should sign-up for Vindale Research: After earning your bonus, you can continue to earn even more money month after month by taking surveys in your spare time.
7. Free Samples Guide: $10+ in Free Stuff Each Month
I know, I know – this one sounds too good to be true. How can you actually get free samples in the mail on a regular basis?
Sign-up for Free Samples Guide – you guessed it, for free – and they’ll start rolling in. No, it’s not quite as cool as getting free cash, but when you don’t have to buy shampoo, magic erasers, and other household goods this month, you’ll be glad you signed up.
Why you should use Free Samples Guide: This might be the most fun way to actually get free stuff in the mail we’ve ever seen.
Psst. If you’re a coffee addict like me, check out how you can get free Starbucks for a year.
8. Save Over $100 This Week Using Trim
We’re pretty passionate in our belief that one of the easiest ways to earn free money is having someone else negotiate better rates on the services you already use. Enter Trim.
A totally free service (not an app), Trim is the personal savings assistant every introvert wishes they had years ago. Once you create a free account and link your financial accounts, Trim will go to work and starting putting free cash money back in your account where it belongs.
Trim helps users save in a variety of ways, but here are the biggest ones:
- Negotiates with companies to lower your bills and cancel subscriptions (with your approval)
- Analyzes your spending habits and makes suggestions
The best part? Trim works via Facebook Messenger, so you don’t even need to download another app.
My experience: After signing-up for Trim, I decided to put the bot to work on my swelling Comcast bill. I provided my login credentials and my most recent bill and let Trim do it’s thing. The next day, I got this text:
Saving $798.03 felt amazing!
My experience isn’t unusual, either. Most Trim users literally start saving money within a day or two of signing-up.
Trim can help you save money on bills with Time Warner Cable, AT&T, Verizon, ADT Security, SiriusXM, DirecTV, Charter, and also help you discover subscriptions you may never use and don’t even remember that you have.
Want to shop car insurance rates? Trim will do that for you, too.
Why you should use Trim: You could easily get back hundreds of dollars with just a few key strokes. It’s a no-brainer.
9. Earn Free Cash Back Whenever Prices Drop With Paribus
A while back, I bought a small but expensive kitchen gadget at Target. Then I saw the same exact item in the weekend ad circular for $10 less.
Because I use the free Paribus app, I ended up getting a free refund on the price difference by doing absolutely nothing.
When you create a free account, Paribus will analyze your purchase history and receipts in your email inbox and begin monitoring for price drops. Again, it’s 100% free, you literally don’t have to do a thing after you Paribus app, and it’s another easy way to earn free money right now.
Why you should use Paribus: You can shop without worrying about sales because you’ll know that you’ll get free refunds automatically.
10. Visit Unclaimed.org
It’s a long shot, but there is a chance you could be missing out on a refund, credit, or unreturned security deposit that you completely forgot about – visit Unclaimed.org to find out!
Bonus Offers For Even More Free Cash and Free Stuff
Want Bath and Body Works samples? Here’s your chance.
Our new personal favorite: Gatorade samples (because that stuff is expensive!).
Earn More Free Money Straight to Your Pocket
Free money to the tune of over $45 is already pretty amazing, but your opportunities don’t end here.
Most of the programs in this list offer additional bonuses for referring friends straight from your account. You can easily get a few friends and family to sign up for a program or two if you send out a few emails and write a Facebook post.
Looking for more ways to earn extra money? Check out these posts:
- 21 Awesome Side Hustles to Help You Haul in Extra Cash
- 10 Potentially Life Changing Side Hustles You May Not Have Considered