Your parents may have told you that you’ll never get money for nothing but, unfortunately for them, that’s just not true. We’ve found a whole bunch of ways to earn free cash with little or no effort!
Now, that ‘effort’ part is important. Lots of other guides to making free money include things like paid online surveys, which we think is a little misleading. Having to do anything other than the bare minimum for your money means it isn’t free – it means you’re working.
So, with that in mind, we’ve only including the very easiest, very simplest ways to make free money – and don’t worry, you can still earn £100s!
Bursaries, scholarships and grants
This one probably isn’t news to a lot of you, but hear us out – we are a student money site, after all.
While you’re probably well aware that students can receive money in the form of bursaries, scholarships and grants (and that, unlike regular Student Loans, these don’t have to be paid back), what you may not know is just how many people are eligible for this free cash.
Many students tend to assume that these funds are only on offer to those with the top grades, a talent for a particular sport or instrument, or those from less privileged backgrounds. But, while these students usually are eligible for support, plenty of others can get some of this free money too.
As we explain in our guide to weirdest bursaries, grants and scholarships, funding’s available to students for all kinds of reasons. Whether it’s being a vegetarian, having a knack for FIFA or just having the right surname, you could get free money for almost anything – so there’s really no reason not to search for funding yourself.
- Before you create an account with a company that sells anything, you should always check to see if there are any signup offers for new customers.
Far from just offering an introductory discount, loads of companies will give you free money for signing up. And although you’ll sometimes have to make a qualifying purchase first, if it’s something you were going to buy anyway, it’s 100% free cash.
Sometimes the reward will come in the form of an Amazon voucher, but given that Amazon sells pretty much everything, a voucher is as good as cash anyway. And, if you use our Amazon shopping hacks, you’ll be guaranteed a bargain.
If you’re after more, just head to this deals page for all the best ways to earn free money by signing up with companies.
Money for switching bank or utility supplier
- One of the main things we advise students to do before they start uni is to open a student bank account. But did you know that you can switch bank accounts even when you’ve already started uni, and that you could get some free cash for doing so?
Switching bank accounts couldn’t be simpler, and whether it’s pure cash or an Amazon voucher (which, we repeat, is as good as normal cash anyway), loads of banks offer as much as £100 to convince you to switch.
And if you’ve not got a bank account yet, don’t worry – these offers are available for new customers too, not just those switching.
Just make sure to double-check the terms of each bank’s offer, as there’s a chance you may be ineligible for the free cash (if you’ve already completed your first year of uni, for instance). And remember that banks offer cash to non-students looking to switch, too!
What’s more, it’s not just banks offering significant amounts of free money for switching, either. Energy companies are all over this sort of thing, with Bulb promising £50 and broadband companies often running offers too.
Free money for referring friends
- We absolutely love referral codes. In terms of how little effort is needed and how much money you could make, it’s hard to think of a better way to earn free money than referring your friends and family to sign up with a few companies.
Often the promotions they run for new customers (like £100 for joining) are mimicked in their refer-a-friend schemes, but with one crucial difference – both you and the person you’re referring get a reward.
The biggest and best offers will indeed come from the banks and utility providers, but loads of companies have referral schemes. Some reward you in the form of credits, but others will pay you cold, hard cash.
Cashback sites (which we’ll also cover later on) and automatic savings apps are among the most reliable for this (although the specific offers often change), and you could earn as much as £15 per signup.
The bottom line is: check all the apps and services you regularly use to see if they offer a referral programme – you could be raking in the cash in no time.
Get a Student Loan refund
- There’s a lot to complain about when it comes to the current state of Student Finance in the UK but, on the main, Student Loan repayments are pretty sound. That is until the flaws in the system mean you end up making repayments when you shouldn’t be.
You see, to start repaying your Student Loan, two things need to happen: you must have reached the first April after your graduation, and you must be earning over the threshold for your repayment plan.
We explain things in more detail in our guide to Student Loan refunds but, over the last few years, it’s emerged that 100,000s of graduates have ended up repaying their loans before the April after their graduation.
While this is less than ideal, what it does mean is that 100,000s of graduates are also entitled to a refund – a lump sum of free cash that averages at least a few hundred quid.
For a full explainer of how to check and claim your refund, as well as why you probably won’t end up having to pay it back again later, check out our guide.
Check if you’re owed a tax rebate
- Student Loan refunds aren’t the only way to get back some free cash that you’ve overpaid.
Every year, thousands of people across the UK accidentally pay too much tax – and if you’re one of them, you’re entitled to a rebate.
You may have overpaid tax for one of a number of reasons (which we explain here), but the good news is that it doesn’t matter if it was your fault or not. And, even better, it also doesn’t matter if this all happened many moons ago – you can claim a refund up to four years after the end of the tax year in which you overpaid.
It’s worth remembering, too, that students very rarely earn over the annual threshold for paying tax (£12,500 a year), so if you think you’ve paid tax when you’ve earned less than this, definitely look into claiming a tax rebate!