In this post, you’re going to learn how to get free money.
Yes, I know it sounds too good to be true — and that’s usually a bad sign.
But the fact of the matter is this: there are more than a few 100% legit ways to get free money online.
Of course, there are also a lot of time wasters. Not to mention flat-out scams.
That’s why everything on this list has been verified by our team.
Does Free Money Really Exist?
It depends on your definition of “free.” Analyzing each suggestion below, we found four general methods for getting what we consider free money.
- Sign-up offers. Cash welcome offers for signing up for a website, which requires no upfront cost or additional spending.
- Getting paid to do things you’re already doing. Make money with little to no extra work, monetizing the things you already do, such as shopping and watching TV.
- Scholarships, grants and financial aid. Learn where to find free money from the government and other organizations you don’t have to pay back.
- Optimize your existing finances. Have a 401(k) match? Paying more in interest than you have to? Chances are you’re leaving money on the table by not optimizing your finances.
Earn Free Money Online From Sign-Up Bonuses
Businesses give away millions of dollars each year to acquire new customers. Sign-up bonuses for different products and services range from a few dollars to over $1,000.
Some require the completion of a small task to earn the bonus, such as submitting a receipt.
Others, such as credit cards, require you to spend a certain amount of money within a set time frame (i.e., “Earn $500 when you spend $2,000 in the first three months”).
Others give you a bonus just for signing up.
#1. Take Surveys And Get Paid Today With Survey Junkie
Expected earnings: Under $50 per month.
How long it takes: Cash-out in less than 24 hours.
Requirements: Earn a minimum of 500 points (equal to $5 in value) to cash-out via PayPal. Minimum age of 13 years old. Must live in the U.S., Canada or Australia.
Survey Junkie is one of the most popular market research sites, with over 10 million members worldwide.
As for free money, Survey Junkie makes the list as it’s easy for new users to rack up points with simple tasks like confirming your email address, watching a “how it works” video, and filling out a short profile survey.
This is a similar set of tasks to what other survey sites that offer a bonus require. But what’s to like about Survey Junkie is the site has a minimum payout of just $5 — which you can redeem immediately for cash through PayPal.
Other survey sites have minimums as high as $50. So even if they offer a big signup bonus, it might take months of effort to actually get money into your account.
#2. Get $10 By Signing Up For Swagbucks
Expected earnings: Under $50 per month.
How long it takes: Depends on how you go about earning points on the site. You can earn them today by taking surveys, while you may have to wait 30 to 60 days for points to hit your account via online shopping.
Requirements: Available across North America, South America, Europe, Asia, and some African countries.
Swagbucks is one of the most popular rewards sites and cash-back apps, having now paid out more than $400 million to its users. You can shop, surf the web, fill out surveys, and even watch videos to earn points on the site (which are called “SBs”).
Those SBs, which are valued at around 1 cent each, can be exchanged for cash via PayPal or gift cards to retailers like Amazon and Walmart.
Like Survey Junkie, the minimum withdrawal on Swagbucks is low (with rewards options starting at just $2).
However, Swagbucks does take between two and three days to verify your account, and then two or three more to issue your gift card or transfer to your PayPal account.
My preferred way to earn Swagbucks is with online shopping. It takes just a few extra seconds to earn up to 20% cash-back at online stores like Nike, Walmart, and more.
When you sign up with the link below, and make a purchase of $25 or more using the Swagbucks cash-back portal, you’ll earn a $10 welcome bonus.
#3. Get $20 From Ibotta
Expected earnings: $20 welcome offer, plus an average of $20 more per month with consistent use of the app.
How long it takes: Transfers instantly via Venmo or PayPal.
Requirements: U.S only. Must be 18 years old. The minimum cash-out is $20.
Ibotta is well-known as the most popular coupon app for groceries.
There’s a little legwork involved with this app. You need to add your offers before shopping to ensure you get the cash-back.
Then, once you get home, you have to scan the barcodes. (Read our comprehensive Ibotta review to learn more about the process.)
But those few minutes of extra legwork sure can add up over time.
To earn the $20 welcome bonus, you’ll need to redeem 10 offers (either in-store or online) within 14 days. This is certainly doable, but it takes some planning.
Ibotta continues to add more ways to earn beyond in-store receipt scanning. There’s now a browser extension that allows you to get cash-back for your online purchases, including food and grocery delivery.
#4. Get Free Shares Of Stock
Expected earnings: $100+.
How long it takes: Typically around one to two weeks for bonuses to hit your account. If you want to sell the stock for cash, it will take approximately a week to transfer to your checking account.
Requirements: U.S only. Must be 18 years old. For some brokerages, you’ll need to make a small deposit to earn the free stocks.
There is a lot of venture capital money entering the FinTech space, as free trading apps like Robinhood have exploded in popularity.
To gain customers, many apps are now offering new depositors free shares of stock for signing up and making a small deposit.
See our guide on how to get free stock shares, which is continuously updated, to learn which apps are offering the best bonus.
Earlier this year, I went through a round of signing up for a handful of brokerages to see what I could earn.
With Webull, for depositing $100, I earned a free share of ISBC (valued at $11.63).
With Dough, for making a $25 deposit, I got two shares of stock: one share of Bed Bath and Beyond and one share in Caesars Palace.
#5. Credit Card Sign-Up Bonuses
Expected earnings: $100+.
How long it takes: Credit card bonus offers typically require you to hit a minimum spend, which can often take two to three months.
Requirements: U.S only. Must be 18 years old. The higher your credit score, the better your chances of earning a high signup bonus.
Credit card sign-up bonuses are my favorite way to make money with welcome offers.
In fact, I’ve earned thousands in cash and thousands in free travel. It’s been a big money-maker (or saver) for me.
The big caveat, and why I don’t recommend this for everyone, is:
- You need to pay off your balance in full every month with no exceptions to ensure you’re actually making money.
- There are typically higher minimum spending requirements to earn the best bonuses, which you shouldn’t stretch your budget to try and hit.