All of the options mentioned here are legit ways to get free money. As mentioned above, they’ll all take some sort of action on your part.
But the result from all of the ideas here that work for you is the same: Free money!
Ways to Get Free Money
There are lots of ways to get money fast, but this article will share ways to get money for free.
1. Check Unclaimed Money Sites
People forget about money that’s coming to them all of the time. You may have forgotten about a last paycheck from an employer you left or a small tax return from years ago.
Or you may have money sitting in an account from a bank you haven’t used in years.
They list the company that’s holding the money, whether there’s a joint owner and other information.
Note that the information on these sites might not always be accurate, so don’t get your hopes up if you find your name on the site.
In addition, be sure to check under your maiden name if you’re married.
You might have free money waiting for you from long before you were married.
2. Participate in Your Employer’s 401k Match
If you’re not doing this already, do it quickly. Many companies offer free match money to employees who participate in the company 401k plan.
For instance, a company might match 50% of everything you contribute up to six percent of your income. This is a ridiculously easy way to get free money.
All you have to do is commit to saving money in a retirement account and your company will give you money for doing so!
The money you get by participating in your company’s 401k can be extra padding on your retirement account.
And it can be a great buffer for any investment dips you might experience. Don’t pass this idea up if your company offers 401k match funds.
3. Save Money On Your Bills
One way to get free money is to learn how to save money on your monthly bills. Yes, you can do stuff like cut your grocery bill, use less electricity, ditch cable, etc.
Then when they find recurring bills, they contact you to ask a couple of questions:
- Do you want to keep this bill?
- Can we show you ways to lower this bill?
If you want it to, apps like these will call on your behalf and cancel your subscription. They can also call and negotiate the price you’re paying.
Lastly, apps like Trim and Billshark can show you better deals on the services you want to keep. If you decide you want to switch service providers, these apps can help you do that as well.
4. Get Free Money For Shopping
Everyone shops, and often every day. Since you’ve got to shop anyway, you may as well get some free cash while doing so.
Apps such as Ibotta and Rakuten help you do that. With Rakuten, you just add the browser extension onto your PC or other device.
When you shop with one of Rakuten’s thousands of partner stores, Rakuten rewards you with cash back on your purchase.
The percentage you get back will vary based on which store you’re shopping at.
Ibotta works similarly, except that you can use Ibotta to shop online or in person. Just download the app or link Ibotta to your store loyalty cards.
When using the app you just need to snap a pic of your receipt and Ibotta will find any available cash back rewards. If you’ve attached your loyalty cards Ibotta does the work automatically.
Then you can visit either site to get the rewards you earned in the form of check or PayPal.
5. Scan Your Receipts
There are also a couple of sites that will pay you cash simply for the act of scanning your receipts.
Fetch Rewards makes it really easy to get free money. Just scan your receipt with your phone.
They’ll browse your receipt and give you cash back on purchases you made from their partner companies. You can earn points one of three ways:
- Make a purchase from a partner brand
- Make a special offer purchase
- Refer a friend.
Then use your points to get money or gift cards.
Receipt Hog works the same way. Just snap a picture of your receipt, upload it to your Receipt Hog account and earn your cash back.
6. Declutter Your House
What about getting free money by decluttering your house? If you’re like nearly everyone else, you’ve got old CDs, DVDs, video games and text books laying around.
Sites like Bookscouter will help you sell your old textbooks by showing you multiple offers from a variety of sellers. After you accept an offer they’ll show you how to sell the books and get paid.
Sites like Decluttr will buy your CDs, DVDs, video games, and more directly from you. Just type your item’s description or bar code into the search bar and get an immediate “buy” quote.
If you like what they offer you, they’ll send you a free shipping label you can print out and adhere to the box you pack the items in.
After Decluttr receives your box, they’ll verify the condition of the contents and then send you your money. Bonus: Decluttr buys old Legos by the pound as well.
7. Sell Your Stuff
Selling your stuff is another great way to get money. You probably have items in your home such as:
- Clothing and accessories
- Sporting equipment
- Gaming equipment
- Electronic items
- Household items
- Kids stuff
And more. Have some of those items sat unused in your home for months or even years? If so, why not turn it into cash?
Have a garage sale, or post the items on sites like Craigslist, Facebook Marketplace, or eBay. Then work with potential buyers to exchange your stuff for money.
Be sure to read up on how to buy and sell safely with Craigslist and other sites before you list the items you want to sell.
8. Sell Your Gift Cards
Another way to get free money is to sell all of those gift cards you have laying around.
Lots of people get gift cards for birthdays, holidays, or other occasions such as work prizes.
If you have gift cards you’ll never use, why not sell them and get some cash? You can sell them on sites such as Raise or CardCash.
You can also sell your gift cards to family and friends. This is what I do sometimes.
If I have a gift card I’ll never use, I ask a friend or family member who I know loves the retailer of the gift card if they want to buy it at a discount. That means instant free money for me!
9. Take Surveys
Taking surveys is another way to get free money. Companies such as Survey Junkie love getting opinions of people like you.
They ask your opinion on products and services and share with clients who hope to make better products and services.
As a reward for sharing your opinion, survey companies like Survey Junkie or PrizeRebel give you PayPal cash or other rewards.
With survey sites, you’ve found a way to get free money and help influence the development of products and services.
10. Rent Rooms in Your House
Another way to get free money is to rent a room in your house. Work and pleasure travelers use sites like Airbnb to find places to stay while they travel.
Airbnb helps you advertise the room you have for rent. You create an aesthetically pleasing room, write a description of your room and the area you live in, and take photos for your listing.
When travelers want to rent your spare room, they’ll sign up to reserve the room and pay through Airbnb. You show them how to enter the home and where their room is.
Airbnb handles the booking and payment and gives you your share of the profit. They even handle insuring your rental. All you have to do is have the room ready for incoming guests.
You can earn even more money if you have an entire level–such as a finished basement–to rent out. It’s not uncommon for Airbnb hosts to make $50-$70 per day for each room they rent.
11. Get in Shape
If you’re looking to get in better shape, you might be surprised to know that you can do so–and earn free money in the process.
Companies such as HealthyWage and Achievement will pay you to lose weight and/or get in shape.
HealthyWage gives you money when you set and meet your weight loss or fitness goals. Just place a HealthyWager on the goals you set.
When you’ve reached your goals, you get your wager back, plus some additional free cash.
Achievement works a bit differently. You use Achievement to connect you to apps that track your activity and other healthy habits.
Achievement will reward you with points for every healthy action you complete.
Then you can use the points you’ve earned to get free money via PayPal or other fun rewards.
Using apps like these can be a great way to accomplish your health and fitness goals and get some money too.
12. GPT Sites
You’re not going to get rich getting free money on GPT (get-paid-to) sites, but using these sites can be a great way to get a little free cash in your spare time.
GPT sites will pay you for completing activities on the net that you’re probably already doing anyway. For instance, they might pay you for:
- Watching videos
- Taking surveys
- Playing games
- Shopping online
- Searching the web
And similar activities. Sites like these typically reward you with points when you complete activities. Then you can take your points and get free money via PayPal, a Visa gift card, or similar payouts.
Like I said, these sites won’t give you tons of free cash, but you can use them to get some free money for stuff you’re probably doing on your electronic device anyway.
13. Earn High Interest on Your Bank Accounts
Most banks aren’t paying very much interest–if any–on their checking and savings accounts these days. And if you’ve got a lot of cash in those accounts, you could be missing out on free money.
There are a handful of online and brick-and-mortar banks that understand the value of paying interest on checking and savings accounts.
You see, the more money a bank has in deposit accounts, the more money it can lend to customers and make money off of the interest charged on those loans.
Banks that pay higher interest are more likely to entice high balance customers to open checking and savings accounts.
Smart CEOs know this, and so the best bank CEOs offer rates that are far above what most banks are paying.
Online banks such as Axos Bank have high-yield checking accounts for new online customers. These accounts can often pay 10x what you’re earning at your current bank.
Check local banks and credit unions for high interest accounts too. Your money is sitting in your bank account anyway.
You may as well put it to work getting you some free money.
14. Shop Around for Insurance
People are often amazed at how much they can save on home and auto insurance simply by shopping around. Most people think that insurance company prices are roughly the same everywhere.
Nothing could be further from the truth. I learned this years ago when I read an article advising people to shop around for insurance.
I had been with my insurance company for years and had never thought of checking prices at other companies.
I did some browsing and found that GEICO could offer me an identical policy for my auto insurance for nearly $600 less per year than what I had been currently paying. Free money for me!
After giving the company I was with an opportunity to match (they couldn’t), I switched companies and haven’t looked back.
Moral of the story: Not all insurance companies are the same. I encourage you to shop around for quotes every year or two in order to make sure you’re getting the best price you can get.
15. Sell Your Photos
Are you great with a camera? If so, you could earn some passive income (i.e. free money) by selling those photos.
When you upload photos to a site such as iStockphoto, blog and business owners can buy the rights to use those photos. They use them in online articles and blog posts.
Stock photo sites sell the rights to use your photos and then give you a cut of the profit from the sale.
You can earn money off of selling the rights to use the same photos over and over again, just by uploading the photos one time.
Note that the most popular types of photos on sites like iStockphoto are the ones that depict people doing everyday activities such as:
- Eating a meal or drinking coffee
- Recreational activities
- Enjoying family time
- Playing sports
The more photos you upload, the more chances you have to get free money every time someone purchases the rights to those photos.
16. Open a New Bank Account
And finally, another way to get free money is to open a new bank account. It’s not uncommon for banks and credit unions to give away $100, $200, or $500 to customers who open a new checking or savings account.
Also, some banks offer double bonuses for customers who open a new checking and savings account.
These types of free bonuses can apply to both business and personal bank accounts.
Note that most of the time, banks paying checking or savings account bonuses to new customers have stipulations for getting the bonus.
For instance, you might need to have a certain number of deposits or dollar amount going into the account via Direct Deposit. Or, you may need to keep a minimum balance in the account.
Stipulations vary for each account opening bonus, so be sure to read the fine print before you open the account.
And be sure you’re signing up for the best checking account for your needs.
There are several ways to get free money if you’re willing to look around a bit. Some of these ideas, such as shopping around for insurance, only take a few minutes.
Use some of the ideas listed above and get free cash to pay off debt, build up your emergency fund or take that dream vacation.
Laurie is personal finance writer and a licensed Realtor. Her goal in blogging is to help others find their way to financial freedom, and to a simpler, more peaceful life.