Who says there’s no such thing as a free lunch?
Every year businesses give away thousands of dollars in free money and gift cards as a way of promoting their websites/products. We’ve put together a list of 16 of them who will give you a ridiculous $1,935.20 in free cash right now.
Some of them are as simple as filling out a form and some of them take a bit more effort, but you can easily knock out all of them in a couple of hours.
Without further ado, here are the 16 companies giving out free money right now….
1. Download this App & Get Paid $185/year
Media Research Panel is a smartphone app that helps media companies better understand how consumers use, view and share TV, social, digital and mobile media. Their app “measures activities conducted on a device, such as sharing, viewing, clicking, chatting, downloading and more. The app also listens for TV shows, and, using technology of Gracenote, Inc., identifies which TV shows was captured.”
If you install their app, they’ll pay you $5/month per device. And you can install the app on up to 3 devices. Plus they’ll send you a $5 bonus after the 12th week. (Totals $185/year)
Here’s how to do it:
1. Sign up at MediaInsidersPanel.com
2. Install and activate the MI Mobile app onto your device(s).
3. Watch your e-mail for important information and instructions on next steps. Also, at no time is a member’s personally identifiable information ever shared or released publicly, nor will they ever interact with you via social media.
Here are the devices that they support:
- Android™ smartphones and tablets that run Android version 4.0 or greater, and are not rooted. We also accept the Kindle Fire HD, but not the first generation Kindle Fire.
- iPhone®5, iPad®, iPad mini®, and iPod touch® devices that run iOS version 5.0 or greater.
***You’ve got be a US resident, 13 years or older, and have a valid email address.
2. Try Banking at Nationwide – FREE $200.00
The fine folks over at Nationwide bank are giving every reader of The Penny Hoarder a free $200 in cash if you open a checking account with them today!
I love taking advantage of checking account bonuses, because not only are they an easy way to make a little extra cash, but they give me a separate place to save for things like Christmas presents, vacations, and new cars.
And the Nationwide checking account is pretty awesome. They’re interest rate is 3x higher than what most banks will give you, plus you can use any ATM in the world for free (6x a month). Here’s the promo link.
You’ll need to deposit $50 to get started and use the offer code 03110470 (you can withdraw your fifty bucks later)
To get the $200 bonus, you’ll need to set up an automatic monthly direct deposit of at least $200 into your E-Checking account. Your monthly direct deposit of $200 must be received within 60 days of opening the account. The account must remain open for at least 90 days to receive the $200 bonus. The $200 bonus will be deposited into your new account within 2 weeks following the 90 day minimum requirement! You must open your account by December 31, 2014 in order to get the $200 bonus.
Read more about it here: “Nationwide Bonus”
3. Get Paid to Complete Tasks at InboxDollars.com – FREE $30.00
There are a number of sites on the web that will pay you to read advertiser’s emails, sign up for offers, and take surveys. I’ve tried about a million of them, but there are only a few of them that I would recommend. Inbox Dollars is one of those companies and I want to show you how I made $30 in a little over an hour completing offers on their site.
It’s free to join Inbox Dollars and best of all, they give you $5 just for signing up! Inbox Dollars just requires that you accumulate $30 in earnings before you can “cash-out” and they pay you by sending a check.
Some sample offers include one that asks you to sign up for a email newsletter from AMF Bowling. That pays 50 cents and takes about 15 seconds. Another offer asks you to sign up for a free account at Turbotax.com to earn $3.50. These are simple and there are nearly a hundred of them to choose from.
If you are interested in giving Inbox dollars a try, visit the sign-up page here to get started.
Read more about it here: “How to Make $30 Quickly with InboxDollars”
The folks over at OptionsXpress are offering new, USA customers a $100 bonus when you open an Individual or Joint account and make three trades in the stock market. I love signup bonuses like this because they take very little time and are usually pretty profitable. This one took me about 10 minutes to complete.
Now, OptionsXpress charges $8.95 for each trade you make, so after making 3 trades, I’ll still be netting $73.15 in extra cash. If you want to do it, here’s the step-by-step…
1. Open a new Individual or Joint account (IRAs, other tax-exempt, linked, or shared accounts are excluded from this offer). You’ve got to deposit $500, but you can withdraw it after 6 months. I’m not really worried about that, because this is money that is in my savings account and it’ll go right back into savings when I’m done with this offer.
3. Make at least 3 trades within 12 months of account opening. I’m not going to be trading any risky stocks here, because I don’t want to lose any money. This isn’t a stock recommendation, but I chose the most conservative Vanguard mutual fund that I could find (VWINX). It’s traded between $24.50-$25.50 for the better part of a year, so it’s pretty steady and I know I’m not going to be taking a big risk.
4. The $100 bonus will be deposited into my account within one month. Sweet! It’s not instant cash, but I don’t really care. It’s all going into the long-term savings account.
Read more about it here: “Look! Optionsxpress is Giving Away a Free $100”
The folks over at Ebates.com, the cash-back shopping site, are giving away $10 gift cards when you sign-up as a new member. You can choose either a $10 Target, Walmart, Macy’s, or Kohl’s gift card. You need to make a $25 purchase at any of the stores on their shopping list in order to qualify for the free gift card.
I certainly don’t recommend spending $25 just to get a $10 gift card, but if you have plans to buy something online anyway, I would definitely cash in on this… Especially if you’ve got a gift card from a birthday or Christmas that needs to be spent. Look at this as a way to get a little bit extra back on your purchase.
Some of the cash-back offers I use frequently include the 3% back on iTunes purchases, 1% back on Apple store purchases, and 3% back on Target purchases. But there are a ton of stores to pick from as well.
Read more about it here: “Get a FREE $10 Target Gift Card from Ebates.com”
This is another easy $20 just for requesting a prepaid, reloadable card from Netspend. I’ve tested this one and over 200 hundred readers have cashed in on this, so you know it’s a good one.
2. You will receive your NetSpend “Visa” Debit card within 10 business days. Mine made it here in 4 days.
3. Once you receive the card, simply log into NetSpend and activate it.
5. Once you load the $40.00, NetSpend will add $20.00 to your available balance on the card. I confirmed this myself with my own card.
6. Go to the ATM and withdraw the $60.00 total from your card or spend the funds at your local store, online, or wherever you can use a credit card. Yes, if you withdraw the money via ATM or cash back, you’ll be hit with the $2.00 fee for a PIN transaction or a $2.50 ATM Fee (would only be $17.50 – $18.00 bonus in this case). But, you can avoid the fee by ACH transferring it for free back to your bank
Read more it here: “Free $20 Cash for Signing Up at Netspend”
One of the best ways for a Penny Hoarder to make some serious extra cash is to take advantage of credit card sign up bonuses. Of course, to get the most benefit, you should have excellent credit, and you should routinely pay off your credit card in full each month so you’re not paying interest. (After all, every time you pay interest, you’re losing some of the positive effects of the bonuses.)
Just recently I received over $1,300+ in credit card bonuses by selectively choosing new cards to apply for and use. All I had to do was put my regular spending on the credit card over the course of a few months.
The US Airways Premier World MasterCard® – $400 Signup Bonus
American Express Gold – $250 Signup Bonus
US Bank FlexPerks Card – $175 Signup Bonus
Chase Sapphire Preferred Card – $400 Signup Bonus
Citi ThankYou Preferred Card – $200 Signup Bonus
For those of you wondering, here’s a great article on how to do this without hurting your credit score: How Opening and Closing Credit Cards Affects Your Credit Score
Read more about it here: “5 Credit Card Promotions That Made me $1,375”
12. Take 5 Minutes and Open a Betterment.com Account – FREE $25.00
Betterment is a simple, online tool that allows anyone to invest in stocks & bonds without incurring transaction fees. It’s become pretty popular with small investors who want to start saving, but can’t afford the expensive fees you find at places like Etrade.com and Merrill Lynch. Plus, they’ll give you a free $25 just to signup!
1.) Open a free account at Betterment.com. The form takes about 90 seconds to fill out, so can literally do this while sitting in the doctor’s office or while watching television.
2.) You need to make an opening deposit of $250 or more within 60 days of opening your account. If you’re not ready to make a deposit right now, my advice is that you go ahead and fill out the Betterment promotion form today. You can always make the deposit later, but this way you’ll have the promotion locked in, just in case the promotion ends.
3.) Once you’ve deposited $250 (and waited 60 days), Betterment.com will deposit a FREE $25 bonus into your account. How easy is that? You can then withdraw your entire account balance or you can keep the $275 invested and earning interest with Betterment.
Right now this is USA only.
Read more about it here: “How to Make $25 While Sitting in a Waiting Room”
13. Open an Account at Serve.com – FREE $50.00
Serve is American Express’s version of a prepaid, reloadable card and they are offering $50 when you open a free account, sign up for direct deposit and have two direct deposits put in your account. That’s a FREE $50 for about 5 minutes of work. Sweet!
And here’s a tip: You can direct deposit a number of things besides your regular paycheck. I like to keep my paycheck going to my primary bank account, but for bank bonuses, I use other sources of income to fund it. Try to think of another place that you get monthly income from. Do you get a social security check? Insurance check? Second job income? Mystery shopping payouts? A number of the “paid-to-email” sites also offer direct deposit. I know that Fusion Cash does, because I get a nice cash-out from them on the 20th of every month.
Here’s a link to the promo page: Serve.com $50 Bonus
Read more about Serve.com here: “How to Get a Free $50 from Serve.com”
If you have a monthly prescription from your doctor, I’ve got an easy way for you to make $25 bucks a month…
Several of the national grocery and drug store chains have been know to run promotions where they will give you free cash or a gift card when you transfer a prescription to their store. For example, this month Walgreens is running a promotion where they will give you a $25 gift card for transferring a prescription to your local Walgreens.
If you can’t find a coupon for a specific location, ask your store manager if they’ll accept a competitor coupon. You can then take the Walgreens coupon (or another one that you find) and have your store match it. Lots of stores will do this including Publix and some Walmarts, CVS’s, and Rite Aids.
Read more about this trick here: “Here’s a neat trick to make $25/month if you have a prescription…“
Most of you know that I hate survey companies.
There are so many scammy sites out there and often times taking a survey is little pay for a lot of work. However, one of the exceptions I make is with MySurvey.
They’re one of the oldest online survey companies and they have an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau.
The reason I like MySurvey so much is that they pay you for even the surveys you don’t qualify for. You see, most survey companies make you take a “qualifying survey” before you are given access to the paid survey. And if you don’t meet the qualifications for that particular survey, you earn nothing (despite the fact that you spent 5 annoying minutes answering questions).
MySurvey is different – even if you aren’t given access to the full survey, they will still pay you for answering the questions in the qualifying survey. Pretty cool, huh? Now, you’re not going to get rich answering surveys, but it can be a fun way to make an extra couple hundred dollars a year. Heck, I do them as I’m watching TV. Each survey pays differently, but on average I earn an extra $15/month for taking a few surveys.
Signup for MySurvey.com here. (USA only)
Read more about it here: “The 9 Best Survey Sites to Make Extra Money”
Motif Investing is unique among online brokers, because instead of picking individual stocks, you invest in a cluster of stocks (usually 20 to 30) from a similar field. Sort of like a mutual fund, but the motifs range from Clean Energy, to Republican Companies, to Healthy and Tasty, to Obamacare. Basically any interest you have or trend you’d like to invest in can be found on Motif…
Even, better they’re giving away a ton of cash right now. If you open a new account and make one trade, you’ll earn $50. Make 3 trades, and you’ll earn $75. Make 5 trades, and you’ll earn $150!
Now Motif charges $9.95 for each trade you make, so after making 5 trades, you’ll still be netting $100.25 in extra cash. That’s like getting all of your transaction fees free AND earning $100 extra. Sweet! Signup here – Free $150 Motif Promotion.
Read more about it here: “How to Make $100 This Week with Motif Investing”
There you have it. If you’ve finished the list, you’ve just made $1,935.20 in FREE money.
Feel free to take the weekend off.
Good luck Penny Hoarders!
Note: we want to be up front with you on this – we may have a relationship with some of these companies. While we genuinely recommend them, we do want you to be aware that they’re a sponsor and are helping to grow The Penny Hoarder as a community.