How to Get Free Money: Grab $2,236+ Fast from These Companies

Albert Bell shops at Whole Foods in downtown Atlanta. Atlanta GA, on July 28th, 2018.
Carmen Mandato/The Penny Hoarder


And they say nothing in life is free…

No, we’re not giving away money-tree seeds. Nor do we have a cash cannon. But we can direct you to companies that are giving away free money and gift cards.

How to Get Free Money From These 15 Companies

We scoured the internet and put together a list of legitimate opportunities to get free money.

Some will require you to fill out a form. Some require you to download an app. We’ve tested all of them, and they’re all pretty simple! Best yet: You don’t have to leave your couch.

If you complete all these opportunities, you could be at least $2,236 richer.

  1. 1. Acorns: Earn $5 and Watch Your Money Grow

    Acorns is an easy-to-use investment app that rounds up your credit or debit card purchases to the nearest dollar and invests the digital change. That means if you spend $10.23 at the grocery store, 77 cents gets dropped into your Acorns account.

    Acorns guides you through an important money move (ahem, investing). Plus, when you sign up, it’ll give you a $5 bonus.

    The app costs $1 a month for accounts with balances under $1 million.

  2. 2. Ibotta: Get $10 After Your Next Grocery Haul

    Albert Bell shops at Whole Foods in downtown Atlanta. Atlanta GA, on July 28th, 2018.
    Carmen Mandato/The Penny Hoarder

    Free food and free money?

    Ibotta is known traditionally as a cash-back app. You purchase your groceries, claim your offers, take a photo of your receipt and boom — cold, hard cash. Plus, once you claim your first offer, you’ll get a $10 bonus.

    But lately we’ve noticed a sneaky Ibotta perk: You can occasionally find freebies through the app, indicated with a “Free After Offer” banner across the product.

    For example, we saw a deal for free Brekki dairy-free overnight oats (any flavor variety). Just purchase them from Publix, and once you claim the $3 cash-back offer through Ibotta, those overnight oats are free.

    No, not all of us need to stock our pantries with overnight oats, but trying new foods — especially when they’re free — can be fun, so keep an eye out for more “Free After Offer” promotions on Ibotta.

  3. 3. The Government: Find Unclaimed Money

    OK, so the government isn’t technically a company, but it might be holding out on you… State treasuries throughout the U.S. have more than $43 billion in unclaimed funds, according to The New York Times. Just sitting around! Waiting for you to come play lost and found.

    Check if the government has some free money for you through the National Association of Unclaimed Property Administrators. Click your state on the map, and it’ll redirect you to your state’s appropriate search site. (Beware: There are several look-alike sites out there, so be sure you’re searching legitimate ones.)

    Penny Hoarder reader Kelli Howell heeded our advice, performed a quick search and found unclaimed money in her husband’s name — $56 from a “matured insurance policy.”

    Sure, it’s $56, but that’s not bad for an unexpected check, right? We’ll take it!

  4. 4. MyPoints: Get a $5 Bonus When You Take 5 Surveys

    man holding money and guitar in hand
    Carmen Mandato/The Penny Hoarder

    Survey sites are a great place to snag some free money and gift cards through sign-up bonuses.

    One option? MyPoints.

    You can earn gift cards for taking polls and filling out surveys. Once you complete your first five surveys, you’ll earn a $5 bonus.

  5. 5. Stash: Get $5 in Free Stocks

    The Stash app curates investments from professional fund managers and investors and lets you choose where to put your money — but it leaves the complicated investment terms out of it.

    You just choose from a set of simple portfolios reflecting your beliefs, interests and goals.

    Bonus: Right now, The Penny Hoarder is teaming up with Stash to fund your first investment — so you’ll get a $5 bonus when you enter the code PENNYH.

  6. 6. Decluttr: Clean Your Closets and Earn a $5 Bonus

    clothes in a clothing store
    Carmen Mandato/The Penny Hoarder

    Got an old smartphone? A stack of dusty DVDs? Trade them in some for cash through Decluttr.

    We talked to one user, Gil Flores, who sold about 100 DVDs and 75 CDs and made $275 — an average of $1.57 each.

    Just download the app and start scanning your items’ barcodes to get immediate quotes.

    And here’s the free money part: Enter FREE5 at checkout to get an extra $5 for your trade-in order.

  7. 7. Swell: Invest $50, Get $50

    Investing can be a great way to grow your money, but have you carefully considered which companies you’re willing to back? Their morals and values? You probably wouldn’t want to invest in a company that's destroying our oceans or cheating the system.

    Impact investing is a simple fix. It adds a new layer of transparency to investing. Take Swell Investing*, an SEC-registered investment adviser committed to supporting sustainable companies.

    Its Impact 400 portfolio features companies whose products and services align with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. It considers everything from gender equality to ending poverty to clean energy.

    You can start with just $50 and invest in this or other portfolios committed to clean water, zero waste, renewable energy or disease eradication, to name a few. Plus, you’ll get a $50 bonus with the code PENNY after making your initial investment.

    Swell doesn’t have any trading fees, price tiers or expense ratios. It charges a 0.75% annual fee — that’s about the cost of one coffee ($3.75) per year if you invest $500.

  8. 8. Banks: Get up to $1,300 in Promotional Bonuses

     Savannah Holley organizes money she got from the drive through banking counter at Mount McKinley Bank in Fairbanks, Alaska.
    Tina Russell/The Penny Hoarder

    We've put together a list of our favorite bank promotions for this year — totalling $1,300 in bonuses.

    It's up to you to decide how to manage several bank accounts. Some of us find it's helpful to have multiple places to stick our money for various purposes — we're less likely to touch it that way.

    You could always open an account, collect the bonus and close it when you're no longer using it — just make sure you read the details and know the requirements you need to meet to earn the bonus.

  9. 9. Credit Card Companies: Take Advantage of $800 in Sign-up Bonuses

    One of the best ways for a Penny Hoarder to make some serious extra cash is to take advantage of sign-up bonuses. For example, we found $800 in credit card sign-up bonuses.

    Of course, to get the most benefit, you should have excellent credit and will need to pay off your 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.)

    For those of you wondering, here's how opening and closing credit cards affects your credit score. (Hint: You can do it without causing too much harm.)

  10. 10. PointClub: Get $5 When You Sign up

    Jessica Warden walks through the city in New York, NY.
    Carmen Mandato/The Penny Hoarder

    You're going to be online anyway, why not get paid while you're there?

    PointClub is awesome, because you’ll get points for every single survey you take — guaranteed. Plus, the company gives you $5 just for signing up.

    Once you accrue enough of them, you can redeem those points for gift cards to a ton of vendors like Walmart, Amazon and PayPal.

  11. 11. Ebates: Get $10 to Spend on Groceries From Walmart

    Ebates is a cash-back shopping site, and it's giving away $10 gift cards when you sign up as a new member and earn your first cash-back rebate.

    Choose a $10 gift card for Walmart, or $10 in Ebates cash for your next shopping trip on the site.

    To earn your gift card:

    1. Sign up for Ebates with your email or Facebook account.
    2. Make your first purchase of at least $25 through the site within 90 days of signing up.

    Your account will then be credited with rewards points you cash out for your $10 gift card.

  12. 12. Paribus: Get Money Back for Your Impulse Buys

    clothes on a clothing rack outside
    Carmen Mandato/The Penny Hoarder

    It turns out deleting your emails could be costing you money. Intrigued?

    One of our secret weapons is called Paribus — a tool that gets you money back for your online purchases. It's free to sign up, and once you do, it will scan your email for any receipts. If it discovers you’ve purchased something from one of its monitored retailers, it will track the item’s price and help you get a refund when there’s a price drop.

    Plus, if your guaranteed shipment shows up late, Paribus will help you get compensated.

  13. 13. Swagbucks: Get $5 for Buying an Item Already on Your Shopping List

    Swagbucks is a classic survey site, but it also pays you to watch videos, open emails and even shop online.

    When you sign up for the rewards platform and earn your first 2,500 SB (Swagbucks’ version of points) within your first 60 days, you’ll earn a $5 bonus.

    Cash it out through PayPal or for gift cards to popular retailers, including Amazon, Walmart and Starbucks.

  14. 14. Your Internet Provider: Get Reimbursed When There’s an Outage

    Cindy Woodley using laptop in downtown Atlanta
    Carmen Mandato/The Penny Hoarder

    Internet go out? Yeah, that's annoying — especially if you work from home.But you deserve a refund. No need to sit on hold with your provider, though. Use Trim, a little bot that'll do the work for you.

    All you have to do is sign up for free, and upload a PDF of your recent bill. (Grab this from your online statement.) The process takes about two minutes, and Trim will get to work on your behalf.

    If you're eligible for any savings, you can guarantee Trim will get them for you! We've seen users on Twitter reporting earning $100 and $200 back. Nice!

  15. 15. ShopTracker: Get $36/Year for Sharing Your Amazon Receipts

    Calling all Amazon shoppers! This is an easy, passive way to rake in an extra $36 a year.

    ShopTracker, one of the leading public opinion research companies, will pay you to share your Amazon shopping history.

    When you sign up for ShopTracker, it keeps your private information, well, private. All it wants to see is your order information.

    To earn your first gift card today:

    1. Sign up, and download the ShopTracker app on your Windows computer and Apple or Android phone. It takes about two minutes. You’ll need to answer a few questions about your Amazon use to qualify.
    2. Open the app and log in to your Amazon account to automatically share your purchase history. You’ll receive your Visa e-gift card code for $3 via email within 48 hours.
    3. Take a couple of minutes to share your purchase history to earn another $3 each month.

    It’s Free Money, Honey!

    If you’ve managed to make your way through our list of companies that’ll give you free money, congratulations! You have at least $2,236 in your wallet.

    Here’s a review:

    Company



    Amount



    Payment Method
    Paypal Gift card Direct Deposit, Cash or Check
    Acorns $5 X
    Banks Up to $1,300 X
    Credit cards Up to $800 X
    Decluttr $5 X X
    Ebates $10 X X
    Government Varies X
    Ibotta $10 X X
    Internet Provider Varies
    MyPoints $5 X
    Paribus Varies X
    PointClub $5 X
    ShopTracker $36 X
    Stash $5 X
    Swagbucks $5 X X
    Swell $50 X

    Now, go treat yourself!

    Carson Kohler ([email protected]) is a staff writer at The Penny Hoarder.

    *Disclosure: We have a financial relationship with Swell Investing LLC and will be compensated if consumers apply for an account and/or fund an account with Swell through links in our content. However, the analysis and opinions expressed here are our own.

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