Why Pay for Gift Cards? Here are 9 Clever Ways to Get Them for Free

Target gift cards in a store display.
Sharon Steinmann/The Penny Hoarder
Honest Abe


Some of the links in this post are from our sponsors. We’re letting you know because it’s what Honest Abe would do. After all, he is on our favorite coin.

I love gift cards to Target. And Amazon. And even Forever 21.

But my favorite kind of gift cards? The FREE kind.

That’s right; I said free. Once you know where to look, you’ll find all kinds of opportunities to earn them.

Want to earn free gift cards to places like Amazon and iTunes and Walmart? Keep reading. I’ve searched the interwebs and found nine different strategies.

All you have to do is…

1. Show Your Swagger to Get Free Visa & Amazon Gift Cards

Here’s how to get free Amazon gift cards: Try PointClub. This site 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, those points are redeemable for gift cards to a ton of useful vendors like Walmart, Amazon and PayPal. Heck, you can even cash them in for charity. Sign up for PointClub here.

2. Tell it Like it Is

I know, I know: more surveys.

But hear me out: Vip Voice is one of the most legitimate survey sites out there. In fact, it has an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau.

Translation? It’s worth your time. Most surveys take about 10 to 15 minutes and pay 100 to 200 points (although you can occasionally find ones that pay a whopping $95!).

Once you’ve earned 500 points, you can redeem them for a $5 gift card to popular retailers like Starbucks or Target. Venti almond milk latte, here I come!

3. Grab the Popcorn

Sure, most of the activities on this list are best done while watching TV — but what if you could get paid for watching TV itself?

With FusionCash, it’s totally possible. You’re not going to be watching Guardians of the Galaxy or any other blockbusters, but you will be getting paid.

And, like Ipsos Panel, FusionCash has an A+ rating on the BBB, so you know it’s legit.

Best of all? You’ll get $5 just for signing up.

4. Practice Retail Therapy

Just to be clear: I’m not telling you to go on a shopping spree or anything. But if you’re already planning to make an online purchase, why not earn a free gift card while you’re at it?

One of my favorite ways is with a site called Ebates. Whenever you shop through its platform at one of its 1,200 retail partners, you’ll earn cash back. Most sites offer around 5%, though sometimes you can earn as much as 25%.

So, for example, if you spent $100 at Macy’s online today, you’d get $6 cash back — just for shopping like you normally would.

And right now, Ebates is offering a special bonus for signing up: a free $10 Walmart gift card!

5. Let Your Voice Be Heard

Ever complained that no one listens to what you’ve got to say? Well, I beg to differ: MyPoints will pay you to let your voice be heard.

After signing up and telling MyPoints a little bit about yourself, you’ll receive invitations to surveys.

For each survey, you’ll need to fill out a brief questionnaire to ensure you qualify — but even if you don’t, MyPoints will give you five points. You can earn up to 25 of these “disqualification points” per day.

And if you do qualify? You can earn anywhere from 50-600 points per survey, which you can later redeem for gift cards from popular retailers.

6. Shop the ‘Zon

Getting paid to shop at Amazon? Now that’s the dream.

And an app called ShopTracker comes pretty close to making it come true. Run by The Harris Poll, a survey company that measures public opinion, it’ll pay to see what you’re putting in your Amazon cart each month.

To be eligible, you must be at least 18 years old, live in the U.S. and have a PC that’s compatible with Windows 7.

Yes, yes and yes? Surf over to ShopTracker to answer three quick questions.

If you qualify, you’ll be invited to install an app that syncs with your Amazon account — and in exchange for the info, you’ll earn a $3 Visa gift card each month.

Over a year, that’s $36; over two years, that’s $72. (See, writers can math, too!)

Although it might not sound like a lot, remember you don’t have to do anything after signing up — so to us Penny Hoarders, it’s a no brainer.

7. Scroll Through Instagram

Brands are always giving away stuff on their social media accounts, and staying on top of these promotions is a great way to earn gift cards.

Start by following your favorite brands via email, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram; you’ll often see contests just for liking or tagging a friend. Make sure you follow the rules to the letter so you have the best shot at winning.

You can also search the hashtag #giveaway or #contest on any of the same platforms — you’ll probably stumble upon promotions for brands you never would’ve found otherwise.

8. Trade Your (Unused) Goods

Do you have a gift card lying around to, say, Aeropostale, that you’re never going to use? (Unless you time travel back to your seventh-grade self… but nobody wants that.)

Then hop online and trade it for a gift card you’ll like better. One popular site is CardCash, where you’ll get a better rate for trading your gift card than you would for selling it.

An added bonus? You’ll finally be able to clear your junk drawer of all that plastic you were never planning on touching.

9. Offer Your Opinion

Opinion Outpost offers surveys from all kinds of businesses and organizations.

Most of them take around 10 minutes, and will earn you points that you can later redeem for free gift cards to places like Amazon and iTunes.

What sets it apart from other survey sites is the fact it gives away $40,000 every year. It has a quarterly drawing for a $10,000 cash prize — and for every survey you complete, you’ll get one entry into the contest!  

Did this article help put money in your pocket?

Honest Abe


Some of the links in this post are from our sponsors. We’re letting you know because it’s what Honest Abe would do. After all, he is on our favorite coin.