How to Get Free Money With These 8 Simple and Easy Methods

money hanging from a clothes pin.
Carmen Mandato/ The Penny Hoarder
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The internet is a treasure chest of free cash — you just have to know where to look.

No, you can’t order money-tree seeds or buy a fully loaded cash cannon, but you can complete some quick and simple tasks to start making money online.

Free Money: 8 Places to Find Extra Money Online

There are a number of companies, websites and apps that offer easy money, so we scoured the internet to find the best — and most legitimate — ways to tap into that extra cash.

Ready to start digging for treasure?

1. Search For Unclaimed Money

State treasuries throughout the United Sates 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.

There are a few websites that allow you to check for unclaimed property, including the National Association of Unclaimed Property Administrators and MissingMoney.com. (Beware of scam look-alike sites!)

It takes less than a minute to check. The 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 what an effortless way to tap into some extra money fast!

2. Get Free Samples For Your Whole Family (Fur Babies, Too!)

If you like switching up your routine and trying new things — and not paying for them — you should be taking advantage of PINCHme.

When you sign up for a free account with PINCHme, you’ll get free samples to test — with free shipping. The only requirement is that you have to give your honest feedback. Loved it? Hated it? Doesn’t matter!

When you become a “PINCHer” you’ll select samples to try — from Impossible Burgers and beauty care products to children’s toys and pet treats.

You can also earn coins for completing surveys and taking special offers to redeem for full-size products (including an iPhone!).

Simply sign up, complete your profile and claim your free samples.

3. Acorns: Invest Your Spare Change (and Get $5)

Take a look at the Forbes Richest People list, and you’ll notice almost all the billionaires have one thing in common: They own a company, or part of a company.
But if you work for a living and don’t happen to have millions of dollars lying around, that can sound totally out of reach.

That’s why a lot of people use the Acorns app. It lets you be a part of something that’s normally exclusive to the richest of the rich — buying pieces of other companies for as little as $5. And with the recent sell-off in stocks, you might be able to buy them for cheaper than earlier in the year.

That’s right — Acorns allows you to invest in a bundle of well-known companies, letting you own a little of each of them while spending as little as $5. The best part? When these companies profit and issue dividends, you can profit, too.

It takes two minutes to sign up, plus Acorns will give you a $5 sign-up bonus once you make your first investment.

4. Take 5 Surveys and Get a Free $5 Amazon Gift Card

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

Listen. We all spend too much money on Amazon, but here’s an easy way to get $5 toward your next order: Take five online surveys through a website called MyPoints.

MyPoints is a research company that’ll pay you to answer questions about different products and services you use. In return, it’ll give you free gift cards. You can even do this from your phone.

To date, MyPoints has paid people more than $236 million in gift cards.

To get your $5 Amazon gift card, just sign up and complete your first five surveys.

5. Send This Company Your Junk Mail

How many ads do you receive in your mailbox each day? What about in your inbox?

The Small Business Knowledge Center is a market research firm that studies the way companies advertise via mail and email marketing — and it wants to see what you’ve been receiving.

Sign up as a panelist, and start sending your qualifying junk mail in, via postage-paid envelopes. You can also forward your emails. You’ll earn points along the way, which you can redeem for a Visa debit card.

The site says frequent participants earn up to $20 every six to 10 weeks — not bad for getting rid of your junk mail.

6. This Research Company Will Pay You up tp $225/Month while Watching Videos

What if we told you a research company would pay you to watch cooking videos on your computer?

It’s too good to be true, right?

But we’re serious. InboxDollars will pay you to watch short video clips online. One minute you might watch someone bake brownies and the next you might get the latest updates on Kardashian drama.

All you have to do is choose which videos you want to watch and answer a few quick questions about them afterward.

No, InboxDollars won’t replace your full-time job, but it’s something easy you can do while you’re already on the couch tonight wasting time on your phone. Plus, it’s extra money you can put toward paying down your debt. Everything helps.

InboxDollars won’t completely pay off your credit cards, but it’s possible to earn up to $225 per month watching these videos.

It’s already paid its users more than $56 million.

It takes about one minute to sign up, and you’ll immediately get a $5 bonus to get you started

7. This Free Debit Card Gives You Cash Back on Every Purchase

Albert Bell shops at Whole Foods in downtown Atlanta. Atlanta GA.
Carmen Mandato/The Penny Hoarder

Wouldn’t it be nice if you got special treatment wherever you went? You can actually get rewards wherever you shop, using this free debit card from Discover.

You’ll earn 1% cash back on every single purchase you make using your Discover® Cashback Debit account, on up to $3,000 monthly.* There’s no impact on your credit score for signing up and no minimum balance requirements ever.

Need groceries? Tap your card for cash back. You can also get paid sooner with Early Pay direct deposit, protect against overdrafts and access to over 60,000 ATMs without fees. You can handle all of your banking needs through the app and connect a virtual wallet like Apple Pay to amplify your rewards. And on top of all that, checking-account deposits are FDIC-insured up to the maximum amount allowed by law.

Does your bank do all that? If not, open a free Discover checking account to get special treatment from a bank that will actually put money back into your account.

*See website for details.

8. This App Gives You Up to $500 in Free Stock

OK, so it’s not necessarily free cash, but free stocks are almost better because they have the potential to increase in value over time.

So, whether you’ve got $5, $100 or $800 to spare, you can start investing with Robinhood.

Yeah, you’ve probably heard of Robinhood. Both investing beginners and pros love it because it doesn’t charge commission fees, and you can buy and sell stocks for free — no limits. Plus, it’s super easy to use.

What’s best? When you download the app and fund your account (it takes no more than a few minutes), Robinhood drops a share of free stock into your account. It’s random, though, so that stock could be worth anywhere from $5 to $500 — a nice boost to help you build your investments.

Enjoy Your Free Money, Honey! (Just Be Careful of Scams)

Congratulations! You’ve made it through our list of ways to get free money.

Now, want to go out and find some more money on your own? Just remember: The internet can be a scary place, so be wary of scams. To vet a “free money” opportunity like we do, take these steps:

  • Search the company or website’s name on Google. Read reviews, look up Better Business Bureau ratings, and sign up for scam alerts from the Federal Trade Commission.
  • Don’t offer your personal or financial information unless you absolutely trust the site. You should never have to pay money in order to receive it.
  • Give the company a call, and ask questions.
  • Be skeptical, and if something’s too good to be true, it probably is. Don’t think you’ll get paid $1,000 for taking a five-minute survey.
  • Peruse a site’s privacy policy to make sure your information isn’t going to be sold to other companies. (That might be why you’re getting all those junk emails and robocalls.)

Overall, just be smart! Or the easiest way is to just keep checking back in with The Penny Hoarder to find more ways to earn free money.

Carson Kohler ([email protected]) is a staff writer at The Penny Hoarder. She’s a big fan of free money.