Got 30 Minutes? Here’s How to Earn up to $284 Without Leaving Home

woman working from home outdoors
Carmen Mandato/The Penny Hoarder


Low on funds — and time?

Hey, we’ve all been there. Personally, I’ve lost track of how many times I’ve searched my couch cushions and the cupholders in my car, scrounging for spare change.

Don’t do that. There’s a better way.

Spend the next 30 minutes checking these tasks off your list, and you’ll earn $284 — without even leaving your house!

Get out your smartphone or laptop. Flex your fingers. Focus your thoughts. Follow these steps to make money fast.

  1. 1. Collect $150 from Chase

    Stack of credit american dollars cash and credit card
    alexialex/Getty Images

    If you’re looking for a passive way to earn some money, a cash-back credit card is perhaps one of the easiest methods. 

    Just don’t get too carried away with those purchases — and pay off the card at the end of each billing period.

    Here’s an option we like: It’s the Chase Freedom Unlimited card*. Its claim to fame? You’ll earn an unlimited 1.5% cash back on all your purchases. Plus, if you spend $500 in your first three months of opening the card (hi, groceries), you’ll pocket a $150 bonus.

    There’s no annual fee, and the cash-back rewards don’t expire.

  2. 2. Get a $10 Walmart Gift Card for Shopping Online

    Walmart store sign
    Tina Russell/The Penny Hoarder

    One of our favorite ways to save is with Ebates, a cash-back site that rewards you nearly every time you buy something. For example, Ebates gives you 10% cash-back on purchases at Walmart.

    Plus you’ll get a free $10 gift card to Walmart for giving the site a try.

    To earn your gift card:

    1. Sign up for Ebates with your email or Facebook account.
    2. Use the Ebates portal the next time you need to buy something. It’s connected to thousands of stores, including Walmart, Amazon and Target. You’ll need to make your first purchase through the site within 90 days and spend at least $25.
    3. Your account will be credited with rewards points you can cash in for your $10 Walmart gift card.
  3. 3. Collect $1 From Free Scratch-off Tickets

    Scratching off a lottery ticket.
    mphillips007/Getty Images

    Try out a free app called Lucktastic. Each day, it releases a new assortment of digital scratch-off tickets. Instant wins range from $1 to $10,000. You can also earn tokens, enter contests and play games.

    The scratch-offs are free because the app is advertiser supported. Plus you’ll get a guaranteed $1 on your first scratch.

  4. 4. Collect $5 for Starting an Emergency Fund

    Money in a Jar
    Carmen Mandato/The Penny Hoarder

    Acorns is a popular savings and investing app. Once you connect it to a debit or credit card, it rounds your purchases up to the nearest dollar and funnels your digital change into a savings and investment account.

    That means if you spend $10.23 at the grocery store, 77 cents gets dropped into your Acorns account. Once you hit $5, Acorns will automatically invest it.

    The idea is you won’t miss the digital pocket change, and the automatic savings stack up faster than you’d think

    Sign up through this link, and you’ll get a free $5 when you make your first investment.

  5. 5. Collect $5 for Taking a Quick Survey

    man sitting outside checking phone and drinking beer
    Carmen Mandato/The Penny Hoarder

    Surveys aren't a great way to make money fast — but signing up is super easy, and you can fill them out in your downtime. Great way to cash in on commercial breaks!

    Here are some of our favorite paid survey sites:

    • MyPoints: This platform lets you earn gift cards for taking polls, answering surveys and other things you do online — a great way to cash in on long lines or an endless commute. You’ll earn a $5 bonus when you complete your first five surveys.
    • Opinion Outpost: What sets this apart from other survey sites is 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 sweepstakes!
    • Swagbucks is definitely a reader favorite, probably because of the wide variety of ways to make money beyond taking surveys. Plus, you get $5 just for signing up and taking your first survey.
  6. 6. Collect $3 for Sharing Your Amazon History

    Alexander Olt works remotely from his laptop
    Carmen Mandato/The Penny Hoarder

    If you’re a regular Amazon shopper, the ShopTracker app will pay you each month for contributing to research to help companies understand what people are buying online. They use this anonymous information to improve the online shopping experience.

    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.
    3. You’ll receive a Visa e-gift card code for $3 via email within 48 hours.Take a couple of minutes to share your purchase history to earn another $3 each month ($36 a year).

    Your information is collected securely by The Harris Poll, a trusted market research company for more than 20 years. ShopTracker removes your name, shipping address and any personal payment information before reporting your purchase history.

  7. 7. Collect $5 in Free Stock

    hand putting coin in jug glass
    lovelyday12/Getty Images

    The Stash app lets you start investing with as little as $5 and for just a $1 monthly fee for balances under $5,000. Plus, you’ll get a $5 bonus for funding your first investment!

    Stash 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.

  8. 8. Earn $50/Year for Downloading This App

    Side view of man using digital tablet in hammock
    Morsa Images/Getty Images

    You know Nielsen, the company that tracks TV ratings? It also measures the popularity of websites and online videos. To do that, Nielsen wants to pay you to let it anonymously collect information from your favorite web-surfing device.

    And don’t worry: This won’t slow down your phone or computer.

    Here’s the deal:

    If you have a smartphone or tablet, the Nielsen Panel will pay you $50 a year to keep its app on your device and browse the web like you normally do. The information it collects remains totally anonymous.

    If you have a desktop or laptop computer, you'll receive entries into the company’s $10,000 monthly sweepstakes for every month you keep Nielsen’s software installed on your computer. Every month, 400 people win prizes, with the two top prizewinners taking home $1,000 each.

  9. 9. Collect a Bonus $5 for Selling Your Old Movies and CDs

    cd Collection on shelf
    Ulf Wittrock/Getty Images

    If you have a little more time, start shuffling through your old movies or CDs, because Decluttr will pay you for them.

    Decluttr buys your old CDs, DVDs, Blu-rays and video games, plus hardware like cell phones, tablets, game consoles and iPods — it's easily one of the best ways to make money online

    One user, Gil Flores, told us he sold about 100 DVDs and 75 CDs and made $275 — an average of $1.57 each.

    Just download the app and start scanning the barcodes on your media to get immediate quotes. It’s completely free to use — no listing or seller fees.

    Payment is pretty fast — it’ll take a day or two — and shipping is free.

    Right now, when you send in your trades, Decluttr grants you a $5 bonus if you enter FREE5 at checkout.

  10. 10. Get $50 to Invest in Causes You Care About

    Dollar bill wrapped around a palm frond
    Carmen Mandato/The Penny Hoarder

    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. They consider 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.

    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.

*Annual Rewards amounts will change based on the amounts you enter. The monthly spending category names and definitions may vary among issuers, and categories may not align one-to-one.

The information for the Chase Freedom Unlimited card has been collected independently by The Penny Hoarder. Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of the credit card issuer, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuer. The Penny Hoarder is a partner of Credible.

Mike Brassfield ([email protected]) is a senior writer at The Penny Hoarder. Like you, he could use some extra money.

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