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Did you know the internet is a treasure trove of free cash? You just have to know where to look.
Now, we all know you have to be careful where you look when it comes to free stuff. But don’t worry about spending hours sniffing out scams. We did that for you.
Here are 10 legitimate ways to get free cash online right now:
1. Search For Unclaimed Money The Government’s Holding on to
State treasuries throughout the United States 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.
Now, the money isn’t guaranteed, but it takes less than a minute to check, so why not? Florida resident Kelli Howell decided to do a quick search, and she found unclaimed money in her husband’s name — $56 from a “matured insurance policy.”
Sure, it’s $56, but what an easy way to tap into some free money fast!
2. Start Investing and Get a Free $25
It’s no secret: Investing can be a great way to grow your money. But that’s something only wealthy people do, right?
Wrong. You don’t have to be Warren Buffet to get started with investing.
In fact, you can get started with just $1, using a company called Ellevest. Plus, when you sign up through our friend's link, you’ll get a $25 bonus in your Ellevest account.* Yup! Free cash to invest.
And, hey, you don’t even have to know how to pick stocks. When you sign up, Ellevest will build an investing plan just for you.
Even better: The whole platform is designed for women, by women and in support of women-owned businesses. In fact, the company was founded to address the fact that women statistically get paid less than men (and live longer!), which most financial companies typically ignore.
So, why not take a minute to focus on your future? And, hey, that $25 bonus is pretty sweet, too.
3. Stop Using the Wrong Credit Card and Get $150
Pssssttt… You might be using the wrong credit card.
If your rewards are measly and the fees are high, it’s time to call it quits, because there are better options out there, like the Chase Freedom Unlimited credit card.
It will give you a $150 bonus if you spend $500 within the first three months of signing up.That basically means you’d just need to use the card to buy groceries and fill up with gas.
Plus, it’s probably better than any other credit card in your purse or wallet. You’ll earn1.5% cash back on all your purchases, all the time, so you don’t have to keep track of revolving categories or anything like that.**
And unlike a lot of competing rewards cards, there’s no annual fee.
Applying for the card online takes no more than about two minutes. Then you could be well on your way to that free $150.
Just remember to spend responsibly and pay your balance off each month!
4. Grab a Free $20 and Cut Down Your Grocery Bill
Listen. We all want to save money on groceries, but who has time to clip coupons or scour store flyers for the best BOGO deals each week?
Instead, use the Ibotta app. It pays you cash back for buying certain items at the grocery store.
Before you shop, search for items on your shopping list within the Ibotta app. When you get home, snap a photo of your receipt and scan the items’ barcodes. Bam. Cashback.
Plus, you’ll get a $20 sign-up bonus. Here’s how to get it:
- Download the Ibotta app.
- Create an account.
- Shop, and take a photo of your grocery receipt.
- Redeem 10 offers within 14 days, and you’ll get that $20 bonus. You can cash out via PayPal.
5. Take 5 Surveys and Get a $5 Amazon Gift Card
Free money? Free gift cards? Same thing, especially if it’s a gift card as universal as Amazon. You can literally get anything on there.
Here’s what you’ll need to do to pocket that gift card: Head over to MyPoints. It’s 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.
Bonus: 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. Easy!
6. Send This Company Your Junk Mail For $20
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 forgetting rid of your junk mail.
7. Turn Your Grocery Receipts Into Free Visa Prepaid Cards
Think about it. What do you usually do with your receipts? You check out, the cashier hands you a mile-long piece of paper and you frantically stuff it to the bottom of a grocery bag. Pretty worthless.
But a free app called Fetch Rewards will turn them into Visa prepaid cards. It partners with tons of brands to give you points for every grocery receipt you share.
And it’s perfect for those of us who don’t want to put a ton of work into this. All you have to do is send Fetch a photo of your receipt, and it does everything for you. No scanning barcodes or searching for offers — and you can use it with any grocery receipt.
When you download the app, use the code PENNY to automatically earn 2,000 points when you scan your first receipt. Then start snapping photos of your recent receipts to see how many points you can earn without a single trip to the store!
Not so bad for a useless receipt, right?
8. Buy a Piece of Corporation For $5 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 another company.
But if you don’t happen to have millions of dollars lying around, that can sound totally out of reach.
That’s why we like the Stash app. It lets you be a part of something that’s normally exclusive to the richest of the rich, but Stash lets you start with as little as a $5 investment. You can buy pieces of well-known companies, like McDonald’s, Apple, Tesla*** and more.
It takes two minutes to sign up, plus Stash will give you a $5 sign-up bonus. (You just doubled your money!) Stash offers subscription plans starting at $1 a month.**** As a reminder, Investing involves risk.
You might not be in the next issue of Forbes, but this is a great way to get started.
9. Copy Her Strategy to Get Free Checks Totaling $526 in the Mail
Remember when getting the mail was fun? Now it’s just bills. And Valpak envelopes.
But for Colleen Rice, checking the mail meant finding checks. For doing nothing. Seriously —free money! Since she started using a free website called Rakuten, she’s received $526.44.
Rakuten has the hookup with just about every online store you shop, which means it can give you a kickback every time you buy toilet paper on Amazon — even book that flight home for Thanksgiving.
Rice says she uses Rakuten for things she already has to buy, like rental cars and flights.She even used the money she earned to help her pay for her recent cross-country move.
It takes less than 60 seconds to create a Rakuten account and start shopping.All you need is an email address, then you can immediately start shopping your go-to stores through the site.
Plus, if you use Rakuten to earn money back within the first 90 days of signing up, it’ll give you an extra $10 on the first check it sends you.
Talk about money for nothing.
10. Let This App Give 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.
* The Ellevest The Penny Hoarder promotional offer is valid for the first 1,000 new clients of Ellevest who enter through this designated landing page. Clients who enroll and fund their non-retirement account will receive $25added to their highest priority goal in their Ellevest account. Clients who enroll and fund their retirement account will receive a $25 Amazon gift card which can be redeemed by visiting www.amazon.com. Please review Amazon.com GiftCard Terms and Conditions prior to redemption. Ellevest is not responsible for lost Amazon Gift Cards. Ellevest’s processing time for depositing $25 into a client’s Ellevest account or delivery of a $25 Amazon gift card may be up to 60days.
** 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 PennyHoarder is a partner of Credible.
*** The Penny Hoarder is a Paid Affiliate/partner of Stash. This material is not intended as investment advice and is not meant to suggest that any securities are suitable investments for any particular investor. Investment advice is only provided to Stash customers.
**** You’ll also bear the standard fees and expenses reflected in the pricing of the ETFs in your account, plus fees for various ancillary services charged by Stash.