Everyone loves receiving a gift card. It doesn’t matter if you win one in a sweepstake, get a birthday gift, or use various reward apps to get them for free; gift cards are basically as good as cash.
Getting free gift cards can also help you save more money each month when things are a bit tight.
Now, I’ve been experimenting with different methods to get free gift cards over the years. And since my time in college, I’ve earned several thousands of dollars in gift cards by using different reward apps, tactics, and ways to earn money online.
So today, I’m sharing some of my most successful methods so you can do the same.
If you’re wondering how to get gift cards for free and need a starting point, this is the post for you.
Let’s get to it!
Table of Contents
How To Get Free Gift Cards
These days, there are so many ways you can get free gift cards. From using money-making apps to entering online giveaways, the opportunities really are endless.
Most of the methods I’m about to cover require a bit of upfront effort, so keep that in mind. But if you’re willing to start a new side hustle, you can realistically get a steady stream of gift cards every single month.
1. Use Swagbucks
Out of all the ways to earn free gift cards for free, Swagbucks is one of the easiest methods to get started.
This get-paid-to (GPT) website is one of the main ways I made money back in college. I’ve actually cashed out dozens of times with this site over the years, so I know it’s legit.
Here are just a few of the ways you can earn gift cards for free on Swagbucks:
2. Get Gift Cards For Grocery Shopping
Did you know that you can get gift cards for free just for doing your regular grocery shopping?
Whether you order online or shop in-store, there are several excellent money saving apps that let you earn free money every time you shop.
I use several of these cashback apps on an almost daily basis and earn hundreds of dollars a month back in free gift cards. I can then use my gift cards to save more money or treat people I know.
Here are a few of the must-use grocery apps you need to earn gift cards for free.
- Ibotta: One of the best cashback apps with gift card and PayPal cash rewards.
- Fetch: The leading receipt scanning app that pays you with free gift cards.
- Checkout 51: A popular app like Ibotta that pays you to shop for groceries.
- Shopkick: Earn points for free gift cards by uploading receipts, visiting stores, scanning barcodes, watching videos and more.
I also made a video that shares even more ways to earn free gift cards so you can get paid to shop the next time you’re at the store.
In my experience, stacking a few of these apps with things like in-store coupons and rebates saves even more. Ultimately, getting $5 to $25 or even more per month in free gift cards is possible if you do most of your household’s shopping.
3. Branded Surveys
This free survey site is available in Canada, the United States, and the UK. Once you’re a member, you can complete short online surveys to earn points which are redeemable for PayPal money and dozens of gift cards.
Branded Surveys also has a new mobile survey app, so you can earn while on the go. And if you answer enough surveys per month, you earn bonus cash through its loyalty program.
4. Play Games For Free Gift Cards
That’s right: there are plenty of ways to earn money for playing games. And I’ve tested and used dozens of these apps over the years to earn gift cards and cash.
Some of the top real money gaming apps with gift card rewards include:
- Cash Giraffe: My favorite Android gaming app with a variety of gift card rewards.
- Rewarded Play: Another Android app you can use to play games for Amazon gift cards and other prizes.
- Buff: This PC platform lets you earn gift cards, free Steam games, and merchandise for playing leading PC titles.
- Cashyy: Another leading cash gaming app for Android that also has gift cards.
- Mistplay: One of the most popular Android reward apps with a low $0.50 cash out minimum.
- Money Well: A popular app like Mistplay that has dozens of gift card prizes.
I also made a YouTube video that shares more of my favorite ways to earn gift cards by playing video games.
Granted, a lot of the leading apps are Android-only. But you can check out my post on the best iOS money games if you’re an iPhone user.
5. Trade In Old Stuff
Do you have old devices collecting dust in a closet or drawer? If you do, you might be able to clear out some clutter, recycle these electronics, and earn free gift cards for doing it!
For example, the Amazon Trade-In program lets you trade-in used and unwanted electronics to get free Amazon gift cards. Some of the items you can trade in include:
- Home security devices
- Wireless routers
- Video game consoles like an Xbox or PS5
- Streaming devices
If the devices you’re trading in are Amazon devices, you also receive a 25% off coupon to use on purchasing new devices.
I’ve personally taken advantage of this program to get free gift cards and traded-in some old tablets and phones in the past. Overall, it’s an easy way to make money with Amazon while cleaning out your house.
And Amazon is just one example. Some other trade-in programs you can check out include:
- Gamestop: A great place to trade in anything video game related including games, consoles, headsets, gaming collectibles, and more.
- Apple: Have older Apple devices? This manufacturer has a nice value trade-in program.
- Gazelle: A great option to trade-in phones, laptops, and other electronics.
- Decluttr: Another way to trade in electronics, DVDs, books, and gadgets.
- Walmart: This retailer accepts electronics just like Apple and Gazelle.
6. Enter Gift Card Giveaways On Social Media
If you’re on social media regularly, you might be able to get free gift cards by entering and winning giveaways.
Brands and influencers post gift card giveaways on Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, and TikTok all the time for their followers. And many of these contests just require a like or share for an entry and the number of entries is frequently small.
One of my friends actually wins hundreds of dollars a year in free gift cards entering these giveaways. And the best part is the gift cards are often for brands they love shopping at normally.
Be sure to follow your favorite local businesses, sports teams, and area attractions on social media for giveaways. And search for various hashtags to find giveaways and sweepstakes:
- #sweeps or #sweepstakes
Many local companies such as retail stores, realtors, and restaurants regularly do giveaways, and you can also find low entry contests from bloggers and social media influencers as well.
7. Use Paid Survey Websites
If you’re still wondering how to get free gift cards, you can always try using different survey sites that have gift card prizes.
I already mentioned Branded Surveys, and this is where I’d start. But you have plenty of other options at your disposal, including:
- Ipsos iSay: A global survey site with a low $5 cash out minimum.
- AttaPoll: One of my favorite survey apps with free gift card prizes to companies like Amazon, Best Buy, Shein, and Walmart.
- MySoapBox: Another easy way to get free gift cards by answering questions for money.
- InboxDollars: A U.S. survey site that also has a nice $5 sign up bonus.
- Pinecone Research: This survey platform pays you $3 per survey you complete.
- MyPoints: Another leading gpt site with a variety of gift card rewards.
- Survey Junkie: A popular survey site that has a low $5 cash out minimum.
These sites won’t make you rich, but I think earning $5 to $50 per month is quite realistic if you grind out enough surveys in your spare time.
8. Use Reward Apps
Reward apps can be another great way to earn free gift cards and free PayPal cash.
Free to download and easy to use, these apps let you rack up points that you can redeem for a wide range of gift card prizes. Some of the top apps to earn gift cards I use and suggest include:
- Drop: A great cashback app that also lets you earn money by playing video games.
- Upside: Earn free gift cards when you get gas for your vehicle.
- Amazon Shopper Panel: Earn free Amazon gift cards every month just for uploading receipts.
- NCP Mobile: A popular app like Fetch that pays you to shop and scan barcodes.
- Premise: One of my favorite mystery shopping apps with a variety of gift card rewards.
Upside is currently one of my personal favorites, and it’s an easy way to save money on gas and then redeem your savings for free gift cards.
But you can stack all of these apps and easily earn $10 to $50 or more per month in gift cards if you put in just a bit of effort.
9. Use Passive Income Apps
Another one of my favorite ways to get free gift cards is to use passive income apps and websites.
Several leading passive income platforms to try out include:
- MobileXpression: Earn free gift cards for allowing an app to collect data on your phone.
- Nielsen Panel: Earn $50+ per year for running this passive app to help collect marketing data and earn rewards.
- Current: This app lets you get paid to listen to music, watch ads, and play games.
- Honeygain: Earn money selling your unused internet bandwidth.
- Pogo: Earn small amounts of points whenever you shop and redeem them for cash and gift cards to companies like Amazon and Starbucks.
I made a video that covers all of my favorite passive income apps and websites, including a few of the ones mentioned above.
In my experience, these apps don’t pay very much. But most people can make $5 to $15 per month in free gift cards if they download just a couple of these apps.
10. Use Microtask Sites
They’re an easy way to earn money online for beginners. And many leading sites pay out with gift cards and PayPal money and are available in dozens of countries.
Some leading microtask platforms you can use include:
- Clickworker: One of the leading microtask platforms in the world.
- Amazon MTurk: This site lets you earn free Amazon gift cards and cash.
- Appen: One of the higher-paying sites in the microtask space.
These sites aren’t a full-time income source or online job. However, you can get started without having any skills, and they let you work on your own schedule, so you can be flexible.
11. Capital One Shopping
Capital One Shopping is another way to earn gift cards for free while saving money on your online purchases.
The shopping extension is available in the United States and automatically applies available coupon codes at checkout to help you save. It’s similar to extensions like Honey and Rakuten, and it works with thousands of stores.
Capital One Shopping also lets you earn shopping credits if you purchase products from partner retailers. You redeem credits for a range of gift cards after earning $5, so there’s multiple ways to save with this shopping platform.
Note: Capital One Shopping compensates us when you sign up with the provided links.
12. Search The Web With Bing
Did you know it’s possible to get free gift cards just by browsing the web like normal?
Well, with the Microsoft Rewards program, you can do exactly that. This program pays you with points for completing tasks like Bing searches, shopping online, and playing games on Xbox. You can then redeem various free gift cards, free electronics, and other prizes.
I’ve used this program in the past, and you can easily earn a gift card or two per year just by using Bing and completing a few tasks. And you earn points much faster if you complete shopping offers or play games.
13. Earn Referral Bonuses
One creative way to earn gift cards for free is to take advantage of various cash referral bonuses.
Plenty of companies pay you if you invite your friends and family to join them. So, you and a few buddies can get together and all earn some freebies if you put in some effort.
Here are a few easy programs you can start with:
- Cash App: Get $5 in free Cash App money by inviting your friends to join.
- Current: This mobile bank has a nice $50 sign up bonus and its own referral program.
- PayPal: Earn $10 for inviting your friends to join PayPal.
- Ibotta: Get $5 to $10 or more for inviting people to join.
If you spend an afternoon or two with these types of offers, you can probably get a few quick gift cards or cash bonuses with just a bit of time.
14. Use Credit Card Rewards
While you may be used to earning cash back from your credit cards, many gift cards also let you redeem your points for various free gift cards.
This is an easy way to steadily get gift cards throughout the year. And some of the top credit cards even pay you with cash back when you buy gift cards in-store or online.
Here are some of the top credit cards for gift card rewards according to The Points Guy, a website that specializes in credit card rewards:
- Blue Cash Preferred from American Express
- American Express Gold card
- Costco Anywhere card
- Bank of America Customized Cash card
You can also check with your bank about current offers to see what makes sense for you.
15. Use Fitness Apps
Another one of my favorite free gift card hacks is to use apps that pay you to workout.
There are numerous apps that pay you with gift cards or cash prizes for getting active and reaching certain step goals. Some of the top apps in this space include:
- CashWalk: A new app that pays you to walk with various gift cards.
- Sweatcoin: One of the most popular fitness reward apps out there.
- Cash For Steps: Another app like Sweatcoin with a variety of rewards.
- Miles: This app pays you to walk, swim, bike, drive, and even fly!
- Evidation: Another leading fitness app that pays you for getting active.
This is definitely a more niche idea for getting free gift cards. But I like that these apps encourage you to get active, and I’ve tested them all out in the past.
16. Watch Videos
One final idea for earning free gift cards is to use websites and apps that pay you to watch ads.
This is a similar online side hustle to phone farming, and I’ve earned dozens of gift cards with this method over the years.
Several pay-to-watch ad platforms you can try include:
- Grindabuck: One of my favorite platforms with great video reward options.
- Swagbucks: The Swagbucks app lets you watch ads and videos to earn gift cards.
- Adwallet: One of the leading pay-to-watch ad websites.
- Cointiply: A versatile GPT site with a video rewards section.
Just note that this isn’t the highest-paying idea on this list, and you can probably earn about $1 to $5 per month in gift card rewards at most.
Tips For Getting Free Gift Cards
Now that you know how to earn free gift cards, here are a few tips that have helped me over the years to maximize earnings:
- Test A Few Methods: Stacking several apps, websites, and tricks is the best way to consistently get gift card rewards.
- Set A Goal: Do you want to make an extra $10 per month, or $200 a month? Decide on what’s realistic and important to you, and set goals to hold yourself accountable.
- Stick To A Shopping List: Your free gift cards can feel like they’re not real money after a while, but resist the urge to impulse shop and still stick to a budget.
If you’re still looking for more free gift card tricks, you can also watch my video on five ways to get free Amazon gift cards for even more ideas.
I hope my guide on how to get free gift cards helps you save more money each month while treating yourself to your favorite brands.
Personally, I’ve earned thousands of dollars over the last few years while testing out all these methods. And while you can’t make a living with these ideas, every little bit counts!
And even if it’s just a quick $10 here or there, you can use these methods to help stretch your monthly budget if you’re in a pinch.
Thanks for reading, and enjoy your next shopping trip!
Want even more side hustle ideas? Checkout:
Tom is a full-time blogger and freelance writer with a passion for side hustling, passive income, and the gig economy. His work has appeared on dozens of personal finance websites like Money Crashers, The College Investor, Investor Junkie, and more. This Online World is all about providing people with honest ways to make and save more money by using technology. To learn more about Tom, read his About Page!
If you’re interested in freelance writing services or want to partner with This Online World, please use our contact page to get in touch!