Making a purchase with a free gift card that you earned always feels great. It’s like getting something for free.
Plus, when you can get a steady stream of gift cards for free coming in, it’s a great way to get those little things you want to buy but may have held off because you wanted to save (or simply couldn’t afford to make the purchase).
Thankfully, various companies have programs and promotions to earn tons of free gift cards – with almost no limit to how many you can potentially earn. The only limit is really the amount of effort you want to put in. In fact, it’s certainly possible to earn $10, $20, or even $50 (if not much more) per week in gift cards if you wanted to. This list is going to show you exactly how.
How to Get Free Gift Cards 15 Ways
Earning gift cards comes in four main categories:
- Doing things you already do
- Giving valuable feedback or insight
- Entering giveaways
- Taking advantage of promotions
All of them have their place. Promotions and signup bonuses are good for one-time gift cards, while methods that earn you points for doing things you already do or by giving feedback are a consistent way to get free gift cards, day in and day out.
Feel free to use this entire list, or pick and choose. Personally, I actively use about half of these in my regime of earning free gift cards. Find which works best for you through some trial and error and and you’ll see which tactics earn you the most for your time. Either way, everyone will have great luck with the first on the list…
1. Online surveys that reward you with gift cards
Companies will pay you, sometimes in cash, but also in gift cards to share your opinion on a variety of things.
It’s a popular way to get feedback on their ideas, do market research, or gather feedback on endless other things.
But – there are a lot of online survey websites out there. And some pay barely anything, while others can actually pay you a decent sum.
The highest paying and most popular surveys sites to earn free gift cards are:
Survey Junkie – Survey Junkie is my #1 survey site – and since there are probably 100’s of survey sites out there, that isn’t an easy things to accomplish! Survey Junkie seems to not only have the highest paying surveys around, but also the most enjoyable (without asking for too much personal data). For context, I recently made about $5 for a survey that took me 10-15 minutes, not bad!
Vindale Research ($1 Bonus) – Vindale Research is up there on the list of the best survey sites to earn free gift cards. Plus, right now they are giving away a $1 bonus just for signing up. Signing up for Survey Junkie and Vindale and using them both is a great way to get more surveys and gives you the option to be selective and only do the higher-paying surveys.
2. Shop online like usual through Rakuten ($10 Bonus)
Wouldn’t it be great to earn gift cards while shopping online like you already do? Well, that’s what Rakuten allows you to do!
When you sign up, you’ll have access to thousands of partners that offers rebates for Rakuten users. Some of those partners include websites like Amazon, eBay, Walmart, Macy’s, and many more.
They even have a browser extension you can add to your browser once you sign up to make using Rakuten seamless and (practically) automatic.
Plus, right now they will give you a $10 gift card just for signing up once you make your first purchase!
3. Free gift cards for uploading your grocery receipts ($20+$5 Bonus)
Grocery shopping is something we all have to do. I mean we have to eat, right?
But maybe coupons, sales, and managing all of that is a pain for you. I can relate.
Thankfully, they have an app for that! Actually, multiple apps. In this case, they are free gift card apps.
Ibotta ($20 Bonus) – Ibotta has hundreds of rebate offers on almost any category of items you can find in a grocery store. That includes anything from fruit to milk to shampoo (and even alcohol). Sometimes they even have free after rebate offers, which is just amazing to me. How it works is pretty simple:
- Find offers on the app for things you are going to buy (brand name and generic offers are available)
- Buy those items in the store
- Scan your receipt
- Get cash back into your account, which you can then redeem for gift cards (or cash)
Checkout 51 ($5 Bonus) – this app is basically the same as Ibotta. However, using them both is a good idea because each app has its own partners and special deals, so something on Checkout 51 might not be on Ibotta (and vice versa). Plus, sometimes they do have the same deal and you can use them both to get even more cash back. That’s a win-win! Unlike Ibotta, though, they only pay via check by mail. So you won’t get gift cards per se, but you could certainly use it to buy some. 😉
4. Search the web & watch videos with Swagbucks ($10 Bonus)
You probably already search the web and watch videos every week, if not every day. Why not get paid in gift cards for it?
Swagbucks allows you to do just that. It’s pretty simple, and they have even more ways to earn points which you can redeem for gift cards, such as:
- Search the web
- Watch videos
- Play games
- Shop online
- Give your opinions
Swagbucks, by far, has the largest variety of ways to earn gift cards. They do all of this to get data on behavior and reward you to be a part of it. Plus, you can certainly earn free gift cards with no surveys on Swagbucks – which I know is of popular request for many people.
Right now they’re giving out a $10 bonus when you sign up, which can be redeemed for a gift card from popular brands like Amazon, Walmart, Home Depot, Sephora, a Visa gift card, or PayPal cash!
Alternatively, you can use…
InboxDollars ($5 Bonus) – InboxDollars is very similar to Swagbucks in many ways. You can earn gift cards by searching the web, watching TV, shopping, taking surveys, reading emails, and playing games. Oh, and they’re also giving out a $5 signup bonus right now too.
5. Earn free gift cards automatically with Drop ($5 Bonus)
Drop is an interesting app. You connect your card, select stores you frequently go to (and that they are partnered with), and every time you shop there you earn points you can redeem for gift cards.
It’s totally automated too. Once you sign up and select those stores, you can continue your day like normal. When you shop at one of those stores and earn points, they’ll send you an alert to let you know.
Their $5 bonus, guess what? You can cash it out instantly once you sign up.
That’s right, sign up for the Drop app, connect a card, and you’ll be able to redeem your free $5 gift card for signing up TODAY. With no purchases, no minimum withdrawal limit, nothing. Talk about fast.
6. Add a card to Dosh and earn gift cards ($1 Bonus)
Dosh, with a very similar name to Drop, is also a similar app that gets you points for shopping.
Connect a card, shop like usual, and earn cash back when you shop with a partner of the Dosh app.
Plus, they’re also giving out a $1 signup bonus right now too!
The biggest difference is that Dosh only gives cash, but that’s OK because you can go use that cash anywhere you want.
7. Save money and earn points for gift cards with Honey
Ever since Honey saved me $10 on a $50 order of books, I’ve been hooked.
Honey is a free chrome extension that automatically finds and applies the best (working) coupon codes available for you. No more endless copy and pasting coupon codes that don’t work.
It doesn’t stop there because you can also earn what they call Honey Gold when you shop at certain online stores they are partnered with. Some of these stores include places like eBay, Macy’s, Walmart, TripAdvisor, and so many more.
Since it’s a chrome browser extension, it’s super easy to use. It’s always there, ready to save you money and earn you Honey Gold that you can later redeem for gift cards for popular stores.
8. Earn $50 in gift cards every year just for installing this app
The Neilson computer & mobile panel app has been installed over 100,000 times and pays every single person that has it $50 per year just to keep the app on their device.
They use your data to gain insight into consumer behavior, which is useful to many companies. Thankfully for us, they strip any personally identifiable information so you aren’t selling your soul away for a $50 gift card.
If you want a low effort, entirely passive way to earn free gift cards, no participation required – signup and download the app, that’s it!
Oh, and they also have monthly sweepstakes that you’re automatically entered in just for having the app. It’s a nice little bonus to those that have the app installed.
9. Scan barcodes and earn gift cards with Shopkick
Shopkick is kind of like Ibotta, but they have a few extra ways to earn money other than just buying items and scanning the receipt.
Here’s how you can earn points (which you can redeem for gift cards) on Shopkick:
- Visit a store (some stores give you kicks just for visiting their location!)
- Scan barcodes of items in stores (yup, no need to purchase them)
- Purchase items (and upload the receipt)
- Shopping online
These are some unique ways you can earn kicks on Shopkick, and that’s why this app is so interesting. They literally reward you for visiting a store and scanning items, you never have to buy anything if you don’t want to.
Once you have enough kicks (which is easy since they have so many ways to earn them), you can redeem them for gift cards from places like Walmart, Target, TJ Maxx, Marshalls, Amazon, Starbucks, Best Buy, GameStop, and SO many more.
10. Find Twitter parties
Okay, not that kind of party (sadly).
But in the personal finance world, free gift cards is a party worth going to.
Twitter parties are where it’s at when you want to find free gift card giveaways. Here’s how to find them:
- Use a Twitter party calendar, like this one from Mommy Blog Expert.
- Go to the #giftcards hashtag on Twitter. If you look around for a minute, you’ll usually find a few gift card parties or giveaways going on.
- #twitterparty is also perfect to check out, too.
- Find people and companies that often talk about or conduct Twitter parties
11. Enter gift card giveaways on Instagram
Companies and personal brands give away stuff all the time on Instagram, including gift cards. The guidelines from company to company can vary, and sometimes you’ll need to do extra things to enter the giveaway, but generally, it involves following, liking, and tagging your friends in the post.
How can I find giveaways on Instagram?
Thankfully, Instagram recently created a feature that allows you to follow hashtags. This is important because finding these giveaways to (hopefully) win gift cards is done through scrolling through different hashtags to find these giveaways.
Here are the best hashtags to start following and check on every couple of days to keep on top of all the giveaways:
Here are just two gift card giveaways that I found after 30 seconds of looking:
Follow as many giveaway hashtags as your heart desires, and enter as many as you want. It seems like a lot of these are legitimate, and the pages actually give away gift cards for free – but be careful. If any giveaway asks for too much info for too small of a reward, it’s probably not worth the time.
12. Test drive a car
Did you know some car lots will incentivize you with a free gift card promotion to come in and give their cars a ride?
I actually did this when I was interested in a new car just to see if it was legit.
And to my surprise, it worked.
I didn’t even end up buying a car with them and still got my free $50 e-gift card.
These promotions are always coming and going, so your best bet is to search online for something like a “free gift card for test driving a car.”
13. Ask for gift cards for your gifts
I’ll admit, this idea isn’t that creative.
You might of even already thought of it.
But you might not have done anything about it because of the stigma of “gift cards are too easy of a gift.”
But if you find a good reason why you want gift cards, like to pay for your gas on a trip you plan to go on, you might get more sympathy and contribution to your request because people will feel like they are contributing to your goal. Whether that’s a 5,000-mile road trip or a new phone, figure out why you want gift cards and tell them why. You’d be surprised how effective this is! 🙂
14. Transfer your prescriptions
If you have any prescriptions, you likely go to a pharmacy on a frequent basis to refill.
This is lucrative for the pharmacies because of the constant and recurring visits you’ll make. Meaning, they are making a lot of money from you.
We can use this to our advantage because some pharmacies will actually incentivize you with gift cards to join their pharmacy. It’s a win-win: you get a free gift card and they get more business.
You’ll want to see if pharmacies in your area offer this by giving them a call as these promotions can always change. But, here are some of the pharmacies that currently have this sort of promotion:
- CVS: Up to $50
15. Use the Amazon trade-in program
Amazon’s trade-in program will give you a free amazon gift card when you send in one of the thousands of eligible items which can include things like video games, Kindle’s, books, and more.
It’s a clever way for Amazon to get used merchandise on their website while rewarding you adequately for your stuff.
If you’ve got any eligible items that you aren’t using, consider sending them to Amazon.
Tips when getting free gift cards
- Use a separate email. When on the hunt for free gift cards, you might come across not-so-friendly websites that may end up spamming you. If you want to avoid this happening to your main email, set up (or use) a secondary email to signup with. Note: most, if not all, of the websites and apps on this list have yet to send me much spam. If you end up staying within this list, there shouldn’t be too much spam.
- Keep a record of where you signed up, how much you’ve earned, what their withdrawal minimums are, and which platforms earn you the most. Every platform is different, and what may reward one person may not reward you the same, depending on your habits. Keeping a record is a good way to fine-tune which apps and websites you use so you can earn the most for your time.
- Never pay anything to join a platform! Period.
- Sign up for multiple sources to maximize your potential. Signing up for one thing from this list is OK, but the more the merrier. Every platform is different, has its own partnerships and offers, and can seriously vary. I’ve found that being on a few separate platforms allows for the most possible earnings – so don’t be afraid to sign up for more than one avenue of getting free GCs!
- Be safe. It goes without saying, be safe. If a company asks for too much personal info, like your SSN, don’t bother. There are plenty of opportunities out there that don’t require this amount of information to risk it. Note: some apps and websites will require your credit and debit cards or bank account info. This is to track your spending and give you rewards when you shop at certain locations. Just make sure you know it’s a trustworthy company before sharing this information!
How to spot & avoid free gift card scams
When it comes to free stuff, there always seems to be a bunch of scams out there. Or, even if they aren’t outright scams, they’ll cause you more pain than you probably thought you were signing up for.
How can you spot (and avoid) gift card scams? A few ways:
- Use common sense. If something seems to be too good to be true, it probably is. For example, if a company promises a free $500 gift card and it doesn’t make sense how they are benefiting, it probably won’t end up with you having a $500 gift card for free.
- Never pay for anything. This can’t be said enough! All legitimate free gift card offers out there have never required me to pay anything, all of the legitimate offers are entirely free and should be paying you (and they are, in gift cards)!
- Avoid spelling errors and unprofessional websites. Outdated, unprofessional, and spelling error-ridden websites are a good indicator of a scam. Although it’s not always the case, for the most part, legitimate companies are a little more conscientious when it comes to their image and put a bit more effort into their appearance.
- Free gift card generators & hacks do not exist. Generators that promise working gift card codes, don’t get me started. They just don’t, that would be like printing money.
- Stay within this list. Hopefully, you trust me enough not to send you to a fake, scam website. And although I have no control over them and it could change at any time, I’m confident you’ll have more luck avoiding scams if you stay within this list than you might by wandering into the depths of the web. Either way, please always do your own due diligence.
While these won’t protect you 100% of the time from gift card scams, they should go a long way in keeping you safe(r). If you ever come across an opportunity that you are unsure of but are dying to know if it’s a scam or not, feel free to comment it down below and I’ll try to check it out!
It’s a great feeling when you make a purchase that costs you nothing.
I’ve had plenty of those moments.
Getting free gift cards through these above methods is exactly how I’ve done it (and continue to).
It’s amazing how many gift cards companies are willing to give away as part of a promotion, to get feedback, or for just doing something you already do (like grocery shopping). It’s even more amazing how many opportunities there are out there to totally get free gift cards online without completing offers or surveys, hopefully, this post has really proven that for you.
Hopefully, you’ve found a few new ways to earn free gift cards for yourself in this article.
Is there a lucrative tactic that was missed? Comment it below, and let me know what your #1 way to earn free gift cards is!
Dustyn FergusonDustyn is a personal finance aficionado and the founder of Dime Will Tell where he writes about the experiences he's had with saving money, being debt-free, and building side hustles. He's been featured as an expert resource in publications like Huffington Post, Go Banking Rates, & Reader's Digest.
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