I love earning something for nothing. Who doesn’t? As a stay-at-home mom, I appreciate how the Internet allows me to contribute to our family income by earning free gift cards. I like to earn gift cards throughout the year that I set aside for our Christmas shopping. It is easy to do so and takes me only a minute or two every day. Earning free gift cards is something simple that everyone can do to free up money in your budget!
I’ve been doing this for years but thought it was time for an update on what I do in 2021. I go through seasons of doing it all – and seasons where I only do a little. I have tried a lot of different programs but over time, I’ve narrowed my various endeavors to four, of what I believe, are the best ways to get gift cards. Today, I want to share the fastest way to get gift cards because we all want to maximize our time while still earning free gift cards. These are some of the easiest ways to earn gift cards that I have yet to find.
I have tried dozens of different activities in the past years. Some worked for me and some didn’t. I’m sharing this list of the things I still do to earn money in hopes that you can find something that works for you as well. Not all of these may be your cup of tea and that’s fine, too. Know there are other ways of earning gift cards online in addition to the methods I list below. I’ll share a couple of those other opportunities that I have used in the past and / or others recommends at the bottom.
The thing about all of these opportunities is that you can choose how much time you want to invest. My brother-in-law is a busy entrepreneur and it is not worth his time to participate in programs like these. As a stay at home mom who has more time than money, it is worth my time to do something like this in small pockets of time here and there.
To help you decide if these methods are for you, I have listed when I joined each company and exactly how much I have earned since then (as of January 2021). I hope this helps you decide if it is worth your time.
In full disclosure, I go through spurts of investing time in these gift card searches, and then months where it takes a back burner. Some of these programs take more time than others but all of them will earn you free gift cards. It is true that you get what you invest and that every little bit adds up.
You don’t have to do what I do. Choose what works for you and go from there! I have personally settled on these four methods because they are quick, simple and earn me gift cards in only a minute or two each morning, right after I check my email.
Here are 4 quick ways to earn gift cards in minutes every day.
This post does contain affiliate links but I am only sharing things I actually have used and can fully recommend. You can read more in my disclosure policy.
1. Search on Swagbucks.
Swagbucks is a search engine program where you search to earn points (called SB) which are then redeemed for gift cards. The first way to use Swagbucks is simply to sign up and use it as a search engine, as you are randomly awarded SB for searches. After that, you can answer polls, watch videos, complete surveys, print coupons and lots of other activities to earn SB. If you are motivated and want to invest some daily time in Swagbucks, your gift card earning potential is unlimited! This is an easy way to get gift cards – and the original way that inspired me to find other ways to get gift cards for free.
I currently use Swagbucks casually, searching once or twice a week, answering the daily polls, as well as completing some special offers for bonus SB. When I was nursing in the middle of the night, I often opened up Swagbucks and answered surveys. Sometimes I open up their video player and let videos run through the night while I am sleeping.
If you want to learn ways to maximize your SB and earn $25 in free Amazon gift cards every month (or more), I go into more detail about how to quickly earn free gift cards in minutes a day with Swagbucks here.
I joined Swagbucks in September 2009 and have since earned 197,122 SB. I use my SB to buy Amazon gift cards and have earned around $2000 in Amazon gift cards from Swagbucks – which is over $150 a year for very little effort on my part.
2. Click on emails from MyPoints.
MyPoints has many options for earning but I mainly use the email function. It’s simple. MyPoints will send you various emails advertising various companies. Open and scan to the end of the email and click on it to earn 5 points. It’s not much but it takes only seconds of my time. I have all the emails sent to my promotions folder in Gmail so I just click through them quickly every couple days and then delete the emails.
I joined MyPoints in May of 2008 and have since earned 93,390 points – around $575 of free gift cards, just from clicking on emails!
Every 3900 points or so earns you a $25 gift card of your choice. I like earning gift cards for family date nights to Red Robin but they also have Amazon, Chipotle, JCPenney, Kohls, Old Navy, Target, Texas Roadhouse, Olive Garden and countless other choices. I earn between one and two $25 gift cards each year although you can cash out for $10 gift cards, too.
In this busy season of my life with little ones, this is the one I do most consistently. It is SO easy to click on emails. Even if I do nothing else, I can click on emails because they are in my inbox every day and I don’t have to search them out. MyPoints may be my favorite because it is so simple.
If you want to earn even more with Mypoints, they have a system similar to Swagbucks where you can answer daily polls, watch videos and answer surveys to earn even more.
I’ve been using MyPoints for over a decade and will definitely continue to use them. You don’t earn as quickly as other ones but it is so simple to click on emails that anyone can do it. Some people may decide it’s not worth their time but for the seconds a week it takes me to click through emails, I will happily do so to earn a free gift card to take my family out to eat for free!
3. Install the Fetch app.
The basic premise of Fetch is that after you grocery shop, you take a picture of your receipt and earn points (which convert to cash) for items you’ve purchased. I do this every time I go grocery shopping and earn anywhere from 25 points to 500 points on items I was already purchasing!
With Ibotta, you have to select offers and then find them on your receipt. Not so with Fetch! All you have to do is take a picture of your receipt and Fetch does all the work for you. So much simpler!
Not only do you earn money on your regular grocery purchases, but you can also earn money when you shop for clothes (yes, at Kohls, as well as others), gas stations, and even restaurants. This section of rebates is really expanding lately with lots of ways to earn more money.
So, basically, with Fetch, you shop as you normally shop and take pictures of your receipts to earn free gift cards thanks to things you were already purchasing. It’s honestly that easy. Even if nothing on your receipt matches their list of items, you will always get at least 25 points just for scanning (worth about $0.25).
Thanks to Fetch, I’ve earned an extra $160 in free gift cards since I joined in 2018. Fetch has hundreds of gift cards available from Starbucks, Amazon, Target, Panera, Papa Johns, Old Navy and so many more. The other nice thing is that you can start redeeming your points as low as 3500 for a $3 Amazon gift card – or save them up to redeem for a greater variety at $10, $25 or $50.
Bonus tip: If you like receipt apps, Receipt Pal is a similar app that offers a standard point amount for every receipt – but accepts all receipts!
4. Use Rakuten every time you shop online.
What busy mom doesn’t shop online? This year has made me shop online even more. Rakuten is an easy way to earn cash back on all your purchases online. Sadly, this doesn’t work with Amazon or my earnings would be tripled what they are! But for everything else, Rakuten is a great way to earn extra cash.
Simply download the Rakuten app and / or install the Rakuten extension on your computer. Start there every time you shop and you will earn 1% to 20% back on your online purchases, depending on the store. This currently works for 2500 stores and counting!
Since I joined Rakuten in 2017 (back when it was Ebates), I have earned $784.17 – in cash! They pay you out in cash 4 times a year, when you reach a certain payout.
Extra Earning Opportunities:
These are some additional ways to earn gift cards that I have done in the past or use occasionally.
- Take pictures of your receipts on Receipt Pal.
- Search on Microsoft Rewards.
- Earn gift cards for shopping at stores with Shop Kick.
- Take more pictures with Receipt Hog.
- Earn cash for receipts with Coin Out.
Do you currently earn free gift cards with any of these methods? If so, which one is your favorite? Do you have any other suggestions you would add to this list?