12 Weird Things Anyone Can Do to Get Gift Cards

Disclosure: We’re letting you know that this post contains sponsored links which The Smart Wallet receives compensation for, which may impact their order of appearance because talking about money should always be an honest discussion.

Who wouldn’t want extra beer money?

If you find yourself short on cash most weekends, we’ve got some ideas for you.

No need to sell ad space on your body or picking up dog poop. (Although, you could if you want.)

But if you need more ideas, we rounded up 13 weird, but definitely legal ways, to make some extra money.

Give these a shot the next time you’re in need of some extra dough.

1. Drop All Gold Digger Relationships for No Hidden Fee Banks

Exit Visuals

You don’t need any more gold diggers in your life. The types of relationships that just has no substance and sucks the life and money out of you.

Your bank included.

Why? You might be charged on monthly maintenance fees ($10-$12 a month), out-of-network ATM fees ($2.75 per transaction), and overdraft fees ($35 per). That’s $329 a year* just on hidden fees alone!

Skip those trips to the bank by using Chime, a mobile banking app with no hidden fees whatsoever.

No monthly fees, no minimum balance requirement, no overdraft fees, and no foreign transaction fees. It’s also FDIC-insured up to $250,000.

Even better? You can get your paycheck via direct deposit up to 2 days earlier than the rest of your coworkers because Chime processes your employer’s check immediately.

It’s banking like it should be. So take a few minutes to get set up with Chime and say goodbye to annoying fees, and hello to a better bank!

2. Just Leave This App On To Get Paid Almost Forever


Panel AppPanel App is a loyalty incentive app that will give you points just by leaving the app running in the background.

Because it gives you points on location, go ahead and enable location services. Then just turn the app on before you go about your day and head to school, work, gym wherever.

After testing it we think it’s a great (lazy) app that rewards you for doing almost nothing. If you’re still skeptical, know this:

  • You don’t have to complete offers
  • You don’t have to watch ads
  • You don’t have to buy anything
  • You don’t have to do anything but leave the app running

We snagged a $5 Amazon gift card via email after a few weeks of just leaving the app on and forgetting about it. You can also choose VISA gift cards, MasterCard gift cards or sweepstakes entries.

Overall, a solid choice for earning a bit of spending money for literally just leaving the Panel App (iOS and Android) running on your phone!

3. Get Cash Back on Your Beer Runs And More

Another trip to the store for beer? Absolutely and now you can get cash back for it.

Take a picture of your grocery receipt and IbottaIbotta will pay you back!

Here’s how it works:

Before you go to the store, search for your shopping list items in the Ibotta app. After your store visit, take a photo of your receipt to get cash back.

Ibotta is free to download and you’ll also get a $10 sign up bonus after uploading your first receipt!

Some offers we found:

  • 25 cents back on any item
  • $3 – $5 back on various beer
  • 50 cents to $1 back on various cereal
  • 25 cents – $4 back on ice cream

Popular stores are Walmart and Target, but Ibotta (iOS or Androidalso works at liquor stores, restaurants, online sites, and at the bar!

4. Turn All That Gaming into Saving Too

If you’re the type that prefers to play video games all day instead of thinking about money we’ve got the perfect app for you.

Go ahead and download Long Game Savings (iOS or Android) a personal finance app that mixes fun games and saving actual money.

Just play 1 game a day, and you could win cash daily.

Yes, it’s safe. Your money is FDIC-insured up to $250,000 and you can withdraw money at any time.

After setting up your savings account, you’ll be able to play quick games like Spin to Win, Flip Cards, Slot Machines, and more for chances to win money to increase your savings. Eons better than 0.01% interest rate.

It’s like you’re getting paid to save and it only takes less than a minute of your day to play. And there’s no judgment on playing too many games.

5. Free Gift Cards Just for Going Shopping? Yes, please.

Alice Ly / The Smart Wallet

Go on your normal grocery shopping trips. Scan your receipt after. Get points towards gift cards.

No extra fuss. No digital coupons to pre-select or specific stores to go to.

It’s perfect for the lazy but smart saver.

And it’s called Fetch Rewards (iOS or Android), an app where you can scan ANY grocery receipt to get rewards.

Scan receipts from supermarkets, neighborhood corner shops, wholesale clubs, drugstores, convenience stores, and even liquor stores. Unlike other apps, you’re not restricted to specific stores. As long as your receipt has any of the thousands of participating products, you’ll earn points to redeem for gift cards.

You can start redeeming points for rewards with as little as 3,000 points ($3). Grab a 2,000 points bonus ($2!) when you enter this referral code: REWARD before you scan your first receipt.

6. Earn Gift Cards by “Renting” Out Your Lockscreen

There’s a tasty sounding app called S’more (Android only) that partners up with brands willing to pay people to look at their ads. (You!)

The ad will just show on your lock screen, so whenever you need to unlock your phone, you’ll see it. No biggie, since you unlock your phone all day! Now you get paid for it.

Basically, they’re paying you to rent your lock screen phone space if you want to think of it that way. And you’re not obligated to learn more about each ad. Just normally use your phone and it’ll add up!

S’mores pays in gift cards so you’ll be able to redeem them for:

  • Amazon.com
  • AMC Theaters
  • Best Buy
  • CVS
  • Target
  • Domino’s Pizza
  • Starbucks and more!

Some of us here have already received our Starbucks gift card so we love this app and highly recommend!

7. Get Paid to Watch Videos and Take Surveys Online

Priscilla Du Preez

Since you’re already watching videos online, you might as well earn something too, right?

With Inbox Dollars, you can watch their TV and Videos section that ranges from movie previews, entertainment news, sports, and the latest news to earn some cash. You’ll also get $5 as a sign-up bonus too!

They set it up in playlists though and they’ll tell you how long it takes as it can range from a few minutes to half an hour. Tip: You can set it to Play, open up another browser tab and let the videos run while you continue doing your thing.

Playlists and earning potential can change, but it’s possible to earn up to $200 a month, watching videos!

This will not be the fastest way to earn money, however, all you’re doing is clicking some buttons to get cash vs. doing nothing and not getting paid.

Ipsos I-Say is one of the largest market research firms in the world, you’ll get paid with Amazon, Starbucks, Target gift cards, Paypal or Visa gift cards after you earn enough points from survey taking. Be sure to confirm your email to get access to surveys!

8. School Competitors in Solitaire and Ca$h In

Solitaire Cube (iOS only) is like regular Solitaire, except you get to play for real cash!

Is there a catch? Yes but not really. I tried playing for free when I first started but I realized it would take me forever to get the tickets I need to play for real cash. I gave up and deposited $25 last week and I’ve already won $120.

The game matches you with players of the same skill level, so you have a solid chance of winning. If you’re a good Solitaire player, you could win some serious cash, like Katie Nguyen who took home $380,984 last year as one of the Top 10 Solitaire Cube players!

So if you think you can handle playing some Solitaire to win some legit cash, definitely download this game for free.

Solitaire Cube is not available in AZ, AR, CT, DE, FL, LA, ME, MD, MT, SC, SD, TN, IN

9. Buy Stuff Normally = Get Gift Cards You Actually Want

If you have room for 1 more app on your phone, then it needs to be this.

Actually, delete another app to make room for this one. It’s that good.

It’s called Drop (iOS or Android), a free app that gives you gift cards on stuff you already buy from your favorite stores and brands.

Your everyday purchases from Amazon, Target, Trader Joe’s, and Walmart? You’ll get points for that. Points translate to gift cards so the more you collect, the more you can redeem!

There are a ton of offers, and you’ll get to pick 5 Power Offers in the beginning. For instance, my 5 are Target, Uber, Trader Joe’s, WholeFoods, and Starbucks. Each time I pay for these places? Automatic points for gift cards.

You’re not restricted to just 5, but those will be your recurring/forever offers. You’ll get access to many other offers that you can activate ranging from Entertainment, Personal Care, Grocery, Apparel and more.

The only thing you need to do is link any credit or debit card you usually use for buying stuff and that’s it! Drop (iOS or Android) will automatically recognize when you buy from your Power 5 and activated offers to reward.

There’s literally no downside to using this free app to get more gift cards. Use it on top of your loyalty points and credit card points for even more rewards!

LIMITED TIME OFFER: Use promo code SMARTWALLET to unlock 5,000 points ($5) automatically when you link your first card on Drop!

10. Save an Average of $720 a Year with this Money Management App

They say that 84% of people forget they have some recurring subscriptions still charging them. Well, count me as part of that statistic!

To fix that and to get a better picture of my overall spending, I downloaded Truebill (iOS or Android), an app that focuses on lowering bills, monitoring subscriptions, and my favorite, monitoring internet/cable outages. 

After connecting my Chase bank account (it’s safe; they use bank-level 256-bit SSL encryption with read-only access), the Truebill dashboard displayed clear information on my spending, upcoming bills, and all my recurring subscriptions. 

From it, I realized I still had a very niche streaming service that I haven’t touched in about 7 months. (Thanks, free trial offer…) I immediately canceled it through Truebill and saved $70 from that sub.

Got an annoying gym membership you’ve been meaning to cancel? No problem, they’ll do it for you too.

Truebill (iOS or Android) will also negotiate for lower bills on your behalf (no more waiting on the phone!) and monitor any internet and cable outages too. If there are outages in your area, they’ll work to get credit to your account. On average, this accounts to $96 savings a year on outages alone!

Basic service is free, and when Truebill successfully finds bill savings or refunds for you, they’ll take a 40% slice from your annual savings. For instance, if they saved you $100 on a bill for the year, they’ll take $40. Reasonable for the savings they found you!

Overall, having a financial “watchdog” of sorts will keep you on track and help you save on unnecessary spending. It takes only a few minutes for Truebill to analyze so check it out!

11. This AI Will Automatically Save for You

Warren Wong

Prepare for those “oh $#@!” moments by letting this smart AI beef up your emergency savings for you.

Or your vacation savings. Or your new pair of kicks savings.

You won’t even notice it but Digit will make it happen.

Just link a checking account and their smart algorithm will determine small but safe amounts to withdraw into your separate FDIC-Insured Digit savings account.

Regular savers will get a 1% bonus every three months, netting you some free money!

It’s the perfect set-it-and-forget-it app where the AI will watch your savings back.

You can withdraw your money at any time you need and it’s free to use for the first 30 days. After, it’s just $2.99 a month.

12. The Best Way to Earn Cash for Stuff You Do Every Day

How much time do you think you spend online? Most likely more than you think.

The average American spends 24 hours online a week*, but for me, I know I definitely surpass this since I have to be online for work. Along with post-office hours shopping, browsing, reading, it’s rare that I’m not online.

If it’s the same for you, capitalize on all that online time by earning points you can redeem towards gift cards, and even better, cash.

You can do it with Swagbucks, a free rewards program for the everyday things you do online.

Earn points by

  • Watching entertaining videos
  • Shopping at your favorite retailers
  • Searching the web
  • Participating in surveys
  • Playing fun trivia games

Then you can redeem for a large variety of gift cards (Amazon, Target, Walmart, Starbucks are popular) or my favorite, Paypal Cash and Visa Gift Cards. Cash out in as little as $3!

You’ll even get a $5 bonus when you earn 2,500 SB points within your first 30 days.

The best way to earn SB? Surveys. You can get up to 300 SB for each qualified one you participate in. While you obviously won’t get rich doing this, you can nab an extra $10-$20 a month on them.

Keeping your profile updated and doing the Daily To-Do List will also earn you extra SB. There are a lot of opportunities so you can cash out early and often!

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