13 Weird Things Everyone Can Do to Earn 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 earn gift cards aka extra money.

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

1. Get Paid for Playing Free Digital Scratch-Offs Anywhere

Don’t bother going to the liquor store to buy physical scratchers, you can now play them for free on Lucktastic!

There are a ton of different scratchers you can play, and you can earn both cash and tokens. Scratched all of them for the day? Don’t worry, there are specific night-time scratchers that are available each night too!

You’ll also get free daily tokens and more ways to earn cash. It’s really simple to play as you just swipe your finger to “scratch.”

When you want to redeem your earnings, you can choose from:

  • Amazon gift card
  • CVS gift card
  • Dunkin’ Donuts gift card
  • Check mailed to you
  • Visa gift card

2. Make 2.12% Interest On Your Money with This Fee-Free Banking App

No fees banking with Varo

Traditional banks seem to take every opportunity they can to squeeze more money out of you. With everything from a monthly service fee to various hidden fees nibbling away at your account balance. Enter Varo which was founded to provide a fee-free banking service2.

Yep, Varo has no monthly service fees, no foreign transaction fees, and no ATM withdrawal fees. On top of having no fees, Varo lets you make more money on your money. Varo provides a high-yield savings account that starts at 2.12% Annual Percentage Yield (APY)1 that can move up to 2.80% APY1 based on qualifying activity. To put this into perspective, the average APY of the 5 biggest national banks is 0.09%.*

Varo has a few sweet extra features too:

  • Get your paycheck up to 2 days earlier4 (super helpful for rent!)
  • No minimum balance requirement
  • Over 55,000+ AllPoint® ATMs worldwide to use your Varo Visa® debit card
  • Offers personal loans to pre-qualified customers who want to consolidate debt
  • Varo will send any paper check to anyone in the U.S. on your behalf
  • Varo Personal Forecast tracks your spending to manage your cash flow
  • “Save the Change” rounds up your purchases to the nearest dollar and saves the difference to your Varo savings account

If you’re sick of being charged banking fees and want to make more out of your money, check out Varo. It takes less than 5 minutes to learn more and apply for free.

3. Make Stupid Easy Money Trying and Playing Games

There are so many new games coming out on the daily that it’s hard to choose which to play.

My strategy? Only focus on the games that pay me for my time.

You can do it with Lucky Miner, an app that pays you to try out new games.

When you earn coins from trying new games, you can redeem for:

  • PayPal Cash
  • Amazon gift card
  • GameStop gift card
  • PlayStation Store gift card
  • Xbox Live gift card
  • And too much more to list

Nab a 4,444 coin welcome bonus too, which is basically around 50 cents in value. And if you don’t like to wait, you can choose to payout as low as $1.

If your friends want to get it on the money action, introduce them to Lucky Miner, where you’ll get bonus coins and 25% of all their earnings. To make it a supportive group, your friends will also earn 25% of your earnings too!

4. Invest in the Legal Cannabis Industry with Just $5. No Experience Necessary.

Mitch / Adobe Images *Image for illustrative purposes only

If investing sounds complicated and expensive for you, it doesn’t have to be.

You know you should start, but where to begin? You don’t want to just pick randomly as you want to invest in an industry you believe in. Something that can really take off and make money.

So how about investing in the legal cannabis industry? It’s big business as retail sales are projected to hit $10 billion this year and is expected to grow to $24.5 billion by 2021.*

You can do it with Stash, a micro-investing app that lets you invest for as little as $5 and it takes less than 2 minutes to get started. We’ll even give you $5 to get started.

They curate from over 150 investments which include stocks and Exchange Traded Funds and you’ll get to choose an investment blend that meets your goals and interests.

Take the $5 that we’re giving you and start investing with Stash.

5. 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, 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 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!

6. Get a Personal Loan Fast Even if You Have Bad Credit

Your credit score is important but sometimes, unfortunate circumstances happen to good people. It’s not always a fair representation of your financial history to be judged by 3 digits.

Even if you have a poor credit score you could still get a personal loan for your short-term financial needs.

OppLoans can help.

Submitting an application doesn’t affect your FICO credit score and you’ll be able to get the best personal loan that you may need for car repairs, medical, family, rent, major purchase, etc.

Here’s who can qualify:

  1. Residents of AL, AR, AZ, DC, DE, FL, GA, HI, ID, IL, IN, KY, KS, LA, ME, MI, MN, MS, MO, MT, ND, NE, NV, NM, OH, OK, OR, RI, SD, TN, TX, UT, SC, WA, WI, WY, VA
  2. Have a minimum monthly income of $1,500 for the states listed above except AL is $3,500, and GA & ID is $3,000
  3. Employed at your current job for at least 3 months
  4. 18+ years old (19 if from AL or NE) and cannot be an active duty service member
  5. A traditional bank account in your name that’s been open for at least 90 days
  6. You get your paychecks via direct deposit

Qualified borrowers will be able to borrow up to $4,000 depending on their state.

And when monthly payments are made back on the loan, OppLoans will notify the 3 credit bureaus to build up your payment history!

*OppLoans APR ranges from 59%-199% depending on your state of residence (Rates and Terms here). Credit reporting not available for Texas residents.

7. Mundane Errands Can Now Be Worth More Gift Cards with this App

All your errands can be made fun again with Drop, a simple app that lets you earn gift cards on stuff you already buy from your favorite brands.

It’s the ultimate & modern loyalty card without the card.

All you need to do is link your most-used credit card(s) and whenever you purchase at your favorite activated brands, you’ll automatically get points for gift cards.

All your Uber and Lyft rides. Get points for that.
All your Target errand runs. Get points for that.
All your Starbucks caffeine pick-me-ups. Points, points, points!

Kevin from The Smart Wallet team already redeemed his $20 Starbucks card after only 3 weeks! We’re really loving Drop since you can earn gift cards on popular brands you already buy from. Quickly set it up and watch the points drop in for gift cards.

7. Get Paid to Take Popular Surveys, Watch Videos, and Even Read Emails With This Site

Priscilla Du Preez

If you’re looking for an easy way to snag a little extra cash by being online, look no further. Inbox Dollars has a wide array of ways to make some money on the side.

Founded in 2000, Inbox Dollars has been around and paying customers for their opinions for over 19 years and counting! They are one of the most trusted survey sites with fun, multiple ways to earn extra cash that sets them apart from the others.

You can stick to sharing your opinion and take surveys, but you can also watch videos, play games, and even read email for some extra cash. Who wouldn’t want to watch movie trailers for money?

They also offer cash back for online shopping and coupon cash rewards to use at the grocery store too!

So if you’re looking for some extra cash and enjoy a wide array of options to earn, Inbox Dollars is a great platform to make a little side money. It’s free to sign up, so give it a try today!

8. Make Stupid Easy Money Trying and Playing Games

There are so many new games coming out on the daily that it’s hard to choose which to play.

My strategy? Only focus on the games that pay me for my time.

You can do it with AppStation, an app that pays you to try out new games.

When you earn coins from trying new games, you can redeem for:

  • PayPal Cash
  • Amazon gift card
  • GameStop gift card
  • PlayStation Store gift card
  • Xbox Live gift card
  • And too much more to list

Nab a 4,444 coin welcome bonus too, which is basically around 50 cents in value. And if you don’t like to wait, you can choose to payout as low as $1.

If your friends want to get it on the money action, introduce them to AppStation, where you’ll get bonus coins and 25% of all their earnings. To make it a supportive group, your friends will also earn 25% of your earnings too!

9. Smart (Ok, Sometimes Lazy) People Let AI Grow Their Savings Automatically 

Warren Wong

Prepare for those “oh sh*t!” 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 $5 a month.

10. Feel Lucky Every Day with This App That Rewards You Cash

Lucktastic Couple
Alice Ly / The Smart Wallet

There’s no need to buy physical scratchers (ever) from the convenience store anymore when you can play them for free on Lucky Trivia Live!

This free rewarding app mixes fun digital scratchers with short trivia questions based on Science, Geography, and Math in between. You get 20 seconds to answer each question (enough time to Google!)

There are a ton of different scratchers and trivia questions you can play, and you can earn both cash and stars (points that turn into cash).

You’ll also get free daily stars just for logging in multiple days and more ways to earn cash. It’s really simple to play as you just swipe your finger to “scratch” and “tap” to answer.

On my 5th scratcher, I won a $1! Yes, I’m completely addicted to this app.

When you want to redeem your earnings, you can choose from:

  • Amazon gift card
  • CVS gift card
  • Burger King gift card
  • Check mailed to you
  • VISA gift card
  • And a ton more retailers

Since it’s free to download and play, there’s no harm trying to get free cash!

11. Just Leave This App On & Get Paid – It’s That Easy

This is like a daily quest but you get paid in real life.

Panel 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:

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 app running on your phone!

12. Get Paid to Try New Games. Every Gamer’s Dream.

Adobe

Who would’ve thought you can play games to make some money?

All you need is Mistplay, a game platform where you can try new games to earn points redeemable for gift cards like Amazon, VISA, PlayStation Network, XBOX Live, Starbucks, and more.

In the app, all available free games are listed so just take your pick to try! The more time spent on each game, the more money you can earn.

You’ll only get paid for playing games if Mistplay is running so be sure to always install games from the Mistplay app!

BONUS: You’ll automatically get 200 welcome points upon sign up but use promo code Bonus_100 to get an additional 100 points for a total of 300 total points!

13. Need Cash ASAP? You Could Take Out a Personal Loan

Vitaly Taranov

If you don’t want to go into your next decade of life with debt looming over you, consider a debt consolidation.

This means you’re borrowing money at a low-interest rate and using that money to pay off the outstanding balances from your high-interest credit cards.

If it sounds foreign to you, don’t stress. You can keep your research simple and annoyance-free with Fiona, which is basically a marketplace of consolidation and refinancing options.

It’s free to use and takes only three easy steps to sign up.

Fiona will search all the top online lenders to get you the best personal loan anywhere between $1,000 and $100,0000. And loan lengths can last 24-48 months depending on the lender.

Not only will they help with debt consolidation, they can help with any big moment in your life that you may need a personal loan for like Home Improvement, Wedding, Medical bills and more.

*What Americans Pay in Bank Fees Source: ChimeBank.com
*Retail Sales Statistic Source: Fortune via http://fortune.com/2017/12/06/legal-marijuana-sales-10-billion/

*Fluent is a paid Affiliate/ partner of Stash. Investment advisory services offered by Stash Investments LLC, an SEC-registered investment adviser. *Stash does not endorse the illegal use of Narcotics. This material has been distributed for informational and educational purposes only and is not intended as investment, legal, accounting, or tax advice. Investing involves risk.

Some of the sponsored links that appear on this page are from companies that offer investment advisory services. They compensate us; for details on our compensation arrangements, please click here.

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