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Cash may be king, but gift cards are almost as good. We all know how good it feels when you apply a gift card to purchase and watch the amount owed plummet down; it’s guilt-free shopping at its finest.
Yet when you really need a gift card, you never have one.
You’ve probably noticed lots of companies offering free gift cards in return for signing up for offers or registering for new services while you’re surfing the web, but somehow these offers only pop up when you’re not interested, or when you don’t have the time.
If only there were a way to seek out the gift cards you need intentionally.
That’s why we’ve compiled a list of all the ways you can get your hands on free gift cards. If you’re willing to invest some time and try out multiple methods, your gift card balances are likely to fill up in time for that next Walmart or Amazon shopping spree.
Best Ways To Get Free Gift Cards
How can I get free gift cards online without completing offers?
Although the most common way to get free gift cards is by completing offers through shopping portals or cashback, it’s far from the only way.
You can also complete surveys; various survey websites will give you a free gift card (or points towards one) when you complete their questionnaires.
However, you should be aware that some of these sites are only available for US citizens; surveys are mostly conducted for market research purposes and need people from a specific demographic.
As well as surveys, there are other kinds of activities you can do online in return for gift cards — these range from playing games to creating your own videos to posting job adverts.
Another common option is to use referral programs, which are available on all kinds of websites. Usually, all you need to do is make a post on social media or get a friend to create a count using your referral link, and you’ll promptly receive some credit.
There are some more alternative ways, too, such as taking a test drive or trading in your old electronic devices. Keep reading for a full, more detailed list.
What is the best app for free gift cards?
Survey websites are one of the best-known ways to get free gift cards; completing questionnaire after questionnaire may seem tiresome to some, and you’ll undoubtedly need some patience, but you’re guaranteed results.
Putting aside just five minutes a day to spend on surveys can add up over the course of a year or so.
Swagbucks is one of the most popular survey websites in the world. By not only completing surveys but also shopping through their portal and watching specific videos, you can earn points (which they call Swagbucks).
When you’ve earned enough Swagbucks, you can use them towards certain rewards. These are mostly gift cards for big companies like Amazon and other retailers, but you can also get direct PayPal balances or charity donations.
Some rewards are redeemable at a fairly low value, meaning that you don’t have to wait months to get any benefit from your work.
A huge advantage to Swagbucks is that you get a $5 bonus just for signing up if you use our link, as long as you earn enough points in your first two months.
Learn More: Read my full Swagbucks review.
InboxDollars lets you earn credit towards gift cards by completing surveys and watching television, as well as playing games.
The disadvantage is that, unlike Swagbucks, you have to wait until you accumulate $30 credit before you can withdraw anything.
Since you get a $5 bonus for signing up and an extra $5 for every friend you refer (plus 30% of their future earnings), you’ll be able to reach this amount fairly quickly.
Learn More: Read my fullInboxDollars review.
Drop is purely for earning cashback balances through their online shopping app. Additionally, you will receive a free $5 bonus after you link your credit or debit card.
There’s a huge range of retailers that count towards the points you can earn, including food delivery sites and travel companies. It’s possible to earn more points on the site by filling in surveys and playing games.
Learn More: Read my full Drop app review.
PrizeRebel is another survey site that gives you the chance to earn gift cards for big sites like Amazon and PayPal. You can earn even more points by referring other users.
You can also earn by completing offers and watching videos.
Like Swagbucks, it’s possible to redeem your points at a low value.
The web is full of websites offering to give you gift cards for completing surveys.
Learn More: Read my full PrizeRebel review.
Scanning Receipts for Gift Cards
Another common way to get your hands on some free gift cards is to scan your receipts through an app and build up your points.
Many apps that offer this also store your receipts for you, which is a great added bonus if you want to track your spending or remember what you’ve bought.
Ibotta lets you earn money with cashback on purchases both in-store and online. Before you go shopping in-store, browse the offers on the app you’d like to redeem.
Then when you go shopping, scan your receipt using the app, and the cashback will be added to your account within 24 hours.
There’s also the ‘Pay with Ibotta’ feature, which lets you use the app for online shopping. You can then receive cashback automatically without having the hassle of scanning your receipts. This includes over thirty stores and restaurants currently, with hopes to expand.
Learn More: Read my full Ibotta review.
As well as receiving gift cards, you can use your points towards PayPal or Venmo balances.
Fetch Rewards lets you earn points easily by scanning your grocery receipts through their app.
You’ll only be able to earn points if you purchase products and brands participating in the offer, but the good news is you won’t have to find those brands manually; the app will do it for you. There are also special offers to help you earn even more.
You can redeem your rewards at hundreds of retailers in all kinds of categories, from beauty to travel to pets.
This is another app that lets you earn points by scanning your receipts. Unlike Fetch Rewards, it isn’t only groceries you can earn points from – you can also earn from connecting your Amazon account and shopping at restaurants and other types of retailers.
As well as being able to earn gift cards at places like Walmart and Amazon, you’ll also be able to enter prize draws and sweepstakes for cash bonuses, which is an added bonus.
If you go shopping online as well as in physical stores, cashback apps might be more useful than scanning receipts.
Most of the apps give you a chance to both scan and apply online cashback offers through the same app.
Shopkick is, above all, a receipt-scanning app since you can earn cashback from shopping and sending them your receipt, but there are many other ways for you to earn ‘kicks’ (points).
These include shopping online, linking a credit card, scanning a barcode, and even walking into a shop.
Unlike other websites that can leave you waiting for months, ShopKick claims that most users receive their first free gift card within just a week. Partners include Amazon, Starbucks, and Target.
Learn More: Read my full Shopkick review.
Shopping Portals for Gift Cards
There’s a lot of overlap between shopping portal apps and cashback apps, as most services offer both features. However, you might prefer to choose an app that specializes in the service you expect to use most.
As you spend money through the MyPoints portal app, you’ll automatically earn points that you can redeem for gift cards or a PayPal transfer. They partner with almost a hundred different retail, travel, and restaurant partners.
MyPoints also offers a generous $10 bonus for signing up as long as you spend at least $20 through their portal within your first month.
Learn More: Read my full MyPoints review.
Honey App works slightly differently as it’s a browser extension rather than an app. Not only will you receive a cashback, but you’ll also get notified if there are any discount coupons available for the site you’re shopping on.
Instead of consciously deciding to shop through a particular portal (which can get overwhelming and confusing when there are so many sites offering the same thing), Honey will remain dormant in your browser until you enter a site that has a cashback option.
It will then alert you so you can make the most of the offer. When you buy something, you’ll earn ‘Honey Gold’ (cashback points) as well as making savings. If you refer your friends, you’ll be able to make even more Honey Gold.
Learn More: Read my full Honey App review.
Rewards Programs Gift Cards
There are websites that will reward you for all kinds of activities, as well as just completing surveys and going shopping.
These are some of the other ways you can receive rewards in the form of gift cards.
You’ve probably accidentally stumbled on websites that offered to give you free credit or gift cards for referring your friends, but these kinds of offers can be difficult to seek out intentionally. They’re also appearing and disappearing more quickly than you can keep track of.
Chums is an app that helps friends capitalize on these referral codes without wasting time seeking out offers manually. Chums keeps track of all the referral codes going and how much you’ll be able to make from each one.
Some websites currently offering referral codes in return for gift cards are:
Giftcards.com – Buy and Sell
This is where things get slightly confusing. Giftcards.com is a website where you can buy discounted gift cards and receive credit towards more gift cards as you shop.
There are hundreds of gift card brands to choose from in categories ranging from clothing to travel to groceries.
You can earn even more points by reading the daily newsletter, installing the browser extension, and sharing deals you find.
Other discount gift card retailers include Raise and RetailMeNot.
The concept of Product Tube is similar to survey websites, except that you’ll receive rewards for making videos of your daily shopping habits instead of filling in questionnaires. You’ll need to film some videos in-store and some at home.
This might sound daunting, but since you can make the videos on your smartphone and upload them directly to the app, the process is actually very quick and easy. Product Tube claims that you can earn the equivalent of $50-80 per hour of effort every month!
However, this isn’t for everyone, as you’ll have to show your face in some testimonials; some people may be uncomfortable at the idea of doing this.
Job Spotter is an app that the leading job board, Indeed, created to find even more job postings.
Many companies still advertise for employment opportunities by hanging up paper adverts outside their premises, which makes it harder for job seekers to find relevant posts.
Job Spotter aims to tackle this by incentivizing smartphone users to upload details of any job adverts they come across.
As you post for adverts, you’ll build up credit that you can use for Amazon gift cards. However, unless you live in a very big city where you regularly see lots of job adverts posted, using Job Spotter may not be worth the bother.
Does earning credit towards gift cards only by using your search engine sound too good to be true? Well, that’s what Microsoft Rewards do.
By enrolling in the process and using Bing for your searches, you’ll be able to earn points. If you want to earn even more, you can take part in quizzes and do other activities.
The catch is that you’ll only be able to get rewards for the Microsoft store. However, it may surprise you how many companies Microsoft now owns, including Xbox. Of course, Microsoft Office is also included, an essential for most people.
Reward Credit Cards
If taking pictures of your receipts and taking part in numerous online activities seems too complicating, credit cards can be a better solution. You can simply use your card whenever you buy anything from a supermarket or shop and receive the cashback automatically.
As long as you trust yourself not to go crazy, it’s a simple process.
Some of the best include:
- CapitalOne Quicksilver Cash Rewards – can redeem 1.5% cashback on gift cards (as well as bank account deposits).
- Capital One Savor One Cash Rewards – 4% cashback on dining and 2% on groceries you can redeem for gift cards.
- Blue Cash Preferred Card from American Express – 6% cashback on US supermarkets you can redeem for gift cards in variable amounts.
- U.S. Bank Cash+Visa Signature Card – three-tiered system (5% cashback for the first $2,000, 2% cashback on the category of your choice, and 1% for everything else) and you can redeem for gift cards.
The credit card(s) you choose depends on where you’re most likely to spend your money. Some are best for foodies, whereas others are more general.
Other Ways To Earn Free Gift Cards
You’ve probably already heard of or come across most of these ways to get gift cards, even if you weren’t aware of the full details. But here are some more novel ways to get free credit that may be entirely new for you.
Receiving a gift card in exchange for taking a test drive is extremely common. Most car companies offer this opportunity; to find out, check the manufacturer website, and look for a special promotions tab.
For example, Hyundai is currently offering $50 after you test drive a new Hyundai.
Like referral codes, the offers are always changing.
If you have any unused electronic items lying around the house, trading them to Amazon is an easy way to earn a gift card and a special offer. You can then use these towards upgrading your item to a newer model.
Some of the main categories of items you can trade in are E-readers, tablets, streaming media players, Bluetooth speakers and Echo, cell phones, and gaming. As well as electronics, you can trade in books.
To check if the offer includes your item, you can search for it and find out how much it’s worth. If you bought something on Amazon, the process will be even easier because Amazon will make the suggestion for you.
Even if your item gets rejected due to not being in the right condition, Amazon will send it back to you free of charge.
Lucktastic gives you the chance to win gift cards simply by playing games on their website that mimic scratch cards. There’s no guarantee – the keywords are ‘luck’ and ‘win’ – but since the site is full of adverts, payouts are high, and it’s common to win.
Payouts go from $1 right up to thousands of dollars. You can use the gift cards for sites like Amazon, Sephora, and Walmart.
Like Lucktastic, Mistplay gamifies the process of earning points for gift cards, but it features full games rather than quick scratch card exercises.
The best thing about the app is that you can play popular games you already love, like Words With Friends 2 and Clash Royale; you won’t have to play games you’ve never heard of.
There’s even a chance of earning in-game bonuses of up to $20.
Something else that might not have occurred to you is searching for gift card giveaways on Instagram. How? By using the right hashtags. Of course, there’s no guarantee you’ll win, but if you try enough times, then you never know.
Some of the most popular hashtags include:
Since you can follow hashtags, you can just wait for the best offers to appear as you’re scrolling through your feed.
You may have to tag a couple of friends in a post or follow an account for the company to enter you into the draw, but it’s hardly a huge sacrifice.
How can I get free gift cards fast?
Some of these websites let you accumulate gift card credit faster than others. There are two factors to consider:
- How quickly you can accumulate credit towards gift cards
- When you’ll be able to withdraw it
Many websites have a minimum amount of credit you need to accumulate before you can claim a gift card; this is generally around $20-30.
On the survey websites, it can take a while to accumulate credit. The number of surveys you can take part in may be restricted, and the credit you get for each survey can be quite small.
Other referral programs, as well as apps for receipt-scanning and cashback, also tend to take a while to accumulate your credit.
The quickest way to get a gift card is to take part in a referral program or do a test drive, as they generally give you the gift card straightaway.
Getting free gift cards is easy if you know where to look. Whether you’d rather earn by shopping or gaming, there’s sure to be a website that will work for you.
As long as you have the patience to accumulate points gradually, it’s easy to save a lot of money this way.