STIMULUS checks aside, there are plenty of ways for households to get free money.
Ranging from making the most of reward websites and 401k accounts, they could come in handy if you’re strapped for cash.
All of the tips are also easy to do from home, meaning you don’t even have to leave the comfort of your sofa.
How much money you can earn naturally depends on your individual circumstances, but it’s possible to get thousands of dollars.
You can also earn cash by selling or renting out your stuff, but below we’ve rounded up ways to boost your bank balance without losing any items or space.
1. Make the most of a 401k – $1,000s
A 401k is an employed-backed retirement account, which allows you to dictate a percentage of your pre-tax salary.
This is sometimes matched by your employer, but it’s not required so it’s not guaranteed.
However, if it does offer it, make sure you make the most of it or you will effectively turn down free money.
Most employees can currently put in $19,500 a year of their own money in a 401k account, excluding employer contributions.
However, workers who are older than 50 years old are eligible for an extra catch-up contribution of $6,500 in 2020 and 2021.
The current limit on total employer and employee contributions is $57,000, or 100% of employee compensation (a maximum of $285,000), whichever is lower.
Check out our guide on how to join a 401k and how it works.
2. Fill in surveys – Up to $10 each
By using SurveyRewardz, you can earn gift cards for answering surveys, which you can exchange for cash.
You can also earn money to withdraw to a PayPal account, virtual Visa gift card or an actual check.
Plus, you can earn free gift cards by referring others. Users earn $3 for every person they refer, plus 15% of their lifetime earnings.
New surveys are added on the site every few hours, and there’s no limit to how many you can fill in.
The amount paid per survey typically varies between $0.50 to $10.
3. Use cashback and reward sites – $10 sign-up bonus
Rakuten gives between 2-20% cashback for your shopping, plus a $10 bonus when you sign up.
To qualify, keep in mind you must make an order of at least $25 within 90 days of joining – but it’s handy if you’re planning to shop anyway.
Meanwhile, Giving Assistant gives a $5 sign-up bonus, as well as cashback when you complete purchases through its online portal.
Ibotta is another popular cashback app that makes your money go further – and you can get up to $20 for redeeming certain offers in store.
4. Complete online tasks – Up to $5 a task
InboxDollars is an app where you can earn free gift cards and cash for completing a bunch of online tasks.
Some of the activities that you can get paid for include:
- Answering surveys
- Completing offers
- Downloading apps
- Playing games
- Watching videos and ads
- Confirming emails
- Referring friends
Users can typically earn up to $5 a task, so you can earn hundreds of dollars if you complete a lot of them.
Just be aware InboxDollars doesn’t allow you to cash out until you reach the $30 minimum.
Once your minimum is reached you can chose from a variety of merchant eGift cards including Amazon, AMC, eBay, Facebook, Target, Kohls, Playstation, Xbox, Uber and many more.
You can even opt to get paid by check or via Delta Airlines gift card.
5. Get paid to use the internet and watch TV- $50
It’s possible to get paid for using the internet and watching TV, and all you have to do is register with Nielsen and download a few things.
Nielsen is a media and marketing information business, which also provides TV ratings.
By downloading the applications, which will run in the background when you use them, you can earn a reported $50 a year.
It doesn’t cost you anything to get involved.
6. Transfer prescriptions – $25 gift card
You can earn a free $25 gift card from Rite Aid for transferring your prescriptions.
The money is loaded onto your loyalty card within 24 hours – with the offer available until July 3, 2021.
Pharmacy chains regularly reward you to transfer your prescriptions to them – just make sure you don’t end up paying more for the medicines.
7. Open bank accounts – Up to $300
PNC is giving out up to $300 to customers who open a “virtual wallet”.
A virtual wallet at PNC is an online tool for managing the money you hold in savings, checking and other accounts.
You can get either $50, $200 or $300 depending on your balance.
You’ll get $50 when you make direct debits of at least $500 to the spend account, $200 when it amounts to $2,000 or $300 when it goes above $5,000.
In other words, you may not get the maximum bonus unless you’re on a high salary.
Alternatively, Chase is offering $225 in free cash to customers who open a new Chase Total Checking account.
To be eligible, you must set up direct deposits within 90 days and keep the account open for at least six months.
Just keep in mind that the account comes with a monthly $12 fee, or it’s free if any of the following applies:
- Electronic deposits made into account total at least $500
- The balance is $1,500 or more at the beginning of each day
- The average beginning day balance is $5,000 or more in any combination with this account and linked Chase accounts
8. Get refunds with Paribus – $100s
The free Paribus software, which was developed by Capital One Bank, tracks your purchases and figures out if a store owes you a refund.
This could be if the price goes down and you’ve already bought the item, for example.
If that happens, Paribus notifies you and helps you get the difference in price back.
The software works with 25 major retailers including Amazon, Target, Home Depot and Best Buy.
Once a retailer confirms a price adjustment, you are typically refunded within three to seven business days.
Naturally, the amount you get back will depend on the price change, but several refunds could add up to hundreds of dollars.
We’ve explained six ways to get money from the government – from help with bills to childcare.
Plus, we round up 20 ways to get free gift cards.
Meanwhile, Americans may be able to get more than $225,000 in free retirement money, just by claiming the saver’s credit.