The holidays are right around the corner, which means shopping season is coming up too. Despite what some people might say, I think giving gift cards is a great option. In this article I’m going to show you some neat ways to earn free gift cards for you and your family this holiday season.
The best way I’ve found to earn free gift cards and other cash rewards is through reputable online survey sites.
Believe it or not, you can easily pull in a couple hundred dollars each month just by voicing your opinion to companies.
Note: This post contains affiliate links.
Big brands are always trying to get a glimpse into consumers’ brains so they can improve their products and marketing… and they are willing to pay some pretty big bucks for that intel.
If you’ve been looking for a way to make money and earn free gift cards online, but don’t want to go through the pain and effort of starting up your own website/online business yet (even though I totally think you should at some point), paid surveys are a really good option, in my opinion.
So, if you’re tight on money this holiday season, consider giving this a shot.
While you can make money with online surveys, you probably won’t get rich from it! Still, money is money, and this is a super easy way to earn it.
A Few Things Before Getting Started
So here’s how this whole thing works…
In order to get paid for taking surveys online, you need to register with websites that offer this sort of thing (…duh). These survey websites that you register with are paid by brands to get your input on all sorts of things- from your TV-watching habits, your favorite places to eat, what material of sweater you prefer in the fall, etc.
So, in order to get you to take these surveys, survey sites will offer you money, gift cards, and all sorts of other cool stuff in return. Since they are being paid by the brands themselves, they are basically passing off some of their compensation to you. Think of the survey websites as the middle-man between you and the companies/brands that are doing market research.
With that being said, some of the surveys are fairly targeted. For instance, Bed Bath & Beyond doesn’t really care what kind of candles a 23 year old guy in a punk rock band prefers– so they aren’t going to pay to get his opinion. So what does that mean for you?
You won’t be “eligible” to take every survey. When you register with a survey site, they will collect some basic demographic info on you and match you up with surveys that fit your profile. Since no one survey site is partnered with every brand doing research, that means…
You Need to Register with Several Survey Sites In Order To Make the Most Money
There are a ton of survey sites out there for you to choose from. Some of them can look pretty spammy and don’t pay very well, but there are several reputable ones that are known for high payouts and a quality user experience.
I’m going to cover what I think are the best ones in this post. I recommend signing up for each of them, as that will give you the best return on your time (and you know I’m all about that).
Side note: It might be a good idea to set up a separate email to use for survey sites, just to keep your normal inbox clean and tidy. You’ll still need to verify your email address though, so make sure you put in a legit email when you sign up!
So, without further ado, here are my top survey site recommendations. I can personally vouch for the quality of each of these sites, and wouldn’t recommend anything to you that I don’t think is a great gig.
Earn Free Gift Cards from the Following Sites:
Swagbucks (They Give you $5 Just for Signing Up)
Once I got past the gimmicky sounding name, I was able to see how Swagbucks is one of the most respected companies in the online survey space.
Here’s how it works: for every survey you take, you are compensated in “Swagbucks”, also called SBs. You accumulate SBs, then convert them into cash, gift cards, or PayPal credit (aka cash).
Here’s a screen grab from their website– these guys are the real deal (plus, they have an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau):
As it turns out, surveys are not the only way to make money with Swagbucks (which is why I love them so much). They have a bunch of different ways for you to earn:
- Cash back program for online shopping (Includes $5 bonus). This program is similar to Ebates, which I also recommend.
- Get paid for searching the web (Includes $5 bonus)
- Watching videos (Includes $5 bonus)
Use their web search tool (not a search engine, they just want to know what people search for), play videos on silent in another tab as you go about your day, and do a couple surveys a day when you’re bored at work. If you can consistently do that, your cash and rewards will add up quicker than you think. You’ve got nothing to lose by signing up!
MyPoints (Free $5 for Signing Up)
MyPoints rewards members when they shop online, take surveys, play games, watch videos and more. Similar to Swagbucks, plus they give you a $5 gift card for free after signing up. They are owned by the same company as Swagbucks, so they are definitely top class.
VIP Voice (Get Entered into $1,000 Free Drawing)
You use the points you get from completing surveys to enter into sweepstakes and auctions for great rewards. Prizes include vacations, electronics, appliances, and much more.
Earn points by taking surveys, shopping online, watching videos and signing up for great products. Redeem your points for gift cards to your favorite stores like Amazon and Walmart.
Participate in latest & highest paying research, product test, focus groups, clinical trials, and survey opportunities. Get paid each time you take part in a paid research study (deposited directly to your PayPal account).
Global Test Market
This is a really straightforward site, which is a big reason why I included them on this list. You simply sign up, enter some basic information about you and your household (so they can match you up with eligible surveys), and get started.
They work on a points system, much like the other sites I’ve listed. Once you earn a certain amount of “MarketPoints”, you can redeem them for purchases with a bunch of different big name merchants, including Amazon.
According to their site, they paid out over $32 million in rewards to their members in 2014. And of course, registration as a member is FREE (as are all the others on this list, btw…c’mon, what sort of operation do you think we’re running here?)
Inbox Dollars (Hey, Here’s Another Free $5)
Another huge name in the industry, and another company that is willing to give you $5 just for signing up with them. Are you noticing a pattern here? Your opinion is WORTH REAL MONEY.
One neat little feature with Inbox Dollars is the option to play games and compete for rewards. It’s not my thing, personally, but if you’re into that, go for it. Otherwise, they have cash back programs similar to Swagbucks (plus surveys and all the other basics, of course).
Yes, It IS Possible to Make Money with Online Surveys
Like I said before, if you stick to the reputable survey sites out there and are consistent in your survey-taking efforts, there’s no reason why you can’t pull in at least a hundred bucks a months in cash and other rewards. How you use your cash and gift cards is up to you, but I always recommend keeping the big picture in mind.
How will you use your profits from online surveys to better yourself and those around you? That’s what I care about the most. Let me know in the comments!
Here’s the list of signup links again:
Want to maximize your earnings? Let’s do it.
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