The last thing you want to do is go into debt for some quick cash to put out a financial fire.
However, a 2017 Federal Reserve study reported that approximately 4 in 10 Americans can’t cover a $400 unexpected expense without selling something, borrowing money, or running up a credit card.
If you’re one of those people, chances are you’re digging yourself deeper and deeper into debt every time an emergency or unexpected situation pops up.
But how do you break the cycle?
You need to make money fast and get ahead of those expenses. That means find a way to make some quick cash now (not waiting until you need it), then set it aside for the next time an unexpected expense comes up (because they always do).
It’s all about building good habits to set your future self up for success.
In the long run, we always advocate setting up a sustainable side hustle, but that’s not always the best option when you need quick money.
That’s where the options below come in.
5 Easy Ways to Get Quick Cash Online
Businesses like to give away thousands of dollars in gift cards and free money as a way of promoting their products, websites, and services. Most of these promotions require very little from you — usually just filling out a simple form with your email address and (sometimes) some other basic information.
To help you find them, we’ve put together a list of 5 of the best offers on the internet right now.
All of the items on this list are free to sign up for, of course, and they are actually all services that we’ve personally tried and love. Even if there were no signup bonuses, we would still recommend these 5 companies for fast cash; that’s how good they are.
If you decide to take advantage of every item on this list, you can easily make an extra $100 or more each month to help you build up an emergency fund.
1. Snag $3 Per Survey with Pinecone Research
Pinecone Research is survey site affiliated with Harris Poll Online, one of the most well-known consumer research companies in the world.
With the site, you can earn fast cash online every month by taking surveys to help companies understand how people are buying and shopping online.
The best part about the site? They’re extremely transparent about how much you’ll make with each survey. Exactly $3. (Something that can’t be said about a lot of other online survey sites.)
Getting started is easy. Register for Pinecone by filling out a little information about yourself. Soon thereafter, they’ll begin to match you to surveys made available by companies interested in your cohort. It’s that simple.
2. Search the Web with Swagbucks and Earn $10 Fast
Once you get past the gimmicky-sounding name, it’s easy to see why Swagbucks is one of the most respected companies in the market research space.
Here’s a screen grab from their website — these guys are the real deal (they have an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau):
But as it turns out, surveys are not the only way to make money with Swagbucks, which is why we love them so much. They have a bunch of different ways for you to earn:
- Cash back program for online shopping
- Get paid for searching the web
- Make money online by watching videos
Use their web search tool, 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.
3. Get a Free $10 Amazon Gift Card from MyPoints
MyPoints is actually owned by the same company that owns Swagbucks, so we know these guys are the real deal.
But unlike some others on the list, this company is more of a rewards program/cashback app. If you spend money, the app is there to get you some back.
It’s not the same as getting free money from companies per se, but if you have a big expense coming up — and by big, we only mean one over $20 — you can make it through MyPoints and get $10 back immediately (in the form of an Amazon or Visa gift card).
Here’s exactly how it works:
- Sign up for MyPoints here (you just need to give them a name and email address).
- MyPoints will instantly send you an email to confirm your email address.
- You’ll need to buy $20 worth of stuff at any of the more than 1,900 supported retailers. MyPoints will then reward you with points, which can be redeemed for a $10 gift card.
That’s it. Essentially a free $10 back in your pocket. Plus, there’s all the future cash back and discounts you’ll earn from ongoing use of MyPoints. This one’s a no-brainer.
4. Earn $10 Fast Cash from Ebates
Ebates has a similar story to Swagbucks and MyPoints. You sign up with your email address, make a $25 online purchase within 90 days, and get either $10 cash or a $10 Walmart gift card.
Ebates is one of the most well-known cashback sites out there, and they have paid out over $366,000,000 to their members.
Four times per year (or more if you qualify), Ebates mails you a check or sends you a PayPal payment with your cash back. Just long enough to where you’re not expecting it, so it’s always a nice surprise when it comes in the mail!
Other similar sites with a sign up bonus:
5. Earn (Up to) a $1,000 Bonus as a New Lyft Driver
Ridesharing with Uber or Lyft can be a pretty lucrative side hustle, especially if you live in a college town. You don’t need to do it all the time — think of it as more of an opportunistic side hustle. Drive for Uber on football game weekends, or hang around at times when bars commonly close, and you can make an easy couple hundred dollars in just a few hours.
Given that these gigs typically pay out on a weekly basis, it’s a great way to make extra money fast when you need it.
Right now, Lyft has a promotion going on right now where new drivers get a $1,000 bonus after completing their 100th ride.
One hundred rides may seem like a lot, but it’s really not if you think about it. If you start now and hustle on the evenings and weekends, you could unlock that bonus in a few short weeks.