Thursday, January 15, 2015

5 Ways to Earn Free Gift Cards

WARNING- Ridiculously long but hopefully informative post ahead! 

I don't know about you, but with trying to maintain a budget and watch our extraneous spending, I'm always on the lookout for good deals, coupons, and ways to make the most of our money. Of course the ideal is to never eat out or go shopping for anything other than necessities, but seriously, how boring would that be?? Being disciplined is great, but it helps a lot  to have a treat now and then!

That's where gift cards can come in. For my birthday this past year I was so blessed by my lovely friends with several gift cards to Starbucks and various restaurants. I was so excited because I knew that meant some coffee treats and nights out with Adam! It's so nice to have a way to treat ourselves without spending as much of what I call our "Entertainment" budget. As I used those cards I thought about how great it would be to always have one or two gift cards to our favorite restaurants handy for when we wanted a night out or were just too busy with no time to cook!

I had heard of sites where you can earn points towards various rewards, some of which were gift cards. So I signed up with several and have been using them for a few months now. I thought I would share the ones I use in hopes that it might help you earn some freebies too! I know a lot of you already know about and/or use these sites, but hopefully this will help someone who may not have known! These are all free to sign up, and you can start earning points immediately!

I was not compensated for this post, but some of these are my referral link to the site, and I receive credit if you sign up under my link. Thank you! 



 This is probably my most used site for earning gift cards. There are many different ways you can earn "SB's", but these are the ones I use the most:

+Daily Poll, NOSO's, and Encrave- These only pay 1 or 2 Swagbucks a piece, but they are pretty quick and easy, and you can do them once a day.

+Surveys- These pay out a lot more (generally anywhere from 30-200 Swagbucks per survey), but they are more time consuming, and can sometimes be frustrating if you get disqualified a lot. It asks several qualifying questions, and if you don't fit the demographic they are looking for, it will kick you out and you only get 1 Swagbuck for your trouble. Still, surveys are the way I get most of mine.

+Shop and Earn- This is great if you do a lot of online shopping. The amount of bucks you earn per purchase varies by store and sometimes even by season, but typically you are earning around 1-10 SB's per dollar, or 1% to 10% cash back. These also take longer to credit to your account, so you can't spend them right away. According to the Swagbucks website it can take up to 90 days to credit to your account, but I've never had it take that long.

+Coupons- This one's pretty cool, especially if you use grocery coupons- if you print your coupons through Swagbucks, you get 10 SB per coupon redeemed (You don't get the SB unless you actually redeem the coupon, you can't just print it). I'm going to use coupons anyway, so why not get a little reward for it?

+Search- This is when you use the search on the Swagbucks page OR you search through the toolbar, which you can install in your browser if you prefer to not have to go to the website every time you want to search the internet. It's random, you won't get rewarded every time you search, but again, if you're searching the internet anyway, might as well do it through SB and occasionally earn some SB's for it!

As I said there are many more ways to earn on the site, but these are the ones I use the most often and have the most success with. 



This one I use the most after Swagbucks. It's similar, but there aren't as many ways to earn. It's really more about cash back on purchases.

+Shop- this is set up the same as Swagbucks in that when you click on the link to the site from, you will automatically get points credited to your account when you purchase. So for example if you need to buy something on, first go to MyPoints and sign into your account, then click on "shop", find the link and click on it, it will take you to Amazon and now just shop as usual. Again it takes some time to receive credit for the purchase.

*When I am making a purchase online I usually check both Swagbucks and MyPoints to see who is offering the better cash back percentage on that particular site. It's always changing too, so check every time before you make a purchase!*

+Surveys- You can earn about 50 points per survey usually, but they only have about 2 surveys available per day, so not as many as Swagbucks. If you are disqualified from the survey, you do get still get 10 points for your trouble.

+Search- The reward for searching is a little different here- it's more guaranteed but not as often as Swagbucks. On MyPoints you have to hit a certain amount of searches through their search engine (or toolbar) each month, and then you will definitely get a certain amount of points based on how many searches you did that month.

+Coupons- This one also has the option to print coupons and receive points for each one redeemed. You get 10 points for each coupon redeemed, and if you redeem 10 or more in a month, you get 25 bonus points.

+Bonus Mail- If you don't mind a little extra email (I KNOW, we all get too much) this is a super quick and easy way to earn points. They usually send 2 or 3 a day, and all you have to do is click the link to the site being advertised (Like, etc.) and you get 5 points, no purchase necessary. I do this every day and it adds up!

These next two are surveys only, and I don't use them as much but I have gotten a few goodies with them! 


Ipsos I-say

+ The surveys for this one pay 45 or 90 points a piece, but there aren't a whole lot available each day, so I just do them when I can and don't focus too much of my efforts on it. It takes me a lot longer to earn rewards, so I just let the points slowly accumulate. Sometimes I will have several successful surveys in a row, other times I keep getting disqualified so I'll stop for a while.


My Survey

+This is another one that takes me a while to earn enough for a reward, so I just try one or two surveys a day and leave it at that.

*I don't have a referral link for this one, referrals are done through email, so if you would like to join let me know in the comments and I can send you an invite!

This last one is a shopping app, so completely different! 



+This is my newest addition and boy do I have fun with it! The app is free and you are basically earning points just for going to your favorite stores and scanning items with your phone! I use it most at Target and Walmart, but there are a lot of other stores on it. The way it works is that you pull up the app on your phone before you go in to the store, and as soon as you walk in it will give you "kicks" (points) for walking in the store. Then there is a list of products that you have to find and scan in the store to get more "kicks" (no purchase necessary). Then you can redeem the kicks for gift cards to Target, Starbucks, Home Goods, and more! Not gonna lie, this is pretty much how I fund my iced coffee addiction.

There are tons of other survey and reward sites out there, but I've tried to limit myself to these so as not to overwhelm myself!

PHEW! I know that was A LOT of words. Thanks for reading, and let me know if you have any questions about any of the above, I hope it was all clear and easy to understand!

Do you use reward sites? What are your favorites?

Thoughts for Thursday
Kristin's Knook

The Grits Blog - Little Friday Linkup


  1. Lots of good info here!

    I use Swagbucks for cards and Ebates for cash back.

  2. I didn't know there were so many ways to do this! Nadine has tried to get me to use Swagbucks, but I'm just not disciplined enough to keep up with it! Thanks for the good info!

  3. I haven't heard of any of the other sites besides Swagbucks and even then I dont use it but I'm signing up now!! Like Steph, I use ebates and that's about it!! xo, Biana - BlovedBoston

  4. I just started using ebates and then went on a spending freeze so I haven't made much but OMG you just gave me a completely new outlook on FREE! I can't wait to check out these sites.

  5. i really love swagbucks. i havent tried the others, to be honest i forget about them when i have too many going, so i just focus on swagbucks. i mainly use it for the shopping and earning, and then the videos.

  6. I wish I could remember to keep up with swagbucks. I go through phases where I'm all about it + then I totally forget about it. but ebates is always there for me! solid list here!

  7. I use Swagbucks and MyPoints. I have Shopkicks downloaded on my phone but I have never used it. I guess I need to start! how long does it take to earn a card with them?

  8. I love swagbucks! I just is daily to try to earn points. I have to pay for my starbucks and amazon addiction some way. :)... I will definitely have to check out mypoints as well.

  9. I love MyPoints! I alternate between them and Ebates. I haven't done Swagbucks (I know!) or Shopkick but will check them both out. Thanks for sharing!

  10. Saving this, lady. I haven't used any of them but I want to try. MONEY is awesome!

  11. I've never done anything like this but there's so much great info here I might have to try! Definitely saving this post!

  12. Earning free things is totally my thing! We should swap notes and see where it takes us!

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