It can be hard to spend money on yourself, especially when you have other people (children, spouse, etc.) to shop for. I don’t know why it’s so easy for me to spend $60 on school shoes for my kids, but spending $60 on a haircut for myself is much more difficult.
One way I treat myself is by using free gift cards – and yes, I’m able to get free gift cards to big name retailers, too! It’s a mind trick, I guess, but knowing that I got the gift cards I’m spending for free makes it easier to buy something for myself.
How to Get Free Gift Cards
Whether you’re looking for gift cards for yourself, to save up for the holiday shopping season, or just to stock up for a rainy day, here are my favorite – legit! – ways to get free gift cards.
1. Shop and Earn with Swagbucks
Swagbucks is my absolute favorite way to get free gift cards because it’s so easy to use and it doesn’t take long for Swagbucks to rack up in your account.
The easiest way to earn Swagbucks is by going through Swagbucks first to do your online shopping, then shop as normal. You’ll earn a certain number of Swagbucks per dollar spent, depending on the retailer (it can also vary by day).
You can also earn Swagbucks by watching videos, signing up for special offers (including FREE ones), and more.
Cash out your Swagbucks for PayPal cash or all sorts of free gift cards. Gift cards are available at a variety of price points starting as low as $3! I typically choose to get an Amazon gift card, but that’s just one of many that Swagbucks offers.
Right now you can get a 1000 SB bonus ($10 value) when you sign up for Swagbucks! (Be sure to read the fine print if you’re interested in this offer.)
2. Search and Explore with Microsoft Rewards
If you’re a PC user, you can sign up for Microsoft Rewards to earn points when you complete a variety of activities on your computer. There’s a daily set of short quizzes and trivia, or you can watch videos, rent movies, search through Bing, and more to earn points.
Once you’ve earned enough points, you can cash them out for rewards including free gift cards for Xbox, Microsoft, Dunkin’ Donuts, Target, and more.
3. Read Emails and Complete Offers with InboxDollars
InboxDollars is an online rewards club that pays you for completing activities. You’ll pile up cash in your account when you complete offers, take surveys, play games, watch videos, or even just read emails.
Each activity is worth a certain amount of money and you can cash out when your account reaches $30. Payment options include free e-gift cards as well as PayPal or check.
Right now you can get a $5 bonus when you sign up for InboxDollars!
4. Scan Your Grocery Receipts
Did you know your grocery receipts can earn you free gift cards or cash? Two of my favorite apps are simple to use and allow you to quickly earn cash back on food – something we all need!
Ibotta gives you cash back for grocery shopping and online shopping.
For in-store grocery shopping, you’ll need to browse the app for offers you want to buy, then upload a photo of your receipt. Depending on where you shop, you may be able to link your store loyalty cards to your Ibotta account to skip the receipt scanning step.
Ibotta also offers cash back at online retailers, restaurants, pharmacies, and more.
Once your cash back accumulates to $20, you can select a free gift card of your choice or have the money sent to your PayPal or Venmo account.
Put the kids to work scanning your grocery receipts with Fetch Rewards. Fetch Rewards keeps tabs on 250+ participating brands and will give you points every time you buy any item from those brands.
You can also link your account to select online retailers (Amazon, Target, etc.) to earn Fetch Points. Once you’ve earned enough points, redeem them on free gift cards.
5. Sign Up for Rakuten and Get a $10 Gift Card
Rakuten rewards you when you sign up as well as on future purchases. First, get a free $10 Walmart gift card when you sign up for Rakuten. (Restrictions apply.)
Plus, you’ll rack up cash back in your account by earning a percentage back for every dollar you spend at a HUGE number of retailers.
They give cash back not only for online shopping, but also for in-store shopping when you link an eligible card to your account. This way you don’t even have to keep track of which stores are offering cash back; just shop and earn!
Rakuten also has one of the lowest cash back thresholds – it’s just $5.01 or greater and it comes in the form of a Big Fat Check which you can request each quarter.
6. Shop Through Honey for Cash Back and Coupon Codes
Honey is a popular Chrome extension and app that automatically finds promo codes for you from its huge database. It also keeps tabs on free shipping thresholds and lets you check out at many retailers from a single cart.
If you’re an online shopper, Honey is a must-have. You can create a Droplist to keep tabs on prices of items you’re dying to buy, and Honey will also alert you to sign up bonuses and top deals at big retailers.
Besides saving with their coupon codes, you’ll also earn a percentage back in Gold when you shop through the extension or app. Once you reach 1,000 Gold ($10), grab your free gift card from a variety of popular retailers.
7. Browse In Stores with Shopkick
Love to shop? Get your “kicks” through Shopkick. This app rewards you for shopping both in-store and online. You can earn points (“kicks”) just for walking into popular stores or browsing around and scanning product barcodes. You don’t even need to buy anything! But if you do, you can scan your receipt to earn kicks that way.
Shopkick will also give you kicks when you shop through the app or link your eligible payment card.
If you have a little extra time to kill in a store, Shopkick is a fun app for just walking around and browsing (or to keep those kids busy!).
Use your kicks to cash out for free gift cards when you reach 500 or more, depending on the gift card option you choose.
8. Sign Up for MyPoints and Get a $10 Amazon or Visa Gift Card
MyPoints rewards you with a free $10 Amazon or Visa gift card when you sign up. Just be sure to spend $20 or more through the MyPoints site or MyPoints emails within your first 30 days of membership.
But that’s not all…MyPoints also offers points for shopping online, completing surveys, watching videos, playing games, and more. They’ve been around since 1996 (did the Internet even exist back then?).
Besides the ways mentioned above, you can also earn points toward free gift cards by… buying gift cards! Yup, they have a MyGiftCardsPlus program that offers a percentage back in points for different popular gift cards that you buy.
Once you’ve earned enough points, you can cash out for free gift cards valued as low as $3 from over 80 different retailers.
9. Download Apps with GrabPoints
GrabPoints gives you points for completing simple online activities, including just downloading apps!
You can cash out quickly for free gift cards starting as low as $3.
10. Complete Surveys for Free Gift Cards
Companies want to know your opinion, and they’ll reward you for it! These three companies offer points that can be redeemed for free gift cards or cash.
Share your opinion with Survey Junkie by spending a few minutes answering questions. You’ll be matched with a variety of surveys, depending on your profile, and will soon see your points pile up!
Cash out for free gift cards or via PayPal once you reach 1,000 points ($10 value).
InstaGC gives you instant gift cards for completing surveys, watching videos, and shopping online.
You’ll receive points for each activity. Points can be redeemed for free gift cards or PayPal, and they have a huge number of available options for as low as $1. There’s no wait – you’ll get your gift card codes instantly.
If you’ve got some time to answer online surveys, PrizeRebel wants to hear what you have to say. Earn points for surveys as well as signing up for offers and watching videos.
Once you’ve earned enough points, cash them out for free gift cards from over 100 big name brands or PayPal.
11. Buy Discounted Gift Cards and Earn Cash Back
You’re already saving when you buy discounted gift cards from Gift Card Granny, but did you know that you can also earn cash back for it?
Through Granny Cash Back Rewards, you can earn cash back when you buy discounted gift cards from select retailers. You can also earn by signing up, subscribing to select newsletters, downloading the app, and more. This cash back can be redeemed for free gift cards once you hit the $5 threshold.
12. Trade In Your Electronic Devices, Books, and More
One easy way to get free gift cards (in this case, Amazon) while also decluttering your space is through Amazon Trade-In. Go through your Amazon Devices, electronics, books, video games, and more to see what you’re no longer using. Then, start the trade-in process on Amazon to see what you’ll get for your eligible items.
You’ll need to unlock or deregister your specific devices, and then send them in to Amazon using a free pre-paid shipping label. Once Amazon processes and accepts your trade-in, you’ll see the amount earned in your when viewing your Amazon gift card balance.
If for some reason Amazon doesn’t accept your trade-in item, they’ll send it back to you at no cost to you.
13. Ask for Gift Cards As Gifts
This strategy might be a “duh,” but if you want free gift cards, why not just ask for them as gifts?
I exchange gifts with my siblings each holiday season. When we send out our wish lists to each other, each one of us usually includes two or three gift cards we would love to get. I personally request Starbucks gift cards as it’s a fun way to indulge in one of my favorite treats without having to spend my own money. (Thanks, siblings!)
Some people are uncomfortable giving gift cards, but if you actually ask for them, that will help the giver feel better about it. Say you’re saving up for a larger purchase (like a new television, couch, cookware set, etc.). Consider asking for gift cards toward that bigger purchase and let the giver know what you’re planning to use it for.
There are lots of different legit and EASY ways to earn free gift cards for your next shopping spree. Many of these need very little effort and time commitment. Try one or more of these methods out and see how it goes!
Have you earned any free gift cards with any of these methods? Please comment below to share your experience!