How to Get Free Money With These 10 Simple & Easy Methods

money hanging from a clothes pin.
Carmen Mandato/ The Penny Hoarder
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The internet is a treasure chest of free cash — you just have to know where to look.

No, you can’t order money-tree seeds or buy a fully loaded cash cannon, but you can complete some quick and simple tasks to start making money online.

Free Money: 10 Places to Find Extra Money Online

There are a number of companies, websites and apps that offer easy money, so we scoured the internet to find the best — and most legitimate — ways to tap into that extra cash.

Ready to start digging for treasure?

  1. 1. Search For Unclaimed Money

    State treasuries throughout the United Sates have more than $43 billion in unclaimed funds, according to The New York Times. Just sitting around! Waiting for you to come play lost and found.

    There are a few websites that allow you to check for unclaimed property, including the National Association of Unclaimed Property Administrators and MissingMoney.com. (Beware of scam look-alike sites!)

    It takes less than a minute to check. The Penny Hoarder reader Kelli Howell heeded our advice, performed a quick search and found unclaimed money in her husband’s name — $56 from a “matured insurance policy.”

    Sure, it’s $56, but what an effortless way to tap into some extra money fast!

  2. 2. Get Free Scratch-off Tickets For a Chance to Win The Jackpot

    Hitting a big jackpot could solve a lot of your problems right now. It’s tempting to buy those scratch-off tickets from the gas station. But that’s not the best use of your money when you’re in a bind. 

    Instead, try playing for free using an app called Lucktastic. Each day, it releases a new assortment of digital scratch-off tickets. Lucktastic says instant wins range from $1 to $2,500, in cash or gift cards to popular retailers.

    We talked to single dad Oneil Campbell, from Boston, who was shocked when he won a $5,000 Lucktastic prize.

    The app is supported by advertising, which allows it to keep the payouts high and the games free. It’s not guaranteed money, but at least Lucktastic is free to play. And hey, somebody’s gotta win.

    “I didn’t see that one coming,” Campbell says with a laugh. “I really didn’t. This is something good that happened to me at the right time — when I can really use it.”

  3. 3. Get Free Visa Prepaid Cards When You Play Games like Words With Friends and Rise of Kingdoms

    Get paid to play games on your phone? Yeah, right. We’ve all heard that before. 

    Here’s what that usually means: Logging dozens of hours on games you’ve never heard of, just for a few cents. Gee, thanks. 

    But a free Android app called Mistplay actually pays you for playing popular games like Words With Friends 2, Rise of Kingdoms, Yahtzee, Clash Royale, Star Wars and more. 

    As you play, Mistplay rewards you in points, which you can exchange for gift cards for brands like Visa, Amazon and more. 

    You’ll even get bonus points when you sign up and enter the code penny50.

    The more you play, the more you’ll earn. Plus, Mistplay offers some bigger in-game rewards — up to $20.  

    It takes just a few minutes to sign up and start getting paid to play games.

  4. 4. Take 5 Surveys and Get a Free $5 Amazon Gift Card

    Jessica Warden walks through the city in New York, NY.
    Carmen Mandato/The Penny Hoarder

    Listen. We all spend too much money on Amazon, but here’s an easy way to get $5 toward your next order: Take five online surveys through a website called MyPoints.

    MyPoints is a research company that’ll pay you to answer questions about different products and services you use. In return, it’ll give you free gift cards. You can even do this from your phone.

    To date, MyPoints has paid people more than $236 million in gift cards.

    To get your $5 Amazon gift card, just sign up and complete your first five surveys.

  5. 5. Send This Company Your Junk Mail

    How many ads do you receive in your mailbox each day? What about in your inbox?

    The Small Business Knowledge Center is a market research firm that studies the way companies advertise via mail and email marketing — and it wants to see what you’ve been receiving.

    Sign up as a panelist, and start sending your qualifying junk mail in, via postage-paid envelopes. You can also forward your emails. You’ll earn points along the way, which you can redeem for a Visa debit card.

    The site says frequent participants earn up to $20 every six to 10 weeks — not bad for getting rid of your junk mail.

  6. 6. Get $5 When You Buy a Piece of Corporation

    Take a look at the Forbes Richest People list, and you’ll notice almost all the billionaires have one thing in common — they own another company.

    But if you work for a living and don’t happen to have millions of dollars lying around, that can sound totally out of reach.

    That’s why we like the app Stash. It lets you be a part of something that’s normally exclusive to the richest of the rich — buying pieces of other companies. But Stash lets you start with as little as a $5 investment.

    You can buy pieces of well-known companies, like McDonald’s, Apple, Tesla* and more.

    The best part? When these companies profit, so can you. Some companies even send you a check every quarter for your share of the profits, called dividends. 

    It takes two minutes to sign up, plus Stash will give you a $5 sign-up bonus. (You just doubled your money!) Stash offers subscription plans starting at $1.00 a month.** As a reminder, Investing involves risk. 

    You might not be in the next issue of Forbes, but this is a great way to get started. 

    The Penny Hoarder is a Paid Affiliate/partner of Stash.

    * This material is not intended as investment advice and is not meant to suggest that any securities are suitable investments for any particular investor. Investment advice is only provided to Stash customers.

     ** You’ll also bear the standard fees and expenses reflected in the pricing of the ETFs in your account, plus fees for various ancillary services charged by Stash.

  7. 7. This Research Company Will Pay You up to $225/Month to Watch Videos

    What if we told you a research company would pay you to watch cooking videos on your computer?

    It’s too good to be true, right? 

    But we’re serious. InboxDollars will pay you to watch short video clips online. One minute you might watch someone bake brownies and the next you might get the latest updates on Kardashian drama.

    All you have to do is choose which videos you want to watch and answer a few quick questions about them afterward. 

    No, InboxDollars won’t replace your full-time job, but it’s something easy you can do while you’re already on the couch tonight wasting time on your phone. Plus, it’s extra money you can put toward paying down your debt. Everything helps.

    InboxDollars won’t completely pay off your credit cards, but it’s possible to earn up to $225 per month watching these videos.

    It’s already paid its users more than $56 million.

    It takes about one minute to sign up, and you’ll immediately get a $5 bonus to get you started

  8. 8. Copy This Strategy to Get Checks in the Mail Totaling $526

    Remember when getting the mail was fun? Now it’s just bills. And Valpak envelopes.

    But for Colleen Rice, checking the mail meant finding checks. For doing nothing. Seriously. Since she started using a free website called Rakuten, she’s received $526.44.

    Rakuten has the hookup with just about every online store you shop, which means it can give you a kickback every time you buy toilet paper on Amazon — even book that flight home for Thanksgiving.

    Rice says she uses Rakuten for things she already has to buy, like rental cars and flights. She even used the money she earned to help her pay for her recent cross-country move.

    It takes less than 60 seconds to create a Rakuten account and start shopping. All you need is an email address, then you can immediately start shopping your go-to stores through the site.

    Plus, if you use Rakuten to earn money back within the first 90 days of signing up, it’ll give you an extra $10 on the first check it sends you.

    Talk about money for nothing.

  9. 9. Turn Your Grocery Receipts Into Visa Prepaid Cards

    Albert Bell shops at Whole Foods in downtown Atlanta. Atlanta GA.
    Carmen Mandato/The Penny Hoarder

    What do you usually do with your receipts? You check out, they hand you a mile-long piece of paper, and you frantically stuff it to the bottom of a grocery bag. Pretty worthless.

    But a free app called Fetch Rewards will turn them into Visa prepaid cards. It partners with tons of brands to give you points for every grocery receipt you share.

    And it’s perfect for those of us who don’t want to put a ton of work into this. All you have to do is send Fetch a photo of your receipt, and it does everything for you. No scanning barcodes or searching for offers — and you can use it with any grocery receipt.

    Fetch rejects receipts more than 20 days old, so don’t forget to take that picture! You’re basically throwing away free gift cards if you don’t. Plus, with its new e-receipt feature, any time you shop online at partner brands using the same email as your Fetch account, you’ll earn points.

    When you download the app, use the code PENNY to get a 2,000-point bonus toward redeeming your first gift card — you only need 3,000 points to cash out.

    Not so bad for a useless receipt, right?

  10. 10. This App Gives You Up to $500 in Free Stock

    OK, so it’s not necessarily free cash, but free stocks are almost better because they have the potential to increase in value over time.

    So, whether you’ve got $5, $100 or $800 to spare, you can start investing with Robinhood.

    Yeah, you’ve probably heard of Robinhood. Both investing beginners and pros love it because it doesn’t charge commission fees, and you can buy and sell stocks for free — no limits. Plus, it’s super easy to use.

    What’s best? When you download the app and fund your account (it takes no more than a few minutes), Robinhood drops a share of free stock into your account. It’s random, though, so that stock could be worth anywhere from $5 to $500 — a nice boost to help you build your investments.

  11. Enjoy Your Free Money, Honey! (Just Be Careful of Scams)

    Congratulations! You’ve made it through our list of ways to get free money.

    Now, want to go out and find some more money on your own? Just remember: The internet can be a scary place, so be wary of scams. To vet a “free money” opportunity like we do, take these steps:

    • Search the company or website’s name on Google. Read reviews, look up Better Business Bureau ratings, and sign up for scam alerts from the Federal Trade Commission.
    • Don’t offer your personal or financial information unless you absolutely trust the site. You should never have to pay money in order to receive it.
    • Give the company a call, and ask questions.
    • Be skeptical, and if something’s too good to be true, it probably is. Don’t think you’ll get paid $1,000 for taking a five-minute survey.
    • Peruse a site’s privacy policy to make sure your information isn’t going to be sold to other companies. (That might be why you’re getting all those junk emails and robocalls.)

    Overall, just be smart! Or the easiest way is to just keep checking back in with The Penny Hoarder to find more ways to earn free money.

    Carson Kohler ([email protected]) is a staff writer at The Penny Hoarder. She’s a big fan of free money.