The free gift cards I score online using paid survey sites, cash back sites and other free rewards apps save me lots of money every year.
From free Amazon gift cards to Starbucks, iTunes and Visa prepaid cards, these gift cards are just as good as cash and work in Canada and the United States.
How To Get Free Gift Cards
Have you fantasized about shopping online on Amazon or Walmart for free? I like to think that is what I’m doing after loading up my gift card balance using the gift card codes I score from my internet-based side hustles.
Read on to find out 15 of my favourite strategies for earning free gift cards.
Get Free Gift Cards Online With Paid Surveys
Online surveys won’t pay you a ton of money, but they provide opportunities to score gift cards from many of the popular retailers. Avoid the many scam survey sites out there by choosing one of these ones below.
Swagbucks is the most popular rewards site in Canada and the U.S. Users receive free gift cards and cash for completing surveys, watching videos, playing games, shopping online, surfing the web, and more.
As of April 2020, the company had paid out over $400 million to its members.
Swagbucks is easy to use. To get started, sign up here (includes a $5 bonus) and confirm your email address. You can redeem your points for gift cards from Amazon, Starbucks, Walmart, iTunes, and several others.
If you prefer, you can also cash out using PayPal.
Join Swagbucks here and get a $5 signup bonus.
2. Survey Junkie
When it comes to making money from surveys, Survey Junkie takes the top spot. The company works on behalf of businesses and brands to conduct market research and use consumer opinions to improve their services. As a panelist, you get paid for providing your honest feedback.
Survey Junkie is totally free to join and has an impressive 8.6/10 Trust Score on TrustPilot.
When you have earned points on the site, you can redeem them for a variety of gift cards or cash out using PayPal.
3. Daily Rewards
Daily Rewards offers users multiple ways to accumulate rewards points and free gift cards. In the U.S., they operate as Inbox Dollars. Some of the ways to earn with Daily Rewards include taking surveys, playing games, and more.
After signing up, you receive a $5 welcome bonus. You can cash out your earnings when your balance reaches $30.
For more details on this site, read my review here.
Join Daily Rewards and get a $5 signup bonus.
4. Ipsos i-Say
i-Say is a rewards site owned by the global market research company, Ipsos. Ipsos is present in more than 100 countries and conducts over 70 million interviews every year.
To earn free gift cards through Ipsos, sign up for a free account here and confirm your email address. You get survey invites sent to your inbox and can also participate in polls, draws, and their loyalty program.
Starting from 500 points, you can redeem your rewards for gift cards or PayPal cash.
5. PrizeRebel App
The PrizeRebel app is a great platform for taking paid surveys and getting rewarded with free gift cards. The site has over 9 million members and has paid them over $19 million since 2007.
Signing up for PrizeRebel takes less than 20 seconds and you earn rewards by answering surveys, watching videos, participating in contests, and completing several other mindless tasks.
In addition, you can score free gift cards by simply following them on social media and scoring some of the free PrizeRebel promo codes that are posted every now and then.
Easily redeem your points for gift cards, cash or game codes.
Read more about PrizeRebel in this review.
6. Harris Poll Online
If you are at least 13 years of age, you can join the Harris Poll and complete surveys or participate in focus groups and mobile apps research.
Harris Poll Online is a part of The Nielsen Company and is available to residents of the United States and Canada. You can redeem HIpoints for Amazon, iTunes, Starbucks, and Walmart gift cards.
Read more about Harris Poll Online here.
Toluna is a market research panel that has been around for a while and is available in Canada and the United States.
Similar to Survey Junkie, Toluna is all about paid surveys, and users receive points per completed survey.
You can easily redeem your points for Amazon, iTunes, Google Play, and Visa gift cards or cash out using PayPal.
Get Free Gift Cards With Cash Back Apps
Grocery and shopping cash back apps offer opportunities to earn free gift cards without having to complete surveys.
Some of the cash back apps require you to scan your purchase receipts in order to earn cash back, while others automatically credit your account with cash back when you shop with one of your registered bank cards.
When it’s time to redeem your cash back rewards, apps like Drop and Swagbucks allow you to redeem for gift cards, while Checkout51, Rakuten, and Paymi pay you cash that you can use to purchase gift cards of your choice online.
I like using the Drop App for earning rewards when I shop because of how it automatically tracks cashback. When you sign up here and link a card, you receive a $5 welcome bonus (5,000 points) that you can redeem for a free e-gift card instantly.
In addition to earning cash back when you shop online or in-store, Drop also offers other ways to earn e.g. when you sign up with one of their partners or refer friends to Drop.
Read my Drop Review here.
9. Rakuten Gift Cards
Ebates (now rebranded as Rakuten) is the most popular cash back site for online purchases in Canada and the United States.
When you first sign-up, Rakuten will give you a $5 cash bonus (Canadians) or $10 Walmart gift card (Americans). The cash back site is popular for a good reason. In Canada, they are affiliated with more than 750 stores, while in the U.S., over 2,500 retailers are represented on the platform.
Your cash back rewards are credited automatically to your account when you shop online at your favourite store via the Rakuten website. Every quarter, your earnings are sent via Cheque or PayPal.
If you prefer gift cards, simply login to Rakuten and use your cash back to purchase gift cards from your store of choice.
Join Rakuten Canada ($5 bonus).
Join Rakuten U.S. ($10 bonus).
10. Nielsen HomeScan
Nielsen Homescan panelists receive a scanner or smartphone app they use to scan the barcodes on their grocery shopping items every week.
Rewards include points you can redeem for free gift cards and merchandise. In some cases, Nielsen also sends you a free $15 Visa prepaid card every month.
Check out my Nielsen Homescan review for more details.
Join Nielsen Homescan (Canada)
Join National Consumer Panel (U.S. – smartphones)
Ampli is a Canadian cash back app that pays you to shop. To get started:
- Sign up here ($5 bonus) and connect your credit and/or debit card.
- Shop online at some of their participating stores.
- Cash back is credited to your account and you can cash out via Interac.
- Use your cash back to purchase gift cards from a partner store and earn even more cash back.
Read my full Ampli review here.
12. Checkout 51
Checkout 51 is a grocery cash back app that is available on iOS and Android. New cash back offers are available every week on the app and you can usually redeem them at any store of your choice.
Remember to scan and upload your receipt using the app. When your balance reaches $20, they send you a cheque in the mail.
Bonus Ways To Earn Free Gift Cards
In addition to the strategies detailed above for earning free gift cards, here are 3 more options for the die-hard gift card hustler!
13. Install MobileXpression
The MobileXpression app is used to research internet behaviour. When you install the app on your phone for 1 week, you receive a free $5 Amazon gift card.
If you keep the app installed after the first week, you receive weekly credits that you can redeem for even more gift cards.
As a bonus, after installing the app for 90 days, MobileXpression donates a tree on your behalf.
14. Microsoft (Bing) Rewards
If you have ever owned an Outlook/Hotmail account or played on Xbox, you are already pre-registered for Microsoft Rewards.
Members earn points when they search the web using the Bing search engine or shop online. You can redeem your points for popular gift cards!
15. Credit Card Rewards
Credit card providers often offer rewards when you sign up for a new card. If you are in the market for a new credit card, find one that offers you a gift card from your favourite retailer.
Check out the best cash back credit cards in Canada here.
Free Gift Cards FAQ
There are many ways to get free gift cards on the internet. Some rewards sites require you to complete surveys, shop online, provide your opinions, surf the internet, play games, watch videos, and more. In exchange for your efforts, you get points or cash rewards you can redeem for free gift cards.
The Walmart and Amazon gift cards you get on sites like Swagbucks, Ipsos i-Say, Daily Rewards, Inbox Dollars, Survey Junkie, Drop, PrizeRebel, etc. are legitimate and you can use them to shop online or in-store where applicable.
The best apps for gift cards are the ones that you can use for free and frequently to earn the type of gift cards that are beneficial to you. For example, Swagbucks offers more than 10 ways to earn gift cards, making it easy for most people to use. Sites like Rakuten and Drop pay you to shop for items you would buy anyway and are great sites as well.
Look for rewards sites and apps that pay you $5 just for signing up. Examples include Daily Rewards, Rakuten, Checkout 51, Mobilexpression, and Drop. Even though Survey Junkie does not offer a welcome bonus, they offer so many paid surveys so that you could rack up enough points for a $5 redemption in no time.
Do you have other ways to earn free gift cards? Drop them in the comments.