Everyone loves gift cards. No matter where you are at with budgeting and finance, a gift card from your favorite retailer is the perfect option. In this post, we’ll talk about some underrated benefits of gift cards, the best ones to get, and how you can earn them online with paid surveys in your spare time. Ready to get started? Read on for all the details.

Are Free Gift Cards Legit?

If you’ve been online for any length of time, you’ve probably come across a few gift card scams now and again. They are not as prevalent as they once were, but they are still making the rounds and are relatively easy to spot. Let’s look at a few of the more common gift card scams:

  1. The IRS Tax Gift Card Scam

It’s tax time again, and this scam has been making the rounds for a few years. It goes like this: You receive a threatening phone call from someone pretending to be a representative from the IRS. They claim you will be arrested for evading your taxes unless you make a payment over the phone. You are instructed to purchase an iTunes gift card (or some other card) and give the caller the numbers over the phone. Sadly, over $36 million has been extorted from innocent Americans with the IRS gift card scam. Please don’t fall for it. 

  1. The COVID-19 Scam

You get an email or text message appearing to come from an individual you know asking you to purchase a gift card to assist someone who is being treated for COVID-19. They suggest you send the card to a specific address or text back the gift card numbers right away. If this happens to you, contact the requester directly to determine what is happening since it is most likely a hoax. Scammers are finding it easier than ever to pose as someone you are familiar with. Always be wary of unsolicited emails, texts, or phone calls asking you for money.

  1. The Fake Survey Scam

You come across a website claiming to offer a high-value gift card in exchange for your responses to a questionnaire or survey. Often, these sites are set up as phishing scams to steal your personal information like your social security number, bank account information, or credit card data. Again, please don’t fall for it. These scams are created by identity thieves and not legit survey companies.

Are There Any Legit Survey Sites Offering Free Gift Cards?

Yes. The good news is not all online sites that have survey sites that offer free gift cards are fraudulent. Lucky for you, it’s easy to earn gift cards online! You just need to know what to look for. Legit survey sites will never ask you for your banking or social security information. And they won’t require a fee to join, either. In fact, joining a reputable survey site is a great way to earn cash or gift cards.

Paid Surveys—the Best Way to Earn Free Gift Cards OnlineHigh angle of pensive African American female freelancer in glasses and casual clothes focusing on screen and interacting with netbook while sitting at table with glass of yummy drink on cafe terrace in sunny day

Paid surveys are actually one of the best ways consumers can earn free gift cards online. Legit survey sites partner with market research companies to gather data about products and services you use every day. The information they get is vital for brands looking to understand their customers better, and it helps companies move forward with new products or new ways of marketing old favorites.

Of course, it’s not easy to get busy people to answer surveys online. So, in exchange for your time, the firms offer a monetary incentive to fill out these questionnaires. It’s not a tremendous amount of money and could be anywhere between $0.50 to $3.00 or more for each survey. But for those who join survey sites, there are multiple surveys like this to work on. That means you could be earning gift cards regularly just by signing up at the right place!

How Do I Take Surveys for Gift Cards?

If you want to start taking surveys for gift cards to all your favorite places, you first need to find a reputable survey site. Ask around and check forums and review platforms to find a survey site you can trust. Branded Surveys is one such site. They have been around for several years and offer a hassle-free way to earn gift cards and cash. All you need to do to get started is:

  • First, sign up with your real information and confirm your email.
  • Begin by taking the profile surveys on the site. The more thoroughly you fill out these introductory surveys, the more successful you will be on the site. Your profile info and surveys will help match you with the best survey opportunities for your demographic, and you will usually earn a few points for these as well.
  • Once you have completed your profile information, you can start taking regular surveys. With most survey sites, you will typically have a dashboard to log into and see all your stats. This is also where you will find the various surveys and polls available to you on any given day. Some users log in multiple times a day to see what pops up since many surveys have a quota or are only available for a limited time.
  • Don’t forget to check your email. This is important, too, since survey sites will often alert you to new paid surveys via email.
  • Once You have accrued enough points to retrieve your earnings, it’s time to cash out. When it comes to completing surveys for money, Paypal is the number one choice among users. However, gift cards are a close second.

How Many Gift Cards Can I Earn With Paid Surveys?

There is really no limit on the number of gift cards you can cash out for with paid surveys. Realistically speaking, you won’t make enough money with surveys to quit your day job or make a full-time living. However, this is one side hustle you can use to generate a little extra pocket cash whenever you need it. Many users earn gift cards multiple times each month simply by working on paid survey sites for a few minutes every day.

How Much Can I Earn In Gift Cards?

That depends on the amount of effort you put into completing surveys. Don’t expect overnight riches or anything like that. Taking online surveys is a side gig designed to reward you fairly for a few minutes of your time at your convenience. You get a little bit of compensation, and the market researchers get the data they need. It’s a win/win for everyone involved.

What Are the Best Gift Cards to Earn Online With Paid Surveys?Woman in White Long Sleeve Shirt Holding Clothes Hanger

This is one of our favorite questions. Sites like Branded offer multiple cashout options, including Branded Pay, Paypal, and even charitable donations. However, gift cards are one of the most popular cashout methods by far. That’s because there are scores of retailers to choose from, and they have something for everyone. 

In this case, gift cards are the next best thing to cash. For example, you can earn gift cards from favorite retailers like Gamestop, Bath and Body Works, JCPenney, Kohl’s, Macy’s, and dozens of others and take your shopping to new levels. But you can also earn gift cards to pay for everyday purchases. Have a look:

Car Repairs

Need some new tires, an oil change, or parts for your vehicle? Choose a gift card from AutoZone, Advance Auto Parts, or Jiffy Lube.


Want to save money on groceries? Opt for a gift card from Instacart or Whole Foods. Or get a juicy steak with a card from Kansas City Steak Company. You could also splurge and order from your favorite local eatery with GrubHub or Doordash gift cards.


Got the urge to travel? Branded Surveys allows you to exchange your points for gift cards from a host of travel services, including:

  • Uber
  • Southwest Airlines
  • Royal Caribbean
  • Princess Cruise Lines
  • Hotels.com
  • Expedia 
  • Delta Airlines
  • Celebrity Cruises
  • Airbnb

Basic Supplies

If you want to stock up on basic household or office supplies, gift cards from retailers like CVS, Office Depot, Staples, and Petco work well.

Movies and Entertainment

Ready for a movie? Select from a Fandango, Showtime, Redbox, Regal Entertainment, Hulu Plus, Cinemark, Atom, or AMC Theaters.

Dining Out

Maybe you want to splurge and eat out. In that case, choose from a vast selection of restaurants and coffee shops, including:

  • Applebees
  • Bahama Breeze
  • Bonefish Grill
  • Bubba Gump Shrimp Co.
  • Buffalo Wild Wings
  • Burger King
  • California Pizza Kitchen
  • Chili’s
  • Chipotle
  • Cold Stone Creamery
  • Dominoes
  • Dunkin Donuts
  • IHOP
  • Krispy Kreme
  • Longhorn Steakhouse
  • Olive Garden
  • Panera
  • Papa Johns
  • Ruby Tuesday
  • Red Robin
  • Starbucks
  • TGI. Friday’s
  • Uno Chicago Grill

The Best Gift Cards That Are Almost Like Cash

The most coveted gift cards for completing paid surveys are those that offer you the most variety in terms of what you can purchase. For example, you can earn Visa Gift cards which you can use anywhere Visa is accepted. That means you might even be able to use them in unconventional ways like paying for gas, bills, or utilities.

Among those who earn Amazon gift cards for taking surveys, this seems to be the most popular redemption option and the next best thing to cold hard cash. That’s because, with Amazon, you can order just about anything under the sun and have it delivered to your door within a few days. Whether you want to purchase toys, games, clothes, sporting goods, camping equipment, household items, makeup, baby goods, pet supplies, or anything else you can think of, an Amazon gift card is the ideal option either as a gift or a treat for yourself.

Closing Thoughts

Earning gift cards online is easy when you know where to look. Legit survey sites offer a unique opportunity to score gift cards from a variety of retailers. You can use gift cards just like cash to take care of necessities, travel, food, entertainment, or big-ticket items. The choice is yours.