Did you know there is a whole hobby related to gift cards that helps people earn money, save money, and live rich on a shoestring budget? If you know the ins and outs of the world of free gift cards, you can benefit beyond just making an occasional purchase. You can actually have a cool source of income that serves as a fun pastime as well. Read on for all the details.

Gift Card Madness

Americans are wild about gift cards. You can obtain them from nearly any retailer, restaurant, or business. Plus, they are the perfect choice when you have someone on your list who’s hard to buy for. We love gift cards so much that the average person spends about $163 per year on them. 

Most people typically have a gift card or two at the bottom of their purse or wallet or in the back of a drawer. Often, when the card has a low balance, people forget to use it. Sometimes, they even get thrown away!

How Can I Earn Free Gift Cards?

One of the best-kept secrets about gift cards is that you can actually earn free ones with minimal effort. There are websites where you can complete microwork (small, web-based tasks) and get paid for your efforts in gift cards, and you can also get paid to take surveys and earn cash or gift cards. So let’s take a closer look.

Earning Free Gift Cards With Microtasking

A microtask is a quick, easy task that you can complete online. Microtasks usually do not require any special skills, and you can do them in short bursts of time. You can find microwork at crowdsourcing sites like Amazon’s Mechanical Turk (MTurk), Clickworker, Microworkers, and similar platforms. We prefer Mechanical Turk since users can earn free Amazon gift cards once they reach payout. 

Earning Free Gift Cards With Paid Online Surveys

A second way to earn free gift cards online is to sign up with a legitimate survey site. Taking surveys for gift cards is an excellent gig since you can work anytime and anywhere you want, as long as you have a computer or smartphone and an internet connection.

With paid surveys, you can sign up and start earning gift cards right away. There are no special requirements or skills to join a survey site, and the work is fun and engaging. But not all survey sites are alike, so if you want to earn free gift cards for taking surveys, you’ll need to find a site that offers them as a payout option.

Earn Free Gift Cards With Branded Surveys

Branded Surveys offers users dozens of gift card options when it’s time to cash out their earnings. You can earn gift cards to major retailers, restaurants, and services all over the US, and the best part is it’s free to join.  

Of course, you can always opt for cash and get free Paypal money instead, but there are so many gift cards to choose from, you might not want to. 

For example, do you need to have some work done on your car? Branded Surveys has gift cards to Advance Auto Parts, AutoZone, and Jiffy Lube. 

Plan on doing some traveling? You can score gift cards from Hotels.com, Airbnb, or Expedia. 

Are you craving a mouthwatering dinner followed by a movie? With Branded, you can get gift cards from Chili’s, California Pizza Kitchen, Bubba Gump Shrimp, Bonefish Grill, AMC Theatres, Fandango, and a massive list of other cool places. 

Many users like to take surveys for free Amazon gift cards. That’s because gift cards from this online giant are incredibly versatile and almost as good as having cash in hand. You can purchase just about anything on Amazon, from toothpaste to tool sheds, without ever leaving your house. 

You can even buy groceries on Amazon through Whole Foods and have them delivered straight to your door. 

How To Earn Free Gift Cards by Taking Surveys

Getting started is super easy. Here’s what’s involved:

1. Find Legit Survey Site

Not all survey companies are alike, and there are a lot of fraudulent sites online. To avoid them, you need to outsmart the scammers. First off, never pay to join a survey site. If a site asks you for a membership fee (no matter how small), don’t do it. Real survey sites never ask for a fee to join.

Secondly, read the reviews for the company you are considering. If you can’t find any—or worse—all you can find are horror stories, stay away. Legit survey sites will have genuine user reviews and a solid public reputation. For example, branded Surveys has a rating of excellent and over 40,000 good reviews on Trustpilot. This is the kind of site you’re looking for. 

2. Go Through The Signup Process 

Once you’ve settled on a survey site, it’s time to sign up. That’s the easiest part of all. Simply fill out the information requested and confirm your email. Once you’ve selected a username and password, you’re ready to start earning free gift cards. 

3. Start With Profile Surveys

When you first join a survey site, you will be asked to fill out profile surveys. These are preliminary surveys that everyone has the opportunity to fill out and are usually optional. However, completing your profile surveys as thoroughly and honestly as possible will help pair you with the most lucrative surveys for you, so be sure not to skip this crucial step.

4. Begin Taking Regular Surveys

Once your profile surveys are completed, you’ll have a good idea of how regular surveys work, and you’ll be practically a pro at it. Now, all that’s left to do is choose the surveys you are interested in and get to work! You can complete as many surveys as you would like, and the more you complete, the more you will earn.

5. Cash Out for Free Gift Cards

When you’ve accumulated enough points to cash out your earnings, it’s time to choose the gift card or cards that you would like. Fill out the requested information, and your gift card will soon be on its way to your email on file. It’s that easy.

6. Repeat

Naturally, once you start earning gift cards from taking surveys, you’ll want to keep going. So log into the survey site every day and complete all the available surveys you have time for. Then, invite your friends and earn even more!

Using Gift Cards to Your Advantage

Sometimes, it can be hard to see the value of gift cards if you are having a difficult time financially. When the budget is tight, a gift card just isn’t going to cut it. After all, you need cold, hard cash to pay the bills, not Starbucks or Delta Airlines. For cards you will absolutely not be able to use, consider selling them at a deep discount.

Let’s say you have an AMC gift card for $100 that you can’t use. You could place an ad in your local online marketplace or Craigslist offering to sell it at a 20 percent discount. The buyer will get what they want for less than what they were planning to pay, and you will get some usable cash in your pocket. Be sure to stay safe with this tip and conduct the transaction in a public place with a buddy along. 

In the case of retail gift cards, consider what you could purchase at the retailer that could help you get by a little easier. For example, you can use Target, CVS, and Amazon cards for food, toiletries, household items, medicine, and other necessities. 

Unwanted Gift Cards

What if you have just a little bit left on a gift card, or you have one that you don’t want from a retailer you never visit? Are you stuck with it? Absolutely not. There are several ways to get more mileage out of your unwanted gift cards:

Cash It in for Real Money

This is not always possible everywhere, but in some states, if you have a balance under $10, you are entitled to redeem it for currency or a check. It’s a little-known loophole to prevent abuse by retailers who hang onto millions of dollars in unspent gift card earnings every year. Again, you’ll want to check with your State Department of Consumer Affairs to find the regulations where you live. If your state has a law like this, you can contact the retailer and get the remaining balance on your card in cash.

Trade It for a Different Gift Card

What if you get a gift card from a retailer that you don’t want or can’t use? At sites like CardCash, you can sell your gift card or trade it in for something you do want. Just be aware that you will not get the full value of the card. However, in cases where you were never going to use it, this might be a viable option.

Donate It to Charity

This is an idea we absolutely love. Got a bunch of used gift cards with just a few dollars left on them? Donate them to charity! Charity Choice lets you donate the unused balance on your card. It’s a great alternative to throwing it away. The proceeds go to Special Kids Fund, an organization that helps at-risk youth and children with special needs.