20 Smart Ways to Get Free Gift Cards in 2023

Gift cards are the next best thing to having cold, hard cash. They provide a great way to pay for in-store and online items and are available to use at most major retail outlets.

Believe it or not, there are various ways that you can score gift cards for free, saving you tons of money on clothes, food, tech, travel, and more.

If you’re unsure where exactly you can get free gift cards, then you’ve come to the right place. Keep reading to learn more about the many ways you can find and earn gift cards, from exchanging unwanted gifts to doing surveys online. 

How Can You Get Free Gift Cards Online and Offline?

You can get free gift cards from your favorite stores through various apps, credit cards, and websites. These gift cards allow you to indulge in life’s little luxuries, such as purchasing a new music album, having your nails done, or getting an iced latte after work. 

There’s a method for everyone to get free gift cards, from playing games to trading in your old equipment to participating in surveys. You can also combine these various methods to earn more points which you can use to get gift cards. 

A man checks in at the airport
A man checking in at the airport

1. Shop, Travel, or Dine to Earn Rewards 

You might be asking how you can get free gift cards for shopping, and there are several ways to do so.

Rewards or loyalty programs like those offered by Starbucks allow free sign-ups and give you freebies like coffees, lunches, and money off when you spend over a certain amount or visit a store a specific number of times.

You can also try utilizing one of the below methods to earn rewards on your purchases.

  • Capital One Shopping: The Capital One Quiksilver credit card is a zero-fee credit card that allows you to earn cash-back rewards from dozens of retailers, hotels, and restaurants. You will also get a welcome bonus of $150 if you spend $500 within the first three months of having the card. 

    What makes this card so appealing is the ability to earn unlimited cashback on your purchases.
  • Gift Card Granny: If you regularly buy gift cards, then Gift Card Granny is for you as you can find the best deals on gift cards, and you can earn points with each card you buy. You can also make additional points by signing up for their newsletter and installing their browser extension.

  • Drop App: Drop is another app that gives cashback when shopping at specific partners. To score this cashback, you need to connect the Drop app to the cards you use to shop and select the brands you want to earn some money back. You can also choose bonus offers for the additional cashback on certain items. 

    You can expect between 0.5% and 1.5% in cashback on your purchases, and when you reach $25, you can get gift cards to this value. This is a great passive way to get free gift cards.
  • Hooch: This free app rewards you with up to 10% back on your travel, shopping, and dining at more than 250,000 partners. You can redeem your rewards on products on the site or convert them to gift cards. 

2. Leverage Rewards from Your Credit Card

The right credit card can net you plenty of rewards, cashback, and free gift cards. You can also link your credit card to many of the apps and websites mentioned in this article to maximize your earning potential.

Just be careful of not paying off your credit card as you could end up spending more in interest and fees than you save.

A man and woman shopping online
A couple shopping online using their credit card

3. Exchange Cashback for Free Gift Cards

Cashback apps will pay you when you shop at certain stores or buy specific products. These cashback apps can help you cut back on your grocery bills without having to alter your spending habits. 

While you can choose to cash out these rewards in real money to the likes of PayPal or Venmo, you also have the option to convert the cash into gift cards.

These gift cards can be used at hundreds of retailers from Walmart to Target, Amazon, Walgreens, and more. 

4. Gift Card Exchanges

It is pretty standard that you end up getting a gift card for a store you never shop at. But instead of letting those gift cards just sit in your wallet, you can sell them for cash, or reversely you buy someone else’s unwanted gift cards for a fraction of the price.

  • CardCash: On CardCash, you can find unwanted gift cards for sale at a price that is less than their value. You can sell any gift cards you don’t want and buy ones that you do.

  • Raise: Raise works similarly to CardCash in that users can buy and sell unwanted gift cards, and occasionally you can even find retailers selling discounted gift cards on this site. If you’re selling gift cards on Raise, you will set the amount your card should sell at, and you’ll get your payout by deposit, PayPal, or check.

5. Refer Friends to Services You Love

Two women in bed with laptop and credit card
Two girl friends shopping online and sharing tips

If there’s a store you love, take advantage of their referral programs to earn points, cash, and gift cards. Friends who sign up or buy their products using your link or code may save on services while also netting you great rewards. 

  • Xfinity: Sign up your friends for Xfinity’s internet, television and phone services, and you could earn up to $175 worth of Visa gift cards.

  • T-Mobile: If you’re already on T-Mobile, you could earn $50 for every friend that switches over to the carrier. There is, however, a limit of 100 referrals a year.

  • Casper: Casper offers a great referral program for anyone looking to buy a new mattress. Get your friend to buy their new mattress using a referral link, and you’ll get a $75 Amazon gift card, while your friend will get 15% off their purchase and the chance to sleep better at night.

  • Sam’s Club: If you’re already a member of Sam’s Club, don’t forget to refer your friends, and you could earn a $10 gift card for every friend that signs up. 

6. Earn Points with Apps

So, what apps give you free gift cards? There are a few apps that you should download today if you want to start earning points that you can exchange for gift cards, but you can also download apps to earn points. 

  • FeaturePoints: This program will help you find new apps for your phone, and you’ll earn points for every sponsored app you download. Their rewards come in the form of gift cards to the likes of Amazon, Xbox, and PayPal. You can also refer friends, and you’ll earn an additional 50% on everything your friend makes.

  • GrabPoints: This is a similar app to FeaturePoints in which you will earn points for downloading apps or taking surveys. Just complete your tasks to start earning.

  • AppNana: Download the apps on AppNana to start earning. You’ll also keep earning every time you use these apps, increasing your earning potential.

7. Participate in Market Research and Take Online Surveys 

A smiling woman using a tablet
A woman answering online surveys on a tablet

One great way to earn gift cards is to participate in simple online surveys. Many survey companies reward you with gift cards to thank you for sharing your results. These surveys include sharing your thoughts on everything from politics to cooking.

If you’re looking for an easy way to earn a few extra bucks a month, participating in these surveys is a good option.

  • Survey Junkie: Survey Junkie has thousands of surveys on offer, and your online profile will help to match you with the appropriate surveys you can take. Once you have taken enough surveys with Survey Junkie to accumulate 1,000 points, you can cash out your points as a gift card. Every 1,000 points are worth $10.

  • Springboard America: This is one of America’s leading online market research companies. Visitors to their site can answer market research surveys or participate in brand and product-related discussions to earn rewards loaded onto an Amazon gift card or prepaid Visa card.

  • Opinion Outpost: This is a free tool that connects businesses directly to customers, and you can take a range of surveys on here without even leaving your home. The payouts from these come in the form of Amazon gift cards.

  • My Soap Box: Another online research brand collects survey data on various products, experiences, and services. Different online gift vouchers are offered in exchange for submitting your thoughts on My Soap Box.

  • One Opinion: On One Opinion, you’ll find various surveys you can take, with each one holding its own points value. Every 1,000 points you accumulate is equal to $1. You will need to reach a minimum of $25,000 points before you can cash out your first gift card for $25.

  • PrizeRebel: The earning options on PrizeRebel include paid surveys and app downloads. Signing up is free, and the available gift cards start from just $2 for retailers such as Dunkin’ Donuts, Kohl’s, Steam, and eBay.

  • FreebiePoints: With FreebiePoints, you can earn points that you can exchange for gift cards by taking surveys, completing sign-up offers, playing games, and referring friends. You will also earn 1,000 points just for signing up for an account.

8. Play Games and Test Websites or Apps to Earn Points 

Playing games is an entertaining way to get free gift cards. Play mobile games or test out apps in exchange for points you can cash in on gift cards.

While this isn’t a side hustle that is likely to make you rich, if you already spend time playing games online, you might as well make some money doing so.

  • Mistplay: Although it can be slow going when it comes to earning rewards on Mistplay, this is a good option if you already play games as a hobby. Earn gift cards for Amazon, Best Buy, iTunes, the Google Play Store, and more simply by downloading and playing sponsored games. 

    These include everything from strategy games to card games and action games. You earn points by completing missions or leveling up.
  • Razer Cortex: Razer Cortex is an app you can use to access various mobile games. For every minute of play on these games, you will accumulate 5 Razer Silver points. Some games double your points; however, there is a limit to the number of points you can earn each day. 

    These Razer Silver points can be exchanged for PlayStation Store and Razer Store gift cards or discounts at JINX gaming apparel.

9. Earn Gift Cards by Completing other “Money Maker” offers

A man on his phone
A man playing online games on his mobile phone

There are numerous other platforms to earn points and rewards that can later be transferred onto gift cards by completing daily tasks.

These tasks include anything from taking surveys to online shopping, playing games, signing up for newsletters, following social media platforms, or searching the web.

  • InboxDollars: This website pays you for the things you likely already do online such as searching the internet, playing video games, downloading coupons, shopping online, and taking surveys. 

    The payments you get can either be in cash or through gift cards. There is, however, a minimum payout of $30, but you will get a $5 just for signing up.
  • Fetch Rewards: You can start earning points with Fetch Rewards by uploading pictures of your receipts to the app. 

    You’ll also get more points by referring friends or connecting the app to Amazon, and points will be applied depending on what purchases you make. Every 1,000 points give you $1, which you can redeem in a gift card.
  • MyPoints: You can shop a variety of online retails, including Walmart, eBay, and Amazon at MyPoints, and you get a $10 Amazon gift card with your first purchase. One of the longest-running cashback sites, MyPoints also allows you to earn points by playing games, watching videos, and completing surveys. 

    Once you have enough points, you can exchange these for gift cards or use them to do more shopping.
  • Grindabuck: Earn rewards points by listening to music, watching videos, taking surveys, and viewing advertisements, and then convert these points into gift cards. You will also get $1 worth of rewards just for signing up. And you can even redeem your points for Bitcoin.

  • InstaGC: This site also allows you to earn free gift cards by completing surveys, watching videos, shopping online, and even searching the web. You can begin receiving gift cards even after getting just $1 worth of rewards. 

    The gift cards on InstaGC are also instant, so there’s no wait after redeeming your points like there are on other sites.
  • Idle-Empire: Watch videos, spend time on game servers, or mine cryptocurrency to earn rewards, gift cards, and cryptocurrencies. Some of the games you can get as a reward on this site include CS: GO, Dota 2, H1Z1, and TF2.

  • Swag IQ: This is a mobile app affiliated with the popular Swagbucks. You can answer fun trivia questions in exchange for money on this app. 

    Enter the daily trivia game, and you could earn between $5 to $22, or you could even stand a chance to win $1,000 if you get all the questions right. This money can be converted to gift cards for Amazon or Target or cashed out via PayPal.

10. Scan Product Barcodes at Your Local Stores (in-person)

You can get gift cards and rewards for shopping at specific stores and doing mundane tasks like scanning barcodes. This is a great way to earn a little bit of extra cash next time you go to the shops.

  • Shopkick: This is a rewards app for shopping online and in-store. The fun and engaging app essentially pays you to shop as a secret shopper. You get a $5 bonus when you sign up, and then you need to complete specific tasks to earn gift cards. You can also link credit cards to the app to score additional cashback. 
A woman scanning a receipt's QR code using a cellphone
A woman scanning a receipt’s QR code

11. Convert Receipts to Gift Cards

You can convert receipts to gift cards through some excellent cashback portals. These portals allow you to shop online and earn points, cashback, or gift cards as you shop.

  • Ibotta: Ibotta can help you save money by rewarding you for your grocery shopping. Upload your shopping receipts to the app, and you’ll get cashback which you can convert into gift cards for the likes of Starbucks, Best Buy, or Amazon. 

    You can also get cashback when shopping at online retailers like Groupon and iTunes. There are also other creative ways to earn rewards by entering sweepstakes or giveaways.
  • ReceiptPal: You can turn receipts into rewards with ReceiptPal. Submit your receipts on ReceiptPal to earn gift cards and cash prices.

  • Honey: You can earn Amazon gift cards through the Honey Gold cashback program. The rewards are done on a mystery basis, so you won’t know how much you’ve earned in gift cards until you complete your purchases through Honey, but if you regularly shop on Amazon, this is a great option to get a lot of money back.
  • Rakuten: Every time you shop on Rakuten and purchase something, you will be rewarded. With over 2,000 partner stores on the portal, you can earn some serious cashback with different purchases netting between 1 and 40% in cashback. Your Rakuten balance can then be used to purchase gift cards for your favorite stores.

  • ReceiptHog: ReceiptHog uses what you have already bought to conduct market research. Upload your receipts, and you’ll earn points for every one you share. You’ll also earn extra points if you shop at specific stores, take surveys, play games, refer friends, or attempt challenges.

12. Trade-in or Sell Your Stuff

If you don’t feel like jumping through hoops online to get free gift cards, you can consider trading in your stuff. Old electronics, books, phones, and games can all be traded to earn cash and gift cards.

Various retailers, including Target and Walmart, have trade-in programs to get gift cards for unwanted but still good condition used items.

  • Amazon Trade-In: You can trade in your old video games, books, and tech gadgets to receive gift cards on Amazon. Search in the product listings to see if you have items Amazon is willing to buy, and then check the potential trade-in value of your goods. If you decide to sell your items, you will get the value of your goods in gift cards. 

    It will be free to ship your items to Amazon, and you’ll receive a payment within ten business days. If Amazon rejects your trade-in items, you obviously won’t get paid, but they will ship them back to you for free, so you have nothing to lose.
  • GameStop: Trade in any unwanted games, consoles, and gaming accessories in exchange for gift cards on GameStop. All you need to do is take your old items to a store near you, where your items will be evaluated, and you’ll be rewarded with that value as a gift card.

  • BookScouter: You can sell your used textbooks for in-store credit using BookScouter. The in-store credit options provide better payouts than cash payments, so this is a great way to score money for those books you no longer need. You can then use this credit to buy other books you need for future classes.

13. Sign-up for Giveaways

A woman making a fist and holding a phone
A happy woman who just won an online giveaway

Many companies build their brands through competitions and giveaways. You can enter these giveaways for your chance to win big, and you can also get gift cards just for doing so.

  • Prizegrab: There are various great gift cards to be earned on Prizegrab, from $10 Amazon and Starbucks gift cards to $500 gift cards to the likes of Willams Sonoma or Best Buy or even physical prizes like televisions and kitchen appliances. Prizegrab also runs an annual draw in which you can win $25,000.

  • GiveawayMonkey: GiveawayMonkey is a company that links consumers with brands looking for social media exposure. You can try out new products and services while providing likes, tweets, and social media posts in exchange. You can also enter into some great draws to win gift cards for companies like Uber and Sephora.

  • Use Instagram to find gift card giveaways: Use popular hashtags like #freebies #free #giveaway #win #freestuff #contest #sweepstakes to look for companies giving are free items on social media.
  • Target App (formerly Cartwheel): Download the Target App and sign up for a free account to get exclusive member deals and offers, including free gift cards. 

14. Get Gift Cards via Social Media

A woman on laptop with gift card flashed on screen
A woman being presented with an online gift card

As we’ve mentioned, many companies will give away gift cards in exchange for social media exposure. Do a search for the brands you like and follow them or comment on their posts for the potential to win.

If you’ve got a good following, you can even reach out to relevant brands to see if there is a potential for collaboration.

15. Try a New Search Engine

You can get paid for searching the web, and a big part of this depends on what search engine you use. Making a simple change to your daily activity, like changing your default browser, could net you some extra cash. 

  • Swagbucks: Complete various activities with Swagbucks, such as watching videos, playing games, shopping, and taking surveys to earn points known as Swagbucks. 

    When you have the equivalent of $3 in your account, you can start buying gift cards with these points. Sometimes you can even find gift cards that have been reduced by 20%.
  • Use Bing instead of Google: Through Microsoft Rewards, you can get points simply for searching the web. Thus, an easy way to earn extra cash is simply by changing your search engine to Bing instead of Google. 

    However, there are limits to these rewards, so you’re not likely to earn more than about $10 a year. This money can then be used to purchase Microsoft products like Skype or Xbox credits.

16. Trade Your Data

A man working on his laptop
A man trading his data

Through companies like Nielsen Computer and Mobile Panel, you can earn some extra money just by sharing data about how you use the internet. This company will pay you $50 a year in gift cards just for downloading an app to your smartphone that reports back to them on your data usage. 

This is a great passive income stream for doing nothing more than you usually do.

17. Use a Rewards Browser Extension

Some free browser extensions will let you know whenever you can earn rewards or cashback on your purchases.

These extensions can also alert you to when coupons are available or help you price match against similar products or retailers so that you can get the most bang for your buck. 

18. Monetize Your Lock Screen

If you have an android smartphone, you can monetize your lock screen by letting company’s display adverts on your phone.

Some available options for your lock screen include S’more and Slidejoy, which place ads on your lock screen, and Current Rewards, which adds a music player to your phone and rewards you for listening. 

While another tremendous passive moneymaker, you’re unlikely to earn more than $10 a year with this method, but every little thing adds up!

19. Request for Gift Cards as a Gift

Another way to get free gift cards is simply to ask for them. Instead of asking for physical presents for your next birthday or Christmas, ask for gift cards that you can use to buy things you want. 

20. Return Items that You’re Given

Instead of regifting items that you don’t want, consider returning them to the store instead, and you’ll likely get a gift card in exchange.

As long as the item is in good condition, wasn’t on sale when it was purchased or returned and was exchanged timeously, you’ll probably get the monetary value for it back without much hassle. 

You’re unlikely even to need a receipt, so the gift giver doesn’t ever have to know you returned it.

What are Other Ways to Earn Gift Cards?

A woman driving a car
A woman taking a car for a test drive

If you’re still looking for other ways to earn gift cards, there are several more methods you can try. From completing microtasks to donating blood and even test-driving cars, here are some fun and unique ways to earn free gift cards. 

  • Complete microtasks: Many of the sites mentioned above allow you to complete microtasks to earn points and rewards. These microtasks include things like downloading apps, entering contests, and playing games.

  • Test drive cars: Some car dealerships and manufacturers offer gift cards of between $25 and $100 just for taking a car out for a test drive. Now that’s a pretty fun way of earning some free money.

  • Transfer your prescriptions: Some pharmacies will reward you with free gift cards when you transfer your prescriptions to them. CVS, Rite Aid, Target, Walgreens, and Kroger have all been known to share these types of promotions. Don’t forget to also sign up for your pharmacy’s loyalty program for a chance to score extra rewards.

  • Donate blood: Some blood drives and blood donation centers will encourage sign-ups by giving away free gift cards when you donate. This is a great way to make a real difference while getting rewarded.

Frequently Asked Questions on Gift Cards

A woman's hands holding a mobile phone with gift card on screen
A woman receiving a gift card

Are free gift cards real? 

Yes, as you have seen, there are numerous methods for earning free gift cards. That said, just be careful of gift card scams, and if a deal looks too good to be true, then it most probably is. 

Why do stores and companies give away free gift cards? 

There are many different reasons why stores and companies give away free gifts. Some are conducting market research into consumer shopping habits and opinions, while others may be trying to widen their reach or draw attention to new products and services.

What is the fastest app to get free gift cards? 

Moneymaker apps like Swagbucks are the quickest ways to rack up enough points to claim free gift cards. There are usually various ways you can earn points with few limits imposed as to how much you can make in a day.

What is a free gift card generator?

Gift card generators are illegal software programs that try to guess gift card codes. Trying to use one of these can get you into a whole host of legal problems.

Can you get free plastic gift cards? 

Select websites allow you to get physical plastic gift cards that you can give away as presents. 

Topcashback and Swagbucks are both websites where getting physical gift cards is possible. There are, however, usually fees associated with opting for plastic gift cards instead of online ones.

Claim Your Free Gift Cards!

A woman making a fist and holding a physical gift card
A woman making the most of the free gift cards she receives

Getting free gift cards can be a fantastic way to save money. You can use these gift cards to buy groceries, shop for clothes, or you can even sell them for cash.

And surprisingly, there are a whole host of ways to earn free gift cards, from signing up for newsletters, doing surveys, and even playing games online or browsing the net. 

The above is a comprehensive list of the various active and passive options you can look at to earn free gift cards. Is there another method you have found that we failed to mention here? Do share your tips and tricks with us in the comments below.

Further reading: More ways to get free items

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