Free Money

Let’s be clear. There is no such thing as “free money.” Fee money schemes have come to the fore because people are finding it harder to make ends meet. Rising interest rates and inflation beset today’s economic climate, and everyone is feeling the pinch. Prices are skyrocketing for everything from bread to petrol. Well, except for avocadoes, which seem to be recession-proof for some reason. It’s no wonder, then, that people are looking for ways to make extra income.

Best Award Winning Brokers

Show Search Filters
  • The firm's main research and development office is based in Tel Aviv Israel. It originally specialized in Forex and indices spreadbetting and CFDs but has recently expanded in stock trading also.

    At the time of writing, eToro has 2.2 out of 5 star on Trust pilot. The comments suggest that the platform offers some impressive features but withdrawing money can be difficult. Having said that, some of the negative reviews appear to be rants rather than constructive criticism. This can be examples of traders losing money through their own recklessness rather than eToro's fault. You should therefore take this reviews with a pinch of salt.

    “the platform offers some impressive features but withdrawing money can be difficult.”

    Robert Firmin
    76% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider.
  • OANDA is a global financial services company providing advanced currency solutions to both retail and corporate clients all over the world. In this article, we are going to review this broker’s trading options, tools, platforms, spreads, commissions, security measures, and educational resources to help traders make the right choice.

    76.6% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider. You should consider whether you understand how CFDs work and whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing
  • AvaTrade offers a wide variety of trading solutions (spread trading, CFDs, and social trading), and peace of mind with its comprehensive regulation, covering the EU, Australia, Canada and South Africa. Clients can use a variety of platforms for discretionary and automated trading.

    76% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider.


Table of Contents

What Is Free Money?

While getting free money for doing nothing is technically a pipe dream, what can lessen the pressure on your expenses are side hustles, apps, websites, and reward schemes. These come in the form of consumer surveys, movie reviews, shopping, exercising, and reward-based credit and debit cards. Here is 16 “free money” strategies to try.

Participate In Surveys

Companies like Adobe, Pinterest, Wayfair, Spotify, and Amazon look for particular demographics to answer survey questions. The feedback from these surveys help the companies design new products that appeal to the market. 20|20 Panel in Canada and the United States seeks participants for in-person and online focus groups.

Participants do not receive direct payment but instead are awarded that they can redeem for gift cards. User Interviews is another website, and one reviewer claimed to have earned an average of $115 per hour. Similar sites in the United Kingdom are Branded Surveys and Inbox Pounds.

Become a Freelancer

A popular side gig is to do some freelancing work. Depending on your skill set, you could write blogs, tutor online or in person, code, or provide accounting, legal, or translation services. Many freelancers sign up with a freelancing platform like Upwork,, or Gengo and build a profile and portfolio.

The advantage of these platforms are that freelancers are paid through the platform, and clients typically put the payment in escrow until the job is complete at which point the funds are released to the freelancer.

Review a Mock Trial

Who doesn’t love a good court drama? Sites like will pay you to review mock trials online, answer questions, and provide comments. The payouts per case are low, however, around $5 to $10 each.

Use Discounts and Coupons

Coupons are a contradiction in terms, but there are apps where people can earn money while they spend money. Basically, shoppers use coupons to earn discounts through browser extensions. Swagbucks and CouponCabin are examples.

These add-ons send you alerts for discounts, coupons, and cash-back opportunities that you use while you shop. The danger of these apps, however, are that you may spend just to get a discount. This defeats the purpose of saving money.

Watch Videos, Play Games, or Listen to Music

If you register with Swagbucks or Inbox Dollars, you can get paid to watch movie previews, TV shows, news, or commercials on your mobile device or laptop. If you’re more of a music lover, US residents can register with Slicethepie, Playlist Push, and HitPredictor, listen to songs, and rate them. The more you put into your review in terms of detail, the more you will be paid.

Gamers, too, can earn money doing what they love. Apps like Coin Pop and sites like Swagbucks will award you coins while you play that can be exchanged for gift cards or cash via PayPal. Granted, the payouts are small, and you may have to invest quite a bit of time to reap a meaningful amount.


Sites like Rev or TrascribeMe pay people to transcribe audio recordings, such as lectures, podcasts, and interviews, but you have to be a fast typist. lists 21 online transcription jobs. It’s not free money by any means, but it can be a way to earn extra money on the side.

Refer Your Friends

Some companies, from credit cards to travel sites, will pay people to refer a friend if the friend signs up for the company’s products. Typically, companies issue codes that the referring individual plugs in. According to Save the Student, the most lucrative referral codes are offered by “banks, energy companies (Octopus Energy gives £50 credit) and broadband providers.”

Try TikTok

It seems that everyone is trying to make a buck on TikTok. Ways to leverage the platform are to sell sponsored content or promote your own brand. Influencers make their mark with video clips lasting no longer than sixty seconds, so you have to be creative and media savvy to make an impact and gain a following.

Free Money for Students

In addition to education scholarships and grants, some companies offer bonuses for students when you create an account with them. It will require an initial purchase, but the reward could be an Amazon voucher or a gift voucher for another purchase in the future.

The first thing that most students do when they go to college or university is open a bank account. But if they later switch bank accounts, they might get free money. These offers are often open to non-students also. Students should always check the terms to make sure they qualify because, in some cases, students in their second year may be exempt.

Students in the United Kingdom may be entitled to a refund on their student loan payments because they have started to repay their loans before the April after their graduation. Check this page at to see if you fall into that category.

You Might Be Owed a Tax Rebate

Have you paid too much in tax? It’s not unusual to have been paying more than you should. You have a window of four years in which you can reclaim taxes that you have overpaid, so go through your records for the last couple of years. You could be owed hundreds of pounds.

Earn Interest from a Savings or Current Account

If you have spare cash sitting in a checking account, put it to work in an individual savings account (ISA) or another interest-bearing account.

Residents of the United Kingdom can earn up to £1,000 every year by putting money into a Lifetime ISA (LISA). A deposit £4,000 is required each tax year (April to April). Be aware, however, that if you withdraw money for reasons other than buying a house, reaching age 60, or having less than 12 months to live, you’ll lose the bonuses plus an additional percentage of your money.

Sign Up for a Trading Account

Many online trading platforms will give you free shares when you sign up. For example, Wealthyhood offers a free ETF share worth up to £200, Trading 212 gives a free share worth up to £100, InvestEngine gives a £25 welcome bonus. Most sites will ask for a minimal investment that might range from a few pounds to £100.

There are also cryptocurrency accounts that give freebies. Sign up with the crypto trading platform Coinbase, and they will give you rewards for staking. On the Freecash platform, you can earn free crypto and gift cards for completing surveys or playing games.

Scan Your Receipts

Free money starts with scanning your receipts for efficiencies

Receipt-scanning apps, such as Ibotta, Amazon Shopper Panel, Huyu, Shoppix, Storewards, SnapMyEats, and Zipzero, give free cash and gift vouchers for uploading paper receipts to their apps. Be careful though, and read the terms of the apps carefully. In the case of Ibotta, if you stop using the app for six months, it will deduct a monthly inactivity fee.

Sign Up for Rewards Credit and Debit Cards

Loyalty cards are an obvious way to get rewards for shopping at your favorite retailers. Typically, you are rewarded with points that can be used for discount vouchers or free items. Use reward cards to your advantage by paying off the balance in full at the end of each month. That way, you don’t pay the interest on a balance, but you still earn the rewards for spending. For UK residents, try the Tesco Clubcard credit card or the Sainsbury’s credit card that earns Nectar points.

Get Paid to Exercise

You can get paid and get healthier at the same time. If you like dogs, sign up as a dog walker on and get paid for exercising with canine companions. If you prefer to exercise at the gym or alone, some apps, like Sweatcoins, will pay you for walking or working out. When you have earned enough steps, you can trade in Sweatcoins that you’ve earned discounts, gift cards, or to enter auctions.

Take Advantage of Tax Benefits

If your employer offers a retirement savings account, such as a 401 (k) take advantage of the tax benefits. These accounts are often excellent savings vehicles because employers will often match the contributions of the employee. Also, you will pay less tax because the amount you pay into a retirement savings account is subtracted from your income before your tax bill is calculated.


What Is the Attraction of Free Money?

This question really doesn’t need answering. The idea of seeking free money is to profit from doing limited work and from making your money work for you.

Profit Through Limited Work

Some people enjoy the thrill of “beating the system” and getting money or rewards while they shop, exercise, or generally go about their daily lives. If you enjoy couponing, exercising, gaming, or trading, why not get paid for doing what you love?

A Form of Free Lunch

You will not become a millionaire by signing up for free money apps and programs. Many of them pay minimal amounts. However, once you have them set up and they are integrated into your lifestyle, they may be worth a few “free lunches,” so to speak.


What Are the Pros and Cons of Free Money vs. Stocks?

The pros of free money apps are that they are quick to install, and they offer advantages and rewards that fit your lifestyle. The cons are that setting them up requires some up-front work as you research which apps are best for you and which ones are worth the time.


Risk – As long as you verify that an app or website is legitimate, there is little risk of losing money.

Time – One you download the apps and register with sites, you can earn money and rewards for doing relatively little work.

Lifestyle – Some apps may even improve your health. For example, fitness apps like Sweatcoin reward you for exercising


Research – Finding the best sites and apps takes some research up-front and can be time-consuming.

Returns – The returns that you will see from free money schemes are low. Significant returns require consistency and registering with lots of sites.

Market Movement – You will need to stay on top of the latest free money opportunities as they are constantly updated.


How Can You Start Earning Free Money?

To start earning free money, research the market and register with sites and download suitable apps. Also, take advantage of pension schemes and tax benefits. It’s always a wise investment to talk to a CPA or a tax expert because they can find lots of loopholes and strategies to save you money. Here are some ways to earn free money through tax legislation.

Leverage Employer Contributions

In the United States, if you have a retirement account with your employer, such as a 401(k), you decide how much you pay into that account each paycheck. Your employer may match all or part of your contributions, so it’s best if you contribute as much as you can to get the most from your employer contributions.

Also, the amount you pay in tax is lowered each year by the amount you pay into your plan. For example, if you earn $100,000 a year and contribute $10,000 to a 401(k) plan, you will pay income taxes on $90,000 instead of $100,000.

Tax-Efficient Ways of Investing

For United Kingdom residents, Individual Savings Accounts (ISAs) are a good place to put money that you don’t need immediately. The assets in ISAs are protected from tax, and there are four types, Cash ISAs, Stocks & Shares ISAs, Lifetime ISAs, and Junior ISAs.

Canadians can also take advantage of tax-free savings accounts (TFSAs), and most Canadians do. According to Bank of Montreal’s 2022 annual savings study, well over 50 percent of Canadians (63%) have a tax-free savings account.

Accumulation Units

If a retiree is looking into investment funds, they can choose between an income or accumulation version. Income units earn interest or dividend income at regular intervals. Accumulation units boost the value of the fund because income generated is reinvested back into the fund.

Depending on when the investor needs access to the funds, one option might be better than the other. For example, if retirement is imminent and the account holder needs to maximize their pension payments, it would make sense to switch from accumulation to income units.

In most countries you also pay less tax on accumulation units (as capital gains tax is typically less than income tax) than on income units. (Dividends are counted as income so the tax is higher)

Buy ETFs

In the United Kingdom, Stamp Duty Reserve Tax (SDRT) is a tax on UK equity investments. However, exchange-traded fund (ETF) trades are exempt from stamp duty and are a good way to invest and take advantage of tax breaks.

Leverage Tax-Loss Harvesting

Tax-loss harvesting is a way to realize investment losses against gains, so you pay tax only on the capital gains. For example, if you realized a $10,000 gain on one investment but have an $8,000 loss on another, you can offset them and wind up with a taxable gain of just $2,000 and a much smaller tax bill. You can even report up to a net $3,000 loss in any tax year.

Some investors sell stock to take advantage of this strategy and then buy back the stock after thirty days. If they purchase before thirty days, it’s considered a wash sale, and claiming the tax loss on a wash sale is illegal.


What Are the Risks With Free Money?

If you are careful not to fall for scams, there is no real risk with free money apps or registering with websites. However, there is the question of whether the effort is worth the gain. Here’s a look at some of the so-called “risks.”

There’s Too Much Risk Involved

There is no such thing as free money because there is always some amount of time commitment involved. So, basically you risk wasting your time. You may find that earning rewards for this type of free money involves a level of risk that is too high.

It’s a Scam

There are scams out there, and it’s easy to be enticed into doing something that could cost you your savings. Watch out for things that seem to be too good to be true; they always are. Examples are sites that show people standing next to flashy cars, luxury hotels or villas, or websites that promise to make you £1000s from home each week with little to no effort.

It’s a Waste of Time

For some, these apps and schemes can be a waste of time if they do not consistently use them. A lot of free money is accumulated rewards, so if you are not a big shopper, trader, gamer, or freelancer, you could be wasting your time signing up for sites in the first place.


What is the Criticism With Free Money?

Here’s a look at some of the criticisms leveled at free money

Dishonest Motives

A former Plymouth student at the center of a BBC series on Forex trading literally gave out free cash in a Plymouth high street in 2019. Unfortunately he was later accused of acting dishonestly.

In January 2020, according to the Plymouth Herald, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) watchdog issued an official warning about Mr. Singh. Numerous people claimed to have lost cash in the December crash of the foreign exchange markets after doing business with his companies.

Mr. Singh claimed that he gave out £10 notes to shoppers in Plymouth city center as a way of “giving back to the community,” but he was linked to an FCA-licensed broker called Infinox and was suspected of conducting affiliate marketing, which is illegal. Affiliate marketing is when a company pays a person a commission to generate business, so it appeared that Mr. Singh’s generosity was grounded in dishonest motives.

Low Return on (Time) Investment

While free money apps and programs should not require you to pay to sign up, they take up some of your time. Whether your time is worth the return is a decision only you can make. Once registered on sites, you need to stay consistent to accrue enough rewards to cash in for gift vouchers or coupons.

Too Good to Be True

Social media is full of advertisements offering cash app rewards for filling in a short survey. However, some of these are scams. They ask for personally identifiable information that provides fraudsters access to your social media or bank accounts. Check any websites with the Better Business Bureau (BBB) before you engage because if it seems too good to be true, it is.


5 Tips for Profiting from Free Money

The following are tips from the Better Business Bureau. They offer practical advice so you can maximize your profit from everything from cash back apps to tax benefits.


Do Your Research When Choosing Cash Back Apps

Look up the reviews of any app or extension to find out if they are legitimate and worth your time. There are plenty of review sites online. Rakuten and Ibotta are both legitimate BBB Accredited Businesses. Don’t install a program until you are sure it’s a reliable one.

  1. There’s little point choosing a shopping app for a retailer you rarely use. You’ll either never use it or spend unnecessarily. Whether it be choosing a savings account or a fitness app, make sure it fits with your lifestyle and habits.
  2. You should never have to pay a fee to receive “free” money. Be wary of any app that claims to be free but asks you to pay a fee to receive a payout. It’s probably a scam.
  3. Keep in mind that many cashback apps ask you to connect your credit card, debit card, or bank account to receive rebates and make purchases, so keeping your data safe is critical. Before sharing your sensitive information with any company, FTC suggests reviewing the company’s privacy policy.
  4. Beware of False Economies. It’s a false economy if you find yourself wanting to buy more just so that you earn rewards or coupons. Take advantage of good deals on the products you need but remember that making unnecessary purchases just because you’ll receive points or modest cash-back bonuses will not save you money in the long run.


Free Money: General Terminology

Focus group – A group that a company selects to ask questions on products and to collect market research data.

ISA – Individual savings account. An interest-bearing account that offers tax benefits.

LISA – Lifetime individual savings account. These are tax-efficient accounts designed for a first home or retirement. Savers won’t pay income tax on any savings that grow in excess of their personal allowance (£20,000).

401(k) – An employer-based retirement savings account that offers tax advantages.

Matched betting – Taking advantage of free bets offered by betting sites and “matching” them at a betting exchange. The risk is removed because you are betting both for and against an outcome.

Matched contribution – When an employer contributes the same amount as the account holder to a retirement savings plan.

Mystery shopping – A technique used by market research companies to collect data on products and services.

Online survey – An online questionnaire that qualified participants complete in return for rewards.

Voucher code – A discount code or voucher code is a combination of numbers and letters that can be used online to earn a set discount on a product.

Passive income – A way to generate income after initially registering or signing up with a site without having to do additional work.

Promo code – Promotional codes are numbers and letters used to encourage purchases on websites as part of a marketing strategy.

Product review – A written review on a product or company expressing the opinion and feedback of a customer.

Product testing – Determining how products will perform among a target audience by asking participants to use a product and provide feedback on their experience.

Referral code – A combination of numbers and/or letters used to identify participants in a customer referral program.

TFSAs – Tax-free savings account. A Canadian savings account where contributions, interest earned, dividends, and capital gains grow tax free.



Free money is a confusing concept. In some ways, by taking advantage of tax advantages and interest earned on savings accounts like ISAs, you can earn free money. Also, by maximizing contributions to 401(k) retirement accounts and employer contributions, you can yield significant amounts. However, when it comes to reward programs and cash-back apps, you do have to spend cash to yield rewards.

The secret to cash-back apps, rewards cards, and even participating in surveys and market research is to make sure the activities fit with your lifestyle. You should not spend more time than is feasible signing up, registering, and participating. It may take trying out different things to decide if they’re really worth your time.



What are examples of free money?

Free money is not really free money at all but refers to strategies to make your money work for you. Examples of how to do this are to take advantage of matched contributions to a retirement savings account, where your employer puts in the same amount as you. Another example is using a rewards debit or credit card. These collect points for making purchases and you can then redeem the points for gift vouchers.

Is there any free money which has recently caught people’s attention?

Some popular apps that offer rewards and cash-back benefits are Ibotta, Rakuten, Branded Surveys, and Survey Junkie. Survey Junkie offers rewards for completing market research surveys.

Is there a free money app?

Examples of free money apps are Axos Investing, which gives you a $150 Bonus for opening and keeping an account for 90 days; Revolut, which is a banking app that gives a $10 Bonus for opening an account and using the Revolut card. The Ibotta app and Grocery Cash gives cash back on grocery shopping, and Rakuten, Shopkick, and MyPoints give cash back on shopping.

You May Also Like…