Since I know I’ll eventually spend the money on Amazon, an Amazon gift card is pretty much as good as cash these days.
But why would you buy Amazon gift cards when you can get them for free?
Fun fact: You can actually get Amazon gift cards for free from dozens of different companies.
Other fun fact: I actually interviewed at Amazon back in 2005 for a position in gift card marketing. I didn’t get the job, and looking at how things turned out, I’m pretty happy about that. (But those stock options…!?)
But whoever did get that job went crazy with it. Today, Amazon gift cards are everywhere!
In fact, if you Google “free amazon gift cards” you’ll be presented with articles offering as many as 50+ “sneaky”, “easy”, “legit”, and even “lazy” ways to earn them.
(Some of those posts are even written by friends of mine!)
I won’t attempt to compete with those articles. Instead, I’ll share some of the real ways I get free stuff on Amazon on autopilot.
Then, if you choose, you can dive deeper into the “free gift card” rabbit hole.
Wait a minute, you might be saying. Are these gift cards really free?
Yes and no.
You and I have been around long enough to know that few things in life are truly 100% free–and earning Amazon gift cards is no exception.
These won’t cost you any money, but you’ll have to take some action, whether it’s signing up for an account, filling out a survey, or completing some other task.
So what are the best ways to earn free Amazon gift cards?
Let’s take a look!
My favorite rewards card is the Capital One Venture card, which offers “double miles” on all purchases. You can trade in your miles for statement credits, gift cards, or travel purchases.
When you redeem your miles for a statement credit, it takes 2000 miles to knock $10 off your statement. But when you redeem them for a $10 Amazon gift card, it only takes 1250 miles–a 60% better value.
Capital One is currently offering a 50,000 mile sign-up bonus (worth $400 in free Amazon gift cards) after you spend $3000 in the first 3 months. That’s the equivalent of 13% cash back on your spending!
The $95 annual fee is free for the first year.
Click here to learn more about this card and others.
The Venture card has been our “daily driver” for years and that’s added up to hundreds of dollars worth of free Amazon purchases.
Related: Credit Card Rewards 101: How to Earn Free Cash and Travel by Spending Smarter
The Drop App is one of my favorite ways to turn everyday purchases into free Amazon gift cards.
How Drop works: pick the top 5 brands you spend at the most, and you’ll earn Drop points every time you shop there.
I’m talking stocking up on groceries at Trader Joe’s or Safeway, taking an Uber to your next meeting, or filling up on gas at 7-Eleven. The brands available on Drop were chosen to suit your unique lifestyle, so you can get rewarded just about anywhere you decide to spend your hard-earned dollars.
It essentially adds up to around an extra 1%-ish cash back, but it’s super passive.
Once your account’s all set up, you’ll begin to earn points automatically, which you can cash in for gift cards directly in the app to brands like Starbucks, Amazon, UberEats, and MANY more.
I’ve been a member since late 2017 and have earned several free $10 Amazon gift cards!
Click here to get the app and link your card.
With RebateKey, you skip the gift card entirely and just get Amazon purchases for free or deeply discounted.
They actually have 30+ retailers, not just Amazon, but I’ve only used it with Amazon so far. Just enter your rebate key–your order ID–after purchases and you’ll receive a reimbursement check after 35 days.
(I was skeptical too, but it actually worked!)
It’s a little weird, but companies offer to refund a portion of your purchase on certain products — up to 100% — when you buy through RebateKey.
What’s in it for them, I wondered?
Well, they’re building sales proof on platforms like Amazon, gathering user feedback, and collecting emails. I tested it out and sure enough, a month later, I had a check for the full amount of my $21.95 purchase.
Pretty crazy, but definitely worth checking out to see if they have any products you’re in the market for.
Signing up for these services won’t get you free Amazon money right away, but they’ll give your account a little head start to the lowest reward threshold.
The free Ibotta app helps you earn cash back on the shopping you’re already doing. Use the app to find offers and claim them by snapping a picture of your receipt.
They’ll give you a $10 sign-up bonus to get started.
Inside my actual account:
After you earn $20, you can start loading those funds to an Amazon gift card. (Or deposit to PayPal or Venmo.)
Want an online shopping portal that can earn you an average of 5% cash back on all your online purchases?
Tons of online retailers are available on Ebates, including eBay, Kohls, Walmart, and Amazon. I used the site to get $165 back on my new Dell laptop!
Sign up through my referral link for a $10 bonus right off the bat.
Then transfer those funds to an Amazon gift card once you hit the $20 minimum.
Swagbucks – You can earn up to $35 a survey and get a $10 bonus just for signing up! Then flip those earnings for an Amazon gift card.
Inbox Dollars – This company has paid out over $50 million to members. Get a $5 bonus just for signing up!
PointClub – This is one of the newer online survey sites. Just sign up, take surveys, and earn points. Then use those points to get free Amazon gift cards. You can earn a $5 bonus just for signing up.
Now we’re getting into some options that require a little more time and effort. I’ll caution that the effective hourly rate from these probably won’t be anything to write home about.
Prize Rebel – Earn $10-12 an hour doing surveys or completing other tasks. Just avoid the low-paying ones. I warn you though; Prize Rebel can be pretty addicting. I’ve earned a few hundred dollars worth of free Amazon gift cards through the site.
Ipsos i-Say – The survey arm of one of the nation’s largest research firms.
Amazon’s Trade-In Program – Have old cell phones, video games, books, etc. to sell? Use Amazon’s trade-in program to earn credit on Amazon.
I should note that you can get more money selling them yourself, but Amazon offers a simple, painless process. You don’t even have to pay for shipping.
Survey Junkie – Earn up to $50 a survey and cash out via gift cards or PayPal.
Shopkick – Earn rewards points just for walking into a store with Shopkicks!
Other ways to earn points (called “kicks”) include shopping with a linked card, scanning barcodes on selected products, viewing online products, watching videos, and visiting online stores.
Redeem your kicks for free Amazon gift cards. There’s got to be some level of irony for earning Amazon currency for walking into brick and mortar stores, right?
Download the app on iOS or Android to test it out for yourself.
Mechanical Turk – Earn a small fee ($0.01 to $3) for each micro task you complete. Over the last couple of years, Mike Naab earned over $21,000 in his spare time completing surveys and other small jobs on the mturk platform. I don’t know if this is worth your time, but it’s clearly worked out for him!
AppNana – Like playing games and checking out new apps? AppNana gives you rewards points for doing just that! Redeem those points for Amazon gift cards.
Receipt Hog – Scan your receipts and earn bonus coins with Receipt Hog. Then exchange those coins for free Amazon gift cards.
CoinOut – First seen on Shark Tank, CoinOut rewards you for shopping online as well as scanning receipts. Your rewards can be flipped for Amazon gift cards.
All of the ways mentioned above do pay out free Amazon gift cards, but are they really free?
They are in the sense that you don’t pay money for them.
However, there is time involved in taking surveys, shopping online, scanning receipts, playing games, and tracking your rewards.
(That’s why I prefer the more passive methods from the very top.)
Even though these are simple tasks that anyone can do, you’ll have to ask yourself if it’s really worth your time. If what you’re really after is extra money to spend on Amazon, there are probably more effective ways to earn it.
Have you ever heard of the term “opportunity cost”? It’s an economics term and basically means the value of what you had to give up in order to pursue something else.
What’s your opportunity cost to pursuing free Amazon gift cards? In other words, what else could you be doing with that time?
This site is filled with side hustle ideas!
Here a few with low barrier-to-entry and low startup costs.
Unlike the online survey sites and apps above, Respondent facilitates one-on-one consumer research studies and focus groups. And with an average payout of $140 an hour, it’s by far the best paying online survey outfit I’ve found.
Notary certification is granted by the state and the cost is generally less than $100.
Once you’re certified, you can charge your own fee to notarize documents, or become a loan signing agent like Brian did and make $1500-2000 a month overseeing mortgage signings in your spare time.
Virtual assistants provide administrative support to clients from their home office. If that sounds like a fun side hustle you can set up shop on your own or jump on board with an established VA company.
To learn more about starting your own virtual assistant company, check out the free video training from my friend Abbey Ashley, who started her VA business on the side and shares:
Abbey started out at $20-30 an hour, and ultimately grew her business to $75 an hour and up for specialized services.
If you’re free mornings, nights, or weekends, you can earn extra cash driving your fellow citizens around.
Sign up with Lyft (currently offering a $1000 first-month guarantee) or Uber to get started.
Did you know? Both companies offer “Destination Mode”, which basically allows you to earn money on your regular morning and evening commute by telling the app which direction you’re headed and only accepting riders along your route.
And if you don’t like the idea of strangers in your car, you might consider a delivery service. With services like UberEATS and Door Dash you can earn money on your own schedule delivering take-out orders in your town.
Buy low, sell high. That’s the name of the game, and surprisingly, there’s profit to be had all over the place!
Jessica Larrew and her husband Cliff have sold more than $1 million worth of stuff on Amazon, mostly sourced from local retail stores.
The payoff in starting a blog or online business is longer, but over time can be far greater than many of the ways to earn a few free bucks on Amazon listed above.
If you’re willing to toil away doing surveys or watching videos, what if instead you invested that time into building an asset of your own?
I have a free course on how to start a blog, but the work you put out into the world could be a podcast, a YouTube channel, or even a helpful Instagram account.
What do people already ask you for help with? What challenges or obstacles have you overcome in your own life? Use those to come up with ideas and get started building your platform.
Take time to analyze your situation.
Does it make sense to pursue rewards programs to earn free Amazon gift cards? Or does it make more sense to invest in yourself to earn some money on the side doing something you already know?
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Stock photos by Dean Drobot and 9dream studio via Shutterstock
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