Make Money

27 Apps That Give You Gift Cards (No Surveys!)

Apps That Give You Gift Cards
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Many money-making apps and websites pay in gift cards rather than cash. The most common of these are paid survey platforms, but there are plenty of alternatives if surveys aren’t the type of opportunity you’re looking for.

  • Gaming apps: These apps pay you for playing games on your phone. The payouts aren’t huge and they can take a while to earn.
  • Passive earning apps: Most of these apps gather your data while you browse or shop online. Some run in the background and require no action from you.
  • Receipt scanning apps: Market research companies will pay you in gift cards for info on your shopping patterns.
  • Shopping apps: Earn 2-10% of your purchase price in gift cards by using a cash-back shopping app. 
  • Online task apps: These rewards apps allow you to earn gift cards by completing an array of small tasks, like watching videos, taking photos of products on store shelves and more.

Gaming Apps

If you play games on your phone while waiting at the doctor’s office or standing in line, why not get paid at the same time? A few game apps pay in cash via PayPal, but even more pay you in gift cards. 

Some gaming apps make their money from ads and in-app purchases, while others are essentially gambling games that give you a chance to win money if you’re willing to pay to play.

Here are some of the best options in both categories.

  • Blackout Bingo: Most of your winnings come from putting your own money on the line in games against other players, but there is a free mode that pays in gift cards (though it takes a painfully long time to cash out).
  • Rewarded Play: This app rewards you with an Amazon gift card for downloading and playing other app games. Game options include Scrabble, solitaire, merge-style games and more. Rewarded Play is only available for Android devices.
  • Mistplay: Similar to Rewarded Play, Mistplay hosts other games in a variety of genres and rewards you for activities in those games. Unlike some apps that only offer retail gift cards, Mistplay has PayPal and Visa gift cards. Mistplay is only available for Android devices. 
  • Solitaire Cube: This app lets you earn money competing in solitaire games against others. There is one bracket that requires only free in-app currency to enter, but you’ll be playing for years (literally) to earn enough for a gift card. You can earn faster by putting your own cash on the line, but there is a chance you’ll lose money.

Cash tournaments are available in most of the world. Cash tournaments are not enabled in the following states: AR, CT, DE, IN, LA, ME, and SD. If you don’t live in a prize-enabled region, you can still play for free.

Passive Earning Apps

These apps gather data while you perform normal, daily online activities, such as browsing the web or shopping on your phone. The data they collect is anonymous, and they reward you for it with gift cards.

  • Fulldive Browser: An alternative to traditional browsers like Chrome and Safari, Fulldive gives you “coins” for browsing the web, which you can redeem for gift cards or cryptocurrency. You can also donate your coins to charities. 
  • Microsoft Rewards: Use Bing as your search engine to earn points. This works as a mobile app and web extension. If you’re a gamer, linking your Xbox account to Microsoft Rewards can earn you points by playing Xbox games. 
  • MobileXpression (iOS | Android): This app runs in the background of your smartphone, collecting anonymous data about your online activity. They sell it to market research companies and reward you with gift cards.
  • Nielsen Computer and Mobile Panel: Nielsen has been around since 1923 collecting TV viewing data, but now they also pay you to monitor your browsing and shopping activity in order to improve products, services, and programming. There’s no special portal or browser to use; you just set it, forget it, and earn up to $50 in rewards each year. Learn more in our NCMP review.
  • Rewards by Foursquare: You’ll get the most out of this app by filling out surveys, but you can also earn about 7 cents per day by allowing the app to run in the background and track your GPS location. You can boost your earnings by inviting others to use the app, as you’ll get 10% of their points added to yours.
  • S’more: Earn gift cards by allowing ads to show on the lockscreen of your Android device. The minimum withdrawal amount is $1 and you also have the option to cash out via PayPal. (This is one of a handful of ways to make money from your lockscreen.)

Receipt Scanning Apps

Data is extraordinarily valuable to marketing, advertising and product development firms, as well as retailers, and they will pay you in gift cards to collect it for them. This is as simple as scanning your register receipts. Sometimes you have to purchase specific items, but often any receipt will work. 

For maximum earnings, stack these apps to earn more points for the same purchase.

  • Checkout 51: Claim coupons in the app, then upload your receipt once you’ve purchased the items to earn gift cards. The dollar value for these uploads are fairly high — usually between $1 and $2 — so your rewards can add up quickly. Many of Checkout 51’s offers are good at multiple stores.
  • Ibotta: Claim discounts within the app, buy the specified items, and then scan your receipts. You can also earn points on online grocery purchases at select retailers. You can cash-out via bank account, PayPal or a gift card once you reach $20 of rewards. Learn more in our Ibotta review.
  • Fetch Rewards: The biggest advantage to Fetch Rewards is that there’s no need to pick a product ahead of time — you’re rewarded for any receipt you upload. You can earn additional rewards for purchasing sponsored brands and products. The minimum withdrawal is only $3. Learn more in our Fetch Rewards review.
  • Receipt Hog: Receipt Hog pays you for all receipts, regardless of retailer. Rewards are based on how much you spend, with a maximum of 20 “coins” for a receipt totaling over $100. Their payouts are low, however, as you have to spend at least $5,000 to earn enough coins for a $5 gift card.
  • Receipt Pal: Receipt Pal rewards you with gift cards for scanning receipts from any merchant — even car dealerships! If you don’t want to scan receipts, you can link your Amazon account and earn points automatically.

Shopping Apps

Earning gift cards through online shopping apps is easy because there are no receipts to scan. Some of these can be stacked, though not all of them work together. 

  • Capital One Shopping: A desktop browser extension and mobile app that helps you find better deals when you’re shopping online. It compares the prices on the items you’re browsing with those of other retailers, and searches for coupon codes and promotions. Whether or not you find a discount, you earn points towards gift cards when you make a purchase. Learn more in our Capital One Shopping review.
  • Drop Rewards: Offers a standard cash-back shopping portal (open the app, search for a merchant, then click through to their website), but it also allows for passive earning by linking your payment cards and using them to check out at select retailers.
  • Upside: This app relieves some of the pain at the pump by giving you cash-back on gas. Use the map to claim your discount at a particular gas station, give the first six and last four digits of your credit card to identify the transaction, and the cash shows up in your account a few days later. Learn more in our Upside app review.
  • Honey: This browser extension automatically searches for coupons and promo codes and applies them when you shop online. You can also earn points for gift cards when making purchases at participating retailers. Plus, you can add items you’re considering for purchase to your Droplist and get notified when the price decreases. Learn more in our Honey app review.
  • Mobee: Mobee moves the process of finding, signing up for, and completing mystery shopping jobs into one convenient app. Mystery shops require you to go to a specific store, purchase a designated item and upload a picture of your receipt. Most missions are short and reward you with 500 to 900 points, which translates to a $5 to $9 gift card. 
  • Shopkick: Shopkick falls somewhere between a receipt scanning app and a mystery shopping app. It assigns you tasks to find specific items in a store, then scan the barcode, and watch a video about the product. You don’t need to buy the item to earn “kicks” (Shopkick’s version of points). Link a credit/debit card to your Shopkicks account or shop through their online portal for additional kicks. Learn more in our Shopkick review.  
  • Swagbucks: While people often associate Swagbucks with surveys, one of the most lucrative ways to make money on the site is by shopping through the online portal. Earn a percentage in cash-back from your purchases in points, which can be redeemed for gift cards. Swagbucks offers some of the best cash-back rates out there, along with generous bonuses and occasional promotions. 

Online Task Apps

These apps host a grab bag of “get-paid-to” activities. Earn points by watching videos, downloading other apps, trying out subscription services and more. 

  • appKarma: Most of the online tasks you’ll do in appKarma consist of downloading and playing online games, but you can also watch videos, invite others to download the app, or do virtual scratch cards to earn rewards.
  • iRazoo: Earn rewards for activities like watching videos, completing offers to try a service or subscription, playing games, and using the iRazoo search engine. You can earn bonus points for meeting your daily point goal, as well as through promo codes (which iRazoo releases on Facebook and Twitter).
  • InboxDollars: With InboxDollars, you receive up to four emails a day in exchange for scratch-and-win cards (these usually earn you a few cents). You can also print coupons, watch videos, complete offers and play games. This app requires a little more commitment than most: accounts are closed after 10 days of inactivity, and there’s a high minimum payout of $30. Learn more in our InboxDollars review.
  • MyPoints: This app gives you a daily to-do list to earn points. Earn by completing activities like participating in a daily poll, printing coupons, selecting items to buy and submitting a photo of the receipt, using their search bar, and playing MyPoints Bingo. Learn more in our MyPoints review.
  • PrizeRebel: Mainly a survey app, Prize Rebel has alternative ways to earn gift cards, such as completing tasks from the offer wall, winning raffles, participating in contests, entering jackpots and getting referrals. Learn more in our PrizeRebel review.

Apps That Give You Gift Cards: Final Thoughts

If none of these apps seem like what you’re looking for, there are still more ways to earn free gift cards from the retailers you love. Additionally, the web is chock full of legitimate sites that will pay you to sign up for their services, try out their game, or even just browse the web.

Jenni Sisson
Jenni Sisson is a freelance writer and editor focused on personal finance, technology and entrepreneurship. A serial side hustler, Sisson has started businesses selling maple syrup, teaching piano lessons, transcribing medical records, selling on eBay, mystery shopping and more. You can read more of her work on her blog, Family Size Finance.

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