Free PayPal money sounds nice, but are there actually safe and legitimate ways to get it?
It depends on your definition of “free.”
No company will send you free PayPal money instantly just to be nice. But many will pay you for doing things like downloading an app, testing a service, taking a picture of a grocery receipt or scanning product barcodes.
And while you’ll never get rich completing these small tasks, you can earn a surprising amount of money with little effort.
In fact, in testing out one strategy (see #2: Swagbucks Money Makers in the list below), we earned $240 in less than an hour.
Here are the tactics you’ll learn about in this post.
- Cash out $5 with Survey Junkie
- Swagbucks Money Makers
- Get $20 in PayPal cash with Ibotta’s welcome bonus
- Get $10 for referring a friend to PayPal
- Complete surveys with PrizeRebel
- InboxDollars offers and cash-back shopping
- Earn a quick buck with Grindabuck
- Earn $6.50 per hour taking surveys with Prolific
- Cash-back shopping with Rakuten
- Earn up to $30 per hour testing websites and apps
PayPal cash is just one of the many free money opportunities. You can now get free stocks, gift cards, crypto and cash. See the complete list of strategies in: How To Get Free Money.
#1. Cash Out $5 with Survey Junkie
A trusted survey company that allows you to exchange points for PayPal cash starting at just $5. Possible to cash out today.
If you’re looking for ways to get free PayPal cash fast, taking paid surveys through Survey Junkie is our top choice.
When we ranked the best survey websites, Survey Junkie was one of the best options by far.
And since most of the surveys on the site are quick and easy, it’s a great option for people who only have a few minutes throughout the day.
You can learn more about how the site works in our Survey Junkie review.
Survey Junkie tips:
- When viewing the list of available surveys, you can see both the payout and the estimated time required to complete the survey. The ones with the highest payouts may not be the best options. A survey that pays 100 points and takes five minutes is a better deal than one that pays 500 points but takes 45 minutes.
- Check the site for new surveys on a regular basis. Survey Junkie has a ton of members, and each survey has a maximum number of participants. Acting quickly means you’re more likely to have access to the highest-paying surveys.
Payment methods: Survey Junkie pays via PayPal deposit, gift cards or direct transfer to your bank account. Your PayPal account must be fully verified to cash out from Survey Junkie to your PayPal balance.
Minimum withdrawal amount: 500 points, which is roughly $5 in value.
Time to get paid: Survey Junkie is one of the few sites that offers instant points redemption, making it one of the best options when you need to make money quickly. In some cases, Survey Junkie requires account verification over the phone prior to payout.
#2. Swagbucks Money Makers
Swagbucks, one of the largest reward sites, has dozens of ways to earn. Our favorite (and the best use of your time) is Swagbucks Money Makers. Here you’ll find some of the best available free money opportunities. While you can earn big, there is often a 30 to 60 day waiting period for points to hit your account.
Swagbucks is a popular rewards and cash-back site that offers a number of ways to earn free PayPal money, including watching short videos, searching the web, answering surveys and getting rebates through its cash-back shopping portal.
In fact, there are over 20 different ways to earn points on the site. And to date, the company has paid out over $500 million in rewards to its members.
The points you earn are redeemable for a PayPal deposit or gift cards, and you can get a $10 sign-up bonus when you join using this link.
- Check out our list of best Swagbucks hacks to learn what’s worth your time on the platform.
- For a deep dive into how the site works, check out our Swagbucks review.
- Earn bonus points for hitting weekly and monthly activity goals. In the app, you’ll see a meter showing your progress towards your daily goal as well as your seven, 14, 21 and 31-day targets. You can earn hundreds of extra points per month through consistent usage.
Payment methods: Swagbucks allows you to redeem your points in a few different ways. You can choose to receive a PayPal deposit, select an e-gift card from dozens of major retailers, or use your points to enter “Swagstakes,” which are sweepstakes for items like computers, video game consoles and gift cards.
Minimum withdrawal amount: Swagbucks has no minimum withdrawal amount, although most gift cards start at $3 (300 points). PayPal deposits are usually available in the amounts of $5, $10, $25, $50, $100 and $250.
Also, it’s important to note that Swagbucks will only deposit funds into a PayPal account with the same email address as your Swagbucks account.
Time to get paid: You’ll have to verify your account, which can take anywhere from one to 10 days. Once you’re verified, it usually takes about two days to receive your rewards.
#3. Get $20 in PayPal Cash with Ibotta’s Welcome Bonus
One of the largest coupon apps, Ibotta has an easy-to-earn $20 welcome bonus for new members. Active users can earn $10 to $20 more per month with about 30 minutes of total usage.
Ibotta is a free cash-back app that rewards you for your grocery store purchases. All you have to do is browse the app before you go shopping and then click to “add” the offers you want to take advantage of.
You can think of it like clipping digital coupons, with the savings sent to your PayPal balance.
When you get home from the store, simply upload a picture of your receipt and scan the product barcodes directly through the app. The cash-back bonus will appear in your Ibotta account.
You can also link certain store loyalty cards to your account and skip the receipt submission process.
New users get a $20 welcome bonus for completing the following three activities:
- Step #1: Get a $10 welcome bonus for redeeming an in-store offer.
- Step #2: Get a $5 welcome bonus for redeeming a mobile shopping offer.
- Step #3: Get another $5 welcome bonus for redeeming either an in-store or mobile shopping offer.
- If you link your Facebook account to Ibotta, you can earn teamwork bonuses with your friends by redeeming a certain number of offers.
- Ibotta frequently offers “any item” and “any brand” bonuses, so make sure to check the app before you shop, even if you’re just grabbing a few items. You can often get cash-back on things like bread, milk and eggs.
Payment methods: You can choose a PayPal deposit, a transfer into your Venmo account, or a free gift card.
Minimum withdrawal amount: $20, although some gift card options start at $25.
Time to get paid: Most users receive their free PayPal cash within two hours, though Ibotta notes that it sometimes takes up to 24 hours. The challenge then becomes how quickly you can earn the welcome bonus in order to hit the relatively high minimum payout.
You can learn more about how the app works in our Ibotta review.
#4. Get $10 for Referring a Friend to PayPal
You can earn $10 directly from PayPal by sending just 1 cent to a friend that doesn’t have an account. In total, you can refer up to five friends, earning a maximum of $50 in free PayPal money.
In order to receive the referral bonus, your friend will have to link a bank account or credit/debit card to their newly-created free PayPal account. In addition, they’ll need to spend at least $5 via the account.
Payment methods: Money is added to your PayPal balance.
Minimum withdrawal amount: No minimum.
Time to get paid: Usually within 24 hours, but sometimes as long as two weeks.
#5. Complete Surveys with PrizeRebel
One of the better survey sites. Also allows you to earn points with third-party offers. $2 minimum withdrawal with PayPal.
PrizeRebel is a free site that pays you to complete online surveys. You can sign up in less than 10 seconds, start completing surveys immediately, and earn points that are redeemable for PayPal cash.
- While almost every survey website offers a referral bonus, PrizeRebel’s is huge by comparison. You’ll get 15% to 30% of your referrals’ lifetime earnings, depending on your account level.
- You can earn extra points by completing daily goals.
Payment methods: Get paid via PayPal, via gift cards to many of your favorite stores, through a direct deposit to your bank, or in Bitcoin.
Minimum withdrawal amount: There is no minimum withdrawal amount, and some gift cards are available in increments as low as $5. You can also withdraw your earnings as Bitcoin starting at $5.
Time to get paid: Most users receive their rewards within 24 hours of redemption. “Gold users,” who have achieved a higher status on the site through consistent activity, get their rewards within 10 minutes.
#6. InboxDollars Offers & Cash-Back Shopping
Another popular general rewards site with a number of ways to earn. Our favorites are third-party offers, cash-back shopping and surveys. Has a $5 welcome bonus but a minimum $30 cash-out requirement.
InboxDollars is owned and operated by the same company that runs Swagbucks. That’s not surprising given the similarity between the two sites: just like Swagbucks, InboxDollars gives you a number of ways to earn extra cash, from taking surveys to playing web-based games and more.
The primary difference between the two sites is their ease of use. Swagbucks is a colossal site with dozens of ways to make money, different goals to hit, challenges to meet and a multitude of redemption options.
InboxDollars is simpler and easier to navigate, has a more streamlined selection of offerings, and clearly shows a cash payout amount (rather than points) for every survey on the site.
Similar to Swagbucks, the fastest way to earn is through offers. Often these require just a few minutes of your time and pay well. As an example, Stash, a popular investment app, pays out $30 after you’ve made a $5 deposit (as shown in the screenshot below).
Learn more in our in-depth InboxDollars review.
- Surveys are your best bet for making real money on the site. For many activities, you’ll earn credit towards the site’s “Scratch & Win” game (which is a virtual scratch-off ticket) rather than a set dollar amount. As we demonstrate in our review, the Scratch & Win payouts tend to be very small and are not worth focusing on.
- If you go 10 days without logging into your account or responding to at least one paid email, InboxDollars may deactivate your account and you may lose any money you’ve accumulated up until that point.
Payment methods: You can request a PayPal payment, choose from their selection of free gift cards, or opt for payment via paper check.
Minimum withdrawal amount: $30, regardless of which payout method you choose.
Time to get paid: After you request your cash, it may take up to 16 days for InboxDollars to process your payment.
#7. Earn a Quick Buck with Grindabuck
General rewards site in the same category as Swagbucks and InboxDollars. Offers tend to be not as great as the above-mentioned sites, but friendly cash-out terms (starting at just $10 for first withdrawal) make it easy to earn.
Grindabuck offers 15 different ways to make extra cash from home. You can watch videos, review ads, take surveys, try new products, complete micro-tasks and more.
Once you have enough points, you can convert them into PayPal cash.
- Grindabuck offers a small bonus for daily use, so you’ll want to log in consistently. There are also a number of monthly achievement bonuses.
Payment methods: Payouts include PayPal money; Amazon, Walmart and Visa gift cards; and cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, Ethereum and LiteCoin.
Minimum withdrawal amount: There are three “VIP levels” (bronze, silver and gold), and the minimum withdrawal amount ranges from $1 to $10 depending on your level. The first time you withdraw, you’ll need to hit a minimum of $10.
Time to get paid: Once you cash out, you’ll receive your free PayPal money, gift cards or cryptocurrency almost instantly. However, this option only clocks in at #7 on the list because there aren’t as many ways to earn as with the sites above, making it harder to hit the minimum payout.
#8. Earn $6.50 per Hour Taking Surveys with Prolific
A high-paying survey site with a limited number of surveys. Good for checking in once or so a week to see if there are any opportunities, but not as a daily rewards site.
Prolific sends you surveys and studies from top companies and universities, which can be a nice change of pace from some of the other (more generic) survey content offered by other market research firms.
Even better, all of Prolific’s surveys pay a minimum of $6.50 per hour. That’s not a lot, but it’s better than many survey sites.
- Refer your friends, because you’ll earn 10% of their first cash-out.
- Install the Prolific Assistant browser extension to be notified any time a new study is available.
Payment methods: You’ll earn PayPal money for every survey you take, or you can transfer funds to a Circle account (which is another peer-to-peer payment service that’s popular outside of the United States). There’s a small fee when you cash-out to PayPal, but the fee is waived if you transfer $25 or more to Circle.
Minimum withdrawal amount: $6.50.
Time to get paid: After you complete a survey, it’s sent back to the researcher for review. Although he or she will have up to 21 days to approve it, you’ll often get approved in one to three days. If the researcher doesn’t approve the survey within 21 days, Prolific automatically releases the funds. Those funds will be sent to your PayPal account within five business days.
#9. Cash-Back Shopping with Rakuten
Earn cash-back from your online shopping. Known for having some of the highest cash-back rates, but only pays out four times a year.
With Rakuten, you can get up to 40% cash-back at over 2,500 stores.
You don’t have to worry about points or forms — just use Rakuten.com or the Rakuten cash-back app for your online shopping, and you’ll earn rebates on all of your eligible purchases.
Sounds great, but is it legit?
Rakuten may have a funny name, but it’s a huge Japanese company with a long-standing reputation. It’s a must-use service for frequent online shoppers, as it consistently offers some of the best cash-back rates you’ll find and has a hassle-free cash-back tracking and payout system.
- You can stack Rakuten with online discount codes, like the ones found at DontPayFull, which updates its list of offers on a regular basis.
- Make sure to install Rakuten’s browser extension: it will alert you any time you visit a site with a cash-back offer, and it will show you whether that offer has been activated.
Payment methods: PayPal payment or paper check.
Minimum withdrawal amount: You’ll need to have earned at least $5 in cash-back to receive your free PayPal money. Otherwise, your balance will carry over into the next period.
Time to get paid: Rakuten pays every three months. So while it has some of the better cash-back rates online, it’s not a way to earn quick money and will require a little bit of patience.
Learn more in our Rakuten review.
#10. Test Websites and Apps
Give feedback on apps and websites to developers, earning up to $30 per hour. Offers a limited number of opportunities to earn, but is one of the higher paying options when available.
With UserTesting.com, you’ll provide feedback to developers about new websites and applications.
The company is 100% legit, with well-known clients like Walmart and Adobe.
In fact, a recent case example highlighted on the company’s website shows how users helped Adobe fine-tune its latest Creative Cloud tutorials.
The pay is $10 per 20-minutes of testing, and the work is fairly straightforward. You’ll typically watch a short video, visit a website or app, complete a set of simple tasks, and record your feedback via video or audio.
PayPal payments are sent one week after project completion.
Free PayPal Money FAQ
Unfortunately, there’s no way to get free PayPal money instantly. The methods we list in this article are relatively fast and easy, but they’ll still take a little bit of effort and time.
However, Survey Junkie and Grindabuck do allow you to cash-out your rewards or survey earnings instantly, once you’ve accumulated them in your account.
For most people in most situations, the fastest way is through cash-back rewards for online shopping.
Sites like Swagbucks and Rakuten pay between 2% and 40% for purchases at hundreds of major retailers, and most of the time all you have to do is click a link and then shop as you normally would.
If you’re a frequent online shopper, or if you have an expensive purchase on the horizon, this method can produce big results with minimal time investment.
Not directly from PayPal, but there are a number of other sites that pay you for signing up. Often, you can cash out those sign-up bonuses to your PayPal balance. In other cases, you may be able to opt for a free PayPal gift card, even if a direct transfer option isn’t available.
While Sweatcoin does offer PayPal gift cards, you can only qualify for them through referrals — not by actually using the app yourself. You can learn more about Sweatcoin and similar apps in our roundup of apps that pay you to walk.
In 2021, eBay switched to a managed payments system and stopped allowing sellers to receive payments via PayPal. Sellers are now required to link a checking account. And while PayPal accounts do have a routing and checking number, they are not compatible with the new system.
There are too many to list, but avoiding them only takes a little bit of common sense. In a nutshell, if a website asks you to pay a fee to join, it’s a scam.
And while all survey sites ask you for personal demographic details, they should never ask you for specific, sensitive information like your Social Security number.
All of the options we covered in this article are well-known, fully-vetted companies that have a good reputation of paying their members as promised.
Simply put, there is no such thing as a “PayPal money generator” or a “PayPal money adder.” These are scams designed to fleece you out of your money — including whatever funds you have in your PayPal account balance.
Never pay for something that promises to grow your PayPal balance. In addition to losing your money, there’s a high probability you’ll be suspended for invalid PayPal activity. And once you’re suspended, you’ll never be able to use the platform again.
Yes, there are a number. Check out our article on money making apps to learn more.
Free PayPal Money: It’s Real, But It Won’t Make You Rich
Short-term, these ideas are fun and a great way to start seeing some extra money in your PayPal account each month.
And what’s better than free money?
But long-term, there are better strategies for ramping up your income than completing offers and doing paid surveys.
If you’re interested, check out our list of the best side hustle ideas.