Everyone needs quick cash once in a while. Thankfully, all businesses want more customers — and they’re often willing to pay to acquire them.
That’s why many apps and services offer cash bonuses for signing up, even if signing up is free; companies hope you’ll find their service valuable and stick around.
Most of the time, however, you’re under no obligation to do so — your bonus is yours to keep regardless of whether you become a regular user.
I’ve put together a list of the top bonuses business are offering right now. Everything on this list is free to sign up for.
Give a few of these apps and services a try. It’s not steady income, but it sure can help if you need money today.
Investment Account Bonuses
Financial institutions are known for offering some of the most generous sign-up bonuses around. Right now, investment apps have some of the best offers in this space.
Here are three companies right now offering very generous sign-up bonuses for new users.
What you get: Two free shares of stock (up to $1,650 value).
Webull is a free online investment platform that gives users access to zero-commission stock trades as well as a bevy of advanced research and technical tools.
Requirements: None — you can sell your shares and cash-out any time you wish with no fees or penalties.
Payment method: ACH transfer to your bank account.
- There’s no obligation to use the platform or keep your funds in your account.
- Offers a ton of useful features if you’re interested in online trading.
- Webull offers tempting, but potentially dangerous, investment products, such as margin accounts and short selling.
- The user interface has so many features it can be overwhelming for new investors.
- Read our in-depth review to learn more about everything the platform has to offer.
#2. Acorns (With Swagbucks Hack)
Acorns is one of the most popular investing apps, with over 500,000 reviews on the App Store.
Currently, Acorns offers new users a $10 sign-up bonus for linking an account.
But aside from that generous $10 sign-up bonus, its best feature is that you can invest spare change automatically. So, if you spend $4.25 at Starbucks, Acorns will set aside 75 cents to invest (the deposit is made once your spare change reaches $5.00).
But don’t head over to Acorns just yet.
First, sign up for the popular rewards site Swagbucks (more on them below). Once signed up, do a search for Acorns in the search bar. You’ll find an offer for 13,500 in “Swagbucks” (which is what the site calls its rewards points) for signing up through their site. See the photo below.
Valued at 1 cent each, this is a nice trick for earning an extra $13.50 for a minute or two of your time. You can cash out your Swagbucks for a PayPal gift card after seven days.
If Acorns isn’t for you, make sure to cancel your account, as there is a monthly fee (starting at $1).
Payment method: ACH transfer to your bank account from Acorns. Use your Swagbucks points to purchase a PayPal gift card.
- Acorns’ spare change feature can help you build your investment account.
- A fee of $1 per month (and up to $3) is charged for keeping your Acorns account open, which can eat up your investment returns if your account balance is small.
- Next time you shop online, use Swagbucks Shop to get an additional 10,000 Swagbucks (valued at $10).
What you get: One free share of stock (valued up to $200).
Robinhood offers new users a free share of stock worth up to $200.
You’ll have to sign up and get approved for a new account. Then, you’re required to hold the stock for at least three trading days before you can sell it and cash out.
The value of your stock is random, with the majority of users reporting a stock valued at around $10 or so. At the same time, it’s not unheard of to hit the jackpot and get a stock that’s valued at over $100.
- Robinhood doesn’t charge an account fee.
- A lucky few people get stocks worth over $100.
- Must wait three days before selling your share.
- Once your Robinhood account is approved, sign up for their referral program. For every person who signs up, you’ll each get a free share of stock.
More Options: Here’s a complete list of sites that will give you free stock for signing up.
Survey Sites That Offer Bonuses
Survey sites are a popular way to earn extra income from home. Most sites offer a small sign-up bonus. However, one downside is that many sites have a minimum withdrawal amount. That means you might not actually have access to your bonus unless you continue using the service.
That’s why the best sites are the ones that give you the ability to earn money in a variety of different ways. This allows you to hit the minimum cash-out threshold much more quickly than by only completing surveys.
Here are the top sites to consider.
Promo bonus: $10
Swagbucks is one of the most respected players in the online survey industry, with over $400 million paid out in rewards. In addition to surveys, you can earn money by playing games, watching videos, shopping (both online and in-store) and completing an array of other tasks.
Cash-back shopping is typically the best way to make money with Swagbucks, which offers both online and in-store cash-back deals. Just remember to only spend money on what you were going to buy anyway.
They also have a large inventory of surveys to complete, which are updated daily.
- To qualify for the $10 bonus, you have to use this link and spend $25 via the shopping portal within the first 30 days of membership.
- You can also get a $5 bonus if you sign with with this link and earn 2,500 SBs within the first 60 days of membership — a better option if you don’t do much online shopping.
Payment method: Redeem your points for gift cards, including PayPal cash and prepaid Visa cards.
- Solid $10 sign-up bonus, which is high among survey sites.
- No minimum withdrawal amount.
- Multiple ways to earn.
- You won’t qualify for every survey you attempt.
- Check out our in-depth review of Swagbucks.
Promo bonus: $10
MyPoints is another top money making app. Interestingly, it’s owned by Swagbucks.
You can make money on MyPoints by completing surveys, watching ads and even printing coupons (you’re paid 10 cents for printing the coupon, and then once again for using it). So, you can save money on your grocery bill plus earn a few bucks for using the coupons.
Requirements: Must make a purchase of at least $20 via the online shopping portal within the first 30 days of membership.
Payment method: Earn cash through PayPal, or exchange your points for gift cards and/or travel miles.
- You only have to take five surveys to get the $5 bonus.
- Low minimum payout of $10.
- Variety of ways to earn, including surveys, videos, reading emails and printing coupons.
- It can take time to earn enough to meet the minimum withdrawal amount through surveys and videos.
- It’s worth checking for high-paying surveys, but your focus should be on using the paid coupons (which you can stack with other apps, like Ibotta).
Promo bonus: $5
InboxDollars has paid out over $59 million so far, and has a 4.1/5 rating from 96,000+ reviews on the App Store.
For new users, InboxDollars offers a $5 welcome bonus.
Here’s how it works:
- Sign up for InboxDollars.
- Click the activation link in your email.
- $5 will be deposited into your InboxDollars account.
You need to accumulate a minimum of $30 in your account before you can request payment.
Another unique feature of InboxDollars is “Search and Earn,” which allows you to earn money by searching the web. How it works is you make InboxDollars your default search engine. Then, just search the web as you normally would.
It’s admittedly a small source of funds (the amount you can earn each day is limited), but it’s still a legit way to generate passive income with your smartphone.
Requirements: Must earn $30 before being paid.
Payment method: Gift cards (including Visa), or a paper check.
- Sign-up bonus is earned after clicking the activation link in your email.
- Variety of ways to earn, including surveys, sweepstakes, reading emails and more.
- Doesn’t pay through PayPal (but you do have the option to choose a Visa gift card).
- Payments take 10 to 16 days to process.
- See our complete review of InboxDollars to learn how to best use the site.
Cash-Back Sites and Apps With a Bonus
Cash-back sites and coupon apps are two fast-growing markets, and companies in these spaces are competing aggressively for new customers. As a result, many offer lucrative sign-up and referral bonuses.
Here are the top three sites to get started on.
#1. Rakuten (Formally Ebates)
Rakuten is one of the top cash-back sites and a reader favorite.
To get the $10 bonus, sign up through this link with your email address. Then, make a $25 online purchase (which can be from any of their hundreds of partnered stores, including Amazon) within 90 days.
Rakuten also has one of the most generous referral programs around. You’ll earn a $25 bonus for referring just one friend (this could be your spouse, sibling or parent). Since you’ll both save, it’s an easy win for each of you.
Requirements: Make a $25 purchase through Rakuten within 90 days.
Payment method: PayPal cash or a paper check.
- Rakuten is known for consistently offering some of the highest cash-back rates for online shopping.
- A very generous referral program that pays $25 per person.
- If you’re not referring friends, you’ll have to spend money to make money.
- Rakuten pays quarterly, so you’ll have to wait to get your earnings.
- Read our Rakuten review to learn how to make the most of your time on the site.
Ibotta is one of the top coupon apps for both iPhone and Android. It started as a grocery coupon app. You’d take a picture of your receipt and scan the product barcode to earn money. However, the service is quickly expanding beyond grocery stores, and now offers both retail and online cash-back.
To get the $10 bonus, sign up through this link. Then, redeem your first rebate within seven days of registration.
Since you’re likely buying groceries anyway, this is a great app to get started with.
Requirements: Accumulate $20 in your account.
Payment method: PayPal, Venmo, or gift cards.
- Paid instantly through PayPal or Venmo as soon as your balance hits $20.
- The window for earning the bonus is just seven days.
- For more tips, check out our review of Ibotta.
BeFrugal is very similar to Rakuten. Using the service, you can earn up to 30% cash-back from 4,000+ stores. Along with offering a $10 sign-up bonus, there’s a generous $15 referral bonus.
Requirements: The minimum cash-out amount varies depending on payment method.
Payment method: PayPal, gift cards and direct deposit.
- Quicker and more frequent payouts than Rakuten.
- May offer high cash-back rates in some categories.
- Generous referral program.
- Have to spend money to make money (when not referring friends).
- Check out our BeFrugal review for more tips on earning.
Paid Signup Sites – Final Thoughts
Taking advantage of the offers on this list is a great way to make personal finance fun. After all, there’s nothing quite like the feeling of getting free money — especially when you’re on a tight budget.
But it should go without saying that you’ll never pay your rent with these types of deals. Well, unless you get lucky and hit that $1,400 Webull jackpot, that is…
At the same time, I think they’re valuable because they can help you build your money-making muscle.
It can be hard to make progress on your financial goals when you’re struggling just to make ends meet, and it can feel like there aren’t any good options for improving your situation.
But the reality is that today, there are more ways to make and save money than at any time in history. You just have to know how to leverage them. And sometimes, getting started is the hardest part.
That’s where offers like these come in: they’re small wins that can take some budget stress off of your shoulders or boost your spirits with a little extra spending money, which can in turn help you focus on the next step in your financial journey.