Boost Your Savings With Free Money: How I Made $1500 In 8-Weeks
Would you like $1500 in free money?
Of course! It’s a great way to attack critical financial goals like increasing your emergency savings.
Lucky for us, we live in the information age! Companies want feedback and use reward programs to get your input.
You just have to know where to look! In fact, this has become one of my favorite side hustles.
I was recently interviewed by NBC in Los Angeles for a story on InboxDollars, one of the most lucrative ways of earning free money online. Since the pandemic, I’ve been using it and a few other programs to replenish my emergency savings.
Being interviewed got me thinking about how hard it feels these days to save money. But I bet $1500 in free money would supercharge your plans.
Not only is it possible, but it’s actually pretty easy! This must-read article details how I earned $1500 in free money in only 8-weeks using mainly cash-back rewards and offers from InboxDollars, Rakuten, and Fetch Rewards.
Disclaimer: This page contains affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. However, I only recommend products, services, and companies I have had experience with and that I believe will be valuable to my readers. I appreciate you using these links as they allow me to run this blog and provide free content to my readers. Read the complete disclaimer.
Week 1 - Sign Up With Cash-Back Rewards Programs
I began my quest for free money by signing up with three of the best online cash-back rewards programs.
First was InboxDollars, which was my primary hub for earning money online. Then Rakuten for cash-back shopping and Fetch Rewards for scanning receipts.
I’ve used many reward programs over the years. But these are my favorite because they are free, easy to set up, convenient to use, and offer great rewards.
Earn More Dollars With InboxDollars
I’m a massive fan of InboxDollars! It’s become my go-to online rewards program because of how many ways there are to earn rewards.
In fact, according to InboxDollars, they’ve already paid their users over $80 million in free money! So that’s why you will see me reference them throughout this article as a gateway to some very lucrative offers.
But first, I needed to sign up for a free account, which was fast and easy. And I got a $5 bonus just for joining. Cha-Ching!
InboxDollars is the rewards program that pays! I love it because I earn cash instead of points through everyday online activities.
I've gotten paid for everything from taking paid surveys, reading emails, watching videos, playing games, using coupons, online shopping, scanning receipts, and trying out offers.
If you're looking for a complete rewards program, InboxDollars is it!
Complete The InboxDollars New User To-Do List
Once I activated my InboxDollars account, I quickly earned a $1 bonus for completing the seven-item new user to-do list.
I began with a quick profile survey on my demographics, earning 50-cents for completing it. The rest of the to-do list was just as easy, and I made another 50-cents when I was done.
It took me about five minutes from start to finish, though I could have spent longer on it if I wanted. But it was an excellent introduction to the site and how to get free money.
Rack Up Cash With Rakuten
Rakuten is an affiliate-based rewards program where I earn cash back by shopping online and in-store. According to their website, they’ve paid members over $2 billion!
It took me less than a minute to sign up, and I qualified for a $10 welcome bonus (payable after making a $25 minimum purchase within 90-days).
At first, I shopped through the website. However, I quickly learned that the browser extension and app provide a much better user experience.
With those installed on my laptop and phone, I get a pop-up whenever I’m on a site eligible for cash back. All I have to do is push the “activate cash back” button and return to my shopping. It’s that easy!
I can even use it to shop in-store. I simply need to link the offer to a credit card within the app before making the in-store purchase.
Earn cash back while shopping at your favorite stores! Rakuten has made it so simple that it feels like they're doing all the work.
Here's how it works. Stores pay Rakuten an affiliate commission to send you their way, then share their commission with you.
So shop when, where, and how you want and rack up the rewards!
Get Rewards With Fetch Rewards
There are a lot of programs that let you scan receipts and reward you for purchases. But I like Fetch Rewards because it’s so convenient.
Joining was quick and easy. I simply downloaded the app onto my phone and created a new account. Even though I didn’t get a sign-up bonus, you can get a 3000-point bonus by using the referral code PLAN.
I immediately liked that I didn’t need to activate items or make a shopping list ahead of time. Instead, I just scanned my receipts and earned my points.
But my favorite feature in Fetch was eReceipt! With eReceipt, I linked Fetch to my email and Amazon accounts so it could scan them whenever I wanted.
That’s a game-changer for me! Since I do most of my shopping online, it eliminates the hassle of manually scanning receipts.
It didn’t take me long to earn a lot of reward points. And when I was ready to cash out, I could choose from popular gift cards like Amazon or Visa.
If you're not already using Fetch Rewards, it's time you got rewarded for what you're buying!
Fetch Rewards lets you earn points on any receipt from any store or restaurant. Then, redeem your points for gift cards from popular merchants like Amazon and Visa.
Just snap a photo of your receipt in the app or use the innovative eReceipt to scan your email account. Either way, you'll watch your cash rewards pile up before you know it!
Enter the code PLAN for a 3000-point sign-up bonus
Week 2 - Search For The Biggest Free Money Offers
Once I signed up with the reward programs, my next step was looking for the big-money offers on InboxDollars. There were two reasons why I focused on these offers right away.
First, many of the best offers come from financial companies like banks and brokerages. These offers require a deposit to earn the bonus, so I needed extra cash to take advantage of them.
Second, most offers on InboxDollars will pend in your account for 32-days or more before they clear. So the earlier I completed them, the sooner I could access the money.
One last note, the exact offers I used may no longer be available, but you’ll almost always find similar ones you can use.
Drive With Uber Eats And Earn A $200 Bonus
$12 in Earnings and $200 Bonus
I found the perfect deal on InboxDollars to jump-start my emergency savings! Uber Eats offered a $200 bonus to sign up as a driver. That’s a free money deal I couldn’t pass up.
All I had to do was apply online, pass a background check, and make my first delivery. Even better, I would only have to wait seven days for the bonus.
I completed my application through the Uber Driver app and was approved within a few days. Later that week, I delivered my first order–earning an additional $12 in delivery fees and tips along the way.
Open A Varo Account And Get A $100 Reward
Another great InboxDollars offer came from Varo Bank. I earned $100 cash back (after 32-days) simply by completing the online application and depositing $25. An easy free money hack if there ever was one!
Like most online-only banks, Varo offers FDIC insurance, no monthly fees, no fees at ATMs, a competitive annual percentage rate on savings accounts, and access to your account through a website and app.
Open A Chime Account And Make $250 Cash Back
Last but not least, I found an incredible offer on InboxDollars for Chime, a financial technology company. Opening a checking account earned me a whopping $250 in free money to boost my emergency savings!
By partnering with smaller regional banks, Chime provides competitive banking services that are helpful, easy, and free. Their accounts are FDIC insured with no overdraft fees, service fees, or minimum balance requirements.
They don’t even require an initial deposit to open the account. So what’s the catch?
You need $200 directly deposited for two months to get the reward. And you have to wait 70-days to receive the funds.
Luckily for me, this wasn’t too difficult. My employer makes it pretty easy to change my bank information. But other people could find this requirement tricky.
One helpful resource for solving this problem is Doctor Of Credit, where you can find an up-to-date list of the methods each bank counts as a direct deposit.
Week 3 - Make Free Money From Financial Institutions
This week I spent my time on InboxDollars, completing more offers. I focused on financial institutions like banks and brokerages because they didn’t require much effort yet still offered excellent rewards.
In fact, most of these offers simply required opening an account and a minimum deposit. And since I was now flush with cash after receiving my $200 bonus from Uber Eats, it was easy for me to start putting that free money to work.
Open A SoFi Account And Receive A $60 Bonus
SoFi was one of the banks offering an attractive bonus to new customers on InboxDollars. While their offer wasn’t the largest, they became one of my favorite banks in the end.
The offer was for $60, payable 32-days after opening an account and funding it with $100. While there was no direct deposit requirement, SoFi often offers its own bonus for directly depositing.
SoFi is an online-only bank with a full suite of personal and small business financial products. This includes checking, savings, credit cards, investing, cryptocurrency, loans, and insurance.
In addition to competitive rates, low fees, and FDIC-insured checking and savings accounts, SoFi has its own point-based reward system.
SoFi’s website and app are both user-friendly so opening an account was straightforward. And thanks to the free money from Uber Eats, I could make my $100 initial deposit without difficulty.
Open A Current Account And Get $50 Cash Back
Current, a financial technology company, was another online-only bank offer I took advantage of on InboxDollars. After opening an account and depositing $25, I got a $50 bonus (after a 32-day waiting period).
Current provides their banking services through Choice Financial Group. Its accounts are FDIC insured with no monthly, overdraft, or minimum balance fees.
But what caught my eye the most was the interest rate on its savings accounts–forty times the national average! That hefty percentage rate is like free money monthly, increasing my emergency savings.
So I downloaded the app and easily opened an account, once again funding the initial $25 deposit with my Uber Eats bonus.
Open A Public Account And Make A $30 Reward
Banks aren’t the only financial institutions offering free money on InboxDollars. Public, a tech-savvy brokerage, had a $30 bonus after opening an account with only $5 (after pending the typical 32-days).
Public lets you invest in stocks and ETFs commission-free and cryptocurrency for a small transaction fee. Their goal is to help people become better investors through the power of technology.
They helped pioneer the concept of real-time fractional investing, which lets you purchase fractional slices of stocks. This opened the markets to millions of additional people regardless of their level of wealth.
They also focus on increasing members’ financial literacy through a social community within their platform. As a user, you can follow other successful investors, see their financial moves, post comments, ask questions, and get ideas.
Open A Crypto.com Account And Receive A $30 Bonus
Crypto.com has become one of the most visible cryptocurrency companies in recent years. So when InboxDollars offered a $30 bonus after making just one $15 trade, I thought I’d try it. Plus, I’d only have to wait 72 hours for my reward.
You might know Crypto.com from its commercials. But it has one of the largest selections of cryptocurrencies available. Its fees are also extremely low when trading from fiat (cash transferred from a bank).
Crypto.com also has several options for earning interest. So if you plan to buy and hold your crypto, it might be a nice place to park it.
Opening an account was pretty straightforward. And while I found the app a little confusing at first, it didn’t take me long to get the hang of it.
Open A Coinbase Account And Earn Up To $40
$10 Cash and $30 Crypto Bonus
Coinbase is arguably the best place to start if you are interested in learning about cryptocurrency. That decision became pretty easy when InboxDollars offered a $10 bonus to open an account and make just one trade.
I opened my account with Coinbase because of its focus on “learn and earn.” Each quick, simple lesson was designed to teach about different cryptocurrencies.
And when I passed the quiz at the end, I earned some of the cryptocurrency for free. So by completing all the lessons, I made another $30 in free cryptocurrency.
Week 4 - Find Free Money Around The House
One of my favorite ways to find “free money” is by selling things I no longer need or want around the house. It’s actually been one of my favorite side gigs over the years.
These days there are many places where you can sell used goods. But I like to sell whatever I can on eBay and whatever I can’t at an old-school yard sale.
Sell Stuff On eBay
$269 in Sales
I’ve been buying and selling on eBay for over twenty years. So I already knew how the platform worked and what sells best.
With eBay, I focus on selling more expensive items that are easy to ship. Over the years, I’ve done very well with technology, children’s toys, collectibles, name brands, and hard-to-find parts.
In my experience, successfully selling on eBay requires good price research, quality photos, and an accurate listing.
It’s also essential to correctly estimate your shipping costs. Otherwise, you could find yourself owing more than you’re getting paid.
Have A Yard Sale
$141 in Sales
A yard sale is one of the most tried and true ways of making extra money. And I’m very familiar with them because growing up, my family had one every year.
Before having a yard sale, I start with an aggressive “spring cleaning.” Then I remove whatever I think I can sell at a better price on eBay.
Everything else goes outside for the yard sale. And it doesn’t come back because my philosophy is to price things to move, usually only one or two dollars.
And even at those prices, I made $141 in just one Saturday morning sale.
Week 5 - Maximize Earning Opportunities
At this point, I wanted to ensure I took full advantage of all the accounts I opened. So I started looking into ways they could work together to maximize my rewards.
Earn Money Delivering Uber Eats
$131 in Earnings
I initially signed up with Uber Eats because of the $200 in free money. But it surprised me how much I enjoyed it.
I felt the job was straightforward and paid reasonably well. And the flexibility to work on my own schedule was terrific.
So I continued making a few deliveries whenever my free time allowed. And even though it was only a few times every couple of weeks, I still made pretty good money.
And depending on how much you’re earning, you might be able to turn Uber Eats into a money hack to satisfy a bank’s direct deposit requirement.
Maximize Free Money With Bank Rewards Program
$84 in Rewards
At first, SoFi was just one of several bank accounts I opened to earn some free money. However, I soon learned that SoFi has its own robust rewards program.
Within SoFi’s program, each point is worth one cent. And I didn’t even have to sign up.
Instead, I started automatically earning points for everything, from logging in regularly to making direct deposits to using my debit card.
So I started looking for as many ways as possible to increase my bonus. For example, I earned additional rewards by having Uber Eats and eBay deposit my payments directly into SoFi.
I also earned a 2000-point bonus by opening a SoFi credit card which I made my default payment on eBay. That way, I got two points every time I paid shipping costs and seller fees and another 10-points when I paid my bill using autopay.
Week 6 - Get More Free Money All Year
Until now, I’ve been searching for big bonuses to grow my emergency savings. But all three of these online rewards programs offer easy ways to make some free money all year.
And as it turns out, it only takes a few simple habits to take advantage of these opportunities. So this week, I focused on how to make InboxDollars, Rakuten, and Fetch Rewards part of my regular routine.
Turn Free Time Into Free Money With InboxDollars
$57 in Rewards
I knew InboxDollars had a lot of ways to make a little bit of money at a time. So I decided to spend some of my daily free time earning rewards with a survey, a video, or a game.
There are also a lot of great smaller offers available on InboxDollars. So it’s worth remembering to check whenever considering purchasing a new item or service.
Set It And Forget It With Rakuten
$48 in Rewards
It doesn’t get much easier than Rakuten! Once I had the browser extension on my computer and the app on my phone, it did the rest.
From then on, Rakuten let me know when I could earn a bonus. All I had to do was decide which site had the best deal.
And, if you do most of your shopping online like me, you can earn quite a bit of free money!
Consistently Fetch Rewards
$30 in Rewards
Even though Fetch Rewards did a lot of the work for me, it still required some effort. Luckily, a simple and consistent routine was all it took to become a successful user.
For example, by starting my day with an eReceipt scan, I catch the previous day’s receipts before sorting my email. Unfortunately, manual scans are a bit more complicated.
For those, I keep a tray on my desk to collect my weekly receipts. Then, once a week on Sundays, I scan them into Fetch.
Week 7 - Cash Out
This was the most exciting week!
My pending InboxDollars bonuses began clearing and accumulating in my account. So I began withdrawing the money to my PayPal account.
My PayPal account also got a payment from Rakuten this week. And I even had enough in Fetch Rewards to withdraw a pre-paid Visa card.
Now I’ve got all this free money piling up in my account to boost my emergency savings!
Week 8 - Final Thoughts
It only took me eight weeks to assemble $1548 in free money. So now it’s time to put the cash towards a financial goal, such as enhancing my emergency savings.
I joined InboxDollars, Rakuten, and Fetch Rewards, three of the best online rewards programs. And I developed a routine to keep earning money all year.
Now it’s your turn! Let me know how much you make in the comments below.