(post contains affiliate links: see disclosure)
First things first: the following list of companies is not going to make you rich, but over time they can create a nice sum to add to your Christmas fund. These companies can create a small stream of income in small cracks of time that can’t fit another source of income generation.
The tasks the point reward programs give you can be done when you are otherwise brain dead, which for me is usually those hours past dinner when all I want to do is flop down on the couch and watch TV. You can also work on generating points that you can trade for gift cards through these programs during what I like to call fluffy multi-tasking. Click on a point earning video while you fold laundry for instance.
Now, the title says gift cards for Christmas cash which might seem a bit confusing. Here is the thing, most (but not all of) the point reward programs, survey companies and rebate apps I am going to mention in this article have a PayPal cash option. For the few that don’t, chances are they offer a gift card that you could use to buy a Christmas gift or give to your friend directly.
Here is what I like to do. If I have the option of a PayPal deposit without it costing me extra points (there are a few places that make PayPal deposits more than other gift card options), I go for PayPal. The reason why I do this is because it allows me to shop wherever I can find the best deal. Plus if I am receiving PayPal deposits from several sources, it starts to add up.
If PayPal isn’t offered or it costs more than other options, then I go for either Amazon cards or Starbucks gift cards. Amazon has an amazing variety of items I can give as gifts and most people love receiving a Starbucks gift card as a gift.
Other great options are Walmart or Target gift cards–it really depends what stores you have near you. Just remember the best way to do it is to try to get the same type of gift cards from as many of the programs below as possible so that you have a good amount of gift cards to do some Christmas shopping with.
Where To Earn Gift Cards Fast For Christmas Cash
If you want to earn fast cash, start working point reward programs that have low payout minimums.
That statement above is vital to earning as much cash (or gift cards) as possible before Christmas.
Although companies with payouts of $20 or more do work, they take longer to earn a cash out and chances are you won’t earn one in time for Christmas. I will talk more about which of these $20 or more cash out places are worth joining during the last week of this series when I will concentrate on how to set yourself up for a successful financial Christmas season starting January 1st.
Instead you’ll want to start working at places with payouts of $10 or under so that you can earn and receive your cash and gift cards in time to buy your Christmas gifts.
Point Reward Programs
Swagbucks has over 20 ways to earn SB points that you can then trade in for gift cards. Gift cards start at just 300 SB points for a $3 gift card. Paypal deposits, however, start at 2500 SB points for a $25 card.
You can earn SB points through searching online through the Swagbucks toolbar, printing and using coupons, shopping online, filling out surveys and watching videos. There are of course many more ways to earn, but this list gives you just a taste of how Swagbucks can make your time online pay. We all perform internet searches and the great majority of us shop online so why not get paid to do so.
With instant cash outs for gift cards starting at just 100 points for a $1 gift card to Amazon, instaGC is a great place to earn and receive gift cards fast. There is a Paypal option as well as an e-check and a direct deposit option, but instaGC does charge a small point fee for these services so I stick to either the $1 Amazon cards or the $5 Starbucks cards.
Psst…did you know that you can load the Starbucks card codes manually into your my Starbucks Rewards account over at the My Starbucks Rewards website. That is what I do and then when I want to buy someone a Starbucks gift card as a gift. I simply ask the cashier to take the amount I want to spend out of my account and put it on a gift card. This allows me to slip an old fashioned hold in your hand gift card into a card or gift basket. You can find details about the MyStarbucks rewards program here.
- MobiSave (enter my referral code OGHHUVPZ when you sign up)
- Receipt Hog (enter my referral code YECT1667 when you sign up for bonus spins)
MobiSave is a grocery rebate app that deposits your rebates into your Paypal account as you redeem them. MobiSave can also be used at any grocery store you shop at–and it generally always offers a few non brand specific rebates. I use it at ALDI and generally save $0.40 or so each time I shop. Now, $0.40 might not seem like a lot, but if you combine it with PayPal deposits from other companies on this list you will soon have enough money to buy a few gifts on your Christmas list.
With rewards starting at 500 kicks for a $2 Target or Walmart gift card code points simply for checking in when you walk in the store, shopkick can be a fast earner for many people. You can earn more points by scanning items as you shop and answering questions about them or scanning your receipt for qualifying kick backs. There is no Paypal cash out with shopkick, but they do have a good variety of gift card options.
There is a 500 point $5 Amazon gift card code or 500 point PayPal option at Receipt Hog. This app is super simple to use. You just upload your receipts for grocery stores, convenience stores, clothing stores, home improvement stores and more. Depending on the store, you earn either coins or spins for the receipt. You don’t earn a lot–for instance a $112 receipt from ALDI earned me 20 coins and a sweepstakes entry–however the spins can be really rewarding. I have earned as much as 400 coins during one spin–that will put you pretty close to a $5 payout right there.
MintVine does have a few other ways to earn points, but it is primarily a survey taking site. MintVine has a $10 cash out threshold and offers a Paypal deposit or a variety of gift card options. It does take a while for points to clear and for cash outs to be received, but it doesn’t take long to hit the $10 cash out threshold. MintVine is a great website to hit in the evening when you are sitting on the couch watching TV. They have an amazing amount of survey options and they tell you approximately how long each one should take. Should you get screened out they usually offer you something for your time too.
There are 9 different ways to earn gift cards using PrizeRebel, but they are primarily a survey company. One way to earn a few points fairly quickly with PrizeRebel is to click on the “engage video” line found under the “Earn tab”. Get the videos running and fold that mountain of laundry while you watch. Cash outs start at as little as 200 points for a $2 Amazon gift card code. PayPal deposits start at 500 points for a $5 deposit. How fast you get your reward depends on what your membership level status is, but even at the bottom of the totem pole you will get your PayPal deposit within 24 hours.
I know that the per hour pay for working point rewards programs might not seem high at all with some programs being as low as $1 an hour, but as I mentioned at the start of this article: the beauty in point rewards program work is that you can multi-task it. Set one of the video clip apps going for Swagbucks and go about cleaning your house as you earn points, all you need to do is check on the app once and a while to make sure it hasn’t paused. Complete simple tasks at InstaGC while watching TV. Spend some time brainstorming and I am sure you will find a few simple ways to add in some point earning activities each and every day.
Come back next week as I address the topic of where to find free and low cost Christmas gifts as part of the How To Plan A Christmas To Remember On A Super Tight Budget Series.
psst…in the printable pack that goes with my free for subscribers mini-eBook you will find a printable plan that you can follow to help you earn up to $175 in gift cards (or cash) in 2 months using the programs mentioned in this article. Even though the plans have become somewhat outdated in the last year, I still think they can be used to help you earn close to that total.