Side Money/Gift Cards ~ Updated!

We have added some updates to this section of the site! We decided to make it its own post since there are probably some of you who did not know this page existed. Basically, this is where you want to go to find legitimate, tried and tested ways of earning extra cash or gift cards online.

During weeks like this one coming up, when the drugstore deals are few and far between, we like to spend some time on these sites to boost our reward points balances.

There are some great, legitimate websites that give you the ability to earn extra money on the side as well as gift cards. The key is finding the legitimate sites over the scam sites. Well don't worry, I have done all of the grunt work for you!

This section will list some sites where you can earn extra cash and other rewards, how they work, and how long it will actually take to see a reward.

Check out my Screenshots page to see the rewards I have earned on various sites.

I will commonly mention these 2 sites in posts for freebies or great deals. They are both legitimate businesses that pay you real money for shopping through their site. For example, instead of going to, if you go through ShopAtHome's link, you get to the same site, but earn a % of your purchase back in the form of a check. Ebates works the same way. I have an account with each and use whichever ones pays the highest percentage at the store I am shopping at. I would say ShopAtHome is the best percentage 95% of the time, so if you only want to join one, I would go with ShopAtHome.
Best of all, each site gives you a $5 bonus for signing up using the links on this page!

MyView is probably my favorite survey/reward site. I joined October 19th, earned my first $15 Amazon gift card on October 30th and my second $15 on November 19. That's $30 in exactly a month!

At MyView, all you do is take surveys. It is easier to qualify for surveys on this site than ANY other site I have come across. Even better, you get points even if you don't qualify after the initial questions. The average points earned per survey is 1,000 and the $15 cash out level for Amazon is at 21,000 and the $25 level is 33,950.

Check your email daily. You can pretty easily average 3-4 surveys per week.

This is the best site for making actual extra money. I joined this one about 3 months ago and just requested a check for $57.32.

$5.00 bonus for signing up!

Every day the user will get a few paid emails, which you get $0.02 each for reading and clicking through (very easy). An average of one of the paid emails each day will be a survey. Complete the survey for $0.50-$1.50 on average. There are also cash offers and sign up offers, but I recommend sticking to the surveys and paid emails unless the ads are for something you would buy anyway.

Installing the toolbar will earn you a buck. It is also very easy to manage your account and emails through the toolbar.

You have to reach $30 in order to cash out. Be patient, it won't take as long as you think.

SendEarnings is InboxDollars' sister site. You also get a $5 sign up bonus.

Swagbucks is probably the most fun out of the earning sites that I take part in. You can earn points (Swagbucks) in a variety of ways which can be cashed out for a number of great prizes including Paypal money! I think the best prize is the $5 Amazon Gift Card which is available at the 450 point level. It typically takes me about 2-3 weeks (at just a few minutes per day) to reach that level.

Here's how: Download the toolbar. It works great and does not mess anything up on your computer.
Then, every day, take a couple of minutes and do the following:
Daily Polls = 1 SB
Visit Trusted Surveys = 1 SB
Click Through NOSO Offers = 1SB
Open your Browser and use the Swagbucks toolbar = 1 SB
Search (for anything) just a few times to win 4-9 SB in the morning and once at night for another 4-9 SB.

Just by doing those things, you'll get about 450 points in 4 weeks. Then, complete surveys, find extra Swag Codes and shop for more Bucks! I recommend using the Swagbucks Facebook account to help you find the extra codes.


Synovate Global Opinion is a website where you can earn cash for taking surveys as well as take part in product tests. You are given surveys like other survey sites and when completed, you earn points that add up to a dollar amount that is payable by check in $5 increments.

Synovate takes itself above other survey sites by the product reviews it offers. If you qualify for certain surveys, and agree to test a product, you will be sent a free product to test and review! Not only do you get the product free, but you earn more points by completing the follow up survey about that product!

Since February, I have gotten a full sized bag of a new cat litter (worked great by the way) and a full sized bottle of Head & shoulders (didn't know what it was at the time) to test out and keep!

I definitely recommend this site and will put it in my top 3 for survey sites behind MyView and ahead of InboxDollars.


There is not a steady rewards program for this site, but they occasionally offer Amazon Gift Cards for completing a certain number of qualified reviews. They are also affiliated with Inboxdollars and you can earn $$$ in your Inboxdollars account for doing reviews.

Recently, they ran a promotion giving a free $5 Amazon GC with 5 reviews, and even more recently, they did a $10 for 10 promo.

ViewPoints also provides its members opportunities to take part in sample surveying, where you can be sent a product for free and are asked to try it out and review it. Then, you get to keep the product! Recently, they did this with a $200+ Braun Razor!

Update: they have not done an Amazon promo in almost 8 months, so this site may not be in this category for much longer.

MySurvey - Surveys are fairly tough to qualify for. You get a lot though, so you can probably qualify for about 1 every 2 days. There rewards are nice because they have a ton of gift cards to choose from. It takes some time to get to the cash out level, but it's not unreasonable. Sign ups are not going on all of the time, so stay posted to see when they are accepting applicants.
*Currently accepting applicants!

Sites I would not recommend:

Reward TV

*Update: After spending some time in my recommended section, I have chosen to move Reward TV here due to about 10 failed ''shopping spree'' gift card redemptions. Basically, when you get enough points for a reward, it is still like a contest to see who actually gets the gift card. Turns out I had beginner's luck the first time.
This is a different kind of survey site. You can earn various gift cards by answering questions about TV programs. The questions that are important to them are the ones about TV commercials. You will also be able to take surveys about movies, electronics and other stuff.
Their surveys are probably the quickest and easiest to take, which makes their reward scheme a bummer.

The way redeeming your points works is a little different too. They have auctions where you can spend your points. The auctions are for people with a ridiculous amount of points. Go for the gift cards. Every couple of days or so, they have a "Shopping Spree" where you can get gift cards. There are 3 different ones available each time, BUT there are limited quantities of each, so you have to have a little luck. The first time I tried, I got a $5 Chevron gift card and just received it in the mail! The second time, I tried for a $25 Marshalls GC and they were out. Then, every time I tried for anything, they were out. It feels like a scam now. The gift cards go within 10-20 seconds, but it is possible. Like I said, I got one on my first try, but after that, I am about 0-50.
Panda Research - The "surveys" here are more like sign up offers that never end and don't pay much. They reel you in with $5 "surveys" that are NOT surveys at all. Don't waste your time here.

Shadow Shopper - Tries to look like a legit secret shopping company, but the free membership offers access to no jobs. You get emails every day saying that there are jobs, but you have to pay for their premium service to gain access to them. I'm not buying what they're selling.

Anytime you are weary of signing up for something, try checking out Snopes for info.
Also, for reviews on basically any survey site out there, check out Survey Police


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