We all know Amazon is huge but prepare to be shocked. The tech giant brought in more than $280 billion in revenue last year, with $141 billion alone from online sales. To put this into perspective, PayScale reports that the average retail store owner made around $51,000 in 2018.
Amazon is incredibly convenient and even more so if you sign up for Prime. We all know about free two-day shipping. Did you know that you also get free photo storage, Audible books and music, too? Tap or click here for 22 Amazon Prime perks you probably didn’t know about until now.
Another Prime insider secret lets you save money when it’s time to renew. Tap or click here for a trick the Amazon Prime warriors use each year.
It’s hard to find something that Amazon doesn’t sell. You can find everything from a stunning Jeff Goldblum shower curtain to entire houses with free two-day shipping. (No, I’m not making that up.) Tap or click see some of the weirdest products Amazon sells.
The only thing better than shopping on Amazon? Getting what you want for free. I’ll tell you 10 different ways to get free Amazon gift cards.
If you like playing games online, you’ll like this even more: Some sites allow you to play in exchange for points, which you can exchange for PayPal cash or gift cards to places like Amazon.
Sites like AppNana, Swagbucks, and Appdown offer this point system. All you need to do is play games and reach certain levels, watch videos or temporarily download apps. Be sure to read the terms and conditions, though, so you’re not giving away more data than you should be.
Now, don’t expect huge rewards, but if you’re already playing eligible games, it’s worth taking advantage. AppNana even issues rewards for simply logging in each day.
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Bad at games? Try taking surveys instead. Sites like InboxDollars, Survey Junkie, Opinion Outpost and MyPoints offer surveys on a range of topics. As you submit your surveys, you earn points and can cash them out for Amazon or other retail gift cards or as a PayPal payment.
There are downsides. It can take a little while to build up points, and the gift cards are often for small amounts, but the surveys are easy to fill out, and usually don’t take more than a few minutes to complete. This is particularly useful if you’re bored. Why not channel that boredom into earning a little extra spending money?
Be warned: Using these survey sites will likely load up your inbox with junk email. I suggest making an email address just for that purpose, separate from your regular inbox.
DON’T SKIMP ON SECURITY: Don’t forget your data is just as valuable as your money to Big Tech companies. Tap or click here for 5 Amazon security settings you need to change right now to protect yourself.
Want to get paid to grocery shop? With Ibotta, you can. Just buy select products at your local grocery store, take a picture of your receipt and submit it in the app. Ibotta gives you cashback as an Amazon gift card or as a PayPal payment. Tap or click here to download Ibotta.
Receipt Hog works similarly, offering deals in-app and requesting your receipt after you shop. With Receipt Hog, you earn virtual coins that can be traded in for Amazon gift cards, cash or even magazine subscriptions.
Receipt Hog also offers non-grocery deals, but since groceries are such a frequent necessity, it can be the easiest way to earn money back and get your gift cards.
Are you a writer? Start a blog and sign up for Amazon Associates to earn Amazon gift cards. Amazon Associates allows you to share affiliate links through your posts. If someone shops through your link, you can get a small portion of that sale as cash or an Amazon gift card.
This method takes some real effort on your part, so the gift cards might not feel so “free,” but if you want to blog (or already do) you might as well sign up for the program. If you have lots of readers or have a post that really takes off, you could make a nice chunk of change.
A SAFER WAY TO PAY: What’s the best way to pay for your purchases online? Definitely not a debit card ... and probably not a credit card either. Tap or click for a quick 2-minute video breaking down the safest options.
Have you heard of Amazon’s Trade-In Program? Just send your old electronics and books for assessment. Shipping your items is free, and once they’re assessed, you’ll get paid their current value in Amazon gift cards.
If your items are rejected, Amazon will send them back and you can try to sell them elsewhere. This can be a great way to get rid of things you were planning to toss anyway.
OLD TECH WORTH BIG MONEY: You won’t believe how much you can make selling old tech and collectibles. Tap or click to find out how much the treasures in your attic could be worth.
Now, this one isn’t necessarily free since you’ll be putting back work. But Amazon can pay you in gift cards when you work for Mechanical Turk, its crowdsourcing service. When companies need basic data entry or copy editing for cheap, they go to Mechanical Turk.
Amazon is happy to issue payments in the form of Amazon gift cards. If you have some time on your hands, and the right freelance skills, sign up for Mechanical Turk and earn some gift cards.
Want more work-from-home inspiration? Tap or click here for 20 great ways to make money online.
Most people prefer to search the internet with Google, but Bing and Microsoft offer a bit more incentive with the Bing rewards program. This program allows you to earn points for every search you do on Bing.
You can earn even more points by using Bing on the Microsoft Edge browser and get those points converted into a free gift card. It takes a little time to earn enough points for a gift card, but if you’re constantly on the internet, why not?
If you’re looking to open a new line of credit, check out the Amazon Visa card. You earn points when you use the card on or off Amazon, though you earn more on the site. You can redeem them for gift cards faster than you would with any of the previous methods.
For the frequent, responsible Amazon shopper, this might be the best way to earn free gift cards — as long as you’re sticking to purchases you’d make anyway.
Last but not least, you can get free Amazon gift cards by using Amazon gift cards. Confused? Let me explain.
If you load $100 or more onto a gift card you already have, Amazon will toss in an extra $5. Not only do you recycle a card that would otherwise end up in the trash, but you get a little extra back.
This is a great option for gifting, too. Spend $100 on a friend and get a few bucks for yourself. It’s not the best conversion rate, but it is a free gift card, so depending on your circumstances you might appreciate this option.
BONUS TIP FOR EXTRA KNOW-HOW: 6 ways to stop advertisers from following you online
It starts innocently enough — you’re surfing the web and before long you notice every page you visit is inundated with advertisements so specific you look over your shoulder, knowing someone has to be watching your every move.
No matter your attempts, these prolific pop-ups continue to annoy, frustrate and give you the heebie-jeebies. While you may not be able to do away with advertisers completely, there are ways to get them to stop following you online.
This marketing maneuver is referred to as retargeting. Let’s look at ways to put an end to it.
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Learn about all the latest technology on The Kim Komando Show, the nation's largest weekend radio talk show. Kim takes calls and dispenses advice on today's digital lifestyle, from smartphones and tablets to online privacy and data hacks. For her daily tips, free newsletters and more, visit her website at Komando.com.