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10 Easy Ways to Earn FREE Christmas Gifts for Next Year

“How do you budget for Christmas gifts?” A lot of people asked me this in messages and in comments and in person recently.

Well, the honest answer is that I get creative throughout the year and look for ways to earn free gift cards and free credit to sites that then we can “buy” Christmas gifts from come Christmas time.

Sure, I have a blog and a lot of followers on social media, so it’s a little easier for me to accrue credit through some of these sites then if you don’t have a blog or don’t have many people who follow you on social media.

BUT, even if you only have 50 friends on Facebook or Instagram, I bet that some of them would be interested in having you share deals or freebies or money-saving tips with them that you’ve discovered from these sites — and then you’ll earn a little referral credit if they click through your link and sign up or make a purchase.

Here’s a big tip to make this work well — especially on your personal social media: Tell people details on how it worked for you. Don’t just say, “Hey, sign up through my link!” You might get a few people interested if you do that, but you’re probably not going to earn much credit.

Instead, share your own personal experience and people will pay attention. For instance, share your own pictures and say, “Hey, look what I for only $12 from Zulily! You can get great deals from Zulily when you sign up here…”

OR, “I can’t believe we only paid $22 for all 5 of us to go to an Escape Room thanks to Groupon! If you haven’t signed up for Groupon yet, be sure to sign up and see what deals they offer for your local area…”

The more personal and real-life and hands-on you can make it, the more people will be intrigued and want to actually check it out!

Psst! Also be sure to check out to increase your earning potential from referrals!

10 Easy Ways to Earn FREE Christmas Gifts

So, here are 10 sites that will pay you (in cash or referral credit) when you refer others or that you can earn Christmas cash from:

  1. Groupon — Earn $10 in Groupon Bucks per person you refer who signs up through your link and makes a purchase. Groupon Bucks can be used toward any purchase on Groupon. (We bought multiple Christmas gifts from them this year — they have lots of fun gifts in their Groupon Goods section!)
  2. Zulily —  Earn $15 in Zulily credit for every person who signs up through your link and makes a purchase. Zulily credit can be used toward anything on the Zulily site and can be used toward shipping, too. We’ve gotten lots of great gifts from here over the years.
  3. Swagbucks — Earn $3 in Swagbucks credit for every person who signs up. Plus, you’ll earn 10% of their earnings for LIFE! This is a fantastic referral program because not only is there ongoing credit potential from it, but it also doesn’t require people to spend any money out of pocket for you to earn credit. And the more you can encourage your friends to earn Swagbucks, the more you earn, too! It’s a win-win! You can cash in your SBs for gift cards to Amazon, Starbucks, and more. I can’t even begin to tell you how many gifts we have given over the years as a result of gift cards we’ve earned from Swagbucks! Read more about how to earn more Swagbucks here.
  4. ibotta — Earn $5 cash for every person who signs up through your link and then earns their $10 Welcome Bonus (which is really easy to do!) They also offer special incentives throughout the year. This is another great program to promote because you are helping your friends save money and you are earning money by doing so! Read more about how ibotta works here.
  5. Rakuten (formerly Ebates) — Earn a $15 bonus for every person who signs up through your link and makes a minimum purchase that qualifies for a cashback. They send you a check for your earnings every quarter — if you meet their payout minimum. Read more about how Rakuten works here.
  6. My Reader Rewards — Earn 10 points for every person who signs up through your link. You can also earn points for taking surveys and taking a few other actions. You can then cash in these points for free books. The books they offer are always changing and there are many different titles that might work for gift ideas!
  7. Shopkick –Earn 250 kicks for every person you refer — up to 25,000 kicks. Shopkick is an app that rewards you for going into stores or taking actions in stores (you don’t have to buy anything!). You can cash in your kicks for gift cards. Read more about how Shopkick works here.
  8. Amazon Trade In — Earn Amazon credit for trading in your used books, CDs, DVDs, and electronics. You can then use the Amazon credit to buy Christmas gifts. (Note: There is no referral program for Amazon Trade-In that I know of.)
  9. InstaGC — Earn 10 points for every person who signs up through your link. In addition, you’ll earn 10% of all their earnings, except for bonuses. InstaGC is similar to Swagbucks in that you earn points for watching videos, filling out surveys, and taking other actions. You can cash in your points for gift cards.
  10. Surveys — You can earn gift cards and cash by filling out surveys and referring friends! See my list of 6 legitimate survey companies to sign up with here.

Also, another fun way to get free Christmas gifts is to sign up for freebies throughout the year. Many of these are ones that could be used in fun gift baskets!

Have you used any of these referral programs before? Are there any referral programs that I didn’t mention that you think I should add to my list?

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  • Mo Yarbrough says:

    This is a great tip! My daughter has been getting a tinker crate for the last year or so, I started posting her boxes and our links in Nov on social media and I was able to get 8 referral credits!!! Allowed me to get a few boxes for my nieces/nephews for Christmas and the next few months, I don’t have to pay for my daughters crate.
    Also, I did this with Barkbox for my puppies, I got enough referrals, that their monthly boxes ($20.00 a month) are free until August for me.

  • Katy says:

    I do MyPoints as well, which has various options for earning (surveys, videos, coupons, etc. like swag bucks).

    But I only do the click through emails (they send about 3-5 a day) for 5 points each. I have them directed into an email folder and do them once a week. Those points add up over the whole year and I redeem them for 1-2 gift cards for Christmas gifts.

    There’s plenty of earning potential there but I’m happy with my minimal effort.

  • Thanks so much for sharing!

  • Stephanie says:

    Great suggestions! I think so many of us moms are looking for quick ways to earn a little cash. I like those that offer perks for referrals.
    I’ve gotta say that I’ve used Swagbucks for about 6 months and do it when I have time on top of a traditional full time job. I’m earning money towards a big Disney trip and have $2,000 to put toward the trip. Typically people redeem their earnings for gift cards or Paypal.

    I also use amazonmturk. Through mturk you complete small identification tasks, surveys, or even transcription too. This is quick and easy. You can put this directly into a paypal account.

  • Elizabeth says:

    If you have credit card rewards points, you can save them up to use at Christmas. I use my credit card to buy almost everything and pay all of my bills with it as well (Don’t worry, I have not paid interest in 9 years! I just pay it off a little each week so I never maintain a balance that long) So I accrue lots of cash back during the year and last year I accumulated almost $400 just by buying things that I would anyways. Chase has bonus categories each month that give 5% cash back in certain categories(I always earn the most when grocery stores are featured or Walmart) If you can be disciplined enough, to pay off the credit card each month, then this is a great way to pay for Christmas with free money.

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