Having the means to earn passive income, even a small one, can mean the difference between living from paycheck to paycheck or being able to live the life you’re accustomed to. One “stream” I like to use is what’s known as a get-paid-to website.

What Is a Get-Paid-To Website?

Quite simply, it’s a site where you are paid in points or cash for doing things such as:

  • Watching videos
  • Completing questionnaires
  • Answering surveys
  • Performing searches through the site’s search engine
  • Reading articles
  • Printing out and using coupons
  • Signing up for offers
  • Playing games
  • Reading e-mails

As you can see, not all of these are a means to a passive income. Answering surveys can take up a lot of time, and they are often screeners that don’t pay. Same goes for reading articles, playing games, reading emails, etc.

But what about watching videos? Doing web searches (which you do all of the time anyway)? Yeah, now you’re getting the picture…

How Are You Paid?

Some of these sites pay you in points which you can redeem for gift cards and other products, and other sites pay you in cash. Granted, you’re not going to get rich off of these sites (not unless you are an affiliate program guru), but they are a decent side income source.

I have cashed out a few times (see below), preferring Amazon.com gift cards because I purchase a great deal of my household items from it. But, there are many, many other stores to choose from, and some even let you cash out to PayPal.

Here are the ones I use the most (and thus have been around a long time). I’ve detailed how you get paid, and how often you can cash out with each one:

Please note these are affiliate links, but I recommend each and every one of them because I have used them and cashed out more than a few times. 

SwagBucks

This is my go-to GPT site to earn passive income in the form of gift cards and PayPal cash!

Payment Method

Pays in “swagbucks” that you can redeem for gift cards.

Tools to Help You Earn

How You Can Earn

  • Shopping (I have the SwagButton browser extension to remind me when a store has points available.)
  • Watching videos
  • Answering surveys/polls
  • Playing games
  • Searching the Internet
  • Referring friends

Payment Threshold

You can cash out your points starting at 450 to 500 points for $5 gift cards. I’ve used the Amazon.com $5 gift cards a lot, because earning enough points to get one is fairly easy (usually around 500 points, which can be done in about 10 days with the SBTV app). Plus, I am an Amazon.com addict, haha. But, you can also earn PayPal cash as well. Not bad!

Visit SwagBucks

instaGC

I love this GPT website because you can cash out for a gift card at $1, and you can get the card (or code, rather) immediately.

Payment Method

Pays in points that you can redeem for gift card codes in their instant gift card store, or cash that you can have in the form of a check or direct deposit.

Tools to Help You Earn

  • Mobile-friendly website here, which you can add to your homescreen for easy access.

How You Can Earn

  • Downloading apps and games
  • Signing up for trials (e.g., Netflix)
  • Completing microtasks via CrowdFlower
  • Watching videos
  • Answering surveys
  • Listening to music
  • Visiting websites
  • Referring friends

Payment Threshold

You can cash out at $1, or 100 points, and you will instantly receive a gift card code when you redeem your points. Or, you can ask for cash in the form of a mailed check or direct deposit.

Visit instaGC

Bing Rewards

I had to list this one, because you can earn points just by making Bing your main search engine. While you’re getting paid to do only one thing, it’s very much an autopilot method to earning points toward gift cards.

Payment Method

Pays in points that you can redeem for gift card codes which will be emailed to you within 24-48 hours (it’s never taken more than a day for me).

Tools to Help You Earn

  • Make Bing your default search engine in your browser
  • Download and use the iOS or Android Bing search engine app

How You Can Earn

  • Performing Web searches using Bing as your search engine
  • Taking quizzes
  • Referring friends

Payment Threshold

For gift cards, there are two levels: Silver and Gold. Once you reach Gold, you can purchase gift cards for fewer points (e.g., spend 475 points rather than 500 points for a $5 gift card). Getting to Gold is easy if you search the Web a lot.

You can also redeem smaller amounts of points for things like entries into sweepstakes and airline miles.

Visit Bing Rewards

Are They Legitimate?

If anyone is concerned that these websites are a scam, I can assure you they are not because I have been paid by all of them. Here are some screenshots from each GPT site above showing how many times I’ve cashed out points for gift cards:

How to Earn on Autopilot

Here are the methods I use to earn passive income for each website/tool:

  • SwagBucks: Download the SBTV app (Android or iOS) to your phone and earn points on autopilot, up to a max of 50 points per day. You can have a $5 gift card in 10 days with very little effort on your part.
  • instaGC: Watch videos using instaGC.com to earn points. You earn 1 point for every 20 videos you successfully watch, up to a maximum of 250 per day to start off with. I just open a separate tab on my computer or tablet and let the videos play.
  • Bing Rewards: You get paid for doing what you do every day, searching the Internet. You can earn up to a max of 15 points per day on your home computer, and 10 points for your tablet or smartphone searches. If you convince a friend to join, it’s an automatic 500 points once they reach Silver status.

Bottom Line

As a freelancer, it’s a smart idea to have at least some “padding” for those leaner times, or when you’re waiting to be paid by a client. And with the “autopilot” methods I’ve listed above, there’s little to no interference with your work. It’s a win-win situation all around!

If you like this post, you might also like: Get Paid to Drive Your Car (or Rent It)! Going Beyond Lyft, Uber, and Sidecar

What about you? Do you have any favorite get-paid-to websites that you like to use to earn passive income? Leave a comment below!