Canadians Are Using These Genius Ways to Earn Free Money

WRITTEN BY Dylan Callaghan | UPDATED ON: March 22, 2024

Free Money in Canada

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Does the idea of free money in Canada seem like a fantasy? While it may appear implausible, there are indeed numerous methods for you to either earn or save some additional bucks in Canada.

From government benefits to grants and subsidies, there are various ways to access free money in Canada.

What are some of the best ways to earn free money in Canada?

  • Take online surveys
  • Cash back credit cards
  • Reduce interest on your debt
  • Max out employee benefits
  • High interest savings accounts
  • Government benefits and grants
  • Boost your TFSA
  • Use your RRSP
  • Utilize an RESP for your child
  • Cash back apps
  • Unclaimed money
  • Utilize tax credits
  • Claim tax deductions
  • Upgrade your home for energy savings
  • Utilize coupons

There are plenty of ways to regain a few bucks here in Canada. Let's dive into a few common ways below.

Take online surveys

One way to earn free money in Canada is by taking online surveys. Many companies and organizations conduct market research by collecting consumer feedback through surveys. In return for your opinions, they offer rewards such as cash, gift cards, or other incentives.

To get started, you can sign up for survey websites that connect you with companies looking for feedback. Some popular options in Canada include Branded SurveysSwagbucksSurvey Junkie, and Ipsos i-Say. These websites allow you to create a profile and match you with surveys that fit your demographic and interests.

It's important to note that taking surveys won't make you rich overnight, but it can be a way to earn some extra cash in your free time. The amount you can earn varies depending on the length and complexity of the survey, but most pay between $1 and $5.

To maximize your earnings, it's a good idea to sign up for multiple survey websites and check them regularly for new opportunities. You can also refer friends and family to earn additional rewards.

To get started, just click the links above to get signed up with the companies. I'll also drop a button below to Branded Surveys, the company we feel is the best. However, as mentioned, signing up for multiple is the best way to capitalize on the money they're offering.

Cash back credit cards

Cashback credit cards are an excellent way to earn free money in Canada. These cards offer a percentage of your spending back in cash, typically between 1% and 5%.

The cash back can be redeemed as a statement credit, a cheque, or a deposit into your bank account.

Consider the annual fee, interest rate, and cash back percentage when looking at these cards. Some cards offer higher cash back percentages in specific categories, such as groceries, gas, or travel. It's important to choose a card that aligns with your spending habits to maximize your cash back rewards.

I have used cash-back cards more often than not; it is almost hard not to find a cash-back card these days, even if that perk is free movies or points toward flights, etc. People just have to look at the amount that they are getting back for what they are spending and compare between the cards.

And don't forget to look at other features as well; maybe some cards offer savings or points at the gas pump, and other cards might offer insurance perks that would complement their lifestyle.

Here are some of the best cash back credit cards in Canada:

  • Scotiabank Momentum Visa Infinite: This card offers 4% cash back on groceries and recurring bills, 2% cash back on gas and daily transit, and 1% cash back on everything else. The annual fee is $120.
  • Tangerine Money-Back Credit Card: This no-fee card offers 2% cash back on up to three categories of your choice, including groceries, gas, restaurants, and more. You'll earn 0.5% cash back on all other purchases.
  • BMO CashBack World Elite Mastercard: This card offers 5% cash back on groceries, 4% on transit, 3% on gas, and 2% on recurring bills, with no annual fee for the first year. After that, the annual fee is $120.
  • SimplyCash Preferred Card from American Express: This card offers 4% cash back on groceries and gas, and 2% back for everything else. The annual fee is $119.88.

Reduce interest on your debt

If you have debt, the interest you pay can quickly add up and become a significant burden. However, there are ways to reduce the interest you pay on your debt in Canada.

One option is to consolidate your debt with a low-interest loan. This involves taking out a new loan to pay off your existing debts, leaving you with only one loan to manage.

This can help simplify your finances and reduce the overall interest you pay. People may seek out a line of credit at a lower interest and pay their credit cards off with that line of credit. Yes, it's still debt, but it's debt at a lower rate.

Another option is to negotiate with your creditors to lower your interest rates. This may be possible if you have a good credit score and a history of making on-time payments. It's worth contacting your creditors to see if they will work with you to reduce your interest rates.

If you have a mortgage, you can also consider refinancing for lower interest rates. This can help reduce your monthly payments and save you money over the life of your loan.

Max out employee benefits

One of the best ways to get free money in Canada is to take advantage of employee benefits. Many employers offer a range of benefits that can help you save money and increase your income.

One of the most common benefits is a group retirement savings plan, such as a Registered Retirement Savings Plan (RRSP) or a Pension Plan. These end up being outstanding benefits if employers will match some contributions.

I have had the opportunity to do both RRSP and pension contributions matched by employers, which resulted in a significant positive impact on my financial health. These plans allow you to save money for retirement while receiving tax benefits. They can also even help you save up for a down payment on a house.

Another common benefit is health insurance. Many employers offer extended health care coverage, which can help you save money on prescription drugs, dental care, and other medical expenses. Some employers also offer wellness programs, such as gym memberships or discounts on healthy food, which can help you stay healthy and save money.

In addition, many employers offer other types of benefits, such as life insurance, disability insurance, and employee assistance programs. These benefits can provide financial security and peace of mind in case of unexpected events.

High interest savings accounts

Money Market Funds

One way to get free money in Canada is by opening a high-interest savings account. These accounts typically offer a higher interest rate than regular savings accounts, which means your money will grow faster. High-interest savings accounts are pretty much a no-brainer for people who tend to hoard cash instead of investing.

There is also the option of HISA ETFs, for those who want to invest in savings accounts via their investment brokerage.

We hear the stories of someone finding $1000 hidden in furniture. Now, that $1000 may pay one month's rent if you are lucky. But when the $1000 was hidden in the furniture it was enough to buy half a house or live off the money for a whole year.

That is what inflation does to our savings over time, and it highlights the importance of having your cash parked in an appreciating asset. However, throughout history, there have been times of distrust in the banking system, which is usually what causes people to hold physical cash.

But at any rate, for those who do not invest or don't yet own a home, etc., a high-interest savings account can at least take some of the pressure off in terms of saving as much of our buying power as possible over time. 

When choosing a high-interest account, it's essential to compare the interest rates and fees of different banks. Some banks may require a minimum balance or charge monthly fees, so read the fine print before opening an account.

Some popular banks in Canada that offer these savings accounts include Tangerine, Simplii Financial, and EQ Bank. These banks typically provide competitive interest rates and no monthly fees. 

Government benefits and grants

The Canadian government offers a variety of benefits and grants to eligible individuals and organizations. These programs are designed to provide financial assistance and support to those in need.

The causes and industries covered are broad; whether going back to school or opening a business, there are many grants, and many of them go ungifted. Because there are so many, we won't dive into details here.

Instead, you can go online and see if there are grants pertaining to whatever you are up to.

Canada child benefit

The Canada Child Benefit (CCB) is a tax-free monthly payment to eligible families with children under 18. The benefit amount is based on several factors, including family income and the number of children in the household.

The CCB is designed to help families with the cost of raising children and to reduce child poverty in Canada.

Canada student loans and grants

The Government of Canada offers student loans and grants to eligible post-secondary students. These programs help students pay for tuition, books, and living expenses while in school. The Canada Student Loans Program provides loans to students who demonstrate financial need.

In contrast, the Canada Student Grants Program offers non-repayable grants to students with specific eligibility criteria.

Canada Pension Plan

The Canada Pension Plan (CPP) is a government-run program designed to provide retirement, disability, and survivor benefits to eligible individuals. The CPP is funded by contributions from employees, employers, and self-employed individuals.

The benefit amount is based on the individual's contributions and the years they have contributed to the plan.

Boost your TFSA

The Tax-Free Savings Account (TFSA) is a great way to save and invest money without paying taxes on the returns. Canadians can contribute annually, and any unused contribution room is carried forward to future years.

To take advantage of this tax-free savings opportunity, Canadians should consider boosting their TFSA contributions. Here are some tips to help maximize your TFSA:

  • Start early: The earlier you start contributing to your TFSA, the more time your money will grow tax-free. Even small contributions can add up over time.
  • Contribute regularly: Set up automatic contributions to your TFSA to ensure you are consistently saving and taking advantage of the tax-free growth.
  • Invest wisely: Consider investing your TFSA contributions in stocks, bonds, or mutual funds to maximize your returns. Research and choose investments that align with your risk tolerance and investment goals.
  • Use your contribution room wisely: If you have an unused contribution room from previous years, consider using it to make a larger contribution to your TFSA. This will allow you to take advantage of the tax-free growth on a larger amount of money.

By boosting your TFSA contributions, you can take advantage of the tax-free growth and potentially earn more money in the long run.

Remember to stay within your contribution limits and consult with a financial advisor if unsure about your investment options.

Use your RRSP

One way to get free money in Canada is by using your Registered Retirement Savings Plan (RRSP). This is a government-sponsored savings plan that allows you to save for your retirement while also reducing your taxable income.

These accounts can help increase your overall net income by avoiding some big tax bills. Contribute to the RRSP in your highest taxation years, and then draw from the account later on in life at lower tax rates. Overall, you retain more of your income. 

When you contribute to your RRSP, you can deduct the amount from your taxable income, which means you pay less tax. Depending on your income level and tax bracket, this deduction can result in a significant tax refund.

For example, if you contribute $5,000 to your RRSP and you're in the 30% tax bracket, you could get a tax refund of $1,500. In retirement, your income could possibly be lower, and you could only end up paying 18% on that $5000 withdrawn, resulting in only $900 in taxes, or a savings of $600.

Keep in mind, these are made up numbers only to show an example. Your situation is unique, and you'll need to figure out for yourself if the RRSP is right for you.

It's important to note that there are limits to how much you can contribute to your RRSP each year, and there are penalties for over-contributing.

The First Time Home Buyers' Plan

In addition to the tax benefits, the government offers a few programs, such as the Home Buyers' Plan (HBP), which allows you to withdraw up to $35,000 from your RRSP tax-free to buy or build your first home.

You then have up to 15 years to repay the amount into your RRSP.

I did this when I purchased a home, making that jump much more straightforward. Instead of stressing about how I would fit building the whole downpayment into my budget, most of the money was already there in my RRSP.

First Time Homebuyer

Another program is the Lifelong Learning Plan (LLP), which allows you to withdraw from your RRSP tax-free to pay for your or your spouse's education. You then have up to 10 years to repay the amount into your RRSP.

Utilize an RESP for your child

Parents in Canada can take advantage of the Registered Education Savings Plan (RESP) to save for their child's post-secondary education.

The Government of Canada offers an incentive program to encourage parents to save for their children's education. This program is called the Canada Education Savings Grant (CESG).

Full-time students

The CESG is a grant that matches 20% of the contributions made to an RESP up to a maximum of $500 per year per child. If you contribute $2,500 per year to your child's RESP, you will receive the maximum CESG of $500 annually. The CESG is available until the end of the calendar year when your child turns 17.

In addition, there is also the Canada Learning Bond (CLB) for low-income families. The CLB provides an initial contribution of $500 and an additional $100 per year until the child turns 15, for a maximum of $2,000. Check online for more eligibility requirements and details. 

RESPs are a great way to save for your child's education and use government incentives. 

Cash back apps

Cash back apps are a great way to earn free money in Canada. These apps offer cash back on purchases made at certain stores or for particular items. Users must download the app, link their credit or debit card, and start shopping.

One popular cash back app in Canada is Rakuten. With Rakuten, users can earn cash back on purchases made at over 750 stores, including Sephora, Indigo, and Old Navy. Users can also earn money back on travel bookings and restaurant reservations made through the app.

Another popular cash back app in Canada is Checkout 51. With Checkout 51, users can earn cash back on purchases made at any grocery store. Users simply need to upload a photo of their receipt to the app to earn money back on eligible items.

Flipp is another cash back app that is popular in Canada. In addition to offering cash back on purchases made at certain stores, Flipp also allows users to browse weekly flyers and coupons for stores in their area.

Unclaimed money

There is a surprising amount of unclaimed money in Canada, and many people are unaware that they may be entitled to some of it. Unclaimed money can come from various sources, including forgotten bank accounts, unclaimed wages, and unclaimed insurance benefits.

The Canadian government has established a website where individuals can search for unclaimed money in their name. The website allows users to search for unclaimed money by province, name, and property type.

In addition to the government website, there are also private companies that specialize in helping individuals locate unclaimed money. These companies typically charge a fee for their services, but they can be helpful for individuals who have difficulty navigating the government website.

It is important to note that not all unclaimed money is easily recoverable. Sometimes, the funds may have been lost due to a lack of documentation or other issues. However, it is still worth checking to see if there is any unclaimed money in your name.

Utilize tax credits

Tax credits are a great way to reduce your tax bill and get some free money in Canada. There are many tax credits available, and it is vital to take advantage of them to maximize your savings.

One tax credit that can help you save money is the Disability Tax Credit (DTC). To be eligible for the DTC, you must have a severe and prolonged impairment that affects your daily activities.

If you are a student, there are also many tax credits available to you. The most popular tax credit for students is the tuition tax credit, which allows you to claim a credit for tuition fees paid to a post-secondary institution. Additionally, there are tax credits available for textbooks, education-related travel, and interest paid on student loans.

GST credit/HST credit (Goods and Services Tax) credit in Canada is a tax-free quarterly payout from CRA intended to help individuals and families with low incomes offset all or part of the services tax, GST or HST (Harmonized Sales Tax) they pay, leaving some extra money in their pockets.

Eligibility for the credit depends on the individual's or family's annual net income, and the amount of the credit varies based on this income and the number of dependents. It's essential to file a yearly tax return with Canada revenue agency, even if one has no income, in order to receive or continue receiving the GST credit.

Another credit available in Canada is Canada Workers Benefit. This program is designed as a refundable tax credit to assist individuals and families who are earning a low income. CWB can provide some help, but the payments can vary depending on where you live.

For one person living in Alberta and another living in Saskatchewan, the payments might not be the same, so be sure to keep that in mind when considering the benefits of the CWB.

In addition to these tax credits, there are many other tax credits available in Canada, such as the Home Accessibility Tax Credit, the Medical Expense Tax Credit, and the Volunteer Firefighters Tax Credit.

It is essential to research and understand the tax credits that are available to you to ensure that you are taking advantage of all the free money that Canada has to offer.

Claim tax deductions

Tax deductions are a great way to save money, and Canadians can claim various of these to reduce their tax bill

By claiming tax deductions, individuals can reduce their taxable income, which means they pay less tax overall. This is a great way to get some free money from the government.

There are many different types of tax deductions that Canadians can claim. Some of the most common tax considerations include:

  • RRSP contributions
  • Charitable donations
  • Medical expenses
  • Childcare expenses
  • Moving expenses
  • Employment expenses

To claim these types of things, Canadians need to keep track of all their eligible expenses and make sure they have the necessary documentation to support their claims.

For example, individuals who want to claim medical costs need to keep all their receipts and make sure they have a doctor's note to confirm the expenses.

It's important to note that tax deductions are not the same as tax credits. Tax credits are deducted directly from the amount owed, while tax deductions reduce taxable income.

By claiming tax deductions, Canadians can keep more of their hard-earned money and enjoy a better quality of life. 

Upgrade your home for energy savings

Upgrading your home for energy savings is an excellent way to reduce your carbon footprint and save money on energy bills. The Government of Canada offers various programs that provide free money to Canadian homeowners to help them upgrade their homes with energy-efficient features.

One of the most popular programs is the Home Efficiency Rebate program, which offers rebates for upgrades such as insulation, windows, and heating systems. By upgrading your home with these features, you can reduce your energy consumption and save money on your energy bills.

Another program that can help you upgrade your home for energy savings is the Canada Greener Homes Grant. This program provides up to $5,000 in free money to Canadian homeowners who want to make their homes more energy-efficient. The grant can be used for insulation, air sealing, and heating systems.

In addition to these programs, there are also various tax credits and incentives available for homeowners who upgrade their homes with energy-efficient features. For example, the Climate Action Incentive provides a refundable tax credit to homeowners who make energy-efficient home upgrades.

Utilize coupons

One easy and effective way to save money in Canada is by using coupons. Many retailers and grocery stores offer coupons that can be used to get discounts on products or even get items for free.

To find coupons, you can check local newspapers, store flyers, and coupon websites. Some popular coupon websites in Canada include SmartCanucks, Save.ca, and Coupons.com. You can also sign up for store loyalty programs for exclusive coupons and discounts.

When using coupons, it's important to read the fine print and pay attention to expiration dates. Some coupons may restrict which products they can be used for, while others may only be valid for a limited time.

Another way to maximize your savings with coupons is to combine them with other discounts and promotions. For example, you can use a manufacturer's coupon and a store sale to get an even better deal.

Utilizing coupons is a simple and effective way to save money in Canada. By taking the time to find and use coupons, you can stretch your budget further and get more for your money.