This is How to Avoid Your Family and Make Extra Money This Holiday Season

There’s nothing quite like the holidays.

The scent of evergreen, peppermint and fresh snow provides a rush of nostalgia, and families come together after months — or even years — apart. There are feasts of honey-baked ham and roast turkey, plus tons of gift-giving and mirth.

For the first few days the family is in town, that is.

Yes, nothing gold can stay. And that goes for quality time with the families in our lives, as well.

We love our families, we really do. Especially around the holidays. But sometimes you just need some “me time” to escape the frenetic atmosphere during the season.

For me, I know my two brothers will find some ingenious way to embarrass, humiliate or otherwise annoy me at some point around Christmas. Last time it involved a dirty diaper hurled at my head (and plenty of wine).

Plus, as my first holiday season as a married dude, I’ll have to put up with…er… enjoy the company of my in-laws for a lot longer than previous years.

It appears I’m not alone in needing some time to myself to recharge from family shock, according to a recent survey by Shopkick. During Thanksgiving, for example, 75% of Americans chose to cook the turkey to avoid spending time with family.

If I weren’t liable to burn down the dang kitchen, that’d be a solid strategy for getting some “me time.” But what about us non-culinary types, who should be legally required to stay 500 yards from a turkey fryer?

When I asked around, the most popular tactics seemed to involve heavy drinking in one way or another. Come on, folks, there are definitely better ways.

Here are six ingenious ways to avoid the family during the holidays. And as a bonus, you’ll make cold, hard cash doing so to help build back savings that went toward fancy hand towels to impress your mother-in-law.

1. Surviving the Holidays is as Easy as Taking a Walk

“I’m going to take a walk,” is the international signal you’re looking for a little solitude.

It’s also the perfect way to ease out of a family group hug and escape the house for a bit. And in case your in-laws call you out on that two-and-a-half-hour trek, just explain you’re hitting step goals — and making major cash — with the help of a few slick apps.

Achievement is an app that actually pays you to be active and healthy. And even better, you’ll make more cash by sharing your progress on social media (Check the ‘gram, ma! I was totally power walking during Yankee Swap!)

You just need to connect Achievement to one, or several, of your health or fitness apps, such as Fitbit, MyFitnessPal or Apple’s Health app. Then you earn points based on step goals or a simple Tweet storm about your fitness progress.

2. Hide Out in the Bathroom During Those Heated Holiday Arguments

When a political topic surfaces during my holiday get-togethers, I turn to the porcelain throne for solace before the argument starts getting heated.

Yes, the trusty old bathroom break is an excellent option for avoiding the drama that can unfold during family gatherings. But instead of wasting time scrolling through happier memories on Facebook, make some money doing surveys, instead.

Joany, a health-care concierge service, wants to ask you some questions about your insurance coverage. In exchange for a 10-minute survey, you get $25. (You can take more than 10 minutes, you know, in case Uncle Frank decides to treat everyone to his traditional acapella renditions of Queen’s greatest hits.)

To sign up for Joany, you’ll need to have bought insurance in 2017 through a broker, plan or through healthcare.gov — not through your school or employer. You also can’t be on Medicare, Medicaid or receive coverage from the VA.

If you’re looking to eat up more than 10 minutes, Opinion Outpost is another option for paid online surveys. There are usually five to 10 surveys available per month, which means you’ll have plenty of time to “meditate.”

Survey Junkie, an app that lets you fill out as many surveys as you want, gives you points for each one you complete. Once you earn 1,000 points, you can snag a $10 gift card to start stocking up on gifts for next year.

3. Make a Few Strategic Last-Minute Shopping Trips

If three-fourths of Americans avoid family by cooking during the holidays, imagine how many hit the grocery store for a little peace and quiet.

This one takes a little planning — I’ll “forget” to grab a tub of whipped cream or package of cranberries. Then when the trouble starts brewing between the turkey and pumpkin pie servings, I exclaim, “Pumpkin pie without whipped cream? Not in my house!”

Dosh will give you cash back if you do this strategic “last-minute” shopping at one of its 100,000 partners. So you’ll save some cash while you save some sanity.

Just link one of your credit or debit cards to Dosh, and it will rack up cash automatically. You won’t even have to bother with taking pictures of receipts.

You can also sign up for Ibotta for specific cash-back deals at grocery stores and other retailers in your area.

Ibotta is particularly great for alcohol purchases, if you’re like one of my friends who just plans to to play a Turkey Day drinking game based around Grandma Rita’s outbursts.

Oh, and you could always go shopping for someone else by driving for grocery-delivery service Shipt. But that would be a lot harder to explain.

4. Get a Head Start on Those New Year’s Resolutions at the Gym

Expect a smart aleck remark, but not too much nagging if you use the gym as an escape strategy when the gravy — and conversation — starts to stick.

It’s a win-win-win. You get some time to yourself in the old iron dojo, a head start on that resolution to drop 50 pounds — and this online program will pay you for it.

HealthyWage lets you set weight-loss goals, then bet on whether you’ll accomplish them. Don’t worry, your mom whipping out the home movies should be enough motivation to get you out of the house and into that velour track suit this holiday season. (How could I have possibly been naked that much as a child?!)

In fact, Teresa Suarez lost 68 pounds and won more than $2,400 using HealthyWage.

Now, you’ll just have to figure out how to gain that all back by the next holiday season. I suggest s’mores Pop-Tarts. Tons of them.

5. Don’t Let Family Get Too Close — Rent Out Your Spare Room for the Holidays

Don’t give your in-laws the opportunity to get too close this holiday season.

Have a spare room? Might as well list it on Airbnb.

If you’re a good host with a desirable space, you could add hundreds — even thousands — of dollars to your savings account with Airbnb.

And there’s no reason you can’t be creative. We even found a guy that earns $1,380 a month renting out a backyard tent on Airbnb.

Taking a few simple steps can make the difference between a great experience and a less-than-satisfactory one.

Here are a few tips:

  • Make your space available during high-demand times in your area. Think: concerts, conventions and sporting events in your area.
  • Be a good host, and make sure your place is stocked with the toiletries you’d expect at a hotel — toilet paper, soap and towels.
  • Be personable. A lot of travelers turn to Airbnb for the personal touch they won’t find at commercial properties.

Here’s the link to sign up as an Airbnb host.

In the end, holidays are supposed to be all about quality time with the family. But who says you can’t set boundaries — and make some quick cash — as well?

6. Drive Your Way to Holiday Sanity — and Extra Money

Here’s the scene: My two brothers have decided now is the perfect time to air their grievances about the gifts they exchanged last year. (Shaving cream and a stuffed alligator claw? Really, Chad?!)

Instead of getting sucked into the fray, my phone buzzes. “Welp, gotta go make a pick-up,” I say as I rush out the front door with a smirk.

Uber gives you the perfect excuse to leave the house when things start to go south. Plus, you can commiserate with your passenger about how annoying your family has been — maybe they’ll take pity on you with a big tip.

Lyft will give you the same opportunity to escape the holiday fracas and make serious cash. We met a Lyft driver who made $750 in a single week.

Plus, you might meet a way cooler family for you to join. Just kidding, ma.

Alex Mahadevan is a data journalist at The Penny Hoarder. He loves every member of his family and would never, ever use any of the advice in this post.

This was originally published on The Penny Hoarder, which helps millions of readers worldwide earn and save money by sharing unique job opportunities, personal stories, freebies and more. The Inc. 5000 ranked The Penny Hoarder as the fastest-growing private media company in the U.S. in 2017.

Hilton Needs People to Work From Home in 29 States (Pay Starts at $9/Hr)

Do you have excellent customer service skills, the ability to troubleshoot problems and a desire to work from home?

Hilton may just have the perfect job for you.

The global hotel chain is looking to hire full-time remote reservation sales specialists.

As a reservation sales specialist, you’ll answer customer calls in a friendly manner and respond to inquiries regarding availability, accommodations, sales promotions, transportation to and from properties and more.

Pay starts at $9 an hour, with performance-based incentives, according to Hilton’s job preview for this position. Incentives could bump pay up to $14 an hour.

Schedules are flexible, but this position is full time. You may also be required to work weekends and holidays.

While this is a work-from-home position, the company needs these employees to live in the following 29 states: Alabama, Arkansas, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Wisconsin, and Wyoming.

How to Land This Work-From-Home Job With Hilton

For this gig, Hilton is looking for someone with at least one year of experience in a customer-oriented or sales role.

You should also have at least six months’ experience in a sales-oriented, performance-driven role where you’ve had to successfully meet metrics or goals, upsell or cross-sell, overcome objections and use negotiating skills.

A college degree is not required.

Job candidates also should:

  • Have a positive attitude with high energy
  • Have strong communication and active listening skills
  • Possess excellent customer service skills
  • Be computer literate
  • Be able to provide a quiet work environment, free from noise and distractions

Bonus points if you have a hospitality industry background, experience with virtual training or previously held a work-from-home job.

Job interviews and training will be done virtually.

Once you’re hired, the company will provide you with specific hardware to get the job done. However, you’ll need to already have:

  • A monitor
  • Landline phone with dial pad and a dedicated number (no cell phones)
  • Headset compatible with phone
  • Speakers
  • Webcam
  • Surge protector
  • High-speed wired internet connection (wireless is not permitted)

Watch this video to learn more about the reservation sales role. If this sounds like the right opportunity for you, apply here.

If you’re interested in other work-from-home jobs — or jobs in general — then make sure to like The Penny Hoarder Jobs on Facebook.

Nicole Dow is a staff writer at The Penny Hoarder.

This was originally published on The Penny Hoarder, which helps millions of readers worldwide earn and save money by sharing unique job opportunities, personal stories, freebies and more. The Inc. 5000 ranked The Penny Hoarder as the fastest-growing private media company in the U.S. in 2017.

Want to Get Paid to Be on Social Media? Apply for This Work-From-Home Job

We love interacting with our readers — especially when a solid, work-from-home job lead is involved.

A reader recently reached out on our Facebook jobs page to ask if we’d ever written about a company called Appen.

“If not, they’re a great company to write about, and they are hiring!” she wrote.

What’s Appen and What Do They Do?

Appen is one of those behind-the-scenes companies that helps technology and e-commerce companies develop and expand to global markets.

“With capability in over 150 languages, Appen’s global network of specialists and in-country virtual teams work together to ensure new products and technologies operate in all the languages our clients need,” the site states.

It’s pretty involved, which means a variety of jobs are available — all work-from-home.

“Appen offers work from home opportunities for exciting, flexible, short-term projects as well as full-time corporate opportunities,” the jobs page states. “We are proud to have been named in Forbes Magazine as one of the Top 100 Companies Offering Flexible Jobs in 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2017.”

What Type of Work-From-Home Jobs are Available?

Appen specializes in search, language technology and social technology, as well as project management and crowdsourcing.

Right now, the company’s actively seeking social media evaluators, which is a great place to get started.

Our reader gave us some awesome insight into opportunities for advancement.

“Once you start working for them (and do well) management will pass along your information for other jobs they have that are not posted online,” she writes.

These other jobs include crowdsourcing and web search evaluators.

More About the Open Social Media Evaluator Positions

If you love social media and are an active user, now is the time to get paid for your time on social media platforms!” the job posting states.

Unfortunately, you won’t get paid to mindlessly scroll through Twitter or tag friends in viral Facebook dog videos. (That French bulldog getting pampered…)

You’ll need this experience, though, since you’ll be improving a top client’s newsfeed. But don’t worry — you’ll be adequately trained.

You’ll need to be familiar with social media platforms, including Facebook and Instagram. You should also be able to follow instructions while working independently (from home, remember?) and have a strong grasp of English.

In terms of technology, you should have a computer or smartphone that’s less than 3 years old and has a high-speed internet connection.

You should be able to commit to 1-4 flexible hours a day, five days per week (sometime seven), up to 20 hours per week. You’ll work as a contractor, accepting projects along the way.

“It allows for so much flexibility,” our reader says. She works one hour each day. “I get a whole day to work my hour. I can pause any time and come back where I left off, as long as [the project is] completed that day.”

She keeps a stopwatch going to keep track of the time she’s worked.

Pay is described as “dependent upon project”; our reader says she makes just under $14 an hour and gets paid once a month via direct deposit.

How To Apply for a Job with Appen

To find social media evaluator jobs near you, click here and select the position from the menu on the left side of the page.

If you’re interested in other opportunities, check out the site’s job page, which includes international jobs.

As always, follow our Facebook jobs page for more work-from-home jobs. And if you have found an awesome company that’s hiring, be sure to message us and let us know!

Carson Kohler (@CarsonKohler) is a junior writer at The Penny Hoarder. After recently completing graduate school, she focuses on saving money — and surviving the move back in with her parents.

This was originally published on The Penny Hoarder, which helps millions of readers worldwide earn and save money by sharing unique job opportunities, personal stories, freebies and more. The Inc. 5000 ranked The Penny Hoarder as the fastest-growing private media company in the U.S. in 2017.

Credit Card Fraud and Identity Theft Aren’t the Same, but We Hate Them Both

I’ll admit it. I got suckered.

I got phished and fell for it.

It was about 10 years ago, and these scams weren’t commonplace just yet. I responded to what looked like an email from my bank verifying my PIN.

Dumb move. My rent money was taken out of my account at an ATM in Romania. Seriously. Luckily, my bank was great about handling it, and it was all resolved.

I told everyone that I had been a victim of identity theft and even went on the local TV station to talk about it. Phishing scams were a relatively new concept back then.

I was wrong. It wasn’t identity theft. It was credit card fraud.

Potato? Potahto? Actually, no. Credit card fraud and identity theft are two different crimes, and the difference is significant. Here’s what you need to know.

Credit Card Fraud Is a Form of Identity Theft

Technically, credit card fraud is one type of identity theft. Legal Dictionary defines credit card fraud as “the unauthorized use of an individual’s credit card or card information to make purchases, or to remove funds from the cardholder’s account.”

That means some shady character has gained access to one of your accounts through a stolen card, account number, PIN or anything else that lets them access your account.

Those card skimmers at the gas pumps are a prime example of how credit card fraud occurs. The skimmers steal your card information when you swipe your card for fuel, then the fraudster sells that information on the darknet or uses it to take or spend money from your account.

A simple way to remember the difference between credit card fraud and identity theft is that credit card fraud involves one account getting compromised.

How to Prevent Credit Card Fraud

There’s no surefire way to prevent all credit card fraud unless you want to go back to only using cash or trading chickens. There are, however, some ways to minimize your risk.

  • Keep your credit cards in a safe place. Keep them in a wallet or purse that’s close to you at all times outside of your home.
  • Shred your credit card bills and unwanted bank statements. Basically, shred anything with your account numbers on it.
  • Do not give your card or account information over the phone unless you initiated the conversation. If you called your favorite store, fine, but if the store called you, how do you know it’s legit? You don’t.
  • If you’re worried about gas pump skimmers, first look for the small seal that shows that the pump panel has not been opened. Then use the “credit” option on your debit card. Never type in your PIN. Even safer, prepay inside the store for your gas.
  • Never give out information via email. Phishing scams are everywhere. Keep in mind that your bank or credit card company will never ask you for your PIN. Also, that prince in Nigeria does not actually have millions of dollars for you. Don’t give him anything.

What to Do if You’re a Victim

If you discover that one of your bank or credit card accounts has been compromised, take action right away. The sooner you react, the better chance you have of saving your money.

  • If you have a card that lets you freeze it easily from your phone or a computer, do it right away.
  • Keep a close eye on your statements for the account in question. You’ll want to look for any new charges you did not make.
  • Call your bank or credit card company and let it know about the issue.
  • Report the theft to the police. They likely won’t do much to help, but having that report could help you get your money back from your bank or credit card company. In any case, it won’t hurt.
  • Change your online passwords. You don’t know exactly what information the bad guys have. You want to change your passwords occasionally anyway. (But not too often.)
  • Call one of the three national credit reporting agencies, Experian, Transunion or Equifax, and file a fraud alert. If you do this with one of the companies, it will automatically alert the others. No need to call all three.
  • File a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission. Like the police report, this can help as you try to clean up the mess.

Identity Theft Goes Beyond a Single Account

While credit card fraud is the compromising of one account, identity theft occurs on a broader scale. Identity theft is defined by Legal Dictionary as “the act of stealing another person’s personal identifying information in order to gain access to his financial resources, or obtain access to other benefits, such as money, credit, or insurance benefits.”

In other words, the bad guys have your personal information and can use that to gain access to your accounts, open new accounts or even take out loans in your name.

Or perhaps someone uses your identity to conceal their illegal actions. Maybe they need medical help and don’t have insurance, but you do.

There’s even a problem in the U.S. with child identity theft.

Scary stuff.

If you are getting phone calls or bills in the mail about debts you know nothing about, don’t simply dismiss them. Look into the charges and see if someone is using your information.

How to Prevent Identity Theft

Identity theft uses your personal information against you. That means you need to take steps to protect that information from others who might want to use it for their own gain. Here are a few tips.

  • Protecting your Social Security number is crucial. Keep your Social Security card in a safe place and don’t carry it with you. If you happen to lose it, the card could easily fall into the wrong hands. Also, only give out that number when it’s absolutely necessary.
  • Never respond to unsolicited requests for your personal information. Whether it’s a phone call or email, always be wary. If your bank contacts you asking for information, politely decline. Then, call your bank directly and let it know about that phone call or email. Same for any other contacts.
  • Shred all unneeded documents that may have your Social Security number or other personal information on them. When in doubt, shred it.
  • Be smart with your online passwords. Keep them varied and difficult to guess.
  • Order a copy of your credit report. The law requires each of the three credit reporting agencies to provide you with one free copy of your report each year. Look for any old accounts that could be removed or ones you do not recognize.

What to Do if You’re a Victim

The steps to prevent and repair identity theft are largely the same as those for credit card fraud, but there are a few added measures.

  • Find and close any new accounts opened in your name. When you report the fraud to a credit bureau, it should be able to tell you what new accounts have been opened.
  • If you think your Social Security number was compromised, report it to the Social Security Administration.
  • If your driver’s license was stolen or compromised, report that to your nearest Department of Motor Vehicles. You may need to get a new one.
  • Suddenly have a police record for no reason? You may have to clear your name of wrongdoing. It won’t be fun or easy, but you can’t ignore it. Call your local law enforcement agency to start the process. You may want to seek counsel from a lawyer first.
  • Keep a close eye on your mail for any other solicitations for payment. School loan notices, medical bills, even letters from the IRS could be signs that you have more issues to address.

The easiest way to get started is to go to identitytheft.gov and report your identity theft case. The site will walk you through all of the steps you need to get the situation fixed.

Protect Your Identity and Your Credit Score

It’s a scary time for these kinds of crimes. We’ve become an increasingly digital society, and our information is out there for the taking. I mean, when one of the three major credit bureaus leaks your information, you know things are bad.

What can you do? Your best bet is to simply keep close tabs on your accounts and passwords, and be smart when you shop online.

If you really want to protect yourself, you can pay a credit monitoring company to alert you if anything looks amiss. Some of them can also help you recover from identity theft.

Credit card fraud and identity theft happen. They’re not the same thing, but they both suck. A bit of diligence now can save you a lot of headaches later.

Tyler Omoth is a senior writer at The Penny Hoarder who loves soaking up the sun and finding creative ways to help others. Catch him on Twitter at @Tyomoth.

This was originally published on The Penny Hoarder, which helps millions of readers worldwide earn and save money by sharing unique job opportunities, personal stories, freebies and more. The Inc. 5000 ranked The Penny Hoarder as the fastest-growing private media company in the U.S. in 2017.

7 Tips for Spending and Banking During Your European Vacation

Entre vostre PIN, si us plau.

Those six little Catalan words cost me more than $50.

I’d just arrived in Barcelona after a two-legged, sleepless redeye, but I was prepared — or so I thought. Despite my exhaustion, I wasn’t about to dish out a fistful of crisp euros on a cab ride when I could just take the airport bus for just €5.90. After 12 hours of travel time, what was 40 extra minutes?

But although I’d long since had the chip card international travel necessitates, I’d overlooked a crucial step: setting up the personal identification number, or PIN, required at teller-less credit-card transaction points in Europe.

At my early arrival time, there was no way to purchase bus tickets aside from the automated kiosk — and that pesky PIN prompt kept flashing on the screen, no matter which card I used. It was 5 a.m. EST on a Sunday, so calling customer service was out.

Unless I was ready to take a very long walk with all my luggage in tow, I was going to have to capitulate to the pricy taxi line.

Which I did. To the tune of €50 — almost $60 in U.S. dollars.

When you think about preparing your finances for a big trip, you might assume it’s all about saving up a big enough budget.

And to be sure, you want some extra padding if you’re going to be globe-trotting — both for once-in-a-lifetime splurges and unexpected travel surprises. (Trust me, they happen. A lot.)

But aside from patiently stashing away cash, there’s some other money-related homework you need to do if you want to smoothly transition your wallet to a new part of the world.

Here’s everything I did to prepare my finances for my big European excursion — and what I wish I’d figured out before my flight.

1. Get a Chip-Enabled Credit Card with No Foreign Transaction Fees

Even if you usually rely on cash, it’s important to have multiple ways to pay when you’re far from home. But when it comes to overseas travel, you don’t just need plastic: You need the right kind of plastic.

You might already be familiar with the EMV credit-card system, otherwise known as “chip” cards. The U.S. was a little late to this particular party, but they’ve been more or less the global standard for years, so if you’re headed to a far-off, foreign destination, you need one.

But that’s not all. You don’t want to pay an extra percentage every time you swipe — or, excuse me, insert — your card, so you need to look for a credit card that doesn’t have a foreign-transaction fee.

And while you’re card-shopping, it’s a good idea to bear in mind which vendors have the widest acceptance in your destination country (most likely Visa and Mastercard). I use my Discover card almost exclusively at home, but it’s a little trickier to do so in Europe.

Penny Hoarder bonus points if you use a travel-rewards credit card to earn frequent flyer miles or other valuable perks so you can afford even more adventures. Fun fact: My flight from Florida to Spain cost me a total of $6 — no, that’s not a typo — simply because of miles I earned on my credit card.

2. Set Up (and memorize) the PIN

Just don’t say I didn’t warn you.

3. Let Your Bank(s) Know Where You’re Going.

It’s actually a pretty awesome thing that your bank and credit-card providers keep tabs on your transactions’ whereabouts. It helps protect you from identity theft.

But if they see a charge in Germany when you’re supposed to be in Oregon, you’ll likely find your transaction disapproved… and face a lengthy phone-tree journey to get your card unlocked again. (Which is double-ick if you’re on a plan that charges crazytown prices for international calls! Check out low-cost, traveler-friendly cellphone and data providers like Google Fi if you’re going to be doing this jetset thing a lot.)

Fortunately, it’s really easy to set travel advisories ahead of your trip — most banks allow you to do it online, no tinny hold music required. Just be sure to repeat the process for every card and account you plan on using!

4. Take Out Some Foreign Currency Ahead of Time

Not every frequent traveler agrees with me on this, because depending on the specifics at your bank, it can be cheaper to use an ATM at your destination.

But I was certainly glad I had that €50 note to hand my taxi driver after my PIN snafu, even though it pained me to part with it. You never know what’s going to happen, and cash is, well, cash.

Here’s an important rule: Don’t utilize foreign-currency exchange kiosks in places like airports or malls. Ever. They’re convenient, to be sure, but not worth the convenience tax you’ll pay in the form of fees and a poor exchange rate.

Your best bet is to go straight to your bank and put in a foreign-currency order. They’ll likely charge a small handling fee (at my bank, it was about $7 for €400), but it’s a better deal than you’ll get in more visible, tourist-oriented places — and it’s worth it to have some cash on hand.

If you’re taking a relatively short trip, this is also a good way to budget. Take out a certain amount in cash foreign currency and promise yourself that that’s all your restaurant or “fun” money for the trip, only using your credit card for necessities and emergencies.

5. Learn Which International Banks and Partners

If you do need to take out more cash once you arrive, you’ll want to find out which international banks your home branch partners with and use them and their ATMs exclusively. Otherwise, you’ll be assessed an extra fee for the transaction — in my bank’s case, $5. (Not a huge amount, but I’d still rather spend it on a copa de cava.)

It’s not too hard to get the information; many banks publish them online, or you could ask a branch representative.

One thing I *didn’t* realize before I left, however: Even when you use the “right” bank, you may be charged an additional percentage of the amount you take out in foreign currency.

This led to some frustrated scowling when I checked my bank statement after my first trip to the ATM. Had I known taking out cash at my destination would come with a 3% upcharge, I would have taken out even more ahead of time.

6. Choose the Currency of the Country

When you use your credit card in a foreign country, you may be asked if you’d like to pay in U.S. dollars or euros (or yen, or whatever).

This might seem like a convenience. Now you understand exactly how much you’re spending!

But it’s actually a service called dynamic currency conversion, and it comes at a cost. You don’t know it, but there’s an upcharge built into that dollar amount.

Long story short: Follow the old adage and do as the Romans do — and pay in their currency whenever you have the option.

7. Learn the Country’s Financial Customs

You don’t want to be scrambling with your smartphone at the end of a meal to figure out how much of a tip is appropriate — or if you even need to leave one at all. Same goes for taxi rides, hotel porters, housekeepers and spa services.

You should also look up whether there are scenarios in which you’ll need cash. For example, I got on a last-minute train home from a remote village in Spanish wine country and was mildly surprised when the conductor told me I couldn’t pay con mi tarjeta.

Good thing I had some extra euros stashed in my wallet… although I have to admit, Priorat wouldn’t have been the worst place to get stranded.

Buen viaje!

Jamie Cattanach (@jamiecattanach) has written for VinePair, SELF, Ms. Magazine, Roads & Kingdoms, The Write Life, Barclaycard’s Travel Blog, Santander Bank’s Prosper and Thrive and other outlets. Her writing focuses on food, wine, travel and frugality.

This was originally published on The Penny Hoarder, which helps millions of readers worldwide earn and save money by sharing unique job opportunities, personal stories, freebies and more. The Inc. 5000 ranked The Penny Hoarder as the fastest-growing private media company in the U.S. in 2017.

This is What You Should Do With Any Cash You Get for Christmas

I come from a great big family that’s spread out all over the country. I have a number of well-off relatives who know I’m pretty much broke.

Aunt Nancy or Uncle Bob never know what to get me for Christmas. They don’t know what books I’m reading, what music I’m listening to, what size I’m wearing. They don’t know what I want.

So, bless their hearts, they always send me a little something they know I’ll like: Greeting cards with money in them.

Happy holidays! Spend this on something you want. Love you!

Maybe you have an Aunt Nancy or an Uncle Bob in your life. I hope so.

This holiday season, maybe you’ll be gifted with a $20 bill here, a $50 bill there, or perhaps a check with a happy smiley face written on the little memo line at the bottom.

Here’s the question of the day: What are you going to do with that money?

Here are two choices for you:

  1. You can waste it. It’s basically found money, right? You can blow it on mixed drinks, lottery tickets, dinners out, new shoes, overpriced lattes, expensive eyeliner. Let’s face it, you can burn through that cash pretty fast, and that’ll feel good. OR:
  2. You can open a high-yield savings account.

Wait, wait, hear me out! I know that sounds less fun than mixed drinks and eyeliner. But it’s important — and totally worth doing.

If you don’t already have a savings account, there’s no better time to start one. Do it now, while you have this little bit of extra cash in your pocket. Put your holiday money to work for you.

Even if you’re living paycheck to paycheck, the way so many of us are, you should still have a little bit of money tucked away in savings. You never know when you’re going to need an emergency fund.

Without a savings account, you have no backup plan if you run into an unexpected car-repair bill, lose your job or worse. And should you find yourself in such an unfortunate circumstance, chances are you’d whip out the plastic — and end up paying interest.

Also: Next time you buy a high-dollar item, wouldn’t it be nice to pull that money from your savings account like a full-fledged adult? You’ll feel so accomplished. It beats charging your purchase to a high-interest credit card.

You can open a savings account at your local bank branch, but my suggestion is going with a high-yield savings account at an online bank — you’ll be less likely to withdraw the money.

There are a bunch of great online banks, but one of our favorites is American Express. Right now, this high-yield American Express savings account offers an interest rate around 100 times what a normal bank offers. And there are no monthly fees.

Here’s the promo link: 

Even better? If you don’t spend it, your balance in that account earns up to 1.25% interest — over 100 times more than regular bank accounts.

So don’t let Aunt Nancy or Uncle Bob’s cold, hard cash go to waste. They’re tucking those $20 bills in your Christmas card every year because they love you.

Make that love last. Put their money to work.

Mike Brassfield (mike@thepennyhoarder.com) is a senior writer at The Penny Hoarder. He doesn’t have much money, but he has a savings account, dadgummit.

This was originally published on The Penny Hoarder, which helps millions of readers worldwide earn and save money by sharing unique job opportunities, personal stories, freebies and more. The Inc. 5000 ranked The Penny Hoarder as the fastest-growing private media company in the U.S. in 2017.

10 Cities Where Income Grew Fastest in 2016 (and 10 Where It Grew Slowest)

Money continues to pour into Silicon Valley, and it shows in the latest income numbers released by the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis this week.

While that might not be too enlightening, a Penny Hoarder analysis of that data shows similar bumps in per-person income in cities in Utah, Tennessee, Georgia, Maryland and even Indiana. Hey, don’t act surprised — Indiana made our list of the top states getting richer in 2016.

On the other end of the spectrum, residents in some large metropolitan areas in Oklahoma, Texas, Florida and other areas of the south are actually getting poorer.

As far as the entire U.S. goes… meh. In total, personal income ticked up about 1.7% last year (which is why you should always be looking for ways to stack extra cash on the side).

These Cities Saw Major Growth in Paydays in 2016

To take a look at how cities ranked, we looked at the change in per capita personal income (a fancy pants way of saying your annual pay) from 2015 to 2016, since that’s the most recent data made available by the BEA.

We only used the 100 most populous metro areas in this analysis. (Sorry Jacksonville, North Carolina — you’re still No.1 in income growth in our heart.)

1. San Francisco, California

A scenic photo of San Francisco, Calif.

Florian ↟/Unsplash

Income growth: 4.2%

Income: $84,675

First off, I’m pretty jelly over here thinking about raking in $84,000 a year — even though that might afford you a one-bedroom closet to call home in Silicon Valley.

Unsurprisingly, IT drove this influx of new earnings, with a 25% increase in pay in that sector over the previous year. Arts and entertainment earnings also grew 11% in 2016.

2. San Jose, California

A downtown building photo in San Jose, California.

Nicolas McComber/Getty Images

Income growth: 4.2%

Income: $87,643

San Jose is always nipping at San Fran’s heels, it seems. And while the average San Josian pulled in more than your typical San Franciscan, their earnings growth was slightly under 4.2% by just a few decimal points.

Due to confidential information in the data, there’s not much information on what exactly is driving this income jump. But construction earnings increased 18%, and manufacturing earnings ticked up 8%. One interesting note: Income from data processing plummeted 29%.

3. Provo, Utah

A scenic photo of Provo, Utah

Andy Matthews/Unsplash

Income growth: 4%

Income: $36,154

Provo has to be one of the few places where retail trade is flourishing, as opposed to, you know, the whole retail apocalypse thing.

In fact, retail trade helped drive the metro area’s uptick with a 12% increase in 2016. Scenic and sightseeing transit jumped 101%, and telecommunications income increased 45% over the same period.

4. Salt Lake City, Utah

An aerial photo of downtown Salt Lake City, Utah.

ferrantraite/Getty Images

Income growth: 3.5%

Income: $46,023

I don’t necessarily associate entertainment and the arts with Salt Lake City, but that certainly may be changing.

Arts and entertainment earnings increased 18% in 2016, while traditional industries like construction, transportation and warehousing boosted the city 10% increases each.

5. Stockton, California

A sunset view of Stockton, California.

tntemerson/Getty Images

Income growth: 3.5%

Income: $40,458

The arts also drove Stockton, California’s income bump in 2016, with a 19% increase in earnings over the previous year.

The rest of the city’s economy saw pretty balanced growth. Still, mining and oil and gas extraction income did increase by 10%, echoing trends in earnings upticks you see in a lot of smaller metro areas we didn’t include in this list.

6. Nashville, Tennessee

A street scene of two women looking at the world Nashville on the side of a building in Nashville, Tenn.

Katy Belcher/Unsplash

Income growth: 3.4%

Income: $52,450

For such an interesting city, Nashville, Tennessee’s personal income growth has a pretty boring story (womp, womp).

Transportation and warehousing jobs paid about 10% more in 2016, while real estate and construction earnings both jumped 9% in the same timeframe.

7. Ogden, Utah

A man gets ready to go fishing in the Ogden River in Utah.

PinnacleMarketing/Getty Images

Income growth: 3.3%

Income: $39,381

Another Utah city? Really?

Like Salt Lake City, Ogden, Utah, also saw major earnings growth from the arts, with a 14% increase in income from the arts and entertainment industry.

Utah just might be a state to keep an eye on in the coming years.

8. Atlanta, Georgia

A scenic photo of downtown Atlanta, GA.

Joey Kyber/Unsplash

Income growth: 3.1%

Income: $47,348

Atlanta’s film and music industries helped boost per capita incomes in the southern city in 2016, with a 68% increase in earnings from the motion picture and sound production sectors.

Telecommunications — and specifically data processing — jumped 18% last year, showing an increase in attention from the tech industry.

9. Baltimore, Maryland

A photo of the Baltimore skyline.

pabradyphoto/Getty Images

Income growth: 3.1%

Income: $57,189

OK, after several viewings of “The Wire” in its entirety, Baltimore may not seem like the most, uh, appealing place to buy property. That’s wrong, according to the data.

Real estate and rental income jumped 29% in 2016 over the last year. Arts and entertainment earnings increased 10%.

10. Indianapolis, Indiana

A yellow bicycle sits on a busy street in Indianapolis, Indiana.

benedek/Getty Images

Income growth: 3.1%

Income: $49,681

Indianapolis isn’t just a great city for millennials — it’s also racking up income like it’s nobody’s business.

While most of its economy has experienced balanced income growth, farmers’ incomes skyrocketed by more than 300%. Urban farming has likely driven that surprising bit of growth.

If you live in one of those cities, enjoy your newfound wealth. But remember to stay on top of that budget — don’t get cocky now.

These 10 Cities Are Falling Behind in Pay Per Person

Sarasota, Florida, USA downtown skyline.

SeanPavonePhoto/Getty Images

While the top 10 cities on this list may be coming up with ways to spend their fresh cash, those in the bottom 10 should probably be looking for ways to save the precious income they have left.

Here are the bottom 10 metro areas in income growth for 2016:

  • Tulsa, Oklahoma
  • Houston, Texas
  • New Orleans, Louisiana
  • Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
  • Cape Coral, Florida
  • Bakersfield, California
  • Denver, Colorado
  • Sarasota, Florida
  • Baton Rouge, Louisiana
  • Wichita, Kansas

Remember, there’s always next year!

Alex Mahadevan is a data journalist at The Penny Hoarder. His hometown is in the bottom 10, but luckily he works for a company where he learns saving tips every single day.

This was originally published on The Penny Hoarder, which helps millions of readers worldwide earn and save money by sharing unique job opportunities, personal stories, freebies and more. The Inc. 5000 ranked The Penny Hoarder as the fastest-growing private media company in the U.S. in 2017.

Help for Parents: Here Are the 20 Best YouTube Channels for Your Kids

A little screen time can be a parent’s savior.

We’ve all had times when that glowing screen has saved the day — from thwarting a mid-store temper tantrum to allowing just 10 minutes of peace to fold the laundry.

Watching videos can even teach your child a thing or two (because honestly, do you want to sing the ABCs a dozen times in a continuous loop?).

In this world where we face the choice between costly cable packages and purchasing multiple streaming subscriptions, YouTube is a great source for a wide array of free videos.

Not sure what to watch? Here are some kid-friendly channels your little one is sure to love.

Toddlers

Videos featuring bright colors, catchy tunes and lovable characters will have your tots entranced while learning about the alphabet, numbers, colors, shapes and more.

LittleBabyBum

LittleBabyBum’s nursery rhyme videos are educational and entertaining, with both classic and original songs. New videos are posted weekly, and some compilation videos last over an hour long.

Baby Joy Joy

An adorable baby in a hooded jumpsuit takes toddlers on musical adventures with Baby Joy Joy videos. This channel has an addictive version of the ABC song.

Kids TV

Kids TV — Nursery Rhymes and Baby Songs is a popular channel with preschool educational videos. Little ones love the Bob the Train and Bottle Squad characters.

Baby Einstein

This established brand’s YouTube channel features a mix of cartoon, puppetry and live-action videos. The Baby Einstein channel also has videos that focus on music, crafts and infant products.

Kids

From toys and games to cooking and crafts, these channels captivate older kids and give them tons of new ideas for what to do when you press the stop button.

Ryan ToysReview

Ryan ToysReview shows the adventures of a young boy, his family and a whole bunch of toys. The videos in this channel also include science projects, pranks, challenges, songs and funny skits.

EvanTubeHD

For more toy reviews, check out EvanTubeHD. Over 4.6 million subscribers tune in to see this boy unbox, describe and play with various coveted toys.

CharlisCraftyKitchen

CharlisCraftyKitchen will have your kiddos wanting to get in the kitchen to cook up sweet treats. This channel also features challenge videos, haul videos and more.

Will It Slime?

If your kids are obsessed with slime, Will It Slime? will teach them how to make all sorts of slime, from butter to fluffy and even magnetic. So. Many. Varieties.

Educational

Sneak in a little school outside of the classroom. These channels take a fun spin on learning.

Crash Course Kids

Host Sabrina Cruz takes on grade school science in this channel. Crash Course Kids will help your kid learn about engineering, physical science, life science and more with down-to-earth explanations and a mix of animation.

Cool School

Cool School covers reading, language, art class and more, but makes it… well, cool! Kids can find their favorite teachers in Ms. Booksy, Crafty Carol, Jim Class and other characters.

SciShow Kids

SciShow Kids will answer your curious kids’ questions of “why?” This science-focused kid channel tackles topics like why we get hiccups and and why the sky is blue.

Free School

Want your kid to learn more about geography and grammar? How about art and animals? Classical music and constellations? Free School has you covered.

As Seen On TV

These channels bring TV right to your smartphone or tablet. Select videos from programs your kids already love.

Sesame Street

”Sesame Street” is the longest-running children’s program and captures millions of viewers on YouTube by offering the classic content kids love. Check out this channel for clips, skits and songs. It even offers full episodes.

Disney Channel

This channel provides content from Disney Channel favorites like “Raven’s Home,” “Bizaardvark” and “Tangled: The Series.” Viewers can enjoy trailers, clips, tutorials, behind-the-scenes videos and full episodes.

Nickelodeon

Nickelodeon’s YouTube channel offers viewers behind-the-scenes content, show clips, trailers, music performances, quizzes and more. Kids can get their fill of their favorite shows like “SpongeBob SquarePants,” “The Loud House” and “Henry Danger.”

Cartoon Network

Your kids can’t get enough of “Teen Titans Go!” and “The Amazing World of Gumball”? Then check out Cartoon Network’s YouTube channel for clips from those shows and other network favorites.

Music

Sometimes the kiddos just need to jam out! Just don’t blame me when the songs from these channels get stuck in your head.

Kidz Bop

Kidz Bop entertains children with kid-friendly versions of the songs we all hear on the radio. Parents can appreciate the fact that lyrics are altered to make the tunes appropriate for little ears.

The Kiboomers

The music videos shown on The Kiboomers channel are great for younger audiences. They include traditional nursery rhymes, original songs and music in other languages.

Disney Music VEVO

Disney and music go hand in hand. This Disney Music VEVO channel has musical hits from your kids’ favorite movies.

Best Baby Lullabies

If your kid protests all forms of resting, Best Baby Lullabies may not be his favorite channel — but it just might be yours. These calming tunes are perfect naptime or bedtime aids with looped audio lasting an hour or more.

Nicole Dow is a staff writer at The Penny Hoarder. She enjoys writing about parenting and money.

This was originally published on The Penny Hoarder, which helps millions of readers worldwide earn and save money by sharing unique job opportunities, personal stories, freebies and more. The Inc. 5000 ranked The Penny Hoarder as the fastest-growing private media company in the U.S. in 2017.

Enrolled in Medicare? Here’s Why You Need To Review Your Plan Before Dec. 7

If you’re a Medicare recipient, you’ll want to tackle an important task before the open enrollment period ends on Dec. 7.

Spend a few minutes reviewing your plan to make sure you’re getting the right coverage to meet your needs.

You could save hundreds of dollars and get even better benefits by switching to another plan.

Still More Fun Than a Colonoscopy

A new survey from WellCare Health Plans found that 62% of seniors aged 65 and up don’t review their Medicare plan annually.

In fact, some Medicare enrollees aren’t aware it’s possible to review and change their plans. Others say it’s simply too frustrating to bother.

According to the survey, people say reviewing Medicare plans ranks right up there with colonoscopies and dentist visits on the list of things they don’t like to do.

Where to Find Information on Medicare Plans

When you’re ready to review and compare Medicare plans, there are a few places to find the information you need.

1. Watch Your Mail

Medicare mails “Plan Annual Notice of Change” packets to enrollees every year outlining any upcoming changes in plan coverage or cost.

Watch your mail carefully, though. The packets can be easy to overlook.

2. Go Online

Everything you need to review and compare your Medicare plan options can be found at Medicare.gov.

Enter your zip code in the Medicare Plan Finder tool for a broad list of plans available in your area. Or, for more personalized results, provide your Medicare number, last name and date of birth.

If you need additional help choosing a plan, AARP is a great place to turn for objective advice.

“There’s a wealth of information on www.aarp.org, and you can do a quick search to find the articles that most interest you or are relevant to what you’re seeking,” says Bart Astor, author of AARP Roadmap for the Rest of Your Life.

“AARP, of course, has published some excellent books on Medicare and they have featured articles in their Bulletin and magazine that can help with choosing the right plan.”

3. Find an Adviser

You can seek Medicare advice from an insurance counselor in several places, including:

If you’re interested in plans with a particular company, “don’t forget about the customer service personnel at companies that offer plans,” Astor says. “They’re very knowledgeable and can help you find what’s best for you.”

Medicare advisers are also an option. Be sure to choose an independent agent who is authorized to sell a variety of Medicare plans rather than a captive agent who may be limited to only one or two plans.

“A captive agent will only be able to offer you a few plans, whether they fit your needs or not,” Diane Daniels, author of The Medicare Survival Guide, explained to USA Today. “A captive agent doesn’t get paid if they don’t make a sale. A captive agent doesn’t have you in their best interest. A Medicare adviser will.”

Medicare advisers are typically paid commission by the insurance companies they represent, and do not charge customers for the advice they offer.

Susan Edwards, an editor at The Penny Hoarder, recently used an independent agent to help sort out her Medicare options.

“My adviser was an independent agent and did not charge me,” says Edwards. “The bonus is that he doesn’t work for a particular insurance company and so has no incentive to push one plan over another. He said he is paid the same commission, regardless of which plan his clients choose.”

There are thousands of listings for independent Medicare agents online but your best bet is to ask friends and family for a word-of-mouth referral.

How to Compare Medicare Plans

Medicare.gov offers a wealth of information about Medicare plans, but it can be tough to sort through it all.

1. The Cheapest Isn’t Always the Best

Medicare premiums range from $0 to $400 per month depending on the plan you choose. Optional drug coverage can add another $13.30 or more to your monthly bill.

“While cost is one consideration, the lowest price isn’t always the smart choice, just like you don’t always choose the low bidder for work done on your house,” says Astor.

2. Look at the Big Picture

Before committing to a Medicare plan, make sure the doctors you see now are covered and give some thought to what kind of medical care you may need in the future.

Keep in mind that traditional Medicare plans offer limited or no dental, vision or hearing services.

“Also don’t forget that Medicare has limits on diagnostic tests such as MRIs and PET scans,” Astor notes. “Mental health conditions and substance abuse coverage should be a consideration as well.”

3. Do the Math

There’s more to Medicare expenses than just the monthly premium, so make sure you understand what you’ll pay out-of-pocket for doctor visits, hospital stays, and medical tests.

“The key is to make sure that when you compare plans, you’re considering all of the costs, including the deductibles, not just the premiums,” Astor says.  

How to Save Money on Medicare

Astor says the key to saving money on health care and Medicare expenses is “to anticipate our health care needs in the future, not what they were in the past.”

Take prescription drug coverage, for example.

“[T]wo weeks ago my blood pressure was considered well within the range of normal,” Astor says. “But recently it was reported that a blood pressure higher than 130 over 80 is considered hypertension. In the coming year, therefore, my doctor may decide that I need to be on a blood pressure medicine.”

If you can’t afford your Medicare premium or deductible, you may be able to get help from your state or through a government-funded program called “Programs of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly.”

Lisa McGreevy is a staff writer at The Penny Hoarder.

This was originally published on The Penny Hoarder, which helps millions of readers worldwide earn and save money by sharing unique job opportunities, personal stories, freebies and more. The Inc. 5000 ranked The Penny Hoarder as the fastest-growing private media company in the U.S. in 2017.

Having Friends Pays Off: 35 Refer-a-Friend Programs That Pay You

Have friends? Co-workers? Family members?

If you fall in love with a product or service you use, you’re probably going to buzz about it. (I know we do!)

But did you know you can actually get paid to refer friends?
We scoured the internet and found 35 companies offering awesome referral rewards. If you take full advantage of these programs, you can easily bank thousands of dollars. But sometimes a crisp $5 bill is nice, too.

1. Dosh: $5

Dosh is a cold, hard cash-back app. When you spent money at a Dosh-affiliated retailer, you’ll get a percentage of cash back. Perhaps it’s 10% back from your local pizzeria. Or 3% back from Bed Bath & Beyond. When you refer a friend — and they connect their credit and/or debit card and redeem their first offer — you’ll earn $5.

2. Airbnb: $20 Toward Travel

I’m so mad all of my friends use Airbnb already… maybe I need to make more? If you refer a friend who takes their first trip, spending $75 or more, you’ll get an easy $20 toward your next adventure.

3. Acorns: Up to $100/Year

You’ve heard of Acorns, right? It’s one of our favorite micro-investing apps. You can start investing your spare change with as little as $5. (Plus, you’ll earn a $10 bonus when you sign up here.) Next, refer a friend to earn up to $100 in a calendar year.

4. Blooom: $10 Amazon Gift Card

Need some 401(k) guidance? Blooom is a robo-advisor that’ll make sure your account is working hard for you. The hands-off service is $10 a month, but you don’t even have to get your friends to sign up to get the $10 gift card. If they simply opt for the free 401(k) check-up, that Amazon card is yours!

5. Chime Bank: $25

Chime Bank is kind of the bank of all banks. It has no hidden fees, it can save you money automatically and it even delivers your paycheck early. When you refer a friend (tell ’em it only takes five minutes to sign up) who deposits $50 or more into the account, you’ll snag $25.

6. Credible: $100 to $1,000

Credible refinances student loans, and the service has saved graduates a ton of money (like $50,000). If you’ve already used the service and you refer a friend who refinances a balance of $30,000 or more, you’ll snag $1,000. For balances under $30,000, or for personal-loan referrals, you’ll still get $100.

Note: This offer ends December 31, 2017.

7. HealthyWage: $20 (No Limit!)

This site pays you to lose weight (these women did it!). You place a bet on yourself and if you carry through, HealthyWage pays you. When you recommend a friend, it’ll add $20 to your wager. So, for example, if you invite 100 friends who sign up, that’s an additional $2,000 you can win if you meet your weight-loss goal.

Remember, the referral bonus is only available during the first three months of your HealthyWage challenge, so start hustlin’.

8. Lucktastic: 1,000 Tokens

Love scratch-off tickets a little too much? Lucktastic is a great free option. You can play scratch-offs right on your phone. When you refer a friend who downloads the app, you’ll bank 1,000 tokens — good for all the spins.

9. JOANY: $25 (Unlimited)

JOANY is healthcare concierge service. Its employees help individuals find and compare plans, seek out doctors and navigate complicated medical bills. In order to best cater to its customers, it needs you to answer some HIPAA-protected survey questions — fewer than 50 — for $25. (Make sure you qualify here.)

Once you complete the survey, share your unique referral link. When a friend successfully completes the survey, you’ll get another $25.

10. Lyft: A Free Ride

If you refer a new Lyft rider, once they take their first trip, you’ll earn a free ride. Do note that this offer varies by location, so just check your Lyft app.

11. Uber: $5 Toward Your Next Ride

Uber offers two options: When you’re a driver and refer a friend to start a new side gig, you can get rewarded. But if you’re a passenger, you’ll snag a $5 credit when you refer friends and they use your code before requesting their first trip.

12. MyPoints: 750 Points

If you haven’t already, you’ll want to sign up for MyPoints because you can earn a $10 Amazon gift card when you make your first purchase. Then refer your friends, because you can earn 725 points toward more gift cards when your friend makes a $20 purchase.

13. Ibotta: $5

The Ibotta app is an easy way to earn cash back for your purchases. You’ll also earn money back when you refer a friend. Once your pal claims the $10 welcome bonus, you’ll pocket $5. If you’re not already a member, go ahead and join (for free) and snag that $10 welcome bonus for yourself.

14. Aspiration Summit Checking Account: $25 For Charity

This online-only bank account makes dealing with your finances a lot easier. The “no ATM fees” and “earn interest” aspects are nice, too.

If you have an Aspiration Summit Checking Account, refer a friend. Unfortunately, you won’t personally bank extra money; however, Aspiration will donate $25 to the charity of your choice, which puts sweet karma on your side.

15. Decluttr: $10 (Up to $100)

It’s exactly as it sounds: Decluttr is an online platform on which you can purge all your old media (CDs, DVDs, etc.) and electronics. When you gently remind your friend to clean out their childhood bedroom, you’ll earn $10 after they complete their first order.

16. Ebates: $25

Whatever you do, before you go shopping, you better use Ebates. Users can get up to 15% cash back. And when you refer a friend, you can bank $25.

Note: This offer stands until Dec. 31, 2017.

17. Clink: $5

Clink is a super simple investing app. It basically does everything for you, and you need only $1 to start. Plus, when you refer a friend, Clink puts $5 in your account!

18. Drop: 1,000 Drop Points (or $1)

Drop is a fun, passive rewards app that rewards you for your purchases at its affiliated retailers, a few of which include Trader Joe’s, Lyft, Starbucks and Target. When you refer a friend, you’ll get 1,000 bonus Drop points, which equates to $1. If you have a lot of friends, you could earn up to $100.

19. Shopkick: 250 Kicks

Rewards apps are great, but many times they require you to spend money to make some back. Shopkick is different, though. You can earn “kicks” just by walking into a store. These kicks then translate to gift cards. For example, 6,500 kicks will get you a $25 Amazon gift card.

When one of your referrals signs up for Shopkick, you’ll bank 250 bonus kicks. That’s like walking into five Targets.

20. InboxDollars: 10% of Friends’ Earnings

If you’re into survey sites, you’ve probably heard of InboxDollars. You can get paid to take surveys, watch videos and play games. When you refer a friend who signs up, you’ll earn 10% of their qualified earnings. Say they watch a video and earn $1. You’ll get 10 cents.

21. GlassesUSA: $30 Toward Glasses

Eyecare isn’t cheap, so any little bit helps. GlassesUSA offers (more) affordable frames and lenses, and when you recommend a friend who buys a pair, you’ll get $30 toward your next purchase.

22. Achievement: 500 Points

When you download the Achievement app, it works passively to track your steps and activities, and it rewards you with points, which convert to dollars. Once you hit 10,000 points, you earn $10.

Help yourself reach that goal faster by referring friends (up to 20) and earning an extra 500 points without even leaving your couch.

Heads up: This is for a limited time only.

23. Clarity Money: $3

The free Clarity Money app helps you keep your finances in order. It’ll even negotiate existing bills for you. Check it out for yourself if you haven’t already.

Then, once you realize how much you love it, refer a friend. Once they sign up and link one account, both you and your friend will bank $3 in your Clarity savings account.

24. Qapital: $5 (No Limit)

Qapital is a fun banking app that helps you effortlessly save money. When you refer a friend who makes their first deposit, you’ll both bank a $5 bonus.

25. Twigby: $20 Credit

Cell phone bills are way too expensive these days, so some folks have opted to save tons with discount wireless carrier Twigby. If you’re already a customer, great. Go ahead and refer a friend so both of you will receive a $20 credit.

26. Groupon: $10 in Groupon Bucks

All right, Groupon has wacky deals sometimes, but you can find real gems (like pizza) and save a ton. When you refer a friend, you can bank $10 in Groupon bucks to spend on the next great deal you find.

27. The Honest Company: $20 Credit

Jessica Alba’s sustainable products empire, The Honest Company, has a solid refer-a-friend program. Invite a friend, and bank $20 in your account for your next purchase. (This is perfect for moms!)

28. Sam’s Club: $10 E-Gift Card

Are you a Sam’s Club member? When you send a friend your unique referral link (found here), and they sign up, you’ll collect a $10 e-gift card, and they’ll collect a $20 e-gift card.

29. AAA: Refer a Friend for 20 AAA Dollars

Got AAA? You can help a friend out without changing their tire on the side of a highway by referring them to AAA. You’ll get 20 AAA Dollars, which will go toward your card’s renewal. Plus, you both can score awesome, unexpected discounts.

30. Chase Credit Cards: Varies

A lot of credit cards offer great refer-a-friend deals, especially Chase. I have the Chase Sapphire card, and when I refer a friend, I get 10,000 points, which is enough to cover a flight (depending on where I’m going). I can max out at five friends — or 50,000 points.

To find out if your Chase card offers a refer-a-friend bonus, enter your information here.

31. Hulu: $10 Visa Prepaid Card

Have you taken the plunge and cut the cable cord? If you’re a Hulu user, be sure to refer a friend. That friend will get a free 30-day trial, and you’ll get a $10 Visa prepaid card or gift card.

32. Rent the Runway: $30 Off

Rent the Runway is an online shop that lets you rent designer dresses for a fraction of their price tags. (Penny Hoarder Susan Shain loves it!) When you refer a friend, not only will they get $30 off their next purchase, you’ll get $30, too.

33. Hotels.com: $50 Off

If you travel a lot, you know how expensive hotels can be. Hotels.com not only helps you save, but when you refer a friend (who then books a $200-plus stay), you’ll also get $50 towards your next booking. Your friend will get $50 off, too.

34. Shipt: $10 For Groceries

Shipt makes all your dreams comes true. That is, if you hate entering the grocery store. If you’re curious, read about how it works here. If you already use it, recommend it to a friend. Both of you will get $10 to go toward your next grocery bill.

35. Walmart Grocery: $10 Promo Code

Love using Walmart’s grocery online pickup and delivery service? You might as well spread the good word, and refer your friends. They’ll get $10 for groceries — and so will you.

Carson Kohler (@CarsonKohler) is a junior writer at The Penny Hoarder. She’s been humming the Beatles’ “With A Little Help From My Friends” while researching this post. Off-key, of course.

This was originally published on The Penny Hoarder, which helps millions of readers worldwide earn and save money by sharing unique job opportunities, personal stories, freebies and more. The Inc. 5000 ranked The Penny Hoarder as the fastest-growing private media company in the U.S. in 2017.