Even before I write this, I suspect I'm going to get responses that tell me this is a waste of time. Nonetheless, along with similar penny ante financial activities like cutting out and using coupons, I mine simple online activities for money or gift cards. There are many sources out there, but these are the ones I use, along with my comments:
My Points: My number one favorite site for giftcards that are easy to earn. I can earn points by buying things through this site, but over the course of three years, the only thing I've ever bought is the Entertainment Book for my city. And I don't buy it until they offer the book with free shipping (or this year, $1 shipping) and a $25 restaurant card and 1000 MyPoints. However, I can also earn points just for reading the ads. This consists of opening an e-mail, clicking on the "act now" button which takes me to the advertiser's website, and then closing the website and the e-mail. Basically two clicks and I've earned 5 points. Other points are earned for surveys, including dorky 2-question surveys like "Do you have life insurance? Yes/No; Are you interested in purchasing life insurance? Yes/No." For me, that's a yes on the first and a no on the second question, at which point I earn 10 points. Then, there's signing up for newsletters, such as Viking River, a travel agency. 50 points and I never even open the ensuing e-mails. God bless the delete button. After a month or so, I terminate the subscription.
The best deals with one's MyPoints are $10 gift cards from Barnes & Noble, Old Navy, Gap, Red Lobster or various other trendy places for 1400 points. But $5 cards are available for as little as 750 points.
If I don't get the Barnes & Noble card, I spring for the $10 Starbucks card for 1450 points.
If all this sounds like too much work for too little reward, all I can say is that it's not. In my work, I get a lot of e-mail, so I don't mind opening a few extra that will give me something back over the long run.
My Survey: my favorite survey site with lots of ten point surveys, and a surprising number of longer ones. For the record, no "twenty minute" survey actually takes more than ten minutes to complete. Most surveys are worth 75 or 150 points. The points can be traded for money or gifts. At $10 per 1000 points, I usually opt for the money.
Another good survey site is Lightspeed Surveys. This one also pays $10 per 1000 points, with the points especially easy to earn.
One thing about all the survey sites is that they really don't want to hear from us older folks--I note that young women and, particularly, young men have many more surveys available to them. If one is African American or Hispanic, that will also increase the chances of a survey being available.
One way past this overt discrimination is to have a teenager in the house. Most survey sites will let your teenager earn points under your account. My daughter likes taking the surveys. Fortunately, she hasn't asked about the points or what I do with them.
There is one thing, common to bloggers, that I do not do. That is, I don't have any paid advertising on this site. I may change my mind about that in the future, but for the time being, I want this site to be all Grace, all the time, with no advertising to distract either me or the reader.