If you’re new to crypto, the prospect of converting hard-won cash into what appears to be magical internet money might seem uncomfortable. Thankfully, there are sneaky ways to fill your crypto coffers without directly spending cash. Here are seven that we recommend. (Oh, and none of these companies have compensated us in any way, Blockwich does not take kickbacks!).

Rewards Credit Card

Most credit card points go unused, so you’re probably better off with a credit card that pays you back in Bitcoin instead of tenuous rewards points, which are always decreasing in value anyway. Three strong contenders in this space are BlockFi, SoFi, and Gemini. They each pay between 1.5% and 2% back on your purchases. If you put $3,000 a month on your credit card, 2% back in Bitcoin is the same as investing $60 a month, which adds up over time. One note is to pay attention to the withdrawal terms; some platforms don’t let you withdraw crypto at all (like SoFi) or have withdrawal limits, so you have to sell your Bitcoin and re-buy elsewhere if you want to move to a different wallet.

Watching Training Videos

You can earn crypto in exchange for learning about crypto. Platforms like Coinbase Earn and CoinMarketCap Earn give you crypto in exchange for watching videos about different projects and taking quizzes to test your knowledge. The crypto projects incentivize this to build their community. You won’t become rich from doing this, but with a couple hours time investment you can make $50-100 in crypto.

Lolli Rewards Platform

If you’ve ever used Rakuten or Honey, then you know how Lolli works, except instead of cash back you earn Bitcoin back. The premise is that instead of visiting Chewy.com directly to buy pet food (or any other online retailer), you first visit Lolli, find their link to Chewy.com, and click from there. That extra step earns you a % of your purchase price back, which runs the gamut between 1% and 20%. I asked Aubrey Strobel, an executive at Lolli, for some tips on how to maximize your time with the platform. She had three great ideas:

First, to buy your next mattress (or other high ticket item) through them. Mattresses have the perfect combination of a high price and a high earning rate (a $2,000 mattress with a 10% earning rate gives you $200 in Bitcoin). If you make one or two purchases like this a year, you’ll accumulate a decent stack for free.

Second, to use them in combination with your crypto-earning credit card. If you’re earning 2% crypto with your crypto credit card AND an extra 2% with Lolli, that’s 4% total. If crypto goes up 25x in the next 10 years, then your purchase will be just about paid off.

Third, to run business expenses through them. Aubrey told me their highest-earning members employ this method. If you get reimbursed by your company for buying office supplies or booking travel, then why not order them via Lolli and keep the Bitcoin for yourself? It’s a win-win.

Lolli has been around an eternity in crypto-years and at the time of writing just raised another $10 million, so they’re the clear winner in the space.

Sign-Up Bonuses

Just like banks give small bonuses for opening up a new credit card or checking account, crypto platforms often offer a sign up bonus for joining them and making your first deposit or trade. I’m personally not a fan of this method because your time is better spent elsewhere, but it exists and works.

Side Hustle

This is the most lucrative method for earning free crypto, if you have the spare time and energy. Most of my personal crypto portfolio came because I did freelance work at nights (often late nights) and was either paid in crypto or immediately bought crypto with the extra money. It wasn’t much to start, but over time it grew by leaps and bounds. Instead of investing in crypto, invest in yourself to pursue new business opportunities or new education or to get a raise. Then, use that new money to buy your portfolio.

Staking/Lending

If you already own crypto or are willing to convert your cash into stablecoins to lend out, platforms like BlockFi, Celsius, and Gemini Earn will pay you an APY in crypto. Just diversify because you’re taking on additional risk to do so. Similar to this method, almost every advanced crypto power user has earned free crypto airdrops along the way for participating in cutting-edge platforms. It’s hard to plan for this, because these airdrops often come from nowhere, but it does happen (one person I know made a $100 trade on Uniswap and got Uniswap’s 400 token airdrop, which is worth $8,000 today).

New Earning Models

Some blockchain platforms are built on new ways to help you monetize data. You can become an active user of those platforms to earn free crypto. For example, SteemIt helps you earn for publishing content, Brave helps you earn for viewing ads, and Permission helps you earn for taking ownership of and selling your data.

Final Word of Caution

You’ll earn free crypto with these methods, but make sure that you manage your spending habits as you take advantage of them. If you sign up for a crypto credit card and suddenly are spending $6,000 a month instead of $3,000 because you’re enamored by the Bitcoin rewards, you’d have been better off sticking with cash. Be careful out there!

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