Make $20 Instantly: 17 Practical Ideas for When You Need Money Right Now

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Practical Ways to Make $20 Instantly

Need some extra cash but don’t know where to look? Thankfully, there are many ways you can make an extra $20 in little to no time. Whether it’s earning some extra cash to save more money or whether you need $20 to pay for the weekend event with your friends, we’ve got options for you.

While these options may not be the best if you’re looking for sustained income (see these side hustle ideas instead), they can be great when you need some quick cash. Below is a list of ways to make $20 instantly and without any experience or prior knowledge.

How to Make $20 Instantly

Here are a number of different ways you can make quick cash. Choose the one that works best for you, or even better, combine a few different ideas.

1. Personal Capital ($20 signup bonus)

Personal Capital is free software that allows you to get a visual of your total financial scenario in one location. It allows you to see both numeric and graphical analysis of your money, your current returns, and growth rates, as well as help analyze your budget and spending habits.

Other features include things like a retirement planner to help calculate your progress towards retirement savings, a net worth tracker to see a visual on how your wealth grows over time, and a customized investment checkup to ensure you’re properly invested.

If you wish to pay for premium services, you can use Personal Capital’s wealth managers and get added investment and financial planning assistance (this is not required in order to use the free software).

So, how do you make an extra $20 with Personal Capital? VitalDollar readers get a $20 sign-up bonus just for setting up your free Personal Capital account and linking at least one financial account to the service (you must sign up through this referral link). Once completed, you’ll get a digital gift certificate for $20 at Amazon! It takes just a few minutes, provides you with one of the easiest ways to make $20 instantly, and gives you access to really useful software.

Sign up for Personal Capital here.

2. Swagbucks ($5 signup bonus)

Swagbucks allows anyone to earn extra money online for completing simple tasks that you already spend hours doing on your phone! Ways to earn money on Swagbucks include:

  • Watching videos
  • Answering questions to company surveys
  • Shopping at partnered Swagbucks retailers for cashback offers
  • Purchasing gift cards at your favorite stores and getting cashback
  • Using exclusive coupon codes on Swagbucks to claim free discounts
  • And oher related online activities

When completing tasks, you get paid “Swagbucks”, or SB, which can then be redeemed for cash or gift cards.

So, how do you earn money instantly with Swagbucks? Aside from completing the above tasks which in many cases take only a few minutes a day to complete, you get a free $5 bonus just for setting up your account!

3. Survey Junkie

Survey Junkie is an online platform that lets businesses connect with their customers and their potential market by posting surveys. Survey Junkie will pay you money to take these surveys so businesses can discover better products, services, and processes for their company.

As you build up rewards after taking surveys, you can earn cash by redeeming money through PayPal, or select your favorite companies to receive gift cards from.

If you’re looking to make an extra $20 quickly, it only takes a few minutes of time per day to start building up rewards that can be redeemed for money when you need it.

4. InboxDollars ($5 signup bonus)

InboxDollars is another top cashback website that allows its users to make money online just for completing everyday online activities. 

How does it work? InboxDollars’ partners with brands that pay them to get input from consumers. InboxDollars then pays you to complete these activities online. You make money online by completing activities such as:

  • Taking surveys
  • Watching videos and TV
  • Redeeming free coupons for food and grocery stores
  • Shopping at InboxDollars partner retailers

Perhaps the biggest difference between InboxDollars and other cashback programs is that they will pay you in real cash, not points that convert into cash. This gives you a better idea of exactly how much money you can make per activity you complete.

To aid you in making that extra $20 instantly, you can redeem $5 for free just for signing up.

Need more than $20? You may be interested in these articles:

5. MyPoints ($10 signup bonus)

MyPoints is a cashback program that focuses mainly on shopping at your favorite retailers through your MyPoints login. Once you set up a free account, you can log into MyPoints and browse the current deals going on and search among their many partner retailers to shop at. When you click on a retailer such as Kohl’s, for example, you are taken to the website and any purchases you make gets a percentage cashback in your MyPoints account!. It’s literally free money!

MyPoints members can receive up to 40% off just by shopping through their MyPoints login. While they focus on shopping online and partner retailer deals, they also give you the option to get paid extra money for taking short surveys for their partner companies.

Once you build up enough points, you can redeem your rewards for gift cards or cash sent to you PayPal account. What’s more, is if you set up your free account with MyPoints today through our partner link, you’ll receive $10 just for signing up!

MyPoints - Cash Back and Rewards
Earn cash back from purchases at thousands of online retailers and earn rewards for simple tasks like taking online surveys, watching videos, and printing coupons. Sign up for MyPoints now for a $10 bonus!

6. Rakuten ($10 signup bonus)

What was formerly known as Ebates, is now called Rakuten. Rakuten allows you to get up to 40% cashback at over 2,500 stores and websites. Stores will pay Rakuten to advertise their products to its members. When you log into your account, Rakuten customers get access to exclusive details and cashback options sent to your account once you make a purchase at a partnered retailer.

Some popular stores on Rakuten include eBay, Kohl’s Groupon, Target, Nike, and thousands more. A convenient feature of Rakuten is that they have a very user-friendly app that allows you to everything right from any smart device.

When you build up your cashback on Rakuten, you will get a payout sent to your PayPal account (or receive a check by mail) once every quarter.

Another way to aid you in making $20 instantly is to sign up for a free Rakuten account here today, and you will get a free $10 bonus once you’ve made your first purchase.

7. Robinhood

Are you currently invested in the stock market? If not, you should be! With popular, modern investing apps today like Robinhood, it no longer takes a lot of money to open an account and doesn’t take a ton of time to begin investing.

Robinhood is a modern investing app that lets anyone with $5 invest in the stock market. They are among the first to offer fractional trading, which means you can purchase any stock regardless of its share price. If you want to own just $5 of Amazon, you can do so and will own a fraction of a share of Amazon stock.

Not only will investing in the stock market help you build wealth and make more money on a passive basis, but when you set up a Robinhood account you will receive a free share of stock. You have a chance at winning a share of Facebook or other popular companies. All you have to do is follow our partnered link here to set up your Robinhood account and claim your free share of stock.

Get a Free Stock from Robinhood!

Robinhood is a free investing app that allows you to trade stocks, ETFs, options, and cryptocurrency with no-commission trades and no minimums. Right now you can get a free stock just for creating an account through this link.

8. M1 Finance ($20 signup bonus)

M1 Finance is another finance app that helps anyone begin investing in the stock market automatically. The app lets you set up a free account and put your investments on autopilot by building your own portfolio, or “pie” as they call it, and setting up recurring transfers (optional).

Furthermore, M1 Finance also provides you access to a basic checking account called M1 Spend. It has the potential to earn interest on unused cash and everyday purchases when subscribing to an M1 Spend Plus account.

We’ve partnered with M1 Finance to provide you with a free $20 bonus just for setting up your M1 Finance account. Follow this link to take advantage of our exclusive M1 Finance sign-up bonus. You can make $20 instantly just by creating an account and making an initial deposit.

M1 Finance - $50 Signup Bonus

M1 Finance (free) makes it easy to manage your money. Choose from a wide variety of professionally-created "pies" (portfolio allocations) or create your own. Contribute to your account and M1 Finance automatically manages the investments.

9. Mistplay

Did you ever wonder if you could make money online by playing games? This is exactly what Mistplay allows you to do. Mistplay is an Android app that pays you to play your favorite mobile device games. Through their app you can:

  • Discover new games that are tailored to your unique style and likes
  • Earn units for each game you play
  • Turn in your units for gift cards such as Visa cards, Amazon gift cards, and many more

The more games that you play, the more rewards you have the potential to earn. You can even chat with your friends through Mistplay to stay competitive and help each other out. As you play more games you earn badges for completion of new competitions which give you more units to earn more money!

If you’re looking to make $20 as fast as possible without having to really work, then Mistplay is an easy way to get paid for having fun, literally.

Sign up for Mistplay here.

10. Sell Something You Don’t Need

Perhaps one of the best and easiest ways to make $20 instantly is by selling stuff you don’t need. Ideas of what you can sell range from unwanted books to old clothes and even children’s toys. We’ve all got things that we can get rid off, and there are plenty of people looking to buy used stuff.

How and where do you sell your stuff? Websites like Amazon and eBay are great starting points to list items to sell. Other ways to sell unwanted stuff is through selling apps like Facebook, Offer Up or other social media apps.

To learn more about how to sell your unwanted items for some extra money, take a look at “30 Ways To Sell Your Stuff When You Need Money.”

11. Sell Unwanted Gift Cards

Have you ever received gift cards to stores that you don’t shop at that often, or maybe you just forgot about it? What if there was a way that you could sell your unwanted gift cards for money? Thankfully, this isn’t an unusual need, so companies like allow you to sell your gift cards for extra money! is a marketplace much like Amazon, but specifically for people to buy and sell their unwanted or unused gift cards. All you have to do is set up a seller account with and list your gift cards for sale. The great thing is you can even set the selling price! Once you make a sale, you will receive your money via direct deposit, PayPal, or check by mail. is a bit different in that you can enter your gift card and the respective balance to get an instant quote from Cardpool with the ability to earn up to 88% cashback on your unused gift cards.

If you have some unused gift cards just sitting around, this is an idea to make $20 instantly that you might want to consider.

12. Rent Out Storage Space

Do you have unused space in your garage, attack, or even your driveway? You can monetize that space by renting it out to others who need extra space. Neighbor is an app that lets you rent out unused space to those in need. If you have a driveway with an extra parking stall, you can rent that space out to someone who needs a place to park their car for the winter (for example).

Perhaps a family in the neighborhood needs a place to put their boxes while they are moving. Thanks to Neighbor, you can rent out your extra storage space in your shed to help them out while making some extra cash on the side.

13. Refer a Friend

Chances are you have purchased a product or service because a friend or family member told you how awesome that product or service was in the first place. Brands will pay you money to refer your friends and family to use their product or service. To figure out whether a company gives you the option to make money for referrals, simply search the company website for “referral programs.”

Take a look at this article If you want to learn more about how to make money through referral programs.

14. Donate Plasma

Plasma is always needed, especially nowadays when so much sickness and disease are widespread. You can make an easy $20 or more just by spending about an hour a week donating plasma at your local plasma donation center. Some plasma donation centers even provide you a large bonus upfront for your first visit, allowing you to often times double the amount of money you would normally make for donating.

In order to be able to make money donating plasma, you need to make sure you meet the following guidelines (source):

  • You need to be at least 18 years old
  • You should weigh at least 110 pounds
  • You must pass a medical examination
  • You must complete a medical history screening
  • You must test non-reactive for transmissible viruses
  • Have an overall healthy diet

See this article about how to get paid to donate plasma.

15. Credit Card Signup Bonus

Credit card companies are anxious to win your business, so they often have large bonus programs for new members who sign up. Bonuses can include anything from added travel miles when signing up, bonuses in the first few months for spending a given dollar amount with their card, or even bonuses offering a few hundred bucks just for signing up for their credit card!

These bonuses are great because they can be very significant (hundreds of dollars), but the downside is, you won’t get the money right away. Typically, you’ll need to spend a certain amount on the credit card and then the bonus will be available. It may take a few months until you actually have the money.

To help simplify the process of finding great credit card companies, we’ve created a list of the best credit card bonuses available.

16. Find Missing Money

We’ve all experienced losing that $20 that we could never find. Each year, states receive unclaimed property and money available to those who can prove that it is theirs. In many cases, they already know it’s yours, they just don’t have your contact information (this often happens when you move).

Websites like and are great resources to help you find out where to go to see if you have unclaimed money or property from years ago. You’d be surprised at how many people find an extra $100 or much more. And best of all, it only takes a few minutes to check. The websites will do the majority of the work for you.

17. Sell Your Hair

Who would have thought that there is a marketplace to buy and sell hair? is a marketplace that does just that; buys and sells hair to those in need.

Whether you finally decided to get rid of your “man-bun” or whether you want to trim your bangs for the summer, be sure to keep your hair so you can sell it for some extra money.

Examples of recently sold hair include 25 inches of straight brown with golden sheen hair for $370, or naturally curly virgin dark brown/black hair sold for $650. If you’re looking for an extra $20 fast, then this will be more than enough if you need a quick hair trim.

After setting up an account with, you will be guided to evaluate your hair that you wish to sell. Once completed the valuation process, they will calculate how much your hair is potentially worth. Next, you can list it for sale and make some extra cash while helping someone out!

Final Thoughts

All of the options covered in this article can help you to make some easy money quickly. When you need to make $20 instantly, you can turn to one of these methods, or maybe a combination of a few methods.

Disclosure: Information presented on Vital Dollar and through related email marketing is intended for informational purposes only and is not meant to be taken as financial advice. Please see our Disclosure for further information.