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5 easy ways to earn extra money from your couch

With the majority of Americans spending most of their days in quarantine, CNBC Select outlines five ways you can make extra cash from the comfort of your home.

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With millions of Americans working outside the office, our time these days is spent mostly (if not entirely) in our homes.

And while some may have more spare time than others during quarantine, there are some easy ways to earn extra cash on the side if you have a computer and internet access.

In just a few simple steps, you can find ways to earn cash back on the spending you're already doing from home. And if you have the ability, taking a hands-on approach can help you find new sources for income on the web.

Below, CNBC Select outlines five easy ways to earn extra cash from your couch — or wherever you are at home.

1. Use a cash-back credit card for all your spending

For the purchases you may be already making — like on groceries, food delivery or streaming — you could earn cash back. That way, you're not leaving any money on the table.

Cash-back credit cards can earn you hundreds of dollars a year and thousands of dollars over time if you use them strategically. For example, the Citi Double Cash® Card offers 2% on every purchase with unlimited 1% cash back when you buy, plus an additional 1% as you pay for those purchases. Plus, for a limited time, earn 5% total cash back on hotel, car rentals and attractions booked on the Citi Travel℠ portal through 12/31/24 (see rates and fees).

After analyzing 50 of the most popular cash-back cards, we rounded up a few of our favorites that made the best-of list:

2. Move extra cash to a high-yield savings account

As millions of Americans are experiencing financial distress amid the coronavirus pandemic, you may not have extra cash sitting around. But if you do, or if you receive a second stimulus check and don't need to use it all on basic necessities, deposit it into a high-yield savings account.

Interest rates may be lower than normal right now, but you can still earn you over 16X more money than the national average on traditional savings accounts. CNBC Select rounded of some of the best high-yield savings accounts and two that made the ranking are the Vio Bank High Yield Online Savings Account for its higher APY and the Varo Savings Account for the ability to automatically transfer money from a Varo bank account to your savings account.

3. Download and use a browser extension

There's a very simple way to earn money for searching what you otherwise would be looking for on search engines Google or Bing. 

Browser extensions, like Qmee, help you earn extra money just by downloading them (for free) and searching. The way it works is you type your search into the browser extension and the search results usually pop up in a separate sidebar. Each time you conduct a search and click on a result from the sidebar, you get paid a certain amount of money. Keep in mind the rewards for one click may only be cents, but it adds up over time.

Be aware that too many browser extensions can slow your computer down. You can research the pros and cons before downloading new browsers on tech blogs like How-To Geek.

4. Get paid to take surveys online

Whether you are interested in sports, new technology or health and beauty, there's a survey out there that you can get paid for taking.

Survey taking is something that really anyone can do. You get paid to share your feedback on a new product or service. Most sites require you to build a profile of information about yourself when you set up an account so that they can match you to surveys that fit your interests.

While each survey pays a certain amount, your compensation can vary depending on the survey company. They may pay you through cash, check, PayPal, gift cards or rewards.

There are endless websites out there that advertise paid survey opportunities, so read reviews of the website prior to signing up so you know it's not a scam. Grant Sabatier of Millennial Money listed the most reputable survey sites on his website, and some trusted ones you can use include Survey Junkie, Swagbucks and Vindale Research.

5. Sell your stuff on Facebook

If you have a Facebook account and things laying around that you no longer need, sell them on Facebook Marketplace. The Marketplace is essentially an online store that lets you leverage the Facebook community by aggregating products that are being sold locally to you or in nearby cities.

And really you can price a tag to anything you have, from pet and office supplies to toys and games, electronics, apparel and even cars.

Stuff that you don't find useful could very well be handy to someone else. If you aren't on Facebook, you can also sell online at Letgo, Craigslist and Amazon.

Learn more:

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Information about the Apple Card, Alliant Cashback Visa® Signature Credit Card, Vio Bank High Yield Online Savings Account, and Varo Savings Account has been collected independently by Select and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer prior to publication.

Editorial Note: Opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the Select editorial staff’s alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any third party.
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