3 Ways to Make an Extra $500 in 2023 — Without a Pay Raise

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Here’s how to earn an extra $500, with no pay raise, second job, or side hustle required.


  • There are several financial products you can open to make hundreds of dollars or more.
  • Many bank accounts and credit cards offer introductory bonuses to new clients who complete the qualification requirements.
  • I bonds are a low-risk investment offering a generous interest rate.

Making more money is always a popular goal. There’s a lot you can do with extra cash, like investing, adding to your savings, or using it to pay for a vacation. Usually, the hard part is finding a way to earn more.

You can increase your income with a raise or a second job, but these may not be realistic options for everyone. Fortunately, there are also several ways to bring in more cash without needing to add to your workload or move up at work. Here are a few simple, easy ways you could make $500 in 2023.

1. Bank account bonuses

Bank account bonuses are incentives offered to new customers who open an account and complete the bonus requirements. Quite a few banks offer them on checking and savings accounts, with bonus amounts ranging from under $100 to over $1,000.

There are two common types of bonus requirements. Some bonuses have minimum deposit requirements, where you need to deposit and maintain a balance for a certain amount of time. For example, a bonus may require a $15,000 deposit and that you maintain that balance for 90 days.

Other bonuses have direct deposit requirements, where you need to receive a minimum amount of direct deposits within a set timeframe. For example, a bonus could require that you receive $5,000 in direct deposits within 30 days of opening the account.

If you can fulfill the requirements, bank account bonuses are a great way to make money. I normally make hundreds of dollars per year this way. If you go for a large enough bonus, or you earn a few different ones, you could easily collect $500 or more.

Want to find a good bonus opportunity? Check out The Ascent’s best bank account bonuses.

2. Credit card sign-up bonuses

Bank accounts aren’t the only option to score a bonus. You can also earn introductory bonuses with many popular credit cards. With most of these bonuses, the only requirement is spending a certain amount on purchases. That makes them a good alternative to bank bonuses if you’re looking for something that doesn’t require having lots of money to deposit.

Bonus amounts and spending requirements vary from card to card. There are several cash back credit cards that offer bonuses of $200 to $250, with spending requirements of $500 to $1,000 in the first three months. There are also rewards cards with annual fees that have much larger bonuses, along with larger spending requirements.

This is another type of bonus that makes it a breeze to earn extra money. You could earn a $500 bonus with just one credit card, since there are plenty with bonuses worth that much or more. Alternatively, you could open two or three cards with smaller bonuses throughout the year.

Interested in the biggest bonus offers? Here are The Ascent’s best credit card sign-up bonuses.

3. I Bond

One of the most popular low-risk investments is the I bond. An I bond is a government-backed security with a combination of a fixed-interest rate and a variable-interest rate. The variable-interest rate is tied to inflation, and it changes every six months. Because inflation has been extremely high, that variable rate has increased accordingly.

Although rates have since decreased from earlier in the year, I bonds are still paying over 6% interest. You can purchase up to $10,000 in electronic I bonds per calendar year. If you have some money saved and you’re looking for a safe way to make it grow, buying I bonds could do the trick.

Want to get more info? Learn how to buy I bonds in four simple steps.

There are more ways to earn extra money than a lot of people realize. With bank bonuses, credit card bonuses, and I bonds, you have three options to add to your income in 2023. The best part is that all three are as secure as it gets, so there’s no risk of losing your money.

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