So this is my quick, shameless plug for two legitimate websites where you can earn real CASH or points that can be redeemed for gift cards, tickets, etc. for just about everything.
MyPoints - I have been a MyPoints member since 2001, so I can personally attest that they are a legitimate, free, and real way to earn points for gift cards. I have limited myself to basically just checking emails (and then deleting them), which earns me 5 or 10 points a pop. Since 2001, I have earned over 17,000 points by just checking emails (never "doing" the offers). In addition, you can earn a lot more points for doing surveys, sign-up offers, shopping online (almost anywhere), etc. (850 points will get you a $5 Starbucks card; 3250 points will get you a $25 gift card to anywhere from FootLocker to Gap to Old Navy to just about any restaurant you can think of.) So, if you check your email regularly, might as well earn a few points here and there, and then use them when you have enough. If you're interested, shoot me an email (email@example.com), and I'll "refer" you, so that I can get a referal (yep, that's my bonus - referrals earn you points too).
I recently started InboxDollars, which is basically the same as MyPoints, except that you earn cash instead of points. You earn cash in all of the same ways as MyPoints: surveys, offers, online shopping, referrals, etc. Once you have $30 or more in your account, you can redeem your money, and they send a regular check to your address (or you can choose other methods of payment). It is all free, and as with MyPoints, I have never had any problems with them. If you're interested in this, click on the link on my website, and it will take you directly to the registration (and give me a referral in the process).