It seems like everyone has a smartphone these days. While there are some definite downsides to a culture that’s always connected, these phones have many benefits. One benefit is the sheer number of apps that are available. You no longer need to carry a separate calculator, PDA, MP3 device, or any number of items. Your smartphone takes care of that. There’s pretty much an app for everything, including apps to help you make money from your phone.
Each app below is legit. You won’t find any scams here. Additionally, you won’t find money-making apps that rarely have opportunities available. You don’t want to waste your time sitting and refreshing an app a dozen times, just hoping that something appears.
You will find a variety of apps below. Since everyone is different, my goal was to have this list include at least one that would be a good match for you. With this list, you’re bound to find something of interest, whether you enjoy snapping pictures inside of stores, or earning passive income through investing. There’s definitely a lot of earning potential here, so dive in and see what will work for you.
To help you earn more, here are tips for increasing your earnings, plus my favorite 17 apps that pay you money.
Tips to Earn More with Money Making Apps
If you decide to sign up for any of these apps that pay you money, I highly recommend making a list. Keep track of your login information and record how often payments are made. If there’s a minimum threshold before you’re eligible for payment, document that as well. You want to have the information you need easily available.
Remember to use the apps. If you never log into them, you won’t be able to earn.
Because of this, I recommend starting with only one or two. Once you’ve made regularly checking in a habit, go ahead and download a few more. But, if you download everything all at once, you are going to be overwhelmed and you may not ever make any money with all these apps. They’ll just be sitting on your phone taking up space.
Always read the offers carefully. You need to follow the direction closely, or you will not be eligible for the rewards. Also, make sure you understand any risk potential, such as when you are betting on weight loss or investing in the market.
Check into your accounts regularly and make sure the balance is what you are expecting. If there’s an error, you want to catch it right away. Knowing your balance will also help you keep track of which app you can pull money from if you need quick cash.
Apps really are a fun way to earn money on the side. So, pick your favorite from the list below and get started.
Do you ever go grocery shopping? Almost everyone does! Everyone needs to eat.
That’s what I love about Ibotta. You get money for doing something you’re already doing. This app is phenomenal. I’ve been using it for years, and have earned over $1,200 in a calendar year. That’s not bad money for doing something as simple as scanning your receipts.
Ibotta is similar to using coupons, except you don’t have to subscribe to the newspaper or remember to bring your cut out bits of paper to the store with you. Instead, you do the following:
- Download the app and register for a free account
- Login and select your favorite stores from the list of available options
- Browse the offers and add some that correspond to the items you want to purchase
- Complete optional tasks to unlock even more offers
- Read the details for each offer to make sure you know exclusions that may apply
- Head to the stores and go buy the things on your list (and remember to pick up the things from your offers!)
- Redeem your offer in one of three ways:
- Scan your receipt
- Connect your loyalty card (you must do this before you go shopping!)
- Allow online shopping retailers to submit your receipt on your behalf (you can read more about this on the iBotta website here.)
- Earn money. It’s deposited into your account within 48 hours. You can request cash through PayPal or Venmo, or a gift card. There is a $20 threshold before you can withdraw cash, and some gift cards require $25.
It’s a straightforward way to get some cash for the things you were planning on buying anyways, so sign up today. For a limited time, you can get $10 when you sign up through this link.
Have you heard of Swagbucks? It’s another one of my personal favorite money-making apps. With this one, you earn points called Swagbucks (SB) for doing a variety of things. You can take surveys, search the web through their search engine, play online games, or go shopping.
Many of my readers love that they can earn SB by simply watching videos when they are folding laundry or have another few minutes to spare. Once you reach a certain number of SB, you can cash them out as gift cards to hundreds of merchants, or you can request cash through PayPal.
To learn more about earning with Swagbucks, read this post:
Are you looking some unique ways to earn some cash with your phone? Download Shopkick and give it a try! With Shopkick you can earn “kicks” and redeem them for gift cards or other rewards.
This app lets you earn “kicks” in six different ways:
- Walking into specified stores (no purchase necessary)
- Scanning barcodes on specific items (no purchase necessary)
- Scanning a receipt after purchasing a certain item
- Making a purchase with a linked card
- Making online purchases
- Watching videos (no purchase necessary)
When you earn kicks, you can redeemed them for gift cards and other rewards. It’s definitely a fun app, as you never know what you will earn kicks for doing. Many of my readers indicate they’ve been able to earn at least one gift card each week, just by doing these simple tasks and collecting kicks.
Do you love the concept of rideshares, but hate the thought of letting strangers get inside your car? No problem! With UberEATS, you can earn money through the Uber app by doing deliveries.
Best of all, it’s super flexible. You set your own schedule and earn when it’s convenient. You may not even need a car. In some cities, you can make deliveries with your bike or scooter. If you are required to use a vehicle, Uber allows 2-door and 4-door models, as long as they are a 1997 or newer.
To qualify as a delivery driver with Uber, you must be over 19, have a valid driver’s license and insurance, and pass a background screen. After you’ve been approved, you can deliver packages, flowers, or food.
According to Uber, most deliveries are door-to-door, meaning you’ll walk into the restaurant or other business, pick up the items for delivery, and then take that delivery right up to the customer’s door. The best time to make money are during peak times. That’s currently lunchtime (between 11 AM- 2PM), dinnertime (5-9 PM) and late night (after midnight).
The amount you earn for each delivery can vary. Fees are calculated based on a pickup fee, drop-off fee, and a per-mile fee. Start your application here.
News flash! When you work from home, it’s hard to get up and get moving. I sit in front of a computer for a good portion of each day, and exercise isn’t high on my priority list during this season of life.
In fact, when I pulled my Fitbit out of the drawer and started tracking, I discovered I was only putting in around 1,600 to 3,000 steps per day. Yikes! That’s not nearly enough physical movement in a day.
I wanted to find a motivating way to get some more steps in. So I started researching and stumbled upon StepBet. It’s a step challenge app created by the folks behind DietBet. The premise is that you bet a certain amount of money that you will meet your step goal. If you make your goal, you get to split the pot with the others. If you didn’t you just lost the money you bet.
So, if you aren’t motivated to get the steps and win the bet, this isn’t going to be a good app for you. But, if you’re looking for a fun way to earn a few bucks profit and meet your physical activity goals, definitely give it a try!
To join, download the StepBet app and place your first bet today.
6. Rakuten (Formerly Ebates)
I’ve been using Ebates for several years. They recently changed their name to Rakuten, but they’re still a great way to make money. I originally just used them on my computer, but they also have an app.
With the app, you can find in-store coupons and check prices. You can even connect your favorite credit card (or apply for a Rakuten Cash Back Visa® Card), to earn cash back on in-store purchases.
You can earn from so many stores – everything from Walmart and Old Navy to Sephora and Bose. If you’re planning on making a purchase anyways, log into your Rakuten account and see what cashback offers are available at the stores you are visiting. You never know, you might end up with some great cashback for purchasing something on your list.
Once you’ve earned at least $5.01, Rakuten will mail you a check (these are mailed quarterly). For a limited time, get a $10 gift card when you sign up for a free account through this link.
7. Inbox Dollars
Everyone’s got opinions, so why not earn rewards for them? Sign up for Inbox Dollars and you’ll immediately start earning by taking their surveys about products you use and places you visit in your everyday life.
You can register at the site with your email address. It’s free to join, and you can take the service mobile by installing their app on your phone. (It’s available for both Apple and Android devices.)
Once you’re in, you can earn in six different ways! You can:
- Take online surveys
- Watch videos
- Play games
- Get cashback from online shopping
- Read specific emails and take action on bonus offers
- Use coupons
When you sign up, you’ll be asked to take a “getting to know you” survey. This helps them better match offers and surveys that will be a good fit for you. Once you’ve earned $30, you can start redeeming your earnings in the form of a check, prepaid Visa or Inbox Dollars eCard which you can use at online retailers like Target and AMC. Get a $5 bonus when you sign up here.
Do you have any spare rooms in your home? Or a rustic cabin the woods that sits vacant most of the year?
Turn your extra space into cash with Airbnb. I know some people who have even turned hosting people into a full-time gig. Others just use it to bring in extra cash for Christmas, or whatever.
That’s the beauty of Airbnb. You get to choose when and how often you host. You can share a spare room in your apartment, host your whole home the next time you’re out of town, or create a listing for a vacation house if you have one.
Airbnb makes it simple to earn extra money by putting your extra space to work for you. Find out how much you could earn here.
9. Field Agent
Field Agent allows you to complete local tasks and earn roughly $3-12 for each one. There are so many different assignments, so you never know what will be available. I’ve seen tasks asking you to check store displays, report back on prices, or take a quick survey. It really does vary!
You will want to download the Field Agent App. Then, complete your Agent Profile. It’s important to answer accurately for the best results.
Once your prolife is complete, it’s almost time to take a first mission. Navigate to the “Find Jobs” section. You can find jobs on the “Jobs List” or on a “Map View.” This will allow you to find nearby opportunities.
When you find a job that looks intriguing, click on it to see additional details. Read the description carefully and accept it if you want. But, you are now on the clock. There’s typically less than two hours before your deadline. Make sure you’re in close proximity to the job, and that you can actually get it done.
Once you’ve earned some money, you can use the “Cash Out” button to request your money. You can opt for a prepaid debit card or direct deposit into your bank account.
Are you trying to lose weight? If so, the HealthyWage app could be a great motivator. You have the potential to earn little bits of money for meeting your goals.
Like StepBet, you place a bet on your weight loss. Except, this time it’s a monthly bet. You can earn up to $10,000 for meeting your goals in your allotted time frame. But, once again if you don’t lose the weight, you will be out the money. So if having money on the line will encourage you to eat better and get some exercise, this could be a good fit.
Additional prizes are available for keeping those pounds off long-term. I don't know about you. But what's a bigger motivator than money? This one offers step challenges as well! Get started here.
Ready to turn some outgrown or outdated clothes into cash? You can use an app like Poshmark to get rid of clutter, clear your closets, and make some money.
Once you’ve downloaded the app, it’s simple to get started. You need to take a picture of the item you want to sell, write a description, and add a price. Then you can wait for someone to purchase it.
Adding a listing takes only a minute or two once you get the hang of it. You can get all of my Poshmark tips here.
Clothes aren’t the only things that can clutter up your house. Chances are that you have accumulated quite a library over the years.
If you have books that you’ve already read and don’t want to read again, or books that are just sitting and getting dusty, you can sell them. After all, there's no reason to hold on to so many novels when libraries and eBooks have you covered. Why not free up some space and get some cash instead?
BookScouter allows you to scan barcode numbers and look at buyback prices from retailers. Plenty of bookstores are looking to stock their collection and need your help to do so. I did this recently and found over $40 of unwanted books I have been dusting. Off they go!
Have even more things to declutter? Try these apps:
Electronics and DVDs: Decluttr
Miscellaneous Items: Letgo
You can make a fortune off the stock market these days. Just ask Warren Buffett. But how do you start investing when you don't understand how the market works?
Take a look at the Acorns app. Link to your bank account and it will round up your purchases and put the spare change in stocks. Additionally, the app will give you an extra $10 just for signing up.
Maybe you'll get lucky and invest in the next Starbucks.
Stockpile is an app I have been using for a little over a year. It allows you to buy fractional shares of your favorite stocks.
You can invest as little as $5 to start. There are no monthly fees. They charge 99 cents per buy or sell. Moving money to and from your bank is free. You can also reinvest your dividends at no charge.
As an added perk, you can even open a custodial account for your kids.
Note: All investments involve risk, including the risk of losing money. Before investing, consider your investment objectives, financial resources, experience, risk factors, and investment fees.
Rover connects walkers and sitters with dog owners. Most dogs need at least half an hour of exercise a day. Bigger breeds like German shepherds and huskies need at least an hour or two each day. Puppies are especially energetic and need to be walked to let some of it loose. However, not everyone has the time or energy to walk their dogs.
That's where Rover comes in. You can offer your services simply by clicking a few buttons. Payment arrives about two days after service is completed.
Are you looking for a flexible way to earn some money? Download the Gigwalk app today and see what you can do. The variety is crazy – you never know what you might get paid to do. Here’s how to get started:
- Download the app and register your Gigwalk account
- Link your PayPal account so you can get paid
- Find gigs on the Gig List or Gig Map
- Read the details and accept the gigs that interest you
- Follow the gig directions
- Submit your work directly in the app
As I said before, there are a whole host of opportunities here. Most gigs take between five minutes to a few hours. Most pay anywhere from $3 to $100 or more. And you get to see how much each one pays before you accept.
One benefit of Gigwalk is that as soon as the money is released for the gig, it gets sent to your PayPal account. There’s no requesting money from the app, or waiting weeks for payment. This makes it a good way to earn money fast.
Want to earn money by selling photos? Download the EyeEm app and get started today. There are some definite perks to this app:
- You keep the copyright
- You earn 50% commission each time the photo is sold
- They’re partnered with GettyImages, which increases the customer base
- There’s an in-app magazine to help you improve your craft
If you have a flair for photography, definitely give this app a try. You never know – your image may sell like hotcakes, making you a lot of money!
Today’s phones aren’t just for calling. Or even just texting. They can be money earning tools. So, download a couple of your favorites and fill up your free time with useful apps.
Get some extra money to pay your bills. You might not get rich off these apps, but you'll certainly have fun getting a bit of money.
First published in July 2017. Updated August 2019.