Smartphones aren’t just for texting – and, no, I’m not about to tell you they’re good for phone calls, too. Who actually uses their cell phone for calls anymore? I’m also not about to sing the praises of all the games you can play on this pocket-sized computer. No, I’m talking about money-making apps – that actually work. Whether you’re running errands, ready to volunteer your time, trying to get healthier, or prepping to sell some of your stuff, there’s a smartphone app that can help you get paid. I’ve rounded up 20 of them for you below.
Everybody needs a little help now and then, whether they’re local individuals needing a ride or a handyman, or big companies looking for on-the-ground feedback. There are a number of apps connecting people ready to do these small tasks with people who need small tasks done – enabling you to monetize your time as you wish! Some of these only make side-gig money, while others can be turned into something more lucrative.
Field Agent – Choose available nearby jobs to collect information or take photos and video from stores then complete the task in under two hours. Jobs pay between $1-$12 and you can be paid by direct deposit or debit card.
GigWalk – Choose jobs when and where you want – how much you're paid generally depends on how long the job takes to complete, ranging from $3 to $100 and more. Get paid via Paypal.
TaskRabbit – TaskRabbit wants to make it safe, convenient, and affordable to get help with home maintenance or heavy lifting or even shopping. Set your own rates to complete these tasks and your own schedule.
Uber – Become part of the recent ride-sharing phenomenon by driving with Uber. To qualify, you’ll need at a minimum at least one year of licensed driving experience (if you are 23 or older) and are required to complete a background check. Drive when you want; get paid once a week, or up to 5x a day when you register for Instant Pay with your debit card. (Check out these other apps like Uber.)
Lyft – Lyft is similar to Uber, and you'll need to be at least 21 years old to work with them. Cash out whenever you want.
A get-paid-to program is exactly what it sounds like – you get paid for completing certain actions, most often in points that you can then exchange for gift cards or cash. Earn points by taking surveys, watching videos, making purchases, reading emails, and more. These apps are especially great when they pay you to do something you’d be doing anyway – like shopping for groceries or unlocking your phone.
Ebates – Their app makes it even easier to earn money back from purchases at your favorite stores – this app helps you access in-store coupons, lets you scan products to price compare, and pushes deal alerts to your phone. It keeps you up-to-date on how close you are to a Big Fat Payment.
Ibotta – Get organized when you go grocery shopping and get money back from Ibotta. Check their offers at the store you'll be shopping, select those offers you'll take advantage of, then take a photo of your receipt once you've shopped. Cash out once you’ve earned $20.
National Consumer Panel – Formerly Neilsen Home Scan, this opportunity has been around for ages. Scan the products you buy with your smartphone app, share your opinion, and earn rewards. Regular participation also earns you entries into their quarterly drawing which could net you $20,000.
Slidejoy – This app puts ads on your smartphone’s lockscreen and pays you for every time you unlock your phone; no need to take any other action. You can get paid just to unlock your lock screen and ignore the ads.
Swagbucks Mobile – Just like Swagbucks, but on the go – you can earn your SB wherever you happen to be, by shopping and taking surveys and all the rest.
Get Healthy Apps
So many of us are waiting for the next great thing to jumpstart us into a healthier lifestyle – well, the next great thing is an app that’ll pay you to get healthy, lose weight, or exercise! There are programs that let you bet on yourself and win a prize pool when you succeed, and others that reward you for taking steps or tracking information about your health.
Achievement – If you're already tracking your health and activities through various apps like MyFitnessPal or Fitbit or Runkeeper, why not get paid for it? Achievement connects with these tracking services and pays you for walking, meditating, tracking your diet, and more.
DietBet – DietBet requires a buy-in, but you stand to win if you meet your goals – not just through embracing a healthier lifestyle, but by splitting the prize pool with other winners. You get to choose your goal (or set a custom one) which defines the length of the game as well.
HealthyWage – Healthywage is another system that lets you wager on yourself – challenging yourself alone or getting a group together for a team weight loss challenge are two of the ways to bet on yourself to succeed at your health goals.
StepBet – Stepbet is all about finding a way to get you moving every day – so set your goals (by selecting a game) and pay into the pot to join. You win when you make your step goals and split the pot with other winners, getting your money back and netting a profit, too.
Sweatcoin – Sweatcoin tracks how many steps you take through your smartphone's accelerometers (and GPS location), gives you 0.95 Sweatcoins per 1,000 outdoor steps, and then lets you cash in your Sweatcoins for Paypal cash, iPhones, trips, and other rewards.
Sell Your Stuff Apps
I bet that most of us, if we looked around right now, could probably find at least 5 things that we don’t use anymore – and that would help our housekeeping and cut down on clutter if we cleared them out. Happily, there are apps out there that can easily turn gently-used clothing, books we’ve read, DVDs we no longer watch because of Netflix, and sports equipment we never use into the cash we’d much rather have right now.
BookScouter – Do you have textbooks to sell? BookScouter is one of the best ways to do that – you can compare what various buyback vendors will pay, then ship your books for free and get paid.
LetGo – You've probably seen Letgo's commercials on TV – take a pic of the item you'd like to sell, set a price (or mark it as negotiable), add some details, and post it. Receive and send messages with potential buyers through the app. Payment is handled between you and the buyer, though, so Letgo’s more a facilitator to help you make money.
Decluttr – Decluttr will give you cash upfront for your DVDs, CDs, old smartphones, games and even LEGO. You don't need to wait for them to sell! Some users report lowr prices that you can likely get selling the item on your own, but the app does eliminate a lot of your involvement – listing items, buyer communication, shipping, etc.
OfferUp – OfferUp is much like Letgo – take a picture of the item you'd like to sell, post it, then interested buyers can contact you in the app. The key difference is that OfferUp handles the payment part of the process as well!
Poshmark – Fans of fashion can turn yesterday's looks into today's couture. Poshmark is an app that helps you sell your gently-used women's, men's and kid's fashion clothing. They help with shipping and handle payments, too.
You’re looking at your phone in a new way now, aren’t you? Apps are a brave new frontier of money-making opportunities – get out there, explore, and make some cash!