We’re hooked on our devices, but did you know your smartphone can actually make you money every month?
Yes! Out of the millions of apps on the app store, many will actually pay you to use them.
I’ve broken these down by category, and encourage you to pick and install the ones that make the most sense for you.
For each, we’ll take a quick look at how they work and how you can earn money and get paid for using them. Some are completely passive after you set them up, while others take a little more time.
Here are some of my favorite money making apps.
12 Ways to Make Money on Your Phone
Apps That Pay You to Take Surveys and Play Games
Turns out there are tons of ways to make extra money sharing your opinion with brands. These apps facilitate those surveys and other offers.
It’s worth noting here that these apps probably won’t make you a ton of money, and do take time, but could perhaps add $15-30 a month to your bottom line if you use them consistently.
To earn more, you might want to consider in-person or online focus groups–and my personal favorite of those is User Interviews. (Feel free to check out our full User Interviews review for more details.)
1. Blackout Bingo
The popular Blackout Bingo game app turns classic bingo from a game of luck into a game of speed and skill. Each game only takes about 2 minutes to play, and you can earn real-world rewards and cash prizes (except in AZ, AR, CT, DE, IN, LA, ME, MT, SC, SD, and TN).
At press time, the app has a 4.5-star rating on the App Store from 70,000+ reviews, with players calling it fun and addicting. The most common complaint is that Blackout Bingo’s ads — which apparently claim you can win big money with little effort — are misleading.
As with all gaming apps, practice for free first. Then, never put more money at risk than you can afford to lose.
Swagbucks is a recognized leader in the online survey space. The long-running app has paid out hundreds of millions of dollars to users over the years.
You can earn rewards for shopping online, answering surveys, playing games, and watching videos (read: ads). Cash out for gift cards from major retailers.
3. Survey Junkie
With Survey Junkie, you get to be the influencer — and give your opinions to hundreds of partner brands.
As one of the highest paying survey apps, Survey Junkie offers popular gift cards and cash outs via PayPal. Join the 3+ million members and get started today.
4. Cashyy (Android)
With a 4.2-star rating on the Google Play store, thousands of users are cashing in with the free Cashyy app.
As you discover new free games and accomplish “missions” you’ll earn coins to exchange for gift cards or cash via PayPal.
5. Mode Earn (Android)
More than 2 million users are using the new Mode Earn app that pays you money for listening to music and playing games.
With over 100,000 radio stations to choose from and the world’s top current songs and artists, it’s a cool way to get paid for something you’re probably already doing. I mean, it’s not like Spotify is sharing any of their ad revenue with you!
6. Rewarded Play (Android)
With over 80,000 reviews and a 4.3-star rating in the Google Play store, Rewarded Play is another free, legit, and fun, “get paid to play” app.
Rewarded Play is your one-stop app for casual games like Solitaire, Mahjong, Wheel of Fortune, Yahtzee, and more. As you play, choose your rewards and get your gift cards within 48 hours.
Most InboxDollars surveys pay between $0.50 and $5, but occasionally you’ll see offers up to $20 or more. You can also earn by watching TV, shopping, or completing offers through the app.
InboxDollars pays you in real dollars, not points, and offers a free $5 sign-up bonus.
8. Solitaire Cube
I played my fair share of Windows Solitaire growing up, so Solitaire Cube got my attention.
The well-rated iOS and Android game app pits you against similarly-skilled players, where all of the users receive the same deck, and the players who finish with the most points win. Of course, I recommend practicing for free first!
Solitaire Cube is free to download and play, but “real prize” tournaments aren’t yet available in AZ, AR, CT, DE, IN, LA, ME, MT, SC, SD, and TN.
9. Mistplay (Android)
Mistplay is a popular app (10+ million downloads!) that rewards you for discovering and playing new games on your phone. (Android only)
The more you play, the more “units” you earn. Then you can cash in those units for gift cards to your favorite stores.
As far as Mistplay strategy, check out the games with 3x or 4x unit multipliers to earn gift cards faster.
10. Opinion Outpost
Each Opinion Outpost survey enters you into a $10,000 quarterly drawing. You can cash out at just $5 via PayPal or Amazon gift cards.
11. Toluna Influencers
Get paid to speak your voice and leave feedback on top brands with Toluna Influencers. The highest-paying surveys pay around $15 worth of Toluna points, which you can redeem for gift cards or PayPal cash.
Apps That Pay You to Invest
I’ve been a Fundrise investor for years and like their long-term outlook and consistent quarterly dividends. With just a $10 minimum, you can start building a portfolio of commercial real estate.
Robinhood is an online brokerage that gives new customers a free stock when you sign up.
It’s a random draw–not your choice, unfortunately. I got Groupon (currently worth about $22), but apparently Microsoft, VISA, and Johnson & Johnson are options.
Apps That Connect You With Paid Gigs
The popular Steady app is your gateway to dozens of “gig economy” jobs and other money making opportunities.
Fun stat: Steady users make an average of $5500 more per year after they join!
Download the app and create an account to find gigs in 4 different categories:
- Part-Time and Full-Time Work
- Work From Home
- Recently Added
Yes, there are some low-paying options to sort through, but I found several new-to-me platforms to explore. Check out our full Steady app review to learn more.
TaskRabbit is one of the largest sharing economy platforms, and you can create a profile specializing in everything from running local errands, assembling furniture, local admin temp help, and even virtual support jobs.
Rates vary widely based on what service you’re providing, but I’ve seen tasks anywhere from $15 an hour all the way up to $100 an hour or more for specialized handyman skills.
Apps That Pay You for Using Your Phone
We give so much of our data away every day for free to companies like Facebook, so it’s probably not that far a stretch to actually get paid for what you share. Here are some options to do just that.
16. Nielsen Computer & Mobile Panel
From the same company behind National Consumer Panel, Nielsen rewards you for sharing internet usage behaviors. Simply download the app to all of your registered devices. The app isn’t intrusive and won’t slow down your devices.
As they track your usage, you earn points — up to $50 per year. Users can redeem points for prizes and sweepstakes entries.
MobileXpression is a market research panel that pays you in exchange for data from your mobile phone.
Download the app and allow it to work in the background recording your browsing habits while on your phone. By participating with Mobilexpression, you’ll earn weekly credits redeemable for gift cards to popular retailers.
Realistically, this is an un-intrusive background app that will probably earn you around $20 a year in passive income. And you’ll earn a free $5 gift card after your first week.
The SavvyConnect VIP program “uses safe, cutting-edge technology to collect data as you surf the web.” In exchange for sharing this data, they’ll pay you up to $5 a month per device.
That means when you connect your smartphone, tablet, and desktop/laptop — and remain active in the SavvyConnect community — you can earn $15 a month or $180 a year.
I’ve seen a lot of buzz lately around a new app called Honeygain. According to the site, you can earn up to $30 a month when you share 10 GB a day of “your unused net traffic with data scientists.”
Just install the app (available on Windows, MacOS, and Android), connect it to the Internet, and earn rewards passively. On average, it takes users 48 days to reach $20.
Before you get started though, make sure you’re truly on an unlimited plan as it sounds like this could chew through a lot of bandwidth in hurry!
The Best Cash Back Apps
The first category you’ll want to be aware of is cash back apps. Many of these will basically give you free money just by tracking the spending you’re already doing.
And of course, this is on top of the credit card rewards I hope you’re already earning too!
Even if you’re not ready to switch insurance providers — create a free account with Marble.
This is the first and only “rewards program” for insurance. Marble lets you sync your home, renters, auto, and pet policies in one dashboard, and then pays you up to 5% cash back on your premiums.
Since you have to have many of these coverages already, getting paid for them is like getting free money.
21. Fetch Rewards
The Fetch Rewards app is a favorite of mine because it’s super easy. You earn points just by snapping pictures of your grocery receipts, which you can cash in for gift cards.
Get 2000 free points ($2) when you install through our referral link!
22. Rakuten (formerly Ebates)
The Rakuten shopping app (formerly Ebates) is a well-established leader in money saving apps—the company’s been paying users back for over 20 years!
The app offers cash back, in-store cash back, and a cash back button extension for online shopping. Shop almost every retailer on the planet and earn up to 40% cash back.
I look forward to my “Big Fat Checks” every quarter!
I still use Ibotta every week to check for extra cash back on our grocery purchases, but it’s not as easy to use as Fetch (see above).
You still have to scroll through each store’s listing and pick and choose which offers or products you bought. Then just snap a picture of your receipt and watch the cash back hit your account.
Ibotta Savers who use the app every month earn over $130 a year! I’ll take it. (You can cash out via gift cards or PayPal.)
With Dosh, there are no codes to scan or receipts to upload. You’ll earn automatic cash back at lots of locations locally.
Where Dosh is perhaps most interesting is in booking hotels — when you book through the app you can get up to 40% cash back at 600,000 hotels!
25. NCP Mobile
Earn gift cards when you use the National Consumer Panel Mobile app to snap pictures of the barcodes of the products you buy. This is a great one to stack with Fetch and Ibotta.
Use the free GetUpside app to get up to 25¢/gallon cash back on gas at thousands of locations all around the country.
Many major brands like Shell, BP, Exxon, Marathon, 76, Valero, and Sunoco are available, and you just have to tell the app where you’re filling up and what credit card you’re using.
The company is expanding to groceries and restaurants, and opening up in new areas as well.
Apps That Pay You to Drive
DoorDash “Dashers” make up to $25 an hour* as food delivery drivers.
Check out our full DoorDash driver review, where I sat down with one dasher earning $250-500 a month in his spare time.
*For illustrative purposes only, actual earnings may differ and depend on expenses. Hourly pay is calculated using average Dasher payouts while on a delivery (from the time you accept an order until the time you drop it off) and includes compensation from peak pay, tips, and other incentives.
Get paid to shop for and deliver other people’s groceries with Instacart. Enjoy weekly payouts and a flexible schedule.
Check out our full Instacart Shopper review here, with insights from a side hustler earning an extra $450-500 a week.
29. Uber Eats
A friend of mine reported earning $25-30 an hour making takeout deliveries with Uber Eats (earnings of course not guaranteed). How it works is you use Uber’s mega-popular tech platform to connect with restaurant orders near you. Then you go pick up the order and bring it to the customer.
30. Lyft and Uber
Obviously these two ridesharing services are some of the most popular apps to make extra money.
With millions of users, they pay you to drive your neighbors around. Rates and earning potential vary by city, but you can set your own hours and earn tips for providing a great, safe experience for your passengers.
One potential “hack” you might not know about is that both Uber and Lyft have a feature called “destination mode.” What this allows you to do is tell the app where you’re going, and only accept rides from passengers heading in the same direction.
Several Side Hustle Nation readers report using this to offset the costs of their morning and evening commutes.
Deliver fresh food and household essentials to Shipt members. Drivers can earn up to $22 an hour shopping for and delivering these products.
32. Hurdlr: Optimize Your Ridesharing and Delivery Earnings
If these gigs appeal to you — or you’re already a rideshare or delivery driver — you might consider adding Hurdlr to your arsenal. Hurdlr a cool app that helps drivers find an average of $5600 in tax deductions!
The app automatically tracks all of your mileage, expenses, income streams, and tax deductions in real-time. That means you keep more of what you earn.
Mystery Shopping and Audit Apps
33. Field Agent
Field Agent presents a list of tasks you can do based on your location. If you happen to be driving around somewhere and the store in the list is near, just accept the task and start earning money.
Most of these gigs involve evaluating product displays or checking on inventory. They typically pay $3-10 apiece, depending on complexity and the time involved.
Major retailers like Costco and Walmart are listed for product surveys and audits. No purchases are necessary.
Just load the Field Agent app on your phone and start earning quick cash while on the go.
For more, check out my full Field Agent review.
Shopkick is an interesting app that allows you to earn rewards in multiple ways, including simply walking into a qualifying store.
Other ways to earn points (called “kicks”) include shopping with a linked card, scanning barcodes on selected products, viewing online products, watching videos, and visiting online stores. These points can then be redeemed for gift cards at stores like Starbucks, Amazon, and Target.
My guess is if you find a mall or strip mall with multiple Shopkick retailers, you can earn a few dollars just by walking around.
Gigwalk works on the same premise as Field Agent. The app pays you real money for completing gigs available near you.
Gig Walkers can earn anywhere from $3-100 for certain tasks, though there wasn’t much selection near me when I checked.
Apps That Pay You to Exercise
The new Miles app gives you “frequent flyer miles” for all the travel you do, whether walking, biking, driving, riding, or flying. (And walking is worth 10x as much as driving!)
By letting the app track your location, you’ll earn free points that can be redeemed for gift cards. You’re going to have to cover a lot of ground to get paid — it takes 5,000-10,000 miles to earn a $1 Amazon gift card — but every dollar counts and the app just runs in the background.
After you install it, you don’t have to do anything to rack up your miles.
At press time, you can get 1500 bonus miles when you join through my referral link.
Here’s our full Miles app review to learn more.
37. Rover and Wag
According to Rover, top dog walkers are earning $1000 a month.
You can earn money by taking steps to become healthier, such as tracking steps, sleeping, logging meals, opting into challenges, completing surveys, tweeting, and more.
Evidation connects with apps like Apple Health, Samsung Health, Fitbit, Strava, MyFitnessPal, and Garmin. Earn $10 for every 10,000 points, and cash out through PayPal or directly to a bank account.
HealthyWage is an interesting concept that allows you to win money (up to $10,000!) by betting on your own weight loss goals.
The downside is you have to put up the money first, and then win it back plus your prize when you reach your goal weight.
Apps to Make Money Selling Stuff
Clean out your closet or become a wholesale reseller. Many folks earn quick extra cash selling part-time on Ebay and Amazon. Listed below are competing apps that are very popular to make quick cash.
Let’s discover the best apps for side hustle opportunities selling stuff online besides Ebay and Amazon.
Bookscouter makes it easy to see which books–especially textbooks–have any value.
When you scan the book’s barcode, the app will search the ISBN to see what your book is selling for on various sites. You can then decide which vendor site is the best place to sell your book for the maximum amount.
If you want to get serious about flipping used books, ScoutIQ is the go-to app to quickly get up-to-date price information. This is a paid app (after 14-day free trial), but you can punch in your own custom filters to speed up your ISBN-scanning process.
To learn more, I sat down with a professional book flipper who reported earning $4,000 a month.
Make money selling your used CDs, DVDs, and video games using this app.
Decluttr will tell you how much your items are worth–usually a depressingly low amount–and even give you a pre-paid shipping label to send them all in.
Where Decluttr lacks in high payouts, it makes up for in ease-of-use. It’s certainly easier than attempting to photograph, list, sell, and ship all your items individually.
43. Amazon Seller App
The free Amazon seller app is your gateway to the world of Amazon FBA — fulfillment by Amazon. The app will let you scan the barcodes of various products and see what they’re selling for on Amazon–and what your profit would be after fees.
I used this app, along with a lot of shopping, to earn over $600 on the side.
With the Poshmark app, you can make extra cash selling new and used clothing, accessories, and home goods.
The great thing about this app is that once you sell something, they send you a free prepaid shipping label for USPS Priority Mail.
As far as pricing, the app takes 20% of the purchase price as their fee, with a minimum of $2.95.
Still, you can take pics straight from your phone to load up on the app, pick categories, and make a description of your item. Used designer clothing is a big seller on Poshmark.
The Mercari app is a competitor of Poshmark, though Mercari’s fees are capped at 10%.
There is a lot of traffic to the site, but if you sell items for $10 bucks and below, you’ll pay an extra $2.00 for direct deposit, on top of the 10% fee.
The OfferUp app is free smartphone app lets you sell stuff locally. It’s a great app to sell household items and items that are too large to ship. You can sell electronics, furniture, and even cars.
Just take some pictures, write your description, and start selling within minutes.
Buyers can reserve an item with an authorized payment before meeting up in person. The advantage of using this app is that you can view buyer and seller ratings (compared to Craigslist, where you’re usually going in blind).
If you use their payment system, OfferUp charges a 7.9% fee.
The Neighbor self-storage platform connects people with storage needs with those who have extra space. If you’ve got some excess storage capacity in your garage or elsewhere, list your space here to fill it and get paid.
According to the site, hosts are earning up to $10,000 a year running their own mini self-storage operations.
Getaround is a leader in the peer-to-peer car rental space. Your car probably sits idle at least some of the time and the idea behind Getaround is to put that idle time to use — and earn $500 a month or more.
Naturally nicer, newer cars in popular travel destinations earn the most, and I’ve actually heard of people taking out leases on cars specifically to rent them out on Getaround.
Listing your car is simple and takes about 10 minutes.
- Turo – Turo is a similar concept to Getaround, and has car owners earning up to $10,000 a year. Check out the free “carculator” to see how much you can earn or check out our full Turo review for more.
- RV Share – Rent out your RV when you’re not using it for $200 or more per day on RV Share, “the largest and most trusted RVing community.” Top renters earn $15-30k a year.
Airbnb is of course one of the most well-known sharing economy platforms and has disrupted the entire hotel industry.
I’m a fan of Airbnb as a user, but have yet to attempt it as a host. Still, if you have an extra room and don’t mind meeting a rotating cast of house guests, it’s a fantastic way to offset your living expenses.
Your rates are going to be dictated by your local competition, which could be anywhere from $40 to $300 a night. And as Jasper pointed out on the podcast, if you have hotels in your city or town, you know there’s at least some demand.
You can earn 8% interest with a Gemini Earn account. Your deposit is converted into “stablecoins” at a fixed rate of 1 to every dollar, and the loans Gemini makes are backed by crypto collateral.
At press time, you could get $50 in free Bitcoin when you open your account with promo code promo500 and make a $500 deposit or trade within 3 days.
Overlooked Money Make Apps
No, Twitter won’t pay you to tweet, but you can use the app to build an engaged audience like Dickie Bush did. In 12 months, he went from zero to 50,000 followers and built a multi-6-figure online business as a result.
Unlike Twitter, TikTok actually does pay creators who publish creative viral videos. The TikTok Creator Fund has paid out millions of dollars so far, and I suspect the company will introduce an ad profit-sharing model like YouTube soon.
53. Your Phone Itself!
While these apps are great, the most overlooked money making app that’s already on your phone is … wait for it … the phone itself!
As in, call a prospect, figure out their pain points, and make a deal to help them. John Logar’s a pro at doing just that, and I encourage you to check out our full interview.
Conclusion: There Really Are Apps That Pay You!
Yes, you can turn your smartphone into a money making machine by installing a few apps.
Hopefully a few on this list were new to you and you decide to give them a shot. Feel free to report back on your results in the comments below to help future readers!
I haven’t tried all of them, but the handful I do use have already netted me well over $1000 in benefits. I think with a little effort and attention you can have a similar experience.
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Frequently Asked Questions
Are there really apps that pay you?
Yes! I’ve turned my phone into a money maker by installing several of these, and many work automatically after you set them up. Check the full list on Side Hustle Nation for more info.
What are the best cash back apps?
My favorite cash back apps are Fetch, Dosh, and Ibotta. Fetch is great because it works at tons of locations and you can earn extra cash back on tons of popular brands. Check the full list on Side Hustle Nation for more info.
What apps pay you to play games?
Several apps pay you to play games, including Swagbucks, Mistplay, and others. Still, there are other apps where you can make more money so be sure to check the full list on Side Hustle Nation for more info.