We’re hooked on our devices, but did you know there are apps can actually make you money every month?
Yes! Out of the millions of apps on the app store, many will actually pay you real money to use them.
To come up with this list, I:
- looked my own favorite money-making apps
- cross-referenced the best-rated money apps in both the iOS and Google Play app stores
- gathered feedback from Side Hustle Nation readers
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.
I’ve broken these down by category, and encourage you to pick and install the ones that make the most sense for you.
12 Ways to Make Real 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 probably won’t make you a ton of money, but could add $15-30 a month to your bottom line if you use them consistently.
To earn more, consider online focus groups—my personal favorite resource for these is User Interviews. (Feel free to check out our full User Interviews review for more details.)
1. Solitaire Cash
I played my fair share of Windows Solitaire growing up, so Solitaire Cash got my attention.
The well-rated Android and iOS (4.6-stars from over 200k App Store reviews) game app pits you against similarly-skilled solitaire players. Everyone receives the same deck, and top 3 players who finish with the most points win.
Of course, I recommend practicing for free first!
Solitaire Cash is free to download and play, but real money tournaments aren’t yet available in AZ, IN, IO, LA, ME, MT, SC, and WA.
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.
Sign up through my referral link for a $10 bonus.
3. 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 AR, CT, DE, IN, LA, ME, and SD).
At press time, the app has a 4.5-star rating on the iOS App Store from 85,000+ reviews, with players calling it fun and addicting. The most common complaint is that Blackout Bingo’s ads — which 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.
4. Rewarded Play (Android)
With over 150,000 reviews and a 4.1-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.
5. 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.
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.
7. 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.
You can earn $1 per minute sharing your opinion and feedback with brands through Lightster. The market research app matches you with paid studies based on your profile.
To get started, you’ll add some demographic information about yourself and answer some questions about your experience and interests.
After that, you may see some questions pop up in the app. Answer those to qualify for paid sessions.
I got invited to my first half hour brand conversation within a couple weeks of downloading the app, and got paid (via Amazon gift card) right away.
9. Toluna Influencers
Get paid to speak your voice and leave feedback on top brands with Toluna Influencers. The highest-paying surveys pay around $15, which you can redeem for gift cards or PayPal cash.
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.
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 $10, you can start building a portfolio of commercial real estate.
(Disclosure: when you sign up, I earn a commission. All opinions are my own.)
Robinhood is an online brokerage that gives new customers a free stock when you sign up—worth up to $200.
It’s a random draw–not your choice, unfortunately. I got Groupon (currently worth about $22), but Microsoft, VISA, and Johnson & Johnson are options.
Apps That Give You Money for Using Your Phone
Because we give so much of our data away for free to companies like Facebook, it’s probably not that far a stretch to actually get paid for the data you share. Here are some options to do just that.
The free Pogo app is one of my latest finds. By sharing your location and credit card transaction data, Pogo gives you points that you can cash out to PayPal or Venmo.
Just enable location tracking and link your bank account credentials when you sign up. Based on my results so far, I expect Pogo to be worth around $5-20 a year.
Check out my full Pogo app review to learn more.
14. Nielsen Computer & Mobile Panel
Nielsen pays you for sharing Internet usage behaviors. Just download the app to all of your registered devices and earn up to $60 per year.
The app isn’t intrusive and won’t slow down your devices.
MobileXpression is a market research panel that pays you for data from your mobile phone.
After you download the app, it works in the background recording your browsing habits. 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.
When you connect your smartphone, tablet, and desktop/laptop, 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 $50 a month when you share “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.
Get a $5 bonus to start.
Before you get started though, make sure you’re truly on an unlimited plan—it sounds like this could chew through a lot of bandwidth in hurry!
The interface is a little frustrating, but Tapestri actually does pay you for sharing your anonymous location data.
The app automatically rewards you traveling around town, and you can earn more by checking in and completing surveys.
I’ve earned $17 in my first few months.
Apps That Connect You With Money-Making 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 $5,500 more per year after they join!
Plus, when you link your bank account details you’ll see personalized Income Boosters — quick ways to make extra money.
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
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 gig economy platforms. 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.
The Best Cash Back Apps
Many cash back apps will basically give you free money just for tracking the spending you’re already doing.
21. Fetch Rewards
The Fetch Rewards app is a favorite of mine because it’s super easy. You earn points by snapping pictures of your grocery receipts, which you can cash in for gift cards.
Use the free Upside app to get up to 25¢/gallon cash back on gas at thousands of locations all around the country. Plus, get a 25¢/gallon bonus on your first fill-up with promo code SHN25.
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.
Marble 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.
24. Rakuten (formerly Ebates)
The Rakuten shopping app is an 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!
Join through my referral link and get a $30 sign-up bonus.
I use Ibotta every week to check for extra cash back on our grocery purchases.
The drawback is you still have to scroll through each store’s listing and choose the products you bought. Then, you 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 nearby locations.
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!
27. 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.
Apps That Pay You to Drive
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, with 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.
Uber’s mega-popular tech platform connects your with nearby restaurant orders. Then you go pick up the order and bring it to the customer.
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.
31. Lyft and Uber
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. Your earning potential varies by city, but you can set your own hours and earn tips for providing a great, safe passenger experience.
One potential “hack” is that both Uber and Lyft have a feature called “destination mode.” This allows you to 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 setting to offset the costs of their regular commutes.
Deliver fresh food and household essentials to Shipt members. Drivers can earn up to $22 an hour shopping for and delivering these products.
33. 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 is a cool app that helps drivers find an average of $5,600 in tax deductions!
The app automatically tracks all 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
34. Field Agent
Field Agent presents a list of tasks you can do based on your location.
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.
No purchase is necessary, unless specified in the task, in which case Field Agent will reimburse you.
For more, check out my full Field Agent review.
35. Shopkick (iOS)
The Shopkick app 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.
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, but 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 you’re 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 to redeem gift cards. You’re going to have to cover a lot of ground to get paid though — 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.
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.
38. Rover and Wag
With the Rover and Wag apps, you can get paid to walk dogs. Both have large databases of dog owners looking for help from people like you.
According to Rover, top dog walkers are earning $1000 a month.
Cashwalk turns your step activity into gift cards, with power users earning $5 every 3 weeks, or around $85 a year.
Check out our full Cashwalk review to learn more.
Evidation is another app that pays you for walking. The Evidation app partners up with health companies for market studies. You get to be a part of cutting edge medical research, and get paid for it.
You can earn money by 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 straight to your bank account.
Apps to Make Money Selling Stuff
Many people earn quick extra cash selling items part-time. Here are the top apps to list and sell items locally and online.
Suggested Playlist: Flipping Profits
Buying low and selling high is the fastest way to multiply money. Here’s how to get it done.
Add to Spotify
Bookscouter makes it easy to see how much your books—especially textbooks—are worth.
When you scan the book’s barcode, the app will show you how much 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 value.
If you want to get serious about flipping used books, ScoutIQ is the go-to app to get up-to-date price information. This is a paid app (after 14-day free trial), and 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 and even give you a pre-paid shipping label to send them all in.
(Usually it’s a depressingly low amount!)
But what Decluttr lacks in high payouts, it makes up for in ease-of-use. It’s definitely easier than attempting to photograph, list, sell, and ship all your items one-by-one.
44. 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.
Reselling on Amazon is a serious side hustle that many have turned into full-time businesses. For a free course on how to get started, head on over to TheSellingFamily.com.
With the Poshmark app, you can make extra cash selling clothing, accessories, and home goods. (Used designer clothing is a big seller on Poshmark.)
The app does take a 20% fee, but has a large audience of buyers and makes the selling process as easy as possible.
You can take pics straight from your phone, pick categories, and write a description of your item.
Once you sell something, they send you a free prepaid shipping label for USPS Priority Mail.
The Mercari app is a competitor of Poshmark, though Mercari’s fees are capped at 10%.
The free OfferUp 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. If you use their payment system, OfferUp charges a 12.9% fee.
One advantage of this app over Craigslist is the buyer and seller ratings.
The Neighbor platform connects people who have extra storage space with people who need it. If you’ve got some excess storage capacity in your garage, attic, or side yard, list your space here to fill it and get paid.
Top hosts are earning up to $10,000 a year running their own mini self-storage operations. Check out our full Neighbor review to learn more.
Getaround is a leader in the peer-to-peer car rental space. Your car probably sits idle most of the time and the Getaround app helps you turn that idle time into $500 a month or more.
Naturally, nicer and newer cars in popular travel destinations earn the most. I’ve actually heard of people taking out leases on cars specifically to rent them out on Getaround.
- 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.
- RVshare – Rent out your RV for $200+ per day on RVshare, “the largest and most trusted RVing community.” Top renters earn $15-30k a year.
Airbnb is one of the most well-known “sharing economy” platforms and has disrupted the entire hotel industry.
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 will depend on your local competition, but could be anywhere from $40 to $300 a night. And if you have any hotels in your city or town, you know there’s at least some demand.
Overlooked Money Making 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 expect the company to introduce an advertising 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.
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!
Just a handful of these apps have already netted me well over $1000 in benefits. I think with a little effort and attention you can have a similar experience.
Serious About Making More Money?
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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, Blackout Bingo, 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.