Looking for some easy ways to make some extra money in your spare time?
If you have a smartphone (and who doesn’t these days?), you can easily make some real money fast, with relatively little work on your part.
According to one study the average American spends 5.4 hours on their phone, with 13% of millennials saying they spend over 12 hours every day on their phones.
Why not monetize some of that time you’re spending on the phone, instead of wasting it all on social media?
The list below has a variety of apps that pay you money.
They can help you to save money on things you’re doing already, pay you for completing easy tasks, get cash back or even help you to grow your money by investing.
What Types Of Apps Will Pay You Money?
So why are app companies so eager to pay you to use their apps?
Some of them are eager to get new users onto their app, and are willing to pay the customer acquisition cost to get you on board. Others need consumers to use their app in order to sell advertising, or to do market research. Other apps you can use to sell things to make some quick cash.
So what types of apps will we be listing in this article?
- Survey apps
- Cash back apps
- Receipt scanning apps
- Apps that pay for you to perform easy tasks
- Apps for selling stuff
How Do The Apps Pay You?
Depending on which company it is, the app will pay you in a variety of different ways.
- Cash payout via PayPal or Venmo.
- Direct funds transfer to your bank account.
- Gift cards to your favorite online or bricks and mortar stores.
Some of the apps will have a payout threshold that you must meet before you can get a payout as well. Typically, it will be between $10 and $25. Some will have payouts as low as a few dollars.
Best Apps That Pay You Real Money
We’ve gone through and downloaded and used just about every app on this list, as well as a bunch more. The ones we included on this page are the ones we felt comfortable recommending and that we believe will give you the biggest payout for your time, with the least amount of work.
So without further ado, let’s get to the money making apps!
Empower Personal Dashboard
The Empower Personal Dashboard app is a free financial app that allows you to track all of your income, debts, investments, and more – all in one easy-to-use dashboard.
While the app technically doesn’t reward you for doing things in the app, it does pay you money. How?
Just sign up for your account through our link and link an investment account with at least $1,000 and you’ll get an easy $20 Amazon gift card (and I will too!).
Beyond that, using the app will help you to save money in a variety of ways, from finding better ways to invest and finding ways to cut fees to tracking your money to help you improve your financial situation.
Since the $20 gift card is so easy to get, and the app is super useful even without the gift card, I put this one at the top.
Apps That Give Free Stock (Or Bonuses)
If you’re serious about your finances you should probably be investing for retirement. There are a ton of apps, brokerages and investing services out there that will allow you to invest for free, or for a reasonably low cost.
When signing up for an investing app, make sure you’re looking for promotional sign up bonuses that you can take advantage of when signing up. Many of the sites are even free for most transactions, so you can sign up for your free cash or stock bonus with no strings attached! Here are a few sites that are offering bonuses of one kind or another.
- M1 Finance ($30 cash bonus)
- Webull (Up to 2 free stocks)
- Moomoo (Up to 2 free stocks)
- Public (Free stock bonus)
- Groundfloor (Free cash bonus)
- Robinhood (Free stock bonus)
- SoFi (Up to $1,000 in free stock)
- Tornado (Up to $1,000 in free stock)
- Firstrade (Up to $500 in free stock)
- dough (Free stock bonus)
- Stash (Free cash bonus)
- Acorns (Free cash bonus)
To read more about these free stock offers, check out our article on how to get free stocks.
Swagbucks is one of my go to cash back apps. They pay you money to use their app (or website) in a variety of ways.
You can get cash and gift cards by shopping via their portal, by filling out surveys, watching videos, using their toolbar and more.
When you do all of those activities you’ll earn SB points that you can then turn around redeem for any variety of Amazon, Walmart, Target or other gift cards.
If you prefer, you can also cash out via PayPal or a Visa gift card, although it pays to check as often certain rewards will go on sale and you can get more credit for your points.
Sign up via our link and get a $5 bonus added to your account!
Rakuten is a cash back app and website that has paid out over $1 billion in cash back to consumers since 1999. (They launched under the name Ebates and changed to Rakuten recently when they were acquired).
I’ve personally earned almost $550 in cash back via their site since I signed up.
Whenever I’m about to make a big online purchase, like a DSLR camera for example, I’ll check a bunch of cash back sites via Cash Back Monitor, and quite often Rakuten has one of the best cash back percentages available.
Just start your shopping experience with their app (or on their site), and you’ll get cash back for your purchase once it clears.
I recently bought a new DSLR camera, and ended up getting $65 in cash back from Rakuten.
Sign up through our link and get a $10 bonus!
Ibotta is a cash back and rewards app for your Android or iOS device. They pay you cash back for shopping at certain stores or for buying certain products.
I typically use the app when I’m going grocery shopping, as they have a ton of grocery cash back offers, but they have cash back rewards for a variety of non grocery stores. Just add the offers you are going to purchase to your app, and then when you’re done shopping, take a picture of your receipt. It will verify the items on your receipt that you have offers for, and add the cash back credit to your account.
If you remember to add the cash back offers before you head out, and remember to buy the items, you can earn a decent amount of cash back.
Read a full Ibotta review here.
Fetch Rewards is another receipt scanning and rewards app. It has quickly also become one of my favorites because of just how easy it is to use.
Similar to Ibotta you can scan through the app and view cash back offers on groceries, beer and other things, but unlike Ibotta all you have to do to claim the offers is scan your receipt.
When you scan your receipt the app will automatically figure out what’s on the receipt and claim cash back offers for you that you are eligible for.
For example, on a recent shopping trip I got a couple of dollars in rewards points for some Ben and Jerry’s ice cream we purchased, along with some diet Mountain Dew. It just added the points to our account, which we can then redeem for rewards later.
When you scan the receipt it will also suggest some options for items to purchase next time, instead of similar ones you purchased this time.
I’ve been using the app for a couple of weeks and have already earned enough for almost $15 in Amazon gift cards. They also have gift cards for stores like Target, Walmart, Itunes as well as a variety of charities that you can donate money to.
Use referral code MREFX during signup and you’ll get 2,000 Fetch Points just for opening an account.
- Go to Fetch Rewards
ReceiptPal is another easy to use receipt scanning app. Often you can use multiple apps like this to earn rewards at more than one service. I personally use ReceiptPal and Fetch Rewards for most of my grocery receipts.
With ReceiptPal you earn rewards points simply for scanning all of your paper receipts, along with getting points for linked Amazon or email accounts where additional receipts can be counted.
For every 4 receipts you can you’ll get 100 points that you can use towards a reward. You can redeem your points with as little as 2200 points for a $5 Amazon gift card, or a Target, Lowe’s Best Buy or Visa gift card, among a few others.
While it takes a while to earn rewards with ReceiptPal, I like it because it’s easy, and you’re taking something that wouldn’t otherwise earn rewards, scanning receipts, and monetizing it.
I just started using it a couple weeks ago and so far I’ve been able to cash in my points for 1 $5 Amazon gift card, for really doing nothing more than scanning my receipts in.
- Go to ReceiptPal
Upside is an app that helps you to earn cash back on gas, and find the best gas prices near you.
You can also get bonus cash back deals on convenience store items and auto services (car wash, oil change, and more).
Upside works with major gas stations like Shell, BP, Exxon, Speedway, Holiday Stations and more. See gas prices near you at 9000+ stations and earn fuel rewards with real cash back every time you fuel up.
While the options for participating gas stations were originally sparse near me (mostly BP stations), they have recently added a ton more. The stations near me typically offer 0.25 cents off per gallon using the app, which is pretty great.
In some markets, you can also get cash back rewards on restaurants, groceries, and more. Check for availability in your area.
We’ve been using the app quite a bit for Burger King and Wendy’s restaurants in our area as they give anywhere from 25-40% cash back on your order. That’s pretty awesome, and it usually stacks with cash back from other services like Dosh or Pei!
In checking our cash back history just now I realized we’ve earned $1200 in cash back using Upside. I’ll take that!
You can cash out whenever you want in the app, and they pay cash back via PayPal, check, or gift card.
Sign up for the app through our link below, and use promo code AFF25 to get an extra 0.25 cents/gal cash back on gas on your first fill-up.
- Go to Upside
CoinOut is a receipt scanning app that pays you for scanning receipts. The app will pay you several cents for each receipt you scan in and unlike some other apps you aren’t limited to simply gas or grocery receipts. You can scan any receipt in your wallet.
While the payouts aren’t necessarily huge for receipt scanning, they are actual cash and can add up over time. Plus you can cash out your balance for actual cash payments via PayPal (or a bank transfer if you have a platinum account).
In addition to scanning in receipts you can also earn cash back by shopping via their app for a variety of retailers like Groupon, Sam’s Club, Overstock, Kohl’s, and more. Just click on the button in the app to shop, and complete a purchase after clicking. You’ll be credited cash back after the purchase is completed.
Finally, there are a variety of big dollar offers that you can take advantage of, signing up for services or products. For example, you can sign up for a bank account with Chime and get a $50 bonus. Invest with Public.com and get a $10 bonus. Open an account with Groundfloor and get $15.
- Go to CoinOut
Trunow is a receipt scanning app that will give you points for every gas station receipt that you scan in. If you do a lot of driving, this is an app that could get you some serious cash back.
All you have to do to earn cash back is snap a picture of your receipt before you send it through the shredder. Then, when it is accepted you’ll earn points that can be converted to cash back savings. Typically it’s 1-2% cash back.
You can also earn cash back by taking advantage of special deals at local stores. Browse the “deals nearby” link in your app and choose an offer to take advantage of (usually at a specific store). Just scan in your receipt once you’ve taken advantage and you’ll get cash back.
Once you’ve earned enough and want to cash out you can use your points to purchase a gift card from their partners, or if you prefer you can cash out with a PayPal payment. It should be noted that there is a reduced payout if you don’t choose a gift card.
- Go to Trunow
Receipt Hog is very similar to ReceiptPal. You earn rewards by taking pictures of your receipts from any store, restaurant or cafe.
You can also earn extra rewards via their in app virtual slot machine, sweepstakes, taking surveys and more.
When you have earned enough you can request a payout. They will pay you via PayPal or Amazon gift cards.
The app works well, but they do have a wait list currently to join, so you might not get in right away. Just get on the list, and hopefully you’ll be added soon.
- Go to Receipt Hog
Dosh is a cash back and rewards app that earns you cash back on purchases that you’re making anyway.
To start earning you just sign up via our link below (and get a $5 credit), and then link your credit or debit card to Dosh.
Once you’ve linked your card you just look for places in the app that you can earn cash back either online or at a location near you.
For example, one of our favorite local restaurants, Lakeville Brewing, is listed in the app and will give you 5% cash back for dining at their restaurant and paying with your linked card.
We would have dined there anyway, but we can earn 5% cash back for no extra work just by paying with our linked card!
You can also refer other users to the service and earn $5 every time someone signs up.
Use referral code: PETERA18 when signing up and the code will give you a $5 credit which you can redeem later on for cash.
Drop is another cash back app that pays you money. How do you earn?
By for shopping at stores listed in their app with your linked credit card, by taking advantage of special offers listed in your account and filling out surveys and completing tasks. You can also earn by referring new users to the service.
To get started just download the app to your phone via our link. Next, link your credit or debit card to the account. Finally, just start spending at one of their stores, or take advantage of the offers listed in the app.
One of our favorite stores, Target, is one of the companies listed in the app and we regularly receive drop points for shopping there.
When all is said and done you can redeem your drop points for a variety of different gift cards.
Pei is a cash back (or bitcoin back) app that will pay you for your normal daily spending.
How does it work? You just link your credit or debit card to your Pei account, and then the next time you shop at a partner merchant using your linked card Pei will automatically give you points that you can use to get cashback or bitcoin rewards.
The great thing about the app is that the cashback savings happen automatically, and you don’t even have to think about it.
I linked 2 credit cards to the app (link as many as you want), and then when I was shopping at local stores like Target, Starbucks, Chick-fil-A or Chipotle I would get cash back in my account.
You can also refer other users to the service and earn cash back that way as well. Your friend just has to enter your referral code on sign up. When they get their first cash back via a partner merchant, you’ll get cash credit for their referral.
Also make sure you keep an eye out for offers they have from time to time where they’ll give you a bonus when you buy Bitcoin. I recently got 20% Bitcoin bonus when I bought some Bitcoin.
Enter code moneymatters on the first page of sign up and get $2.50 cash back (after your first purchase with a linked card) to get you started.
Field Agent is an app that you can use to become a secret shopper and get payouts for every job you complete.
For example, on a recent day when I checked the app they had jobs to secret shop at a local wireless store ($4 payout), a job to check a food display at a local store ($3 payout) as well as jobs to buy pizza at Little Caesar’s Pizza and talk about your experience on video.
To complete the job just follow the directions in the app closely, and do whatever they ask whether it’s taking a picture of an item’s price, doing a video with your phone, or filling out a survey. When you’re done you’ll earn a payout usually in the range of $3-12.
Payouts will be sent to you directly via a direct funds transfer to your checking or savings account, after your account is verified.
- Go to Field Agent
ShopKick is a cash back app that helps you to earn points (they call their points “kicks”) for doing things like linking a credit card and making purchases, submitting receipts, making online purchases through their app, scanning product barcodes or even things as simple as just walking into a store.
Earning rewards through the app is easy and most people can earn their first reward within a week or so.
It definitely helps that they have so many ways to earn.
They have a ton of available rewards, mostly gift cards from stores like Amazon, Walmart, Target, Starbucks, AMC and more.
- Go to ShopKick
With the Mobee app, you’ll be able to complete fun and simple secret shopper missions at local stores, just like Field Agent.
Often the missions will ask you to find a particular display in the store, take a picture of it, and then ask some questions of an employee.
The missions will usually take 15 minutes or so to complete, and at the end of it you’ll receive points that can be used towards a reward.
Some of the rewards you can earn include Amazon gift cards, Mastercard gift cards, Starbuck cards, Target cards, and any number of donations to charities like the ASPCA or the Alzheimer’s Association.
If you’d like a small boost to your Mobee points, use referral code BKVH when signing up to earn 300 Points. That will get you 3/5 of the way towards a $5 gift card!
- Go to Mobee
Uber & Lyft
These two ridesharing services will help you to earn some extra spending money, or even close to a full time income in some cities.
According to one article the average driver earns $8.80–$11 per hour of driving for Uber after accounting for driving expenses. Uber claims it’s a bit more than that.
Either way, while that isn’t a ton of money, it’s a flexible, easy way to make some extra money if you’re in a pinch.
Not sure if you want to do it quite yet? Take a ride with another driver and ask them how they like it!
If you do sign up, don’t forget to claim a signup bonus for some extra cash!
If driving a car for a ridesharing company isn’t your thing, you might want to consider earning money using a delivery app, like the one from Postmates.
It’s free to sign up and easy to get started. You just have to be 18 years old, have a smartphone with the app installed, and you must pass a background check.
There are no commitments you have to make, you just deliver when you want to. When you have some free time and want to accept deliveries, you just turn on your Postmates app, go online and then accept deliveries that look like they make sense for you.
What are you delivering? Whatever people need.
Whether it’s a 12 count crate of eggs, a new shirt, or an order from Taco Bell.
In most cases you’re only picking up and delivering an item. In some instances you’ll use your Postmates provided prepaid card to make an order and pay for it.
Once you earn money with the app you just cash out on demand, or it will pay you every week, your choice.
- Go to Postmates
Using the Rover app to be a pet sitter or dog walker is a great way to make some money on the side.
According to Rover sitters using their app can earn up to $100 a week (or more) when they become a sitter on their site.
If you’ve already got a dog, and it gets along well with other people’s pets, you may want to consider watching people’s canine companions part time while they’re away, or even just during the day while they’re at work. You won’t have much extra work, and you can earn some cash for doing things you’re doing anyway.
If you refer another friend to become a sitter as well, you can earn a $50 referral bonus if they become approved and book their first stay within 90 days!
- Go to Rover
Instacart is a service and mobile app that pays you money to be a full service grocery shopper and delivery person.
How does it work?
After you go through the application process and are approved, you’ll be set to receive online grocery orders through the app. You shop at the local grocery store for the customer’s order. It can be only a few items, or an entire list.
When you’ve picked up all the items on the list you pay with an Instacart credit card, bag the times and then deliver them to the person who ordered them.
How much can you make delivering for Instacart? They advertise that drivers can make up to $25 per hour during busy times, but according to Glassdoor.com Instacart shoppers make between $7 and $20/hr, with $11/hr being average.
If you’re looking for a bit of extra income on the side, it might be a good app to check out. If you prefer, you can also try out their competitor, Shipt.
Mistplay is a social platform for mobile gaming with over 10M downloads that pays you to play games on your mobile device, on Android.
Discover new games, play the games in their listings, connect with your friends and then earn points for playing games.
Mistplay has weekly contests for large prizes including hundreds of dollars of gift cards and electronics.
It’s also a good idea to try games that show unit multipliers of 3X and 4X. For example, a 4X unit multiplier will help you earn a gift card 8 times faster than a 0.5X unit multiplier.
Once you’ve earned enough points you can redeem them for rewards including cash or gift cards. They have Amazon gift cards, Xbox gift cards, Google Play credit, Nintendo gift cards, iTunes credit and more.
Gift cards can be redeemed for as little as $0.50 for an Amazon gift card!
- Go to Mistplay
Gamehag is another mobile and desktop gaming hub where you can collect “soul gems” in return for playing games, completing tasks, or taking advantage of offers.
You can then use your soul gems to get rewards. They have things like Google Play cards, Amazon gift cards, iTunes cards, Steam keys, and more.
Do your best to take advantage of games that offer higher points and multipliers in order to reach your reward goal sooner.
Personally I like that you can cash out with a Mastercard reward card, making the points very flexible.
Go to Gamehag
Decluttr is an app that will pay you money for all of your unwanted or unused items.
They will buy a wide assortment of things like CDs, DVDs & Blu-Ray, games, game consoles, books, cell phones, Legos and more.
How does it work? Download their app on iOS or Android and then enter all the items that you’d like to sell. They’ll give you an estimate of what you’ll make.
After adding all your items you’ll complete your order and receive a free shipping label to send in the items.
Once the items arrive they’ll process the items and give you a final offer based on their actual condition. If you accept you’ll be paid via direct deposit, PayPal or an old fashioned check. I’ve used Decluttr and recommend them.
- Go to Decluttr
Start Earning With Apps That Pay Cash Money!
There are a lot of legitimate, scam free apps that pay money that you can take advantage of these days.
Just make sure that the apps you’re downloading are legitimate, that they have a positive review history, and that others have used them successfully as well.
If you do those things you’ll be well on your way to earning some extra cash to pad your bottom line.
Have your own apps that pay money that you would recommend people try? Tell us what they are in the comments!
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- 15 Money Making Apps
Frequently Asked Questions
What apps pay you instantly?
With most apps you’re going to have to keep earning money until you meet a payout threshold, but there are apps that will payout as soon as you earn. Secret shopper and gig apps like Field Agent, Gigwalk or Mobee will give you an instant payout. Uber and lyft will also allow you to do a same day cashout, although there are some limitations. Other services like DoorDash will offer an immediate payout once you’ve been with them for a while, but not before.
Are there apps that will pay you to walk?
Yes, there are quite a few apps that will pay you to walk. Some of the best include Sweatcoin, Lympo, Achievement and Stepbet. Charity miles won’t pay you for walking, but instead they’ll donate money to a charity of your choice! You can also earn money while walking via apps like Postmates, Rover or other side gig apps.
What apps pay you real money to play games?
There are a lot of apps and websites that pay you to play games. Some of the more popular ones include Swagbucks, Inbox Dollars, Swagbucks Live, MyPoints, Bananatic and Mistplay.
Can you make money from apps?
Yes, you can make money from apps. Some apps will pay you for doing your onlineshopping using their app. Others will pay you to fill out surveys, or to scan your receipts from your in-store purchases. Others will pay you to perform small tasks, or to partake in the gig economy (dog walking, ridesharing, etc). Others you can use to sell your stuff, and then get a payout when it sells. It just comes down to deciding how much time you have to invest, and how much you want to make.
Which apps pay the most?
The highest paying apps are probably going to be the ones where you’re actually engaging in a side hustle to earn income. Apps like Uber, Lyft, Rover and other gig economy apps can help you to earn close to a full time income. Other apps will have good sign up bonuses that it pays to take advantage of. Empower has a $20 Amazon gift card to sign up, Ibotta has a $10 sign up bonus. Otherwise, other apps may take a while to earn as much as you want.