Money-making apps are a great way to earn some extra cash from the comfort of your couch. If you already spend hours scrolling through different apps on your phone, why not use this time to make money online? Whether you’re looking to sell your unwanted stuff or start a side gig, these are the best apps to earn money.
How it Works
Rakuten, previously known as Ebates, offers a wide selection of cashback options for both online and in-store purchases. Although you’ll need to spend on shopping first, Rakuten gives you cashback rewards for purchases you’d be making anyway. More than 2,500 stores including Walmart, JCPenney, H&M, Macy’s, eBay, Amazon, and other big-name brands are partnered with Rakuten. These retailers pay Rakuten a commission for inviting referrals and sign-ups. Rakuten then shares this commission with the users as cashback. As an added benefit, Rakuten automatically applies all eligible coupons for every online purchase you make. This saves you money at every checkout and even notifies you of cheaper pricing options with other retailers.
The cashback rewards vary by retailer, with some as high as 40% of your purchase. You can choose to receive the payout through a check or PayPal once every three months. New users are also eligible for a $10 sign-up bonus after spending $25 at any Rakuten-partnered store. You will receive a $20 referral bonus when new users you bring to the app spend their first $20 with Rakuten.
How it Works
IBotta is a cashback app for shopping at grocery/clothing stores, restaurants, pharmacies, liquor stores and even gas stations. It allows you to earn cash rewards by simply uploading the receipt of your purchase. In some cases, you might have to scan the product barcodes or complete an additional task like taking a survey or watching a video. IBotta gives you three options to earn gift cards:
- Upload the receipt of your purchase to the app
- Link a store loyalty card with the app to sync with billing directly (also gives you access to special offers)
- Shop from partner retailers with the IBotta app
Currently, IBotta works with more than 300 retailers including 7-Eleven, Starbucks, Costco, Target, Walgreens, CVS Pharmacy, Aeropostale and Bed Bath & Beyond. While the network of IBotta partners is not as extensive as some other apps, you can get great offers with large, national brands.
You can transfer your IBotta cash to PayPal, Venmo, gift cards, or a bank account. The only condition is that you must have at least $20 in earnings to request a withdrawal. Cashback from most partner retailers gets credited to your IBotta account within 24 hours of the purchase. The app also offers a $20 welcome bonus and a number of other referral bonuses.
How it Works
Survey Junkie has been one of the best money-making apps on the market for years now. It is a free app that allows you to earn extra money and gift cards in return for your opinions. You complete surveys in a variety of product and brand categories that are relevant to your lifestyle. To sign up with the app, you create a simple profile that has details like your zip code, date of birth, education and shopping habits. This information is used to find surveys that are relevant to you. For each completed survey, you get a certain number of points that can be exchanged for cash. It is important to note that Survey Junkie submits all responses anonymously to protect your identity. Each survey is optional and you can also choose to share your browsing data to access additional points and exclusive higher-point surveys.
You can cash out Survey Junkie points as gift cards or PayPal cash. One hundred points earns you $1, and you need a minimum of 500 points or $5 to cash out. While using Survey Junkie will not make you rich, it is a great app to build a side hustle. It is a dependable app to make extra money and earn gift cards in your spare time.
How it Works
With Taskrabbit, you earn money by completing tasks or providing services to the people in your area. Put simply, Taskrabbit connects people who are willing to do different jobs/tasks with people who are willing to pay to get the job done. The jobs or gigs can be as small as standing in a line or as vast as landscaping. When you sign up as a “Tasker,” you can list as many services as you’d like to provide. You can also set your own rates by task or by the hour. Once your profile is approved, you will be able to see all relevant postings and requests in your area. You can get in touch with the client to learn more about the job or negotiate payment directly through the Taskrabbit app.
Taskers are paid directly through Stripe, typically within 24 hours of finishing the task. It might take 3-5 days for the money to get transferred from Stripe to your bank account. Taskrabbit generates its earnings by charging a 15% service fee from the clients. This means that you make 100% of the task price posted on the app.
How it Works
The Instacart Shopper app allows you to earn extra money by grocery shopping for others. It is essentially a grocery delivery service that relies on independent workers to deliver the shopping directly to the customer’s home. There are two different roles you can play with Instacart: a full-service or in-store shopper. As a full-service shopper, you’ll be responsible for buying and delivering groceries to the customer’s house. This means that you’ll need a reliable source of transportation, preferably a car. You can take orders directly from the Instacart shopper app whenever work is convenient for you. As an in-store shopper, you’ll be a part-time Instacart employee. You’ll need to work a minimum of 15 to 20 hours a week, but you also get access to benefits like a 401(k) savings plan.
Instacart shoppers are paid weekly by direct transfer to a checking or savings account. Full-service shoppers can also make instant cashouts after successfully completing five batches. You can cash out up to five times a day, with a minimum of $5 in earnings. Shoppers make at least $5 for each delivery-only (in-store) batch and $7 to $10 for each full-service batch.
How it Works
Airbnb is a short-term lodging service that allows you to rent out your home, apartment, or any additional properties to guests. The process of setting up your Airbnb host profile is fairly simple:
- Provide information about your property (location, features, maximum occupancy)
- Upload photos of the rental unit
- Set up an availability calendar
- Add house rules (bringing pets, smoking/alcohol restrictions, inviting additional guests)
- Establish prices (and/or offers)
- Review local laws on providing and managing a rental
- Secure renters insurance policy to protect you from any damage to the property or costs of litigation
If you have at least one spare room to rent out, becoming an Airbnb host is one of the best apps to make money. How much you can earn with Airbnb depends on your rental unit, the included amenities and marketing skills.
Creating a listing is free but Airbnb charges a 3% service fee for every booking you make. Guests make payments directly through the app and Airbnb releases your earnings within 24 hours of your guest’s arrival. You can choose to receive payments through PayPal or Payoneer prepaid debit cards for processing within one business day.
How it Works
Sweatcoin is a unique health and fitness app that pays you for simply walking outside. The mobile app uses GPS and your phone’s accelerometer to track your outdoor steps throughout the day. The more steps you take, the more Sweatcoins you can earn with the app. Currently, there is a daily limit to the number of Sweatcoins you can earn with the free version of the app. You can make up to five Sweatcoins (with 5,000 steps) with the free “Mover” subscription. To earn more, you’ll need to upgrade to one of the paid subscriptions that range from 4.75-30 Sweatcoins per month to $0.99. Keep in mind that you won’t be making hundreds of dollars with this app. But it is a great way to generate passive income in return for developing a healthy habit.
Every 1,000 steps earn you 0.95 Sweatcoins that can be spent immediately in the in-app marketplace. The prices for products range from five to 20,000 Sweatcoins. You can buy running shoes, jewelry, audiobooks, magazines, electronics and even restaurant discounts and holiday offers with Sweatcoins. The app makes money from advertisements and partners who pay to be featured in the marketplace.
How it Works
DoorDash is a food order delivery service that pays you to deliver restaurant orders directly to the customer. Independent contractors, or Dashers/Drivers, pick up the order from one of the partner restaurants and drop it off at the customer’s location. The job pays frequently and offers lots of flexibility to fit your schedule. After setting up your Driver profile with DoorDash, you’ll be able to view available deliveries within the app. You’ll see details of each delivery (location of restaurant and customer, payment) and you get 40 seconds to accept or reject the opportunity. If you accept the delivery, you’ll see driving instructions to get to the restaurant and then to the customer.
DoorDash offers a guaranteed base pay rate of $2 to $10 (or more) for every delivery. Factors like the travel distance and estimated delivery time are used to calculate the final amount. You also get to keep 100% of all tips you receive. Keep in mind that you’ll have to pay gas and vehicle maintenance out of your own pocket. The standard method of payment is by direct deposit into your bank account. You’ll receive weekly payments for deliveries completed Monday through Sunday of the previous week.
How it Works
Uber is a popular ride-sharing service that makes money by connecting nearby drivers and passengers through innovative smartphone technology. Driving consistently for Uber can make you much more than spare change. It provides a flexible way to earn and all you need is access to a car. How much you can earn with Uber depends on where you drive, when you drive, how many hours you dedicate to the job, and your vehicle maintenance expenses. Once you create a Driver account with Uber, you’ll receive notifications of ride requests from nearby passengers. If you accept the ride, the app gives you turn-by-turn directions to pick up the passenger and drop them to their destination.
Per-minute and per-mile rates for Uber drivers vary by city and demand. Uber reports that their drivers make an average of $19 per hour. You get paid based on the fares that passengers pay for each trip. Uber claims that its “take rate,” or the amount it charges from drivers is 25% of the total ride fare. But a recent report by Jalopnik found that the company regularly takes 35% or even more of the fares for each ride. The earnings get transferred weekly to a linked bank account. With the Instant Pay option, you can cash out up to five times a day. You keep 100% of the tips you make.
How it Works
Just like Uber, Lyft is another popular ridesharing app. For the most part, the job responsibilities and pay rates are very similar to Uber. Lyft just happens to be more popular in some cities across the U.S. In addition to the standard method of using your own car to accept ride-sharing requests, Lyft also offers an Express Drive option. With Express Drive, you can rent a car from one of Lyft’s partners with flexible pricing plans. There are no long-term contracts or minimum Lyft ride requirements. Each rental comes with vehicle insurance, standard maintenance services, and roadside assistance.
The Lyft revenue model is very similar to Uber’s and has the same lack of transparency about its “take rate.” On average, drivers report earning slightly more with Lyft compared to Uber. By default, drivers are paid weekly by direct deposit to their bank account. Lyft’s Express Pay option allows you to withdraw your earnings within a few hours for a small fee of $0.50. If you apply for a Lyft Direct debit card, you can get payments instantly after completing each ride.
How it Works
The Nielsen company essentially pays you to keep its mobile app on your smartphone. Before you jump on board for “free money,” you need to know the background for this offer. Nielsen is a respected market research company that has been in business for decades. They started off by tracking TV ratings across the U.S., but have now expanded to measuring the popularity of online videos and websites. The Nielsen mobile app runs in the background and collects data about your browsing patterns and interests. The company then sells this data (along with other related services like analytics and consulting) to make its money. To register on the app, you’ll need to share detailed personal information and review a lengthy Nielsen Survey Privacy Statement.
The Nielsen mobile app pays up to $50 per year in reward points. This is a strictly limited amount and there is no possibility of earning more. You can also register your computer to participate in Nielsen’s monthly sweepstakes. They claim to give away $10,000 to registered computer users every month. Nielsen also sends out small survey cards that pay you (about $2) to share your viewing habits and opinions.
How it Works
Bookscouter is a unique online platform for buying and selling used or old books. It is home to more than 30 online vendors including Amazon, Bookstore.com, Byback101, and Cheaper College Books. One or more of these vendors will offer competitive resale prices for your book. Bookscouter has an advanced search toolbar that allows you to type in or scan your book’s ISBN code. This will instantly show you the current going rate for your book based on the retail price and condition. When you’ve selected a vendor offering good prices and facilities, simply click on “sell” and follow instructions to ship your book.
Selling your books on Bookscouter can be much more profitable than selling them directly on Amazon or eBay. The platform also allows you to compare the different rates available for your book across multiple websites. Keep in mind that while most vendors provide a prepaid shipping label with the book purchase, some may not. In this case, you’ll need to factor in the shipping costs before you can calculate your profit. Payment methods vary by vendor but most of them will transfer earnings directly to your PayPal account.
How it Works
Postmates is one of the largest on-demand delivery services in the U.S. It is a great side hustle that gives you the freedom to work on your own time. As a delivery driver, aka Postmate, you can be called on to deliver anything and everything — from food and beer to ping pong balls. This whatever-you-can-think-of delivery service model maintains a much higher demand than standard food delivery services. To work as a Postmate, you’ll need to be at least 18 years old, have access to an insured vehicle and a valid driver’s license, and pass a Postmates background check. As opposed to DoorDash or Instacart, Postmates does not need you to set your work hours in advance. You can simply open the Postmates Fleet app and look for nearby deliveries whenever you get some downtime.
Postmates pays by weekly direct deposit to your bank account. You can keep track of all your payments from within the app. It might take two to three days for the earnings to reflect in your bank account. The Instant Deposit option allows you to cash out whenever you want, with a $0.50 fee per transaction. You also keep 100% of customer tips.
How it Works
Mistplay is an Android-only app that earns you points and rewards for playing games! The more you play, the more points you earn. When you play mobile games with Mistplay, you build points in the app’s loyalty program. You can earn these points by playing and ‘levelling up’ with a wide variety of games like virtual casinos, Bingo, Solitaire, board games, and war or strategy games. Once you’ve completed a specific game or unlocked an achievement, you’ll need to answer some simple questions about your experience with the game. Just like survey apps, you earn rewards for sharing your opinion. These points or app credits can be redeemed for Amazon gift cards, Steam credit, Google Play points, eBay gift cards or other prizes.
The app is completely free to download and you don’t need to enter your credit card information to sign up. While you cannot redeem the points directly for cash, you can use them to buy gift cards worth $0.50 to $50. You’ll receive your gift card within two days of making the purchase.
How it Works
Shopkick is a retail rewards and mystery shopping app that earns you store credit for scanning barcodes, making purchases, watching videos and more. The Shopkick app offers six different ways to earn rewards:
- Simply enter eligible stores in your area
- Scan barcodes of select products in the store
- Purchase any eligible item and scan the receipt into the app
- Link a Visa or Mastercard with your Shopkick account
- Use Shopkick as a shopping app to make purchases at online partner stores
- Watch in-app videos and advertising
This way, you can earn Shopkick rewards with both online and physical shopping. Once you’ve earned enough points or “kicks,” you can redeem them for gift cards from a wide range of stores.
There’s no limit to how much you can make with Shopkicks. On average, you can earn one dollar of store credit for 250 kicks. So, you’ll get $5 for 1,250 kicks, and $25 for 6,250 kicks. A single trip to the grocery store can easily earn you more than 1,000 kicks, so it is a great way to earn rewards for something you’d be doing anyway.
How it Works
Rover is a popular dog-walking app that connects pet sitters with pet owners in need of services. The services you can offer include dog-walking, dog-boarding, pet-sitting, house-sitting and doggy daycare. You get paid to play with dogs and you can even set your own hourly or task-based pay. Rover is a flexible way to earn extra money, with minimal qualifying requirements. However, accepting requests as a new Rover user can be a little challenging. You’ll need to go through the initial process of meeting the dog owner before you can accept their request. Rover also has an excellent community of pet owners and sitters who can help you maximize your earnings.
You have the freedom to set your own hourly rates. According to Glassdoor, the rates range from $14 to $29 on average. Pet owners are charged a 15% service fee in addition to the sitter’s hourly pay. Rover takes a 20-25% commission for every job you take. You can receive payments via PayPal or by check. You can withdraw this amount two days after the job is completed.
How it Works
Acorns is a micro-investing platform geared toward people who are new to saving and investing. In contrast to apps that pay you for your opinions, data, or shopping, Acorns is aimed at growing the money you already have. There are five main ways to grow your money with Acorns:
- Acorns Invest: Invests your spare change in a diversified portfolio with more than 7,000 stocks and bonds
- Acorns Later: Offers multiple IRA options for retirement planning
- Acorns Checking: Offers a traditional checking account
- Acorns Earn (Found Money): Earn money with every purchase at Acorns’ 350+ retail partners
- Acorns Early: Start investing for your kids with just $5
With so much flexibility and convenience, Acorns is one of the most accessible investing apps available today. The app is simple, intuitive and requires no investment knowledge.
Acorns creates investment portfolios that are personalized for your goals and risk tolerance. The app allows you to start investing with as little as $5. While there is always a chance that your investments could lose money, Acorns has a historical stock market return of about 10% in the long term. Acorns charges a nominal fee of $3 for a personal account and $5 for a family account.
How it Works
Turo, the peer-to-peer car-sharing platform, is basically Airbnb for cars. It allows you to rent out your car whenever it is convenient for you. Turo estimates that vehicle owners can make an average of $700 per month in passive income. For your car to be eligible for renting out on Turo, it should:
- be released in the past 12 years
- have fewer than 13,000 miles
- have a current market value of up to $150,000
Keep in mind that large vans, motorcycles, and off-road vehicles are not eligible. Once you’ve successfully listed your vehicle on Turo, renters can request a booking immediately. Turo allows booking for a minimum of one day, so renters cannot pay for just a few hours.
You can set your own daily rates for renting the vehicle. Turo takes 15-40% of your rental cost. This commission includes vehicle insurance and advertising on the Turo website. You can also make more money by offering one of 50 “Extras.” For example, if you can charge extra for a child seat or for getting the vehicle to the customer’s location on rent day.
How it Works
Poshmark is a popular resale platform that allows you to flip fashion and luxury goods. While most people use Poshmark to clear out their closets, it can also provide a respectable income each month. Poshmark has a community of more than 60 million users looking to buy pre-owned fashion items. You can choose to sell clothing, accessories, home decor, or beauty products. To create a listing, you only need to add photos, write a quick description and set your desired price. Being active in the community and adding appealing photos/descriptions will help sell your products faster.
The Poshmark app is free, listing items on it is free, shipping and shipping materials are free, and you can easily start with items you already have. The company charges a flat fee of $2.95 for items that sell under $15, and 20% of the sale price for products more than $15. This fee is very reasonable compared to other resale or consignment apps in the market (ThredUp can charge up to 95% in commission). Poshmark handles billing and holds the payment until the item is delivered and accepted. You can withdraw your earnings via direct deposit to your bank account or request a check.
How it Works
The Earny app automatically gets you your money back when a recent purchase drops in price. Earny works with more than 5,000 retailers and claims the price difference on your behalf. The app offers a powerful way to get the best price for purchases you’d be making anyway. Earny scans your email inbox for online purchase receipts and instantly notifies you about price drops. In fact, you don’t even need to log in and check the app to get your refund amount. Earny runs in the background and deposits the price difference directly to your account. Earny’s retail partners offer up to 90 days of price protection. All you need to do is make sure that you use the same email address for the purchase and with Earny.
Earny currently offers two subscription models: $4.99 billed per month, or $39.96 billed annually. With this business model, you get to keep 100% of the price difference whenever you get a refund. Earny does not ask for your credit card information. Instead, it transfers the refund amount directly to the account with which you made the initial purchase.
How it Works
BeFrugal is a cashback and coupons platform that earns you rewards for every online purchase. It has more than 5,000 partner stores and offers a “best rate” guarantee that will pay you 125% of the cashback offered by other sites. BeFrugal offers coupons for stores like Home Depot, HP, Bloomingdale’s, Forever 21, Lenovo, Staples and Aveda. You can keep track of how much cashback you earned in your BeFrugal account dashboard. Online retailers pay BeFrugal a commission for bringing people to their website. BeFrugal gives you a share of this commission through offers and cashback coupons. While the site promises cashback of up to 40%, most major retailers offer about 2-10% discounts.
You can receive the cashback payouts via check, PayPal, direct deposit, Venmo, Zelle, or gift cards. BeFrugal also doubles as a shopping app and has an entire section dedicated to “Today’s Top Deals” with the biggest discounts. BeFrugal gives you a $10 sign-up bonus, payable after you’ve made your first $10 in cashback with the app.
Capital One Shopping
How it Works
Capital One Shopping is a web browser tool that earns you retail coupons and discounts. The extension is free to download but only works with Google Chrome. Capital One Shopping is particularly useful for shopping with Amazon. It has a dedicated Amazon button that notifies you if there’s a lower price in its large database of retailers. It applies eligible coupons automatically and even informs you about local offers. If you want to buy something but the current price seems too steep, you can add it to your Capital One Shopping watchlist. You’ll receive an instant notification any time the item’s price drops.
In addition to saving money with retailers, you can also earn Capital One Shopping credits. These credits can be redeemed for gift cards at a number of different stores including Walmart, eBay, Lowe’s, Sephora, American Eagle, Hulu, PetCo, and GameStop. You are issued the gift card instantly after purchase. Note that you cannot get your cashback via Amazon, PayPal, or Visa gift card.
How it Works
Dosh is yet another cashback rewards app with more merchant partners than any other platform on this list. Dosh partners up with more than 100,000 merchant partners and offers cashback at more than 15,000 retail partners. In addition to popular retail chains, Dosh also works with a large number of restaurants, hotels, delivery services, gas stations and even streaming services. It has a much more hands-off approach to saving money while making online purchases. You never have to scan receipts, use coupons or promo codes, or even log in to the app before your shop. Every time you make a purchase with a qualified merchant, your “Dosh Wallet” gets credited with cashback automatically. Dosh makes money by taking a commission on each transaction made using its cashback network.
Your “Dosh Wallet” gets credited with cashback for every eligible purchase. Even if you’re not a big shopper, you can save significant amounts of money with Dosh (some merchants offer cashback of more than 20%). Once your Dosh Wallet has at least $25, you can transfer it via direct deposit or by PayPal. You can also get a $5-$10 referral bonus for each person who joins Dosh with your unique link.
While these apps won’t exactly guide you on how to make money online, they’re an excellent way to save money and don’t require much effort.
How it Works
Sweepstakes, or giveaways, are a type of prize promotion where the winners are drawn at random from all valid entries. By definition, entering a sweepstake must be free of charge and the hosts cannot require a purchase to enter. Prizes can range from t-shirts or sticks to cars or enormous amounts of cash. Major companies like Walmart, Hallmark, HGTV, Dave and Buster’s, Coca Cola, Heineken, Hyundai, and Chevrolet regularly hold sweepstakes with huge rewards like cars, cash, or vacations. While you may not always win these dream prizes, entering more sweepstakes more often can save you a good chunk of change.
Payment methods vary widely depending on the host organization. Most sponsors offer cashback rewards and coupons as the smallest winnings.
FAQs on Money-Making Apps
Which is the best app to earn cash?
Survey Junkie is hands down the best app to earn cash in your spare time. It has an active online community of more than 20 million lifetime members and excellent reviews across more than 30,000 user experiences on Trustpilot.
What apps pay you real money instantly?
While most apps on this list earn you rewards or coupons, Survey Junkie allows you to make real money in exchange for your opinion. The minimum payout is just $5 that you can get via PayPal, e-Gift cards, or direct bank transfer.
Which app gives real money for free?
The Survey Junkie app makes you real money for answering simple online surveys. Signing up with Survey Junkie is 100% free and each quick survey pays about $0.50 to $3.