Best Apps That Pay You Real Money

The Highest Paying Apps That Will Make You Money

If you’re like most people, there’s a high chance that you pass time by browsing through your smartphone.

Watching YouTube tutorials and catching up on your social media accounts is all great, but such activities don’t pad your wallet.

Instead, you can maximize your leisure time by downloading an app that earns you a few extra dollars. 

Many people are hesitant to use money-making apps because they assume that they’re not legit. But contrary to popular belief, you really can make money using a smartphone app. No strings attached!

Below, I’ve compiled a list of how you can use apps to make money as well as the best apps that pay you real money so you can make some extra cash on the side. 

This post may contain affiliate links. That means if you purchase an item through these links, I may earn a commission at no additional cost to you. Please read the full disclosure policy for more info.

How To Make Money Through Apps

If you have even a few minutes of free time, there are several ways you can earn legitimate money through your smartphone apps. These include:

cell phone on laptop with plant and pink background flat lay

1. Taking Online Surveys

At some point in your life, you’ve probably completed a survey. Perhaps you were asked to watch a video and give feedback or your friend asked you questions for their school project.

Well taking online surveys is no different. You’re asked a set of questions, and you get paid for your answers.

The best thing about this approach is that there’s no limit to the number of surveys that you can fill out in a day.

The higher the number of surveys, the greater the reward; whether it’s in the form of cash or points.  

2. Captcha Solving

If you’re usually keen and detail-oriented, you can put your skills to good use by becoming a captcha solver. This is a pretty easy way of earning money too.

All you need to do is observe the captcha images, figure out the specific letters or tick against the correct images and this will earn you a lot of points. 

3. Liking and Sharing on Social Media

Several companies pay Internet users to like and follow their pages on social media platforms.

Whether it’s Facebook, Instagram, Twitter or Tumbler, many companies are ready to pay you for sharing or engaging with their social media account in any way. 

4. Ratings and Writing Reviews

This is fairly similar to liking and sharing on social media. Different firms, especially those that are trying to advertise their products and services, will pay you to have written reviews on Google and other search engines. 

We review products that we purchase online most of the time. But do you ever stop to think about the earning-potential of your reviews? 

5. Virtual Assistance

If you’re great at helping people find direction and can answer their inquiries, then you should consider becoming a virtual assistant on a money-generating app.

What I like most about this technique is that you’ll be earning money from the comfort of your home while interacting with thousands of people across the globe. 

Woman at an outside cafe drinking a latte on her cell phone

6. Play Games

Are you addicted to playing games on your smartphone? If you are, you might as well get paid for your skills.

There are apps that offer to pay you if you’re able to play a particular game at different levels. 

7. Rent Out Your Car

Although not as common as the survey-based apps, you may also come across apps that allow you to rent out your car and earn money from it.

If you work or stay at home taking care of kids, it’s likely that you don’t use your automobile that often. So rather than have your car sit in the garage all day, why not earn some money from it? 

With a rental app, you’ll be required to list your car. Next, you have to set the rental price rate and the days or nights that you’re willing to rent it out.

When you receive a request from an interested party, you have the right to accept or deny. If you accept, you’ll need to schedule a time when they come and pick it up. 

An example of such a platform is Turo app, where individuals rent out their vehicles for between $35 and $65 a day. At the end of the day, the car owner receives 75% of all the fees.

According to the app’s developers, a car that is rented out for 15 days of the month earns the owner as much as $450 that month. 

8. Parking Apps

Not many are familiar with parking apps. The concept behind it is that you have a vacant driveway just sitting there when you’re out for work or holiday, so why not use it as an avenue to earn a few extra dollars? 

This particularly works for homeowners who live in urban areas where finding a parking spot is often a challenge. 


11 Apps that Pay You Real Money

1. Ibotta

Developed in 2011, this is one of the longest standing money-making apps.

This application helps you make a couple of dollars by engaging in something that you’re already doing- grocery shopping. 

How it works:

Before you visit the store where you’re planning to shop, check the app to see if there are any available rebates. You’ll have to specify the store you’re planning to visit.

The app works in conjunction with major stores like Walmart, Target, Kroger, Costco, Publix and Sam’s Club. 

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After selecting the store, choose the available rebates of interest. Once you’ve made your decision, you’ll be asked to complete a simple task.

This ranges from watching a video to answering easy questions. I particularly love that the app sometimes provides a recipe for a new-found ingredient. 

In some instances, you may not even have to complete a task to qualify for rebates. Afterward, you can visit your chosen store and shop. 

woman on phone in grocery store with grocery cart full

When you get back home, you should scan the barcode of the product that you wanted a rebate for. Upon scanning, there’ll be a small beeping sound notifying you that the product corresponds to the selected rebate. 

Once you’ve scanned all the items of interest, snap a photo of the receipt and upload it to the app. Now all you need to do is wait patiently as the funds are being sent to your account.

Ideally, you should receive your money within an hour or two. But on very busy days, the transaction may take up to 48 hours. 

2. Shopkick

Shopping is a two-edged sword. On the one hand, you’re excited to buy new things and watch the cashier bag your items.

But on the other hand, you’re overwhelmed with guilt because you’re not certain of the extent of damage that you’ve done to your bank account.

But what if I told you there was a way to earn extra cash doing what you love most. With Shopkick, you can get rewards for your shopping activity, regardless of whether you’re shopping online or at a brick and mortar store. 

How it works:

There are a couple of ways through which you earn cash back with Shopkick. For one, you earn kicks for simply walking into a store that works in conjunction with Shopkick.

Other methods include:

  • Scanning barcodes on chosen products
  • Buying something and submitting the receipt
  • Buying products using a linked card
  • Making online purchases from select stores
  • Watching videos

3. Swagbucks

Swagbucks is the truest definition of ‘quick money’. Even though it doesn’t claim to make you a millionaire overnight, it’s incredibly easy to earn points by accomplishing a variety of tasks.

The best part is, you can do all these from the comfort of your sofa, which makes it suitable for stay-at-home moms. 

How it works:

The first step is to sign up on the Swagbucks platform. Once you’ve done this, all you need to do is choose an activity to do and earn points from it. You can then exchange the points for cash or rewards.

Woman on cell phone outside earning money on apps

Ways To Earn Swagbucks:

1. Make Swagbucks your default search engine

Instead of using Google or Bing, you can use Swagbucks to search for things on the internet. Doing so will help you rack up points quite fast. If you search on a daily basis, you can earn as much as $300 within 6 months.

2. Watch videos

Another way to generate income on Swagbucks is by simply watching videos. The payout isn’t all that high. But the fact that you’re earning money by getting entertained is pretty alluring. 

3. Fill out surveys and polls

This involves completing a couple of surveys every day. Don’t worry, you won’t be spending half of your day doing this.

Most surveys and polls take only 3 to 20 minutes, meaning you can fill them and engage in other income-generating projects. 

4. Acorns

Some people think that to invest, they have to buy properties and other types of assets and start managing them. Although these strategies work, there are far easier ways to invest.

Acorns is an app that provides a seamless way of saving your spare change. 

How it works:

The way this app is designed to work is that it rounds up your purchases to an even number. It then computes the difference and saves this in your Acorns account. 

Acorns evaluates your spending habits using your credit card. Based on the findings, it rounds every transaction to the nearest whole number. Any difference calculated from your checking account is saved in the account you created on the app.

From a glance, it might seem like you’re not saving much. But if you’re disciplined and save consistently, you’ll be amazed at how rapidly these savings grow. 

Besides, the app developers have incorporated a feature that lets you save money much faster. I’m referring to the boost your round-ups feature.

Here’s how it works: each time you save money in your Acorns-linked account, you can choose to multiply the amount of savings. So if you were to invest just 45 cents, you can multiply that by 10 and save $4.50 instead. 

5. Foap

Foap app is based on a very simple premise: convert your pictures to money.

Companies are always looking for images they can use to advertise their brand. Perhaps a firm needs a picture that they can post on their website or add to their company brochure. 

With Foap app, you’ll get potential clients willing to pay for your photos. If you have stunning images, you have a really good chance of earning from them. 

How it works:

The app has a very user-friendly interface. So all you need to do is upload photos directly from your device.

After uploading, Foap makes them available for purchasing. The best part is, there’s no limit to the number of times you can sell your photos. 

Another way to make money from your pictures is via Foap missions. These are photo contests that are usually organized by renowned brands like Pepsi, Nivea, Vovo, MasterCard just to name a few. 

The organization holding the photo challenge comes up with a specific brief, which details the requirements for the photos they need.

You can then take photos and submit them for evaluation. If they’re good enough and get picked by the firm, you’ll be paid. 

cell phone with ice cream photo flat lay with cream blanket and orange tulips

6. 5Miles

Back in the day, people used newspapers as avenues for buying and selling goods. 5Miles is based on a fairly similar concept.

Simply put; it’s a mobile-based platform that connects buyers and sellers who are in close proximity. It’s what I imagine the child of eBay and Facebook Marketplace would be.

The brains behind this app are cofounders Liang Lu and Rick Cantu, who developed the app in 2014. The current headquarters of their company is in Dallas, Texas. 

How it works:

If you’re looking to sell your items, all you need to do is snap photos of the object, pick a category, give a brief description of it, set price and post it. Whenever a buyer near you shows interest in your product, you’ll get a message in your inbox. 

You can actually carry out the transaction within the app. Consent to the given terms, arrange a meet and close your deal. The online transaction is made possible by the 5Miles CMT (CyberMilesToken). This is a payment platform within the app, which allows users to receive or send out payments for certain items. 

Using 5Miles is totally free, both for traders and customers. The app is available on both Google PlayStore and iTunes in case you’re using an Apple device. 

6. Surveys On The Go

With this mobile app, you’re required to take surveys that are assigned to you based on your demographic, and interests.

The surveys are interesting and informative, and come with the added bonus of paying you for your ‘hard work’.

How it works:

One of the features that make this app so attractive is the fact it offers surveys on different topics. You may be requested to watch and rate a particular TV show or film.

You may also be asked to assess products, share your shopping experiences or participate in other market research events. 

Another attractive aspect is that you get paid in the form of cash and not points.

However, the minimum threshold for making any withdrawals is $10. So until you reach this target, you cannot withdraw any of your earnings. 

7. Checkout 51

Discovering methods to save on your grocery shopping can help you allocate money to other essential items like debt repayment and savings. 

An easy way to save on this affair is to utilize a cashback app. One such app that has proven to be an effective way of earning money is Checkout 51.  

How it works:

This free cashback app was developed to enable you to make savings on grocery shopping. The app developers partnered with dozens of brands to make this a possibility.

They have offers on a consistent basis to help you save on items like personal care items, household products, and snacks to name a few. 

To get started, sign up on the platform. Doing this automatically qualifies you for a $5 bonus.

Next, go through the offers they have and if you find any that pique your interest, add them to your account.

Visit your grocery store and shop as you normally would. Once you get back home, upload your receipt and wait for the cash back on accepted purchases. 

cell phone to earn with apps flat lay with pink clothes, makeup, and turquoise chucks

8. InboxDollars

If you’ve been looking for a way to earn extra cash during your spare time, InboxDollars is the ultimate solution. The signup process is easy, meaning you can start earning money as soon as possible. 

How it works:

The first step is to sign up on your smartphone. Next, activate your account and qualify for the $5 bonus that’s awarded to new users.

To make your account active, all you need to do is look for the first PaidEmail in your email inbox and verify receipt. 

Next, you’ll be required to complete a number of surveys before you can start earning money.

The significance of filling out these surveys is that they make it easier for you to be matched with surveys, which match your interest in the future. 

With your account active and surveys filled out, you can start earning money using any of these ways:

  • Watching how-to videos
  • Completing every item in the to-do list
  • Reading emails
  • Completing the 100% free offers
  • Searching the web
  • Filing out more surveys

9. Google Opinion Rewards

If your friends often describe you as an opinionated and blunt individual, your ability and skills can actually help you earn a little extra cash.

As implied in the name, Google Opinion Rewards is an app that pays you for giving your views. 

How it works:

Start by downloading the app on your mobile device, then complete the short surveys on the platform. The platform has surveys on nearly everything- from hotels to films and TV series to merchants. 

Anytime you have a few seconds to spare, fill out a survey and get paid for it. Think of those times when you’re queueing at the grocery store or waiting in line at the bank.

So just how will you get paid? Google makes payments via Google Play credits or PayPal. They pay for every survey you complete, and the compensation ranges between $0.10 and $1 for each survey.

10. iPoll

Formerly known as SurveyHead, this is an excellent app for earning money by completing surveys.

Most companies that conduct surveys either have a non-responsive app or website. iPoll is one of the few that manages to have a quality mobile app that’s just as effective as their website. 

How it works:

Getting started on iPoll is a walk in the park. Just click on one of the download links, fill in your details and confirm your email address.

The minute you sign up, you’ll receive a $5 bonus. The only thing left to do now is find surveys you can complete and get paid. 

One thing that sets this app apart is that they pay you for completing profile surveys- an aspect that similar apps neglect to do. 

Also important to note is that this app is not limited to surveys. There are a dozen other tasks you can do and get paid for. 

The surveys are similar to what you’ll find on their website. The only exception is that with mobile-based surveys, you have the freedom to complete them from anywhere. 

A useful hack I recommend when utilizing this app is to opt for surveys that pay you a minimum of $1 for every 10-minutes of your time. Often, you’ll find that you’re able to complete these surveys in less time. 

11. Surro

Surro is a unique new social app that lets you earn money while going about your regular day. They call themselves “A social fun app for making money” and the concept is pretty interesting.

How It Works:

Currently, Surro is only available on Android and can be found on Google Play but will be available on iOS soon. After you download the app, create your profile set your hourly rate.

As a surro, you earn by the second. The point is to give the client a different view of the world. For instance, if you live in Paris, then you could have a client in Florida who wants you to show them the Eiffel Tower live.

As a client, you can set search parameters for surros and find someone living in the area you’re interested in seeing. It’s similar to a live virtual reality or you can pretend you’re jet setting around the world.

Another great aspect is that you have the ability to block users if someone is being difficult or harassing.


Final Word

We live in an era that provides an infinite number of opportunities to make money.

Even though it may not seem like it, this is one of the best times to make money, even if you don’t have a traditional 9-to-5 job. All you need is your smartphone, the right app and an investment of your time. 

Money-making apps help you earn in different ways but they all let you earn significant money over time. Let me know in the comments below what your favorite money-earning apps are.

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Steffa Mantilla

Budgeting & Debt Payoff Expert

Steffa is the founder behind Money Tamer. After paying off over $80,000 in debt through budgeting, she now teaches families how to get their own finances in order. Steffa’s background in operant conditioning and behavioral husbandry has given her an understanding of motivation and motivators. She uses this training to help people understand the reasons “why” behind their money behaviors and how to successfully change them. You can learn more about her here.

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The Best Apps That Make Money In Your Free Time

2 thoughts on “Best Apps That Pay You Real Money”

  1. Thanks for the post its really helpfull. I know one more great app for making money- Surro is a new kind of app – Social Fun App! With Surro you have unlimited possibilies, how you can share your time with others and earn money on it at the same time! You can get it from Play Store 🙂

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