You can earn extra money directly from our smartphones.
Whether it be a side hustle, part-time job, or just something to do in your spare time, there are dozens of mobile apps out there made for supplemental income.
Most of these apps won’t get you rich. But you can still put some cash in your pocket by performing pretty simple tasks from the palm of your hand.
You’re already using your phone to access your bank accounts and pay your bills, so why not leverage your device to earn some extra money on the side?
After some thorough research, I’ve identified the top money-making apps in 2020.
The 20 Best Money Making Apps
Formally Ebates, Rakuten rewards you with cash back from shopping.
More than 2,500 stores are partnered with this platform. Those stores pay Rakuten a commission for referrals and Rakuten shares that commission with its users in the form of cash back.
Earn cash rewards after buying from Amazon, Walmart, Kohl’s, Macy’s, eBay, Expedia, JCPenney, H&M, and countless other brands you’re already familiar with. I’ve seen cash back promotions as high as 10%
Join Rakuten today and get a $10 bonus after making qualifying purchases within 90 days of becoming a member.
I have a few of friends that use Rakuten. They each received checks for over $50 last month. You can opt-in for PayPal payments if you prefer to get paid electronically.
The Foap mobile app is an excellent way to make money by selling your photos and videos.
Simply create a profile and start uploading your content to the app. When a person, brand, or agency buys a photo, you’ll split the profits with Foap.
Some photos sell for $5, while others sell in the $60 to $100 range. You’ll need an active PayPal account to get paid for your work sold on Foap.
Foap is easy for anyone to use. You can upload photos that you’ve already taken, or take new ones for higher paying “missions.”
More than 2.9 million creators are active on the Foap platform. Big brands like Bank of America, Mastercard, and We Are Social use Foap to buy content.
Google Opinion Rewards
Want to get paid for taking surveys on your smartphone? Download Google Opinion Rewards to get started.
The concept is very straightforward. Complete a short survey on a wide range of potential topics. It could be a hotel review, personal opinion, or satisfaction survey from a particular merchant. The surveys are short enough that you can take them while waiting in line for a cup of coffee.
You can earn extra money by sharing your TV and internet usage with Google Opinion Rewards. Just continue browsing online and watching TV like you normally do.
Payments are released as Google Play or PayPal credits.
If you like the idea of being paid to take surveys, the iPoll app is another top choice to consider.
Similar to Google Option Rewards, all you have to do is answer brief questions about products and services that you’re already using.
You can earn gift cards for PayPal, the Apple App Store, and Amazon for your participation.
Swagbucks offers rewards points for shopping online, browsing the web, answering surveys, and watching entertaining videos. All of this can be facilitated through the mobile app.
You can redeem Swagbucks points for gift cards or get cash back to your PayPal account.
Swagbucks gives away more than 7,000 gift cards every day. They’ve paid out more than $410 million in rewards since the company was first founded back in 2008.
You can earn 1,000 SB points ($10 in value) if you sign up and make a qualifying purchase at a store featured in the Swagbucks shop.
Acorns puts your money to work by investing it.
The app automatically rounds up your spare change from credit card purchases and deposits it into an investment account. For example, let’s say you spent $9.50 at lunch. Acorns rounds it up to $10 and invests $0.50.
It’s a great opportunity for those of you who want to start investing but don’t have large sums of money to do so. Just answer a few questions about your risk tolerance, and Acorns will recommend a portfolio that fits your needs.
The app costs $1, $2, or $3 per month depending on the pricing tier you select.
Want to get paid for walking? Sweatcoin is the perfect money-making app for you.
All you need to do is keep Sweatcoin running on the background of your phone at all times. The app will automatically track your steps. Every 1,000 steps rewards you with 0.95 Sweatcoins.
Sweatcoins can’t be withdrawn as cash. However, you can redeem them for goods and services. Some featured examples include athletic wear, audio books, headphones, and meditation.
More than 300 brands have partnered with Sweatcoin. Most of these goods and services are related to promoting a healthy lifestyle.
We’re constantly exposed to digital advertisements on a daily basis. Wouldn’t it be great if you could get paid for seeing ads?
Slidejoy makes that possible. The app adds advertisements to your phone’s lock screen.
Each time you check your phone, you’ll see a new ad or promotion.
Slide left to learn more information about the ad. Swipe up to view another one. Or slide right to access your home screen.
Slidejoy is only available for Android users.
You can cash out rewards via PayPal, or donate your earnings to one of Slidejoy’s charity programs.
The OfferUp app is perfect for selling your used stuff to people in your area. Think of this app as a hybrid between Craigslist and eBay.
Simply upload some pictures, a description, and set your price. Everything from appliances to clothing and cars is available on OfferUp.
If you want your listing to get more views, you can pay to promote it.
Historically, you had to meet up with buyers in-person to complete the transaction. But OfferUp recently added a shipping feature that facilitates sales nationwide.
You could also use OfferUp to buy items for cheap and then flip them to turn a profit.
Mobee is a secret shopper app. It rewards you with points for completing “missions” at various stores.
Here’s how it works. Simply download the app and browse for a mission in your area.
It could be anything from Macy’s to Domino’s. Each mission has a set of tasks for you to complete. You’ll be rewarded for things like answering survey questions and taking photographs inside the store.
Mobee lets you redeem those points for gift cards, including gift cards to Amazon. It takes up to 48 hours to redeem your rewards.
TaskRabbit is another app that requires a little bit more work to make some money. But with that said, the extra effort usually results in higher pay.
You can provide a wide range of services to people in your area.
Common tasks include moving furniture, mounting a TV, household cleaning, and IKEA assembly. Create a profile on TaskRabbit to highlight your featured skills. You can even set your own rates for particular jobs.
The more tasks you complete, the better chance you have of getting selected for a taskin the future. People seeking services will review your profile before accepting you to do a job.
If you’ve got the time to do some physical labor, download the TaskRabbit app to make money.
I’m sure you’re familiar with Uber. There’s a good chance you’ve used the app to hail a ride. But you can use that same app to get paid for driving people around.
Make your own hours and use your own car. Just turn on the Uber app whenever you want to start working.
Depending on your area, Uber generally has guaranteed earnings promotions for new drivers. You can also be rewarded with bonuses for working certain hours and get tipped by customers as well.
If you want to make money with Uber but don’t want strangers in your car, consider becoming a food delivery driver for UberEats.
Like Uber, Lyft is another popular ridesharing app.
In most instances, the pay and job description is pretty comparable to Uber. I know lots of people who sign up for both and switch between the two on a regular basis.
Depending on your city, you might learn that Lyft is more popular for riders in the area.
If you don’t have a car, Lyft can help you get one through one of their Express Drive partners. The car payment comes with insurance, unlimited miles, and maintenance included.
Use Lyft as a side hustle to earn extra cash on nights or weekends. Or drive full time. The choice is yours.
MyPoints is another cash back rewards app, similar to Rakuten and Swagbucks.
You’ll earn rewards in the form of points for purchases at thousands of stores. Examples of brands on the MyPoints program include Amazon, Walmart, Best Buy, Home Depot, Macy’s, Target, and Groupon.
Redeem points for gift cards or transfer the funds as cash to your PayPal account.
New MyPoints members get a $10 welcome bonus in the form of an Amazon gift card or Visa gift card. Just make a qualifying purchase to get your bonus.
The Ibotta app puts a unique twist on cash back rewards.
You can pay for purchases using the Ibotta app in physical stores as well. You’ll also be able to upload receipts to get rewarded. So you don’t always need to shop using a direct link, as you would with other cash back apps on the market today.
The network of Ibotta partners isn’t quite as extensive as other apps. However, you can still use it at national brands like Walgreens, Target, Walmart, GAP, Domino’s, and Booking.com.
To date, Ibotta has paid out more than $682 million to users.
Ibotta is offering a $20 welcome bonus to new app users who make a qualifying purchase.
Mercari is a marketplace app for selling goods. It’s similar to OfferUp, but there’s no option for in-person meetups.
You can start listing items within minutes of downloading the app. Just upload pictures, add a description, and set your own prices.
Mercari provides you with printable shipping labels via email.
Popular products sold on Mercari include headphones, tablets, speakers, handbags, and clothing.
There is no fee for using Mercari. The app takes a 10% commission on all completed sales. So just keep that in mind when you’re setting prices.
If you like the idea of getting paid to give your opinion, the Survey Junkie app is another top choice to consider.
Build a profile on the app, so Survey Junkie can match you with the most relevant surveys to your lifestyle. Simply complete the surveys in your spare time to earn virtual rewards points.
Redeem those points for gift cards at popular stores like Target or Amazon. Alternatively, you can cash out points via PayPal.
Paribus finds you refunds from purchases that you’ve already made.
Just provide them with the email address you use for online shopping receipts. Paribus scans those receipts for stores that they monitor.
If one of your purchases goes on sale after you buy it, Paribus refunds you for the difference. You can also get compensated for late deliveries from online orders.
Paribus currently monitors more than 25 major retailers. Examples include Best Buy, Home Depot, Target, and Amazon. The Paribus app is 100% free. They don’t take a commission of the savings, charge a monthly fee, or surprise you with any hidden charges.
More than three million people are currently using the Drop app.
Like many other money-making apps on our list, you’ll get rewarded for shopping. Each time you shop using Drop, you’ll get rewarded with points.
Drop won’t give you cash, but you can redeem those points for gift cards at places like Amazon, Starbucks, and Netflix.
How to Make Money With Apps
Making money with apps is very straightforward.
In most cases, it’s as simple as downloading the app and creating a profile. Depending on the circumstances, you might be required to provide more information for some apps compared to others.
For example, if you’re using Uber to make money, you’ll need to go through an approval process that can take 5-7 days. They’ll verify your license, car details, and run a background check.
Other apps allow you to start making money within seconds of signing up without any lengthy process.
Make sure you have an active PayPal account. Most money-making apps issue payments via PayPal.
How to Choose The Best Money Making App For You
Not every app on here is ideal for everyone. There are certain considerations to look at when evaluating apps for making money.
This is the methodology that we used to create this list. I’ll explain what matters and how you can weigh these factors according to your personal needs.
Most apps won’t get you rich. Lots of them won’t even qualify as a part-time job or side hustle.
Choose an app based on how much you want to get paid. For example, if you want to earn hundreds or thousands of dollars per month, you likely can’t do that filling out surveys. You’d be better off using apps like Uber, Lyft, OfferUp, and TaskRabbit.
Those types of apps have a higher upside in terms of the pay amount.
The next thing you’ll have to decide is how much effort you want to commit.
Do you want to just complete small tasks from your smartphone while you’re laying on the couch or sitting at a coffee shop? Or do you want to visit retail stores, drive around, meet up with buyers in person, and do some manual labor?
The amount of effort it takes to do something usually has a direct correlation with the payment amount. Moving furniture on TaskRabbit pays higher than completing a two-minute survey.
Payment Method and Frequency
Some apps let you get paid with cash. In most cases, cashouts are facilitated via PayPal. But there a few apps that will mail you a check.
Other apps don’t offer cash but reward you with gift cards.
Again, you can’t make a living with a handful of Starbucks or Target gift cards. But if you’re just doing a few small tasks on the side, it could still be worth your time.
Certain money making apps have redemption restrictions. You might not be able to cash out whenever you want. So review the payment frequency and full terms before you get started.
Fees and Initial Investment
Lots of the apps on our list are free. But some do require you to pay.
For example, an Acorns membership can cost up to $3 per month. Mercari takes a 10% commission for all sales facilitated through its marketplace.
Overall, these fees and initial investments are pretty low. But if you don’t want to spend any money, stick to the free apps.
Conduct your due diligence before you download any money-making mobile apps. Make sure the app has lots of positive reviews. Read the negative reviews to see what unhappy users are saying.
You can usually sign up for these apps with just an email address. Apps asking for sensitive information could be a potential scam.
Lots of apps on our list promise that they won’t sell your data. So if privacy is important to you, stick with an app that has that reputation.
It’s never been easier to make money from apps in 2020. Use the apps that I’ve listed above to get started.