15 Best Money Making Apps [How to Make Money with Your Phone]

By Todd Kunsman

Make Money

Published on

Updated on

It’s incredible to think how far technology has come and allowed everyone to make money quickly. And who would have guessed fifteen or twenty years ago, that you could make money with your phone?

Fast forward to the present and you’ll find tons of money making apps that create additional revenue streams for people. 

And how much you make is really up to the effort you want to put in. 

Many of these apps can be used as a side hustle, maybe just a part-time job, or if you are just looking to make a couple extra bucks in your spare time.

Let’s look at some categories and the top apps you might want to consider downloading to make money.

Are There Really Apps That Pay You?

If you’re going to spend all your time on your smartphone, why not make some money doing it as well?

Yes, there are indeed smartphone apps that will make you money. This especially took off with the gig economy.

And they all work in different ways and fit into various categories: some are passive, some take more effort, and some require only specific actions. 

When it comes to finding money making apps, there are many different category types for both iOS and Android systems. Here are some of the different types you’ll find: 

Make money playing games

There are a lot of apps out there that will literally pay you to play games — yes, you read that right. Some will offer you a range of games to play and the longer you play the more you earn. 

You’ll need to play for quite some time to make the money worth it, but they can still be a fun way to make some extra dollars on the side. 

Apps that offer cash back

Cashback apps give you free money by tracking what you’re spending. These are mostly passive: you install them on your phone and some you’ll connect them to your cards and go about your daily life. 

Once you’ve accumulated enough cash back, you’ll be able to withdraw the total amount or get extra cash back savings for your shopping at partnership stores. You’ll literally be saving money while spending!

Make money by completing surveys

Many apps will pay you to complete surveys on your phone.

The concept is simple: you give your opinion to all these brands to help them understand their customers better, and get rewarded through gift cards or cash. 

There’s no limit to the amount of surveys you can complete in one day (unless the app’s terms of services says otherwise), so you could technically keep going until you’ve made enough money!

However, don’t think you’ll make thousands per week doing this. But you can make some extra money fast. 

Apps that pay you to complete tasks

These are apps that give you certain tasks to complete and pay you accordingly. You can simply accept the task and start earning cash.

Most of these tasks consist of rating product displays or checking inventory.

There are also other apps that work more like marketplaces, where someone else sets a task on the app and you can earn money completing it for them. 

Apps that help you sell your stuff

Finally, there are many apps out there that pay you to sell your stuff. An app such as Bookscouter helps you determine whether your textbooks have any value, so you can then sell and price them appropriately.

There are also apps that will help you declutter your home by telling you how much your objects are worth, sell unused clothing, and more.

The Best Money Making Apps to Download

Apps that Make Money

1. Rakuten

Rakuten is a very easy-to-use app that makes you money. They are a cash back app, which gives you money for shopping at their partner stores.

All you have to do as a user create your free account on Rakuten, download the app, and keep shopping at the stores you usually shop at and then enjoy cash back on all your purchases. They also offer special promotions and higher cash back on special events or holidays.

Rakuten is very easy to use: download the app, sign-in, and search for the retailer you want to shop at. They have over 2,000 stores that they partner with and growing.

When you buy from their online store, you can easily collect rewards in the form of cash, gift cards or a PayPal deposit. 

2. Ibotta

Ibotta is another app that offers cash back when you shop both online and offline for groceries, home products and much more.

For something like groceries, you’ll need to link your store card and pay with your bank card to get your cash back. Or you can also submit your receipt afterwards to earn even more.

If you want to take your cash back to the next level, you can even add an Ibotta extension to your web browser and keep earning.

All your accounts will link together and once you have more than $20 in your account, you can transfer the money to your Paypal or use a gift card. Sign-up with Ibotta for free.

3. Swagbucks

Swagbucks is a well known money making app that pays users to complete surveys and complete certain actions.

Users can earn “SB points” through a whole range of activities, from watching videos, to playing games, to searching online and of course, completing surveys.

Once you reach a certain number of points, you can turn this into cash and get it deposited into your Paypal account or use it as a gift card.

Although it won’t make a lot of money in the long term, an extra $50 per month can’t hurt! Sign-up for Swagbucks for free.

4. Survey Junkie

An easy way to make some extra money is by giving your opinion about brands, products, and services. That’s where Survey Junkie becomes and interesting money making app.

It doesn’t take long to get started. What you do is build a profile on the app, which then Survey Junkie matches you with relevant surveys. Choose the the surveys that interest you during your spare time to start earning reward points.

From there, you can start to redeem those points for various gift cards stores like Target or Amazon. Alternatively, you can also cash out your points through PayPal. Sign-up for Survey Junkie for free.

5. Rover

Rover is a task marketplace app that connects dog owners with dog walkers and sitters. If you like taking care of dogs and need to make some extra money, this app is a good way to make money fast!

Create an account on Rover for free, and you’ll be able to start taking care of dogs immediately.

A quick 30 minute walk can make you anything from $10 to $30, and if you’re going to pet sit, you can make a decent $50 for one night.

Not money that will help your retire, but a good way to stack some extra cash. Plus, who doesn’t love dogs?

6. Instacart

Instacart is another app to make money fast that will pay you to shop and deliver groceries to people. 

As a personal shopper, you receive an order on your Instacart account, buy the groceries and then deliver them to whoever is ordering them.

You’ll get paid depending on how large your order is and how far away you need to drive. On average, you can expect to earn around $15 per hour. Create your free Instacart account.

7. Poshmark

Poshmark is an app that helps you sell your old (or new) clothes online. It’s very easy to set up: you download the app, create an account and start listing the different items you want to sell.

Once you do sell an item, Poshmark will send you a free prepaid shipping label to help you through the process. 

For all sales under $15, Poshmark takes a flat commission of $2.95 and For sales of $15 or more, they take a 20%.

If you have designer clothing or high quality items in your house, this could well worth the effort. Plus, you have to do minimal work!

8. Drop

Drop is another cash back app that helps you make money with your phone by sitting passively on your device. This is another super popular option, with over three million people using this app to make some money.

All you need to do create your free account and keep spending as usual at their partner locations. You’ll accumulate a certain amount of points and can redeem those for sweet gift cards.

Unfortunately with drop, getting the direct cash is not an option.

But gift cards can be redeemed from some of the biggest brands in the world like Amazon, Walmart, Adidas, Apple, GrubHub, and more. Learn more and sign-up with Drop for free.

9. Mistplay

Mistplay is a fun app that pays you to play games. You download the app and they offer you a mixlist where you can choose a game and earn points. You can also complete specific actions such as downloading a specific game or signing up to a club.

Once you accumulate a certain number of points, you can cash out and redeem those points for prizes. Prizes include Google Play and Amazon gift cards, or credit to play another kind of application.

Although you won’t be able to get direct cash out of the app, you’ll be able to earn some pretty nice rewards! Currently, the app is only available for Android phones, but iOS is coming soon.

10. Uber

It’s likely you are very familiar with Uber, the app that connects drivers with people who need a ride. You will need to work a little harder to earn money with Uber, but the monetary reward could also be potentially higher. 

If you’ve got a car with good mileage, consider signing up to Uber and making a side income driving people around.

You could even pick up your ride on the way home from work or school, and make some decent return as an extra income.

While it might not replace a full-time income, you can make some decent money with it as a side hustle. You can also deliver food with their UberEats feature, instead of allowing strangers in your car.

11. Lyft

The other popular ride sharing app that makes money is Lyft. Many people have a preference of which ride share app they choose, where others have both on their phones.

Sometimes pending the area you live and time of day, Lyft may generate more income for you or Uber might. But they are usually quite comparable in my opinion.

One interesting feature with Lyft is their Express Drive partners. You can rent a car from them to use for driving and includes insurance, maintenance, and unlimited miles to earn with Lyft.

12. OfferUp

If you have stuff you are looking to sell or flip in your local area, then the OfferUp app is probably a great option for you.

This Craigslist alternative has gotten fairly popular over the years and you can find quite a lot of buyers.

You can quickly create an account, start uploading pictures and a description of what you are selling, and then include your price.

With OfferUp, you don’t even have to meet up in person with buyers anymore if you don’t want to. The company recently added the option to ship your stuff for you — and beyond your local area too!

13. TaskRabbit

Another money making app that might interest you is called TaskRabbit. While some of the other apps on here require minimal effort, this one will take a little bit more work to make some good money.

Essentially, you create a profile on TaskRabbit of your skills and things you are good at. You can also set your rates for certain jobs, to ensure you are paid fairly.

Then people in your area will look for people who fit their service needs and pay you to do the job. You can offer services like pickup delivery, running errands, grocery shopping, yard work, furniture assembly, TV mounting, painting, etc.

Doing more tasks will net you more money. So if you are good at some of the above or don’t mind doing the work, then TaskRabbit can be a good app to make money with.

14. Acorns

You might be wondering how an investment app like Acorns is on this list. Although it’s not in the exact same categories as the other money making apps above, it still helps you earn money.

For those who have little money to invest or just want to get started, Acorns is the perfect app to get started with. The app will automatically round up your spare change from purchases and deposits into investments for you.

You’ll get a recommended portfolio based on some questions you answer. It’s a hands-off way to put your extra money to work.

And the app only costs $1, $2, or $3 per month pending which investment tier you go with. Learn more about Acorns and sign-up here for free.

15. Trim

Lastly on this list of apps that make you money, I included another financial app called Trim. The app’s main feature is helping you save money on your bills by negotiating for you and also cancelling unwanted subscriptions for you.

Additionally, Trim will help lower bank fees, negotiate lower interest rates on your credit cards, and waive fees for you.

However, besides saving you money this app makes money for you too. Another one of their cool features is their high-yield savings account option.

With their savings account, you get a 4% annualized bonus on your first $2,000 funded. And all their funds are FDIC insured up to $250,000 — so you know your money is protected. Learn more about Trim and sign-up here.

How Do the Apps Pay You?

There are many different ways apps will pay you. Some will work through points: the more activities and tasks you complete, the more points you earn.

Then, once you reach a certain level of points, you get the cash equivalent deposited into your Paypal account or checking account.

Other apps will work the same way but instead of depositing cash, they will offer you a gift card that works at a large retailer such as Amazon. Some will even send you physical gifts if that’s included. 

Those that are cash back apps require to link your credit card to the app so that you can earn points in their app and take the money out yourself.

Usually, once you reach a minimum balance, you can then withdraw the amount through Paypal or as a Direct Deposit.

Choosing The Best Money Making Apps For You

The above money making apps are the ones I think are the best out there currently. However, there are tons of apps that are as easy as downloading and creating your free account to start earning money.

Not every app on this list will interest you or be the right choice. It will depend on the amount of work you are willing to do and how much money you are looking to make.

Pay attention to the potential pay amounts, whether it is cash or gift card payments only, if there are any fees involved, and ensure they are trustworthy and legit before giving out any personal information.

Have you tried any of the money making apps above? What did you think? Are there other apps that pay you that you’ve found work well? Let me know in the comments below!