Make Money

6 Best Android Lockscreen Apps That Make You Money

The Best Lockscreen Apps for Making Money
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There are plenty of ways to earn money with your smartphone. 

Delivering food, selling old junk online and taking surveys are a few ways to make extra income from your mobile device.

But did you know you can monetize your lockscreen? 

There are a number of apps that place ads or other widgets on your lockscreen and pay you accordingly. By allowing them to do so, you can earn a little bit of passive income.

It’s kind of like wrapping your car with ads for pay, but even easier.

That said, it won’t make you a whole lot of money — but it is a nearly zero-effort earning method.

And anyway, since you have to look at your lockscreen several times a day, you might as well make a few bucks. To help you out, we’ve put together this list of lockscreen apps that pay.

iOS Lockscreen Rewards Apps

You’ll probably notice that we haven’t included any iOS lockscreen rewards apps on here. And you might wonder why, considering the popularity of Apple devices.

In general, Google made the Android system more friendly to developers. It’s easier to create apps for the platform, and Google’s approval process for apps is less stringent than Apple’s.

However, it really comes down to privacy restrictions. Apple’s privacy rules don’t allow apps that alter how their phone functions. That includes apps that change your lockscreen and pay you money.

On the other hand, Google does allow these apps. However, the app must exist solely as a lockscreen app. For example, an app that is officially a photo or video editor can’t also stuff ads onto your Android lockscreen.

6 Best Android Lockscreen Apps That Make You Money

We’ve ranked the list below based on a combination of the following factors:

  • User ratings
  • Number of votes
  • Number of active installs
  • How recently the app was updated 

Now, there is always a chance that the numbers below could be inflated by fake reviews. The Google Play store is notorious for failing to get rid of fake reviews, so these figures should be taken with a grain of salt.

At the same time, we’ve done our best to cross-reference these reviews with feedback from users on other forums, such as Reddit’s “Beer Money” forum (where users share their experiences with money-making apps).

If you have any experience with the apps on this list that might influence our rankings or be helpful to other readers, please let us know by leaving a comment.

*The numbers below were collected on June 4th, 2021. We’ll update this article periodically to keep the figures fresh.

#1. Current Rewards

RatingVotesInstallsLast UpdatedMinimum Cash-Out
4.5/51,490,000+10,000,000+June 20218,000 points

Current Rewards offers what is essentially a music player that works on your lockscreen. 

You can make money passively by merely streaming your favorite tunes and listening to radio stations. The longer you listen to music, the more you can earn.

With enough points, you can cash out via PayPal, redeem for gift cards, buy products or donate your earnings to charity.

Editor’s Note: As you can see from the figures in the table above, the app is highly-rated by users, with over 5 million active installs — a good sign in terms of its legitimacy. However, we reached out to the company behind the app for clarification on two important points: Why does the app pay you for listening to music, and what is the dollar value of 8,000 points (the minimum withdrawal amount). So far, the company hasn’t responded to our inquiry, but we’ll update this article if and when they do.

#2. S’more

RatingVotesInstallsLast UpdatedMinimum Cash-Out
4.4/547,100+1,000,000+March 2021$5

S’more has a simple premise: it pays you money to place relevant content and ads on your lockscreen. 

All you have to do is unlock your phone once a day, swipe the ad away or click on it to learn more, and you’ll earn 10 points (equivalent to 10 cents).

You won’t earn any more points for unlocking your phone multiple times — only 10 points per day.

Recently, a smattering of reviewers claimed that when they try to open S’more, they’re greeted with an error message that makes the app unusable.

S’more has responded to users, asking them to make sure they’re in the U.S. with a U.S. SIM card and not using a virtual private network (VPN) to connect. (This issue seems to have been resolved with a recent update).

Users that don’t face technical problems appreciate the app’s ease of earning and getting paid, with a few minor complaints about glitches here and there.

#3. Giftloop Charge Screen

RatingVotesInstallsLast UpdatedMinimum Cash-Out
3.6/511,900+1,000,000+March 2021$10

How often is your phone on a charger? What if you could earn cash for all that time it spends charging?

You can with Giftloop, which pays you to post ads on your lockscreen when your phone is charging and locked. It continually runs ads as long as the phone’s charging, paying you about five “coins” per ad.

You don’t have to do anything else. That means you can quite literally earn money while you sleep — albeit not much.

Giftloop offers several more earning methods, including games, quizzes, shopping and surveys.

Once you’re ready to take your earnings, you can redeem for cash, gift cards to various retailers or a charitable donation.

#4. XLOAD Swipe

RatingVotesInstallsLast UpdatedMinimum Cash-Out
4.5/54,800+100,000+Jan 2020Unknown

XLOAD Swipe is a lockscreen app that pays you in prepaid mobile top-ups for reading content it sends to your lockscreen. 

That simply means it’ll pay you credits you can use to buy more minutes for your prepaid mobile phone (like a Tracfone). 

That said, user reviews also indicate that you can cash out earnings via PayPal — though we were unable to confirm this at the time of publication.

The one problem with XLOAD is that it seems to freeze and crash for many users. 

Most of those that don’t experience these issues with XLOAD Swipe generally say good things about the app.

We were unable to find the app’s minimum cash-out amount, but we’ve reached out to the developer for clarification. Unfortunately, we did not receive a timely response. We’ll update the table above if and when they respond to our inquiry.

#5. Ad It Up

RatingVotesInstallsLast UpdatedMinimum Cash-Out
4.6/52,500+50,000+April 2021Unknown

Ad It Up is an app created by AdFone, a company that partners with phone companies and allows their customers to pay their bills by playing games, viewing ads and more.

In particular, AdFone partnered with AT&T-owned Cricket Wireless to create Ad It Up, which lets you view ads on your lockscreen and earn credits toward your Cricket Wireless phone bill.

Alternatively, you can cash out via free Amazon gift cards.

As with XLOAD Swipe (above), we’ve reached out to the company for clarification on the minimum cash-out amount.

#6. Screenlift

RatingVotesInstallsLast UpdatedMinimum Cash-Out
3.7/55,900+100,000Dec 2020$1

Screenlift pays you to post news and ads to your screen, but like other apps, you don’t have to open them to earn.

Plus, Screenlift lets you customize your screen with various features and themes. 

Once you reach the minimum payout threshold, you can collect your earnings via PayPal. Payment arrives within one to three business days.

Discontinued Paid Lockscreen Apps

Recall that as we mentioned earlier, the Google Play Store is a more open but less secure platform than Apple’s App Store. Because of that, it’s quite easy to get an app approved.

That means plenty of bad apps inevitably get through those low barriers. And many end up receiving a large number of poor reviews. 

And in many cases, they straight-up violate Google Play’s Terms of Service and get pulled from the Store.

Here are some the paid locksreen apps that are no longer available.

  • Adme
  • BillsBoard
  • Fronto
  • Locket App
  • Moo Cash
  • Paid Unlock
  • Perk Screen
  • screenKarma
  • Screen Stash
  • Sleep Money
  • Slidejoy
  • SurveyCow
  • Whaff Locker

Better Ways to Make Money With Your Phone

While lockscreen apps let you earn income for essentially doing nothing, the earnings themselves are paltry.

If you’re looking for a better way to make money with your phone, try these options.

  • Take surveys: Many apps pay you to take surveys online. Questions are based on your demographic information and purchasing behavior. Check out our top overall survey sites in this article.
  • Take pictures: Have a smartphone? Many stock photo websites will pay you royalties for your mobile photography. Read our article on getting paid to take pictures with your phone to learn more.
  • Play games: Do you play games in your spare time? Plenty of apps will pay you a few bucks for your habit. Learn more by checking out our guide on getting paid to play games.
  • Watch videos: You can earn by watching ads and other videos on a variety of websites.
  • Sell your data: Today, people give away their data online to plenty of companies. You might as well get paid for it. The Nielsen Computer and Mobile Panel is an excellent place to start monetizing your data.

Get Paid to Unlock Your Phone: Final Thoughts

There are definitely better ways to make money using your phone than by downloading a lockscreen app. But easier? Not so much.

Where lockscreen apps prevail is in the absolute lack of time or effort required of you.

It’s easier to make a few cents a day with your lockscreen than it is to do a five-minute survey, after all.

Just be aware that there’s a limit to how much you can make. Based on our research, we think it’ll take you about a year of regular usage to hit the minimum payout for any of the lockscreen cash options listed above.

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Bradley Schnitzer is a Michigan-based personal finance writer and a former accountant. You can read more of his work on his website.

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