If you want to get stronger, you have to start by lifting an amount of weight that’s hard but doable. Then, you can gradually increase the weight over time to build strength.
This same idea applies to earning money. If you’ve never made much, start with an idea that’s easy. Then, slowly increase the level of difficulty as your skills improve. The more your skills improve, the more you can make.
This is where money making apps come into play — they’re a great way to improve your money making skills. You won’t get rich, but you can earn some spending money and start building that financial muscle.
To get started, here are the highest-rated money making apps available for iOS and Android.
The Three Best Survey Apps for Making Money
One popular way to make money from your smartphone is by taking surveys.
To get started, just download one of the survey apps below. Then, when a survey is available for you to complete, you’ll get a notification. After you take the survey, you’ll either accrue points that are redeemable for free gift cards, or earn cash you can transfer to a bank or PayPal account.
Here’s a list of the best-rated survey apps for making money.
#1. Survey Junkie
Survey Junkie has been regarded as one of the best market research companies for years. But they were late to the app game, releasing theirs in May of 2019. With over 10 million members, high ratings from real users, an excellent score on Trustpilot, and a minimum payout of just $5, Survey Junkie is a must-have money making app.
Minimum Withdrawal: 500 points gets you a $5 transfer to your PayPal account or can be redeemed for gift cards.
Swagbucks is a reader and personal favorite for good reason: while you have the ability to take surveys, there are also a number of other simple tasks you can do to make money, such as watching videos, playing games and getting cash-back for shopping online. This variety of tasks makes it easier to earn.
My personal favorite is cash-back shopping, where over the last year I’ve earned $235 in Amazon gift cards. The majority of those earnings came from getting 8% cash-back on a mattress and bed frame online.
Minimum Withdrawal: $5 through PayPal, or $3 for select gift cards.
InboxDollars is another popular money making app that lets you earn money through surveys as well as a variety of other tasks. What’s nice about InboxDollars is that you get rewarded in real money (not points) for the activities you complete. Plus, there’s a $5 sign-up bonus if you use this link.
Minimum Withdrawal: $30 to cash out.
The Best Money Making Apps for Earning Cash-Back
These money making apps offer you the chance to earn cash rewards and/or save money on the stuff you were already going to buy.
It’s the ultimate win-win.
Also, many of the apps listed below are stackable. That means you can redeem one offer multiple times on different apps to earn big.
Here are the best apps for earning cash-back on both in-store and online purchases.
#4. Fetch Rewards
Unlike many grocery receipt scanning apps, Fetch Rewards works at any store, as you earn points whenever you buy products from a participating brand. There are no barcodes to scan or coupons to clip.
The big downside to Fetch is that you’re only allowed to redeem your points for gift cards. But with stores like Target and Amazon, it’s not too much of a loss.
You can earn 3,000 bonus points with the code APREWARDS when signing up via the link below.
Minimum Withdrawal: 3,000 points gets you a $3 gift card.
Ibotta started out as a grocery coupon app but has expanded into both retail and online cash-back. In total, Ibotta has paid out over $680 million in rewards.
It works like this: you use the app to scan the barcode of the product you purchased at the store and then you upload a photo of your receipt. After that, you’re done! It’s that easy.
Both my wife and I use the app (read my Ibotta review) and find the 30 seconds it takes to be well worth the time and effort. And you get a $20 sign-up bonus after uploading your first receipt.
Minimum Withdrawal: $20 in cash transferred to Venmo or PayPal.
Rakuten is one of the highest-rated cash-back apps for both iOS and Android. With Rakuten, you can earn up to 40% cash-back when you shop at over 2,500 stores (both in-store and online).
When you shop online, Rakuten (formerly known as Ebates) shares its referral commission with you any time you make a purchase through the provided link.
To make money with in-store purchases you have to link your card inside the Rakuten app. Then you’ll automatically earn cash-back every time you shop at participating stores. You don’t even have to tell the salesperson when checking out.
You’ll get a check from Rakuten once per quarter with your cash-back balance.
Sign up with this link to get a $10 bonus when you make your first purchase.
Minimum Withdrawal: $5 needed to cash out, with payments being issued four times per year.
ShopKick is one of the highest-rated apps in the App Store’s “Money” category. It rewards you for visiting stores, and in some cases you don’t even have to buy anything — you get rewarded just for walking in. You can also earn points by scanning specific items within the store (again, it doesn’t matter if you buy the item).
One downside to ShopKick is that you can’t exchange your points for cash. Nonetheless, with many good options for gift cards (such as Walmart, Target and Amazon gift cards), that shouldn’t stop you from trying it out.
Minimum Withdrawal: 1,250 points for a $5 gift card.
Dosh allows you to earn cash by using a linked card at participating retailers. Some stores even offer up to 10% cash-back.
You can transfer your earnings directly to your bank or PayPal account, or you can donate them to charity.
Minimum Withdrawal: $25.
Other Highly-Rated Money Making Apps for iPhone and Android Phones
#9. Mistplay (Android Phones Only)
Branded as “the loyalty program for gamers,” Mistplay rewards you with points for playing video games on your Android smartphone (an iOS version is in development). Your points can be redeemed for gift cards to major retailers like Amazon, Starbucks and the Nintendo store.
Minimum Withdrawal: $5 gift card for 1,500 points.
Postmates allows you to earn money by delivering groceries, carry-out orders, drinks and more. You can deliver on foot, bike or car, and you can work as little or as much as you want — whether that’s a couple of deliveries in your downtime or a full workday.
One of the best aspects of working as a Postmates courier is that you can get your earnings deposited instantly for a nominal fee. That means you can work for a few hours and have money in your bank account the same day.
DoorDash allows you to earn extra money by delivering restaurant take-out orders. You’ll need a car, a driver’s license and valid insurance to become a Dasher.
With DoorDash, you do have to sign up for shifts (called dashes), and then stay online for a certain amount of time within that period. That means you’ll have less scheduling flexibility than with Postmates, but it also means you’ll usually have a more consistent flow of orders (because there are fewer drivers working at any given moment).
If you have a second home or even a spare room, you should seriously consider renting out your unused space.
I was surprised to learn that Airbnb estimates I can earn $750 per month simply by renting out an extra room at 50% occupancy in my home.
Not sure if it’s worth it to list your place on Airbnb?
Check out Airbnb’s monthly earning potential calculator to see how much you can make.
Acorns is an app that allows you to automate your investing. It does this in a couple of different ways:
- By investing your spare change. One of Acorns’ main features is called Round Ups. Say you make a purchase for $17.20 (at any store). Acorns will then set aside 80 cents from your checking account and automatically invest that money into a mutual fund. It’s a way of helping you save, while also building up an investment portfolio a little bit at a time.
- Through “Found Money.” Acorns has also partnered with hundreds of retailers to allow you to earn money any time you shop at a specific store. For example, say you spend $100 at Walmart. Acorns calculates a percentage of that $100 (which can be up to 10% for some retailers) and adds it to your investment account. This isn’t a “round up” — it’s free money.
You can build up a nice portfolio just by using Found Money and investing your spare change. Eventually, that portfolio could go toward your retirement or earn you a nice side income.
Acorns now has over 4 million users and is one of the fastest-growing financial apps around.
The ridesharing market is a big one, and it’s not slowing down any time soon. Uber freelancers have earned millions of dollars taking riders on short trips around town, and the company finally introduced the long-awaited ability for riders to tip their drivers.
There’s a reason why many people who are in need of money quickly turn to ridesharing services like Uber and Lyft: because it works.
You can work whenever you want (there are no schedules or minimum time commitments), and you have the ability to cash-out instantly via a special (free) Visa debit card.
And if you’re more of an introvert, you can also deliver food via UberEats.
The best way to earn is through “missions,” in which Foap teams up with a specific brand to show how everyday people like you use their product.
Minimum Withdrawal: No minimums. However, Foap pays you once per month via PayPal.
A popular app among book lovers, Bookscouter allows you to sell used books. How it works is you enter or scan a book’s ISBN number and Bookscouter provides a list of companies looking to purchase that title (and how much they’re willing to pay).
Those who earn the most know where to find used books for cheap (garage sales, library book sales, etc.), and use the app on-the-spot to find the ones that will fetch the highest profit margins.
#17. Field Agent
FieldAgent is an app that allows you to make money by completing random local tasks, like taking pictures of products (to make sure they’re properly displayed) and completing mystery shopping missions to evaluate stores’ customer service.
The app is best-suited for those in urban areas, as you’re only paid on a per-task basis. Since you have to factor time and cost of travel into your net earnings, FieldAgent is most worthwhile for people who live near a high concentration of participating businesses.
Minimum Withdrawal: $10 to PayPal.
#18. eBay, Craigslist and Other Selling Apps
Selling your stuff is one of the best ways to make money fast. Apps such as Craigslist, Facebook Marketplace (located in the Facebook app), and LetGo are great for selling items locally.
eBay is best-suited for selling items outside of your local area. While you have to ship the item, you can typically sell it for a higher price (as your group of potential buyers is greatly enhanced). This makes eBay ideal for collectibles and items that are in high demand (like iPhones).
Outside of that, Decluttr and Gazelle are two apps that buy your old electronics from you, giving you a price upfront.
Further reading: Alternatives to Craigslist for Selling Stuff Locally.
SweatCoin is a popular passive income app that allows you to earn money by walking. To get started, you download the mobile app and provide it access to your location. SweatCoin then tracks the steps you take when you’re outside.
What’s the catch? Well, it is true that you can earn points (called Sweatcoins) from walking. However, the points earned from walking only can only be redeemed for rewards inside the app. Furthermore, these rewards tend to be offers that are available elsewhere. In other words, they’re not exclusive to Sweatcoin.
You can indeed earn money when you refer users to Sweatcoin. For referring 12 invites, you can get $6 in PayPal cash.
Minimum Withdrawal: $6 for 12 invites.
#20. Slidejoy (Android Phones Only)
Slidejoy, available only for Android devices, is the most popular lock screen app in existence. With Slidejoy, you can earn extra money by placing an ad on your phone’s home screen. If you like what you see, you can swipe left to learn more. If not, just swipe right to open up your phone as normal.
Either way, you’re earning some extra cash.
Users expect to earn about $3 to $5 per month on average, with the option to cash out via PayPal.
While not the most exciting way to earn money, over the course of a year you can save up around $50 to use as you wish.
Minimum Withdrawal: $2.
Money Making Apps FAQ
Selling apps, such as Craigslist and eBay, are your best bets for making money fast. Beyond selling, Ibotta, Postmates and DoorDash are also good options. Ibotta allows you to use a receipt that’s up to a week old, comes with a $10 sign-up bonus, and lets you cash-out once you’ve accumulated $20. As such, you can earn $20 right now if you have a receipt on hand. Postmates and DoorDash enable you to make decent money on a per-hour basis, as well as cash-out your earnings daily (for a small fee).
User reviews, specifically those in the Google Play and App Store, are the best method for determining whether an app is a scam. Sort by negative reviews, and read through three to five to see the common complaints. If a lot of users have trouble withdrawing money or not getting responses from customer support, it’s best to avoid the app.
There are a number of different business models used by these types of apps to generate revenue. Online survey companies sell the data they collect to third parties seeking to improve their products and services. Coupon apps get paid by manufacturers when you use a coupon, and in many cases, also collect data to sell. Many gig economy apps take a percentage of revenue from each transaction.
Best Money Making Apps: Summary
My top priority when compiling this list was to make sure every app I included was both legitimate and worthwhile. There are many others out there, and while some of them work for some people, others just collect your data and waste your time without providing any real chance to cash-out your earnings.
Depending on your situation, they may or may not be worth looking into. But this list is the cream of the crop.
As I said in the opening, you won’t get rich from these apps. But you can use them as a source of extra cash, and some — like Postmates, Uber and DoorDash — can turn into fairly lucrative side hustles (or even full-time gigs).