The best passive income apps make you the most money in the least amount of time.
Earning $50 just for taking a few minutes to download an app.
Knocking $30 off of your cable bill.
Effortlessly getting money back when something you bought drops in price.
Passive income apps have made all this and more possible.
If you’re looking to earn extra cash, check out this list of passive mobile apps available for both iOS and Android phones.
The 18 Best Passive Income Apps
#1 – Swagbucks
- App Store Rating: 4.1 – 1,502 reviews
- Google Play Rating: 4.0 – 34K+
You can get paid to watch ads, shop online, and play games.
It’s established a reputation as one of the best survey sites out there.
The best way to earn passive income is through Swagbucks Local.
Swagbucks local allows you to link a card then earn SBs (Swagbuck’s name for points) at participating local stores.
You’ll then earn SBs every time you shop at participating stores.
Another passive way to earn money through Swagbucks is Swagbucks search. Just set Swagbucks as your default search engine (which uses Yahoo search results) on your mobile and desktop browser, and you’ll be rewarded every time you search.
If you find yourself with time to kill throughout the day, it’s an enjoyable way to bank more money.
New users get a $5 welcome bonus.
#2 – Paribus
- App Store Rating: 4.1, 1,1K
- Google Play Rating: N/A
How It Works: When you sign up for Paribus, you’ll use the email any of your online receipts are sent to. Paribus will look for store receipts in your inbox and determine if you’re owed any refunds from those stores. If there are any price changes you’re entitled to, Paribus will notify you and assist in getting your money back.
At this point, Paribus tracks more than 25 big retailers, including Amazon, Walmart, and Target. If you’re planning a vacation, they also will find you savings from popular hotel websites such as hotels.com. You get free money just for spending as you ordinarily would.
Paribus isn’t available for Android phones. However, you can sign up on a mobile browser or desktop computer.
It’s one of the best passive income apps out there because it’s easy to sign up for and use.
#3 – Drop Rewards
- App Store Rating: 4.7 – 31K+
- Google Play Rating: 4.0 – 4.7K+
How It Works: Drop is one of the free money-making apps where it’s easy to start earning. All you have to do is link your debit and credit cards.
When you sign up for the service, you’ll have the opportunity to select two “power offers” at stores like Trader Joe’s and Safeway. Then, anytime you buy something at those stores using your linked cards, you’ll earn points that typically equate to about 1% to 2% cash back.
You can also use the app for high-value cash-back shopping – right now, Drop offers 6% back on all Sephora purchases, 4% back on all Lululemon purchases, and many other solid deals. If you’re planning to shop with these stores anyway, this is essentially free money.
You can redeem your points for gift cards when you have enough saved up. Every 1,000 Drop points you save up are worth $1. Your points will never expire so you can let them rack up as long as you want.
The one downside to drop is they do not allow you to withdraw cash. As of now the only way to cash out is exchanging points for gift cards.
#4 – Trim Financial Manager
- App Store Rating: N/A
- Google Play Rating: N/A
How It Works: Trim is a legit passive income app that works differently than most other apps – it is implemented inside of Facebook Messenger.
It’s a free service that can make money online while you’re sleeping, dreaming, working, or playing. It can help in a variety of ways, including canceling subscriptions, tracking how much you’re spending, and even by saving on your internet bill.
This has been a robust money-making website for me.
After a recent outage that happened when I was on vacation, Trim negotiated a $30 discount on my internet bill for me. I was notified through Facebook Messenger and got the below email from Comcast.
To learn more about Trim, check out my full review of the app.
#5 – Acorns
- App Store Rating: 4.7, 335.5K+
- Google Play Rating: 4.2 – 57K+
How It Works: Finding money to invest can be tough, especially if you seem to be on a shoestring budget. The Acorns app helps you find money painlessly. It adds up quickly, and you don’t even know it.
You’ll link your debit and credit cards to your Acorns account. Every time you buy something, that cost is rounded up to the nearest dollar. Then the spare change from that rounded up amount is deposited into your Acorns account. You can also make deposits into your Acorns account whenever you want. When you need money ASAP, it’s there in your account.
Your account balance can be put into an investment portfolio, including a variety of exchange-traded funds with Vanguard. Acorns isn’t free – it charges $1 a month for accounts with less than $5,000 in them. But if it helps you save money and invest for your future, it’s still a good deal.
It’s a cool service, but you might be wondering where the passive income opportunities come in.
Acorn has a “Found Money” service, which is essentially a cash-back site that turns it into one of the great money-making apps. If you shop through Acorns, part of the money you’ve spent will get funneled back into your Acorns account.
That’s extra money you don’t have to work for.
Acorns has excellent ratings from both iPhone and Android users.
#6 – Nielsen Computer and Mobile Panel
- App Store Rating: 3.4 – 120
- Google Play Rating: 3.0 – 3.4K+
How It Works: You’ll download the app, and continue using your computer or phone as usual. That’s all there is to it.
You can earn up to $50 a year just by doing that.
And to sweeten the pot, you’ll be entered into sweepstakes drawings if you live in the United States.
These sweepstakes are additional money if you get picked. The company gives away $10,000 a month between 400 winners. Not bad for a side income!
#7 – MobileXpression
- App Store Rating: 2.0 – 74
- Google Play Rating: 4.2 – 92K+
How It Works: MobileXpression is an app that tracks your mobile data usage with the intent of uncovering patterns about internet usage.
This app won’t slow down the performance of your device.
You’ll be rewarded with a $5 Amazon gift card after just one week. Plus, you’ll get a chance to win up to $100,000 in the sweepstakes MobileXpression has.
It’s not the best passive money-making app, but every little bit helps.
If you sign up for several, they can pay off.
MobileXpression does limit the number of users they take in every month. Click below to check this month’s eligibility.
#8 – SavvyConnect
- App Store Rating: N/A
- Google Play Rating: 3.0 – 121
How It Works: SavvyConnect looks for trends in online searches, entertainment, shopping, and other applications as you surf the web. It collects that data and rewards you for it. You can get $5 per month for every device you add.
You can request payment after you’ve reached more than $1 with SavvyConnect.
The only option for payment is receiving a check in the mail.
#9 – Spent Rewards
- App Store Rating: 4.4 – 1.2K
- Google Play Rating: 4.0 – 693 ratings
How It Works: Spent can earn you money back from your purchases on many retailers, as well as major airlines and hotels.
You’ll link your accounts and activate any offers you’re interested in. When you go shopping, you’ll access your offers and start reaping the savings.
Spent is one of the newest passive income sites, having launched in 2018.
While I wouldn’t make this the only site you sign up for on this list, it would benefit you to sign up for it in addition to the others.
#10 – Panel App
- App Store Rating: 4.5 – 15,947
- Google Play Rating: 4.0 – 42K+
How It Works: Panel App collects market data and tracks your location on your phone. You collect points for doing nothing more than installing the app. It’s not one of the highest paying passive income apps, but it can be another tool you use to get as much money as you can for no work.
The only time you have to do something with the Panel app physically is when it comes time to decide what to do with your points. You can use them for sweepstakes or gift cards.
#11 – Dosh Rewards
- App Store Rating: 4.7 – 48K+
- Google Play Rating: 4.5 – 32K+
How It Works: Dosh works like many other sites. You link your credit and debit cards. When you use them to pay for something, you get cash back.
When you want to get paid, you can move your account money to your bank account or PayPal account. If you’re feeling generous, you can even donate to charities straight from the app.
Semi-Passive Income Apps
If you’re looking to take your app side hustle to the next level, here are some additional highly-rated apps that will help you earn money on the side. They aren’t set-it-and-forget-it types that you’ll have with passive income apps, but they don’t take much work.
If you use the commute to work or time spent waiting in doctor’s offices, you can create more income for yourself with just a little effort.
#12 – Ibotta
- App Store Rating: 4.7 – 269,214
- Google Play Rating: 4.5 – 365K+
How It Works: Ibotta isn’t passive income, but you won’t have to work hard at it either. You’ll create your account, watch a few ads to add offers, and go shopping. After you get home, you’ll redeem your purchases.
With Ibotta, you get paid to buy groceries!
#13 – InboxDollars
- App Store Rating: 4.4, 70K+
- Google Play Rating: 4.3, 85K+
How It Works: The InboxDollars app works similar to Swagbucks.
From shopping online, changing your search engine, taking advantage of special offers and much more…
The app is downloaded by millions for a reason.
#14 – Fetch Rewards
- App Store Rating: 4.8, 73.4K
- Google Play Rating: 4.2 – 16K+
How It Works: Fetch saves you money on your groceries. You don’t have to cut out special offers. This rewards program gives you points just for taking a picture of your receipt. If you have an old phone, you have to make sure you can take a picture of the receipt without blurriness.
You’ll get points for your purchases. When you’re ready, you can cash them in for Visa gift cards, gift cards to your favorite online stores, or sweepstakes entries for cash prizes.
New users get a 2,000 point sign up bonus (valued at $2).
#15 – SweatCoin
- App Store Rating: 4.5, 54K+
- Google Play Rating: 3.9, 64K+
How It Works: Sweatcoin is an app that pays you for walking. You’ll get points for every step you take, and you can redeem those points for everything from gift cards to vacations.
It’s the perfect app for those who need some extra motivation to get out and move.
The best part, it’s 100% free.
While you’re not going to get rich, it nice to get paid for something you enjoy doing.
#16 – S’more
- App Store Rating: N/A
- Google Play Rating: 3.9, 23K+
The average American unlocks his or her phone over 100 times every day. Why not get paid for it?
Available for Android only, S’more rewards you for allowing ads to display on your lock screen. If you’re interested in what you see, you have the option to click and learn more. But you’ll earn points even if you never pay attention to the ads — just unlock your phone as always and then reap the benefits.
You can cash out via a gift card to Amazon, AMC Theaters, Applebee’s, Best Buy, CVS, Domino’s Pizza, GameStop, Starbucks or Target.
#17 – Airbnb
- App Store Rating: 4.8, 290K+
- Google Play Rating: 4.5, 510K+
How It Works: While you’re going to invest time listing and hosting guests with Airbnb, you’re using an asset you already own. And once you get your system and processes down, the time required to manage a listing and earn money decreases.
Out of any app on the list, Airbnb has the potential to make you the most money.
Whether you live in a rural area or big city, use the Airbnb rental calculator to see how much you can get for a spare room or renting out your entire home/apartment.
#18 – Rakuten
- App Store Rating: 4.4, 9.3K
- Google Play Rating: 4.5, 45K
How It Works: Rakuten is one of the most popular cash back apps available for both iOS and Android smartphones.
When you’re ready to buy something on your phone or desktop browser, you earn money clicking through from Rakuten.
What Rakuten does is split the referral fee with you they receive from the thousands of retailers on the app (including Amazon).
*Paribus compensates us when you sign up for Paribus using the links we provided.