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: 4.4 – 19,000+ reviews
- Google Play Rating: 4.2 – 40,000+ votes
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 (Swagbucks’ name for points) at participating local stores.
Another passive way to earn money through Swagbucks is via 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 the web.
If you find yourself with time to kill throughout the day, it’s an enjoyable way to bank more money.
New users get a $10 welcome bonus.
#2 – Paribus
- App Store Rating: 3.9 – 1,700+ reviews
- Google Play Rating: Available via mobile web browser
How It Works: When you sign up for Paribus, you’ll use the email that your online shopping 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 drops you’re entitled to, Paribus will notify you and help get your money back.
At this point, Paribus tracks more than 25 big retailers. If you’re planning a vacation, they will also find you savings from popular hotel websites such as hotels.com. You get free money just for spending as you ordinarily would.
The Paribus app 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 – Trim Financial Manager
- App Store Rating: N/A
- Google Play Rating: N/A
How It Works: Trim is a free service that can save money while you’re sleeping, working, or relaxing. 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, Trim negotiated a $30 discount on my internet bill. I was notified through SMS and got the email below from Comcast.
To learn more about Trim, check out my full review of the app.
#4 – Acorns
- App Store Rating: 4.7 – 540,000+ reviews
- Google Play Rating: 4.6 – 100,000+ votes
How It Works: Finding money to invest can be tough — especially if you’re on a shoestring budget. The Acorns app helps you find money painlessly. It adds up quickly without you even realizing 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. And when you need money ASAP, it’s there in your account — there are no withdrawal fees or penalties.
Your account balance is put into an investment portfolio that includes a variety of Vanguard exchange-traded funds.
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 may still be 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.
#5 – Drop Rewards
- App Store Rating: 4.7 – 32,000+ reviews
- Google Play Rating: 3.3 – 6,000+ votes
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, any time 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 – at the time of this writing, 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 build 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 by exchanging points for gift cards.
#6 – Nielsen Computer and Mobile Panel
- App Store Rating: 3.1 – 120+ reviews
- Google Play Rating: 2.7 – 5,000+ votes
How It Works: 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: 4.0 – 100+ reviews
- Google Play Rating: 4.1 – 38,000+ votes
How It Works: MobileXpression is an app that tracks your mobile data usage with the intent of uncovering patterns about online behavior.
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 runs.
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: 3.6 – 250+ votes
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 – Panel App
- App Store Rating: 4.6 – 37,000+ reviews
- Google Play Rating: 4.5 – 69,000+ votes
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 is when it comes time to choosing what to do with your points. You can use them for sweepstakes entries or gift cards.
#10 – Dosh Rewards
- App Store Rating: 4.7 – 100,000+ reviews
- Google Play Rating: 4.5 – 40,000+ votes
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 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 extra money. 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.
#11 – Fetch Rewards
- App Store Rating: 4.8 – 319,000+ votes
- Google Play Rating: 4.4 – 57,000+ votes
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). If you use The Ways To Wealth’s promo code (APREWARDS) that doubles to 4,000 points.
#12 – Ibotta
- App Store Rating: 4.8 – 800,000+ reviews
- Google Play Rating: 4.4 – 440,000+ votes
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 then go shopping. After you get home, you’ll redeem your purchases.
With Ibotta, you get paid to buy groceries!
#13 – InboxDollars
- App Store Rating: 4.5, 110,000+ reviews
- Google Play Rating: 4.1, 95,000+ votes
How It Works: The InboxDollars app works similarly to Swagbucks.
You can earn by shopping online, changing your search engine, taking advantage of special offers and much more…
The app has been downloaded by millions of people for a reason.
#14 – Sweatcoin
- App Store Rating: 4.5 – 110,000+ reviews
- Google Play Rating: 4.1 – 125,000+ votes
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 product discounts to vacations.
It’s the perfect app for those who need some extra motivation to get out and move.
The best part is that it’s 100% free.
While you’re not going to get rich, it nice to get paid for something you enjoy doing.
#15 – S’more
- App Store Rating: N/A
- Google Play Rating: 3.1 – 23,000+ votes
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.
#16 – Airbnb
- App Store Rating: 4.8 – 425,000+ reviews
- Google Play Rating: 4.5 – 850,000+ votes
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.
Airbnb has the potential to make you the most money out of any app on the list.
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.
#17 – Rakuten Ebates
- App Store Rating: 4.4 – 24,000+ reviews
- Google Play Rating: 4.2 – 54,000+ votes
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 by clicking through from Rakuten.
What Rakuten does is share the referral fee they receive from the thousands of retailers on the app (including Amazon) with you.
You can read our complete Rakuten (formerly known as Ebates) review here.
Summary of the Best Passive Income Apps
My favorite type of passive income apps are ones which:
- Offer a variety of ways to earn money. This significantly increases the chance I can reach the minimum payout threshold of the app.
- Provide cash-back and rewards for shopping. This is often the fastest way to earn.
That’s why I prefer apps like Swagbucks, Ibotta, Fetch and Drop over data collection apps like Nielsen.
While the data collection apps are legit, they tend to take longer to get to a point where you can withdraw your funds. If you have the patience to wait, give them a try.
But for quickest returns, check out:
- Ibotta – Most popular receipt-scanning app.
- Fetch – Receipt-scanning app that allows you to reuse any receipt.
- Swagbucks – Use for cash-back shopping online, as well as linking a card.
*Paribus compensates us when you sign up for Paribus using the links we provided.