Are you looking for ways to increase your cash flow? How about making money while doing the things you love on your terms? Enter: Dozens upon dozens of smartphone apps that pay real cash.
Whether you rock the corporate world, work from home, are a stay-at-home mama, or any combination of the three, you’re probably keeping a keen eye out for simple ways to increase those sources of income. I mean, who wouldn’t like an extra $30, $40, or $100 bucks every week (or more!) in their wallets?
When looking for money-making apps, I know I want something simple, quick, and fun (if possible). After researching, we’ve found those apps that will put money directly into your pocket for just about everything.
- Shopping for clothes: I’m getting paid.
- Buying groceries: I’m getting paid.
- Sitting at the airport waiting for my flight: I’m getting paid.
- Watching a movie: (yep) I’m getting paid!
Sound amazing? It is! Too good to be true—guess again!
Check out this list of amazing mobile apps that pay real cash!
Get Paid to Watch Videos, Take Surveys, and Play Games
If you enjoy watching videos, surfing the web, reading emails, playing games, and taking surveys online, these companies will pay you real cash for using their apps.
With InboxDollars, you can make real cash by taking surveys, playing games, reading emails, and shopping online. Each task you perform has a designated cashback amount, and once your account reaches $15 you can request your earnings via PayPal, Amazon gift card, or you can choose gift cards from other popular retailers. And if you’re new to Inbox Dollars, you can get a $5 bonus for signing up and confirming your email account.
Another smartphone app that pays real cash is Swagbucks! With Swagbucks, you can make money by taking surveys, watching movie trailers and ads, exploring coupons and cashback offers, and more. With Swagbucks, you earn points in the form of SB (Swagbucks) that you easily redeem for cash rewards via PayPal or free gift cards if you prefer. The great thing about Swagbucks is you can cash out 100 SB for a $1 gift card! Another Swagbucks perk: Get a $5 bonus as a new user!
3. Survey Junkie
Survey Junkie recruits individuals for attitudinal research studies such as paid surveys, product testing, and focus groups, as well as behavioral research studies which include opting into sharing your online browsing activity. Points that you earn can be redeemed for gift cards from major retailers and cash via PayPal. Survey Junkie accepts users from the US, Canada, and Australia, and their app is available in the Apple app store and the Google Play store.
This is one of the best money-making apps! The Gauge smartphone app and the desktop platform allow you to take surveys for cash via PayPal. On Gauge, you can write out your answers, you can record an audio clip, or film a video response. Audio and video answers pay more, in fact, you can earn up to $500 per survey! I’ve only done text responses, and each one has paid $10 via PayPal. Gauge is available for both iPhone and Android devices.
5. Nielsen Computer & Mobile App
With the Nielsen computer and mobile app, you can earn money by sharing your internet browsing history with them. When you download their software to your computer, you’ll be entered into a monthly sweepstake for $10,000! If you choose to download the software to your smartphone, you’ll be eligible to earn up to $50 in rewards either via gift card or cash via PayPal annually. The data that they collect from your devices is used for market research.
6. Slice the Pie
If you love music, fashion, accessories, and commercials, Slice the Pie is your app! You’ll get paid for writing your review on these items before they’re released to the general public.
Reviews are directed to unsigned artists, fashion designers, musicians, etc. to provide feedback. You’ll need to register and decide what category you would like to review before getting started.
App users have complained that you need to make sure you have your “location section” turned on for the app to work correctly.
Earn Cashback for the Shopping You Already Do
Rakuten has quickly become a favorite in the cashback app world. It’s one that I love for sure! To date, I’ve earned almost $300 cashback just from shopping at the stores where I normally would anyway.
I love this app in particular because of its browser extension for my laptop as well. I never miss coupons or cashback opportunities anymore.
They not only give you cashback for shopping, but they have specific store coupons and a referral program. Refer a friend, and get $25 extra in the bank; that’s what I call amazing!
Here’s a brief overview of how it works:
- Download the app onto your phone and pop it on your desktop. This makes it easier to remember when you’re shopping!
- Select one of the stores where you shop. Rakuten is partnered with pretty much EVERYONE—I hardly run into a store that’s not on there.
- Shop like you normally would place your order, and Rakuten automatically sends cashback to your account.
- Choose how you want your money: PayPal or via check.
Simple and effective: the cashback adds up fast! It really is that streamlined and is one of my personal favorites.
Dosh is a passive income app where you can earn extra cash by connecting your credit card to the application. When you make a purchase at a qualifying store, Dosh will automatically deposit a cashback amount into your Dosh account. You can also earn money by referring others to the platform. Your account must reach a $25 balance before you can request payment via PayPal, Venmo, or direct deposit.
This app is available for iOS and Android devices!
Shopkick is another excellent app where you get paid to shop. When you use the Shopkick app, you earn kicks (points), which can be traded in for gift cards to popular stores or cash via PayPal (2,550 kicks = $10)! The jobs are super simple; some don’t require that you go to a store at all.
There are seven different ways you can earn points (kicks) with Shopkick!
- Earn points by merely walking into participating stores.
- Scan barcodes of select products.
- Purchase and submit a receipt.
- Purchase with a linked card.
- Make online purchases.
- Watch videos.
- Refer your friends
The Qmee app offers shoppers the ability to search, earn, and save through a personalized experience that connects them with the brands they love. Shop online for what you want, secure discounts, and earn cash. Qmee also offers surveys, and you can make extra money by referring your friends.
When you buy online from a specific retailer featured in TopCashBack, the retailer passes on a commission that you’ll cash in on!
Membership is free, and you will usually get cashback in about seven days at which point you can withdraw and put directly into your PayPal account.
Get Paid to Sell Your Stuff Online
Do you need to clean the clutter in your home? Here are some smartphone apps where you can sell your used items for PayPal cash!
Post your authentic, designer clothing to sell right from your closet using the Tradsey app.
This selling app not only makes the selling process easier (right from your phone), but after you make a sale, Tradsey sends you a pre-paid, pre-addressed shipping kit, complete with beautiful packaging.
You can sell shoes, clothing, bags, and accessories, from brand names you like and know. The Tradsey app even helps you with your photography by enhancing your image to make it look remarkable.
If you want a fast way to sell your CDs, DVDs, books, and electronics and earn cash, then Decluttr is for you.
Decluttr doesn’t require that you take pictures or include descriptions to sell your items. Instead, they ask their sellers to key in item barcodes, and the rest is up to Decluttr! They’ll send you a price quote for your items, and after you agree, you ship it to them for FREE. You’ll get your cash in your PayPal account the next day.
Do you have old books you want to get rid of? When I graduated from college, I held on to those pricey books for as long as I thought I should. Seasons later, when the books were taking up more space than we had, I knew I needed to do something with them.
Bookscouter has the solution! This awesome app searches a variety of vendors to determine the best price for your used books. Here’s a little summary of how this app works:
- Submit the ISBN of the book on the Bookscouter app.
- Bookscouter quickly searches numerous sites for you.
- It then displays the price results from those sites so you can see a range of offers and determine which one is best for you.
Get Paid for Your Store Receipts
Did you know that you can make money by sharing your receipts with market research companies? It’s true and it’s a simple way to earn extra cash with your phone!
15. Fetch Rewards
Fetch Rewards is a smartphone app where you can earn points for scanning your receipts and referring friends to the application. For each receipt you upload, you’ll earn a certain number of points. The points that you earn can be traded in for gift cards or cash via Visa. It takes 3,500 to get a $3.00 Amazon gift card, however, for most other brands it takes an average of 5,000 points to earn a $5.00 gift card.
Are you ready to earn cashback on everyday purchases? Ibotta is a widely popular app that pays cash for scanning your receipts and more. Here’s how to earn money using the Ibotta app:
- Download the app.
- Add in the offers.
- Shop at your favorite stores.
- Upload a photo of your receipt.
- Get cash within 24 hours of your purchase!
Other ways to earn with the Ibotta app:
- Link a loyalty account—save on groceries automatically by connecting your loyalty card.
- Shop online at retailer websites and earn cashback.
17. Receipt Hog
The Receipt Hog app has made it even easier to earn PayPal cash. With this app, you can shop anywhere, snap pictures of your receipts, and get paid.
You can also earn money by going to the “Hog Slots,” taking paid surveys, and getting “coins” to redeem for gift cards and cash. There are so many ways to earn with this app!
Make Money Taking Pictures
Do you love to take photos with your smartphone? Why not earn cash instantly while doing what you love? Here are two amazing apps that allow you to do just that!
Stockimo is a photo app that uses the Alamy stock photo agency to sell your beautiful stock photos online.
The average price on Alamy for stock photos usually runs around $90. Get on the app, start snapping pictures, and get paid today!
The app alerts you once a sale has been made.
The Stockimo App is currently available only on iPhones, but Android users, keep checking back.
If you have high-quality photos on your phone, then Shutterstock is for you. Start selling and earning on one of the most popular stock photo sites out there. Payouts to PayPal occur about twice a month which is fantastic considering you’re getting paid for taking pictures of things you love. The Shutterstock mobile app is available for both iPhone and Android devices.
Foap is another app that pays for your pictures or videos. Upload your best pics into your Foap photo collection and sell them to buyers all over the world. Here’s a snippet of how it works:
- Foap sells your videos and pictures online to brands, agencies, and individuals.
- When your work is purchased, Foap shares the profit with you 50/50.
Big Money, Small Tasks with These Apps
Would you like to make some extra cash from an easy side hustle? These short-task apps make it simple to score cash during your spare time.
Clickworker is another small task app that allows you to work independently, accepting tasks either offline or online. There are a variety of jobs you can choose from on the Clickworker marketplace, which makes this small task app appealing. Some job categories you can select as a Clickworker are:
- Mystery photographers
- Audio and video jobs
- App testing
- Data categorization
- Creation of texts
- Copy editing
- Web research
22. Field Agent
If you love to shop in stores, this app is for you. Field Agent is an awesome app where you can use your smartphone to collect photos, videos, and information from stores.
Stores will then use the information you provide to serve their customers better and enhance their overall experience. Become an “undercover” store reviewer and help stores and their customers – all while making money! Use your iPhone or Android device to become a field agent and earn cash with this app.
Gigwalk allows you to complete “gigs” (short tasks) in and around your neighborhood by choosing the gigs you want to do.
The other day, I installed this app on my phone and made money that same day. I was out shopping at a popular store when I decided to check the app. I accepted the job, took a few pics of a pressure cooker, and scored an easy $6. Not bad for five minutes of my time!
One thing to note about Gigwalk: Payment to PayPal can take over a week or more after your job is approved. On the upside, Gigwalk makes it easy to earn money on your terms which is a huge draw for many people.
Mobee is a mystery shopping app where you earn points for completing simple mystery shopping missions. When you download the app, it will pull a map of missions in your area. When you locate one that’s near you, read the details, complete the tasks (usually taking photos of store displays and answering questions), and you’ll earn points.
For most missions, you’ll earn around 500-600 points which is equivalent to $5-$6. The points that you earn can be traded in for gift cards from Starbucks, Amazon, Old Navy, or cash via Visa. With Mobee, you can cash out as little as 500 points which makes this a quick way to earn money! You can also earn 300 points by referring friends to the app. I have not completed a mission yet, but my referral code is J2KN, and you’ll get an extra 300 points when you complete your first mission.
More Apps That Pay Cash
If you have a car and don’t mind interacting with people, you can make money with the gig economy. With on-demand smartphone apps like DoorDash, Uber Eats, Lyft, and Instacart, you can make money grocery shopping, being a rideshare driver, or delivering restaurant food. These apps will require you to fill out an application and pass a criminal background check, but once you complete those, you’re good to go! According to this article, gig workers, on average, make $20 per hour!
There are also lots of mobile panel apps where you can take surveys and earn gift cards from retailers like Walmart, Starbucks, Amazon, and Target. While this isn’t direct cash, if you’re already making purchases at these places, why not earn some free gift cards during your spare time? For more ways to make money and earn freebies and gift cards with your smartphone, check out this list of apps.
Quick Tip When It Comes to Money-Making Apps
Many of the apps out there are fabulous for making extra money. The ability to monetize your day-to-day life is becoming second nature for many of us, and it’s phenomenal.
However, as great as it is, you need to remember to always do your due diligence!
All in all, these money-making apps are a fun and simple way to earn money by completing short tasks while you’re out and about or by clicking your phone while couch-bound. Check out a few of these ways (or all of them) to earn money with your smartphone, and let us know when you do. We’d love to hear about which apps you use to make real cash.
Do you already have a favorite rewards app that you’d like to share with us, or have a question about the apps we’ve posted? Drop us a line below, and we’ll get right back to you!
Originally published October 15, 2019. Content updated October 2022.
You mentioned Receipt Hog and Ibotta under receipt apps but missed Receipt Pal, CoinOut, and Fetch Rewards. Hope this helps. I use all these apps for the same receipts to maximize the amount of rewards I can get.
Holly - The Work at Home Woman
Yup, I use ReceiptPal and Fetch too! I’ll have to check out CoinOut — thanks for sharing!
Are these panels available to worldwide participants. Appreciate some info that people around the world could benefit from.
Holly Reisem Hanna
Swagbucks is the only one that I know is available worldwide.
Check out this link for more worldwide opportunities:
This info is excellent
Thank you! I’m so happy that you love the article! Let me know when you try these smartphone apps! I would love to hear which ones you love the most! There are so many great money-making opportunities out there!
There is No Apperwall app to be found.
Holly - The Work at Home Woman
It’s right here: https://apperwall.com/