We all face situations where we need extra cash. When this happens, you can quickly and easily make money from your phone.
There are lots of apps that give you money and often allow you to work online. The best money-making apps pay via PayPal. Others provide payment in the form of gift cards or cash back on purchases.
If you have spare time, money-earning apps are a terrific way to supplement income.
Best Money-Making Apps for 2021
The Frugal Rules team carefully analyzed various apps to make money with your phone. The top options come from the following categories:
- Apps that give you money for your opinion or pay you to watch videos
- Popular side hustle apps
- Apps that offer you cash back on shopping
- Passive income apps
- Apps that pay you for something you’re already doing
All of the apps included on our list allow you to make money from your iPhone or Android phone. However, it is essential to remember that most opportunities will not replace your income. Apps that pay you money are great, but you need to be realistic when it comes to potential earnings.
If you’re looking for ways to supplement your income, consider using one of the following apps to make money fast.
Apps That Pay You for Your Opinion
Companies thrive on learning what we like or dislike. This helps them improve their product or service.
Many companies work with online survey sites to compensate users. Here are the top options.
1. Survey Junkie
Survey Junkie is a perfect app to use when you want to make money in your spare time. Whether you’re watching TV or waiting for an appointment, it’s an easy way to earn money on your phone taking surveys.
The site is free to use. Signing up takes less than a minute.
Surveys pay between $1 and $3, though some go as high as $50. If you don’t qualify for a survey, you will earn points.
Survey Junkie boasts over three million active users. They have an 8.9/10 rating on TrustPilot.
You can redeem your money as soon as your account reaches $10 (equivalent to 1,000 points). Payout options include transering cash to your PayPal account, direct deposit, or an electronic gift card.
Earn $50+ per month
$1 per survey. Cash out fast with low redemption minimums.
2. Pinecone Research
Pinecone Research is one of the top survey sites. It pays $3 per completed survey. You can also earn up to $75 by testing products at home.
The site is a bit unique since it’s available by invite only. You can also sign up through our link. This helps the service ensure they have enough opportunities for their users.
There is no minimum threshold to cash out with Pinecone Research. You can withdraw your funds at any time via bank transfer, virtual Mastercards, or Amazon gift cards.
Earn $3 per survey!
Get paid for your opinion. Earn points to redeem for cash or merchandise.
Unlike Survey Junkie and Pinecone Research, InboxDollars pays users for completing tasks other than just surveys. These options include:
- Viewing sponsored videos
- Downloading and printing coupons
- Opening sponsored emails
New users earn a $5 bonus after signing up. Earnings are redeemable via PayPal or gift cards.
|Avg. Payout||Trustpilot||Cash Out Min.||Sign Up||Read Review|
|Avg. Payout||Trustpilot||Cash Out Min.|
|2% to 6%||1.8/5||$20||SIGN UP||Read Review|
Popular Side Hustle Apps
Sometimes you need to earn more than a few extra bucks. This may be the case if you need to pay off debt or save for a large purchase. Side gig apps provide an excellent opportunity to make extra money fast.
The delivery space is a terrific option to make money on the side. Apps like DoorDash allow people to order meals and have them delivered to their home or office.
As a contractor, you use the app to accept orders and deliver items to people. You get to create your own schedule.
DoorDash pays drivers weekly. It is possible to cash out within 24 hours if you’re in a pinch.
Reports indicate drivers earn between $15 and $25 per hour. Your ability to work during peak periods will increase your earning potential. You get to keep 100 percent of tips.
Postmates is a service similar to DoorDash that offers a similar pay range.
5. Instacart Shopper
The demand for grocery delivery has exploded recently. Apps like Instacart Shopper allow you to earn real money as a personal grocery shopper for people.
Once you receive an order, you go buy groceries and deliver them to the customer. You can even chat with the customer through the Instacart app if you have questions about their order.
Similar to DoorDash, you set your own schedule. Pay is distributed weekly.
Drivers report earning up to $20 per hour, including tips.
Here is a comparison of several popular on-demand delivery app gigs:
Be 18; iPhone / Android
Drivers license / Background check
Be 18; iPhone / Android
Background / DMV check
iPhone5 / Android 4.4
Base + Promos + Tips
Base + Tips
Swagbucks is one of the top free money apps you can use. There are many ways to earn money with Swagbucks, including:
- Answering surveys
- Using their online shopping portal
- Playing games online
- Using their search engine
- Testing new products
- Completing various online tasks
Swagbucks is known as a get-paid-to (GPT) site that pays users various amounts for completing different tasks. While you won’t earn a lot of money, it’s a great way to pad your budget.
The app has over 20 million users and gives new users a $10 bonus. You can redeem earnings via PayPal or gift cards to your favorite retailer such as to a Google Play account.
Get $5 when you sign up now!
Earn free gift cards and cash rewards taking surveys, shopping and more.
Apps That Give You Cash Back on Shopping
Cash back rebate apps give you points or money when you purchase something at a participating retailer. Shopping can be done online or in-person.
Here are some of the top apps that make you money when you shop.
7. Capital One Shopping
Capital One Shopping (formerly known as Wikibuy) provides users with an effortless way to save money when shopping online. The app is a browser extension you can use on your phone or desktop to find valid coupon codes and discounts.
You can earn credits on purchases when you shop through the Capital One Shopping portal. These don’t convert to cash, but you can redeem them for gift cards. Stores commonly offer between two and ten percent in credits on your purchases.
While it may not result in cash, free gift cards are just as good.
|Capital One Shopping|
Save more when you shop!
Snag better prices automatically on the things you buy with valid discount codes.
Ibotta is one of the most popular money earning apps that gives you cash back on your purchases. It works both at the grocery store and over 350 participating online retailers.
Like Capital One Shopping, you install the money saving shopping extension. Once installed, it identifies discount opportunities for you.
New users receive a $20 bonus when opening a new account. You can redeem via PayPal or gift cards once you reach $20.
|Ibotta - get rebates on your shopping|
Get a $20 bonus!
This popular shopping app works at the grocery store and online. Redeem earnings for cash or gift cards.
MyPoints operates like Swagbucks. However, where it really shines is its shopping portal.
You can earn up to 40 percent cash back on purchases through its portal. MyPoints works with over 2,000 online retailers to reduce your shopping costs.
New users receive a $10 bonus after making a $20 qualifying purchase. Once you reach a $20 balance, you can redeem earnings via PayPal or gift cards.
Passive Income Apps
Passive income apps actively help you grow your wealth. This is an awesome opportunity to position yourself for the future by investing in the stock market.
Here are a few of the top platforms to create residual income or earn more money without a lot of work.
10. SoFi Invest
SoFi is well-known for student loan consolidation. However, they also offer SoFi Invest to help people grow their investments.
If you don’t have a lot of money to invest, SoFi is perfect for you. They have a $1 minimum balance requirement and zero transaction or trading fees.
The platform allows you to purchase partial shares of stock, offers retirement accounts, and provides a wealth of training resources.
*Right now Frugal Rules readers who sign up for an Active Invest brokerage account for the first time are eligible to play “The Claw” interactive game. Play and you could win a random dollar amount of stock ranging from $5 to $1,000!
SoFi also has a robo-advisor to help manage your investments if you’re new to investing and don’t want to go the self-directed route. This alternative also has a $1 minimum balance requirement and zero fees.
Webull is a mobile-first trading app. While it’s newer, it is increasing in popularity. The app works on both Android and iOS-based devices.
Similar to SoFi, there are zero trading or transaction fees with Webull. There is also no minimum balance requirement to start.
This app is geared towards self-directed investors who want advanced tools. You can trade options, trade after-hours, and access research tools. The broker is also planning on introducing cryptocurrency trading in early 2021.
The one drawback is Webull doesn’t currently offer a robo-advisor option.
If you’re interested, Webull is currently offering one free share of stock (worth up to $1,600) when you open an account with at least $100.
Investing can be overwhelming to the point where you may forget to do it. Acorns is a unique solution to that problem.
When you download the Acorns app, it rounds up your purchases and invests the difference. For example, if you spend $15.02 on lunch, it invests the remaining $0.98 in a pre-made portfolio of your choosing. It’s essentially a way to automatically invest with little to no effort on your part.
Apps like Acorns are a good solution for new investors or seasoned investors wanting a play account. Acorns also gives new users a $5 bonus when they open an account.
Acorns is just one choice for a micro-investing app. Here is a comparison of other alternatives.
Apps That Pay You For Something You’re Already Doing
The best money-making apps let you earn cash for something you’re already doing. Here are a few of the apps that pay you for going about your normal routine.
Losing weight is something a lot of us want to do. It’s also challenging for many people. HealthyWage uses the science that money is an awesome motivator to get in shape.
The HealthyWage app lets people bet on themselves to lose weight. You can do a challenge on your own or as a team. The minimum weight loss goal is ten percent of your body weight.
If you reach your goal in the allotted time you win your bet. If you don’t reach the goal, you lose out on winnings.
The average winner earns $1,400. However, you can earn up to $10,000.
|HealthyWage - Win up to $10,000!|
Bet on yourself. Choose how much weight you want to lose and how much money you want to wager.
Do you love to play video games? If so, Mistplay is a fun option to earn extra money through game playing. The app works on both Android and iOS-based phones.
Users get paid to download and play new video games. You earn points for each game you play. Point values vary based on the game, though they can be worth up to 200 points.
You receive $5 for every 1,500 points you earn. This can be redeemed via gift cards or a Visa cash card.
Do you hate negotiating lower bills? Have you ever forgotten about a service or subscription you purchased? Trim is an app that works on your behalf to solve both of those problems.
When you download the free Trim app and connect your bank account, it finds ways to save you money. It works to reduce your expenses as it identifies opportunities to lower costs or cancel subscriptions.
If the app is able to win savings for you, it keeps 33 percent of the net amount. If it doesn’t win savings, there is no charge.
Sometimes saving money works just as well as making extra money.
There are plenty of ways to make money on your phone. Many of these choices were not available a few years ago.
Free money apps provide opportunities for people who want extra spending money, need help paying off debt, or require assistance growing their long-term wealth. If you want to increase your earnings, you can try using a few of these money-making apps simultaneously.
What are some other reward apps you use to make money? How much spare time do you have per week you could use to make money?
*Capital One Shopping compensates
You are being referred to SoFi Wealth, LLC’s website (“SoFi Invest”) by Frugal Rules and Ink Harmony, LLC, a solicitor of SoFi Invest (“Solicitor”). The Solicitor that is directing you to this webpage will receive compensation from SoFi Invest if you enter into an advisory relationship or into a paying subscription for advisory services. Compensation to the Solicitor may be up to $1,500. You will not be charged any fee or incur any additional costs for being referred to SoFi Invest by the Solicitor. The Solicitor may promote and/or may advertise SoFi Invest’s investment adviser services and may offer independent analysis and reviews of SoFi Invest’s services. SoFi Invest and the Solicitor are not under common ownership or otherwise related entities. Additional information about SoFi Invest is contained in its Form ADV Part 2A available here.