We all face times when we could use some extra cash. Luckily, there are many opportunities to fulfill that need. From side hustles to money-making apps, you can easily create supplemental income.
Many options require little skill or let you complete tasks in your free time. They pay via PayPal, direct deposit, gift cards, or cash back on purchases.
If you have spare time, consider these platforms to make money online so that you can rely less on your full-time job to pay the bills.
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What Are the Best Apps to Make Money?
We evaluated the best money-making apps that offer numerous ways to earn extra cash from your phone. You can try several opportunities to generate a side income and pursue the highest-paying options available.
For example, you can make money by running errands for people, shopping online, or pursuing a home-based side gig.
Top Driving and Side Hustle Apps
You might need to earn more than a few extra bucks if you’re trying to pay off debt or save for a large purchase. Side hustle apps that require running errands or caring for pets can pay good money.
Plus, they provide an excellent opportunity to make extra money fast since they release payments quickly.
The delivery space is a terrific way to make money on the side. A delivery app job like DoorDash lets you take restaurant meals to customers who place an order online or through the app.
This service is available in many small and large cities. In fact, since it’s the busiest platform in many towns, it’s worth trying first. As a contractor, you can use the app to accept orders and deliver items to people.
You can create your own schedule and choose which delivery requests you want to fulfill, making this app excellent for people who need an extra source of income that offers flexibility.
Drivers receive payments weekly, but it is possible to cash out within 24 hours if you’re in a pinch and need to get paid today. However, you will pay a fee if you use this feature.
Dasher pay varies depending on several factors. Your ability to work during peak periods will increase your earning potential. Better yet, you get to keep 100 percent of your tips.
To work for DoorDash, you must be at least 18, pass a background check, and have reliable transportation. In select cities, Dashers can complete the delivery by bike or scooter.
Read our DoorDash review to learn more.
Best for: People who enjoy driving and need a flexible schedule
2. Instacart Shopper
Delivering meals is not the only way to make money as a courier. You can also deliver groceries. Apps like Instacart Shopper let you earn real money as a personal grocery shopper.
Once you receive an order, you 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. You can earn up to $20 per hour as a driver for Instacart, including tips. Pay is distributed weekly.
You can withdraw earnings instantly, but this incurs a minor fee. Read our guide on side gigs that let you get paid today to learn about other choices.
In most cities, shoppers must have a reliable vehicle to complete deliveries. Select supermarkets hire in-store shoppers who work a shift similar to a part-time job and don’t need a delivery vehicle.
Read our Instacart Shopper review to learn more.
Best for: Shoppers who are familiar with the layouts of their local grocery stores
HopSkipDrive is one of the most exciting gig economy apps since you get to drive children to school or pick them up and bring them home, allowing them to avoid unsafe environments on school buses.
You also get to help working parents with schedule conflicts so they don’t have to take time off work to pick up or drop off their kids.
This service is available in multiple cities across the United States but not in small towns or rural areas. Additionally, you must have at least five years of caregiving experience and be at least 23 years old to apply.
As a care driver, you earn up to $50 per ride. Parents must request rides at least eight hours in advance, which provides plenty of time for you to adjust your schedule to accept a request.
Drivers can select rides up to seven days in advance and receive payments on Mondays via direct deposit.
Best for: People who enjoy caring for children
Do you enjoy spending time with four-legged friends? If so, you can make money caring for animals using apps like Rover. Rover is one of the best high-paying apps for walking dogs and caring for pets.
You can offer these services:
- Dog walking
- Drop-in visits
- Pet daycare
- Overnight boarding
You can also care for cats to expand your money-making opportunities.
The types of services you offer determines your income. Dog walkers can earn up to $20 per hour for one dog. Overnight boarding is the most lucrative since you can charge up to $40 per night in most cities.
Keep in mind that the service fees to use the site are 20 percent of your earnings.
Sitters must be at least 18 years old and pass a background check to use the platform. After creating your profile, you can list your availability and the animal sizes you’re comfortable watching.
Unfortunately, you must wait for pet owners to contact you to start making money. It might take some time to receive your first booking request.
Your earnings are deposited into your linked bank account two days after completing a job. This payout speed can be faster than other money-making apps.
Read our guide on the top apps to earn money walking to identify other potential money-making opportunities if you don’t want to walk dogs.
Best for: Animal lovers who need some extra cash
Top Survey Apps
Many companies offer paid online surveys to compensate users, with most studies requiring up to 20 minutes of your time.
Here are the top survey apps that pay you instantly. You won’t get rich from surveys, but it’s a quick way to earn additional income without special skills.
Swagbucks is one of our favorite apps if you want to complete online surveys and other small tasks for cash. The apps periodically offers limited-time bonuses to boost your survey income.
There are many ways to make money, including:
- Answering surveys
- Using their online shopping portal
- Playing games online
- Browsing the internet
- Testing new products
- Completing various online tasks
This get-paid-to (GPT) site pays users various amounts for completing different tasks. While you won’t earn much money, it’s a great way to pad your bank account.
The cash rewards app has over 20 million users and gives new users a $10 signup bonus. The minimum age to join is 13, which makes it a fantastic choice to make money as a teen.
You can redeem earnings via PayPal or gift cards to your favorite retailer once you reach a $5 balance.
Read our Swagbucks review to learn more.
Best for: Teens who want to earn some extra spending money
6. Pinecone Research
Pinecone Research is one of the top survey sites where you can get paid for your opinion. It pays $3 per completed survey. You can also earn up to $75 by testing products at home.
It’s possible to make money fast since most studies take 20 minutes or less to complete. Anticipate receiving several survey invites through your email or the survey app.
Frequently participating in surveys for money can help you qualify for higher-paying product evaluations.
The site is a bit unique since it’s available by invitation only. You can also register through our link. This membership restriction helps the service ensure it has enough opportunities for its users.
There are no minimum thresholds to cash out. You can withdraw your funds anytime via bank transfer, virtual Mastercards, or Amazon gift cards.
Read our Pinecone Research review to learn more.
Best for: Consumers who want to make money testing products
7. 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, the app pays you to answer surveys on your phone from anywhere.
The site is free to use, and you must be at least 13 years old to join. 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 still earn points.
You can redeem your money as soon as your account reaches $5 (which is equivalent to 500 points). Payout options include transferring cash to your PayPal account, direct deposit, or an electronic gift card.
Survey Junkie boasts over three million active users and has an excellent Trustpilot rating. Many users like the ability to qualify for multiple surveys daily and the low minimum redemption requirement.
Read our Survey Junkie review to learn more.
Best for: People who want to redeem survey rewards directly to their bank account
InboxDollars is another popular micro-task site. It offers multiple ways to earn income in addition to answering surveys.
The money-making options include:
- Taking surveys
- Viewing sponsored videos
- Redeeming grocery coupons
- Opening sponsored emails
- Playing games
New users earn a $5 bonus after signing up. Earnings can be redeemed for PayPal cash or gift cards.
Points to the Google Play store are among the most popular redemption options. Read our guide on other ways to earn free Google Play credits if you have an Android device.
Unfortunately, the survey app has a higher minimum cash out of $30, but it’s reduced to $15 for first-time redemptions. You also have to be at least 18 to use the site.
While InboxDollars is a good platform, you may want to pair it with other options due to its redemption threshold.
Read our review of InboxDollars to learn more.
Best for: Users who want to earn Google Play credits
KashKick mainly allows you to get paid to play games. Other offers involve answering surveys and trying out mobile apps.
You can earn a few dollars from each completed action and receive payment via PayPal. The minimum redemption amount is $10.
You must be at least 18 years old to join KashKick. There are multiple paid offers, but you may consider other side hustle ideas if you need more money.
Best for: People who want to get paid to play games
Top Passive Income Apps
A passive income app actively helps you grow your wealth when you don’t need to get money fast.
These apps can be an awesome way to set yourself up for the future since you can create residual income or earn more money without much work while balancing investment risk.
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.
Essentially, the app offers a way to automatically invest with little to no effort.
Apps like Acorns are a good solution for new investors over the age of 18 who need guidance or seasoned investors who want a play account. New users may receive a $5 bonus.
After joining, you can select a portfolio of index ETFs that fit your risk tolerance and financial goals. Then, the app rebalances your portfolio as you add new funds.
Socially-conscious ETFs and Bitcoin-linked funds are also available for extra personalization.
One unique way to add free money to your portfolio is by shopping at participating retailers. Unlike a cash rewards app that sends you payment, Acorns invests your shopping credits.
The various spending features help you make passive income while shopping and paying bills.
While this app is best for investing, each account has an online checking account and debit card. Select accounts offer a Might Oak debit card, which earns a competitive interest rate.
Personal accounts cost $3 per month, and a family account costs $5 monthly. There is also a premium plan for $9 monthly that includes a debit card for kids from GoHenry and financial planning tools.
You can read our Acorns app review to learn more.
Best for: Families and those who want to invest with little to no effort
11. SoFi Invest
SoFi is well-known for student loan consolidation. They also help people grow their investments through SoFi Invest.
If you don’t have much money to invest, this app is perfect for you. It has a $1 minimum balance requirement and zero transaction or trading fees.
The platform allows users over the age of 18 to purchase partial shares of stock, offers retirement accounts, and provides a variety of training resources.
SoFi also has a robo-advisor to help manage your investments if you’re new to investing and want to avoid going the self-directed route.
It’s even possible to earn reward points that you can redeem for fractional shares or other banking options. This feature can be attractive if you use SoFi for your banking and lending needs since it’s easier to earn points.
Best for: Those who want reward points that can be used to invest
Investing in stocks is an excellent way to grow your wealth, but it’s not the only way to improve your net worth. Investing in real estate is another legitimate choice.
Thanks to crowdfunding, you don’t need much money to build a portfolio of properties. Ark7 is our top choice for new investors who want to invest in real estate.
You only need $20 to open an account and earn monthly dividends with the platform. It invests in real estate markets across the United States.
The service gives you exposure to multifamily and commercial properties with multiple tenants. You’re not responsible for managing the property, which makes this a true passive income idea.
It’s possible to reinvest your dividend income or receive quarterly payments directly to your banking account.
Unlike most money-earning apps on this list, Ark7 requires a long-term commitment. You must hold your shares for at least one year to avoid early redemption penalties. This can be a deterrent for some people.
Additionally, an asset management fee between eight and 15 percent is withheld from each dividend distribution. There is also a three percent sourcing fee on all new investments.
Other real estate crowdfunding sites charge similar fees, but it’s cheaper than buying physical property. Plus, you can earn competitive investment returns.
Best for: Investors with limited funds who want to invest in real estate
13. M1 Finance
You can buy fractional shares of stocks and ETFs without fees on M1 Finance.
This free investing app lets you build a self-directed portfolio. You can also add pre-made investment pies for a partial or fully automated investing experience.
M1 Finance uses dynamic rebalancing to automatically buy shares of holdings underneath their target allocation percentage when you invest new money.
The app won’t sell shares unless you tap the manual rebalance option to avoid triggering a tax-reportable event.
Taxable brokerage accounts require a $100 minimum initial investment, and retirement accounts need $500 to execute the first trade. You can create a model portfolio before funding your account.
There are no ongoing balance requirements or service fees.
Active investors may upgrade to M1 Plus. This premium membership plan offers twice-daily trading windows, a rewards debit card, and discounted margin interest rates.
It’s best to consider this online broker if you’re a long-term investor since you cannot trade on-demand with market or limit orders. Most trades execute at the start of the trading day.
Additionally, keep in mind that the stock research tools are minimal beyond a basic price history chart and core fundamental data.
Read our M1 Finance review for more.
Best for: People who want to invest without fees and are comfortable with long-term investments
You can earn additional income from your car by renting it out on HyreCar. This carsharing app can be an excellent option if you have a relatively new car or a popular model that people love to rent.
The service is available nationwide and is especially popular near major metro areas.
It’s possible to list your car within minutes and set your daily rental rate. The platform states that the average monthly income is $720 for one car, but the earning potential varies by car and city.
Protection plans are available to provide up to $1,000,000 in excess liability coverage. Each plan can also help reimburse for detailing and roadside assistance.
Depending on which protection plan you choose, you keep between 70 and 85 percent of your earnings.
Best for: Car owners who don’t drive their vehicles frequently
Top Apps to Get Cash Back
Coupon 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 cash back apps to make money when you shop.
The Upside app specializes in gas rebates to save between $0.05 and $0.15 per gallon. After downloading the app, you can earn up to $0.25 per gallon of gas when you use the code FRUGALRULES25.
There are also many offers for restaurants and convenience stores. Select cities provide cash back on groceries, but you will have the most success when buying gas and meals.
You pay full price for the purchase and receive credit after paying with a linked payment card. Most merchants automatically track the transaction, so you don’t need to upload a receipt.
After installing the app, you can search for offers near you. Many cities offer rebates, although gas stations and restaurants don’t participate in every location. Therefore, it may not be the best app in rural areas.
Bank transfers and gift card rewards require a $10 balance. PayPal cash needs a minimum $15 balance to avoid small withdrawal fees.
You must be at least 16 years old to use the platform.
Read our Upside gas app review to learn more.
Best for: People who fill up their gas tanks frequently
16. Capital One Shopping
Capital One Shopping (formerly known as Wikibuy) lets users save money when shopping online. The app is a browser extension you can use on your phone or desktop to find coupon codes and discounts.
Nothing is more frustrating than spending time looking for promo codes only to find that they are invalid. This app simplifies the process by working in the background as you complete your shopping online.
Then, it alerts you when it spots a potential discount and automatically applies codes at checkout.
In addition to discounts, you can also 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 with a balance as low as $5.
Participating stores commonly offer between two and ten percent in credits on your purchases. While this may not result in cash, free gift cards are a valuable alternative for your favorite merchant or restaurant.
You must be at least 18 to use this app.
Read our Capital One Shopping review to learn more.
Best for: Shoppers who want to avoid expired or invalid coupon codes
Rakuten (formerly known as Ebates) is a versatile money-making app that lets you earn cash rewards from thousands of online merchants and many local retailers.
Some online merchants pay up to 40 percent back. However, most only offer up to 10 percent back.
To get started, activate a rewards shopping session from the Rakuten website, app, or browser extension. Then, pay with your preferred payment method. The app will track your purchase and credit your account.
Payments are only sent quarterly via PayPal, paper check, or gift card when your balance reaches $5.01. This is a low cash out threshold, so it’s easy to receive payment even if you are an occasional shopper.
To earn cash back on in-store purchases, pay with a linked credit card or debit card and activate offers from the Rakuten app. Most of these offers are from department stores awarding up to five percent back.
Be sure to read the offer terms and conditions since merchants may exclude certain items from receiving cash back.
If you’re not loyal to a particular merchant, consider seeing if a competitor offers cash back on your desired item or a potentially higher rate.
In addition to cash back rewards, the website and browser extension have a price comparison feature to help you find the lowest price from participating merchants. It even looks for coupon codes for instant discounts.
You must be at least 18 years old to use this platform.
Read our Rakuten review for more.
Best for: People who want to compare prices to get the best deals
If you want to make money when you shop, MyPoints is a legitimate choice. The site operates much like Swagbucks or InboxDollars with multiple short online tasks.
However, where it really shines is its shopping portal. You can earn up to 40 percent cash back on purchases through its portal, and the rewards app works with over 2,000 online retailers to reduce your shopping costs.
Surveys and games are the best ways to make money from home outside the shopping offers.
New users receive a $10 bonus after making a $20 qualifying purchase. Teens as young as 13 can register for the site with a parent’s approval.
Once you reach a $20 balance, you can redeem your earnings via PayPal or gift cards. Most gift cards start with a $5 face value, and PayPal redemptions have a $15 minimum.
Best for: Shoppers who make many purchases online
Fetch is an excellent way to maximize grocery purchases if you want a low-hassle rewards app.
Unlike competing apps, you don’t have to activate offers to receive credit. Instead, you simply purchase participating brands and scan your receipt. Then, the app deposits points into your account.
Qualifying items earn ten points per dollar, and certain offers qualify for bonus points. You can scan grocery receipts to earn the most points, but you can also scan merchandise receipts and earn a minimum of 25 points.
GoodRx prescriptions and online grocery orders can receive credit as well. You can link a Gmail or Outlook account to scan digital receipts to earn rewards.
Gift cards are the only redemption option. Most require a $5 minimum balance (5,000 points). If you want a redemption option that is more like cash, Visa cash cards are your best choice.
Read our review of Fetch Rewards to learn more.
Best for: People who have a large grocery budget
There are many ways to make money on your phone. Not all the opportunities will work for you or be worth your time, so it’s best to try several before deciding on one.
Try to pair your earnings with a goal to incentivize yourself. Whether you want to pay off debt or save for a long-term goal, it’s easier to succeed when you know how to make money on the side.
What are some other apps you use to make money?
*Capital One Shopping compensates us when you sign up for Capital One Shopping using the links provided.*
SoFi Invest refers to the three investment and trading platforms operated by Social Finance, Inc. and its affiliates (described below). Individual customer accounts may be subject to the terms applicable to one or more of the platforms below.
1) Automated Investing and advisory services are provided by SoFi Wealth LLC, an SEC-registered investment adviser (“Sofi Wealth“). Brokerage services are provided to SoFi Wealth LLC by SoFi Securities LLC.
2) Active Investing and brokerage services are provided by SoFi Securities LLC, Member FINRA/SIPC, (“Sofi Securities”). Clearing and custody of all securities are provided by APEX Clearing Corporation.
3) SoFi Crypto is offered by SoFi Digital Assets, LLC, a FinCEN registered Money Service Business.
For additional disclosures related to the SoFi Invest platforms described above, including state licensure of SoFi Digital Assets, LLC, please visit SoFi.com/legal.
Neither the Investment Advisor Representatives of SoFi Wealth, nor the Registered Representatives of SoFi Securities are compensated for the sale of any product or service sold through any SoFi Invest platform. Information related to lending products contained herein should not be construed as an offer or pre-qualification for any loan product offered by SoFi Bank, N.A.
*Earning more on certain types of orders (ex. alcohol): Earn more per order as compared to restaurant orders. Actual earnings may differ and depend on factors like number of deliveries you accept and complete, time of day, location, and any costs. Hourly pay is calculated using average Dasher payouts while on a delivery (from the time you accept an order until the time you drop it off) over a 90 day period and includes compensation from tips, peak pay, and other incentives.
*Get paid instantly (DasherDirect): Subject to approval
*Cash out daily (Fast Pay): Fees apply
*Start Dashing today: Subject to background check and availability
*Dash anytime: Subject to availability
Kim Suazo has been a freelance writer and business owner for over four years. When she's not writing for Frugal Rules, you can find her on other publications like Chime, Discovery, and Due. She also owns her own websites The Entrepremomer and Part-Time Profit, where she teaches overworked moms how to streamline their new businesses so they can scale without a team.