11 Best Money Making Apps That Pay You Cash in 2020
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Do you spend a lot of time on your phone? Even the best of us find our phones attached to us for too much of the day. And despite all that time on your device, you may not realize you can make money with your phone. Simply by downloading any of the best money making apps, you can make money in your spare time, or earn cash for something you already do.
The top money making apps won’t make you wealthy, unless it’s an investing app, but they do offer a great way to make extra money on the side. In some cases they might even help you streamline your budget. The possibilities are endless.
If you want an easy way to earn extra spending money, this post shares a few of the best money making apps to use on your Android or iPhone device.
Best Money Making Apps That Pay You Cash
There are countless ways you can make money with your phone. However, our list of apps to make money fast focuses on these categories:
- Money making survey apps
- Cash-back and receipt-scanning apps
- Apps that pay you to do a service
- Apps for selling stuff
Not every money making opportunity on your phone works. Some may be a waste of time while others have glitches or are not legit. Keep this in mind as you try to make money with your phone.
With that in mind, below are 11 of the best apps to make money on your phone fast.
1. Survey Junkie
Paid survey sites are a great opportunity to make money on your phone. You won’t make a lot of money, but they’re a legit way to earn extra spending money. You can even earn free gift cards if you prefer those to cash.
One of the top survey sites available is Survey Junkie. While not every survey site is worth your effort, Survey Junkie has an easy-to-use platform to take quick surveys, and you can do it from anywhere at any time.
Stuck at the doctor’s office? Trying to pick up your kids? Got a few extra minutes left on your lunch break? You can earning extra money during those spare times of your day.
Survey Junkie boasts over three million active users, and a 8.9/10 rating on TrustPilot. Each survey opportunity pays between $1 and $3.
And, with Survey Junkie, you can redeem your money as soon as your account reaches $10. You can cash out via PayPal, direct deposit, or electronic gift card.
Check out our guide on how to make money with Survey Junkie to learn how to increase your earnings.
If you don’t want people in your car, or if you aren’t the biggest fan of customer service, you can deliver food with Postmates. Postmates works just like any other delivery service — you get someone’s order, pick up their food, and deliver it.
You can also deliver alcohol and groceries with the service. Once you deliver the items, you get paid.
Postmates also allows you to receive tips. So customers can tip you if they want, and that money is yours to keep. All of the money you earn can be withdrawn at any time, which means you get to decide your pay schedule.
You must meet the following qualifications to drive for Postmates:
- Pass a background check
- Be 18 years or older
- Have a valid license
Once you’re approved you’ll be able to accept new assignments right away. All of your assignments come directly to your phone and you can accept or decline them based on your schedule.
Postmates is just one of the ways to make money driving your car. If you like the idea of delivering meals for cash, DoorDash is one of the best money making apps to consider and works similar to Postmates.
3. Pinecone Research
Pinecone Research is another survey app to use to make money on your phone. The company has been around since 1998, and you need to be at least 18 to join. Pinecone Research offers surveys and product testing for money making opportunities.
There is no minimum threshold to cash out with Pinecone Research. You can withdraw your funds at any time, and each survey you take enters you into weekly and quarterly prize drawings.
Their first payment to you must be via check, but after that, you can choose via PayPal, gift cards, or checks.
A cool perk that Pinecone Research offers is that all surveys pay $3. So no more surveys only worth pennies that take at least 30 minutes to complete. For product testing, you may have multiple surveys, but each survey is still worth $3 once completed.
You can read our Pinecone Research review to learn how the platform works.
If you’re responsible for the grocery shopping, you need Ibotta. But what is Ibotta exactly? Ibotta is an app that gives you cash back on your grocery shopping.
Another great thing about Ibotta is that you don’t have to buy all name-brand food or shop at a specific grocery store. There are options for generic or store-specific products as well. Most major retailers work with Ibotta, including big box stores, making it one of the best get paid to shop apps you can use.
Here’s how to make money with Ibotta:
- Browse for your favorite offers: This could be new items you want to try or favorites that you and your family love
- Unlock the offer: Once you find the offers you like, click on them to unlock and use
- Go Shopping: Go shopping for the items you selected and anything else you need
- Get cash back: Take a picture of your receipt right in the app and redeem your cash back
It’s as simple as that.
Ibotta will deposit your cash back in your account in 48 hours or less. Once you reach the $20 threshold, you can cash out and get your money via PayPal, Venmo, or by choosing one of Ibotta’s gift card options. Ibotta gives you $10 when you claim your first offer, so it doesn’t take long to redeem earnings.
Read out Ibotta review to learn more about how to make money with the app.
A lot of people are familiar with Rakuten. The Rakuten platform (formerly known as Ebates) lets you buy items online and earn cash back on all of your shopping. However, you may not realize that Rakuten also has an app that lets you make money on your phone.
The Rakuten app works similar to Ibotta. You download and login to the app when you’re out shopping. Once in the app, you find the retailer you’re at and look for available offers. Unlike Ibotta, you don’t need to scan your receipt to get money back – it just goes into your account after you make the purchase.
Like most of the other top money making apps, you can redeem earnings via cash or gift card, and Rakuten pays you $10 when you open an account. The downside to Rakuten is you can only receive earnings once per quarter.
Swagbucks a well-known app that pays cash. The service has been in business since 2008 and paid out over $300 million, according to their website. You can make money in a variety of ways on Swagbucks, including:
- Answering surveys
- Using their online shopping portal
- Watching sponsored videos
- Using their search engine
- Testing new products
- Playing online games
- Completing various online tasks
- Referring friends
For each task you perform, you earn ‘SB points’ you can then redeem for cash (via PayPal) or gift cards. Not every way to make money on Swagbucks is worth your time, so you want to determine which works best for you.
Each 100 SB points equals to $1, and you can cash out as soon as you reach $3 for gift cards or $5 if you want cash. You also earn $10 when you download the app and open an account. The app is free to use, but you must be at least 13 years old to make money with Swagbucks.
Read our Swagbucks review to learn how to maximize your earnings.
Most of our list of best money making apps pay cash for doing small tasks, but Airbnb is different. Hosting an Airbnb property is among the best passive income ideas as it often requires little effort on your part. If you travel regularly, you likely know about Airbnb.
With Airbnb you list a spare room or second property for visitors to stay in when traveling to your city or town. Before you list your property on Airbnb, make sure it does not violate your city’s laws, and is OK with your homeowner’s association.
Once you confirm those, it’s simple to list your home on the Airbnb app.
Listing your property is free on Airbnb app, but they do take three percent of each visit so you want to include that in pricing. You can even use the app’s calculator to see how much you might earn listing your property.
Read our Airbnb host checklist to learn how to prepare your property to earn as much as possible.
Do you have textbooks or other books laying around collecting dust? If so, you can sell them and make extra money through BookScouter.
With BookScouter, all you have to do is download the app, sign up, and scan the ISBN codes of any books you want to sell. The app will tell you what the books are worth and which vendors are accepting them. You can then choose which vendor you want to use.
BookScouter works with many vendors including Amazon, Chegg, and Cash4Books. This means you get to see which vendors offer the most money for your books before you sell them without having to look them up yourself.
Not all of the apps to make money on your phone fast are concerned with immediately earning money. Some, like Stash Invest, help improve your future through investing in the stock market.
It’s easy to think you need a lot of money to invest in stocks. Thankfully, that’s not the case. Many services and apps let you start investing with little money, allowing you to have more time to let you money grow.
With Stash, you can invest in stocks or ETFs, and they give you $5 when you open an account.
*Related: Love to shop at Target? Check out our guide the best apps to get free Target gift cards and save money at the store.*
Coincidentally, you need a minimum $5 balance to start investing through the app so it requires nothing to start. Stash charges $1 a month for a standard account and $2 a month for retirement accounts.
They also offer free tools and training to help you learn more about investing. Read our Stash Invest app review to learn more about the platform.
Trim is an app that puts more money back into your budget. The app offers you the opportunity to save more money by:
- Negotiating prices on all utilities on your behalf so you can pay less each month
- Analyzing spending patterns to track your money habits
- Canceling your unused subscriptions
Here’s how it works. When you sign up for Trim, you link your bank account. Trim then analyzes it to see where you can save, what subscriptions you can cancel, and then they provide you with that list.
To cancel subscriptions, all you have to do is respond to their email to cancel whatever you want. If you want them to negotiate your bills for you, they can do that as well.
While the negotiation service is free, if they can successfully negotiate a lower cost, they take 33 percent of the savings as their fee. That’s a small price to pay for money saved in the long run.
Check out our Trim review to see how you can save more money with the app.
If you have a great driving record, a valid driver’s license, proof of insurance, and a decent car, you can use the Lyft app to earn money in your spare time. You will also need to pass a background check if you want to drive for Lyft.
After that, and as long as you meet the requirements, you can start earning money right away.
With Lyft, you can set your own schedule. However, if you live in a densely populated area (or can drive to one), you’re likely to have higher earnings due to your proximity to more people.
You can also earn tips and save money with Lyft’s rewards program, which gives you perks like fuel and maintenance savings. Lyft is currently offering a promotion that guarantees earnings of $1,000 in your first 30 days, after you complete 125 drives.
Don’t want to drive? No worries. You can still earn money through the Lyft app. Just sign up and start using their referral program. In participating cities, you can earn up to $10 for each new rider you refer.
Learn more about car and driver requirements in our guide on how to make money driving for Lyft.
Make Money with Your Phone: Bottom Line
There are countless ways to earn extra cash or save money. These best money making apps are just a few that can help you do it. But don’t be afraid to search on your phone’s app store and see what it has to offer.
You never know. You may find an app that’s legit, pays well, and doesn’t take up a lot of your time. Just make sure to do your due diligence so it doesn’t end up costing you money instead.
What are some other apps you use to make money with your phone? How much spare time do you have per week you could use to make money? What’s your favorite way to make money on the side?
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