Having multiple income streams is an essential part of becoming financially stable. Earning an income from your full-time job is necessary, but you often must go beyond that to reach your long-term goals.
Passive income apps are a terrific way to supplement your earnings and create additional sources of revenue. Most platforms let you invest small amounts of money to get started.
Our guide shares a few of the best passive income apps to grow your wealth.
Top Passive Income Apps
Growing residual income is not as difficult as you might think. Whether you can invest $100 or $1,000, you just need to choose the best platform for your situation.
In reviewing potential choices, we considered these factors:
- Ability to generate passive income
- Fee structure
As a preview, here are our top choices to start growing passive income.
|Fundrise||Investing in real estate|
|Acorns||Fractional share investing|
|Turo||Renting out your car|
The passive income websites we list first typically require the least effort on your part and have low investment minimums.
Fundrise is a fantastic, low-cost option if you want to invest in real estate.
Real estate traditionally requires a significant investment. It can also be time-consuming if you’re responsible for managing properties.
Thanks to crowdfunded real estate platforms like Fundrise, you can invest as little as $10 and receive quarterly dividends.
You invest in private real estate funds (eREITs) consisting of multi-family and commercial properties across the country. Users can invest in active projects or projects that have already been completed.
To get started, you must live in the United States and be at least 18 years old.
*Related: Looking for other real estate investments? Read our guide on the best ways to start investing in real estate with $1,000 or less.*
A portfolio manager determines which properties to invest in. If you’re an accredited investor with at least $100,000 to invest, you might be able to invest in individual projects.
Depending on how much you invest, you may be able to focus on an investment strategy to earn a specific type of passive income, including:
- Debt: Emphasizes dividend income and can be less risky
- Balanced: Earn both short-term dividends and potential proceeds (equity income) when properties sell for a profit in the future
- Equity: Defer near-term interest income for potential profits when the fund sells a property in the future.
The Core portfolio requires a minimum investment of $5,000 to unlock these advanced strategies.
Currently, five different portfolio tiers are available. While the investment amounts range from $10 to $1 million, your annual investment fees are approximately one percent of your portfolio value.
This platform is for long-term investors since you must hold your shares for at least five years to avoid early redemption penalties.
Read our Fundrise review to learn more.
|Fundrise - start investing in real estate|
$10 to start
This popular crowdfunding real estate platform makes it possible to invest in real estate with as little as $10!
Investing in stocks can be one of the best passive income ideas to pursue if you want to build long-term savings. This is because of the low investment minimums and how easy it is to sell your positions.
Acorns makes investing simple for beginner investors because you only need to invest as little as $5 at a time.
Passive investors will also enjoy this app as your portfolio holds stock and bond index funds with rock-bottom expense ratios and minimal volatility.
This platform is a robo-advisor, meaning the app decides which stocks and bond index ETFs to invest in to get instant diversification.
It will rebalance your portfolio to stay within your risk tolerance and investment strategy.
Unfortunately, you cannot hold individual stocks with this app.
In addition to transferring money from your bank account, you have two additional ways to automatically invest in stocks:
- Purchase round-ups: Round up your purchases to the next dollar and invest the difference. For example, if you buy a gallon of milk for $4.01, the app will invest the remaining $0.99 for you.
- Cash back on purchases: Invest your shopping rewards from over 350 online and local retailers.
Unlike other micro-investing apps that charge an annual advisory fee that’s a percentage of your portfolio value, you pay a flat monthly fee with Acorns.
There are currently two pricing plans with investing and banking features:
- Individual ($3/month): Taxable and retirement investment accounts, checking account, metal debit card, and educational tools.
- Family ($5/month): The individual plan features plus custodial investing accounts.
Additionally, it’s free to open an account. You can even earn a $5 signup bonus.
Read our Acorns review to learn more.
|Acorns - Invest Your Spare Change|
Get a $5 Bonus
Acorns rounds up your purchases and invests your spare change!
3. SoFi Invest
SoFi Invest lets you build a portfolio of stocks and ETFs without trading fees. You can also buy fractional shares with as little as $5 per trade.
If you don’t want to self-manage your portfolio, the app offers automated portfolios.
You can choose a financial goal to help pick an asset allocation of stock and bond index ETFs with no advisory fees. The minimum investment for this is $5.
In addition to buying and selling stocks, the investment app also lets you trade cryptocurrency futures. You can even receive access to other benefits, such as career coaching and financial planning.
If you’re new to investing, the platform offers a user-friendly design plus a full suite of educational resources to help you get started.
Furthermore, options trading as well as taxable and retirement accounts are available to all investors.
|Sofi Wealth - start investing today|
$5 minimum balance requirement
No management fees make it easy to transfer over old 401(k) and IRA plans.
Single-family rental homes are a long-time investment favorite for earning passive income. Roofstock can help you find rental properties in your local market and across the United States.
Each listing provides information about the property condition, neighborhood, and potential investment return.
If you buy a long-distance property, the platform can help you hire a property manager to screen tenants and collect rent so you can get mailbox money.
The investment minimums are higher for this platform because you must buy the house. Fortunately, you can earn residual income from the home equity.
Accredited investors with a high net worth can qualify for the Roofstock One program. This feature lets you invest as little as $5,000 into a portfolio of single-family homes and earn rental income.
Read our Roofstock review to learn more.
Startup investing through Mainvest can be one of the most unique ways to make passive income. The platform lets you invest in small businesses around the country.
Potential investment options include:
- Food trucks
- Specialty retail stores
The platform sells revenue-sharing notes with a $100 minimum investment. Similar to bonds, you can receive quarterly distributions until your note matures.
This usually occurs within five to ten years.
You can forecast how much you will earn before you invest. Unfortunately, you cannot sell your shares early if you need the cash for something else.
This income stream can be risky, so keep that in mind as you assess your tolerance for risk.
Read our Mainvest review to learn more.
Robinhood is another stock trading app that lets you build a portfolio with a small amount of money. The app allows you to buy and sell stocks, including fractional shares.
You only need $1 to start, and the app has no trading fees. Investment options include stocks and ETFs trading on the United States stock market.
This platform can be good for beginner investors as well as experienced investors who want to buy partial stock shares and access some advanced investment options.
It’s also a good option if you want easy access to dividend stocks but don’t have lots of money to invest.
However, other stock trading apps can be better if you want in-depth research and charting tools.
It’s free to join, and you can receive a free share of stock as a welcome bonus.
Read our Robinhood review to learn more.
Renting out extra space in your home is an excellent way to create passive income. You can rent extra storage areas around your home or garage through Neighbor.
This self-storage app lets you list your spare room, garage, or driveway for free, and a photographer can take photos.
Additionally, you can offer to store personal belongings, RVs, campers, boats, and business inventory on a month-to-month basis.
For example, you might be able to earn $100 per month by letting someone store their boat in your driveway. Or, you can make a similar amount by renting your basement.
This app is unique as you can start earning passive income without any upfront costs.
Do you want to build passive income through real estate but don’t want long-term tenants? Airbnb is one of the best passive income apps to use for that.
As an Airbnb host, you rent out your spare room or home for extra money.
You choose how much to charge per night, and you can allow guests to auto-book through your listing if you don’t want to have to approve them manually.
If you want to make this income stream even more passive, you can hire someone to clean the property or communicate with guests. Outside of those expenses, Airbnb can be a very profitable income stream.
If you live in a big city or heavy tourist area, you can earn a part or even full-time income by using this site. People travel often, and Airbnb has become one of the most popular sites for finding affordable lodging.
Read our Airbnb host checklist to learn how to get more bookings and increase earnings.
You may not realize this, but an unused car is an awesome way to earn passive income. With Turo, you can rent your personal car to make money.
Turo allows people to rent your car from you instead of using a large or national chain. If you have an extra car or don’t drive much, it is a legitimate passive income opportunity to pursue.
When you list your car, you’ll pick the amount per day that others can pay to rent the vehicle. It might be best to browse the website to see what prices other people have set for their vehicles.
After registering, make sure you upload high-quality photos of your car. These photos can provide a car owner a better chance of renting their car.
Turo actually offers a service for free photos. The photographer is typically someone from your area and will come out for a 45-minute shoot to photograph your car.
According to the Turo site, car owners can earn up to $6,500 per year, assuming the car is worth at least $20,000 and is available 15 days each month.
If you don’t mind renting your car, this is an excellent option to rent your stuff out for money and earn some spare cash.
If you have a lot of free time, earning semi-passive income is a good way to supplement other efforts. A get-paid-to (GPT) site is an excellent option to earn cash while watching TV or during other idle times.
Swagbucks is a top GPT site that lets you earn extra money effortlessly. You can make money doing everyday tasks like:
- Taking paid surveys
- Testing products
- Watching sponsored videos
- Shopping online
- Scanning receipts
- Playing games
You can start redeeming your points for $1 Amazon gift card codes. However, Paypal and other gift card rewards start at $5 for most brands.
While most activities require up to 20 minutes of effort at a time, you can earn bonus points by referring friends ($3 per referral) and entering contests.
You can save money on online purchases as well.
It’s also possible to earn a $5 bonus when you open an account and earn at least 2,500 points ($25) in the first 60 days.
Read our Swagbucks review to learn more.
Get $5 when you sign up now!
Earn free gift cards and cash rewards taking surveys, shopping and more.
Another way to bring in additional funds is to earn real money by doing something that you’re already doing. For example, you can make money while grocery shopping.
Ibotta is one of the best money making apps to do this and lets you earn cash when you buy groceries or shop online.
You get cash back on purchases at local stores by activating offers, buying participating products, and scanning your receipt.
This app also works at over 350 online retailers, allowing you to earn up to ten percent cash back.
You can redeem your rewards via Paypal or Venmo once you reach a $20 balance. Gift card rewards are also available with a similar balance.
The app gives you $5 when you upload your first receipt. Referrals and teammates are two fun options to earn more passive income with Ibotta.
These bonuses are credited when that new user redeems their first brand name offer.
Read our Ibotta review to learn how to maximize rewards with the app.
|Ibotta - get rebates on your shopping|
Get $5 when you upload your first receipt!
This popular shopping app works at the grocery store and online. Redeem earnings for cash or gift cards.
What to Know About Passive Income Apps
There is a lot to consider when choosing between the various apps that give you money. Here are some common things to keep in mind when looking for the best passive income investments.
Be Aware of Fees
Most apps that make you money are free to join, and you can earn passive income after investing. However, you may need to pay a small annual advisory fee that’s usually a tiny percent of your portfolio value.
Nevertheless, if a platform charges a membership fee, compare its fees to its competitors and look for user reviews to verify you’re avoiding a scam.
It’s also possible to pay too much, which means you have less money to invest and grow.
Know What You’re Doing
Risk is inherent when choosing any passive income app. Alternative investment ideas like rental property, small business notes, and cryptocurrency can be riskier than stock index funds.
They often offer less diversification, and it can be harder to sell your investment.
You should know how a passive income idea can make money, the potential risks, and the investment timeframe.
Look for a Clear Fee and Payout Structure
All passive income apps have overhead expenses to pay so they can help you make money. It’s important to understand how the service pays its bills and if its fees are competitive to similar apps.
Avoid a platform with high expenses as your earning potential is less. You must also decide if your potential income exceeds your fees.
Additionally, most apps withhold a portion of your earnings to cover their expenses. Rental apps like Airbnb and Turo withhold a fixed percent of your income.
On the other hand, micro-investing apps are more likely to charge an annual advisory fee based on your current portfolio value or a flat fee for premium services.
Passive income streams are one of the best ways to grow your wealth. Little effort is necessary once the money starts rolling in, although it might take time to get to that point.
Thankfully, passive income apps make it easier to start making money from a variety of investment ideas, even if you can only invest $100 or less.
What are some other free passive income apps you use? How many streams of income do you have?
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.