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12 Mobile Apps That Will Help You Earn Extra Money
Cell Phone Apps

by - June 11, 2014 - 68 Comments

It seems like everyday I see a larger charge from iTunes on my credit card. Between mobile apps and music purchases, my phone ends up costing me quite a bit more than my monthly plan.

So…I’ve found a way to balance it out by downloading mobile apps that actually PAY ME to use them. I’ve put together a list of some of my favorites. Enjoy.

1. Nielsen Homescan

This app will pay you to scan your groceries. Crazy, right? Once you sign up to become a Nielsen Homescan family (yep, the same company that tracks TV ratings), the company will send you a free scanner or you can use your smartphone. Every time you go shopping, you simply scan the barcodes on the back of each product and send your data off to Nielsen.

If you want to give it a try, you can fill out the application here: Nielsen Homescan Application (you can’t download this one from the app store).

As an active participant, you earn gift points which you can redeem for different types of merchandise. You can choose electronics, jewelry, household items, and even toys for the kids. The longer you stay on the panel, the more opportunity you have to earn points towards prizes. You also receive entries for the panel’s many sweepstakes. Prizes include money, vacations, and brand new vehicles.

Homescan

2. i-Say Mobile

This i-Say mobile app is one of the only legitimate paid survey apps out there. It’s actually a part of the Ipsos company, which might be a name you’re familiar with because they do a lot of the polling you see during presidential races.

I’ve heard some of the top-end surveys can pay up to $95, but those are rare and can take awhile to complete. Most surveys pay a buck or two and only take 10-15 minutes. Also, the i-Say app rewards you with points which can then be redeemed for Paypal or gift cards to Amazon, iTunes, etc. (example: 1000 points can be redeemed for $10 Paypal). Use the link above to fill out an application and then they’ll send you a link to download the app.

Ipsos

3. Ibotta

This is quickly becoming one of my favorite apps. The Ibotta app will pay you cash to take a picture of your receipts.

Here’s how it works:

1. Sign up for a free account with Ibotta (just need a name & email address).

2. Download the mobile app and then click on the “Rebates” section.

3. From here, you should see dozens of different rebates you can take advantage of. For example, right now the app is offering me 50 cents if I upload a picture of a receipt showing that I bought milk. And there’s another rebate for $10 if I upload a picture of a Best Buy receipt.

Now, you obviously don’t want to go out and buy a bunch of stuff you don’t need, but I think you’ll find tons of rebates for things you are already buying. Plus, you can stack regular coupons on top of the rebate, meaning some of you savvy shoppers will be able to get free stuff.

Ibotta

4. Media Research Panel

Media Research Panel is a smartphone app that helps media companies better understand how consumers use, view and share TV, social, digital and mobile media. Their app “measures activities conducted on a device, such as sharing, viewing, clicking, chatting, downloading and more. The app also listens for TV shows, and, using technology of Gracenote, Inc., identifies which TV shows was captured.”

If you install their app, they’ll pay you $5/month per device. And you can install the app on up to 3 devices. Plus they’ll send you a $5 bonus after the 12th week. (Totals $185/year)

Here’s how to do it:

1. Sign up for the Media Insiders Panel here. (you can’t download this one from the app store)

2. Install and activate the MI Mobile app onto your device(s).

3. Watch your e-mail for important information and instructions on next steps. Also, at no time is a member’s personally identifiable information ever shared or released publicly, nor will they ever interact with you via social media.

Here are the devices that they support: Android™ smartphones and tablets that run Android version 4.0 or greater, and are not rooted. They also accept the Kindle Fire HD, but not the first generation Kindle Fire. iPhone®5, iPad®, iPad mini®, and iPod touch® devices that run iOS version 5.0 or greater. ***You’ve got be a US resident, 13 years or older, and have a valid email address.

Media Insiders

5. Field Agent

The Field Agent app will pay you to complete small tasks around town for their clients. The tasks are pretty simple: scanning barcodes with your iPhone, checking prices at your local grocery store and conducting field surveys.

Payouts vary and depend on the job and area that you are in. For example, as I write, a job is posted in Mission Viejo, California is looking for an agent to take 4 separate photos of products in the toothbrush section of the local Target. This particular gig pays 9 dollars.

And in Brooklyn, New York, a field agent can jump in to a local Toys “R” Us store, snap a shot of the $19.99 & under video game display and zip out a healthy $5.50 richer.

Remember though: you’re in this to make money; don’t bust out the plastic when you see a new Xbox 360 game nearby that you’ve been itching to buy. Field Agent job payouts typically vary between 2-8 bucks (payable through PayPal). Most of the jobs only take 5 minutes, so the real time involved is with driving to each location. Still with travel time and gas, you could easily make $10-$20/hour completing mini-jobs.

FieldAgent

6. InboxDollars

InboxDollars has been around since practically the beginning of the internet, but they just came out with a pretty cool mobile app that will pay you to search the web, play games, and take surveys.

The app is totally free to download. Plus, they give you a free $5 just to signup.

Once you’ve accumulated $30 earnings (it’s possible to do this in only a couple of hours), you can request payment via check. It does take about 2 weeks to get the check, but I’ve successfully cashed out five different times now.

InboxDollars

7. Receipt Hog

RecieptHog is very similar to Ibotta. You take a picture of your receipts and the “hog” rewards you with points that you can redeem for Paypal or Amazon gift cards.

The difference with this app is that you don’t have to shop anywhere specific, or buy anythings specific. You can take a picture of any of your receipts and the app will reward you with points. I like the fact that I earn points for shopping anywhere, but I also find that it takes me a lot longer to cash out with this app in comparison to Ibotta.

ReceiptHog

8. Bookscouter

The Bookscouter app is really useful when you want to sell your old books that are just collecting dust on the shelf. You scan your book’s barcode with a smartphone and Bookscouter will let you compare the payout of 20+ different buyback companies.

Once you’ve found the buyback company offering the most cash, you just fill out a little information about where you want your payment sent and prepare the books to be shipped. Most of the buyback companies offer prepaid shipping labels too, so there aren’t any costs associated with this.

Bookscouter

9. ESPN Streak for the Cash

Think you know sports? The ESPN Streak for the Cash app will let you make predictions for upcoming games and then reward you with cash if you have the longest streak of correct predictions. To make it tougher, you have to make call for 10 different sports.

The person with the longest winning streak earns $50,000 every month. Pretty sweet!

Streak for the Cash

10. Mobee

Have you ever tried mystery shopping? The Mobee app will pay you to go undercover in your local stores and rate the level of customer service and cleanliness, among other things.

Most of you know that I’ve done quite a bit of mystery shopping, so I was pretty excited to find this app. I found it really easy to use and the shops went pretty quickly, but I wasn’t too impressed with the payment amounts. For example, there was a Subway mystery shop in my area that was paying $8. That’s not a huge amount for a mystery shop, plus I had to buy a sandwich during the shop that wasn’t reimbursed. Regardless, it was like getting a free lunch, so I’ll take it!

Mobee

11. SlideJoy – 12. ScreenPay

Both SlideJoy and ScreenPay operate on the same principal – download their app and they will serve ads on your smartphone’s lock screen. For this, you get paid a monthly stipend.

The SlideJoy app doesn’t specify how much you earn (it’s based off how often you look at your phone), but the ScreenPay app will pay you a flat fee of $3 a month, plus they’ll give you $1 just for signup up. These are both Android apps, so they won’t work on your iPhone or Blackberry.

Slidejoy

ScreenPay

Your Turn: Are you currently using any of these apps? What’s your experience been?

 


 

  • http://budgetbreakaway.co.uk/ Joe @ Budget Breakaway

    Wow, these are some new ones, I wish there was a UK based receipt scanning app. Fingers crossed for the future!

    • Christine Catlover

      Joe, there is a nielsen app just for mobile and it says nielsen uk somewhere. It’s NOT for receipts but you get paid up to $50 a year just for having the app on your phone or tablet. I just got it a few days ago and received 330 points as a welcome bonus. This might work for you even if it not UK based because you can exchange your points for e giftcards like amazon. 630 points will give you a $5 card, but I did notice they charge a ‘fee’. Not sure what that is just yet as I have not reached the points. I am hoping its a point fee, not monetary.

    • Christine Catlover

      Might help if I give you the link lol! http://www.nielsenmobilerewards.com

  • Becky Riggs

    I just signed up for the slide joy app, never heard of it before, thanks. I use the inboxdollars app, reciepthog, cash crate app, swagbucks ap, media insiders, ibotta, checkout 51, shoparoo,shop kicks, checkpoints, and Panel App.

    • Stephanie Rodriguez

      Out of curiosity, which one of those apps would you say is worth it? I’m a college student always looking for some extra cash to pay for textbooks and gas, so anything helps.

      • Christine Catlover

        I keep forgetting about Ibotta and checkout, I do like media insiders, inboxdollars can take a LONG time to collect, I will try receipthog, just joined with cash crate and used swagbucks in the past but found it took too long

        • http://www.thepennyhoarder.com Kyle Taylor

          Yep! Inboxdollars used to always take forever (I think I waited 12 weeks to get my check once), however they just instituted a new payment system that is much much faster.

          Kyle

          • Christine Catlover

            Hey there Kyle, I did not mean the check (I got it on the visa card) I meant ‘earning’ money but that is my fault because I am hesitant to try out some of the offers so I mainly use the emails. However i just signed up with their consumer panel survey and now I get paid $1 per survey and so far they are super super short so I am inching my way to the $30 pay out. This is the first time you have responded to me, thank you

          • http://www.thepennyhoarder.com Kyle Taylor

            Oh, I see! Yes, it can take a little time to accumulate $30 without doing the “offers.” I think I’ve done all of the free ones and I’ve even tried a few of the trial offers and had good success. I really like the ones that pay you to check your credit score. There’s not hit to your score since it’s a personal inquiry and they usually pay you $5+.

            So sorry we haven’t chatted sooner! I’m up to 250+ emails/comments a day, so it’s tough to respond to all of them.

            Have a great afternoon!

            Kyle

          • Christine Catlover

            I know that you are busy. I had emailed you personally a while back. I need to look into the credit score ones. I tried the myscore (trial) on a different site and never got paid the $10 so that was a big bummer. If you need anybody else to work with you :) I need a job desperately!

          • http://www.thepennyhoarder.com Kyle Taylor

            Oh, we always need new contributors! Here’s the guideline page:

            http://www.thepennyhoarder.com/have-weird-money-advice-to-share-we-want-you-to-write-for-the-penny-hoarder/

            Our editor, Heather, can fill you in on more details, but I believe our current rate is $75/post.

          • Christine Catlover

            Thank you I just sent her an email with a post. Hope she approves!

          • Guest

            I’m confused? I thought you were allowed to check your credit score once per company per year for free? Suzy Orman says so use one credit chk company- spread out- not all at once. Have things changed?

      • Becky Riggs

        Stephanie, a lot of these apps take time to build up before you can collect. Bookscouter may be a great bet if you are a student and can sell some of your textbooks.

        • Stephanie Rodriguez

          Thank you for replying, Becky. I usually trade books within my school or sell them back to amazon if I can. I’ve mostly been taking surveys online and participating in giveaways and freebies, so I know all about the patience required. I was just hoping to expand my options. I’ve made about $100 with surveys and giveaways over the span of two years. It’s not much, but that’s a textbook or two.

      • http://www.thepennyhoarder.com Kyle Taylor

        Hey Stephanie -

        I use all of them and have been paid by all of them, but I definitely have my favorites. I’ve been using Ibotta a ton lately and I also really love the FieldAgent app. I find that some of the apps have different opportunities depending on where you live, so you might have to just play around with them a little bit and find out which ones have the most opportunities in your area.

        Hope that helps!

        Kyle

        • HowPurdy

          How do you receive your rebate $$ and how often?

        • trex

          KYLE this seems like a lot ta bull but out of curiosity is it worth it? I am retired and always can use a few extra bucks but often am too damn busy and as a senior I take a nap every day….yeah its happens to all of us.
          Exactly how time consuming is this or can you incorporate it into your daily schedule

          • http://www.realitytvscandals.com/ RealityTVScandals.com

            Your comment is so cute, just wanted to say .

          • trexler

            Swell but what about my question?

          • trex

            Hahaha..great!

        • Stephanie Rodriguez

          Thanks for your input, Kyle :)

    • Pocketglobe

      Also check out this app http://bit.ly/1qG7jwF. Its a free business
      locator/promoter… you might be able to find some promotions going on.

  • David Hall

    This seems so simple, I might actually try it out.

    • Pocketglobe

      Try out Pocketglobe also.. its growing.

  • cindy

    Im suprised swagbucks.com wasnt mentioned here. I’ve been a member for like 5 years and have redeemed about $700 dollars worth of gift cards over the years.

    • http://www.thepennyhoarder.com Kyle Taylor

      Yep! I love swagbucks too! I’ve written about it several times…

      Kyle

      • Pocketglobe

        Also check out this app http://bit.ly/1qG7jwF. Its a free business
        locator/promoter… you might be able to find some promotions going on
        in your area.

    • saudah

      I wish we could have such a system here in South Africa

  • cJoey08

    (SORRY this is SO long-but-I think it’s a TRULY IMPORTANT comment.) Back in 1999, when I got my 1st PC, I WAS able to make A LOT of money doing surveys. AND, I got so many free samples-TRULY FREE~~NOT the: Complete this short survey, (then the fun begins!)-Complete-2-Silver-offers-1-Platinum-offer-open-a-Credit-Card-yada-yada, etc.~~BEFORE you receive the VERY small sample bottles of WHATEVER…I know everyone knows what I’m talking about. I was newly unemployed,& that money helped pay for my meds. (I SHOULD have gone out on disability-but I was only 41! What was I gonna do with myself? -when I had “good days”??) Had breast cancer, (Christmas present for 1999.) & when I was able to afford internet again-the secret was OUT! I do surveys on EVERY site there is (Thanks for a couple I DIDN’T know about!) & belong to nearly every “Rewards Program” out there. EXCEPT, NOW-to earn points, rewards, EARN THE OPPORTUNITY~~ TO GET THE CHANCE~~TO TAKE A SURVEY; You pretty much HAVE to make PURCHASES! And, NOT just for the absolute NECESSITIES {the ONLY THINGS I can afford now-I’ve been on disability since 2001}. It took me a YEAR to get paid for Inbox Dollars! So, all of these programs are great-but IF you are DESPERATE for extra money so that your gas isn’t shut-off: DON’T think you CAN MAKE ENOUGH to ACTUALLY help you out. Because, it’s just NOT there anymore. Not even enough to cover a co-pay for ONE med.-let alone a dozen or more…

    • http://www.thepennyhoarder.com Kyle Taylor

      Yep! Totally agree. It’s not like it used to be where you could earn a nice side living doing surveys, etc. However, I’m still able to earn a couple of hundred dollars each month with these types of sites. Every little bit helps!

      Kyle

  • Viljar Kuusk

    Another unlock app is Fronto, I just started using in and cashed in $10 via Paypal in about a week. You can also cash in for amazon or google play gift cards http://i.fronto.co/i/2ae1

    • Christine Catlover

      Thanks I’ll give it a try. Unfortunately my Samsung tablet is not one of the allowed devices

      • Viljar Kuusk

        Neither was my nexus 7, but I’m a bit of a nerd, so I downloaded it from the Blackmart Alpha app (Get paid apps for free) and it worked from there. If you are interested in the Blackmart alpha app, just ask me. I can e-mail you the .APK :) I have Fronto on 3 devices and I’m racking up the points. I put it also on my daughters nexus 7, and shes earning her own points. Shes 7 years old, lol! :)

        • Christine Catlover

          sure, i’d like to give it a try. it takes quite a few points to be able to get a gift card but it does add up super fast. As long as it won’t fill me up with viruses etc. thanks

          • Viljar Kuusk

            I have used Blackmart for a long time now and havent had a problem, and thats what I like about android devices is that its not that easy to get compromised compared to windows PC’s. The more devices you have Fronto on, the faster you will accumulate points. My e-mail address is VK91506@gmail.com. E-mail me and I will reply back with the app.

  • Christine Catlover

    Ibotta was not available on my Samsung tablet or LG Vortex smartphone (it’s a shitty phone). Hoping when I will get my new phone it will work. Field Agent is only for IPhones, Nielsen Homescan is not as easy as it sounds and if you do not scan every week they will send you a postcard or call you to tell you you need to scan. The points are hard to accumulate, meaning you do not get much, right now they have sweepstakes going on and I am hoping I will stay in second place or even first with my team and then we will divide millions of points, hopefully we are not too many on our team. I also use screenwise trends that you had blogged about before and I like them and media insider best so far

    • Viljar Kuusk

      Click my referral link for fronto, I used it on like 3 of my android devices. I just started using in and cashed in $10 via Paypal in about a week. You can also cash in for amazon or google play gift cards http://i.fronto.co/i/2ae1

    • Viljar Kuusk

      How many points have you accumulated already with fronto Christine Catlover? :)

      • Christine Catlover

        525

  • Oscar Dutch

    I have used ScreenPay and I think the quality of the ads are the best of the lock screen apps. Also I like that it is so easy to go the other parts of my phone like the camera or texts right from the lock screen.

    • Viljar Kuusk

      I’m trying screenpay also, but havent had it long enough to tell if its worth it. But I’m also using FRONTO, and I love it, I already cashed in $10 via paypal in about a week. Although I Cheat a little since I have it on 3 devices. I’m suprised that its not mentioned in this article. I strongly recommend it. Here is my referral link to it http://i.fronto.co/i/2ae1 Thanks! :)

  • LDuffn

    I’ve been on Nielsen for a while, also i-say and Inbox dollars, and Media Insiders. Want to try Field Agent.

  • Lisa

    Swagbucks is a great one. I collect points all year with search’s and the daily poll. Then I cash out in December for a gift card/Christmas present. Been doing it the last few years. Last year was a $100 bed bath and beyond. Swagbuck.com/refer/lizard48frog That is my link if you wanted to try it.

  • SicaBixby

    I use Ibotta, it’s great but can be annoying. Not all the stores I go to are on there but you can always send Ibotta feed back and ask them to add it. Another app I use that is similar is called Checkout 51 it is not store specific.

    I also like & use Receipt Hog. While using that app make sure you check in once a week even if you don’t buy every week. Checking in gains you free spins to earn coins towards the cash payout.

    I’d a few months back written a Savings App blog for my shop. It actually lists a few that are not on here.
    http://affordablecoinshop.wordpress.com/2014/03/11/savings-apps/

    • Pocketglobe

      Check out this app http://bit.ly/1qG7jwF. Its a free business
      locator/promoter… you might be able to find some promotions going on
      in your area.

  • Viljar Kuusk

    Y’all need to check out Fronto. Points accumulate fast and especially if you have it installed on multiple devices. Cash in with PayPal, Amazon, or Google play. http://i.fronto.co/i/2ae1 Thank you!

  • Brandon Miles

    Mobile performance meter is a great one too, you get 20 points a day and 150 points per survey you get about 1 time a month. If you save us 500 points in most cases you can redeem for a 5 dollar gift card to multiple different places including Amazon.com

    • Pocketglobe

      Checkout Pocketglobe.. its free on the app store

  • alwinaugustin

    Checkout PerkTV and other Perk apps. You will fall in love with the rewards program. Checkout perk.com and find al the apps from there.

    • Pocketglobe

      Also check out this app http://bit.ly/1qG7jwF

    • Viljar Kuusk

      Perk seems OK, as for me… Jury is still out, but its growing on me ☺

  • etr

    Hi Kyle, thanks for the info. I just joined inbox dollars last week. The first one you listed isn’t taking new recruits in my area, but i’m going to check out a ibotta, slide joy and a couple others. Thanks again.

  • StrangeObjective

    Is anyone else worried about possible security concerns? I don’t know if making an extra $100 a year is worth voluntarily giving up my privacy on my mobile phone anymore than I already have to.

    • Viljar Kuusk

      I personally am not too worried, but then again I don’t have anything to loose, since I’m always broke, and my credit sucks, lol. But that’s a good question.

      • Angelo

        Yep, lol

  • http://www.the-collaboratory.com/invite/summer Summer Petersen

    I’ve done a few studies with this boutique market research company over the years. They pay in the hundreds for blog-type responses! http://www.the-collaboratory.com/invite/summer

    • Viljar Kuusk

      I signed up and used your name as referral, we’ll see what happens

  • Vickie

    I have a lot of trouble getting paid by Ibotta. They often do not honor their rebates.

    • MamaforMany

      I have had a good experience with Ibotta. They have “honored” all my rebates & usually credit my account within minutes. They have made many improvements over last year-maybe your experience was in the beginning? Worth trying again. Super easy, fast, $ back for stuff i am buying anyway.

    • Lisa Yoder McManess

      I have never had a problem with them. Make sure and read what exactly you are suppose to buy. Like the size and the the variety of the item if it is specified. Sometimes you don’t realize that until you click on it to redeem it.

  • Rachel Elizabeth Frank

    I’ve had good luck with mPoints, you play their mPoints games or use the apps and get points that are good towards gift cards. The games are usually a lot of fun, and I can earn $10 amazon gift card every 2-3 weeks just wasting time. Another good android app is AppTrailers. You watch a 30 second video of a new app for points. It ends up being 1 cent per video, but it adds up quick. You also get points for downloading and trying apps and writing a comment. The apps are all free, so you can earn a few bucks pretty quick. Plus sometimes you find a great app! They pay out through PayPal or gift card, and you can payout at 50 cents.

  • Viljar Kuusk

    Just an update on my Fronto app. I’m getting close to cashing in another $10. Defenetly my favorite of all the money making apps/sites! http://i.fronto.co/i/2ae1

  • Dave Wolf

    I have been using Media Insiders for a while, and it’s nice to see a free movie every now and again. Every little bit helps

  • http://www.dalydose.com/ Jeff Daly

    I wish some of these would go ahead an throw us Windows Phone users a bone.

  • FlyAzzGeek

    inbox dollars takes about a month to make $30 not a few hours alot of surveys will say you don’t qualify and if you pick a answer they don’t like the survey ends

  • Zaonna Mackey

    Another way to make money is by selling makeup at home!! Earn commission just in hours. Email me at onnalaree@gmail.com and ask me how? I love my job!

  • Guest

    Wow does “it sound to good to be true?” hello wake up people they want your information that they put together and then sell to marketing companies. Who’s making the money? I think your forgetting once you put it out in internet land it’s there forever for anyone to grab. Think about it.

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