How to Make Money

Our 12 Favorite Mobile Apps For Earning Extra Money (+ How I Earned $75 from #4)

Updated October 16, 2016
by Kyle Taylor

You’re not going to get rich by downloading mobile apps, but I have used these 12 apps successfully to earn a little extra money every month.

In fact, I made $75 from downloading #4 and I’ve had good success with all twelve…

1. Swagbucks

Swagbucks Shot
The Swagbucks mobile app is one of the only legitimate paid survey apps out there. They’re currently rated an A+ with the Better Business Bureau.

The questions are pretty simple. What do you like more — Coke or Cherry Coke? How many times have you been to the movies in the past 12 months? And so on.

The average payout for answering a series of questions is 75 SBs, which is equivalent to $0.75. You won’t qualify for every panel, but I usually find that I can earn about $5 for 30 minutes of work.

2. Get $5 From Stash to Start an Investment Account

Macro of Five American Dollar Bill.
Macro of Five American Dollar Bill

I’m kind of obsessed with Stash (and not just because it gives you $5).

What I like about Stash is it’s an uncomplicated way to start investing. You just choose from a set of simple portfolios reflecting your beliefs, interests and goals and it’ll do the rest.

To get the $5 bonus, just enter your email here, download the Stash smartphone app and set up your account with the same email address. Within two business days, you’ll see the bonus added to your account. 

I already got my bonus and now I’m investing $5/week. I’m already up to $40! That might sound small, but for someone who resists saving money like the plague, it’s a pretty remarkable start.

3. Nielsen Homescan

This app will pay you to scan your groceries. Crazy, right? Once you sign up to become a Nielsen Consumer Panel 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 an application here.

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.

4. Sell All Your Stuff With These Apps

Spring Cleaning

For some reason, my closet is still holding on to my prom outfit I wore nearly 10 years ago. It’s never going to fit again, but some combination of laziness and sentiment has kept it from landing on a Goodwill rack.

If you’re like me and have a closet full of stuff you don’t wear, what about selling your clothes to strangers? My favorite platform is Poshmark — the app is super easy to use!

And it’s not just clothes; you can clear all the clutter from your life by selling stuff online.

For my old books from college, I use Bookscouter. Just type your book’s ISBN (International Standard Book Number — it’s near the book’s barcode and copyright info) into the search bar and the site will connect you with more than 25 of the best-paying and most reputable buyback companies online.

And for virtually everything else, I use letgo. This intuitive app lets you snap a photo and upload your item in less than 30 seconds. Not only does it remove a lot of the hassle of selling things online, it’s 100% free to use.

So, what are you waiting for? Isn’t it time to let go of all that superfluous stuff?

5. Earn Money for Healthy Activities

Michele Westmorland / Getty Images
Michele Westmorland / Getty Images

Need extra motivation for your daily workout? The health app Achievemint lets you earn money for completing healthy activities.

Connect Achievemint to workout apps like Apple’s Healthkit, Fitbit, MyFitnessPal, RunKeeper, Rundouble C25K, Twitter or any other app you already use to track your health and fitness goals. You’ll choose which data to securely share with Achievemint to earn cash for your activities.

For example, you can earn points for logging your weight with MyFitnessPal or hitting step goals with Fitbit.

You can earn cash in $10 increments in cash or an Amazon Gift Card when you reach 10,000 points and there’s no limit on how much you can earn.

Plus, you’ll earn 10 points just for signing up with Achievemint and connecting an app today!

6. Surf the Internet

working remote on beach with computer
I love this one, because you just set it and forget it.

Did you know that InboxDollars will pay you for making searches on your computer or phone? InboxDollars is powered by Yahoo search so it’s the same results you normally see, plus they give you a free $5 just to sign up! 

It’s not a lot of money, but I usually earn about $100-$200/ year in passive income doing this. Easy work, though — can’t complain.

7. Help This Research Company Study Internet Trends

compare cell phone plans
is a research company that studies internet trends and reports to their clients about the popularity of different mobile phone websites. They are currently looking for a few thousand of us smartphone users to share some of the websites we are browsing on our mobile devices.

All of the sharing is done with special software that is installed on your phone and it doesn’t require any real work from you. You can also uninstall the software at any time if you decide you no longer want to participate.

This one can be downloaded on Androids only. After you’ve installed it for one week, you get to play an instant rewards game for a prize (everyone wins something). I won a $25 gift card to Amazon, but some of the other prizes include iPads and Samsung TVs.

How it works…
1. Sign up at MobileXpressions with your Android here – You’ll need to share a little bit of information about your demographic which is similar to signing up as a Nielsen household.

2. Download their software – It seems to be pretty easy and it runs in the background of your phone just like any other cell phone app. The site says it will have no affect on your mobile phone performance.

3. Send your data – This step doesn’t really require any work from you as the software automatically send the relevant data to MobileXpression. They don’t monitor your phone calls or personal information but they do check out the web pages you view, the links you access, and the usage times for certain device activities (e.g., text messaging, call lengths and web browsing).

4. Collect your rewards – After it’s been installed for seven days, you can play their instant rewards game where you are guaranteed to win something.

8. 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.

And right now, Ibotta is giving new users a $10 sign-up bonus, just for redeeming their first receipt.

9. 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.

10. 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.

11. Earn $3/Month Sharing Your Amazon Purchases With This App Images Images

If you’re a regular Amazon shopper, you can earn money each month contributing to research to help companies understand what people are buying online. Companies use this information to improve the online shopping experience.

To earn your first gift card today:

  1. Sign up and download the ShopTracker app on your Windows computer and Apple or Android phone. It takes about two minutes. You’ll need to answer a few questions about your Amazon use to qualify.
  1. Open the app and log in to your Amazon account to automatically share your purchase history.
  1. You’ll receive your Visa e-gift card code for $3 via email within 48 hours.
  1. Take a couple of minutes to share your purchase history to earn another $3 each month.

Your information is collected securely by The Harris Poll, a trusted market research company for more than 20 years. ShopTracker removes your name, shipping address and any personal payment information before reporting your purchase history.

12. Get a Free $5 From Clink to Start Saving

If you’re anything like me, you might make excuses like “I don’t have enough money” or “The stock market isn’t safe” — and not do anything. So your money sits in a savings account — and rots. Not even earning enough interest to keep up with inflation.

Sound familiar?

That’s how I dealt with my money, just hoping some investment fairy would come and show me the magical ways of stocks and index funds and compound interest.

But only until recently. I just started using an app called Clink that lets me invest in the stock market with just $1 a day. Plus, it’ll give you a free $5 just for downloading the app! 

Even better, it didn’t require me to get my master’s in finance to understand the terms, or give up my firstborn to pay the fees.

To get the $5 bonus, download the Clink smartphone app and setup your account with the same email address. Be sure to use the promo code: PH2016

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

by Kyle Taylor
Kyle is the founder of

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