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. Earn $3/Month Sharing Your Amazon Purchases With This App
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.
Before you start the simple download process, let me give you the basic requirements:
- This will be a waste of time if you don’t shop on Amazon.
- You must be 18 and live in the U.S.
- You’ll need at least a Windows 7-compatible PC. If you have Windows XP or a Mac, it won’t work.
All good? Time to download.
To earn your first gift card today:
- 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.
- Open the app and log in to your Amazon account to automatically share your purchase history.
- You’ll receive your Visa e-gift card code for $3 via email within 48 hours.
- 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.
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.
3. Get $5 From Stash to Start an Investment Account
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.
4. 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.
5. Sell All Your Stuff With These Apps
Are your closets and shelves packed to the brim with stuff you never use — or even look at?
You can sell virtually anything on 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.
But there are also apps for selling more specific stuff to people who might actually be looking for it.
Do you still have a prom outfit from, like, 10 years ago?
It’s never going to fit — or come into style — again, but something just keeps holding you back from sending it to Goodwill.
Have a bunch of movies or CDs collecting dust on a shelf? Decluttr will pay you for them!
Decluttr buys your old CDs, DVDs, Blu-rays and video games, plus hardware like cell phones, tablets, game consoles and iPods. Plus, enter PENNY10 at checkout to get an extra 10% for your trade-ins!
For old books from college, you can use Bookscouter. Just type your book’s ISBN into the search bar and the site will connect you with more than 25 of the best-paying and most reputable buyback companies online.
There’s even a site for old purses and designer accessories! Sell them on CashInMyBag.
Traveling with kids can be rewarding, but also very challenging. The goBaby app aims to make it a little easier on parents — while giving other parents the chance to make some extra cash.
Packing and hauling baby stuff across airports, planes, trains and automobiles sucks, and it might even cost extra money.
Through the goBaby app, New York City-based mother of two Natalie Kaminski created a parent-to-parent marketplace where traveling parents could rent baby gear like strollers, car seats and other items from local parents with the same to spare.
This Airbnb-style exchange for baby supplies is available in New York City and will be launching soon in Boston, Miami, San Francisco and Chicago.
If you live in one of these cities, use the app to monetize your extra baby gear!
Here’s how it works:
- Take a photo of the item you want to rent out. Add a brief description, and set your price.
- Choose whether you’ll deliver the item or have the renter pick it up.
- Give the item to the renter, and get it back within the scheduled dates.
- Get paid. Repeat!
7. Surf the Internet
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.
8. Help This Research Company Study Internet Trends
MobileXpression 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 only be downloaded on Android 5.0 or below. 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.
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.
Click this link and use referral code PENNY to get a $10 Welcome Bonus.
10. 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.
11. Receipt Hog
ReceiptHog 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.
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.
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?