Here’s How You Can Make Money Playing Online Games (Seriously)
Some of the links in this post are from our sponsors. We’re letting you know because it’s what Honest Abe would do. After all, he is on our favorite coin.
We love to play games online.
They're super addictive. They’re great time-killers.
But we found ways you can actually make money playing games online.
Play Games, Make Money
We’re probably not talking about a ton of money. But it’s possible to scratch up a little cash and/or save some money playing games online.
Especially if you’re just sitting there, waiting at the doctor’s office or the DMV trying to pass the time.
We’ve road-tested some real-deal apps (and weeded out the scams) where you can play games to make and save legit money.
1. Boost Your Savings by Defeating Your Enemies
Blast is a savings app for Android made by gamers for gamers. It allows you to save, earn and win cash for playing games.
It works with every game in the Google Play Store, as well as top PC games, including Counter Strike Global Offensive.
The app is free, with no hidden fees.
While you play, the app works in the background and transfers small sums from your checking account into a high-yield Blast savings account based on “triggers” you set — things like the number of opponents you defeat or enemy bases you destroy. You can earn extra cash by completing “missions” that allow you to test new games or take familiar games to the next level.
Your Blast savings account earns 1% interest, is FDIC-insured and is secured by bank-level encryption. You can withdraw your money anytime or just let your savings grow.
2. Scratch Lotto Tickets… for Free
There’s something so satisfying about those gas station scratch-off tickets, isn’t there? (Scritch scritch scritch.)
You’re spending a couple of bucks on a ticket that could magically blossom into hundreds or millions of dollars. But you’ve got to be rational, too. The chances of hitting a jackpot are less than one in a million.
If you just can’t let go of the idea of getting lucky, you don’t have to spend money to make it happen. There’s a free app for that. It’s called Lucktastic, and it supplies you with new digital scratch-off cards daily — for free.
Each day, a new assortment of tickets is released. The app claims you can win up to $10,000. It boasts 220,000 winners who have taken home a collective $3 million to date.
But like anything that has to do with luck, remain realistic about the odds. Several of us here at The Penny Hoarder have played Lucktastic and have walked away with $1 and some tokens.
You use your tokens to enter contests — basically a raffle where you’re entered to win a prize. For more info, check out our full review.
3. Accept These Missions and Play for Cash Prizes
The folks who created Long Game have a game that’s fun and helps you achieve your financial goals.
You set saving “missions” (such as saving for a vacation), and every time you add money to your FDIC-insured Long Game savings account, you’ll get closer to completing your mission.
As you save and accomplish missions, you’ll earn coins to play mini games for cash prizes. We’re talking slot machines, scratch-offs and spin-to-win wheels, for example.
To create an account, you just need to verify your identity and connect your bank account. Then set how much you’d like to automatically save each payday, as little as $5. Get saving right away, because you’ll get a “boost” in your first week: 40 coins per $1 auto-saved and 3 coins per $1 deposited.
Once you link your bank account, you’ll earn 300 points, so you can start playing while you wait for payday.
4. Put Your Useless Knowledge to, Well, Use
If you’re one of those people who can pull useless pieces of knowledge from out of nowhere, you’ll want to download this app.
It’s called HQ Trivia. With at times more than a million players logging on at 3 p.m. and 9 p.m. Eastern each day to play, you might’ve heard of it.
“Quiz Daddy” Scott Rogowsky is the game’s main host. He asks 12 questions. You’ve got three multiple-choice options and 10 seconds to answer each. If you get all 12 questions correct, you’ll split the grand prize (around $5,000 lately, though it’s been $25,000 or more on randomly chosen special occasions) amongst the other winners.
Pro tip: Share your personalized referral code with friends and family to get an extra life. Trust us: You’ll want it.
5. Feed Your Love of Gaming
Serious gamers like this one because most of its rewards tend to be video-game oriented.
Bananatic is a free site that lets you play, test and review games. As you do that, you can earn the site’s virtual currency, called “Bananas.” You can also take surveys or watch ads to earn Bananas.
You can exchange your Bananas for more video games, prepaid game content, Playstation or XBox gift cards, or Steam Wallet codes — digital gift cards for the popular desktop gaming platform Steam.
You can also get Amazon gift cards, if you want to put your winnings to use on something other than games.
6. Tease Your Brain (and Show off Your Smarts)
Feel like giving someone a piece of your mind? The free Brain Battle app serves up a bunch of rapid-fire math and brain-teaser challenges.
Once you install the app, choose a game to play. Play games to earn tickets for drawings where you can win cash prizes. Winning prizes are paid out through PayPal.
7. Use Trivia to Pay off Your Student Loans
Do you have student loans? Do you have lots of useless knowledge? Congratulations! Join the club, there are millions of us.
Givling is a trivia game that hands out cash prizes to players who correctly answer true-or-false questions on a wide range of topics.
You only get 10 seconds to answer each question, so there’s no time to Google anything. Each time you play, you get assigned to a three-person team and answer questions “true” or “false” until you get three questions wrong and strike out.
If you’re on the highest-scoring team when the clock runs out, the three of you split a cash reward. The amount varies based on how much money was raised the day before.
Got student loans? Join the funding queue. Every time the funds raised (through advertising, sponsors and people who pay to play more) hit the $10 million mark, those at the top of the queue get money to pay off their student loans.
You rise in the queue by interacting with ads, buying coins, participating in sponsorship offers or meeting certain goals. (Be warned: There are a whole lot of people in this queue.)
8. Pad Your Pockets Without the Wait
Are you sick of sites that let you earn rewards but won’t let you cash out until you’ve reached some unobtainable amount? Who has that kind of time?
That’s why we like QuickRewards Network. It lets you earn money by taking surveys, watching videos or playing games.
The best part? You can get your rewards in super-handy gift cards or by PayPal payment. If you choose to get your rewards through PayPal, there’s no minimum. Have 1 cent coming to you? Go ahead — cash it out.
QuickRewards has been around since 2002, making it one of the oldest rewards-earning programs out there.
Mike Brassfield ([email protected]) is a senior writer at The Penny Hoarder. He has a lot of useless knowledge.