Download Cash: These iPhone Apps Can Help You Make and Save Extra Money
If you’re anything like me, you love your iPhone and can’t imagine life without it.
Fair warning: If you’re coming for my iPhone, you’ll have to pry it from my cold, dead hands.
Hey, nothing personal against the Samsung Galaxy or Sony Xperia or Google Pixel, or whatever. But for my money, you can’t beat an iPhone.
They’re easy to use, they’re faster, and they have the best cameras. Also, Siri is my spirit animal.
It’s true, though, that iPhones tend to be pricier than Android phones.
What’s a poor, conflicted Penny Hoarder to do?
Well, you can use your iPhone to make back some of the money you spent buying your iPhone.
To the App Store we go! These are the best iPhone apps for putting more money in your wallet.
1. Save Your Digital Receipts to Score Cash Back
With an app called Earny, you can get money back on purchases you make online. It scans your inbox for receipts and tracks the items to find price drops. Then it takes advantage of retailer and credit-card company price-protection policies to negotiate money back on your behalf.
The app works with a bunch of online retailers, including Amazon, Gap, Jet, Kohl’s, Nordstrom, Old Navy, Overstock, Target, Walmart and Zappos.
2. Join the ‘Investor Class’
Investing is a smart way to make money. Sometimes, though, it feels restricted to a few wealthy elites.
Stash is different. This app lets you start investing with as little as $5.
It curates investments from professional fund managers and lets you choose where to put your money. But it leaves the complicated investment terms out of it. You just choose from a set of simple investments reflecting your beliefs, interests and goals.
Bonus: Right now, The Penny Hoarder is teaming up with Stash to fund your first investment — so you’ll get a $5 bonus to get started!
3. Take a Peek at Your Credit Score
Your credit reports are basically the Holy Grail of your finances — and your life. Financially, they can influence many of your big life decisions, like buying a house or a car.
However, one out of every five credit reports has an error in it, according to a study by the Federal Trade Commission. This is easy to prevent, though, especially if you check yours out every so often.
One option is to use a free app like CreditWise® from Capital One®. There, you’ll get a free TransUnion® credit report, which you can review for signs of error, theft or fraud. It’ll even give you personalized suggestions to help you improve your credit score.
4. Use This App to Get Cash Back
Dosh is a cash-back app that pays you for making purchases at more than 100,000 hotels, online stores and restaurants — including Starwood Properties, Marriott, Cost Plus World Market, Nike, Target, Chuck E. Cheese’s and many more.
Download the app and sign up. Securely connect a debit or credit card. Then watch the cash-back roll in.
In addition to cash back, you collect an immediate $5 bonus for hooking up a card to Dosh.
5. Squeeze Money from Your Receipts
Did you know you can get cash back just for taking a picture of your receipt? Here’s how it works:
- Sign up for Ibotta. (You just need a name/email address to start.)
- Browse through the cash-back offers in your area the next time you go to a store, supermarket, restaurant or bar. You can even get cash back shopping online or taking Uber rides. (The offers change every week). Pick your cash-back offers and scan your receipt.
- Once you’ve reached at least $20 in earnings, request payment via Paypal or Venmo.
Right now, Ibotta is giving new users a $10 sign-up bonus, just for redeeming their first receipt.
6. Let It Go, Let It Gooooo …
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.
Maybe money could change your mind? Instead of storing clothes indefinitely, try selling them on an app like Letgo. Just take a picture of what you want to sell, and post it. You can sell just about anything, including wedding dresses, cribs, TVs, jewelry, movies and cars.
7. This App Pays You for Walking Into Stores
Sick of shopping online and headed to a real, live store? Download the Shopkick app first.
Once you sign up, the app pays you “kicks” for walking into certain stores (including Amazon, Walmart, T.J. Maxx, Starbucks, Sephora, Best Buy and more). These can be redeemed for gift cards to those stores.
It pays you even more “kicks” for scanning items in stores and purchasing them with a connected credit or debit card, as well as for scanning receipts and mobile shopping.
8. Negotiate Your Cable and/or Internet Bill
Hop on your phone and check out Trim, a Facebook messenger bot that will negotiate your cable or internet bills down for you. It works with Comcast, Time Warner, Charter and other major providers.
You sign up with Facebook, then upload a PDF of your most recent bill, and Trim’s AI-powered system gets to work. If at first it doesn’t succeed, it’ll keep negotiating until it can save you some money. (If it saves you any money, it keeps 25% of the savings tab.)
9. Go On a Secret Mission
QuickThoughts pays you to become a private investigator for stores and restaurants in your area. Was that CVS you visited last month clean? How do the lines look at that McDonald’s you’ve stopped by for lunch?
Using your phone’s GPS technology, the app will prompt you for information from places you’ve visited in the past few weeks, as well as places it detects you’re visiting right now.
And you’ll earn gift cards for Amazon and iTunes while you’re at it.
10. Get Rewarded for Your Purchases
There’s a new rewards platform on the market. Drop is a financial tech company that rewards you for your purchases.
As an exclusive Drop user, all you have to do is link your credit and debit cards. When you make a Drop-qualified purchase, you’ll automatically earn points, whether you’re grocery shopping, hailing an Uber or ordering a pizza. The points will add up, and you can then exchange them for gift cards to popular retailers like Amazon and Starbucks.
It’s the ultimate loyalty card — without the card. You can sign up right here.
There you go. Just like that, your iPhone is saving and making you money.
Keep it up, and eventually you’ll be able to afford your next iPhone.
Mike Brassfield ([email protected]) is a senior writer at The Penny Hoarder. Don’t touch his iPhone. DON’T TOUCH IT.