12 Best Mobile Apps That Help You Earn Money for Doing Almost Nothing

Woman using mobile apps to make money
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Honest Abe


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We’ve all got smartphones these days, and almost everything we do on them requires using an app.

Wouldn’t it be cool if you could make extra money just for using them? Well, you can.

You’re not going to get rich by downloading mobile apps that pay you, but you can use these to earn a little extra money every month.

Considering some of them require you to do nothing, or just watch videos or take some paid surveys, it doesn’t seem like a bad deal to make a few extra bucks.

To get you started, here is a list of the best money-making apps.

  1. 1. This App Gets You Cash Back at Major Retailers

    Ibotta review

    Colleen Rice, TPH email marketing specialist, uses Ibotta to search through deals at Publix. Tina Russell/The Penny Hoarder

    Yeah, did you know that you can get paid cash back just for shopping online?

    Here’s how it works….

    1. Sign up for Ebates here.

    2. Browse through the cash-back offers and shop through the portal.

    You can also score a $10 gift card for signing up and making your first purchase.

  2. 2. This App Scans Your Email Receipts for Price Changes

    Cropped shot of a man using a laptop and a cellphone

    PeopleImages/Getty Images

    Deleting your emails could cost you serious money.


    A website called Paribus helps gets you money back for your online purchases at stores like Target, Walmart, Old Navy and more — but you have to keep your email receipts.

    Here’s how it works:

    1. Sign up for free here.
    2. Paribus will scan your email archives for receipts. It’ll find your purchases from any of more than 20 partner retailers and monitors the prices everywhere online.
    3. Paribus then tracks to find price drops on your purchase, always trying to get you the most money back. It then claims the difference with the retailer or credit card issuer on your behalf through price protection policies.
    4. You’ll earn cash back while you lounge at home!
  3. 3. This App Helps You Invest Your Pocket Change — And Gives You $10

    man shopping online from his laptop

    Negative Space/Pexels

    Acorns is a smartphone app that connects to your bank account, credit and debit cards to save your digital change. It automatically rounds up purchases with your connected accounts and invests the difference in your Acorns account.

    This Penny Hoarder accidentally saved $116 — about $35 a month — by connecting one debit card to the app and forgetting about it.

    At that rate, you could spend 10 minutes setting up your Acorns account and easily put away $420 this year. Plus, they give you a free $10 when you download the app and make your first investment.

  4. 4. This App Pays You for Making Your Regular Purchases

    person putting a credit card into a credit card reader.

    skynesher/Getty Images

    There’s a new rewards platform on the market.

    Drop is a financial tech company that rewards for your purchases.

    As a 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.

  5. 5. This App Pays You for Your Smartphone Photos

    college student using smartphone outdoors on campus

    lolostock/Getty Images

    If you have a smartphone and a photographic eye, making money may have just gotten a lot easier. Oh yeah – you’ll also need access to marketable scenery.

    An app called Foap allows you to turn your smartphone photos into cash.

    Here’s how it works:

    • Download the free app and sign up for an account.
    • Take a quality photo.
    • Upload photo to Foap’s marketplace.
    • Someone buys the license to your photo for $10. You make $5.

    If your photo sells 20 times, you make $5 each time and end up with $100 in your pocket — all for about five minutes of work. Pretty cool, right.

  6. 6. This App Sneakily Puts Money in Your Savings Account

    Concept is saving money for future. Jar is open and money is popped out. arrow sign is showing different direction of money.

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    Digit is a smart savings app that reviews how much money you have in your checking account and automatically sets aside an amount you can afford to save.

    Digit automatically adjusts how much it pulls from your account, depending on how much is available. If your income goes down, you won’t be committed to an automatic transfer that could overdraw your account.

    Digit even covers overdraft fees caused by its withdrawals, so you’re safe if this ever happens (and you know the company works hard to prevent it from happening).

    Get started with Digit here.

  7. 7. This App Helps You Start Investing — With a $5 Bonus

    a close up shot of dollar bills

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    It’s no brilliant secret that investing can be a smart way to make money.

    Sometimes, though, it feels restricted to a few wealthy elite.

    But Stash is different. This app lets you start investing with as little as $5 and for just a $1 monthly fee for balances under $5,000. (The first month is free.)

    Stash curates investments from professional fund managers and investors 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 portfolios 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!

  8. 8. This App Helps You Find Out Where You Are Wasting Money

    Paolo Cipriani / Getty Images

    We all sign up for stuff. Sometimes it’s easier to put subscriptions on a recurring payment and forget about it — looking at you Netflix.

    If you can’t keep track of them all, check out an app called Trim. Once you sign up and connect your bank account and phone number, it analyzes your transaction history for recurring payments.

    When it finds one, the app sends you a text and cancels any subscriptions you don’t want to keep.

  9. 9. This App Helps You Sell Your Old Clothes



    Do you still have a prom outfit from, like, 10 years ago? 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.

  10. 10. This App Pays You to Drive Around Town 

    PHILADELPHIA, PA – JAN 13, 2017: Lyft driver Paul Pruce in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on January 13, 2017. (Jessica Kourkounis)

    Need a fun, flexible way to earn money while also meeting lots of new people?

    Try driving with Lyft!

    Demand for ridesharing has been growing like crazy, and it shows no signs of slowing down. To be eligible, you’ll need to be at least 21 years old with a year of driving experience, pass a background check and own a car made in 2007 or later.

    We talked to Paul Pruce, who’s been driving full-time with Lyft for over a year. He earns $750 a week as a driver.

    Best of all, he does it on his own time. You can work days, nights or weekends — it’s up to you!

  11. 11. This App Helps Sell Your Old Electronics

    The decluttr app helps you make money from selling electronics

    sestovic/Getty Images

    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 FREE5 at checkout to get an extra $5 for your trade-ins!

    You scan each product’s barcode with your phone, and Decluttr makes an offer.

    Prices vary — usually about 50 cents to $3 per item — but you can unload your media in bulk to make an extra $50 to $100 this week. And never have to look at them again.

    With Decluttr, you can sell stuff online without having to deal with individual listings and buyers.

    And shipping is free. The company emails you shipping labels to cover the cost. Just print the label, pack your items in any box and ship it.

  12. 12. This App Pays You for Your Trivia Knowledge

    iphone sitting on seat of car

    Oliur Rahman/Pexels

    Trivia fiends will love this.

    Download the Perk Pop Quiz app and pick from one of the many trivia categories — The 90’s & The 2000s, Music & Movie Quotes and Famous Slogans are just a few.

    The more correct answers you rack up, the more points you get. You can redeem those points for gift cards to Amazon, Starbucks, Nike, GameStop, Target and other stores.

    You’re not going to get rich doing this, but it’s a fun way to make an extra $15 to $20 a month for the shows you already enjoy watching.

Do you think this article might help you put more money in your pocket?

Honest Abe


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.