17 Best Passive Income Apps To Make Money in 2021

This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure for more info.

Making money while you sleep or do very little is the reality that many people aspire to attain.

Passive income not only enhances your 9 to 5 earnings, but it can also help you feel less stressed about your finances since your overall disposable income increases.

This is where the best passive income apps and ideas become important. You can easily utilize them using your smartphone and they require little to no effort.

The passive income apps to make money listed below are either free or cheap and they are definitely worth your time. For several other ways to earn extra cash, check out this massive list of money-making ideas and strategies.

Best Passive Income Apps For iOS and Android Phones

These passive income apps pay you to shop, invest, browse the internet, provide your opinions, use your phone, play games, watch videos, pay your bills, rent out your stuff, and more.

Start with a couple and work your way down until you find the ones that meet your expectations.

Cash Back Apps

These apps simply pay you to do what you already do i.e. shop online or in the store.

1. Rakuten (formerly known as Ebates)

Rakuten is the most popular app and rewards site for earning cash back when you shop online and in-store.

The app lists more than 2,500 participating retailers who give you cash back when you shop at their store via the Rakuten platform.

You do not need to upload a receipt in order to claim your rewards. Cash back is automatically tracked and credited to your accounts ensuring that you can make money stress-free (up to 40% cash back). Easily cash out using PayPal or check.

When you sign up for Rakuten here, you receive up to a $30 bonus after making your first purchase of $30 or more.

2. Drop

Drop is a free app that rewards you for shopping at your favourite store.

After you have downloaded the app and linked your credit or debit card, you earn points when you spend at any of the many participating retailers.

You can redeem these points for hundreds of popular gift cards including Amazon, Target, and UberEats. Drop also pays you $5 for every friend you refer…up to $50.

3. Sweatcoin

It is quite interesting to discover that you can get paid to exercise. In the case of Sweatcoin, you are rewarded for walking indoors and outdoors.

This app pays you sweatcoins and you can redeem your points for various gadgets and merchandise including athletic wear, iPhones, shoes, watches, and even PayPal cash.

The Sweatcoin app has hundreds of thousands of positive reviews on the App Store and Google Play Store.

4. Ibotta

Want to earn cash while shopping for groceries? The Ibotta app will get you started.

Ibotta pays you real cash back when you shop in-store or online at well over a thousand retail stores. As of this writing, they have paid users over $680 million in free money.

To earn with Ibotta, sign up here and then start your shopping on the app before you visit a store.

The Ibotta app is available on the App Store and Google Play Store.

apps to make money

Market Research Apps

The best market research apps pay you to give your opinions and to complete other simple tasks.

Given that they require a little bit of effort, they can more appropriately be seen as semi-passive ways to make money.

5. InboxDollars

Like Swagbucks, the InboxDollars app offers various ways to make money including playing games, shopping online, answering surveys, and reading emails.

After you sign up, you receive notifications to participate in various online tasks and earn real cash.

The site has paid its members more than $60 million and you can cash out via PayPal when your account reaches $30 or more. New members also get a $5 bonus.

6. Swagbucks

Swagbucks is the most popular get-paid-to site you will come across. They are accredited by the BBB and have an A+ rating.

As a member, you get paid to answer surveys, watch videos, surf the web, play games and shop online.

As of this writing, they have paid members more than $675 million and give over 7,000 free gift cards every single day.

You can cash out your Swagbucks earnings through PayPal or redeem your points for hundreds of popular gift cards.

7. Survey Junkie

Survey Junkie has more than 10 million members and always has paid surveys available for anyone who wants to earn extra cash.

Brands and retailers use a market research panel like Survey Junkie to connect with their customers, find out what they think, and pay them for sharing their thoughts.

You can easily redeem your earnings via PayPal, direct bank transfer, or gift cards (Amazon, Target, iTunes, and others).

Data Collection Apps

These apps are as passive as it gets. Simply download them to your phone, tablet or computer and get paid.

You can easily make a few hundred dollars by using these apps on multiple devices every year.

8. Nielsen Computer and Mobile Panel

The Nielsen mobile and computer panel app is operated by the world-renowned market research company, Nielsen.

When you sign up and download the app to your phone or computer, it tracks your internet usage and rewards you for it.

Users can earn up to $50/year and if you install it on three devices (phone, tablet and computer), this is an easy $150.

You also get automatic entries into sweepstakes where you can win up to $1,000 each month.

9. MobileXpression

Mobliexpression is an app that collects browsing data for market research purposes.

It is free to join the panel and you get a free $5 Amazon gift card after 1 week of installing the app.

If you keep the app installed after the first 7 days, you continue to earn extra credits you can redeem for extra gift cards.

You can also install the MobileXpression app on your tablet.

10. SavvyConnect

SavvyConnect is another data collection app that analyzes consumer’s borrowing habits to determine trends in online shopping, entertainment, internet browsing, and more.

The app is free and is available on iPhones and Android phones.

You earn $5 for every month you keep the app installed or $60 per year. In addition, they also pay for referring friends.

Easily cash out your earnings starting from $1.

best passive income apps

Investing Apps

Investing your money is a portfolio that generates high returns is a time-tested way to build wealth over time.

These micro-investing apps are great for setting aside any amount of money and growing it effortlessly.

11. Acorns

Acorns is a micro-investing app that invests your spare change using low-cost Exchange-Traded Funds (ETFs).

The app designs your portfolio to suit your investment objectives and risk tolerance and everything is done automatically.

There is no account minimum to get started. In addition to investing your money, Acorns also offers a savings account and opportunities to earn cash back at more than 350 popular brands.

Acorns has more than 4 million members.

12. Digit

The Digit app automates how you save money.

When you sign up for Digit and connect your bank account, Digit will automatically move money you don’t need from your checking into a savings account where it earns interest.

This makes it easier for you to save towards a financial goal e.g. down payment on a home, emergency fund, or to pay off your debt.

Your funds are FDIC-insured up to $250,000 and your account is protected using 256-bit encryption.

13. Stash Invest

Stash Invest is another fintech company that makes it easy to invest small amounts.

The company has more than 4 million members and over $1.8 billion in assets under management.

In addition to investing, Stash also offers a debit bank account.

Smartphone Apps That Pay

These apps will pay you to walk, rent out your stuff or simply reward you for walking.

14. Trim Financial Manager

This free tool analyzes your spending and automatically finds ways to save you money.

It renegotiates your utility bills for the best rates possible, helps you waive bank fees, and cancels unused subscriptions you no longer require.

In addition, Trim offers a high-interest savings account where you can earn up to 4%.

15. TopCashback

Referred to as the “USA’s most generous cash back rebates site,” TopCashback is a must download if you want to earn passive income without much effort.

TopCashback is affiliated with more than 4,400 stores which means that you can make money when you shop at these stores.

I like that the rewards system works automatically and you don’t need to upload your purchase receipt.

You can easily cash out using PayPal, direct bank transfer or redeem for a gift card.

16. Turo

If you have a car that sits idle on your driveway or in your garage, the Turo app can help you make some money.

Simply sign up for a free account and list your car. Determine your schedule and prices and when someone rents out your car, you earn up to 90% of the fee.

Turo operates in the U.S. and Canada. They provide comprehensive liability insurance, damage protection as well as 24/7 roadside assistance.

You can easily make $500 every month using this app.

17. Airbnb

This final passive income app pays you to rent out unused rooms in your home.

Easily list empty rooms on Airbnb and they will do the rest of the work.

Payments are made out using PayPal and you decide if you want to host a guest or not.

Passive Income Apps – Conclusion

Using your smartphone, you can easily earn additional income during your spare time with these passive income apps.

Combine these apps with other side hustles and you’d be surprised at how you can significantly improve your financial situation.

Some of the easiest opportunities you don’t want to pass on include:


Enoch Omololu

Enoch Omololu is a personal finance expert who has a passion for helping others win with their finances. He has a master's degree in Finance and Investment Management from the University of Aberdeen Business School and has been writing about money management for over a decade. Enoch has been featured in several leading personal finance publications including MSN Money, The Globe and Mail, Wealthsimple, and the Financial Post.

Leave a Comment