This phone apps make it easy to earn cash using your smartphone. Even better, they are mostly free to sign up for. Phone apps are some of the popular go-to’s for those who want to make money from anywhere. Given that most people own a smartphone (Android or iPhone) they use daily, it makes sense to monetize your phone and time with these free (or cheap) money-making apps.
The additional income you earn can go towards paying off debt, investing, saving for retirement, or simply to pay for your indulgences.
The Best Money-Making Apps for 2021
Read on to discover 27 smartphone apps you can use to make money starting today.
These apps include survey apps, cash back apps, investing and savings apps that increase your net worth, and various other side hustles you can engage in to make money.
Make Money With Market Research
1. Swagbucks ($5 Bonus)
Swagbucks is considered to be one of the best ‘get-paid-to’ apps available on iOS and Android. You can earn cash answering surveys, watching videos, playing games, searching the internet, shopping online, and more.
Rewards points can be redeemed from popular retailers like Amazon and Walmart, or you can cash out via PayPal.
Swagbucks has paid its members over $335 million to date. You can sign up here to get a $5 bonus.
2. Ipsos i-Say
Ipsos is well-known as a leading global market research company with a robust presence in more than 100 countries and conducting more than 70 million interviews every year.
i-Say is an online community where you can take online surveys and earn rewards which can be redeemed for gift cards or as cash through PayPal or Virtual Visa Prepaid cards.
3. Pinecone Research
If you are looking for a survey site that pays $3 to $5 per survey and is mobile-friendly, Pinecone Research is for you. Rewards earned can be redeemed for cash or prizes.
Pinecone Research is an invite-only panel and you can sign-up using this special link.
4. Inbox Dollars ($5 Bonus)
InboxDollars is available in the United States. After joining the site, you can make money using your cell phone to take surveys, shop, watch videos, read emails and play games. You also receive a $5 bonus on sign up.
Since its inception in 2000, InboxDollars has paid members over $57 million in cash rewards. They have an A+ accreditation with the BBB, so you can rest assured that they are legit.
Canadians can sign up for their sister site, DailyRewards.
Phone Apps That Pay You To Shop
The following phone apps reward you every time you shop online or in-store. They are also free and easy to use.
5. Rakuten ($10 Bonus)
Rakuten.com is the ultimate cash back app when you shop for anything online. With over 2,000 stores listed (Amazon, Walmart, Macy’s, eBay, Kohls, etc.), your potential to earn cash back using Rakuten is easy and almost unlimited.
Simply visit your store of choice using the Rakuten app or website and conduct your shopping as usual. Cash back is automatically credited to your account and can be redeemed through PayPal.
To make earning cash back even easier, install the Ebates browser extension on your laptop browser and earn whenever you shop online.
Join Rakuten here and receive a free $10 bonus after you make your first purchase of $25 or more.
TopCashback is often referred to as the “USA’s most generous cashback site” and has over 11 million members worldwide. You can earn cash back using TopCashback at more than 4,400 stores including Walmart, Groupon, eBay, Best Buy, and others.
Similar to Ebates, ensure you use the TopCashback app to visit your favorite store, so they can credit cash back to your account.
7. MyPoints ($10 Bonus)
Use the MyPoints app to earn cash back on all your online shopping. It is available to residents of the United States.
MyPoints is similar to Ebates. Simply visit your favorite store using the app to make your purchase. Cashback (Points) is automatically credited to your account and you can redeem it for over 75 gift cards, including Amazon, Walmart, and Starbucks.
In addition to shopping online, MyPoints will reward you for taking surveys, watching videos, playing games, and reading emails.
When you join, you receive a $10 bonus after you make your first $20 purchase.
8. Ibotta ($10 Bonus)
The Ibotta app is one of the most popular shopping cash back apps with users earning over $500 million to date!
To claim cash back, simply browse the offers for the week and do your shopping at your favorite store (more than 300 participating retailers). Scan your receipt using the app and earn real cash back within 2 days.
You can cash out your balance of $20 or more through PayPal or Venmo. Sign up for Ibotta and get a $10 bonus.
9. Checkout 51
Checkout 51 is a phone app that pays you cash back when you shop for groceries in the United States and Canada.
After downloading the app, you receive numerous cash back offers every week. Purchase an offer at your favorite store and claim your cash back by uploading your receipt using the app.
You can redeem your cash rewards via check when your account balance reached $20 or more.
10. BeFrugal ($10 Bonus)
BeFrugal offers up to 40% cash back on your shopping at 5,000+ stores in the United States and like all the other cash back apps, it is completely free.
To earn, simply visit your preferred store using the BeFrugal app or website. Cashback is automatically credited to your account and can be withdrawn through PayPal, check, direct deposit, or gift card.
Smartphone Apps To Make Money Easily
These apps require little to no effort on your part to make some extra cash.
11. Trim Financial App
The Trim Financial app works like your very own personal assistant, helping you to negotiate lower utility bills (internet, cable, phone) as well as automatically canceling your unused or unwanted subscriptions.
The app also helps you grow your savings account with automated weekly transfers into a high-yield savings account.
Trim users saved more than $1 million last month. Register for the Trim app.
12. Nielsen Mobile Panel (Get up to $50)
This panel is a part of the Nielsen market research company which has an A+ rating on the BBB. The Nielsen mobile panel app rewards you for using your mobile phone as normal…simply download and install it on your phone.
Join Nielsen Mobile Panel and get up to $50.
13. MobileXpression App
The MobileXpression app is similar to the Nielsen mobile panel and tracks your internet usage for trends and patterns that are used to develop mobile marketing strategies.
You get a $5 Amazon gift card after 1 week of installing the app and can earn more rewards if you continue to participate.
After 3 months of participation, MobileXpression donates a tree on your behalf to Trees For The Future, a non-profit organization based in Maryland, U.S.A.
Download MobileXpression (Android)
Download MobileXpression (iPhones)
14. Nielsen HomeScan Consumer Panel
The Nielsen Consumer Panel (NCP) pays you to scan the barcodes of products you buy using their mobile app or handheld scanner and to share your shopping data once per week. You also earn additional points for participating in surveys and special studies.
Your rewards can be redeemed for gift cards, sweepstakes entries, etc. Sometimes, they also reward you with prepaid gift cards that can be used to make purchases online or in-store. The NCP is a great way to influence which products make it to market while earning rewards at the same time.
15. Paribus – Get Refunds When You Shop
The Paribus app is a maintenance-free money-making machine. It is only available in the U.S. Simply shop online and the app automatically scans your receipt to determine if the store owes you a refund.
They track major retailers, including Amazon, Macy’s, Nordstrom, Target, Expedia, etc. If an item you purchased online goes on sale, or the price for your hotel room drops, Paribus will help you process a refund of the difference!
16. Decluttr – Sell Clutter for Cash
Generate quick extra cash by selling your old and unused items like CDs, DVDs, books, cell phones, games consoles, tablet, and iPods.
The app is simple to use, there are no auction fees, your payments are processed the next day via PayPal and direct deposit, and shipping is FREE.
You can easily determine how much an item is worth by scanning the barcodes using the app on your phone.
Decluttr has paid its members over $250 million and their app is available only in the United States.
Make Money With Side Hustle Phone Apps
Have some time to spare? These side gigs and phone apps pay you a decent wage.
17. Rover – Pet Sit or Walk Dogs (Make $1,000/Week)
Rover is a popular app that helps pet sitters and dog walkers to find gigs in their area.
The app makes it easy to set your prices and schedule, and your services are protected by up to $1,000,000 in insurance. Work when you want to and get paid 2 days after completing a gig.
Join Rover here and start earning.
18. Instacart – Deliver Food For Money
Instacart is a grocery delivery service that pays you to work as a personal shopper. Customers use the app to make grocery orders and you can shop and deliver their orders during your spare time. Payment is made weekly.
Download the Instacart app to get started (the United States and Canada).
19. Turo – List Your Car for $500/Month
The Turo app offers opportunities to make money by renting out your car when you are not using it. Earn 65% to 90% of each trip price and let Turo do the heavy lifting.
They protect you with up to $2 million in liability insurance, 24/7 roadside assistance, and listing your car is free! Payments are made via PayPal within 5 days.
Rent your car using Turo to make money.
If you have a room sitting empty in your house, you can list it on the Airbnb app and earn up to $1,000+ per month. Airbnb provides listings of spaces available in your area to potential guests. You determine your room’s availability, price, and house rules.
The company provides $2 million in insurance coverage and pays you by PayPal or direct deposit.
Lyft offers a ride-sharing service similar to Uber. The app alerts you when there are people seeking rides in your area. Simply accept a ride to make money.
The basic driver requirements to drive for Lyft are you should be at least 21 years old, pass a background check, and use an iPhone or Android smartphone.
Investing Phone Apps To Earn Money and Build Wealth
Time is money and these smartphone apps put your money to work so you can earn returns and grow your savings or investment portfolio.
22. Acorns – Invest Your Spare Change
The Acorns app invests your spare change using low-cost ETFs so you can invest for your future even if you have little to spare.
Your funds are invested in portfolios that were designed using Nobel Prize-winning strategies and are diversified over 7,000 stocks and bonds to lower your risk while maximizing your returns.
If you find it difficult to invest as much as you would like, the Acorns app can be a life-saver. Acorns is only available in the United States.
Wealthsimple is one of the most popular robo-advisors in the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom. With Wealthsimple, investing becomes easier and you can grow your account faster with:
- Low management fees and low-cost ETFs (much less than the average mutual fund)
- Smartly diversified portfolios
- Automatic portfolio maintenance and re-balancing
- Dividend re-investing
- Personalized portfolios fitting with your investment objectives and risk tolerance
- Deposit and bankruptcy protection
The Wealthsimple app is highly rated on both the Apple Store and Google Play and its “Roundup” feature makes it easy to either save in a high-interest account or to invest your spare change.
Digit is an app that makes saving money easy as 1, 2, 3. The app automatically saves money you won’t miss from your account so you don’t have to think about it. As of today, Digit users have saved more than $1 billion.
Other Side Hustle apps that pay:
25. Field Agent: Their app pays you to complete simple tasks and pays between $3 and $12 per task. Jobs include taking in-store photos of products and confirming prices, taking surveys, mystery shopping, and more. It is available in the U.S., Canada, Australia, and the U.K.
26. Gig Walk: This app provides a variety of gigs you can do during your spare time and pays between $3 and $100. It is available in the U.S.
27. Mobee App: They pay you to shop secretly at popular stores and retailers.