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10 Apps That Actually Pay You Money

by on April 29, 2016
in Mobile Apps, Phones and Mobile, Android Apps, iPhone/iPad Apps, Tips & How-Tos, Shopping, Money Savers :: 9 comments

No, it isn't a scam: you really can make money by spending a few minutes with the right smartphone app. While you won't make enough to quit your day job there are tons of apps on the market that legitimately pay you for viewing ads, taking surveys or shopping in certain stores. But when you're looking for the right app to pad your budget, you have to be careful that you're not just wasting your time.

It can be hard to tell just how much you can make with these apps because most reward points instead of cash. While you can usually exchange these points for cash or gift cards, with many different ways to earn and spend points it's tricky to say just what you're getting for your efforts. Some apps pay just pennies, but earning those pennies for simple tasks—like watching an advertisement—can make them add up quickly. Others will pay a few dollars each time you use them, but require more time and effort on your part.

So are you ready to start earning a few extra bucks with a few clicks of your smartphone? We road tested and rounded up our favorite 11 apps for making extra cash.

CoSign AppCoSign

You're already uploading photos to social media, but CoSign lets you turn them into cash. Just tag images you upload to Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest or Tumblr with information about the products pictured in them, like the brand and price of the new handbag you're carrying. But CoSign isn't just for fashionistas: in addition to clothes, you can tag household goods, tech products, food, books, movies and more. When your followers buy the items you post, you'll earn a commission of up to 35% of the product price, which can be pretty lucrative for pricier items. If you already have a social following and share the type of content CoSign wants, it's an easy way to earn extra cash—but if not, it may not be worth the effort.

What you do: Tag your social images with information about products shown
How much you're paid: A commission of up to 35% of the item's price
How you get paid: PayPal, check or gift card
How much you need to make before cashing out: $40
Platform: iOS, Android


Would you be willing to view a few ads a day in exchange for cash? If so, that's exactly what Fronto offers: this app displays news and ads on your Android's lock screen. You'll earn points for viewing or interacting with each ad (plus occasional bonus points), which you can exchange for cash, coupons or Amazon gift cards. While earnings aren't high, the effort on your part is almost non-existent—and the points earned will add up. One thing to be wary of with Fronto is bandwidth and battery use. Downloading and displaying ads will take a toll on both, and if you already struggle keeping your phone charged all day this may not be a top choice.

What you do: View ads on your phone's lock screen
How much you're paid: From $0.01 to $2 per interaction
How you get paid: PayPal or Amazon gift card
How much you need to make before cashing out: $10
Platform: Android


The advantage of Swagbucks is the number of ways it lets you earn points. Most things you already do online—searching, shopping, playing games, taking surveys, watching videos and lots more—can earn you points. But that variety makes Swagbucks a bit more complicated simply due to the number of different activities you can do to earn points. Swagbucks has eight different apps for iPhone (though just two for Android) plus activities on its website and browser toolbar. That offers a ton of variety, but makes it all too easy to while away your day while making just minor earnings. If you like Swagbucks, we'd recommend using a point-earner or two that fit fits easily into your digital routine, letting you earn points without going crazy by trying to do absolutely everything. Though you don't earn much per activity, those points will add up if you use Swagbucks every day.

What you do: Search, shop, play and more
How much you're paid: From $0.01 to $0.36 per activity
How you get paid: PayPal, gift cards from Amazon, Target, Walmart, Starbucks and more
How much you need to make before cashing out: $3
Platform: Web, iOS, Android


Like Swagbucks, Perk offers lots of ways to earn points: watch videos, take quizzes, play games, search the web, shop and more. Each feature has its own app—and like Swagbucks, it deciding what to do to earn points can get convoluted quickly—but the app you probably want to use is Perk TV, which rewards points for watching videos. Watching videos earns you very little (a point or two each, which amounts to fractions of a penny), you can run Perk TV on your phone and it will autoplay videos while you do other things, making it one of the lowest effort apps on this list. If you use it regularly, that can result in some very real cash over the course of a month.

What you do: Watch videos, take quizzes, play games and more
How much you're paid: $0.001 to $0.003 per video
How you get paid: PayPal, gift cards from Target, Starbucks and more
How much you need to make before cashing out: $5
Platform: iOS, Android


If you enjoy the thrill of playing the lotto, give Lucktastic a try. It's a free app that lets you play games akin to scratch-off lottery tickets—and like lotto tickets, your rewards can be pretty random. Every day you get a handful of new tickets to scratch off, each of which will reward you between five to 10 points. Eventually, you can turn those points in for cash or gift cards, but just like the lotto you have a chance to win more instantly—up to $10,000. Scratching off your tickets will only take a minute or two, and though the earnings are small (unless you win one of the big prizes), they add up over the course of the month. Plus, because it's free you've really got nothing to lose—beyond a tiny amount of time—by playing.

What you do: View ads and play games
How much you're paid: $0.005 to $0.01 per scratch off, with chances to more instantly
How you get paid: Check, Dwolla, or gift cards from Amazon, GameStop, Fandango and more
How much you need to make before cashing out: $10
Platform: iOS, Android


Shoppers, this one's for you. Shopkick gives you points for visiting stores, browsing (and scanning product barcodes while you do), and buying certain items. Different stores will have different offerings, some giving you points for just walking in the door while others will only reward you for buying products. Offers change frequently, so keep an eye on the app to see which stores are offering points before you head out shopping. Though Shopkick requires a bit of effort to keep up with the available rewards, it's a good way to earn some extra cash just by doing the shopping you're already doing.

What you do: Shop and browse at certain stores
How much you're paid: $0.25 to $1.50 per store visit, product scan or purchase
How you get paid: Gift cards from Walmart, Target, Starbucks, Best Buy and more
How much you need to make before cashing out: $2
Platform: iOS, Android


Think of Ibotta as a coupon or rebate system, offering rewards for purchases you make. Unlock offers for specific products at specific stores in the Ibotta app—by just clicking on them or sometimes watching an ad or answering a question—and then take a photo of your receipt as proof of purchase. Most of Ibotta's offers are focused on grocery items, but there's a growing selection of clothing, electronics and other retailers on offer for deals no matter what you're shopping for. Adding Ibotta to your grocery shopping routine is relatively low effort—especially if you're already used to clipping coupons—and the earnings can add up relatively quickly, depending on your shopping habits.

What you do: Buy products
How much you're paid: From $0.25 to $10.00 per purchase
How you get paid: PayPal, Venmo, or gift cards from Amazon, Best Buy, Starbucks and more
How much you need to make before cashing out: $20
Platform: iOS, Android

Receipt HogReceipt Hog

If unlocking Ibotta's rebates is too much hassle, try Receipt Hog, which rewards you for shopping in fewer steps. Just scan receipts when you shop—the app primarily supports grocery and drug stores—and collect points for each scan based on how much you spend. If you scan at least one receipt a week, you'll also have the chance to play a slot machine style game that can earn you extra points. Receipt Hog makes the money to reward you by collecting your shopping data—minus your personal information—for market research, so if you object, you'll want to stay away. But if that's not a problem, Receipt Hog is a straightforward way to earn a bit of extra cash for your everyday shopping.

What you do: Scan your receipts
How much you're paid: $0.025 to $0.13 per receipt, depending on how much you spend
How you get paid: PayPal or Amazon gift card
How much you need to make before cashing out: $5.00
Platform: iOS, Android


Becoming a mystery shopper has never been easier. Mobee offers mystery shopping "missions" at shops and restaurants around the country, asking you to shop, take photos and answer a few questions about your experience. The missions are relatively quick to complete at 10 to 15 minutes each, and if there's a mission convenient to where you're shopping or running errands, it's usually worth your while. As long as you aren't going out of your way to do a mission, Mobee offers good rewards for the time spent—from $1.50 to $12.00 per mission (though expect to spend more time for higher reward missions). The only downside is that if you're in a rural area, you're likely to find Mobee's missions well out of your way, meaning the time you take to get there could be more than the reward is worth.

What you do: Shop and answer some questions
How much you're paid: $1.50 to $12.00 per mission
How you get paid: Donations to charity or gift cards from Walmart, Target, Best Buy, eBay, Starbucks and more
How much you need to make before cashing out: $5
Platform: iOS, Android

Surveys on the GoSurveys on the Go

Get paid cash for your opinions! Surveys on the Go lets you anonymously answer survey questions on a variety of topics for market research. The downside to making money by taking surveys, however, is that sometimes they can take a lot of time for only a small reward—and, worse, sometimes you'll answer a number of questions only to be told you don't qualify for the survey. However, if you don't mind in spending some time answering questions in exchange for cash, Surveys on the Go definitely has advantages over other survey systems: it's up-front about how much money you're making (listing it in cash rather than points) and it pays cash rather than gift cards.

What you do: Take surveys
How much you're paid: From $0.25 to $5.00 per survey
How you get paid: PayPal
How much you need to make before cashing out: $10
Platform: iOS, Android

Updated on 4/29/2016 with new apps and current payout information.

[Image credits: woman using phone via Shutterstock, CoSign, Fronto, Swagbucks,  Mobee, Lucktastic, Shopkick, Ibotta, Receipt Hog, Surveys on the Go]

Discussion loading


heres one for you!!!!

From Sharon on August 19, 2014 :: 7:09 pm

Panel offers amazon or paypal have to have location services on and answer question about your daily deeds have made 5 bucks have about a 1000 more points for 5 more takes about 3-5 months to get enough points free money is free money!!!



Here's two more

From Ben on August 21, 2014 :: 2:19 pm

Lucktastic is like a Lottery scratch card game you play on your phone, but rewards you with cash when you win, not just points for in-game items. Google Opinion Rewards (as the name entails) is really more of a rewards based (unfortunately it’s (valid credit) only redeemable in the Play Store, but then again that’s probably where you were going to spend it, anyway) opinion panel, rather than an app specifically geared towards making you money.




From Sophie S on August 23, 2014 :: 11:07 pm

Swagbucks has been around for years, and I’ve racked up enough to do all my Christmas shopping on Amazon every year. The apps make earning even easier, and faster.



From this which is best

From Rahul Yadav on December 28, 2014 :: 12:50 am

From this which is best app to earn money pls comments.



Nice list

From Arun Singh on December 28, 2014 :: 9:53 am

A very awesome list , i have used perk app and now i am going to try other two also thanks to share…


the app

From Ledarius Derio Jones on December 30, 2014 :: 7:07 pm

I tried to find the smartapp one its showing other apps do you have the link to the smartapp



Here's one you missed

From Greg Hinds on March 11, 2015 :: 11:03 pm

Has anyone tried ‘CashPirate’?

It’s an android app that pays you to download apps, take surveys and watch videos. It pays through PayPal or Amazon gift cards.

Also, it works worldwide.

Here’s the guide:



Something new?

From Sam on March 17, 2015 :: 3:41 pm

my friend on fb invited me yesterday to like an app page. Looks like a new app is coming ? ? is that available ? cannot find it.



Ads steal from me

From Richard on March 17, 2015 :: 4:54 pm

I have long thought Internet marketers use the wrong advertising model. My screens (computer, tablet or phone) either earn me money (I am using them to work) or cost me money ( I pay for equipment, software and services).

Some “free” services are funded by having ads on their sites, but the rest steal time, screen real estate and information from me. Why not pay me instead? I know what I buy, and when I am choosing between products.

After all, I spend lots of money each year, but filling my mailbox, my inbox, my screen or my time with unsolicited ads does not endear me to those products or companies. They are thieves of my resources. In fact, I frequently boycott them and shop their competitors if I need a similar product.


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