Money making apps have become increasingly popular in recent years, providing accessible opportunities to earn extra income right from your smartphone. With so many options available, it can be overwhelming to identify the best apps that suit your needs and lifestyle. This comprehensive guide explores 21 of the top money making apps that offer legitimate ways to earn rewards, cashback, and real money.
How Do Money Making Apps Work?
Money making apps employ various incentives and earning structures to enable users to monetize their time and activities. Here are some common approaches:
- Surveys – Complete market research surveys and get paid for your opinions. Popular apps include Swagbucks, SurveyJunkie, etc.
- Cashback – Get a percentage of your spending back by shopping through affiliate apps like Rakuten, Ibotta, Dosh etc.
- Microtasks – Earn by completing simple tasks like data entry, transcription or even playing games. Apps like Fiverr, Upwork, etc.
- Rentals – Rent out assets like your home, car or other properties to earn rental income via apps like Airbnb, Turo etc.
- Selling – Sell products, services or handmade items for profit using apps like Etsy, eBay, OfferUp.
- Referrals – Refer your friends to sign up for certain apps and earn bonus rewards.
- Investing – Invest in stocks, bonds or real estate and earn returns on your capital through apps like Fundrise, Public etc.
Now let‘s look at 21 of the top money making apps available.
Swagbucks is one of the most popular rewards platforms that lets you earn points (SB) for various activities like survey-taking, shopping, watching videos, playing games, referrals and more. These can then be redeemed for gift cards or PayPal cash.
- Wide variety of earning opportunities
- $5 bonus for signing up
- Redemptions start at just $3 PayPal cash
- Surveys may disqualify at times
- High redemption thresholds for some rewards
SurveyJunkie allows users to share opinions by taking surveys and get paid up to $50 per survey. The platform has an extensive survey panel and offers quick payouts.
- Easy to use interface
- Quick payout via Paypal or gift cards
- Fairly high payout rates
- Limited surveys based on profile
- Significant waitlist for new users
InboxDollars rewards users for reading emails, taking surveys, shopping online, playing games, searching the web and more. You can redeem earnings for cash via check or PayPal.
- Variety of earning activities
- Get $5 just for signing up
- No minimum payout threshold
- Time investment needed to earn rewards
- Lower payout rates for some activities
Rakuten provides cash back rewards when you shop online through their portal at over 3,500 partner stores. You can earn anywhere from 1-20% cashback on purchases.
- Large partner network of top brands
- Generous welcome bonus
- Rewards paid quarterly via check or PayPal
- Need to shop through Rakuten for earnings
- Cashback rates vary between retailers
Ibotta lets you earn cashback rewards on everyday purchases by uploading images of grocery/retail receipts or linking a loyalty card. Redeem your earnings via Paypal or gift cards.
- Works at major grocery and retail chains
- Browser extension available
- 100% welcome bonus on first cash out
- Need to submit receipts manually
- Inconsistent cashback offers
Dosh is a passive cashback app that gives you money back when you link your credit/debit cards and shop at partner merchants online or in-store. No receipts required!
- Totally passive earning
- Automatic cashback straight to PayPal
- Works at major brands, hotels, restaurants etc
- Limited regional availability
- Lower cashback rates than other apps
Drop app gives you rewards points (and sometimes cashback) for shopping at their partner stores like Amazon, Starbucks, Uber and more. Points can be redeemed for gift cards.
- Completely automatic redemption
- Good redemption rates
- First $5,000 points matched for joining
- Limited number of brand partners
- High redemption thresholds
Shopkick lets you earn "kicks" rewards points for just walking into partner stores, scanning barcodes of products, making purchases etc. Redeem for gift cards.
- Earn just by visiting stores
- Wide retail partner network
- Low redemption thresholds
- Earnings depend on store visits
- Limited payout options
Airbnb allows you to list spare rooms, apartments, homes etc. for short term rentals and earn money from travelers/guests. You set your own pricing and availability.
- Flexible hosting as per your schedule
- Earn significant rental income
- Over 4 million global hosts
- Need to manage guest check-ins
- Requires high-quality spaces
Turo lets you rent out your underutilized car when you‘re not using it to earn extra money. You list the car, pricing, availability and manage bookings.
- Fully flexible car rentals
- Earn up to $800/month per car
- Renters pre-screened
- Need to clean and deliver car
- Risk of damage
ThredUp allows you to sell your used clothing conveniently online – just ship your clothes to ThredUp in a prepaid bag and earn cash when they sell.
- Super simple selling process
- Largest online thrift store
- Higher earnings on luxury brands
- No control over pricing or listings
- Lower base payout rates
Poshmark is a social marketplace for buying and selling new/used clothing. List items directly from your closet and earn when buyers purchase.
- Full control over pricing, shipping etc
- Very engaged community of buyers
- Keep 80% of each sale amount
- Need to self-market and share listings
- Direct interaction needed with buyers
Etsy allows creators and craftspersons to set up a virtual shop and sell handmade items, craft supplies, vintage goods and more to a global audience.
- Low fees compared to other platforms
- Complete creative control
- Millions of active buyers
- Need excellent photography and marketing
- Establishing your shop takes time
eBay is an enormous online auction marketplace where anyone can auction and sell new or used items across thousands of categories to buyers around the world.
- Massive existing buyer base
- Low insertion fees
- Option for auction or fixed pricing
- Lots of competition on platform
- Handling shipping/returns yourself
Fiverr is a leading freelance services marketplace where freelancers offer gigs/services starting at $5. Earn by selling your skills and talents in areas like design, writing, voiceovers etc.
- Global reach and access
- Freelancer friendly payment terms
- Easy setup
- Tough competition in some categories
- Need to build clientele and reviews
Upwork connects freelance professionals like designers, writers, programmers etc. with clients seeking their services. Browse open projects and submit proposals to earn.
- Millions in available contract work
- Flexible work options
- Payment protection for freelancers
- High competition on platform
- Unpaid job proposal work
uTest lets you earn by testing websites, apps, and software for various companies. Get paid for reporting issues, bugs, defects and your feedback.
- Work flexible hours
- No experience required
- Over 300,000 registered testers
- Unpredictable project availability
- Low hourly rates for testing
Appen provides flex-work opportunities in areas like AI training data annotation, speech collection, search engine evaluation and more. No experience required.
- Flexible work-from-home jobs
- Decent pay rates
- Global opportunities
- Unpredictable work availability
- Very competitive applicant pool
19. Amazon Flex
Amazon Flex allows you to earn $18-25/hr by delivering packages for Amazon in your own time using your car or bike. You choose package pickup/drop-off times.
- Well-paying flexible work
- No customer interactions
- Supplemental income source
- Vehicle and insurance requirements
- No guaranteed income
With Instacart you can earn money by shopping for groceries and delivering orders to customers in your city in your free time. Work hours are flexible.
- Flexible gig without set hours
- Shop and deliver on your schedule
- Work in your own neighborhood
- Need to handle groceries carefully
- Need eligible vehicle
Rover connects pet owners with pet sitters and dog walkers. Set your rates, availability and earn money taking care of pets in your area.
- Flexible opportunity
- Dog lovers dream job
- Set your own rates and availability
- Key responsibility of pet care
- Income depends on demand in your area
Choosing the Right Money Making Apps
With so many money making apps to choose from, consider these key factors:
- Your Goals – Are you looking to make extra side income or earn some bonus rewards? Apps like Airbnb, Uber, Fiverr are best for income while survey sites, cashback apps can provide supplementary earnings.
- Time Commitment – If you want a passive earnings stream, choose cashback apps like Rakuten, Dosh etc. But if you have more time, options like freelancing, rentals and selling may be more lucrative.
- Payment Type – Check if your preferred payment mode – PayPal, gift cards, bank transfer etc. is supported. Some apps have redemption threshold requirements too.
- Availability In Your Area – On-demand apps like Uber, Instacart rely on demand in your city. Retail apps work with location-specific stores. Ensure apps you choose operate in your region.
Also read app reviews, terms of service, and watch video tutorials to help pick the right apps for your needs.
Begin Your Money Making Journey
While passive income apps may not make you rich overnight, they provide easy and legitimate ways for anyone to earn extra money in their free time. With so many innovative apps competing to reward user activities, you have several options to pick from based on your interests, time and availability.
Maximize your potential earnings by using multiple money making apps together – say survey panels, cashback apps and freelancing together. The key is being selective, utilizing high-value promotions and referral bonuses offered, and monitoring your payouts regularly.
So tap into the potential of these money making apps, and begin your rewarding journey towards some handy supplementary income today!