These moneymaking apps won’t make you rich but can earn you some respectable extra pocket money with little effort.
May 10, 2018
12 min read
Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.
Apps that can make you money? It sounds too good to be true, but moneymaking apps do actually exist. While these apps won’t make you rich, they can earn you some respectable pocket money or pay for your monthly mobile phone bill. From market research apps to mobile advertising apps to sharing economy apps, you can download one or many of these moneymaking apps on your smartphone for you to engage with as you commute or have some downtime. After all, every dollar counts.
Something to keep in mind is that among research market moneymaking apps, be wary of potential scams that ask for a fee to register (stay away) or over-exaggerate the potential earnings. Look at the app ratings and read the user reviews. You can also check with the Better Business Bureau to see the business’s rating and any registered complaints.
Here are 10 ways to make money using apps.
The Money App (available for iOS and Android) is a market research app that earns you rewards for completing tasks, which include offering opinions, playing games, checking store displays, mystery shopping, testing services and participating in free trials. You open an account on the Money App and start completing tasks to accumulate rewards, which you can, in turn, redeem for cash using a PayPal account. The beauty of this app is that you can get paid within two to three working days of redeeming rewards — which is unusual in the world of market research apps that typically pay once a month or don’t offer cash rewards at all.
What’s more, the app scores highly (4.8 out of 5) on both Google Play and iTunes. One reviewer wrote: “I got my first 10 dollars within 5 days. That’s pretty good for not getting up off the couch.” Couch potatoes, rejoice; you now have options.
The iPoll app (available for iOS and Android) is a customized market research app that allows you to earn money through taking market surveys, writing down diaries (of dairy consumption over three days, for example) and completing missions around retail (e.g. going to the grocery store).
You register and are asked some basic information, such as your preferences and consumer habits, to determine your fit for missions, and then you receive alerts when there are new missions available based on your preferences and location. The beauty of this particular market research app is that it’s customized, so you get alerts for tasks and missions that are suited to your interests and what you may actually enjoy.
Users like iPoll, too: It’s rated 4 out of 5 stars on iTunes — and less glowing 3.1 out of 5 on Google Play. One reviewer wrote, “I like that there's usually not any technical difficulties or ‘glitches’…and that the selection of topics are interesting and fun. … Most of the time, surveys [are] easy to start and complete; also they're not exceedingly long!”
For each survey, mission or diary completed, you earn rewards that can be redeemed for gift cards, or you can cash out using PayPal. You need only have accrued $10 to do so. Another perk: You're automatically entered into a quarterly sweepstakes to win $10,000 in cash.
Related: 8 Ways to Make Money While You Sleep
Foap is a moneymaking app (available for iOS and Android) that allows both professional and amateur photographers to make extra money selling photos taken on a smartphone. It’s pretty genius. Basically, it’s a crowdsourcing platform for brands and advertising and marketing agencies to find and purchase images from Foap’s registry of more than 2.5 million photographers around the world.
You register an account, upload your high-quality photos with clear tags, and the photos get rated by the registered community — the higher the rating, the higher the photo’s visibility. For each sale, you earn $5, and you can earn up to $100 per sale. There are also "missions," where brands and agencies will make specific requests for images.
The app is well-rated on both iTunes (4.3 out of 5) and Google Play (3.8 out of 5). One reviewer wrote: “I love this app! It's entertaining, a new place to share my photos and I have the opportunity to earn money from them.”
Not everyone has a vehicle, and many of us own vehicles that sit idle for the majority of days. Good news: This sharing economy app, Fluid Market (available for iOS and Android), allows you to rent out your cargo van, box truck, pickup truck, car and/or SUV by the hour, day or week.
According to the company’s website, you can make up to $24,000 per year by renting your truck on Fluid. You can also rent out your tools, such as drills, saws, hedge trimmers, as well as items that fall into the “Other” category, which have included miscellaneous things, such as platform shoes, a rowboat and a tandem two-person bike.
Users generally like the app. It’s rated 4.5 out of 5 on iTunes and 3.5 out of 5 on Google Play. One Fluid Market user said, “I love this app. I make money letting my neighbors use items that just sit around my house. It’s so easy and I get peace of mind with the insurance.” The vehicle rental system is set up for convenience for both parties. You, the rentee, can set up a lockbox on your vehicle so you can rent out your car and not have to be present to hand over the keys.
You make money as soon as you sign up for Swagbucks (available for iOS and Android) with a $10 sign-up bonus. The boilerplate market research app allows you to accrue points by taking surveys, shopping online or playing games, things you can do as you wait in line or have some downtime on your commute. You can also earn points watching videos. Swagbucks has been rated 4 out of 5 rating on both iTunes and Google Play.
Perks for this app? Unlike other market research apps that aggregate third-party surveys, Swagbucks offers numerous opportunities for surveys, which leads to more opportunities to make cash. Do keep in mind that even though there are many opportunities for surveys, you will be disqualified from doing some of them based on your demographics. Another perk is that you can redeem your points for gifts cards or cash back from PayPal (the cashing out threshold is 2,500 Swagbucks points, worth $25). Users, for the most part, like the app. One user wrote, “Great way to earn extra cash during breaks at work or waiting for an appointment. Who doesn't have time for that? I use the points for Amazon gift cards and have cashed out several times in the last year to spoil myself.”
Slidejoy (available for Google Play) pays users for their lock screens. Once it’s installed on your phone, you’ll start seeing various ads featuring news or advertisers on your lock screen. You can swipe left to learn more, swipe up for additional ads or swipe right for the home screen. The good news is you earn passive income regardless of whether or not you engage with the ads — just think about how many times a day you have to unlock your phone. If you wanted to earn more, you could do other things in the app, such as surveys.
You can choose to be paid via Square Cash or PayPal (select “normal” mode), or you can donate your earnings to charity. The catch is that when you first sign up, you have to wait approximately three months before you can cash out. After that, it’s a monthly cash-out payment.
It’s rated a highly respectable 4.3 out of 5 stars on Google Play, and one reviewer wrote about her experience: “Who doesn't love free money?! Four Stars only because they changed the cash-out options.” One downside: Slidejoy has a rather steep 20 percent cash-out fee.
“Great way of getting rid of books,” wrote one user of the Bookscouter app (available for iOS and Android). “I got $170 from selling four books. The highest buyer is automatically put at the top so you can get the most for your books. I will definitely use again.”
The Bookscouter app allows you to earn money by selling your new and old books. Once you download the app, it’s easy to register (using your email address or through Facebook or other social networks). Then, start scanning book barcodes (using your phone’s camera) and see an aggregation of buyback prices from book-buyers, with the highest buyer at the top. Shipping is free.
Reviewers have given Bookscouter their endorsements on iTunes (3.3 out of 5) and Google Play (3.9 out of 5). However, keep in mind, not all the books scanned will produce price codes and some of the offers to buy your books disappear when you follow up. However, as one reviewer said, “Getting paid even $15 for books I was going to give away seems worth it to me! Clear clutter AND get some cash.”
As a market research app, Toluna (available for iOS and Android) stands out in the crowd, because users can get paid in cash using PayPal, and also the app offers rewards for more than just taking surveys — you can also create your own surveys (e.g. based on current events, shampoo habits or opinion on latest tech gadget) that can earn you bonus points.
Registration is simple, and to get a feel for how you can make the most out of Toluna, you can watch a webinar on ways you can milk the app. (Look for the next webinar in your notifications, on the upper-right-hand side of screen, which tells you about new surveys available.)
The app is rated 3.8 out of 5 stars on iTunes and 3.3 out of 5 stars on Google Play.
“Be patient and persevere! I've been here just a bit over a year and it's been wonderful. When you get enough points, go to the rewards center and choose what you like! If you go for cash, I like the PayPal advantage over waiting on a paper check,” wrote one user on the Toluna community blog.
The Userfeel app (available for iOS and Android) allows you to participate in usability tests, meaning you get paid to visit and explore new websites, perform various simple tasks on the site and offer recorded feedback and critiques. (There is a helpful video on the website that provides a clear illustration of what is expected.)
Each test lasts 10 to 20 minutes, and you're paid $10 a test in cash via PayPal or Payoneer.
One of the standout features of this app is that you take an initial “qualifications test,” which records your voice and your screen as you walk through given tasks. This is a version of what you’ll be doing, but it’s unpaid and meant to not only test whether the app is working, but also to give you a rating by the UserFeel team. The better your rating, the more tests that will be assigned to you.
The app scored 3.2 out of 5 on Google Play. One UserFeel reviewer wrote, “I had few issues uploading my video, but their support team was able to help me recover it, and I got paid for my test. Very easy way to make some extra money. I can’t wait to [do] another test.” Some of the reviews mentioned the app crashing as the user was trying to upload the test video, however the Userfeel support team was responsive in trying to resolve these issues.
Musely (available for iOS and Android) is an online community and marketplace app for eco-friendly beauty and home products, as well as a social platform for women to share and receive healthy lifestyle advice and tips ranging from parenting to skincare to fitness. On Musely, you can shop for organic, up-and-coming brands and eco-friendly products, such as toxin-free nail polish or all-natural lipstick.
The way to earn money on the app is to become a “Muse” (basically an influencer) on the site and create your own store to earn a 20 percent commission on the sales of the products you recommend. Musely automatically pays out the 1st and the 15th of each month.
The app is rated highly on both iTunes (4.7 out of 5) and Google Play (4.2 stars out of 5). One reviewer wrote, “Loads of DIY tips! It's a great app for health, beauty, crafts and much much more! I'm obsessed!”