This post may contain affiliate links. Please see my full disclosure policy for details.

I never thought it would be possible to make money from a smartphone. Maybe it was because my first smartphone wasn’t anything fancy, and barely connected to the internet. But fast-forward to today, and there are lots of ways to make money from the palm of your hand.

I have personally used all of these apps and have made some extra money with some of them just by setting up an account, using the apps, and referring the ones I love to friends.

After trying many different money making apps in the last 10 years, I’m sharing the ones that I recommend if you’re looking to make extra money.
Make Extra Money with Apps

Apps That Pay You Real Money to Install & Work

I’m sharing the best apps based on my personal experience, plus some others that I know are legit but haven’t had enough time to test for myself. Through word-of-mouth, I’ve been able to verify that each app is legit and can add to your bottom line.

Nielsen mobile app screenshot1. Nielsen Computer & Mobile Panel

If you’ve ever received a 5 dollar bill in the mail attached to a short questionnaire, you’re probably familiar with Nielsen TV Ratings. The company has a long history of collecting valuable, anonymous data from consumers that helps brands improve their products and services.

Now, Nielsen Computer & Mobile Panel is available to anyone who has a smartphone (or another device that connects to the internet). When you join the trusted site for free and download its software on your devices, Nielsen collects anonymous data from your online habits. Instead of answering surveys, you just go about your day as usual.

The company pays a $50 yearly residual for your anonymous data, and provides the opportunity to earn extra rewards. You can sign up for Nielsen here to get started.

If you speak Spanish, use this link to sign up.

Inboxdollars app screenshot2. InboxDollars

InboxDollars is a fun app that pays real money for doing easy micro-tasks online.

Some of the ways to earn money with InboxDollars are to complete free paid surveys, read emails, watch videos, play games and share the app with friends and family. You can also get paid to complete offers like testing new apps or signing up for free trials.

The tasks are all easy, and if you like making extra money from your smartphone, it’s worth downloading the app and visiting it in your spare time.

Sign up for InboxDollars and earn a $5 bonus.

Swagbucks app screenshot3. Swagbucks

Swagbucks is another micro-task app that pays you to do all kinds of things online. You can Swabucks called SBs and convert them into free gift cards or PayPal cash.

There are more than 17 different ways to make money on Swagbucks. Completing paid surveys is one of the most well-known ways to earn money, but you can also do things like print and use coupons, book your travel plans, play games, complete online searches, and many more.

Sign up for a free account to earn a $5 bonus.

Pinecone Research app screenshot4. Pinecone Research

If you like completing surveys in your spare time, Pinecone Research is one of the best paying apps to join. If you’re between the ages of 18 and 24, you can join for free and earn $3 per survey you complete.

The questions will almost always relate to something you’ve already done (or you’re interested in doing), so you won’t have to do any type of research to complete them. Pinecone Research is just looking for your honest opinion about different brands and services.

Occasionally, the Pinecone Research may invite you to participate in paid product trials. You will get paid to test a product and share your opinion.

Related: Pinecone Research Review: The Most Exclusive Survey Site

Apps That Pay You Real Money to Shop

Everyone spends money. But not everyone realizes that there are apps that will pay you to spend your money. And the nice thing is that you don’t have to step outside of your normal budget to make these apps work in your favor.

Rakuten earnings5. Rakuten

Rakuten is one of the best apps that pay real money that I have personally use to make extra money. I’ve earned an easy $300.12–all of which has already landed securely in my PayPal account.

Here’s a snapshot of how it works:

If you’re familiar with affiliate marketing, then think of Rakuten as a way to make extra money by clicking on your own referral link. In affiliate marketing, you typically cannot refer yourself to a product or service, but you can earn cash back using eBates in the same exact way.

You can read more about how the app works in my Rakuten review.

I often shop online at Walmart so when I go to grab something I first go to Rakuten and follow their link to Walmart. An average shopping trip earns users $2.00 cash back. It’s certainly not something that will replace your full-time job, but the money does add up.

Sign up for Rakuten using my link and earn a $10 bonus.

Ibotta cash back earnings6. Ibotta App

Ibotta is similar to Rakuten in that it also offers cash back on everyday purchase. The nice thing about Ibotta is that it focuses on groceries from your local stores whereas eBates is used for online purchase. I highly recommend signing up for both so that you can maximize your cash back opportunities!

Using Ibotta is simple and straightforward. You can submit your receipts, link a loyalty card or make your purchase right through the app. Right now there are 291 participating stores! The popular stores that we all shop at are Walmart, Food Lion, Kroger, Publix, Walgreens, and CVS Pharmacy. But there are many others, so be sure to check them out.

Sign up for Ibotta and earn a $10 signup bonus when you redeem your first offers!

Raise savings7. Raise App

Raise is a trusted platform where people like you and I can buy or sell¬†gift cards to any store (online or walk-in) at a discounted rate. I have sold a handful of gift cards that I just couldn’t use for various reasons. I felt it was better to earn extra money from them that would otherwise be stuck on a piece of plastic in my wallet for forever.

I absolutely love when I score a gift card to one of my favorite businesses at a steep discount. For a few months, one of my favorite coffee shops had gift cards ranging from $20 to $75 value listed at a 30% to 40% discount! Who doesn’t love finding a deal on their favorite coffee?! There are other top stores are brands like Walmart, Target and Kohl’s, just to name a few.

Two years ago when I purchased a large gun case for my husband’s hunting gear, I grabbed a few Dick’s Sporting Good’s gift cards at a 10% discount. I did the same thing again when my husband purchased new golf clubs. Neither of these purchases are small, so saving the 10% was completely worth grabbing the discounted gift cards!

You can use this money making app on your smartphone while on the go at your favorite stores. You can also plan ahead and purchase discounted gift cards from your laptop or tablet.

Grab some of your favorite discounted gift cards here or sell some of your own.

Groupon app screenshot8. Groupon App

If you’ve ever heard of our shopping on Groupon, you already know that there are some pretty random deals to sift through. But hidden amidst these random deals are some pretty great gems!

My favorite steels from Groupon are the exclusive 50% off Regal Cinemas gift cards or 50% off Starbucks gift cards. If you’re on a tight budget, maybe the movies or a fancy coffee are not on your priority list. But if these are things that you love and cannot forgo forever, then consider saving the extra money and grabbing these 50% off deals through Groupon.

There are so many different deals on Groupon that I can’t begin to touch on. If you are shopping around for fun events in your area, then Groupon typically has admission rates at a discount. If you have a family trip planned to a nearby Zoo or Theme Park, then it’s worth signing up for Groupon to see if they have deals on your exact destinations!

This money saving app really helps you keep your budget in check while still having fun from time to time!

Related: How To Make Money From Robocalls (Step-By-Step Instructions)

Make Extra Money On The Side with these Money Making Apps

I know that no single app will pay you enough money to replace working a job, but even the smallest changes can add up and make life more comfortable. In my household, there are many things that we are just not willing to go without (vacation, coffee, date nights, etc.), but finding ways to extra money from these already habitual spending habits is a huge win in my book!

For more than 10 years I've been researching, testing, and sharing work from home opportunities with fellow introverts.I created The Pay At Home Parent in February of 2018 to help you be a successful home-based business owner, blogger or side hustler.As a wife, mom and frugal homemaker, I make a full-time income on a part-time work schedule and I know that you can too!

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