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 apps that pay cash 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.
Our Most Popular Money-Making Offers
Opinion Outpost - A high-paying, trusted survey site that rewards its members in free Amazon gift cards or cash.
Branded Surveys - A legit survey site that rewards its members in cash just for sharing their opinions.
InboxDollars - Get a $5 new-member bonus for joining a site that pays you to play games, search the web, answer polls, and complete paid offers and surveys.
Instacart - Earn up to $20 per hour to shop for and deliver groceries on your own schedule using your own car (and keep 100% of your tips!).
Cash App - Get $185+ in free cash and Bitcoin, invest in Bitcoin and stocks, and send and request money for free. Use my referral code for a cash bonus:
Apps That Pay You to Sign Up
Some of the best apps are those that pay you a cash bonus just to sign up. These legit paying apps are some of my all-time favorites!
1. Cash App
Cash App is a legit money management app that offers tons of ways to get free money. One of the easiest ways is just to download the app to your smartphone and enter the free money code: JSMTBXW. The code will give you a free bonus of $5, $10, or $15 (assigned at random).
Get a $185+ FREE Cash Bonus
Limited time only
5 Simple Steps:
- Download Cash App
- Click to copy code:
- Paste in "Enter Referral Code"
- Swap $5 and get $35*
- Set up direct deposit and get $150**
*As long as your friend enters your referral code, you BOTH get a cash bonus for swapping the same $5 with each other.
**Direct deposits must add up to $300 within a 30 day period to activate the $100 and $50 cash Boosts.
To activate the free cash bonus, you will need to send five bucks to another Cash App user (a friend or family member), and they can get money by sending you the same money right back. And this leads me to another easy way to make money with the app. Cash App will give you $15 for each friend you refer to the app.
I’ve referred my entire family and some friends for over $200 in bonuses! We love having the app because we always owe each other a few bucks but never seem to have cash on hand. Cash App makes it easy to send money to each other in just seconds.
You can also earn free Bitcoin and cash discounts on tons of online and in-store purchases. The app comes with a free debit card and you can select Cash App Boosts like 10% at local restaurants, grocery stores, and coffee shops, or 15% at various brands like Starbucks, Walmart, McDonald’s, and many others.
Robinhood’s trading investment app offers commission-free trading. It awards new members with a sign-up bonus valued between $3 and $220 upon joining. While most members receive a bonus of less than $10, there’s always the chance of scoring big!
Most stock trading apps charge a commission, but Robinhood prides itself in keeping trades free. When you get your sign-up bonus, you can keep it invested, trade it for another stick, or sell it and cash out.
Robinhood offers a great opportunity to invest and potentially grow your money over time. Some members even use the app to invest and make money daily. Check it out if you’re ready to invest!
Apps That Pay You Real Money to Complete Easy Tasks
I’m sharing the best apps based on my personal experience. These legit paying apps are free to join and pay you to play games, answer questions, complete offers, and much more.
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 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.
4. 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, Pinecone Research may invite you to participate in paid product trials. You will get paid to test a product and share your opinion.
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.
Apps That Pay You to Deliver Food
I used to love delivering pizza when I worked at a local mom and pop restaurant. The tips were great and it was fun to crank up the tunes while driving. Hop off of the couch and into your car if you’re interested in earning money with delivery driver apps.
Instacart is one of the best apps available that allows you to pick up local grocery delivery gigs in your area. If you don’t mind the hustle and bustle of a grocery run, you can earn money for your time.
As a shopper, you can log into the app to peruse current orders. Select the one that you’d like to claim, and start shopping. You won’t have to pay for any of the groceries out of pocket, and you will get paid as soon you’ve delivered the groceries. You also get to keep 100% of any tip the customer gives you.
Instacart offers part-time in-store shopping positions or independent, deliver-as-you’re able gigs. If you’re strapped for time or just want to pick up some deliveries over the weekend, then apply to become an Instacart full-service shopper. You can earn the most money on your own schedule with this app that pays real money.
DoorDash is another popular app that pays you to deliver food to people in your neighborhood. This company focuses on prepared restaurant food. You get to experience the benefits of a delivery driver but with much more flexibility. You can pick up gigs in your spare time, or log into the app and work all week long.
DoorDash delivery drivers, or “Dashers,” earn between $2 and $10 per hour, plus “promotions” during high demand hours, plus 100% of customer tips.* You can request immediate payment for a small fee, with the exception of a short waiting period to allow customers to adjust their tips.
Apply to become a Dasher and start delivering food in your area.
*For illustrative purposes only, actual earnings may differ and depend on expenses. Hourly pay is calculated using average Dasher payouts while on a delivery (from the time you accept an order until the time you drop it off) and includes compensation from peak pay, tips, and other incentives.
Apps That Pay Cash Back
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 is one of the best apps that pay real money that I have personally use to make extra money. I’ve earned an easy $300.32–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.
9. 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 Rakuten is used for online purchases. I highly recommend signing up for both so that you can maximize your cash back opportunities! Learn more about Rakuten vs Ibotta to see how they can work together.
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.
Apps That Pay for Your Data
There are apps that pay you just to download them to your devices. Once downloaded, you can continue browsing the web, shopping online, or playing games as normal while still earning rewards or cash.
10. 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.
Apps That Give Major Discounts
Money saved is money earned, right? That’s why I’m sharing two of my favorite apps that can save you money on the purchases you already make.
11. 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.
12. 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!
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!