When you hear “money-making apps” I bet your first thoughts are cashback sites and surveys. While those are legit options, there are way more apps out there, and many can make you even more money.
There are apps that negotiate for you on your bills, ones that can earn you passive income, apps to sell your stuff, and apps for side hustlers.
And, if you’re here for surveys and cashback sites, don’t worry fam, I’ve got you.
Alright, let’s stop wasting time…
Here are 23 of the best money making apps for your smartphone
Apps that negotiate for you
These are apps that find discounts and lower rates on things you’re already spending money on. This is easy money that you’re earning back.
Paribus is an app that makes you money on things you’ve already purchased. Paribus has partnered with over 25 of the largest online retailers, including Amazon, Target, Walmart, and Home Depot. If you purchase something from one of those retailers and miss a coupon or the price drops, Paribus helps you make money back.
Here’s how Paribus works:
- Download the free Paribus app.
- The Paribus Receipt Fetcher scans your emails to find online purchases (Paribus is only looking for the names of merchants it monitors, names of products, dates of purchase, and prices).
- If you missed a coupon or the price drops on a product, Paribus contacts the company to see if they can get you some money back.
- The money you earn is processed through the company, not Paribus.
Paribus is 100% free to use, and they’re not sharing your data with anyone.
Trim is a money-making app that negotiates your bills and debt payments, and it can even cancel any unused subscription services. It also gives you a monthly spending analysis, helps you build a budget, and creates a debt pay off plan for you.
But let’s talk about how it makes you money…
The Trim app goes through any bills you upload and sends you a text if they can find discounts or credits. If they can lower your bills, Trim takes 33% of the annual total you save with the discount. Say Trim finds a $20 monthly savings on your cell phone bill. You will now save $240 a year, and you pay Trim $79.20 to negotiate for the lower price.
For subscription services, the Trim app texts you a reminder that you are about to be billed and asks if they can cancel the subscription for you. There is no charge for this service.
Learn more at Trim App Review 2019: An Easy Way to Save Money on Bills.
Top money making apps where you earn cashback
Cashback sites work in different ways, some you shop through and others pay you a little when you scan in your receipts. With pretty minimal work, you can earn money back on your everyday purchases with these apps.
Ibotta is a money-making app that helps you earn cash back in a few different ways:
- Upload your receipts and earn money back on items you’ve already purchased.
- Connect Ibotta to store loyalty accounts and save on special member offers and deals.
- Pay with the Ibotta app at over 50 different retailers to earn cash back quickly.
Ibotta partners with over 1,500 brands and companies, and users have already earned over $680 million using the Ibotta app. Signing up takes just two minutes, cash hits your Ibotta account within 48 hours. Plus, it’s 100% free to use!
If you’re not familiar with Rakuten, you might know them formerly as Ebates, one of the top money-making apps out there. The Rakuten app is straightforward and easy to use and can help you earn up to 40% back at over 2,500 different stores.
Here are some of their current offers (note: offers change on a regular basis):
- 6% back at Macy’s
- Up to $20 back at Blue Apron
- 5% on Amazon purchases
- Up to $75 back on AT&T TV and internet
The way you earn money is by using Rakuten to shop at one of their partner stores, and the app is free to use. New users earn $10 when signing up.
The free-to-use Dosh app has a clean and simple design and earns you cashback when you:
- Link a credit or debit card to Dosh and shop with it as you normally would.
- Use your linked card at one of Dosh’s 1,000+ store and restaurant partners, Dosh pays you up to 10% back.
- Earn $5 every time you refer a friend to Dosh.
You use the Dosh app to transfer the cash you earn to your bank, PayPal, or even donate it to a charity. Security is a priority for Dosh, and they use 256-bit encryption, card information is tokenized and vaulted, and Dosh never sells your data.
The best apps for selling your stuff
When you need to make money quickly, selling your stuff online is one of the easiest ways to earn fast cash. These apps make it ridiculously easy, and while there are lots of options, these selling apps are my top picks.
Decluttr is a selling app that buys your old tech items to resell online, and here’s how it works:
- The app gives you a free valuation of your item by scanning a barcode or searching through Decluttr’s database.
- When you find a price you like, the app will lock it in for 28 days.
- Decluttr sends you a free shipping label.
- You ship the item to Decluttr.
- Receive payment direct deposit, Paypal, check, and Decluttr will even donate the money to a charity of your choice.
Decluttr takes old cell phones, tablets, video game consoles, CDs, and more. And, it’s free to you use.
Poshmark is one of the top money-making apps for selling clothes, shoes, and accessories. The app is free to use, but for sales under $15, Poshmark takes $2.95. For sales over $15, you pay Poshmark a 20% commission.
Here are a few tips for selling on Poshmark:
- To make sure your items show up in searches, fill out as many details as possible and use keywords in your description.
- Regularly post items if you can because Poshmark shows recently shared items first.
- If someone “likes” an item in your closet, Poshmark sends you a notification. If you’re flexible on your selling price send offers to the people who have liked your items. You can even set your prices so you’re prepared to negotiate.
If you’re already on Facebook (you probably are), then the Facebook app is one of the easiest places to sell your stuff online. There aren’t any extra apps to download, you know the platform already… it’s a no brainer.
Tips for selling on Facebook:
- To reach the most people, list your items on Facebook Marketplace.
- If you want to stick to your area or neighborhood, list your items in local buy/sell/swap groups.
- Pick your meet-up spot and do your negotiations via Messenger so you aren’t publicly sharing details.
BTW… If you haven’t done so yet, join me on Facebook in my M$M community.
Started in 2014 and based out of Dallas, TX, 5miles is a free money making app that connects neighbors with one another for buying and selling. You can search based on distance (up to 50 miles) or by category.
5miles released a new selling option called 5miles Dash, and here’s how it works:
- Sellers list items to be bid on
- The items are for sale for only 90 seconds
- Bids start at $1
- At the end of 90 seconds, the highest bid wins
OfferUp makes it easy to make money online by selling your stuff to people in your area. All sellers and buyers have a profile with ratings and history. Buyers and sellers use the app to negotiate on price and to set times to meet.
More to know about making money with OfferUp:
- You can sell virtually anything on the app
- There are no fees to sell your stuff on OfferUp
- Buyers can search locally or nationwide, with shipping options
Passive income apps
Earning passive income takes some kind of investment, either monetary or time. These apps help you make money passively by investing in the stock market. These investing apps are all a little different, but they all work to break down the barriers of traditional investing.
When you sign up for an Acorns account, you answer a series of questions that determine your risk tolerance. Acorns then matches you with one of five different types of portfolios and purchases fractional shares of ETFs that fit the asset allocation of your portfolio.
To fund your Acorns investing account and start earning returns, here are the options:
- Link a debit card and Acorns will round up transactions to the next dollar amount and invest the difference.
- Apply multipliers to your Round-Ups.
- Schedule recurring deposits.
There are three different types of Acorns accounts, costing just $1/month for a personal investment account and up to $3/month for an investment account, IRA, and checking account.
Stash is another micro-investing app like Acorns, but Stash gives you more control over how you invest your money. You fund your Stash account like you do with Acorns – with round-ups, and scheduled deposits – and you can also use Stash’s powerful algorithm to pull small amounts of money from your bank account and move into your Stash investment account.
Once you’ve funded your Stash account, the app will recommend investments based on your risk tolerance, but you can also pick which ETFs and stocks you invest in.
- Interested in AI, there’s an ETF for that.
- Want a safer bet like Treasury Bonds, there’s an ETF for that.
- Always wanted to purchase some Apple stock but have been turned off by the cost of a full share, you can purchase a fractional share for as little as $5.
Stash has three different account types, ranging from $1 to $9/month.
Learn even more about Stash at Acorns vs. Stash: Which is Better, How Much They Cost, and Should You Use Them?
The Robinhood app isn’t exactly micro-investing – you’re investing in full shares of stocks, ETFs, options, and cryptocurrency. But, Robinhood offers commission-free trades and no account minimums.
While the app is streamlined, free, and simple to use, it’s not a Robo-advisor and education is limited. Still, I hear lots of Millennial Money Man readers who have used Robinhood as their entrance to investing and have been really happy with their experience.
Earn money with survey apps
Taking surveys online isn’t going to make you rich, but it’s an easy way to make a few bucks here and there. Think about it like this, instead of playing Candy Crush or swiping through Instagram stories, you can spend a few minutes taking a survey to make some cash.
14. Opinion Outpost
When you take online surveys you are providing companies with valuable market research. Opinion Outpost pays you for your feedback with points that can be redeemed for cash through PayPal, or you can trade your points in for gift cards at retailers like Amazon and iTunes.
This is another 100% legit survey site that is really popular among survey takers. With Swagbucks, you can earn points to redeem for cash in a few different ways in addition to answering surveys, including:
- Shopping online
- Watching videos
- Searching the web
The points you earn with Swagbucks are redeemable for gift cards or cash via PayPal.
16. Pinecone Research
When I was in college and trying to make extra cash, Pinecone Research was one of the survey sites I used on a regular basis. I made around $3 a survey, and it was pretty easy money.
One of the best pieces of advice I can give you with online surveys is to sign up for as many different sites as you can. That will give you the most opportunities to make some extra cash.
Top money making apps that pay you for work
This section is all about apps that are great for side hustling. There is rideshare driving, grocery delivery services, and doing one-off tasks.
Uber has been disrupting the industry and changing the way people earn money since it was founded 10 years ago. What drivers earn varies by area and when they drive, and drivers typically average between $15-$20/hour.
That’s not too bad for an app that lets you earn on your own time, but there is still a lot to learn about Uber before you drive, including:
- The expenses associated with driving
- Knowing your area
- How to set your schedule
- Why your car needs to be clean
Learn about those factors and more in Is Driving for Uber Worth It: 6 Things to Know Before Jumping In?
Lyft is really similar to Uber and drivers average about the same pay. Most rideshare drivers I’ve heard from use both apps so they have the most opportunities to drive.
For the subtle differences, check out Uber vs. Lyft: Which is Better to Drive For?
19. Amazon Flex
Amazon Flex is a new-ish delivery service offered by Amazon and the Flex app is the key to making money with this side hustle. Using the app, you:
- Schedule delivery times
- Scan packages
- Get directions to delivery locations
- Get paid
Driving for Amazon Flex is a little bit like driving for a rideshare company, but you’re delivering packages, not people. Amazon Flex drivers earn between $18-$25/hour.
TaskRabbit is an app where people post random jobs they need to be done around their house. You can find everything from someone willing to pay $25 to have a mirror hung to someone who will pay $50 to have their kitchen deep cleaned.
There are actually people who earn $2,000/week with TaskRabbit!
The Postmates app connects customers with couriers for restaurant, grocery, and even alcohol deliveries. The app is available in most major cities and you can deliver via car, scooter, bike, or by foot.
The majority of the work happens via the app. That’s where people order their goods, and it’s where Postmates couriers accept orders, find the best route, take a picture of the receipt, and get paid.
People order some weird stuff from Postmates… $1,000 worth of Taco Bell, 200 limes that were accidentally delivered to John Legend and Chrissy Teigen’s house, and over $1,500 worth of drum equipment… so be prepared!
Unlike Postmates, Instacart is a delivery app that is strictly for groceries. The way it works is that someone places a grocery order on Instacart, and then an Instacart shopper accepts the order and gets to workshopping and/or delivering the order.
If you’re interested in this side gig, most drivers average around $18/hour.
Rover is an app that connects pet owners with dog walkers and pet sitters in their area. Watching someone else’s pet is a pretty big responsibility… I know this because my wife and I hire a pet sitter for our special snowflake dog, Strider.
But if you’re up for the job, the pay is pretty decent and probably a lot of fun.
Pay varies depending on your area, the needs of your pet, and so on. You’ll earn the most if you live in an urban area, upwards of $25 for a 30-minute walk or $70 for an overnight stay.
The final word on money-making apps
Phew, 23 different options for earning money with your smartphone. That’s a lot of different ways to make extra cash. You can definitely try them all, but there are going to be a couple of standouts for you
There are so many options because there is a real need for people to make more money to pay off their debt, save for retirement and more. Technology has made it even easier to find what’s out there, and I bet the options will only increase over time.