There are apps available for basically everything under the sun, including making extra money. But what are money-making apps? These apps connect you to companies that provide rewards for using the apps, putting some extra money in your pocket. While there are some apps to be wary of, many offer legitimate ways to add money to your wallet.
From side hustles to earn a few pennies for doing things you already do every day, here are some of our favorite money-making apps.
Best Money-Making Apps 2021
Acorns is an easy way to invest. It’s great for beginning investors, as you can buy fractional shares of stock, and is also a type of savings platform. If you link your spending accounts, you can round up your spare change and put those coins into stocks. For example, if you spend $1.25, Acorns will round it up to $2.00 and put $0.75 into your account that, in turn, is invested in exchange-traded funds (ETFs). Acorns also partners with more than 400 brands, so when you shop for companies such as Walgreens and Macy’s you’ll earn extra money that can also be invested.
How to get paid: Like any investment in stocks, you won’t earn money right away. You’ll grow your money over time and build your portfolio.
- Low investment: You just need $5 to start investing, which Acorns will automatically do for you.
- Save money by spending: With brand partnership and round-up programs, you can begin investing with very little.
- Free checking: You can get a free checking account with your Acorns account.
- Fees: You do need to pay for this service. Acorns fees start at $1 per month, up to $5 per month depending on the type of service you want.
- Limited investments: You don’t get to choose your investments but are relegated to the portfolios Acorns organizes.
Another investing app, Public, helps you earn stocks by referring your friends. It works on what it calls “slices” of stock, which is about $10 worth. You’ll earn this slice for any friend who enrolls.
There are no account minimums or any trade commissions. You can also use Public’s themes to help you choose stocks to invest in. For example, if you’re looking for companies that are benefiting from the latest work from home trend, look through Public’s WFH theme.
How to get paid: Again, this is an investment and the small funds distributed into accounts will take time.
- Great for beginners: Public is great for new investors who are looking to get started and offers many educational resources.
- Social media: Like its name, this service is public so you can see — and learn — from what other investors are doing.
- No human advice: “Advice” is only online. There are no human advisors to help you pick your stocks, so you’ll need to do your own research.
- Mobile-only: There is no desktop option.
Just as the fictional Robin Hood spread wealth to those who needed it most, Robinhood provides a way to get shares of stock without first having a ton of money. Best of all, it offers commission-free stock trading and low fees.
How to get paid: For every friend, you invite to Robinhood that signs up, you get a free share of stock, up to $500 in value each year. These shares are worth between $2.50 and $200, although 98% of the reward stock is worth between $2.50 and $10. You don’t even need any money invested to earn the stock.
- No minimum balance: You don’t need to have a large sum to invest. In fact, you can open your account with $0.
- Low fees: There are $0 in commissions for trading stock and the brokerage fees are as low as they can go for their basic account. If you want to trade on margin and access research reports, you can sign up for Robinhood’s gold account for only $5 a month.
- Can invest in crypto: In addition to investing in ETFs and stocks, you can also buy cryptocurrencies.
Swagbucks is an online way to earn some side money just by surfing the web, taking online surveys, playing online video games, or watching videos. While you won’t get rich doing this, Swagbucks has paid out millions in rewards. It might sound like a scam, but the company has an A rating with the Better Business Bureau (BBB) and it’s free to enroll. Swagbox is also listed high on our best cashback apps list.
How to get paid: You’ll earn money for all of your activities on Swagbucks, from as little as $0.05 to as much as $35 for surveys or watching videos. You can also get cash back when you shop at qualifying stores through Swagbucks.
- $1 cashout: You don’t have to wait to receive your money. You can withdraw with as little as $1 through PayPal, or opt for gift cards from retailers like Amazon and Walmart.
- Numerous ways to earn: There are many different daily ways to earn Swagbucks on the platform.
- Time-consuming: It takes a lot of time to earn rewards.
- You may not qualify: Surveys, which have the highest payouts, have certain criteria to complete and you may not be eligible.
Another shopping tool, Earny gives you refunds on some items that have big price drops after you have purchased them. It’s a little-known fact that if the price drops on an item within a certain timeframe, you are eligible for a refund. Most people don’t go back to retailers to look for price drops, so Earny does it for you.
How to get paid: Connect your credit cards to Earny and the system finds price drops for you then issues a refund. You’ll even get money back if you pay for shipping and a package arrives late.
- Price protection: If you use Earny, you’ll get a refund if the price drops on places like Amazon.
- Price drop watch: You can get alerts when items you are interested in, including hotel rooms, go on sale.
- Fees: Earny takes a 25% cut when you are refunded.
Do you use a fitness tracker? This app will help you turn your steps into rewards. For every step you take, you earn Sweatcoins. Earn enough Sweatcoins and you can redeem them for goods, services, or even donate money to charity. Although you won’t earn a ton of rewards, Sweatcoin allows you to earn money by engaging in activities you’re already doing.
How to get paid: Once you hit 2,000 steps, you are eligible to redeem Sweatcoins for items in their marketplace. This includes more than 150 brands, which constantly change.
- Bonuses: You can earn daily bonuses and extra Sweatcoins if you are more active than most.
- Basic version is free: You can earn up to five Sweatcoins per day, which means you earn points for walking less than 10,000 steps a day. If you want to earn more, you’ll need to pay for their premium service.
- Limited redemption: The rewards you earn don’t amount to much and the big “prizes” cost too much.
- Power intensive: You’ll need to have it run on your phone in the background, which can drain your battery.
This platform pays real money by connecting you to jobs where someone needs a task completed. This side hustle, for those 18 and older, is like the Uber of tasks. You can get paid to run errands, make deliveries, clean houses, do yard work or even perform handyman services — and then some. You get to set your own hourly rates.
How to get paid: The money you earn as a Tasker is deposited directly into your bank account. It’s also possible to earn tips.
- A real money maker: Unlike many apps on this list, this one pays for actual work.
- Fits your schedule: You can find tasks to do that fit into your daily schedule.
- You set the rates: Hourly rates for Taskers average from $20 to $70, depending on the work.
- You need approval: To become a Tasker you must pass a background check and pay a nonrefundable $25 registration fee.
- Can only work in active cities: Taskrabbit is not available everywhere.
Capital One Shopping
If you love to shop, Capital One will reward you for it. Install the app and its database of websites are culled every time you search for a product. It does comparison shopping for you, showing the best price for whatever you are buying. If you see an item in store, you can use the phone app to scan the barcode and it will tell you if another local retailer is selling it for less. Capital One also provides deals from online and local merchants straight to your account based on past interests and purchases.
How you get paid: Capital One rewards you when you purchase from a store it suggests. Earn enough points and you can redeem them for gift cards at major retailers like Walmart and Amazon.
- It’s free: There are absolutely no hidden fees to download or use the app.
- Possible savings: It comparison shops for you to find the best deals.
- Use with any card: You don’t need a Capital One card to use this app.
- Your spending habits are tracked: To know what deals will make you buy, Capital One is tracking your spending and may send this data to others.
- Possibly no savings: Since it’s sending you to partner retailers, there could be a better deal out there. Plus there are not always better deals for items.
MyPoints is a free service where you can earn points by watching videos, playing games, completing surveys, and even reading the spam emails you typically avoid. And you can get a $10 gift card just for signing up! Wrack up 700 points to earn $5 in MyPoints. MyPoints also partners with retailers so if you shop with them through the portal, you can earn points for purchases you were already planning on making.
How to get paid: You can redeem points in $5 increments for gift cards at more than 70 retailer and restaurant brands. MyPoints can also be used as reward travel points or a direct deposit into your PayPal account.
- Fewer restrictions: Unlike Swagbucks, MyPoints has fewer restrictions on surveys.
- Daily deals: Check-in daily to see special deals that can earn you more points.
- Caps on points: You may be limited to the number of points you can earn a day, stopping you from making this a true money-maker.
Earn Some Extra Cash in Your Spare Time
Money-making apps are not a means to quit your day job, though they can put a little more money into your savings cushion. You can also use that extra cash to invest! How much money you make is based on how much time you invest, so these apps are not for everyone. But if you have some time to spare, try these money-making apps to give your savings a boost.