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37 Apps That Pay Cash If You Need Real Money Fast

Kenny Sokan
November 1, 2019
Some of the links in this post are from our sponsors, and we might earn a commission if you click on one. We are letting you know because, as our grandmother taught us, an honest penny is better than a stolen dollar. Now, back to filling up your piggy banks.

Relying on one source of income to provide for all your needs and help you grow your wealth has never really been practical. Sure, maybe once a long time ago, before you, me or your parents were born, you could easily live off the money you got from working one job, but in today’s economy, the average nine-to-five salary can barely hold you through the year. And most people are already working two jobs to deal with this reality. So how can you bring in even more money to help you meet your financial goals? One of our top tips is to look for apps that pay cash. 

Think about it, how many hours would you say you spend on your phone every day? Two? Three? More? According to a study done by eMarketer, Americans spend nearly four hours a day on their phones. That’s almost 30 hours a week. All that time you spend texting, checking your social media, playing games, watching TV and shopping could be used to boost your income. Here is our comprehensive list of apps that pay cash so you can earn real money in your downtime. 

Table Of Contents

Make Passive Income With Lockscreen Apps

Make Money Taking Surveys Via Apps

Make Money With A Side Hustle Via An App

Make Money Shopping With Apps

Make Money Investing On Apps

Make Money Being Healthy Via Apps

Make Money Playing Games On Apps

Make Money Selling Your Old Stuff


Make Passive Income With Lockscreen Apps That Pay Cash

Downloading lockscreen ad apps is one of the easiest ways to make money on your phone. By doing this you are getting essentially paid to do nothing, which honestly we all have wished we could get paid to do at some point or another.

1. S’more

In exchange for letting S’more advertise content on your phone’s lock screen, you’ll earn reward points. You don’t have to interact with the ads to earn, either. Just use your phone the way you normally do. Cash out as soon as you’ve earned $1 and redeem your S’more points for gift cards to retailers like Amazon, Best Buy, CVS, Domino, Starbucks and more.

Make Money Taking Surveys Via Apps That Pay Cash

If you have time to kill, paid surveys is another option to consider if you are looking for apps that pay cash. Market research companies will pay to get your opinions on the brands you buy from and the products you use. Take advantage of that. Here are couple of our go-to paid survey apps.

2. InboxDollars

InboxDollars pays users to take surveys, watch videos of movie trailers and commercials, to play games, and to read emails with special offers. They also offer cash back for shopping and redeeming coupons offered through the app. Once you’ve earned enough points, you can redeem your points for cash via PayPal, for Visa cash cards and gift cards to Amazon, Adidas, Macy’s, Target, Whole Foods, Nordstrom and more. 

3. Survey Junkie

This app is used by more than 10 million people to earn money for giving opinions on brands and products. On average, the surveys take 15 minutes to complete, so you can do them whenever you have a few moments to spare. Every survey you complete will pay you in points that you can redeem for cash via PayPal or gift cards to places like Amazon, Groupon, Target, iTunes, Starbucks and more. As soon as you’ve earned 1,000 points, which is equal to $10, you can cash out.  

4. Ipsos i-Say

This paid survey app notifies you via email invite when a new survey is available and will even tell you how long a survey will take to complete before you begin. You get points for taking surveys, as well as bonus points for meeting survey completion quotas. Users, which the app calls “i-Say panel members”, will also get the chance to regularly enter its Click Draw, Poll Predictor and See It Live Draw contests with rewards ranging from vacation getaways, tech giveaways, prize packages and massive amount of bonus points awards. Redeem your points for gift cards for Visa, Amazon, Starbucks, Target, Kohl’s and more. 

5. Google Opinion Rewards

In exchange for taking surveys, giving product reviews and answering merchant satisfaction questions, Google Opinion Rewards users will get Google Play Store Credits (for Android) or cash (for iPhone) via PayPal. You’ll receive a notification every time an activity is available, with each one typically taking less than 20 seconds to complete.

6. AppTrailers

Watch videos for DIY projects, game trailers, movie and TV show previews, funny video from the internet and videos submitted by other AppTrailers members to earn “perk points” towards gift cards to stores like Amazon, Starbucks, Groupon and more or cash via PayPal or a prepaid Perk Plastic debit card. You can also earn perk points with daily trivia and quiz games.

7. Userfeel

This app is a testing tool that brands use to get feedback from consumers on the functionality of their websites and apps. Consumers, or “testers,” are given a scenario and specific tasks to do using a brand’s product. The app records the tester’s screen and voice while doing so, then uploads the recording to its website server for brands to review. Each test lasts 10 to 20 minutes and testers earn $10 per test.


Make Money Playing Games On Apps

While some people may think playing mobile games is a waste of time (and maybe some are) there are some that pay and all the games available through the three apps below do.

8. Mistplay

This mobile game platform (for Android phones) provides users with a list of games customized to their preferences to earn money from. Just pick a game from the apps mixlist, download and play. The more games you play, the more points you earn, which you can trade in for Visa cash cards or gift cards to Amazon, Starbucks, iTunes, Xbox Store, Playstation Store and more.

9. Long Game

This app will reward you for saving money with games that can earn you even more in cash prizes. Download the app and open a savings account through it. Link your bank and transfer money into your Long Game savings account whenever you want or by scheduling deposits. Every time you make a deposit, you’ll earn virtual coins you can spend on games through the app that can win you cash — up to $1,000,000. The more you save, the more chances you get to play games and win money.

10. Perk Pop Quiz

If you’re a trivia wiz, you can start earning money with those gaming skills playing trivia with Perk Pop Quiz (for Android). The app has quizzes from  more than 400 film, TV, music, math, science, spelling and vocabulary and geographical themed categories that you can choose from. Earn points with every answer you get right and trade them in for Perk Plastik Discover Cards or real gift cards to Amazon, Starbucks, Nike, Target,  GameStop and hundreds of other retailers. You’ll also regularly be automatically entered to win daily cash prizes of up to $50 for playing challenges and getting high scores.

Make Money With A Side Hustle Via Apps That Pay Cash

Your day job may help you cover your basic needs, but getting a side hustle can help bring in the extra money you need to achieve the financial freedom everybody hopes for. Here are a couple that can help you make more money today.

Driving

10. Lyft

If you have your own car, you could consider becoming a driver for Lyft. This ridesharing service allows you to set your own hours for work and if you commit to it, you can make anywhere between a couple to several hundred dollars every week. You need to have a smartphone and you have to meet the driver age and car feature requirements set by Lyft, as well as your state. Drivers get paid on a weekly basis with direct deposit. Drivers also receive tips. One thing experts say about driving for Lyft versus other ridesharing services is that drivers tend to earn more per hour because Lyft takes a smaller cut than other services. 

11. Uber

This is another option if you want a side hustle that you can activate via an app. The only criteria is that you meet the minimum age to drive in your city (in most places that is 21) and have one year of driving of experience under your belt — that’s it. According to Uber, they’ll even help you get a car if you don’t have one to lease by the hour, week or even longer. Many people point to Uber’s lucrative sign-up bonuses as a reason to sign-up for this one.

Delivery

12. DoorDash

If you’re not a fan of having strangers in your car, but like the idea of being able to set your own hours, think about becoming a delivery driver for DoorDash. It operates a network of couriers that deliver restaurant orders placed online through their website or app. If you have a car, bike, scooter, motorcycle or just two good legs, you’re eligible to join the DoorDash fleet. Dasher’s get paid weekly via direct deposit and offer tipping.

13. Postmates

Similar to DoorDash, this on-demand delivery service operates via a network of couriers that deliver orders from restaurants, shops, and grocery stores. Sign up in minutes and get approved within a couple of days. When you do, you can start making money immediately. Not only will you get to be your own boss, you’ll take home 100% of what you earn from every delivery you make. Make up to 10 deliveries a month (which you can do easily) and the next month you’ll get access to discounts at a variety of local stores and national retail chains near you on top of what you earn.

14. Instacart

Becoming an Instacart shopper is another way to make some extra cash. Similar to the apps above, this grocery delivery and pickup service allows you to be your own boss, by letting you set your own hours. On average, Instacart shoppers make $11 an hour and get paid weekly. Work a couple of hours every week and you could be bringing in a few hundred extra dollars every month. Choose between being a full-service shopper, where you shop, bag and deliver or an in-store shopper and just shop and bag for pick-up.

Renting

15. Turo

If you have a car that’s just sitting in your garage collecting dust, you can use Turo to make money renting it out. It’s peer-to-peer car-sharing platform that allows people to rent out their cars whenever they’re not using them. It is as easy as downloading the app and creating a free listing for your car it with a description, clear photos and just like that you’re ready to rent. Make sure to keep your car’s calendar up-to-date for either app so travelers know when your car is available.

Freelance Work

Freelance work has a lot of benefits. It’s a great way to boost your income, every job you complete is another experience you get to put on your resume (employers like to see someone who can hustle), you get to build professional relationships and oftentimes you can do the jobs remotely so you don’t have the added stress of figuring out travel for a short term gig. There are a handful of apps out there for both seasoned professionals and those in the early stages of their careers. Here are some really popular ones.

16. Upwork

Upwork is a popular platform that connects businesses and freelancing professionals for project collaboration in a wide selection of job categories. Find gigs for anything from engineering and analytics to language translation and law services. Freelancers are charged sliding fees per project completed. Upwork takes a 20% commission on the first $500, 10% on the remaining balance up to $10,000 and 5% on the remaining balance that is more than $10,000. So if you made $700 on a gig, Upwork would take 20% of the first $500 ($100) and 10% on the remaining $200 ($20). So your total take-home would be $580. 

17. Fiverr

Fiverr is a freelance services marketplace that’s specifically for creatives and digital work. So, if you’re a writer, filmmaker, producer, photographer, graphic designer, sound engineer or anything else in the digital realm, Fiverr might be for you. You create three bundle packages for your services detailing price, scope of work and delivery time. You can also do custom work outside of the limitations of your packages if you are responding to a job ad by a hiring business. Fiverr charges a 20% commission on your total earnings.

18. Snapwire

More than 700,000 people use Snapwire to sell their photos to brands, publishers, small businesses and creatives looking for custom photos to promote their products and services. Buyers will post creative briefs (called requests or challenges) for the kind of content they’re looking for and you can respond to their ads by submitting photos to them that match their requests. Or you can just upload a portfolio of your work and Snapwire specialists will handpick your best ones and make them searchable for buyers to purchase directly through their individual Snapwire marketplace subscriptions. Photos on Snapwire go for anywhere between $5 and $100. If you sell a picture that’s been requested by a buyer or that was selected in response to photo challenge, you get to keep 100% of the money. If your photo is purchased by a buyer through their Snapwire marketplace subscription, you split 50% of the profits with Snapwire.

19. Foap

Foap is great for amateur photographers and videographers looking to step up their game and get a taste of turning a profit on their work. Upload your work to become discoverable by brands like Heineken, Mastercard, Nivea and agencies like VaynerMedia and Droga5. You can also participate in buyer photo or video missions. Follow the mission briefs and submit your work to them. Photos typically sell for $10, but if it’s an exclusive mission, they can sell for $30. Videos start at $200. Whatever you make from your sale gets split with Foap.


Make Money Shopping With Apps

We’re not knocking discounts, because we love them and they help you save. But when saving isn’t enough these apps can help you make money and earn gift cards to your favorite stores just for shopping at them.

20. Drop

Drop earns you cash and gift cards for shopping at your favorite stores. Download the app, pick five stores from its list of partner retailers, link a card and shop. Every time you make a purchase at your chosen stores in-person or online through the app, you’ll earn Drop points that can be redeemed for gift cards to your top five and any of the other stores available through the app. You can earn gift cards to places like Starbuck Netflix, Amazon and more.

21. Shopkick

Another app that’s great for rewards shopping is Shopkick. According to its website, most shoppers can earn enough points — the app calls them “kicks” — for a gift card in just one week. Earn points when shopping in-store by just walking in, scanning items and making purchases. Earn online for visiting stores through the app, viewing certain offers and making purchases. Trade in your points for gift cards to stores like Amazon, Best Buy, Walmart, Target, Starbucks and more. 

23. Paribus

This price-tracking app will help you get partial refunds for online purchases that receive price drops after you’ve bought them. Create an account with Paribus using the email you use for your online shopping, and the app will sync with your email and regularly scan it for items purchased from the 30 stores it monitors, including Amazon, Best Buy, Target, Walmart, Costco and Nordstrom. If the app finds potential savings for an item you’ve bought that’s still eligible for returns, the app will notify you and an agent will automatically reach out to the store and negotiate with them to get you money back.

24. Ibotta

If you’re feeling guilty or stressed about your spending, Ibotta will make you feel a whole lot better by giving you cash back for purchases made online, in-store or directly through the app. Whichever method you choose, you need to first select the cash back offer available in the app you want to use and pay full price at checkout. When shopping online or in-store at Ibotta partner stores, upload your receipt afterward and the app will scan it and credit the cash back to your Ibotta account. If you pay for your items directly through the app using its “Pay with Ibotta” feature, you’ll get you 10% cash back on the total of your purchase. Ibotta works at 300 retail chains, restaurants, movie theaters, convenience stores, home improvement centers, pet stores, and pharmacies across the nation

25. Rakuten

Similar to Ibotta, using Rakuten (formerly known as Ebates) to shop, earns you cash back. This online company works with over 2,500 stores including Macy’s, Amazon, Sephora, Walmart and more. Navigate to the store you want to shop at through Rakuten and whatever cash back the app offers for that store will be applied to your Rakuten account after you make your purchase. You’ll get your money via PayPal or check by mail.

26. Earny

Earny also gets you refunds for the difference in online purchase price drops by scanning your email for receipts. The app covers 20 stores including Best Buy, Walmart, Target, Home Depot, Macy’s, and Sears. Earny also works to get you low prices for hotel bookings and offers full price protection for all purchases made with Citibank cards and four claims per year for Mastercard cardholders.

27. Seated

As fun as eating out can be, it can get really expensive, really fast. Booking reservations through Seated is a great way to make some of that money back. Every restaurant reservation you make is eligible to receive up to 30% cash back. Browse through the app’s list of restaurants near you, pick the one you want and book a reservation. Eat your meal and upload a picture of your receipt to the app afterward to confirm you showed up for your reservation. Let the app’s concierge feature help you book a reservation for a large party for you (or just yourself) and you can get even more rewards. On top of that, every meal you book through Seated also earns a meal for a child in need through ShareTheMeal, a crowdfunding app working to fight global hunger through the United Nations World Food Programme.


Make Money Investing On Apps

Investing is a great way to grow your money and getting started is a lot cheaper than it ever has been thanks to apps like the ones listed below. 

28. Stash

You can use this app to start investing in fractional shares of stocks and funds with as little as $5. What is a fractional share? Well, instead of buying a full share in a company, which can be expensive, you’re buying partial ones at a much lower cost. The app provides hundreds of stocks and funds to choose from to build your portfolio with and educational resources to help you learn how to manage it on your own. If you open up a checking account with Stash, you’ll also get a debit card that earns you stock-back (stocks and funds) in companies like CVS, Starbucks, Amazon, Costco, Apple and more every time you use it to make a purchase at those locations. Stash has subscription plans ranging between $1 to $9 a month depending on what your financial needs are.

29. Acorns

Acorns also lets you invest in fractional shares and you can do it by putting as little or as much money down as you like, the app doesn’t have an investment account balance minimum. If you’re a college student, Acorns will help you manage your investment portfolio for free. For all other users, the app charges $1 to $3 a month depending on the plan you select.

30. Twine

Twine is an investment and savings app built for two. If you and a partner have a savings goal, like buying a house or going on vacation, and you want to invest money to help you achieve it, with an initial investment of $100, Twine will help the pair of you create an investment portfolio that matches your financial situation and risk comfort. Twine investment portfolios can see up to 4.39% annual pay yield (APY) and for helping you manage yours, Twine will charge 25 cents per month for every $500 in your account. The app’s high-interest yield savings accounts can also help you with whatever short or long term savings goals you and a partner have.

Make Money Being Healthy Via Apps

Eating healthy and exercising may come easy to some people, but for others, it’s really hard. Sometimes all you need is the right motivation and these apps offer some pretty amazing cash incentives.

31. HealthyWage

This app will pay you for meeting your personal weight loss goals. The app holds you accountable for your weight loss objectives by allowing you to bet on your success with your own money. Verify your current weight, decide how much weight you want to lose (minimum of 10% of starting weight), put down some money (a total minimum of $100 to be paid monthly for the duration of the challenge), set a timeline (six to 18 months), and HealthyWage will set an amount you are eligible to win if you meet or surpass your goal. According to its website, on average people earn more than $1,000 dollars with the top prize being $10,000. You’ll get your money by check or through PayPal.

32. Sweatcoin

In order to help you be a healthier you, Sweatcoin pays you to do the simplest physical activity you can do — walking. Sweatcoin converts every step you take into the app’s currency by the same name, which you can spend on goods, services and experiences offered by Sweatcoins partners in the app’s marketplace. Buy things ranging from clothes and electronic devices to workout classes and audiobooks. 

33. StepBet

StepBet, similar to HealthyWage, makes you put money down on your step goals. Use Apple Health, Apple Watch, Fitbit, and Garmin to get your personal fitness goal. Pick a challenge game you want to participate in, bet money into the game’s pot and walk and exercise to meet your goals every week for as long as the challenge lasts. In the end, the pot money will be split between you and the other game participants and you’ll get back the money you put down and win even more. 


Make Money Selling Your Old Stuff Via Apps That Pay Cash

If you have things you don’t use or need anymore that are just taking up space in your home, selling them is a really easy and convenient way to make money fast. 

34. Decluttr

Decluttr will buy your old electronic devices from you. If you’re selling a cellphone or other tech device, select the make, model and condition of it and Decluttr will give you an instant price. If you’re selling a CD, DVD or game, use the app’s barcode scanner to scan the case barcode.The price that Decluttr gives you will be locked in for 28 days. You’ll be sent a shipping label by email after you complete your order. Print it out, tape it to your box place and drop your package off at UPS store, customer center, with a driver or at an authorized retail outlet. After Decluttr receives your item, an expert will look it over and remove all personal data and information. The next day you’ll get your money via direct deposit, PayPal or check.

35. Letgo

Letgo lets people sell and buy virtually anything that can be sold or bought, including clothes, cars, tech, furniture, real estate, baby supplies and so much more. The app works like a mobile classified. To post an item for sale just take a couple of photos of it, select the product category it belongs in and upload the photos with a price and product description. Chat with potential buyers instantly directly through the app.

36. Bookscouter

If you want a place that specializes in selling books, Bookscouter can help take all those textbooks from college and novels from your childhood that have been collecting dust on your shelves off your hands. The app helps you compare buyback offers from more than 30 vendors and let’s you see vendor ratings and reviews from other sellers. Type your book’s ISBN into the app’s search bar and if there are companies looking to buy it, you’ll get a list of all of them. Pick the deal you like best and ship your book for free. You could get paid the same day the vendor receives it. 

37. Raise

Have you ever been given gift cards lying around to stores you don’t shop at? Instead of letting them waste away, make money from home by selling them on Raise. Use the app’s search bar to look up the store your gift card belongs to, then select it and enter the card details — it’s serial number, pin number, balance amount and your selling price (it should be less than the gift card balance). Raise will take a 15% commission on the sale. If you’re selling a physical gift card instead of a digital one, Raise will charge an additional fee of $1 or 1% of the value of the card (whichever is greater) for shipping. You’ll get your share of the money by direct deposit, PayPal or check.

All Illustrations: Laura Caseley For The Money Manual