Look we get it — you’re addicted to your smartphone. But instead of surfing endlessly or texting away, you can use your smartphone for financial benefit. There are several apps available that offers cash, gift cards and other rewards for simply doing things you will probably do for free.
All you need is a smartphone and some free time. Here are 13 different apps for both Android and iOS, which will earn you some free cash. Just find out what works best for you.
Want to skip the reviews and get right to it? Here’s a quick list of some of your favorites:
- Ibotta ($10 bonus when you sign-up with promo qFTVA and scan your first receipt)
- Shoptracker ($3 registration bonus after registration)
- Shopkick (lots of fun ways to earn money from your phone)
- Ipsos i-Say (great surveys with free sweepstakes entries)
- Acorns ($5 sign-up bonus to invest in your future)
- Drop ($1 bonus when you link your first debit/credit card)
- Swagbucks ($5 sign-up bonus)
- More below…
With that, let’s get started.
- Registration Bonus: $10 using promo code qFTVA after scanning your first receipt.
- Join Ibotta
Ibotta is an app that pays you back for the money you’ve spent at the store. It’s a great way to earn cash back at the stores. You earn cash back through rebates on grocery items. You can simply unlock cash rewards by completing small tasks before you go shopping.
The best part about Ibotta? You get a $10 bonus when you sign-up with promo code qFTVA and scan your first receipt.
Some of the tasks include taking a quick poll, reading a fun fact about a product, or writing a short comment about a specific item. Once you complete the task, the product is added to your “Checklist”. Some of the items that usually have rebates include eggs, milk, butter, yogurt and butter.
When next you take a trip to the store and buy the product, you earn a cash reward. To verify your purchase, take a picture of the receipt and scan it via the app to get paid via gift card or PayPal. After scanning the receipt with the Ibotta app and once verified, your account balance is credited.
The minimum amount for withdrawal is $20. The amount of cash you can receive is based on the offers available in the app. To maximize savings, you can check out the offers available before shopping.
Ibotta sends your cash to PayPal as soon you request it. Payment can also be sent through Venmo. Ibotta is a tremendous way to complement traditional paper coupons and increase your savings.
Read our full Ibotta Review
- Registration Bonus: $3 Visa gift card
- Join Shoptracker
This offer you a seamless and passive way to earn an additional $36 annually. This app is managed by The Harris Poll, a survey company that measures U.S. public opinion. The aim of the company with ShopTracker is to find out the products that are purchased by Amazon users.
A major requirement is that you should be a regular shopper on Amazon, must be 18 years and a residence of the United States. The Amazon account should have at least 1 month of purchase history. You can sync up to 3 Amazon accounts per household, which can be done as often as you wish.
Once you download the app, sync it with your Amazon account you will receive a $3 Visa Gift card as sign up bonus. Once you sign up on ShopTracker you will be required to provide information including the day the order was made, the product title, release date, ISBN, condition, quantity, list price per unit etc.
You may also be requested to take part in occasional online survey. After the initial sign up bonus, you will continue to earn point monthly as long as the app is installed on your phone.
Once you have accumulated enough points, your balance can be redeemed for a variety of different rewards including gift cards, donations to charity etc.
- Registration Bonus: 250 points
- Join Shopkick
Shopkick is a versatile app that rewards you with “kicks” or free gifts for several items. Interestingly, you don’t even have to buy anything to earn money with this app. The app basically offers you reward for shopping.
You earn reward points commonly referred to as “kicks,” just for walking into stores like Target, Walmart, Best Buy, Starbucks, and even at some local grocery stores. It gets even better when you actually buy something from the store.
The app comes with a GPS feature that indicates that you’ve enter the store and you will earn kicks immediately you step out of the store. Navigating to the store section of the app shows stores offering walk-in kicks.
As you earn more kicks, you’ll be rewarded with free gift cards to your desired store. Astonishingly, you don’t have to do much to earn a $5 Starbucks gift card. You will also get updated information on coupons and deals at your favorite stores.
It’s also recommended that you check their feeds on Facebook as they constantly post update on more innovative ways to earn free kicks. To earn additional kicks you can scan product barcodes in stores.
The barcode feature is only available when you’re in an actual store. Although this feature is not readily available at every store, it’s a quick way to earn kicks. When you actually buy an item, you will use their special coupons and discounts.
If you find something worthwhile, then it’s an added bonus and if not you can keep all the other kicks you earned in the trip. Shopkick allows you to cash out or redeem your kicks for gift cards to a large selection of retailers.
Some gift card options include Urban Outfitters, BestBuy, Walmart, and Target and a lot more.
4. Ipsos i-Say
- Registration Bonus: None
- Join Ipsos
Ipsos is an online survey rewards community with more than 3 million panelists. The company is a leading global market research company. All you need to do is complete surveys – share your opinion on a variety of topics and choose your rewards.
You can expect to get at the barest minimum at least one survey each month. You can get many more if your account profile matches up with the posted surveys. For every survey completed successfully you can earn between 10-100 points.
The invitations for the surveys are sent directly to your inbox for easy access. The Ipsos i-Say app is available on both Android and iOS. It gives you instant notification when surveys are updated so that you can complete surveys on the go.
The amount of points earned per survey differs based on several factors including but not limited to the length of the survey. Once the survey is completed, the points will be credited to your account right away, except the survey says something different.
You will also earn 5 points if you happened to be screened out of a survey before completion. You can also receive loyalty i-Say bonus points for been a regular user. For example, if you complete 10 surveys, you’ll be rewarded 50 bonus points, and 200 bonus points if you respond to 50 surveys.
You can request for payout once you have at least 500 I-Say points. Some of the rewards available Amazon gift card certificates, Visa pre-paid cards, iTunes codes, PayPal funds, Starbucks e-gift cards and more. There’s also opportunity to participate in sweepstakes.
Active members can receive entries into various prize draws. The prices include paid vacations, electronics and prize packs.
- Registration Bonus: $5
- Join Swagbucks
Swagbucks is another app that allows you to earn free money. Unlike other apps it focuses mainly on surveys. You can start by downloading the app, selecting a survey and completing it.
You earn Swagbucks for every completed survey. An interesting thing about the surveys is that you know exactly how long each survey will take and the number of Swagbucks that you’ll earn.
For example, a 6 minute survey will earn you 50 swagbucks. For every 500 Swagbucks you earn, you’re eligible for a $5 gift card from Starbucks, Amazon, Target or Walmart. The cashback site has quite a number of deals available.
There are also plug-ins that makes earning effortless. Another option to earn from is to use Swagbucks search engine as your default option – or run Swagbucks video ads.
While waiting at a doctor’s appointment, riding in a bus, or maybe at the DMV, you can quickly complete one or two surveys and earn yourself some Swagbucks.
- Registration Bonus: $1 when you link your first debit/credit card
- Join Drop
To start using Drop App link your debit or credit card to your Drop account. This free app track purchases made with your linked cards and anytime you make purchases with any of the linked cards you earn points that can be redeemed for gift cards.
This makes the app far more efficient than most of the other popular apps. As you shop, you rack up points in the process. The number of points accrued is based on the amount of money you spend on qualified purchases.
For example, you earn about 10 points for every $1 spent at McDonalds, 10 points for every $1 spent at Target and 2 points per $1 spent at Walmart and lot more. Every 1000 points you earn on Drop app is equivalent to $1 when you are redeeming rewards.
If you want more information on the payout options you can see the full list of rewards available in the drop-down menu on the app. This makes it easy to see the exact amount of points you need to accumulate to qualify for different rewards.
Drop app also maintains a full functioning website with a very detailed FAQ section which makes it one of the best shopping apps. Drop app does not offer cash option at the moment, you can only get gift cards on the app.
A major drawback for some people is the fact that Drop app requires you to link your cards as lot of people are still a little concerned about sharing such sensitive information. However, there’s nothing to suggest that Drop is sketchy.
- Registration Bonus: None
- Join Pinecone Research
This also allows you to state your opinion about consumer products and taste. You earn points for each completed survey. Anytime a survey is available you be notified on your email address.
Once you receive notification for any available survey, complete the survey and get rewarded instantly. You can also be invited to test a product right in your home and get rewarded too.
The surveys offered are usually opinion-based or new product testing. For every completed survey, you can earn about $3 worth of points that can be redeemed for cash or prizes.
You get to test product directly before they hit the shelves. Signing up on Pinecone Research is not easy. First you need to find a signup link, then wait to see whether you will be accepted or not based on your personal information.
Panelists are usually taken from the UK, US, Canada and Germany. Pinecone Research is known for having some of the highest paid surveys and really fascinating topics. Surveys are generally few and far between- with only a few available each month.
A major advantage Pinecone Research has over other survey apps is that you can be confident of completing the survey without been disqualified because of the extensive pre-screening.
Pinecone Research takes great pride in its ability to protect your personal information. You can get your account deregistered by trying to sign up multiple accounts or violating the confidentiality agreement.
- Registration Bonus: $1.50 when you use promo code HH3MN
- Join Fetch Rewards
This is another app that is very easy to use. Unlike other apps that requires scanning receipts, they don’t care where you bought the item, all that is required is for you to buy an item regardless of where you bought it from.
Just like other apps, you can check the list of offers available to maximize your savings. Instead of checking to see which of the stores is offering the deals, you can just go to the nearest or most convenient store to buy the product.
You will earn points that can be redeemed. You can accumulate the points till you reach the minimum for payout. Every 1000 points earns you the equivalent of $3 and the minimum payout is 3000 points.
A major drawback of the app is that because it is fairly new, it does not offer a large number of offers compare to similar apps. Instead of offering cash rewards, Fetch Rewards offers gift cards to dozens of retailers, including Target, Amazon, Best Buy, Sephora, and a lot more.
There is also the option of donating your earnings to Red Cross. These payout options are basically as good as cash because it can be easily use for your next purchase of food items and other essentials.
Fetch Rewards works basically the same way other grocery receipt-scanning apps works. You can get extra $1.50 bonus by using the code HH3MN when you download the app.
- Registration Bonus: $5
- Join Acorns
Acorns is one of the best smart phone apps for investment as it rounds up your daily purchases to the next dollar and invest the difference. All you need to do is link your credit card to the checking account and Acorns takes care of the rest.
Acorns makes investment almost seamless, because you’re investing only pennies at a time. This app is essentially an excellent starting point for individuals who have never tried investing before. Acorns works hard to make investment easy and ensure your money is invested wisely.
Basically what the app does is to round up your purchases to the nearest dollar and invest the extra change. For example, say you buy a coffee for $1.75, Acorns rounds up the purchase to $2 and invest the extra quarter into your investment account piggy bank.
Every time your accumulated spare change reaches $5, acorn automatically invests it. Acorn charges a monthly fee of $1. Investment portfolios ranges from aggressive to conservative allowing you to choose the level of risk you are willing to take with your investments.
Generally, there are 5 pre-set investment portfolios. Acorn recommends one based on your answers to questions such as income, age etc. to gauge the type of investor you are. Setting up the app is pretty straightforward.
Since its inception more than a million accounts have been registered. Recently Acorns started Found Money which allows you to earn reward points from airlines, retailers and other businesses that can be invested.
- Registration Bonus: $2
- Join YouGov
YouGov is a global data organization that focuses on surveys. The company is so large that it has surveys on a wide range of topics. Daily you will find surveys on different topics including products brand, political opinions, consumer consumption habits and a lot more.
YouGov survey is an interesting way to earn rewards. When you’re not taking surveys, you can also take part in community polls that allows you to express your opinions on non-surveys topics such as pop culture and current events.
You also will earn points for every survey completed on YouGov which can be redeemed for gift cards in several stores and restaurants. Once you’ve accumulated enough points, you can cash out for gift cards that can be sent directly to your email.
The minimum amount of accumulated points for withdrawal is 5000 points. Your points can be traded for any gift card that you choose. The amount your point is worth is determined by the type of gift cards you selected.
Generally, the higher the dollar values you withdraw, the higher the values you can get for your points. For example a $100 dollar Visa Gift Card can be cashed in for 100,000 points this means that $1 is equivalent to 1000 points.
However if the same amount of money is used to redeem for the AMC gift card, then the worth of the points will be lower.
- Registration Bonus: $10 when you earn your first $20
- Join MyPoints
This is another popular survey panel that has been in existence since 1996. There are several ways to earn on MyPoints including taking surveys, watching videos online, making online purchases, reading emails and a lot more.
You basically earn great rewards for doing what you will normally do online. Signing up on MyPoints is easy, all you need to do is fill in the required information and you’re good to go. To make the most of the online surveys, ensure that your profile is updated and check out the : for new uploaded surveys.
You can also earn points when you refer a friend (25 points). There are also online games that can earn you between 5-10 Points. You also earn 5 points for reading mails and about 25 bonus points for printing 10-15 coupons in a month.
The videos posted online could be on a diverse range of topics including entertainment, wellness, and health etc. For each short video you earn 1 point.
For payout you need to accumulate at least 3,970 points, which is the equivalent of $25 PayPal funds.
That means each point is equivalent to more than half a cent. If you’re interested in Gift Cards you need a minimum of 700 points which is about $5. There are several options available including Amazon, JC Penny, Barnes and Noble, etc.
- Registration Bonus: $5
- Join InboxDollars
InboxDollars app allows you to earn additional income on the side. There are several options to earn on InboxDollars including paid surveys, test products, read emails, redeem coupons, watch videos online and shop online.
This gives you an opportunity to diversify your earning potential. Right after signing up you will earn a $5 bonus cash. Unlike several other apps InboxDollars offers cash as opposed to gift cards. Once you sign up on InboxDollars you will start getting emails notification with offers on products and services.
All you need to do is click the link at the bottom of each email to indicate that you’ve read the content and earn cash rewards. You don’t necessarily need to make any purchase or sign up for any offers, however if you do you will earn more.
To use the paid search feature you need to download the InboxDollars toolbar. You will earn $1.00 for downloading the app toolbar and earn about $0.01 per search daily. The maximum you can earn is $0.05 cents daily.
You can also check out the offer tap on the app for 100% FREE offers. You can earn ($0.25 – $3.00) for testing a new product or trying out a service. You can also watch videos online which earns you about 6 cents for each short video which are posted every week.
The most popular way to earn is by completing surveys which can earn you $0.50 – $10.00. You can request for payout once you’ve earned a minimum of $30 which allows you to become a Gold Member giving you the opportunity to earn even more rewards.
13. Receipt Hog
- Registration Bonus: None
- Join Receipt Hog
Receipt Hog is another app that pays you for taking photos of your receipts and those of people in your household. Each receipt from beauty and health stores earns you between 5 to 20 coins depending on the size of the item purchased.
You can only earn a maximum of 100 coins per week from submitting receipts.
Receipts from other types of purchases including electronics, clothes etc. earns you a spin on the “Hog Slots”. The Hog Slot pays out 0 to 2000 coins for every spin.
Every picture of receipt taken and submitted earns you an opportunity to participate in the monthly sweepstakes where large bonuses are given out. You will need a minimum of 1000 coins to buy a £3 Amazon voucher.
However, it will take up to 10 weeks to earn 1000 points from just scanning receipts, which is why you should take advantage of the sweepstakes and Hog slots to increase your earning potential.
We hope you’ve enjoyed this list of 13+ best apps that give you free money and their reviews. See one that’s not on this list and should be? Let us know in the comments below. Thanks for reading and happy frugaling!