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22 Free Apps That Make You Money

22 Free Apps That Make You Money
Tracy Stine Oct 10, 2018
Want to Earn Some Extra Money?

Frugal for Less is filled with many awesome posts about making and saving money in a number of different ways. But what if you have no time for side hustles, work from home jobs, or for other reasons?

That’s perfectly fine, you can still make money and all of them can be done on your smartphone and computer.

Here’s 22 of them!

1. Ibotta

The Ibotta app helps you save money while shopping. All you need to do is check the app before you head out to shop, travel, or dine out and add those cash-back deals to your list.

When you’re finished you simply take a photo of your receipt within the app and Ibotta will award you with cash back. The best part? You even get a $10 sign-up bonus when you register and scan your first receipt.

This doesn’t take much work as you need to shop anyway, but let’s see an example of how much you can make in one grocery shopping trip to Walmart:

  • 25¢ back on any item on your receipt
  • $5 back on 2 Motrin products
  • $1 back on Yoplait yogurt multipack
  • $1 back on Maxwell House Coffee
  • $1.50 back on Butterball All-Natural white meat burgers

This receipt at Walmart comes to $26.94, but through Ibotta it would only cost $17.49!

Other money-making bonuses with this app is getting a $10 sign up bonus, $5 per friend referral, cash bonuses for reaching monthly goals, and earning cash with a “Team” of your friends from Facebook.

2. Shopkick

There are many ways you can earn with Shopkick and it’s all from doing your regular errands. This app awards “kicks” which can be withdrawn for a large option of gift cards.

Shopkick is unique from other apps as it has different earning potentials. You don’t only earn cash-back opportunities on your shopping purchases but you can earn by:

  • Walking into a retailer – Get 25 kicks for walking into a store on the app list (imagine how much you can make at a Mall?)
  • Visit an online retailer – Visit any retailer on the app and earn kicks
  • Check out online offers – View online partner offers and earn kicks
  • Scanning a product – Scan barcodes in stores with their in-app scanner

Not a bad way to get easy earnings just from your own shopping and outings.

3. Shoptracker

Do you shop on Amazon, I don’t really know anyone that doesn’t shop there? It doesn’t matter how many times you shop, you’re going to love Shoptracker. It can’t get any easier than downloading the app, letting it run in the background and it earns money automatically.

Yes, you don’t have to do a thing except for shopping on Amazon. You earn $3 every month with a total of $36 a year. I know $36 in one year doesn’t seem like much money, but that’s $36 you didn’t have before, right?

Let’s take a quick look at what you can buy:

Treat yourself, or someone else, to a free gift.

4. Trunow

This earning app is completely different from all the other apps here. This app pays you for every gasoline purchase you make.

Download Trunow’s app and take a picture of every gas receipt and they claim you can make $750 in a year! A bonus is you can combine this with your rewards credit card and other cash-back apps for even more earnings.

Trunow has a gas station and convenience store locator, distance to each listing, shows the prices so you can find the lowest, offers coupons and rebates on products located nearby. Start with a $2 sign up bonus and get 2% back on every gas purchase plus the product deals.

With the national average of gasoline being $2.85 (September 2018) and the average driver drives roughly 30 miles in a day, which is about 210 miles a week, the savings from Trunow will add up.

5. Drop

Earn gift cards easily with the Drop app with your regular shopping errands. The difference between Drop and all the other cash-back apps is that it links your credit or debit card. You don’t have to worry about rewards cards or logging in anywhere.

You just link your card and go about your business while Drop earns you points in the background.

After you connect a card, you’re asked to pick 5 favorite brands, which you cannot change afterwards, so pick ones you shop often. Then you just shop these brands and the points start rolling in. You get 2 points per dollar spent at Walmart, 14 points per dollar spent at Dunkin Donuts, and 8 points per dollar spent at Target, to name a few.

You get a $5 sign up bonus plus $1 for referring friends, and chances to get bonus offers, such as a $20 bonus offer from Boxed.

6. Acorns

This isn’t a shopping app, but a savings and investing app. Acorns works in two ways – investing for you automatically, and by rounding up your purchase amounts.

The investing option is where it takes your monthly deposit and creates an investment portfolio based on which of the 5 investing option you chose. You answer questions about your current financial situation and money goals for the future and it does the rest.

The “round up” option is where Acorns rounds up each purchase you make to the nearest dollar (or a set amount). For example, you bought Starbucks coffee for $2.10, Acorns rounds it up to $3 and puts the 90¢ into a savings account.

Acorns has several other options such as retirement, a debit card, “found money”, referrals, and bonus offers on the app. It’s great for a beginner investor and being able to save without thinking about it. They do charge about $1, $2, or $3 a month depending on what investment account you opened but college students get this waived.

The average American makes around 17 debit card transactions a month, let’s say the round up of each one was 75¢, in one month you’ve saved $12.75, or $153 in a year. That’s a good savings for not doing anything!

7. Ipsos

This is a great survey site to easily make money on. Ipsos i-Say gives you up to 90 points per survey and 5 points per disqualified survey.  Withdrawing for PayPal cash, a variety of gift cards, or prepaid Visa cards can be done after only 500 points. 100 points equals $1.

You will also receive a free $10 bonus sign up, $1 per friend referral, points for loyalty after a set number of completed surveys, contest and sweepstakes entries, and a “poll predictor” where you’re rewarded if you guess the right answer within a set range.

You can set the Ipsos app to notify you of coupons you want, it can show you where an item you’re seeking is – store, distance, and point rewarded, and for participating in focus groups.

8. Zap Surveys

Zap Surveys is becoming one of the most popular survey apps out there, and with good reason. Most of their surveys pay anywhere from 30¢ to $100, but your very first survey earns you $6. Each survey shows how long it takes to complete and the reward amount.

Other ways to earn on this app are by:

  • Answering daily polls (which will also earn a free meal for a charity)
  • Location rewards for being in participating stores
  • Logging in streaks (sign in every day and get rewarded after 45 days straight)
  • Entering daily drawings
  • Sharing surveys on social media
  • Referring friends

Zap Surveys allows you to cash out after reaching $25 and are redeemable for either PayPal cash or Amazon gift cards.

9. Pinecone Research

Pinecone Research is a survey site only, but they pay a flat $3 per and most of these surveys take about 10 to 15 minutes to complete. That means about $12 to $18 can be made in one hour!

Pinecone Research doesn’t offer a sign-up bonus or rewards you for referring friends but it’s easy to make cash as you there’s no minimum cash out required so can actually cash out after your very first survey.

Another bonus is that you receive email invites to surveys which is great as you don’t need to keep checking the app.

10. Makeena

This isn’t your typical grocery shopping app, Makeena pays you for healthy food shopping. We already know how expensive healthy food is, so this app is great for helping with costs on those. This app also good for receipts from any store whereas other apps require specific stores only.

In addition to the typical snapping photos of your receipts, scanning barcodes of products in store, and redeeming offers, you can also get paid for discovering new brands and interacting with them.

Here are some potential earning amounts:

  • Completing all tasks for the Keen One Quinoa brand ($1)
  • Completing all tasks for the Brewla brand ($1.10)
  • 25¢ cash back on organic apples
  • 50¢ cash back on organic sweet potatoes

You receive a $1 sign up bonus, plus $1 per friend referred. You’ll need a minimum of $20 to claim a payment to either Venmo or PayPal.

11. TopCashback

TopCashback is an online shopping portal that partners with nearly three thousand online retailers. Like other cash-back apps, you simply browse for offers, click through to the store’s online site, shop, and get the cash back.

They claim to offer the highest payout of any cash-back app out there. Here are some popular ones they have:

  • 12% cash back on Michael Kors handbags
  • 8% cash back on Estee Lauder makeup plus a free 7-piece gift (purchase over $45)
  • $300 cash back on AT&T TV+Internet
  • Up to 70% off purchases at Gap Factory

TopCashBack doesn’t offer a sign-up bonus but they will pay you $15 per friend referral after they have reached $10 in cash-back themselves.

12. Ebates

Ebates is another shopping app that can give you up to 40% cash back on your shopping purchases. There are more than 2,500 participating stores — including Walmart, Amazon, Groupon, and Expedia.

Start with a $10 sign up bonus and earn not just by redeeming cash back offers but by using a double cash back offer to earn 2x as much back, and friend referrals can get you up to $25!

Ebates payment system is much different from all the other apps listed is that they don’t wait for you to request it. Every three months the app checks to see if your earnings are over $5 and then automatically sends you a check or PayPal payment. If you have less than $5 in your account, it is carried over until the next payment period.

13. Swagbucks

Swagbucks is a multi-use site, it’s not just a shopping app or a survey app, it’s a bit of everything. Start with a $5 sign-up bonus and then earn by doing any of the following:

  • Completing surveys
  • Shopping
  • Watching Videos
  • Checking out offers
  • Using their web search box
  • Playing Games
  • Downloading a Chrome extension
  • And so many more.

One advantage Swagbucks has over other apps is that you can download a Chrome extension and it will show you any earning opportunities and how much you can make on every page you visit. Refer all your friends and get 10% of all their earnings after they’ve signed up. A nice bonus if your friends are heavy online shoppers.

14. ScreenLift

A unique earning opportunity to earn each time you check your smartphone. ScreenLift shows an ad on your lock screen and you earn by swiping it.

You get paid whether you engage with the ad or not. This means that if you keep swiping and unlocking your phone like you do now, you’ll still get paid. They offer more points for sweepstakes, offers, and surveys.

Points are worth between $0.0006 and $0.001 depending on how many you save before cashing out. Minimum cash-out is $1.00 (1,500 points) for either PayPal cash or an Amazon, Google, or Wal-Mart gift card.

It doesn’t seem like much money offered, but tell me honestly how many times do you check your phone in a day? It’ll grow quickly and no extra work is required.

15. MyPoints

Another great multi-use site is MyPoints. There are so many ways to earn on MyPoints that are similar to Swagbucks and InboxDollars.

The assortment of earning opportunities are:

  • Cash back on all online purchases.
  • Reading and click-through their emails.
  • Complete their daily to-do list.
  • Fill out surveys.
  • Print Coupons.
  • Watch Videos.
  • And more.

Start with a $10 sign up bonus, get 25 points for each friend you sign up plus get points whenever your friend spends $20 or more, and a bonus from all your friends’ eligible points they earn. That’s 3 different ways to earn with friends alone.

Points can be redeemed for a large number of gift cards or ecards as well as to PayPal. The point values vary per retailer so you may want to compare redemption values.

16. MySurvey

If you want to stick to just surveys only, MySurvey is a good place to go.

The advantage of MySurvey over other survey apps is that they’re able to tell you within the first few questions if you qualify or not, instead of filling out a whole survey before finding out.

You also start earning more per survey the more surveys you take. There are also opportunities to answer daily polls as well as get free sweepstakes entries for the monthly draw of 10,000 points (ten winners). 1,000 points is $10, so 10,000 is $100!

17. BeFrugal

BeFrugal is another shopping portal that also gives you great rates when you use their affiliate links for online shopping.

BeFrugal offers up to 40% cash back on purchases from over 5,000 stores. They’ve just recently raised their cash-back values and some of these are:

  • Up to 10% back on Amazon purchases (it was 8%)
  • Up to 13% back from Walmart (it was 4%)
  • 8% back from Macy purchases (it was 3%)

New users get a signup bonus of $10 and $10 per friend that signs up. BeFrugal also offers more ways to redeem your earnings – by direct deposit into an US bank account (minimum of $25), check to US addresses (minimum $25), PayPal (no minimum), and eGift cards including prepaid Visa cards.

18. Dosh

This is a recently launched app for shopping online. Dosh is different where you can shop anywhere through their app, make purchases and the app does all the work. Here’s how it works:

  1. Sign up (get $7)
  2. Link your Debit or Credit card (get $1)
  3. Shop through their app links (Dosh will automatically track it)
  4. Check out travel plans for all your vacation or business needs
  5. Do your regular shopping (Dosh will track your card purchases with partnered retailers)

Cash-back amounts averages 4.5% with one as little as 1.4% at Target to as high as 37.5% at Udemy.  The app will also give you earning opportunities near you for you to check out and earn too. Referring friends can get you $5 and referring businesses to Dosh and earn up to 20% of their membership fees for two years.

19. Fetch Rewards

Fetch Rewards is another receipt scanning app with a big difference. Fetch Rewards will reward you for any products at any store as long as it shows up on both your receipt and in the mobile app.

Other receipt scanning apps require you to buy an exact product of a precise size at a specific retailer, but not Fetch Rewards. As long as it’s a product shown on the app, it doesn’t care where it came from.

You’re awarded points per receipt that depend on how many app offers are on your receipt. A plus with using Fetch Rewards is that if you bought more than 1 item of an offer, you can rescan the receipt as many times to match the number and get rewarded each time. For example, Fetch Reward offers rewards for Stove Top Stuffing, so you bought 3 boxes – you can scan the receipt 3 times to get rewarded for each one.

Sign up and get $1.50 to start and $2 per friend referral. After accumulating your reward points, you can redeem them for a gift card at a huge number of retailers, or for a Mastercard/Visa gift card that you can use the same as cash.

20. InboxDollars

Like I mentioned earlier InboxDollars is very similar to SwagBucks and MyPoints in the variety of earning opportunities.

The many ways to make money on InboxDollars can be from surveys (10¢ to $3.50 and up), shopping, checking out offers, doing an internet search on their search bar, watching videos, referring friends, getting earnings from your friends purchases (10%), and tokens you earn after each survey, and don’t forget the $5 sign up bonus.

The minimum payout is $30 which can be redeemed for Merchant eGift cards, Prepaid Visa cards, and by check.

21. Perk

There are so many different apps under the Perk umbrella and you can choose which one (or all of them), based on what activity you want to do. The various apps include:

  • Perk – Map locater where you can earn Perk points
  • PerkTV – Earn points for watching videos
  • PerkTV Live – Check in your TV programming and earn points
  • Perk Scratch & Win – Variety of scratch and win cards to win gift cards and prizes as well as earn
  • Unlock & Win – A new addition where you simply unlock your phone screen to earn and win
  • Perk Pop Quiz – Answer quiz questions to earn points
  • Word Search – Complete word searches quickly and earn
  • Viggle – Another TV watching check-in app

Other earning opportunities are daily tasks, checking out offers, participating in sweepstakes, and referring friends (up to $10 per friend).

22. Vindale Research

Vindale Research claims to be the highest paying survey site on the internet. Begin with their $2 sign up bonus and earn around 25¢ – $50 each survey you answer. You may even come across some rare ones that are $75 each.

Other ways to earn on Vindale Research are answering their reward emails, joining paid studies, referring friends ($5), reward codes, watching videos, and submitting a photo of your reward check ($5). To cash out you need to reach $50 and you’re paid either by check or PayPal.


That’s a lot of opportunities I listed here to earn solely from your smartphone or computer. If you joined all of these you would have earned $82.50 on sign-up bonuses alone! If you referred only 1 friend on each app that’s another $80.

$162.50 in sign-ups and a friend referral and you haven’t even stared answering surveys or shopping yet!

Tracy Stine

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