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11 Apps That Pay To Play Games

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We spend so much time on our phones, why not get paid to use it?  There are plenty of ways to make money right from your phone.

While it may sound like a scam, we assure you that these apps will legitimately pay you money to play games, take surveys, and interact with the app.

You’re not going to make enough to quit your day job, but you can easily make enough for some extra spending money or to put aside into your savings.

These apps pay anywhere from a few pennies to a few dollars for your efforts – with so many apps out there offering cash for your time, we decided to go through and find the top apps that pay you to play games.

With that said, let’s get started. Here are 11 apps that pay you to play games and have fun.

1. Swagbucks

With over 15 million users, Swagbucks is one of the top apps for getting cash and gift cards.

In fact, the app has already paid out over $500 million in gift cards and prizes, meaning there’s a real opportunity to make money through this app.

The app tracks your activity and awards you “swagbucks” (hence the name) for all of your activities.

You can use those swagbucks to cash in on gift cards to top retailers such as Amazon, PayPal, Target, Walmart, Starbucks, and so much more.

There are some very simple ways to earn your swagbucks right from your phone, including:

  • Watching videos
  • Playing games
  • Taking surveys
  • Shopping online
  • Researching online shopping deals
  • Searching the web

This app rewards you for things you’re already doing on your phone, so it’s a great app to take advantage of.

Why not get rewarded for the things you’re already doing on your phone? After you’ve earned enough points, you can cash out and redeem gift cards valued anywhere from $5 – $25.

We did notice that the app can quickly become complicated and overwhelming – there are tons of categories and ways to earn money through your phone.

With so many options, it can be tough to find which activities and categories work for you.

Once you do find what works, we recommend sticking with one or two activities to make the earning process easier.

Read our Full Swagbucks Review

2. HQ 

One of the most popular apps out there, HQ is a fun and exciting live trivia game that allows you to compete for some great cash prizes.

The average prize is $5,000, but some special events set the prize upwards of $25,000 or more.

When you log in to play, you’re up against hundreds of thousands of other players to take the top prize, with most games reaching over 1 million players at a time.

You answer questions on the screen one at a time and have the chance to see how many players remain after each question.

Get every question right and you split the prize with everyone else still left in the game.

In some high-stakes games, there can only be one winner, so you have to answer every question correctly until you’re the only one left in order to win the cash prize.

HQ has taken the world by storm, with millions of downloads between both Android and iOS.

It’s a simple, addicting game that’s very entertaining – the live show has excellent hosts and even some celebrity guests from time to time.

Even if you don’t win, it’s still fun to try.  There are typically two games per day, with games on Sundays offering the highest cash payouts.

3. InboxDollars 

If you’re more interested in earning cash than rewards points, Inbox Dollars is an excellent option.

This app pays cash for doing the things you already do on your phone and has paid out over $30 million since 2006.

You’ll find a vast selection of games to play in order to earn cash, including both free and paid games.

You only need to spend a few minutes every day for the savings to add up – average earnings per activity range from $0.25 – $5.00, so it’s easy to accumulate a significant amount of savings very quickly.

This app is unique because you can redeem your earnings for actual cash instead of gift cards and physical prizes.

That means you can pull out your earnings from the app and put it right into your savings or investment accounts.  Accessing the app every day can lead to some significant earnings.

Other simple ways to earn on Inbox Dollars include taking surveys, shopping online, and performing web searches – all activities that you might already do on a daily basis.

Read Our Full InboxDollars Review

4. Lucktastic

If you like playing the lottery, you’ll love Lucktastic. This simple and fun game allows you to scratch off an assortment of digital lottery tickets with the chance of winning cash.

Some prizes are as much as $10,000.  This free app is a great way to pass the time and potentially win some money.

Lucktastic has a fun rewards system that you can use to redeem for gift cards and other prizes. After selecting your ticket, you simply need to watch a 30-second advertisement.

Then you’ll have the chance to scratch off your ticket – each ticket includes a bonus scratch off, where you’re guaranteed to win either points or cash.

Most cash payouts are under $0.25, but hit enough cash payouts and that can add up quickly.

Other bonus prizes are points that you can use to redeem for prizes in the prize store. You can redeem points for physical prizes or exchange them for gift cards to countless popular retailers.

Scratching off tickets takes just a few minutes out of your day, and every ticket is a guaranteed win, so what do you have to lose?

5. Swag IQ

Similar to HQ, Swag IQ is another fun and addicting live trivia show right on your phone.  While it’s not as widely played as HQ, it’s definitely just as fun.

You play through a minimum of ten trivia questions on a wide variety of topics, with only ten seconds per question to answer.

The best part about this trivia game is that each question is harder than the last.

Swag IQ airs every weekday, so you have tons of chances to win.  Prizes start at $500 a game but are often much higher.

You can easily challenge your friends and family and play together to see who reigns supreme in Swag IQ trivia!

This trivia game is unique because it pays out prizes in digital coins – while you can certainly convert those coins to cash, there are tons of unique prizes that you can purchase by redeeming your in-game coins.

Read our Full Swag IQ Review

6. Long Game 

Long Game is an app that rewards you for making the right financial decisions – it also rewards you for playing fun and addicting mini-games right in the app.

By linking up your savings account to the app, you get in-game rewards whenever you add money to your savings account.

You can use these rewards to play fun games and have the chance to win real money, up to $1 million.

The app is great for anyone looking to save up for a large purchase, trip, or a rainy day fun. You’re rewarded for sticking to your savings plan and can win money to help you on your savings journey.

You get bonus coins just for signing up and can automatically win coins by setting up AutoSave, which automatically moves money into your savings account.

You’ll also learn great financial tips and tricks from leading financial experts.

From savings accounts and retirement accounts to mortgages and loans, there’s a wealth of information in the app that you can access while playing fun and interactive games.

7. Bananatic 

If you really love mobile gaming, Bananatic is a great app for you.

Not only can you win money and prizes for playing games through the app, you’ll also earn by testing and leaving reviews on the games you play.

You’re helping game developers by testing their free games, all while earning cash and prizes.

Bananatic has created a fun community of mobile game lovers – here, you can meet other like-minded players and discuss games, bugs, and game development.

When you complete activities such as downloading and playing games, progressing levels, and writing reviews, you receive in-app currency that can be redeemed for digital content, paid games, and even gift cards.

While some apps allow you to play free games to earn prizes, few offer a community like Bananatic.

It’s great for aspiring developers and those interested in reviewing content in addition to playing the games.  With Bananatic, you’ll find a fun, interactive community and a simple way to earn rewards.

8. Pogo

If you want to earn playing games across multiple consoles, Pogo allows you to do just that.

This incredible app has paid and free games that are available for your phone, PC, Xbox, PlayStation, and more.

You’ll find games for every style of play – whether you’re interested in poker or arcade games, you’ll find it on Pogo.

Very few apps offer this vast of a selection of games. There are two ways to earn – you can enter to win the daily drawing of $50, and you can also win a $500 jackpot just for playing games.

The app offers a free and paid version. The free version gives you access to a ton of games that you can play to earn points and enter drawings.

With the paid version at $6.99 per month, you can enter tournaments to compete for additional points, and remove ads from the app. You’ll also get access to an additional 40 games.

While we don’t recommend paying monthly just for the chance to win more money, if you’re into gaming and want some additional games to play, it’s not a bad deal.

The tournament option adds some fun and excitement and you’ll have access to exclusive games that free users don’t have access to.

9. Big Time Cash

Unlike some apps that allow you to earn by playing games, taking surveys, and watching videos, Big Time Cash focuses solely on games.

With over 600 fun games to choose from, you’ll be able to play for hours and redeem your rewards for some great prizes.

After playing a game you’ll receive tickets – these tickets are used to enter drawings for cash. The more tickets you put in the drawing, the higher the chance you have to win.

The best part about this app is that there are no in-app purchases needed and it isn’t a pay-to-win system.  The games are completely free to play and you don’t have to pay anything to enter the drawings.

Big Time Cash uses part of its advertising revenue to fund the drawings, so the more people that join and play, the bigger the cash payouts.

If you love playing games on your phone, this is a great app for you – there are tons of games to choose from and you can get paid doing what you already do.

The interface is simple to use and the rewards system is very straightforward.

10. PCHGames 

You’ve heard of Publisher’s Clearing House, but did you know that they have an app that pays you to play games?

You have the chance to win real cash prizes by playing games such as slots, mahjong, and solitaire.

By playing any one of the fun and exciting games found in the PCHGames app, you’ll earn tokens that you can use to enter prize drawings.

Prizes range from $1 to $1 million, so it’s a great way to win some serious cash if you’re lucky. You can also connect the PCHGames app to your PCHrewards program.

When you register as a PCHGames player, you’ll get four times the amount of tokens that you can use in the PCHrewards exchange.

Aside from cash prizes, you can redeem your points for fun giveaways such as gift cards and merchandise.

Linking your game account to your Publisher’s Clearing House a great way to increase your chances of winning a substantial cash prize.

11. Lucky Day

Lucky Day brings the casino right to your phone. You’ll get to play fun casino games including slots, raffles, and scratch-offs to try and win real cash prizes.

There’s a chance to win $100,000 every day just by playing one of the hundreds of fun, free games that Lucky Day has to offer.

If you don’t win money, you’ll still earn points that you can use to enter sweepstakes, raffles, and daily lottery pulls. You can also earn gift cards to places like Amazon, Target, and Walmart.

The best part about this app is that you can play for free every day. You’ll get free scratch cards and lottery entries every day, with new entries and scratch-offs refreshing overnight.

Lucky Day is a simple and fun way to pass the time and potentially win some money or prizes.

Something for Everyone

 These are just a few of the countless apps out there that you can use to play games and win real money and prizes.

However, it’s important to know that not all apps claiming to offer prizes are legitimate or even worth your time. The apps on this list all offer great prizes and a lot of fun.

Even if you don’t win any money, these apps are worth downloading just for the games and entertainment.

From scratch-offs to arcade games and everything in between, you can easily turn your gaming into cash, prizes, and gift cards.

Just a few minutes each day will let you build up your winnings and potentially win a large cash prize.

Be wary of any apps that require you to pay for the chance of winning money – you shouldn’t have to pay for the chance to win, and it’s a sign that it may be a scam.

With so many free alternatives out there offering excellent prizes, you don’t need to pay.

Living a frugal lifestyle doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice on fun – as you can see, there are plenty of ways to have fun playing games on your phone while also making some money.

For more great ideas on making money through apps, check out our other blog posts in the Apps & Websites section!

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Get Paid To Shop: The Shopkick app is a free mobile app that pays you walk into stores, link your credit card, scan barcodes in stores, shop online, refer friends and more. Convert points into gift cards and other cash prizes. This app makes shopping fun, and you even get a 250-point bonus when you sign-up as a new member. The best part? It's 100% FREE to join.

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