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12 Free Money Apps To Earn Directly From Your Smartphone

12 Free Money Apps To Earn Directly From Your Smartphone
Adrienne Romer-Jordan Sep 20, 2018
Want to Earn Some Extra Money?

Imagine waking up on a lazy Sunday morning and making money all without leaving the comfort of your bed. How, you ask?

Your phone is a money making tool that you probably are not utilizing to its full potential.

That’s right, there are several apps available that all are designed around one concept: to help you earn money.

If you are looking for a few ways to make easy and convenient money, without having to get out of your jammies, then this article is for you.

While there are several, and I do mean several money making apps out there, below I’ve identified 12 of the more popular free apps (available on both IOS and Android) that allow you to earn money from your phone.

Whatever you are doing, these apps have you covered anywhere and anytime.

1. Ibotta

  • Registration Bonus: $10 bonus when you scan your first receipt
  • Join Ibotta

This wonderful app is so easy to use and they make earning money fun. It’s like the new-age version of couponing and trust me, with this handy app, your days of clipping coupons are over.

Some may have the misconception that Ibotta is just for use at the grocery store. It is not. Yes, you can use the app at your favorite grocery stores, but you can also use the app at stores like BestBuy, Amazon, Target, Groupon, Ebay, and Ulta.

This app is literally the app for anyone who shops. We’ve reviewed it before but I’ll cover the basics below.

After your free sign-up, you will then select your favorite stores and the app will generate deals and cashback rebates on specific items. Often you will see items you regularly shop for like cereal, oatmeal, toothpaste and eggs.

Once you’ve selected which rebates you know you will be using, go out shopping. Once done shopping, you simply need to take a picture of your receipt to redeem your cashback offers. It is that simple.

Unless a specific expiration date is listed, you have a bit of time to use your rebate and you will also be informed if you can use the same rebate more than once.

Rebate prices can vary. Some are as low as $.40 and some are as high as $10. On average you can expect to earn between $.50 – $2.00 in rebates for everyday basics.

Once you have reached a minimum balance of $20 in rewards, you can then cash out and have the money transferred to your linked PayPal account.

Ibotta is also great because several times throughout the month they will notify you of special rebates, challenges and offers that will give you more opportunities to earn cash back.

You can start earning money right now by downloading the app today! Plus, when you sign up as a new user you get a $10 bonus after scanning your first receipt. Look at that, you are already halfway to your first payout.

2. Shopkick

Last year we posted a review of Shopkick and there’s a reason why we’re mentioning it again.

Shopkick works. It’s a fun way to make cash back and plus it is FREE to sign up, so there’s no harm in trying it out.

The basic rundown of Shopkick is that you earn rewards points (kicks) to shop. If you are going to shop anyway, might as well earn kicks and try to net a little profit from your purchases, right?

250 kicks is the equivalent of $1.00. After earning a certain amount of kicks, you can then redeem those kicks for a wide selection of gift cards. Their site claims that most people can earn enough kicks to earn a gift card in a week.

Here are the top 8 ways to earn kicks according to their website:

  • Walk in stores
  • Scan barcodes of select products
  • Purchase with linked card
  • Purchase and submit a receipt
  • Visit online stores
  • View online products
  • Make online purchases
  • Watch videos

As you can see from the list, several of those options don’t even require you to buy anything. That’s FREE money right there just for doing normal, everyday tasks.

The only con of Shopkick is that it can take a while to earn a lot of kicks. You need a minimum of 500 kicks in order to redeem the lowest gift card. Some gift cards require as much as 5,000 kicks. It all depends on what you want.

If you are diligent and take advantage of the several ways to earn kicks, you could find yourself earning kicks faster than most.

3. Shoptracker

If you shop on Amazon (which most of us can admit we do), then this app will be beneficial to you. By registering for this free app, you can start earning $36/year just by sharing your Amazon purchase history.

In order to use the app you have to live in the U.S. and you have to be at least 18 years old or older.

Shoptracker is operated by a survey company that measures the U.S. opinion on products. You get paid from the data they collect and sell for the purpose of market research. But don’t worry, your private information will remain private.

Signing up is a quick process and after providing some basic information (name, age, gender, etc) you’ll be prompted to a series of short questions to see if you qualify as a Shoptracker user.

You will receive specific details once you qualify, but basically you’ll receive a $3 Visa e-gift card code in your inbox each month. This can be used at any online retailer or even better, use it for your future Amazon purchases just to keep everything rolling.

You receive this $3 every month following a successful upload of your monthly purchases, followed by a brief survey. It usually takes 48 hours to credit to your account.

Now $36 may not seem like a lot of money, but I’m sure we can all agree that it’s better to make a little something rather than nothing off of items you had to buy anyway. Plus, it’s not like you have to accrue a large Amazon bill each month. Any and all purchases, small or large count.

If you sign up today and download their app, you can earn your first $3 in less than five minutes.

4. Drop

  • Registration Bonus$1 when you link your first card
  • Join Drop

Like some of the apps I’ve mentioned above, Drop allows you to earn points that you can then use toward gift cards from one of their partners.

With this handy app, you can earn points just by shopping at some of your favorite stores like Uber, Amazon or Starbucks.

To use the app is simple. You just download the app to your phone, link a debit or credit card (or multiple cards) to your secure account and then choose five brands that you would like to earn points with. Be very selective with your choosing and go for the brands that you shop with the most.

From there you can start earning points when you shop at these brands. You can also earn additional points from various merchants based on your weekly shopping habits.

You will be notified via email when you have reached enough points to cash out.You can then redeem those points for a gift card to a brand of your choosing and no, you are not limited to using one of the five brands you selected.

Your point accrual is automatic so there’s no need to put in a code or anything when you shop at your selected retailers. Because you’ve linked a card with the app, your purchases will be tracked and counted.

It’s an easy app to use and handy for folks who don’t want to feel like “wasting” their time by taking surveys or scanning receipts.

5. Swagbucks

Shop online, surf the web, watch videos, complete surveys. Any of these tasks can earn you points (called Swagbucks) with Swagbucks.

For every 100 Swagbucks, you are earning the equivalent of $1. And every Swagbucks earned is clearly indicated based on the above earning options.

It can take a while to build up a decent amount of Swagbucks, but the most popular way to earn is by taking surveys.

Surveys can vary in length and the longer the survey the more Swagbucks you can earn. But a short survey could very well take you five minutes and we can all admit we have five minutes to spare. Especially five minutes to earn money.

By signing up today you can take advantage of there $5 bonus just for registering!

6. Acorns

Remember the days of throwing all your loose change in a jar and letting it grow until you feel like making your way to the Coinstar?

Well those days aren’t gone exactly, but now, thanks to the free app Acorns, you can take that extra change and invest it.

I know the thought of investing sounds intimidating, but Acorns is a great app for beginners to start investing very little money at a time as there is no minimum required to start investing.

There are several ways to grow your portfolio with Acorns. One of the easiest is to take advantage of round ups. The app rounds up your purchases on linked credit or debit cards to the nearest dollar and places that extra change in an investment portfolio.

You can also choose to make a monthly deposit into your portfolio, where you can set a fixed amount and then let your portfolio grow without any more interference. Or you can even invest money earned from shopping with one of their partnered retailers.

There are a few pros and cons to using Acorns. One pro is that it is freely managed for four years for college students with a current .edu email address.

For folks that are out of college, it will cost $1/month or .025% of your total assets if you have over $5,000 invested.

Since this app is free it doesn’t hurt to try it out to see if investing is something you want to do. If the app doesn’t work out, just delete it. For a more in-depth review of the Acorns app and all its bells and whistles, check out this article.

7. Ipsos i-Say

Share your opinion and get paid is what Ipsos i-Say is all about. Ipsos is one of the top survey taking sites out there and their handy app makes everything that much more convenient.

After signing up for free, you’ll be directed to answer a few questions in order to fill out your profile and place you in a specific demographic. This is necessary so that you can receive surveys relevant to you.

Then you simply start taking surveys and earn points. Even if you don’t qualify for a survey they will give you a few points for your efforts.

100 points is the equivalent of $1 and you can cash out with as little as 500 points for a gift card of your choosing. That’s enough for your favorite venti sized beverage of choice at Starbucks.

I would say this app is great for the individual who has a long work commute. It’s right there on your phone and you can earn quite a few points during that 30 minute or hour long commute.

This one is also great for those lazy Sundays (or whatever day you want to do the least and earn the most). With the Ipsos app you can tackle quite a few surveys and rack up some points without even getting out of bed.

8. Fetch Rewards

  • Registration Bonus$2 with promo code HH3MN after scanning your first receipt
  • Join Fetch Rewards

We’ve reviewed Fetch Rewards for you in the past and wanted to touch on it again as the app could just be worth your time. Especially if you are looking for a free app to earn money with.

This app is for anyone who shops at a grocery store (so basically all of us). The Fetch Rewards mobile app is a nifty tool that allows you to earn points simply by scanning your grocery store receipt. You can then redeem those points for cash.

What makes Fetch Rewards different than something like Ibotta mentioned above? With Ibotta you shop at a specific store for a specific item. With Fetch Rewards you can shop at any store for an item and it counts.

This is perfect for those days you are out and about and realize you need to snag something from the store. Whichever store is closest to you that you choose to shop in might have a cashback item listed on Fetch Rewards. No need to go out of your way for a certain store.

Unlike Ibotta which earns you cash, Fetch Rewards allows you to earn points. Points earned can range from 250 to 2,000 points with 1,000 points being the equivalent of $1. In order to cash out for one of their gift cards, you will need a minimum of 3,000 points.

You’ll want to make sure you scan your receipt quickly with Fetch Rewards. If you wait longer than two weeks your receipt could become null and void.

Once you’ve scanned your receipt you can expect to see your points credited to your account within 24 to 48 hours.

9. Pinecone Research

This awesome app lets you earn money just by taking surveys. You can earn a minimum of 300 points ($3) per survey all from the comfort of your home, car, bus…anywhere! If there’s one app you have to try, it is this one.

You can check out a full review of this app here. But, I’ll give you a quick rundown of this app and the benefits in case you want to skip the full review and get right to the nitty gritty.

Pinecone Research has been around for a several years and has received a lot of positive reviews. Their payouts are real, their surveys interesting and overall Pinecone Research is an app worth your time.

The first step in getting started with Pinecone Research is to sign up here to see if you qualify. Once qualified, you start earning money by taking surveys. Yes, it’s that easy.

Surveys can take about 10 to 20 minutes of your time. Most surveys are multiple choice responses and can cover a range of topics. You can expect to receive an email for a survey at least once, but sometimes twice a week.

Because their surveys don’t come often, this is a perfect time to utilize some of the other apps I’ve mentioned in the interim. When you do receive an email with a new survey, be sure to take it immediately following their instructions.

For a free app with a high payout, it can’t hurt to try this one, right?

10. Nielsen Computer and Mobile Panel

Nielsen Computer and Mobile Panel is an affiliate of Pinecone Research that is accepting sign-ups today without the rigid qualifying process that is associated with Pinecone Research.

Nielsen is a company that collects data usage. They monitor what sites you visit and how much time is spent there. They do not collect information like your username or password.

So how do you earn rewards? Just download the free app and let it do its thing. You’ll earn rewards by continuing with your run-of-the-mill web browsing.

You can later redeem your points for gift cards to some popular places like Starbucks, Target, Walmart or Amazon. Or you can use your points like cash via their online shop, where you can snag items like cameras and televisions.

The minimum point payout is $5. According to their website, active members who register just one mobile device can expect to earn up to $50/year.

This app is worth trying simply because you don’t have to do anything to earn points except browse the internet.

11. Dosh

  • Registration Bonus$5 when you link your first card
  • Join Dosh

Similar to Drop, Dosh is another app that is free to download and requires very little effort on your part; i.e. no receipt scanning necessary.

With Dosh, you link your credit or debit card and then browse the list of nearby cashback offers (businesses) available. The percentage of cashback will be listed.

Then you just go shopping as usual. That’s it. No fuss and no need to regularly check the app either. If you’re out shopping and using your linked card, than you are definitely earning something for your efforts.

Dosh offers a lot of earning potential. If you link one card you’ll earn $5 right off for free and for every additional card linked you earn $1.

If you happen to be a person that travels a lot for work (or pleasure) then Dosh is for you. With your first hotel booking you can earn $25 and that’s on top of whatever percentage you earn for booking with a particular hotel.

More popular cities mean better earning potential.

Once you’ve accrued a minimum of $25, you can opt to cash out via PayPal or direct deposit. This is perfect for those that want to earn real cash versus gift cards to a specific store.

Your funds arrive almost immediately and are yours to do with as you wish.

Pay a phone bill, an electric bill…or go shopping and continue earning more cash back.

12. InboxDollars

If you are looking for another money making app that requires minimal effort to earn rewards then look no further than InboxDollars.

InboxDollars is an app that allows you to earn points from doing everyday tasks on the internet like watching videos, shopping, or signing up for offers.

You can also earn cash by taking surveys, playing games and even by responding to emails.

To start off with InboxDollars, you simply have to sign up for free and for your efforts they will give you $5 right away. From there you just have to complete any of the tasks mentioned previously until you reach $30, which is the minimum payout.

Some reviewers have complained that it takes too long to reach $30, but that’s a small con compared to the chance to earn free money. And it’s free money you can earn over a lunch break or while walking on the treadmill at the gym.

If you live in the UK or Canada, don’t worry, there are affiliate applications that do the same thing, just under a different name.

Final Thoughts

As a starting point, these apps have you covered in terms of earning quick and easy cash. And these are just a few of the available apps out there that allow you to make money from your Android or iPhone.

In fact there are at least 89 more apps out there! You can view the others by reading 101 Free Money Making Apps To Quickly Earn Cash From Your Phone.

Try a few. Test them out and if it doesn’t work, delete and move on to the next one. These apps can be a lot of fun and with free sign-ups you’re not losing anything! Good luck and happy earning!

Adrienne Romer-Jordan

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