20 Highest Paying Apps For Your Smartphone (Updated 2017)

Introduction

Smartphone apps are a great way to make some extra cash on the go. We’ve compiled a list of the top 20 highest paying apps for your smartphone. See one that pays a bit higher and should be on the list? Let us know in the comments down below.

What Should I Look For In Highest Paying Apps?

There are certain criteria you should look for when it comes to looking for the highest paying apps for your smartphone. Keep in mind that each app may meet the needs of each person differently.

  • Payout method. Usually apps have at least a few payout methods. It’s typically for an app to pay you via PayPal or through at least a few gift cards of your choosing. However, sometimes there’s only one method. If they only pay you gift cards to Fred Meyer and you never shop there, it might not be worth your time.
  • Hourly rate. The hourly rate is calculated by counting how much you earn within an hour’s worth of time. It’s important to keep track of this information because sometimes it may seem like you’re earning a lot less than you really are and visa versa. You should try to prioritize the the apps with the highest hourly rates.
  • Registration bonuses. Registration bonuses are a great incentive to start with an app. Even if you end up not liking the app, at least you’ve earned a few dollars for free without having to do any work.
  • Referral programsReferral programs are one of the easiest ways to make money with apps. A quick post to Facebook or Twitter usually only takes a few seconds. If you have a few hundred friends, it’s possible you can get a few sign-ups, netting you an extra few dollars here and there. Sometimes there’s percentage bonuses. For example, some apps give you 10% of your friends’ earnings for life.
  • Ease of useWhile the apps on this list are great, sometimes they can be a bit tedious. This is especially the case after using them for long periods of time. Keep in mind how frustrating it might be to use the app. If it’s easy and you can earn well, it might be worth keeping.

What Are These Highest Paying Apps?

Want to get started with a few of these apps and skip the reviews? Not a problem at all. Here’s a short list of the best highest paying apps:

I’ve found that with just the apps listed above, I’m able to earn at least a few extra hundred dollars per month. Want to find out the rest of the highest paying apps on the list? Go ahead and read below.

1. Ibotta

Ibotta is one of the most popular receipt scanning apps out there. Take a picture of your grocery receipt and earn anywhere from $.25 to $5 in cash back depending on your purchase. Combine more than one offer per receipt and you can pass this $5 threshold.

The great thing about Ibotta is that you get a $10 sign-up bonus when you sign-up using promo code qFTVA and scan your first receipt. While Ibotta was originally meant to be used for groceries, you can now earn cash back on other items such as electronics, alcohol, prescriptions, meals at restaurants and more.

Furthermore, Ibotta recently added a new feature to help you earn cash back by shopping through other apps. When you open the app, there will be a section for earning a certain percentage of cash back at certain stores.

For example, let’s say you want to shop at Hotels.com. Open the Ibotta app and scroll down. You’ll notice an offer for 10% in cash back. Click on the link to be redirected to the Hotels app on your phone (if you don’t have it you’ll be asked to download it) and make a purchase.

Within 10 days you’ll receive 6% of your total purchase price in your Ibotta account. Once your account reaches $20 in cash back, you can cash out for gift cards of your choosing or for direct deposits to PayPal.

Read our full Ibotta Review

2. Shoptracker

In terms of the total amount you can get paid, Shoptracker is on the lower side. However, the actual amount of time you put in is very minimal, and you can get up to $36/year essentially doing nothing.

Shoptracker pays you to track your Amazon purchases. Simply install the app, link your Amazon account, and answer a short 3-question multiple-choice survey about your Amazon purchase history.

Once this is done, you immediately get a $3 Visa gift card registration bonus, a process that easily takes under 5 minutes to complete.

From there, for every month that you leave the app installed on your smartphone, you get an additional $3. The only thing you have to remember to do is cash out each month for an additional $3 Visa gift card.

This is definitely one of the more passive ways to earn money from your phone.

Read our full Shoptracker Review

3. Shopkick

Shopkick is a great way to earn some extra money while shopping. Once you install the app, share your location and earn cash and gift cards for checking into stores. You also earn cash by scanning the barcodes of specific products or using one of their in-app coupons.

They’re currently partnered with a wide variety of stores such as Walmart, Macy’s and Best Buy with continual expansion. Not only that, but you can also find great deals by using their shopping system.

You won’t earn much scanning barcodes alone, which is why we mostly recommend just using their check-in service. You can easily get $.25 cents or more per check-in and it only takes a second. It wasn’t until recently that you could also receive cash from scanning receipts.

Read our full Shopkick Review

4. Nielsen Computer & Mobile Panel

If you want to get paid for doing nothing, the Nielsen Computer & Mobile Panel pays you for simply leaving their app installed on your phone. Simply use your phone like you normally do and earn free cash.

The reason the Nielsen app is able to pay you is because they collect data about how you use your phone. This includes what apps you have installed, your internet speed, the type of device you own, etc.

By leaving the app installed on your iOS or Android device for an entire year, you can earn enough points that will earn you $50 per year. These points can be exchanged for prizes such as gift cards to popular retailers. You’re essentially earning a passive income since you don’t have to do anything.

The best part? You can install this app on unlimited devices, thus doubling, tripling or even quadrupling your earnings. Nielsen only limits the amount of devices per region, not household.

You can also install this app on your desktop computer, but the earnings work a little bit differently. For desktop users, every month you’re automatically entered in a free sweepstakes drawing to earn up to $10,000.

Read our full Nielsen Computer & Mobile Panel Review

5. SavvyConnect

SavvyConnect works in a similar manner to the Nielsen Computer & Mobile Panel app. Leave an app installed on your mobile device and get paid to use it like you normally would. Absolutely no work is required on your part.

Each month that you leave the SavvyConnect app on your phone, you earn $5. Calculate this out and you get a total of $60/year.

Increase your earnings by installing the SavvyConnect app on a maximum of 3 devices for a total of $15/month or $180/year. The best part is that all of this is essentially passive income since the only thing you have to do is leave the app installed and cash out.

They also give you a chance to increase your earnings by referring your friends. When your friend signs-up using your link and completes their first “project,” you earn anywhere between $5 – $15. You can also earn cash from your friends’ referrals as well.

6. TopCashBack

If you do a lot of online shopping, this is the app for you. TopCashBack has partnered with thousands of retailers across the web and placed their affiliate links onto one site. Each time you click on one of these links, TopCashBack earns a small commission and then gives it back to you in the form of cash back.

Expect to earn about 7% in cash back for all of your online purchases. TopCashBack is mostly known as a website, but you can also earn cash by using their mobile app as well. There’s absolutely no cost to register, and you even get a $10 bonus just for signing-up as a new member.

Once you reach a minimum of $10 in earned cash back, you can withdraw to PayPal or for Amazon or Amex gift cards for a 3% withdrawal bonus.

Read our full Topcashback Review

7. Ebates

Ebates is another shopping portal that works exactly like TopCashBack. They partner with thousands of retailers across the web and aggregate all of their affiliate links onto one page. Each time you buy something using one of these links, Ebates earns a commission and gives it back to you in the form of cash back.

The rates are nowhere near as high as TopCashBack, but sometimes you’ll find stores that give a bit more. The one difference about this app is that it can be used in-store, one of the only shopping portals that allows you to do that.

While the rate isn’t very high at 1% – 2% when shopping in-store, it’s still better than nothing, and can add a lot to your savings when purchasing really expensive items. You get a $10 gift card for registering as a new member.

Read our full Ebates Review

8. Pinecone Research

Pinecone Research is one of the best survey apps out there. You always know what you’re going to get paid, and you always know roughly how long each survey will take. Pinecone Research pays you a flat fee of $3 per survey, and each survey takes anywhere from 10 – 15 minutes to complete.

At this rate, you’re essentially earning at a rate of $15 per hour. The downside? There aren’t that many surveys to go around. I usually find that I can complete one or two surveys per month, and if I’m lucky three.

Sometimes Pinecone Research doesn’t accept new users, so if this is the case for you, just be sure to check back in about a month. You can cash out your earnings for gift cards of your choosing. The great thing about Pinecone Research is that you never have to log-in to see if new surveys are available since they always send you email notifications.

Read our full Pinecone Research Review

9. Swagbucks

Similar to Perk TV, you can also earn cash using the Swagbucks app by watching videos directly from your phone. Since the videos play automatically, you don’t have to do any work. The only downside is that there’s a limit to the amount you can earn from this task per day.

However, there are still other tasks that you can complete with the Swagbucks app, such as taking daily polls, online shopping, filling out surveys, playing games and much more. If you do decide to only watch videos, keep in mind that there’s a total of 5 Swagbucks Apps you will need to use in order to maximize your earnings.

This alone will get you about $30 per month – if you want to increase this amount, you’ll have to complete other tasks as well. Refer a friend and get 10% of their earnings. We can’t tell you exactly how much of a registration bonus they give since it varies. We’ve seen it as little as $0 and as high as $10.

Read our full Swagbucks Review

10. InboxDollars

InboxDollars is a small task site that’s similar to Swabucks. Earn cash completing small tasks online such as playing games, watching videos, shopping online, referring friends or more. You start off with a great $5 registration bonus and you need a minimum of $25 to cash out. While this amount may seem a bit high, I usually find that you can reach it pretty quickly.

The two activities that we recommend participating in with InboxDollars are taking surveys and watching videos. This way you can earn the most amount of cash with the least amount of effort. Unfortunately, you need to manually click to play the next video, so you can’t earn passively.

Expect to earn at a rate of around $10 per hour when taking surveys. When it comes to watching videos, the amount is going to be much lower, but we recommend the task since it’s so simple to complete. Refer your friends and get 10% of their earnings for life.

Read our full InboxDollars Review

11. Fetch Rewards

Fetch Rewards is a receipt scanning app that works just like Ibotta. Match a product on your receipt with that on the app and earn cash back. The one big difference between Ibotta and Fetch Rewards is that this app only pays you for taking pictures of grocery receipts.

However, they do allow you to buy a product and earn cashback at any location, instead of having to buy a specific product at a specific store.

The reason why this app makes the list is due to their high payouts. Expect to earn anywhere between $1 and $4 per offer. Increase this amount by having more than one offer per receipt.

You need a minimum of $3 in earned cash back to cash out for a gift card of your choosing. When you register as a new user, you get a $1.50 bonus when you use the promo code HH3MN.

Read our full Fetch Rewards Review

12. VIPKID

VIPKID is the highest-paying app on this list when it comes to earnings potential, but it definitely takes the most amount of effort. Get paid to teach children English across the world and earn anywhere between $18 – $22 per hour.

Here are the following requirements for potential teachers:

  • Eligibility to work in the US or Canada
  • Bachelor’s degree in any field
  • 1 school year of traditional teaching experience or the equivalent in mentoring, tutoring, or alternative education

The best part is that you get to choose your own hours. Keep in mind that the majority of these children are going to be located in China, meaning you may have to change your schedule a bit in order to accommodate them.

There are plenty of people who are making a full-time living from VIPKID and can work anywhere in the world because of its high payout.

Read our full VIPKID review

13. Acorns

Acorns is one of the many-popular robo-investing apps out there. Start off with a $5 registration bonus, and start investing with $5 at a time in your stock portfolio. Not an expert in investing? Not a problem. Acorns understand that having sufficient knowledge takes time, and that’s why they do all of the work for you.

Simply register for the app, fill out your financial profile, and Acorns will suggest which type of investment is right for you. If you’re young and have a lot of money saved, you’ll most likely be put in the aggressive portfolio option.

For those who are a bit older, Acorns will suggest a more conservative approach. The best part? You only need to invest $5 at a time, and unlike most brokerage firm there’s zero commission fee. This is a great way for those to start investing in their future.

They even have a spare change feature that allows you to invest slowly. Link your credit card and your purchase will be rounded-up to the nearest dollar. The difference between your purchase price and the rounded-up part will automatically be invested in your Acorns account – no extra work done on your part.

Read our full Acorns Review

14. Paribus

It’s terrible when you buy something at a store only to find out a few days later that it can be found at a lower price. What’s even worse is when you don’t find out soon enough so you don’t even have time to return the item to buy the cheaper version.

Instead of taking the time to search around for a cheaper price, have Paribus do it for you. Link your online shopping accounts to Paribus and it will track the internet for cheaper prices. Even if you’ve already made the purchase, Paribus will track down the original retailer and ask for the retailer to refund the difference.

For example, I linked my Amazon account and bought a book for around $12. Paribus found the book cheaper at another retailer and contacted Amazon on my behalf. Within a week of purchase I noticed a random email stating that a few dollars had been refunded to my account.

The catch? Paribus gets a small percentage of your refunded amount. However, refer enough friends and you can get this amount down to nothing so you get 100% of the difference.

Read our full Paribus Review

15. Qmee

The earnings per month with Qmee aren’t that great, but the app is just so simple to use that we had to put it up at the number 4 spot. The Qmee app pays you to make searches like you normally would from both your web browser or your phone.

Each time you make a search, there’s a chance that a small sidebar will appear on the browser with ads. Click on these ads to be redirected to another site related to your search term. On average, you can earn about $.05 – $.10 cents per click, and the amount you make per month depends on the amount of searches you make.

Clicking only takes a second, and your payment is awarded almost immediately. What’s even better is that there’s no minimum withdrawal amount to PayPal. As of recently they also pay you to complete short surveys. Receive $1 per referral.

Read our full Qmee Review

16. BeFrugal

BeFrugal and TopCashBack are so alike that it’s almost impossible to rank one ahead of the other. BeFrugal is also a shopping portal  that pays you for clicking affiliate links on their site and shopping through them. The more you shop online, the more you earn.

On average you can get about 7% in cash back across all purchases. I personally find TopCashBack a bit easier to use, but most of the time the rates are identical that it’s best to check between the two of them before each purchase.

BeFrugal also gives a $10 sign-up bonus to new members. The one big difference that may turn people away is that you do need a minimum of $25 to withdraw your cash back. However, BeFrugal promises to award cash back bonuses within 10 days of your purchase, whereas TopCashBack can sometimes take a bit longer.

Read our full BeFrugal Review

17. Stash

The Stash app is very similar to the Acorns app mentioned above. This app serves as an investment adviser and helps you start thinking about your future. You choose your income and investment style, and they give you a wide variety of recommendations to park your cash and get a return on it.

With as little as $5, you can buy partial shares of indexes and ETFs. There’s absolutely no cost to register, and the first 3 months are free. After that, you need to pay $1 per month or .025% of your account balance, whichever is greater.

Even though there’s a small cost, it’s totally worth it since all trades are commission free. You even get a $5 bonus when you sign-up using our link.

Read our full Stash Review

18. Checkout 51

Checkout 51 works in a very similar way to Ibotta. They pay you for taking a picture of your receipt and submitting it to the app. However, unlike Ibotta, it doesn’t matter where you purchase the item as long as it shows up on your receipt.

This means that you can make a purchase at a grocery store, retail store or whatever. Most of the items you find on the app are food items, but once in a while there are a few exceptions. The payout isn’t that great, usually only yielding $.25 – $1 per item, but the amount of work required is quite minimal.

Keep in mind that you can stack this app with other receipt scanning apps, meaning you can use multiple apps with the same receipt. Unfortunately, they currently don’t have a referral program.

Read our full Checkout 51 Review

19. GymPact

There’s no better way than to get paid doing exercise. The GymPact app forces you to make a promise about continually working out and to keep it. The more exercise you do, the more you get paid. However, you can also lose money as well.

If you don’t keep up with a particular workout for a day, the app actually deducts money from your credit card. You can choose your risk level as well. The higher the risk, the more you earn, but also the more you can potentially lose.

Only use this app if you’re serious about earning some cash and keeping up with your exercise routine. The pay is quite good, but again, this is only the case if you choose a high risk level and workout on a frequent basis.

Read our full Gympact Review

20. CashPirate

  • Estimate Earnings: $5 – $20 per month
  • Join CashPirate (bonus code XZQBIU)

CashPirate is a rewards app that pays you to complete certain tasks on your phone. This includes watching videos and completing surveys, but the majority of the time you’re going to be earning the most just by downloading and trying out new apps.

Each time you install an app, all you have to do is open it once to get your account credited. The payout is fairly high and offers are quite abundant. You can easily make an extra $5 per month without much extra effort.

Refer your friends and get 10% of all of their earnings for life. You can cash out directly to PayPal once you reach a minimum of $2.50.

Read our full CashPirate Review

21. Adme

  • Registration Bonus: None
  • Join Adme (bonus code bNALpS6gKV)

This is another app that doesn’t pay you very much, but the amount of effort you have to put in is very minimal. Get paid to unlock your phone screen. Once you have the app installed, each time you unlock your phone an ad will appear. Swipe left to get rid of the app or click on it to view more information.

No matter which option you choose, you still get paid. The amount you get paid is unclear, but on average I earn at least a minimum of $5 per month. Don’t bother trying to constantly lock and unlock your phone for more earnings – there’s no guarantee that you’ll get paid each time.

For this reason, we suggest using your phone like you normally would with just one extra swipe per unlock. Registration is completely free. Refer a friend and get a $1 bonus.

Read our full Adme Review

Final Thoughts

There’s no reason you shouldn’t be earning some extra cash from your phone. The main reason I love using apps is because they’re such an easy way to increase your income on the go. If you enjoyed this article, you may also enjoy the following:

We hope you enjoyed this review of the highest paying apps. If you see any other high-paying apps that should be on the list but aren’t, please let us know down below. Thanks for reading and happy frugaling!

Get Paid To Take Pictures Of Your Receipt: The Ibotta app is a mobile app that pays you to scan your receipts. Earn cash back at restaurants, grocery stores and even online purchases. Not only that, but you even get a $10 bonus when you scan your first receipt within your first week and use promo code qFTVA. The best part? It's 100% FREE.

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