11 Free Money-Making Apps for Earning Passive Income

Honest Abe

Disclosure:

Some of the links in this post are from our sponsors. We’re letting you know because it’s what Honest Abe would do. After all, he is on our favorite coin.

We’ve all got smartphones these days, and almost everything we do on them requires using an app.

Wouldn’t it be cool if you could make extra money just for using them? Well, you can.

You’re not going to get rich by downloading mobile apps, but you can use these to earn a little extra money every month.

Considering some of them require you to do nothing, or just watch videos or take some surveys, it doesn’t seem like a bad deal to make a few extra bucks.

To get you started, we put together a list of our favorite apps that pay you just for using them…

1. This App Pays You to Go On Secret Missions

flight attendant
Photos travelwithkell/Instagram

Remember scavenger hunts when you were a kid? Ever pretend you were a private investigator on an important mission?

Don’t let a few years get in the way of your fun.

QuickThoughts turns your cell phone into private-eye technology, taking you on top-secret missions in your area.

Was that CVS you visited last month clean? How do the lines look at that McDonald’s you’ve stopped by for lunch?

QuickThoughts Missions relies on your input — and sneakily-taken cellphone photography — to give businesses important feedback. And like any respectable PI, you get paid for your investigative footwork. Pretending as an adult is looking better and better!

Using your phone’s GPS technology, the app will prompt you for information from places you’ve visited in the past few weeks, as well as places it detects you’re visiting right now.

It even has missions you can accept and complete in the future. For instance, it might prompt you to go to your local Walgreens and snap a photo of the seasonal display.

And you’ll earn valuable gift cards for Amazon and iTunes while you’re at it.

2. This App Helps You Sell Your Old Clothes

Guess
Guess/Facebook

Do you still have a prom outfit from, like, 10 years ago?

It’s never going to fit — or come into style — again, but something just keeps holding you back from sending it to Goodwill.

Maybe money could change your mind? Instead of storing clothes indefinitely, try selling them on an app like letgo.

3. This App Pays You to Take a Picture of Your Receipts

Ibotta review
Colleen Rice, TPH email marketing specialist, uses Ibotta to search through deals at Publix. Tina Russell/The Penny Hoarder

Yeah, did you know that you can get paid cash back just for taking a picture of your receipt?

Here’s how it works….

1. Sign up for Ibotta here (you just need a name/email address to start).

2. Browse through the cash-back offers in your area and take note the next time you go to the store (the offers change every week). For example, in my city, Ibotta will give 2% cash back on Best Buy purchases, $0.25 cash back on any Target purchase, and $3 cash back when I buy an appetizer from any restaurant.  Pretty cool, right?

Once you’ve reached at least $20 in earnings, you can request payment via Paypal or Venmo. And right now, Ibotta is giving new users a $10 sign-up bonus, just for redeeming their first receipt.

4. This App Pays You to Take Simple Surveys

Screenshot of Ipsos Panel

The Ipsos I-say mobile app is one of the best, legitimate paid survey apps out there. They’re currently rated an A+ with the Better Business Bureau.

The questions are pretty simple. What do you like more — Coke or Cherry Coke? How many times have you been to the movies in the past 12 months?

You get the idea.

You won’t qualify for every panel, but you can usually earn about $5 for 30 minutes of work.

5. This App Pays You for Sharing (Anonymous) User Data 

Screenshot of Smart Panel

There’s a new company called “Smart Panel” that will literally pay you to download its free app. 

The app’s purpose is to collect anonymous statistics from your phone to help your favorite web sites, apps, tech companies and mobile carriers give you better services and more features.

The company wants to know how long you’re spending on Facebook each week, what YouTube videos you like, and how often you check your email.

It’s run by Verto Analytics, a trusted analytics firm.

Here’s how it works…

  1. You can’t download this from the app store. Here’s the promo link. It’s free to download.
  2. Once you’ve qualified and downloaded the app, you’ll earn $5. If you keep it installed for at least two weeks, you’ll earn another $10. And then for every month you keep the Smart App installed, you’ll get another $5. In total, you can earn up to $75 for the first year!

You can redeem your rewards via Paypal or an Amazon gift card.

6. This App Pays You to Drive Around Town 

PHILADELPHIA, PA – JAN 13, 2017: Lyft driver Paul Pruce in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on January 13, 2017. (Jessica Kourkounis)

Need a fun, flexible way to earn money while also meeting lots of new people?

Try driving with Lyft!

Demand for ridesharing has been growing like crazy, and it shows no signs of slowing down. To be eligible, you’ll need to be at least 21 years old with a year of driving experience, pass a background check and own a car made in 2007 or later.

We talked to Paul Pruce, who’s been driving full-time with Lyft for over a year. He earns $750 a week as a driver.

Best of all, he does it on his own time. You can work days, nights or weekends — it’s up to you!

7. This App Pays You to Watch Videos

Senior woman using mobile apps that pay her for various activities
freemixer/Getty Images

The folks over at FusionCash will actually pay you to watch videos!

The videos are sponsored by brands who need to get them in front of as many eyeballs as possible. Every time you watch one of the ads FusionCash will credit your account with a little bit of cash.

You’ll get a free $5 just for signing up.

8. This App Helps You Start Investing — And Pays You $5

Five dollar bill representing a special Stash app promotion
Macro of Five American Dollar Bill

We’re kind of obsessed with Stash around here (and not just because it gives you $5).

We love that anyone can use Stash to start investing. You don’t have to have an MBA or even make it all the way through “The Big Short” to understand how to invest with this app.

You just choose from a set of simple portfolios reflecting your beliefs, interests and goals, and it does the rest.

To get the $5 bonus:

  1. Click this link and enter your email here.
  2. Download the Stash app on your smartphone, and set up your account with the same email address. Within two business days, you’ll see the bonus added to your account.

9. This App Helps Sell Your Old Electronics

The decluttr app helps you make money from selling electronics
sestovic/Getty Images

Have a bunch of movies or CDs collecting dust on a shelf? Decluttr will pay you for them!

Decluttr buys your old CDs, DVDs, Blu-rays and video games, plus hardware like cell phones, tablets, game consoles and iPods. Plus, enter PENNY10 at checkout to get an extra 10% for your trade-ins!

You scan each product’s barcode with your phone, and Decluttr makes an offer.

Prices vary — usually about 50 cents to $3 per item — but you can unload your media in bulk to make an extra $50 to $100 this week. And never have to look at them again.

With Decluttr, you can sell stuff online without having to deal with individual listings and buyers.

And shipping is free. The company emails you shipping labels to cover the cost. Just print the label, pack your items in any box and ship it.

10. This App Helps You Invest Your Pocket Change — And Gives You $10

Ways to save money
Geber86/Getty Images

Acorns is a smartphone app that connects to your bank account, credit and debit cards to save your digital change. It automatically rounds up purchases with your connected accounts and invests the difference in your Acorns account.

This Penny Hoarder accidentally saved $116 — about $35 a month — by connecting one debit card to the app and forgetting about it.

At that rate, you could spend 10 minutes setting up your Acorns account and easily put away $420 this year. Plus, they give you a free $10 when you download the app and make your first investment.

11. This App Helps You Find Out Where You Are Wasting Money

Paolo Cipriani / Getty Images
Paolo Cipriani / Getty Images

We all sign up for stuff. Sometimes it’s easier to put subscriptions on a recurring payment and forget about it — looking at you Netflix.

If you can’t keep track of them all, check out an app called Trim. Once you sign up and connect your bank account and phone number, it analyzes your transaction history for recurring payments.

When it finds one, the app sends you a text and cancels any subscriptions you don’t want to keep.

12. This App Pays You to Deliver Food

Man delivering food through the UberEats app

This app lets you earn money while you’re running errands by getting food to hungry people.

To deliver food through UberEATS, you just have to meet these requirements:

  • Be at least 19 years old and have at least one year of driving experience.
  • Have a driver’s license, insurance and vehicle registration.
  • Be able to lift 30 pounds.

Just like the rideshare option, you’ll set your own hours and only work when and how often you want to.

That means how much you earn is largely up to you.

If your car decides not to start one morning, no worries. You can also deliver food on your bicycle!

Honest Abe

Disclosure:

Some of the links in this post are from our sponsors. We’re letting you know because it’s what Honest Abe would do. After all, he is on our favorite coin.

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