Girl on phone with text Best Apps That Pay You Real Money

The 21 Best Apps That Pay You Real Money

Think about all of the ways you use your phone. You do so much with it (just about everything but making phone calls), why not use it to make money as well?

There are so many different apps that pay you real money to choose from to earn some extra cash.

Whether you want to lay in bed making easy money, get rewarded when you shop, or start a side hustle in the gig economy, there is an app for you. In fact, according to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics (BLS), as of May 2017, there were 1.6 million gig workers, or electronically mediated workers as they call it.

But whether you’re looking to become an electronically mediated worker or just want to make a little extra money on the side, you’ll find the best apps that pay you real money below.

Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links. If you make a purchase through the links, I may receive a commission at no cost to you. Please read my disclaimer for further details.

Ways to Make Real Money with Apps

Before I discuss the actual apps that pay you real money, here are some of the different types of apps that pay you cash.

Survey Apps

Whenever you buy electronics, appliances, or power tools, there is almost always a survey included with the owner’s manual. These surveys help companies understand their customers better so they can focus their efforts better.

But did you know you can get paid for taking similar surveys?

Using apps like InboxDollars and Survey Junkie, you can complete surveys and make some money. And while you won’t get rich doing this, it is an easy way to make some extra money each month in your spare time.

And if you aren’t interested in doing surveys, these apps usually have other ways to make money, like playing games, watching videos, and even searching the internet. The apps typically offer a signup bonus and referral bonuses as well.

Selling Apps

Chances are you have several items around your home that you no longer use. A garage sale may be a good way to make money from those things, but you can probably get more money by using a selling app like Decluttr or OfferUp.

Some of these apps help you sell your items to a company, while others facilitate sales to other people. Either way, it is a great way to make some cash off of the things you no longer have a use for.

You can use these apps to make money by reselling items you buy for a higher price. By frequenting garage sales and watching for people giving away free items, you can find great deals and turn around and sell the items for a profit.

Side Hustle/Gig Economy Apps

Working in the gig economy is an excellent way to supplement your primary source of income. And there are several different apps you can use that pay you real money in this category.

You can make more money using these apps than most of the others, but they also require more of your time and effort.

Food Delivery Apps

While these services have been around for some time, the pandemic made the demand for home food delivery explode.

Whether you are interested in delivering food from restaurants or groceries, using apps like DoorDash and Instacart can help you make extra money each month.

Driving Apps

If you like to make money driving around but prefer to have less interaction with others, food delivery may be for you. However, if you enjoy interacting with and meeting new people, becoming a rideshare driver could be your gig of choice in the gig economy.

Using apps like Uber and Lyft allow you to make money helping others get to where they need to go.

Renting Apps

Do you have a car that you don’t use that much or only use on certain days of the week? What about an empty room or storage area?

You can make extra cash by renting out your car or storage spaces by using apps like Turo and Neighbor.

Freelance Apps

If you have a particular skill that works on a project by project basis, becoming a freelancer may be ideal for you. You may have heard of a freelance writer before, but freelancers work in several fields like tech, creative design, administrative services, data analytics, and even engineering.

Apps like Fiverr and UpWork can help advertise your skills. And many people have turned their freelance side hustle into full-time careers.

Cash Back Apps

You might be surprised that there are apps that pay you real money when you shop, but there are!

Using apps like Dosh and Rakuten can help you receive discounts when you shop, as well as earning cash back.

Investing Apps

While it might not be direct cash, investment apps like Acorns and Stash reward you with investments for shopping with their partners. These apps are kind of like cash back apps in that respect.

But the great thing about apps like these is that those little amounts of money that are invested can grow into something much more substantial over time.

Health Apps

What is better than getting in better shape and getting paid along the way?

There are several health apps available that pay you money or award you points, but my favorite is HealthyWage, where you can earn cash prizes for meeting your weight loss goals.

Apps That Pay You Real Money

Please note that some of the apps below may offer a signup bonus or other deals. These bonuses and other features change over time. While I do my best to keep these details up-to-date, current bonuses and features may have changed since this article was written.

1. InboxDollars


With InboxDollars, you have several ways to make a little extra cash. It’s not going to make you a ton of money, but there are simple tasks you can do to make money in your spare time.

And you’ll receive a $5 bonus just for signing up!

Doing the simple tasks in the app will take quite a bit of time to reach the $30 level to cash it out. However, there are other offers available to achieve it much quicker.

With InboxDollars, you can earn money by:

  • Taking surveys
  • Watching videos
  • Shopping
  • Clipping coupons
  • Playing games
  • Referring your friends

While the amount earned is pretty small for each task, it can add up over time. So if you’re standing in line at the DMV or waiting to check out your groceries, you can pull out your phone and make a little money.

To cash your money out, you need to reach $30 in earnings. Once you exceed that, you can:

  • Receive your money via PayPal
  • Receive an electronic gift card
  • Donate your earnings
  • Receive a check

Best of all, you get a $5 bonus when you sign up!

For more detailed information, read my InboxDollars review. Or click the button below to get started!

2. Survey Junkie

Survey Junkie

Survey Junkie is a pretty straightforward survey site and is similar to InboxDollars. You earn virtual points (instead of actual cash) for completing surveys. Additionally, you will receive points just for completing your profile and installing a web browser extension.

While Survey Junkie is known for typical online surveys, there are other ways to make money:

  • Product testing
    • After taking a survey, free products will be sent to you to keep.
    • You’ll be surveyed about the product after you have time to use it.
    • You can earn around $5 to $50 doing this.
  • Online focus groups
    • After taking a survey, you’ll participate in an online focus group with other similar people.
    • You’ll share your opinions about a product or service.
    • You can earn around $25 – $100 with online focus groups.
  • In-person focus group
    • Similar to the online focus group, except that you will meet in person.
    • You can earn around $25 to $150 with in-person focus groups.
  • Phone surveys
    • After taking an online survey, a researcher will call you and ask you questions about a product or service.
    • You can earn around $5 to $100 with phone surveys.

How to cash out on Survey Junkie

Once you’ve accumulated enough points, you can cash out your earnings to get paid real money.

Typically, you need a minimum of 1,000 points to redeem your rewards. During promotional periods, this number may be lower.

You can always see your lifetime points and redeemable amount on your homepage.

Once you have enough points to redeem, you can select the following:

  • Cash-out using PayPal
  • Electronic gift cards (US only)
  • Direct bank transfer via a third-party partner (US only)

So, while you don’t directly earn cash with Survey Junkie, your points can be converted to currency via PayPal or bank transfer.

While the payout for individual surveys is relatively small, you can cash out a nice amount of money that you wouldn’t have otherwise over time. Click the button below to get started!

3. Swagbucks


Like InboxDollars, Swagbucks is an app you use to earn rewards by taking surveys, shopping, watching videos, searching online, and even playing games. But instead of earning money in your account, you earn SB points.

Once you earn enough SB points, you can redeem your points for gift cards from many different retailers, redeem your points for PayPal cash (aka get paid real money), or donate your rewards to one of several charities.

Ways to make money with Swagbucks include:

  • Shopping online
  • Watching videos
  • Playing games
  • Searching the web.

For most of these, you won’t get many SBs for each activity. However, if you are going to buy something already or if there is a video that you are interested in that will give you SBs, why not get some extra rewards along with that activity.

How to cash out your SBs on Swagbucks

You can redeem your SBs for PayPal cash in increments of $25. Virtually the same as getting paid real money, but you have to have 2500 SBs to redeem it.

You also can redeem your SBs for Visa Reward Cards and several popular gift cards (Amazon, iTunes, and several others). Click on the button below to claim your $5 bonus!

4. Decluttr

Decluttr - One of the apps that pay you real money for your old things

Decluttr is a site that will buy your old electronics and media.

Do you have stacks of old books, CDs, or DVDs that you never use anymore? What about that old gaming system that is on the shelf collecting dust? If you haven’t used it in years, what good is it doing you?

Now, picture those items as real money!

Yes, you have to sell some of your belongings to get that money, but if you’ll never use them again, you might as well turn that old stuff into cash.

The other thing I love about Decluttr is the app. It has an integrated barcode scanner, which makes adding your items and finding out their values a simple task.

Additionally, in most cases, they’ll pay you more than you’d receive for trading in your device for a new one with your provider. And, they’ll even give you money for tech that no longer works.

For example, I have an old, broken Apple Watch Series 3 that has been sitting on my desk for some time. Apple will recycle it for me, but won’t give me any money for a trade-in. Decluttr will pay me $7.50 for it. Not a huge amount, but it is broken and just cluttering up my desk in the meantime, so I might as well get some real money for it.

If my watch were in good condition, Apple would give me $95, and Decluttr would only give me $75. However, if it worked but had deep scratches, Apple wouldn’t give me anything, and Decluttr would give me $45. So it is worth checking both to see which one gets you more money.

And Decluttr often offers a 10% bonus on their site for your first trade-in! Click on the button below to get started!

5. OfferUp

While Decluttr is an excellent option for tech and media, OfferUp is perfect for selling just about anything else. And if you think you can get a better price than Decluttr, you could always list it to see if it sells and use Decluttr if it doesn’t.

OfferUp is a digital classified ad selling platform. If you ever heard of Letgo, that service is now part of OfferUp.

To list an item, you simply snap a few photos and add a title, category, condition, description, price, and location. You can even choose to sell your items nationwide.

Suppose you choose to sell nationwide, and your item needs to be shipped. In that case, OfferUp collects payment in the app, sends you a shipping label, and releases the payment after the item is received and evaluated by the buyer.

OfferUp has a ton of helpful support related to selling your item, promoting it, and much more, making selling your items a breeze.

6. Instacart


Becoming an Instacart Shopper is an excellent side hustle for people who enjoy shopping and want the flexibility to work whenever they want.

Here’s how to get started as an Instacart Shopper:

  1. Download the app and pass a background check
  2. Pick an order in the app you want to shop
  3. Go to the store and shop for the items in the order (you’ll have a payment card from Instacart)
  4. Deliver the groceries
  5. Get paid!

Whatever you earn is instantly available to cash out. Any tips, which are 100% yours, are available after 24 hours. As an Instacart Shopper, you’ll get paid by the batch, and the amount will depend on the number of items, type of items, driving distance, and other factors.

If you’d prefer to just do the shopping and not deliver the groceries, you can become an Instacart employee, but you won’t have as much flexibility. You’ll work at one store and work specific shifts. As a contract shopper, you can set your own hours and fulfill orders from any store.

Click the button to start making real money delivering groceries with Instacart!

7. DoorDash


DoorDash is similar to Instacart, except you’ll just be delivering food from restaurants.

You sign up, pass a background check, and, once approved, start delivering.

Once you become a Dasher, you can work when and where you want.

You just open the app and accept the orders you want to fulfill. You’ll be able to see the distance and guaranteed pay amount before accepting the order.

Each week, DoorDash will deposit your earnings into your bank account. Click on the button to start earning as a Dasher!

8. Postmates

Postmates is another option for delivering food to people, but Postmates provides delivery of items from grocery stores and some retail stores as well.

Like the other food delivery apps, you are an independent contractor. So you set your own hours. Signup is similar to the other two food delivery apps.

You can choose to cash out immediately for a small fee or get free weekly deposits to your bank account.

Since you can work anytime you want with the three different delivery services, you could try all three out and see which one you like best and which one makes you the most money for your time.

9. Uber

Uber is another gig economy tool on my list of apps that make you real money.

Instead of delivering food, you’ll be delivering people to the places they want to go.

If you’d rather not have other people in your car, this one might not work for you. However, if you’re an outgoing person who likes to meet new people and don’t mind strangers in your car, it is an excellent way to make extra cash.

You could also incorporate using it in your daily life. There is a feature in the Uber Driver app that lets you set a destination and arrival time. After that, the app will help find riders on your route that need to go in the direction you need to go.

So if you commute to your job every day, you could be making extra money along the way. And if you live in a major city with high-occupancy toll lanes, you could save on those tolls as well if you have passengers in your car.

The Driver app allows you to set a destination two times a day, so you could do it going to work as well as coming home.

You can also see when people are looking for a ride in the app when you are going to other places too. So you could make a little extra cash while out running errands. Or you can use it in your spare time.

You can also earn more money through promotions during busy times. You’ll get automatic deposits of your earnings in your bank account each week.

10. Lyft

Lyft is another option for making money driving people around.

Similar to Uber, you open the app when you want to work and accept ride requests.

And like the food delivery apps, you can work when you want, so if you are interested in this type of side hustle, you may want to try both out and see which is a better fit for you.

11. Turo


Do you have a car that doesn’t get much use? Or maybe it sits idle for certain days every week?

Have you considered renting out your car to make some extra money while your car would otherwise be sitting idle?

Turo helps you to do just that.

If you have a car that you don’t use very often, you could make a lot of extra money by renting your car out. You could even cover the cost of your car payment.

Whether you work from home, travel a lot, or are a student at school, sharing your car is an excellent side hustle.

Here is how it works:

  • You list your car for free
  • You set any ground rules and availability
  • Set your own price or let Turo determine it for you
  • Determine how to transfer your vehicle to the renter
  • Get your car back
  • And get paid

You’ll receive 65 to 85% of the rental cost. The amount is determined by the vehicle protection plan you choose.

The percentage kept by Turo covers your protection plans and Turo’s operating and marketing costs.

You’re covered by liability insurance provided by Turo. And you can choose from five different protection plans with varying protection and deductibles. Turo also provides roadside assistance for your guests.

So if you have an extra vehicle or find your car sitting in your garage a lot, consider renting it out on Turo and making some extra cash.

12. Neighbor


Do you have a spare room, basement, garage, or closet that is empty? How about using that space for storage rental?

With Neighbor, the Airbnb of storage, you can offer your space for people to store their things. You can also rent parking spaces to others.

Whether you have an empty bedroom or room in your basement, garage, or attic, Neighbor helps you advertise your space to make some extra money each month.

Neighbor takes care of the payments and provides a $1 million guarantee for the host and a $25,000 renter guarantee.

A service fee is charged to the renter on top of the listing price to pay for Neighbor’s operating costs. And a processing fee to cover the cost of automated payments is added to each payout the host receives.

And renters are required to disclose what they will be storing to ensure the host’s safety. Additionally, access levels are set for each listing, allowing access 24/7, during business hours, or upon request.

Neighbor is an excellent way to make extra money with any space you aren’t using. And unlike most of the other apps that pay you real money on the list, it can provide a recurring income without any additional work.

13. Fiverr


Fiverr is a marketplace where you can advertise your skills.

If you have a specialized skill, you can sell your services on Fiverr. Whether you do graphic design, build websites, excel on social media, or just about anything, you can find someone to pay you for your work. There are over 200 categories of work in Fiverr.

It is simple to sign up and start earning. You set up your gig, offer your services, perform the work when you get an order, and get paid.

You’ll typically want to start out at a lower rate to get more customers and reviews to allow you to command a higher rate, but don’t undersell yourself either.

You can start out on Fiverr doing side jobs and eventually turn it into a full-time job.

14. UpWork

Upwork is another place companies go to find freelancers. While there are some similarities between UpWork and Fiverr, UpWork is more of a platform for freelancers to find jobs, while Fiverr is a platform for companies to find workers.

Either one, or both, is worth trying out if you want to get started freelancing.

15. Dosh


Dosh is a cashback app. But unlike some of the other cashback apps, what I love about Dosh is it’s completely passive after you set it up.

Instead of having to find deals or scan receipts, you simply link your cards to your account.

You can earn cash back when grocery shopping, shopping online, or at your favorite stores, restaurants, and even hotels.

The hotel cashback rewards can be significant – up to 40% cash back for each night and a $10 bonus for your first booking.

Additionally, you can find in-store and online deals in the Dosh app. And you also earn a reward when your friends sign up using your referral code.

Once you earn $25 cash back, you can transfer your money to your bank account, PayPal or Venmo, or donate it to charity.

Dosh is one of the easiest apps that pay you real money.

16. Ibotta


Ibotta is an app you use to get cash back shopping online and in-store. The Ibotta app is more geared towards grocery shopping, but it can be used in several other stores.

There are multiple ways to use Ibotta to get cash back:

  • Use the browser extension or the mobile app when shopping online or on your phone
  • Pay with the Ibotta app at select retailers
  • Link your loyalty accounts to your Ibotta account
  • Submit a photo of your receipt

Besides the savings from items you submit on a receipt, you’ll typically get a small amount just for scanning in the receipt. You can also opt-in to receive alerts for deals in stores nearby.

Once you reach $20 in cash back, you can withdraw your money to your bank account, PayPal, or choose a digital gift card.

And you can get a $20 Welcome Bonus just for using the app, as well as referral cash for friends you invite.

Once you have everything set up, saving with the Ibotta app is pretty passive. And over time, your savings will add up, and you’ll be able to access your money.

17. Rakuten

Rakuten Cash Back Shopping App

Rakuten, formerly Ebates, is an excellent app for getting cash back at most retail stores.

Rakuten has a chrome extension to alert you of deals when browsing stores online and apply available coupons at checkout. Additionally, you can see cash back rates right in the search results on Google, Yahoo, and Bing.

By adding a credit card to your Rakuten account, you can link in-store cash back offers to your card. You’ll then earn some money back when using that card in the store.

When you sign up, there is usually a signup bonus. And you can also refer your friends and receive $25. Both are excellent ways to get paid real money.

When you’re ready to cash out your money, you can get paid through PayPal or with a check.

18. Trim


Trim is a way of saving money by cutting unnecessary spending. So, while it doesn’t pay you real money directly, it keeps money in your pocket.

  • You connect your accounts
  • Trim analyzes your spending
  • Trim negotiates lower bills and cancels old subscriptions

Additionally, Trim will even negotiate lower medical bills.

What makes Trim stand out is that it also includes a high-yield savings account. This savings account also includes a 4% bonus on your first $2000.

Further, Trim will help negotiate lower interest rates on your credit cards, waive interest charges, and get unfair bank fees refunded.

Trim keeps 33% of total annual savings when they negotiate lower bills for you.

Trim is also helpful if you find yourself needing to live stingy or any other time you’re looking to cut expenses.

19. Acorns

Acorns helps you grow

The idea behind Acorns makes it the perfect app to help you passively save and make passive income. Acorns also has checking and retirement account options available.

When you make everyday purchases with a linked credit or debit card, Acorns will round up that purchase and transfer money into an investment account.

Additionally, you can schedule recurring transfers to your investment account.

Your investment account comprises a diversified portfolio of exchange-traded funds (ETFs) based on your goals and risk profile.

To learn more, read my complete Acorns review.

20. Stash


Stash is similar to Acorns but has some other features.

With Stash, in addition to ETFs, you can invest in stocks. Additionally, you can invest in fractional shares for as little as $5.

Using Stash+, custodial investing accounts are available for up to 2 kids.

Stash Growth gives the option to invest in an IRA. However, Stash does not offer a SEP IRA option.

With all Stash accounts, qualifying purchases with the Stash debit card earn rewards called Stock-Back. These rewards are then used to purchase stocks or funds in your investment account.

Another feature included in this investment app is Auto-Stash. Auto-Stash is actually three tools in one.

  • Set Schedule
    • It allows you to create schedules to transfer money to your Stash investment, retirement, and custodial accounts.
  • Round-Ups
    • When you spend money with the credit card linked to your checking account, purchases are rounded up.
    • The rounded up amount is transferred to your investment cash balance when the accumulated savings exceed $5.
  • Smart-Stash
    • Analyzes your recurring transactions and sets aside small amounts of money for investing.

Stash is a great way to make saving and investing a habit. And with Auto-Stash, it happens automatically.

21. HealthyWage

HealthyWage - One of the best health apps that pay you real money

HealthyWage is my favorite health-related, money-making app.

People are motivated by money, and a lot of people want to lose weight. By tying the two together, you can have additional motivation for getting in shape.

Here is how it works:

  1. Calculate your prize range by entering the following in the online calculator:
    • How much weight you want to lose
    • The amount you want to bet each month
    • How long you are giving yourself to reach your goal
  2. Answer additional questions
    • Sex
    • Current weight and height
    • Questions about your motivations
  3. Register and see your prize amount
  4. Lose weight and meet your goal
  5. Win money

Once you decide to wager your bet, you can pay all at once or monthly. The top prize is $10,000, but prizes depend on the difficulty of meeting your goal.

You can also receive $40 prize boosts for referring friends and family and meeting your goal.

You do have to have a verified weigh-in at the beginning and end of the challenge, so keep that in mind before starting.

And if you join any team challenges (you can be in up to 10 at the same time), you can get rewarded multiple times for the same weight loss.

Related Questions About Apps That Pay You Real Money

Do any apps pay you real money?

Several apps pay you real money. Types of apps that pay you real money include survey apps, gig economy apps, investing apps, and cash back apps. Money from these apps can be accessed through PayPal or deposited right in your bank account.

What are the best cash back apps that pay you real money?

The best cash back apps that pay you real money are Dosh, Ibotta, and Rakuten. Dosh is the most passive because you set it up by linking your account to your cards, and it automatically finds you cash back when you use your cards.

Are there any apps that really pay cash?

Yes, there are several apps that pay cash. Most of the apps that allow you to earn rewards or earn money by performing tasks or actual work pay you cash. You receive the cash either by having the money deposited in your bank account or through PayPal.

Which apps pay the most?

Apps that require more work, investment, or risk pay the most. For example, apps like Uber, DoorDash, and Fiverr can pay you decent money for your work. Investment apps like Acorns and Stash can pay you significant money, but includes risk and takes time. Finally, apps like HealthyWage allow you to wager your money to meet weightloss goals. If you meet your goals, you receive your prize, but if you don’t, you’ll lose the money you bet.

Summary of Apps That Pay You Real Money

As you can see, several apps pay you real money. And since there is such a variety of them, you can combine them to create another income stream or replace your ordinary income altogether.

Remember that some of the apps pay small amounts (survey apps) or take time (investment apps) to make significant cash. If you need money fast, the selling apps and gig economy apps are the ones for you.

Like most things in life, the more effort you put into these apps, the more potential reward you’ll get out of them. And I highly recommend using Personal Capital to track your net worth as it grows from all of your side hustles. It is free and has several tools to help you stay on top of your finances.

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