Creating multiple income streams helps create financial stability. And several passive income apps can help you achieve this.
Most of these passive income apps aren't going to make you a lot of money.
However, some of them, particularly the investing apps, can. But that typically requires making a sizable initial investment and time for growth.
And if you look at how people make money, you'll note from this CNBC article, that wealthy people make more money through business and investment income than with typical compensation.
The best thing about most of these apps is how truly passive they are. Once you install and set them up, you'll earn money either by doing things you already do or by merely using the app.
Additionally, some of them leverage things you have or additional space in your home that you don't use all the time.
And the more of these passive income apps you use, the higher your potential return.
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Best Passive Income Apps for Making Money
There are several categories of passive income apps to make you some extra cash.
From investing apps to survey apps to apps that help you rent your stuff or space, there is a passive income app (or several) for you!
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. This feature makes it the best passive income app for saving money.
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 our complete Acorns review.
2. M1 Finance
M1 Finance doesn't invest your spare change, but it is an excellent passive income app for more advanced investors.
With M1, you can essentially set your investment strategy on autopilot.
You can establish automatic contributions that are invested in a custom portfolio or one of over 80 expert portfolios.
Additionally, you can purchase fractional shares of stocks and ETFs. This option helps you create even more diversified portfolios.
Further, M1 dynamically re-balances new deposits to ensure your portfolio remains at your desired target allocations.
M1 also has an available high-interest checking account with cash back rewards. Read our full M1 Finance review.
Real estate is an excellent investment opportunity. Unfortunately, it has a high barrier to entry due to the high initial investment.
Fundrise changes that through crowdfunding of the initial investment.
There are flexible account levels and investing strategies to choose from to get started with depending on your initial investment amount and your investing goals.
Using Fundrise opens up this passive income stream to a much broader range of people than before.
Read our full Fundrise review for further details.
While Truebill doesn't make you money, it helps you stay on top of your finances and identifies ways for you to save money. It is included in this list of best passive income apps because of these savings.
Here's how it works. You connect your accounts to Truebill.
First, this allows you to monitor all of your accounts in one place.
But here is where it really starts to do its magic. Truebill will identify your subscriptions.
Many people sign up for a service that has a recurring charge and forget about it. Or they forget to cancel before a free trial – just what the provider is hoping you do.
Well, Truebill helps you find those unused subscriptions and helps you cancel them as well.
On top of that, you can connect accounts with bills (e.g., internet, cable, wireless), and Truebill will work to negotiate a lower bill. They'll even work to get you a refund if your service goes down.
Truebill keeps 40% of any savings they find, but if they can't save you any money, they don't charge you anything.
Trim works similarly to Truebill.
- 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.
Paribus is another app that doesn't make you money directly, but it helps you save without doing anything.
When you shop at the stores that Paribus monitors purchases from, if the price of your purchase drops, they'll help you get your money back.
Paribus will also help get refunded for late deliveries in some cases where a guaranteed delivery date was provided.
Paribus monitors purchases from over 25 major retailers. However, each retailer has its own policies, so the help Paribus can provide varies depending on the specific retailer.
Another useful feature Paribus provides is tracking return dates. This feature can come in handy since return policies vary quite a bit, even at the same retailer.
Paribus is completely free and is run by Capital One. They don't even keep any of the money they save you.
InboxDollars has several ways to make a little extra cash.
While most of those methods won't make you much money and aren't exactly passive, there are a few passive ways of making a little money.
Taking surveys and reading their emails will get you some money, but are not passive.
But you can watch videos (while accomplishing other work), get rewarded playing games, get cashback for shopping, and use coupons for groceries. Additionally, you can even make a little cash for searching within the app.
And, while you get a $5 bonus just for signing up, you have to earn $30 before you can cash out.
Doing the simple tasks in the app will take quite a bit of time to reach that level. However, other offers within the app allow you to reach $30 much quicker.
Like InboxDollars, Swagbucks is an app you use to earn rewards by taking surveys, shopping, watching videos, searching online, and even playing games.
Instead of earning money in your account, you earn SB points.
Once you earn enough points, you can redeem your points for gift cards from many different retailers, redeem your points for PayPal cash, or donate your rewards to one of several charities.
Again, we consider an app like this a passive income app because you can use it to save money or earn points while doing other things you already would have been doing.
However, there is an extremely low return on value for your time with an app like this. So it is best used during times when you're bored or if you can multitask with other more productive activities.
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.
Once you have everything set up, saving with the Ibotta app is pretty passive.
While Ibotta is focused more on groceries, 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 cash back when using that card in the store.
You can also refer your friends and receive $25.
Dosh is another cash back app. But it is a bit more passive than some of the others.
Instead of having to find deals or scan receipts, you simply link your cards to your account.
You can get cash back when grocery shopping, shopping online or at your favorite stores, at restaurants, and even from hotels when traveling.
And 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.
Once you earn $25 cash back, you can transfer it to your bank account, PayPal or Venmo, or donate it to charity.
You also earn a reward when your friends sign up using your referral code.
The Drop cash back app is kind of a mix between the Dosh and Swagbucks apps.
To get cash back, you link your credit or debit cards to the app and automatically earn money back when you shop with your card. Like Dosh, there is no need to scan receipts or clip coupons.
You'll also find personalized, members-only deals in the app from top brands.
However, unlike Dosh, you earn points instead of cash like you do with Swagbucks.
Additionally, you can earn points by playing games and taking surveys in the Drop app.
Once you accumulate enough points, you redeem your points for gift cards. You can choose from several top brands in fashion, travel, beauty, shopping, entertainment, and food.
Did you know you can get paid to walk? And I don't mean walking dogs.
With Sweatcoin, the app converts your steps into currency that you can use to buy products and services.
When you reach different milestones, like walking 1,000 steps, bonuses are unlocked in the app to receive additional sweatcoins.
You can also select a 20 minute period each day where you're most active and receive double sweatcoins during that time.
Sweatcoins can be used to purchase items in the marketplace, including gadgets, sports apparel, services and experiences, and even PayPal Cash.
Additionally, you can exchange sweatcoins with your friends and family or crowdfund your sweatcoins with others to donate to charitable causes.
Best of all, Sweatcoin can provide you some additional motivation to be more active every day.
Whether you have a spare room in your house or a second home, with Airbnb, you can make money with your unused space.
You get to decide all of the details around your rental space, including:
- Length of stays
- Additional fees or discounts (e.g., cleaning fee, pet fee, length-of-stay discounts)
- House rules guests must agree to
It is free to list your space on Airbnb, which gives your listing exposure to millions of people. Airbnb charges a fee of 3-5% of any booking.
Airbnb takes care of collecting payments and typically pays you within 24 hours after your guest's check-in time.
Additionally, Airbnb provides up to $1 million in property damage protection and liability insurance for claims up to $1 million.
And there are a ton of resources available on their website to help with the process.
Airbnb is an excellent passive income app for people with extra space they aren't using.
If you aren't comfortable having strangers staying in your unused space, 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, provides a $1 million guarantee for the host and $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.
We've covered renting your home to guests and renting your unused space for storage, but have you considered renting out your car?
Turo allows 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 up to $750,000 in liability insurance. And you can choose from five different protection plans with varying protection and deductibles.
All guests are screened before being allowed to book a property . And both guests and hosts review each other after every trip. 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.
If you don't have a room to rent to people or a space to rent for storage or a car to rent out, what about renting your other stuff?
And by other stuff, we mean pretty much anything.
Idle is perfect for those useful things you have that you only use a few times a year.
Whether it is tools, a power washer, a carpet cleaner, a kayak or canoe, fishing equipment, a bike, camping gear, cooking appliances, or just about anything you own, you can make some extra cash when you're not using it.
It is free to list the items, and Idle charges 30% of the rental cost.
You can choose to deliver the rented item, have it picked up, or choose a neutral location to transfer it.
And if an item is broken during the rental, it is protected at its Fair Market Value at no extra charge.
While you have to do a little work setting up your listing and transferring your stuff to the renter, this passive income app is a great way to make extra cash with things you already have.
You could also consider using Idle and Neighbor in tandem. You could clear out space with a bunch of stuff you rarely use. Rent the space for storage on Neighbor and rent the items for others to use on Idle.
You may wonder how Uber could be included in a list of best passive income apps.
Well, 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.
However, 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.
Seated rewards you for dining out at restaurants. It does not work for take-out, delivery, or to-go orders.
You can book reservations through the app or use the walk-in feature if you don't have a reservation or the restaurant doesn't take reservations.
After your meal, you upload a picture of your receipt. You receive Seated Rewards based on how much you spent and the restaurant's reward percentage.
You can redeem your Seated Rewards on in-person experiences (e.g., wine tastings, cooking classes) or gift cards from several popular brands.
Seated is only available in limited cities in the U.S., but is growing.
So if you like to eat out in restaurants, why not get rewarded for it?
20. Nielsen Computer and Mobile Panel
Nielson Computer and Mobile Panel is a research product that uses your input to improve products and services.
Here's how it works:
- You sign up and complete the registration questions to build your profile
- Install the app on your devices
- The app works in the background and doesn't affect performance
- Earn rewards through your regular use of the internet
The app monitors your activity. It tracks what sites you visit and for how long. It also collects other general activity information from your device.
You are entered in a monthly sweepstakes just for registering one computer, and you can earn up to $50 a year just by having the app installed. Each month, 400 winners split $10,000 worth of prizes with a $1,000 top prize.
Your name and data remain separated, but if you have privacy concerns of an app watching what you do on your device, this may not be for you.
While you won't be making much from this app, after the initial sign-up, it is as passive as a passive income app can be.
S'more is different than any of the other passive income apps we've covered.
First, it is only available on Android phones, so you're out of luck if you don't have one.
But instead of earning rewards by taking some action or shopping somewhere, S'more shows content and ads on your lockscreen.
You earn points every day. It doesn't matter how many ads you see or click on.
Additionally, you can earn bonus points by completing surveys and other offers, as well as referring family and friends.
After having the app installed for ten days, you'll be able to redeem your points when you have enough for gift cards for Amazon, AMC Theaters, Applebee's, Best Buy, CVS, Domino's, GameStop, Starbucks, and Target.
Frequently Asked Questions about Passive Income Apps
What is passive income?
Passive income is making money with little effort.
While there are some methods of making money passively by doing next to nothing, building more lucrative passive income streams requires an investment of time or money upfront.
What is an example of passive income?
Money earned through affiliate marketing, investing, and digital product sales are all examples of passive income.
For other strategies for generating passive income, see our article on passive income ideas.
How passive are passive income streams (i.e., Can I really make money passively?)?
While some passive income streams require little effort, like investing or installing an app on your phone with adds, to make a decent amount of money through passive income, you need to invest some time or money upfront.
However, once the investment is made, your efforts can continue to bring in revenue passively for an extended period of time.
How can I make passive income with no money?
To make passive income with no money, you either have to put in a reasonable amount of upfront work (e.g., digital products, affiliate marketing) or expect a small amount of money (e.g., using survey sites to search the internet, lock screen apps on your phone).
Are there any apps that actually pay money?
Yes – several apps actually pay money, including most on the list in this article.
However, unless you invest time (e.g., Uber) or money (e.g., investment apps, rental apps), the amount of money you'll make is pretty small.
Summary of the Best Passive Income Apps
As you can see, there are several ways to make money with passive income apps.
While several of these apps aren't going to make you much money, they also require you to do next to nothing to earn from them. It is like getting free PayPal money.
However, some like Airbnb, Turo, Neighbor, and any of the investment apps can lead to some significant cash over time.
So if you're looking to make some money online with little effort, try out some of the best passive income apps above.