If you’re looking to make extra money in your spare time, there are countless side hustle ideas you could pursue. And while there are plenty of ways to make money outside of a traditional job, some are more complex than others.
Many popular side hustles (like blogging and freelancing, for example) involve building a business. While starting and growing a business is ideal for some people, you may want something less involved.
A few side hustles, like downloading apps that pay you to install them, offer extreme flexibility and don’t require particular skills or experience. Anyone can get paid for downloading apps.
In this article, you’ll find the best opportunities to get paid to download apps. Whether you’re an iPhone or Android user, there are plenty of options in the App App Store and Google Play store.
How Much Can I Make By Downloading Apps?
It’s important to note that downloading apps is certainly not the most lucrative side hustle. But the same is true about other easy side hustles that don’t require skills or experience (like taking surveys, playing games, and watching videos).
However, it’s possible to make some extra free money in your spare time, and you can do it whenever it fits your schedule. For example, you can download apps that pay when you have a few minutes to spare while watching TV, or riding the bus (easy money).
By using several sites listed below and taking advantage of the best offers, you can expect to make a few hundred dollars of extra cash rewards each month with this simple side hustle.
Related reading: Apps That Give You Money for Signing Up
Best Ways to Get Paid for Downloading Apps
We’ve researched and tried several different sites and apps over the past few years to make money by installing apps. Here are the ones we found to be the best for your smartphone app downloading side hustle.
You’ll find plenty of details below, but if you’re in a hurry, here are the top recommendations:
1. Swagbucks ($10 signup bonus)
Swagbucks is one of my favorite apps because it offers several different ways to earn points (they call the points “Swagbucks” or SB). Then, you can redeem those SBs to earn PayPal money or your choice of gift card rewards.
With a free Swagbucks account, you can make money by answering surveys, downloading apps, playing games, watching videos, shopping online, and even surfing the web.
Many people know Swagbucks as a survey site, but the highest-paying opportunities at Swagbucks involve completing special offers. These special offers often allow you to get paid to download apps.
Sometimes you’ll earn SB just for downloading the mobile app, and other times you’ll have to create an account or complete some specific action.
Some offers require you to make an in-app purchase, but Swagbucks discloses those details upfront. Then, you can browse the available offers to decide which ones you want to complete.
One of the best things about Swagbucks is the number of offers available. There’s a huge selection, so you’re sure to find at least a few that interest you. In addition, they add new offers frequently, so you’ll want to check the site or app regularly to avoid missing out on good offers.
After you’ve earned some points, you can redeem them for your choice of rewards. Another reason to love Swagbucks is that it’s easy to cash out.
You can redeem Swagbucks for gifts worth as little as $3, so you won’t have to wait a long time before building up your balance to be eligible for a reward.
If you prefer cash, you can redeem your Swagbucks for PayPal money. They also have an excellent selection of free gift cards available (or Google Play credits). And some special offers always give you a discount on specific gift cards.
For example, you might get an Amazon gift card for a 12% discount, which means your SBs go even farther and add up to more rewards faster.
2. InboxDollars ($5 signup bonus)
InboxDollars is very similar to Swagbucks. The same parent company owns the two sites/apps.
Like Swagbucks, InboxDollars allows you to earn real money in several ways, like answering surveys, shopping online, playing games, watching videos, and downloading apps.
InboxDollars is an excellent addition to your arsenal because it’s not simply a repeat of the same offers at Swagbucks. You’ll find different offers here, so it’s worth using both sites if you want to get paid to download apps.
The two reasons I have Swagbucks ranked ahead of InboxDollars are:
- Swagbucks generally has a more extensive selection of available offers
- You can’t cash out at InboxDollars until you have a balance of at least $10.
When you redeem your balance at InboxDollars, you’ll have your choice of cash via PayPal or a gift card to your choice of retailers and restaurants.
3. MyPoints ($10 signup bonus)
MyPoints is another money-making app owned by the same parent company as Swagbucks and InboxDollars. MyPoints markets itself primarily as a cashback program for online shopping, but there are also several other ways to earn points, including special offers. Of course, you can also get paid by simply installing their app.
The special offers at MyPoints are similar to those at Swagbucks. The benefit of using both sites comes primarily from other methods of earning money, like taking surveys (where there is more of a difference between the two platforms).
Earn cash back from purchases at thousands of online retailers and earn rewards for simple tasks like taking online surveys, watching videos, and printing coupons. Sign up for MyPoints now for a $10 bonus!
- Earn a $10 Amazon gift card with your first purchase
- Lots of ways to earn points for PayPal cash or gift cards
- MyPoints has awarded over $236 million since 1996
- Easy side hustle for your spare time
MyPoints is a great site to add to your toolbox, but one of the things I find frustrating is understanding the point value.
Swagbucks is very straightforward because 100 SB equals $1, so it’s easy to do a point conversion in your head.
MyPoints is not as straightforward, so it can be more challenging to understand how much a task or offer is worth.
But like Swagbucks and InboxDollars, MyPoints gives you plenty of different options for redeeming your points, including a wide variety of free gift cards plus Google Play credits.
Signup for MyPoints and get a $10 bonus as a new user.
Mistplay is another excellent option, but it’s different than the others that have already been covered. Mistplay is a gaming app. You’ll earn rewards for playing various mobile games in your spare time.
Here’s how Mistplay works:
- You’ll install the Mistplay app (Android device only).
- Inside the app, you’ll see various games you can play for rewards.
- You’ll download and install the game apps you want to play.
- When you use the app, Mistplay will track your activity playing those games, and you’ll earn rewards.
Mistplay gives you “gems” based on the number of games you play, the length of time you play them, and the levels you reach within the games. You can also earn bonuses for being active frequently.
With Misplay, you’ll make more money downloading apps and then playing games. It does require activity beyond simply downloading the apps, but it’s fun and you can do it in your spare time.
After you’ve earned some gems, they can be redeemed for PayPal money or gift cards.
Signup for Mistplay and earn money playing games.
FreeCash.com is a website that’s not as well-known as the top three on our list, but it’s another option for getting paid to download free apps and complete other small tasks.
When you create an account, you’ll see several featured offers among the best current options. You can also browse a vast collection of offers, complete online surveys, and more.
There are many ways to earn money with FreeCash.com, so it’s worth checking out. However, I find the user dashboard to be busy and somewhat overwhelming. It’s not quite as user-friendly as other options like Swagbucks.
Signup for FreeCash.com to start earning.
FeaturePoints gives you several ways to earn points, including downloading and installing mobile apps. In addition, you can take surveys, earn cashback by shopping online and get bonus points by referring friends who use the platform.
Like Swagbucks and other sites on our list, the best way to get money with FeaturePoints is to take advantage of the special offers available from the user dashboard. Some of these offers involve simply downloading and installing an app on Android devices or iOS. There’s no standard rate per download, as the point values vary.
Other offers may require a specific action or a purchase. You can check the details and see which offers interest you the most.
Once you’ve earned some points, you can redeem them for real cash, gift cards, or Bitcoin. The gift cards start for as little as $2.
Sign up for FeaturePoints to download apps and start earning.
Since launching, iRazoo has paid more than $150 million to its users. You can earn points for different microtasks like downloading apps, watching videos, taking surveys, and completing offers.
One of the nice things about iRazoo refreshes its app inventory daily, so there’s always something new. You’ll see all the available offers to get paid to download apps from the iRazoo user dashboard.
After you’ve earned some points, you can redeem them for cash or free gift cards. There’s a large selection of retailers and restaurants available. So you’re sure to be able to get a gift card that you’ll use.
Signup for iRazoo to download apps for money.
AppKarma is an excellent option for getting paid to install apps. Many of the offers from AppKarma are for gaming apps. If you like to play games on your mobile phone, you won’t want to miss AppKarma.
AppKarma differs from most other sites on this list because you can continue to earn points by playing and interacting with the apps you download. Instead of downloading the app for a one-time reward, you may be able to earn points for continuing to play games on the app.
You won’t find as many different offers at AppKarma as you’ll find through the leading options like SwagBucks, InboxDollars, and MyPoints. However, it’s still a great option if you enjoy playing games.
Signup for AppKarma to download apps and start earning.
9. Money App
Money App is an Android app (sorry iPhone users) that allows you to earn points for downloading other apps. Some of the offers require you to do nothing other than download the app.
Other offers require you to complete tasks like a specific action after downloading the app. In both cases, you’ll see details of the offer in the Money App so you can decide if it’s worth your time.
Once you’ve earned some points, you can redeem them for PayPal cash. With redemptions starting at just $5, earning enough for your first prize is pretty easy.
Overall, Money App is a nice option that allows you to access more offers by adding it to your arsenal. If you’d like to get paid to download apps, try Money App.
Signup for Money App here to start earning. Use referral code “ND7XKN” during the signup process for a special bonus.
Related reading: How to Get Free Money Right Now
With AppNana, you can earn points for downloading apps and playing games on those apps. Like AppKarma, AppNana is an excellent option for anyone who enjoys playing games on a mobile device. If you play games anyway, you might as well earn some rewards for it.
You can redeem for Amazon, iTunes, Google Play, and Xbox gift cards.
Signup for AppNana here to start earning.
With a free GrabPoints profile, you can earn rewards for various tasks like answering surveys, watching videos, and completing offers. They’ll also pay you to download apps from the Apple app store or Google Play stores.
One of the nice things about GrabPoints is that you can redeem your points for rewards as small as $5. That means you don’t have to wait a long time until you have enough points to get a reward. You can choose PayPal cash or more than 100 different gift cards from their rewards catalog.
Signup for GrabPoints. Download the app and start earning.
Did you know you can get paid to have an app on your phone?
MobileXpression is much different from the other sites/apps covered in this article, and it’s one of my favorite apps that pay. You don’t earn rewards for completing tasks with MobileXpression. Instead, you’ll earn money simply by installing the app on your mobile device and allowing the company to collect your browsing activity. They are a research company that uses the data for marketing purposes. No sensitive personal information is collected.
Although your income potential is capped at around $50 per year per device, MobileXpression is an excellent passive income app that gives you extra rewards (gift cards) for almost no effort. Once the app is installed, you don’t need to do anything except occasionally redeem your rewards. You’ll be able to choose a gift card of your choice.
Signup for MobileXpression to start making money passively with MobileXpression. You’ll be able to earn a $5 reward in your first week of having the app installed.
SavvyConnect is very similar to MobileXpression, except that you can use it on desktops, laptop computers, and mobile devices. SurveySavvy runs SavvyConnect, and they’ll actually pay you real money ($5 per month per device).
If you have SavvyConnect active on a few devices, the amount you’ll earn will add up quickly.
Like MobileXpression, SavvyConnect is an option for anyone who wants to earn passive income.
Frequently Asked Questions
Yes, you can get paid to download apps. You’re not going to get rich with this side hustle, but you can make up to a few hundred dollars of extra money or gift cards each month by installing apps and taking advantage of special offers. It’s a good option if you’re looking for a flexible way to earn extra income in your spare time.
The “catch” is that some, but not all, of the offers require you to complete a specific action or make a purchase after you download the app. Be sure to check the details of each offer before moving forward. Sites like Swagbucks are excellent at explaining any requirements you need to know.
Although some offers require a purchase or action, others do not. There are a number of offers that make it easy to earn money just by downloading an app and creating a free account. So if you’re passing on offers that require a purchase, you’ll still have a lot of options.
None of the sites/apps on this list require you to pay. However, some of the specific offers available may require you to make a purchase if you want to earn the rewards. But this side hustle is possible without spending any money.
It depends on the offer. Most offers require you to click through from the site to get credit. In this case, you would need to complete the process twice if you want to earn from two different sites.
Yes. Be sure the credit has been applied to your balance, but you can safely delete the app afterward. Some sites, including Swagbucks, will show the points as pending before officially adding them to your account. Make sure that the points have been officially added to your account and are not in pending status before deleting the app.
Final Thoughts on Apps That Pay You to Install Them
While it’s not the most lucrative side hustle, getting paid for downloading apps is possible for anyone with a smartphone. You don’t need specific skills or experience, there’s no learning curve, and you can start earning almost immediately. If you’re looking for a flexible way to make money in your spare time, consider these top apps that pay. Both the Apple App Store and the Google Play Store have many exciting apps, so this can be a fun way to make some extra income.