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If you want a side gig, there are lots of opportunities. You don’t need to stalk the job boards and local newspapers, as you can make money using your smartphone with the highest-paying apps.
The apps covered in this article allow you to make extra cash in your free time. You can also use several different apps to increase your overall earning potential.
Here we’ll explore 27 of the best-paying apps available today that are definitely worth your time.
If you’re looking for top-paying apps, here are our five favorites:
- Swagbucks – Make money from surveys, small tasks, and special offers
- Public.com – Invest in stocks, ETFs, & crypto (get up to $300 in free stock)
- Webull – Buy stocks, options, ETFs, & crypto (up to $30,000+ in free stock)
- InboxDollars – Earn cash by taking surveys and completing small tasks
- Rakuten Insight – One of the best sites exclusively for surveys
The Highest-Paying Apps
Here are the best-paying apps that allow you to make real money with your phone in your spare time.
1. Swagbucks ($5 signup bonus)
- Summary: Make money with a wide variety of small tasks like online surveys, games, videos, and much more.
- Sign-up bonus: $5.
- Read our Swagbucks Review.
It’s easy to start making extra money online with Swagbucks! There are many ways to make money, and it can be fun.
You can earn points by watching videos, taking surveys, playing games, and surfing the web. You can also earn cashback by shopping online at thousands of participating websites.
As the name suggests, you collect Swagbucks (their point system) at various rates for different tasks. In addition, there are bonuses for signing up and referring friends.
Your Swagbucks can be redeemed for free gift cards to over 1,500 retailers, including iTunes, Starbucks, and Amazon. Alternatively, you can convert your SBs into cash via a PayPal account.
In general, 100 SB is equal to $1, but they run many promotions, so you can redeem your points at discounted rates (for example, you might get a $20 gift card for 1800 SB, which would be a 10% discount).
The best way to make money with Swagbucks is to do a combination of tasks. If you’re only taking surveys, your income will be limited. But you can rack up the points faster by taking surveys, watching videos, using the Swagbucks search engine, using the cashback component, playing games, and taking advantage of special offers.
The special offers can be great for earning money quickly. For example, you might make a few hundred SB for installing an app, creating an account somewhere, signing up for a free trial, or many other things. Some special offers are worth $100 or more, and new offers are added frequently. This is a great way to rack up gift cards quickly.
Swagbucks is one of our favorite money-making and survey apps because there are so many different ways to make money, and you have so many great redemption options.
And with a low minimum payout of just $3, you won’t need to wait long for your rewards. Try Swagbucks if you want to play games, watch videos, and complete surveys to earn cash rewards.
2. Public.com (free stock worth up to $300)
- Summary: Place commission-free trades of stocks and ETFs with this user-friendly investing app.
- Sign-up bonus: up to $300 in free stock*.
- Read our Public.com Review.
Over the past few years, active trading and investing have become a side hustle for millions interested in personal finance.
It’s important to point out that investing involves risk, and you might lose money instead of making money.
However, there are also plenty of potential benefits like the ability to grow your net worth and significantly improve your financial situation by growing your bank account balance.
Although there are many investing apps out there, Public.com is our favorite for a few reasons:
- Commission-free trades on stocks and ETFs
- Access to a growing number of cryptocurrencies
- Buy fractional shares of stocks and ETFs
- User-friendly platform and interface
- Social networking features that allow you to connect with other investors and learn
- Themes (lists of stocks and ETFs) that make it easy to find the right investment opportunities
- Available as an iPhone app or Android app
Public.com is a beginner-friendly investment app, but even experienced investors will appreciate the unique social features of the app.
Public.com has an active community of users you won’t find on other platforms. With the right approach, it may be one of the top-paying apps.
3. Webull (free stock worth up to $30,000+)
- Summary: Free trading app with excellent tools for research and analysis.
- Sign-up bonus: up to $30,000+ in free stock.
- Read our Webull review.
Webull is another stock trading app that is similar to Public.com. Like some of the other leaders in the industry, Webull offers fractional shares, no minimums, and is beginner-friendly. You can buy and sell individual stocks, ETFs, options, and crypto.
The research and analysis features offered by Webull help it to stand out from the competition. If you like to do advanced analysis before making an investment decision, you’ll appreciate Webull.
The signup bonus from Webull is one of the best offers you’ll find anywhere, so you won’t want to miss out!
Webull also offers retirement accounts (IRAs), which are currently unavailable with Public.com and some other competitors.
4. InboxDollars ($5 signup bonus)
- Summary: Make extra money by taking online surveys, playing games, watching videos, taking advantage of offers, and other small tasks.
- Sign-up bonus: $5.
- Read our InboxDollars Review.
InboxDollars is a survey site similar to Swagbucks. You can make extra money online by doing several different things like taking online surveys, watching videos, playing games, completing special offers, and even just reading emails.
You’ll be able to see how much each task is worth before you start, so you can find the highest-paying tasks that are worth your time.
Instead of earning points for gift cards like many survey apps, you’ll make actual money. This is because you get paid in cash instead of a gift card.
If you want to earn extra cash from surveys and other microtasks, you’ll definitely want to try InboxDollars. And the fact that you get a $5 bonus for signing up makes it more enticing.
InboxDollars is an excellent choice to earn cash rewards if you like to play games, take surveys, and complete other simple tasks.
- Summary: Rakuten Insight is one of the best sites for paid online surveys.
- Sign-up bonus: None.
Are you interested in making extra money by taking simple online surveys? If so, sign up for a free Rakuten Insight account, another one of our favorite money-making apps.
Rakuten Insight doesn’t offer as many different ways to earn points and make money online as Swagbucks or InboxDollars. But the exclusive focus on surveys is excellent if that’s what you prefer to do for cash.
Using several different sites or survey apps allows you to maximize your income. The surveys available will be limited with any one site or app installed, but using a few of them opens more possibilities. Rakuten Insight should be a key part of your approach to completing as many high-paying surveys as possible.
6. MyPoints ($10 signup bonus)
- Summary: Earn extra cash by shopping online and various other small tasks like online surveys.
- Sign-up bonus: $10.
The MyPoints app allows you to earn cash and gift cards through surveys, shopping online, and other simple tasks. It’s very similar to Swagbucks and InboxDollars. In fact, all three money-making apps are owned by the same parent company.
Upon signing up, you’ll start earning points immediately that can be turned into cash, airline miles, or gift cards.
You can earn points by completing surveys, online shopping with over 2,000 retailers, reading BonusMail emails, watching videos, playing games, referring friends, and printing coupons.
There’s even an option for shopping in-store, where you can redeem points by uploading your receipt.
When you reach 480 points, or $3, you can exchange them for gift cards from 70 top restaurant and retail brands or travel miles. However, there are different requirements for different cards.
For example, a $25 Amazon gift card requires 3,950 points, while an AMC gift card needs only 3,520.
Additionally, suppose you want to exchange your points for a PayPal cash transfer. In that case, you’ll need to accumulate at least $25 worth of points.
Whenever you have a few minutes to take a survey or play games, you can use MyPoints.
7. Branded Surveys ($1 signup bonus)
- Summary: Make money by completing surveys in your spare time.
- Sign-up bonus: $1.
Branded Surveys is similar to Rakuten Insight in focusing exclusively on surveys. You won’t find other ways to make money here, but if you’re interested in the highest-paying surveys, this is one of the best-paying apps you’ll want to try.
Typically, you’ll earn anywhere from $0.50 to $5 per survey, most of which can be completed quickly to earn points.
After you’ve accumulated some points, they can be redeemed for Walmart gift cards, Amazon gift cards, Starbucks gift cards, or more than 100 other choices. You can also redeem for cash through PayPal.
- Summary: Survey Junkie is one of the most popular survey websites.
- Sign up bonus: None.
- Read our Survey Junkie Review.
While Swagbucks, InboxDollars, and MyPoints allow you to earn money by taking surveys, they also offer several other tasks. Survey Junkie is different because it focuses exclusively on surveys to earn cash rewards.
If taking surveys is what you want to do as a side hustle, you should definitely try Survey Junkie. The selection of surveys at Survey Junkie is better than just about any other paid survey app or website you’ll find.
Each survey on Survey Junkie will tell you how much you’ll earn and how long the survey will take, so you can prioritize the best options.
If you see a good survey, be sure to act quickly because they don’t last forever, and some higher-paying surveys go very quickly.
With Survey Junkie, you’ll earn cash rewards instead of points for sharing your opinions, so you can quickly grow your bank account. It’s definitely one of the best survey sites available.
- Summary: Use KashKick to find paid survey opportunities and other small tasks that can be completed in your spare time.
- Sign-up bonus: none.
KashKick is another free app that allows you to make money online with your phone by taking surveys and completing other small tasks to earn points.
If you’re looking to use surveys as a side hustle, signing up for several different sites will give you the best opportunity to earn. KashKick should be considered.
Instead of earning gift cards or other rewards, you’ll earn PayPal money. You can redeem your points for as little as $10 at a time.
- Summary: Earn rewards passively by sharing your mobile browsing data.
- Sign-up bonus: $5 gift card in the first week.
MobileXpression is one of our favorite passive income apps because it’s easy to earn rewards.
The company collects data for marketing purposes, and they’ll reward you for providing that data without any effort.
All you need to do is signup and then install the money-making app on your mobile device, making it basically free money. It’s available in the Google Play store and iPhone app store. It will track your mobile browsing activity but doesn’t collect any sensitive personal information. All of your browsing data is anonymous.
MobileXpression compensates users by providing points each week. The points can be redeemed for your choice of gift cards.
You can earn about $50 per year in free gift cards per device. And as a bonus, you’ll make a $5 gift card for your first week of installing the free app and activating your device.
- Summary: Earn money with no effort by sharing your browsing activity.
- Sign-up bonus: None.
SavvyConnect (run by SurveySavvy) is similar to MobileXpression, except that it’s not exclusively for mobile devices. You can also install SavvyConnect on desktop and laptop computers.
You’ll earn $5 per month per device (up to $15 per month), which can add up if you have a few connected devices.
It’s another easy way to earn some extra cash!
12. Robinhood (free stock bonus)
- Summary: Commission-free trading app with a beginner-friendly user interface.
- Sign-up bonus: free stock.
- Read our Robinhood vs. Public.com comparison.
Earlier, we looked at Public.com and Webull. Robinhood is another similar investing app that offers commission-free trades. The most significant difference between Public.com and Robinhood is that Robinhood does not have social networking features.
Robinhood has had a significant influence on the industry. They were the first company to offer commission-free trades and fractional shares. Several years later, many competitors have followed suit.
- Summary: Rent out your unused space to others in your community for storage.
- Sign-up bonus: None.
- Learn more about Neighbor.
Neighbor is a unique app that makes it easy to earn supplemental income by renting out storage space.
If you have extra space in your attic, basement, garage, shed, or even a spare bedroom, you can rent it out and earn monthly income.
You can even rent out a parking space, driveway, or unpaved lot. There are plenty of options!
According to Neighbor, you can earn $100-$400 per month by listing unused space. They’ll do the work to promote your storage space to renters in your local area.
Neighbor also handles everything related to payments, and you’ll even get $1 million in liability protection. Then, all you have to do is ensure that the renter has access to the space.
- Summary: Rent out your truck or cargo van to people in your local area.
- Sign-up bonus: None.
- Learn more about Fetch.
Do you have a pickup truck or cargo van? If so, you could make up to $1,800 per month by renting it out to people in your local area.
This passive side hustle can produce a significant income without requiring much of your time.
Once you sign up and create your listing, Fetch will market your rental to people in your area. They handle all the payments, so you don’t have to worry about it.
You can even install their device in your truck to provide renters access, which means you won’t need to meet the renters face-to-face to turn over the keys. Fetch may be the highest-paying app if you have a truck or van you can rent out.
15. Rakuten ($30 signup bonus)
- Summary: Earn cashback at thousands of websites and retailers.
- Sign-up bonus: $30.
- Read our Rakuten Review.
Rakuten (formerly known as Ebates) is the most widely used and successful cashback app.
You can earn as much as 40% on purchases made at over 2,500 stores, including many popular retailers and online stores. In addition, when shopping online, you can combine your cash back with hot daily deals, coupons, and promo codes. This is a great way to earn extra cash for your regular shopping.
The Rakuten browser extension makes it easy to earn cashback. With the extension installed, you’ll be notified whenever you visit a website offering cashback through Rakuten.
Then, all you need to do is click on the notification. Your online purchase will be tracked through Rakuten’s affiliate links.
All new Rakuten app users who spend $30 or more in the first 90 days after signing up will receive a $30 welcome bonus.
Having the Rakuten app will allow you to activate shopping trips at any time. You’ll receive your cashback every three months via check or to your PayPal account, and you don’t need to fill out any forms or keep track of points.
The payout threshold is very low, so even if you’re not a serious shopping enthusiast, you can still get a payment.
- Summary: Earn cashback from thousands of online retailers.
- Sign-up bonus: none
As the name suggests, TopCashback is another cashback app. Still, it has some great benefits with some of the highest-paying offers. Exclusive deals with certain transactions offer up to 105 percent cashback when shopping online. This means you’re being paid to shop!
There are several cashback options, including getting more if you accept a voucher for Amazon or certain other major brands.
These offers mean you gain 25 percent more on your cash rewards through the shopping portal.
You can also upgrade to the Plus Member level. This is a yearly membership plan that earns you an additional 5 percent cash back on some online purchases. With savvy spending habits, you can quickly negate the membership cost.
Cashback rewards are not limited to online shopping. Some retail outlets are supported, so you can maximize your rewards.
17. Ibotta ($20 in sign up bonuses)
- Summary: Earn cashback at grocery stores and other retailers.
- Sign-up bonus: $20
- Read our comparison of Ibotta vs. Fetch Rewards
The Ibotta app allows you to earn cashback on your online and in-store purchases. This means that without changing your shopping habits, you can rack up some serious savings.
The cashback app works with more than 300 grocery store chains, including Walmart, Krogers, and Trader Joe’s. There are also offers for everyday items and a signup bonus.
You need to be prepared to spend a little time reviewing the offers and uploading copies of your receipts, but it is well worth it.
The minimum cash out is only $20, so you don’t need to wait months to see some cash.
To get the most out of this app, you need to show a little commitment. You will need to review the offers before you head to the grocery store (or shop online) and upload your receipts when you return.
- Summary: Automatically earn cash back at some of your favorite stores and restaurants.
- Sign-up bonus: None.
- Read our Drop Review.
The Drop app is an easy-to-use, intuitive app that allows you to earn gift cards for everyday spending. When you download the app and sign up, you need to link a debit or credit card to your profile.
The app works by lining up your purchases (when you shop online or in-store) made with the card with the offers available. This means that you’re accumulating points as you do your regular spending.
You can also choose five of your favorite brands, such as Uber, Walmart, or Starbucks, where you spend the most money. These choices cannot be changed after registration, so choose yours wisely. You can also choose bonus offers to maximize your savings.
After you’ve earned over 5,000 points, you can exchange them for gift cards at your favorite retailers. For example, a $5 gift card will cost you 5,000 points.
- Summary: Let Trim negotiate your bills and find unused subscriptions you can cancel.
- Sign-up bonus: None.
- Read our comparison of Trim vs. Truebill vs. Billshark.
Trim is a relatively simple app, yet it has the potential for significant savings each year. So many of us give money away without realizing it, and Trim can help.
With so many of us using automated payments for essential bills, paying out for things you didn’t realize is easy. It can be hard to spot more minor charges from your bank account, but these can add up to hundreds of dollars throughout the year.
The Trim app combats this corporate behavior to ensure you don’t lose monthly money. First, you need to allow the Trim app access to your spending. But, it will alert you of recurring charges that could be negotiated lower or eliminated.
Trim can also negotiate your cable and internet bills to save you money each month. Saving money every month is as good as earning money.
- Summary: Earn cash by making deliveries in your local area.
- Sign-up bonus: None.
- Read our comparison of DoorDash vs. Uber Eats vs. Postmates.
Suppose you want to earn a significant amount of money through an app. In that case, one of the best options is to choose a money-making app that allows you to provide a service.
DoorDash is our favorite gig economy and food delivery app because there are options in many cities, you can start working and making real money very quickly, you can use any vehicle to make deliveries, and there’s plenty of work available. It’s probably the best paying app out there.
As a DoorDash driver (or “dasher,” as they call them), you’ll pick up restaurant orders and deliver the food to customers.
While money-making apps like Uber and Lyft also allow you to make money by driving, they require you to have strangers in your car. DoorDash and other delivery apps will enable you to make money by driving without the need to give rides to strangers.
DoorDash drivers can make good money, especially if you’re working during peak times like lunch and dinner hours. Overall, it’s one of the highest-paying apps with plenty of opportunities.
- Summary: Find gigs and money-making opportunities.
- Sign-up bonus: None.
Steady is a side hustle app that aims to help users increase their income.
When you sign up, you’ll create a profile and answer a few questions about your work history and experience. Steady will then provide you with personalized ways to make money.
Steady will provide you with Income Boosters, which are hand-picked ways to make more money or incentives through Steady’s partners.
You can also access data like pay rates for various employers and the earning information for other users in your local area.
- Summary: Get paid to shop for groceries and deliver them to customers.
- Sign-up bonus: None.
Instacart allows you to earn money by shopping for others. For example, you can make money grocery shopping and delivering the items to a customer’s home. The orders come through the app, and you can work flexible hours.
You can earn a commission or work at an hourly rate depending on whether you opt to be an independent contractor or a part-time employee. You’ll collect your earnings weekly.
Instacart operates in many states, and you can check that your town or city is listed in the service area section.
The demand for grocery delivery has increased drastically since the pre-covid era, which seems like a trend that is likely to continue.
You do need to meet some basic requirements to become an Instacart shopper, including being over the age of 18, the ability to lift 40 pounds, and passing a background check.
- Summary: Get paid to shop for and deliver groceries.
- Sign-up bonus: None.
Shipt is another grocery shopping and delivery service similar to Instacart but different in some significant ways.
Shipt works on a membership basis, so the customers you’re working for will be paying members. In addition, Shipt encourages members to tip delivery drivers, which may help to increase their income. Shipt claims that drivers make $22 per hour or more, making it one of the highest-paying opportunities.
As a Shipt shopper, you’ll have complete control over your hours through this gig economy app. You can work part-time or full-time, whenever it fits into your schedule.
Like most other gig economy apps, you’ll need to apply and go through a basic approval process before you can start working.
- Summary: Make money by walking dogs or pet sitting.
- Sign-up bonus: None.
If you’re a pet lover, you can turn your free time into cash with Rover, one of the highest-paying apps. Sign up as a pet sitter and be connected with a nationwide network of pet owners who need dog walking, pet sitting, or boarding.
Each scenario differs from caring for dogs in your home while the owners are on vacation or pet sitting in the owner’s house.
You will need to be prepared to cater to the dog’s specific needs and even update the owners with photos so they can know their furry friend is in safe hands. You can specify your rates in your profile and accept or reject any requests.
You might be surprised at how much money you can make by offering services through Rover. Earlier this year, we interviewed Lily, making $40,000+ per year with a simple home-based pet sitting and dog walking business. Read the interview here: How to Become a Pet Sitter.
This is a desirable option because of the substantial income potential and because just about anyone can earn money, and no experience is required. Use it as a side hustle to make a few dollars in your spare time or turn it into a full-time income.
- Summary: Short-term investments in house flips.
- Sign-up bonus: $50 for your first investment.
- Read our Groundfloor Review.
Groundfloor is a real estate crowdfunding platform that makes it simple to get started in real estate investing and earn residual income.
With as little as $10, you can invest in house flips, renovations, and the occasional new construction project.
Although there are many ways to invest in real estate, Groundfloor is one of the most accessible options and is very beginner-friendly. The low $10 minimum makes it possible for anyone to start with Groundfloor.
According to Groundfloor, investments through their platform have historically produced average returns of more than 10%. So long-term, it could wind up being the best-paying app.
So as you can see, there is potential to do quite well with these investments. You’ll be able to add money to your Groundfloor account or move it to your bank with direct deposit.
You’ll be investing in short-term loans that are anywhere from a few months to a year in length. That means your money won’t be tied up for 5-10 years as it would be with most real estate investments.
- Summary: Round up your purchases to automatically save and invest.
- Sign-up bonus: None.
- Read our Acorns Review.
Acorns helps you to save and invest. There are a few different aspects to the app that make it appealing. First, the roundup feature allows you to effortlessly grow your portfolio.
Link Acorns to your credit cards, and your purchases will round up to the next dollar. So, for example, if you spend $5.35, Acorns will save and invest $0.65. This can be very powerful, mainly if you use it for an extended time, as all that spare change can add up.
There is also a robo advisor component to Acorns. You’ll be able to choose from five different conservative and aggressive portfolios, and your money will be automatically invested accordingly.
Suppose you’re interested in following an automated approach to personal finance rather than making your own investment decisions. In that case, Acorns could be a great fit.
- Summary: Make money as a rideshare driver.
- Sign-up bonus: None.
Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you will likely be familiar with Uber. Becoming an Uber driver can be a great side gig to earn money.
Uber has over 3 million drivers operating around the world. Of course, you need to meet the Uber requirements, but you can earn some serious cash even if you don’t want to work peak hours. Uber takes 20 percent of the ride fares booked through the app.
Customers pay and tip with a credit card using the app, so you don’t need to worry about carrying cash.
You do need to upload your paperwork to confirm your driving eligibility and provide vehicle details. Once everything is approved, you can manage your fares through the app and start earning money.
With the popularity of Uber, it was inevitable that more apps and services would arrive, and Lyft was founded in 2012. Driving for Lyft can be a decent side gig or, with some dedication, a full-time income.
The fares are broken down into the basic fare, the cost per minute, and the cost per mile. The app bills the passenger the basic fare to start the ride, and you need to tap the app after you arrive to start earning the cost per minute.
Your fares can also include Prime Time, an extra charge for the customer when busy or fewer drivers are available. You can also earn tips from your passengers.
Lyft takes between 20 and 25 percent commission. You can get paid in one of two ways; a weekly checking account deposit or Express Pay that loads onto your debit card. Express Pay automatically loads your debit card when you reach $50 in earnings, but there is a small transfer fee.
Final Thoughts on the Highest-Paying Apps
These money-making apps offer fantastic potential for an impressive side gig or to turn a spare couple of hours each week into extra cash. Of course, you need to check the specific terms and conditions. Still, you can likely find a high-earning or passive income app that suits your favorite activities and preferences.
Be sure to take action and use some of the highest-paying apps to earn the side hustle income you’re looking for.
*Public.com offer valid for U.S. residents 18+ and subject to account approval. This is not a recommendation. You can lose money with any investment. Open To The Public Investing is a member of FINRA & SIPC. Regulatory and firm fees apply. New customers receive free stock with value $3-300; 0.3% receive the max value. Cryptocurrency trading provided by Apex Crypto LLC (NMLS ID 1828849). Apex Crypto is licensed to engage in virtual currency business activity by the New York State Department of Financial Services. See Public.com/disclosures/