Passive income is a popular topic because let’s face it, we’d all like to make money with little-to-no effort.
In this article I want to present some easy wins that can help you to make almost $900 in the next 12 months with very little effort. These apps, websites, and resources can provide some extra income that will make a difference for you and your family.
All of the opportunities in this article were chosen because they are easy, are mostly hands-free, and they won’t add a lot of disruption or inconvenience to your life. I’m using all of these myself, and I love the extra money that they provide.
Apps and Resources for Earning Passive Income
Now let’s take a look at the specific opportunities. While all of these present passive ways to make money, some of them have potential to generate much more than what I am estimating here, based on how you use them. I’ve tried to use conservative estimates rather than listing inflated numbers that may not be realistic.
If you’re looking for more options and opportunities like these, be sure to see our Free Money page where you’ll find even more possibilities.
Sign up bonus: $0
12-month potential: $60
SaverLife is a program run by the non-profit organization EARN with sponsors like Capital One and Prudential. The goal of the initiative is to encourage people to save. Through the program you can earn money just for adding to your own savings account. Once you sign up for SaverLife you can earn $10 each month for the next 6 months, for a total of $60. To earn the $10 you will need to add at least $20 to your savings account that month. That’s it!
To be eligible for SaverLife you must be at least 18 years old and have a savings account at a bank in the United States. To sign up you’ll have to answer a few basic questions, but it only takes a couple of minutes. Then you’ll link SaverLife to your savings account online so they can see the balance of your savings account. You’ll receive the rewards at the end of 6 months. I’m currently 5 months in and looking forward to that money next month.
It’s really easy, and $60 for simply adding money to your own savings account is a great offer. You’ll get reminders by email (or you can set up text reminders) so you don’t miss the deadlines, but the easiest way to ensure that you earn all $60 in rewards is to set up an auto transfer.
Enrollment to SaverLife may close when the program reaches capacity, so don’t wait. This is some of the easiest money you can make, and it forces you to save a little on your own as well. As far as I can tell from the terms and the conditions there are no limitations per household. So you and your spouse or someone else in your household (18 or over) could participate to get even more. Each savings account can only be linked once, so you would need at least 2 savings accounts in the household in order to do that.
Citi Double Cash Credit Card
Sign up bonus: $0
Estimated 12-month potential: $240
Cash back credit cards are probably my favorite way to make easy money. I pay for just about everything with a credit card, so I can rack up the rewards pretty quickly. The Citi Double Cash is my go-to credit card because it pays 2% cash back on every purchase. You earn 1% cash back at the time of the purchase, and another 1% when you make the payment. I use this card for everything unless I can earn a higher amount on a certain purchase with a different card.
I’m listing the estimated 12-month potential at $240. That number is based on an average of $1,000 being put on the credit card each month. The cash back on $12,000 at 2% comes out to $240.
Important note: I only recommend this if you currently do not have credit card debt and if you consistently pay the balance in full each month to avoid future debt. If you’re paying interest it will more than offset any cash back that you earn.
Chase Freedom Credit Card
Sign up bonus: $150
Estimated 12-month potential: $200
The Chase Freedom card pays at least 1% cash back on all purchases. More importantly, you can earn 5% cash back on purchases in specific categories that rotate each quarter. One quarter you might earn 5% cash back at grocery stores, and another quarter you might earn 5% cash back on gas.
Because the standard 1% cash back offer is less than the 2% offered by the Citi Double Cash card, I only use the Chase Freedom card for purchases that fall into the current 5% category. There is currently a $150 signup bonus for this card, which makes it even more enticing.
I’m estimating the 12-month potential at $200 cash back, which includes the $150 bonus and $50 from regular rewards.
Nielsen Computer and Mobile Panel
Sign up bonus: $0
12-month potential: $100
Nielsen will pay you up to $50 per year per device. They are a research company that provides media information like the Nielsen TV ratings. By having their app on your device you will be giving them access to the websites you visit and how long you are on those sites. They do not collect personal information like user IDs and passwords.
The sign up process is simple. You provide some basic information, then download their app to your device(s). As long as the app is active you’ll be earning. The app won’t slow your internet access or have any negative impacts on your browsing.
The estimated 12-month potential is listed at $100, which is based on having the app on 2 devices.
Sign up bonus: $0
12-month potential: $50
MobileXpression is similar to Nielsen, but only for mobile devices. They track your internet usage and compensate you for it. You earn 5 credits per week, and then you can cash in those credits for gift cards. You can get a $5 gift card (to Amazon or other retailers) for 30 credits, or wait until you get 50 credits for a $10 gift card. The $10 gift card takes 10 weeks to earn, so you can earn a little over $50 per year.
Just like the Nielsen app, MobileXpression should have no impact on your user experience. You won’t even notice it’s there. The MobileXpression website looks pretty dated, but don’t let that deter you. I’ve been using the app for several months and have already earned a few $10 Amazon gift cards.
Sign up bonus: $3
12-month potential: $39
Update: ShopTracker is no longer available.
ShopTracker will pay you for access to your Amazon purchase history. All you need to do is take a couple of minutes to sign up and then give them access to your Amazon account. The app will remove all of your personal information before sending it to ShopTracker. They only want to see what has been purchased.
You’ll get $3 right away for signing up, and you’ll earn another $3 for every month that it is active. With the signup bonus and the $3 per month, you can earn a total of $39 over the next 12 months just for taking a couple of minutes to set this up.
Sign up bonus: $10
Estimated 12-moth potential: $50
Rakuten is a popular cash back website. You can earn cash back for your purchases at thousands of different websites and stores. I love Rakuten because I can make money from things I need to purchase anyway. And best of all, you can pay with a cash back credit card and stack the rewards (see my articles on how to stack rewards and the best cash back apps and websites).
The amount of cash back that you earn will vary depending on the store, but it can be anywhere from 1% – 40%. Rakuten also runs a lot of promos where the rewards will be increased for a limited time. You can also install the Rakuten browser add-on which will notify you when you’re on a website where you can earn cash back. The browser add-on will also find coupon codes and automatically apply them to save you money.
You can get a $10 bonus for signing up for Rakuten I’m estimating the 12-month potential at $50, including the signup bonus. That estimate is conservative and you can easily earn more than that. My wife got $25 in cash back just from one purchase of contact lenses.
Rakuten (formerly Ebates) is one of the most popular cashback apps and you can easily save money at thousands of stores and websites with a free account. You can even get a $10 bonus just for signing up and making your first purchase!
Sign up bonus: $20
Estimated 12-month potential: $75
Ibotta is a cash back app that is a great way to save money. Inside the app you can find all kinds of cash back offers. You can search by store to see what is available at any time. Claim the offers that you want and then take a photo of your receipt to get the cash back (you can also link your store loyalty cards instead of taking the photos). With Ibotta you can also earn cash back for online purchases through the app.
Right now there is a $20 sign up bonus available. There are always a lot of great offers on groceries, but you can also save on things like clothing and travel. In the grocery deals you’ll find some “any brand” offers that will allow you to earn cash back even if you are buying a generic brand (for example, $0.50 cash back on any brand of milk). There are also special offers at times, like $5 for any online purchase through the app.
I’m estimating the 12-month potential to be $75, including the $20 sign up bonus. Again, that’s pretty conservative. If you use the app you can easily make more than that.
Sign up bonus: $5 (when you link your credit card)
Estimated 12-month potential: $20
Dosh is a cash back app that makes it very easy to earn. Instead of scanning receipts, you will link your credit or debit card to Dosh and you’ll automatically earn cash back when you make a purchase at a store or restaurant that participates in the program. You can use the app to see cash back offers available at locations near you. Just be sure that you are purchasing with the credit card linked to your Dosh account, or link all of your cards so you don’t miss out on anything.
Right now Dosh is offering a $5 bonus when you link your first card to the account. I’m estimating the 12-month potential at $20, including the $5 bonus. If you make an effort to shop at places that participate in Dosh’s program you can definitely earn more than that.
Sign up bonus: $20
Personal Capital is a free finance app that you will love. Although it is free it is extremely powerful and useful. You can link all of your financial accounts to be able to view them all at once place. My favorite function of Personal Capital is the net worth tracking, but you can also use it to see reports on the performance of your accounts and investments, and to view upcoming bills.
Right now you can get a $20 Amazon gift card just for getting the free app and linking at least one financial account. Personal Capital also offers wealth management services, which is why they are willing to pay to get people to try their free app. Even if you have no interest in their services, the app is awesome and the $20 bonus only makes it better.
Unlike the other offers listed on this page, you won’t directly make anything beyond the signup bonus from Personal Capital. But the data that you’ll get access to can be extremely valuable.
Sign up bonus: $0
Estimated 12-month potential: $25
Paribus is a free app that helps you to get refunds that are owed. All you have to do is give the app access to the email address that you use for online shopping (like the email on your Amazon account). When Paribus sees a receipt email from a store or website with a price match guarantee it will automatically search for a lower price and if it finds one it will help you to get a refund.
Just last week I got an email from Walmart telling me about a refund that I was getting. I didn’t know what it was referring to at first, then I realized that Paribus had noticed a price drop a few weeks after I made the purchase, and Paribus also did all of the work to get the refund for me.
Probably my favorite feature of Paribus is that it will also track your order shipments from Amazon and Walmart to make sure that they arrive on time. If they are late Paribus will work to get you a gift card or a free month of Prime. In the past, I’ve had some late shipments from Amazon but I didn’t take the time to do anything about it. Now that I have Paribus set up it will make this much easier.
It’s hard to estimate how much you can earn from Paribus. It depends what websites you shop at. If you’re an Amazon Prime member you have a lot more potential to benefit from Paribus. I’m estimating $25 to be conservative.
Sign up bonus: $0
Estimated 12-month potential savings: $100
Trim will help to save you money by finding subscriptions that you can cancel. What I think is even more useful, Trim can help by negotiating to get you a lower price on things like cable TV and internet. Trim can also help you to save money on insurance.
Trim is quick and easy to use. Sign up takes just a minute and then it will work to find savings for you. The results will vary, but it seems like $100 per year is a fairly typical result for many users.
If you want to make some easy money, take a few minutes and sign up for these apps and offers. The amount that you can make is well worth the little bit of effort that it takes.
Be sure to see our Free Money page for even more ways to make money with little-to-no effort.