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A passive income can significantly improve your finances with little to no input. There is a wide variety of options, from making financial investments through to turning your everyday tasks into a way to earn extra cash.
Now, there is the potential to do this using your smartphone, so you can make an income wherever you are. Here we’ll explore the best passive income apps to help you decide which ones are the best fit for your lifestyle.
Best Passive Income Apps
1. Rakuten ($10 signup bonus)
Rakuten was previously called Ebates, and it offers up to 40 percent cashback on your purchases. The platform has offers for over 2,500 stores, so you can earn cashback on your everyday spending and larger purchases.
Once you sign up, you’ll need to shop through the Rakuten portal, but your shopping experience is not affected at all. By using the Rakuten link, the platform receives an affiliate commission, which is shared with you.
Rakuten offers a welcome bonus to new members of $10, so you’ll immediately earn some cash. Once you accumulate cashback, you can receive your passive income via check or PayPal.
This is a great way to get cash for your regular shopping, but don’t be tempted to impulse buy as you could end up spending all your cashback.
2. Ibotta ($20 signup bonus)
Ibotta is another shopping app that offers cashback on your purchases, and it’s one of our favorite passive income apps. It has a smaller network of approximately 750 partner stores, but they are popular retail outlets such as Walmart, Dominos, Lowe’s, and Petco.
You can use Ibotta when you shop online or by clicking “Find Offers” on the app when you head in-store. You may find offers, suggested recipes, or even short surveys about the products you’re buying.
Once you start shopping, you’ll need to make your purchase as normal. Then to earn your cashback, you’ll need to upload a picture of your receipt. Again, this can be easily done on your phone. Just be sure to keep your receipt until the cashback has been credited to your Ibotta account.
The Fetch app is designed to save you money on your grocery shopping. You don’t need to clip coupons or save flyers. All you need to do is take a picture of your receipt and upload it through the app.
You’ll receive at least five points per receipt, but receipts from grocery stores, hardware stores, wholesale clubs, or pet stores will earn you a minimum of 25 points. You’ll also earn more points when you buy participating items. When you buy an item from a qualifying brand, you’ll earn additional points based on the final price you pay.
You can find a list of the partner brands on the Discover page in the app, so you can plan your shopping to get even more points.
Once you accumulate sufficient points, you can redeem them for gift cards or sweepstake entries with the possibility to win a cash prize.
Drop is a free app that also offers rewards for shopping at stores and your favorite online retailers. The Drop app has rewards for practically all your typical purchases, from your early morning coffee to a late-night food order.
All you need to do is shop through the app, and you’ll earn rewards. Each purchase through the app will earn points instantly. Once you accumulate your rewards, you can redeem them for gift cards for your favorite stores or brands.
Dosh is another app for earning money from your everyday spending. You’ll earn cashback on each purchase you make from a list of participating stores and outlets. However, to qualify for your reward, you must make your purchase using a credit card. This will allow you to automatically receive a percentage on your spending without needing to photograph receipts or scan offers.
You’ll need to link your cards so that every purchase you make using the linked cards will earn you cashback. You can get up to 10 percent cash back for dining in or shopping at over 1000 restaurants and stores. You can transfer your cashback directly to your bank account or as a PayPal payment.
While there are a lot of different ways to earn cashback, Dosh stands out as one of the best passive income apps.
Like Dosh, Pei offers up to 20 percent cashback on spending with your credit or debit card. There are over 110,000 locations throughout the country where you’ll receive cashback when you make a purchase at a Pei merchant. There are no in-app purchases, coupons, or other hurdles.
You’ll need to link your credit or debit cards to the Pei app to start accumulating rewards at retailers such as Trader Joe’s Target, AMC Theaters, and other popular brands. These credit card style rewards offer a whole host of benefits, so you can get a decent loyalty bonus for shopping at your favorite stores.
This app is truly passive, as you can install it and forget about it. MobileXpression tracks your mobile data usage to uncover patterns about consumer’s online behavior. The app does not compromise your privacy or slow down your device’s performance.
Provided you keep the app active on your device, after seven days, you’ll receive a $5 Amazon gift card. After this point, you’ll receive points and sweepstake entries every two weeks. You can redeem your accumulated points for gift cards. There are also surveys that you can participate in to earn additional points.
While this is not a massive earner, you are earning for doing nothing at all, apart from keeping the app on your device. Just by keeping it active and redeeming points, you can earn about $50 per year in gift cards.
Because of its simplicity, MobileXpression is easily one of the best passive income apps.
Nielsen is a household name and considered the leading company in consumer research. The Nielsen Computer & Mobile Panel allows you to help the company with research and earn a passive income. After you download the app, all you need to do is continue using your phone or device as usual.
You’ll receive $50 per year for your participation. Nielsen also runs regular sweepstake draws with a prize of $10,000 per month shared between 400 winners.
This is a completely passive income stream, but be aware that some users have reported the app does shorten the battery life of devices, and it may slow down your device’s performance a little. However, your personal data is secure, as Nielsen is tracking data usage rather than who you’re calling or texting.
The Embee Meter CX app is a similar passive income app. When you join, install the app and turn on the Meter, you’ll start to automatically receive “Meter Points” each day.
There are no ads to see or videos to watch, as you’ll receive gift cards or PayPal cash just for using your phone as normal.
The number of points you’ll earn will depend on your device. However, the app does display your point rewards, so you can track your earnings. One point is approximately 1 cent, so you can quickly accumulate enough points to cash out. And, the longer you leave the app active on your device, the more you’ll earn.
The UpVoice app is another tracking app that can allow you to earn a passive income. After you install the app, you’ll earn points each day. UpVoice tracks your internet activity and captures ads anonymously. UpVoice assures users that the app is safe and will not affect performance.
As a panelist, you’ll be helping companies to design their brand strategies and make marketing decisions. If you use participating sites each day, you’ll receive even more rewards.
Once you reach 600 points, you can redeem your earnings for an e-gift card from an extensive list of retailers.
If you’ve been looking at creating a side hustle, you may have looked at platforms that allow you to rent out your stuff. However, Honeygain can allow you to “rent” out your internet access and earn money. It’s one of the more unique or creative passive income apps.
Honeygain allows you to share unused internet bandwidth. Data scientists will use this to gather intelligence and market research.
The signup process is simple. You’ll need to use a valid email address and create a password. You’ll then be prompted to install the app on your devices. When the devices are connected to the internet, the Honeygain team uses its network to connect to the internet.
Your earnings will be based on the number of gigabytes you share with the network. However, once your account and devices are set up, you’ll be earning a completely passive income.
Trim is a money-saving app that negotiates with companies to save you money on your bills. The app analyzes spending patterns to highlight the ways that you can make savings. You can even lower the interest rate on your credit cards.
Trim services are not free. There are two versions of the Trim app. If you use the free version, you’ll pay a 33 percent fee on any annual savings. However, if Trim cannot make any savings, you’ll pay nothing. The other option is a paid version, which does not charge a commission on any savings.
If you have high-interest credit cards, significant debt, or lots of subscriptions, Trim has the potential to save you thousands of dollars in a year.
Truebill is another app that can save you money on your expenses. This platform is completely free to sign up, but the savings fee is 40 percent. This is steep, but you’re only charged when the savings have been secured. So, if Truebill is unable to save you anything, you’ll not pay a cent. The commission is only charged one year at a time. So, if Truebill can save you $2,000 on your bills for the year, you will need to pay $800 in commission.
The app monitors your bills and transactions to find potential savings, doing all of the work to secure your savings. So, after you install the app and complete setup, you can sit back and “earn” some cash.
14. Swagbucks ($5 signup bonus)
Swagbucks is a GPT (get paid to) site. So, while it is not completely passive, you can earn points for doing activities you may already enjoy doing.
You can earn SBs, the platform currency, for online shopping, participating in surveys, watching videos, and browsing the internet. The tasks typically only take a few minutes, and you can earn $1 or less. While these are small amounts, they can quickly add up.
Once you reach 500 SBs, you can claim a $5 PayPal payment or gift card from an impressive list of popular retailers. To date, Swagbucks has paid out over $300 million to its user base, so you can have confidence that this is a legit site offering an interesting side gig.
Swagbucks also has a cashback component (which is passive) that is very similar to Rakuten.
15. InboxDollars ($5 signup bonus)
InboxDollars is another app offering extra cash for performing fun and easy tasks. You’ll receive rewards for taking surveys and watching TV. You’ll also have access to shopping and cashback offers.
This is a top-rated app, and the company has been around for 20 years. You can also receive a $5 welcome bonus for signing up as a new member.
Again, while this does not offer a huge income, you can earn a few cents here and there for simple tasks that you enjoy doing.
This is an investment app that is designed to help the average American gain access to the right tools to create an investment portfolio. The basic app costs nothing, and there are no account minimums. You can use Robinhood to invest in stocks, ETFs, and cryptocurrencies.
If you like the idea of making investments, but have been discouraged by high brokerage fees and unrealistic investment minimums, the Robinhood app could be just what you’ve been looking for.
The app is easy to use, and you can access tools to help you develop your investing confidence.
The Acorns app is an interesting combination of micro-savings and micro-investing. The principle of the app is based on “round-ups”. It deals in small amounts that you’re not likely to notice but could offer a significant passive income.
When you link your accounts to the app, it will “round up” purchases and use the difference to invest.
For example, if you make a purchase at $5.45, the app will round up this figure to $6. The vendor still receives the $5.45, but the additional $0.55 is transferred into your Acorns account.
Once the accumulated amount reaches $5, the app automatically transfers it to the Acorns robo advisors, where your money will be invested and managed for you, according to your preferences.
Since you’re only spending a little more on each purchase, it’s not likely to have an impact on your everyday spending, but you’re building an investment portfolio.
If you love passive income apps, you’ll definitely want to check out Acorns.
Fundrise helps you to make money through real estate investment. The app creates an opportunity to invest money in a portfolio of real estate projects. Each product is proactively developed and carefully selected to help you build your net worth.
The app uses your specified goals to offer the projects best suited to your circumstances. You can invest in million-dollar projects without wiping out your bank account.
You can also see updates on the project progress in your portfolio on the app. You’ll also receive dividends and have the option to reinvest your dividends through its Dividend Reinvestment Program.
19. M1 Finance
The M1 Finance app allows you to build investment portfolios. You can buy stocks, ETFs, and even fractional shares. This allows investment in big-name stocks without needing to break the bank.
What makes M1 Finance stand apart is its automation tools. This will help to turn a potentially intensive task into a passive income stream. M1 Finance has over 80 investment portfolios and a variety of tools to assist less confident investors to create a passive income.
Sign up is free, but you will need to deposit a minimum of $100 to open a portfolio. You can also upgrade to M1 Plus to access lower fees and other benefits.
Most of us have experienced the frustration of buying something, only to find it is reduced in price the following week. The Paribus app can help you to benefit from this. It monitors the costs of your purchases and obtain refunds if the price of an item goes down.
The Paribus app syncs with your email to track purchases, and you can also scan your receipts. Whenever there is a lower price of an item you purchased, the app will automatically negotiate a refund for you. This doesn’t apply to all purchases, but you can receive a difference in price for recent purchases.
As you can see, there are some fantastic passive income apps that help you to earn something extra very easily. Whether you’re interested in making a few extra dollars a week or would like to develop a serious income stream, there are apps to suit your needs.