Your smartphone extracts plenty of money from you to pay for basic service as well as apps, tunes, and other accessories. Why not let your phone send some money back to you for a change? An increasing number of apps exist that will pay you for performing various tasks.
Your phone will not be spitting out dollar bills at you like an ATM (wouldn't that be nice?), but you will be paid upon completion of tasks through gift cards, discounts on goods or services, or directly through PayPal or similar money transfer options.
These apps tend to fall into a few distinct categories, as outlined below.
- Shopping/Redemption – iBotta, Shopkick, Perk, and Receipt Hog are examples of shopping sites that allow you to earn cash back, rewards, gift cards, and rebates through mobile activities and shopping you already do.
While there may be some affiliations, these apps are usually not related to any particular store – but there are plenty of similar reward-based apps from individual retailers.
- Reviews – Apps such as FeaturePoints, App Trailers, and Mobile Rewards pay you for reviewing apps, new games, video content, or other media inputs.
- Odd Jobs – These apps are aimed at making a few bucks on the side with minimal time investment, as opposed to apps like Uber that are more time-committed types of independent contracting.
Field Agent, EasyShift, and Gigwalk all connect you with businesses looking for simple jobs to be completed. A typical job may pay anywhere from $3-$10, but some tasks go considerably higher depending on complexity.
Examples include verifying product placement in a store (usually requiring uploading a photo), mystery shopping tasks, app testing, and other relatively quick and simple jobs.
- Direct Advertising – For you patient app users, Locket, SlideJoy, and ScreenPay are all advertising systems that pay you for putting up with an advertisement each time you unlock your Android-based phone.
Would you rather be on the other end of the direct marketing exchange? The Jingit app allows ads to be attached to your Facebook profile page on iOS and Android devices and earns you money depending on the number of clicks each ad receives.
- Opinion Polls – Apps such as survey.com, Surveys on the Go®, and i-Say pay you for your opinion on a variety of issues. Some are purely marketing-oriented; others are directed towards areas such as politics, social media, and trends.
- Contests – ESPN offers the Streak for the Cash app allowing you to predict games and win significant prizes for the longest streak of correct predictions spread over multiple sports. Other apps are available, usually sports-related, that offer similar deals – but beware of out-and-out gambling apps where you put up money to participate.
These are just a few of the options available to you. An hour or two spent on Internet searching will yield many interesting possibilities for you to consider.
Once you have chosen an app or two to use, do some background research on the company involved. The more reputable and established ones will have available reviews that you can use to check out the details of the tasks, terms and conditions, history of payment, and any complaints.
Be sure to check the system requirements of the app. Some apps are available only on iPhone or Android-based systems, and you may require a more up-to-date operating system than what you currently have.
If you have the time, see if any of these moneymaking apps can work for you. You are unlikely to make enough money to pay your entire phone bill – but perhaps you can put a dent in it, and every little bit helps.