Here are 9 apps that make passive income without any work (updated 2021).
Let me know what you think in the comments below!
This post was updated 8/12/2021.
If you want to get paid to walk, Sweatcoin gives you the ability to do it. You just get the app, earn points for walking, and exchange those points for all kinds of prizes.
The app is available in 50 countries, tracks steps using GPS, and doesn't require wifi or data.
It only works outside, however, but will soon work inside as well.
You can earn a max of 150 Sweatcoins/mo or as much as 600 if you spend 30 Sweatcoins for the max membership.
You can also earn by watching ads and referring others (5 Sweatcoins per referral.
As far as rewards, they have 300+ partnered brands for deals/offers, and you can also get gift cards for PayPal.
Have you ever wanted to start investing but never have because of the cost? Acorns is an app that makes investing much easier.
It gives you $5 to sign up, and that also happens to be the minimum needed to start investing.
You just put a credit card on file, and every time you make a purchase, it rounds the cost up to the nearest dollar and invests the difference. It's probably the easiest way to start investing.
It also helps you invest based on your risk tolerance with 5 different portfolio types.
What's also nice is they have flat rate fees instead of taking a percentage of your portfolio.
This means you pay a smaller percentage of fees as your portfolio grows over time. For instance, you could be paying less fees for a portfolio with Acorns than you would with the gold standard, Vanguard, once you have roughly $3,000 invested.
That's pretty good!
And on top of all that, you can of course set Acorns to automatically invest more than just spare change to grow your portfolio faster.
With Stash, you have another app that makes it much easier to start investing while cutting down on the costs.
You get a $5 signup bonus at the beginning (also the minimum amount to start investing), let's you invest based on your risk tolerance as well as what industries you're interested in, and even pays you to refer others.
One feature I really like about it is you have the ability to invest in fractional shares. This allows you to invest in expensive companies without having to pay full price for 1 share.
Another perk with Stash is the low monthly payments. These are nice because they can save you money as you grow your portfolio (much like how Acorns works).
On top of all that, you can invest with as little as $1, so that's just another reason Stash is great for someone who wants to invest passively, but doesn't have a lot money set aside yet.
This app will give you some of the easiest money you will ever earn. All you do is sign up, install the app, and make sure it's working.
Then, it collects secured data about apps used, websites visited, etc.
This data just goes towards market research to help understand overall user behavior on mobile devices.
MobileXpression gives you $5 via Amazon gift card just for signing up and pays you a small amount annually to keep the app installed.
You can also earn $25 gift cards, iPads, Samsung TVs, and other sweepstakes.
When it comes to data collection apps, MobileXpression has been one of the more well-known ones for a while.
They also have surveys you can take to earn even more money on the side.
As far as requirements for the app, you can use it for both Apple and Android devices if you're at least 18 years old.
This app is for Android only.
5. Nielsen Mobile
Nielsen is a fairly well-known market research company that studies all sorts of data. One way to get paid a few hundred dollars per year by them is to use their Nielsen Mobile app on multiple devices.
It's fairly similar to other data-collection apps. You just sign up, install the app, and make sure it's working.
And yes, this is the same Nielsen that does TV ratings. They're a pretty well known market research company.
With their Nielsen Mobile Panel app, you can earn around $50 per year per device for data collection.
And, you can cash out via Visa, Amazon, and many other gift cards.
On top of that, you can also be put in a drawing to win sweepstakes that could pay out prizes of $25-$1000.
6. Rewards (Formerly Panel App)
Although the this app probably pays out the least out of all the other apps on this list, it is very easy to use and doesn't slow down your phone.
It is another data collection app that just needs to be running in the background while you use your phone as normal.
For extra money, you can take surveys on the app as well.
With the Panel App, you can earn money in the form of sweepstakes and prizes by keeping the app installed on your phone.
They tend to care more about tracking your location than your activity on websites or apps though.
As far as earnings, you might earn anywhere from $12-$84/year or more from it depending on your location, referrals, etc.
You can earn via gift cards to Amazon, Starbucks, etc.
7. Mobile Performance Meter
The Mobile Performance Meter app is pretty cool because it pays you to just run in the background and collect performance reports on how well your phone is connected in different locations.
In other words, the app doesn't worry about browsing data, apps used, or any of that. Instead, it focuses on your cell reception and how good it is.
With thousands of people using this app, phone carriers can get a better idea of what areas of the country phones work well and what areas need improvement.
And of course, you get a little passive income from having it installed.
You can earn up to $6 per month with this app, which translates to about $72 per year.
Get paid in the form of points for both letting the app collect data and doing surveys.
100 points = $1 and $5 must be earned before you can exchange them for gift cards to Amazon and many other places.
As far as the types of data they collect, it's nothing personal, just: What types of apps you use, Duration of phone calls, Date, time and amount of text messages sent, Speed of your network and duration of browsing sessions, Battery life, Survey responses.
8. Embee Meter CX
With Embee Meter CX, another data collection app, you can earn $0.1–$2 per day or more via PayPal based on your location.
In order to cash out, you'll need at least $5 in earnings.
Paribus is an app and online service that helps you get money back automatically for price changes of purchases.
For example, if you bought something online for $20 and the price later went down to $15, Paribus would give you $5 in cash back.
They used to take 30% of refunds as their cut, but it is now free thanks to the service being bought by Capital One.
There is no minimum to be paid and the money goes directly to the bank account that is linked through your card.
No Longer Working
One of the most useless parts of your phone is the lockscreen. It's mostly just there to show you notifications and a background picture, but you can't really do anything on it until you unlock your phone.
So, an app called Slidejoy was created to help you make money from this part of your phone. All it does is put ads on your lockscreen without taking away anything like the time, date, etc.
You just download the app and that's it. You earn points for having these ads on your phone, and you can exchange these points for PayPal money.
With Fronto, you have a very similar app to Slidejoy. You just get it on your Android phone (not available for iPhones), and once it's working, you just collect your money.
Just like Slidejoy and Fronto, you get paid by Adme to just have ads on your lockscreen for your Android phone. You do not have to engage with ads in any way to earn money either.
LifeSlide is yet another lockscreen ads app that pays you via PayPal. On top of the money you earn, you can also win weekly prizes if you're a fairly active user, which is a nice little bonus.
You can also refer people and make extra money that way.
SmartPhoneMate is another market research app that just collects data in the background after being installed. You can get paid in rewards to just keep it active.
Just make sure you see a little green check-mark under the “internet connection status” section of the app to make sure it's working.
Just like Acorns and Stash, you get a $5 signup bonus to start, the minimum amount to invest is only $5, and you get to invest easily through the Clink app.
What's really nice about it is you can set it and forget it by specifying how much you want to invest every day, week, month, etc. Plus, there are no transaction fees.