When it comes to making money from apps, a lot of times you have to watch videos, take surveys, download games, etc.
Luckily, not all apps that pay require you to trade time for money.
Here are some of the best apps you can use to make money passively, doing nothing.
Data Collection Apps
Data collection apps are pretty straight forward. They pay you to keep the app installed on your phone and let them collect data on what websites you like or maybe what apps you use.
Many companies use these apps as a way to better understand consumer behavior.
Here are a few that will pay you for your data that is already being collected by many apps, websites, phone manufacturers, etc.
1. Panel App
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.
When it comes to data collection apps, MobileXpression has been one of the more well-known ones for a while.
MobileXpression pays you for letting them track your usage of the internet for market research purposes. They also have surveys you can take.
As a member of MobileXpression, you also can earn rewards through weekly sweepstakes as long as you have the app installed and running.
Also, if you're in the U.S., you're also supposed to be eligible for a free $5 Amazon gift card when you sign up.
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.
3. Embee Meter CX
Embee Meter CX is another data collection app that pays you based on your location.
You can earn $0.10-$2 per day or more via PayPal with it.
In order to cash out, you'll need at least $5 in earnings.
If you want to get paid passively for data collection as well as from referrals, you can earn up to around $180 per year with SavvyConnect.
You can have the app installed on as many as 3 devices that include desktop, mobile, and tablets.
Plus, each time you refer someone and they complete a project, you can earn a bonus of $5-$15.
Note: I'm not a financial advisor, nor do I claim to be one. You should consult a certified advisor before doing any investments.
Auto-Investing apps (or robo-advisor apps) are great for helping you build wealth over time.
They can help you automate your investing while also minimizing fees, since these apps use more software than active account managers.
Another benefit to these is the fact that you can get started with very little money. Whereas, with many traditional investment accounts, you would have to have at least a few thousand dollars to get started.
This app allows you to automate your investing without having much to start with.
One thing they're known for is their system of rounding up your credit card purchases to the nearest dollar. For example, if you bought a coffee for $3.50, it would round up the purchase to $4 and invest the extra $0.50.
This way, you would never really have to think about investing. It would be on autopilot.
Plus, to make it even simpler, they already have the investment types allocated into groups, so that you don't have to be an expert on what particular assets to invest in.
The asset groups are sorted into 5 levels based on how aggressive or safe you want to be.
If you're not sure how aggressive to be, read a book like Money Master The Game by Tony Robbins. In that book, many top investors recommend you invest more aggressively when you're young and more conservatively when you're older.
Now, to fully take advantage of Acorns, you might want to invest more than just your spare change. They also give you an option to automatically invest a certain amount into your portfolio every month to make it grow faster.
As far as fees, Acorns has a different approach than most companies.
They have flat-fee payment plans that either cost $1, $2, or $3 per month.
So, because they don't charge a percentage and instead charge a flat monthly fee, the less money you have in your Acorns account, the higher percentage you're paying and the less your portfolio can grow.
You may want to have around $3,000 or more in your account to compete with or even beat the low fees charged by Vanguard.
Betterment is another very successful auto-investing app and website.
Some of the best perks involved with using Betterment include:
- No additional trading fees to buy or sell securities.
- No additional transfer fees for depositing or withdrawing from your account.
- Unlimited, free, and automated rebalancing of your portfolio.
They have two main plans: Digital and Premium.
Here are the core details of the Digital Plan:
- 0.25% annual fee.
- $0 minimum balance. If the balance is $0, there will be no charges.
- Personalized financial advice on how much to invest and what allocation might be best.
- Low-cost, globally diversified portfolios.
- Advanced tax-saving strategies like automatic tax loss harvesting and asset location for increased after-tax returns.
- Sync external accounts to get a clear view of your money all in one place.
Here are the core details of the Premium Plan:
- 0.4% annual fee.
- $100,000 minimum balance.
- All of the benefits of the Digital Plan.
- In-depth advice on investments like real estate, individual stocks, 401(k)s, and others that are outside of Betterment.
- Unlimited access to Betterment's CFP professionals for guidance on major life events like marriage, parenthood, equity-based compensation, retirement, etc.
With Betterment, you can enjoy all these perks while auto-investing a set-aside amount of money each month for your portfolio.
You get the automation AND the low fees at Betterment.
Stash is another great app that lets you invest passively.
It has all kinds of tools for budgeting, savings, etc.
One feature I really like about it is you have the ability to invest in fractional shares.
This means you can invest in companies with really high stock prices like Amazon or Apple without having to have a minimum of one stock.
You can instead just purchase partial stocks (fractional shares).
Another perk with Stash is the low monthly payments. These are nice because they can save you money as you grow your porfolio.
When you mostly pay a flat monthly rate, as the portfolio grows you rate stays the same, so you pay a lower percentage in fees as time goes on.
On top of all that, you can invest with as little as $1, so that's just another reason Stash is a great for someone who wants to invest passively, but doesn't have a lot money set aside yet.
Unless you reside in a cave and live off the land, you probably do some grocery and retail shopping fairly often.
And, I'm willing to bet you wouldn't mind getting paid some of the money back that you spend at these different stores.
Luckily there are some great apps out there like Ibotta and Rakuten that give you as much as 40% back on some purchases, almost on autopilot.
With Ibotta, you can get paid to scan your receipts or put your grocery store card on file. You can also get paid to shop at places like CVS or Hotels.com.
It takes $20 to cash out and you can get paid via PayPal.
Just remember that you can't pile up receipts and scan them later. You have to scan them within a week of purchase.
Ibotta also has a referral program that lets you earn extra money off people who sign up with your link.
When people sign up through your referral link, they get a $10 bonus after scanning their first receipt and you get a $5 bonus. They also do occasional promotions that pay more for referrals.
Formerly known as Ebates, Rakuten is a great app and browser extension for getting cashback from online purchases from just about anywhere.
They have thousands of stores that you can earn money back from, big and small, just by having the free Rakuten app or extension.
Rakuten also has a great referral program where you get $25 and they get $10 when they signup with your invite link and spend $25.
If you have an Android device, you can make a little extra passive income from apps that put ads on your lockscreen.
One of the top lockscreen rewards apps out there is Slidejoy.
With Slidejoy, you can make an extra $10 or so per month from installing the free app on your Android device and allowing it to put an ad on your phone's lockscreen.
It doesn't really replace your current lockscreen, it just ads another one in front of it that contains the time, date, an ad, etc. It looks like this:
The only thing that changes, as far as unlocking your phone, is you swipe an extra time to go from the Slidejoy lockscreen to your original lockscreen.
In other words, you would just swipe twice to unlock your phone instead of once.
There is also a referral program you can take advantage of with Slidejoy that pays you 20% of your friends' earnings for the first month.
Make sure you cash out at least once per month or so, because your earnings can expire.
You'll only need a minimum of $1 to collect your money and you can cash out via PayPal or gift cards.
Also, Slidejoy can be combined with other Lockscreen apps like it to increase your earnings.
One of the other lockscreen apps you might consider trying is S'more.
With S'more, you can get paid for having ads on your lockscreen, as well as taking surveys, and completing offers.
You need to be at least 13 years of age or older (with parent's consent if under 18) to use the app, as well as live in the U.S. or one of its territories.
As far as how much S'more pays you, you get about $0.10 per day to keep the app installed and running ads on your lockscreen. Plus, you can make more money from doing surveys, watching videos, etc.
You can also earn about $0.25 for every person you refer to the app.
And don't forget to see if it works with other lockscreen apps like Slidejoy, so you can earn more passive income.
Price Change Rebate Apps
Another way to make some extra money without doing much is through apps that automatically pay you for price changes.
With Earny, you get paid when an item you bought goes down in price later on.
So, if you bought a camera on Amazon for $300 and the price was cut to $200 later on, Earny would try to get you that $100 refund for the difference.
But, you won't get to keep the entire refund. Earny gets paid by keeping 25% of the refunded amount, which is a fair price for helping get it in the first place.
They find these refunds by automatically scanning your emails, Amazon account or bank account and cross referencing what you paid for different items with the latest price of them.
Paribus is very similar to Earny.
With Paribus, you get paid when they scan your email, bank account or Amazon account for receipts of purchases.
They automatically look for the latest prices of the items you bought, and if the price has dropped, they will do what they can to get you a refund for the difference.
Just like Earny, they also take a 25% cut, but you can get it reduced a few different ways.
One way you can get the 25% cut reduced is by sharing on Facebook that you use Paribus. This gets you a 20% discount off of their cut.
Another thing you can do is refer friends to use the service, which will give you another 5% discount on their cut.
Another great way to earn some extra money is through something you already do daily: searching the web.
With Swagbucks, you can get paid to do lots of things:
- Watch videos
- Take surveys
- Refer friends
- Shop online
But, another interesting thing they pay you for is searching the web.
Instead of using Google to search online and get paid nothing, you can use Swagbucks to search and make a little extra money.
You'll just need $25 in your account to cash out and you can do so via PayPal, gift cards, etc.
15. Microsoft Rewards
With Microsoft Rewards, you can get paid in the form of Microsoft Store credit to use their browser and search engine.
This means, if you're signed into Microsoft Rewards, you can earn points by using the Microsoft Edge browser and Bing search engine for your internet searches on whatever device you want.
Level 1 members can earn up to 5 points per day or 150 points per month when using Bing with Microsoft Edge.
Level 2 members can earn up to 20 points per day and 600 points per month.
You can cash out by using your points towards sweepstakes or Microsoft Store purchases.
Another way you can earn passive income from searching the internet is with the Brave browser.
With Brave, they claim that you can browse for privately than with major browsers like Google Chrome.
Plus, you can get paid via Brave Rewards, which is supposed to let you earn up to 70% of what advertisers pay for ads that you see.
Right now, it doesn't pay a whole lot because it is a new browser and may not have a lot of advertisers yet, but you might get $5 or so per month.
And on top of all that, Brave does support Chrome extensions so you don't have to lose those if you switch.
I mean, sure. Technically, walking is not doing “nothing.”
But, if you do it every day regardless, and you start getting paid for it, that pretty much counts as passive income doesn't it?
That's why I decided to include apps that pay you for your steps.
Sweatcoin is becoming one of the most popular apps that pays you for walking.
The way it works is the app tracks your steps every day and pays you “Sweatcoins” for them.
Think of Sweatcoins as a digital currency that can be converted or exchanged for PayPal money, workout gear, or other things.
Once you've earned quite a few Sweatcoins from walking, you can use the marketplace within the app to spend them on the types of things I just mentioned.
Another type of app that can earn you passive income for doing almost nothing is photo apps.
I'm not talking about Adobe Stock or something like that where you have to be a professional to get accepted.
No, I'm talking more about apps that let you submit photos as an amateur who just likes taking pics with their smartphone.
Foap is an that helps you earn money from photos whether you're a professional photographer or not.
With Foap, you basically can sell your photos and videos by building an Instagram-like profile and letting companies or others pay you to use them.
You keep 50% of the profit and the other 50% goes to Foap to keep the company running.
This means you can earn about $5 every time your photo sells for $10 and it earnings are paid out via PayPal.