One-third of Americans need a side gig to help pay for their daily, weekly, and monthly expenses. This need for extra income has generated the gig economy — in which there are thousands of apps to connect you with companies and clients to perform a wide range of work in your spare time to make a supplemental income.
Due to the popularity, need, and the number of money-making apps, it may be hard to sift through which ones are creditable and those that may waste your time.
The following money-making apps are considered among the best either because they are free, have a commendable reputation, pay the most money, or a combination of all these things.
To fully determine what makes a money-making app worthwhile, you’ll need to understand the nature of its business, how much you will be paid for your services, and how you will be paid.
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Best Money-Making Apps
While money-making apps won’t provide a substantial income, they can help you out with the rent, a car payment, medical expense, or any other expense you’ve been looking to make.
With a computer or your smartphone, you can download the following apps that align with your work capabilities and time to make some extra cash.
Swagbucks — a subsidiary of Prodege, an internet and media company — is a free online rewards system that pays you for completing online activities such as taking polls and surveys, searching the web, discovering deals, and watching videos.
Finishing these tasks will earn you SB points, and each SB point equals one cent (with 100 SB points equaling one dollar). Depending on the online activity, its legs, and its involvement, you will learn more or less SB points. For instance, you may earn 40 to 200 SB points for taking a survey depending on how many questions are asked.
Swagbucks’ rewards program will pay you via PayPal cash or you may redeem your SB points for a gift card to a large number of major retailers. Most Swagbucks members earn anywhere from an extra $50 to a few hundred dollars a year in extra money, and it is not uncommon for members to break the $1,000 threshold.
MyPoints is similar to Swagbucks and is a free rewards program app. After signing up, MyPoints will give you points to answer surveys. You can then redeem these points for gift cards to a variety of retail stores, PayPal cash or Visa debit card, and/or travel miles.
Additionally, you can earn points by shopping online, finding deals, downloading mobile apps, playing games, and watching videos. Answering market research surveys can earn you up to 400 points, completing a playlist of videos can earn you 500 points, and searching the web can earn you 170 points. However, it is unclear how many points equal a dollar or travel mile until you become a member and redeem your points.
3. Capital One Shopping
Capital One Shopping is yet another free app that works quietly in the background of your internet browser to find discounts on your purchases when you are shopping. Capital One Shopping works to save you money and provide deals from local merchants and online vendors when you shop at their stores.
When you shop at stores, you will receive rewards points that you can redeem for gift cards. Capital One Shopping provides comparison shopping online, but you can also use your phone to scan barcodes to find better prices.
Acorns is an investing, saving, and retirement app all in one. It is free to download but there is a $1-a-month fee for the light plan, a $3-a-month fee for the personal plan, and a $5-a-month fee for a family plan.
Acorns will link to your credit card or checking account, and every time you make a purchase it rounds up to the nearest dollar. It then puts the difference into your Acorns account and invests it.
For instance, if you spent $2.75 at a convenience store, it will round up to $3, pulling $0.25 out of your checking account to invest it in stocks. This can add up if you’ve connected your Acorns account to pull from every expense you make on your credit card or checking account.
Additionally, you may invest in an individual retirement account (IRA). Acorns has over 300 companies you can invest in, and you may choose to invest conservatively, moderately conservatively, moderately, moderately aggressively, and aggressively. You can transfer funds from your Acorns account to your checking or savings account at any time without penalty.
The Drop app is another free rewards-based program in which you’ll earn points for every purchase you make.
You can earn points from food purchases, shopping, and travel expenses, and can redeem them for gift cards at a variety of major retail vendors. Additionally, you may earn points for playing games, and taking surveys.
When you’re shopping online, Rakuten will help you get cash back for shopping at over 2,500 stores. When your cash back grows to a certain amount you can get paid by check or PayPal cash.
Additionally, Rakuten will alert you when a better price is available on a product you are browsing, and will provide you coupons for your purchase when you check out.
Companies pay Rakuten a commission to prompt you to shop at their stores, and Rakuten shares that commission with those who use the app through cash back, PayPal, and check. You will get $10 to join, and a welcome bonus if you spend $25.
Upwork connects freelancers with clients. Those who are looking to have work done can post a job and hire someone, and freelancers who are looking to work can find projects to work on.
Professionals who are looking for work and those who desire to have projects done for them can find each other to discuss Web development and IT, design and creative, sales and marketing, writing, customer support, accounting, and a variety of other projects. Professionals who need work done can post a project and what they are willing to pay, and a freelancer could pick up this job and complete it.
Conversely, a freelancer may use Upwork to find hundreds of projects within their scope of work, and even post and sell predefined work such as logo designs, articles, and blog posts.
Upwork has one-off projects, as well as ongoing projects for large organizations.
How to Earn Money With Apps
There are several ways you can make money through the apps on this list. That is why it is crucial to understand the nature and scope of the business of these apps. With the money-making apps above (and many more), you can make money through:
- Earning cash back from making purchases;
- Completing small tasks such as surveys, shopping, watching videos, and surfing the Web;
- Completing larger tasks such as becoming a virtual assistant through Upwork;
Many of the money-making apps above are free to use, and you don’t have to put any money down to start earning cash for your services.
How Much Money Can You Make With an App?
Because money-making apps differ in their scope of work, you’ll earn varying amounts of money.
For instance, Swagbucks says that it is not uncommon to break the $1,000 threshold in a year by performing smaller tasks. Upwork, where you will perform larger tasks, may yield higher earnings if you continuously perform work through the site for a year.
As always, you’ll earn more money if you perform more work.
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