These days, many people are looking for their own ‘side hustle’. A way to easily make a bit of money to help with their expenses or get some more spending money. Some people sell used items, but that has an end once you run out of old items. Other people look for side jobs like walking dogs or doing small chores for people. Still more people sign up with companies that let you work on your own schedule like Uber or DoorDash. While these jobs can be great, they also take time and resources (usually a car), putting them out of reach for many people.
So, what’s left? Well, modern smartphones have given us some great money-making apps that we can use to earn right from the comfort of our own homes. And there are even some apps that give out money for free. That’s right – free!
But that sounds too good to be true, so what’s the catch? Well, it’s true, the apps do want something in exchange. Most apps are interested in information – such as your opinion on advertisements and products or data about your shopping habits. To provide this information, you usually just need to fill out some surveys or watch some ads. In other words, you can earn money without having to give too much time, and you are more than free to do other things at the same time. So, you can earn while on the bus, watching TV, or waiting for an appointment. For anyone looking for some pocket money, it’s a great setup!
But not all free money apps are created equal, so which ones should you use? Hopefully, this article will help you learn about some of the apps you can start using.
The Money App
This app is one of the highest-rated ‘free money’ apps on the market – with 4.7 stars in the Google Play store and 4.9 stars in the Apple Store.
The Money App collects market research from users and pays them ‘credits’ in exchange. Once you have enough credits to meet the cash out the minimum, you can get paid directly to your PayPal Account.
While there’s nothing especially new or surprising about how this app works (there are lots of apps that pay you for surveys after all), what makes Money App stand out is the many positive app reviews it has. While most ‘free money’ apps get complaints on how long it takes to earn enough money to cash out, this app has many reviews that actually say how quickly users were able to earn money. Of course, each person has their own version of what it means to earn money quickly, so quick money to one person might be too long for you.
But, it with so many 5-star reviews, Money App is certainly worth a try. You can also visit their website to learn more or contact the company.
SlideJoy is different from most free money apps because it doesn’t actually require you to spend any time actively earning money.
The app puts advertisements on your phone’s lock screen so that every time you open your phone you see an ad. SlideJoy gets a commission from the advertising company for showing you the ad and uses that money to reward you with ‘carats’ for downloading the app and seeing the ads. These ‘carats’ can be redeemed for cash or gift cards.
You don’t get rewarded every time you see an ad, but when you do get paid it is the same amount whether or not you click on the ad. So, you only have to click on ads if you want to learn more about the product. The ads will also be targeted to you based on your demographic information and even geolocation, so you might actually see ads you do want to click on sometimes.
SlideJoy is a good free money app because it doesn’t require you to change any behavior or take any time out of your day. Unlike apps that make you take surveys or watch videos, you can earn money with SlideJoy without any incremental time investment on your side. Unfortunately for iPhone users, SlideJoy is only available on Android for now.
Reviews on this app are mixed, and it has 3.9 stars on the Google Play Store. Several reviewers seemed to be having issues with redemption options, especially PayPal, which the company has said they are working to fix.
Despite these potential issues, SlideJoy is still worth your time to try because it doesn’t require you to put in much effort. You can learn more and decide for yourself by downloading the app or by visiting their website.
Inbox Dollars is probably one of the most popular ‘free money’ apps on the app store – it has over 95,000 reviews in the Google Play store and over 110,000 reviews in the Apple Store. And, according to the company, they have paid out almost $60 million in rewards to users!
The app is called ‘Inbox Dollars’ because the company emails you surveys and other opportunities to earn money. According to the company’s website, the surveys usually take between 3 to 25 minutes and payout $0.50 to $5 per survey. You can also make money by watching videos and playing games. For these activities, you get paid cash which can be redeemed once you reach $30 in value. You can choose to be paid by gift card, prepaid visa, or a physical check mailed to your door.
Some other activities give you cashback or coupons for future purchases. For example, if you use an offer on the app when shopping online, you can get a percentage of your purchase back in cash through the app.
Reviews on this app are fairly positive, with 4.5 stars for the iOS version and 4.1 stars for the Android version. Some reviews seem to indicate that the website has more surveys than the app, and the main complaint about the app is that it takes a long time to earn money.
The Swagbucks app is less popular than InboxDollars when it comes to free money apps – it has 42,000 reviews in Google Play and 20,000 Apple Store – but the website is very popular. As the website gets more attention, the app is also starting to get more well known as one that pays fairly well for the amount of time you put into it. This certainly seems to be true, since Swagbucks says it has already paid out over $400 million to users, and that it gives out over 7,000 gift cards every day.
Swagbucks is very similar to InboxDollars in that it pays you to take surveys, watch videos, or search the web. You can also use the app or website when shopping at certain online retailers and get about 1% back in ‘Swagbucks’. Swagbucks are worth a penny each, so 100 Swagbucks equals $1. While it isn’t certain how long it will take you to earn Swagbucks, taking surveys usually give you from 40 to 200. So, this does seem to be an app that pays out more generously than many ‘free money’ apps.
Reviews of the Swagbucks app are pretty positive, with the app getting 4.4 stars in the Apple Store and 4.2 stars in the Google Play store. Most reviewers seem generally happy with Swagbucks as a program, but say the app has some technical issues. However, these same reviewers seem to indicate that the website has no such issues. So, it might be recommended to use the website a bit more than the app if you can.
Are these free money apps really worth it?
There are a lot of ‘free money’ apps out there – the ones listed above are just the tip of the iceberg. The main issue you’ll probably have with them is that it can sometimes take a long time to earn money, and many have cash out minimums. While this can be a bit annoying it’s part of the game when it comes to getting ‘free money’ – you’re really trading your time for the money just like any other job. But there is a major benefit in that you can use these apps on your own time, and while doing something else like watching TV. But as long as the time you put in is worth it for you, then some of these apps can be great ways to get some extra pocket money.
If you are really interested in other money earning apps, you may want to download an app called Earn Extra Income, which lists top money-making and rewards apps that are available for you. They even provide a rating system for features like ‘ease of use’ and ‘fun factor.’ This can be a good way to make sure you start using a ‘free money app’ that you can stick with long enough to earn a fair amount of money.
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- “Inbox Dollars.” Apple Store, Apple, https://apps.apple.com/us/app/inboxdollars-surveys/id1221433007.
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- Sun, Carolyn. “Top 10 Moneymaking Apps You Need to Download Now.” Entrepreneur, Entrepreneur, 10 May 2018, https://www.entrepreneur.com/slideshow/312793.
- Wuerch, Jason. “Take $10 Off Your Phone Bill By Unlocking Your Screen With SlideJoy.” Frugal for Less, Frugal for Less, 13 May 2015, https://www.frugalforless.com/take-10-off-your-phone-bill-by-getting-paid-to-unlock-your-screen-with-slidejoy/.
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- “Swagbucks.” Apple Store, Apple, https://apps.apple.com/us/app/swagbucks/id640439547.
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- Wong, Kristin. “4 Free Apps That Can Earn You Extra Cash.” The New York Times, The New York Times, 13 Feb. 2018, www.nytimes.com/2018/02/13/smarter-living/cash-back-apps.html.