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If you spend a lot of time each day on your phone, you may as well put that time to good use and start earning money through mobile apps. Whether you want to get paid for shopping, walking, watching videos, or even playing games, you can find an app that pays in real money.
You can also find games that pay in cryptocurrency or NFTs, which you can resell for crypto or U.S. dollars. But if you are looking to put actually dollars into your PayPal account, which you can transfer to your bank account or use for online shopping, you’ll find more than you might imagine.
Do Any Apps Pay You Real Money?
If you are wondering whether any apps pay users real money, the answer is a resounding yes. Many of the apps listed in this article pay in cash deposited directly into your bank or PayPal account. Others give you a choice of cashing in points for gift cards from top retailers like Amazon or Target. In many cases, these gift cards as are good as cash. After all, we all need to eat and buy household goods, and with prices in stores near record highs, it’s good to get some help with free gift cards.
GOBankingRates did the research on apps that pay you money to find the ones that pay the fastest, the ones that pay the most, and the ones that will give you bonus dollars just for signing up.
Swagbucks helps you earn points, known on the platform as SB, which you can redeem for cash deposited into your PayPal account or for gift cards at retailers like Walmart, Apple or Amazon. If you had an account in the past but haven’t used it, you may want to reconsider. You can earn an instant 700 SB immediately just for reactivating an account that’s been inactive for more than 12 months. You can turn around and cash in those SB for a $5 Amazon gift card (with 200 SB left), or you can use 490 SB for a $5 virtual prepaid Mastercard you can use toward online shopping.
Earn even more SB by sharing your referrer code, completing surveys, or shopping at retailers like Kohl’s and Home Depot. Add the SwagButton extension to your Chrome browser to earn even more.
Rakuten, formerly Ebates, also pays you cash back for sharing your referral code, shopping at many e-commerce retailers, and when you shop in-store with a linked card. With Rakuten, you earn actual cash deposited into your PayPal account every three months. Some of the biggest payouts come from travel purchases booked through Expedia, and referrals, which earn you $30 per person. Add the Rakuten browser extension to find the best deals when you shop, too.
Along with Swagbucks and Rakuten, Ibotta is one of the more well-known shopping rewards apps that pays you cash back. Use the app when you shop in stores or online at thousands of retailers to earn cash back. You can also download the Ibotta extension to your browser so you can intentionally choose the retailers that give you cash back and activate the offer with one click. Redeem cash for gift cards or cash back through PayPal. You must have at least $20 in your account to withdraw your earnings to PayPal.
MyPoints offers a $10 welcome bonus in the form of an Amazon or Visa gift card when you sign up and spend $20 or more within your first 30 days. The website says that 1,750 points equals $10. You can earn up to 20 points per dollar in cash back when you shop, up to 2,200 points for each survey you take, and up to 4 points when you play online games.
Fetch also delivers rewards that you can exchange for Visa gift cards or for gift cards at places like Starbucks or Amazon. Using Fetch, 10,000 rewards points equals $10. When you refer friends, you’ll earn 2,000 points, so once you get five friends taking photos of their receipts and earning rewards, you’re looking at $10 you can use at Amazon, Starbucks and a host of other popular online retailers.
6. Blackout Bingo
Blackout Bingo is a mobile game developed by Skillz and available on the App Store and Galaxy Store. With a 4.5-star average rating on both platforms, this twist on Bingo gives you an opportunity to win cash prizes.
Blackout Bingo is one of the most popular Skillz games, but when you open an account, you gain access to 400-plus games where you can win real cash prizes. Your deposits and rewards are available across all games, so you’ll never get bored.
7. Toluna Influencers
Toluna is a market research firm that allows consumers to participate in online surveys and earn rewards through PayPal, Amazon or Tango Card. Earn 500 points to get started when you register your account. You’ll need 30,000 points to cash in for a $10 gift card. But some premium surveys can earn more than 290,000 points. Some surveys take roughly 20 minutes and deliver 4,000 points. At that rate, it would take roughly 2.5 hours to earn $10. That doesn’t make this one of the fastest-earning or highest-paying apps, but if you enjoy taking surveys, it could be a good way to spend time while earning cash.
8. Opinion Outpost
If you haven’t realized it yet, taking surveys is a fun and easy way to earn money online. Opinion Outpost is another survey site, which pays roughly 10 points per survey. One hundred points can be redeemed for a $10 gift card to retailers like Amazon, Home Depot and Target. You can also redeem your points for cash directly deposited into your PayPal account within three business days. Opinion Outpost says that some surveys pay as much as 250 points, which means $25 in your pocket.
Dscout is a market research app that goes beyond stories to recorded and live video interviews with scouts, who share information about their daily lives, product feedback, and complete other fun missions. If you’re comfortable on camera and like sharing your opinions, you’ll love getting paid for it. Some of the surveys that are open have rewards of $75 to $100. You can download the app via the App Store or Google Play and upload your responses, videos and photos through your phone. The app pays through PayPal.
10. Mode Earn
Mode Earn is a unique concept in earning money on your phone. First, the company provides you with a phone for just $9.99 a month. The Mode Earn Phone compares favorably to iPhones and Samsung Galaxy models, and it runs on the Android operating system. The phones are compatible with many major carriers, including T-Mobile and Mint Mobile. You can also earn $50 when you refer friends.
11. Solitaire Cube
Solitaire Cube is a mobile game where you can earn cash, and it’s easy to learn and play. After all, most people have already spent hours of their lives playing the classic Klondike Solitaire game. Play head-to-head against other players and enter tournaments for cash prizes. It’s available on the App Store and Galaxy Store.
Some apps pay you to take surveys. Others pay you to shop. Many let you earn money playing games. InboxDollars combines them all to help you ramp up your rewards. You can earn a fast $5 in real cash just for signing up and clicking the confirmation email, and another 50 cents for completing a quick demographics survey. You can cash out in gift cards or cash directly to PayPal when you have $15 in your account.
13. Nielsen Computer & Mobile Panel
If you want to get paid for watching YouTube on your phone, consider joining the Nielsen Computer & Mobile Panel. When you download the Nielsen app on your computer or mobile device, you can earn up to $60 per year. Redeem the points for PayPal credits or gift cards. You can also earn game tokens for a chance to win instant prizes, and Nielsen holds a $10,000 monthly sweepstakes for its participants.
Information is accurate as of Nov. 15, 2022.