17 Best Money-Making Apps That Pay You in 2021Cash Back Apps and Sites
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In this article we’re going to look at the best money-making apps for 2021.
If you’re one of the 95% of Americans who own a smartphone, you probably paid a pretty penny for it.
Well, 2021 is the year when you make your smartphone start earning its keep and pay for itself!
Check out all the money-making sites and apps below and put your phone to work.
1. This app pays you to go into stores.
Did you know there’s an app called Shopkick that gives you gift cards simply by walking into stores?
You don’t even have to buy anything (though you earn more gift card points if you do).
So whether you’re a mall rat or just somebody who goes shopping every now and then, you stand to make a little extra cash this way.
2. This app gives you free Amazon gift cards.
You will get a $5 bonus toward Amazon gift cards if you sign up through our Swagbucks $5 bonus link!
So Swagbucks is basically my free Amazon gift card secret weapon.
And frankly I have no idea how many free Amazon gift cards I’ve gotten through Swagbucks.
But whatever the number is, it’s definitely in the hundreds of dollars. It may actually be over $1,000 at this point.
And then you redeem these points for things like free Amazon gift cards or even PayPal cash.
Generally, you need 2,500 Swagbucks to purchase a $25 Amazon gift card.
But once a month Swagbucks lets you redeem a $25 Amazon gift card for only 2,200 Swagbucks!
I do this pretty much every month.
3. Get paid to share your opinion
Surveys are one of the quickest ways to make money from your phone
The trick is that there are only a few legit survey sites. We recommend Survey Junkie.
It’s 100% legit, and they do not send you spammy junk emails.
Their payouts are excellent, and they pay you in cash via PayPal.
Survey Junkie has an 8.9/10 rating on TrustPilot — the highest of any online survey company.
And they also have some really fun surveys.
For example, in the screenshot below you’ll see a pretty awesome music review survey that I recently did. I made $50 reviewing music! ?
Now, I must tell you that not all surveys are this fun, and not all pay this well, but every once in a while you get a great one like this!
Also, it’s satisfying knowing that companies will use my opinions and inputs to make decisions about not only music, but also food, restaurants, consumer products, movies, and a lot more.
4. Get paid to walk with this app.
I just got paid $10 for walking, paid in cash via PayPal!
There’s a new app, Sweatcoin, that will pay you for every step you take.
It motivates me to go for more runs, take the stairs more often, and be an all-around more active person.
5. This app pays you to play games.
Mistplay is a free new app that rewards you for downloading games from the App Store or Google Play Store through its own interface.
As you level up in the mobile games, you earn more points that you can redeem for gift cards at Amazon, VISA, PlayStation, Xbox, Apple, Starbucks, and more.
6. Use this app to invest in stocks.
There are plenty of great places to open up a stock-investing account, but the one that’s getting us hot and bothered at the moment is the Acorns app.
Hands-Free Investing with Acorns
Acorns is great because it does all the work for you. You tell it your age and financial goals, and it develops a custom portfolio for you based on empirical data, not the latest hot stock tip.
Get Free Money In Your Account
You also get free money deposited into your dividend stocks simply for shopping with brands through the Acorns app at no extra charge to you.
For example, last week I took an Uber, and I got $0.50 deposited into my Acorns account!
There are a lot more other cool features, but for now, I suggest you to read our review and download Acorns for yourself to see what it can do for you.
No matter if the stock market goes up or done, we still get dividends deposited into our Acorns account every quarter!
7. Get cash back on stuff you buy anyway.
One way to create passive income with no money is to get paid for doing things you do anyway, like going shopping.
There’s a little-known app called Ibotta ($10 bonus if you click here) that literally gives you cash back on things you buy anyway, just for taking pictures of your shopping receipts!
To date, I have made $5,442.89 from this little app.
And yes, they pay you cash through Paypal!
And oh yeah, if you sign up with Ibotta through our special $10 bonus link (click here), you’ll get a $10 bonus when you submit your first receipt!
8. Play a free slots app to win money (and get 300 bonus coins!).
Long Game (click here for 300 bonus coins) is a free app that basically gamifies and rewards you for your savings.
Here’s how Long Game works:
(1) You deposit money into your Long Game account and earn interest on it. Note that this money belongs to you, just like it does in your bank account. Long Game does not collect any fees out of the money you put in, and you can withdraw it at any time.
(2) Long Game gives you coins depending on how much you have saved in your Long Game account.
(3) You use these coins to play slot games with prizes ranging from $100 to $1,000,000!
So while you do have to put money into the app to play, this money belongs to you, not the house!
How does Long Game make money to pay their employees as well as your winnings?
Easy. Long Game earns interest on the money you deposit, and it’s out of this interest that it pays out the winnings.
9. Get paid to get gas with this app.
GetUpside is a free app that gives you cash back for every gas station receipt you submit!
Also, if you sign up through our link, you get a 20¢ per gallon bonus the first time you fill up!
If you drive a lot (or even if you don’t), this can add up to a decent chunk of change!
10. Get paid to use less electricity with this app.
Arcadia Power is a free service that rewards you for saving energy when it matters most to the grid and the environment.
You will receive a notification about once per week to save energy for an hour.
If you save energy, you receive cash.
11. Monitor your credit score with this app.
While this isn’t directly a way to generate passive income, checking on your credit score and finding ways to improve it can passively grow your net worth.
How so? Well, by simply increasing your credit score a little bit, you can, for example, pay less in interest, which will grow your wealth in the long-term.
We’ve found that Credit Sesame is the best free website that can calculate and monitor your credit score.
12. Check out this free money-saving bot.
Sometimes the best way to make money is to save money.
Subscriptions, especially those that go unused, can add up over time.
Thankfully, there’s a free money-saving bot called Cushion that will go through all your subscriptions, let you know how much you are paying for each of them every month, and cancel them with a simple text message if you’d like.
And Cushion not only keeps track of your subscriptions, but it also negotiates your monthly bills such as cable and Internet so you keep more money in your pocket.
Cushion users have saved over $8,000,000! To learn other benefits that Cushion can offer you, check out our full-scale Cushion review.
13. Quickly check to see if you’re paying too much for insurance.
One expense that slips by most people without being checked every now and then is homeowners or renters insurance.
See, the traditional insurance company model is getting more and more outdated with their high deductibles and premiums.
Take new insurance company Lemonade for example.
They take a simple flat fee, and everything else goes into a collective claims pool that they protect for their users in case they need to make a claim.
Since Lemonade doesn’t profit from the claims pool (like other, older insurance companies), leftover money is donated to charities that users choose when they sign up.
Lemonade’s self-stated goal is to transform insurance from a necessary evil into a social good.
They offer renters insurance for as low as $5 a month and homeowners insurance for as low as $25 a month.
14. Get paid to lose weight with the HealthyWage app.
If you can commit to shedding some pounds, it may pay off handsomely for you to cut that habit because you can literally get paid to lose weight through a new company called HealthyWage.
Check out this Good Morning America special on HealthyWage that explains how it works:
You can bet as little or as much as you want, but obviously the more you bet, the more you stand to win!
Also, you can bet on your weight loss of any period between 6 and 18 months.
15. Get a free 401(k) analysis from your phone.
If you’ve ever worked in corporate America, you probably have a 401(k) retirement plan through your current or former employer.
And while your 401(k) is generating passive income for you, it’s possible that it’s not optimized for the best performance.
Just improving your returns by 1% a year can make a huge difference.
Let’s say you have $50,000 in your 401(k), and it will earn you 6% over time.
Increase your returns so that you earn 7% a year will mean over $65,000 more in your 401(k) over 30 years’ time.
A properly-optimized 401(k) can generate for you additional tens or even hundreds of thousands of dollars over time.
That’s where Blooom comes in.
When you sign up for Blooom, your 401(k) will immediately be optimized based on the options available to you, and your hidden fees will be minimized.
16. Budget, or at least know where your money’s going every month.
We all have blindspots in our cash flow, and it’s important to nip them in the bud now before they add up over the years.
(Remember, saving a measly $5 now could mean an extra $364.45 in retirement! Can you imagine how you can grow your money if you saved an extra $5 every month?)
We use the free app Personal Capital to track our monthly spending.
Your account balances are updated in real time!
We personally use it to track our wealth and love the easy-to-use interface.
Check out the video below to learn more about how Personal Capital can help you keep your finances on track.
17. Get paid to watch videos on your phone.
Believe it or not, there is an app out there that will pay you to watch videos on your phone.
This app is called Swagbucks, and you can get a $5 sign-up bonus if you sign up through my Swagbucks $5 bonus link!
Logan is a practicing CPA, Certified Student Loan Professional, and founder of Money Done Right, which he launched in 2017. After spending nearly a decade in the corporate world helping big businesses save money, he launched his blog with the goal of helping everyday Americans earn, save, and invest more money. Learn more about Logan.