If there is one item we make sure we never forget when we leave the house, it’s our smartphone.

You are more likely to leave your wallet and driver’s license than your phone. Is this good or bad? Well, unlike a wallet that makes it easy to spend money, there are numerous ways you can make money with your smartphone, even when you forget your wallet!

Since there are so money different ways to make money when you use your phone, this list will be organized by how much time it takes to complete each activity.

If you only have a few minutes at a time, focus on the first recommendations as you will only need 15 minutes at the very most for these activities. When you have more time on your hands, or want to earn more cash per task, review the second half of this article to gather some ideas.

Perform Micro Tasks from Your Phone

One of my favorite ways to make money with my own smartphone is by performing micro tasks. In most cases, you only need 15 minutes or less to complete the job and you get paid. And, there is a wide variety of earning opportunities, so you should never get bored.

1. Swagbucks

Swagbucks is a near-universal favorite for getting paid to complete small tasks. Some tasks can be completed in five minutes such as the daily surveys, watching videos, playing games, and search the web. Sometimes, it will feel as if these tasks aren’t even “work.”

You will receive points for each completed task. These points can be redeemed for PayPal cash and gift cards starting at $3 for your favorite restaurants and retailers. And, you can earn your first $5 as a sign-up bonus!

2. InboxDollars

InboxDollars is probably the next largest “get-paid-to” platform after Swagbucks. There are many different ways to make money with InboxDollars that include reading sponsored email, taking surveys, watching videos, shopping, and performing web searches.

To double your daily earning opportunities, you might consider joining both platforms, Swagbucks and InboxDollars.

If you prefer earning cold, hard cash to gift cards, Inbox Dollars can be a better option. Plus, you will receive a $5 bonus just for signing up and completing your first activity.

3. MyPoints

MyPoints is the sister site to Swagbucks. The earning opportunities are virtually identical, but, the payment amounts and redemption prices for gift cards can be different.

For example, you might be able to earn 1,000 points from MyPoints and only 500 points at Swagbucks for the exact same activity. Or, MyPoints might be having a gift card sale for your favorite retailer and Swagbucks doesn’t.

You may or may not appreciate the overlap, but, if you already enjoy Swagbucks, you will know what to expect from MyPoints.

4. CashCrate

Another fun multi-faceted platform to make money with your phone is by joining CashCrate. You will earn cash for each survey you complete, online game you play, and friend you refer.

It’s also possible to make money by shopping through CashCrate and interacting with other community members through sponsored events.

5. instaGC

If you want to earn gift cards, which can be just as valuable as cash, instaGC can be a good option. You will get paid to take surveys, but, you can also make money by watching videos, shopping online, and playing games.

There are more than 360 gift card options to choose from and each gift card is delivered electronically.

6. Mechanical Turk

Do you want to earn Amazon gift cards? You should consider Amazon’s Mechanical Turk (MTurk) as an income stream. To be honest, MTurk is optimized for tablets and computers, but, there are some mobile-friendly tasks (HITs) as well.

You will need to determine what works best for your phone, but, some of the options include taking surveys, entering data from images, and classifying images with the proper category tags.

Get Paid to Take Surveys

Another popular and easy way to make money with your phone is by completing paid surveys. Retailers, product developers, and many Fortune 500 companies are looking for your opinion. And, they will pay you for it!

7. Survey Junkie

Do you only have time for surveys? Survey Junkie can be your best option as you will take surveys that help shape the product development and marketing campaigns of tomorrow. You will receive points for every survey you complete that can be exchanged for cash and gift cards.

8. Panel PayDay

Panel PayDay will connect you with paid survey panels and mystery shopping jobs to earn up to $75 per survey. Here are all the ways you can make money with Panel PayDay:

  • Online Surveys
  • Focus Groups
  • Discussion Groups
  • Mystery Shopping
  • Online Mini-Jobs

If you are selected for any of the online jobs, you can earn over $150 for each job! That’s pretty impressive if you ask me. As a new Panel PayDay user, you will also earn a $25 bonus by completing your first survey.

9. Vindale Research

Another survey finder that helps you connect with multiple survey sites is Vindale Research. You will get paid up to $75 for each survey completed.

You can also earn additional cash by watching videos and leaving feedback and also looking for special Vindale codes on select websites, you tell Vindale when and where you found the code and you get paid!

Vindale pays all members in PayPal cash or paper check. Once your account balance reaches $50, you can request instant payment.

10. Opinion Outpost

Opinion Outpost lets you earn cash or gift cards by taking surveys. As an added bonus, you earn an automatic entry into the quarterly $10,000 cash prize drawing for each completed survey as well.

You will be able to complete surveys on a variety of topics from consumer opinion polls to questions about your personal and political beliefs.

11. Ipsos I-Say

Ipsos I-Say is one of the longest-standing online survey communities. You will earn points for taking paid surveys, user-generated polls, and interacting with other members within the community.

They also offer an annual loyalty bonus that will award you bonus points each year based on the total number of surveys you complete. Points can be redeemed for gift cards or contest drawings.

12. Toluna

Another large survey community with an international presence is Toluna. In addition to taking surveys, you can also be paid to test products.

You can also earn additional points by participating in the user forums and playing games against other Toluna members within their social media platform.

13. Mindswarms

Not every survey is text-based where you must click the radio button ranging from 1 to 10 to leave your opinion.

Mindswarms is a video-based survey platform that pays you $50 PayPal cash for recording a 10-minute video response (that’s $300 an hour!) as you interact with a physical product or digital service. You can have the opportunity to share your opinion and physical reaction to seven questions provided by Mindswarms.

14. Harris Poll Online

Harris Poll Online is one of the oldest survey companies around and they let you take surveys from your Android and Apple devices. Governments, non-profits, and household brands partner with Harris to garner your opinion.

Points earned from each survey can be redeemed for cash or gift cards. You can also earn additional points by sharing your shopping purchases with the Harris ShopTracker program.


Mobile apps can in all shapes and sizes. You might have a half dozen apps you use on a regular basis to listen to podcasts, bank online, shop, check the weather, and to receive GPS driving directions.

Why not use an app that help you make money as well?

While most of the recommendations on this list offer an app to make it easier to earn money with your phone, these recommendations are optimized to make extra money through the mobile app.

15. Jobs2Shop

Jobs2Shop will pay you to mystery shop. After shopping “incognito” at a store or restaurant, you leave your feedback on the Jobs2Shop app.

Of course, you can also make money by taking mobile surveys, playing games, shopping online, and even redeeming digital coupons. You will get paid in cash and will earn a $5 sign-up bonus as a new Job2Shop member.

16. Paribus

It doesn’t get any easier than making money while you shop than with Paribus. All you have to do is link your email address or Amazon account to Paribus and when a price drops for your qualifying purchases at over 30 of the largest online stores, you receive the difference.

You can file price protection claims yourself and receive the price difference as a refund, but let’s be honest, how many times have you taken the time to request a partial refund? Probably never.

If you’re like me, you probably never knew you could request a cash back request after making a purchase.

17. Clarity Money

Clarity Money is an app that works similarly to Mint, at least in part. First, you can hook up your accounts to the app so it can help you analyze your spending data.

Clarity Money will also make suggestions for how you can save more money. The best part is, you can use these suggestions and take action right there, within the app.

Finally, Clarity Money can also help you negotiate and lower your bills. They can do this by applying coupons and discounts you may not even know you qualified for. Before they make any changes, they do ask for your permission, but after that, you’ll get to keep 66% of the savings.

Other than the 33% split Clarity Money earns for any bills they are able to lower on your behalf, the app is free to use.

18. Ebates

Ebates is one of my favorite apps since I (and you) can get 1% to 40% cash back on nearly any online purchase.

Even though Ebates can also be accessed from a tablet or computer, the Ebates app offers bonus cash back for select retailers that you won’t earn if you use the traditional Ebates web-based browser instead.

Each calendar quarter, Ebates will send you a “Big Fat Check” in the mail, PayPal cash, or a gift card (it’s your choice!) with the amount of your cash back balance. As a new Ebates member, you will automatically earn $10 bonus cash by making your first $25 purchase with Ebates.

19. Ibotta

Ibotta is a mobile app that helps you earn cash back every time you visit the grocery. Before you check out, activate the cash back offers within the app to earn the cash back at nearly any grocery store chain plus the discount stores like Walmart and Target.

There are two different types of cash back opportunities to activate. You might be able to earn cash back by buying a specific product like a 12-pack of Coca-Cola. Or, you can earn cash back when you purchase a loaf of bread or gallon of milk, regardless of the brand.

When you’re ready to cash out, you can request payment by PayPal, Venmo, or gift cards.

20. Receipt Hog

Receipt Hog is one of the most flexible receipt-scanning apps for grocery and non-grocery purchases.

All you have to do is snap a picture of any receipt and you will earn coins that can be redeemed for prizes like PayPal cash and Amazon gift cards. You can earn bonus cash by playing the Hog Slots, taking surveys, and entering contests.

21. Shopkick

No purchase is necessary to earn points with Shopkick, although you will earn bonus points when you do make a purchase.

To make money with Shopkick, you first need to download the app, then enable your phone’s location services. You will earn points for walking into the store and then you can earn more points by scanning product bar-codes and entering pricing data.

This can be a fun way to get your exercise and interact with the public. If you can visit several stores that are connected to each other, you might even be able to earn a free gift card each time you leave the house!

22. Slidejoy

Slidejoy is only available for Android users, but, you can get paid each time you unlock your phone. This is because Slidejoy will display an ad or video at the lock screen.

Whether or not you explore the ad further, you will earn points that can be redeemed for gift cards.  According to Slidejoy, the average user spends 10 minutes per day on the app which means you can use Slidejoy on the bus ride, during your break, or in your free time to make money from anywhere.

23. EasyShift

The EasyShift app pays you to mystery shop, take pictures of products and storefronts, check retail prices, and review promotions. With each shift (job) you will be given a checklist within the EasyShift app that lets you check each task checkbox that you complete in real-time.

Jobs are available in most U.S. cities and you will earn PayPal cash within 48 hours of completing the job.

24. Mobee

Mobee will pay you to mystery shop at your favorite stores. When you are on a time crunch, most missions take five minutes or less to complete.

While you are inside the store, you simply answer between five and ten questions on the Mobee app to complete the mission to earn points for cash, gift cards, and prizes.

25. National Consumer Panel

National Consumer Panel only requires one hour of your time every week.

Right before you go to bed one night, you can share your shopping activity for the week by scanning the receipts of products you bought with the NCP app and also share how much you paid and where you bought it.

You will earn points that can be redeemed for cash, gift cards, and prizes. National Consumer Panel will also increase you point payout the longer you remain an active member by consistently sharing your shopping history.

26. Nielson Digital Voice

By joining the Nielsen Digital Voice community, you can earn points for every hour you use your smartphone as Nielsen gauges how the average smartphone owner uses their phone.

Is it used to make calls, send text messages, surf the web, or interact with downloadable apps?

Join Digital Voice so they can find out and you’ll have the chance to earn cash prizes for your efforts.

27. Viggle

Viggle pays you one point per minute to watch your favorite TV shows and others that you may have never heard of before. Some shows will even give you bonus points for every 10 minutes of viewing. Points can be redeemed for gift cards, prizes, or prepaid debit cards.

How can you watch your favorite shows and earn points?

All you need to do is download the Viggle app to your Android your Apple phone and interact with the app as you watch the show on live TV, Amazon, Hulu, or Netflix.

There will be in-app bonus points opportunities including trivia questions and friendly competitions that will make the viewing experience even more enjoyable as well.

28. Perk.tv

Perk.tv is Viggle’s sister site. Some of the earning opportunities will overlap, but, you can also earn points by watching news clips and trailers to apps and movies.

Viggle is more focused on syndicated television shows, so it can be well worth your time to download both apps. And, you can pool your points between Perk and Viggle to earn rewards even sooner!

29. Qmee

Qmee pays you to search online at Google, Bing, or even the search engine for retail websites. Next to the regular search engine results, Qmee will show additional listings that might be of more interest to you.

It’s possible to earn bonus points by using Qmee digital coupons, taking the daily survey, and watching videos.

There isn’t a minimum payout threshold, so you can theoretically request PayPal payment every day and receive your cash balance in a matter of minutes!

30. AppNana

AppNana will pay you to download and test apps. Since new apps are constantly coming out, you can get paid to be one of the first people to test the newest apps and games.

Your rewards points (nanas) can be redeemed for gift cards or games.

31. Elusive Stars

Elusive Stars is an Android-only app that lets you test the newest apps for cash. When you are selected to be a tester, you have 24 hours to test the app and leave a review.

If you enjoy getting your hands on the latest technology, you will enjoy testing with Elusive Stars.

32. AppTrailers

You can also get paid to watch videos and app trailers from your smartphone with AppTrailers. Points can be redeemed for digital gift cards and PayPal cash.

If you refer a friend, you will earn bonus points for each video they watch. In all, AppTrailer users watch over 5 million videos a day, so, you won’t be the only user

33. Music Xray

If you enjoy listening to music, you can get paid to listen to new music and rate it at Music Xray. During the application process, list your favorite bands to hear new music from them or similar sounding bands, even independent bands that you might not hear anywhere else.

You will earn 10 cents per song that you listen too, plus, you can enjoy additional perks for being a loyal follower of bands you enjoy.

Selling Online

We all have something we can sell to make some quick cash when it’s needed most or even to provide a consistent stream of side income.

34. Bookscouter

While there are dozens of places to sell used books, one of the easiest ways is Bookscouter. You can enter multiple ISBNs at once and they will check the buyback prices of more than 42 vendors at once and provide all the information on a single screen.

Most vendors will provide a prepaid shipping label and will process your payment within 48 hours of receiving your books via PayPal.

35. Decluttr

Decluttr is an app that will buy back your unwanted DVDs, CDs, books, and electronics. Their app has barcode scanning capability that makes it easy to sell multiple items quickly and to accurately list the exact item you wish to sell.

Every order has free shipping and you will receive PayPal payment day after Decluttr receives your goods.

36. SecondSpin

One of the largest vendors for used CDs, DVDs, and games is SecondSpin. Since they specialize in selling used movies and games, you might check them out first because they might pay more.

SecondSpin doesn’t have a mobile app, but, you can still list your items with your phone through the phone’s mobile browser.

37. Foap

Foap is one of the very few apps that let you sell pictures online taken with your phone camera. This photo-selling app works with Apple and Android devices and you get paid when a company buys one of your photos as many large household brand names buy pictures from Foap to use in their advertising campaigns.

Whether you take pictures of everyday life or your most recent trip, there’s a chance you can make money with Foap.

Related Podcast

38. Parking Panda

You might be a landlord and didn’t even know it. You can rent your parking spot with Parking Panda to tourists that want a guaranteed place to park when they arrive in town or for local patrons that simply want to avoid the typical hassle of trying to find parking before a large event or game.

39. Poshmark

Poshmark is one of the leading clothing resale sites that my wife uses to buy and sell clothing. You can sell your items by snapping a picture with your phone and uploading the various pricing details.

When an item sells, Poshmark provides a prepaid shipping label that you attach to the package and the letter carrier will pick up directly from your house.

To improve your sales opportunities, learn where else you can sell clothes online.

40. Craigslist

When you want to sell unwanted items locally, you should consider installing the Craigslist app.

It’s free to list and sell which means no “middle man” commissions or shipping fees if you sell to a distant buyer. You might also like this option if you have bulky items to sell like furniture, exercise equipment, or old television sets.

As an alternative to Craigslist, you might also consider Letgo, Offerup, or Facebook Buy and Sell Groups that some sellers consider to be more smartphone-friendly and “modern” compared to the early Internet feel of Craigslist.

41. Gift Card Granny

Use Gift Card Granny to sell your unwanted gift cards. All you have to do is enter the serial number and gift card value into the app and Gift Card Granny will compare the buyback prices for the various gift card reselling websites.

You choose the best offer and you can get paid immediately. You can potentially earn up to 92% of the card value with each sale.

Side Hustles

This final section can be the most financially lucrative but these ideas can also require the most time. You might even be able to do some of the easier gigs mentioned above even when you are making money with these income streams mentioned below.

The beauty of owning a smartphone is that it makes multi-tasking easier than ever as you can start and pause project on-demand.

42. Airbnb

So, you need a spare bedroom or a vacant guest house or second home to make money with Airbnb.

As an Airbnb host, you open your doors to travelers that don’t want to stay at a hotel or rent a home through a more traditional booking site like VRBO. This can be a fun way to make some extra cash and all booking transactions can be completed with the Airbnb app.

43. DoorDash

You no longer have to work for a specific pizza or Chinese restaurant to be a food delivery person. DoorDash partners with many local restaurants so you can deliver a variety of different types of cuisine based on what DoorDash customers are hungry for at the moment.

So far, DoorDash has delivered over 10 million orders to hungry customers!

To get started, you only need a reliable vehicle or moped, a smartphone with the DoorDash app, and some basic Dashing gear. You will get paid weekly and can even earn tips!

44. Lyft

If you own a reliable, 4-door vehicle, you can become a Lyft driver and get paid to deliver people to their final destination. Once you pass a background check and your car passes a safety check, you will have the ability to accept ride requests with the Lyft app.

To help you begin earning as much money as possible from the beginning, be sure to read our Lyft driver tips.

45. Uber

Uber is the other large ride-sharing behemoth and can make an excellent side hustle like it did for this guy. Since you are an independent contractor with Uber and Lyft, it’s not uncommon for some drivers to drive for both companies at the same time so they can minimize their downtime and accept the highest-paying ride based on their current location.

Like Lyft, you will need to pass a background check and a vehicle safety check before you can begin accepting ride requests.

Related Podcast

46. Gigwalk

Gigwalk is an app that pays you to perform a variety of gigs around town. As a gigwalker, you might be asked to verify prices at local stores, take pictures of shelf displays to ensure the products are correctly placed, or you might also be asked to make sure public events are being held at the proper location and at the correct time.

Basically, you are the eyes and ears of national companies and you get paid in PayPal cash for your efforts.

You can become a gigwalker in most large U.S. and Canadian cities.

47. Field Agent

Field Agent is another app that is very similar to Gigwalk. You might compare both platforms to see which one provides better opportunities. Or, you can join both to increase your chances of getting paid to shop, track prices, and take pictures of specific displays and events.

Once you accept a job, you have two hours to complete the required tasks to receive PayPal payment.

48. Betterment

Betterment won’t necessarily provide immediate income because it’s an investing app, but, it can potentially be the most “hands-free” way to earn money from your smartphone.

All you have to do is decide how much money you want to invest each month and Betterment will invest it all in a basket of ETFs (Exchange Traded Funds) with a risk allocation that matches your age and investment goals.

Once the initial account setup is completed, all you have to do is log in to the Betterment app to check your passive income growth, increase your contribution amount, or make a withdrawal.

49. Ally Invest

If you want to invest to earn passive income but want to play a more active role by picking your own stocks, ETFs, and mutual funds, you need to look at Ally Invest.

All stock and ETFs trades cost $4.95 (that’s as low as you can go as a casual investor). Ally Invest also has a very functional mobile app that gives you the tools you need to make trades and research potential investments from your smartphone.

50. Lending Club

If you are looking for an alternative to traditional stock market investing, look at Lending Club. This peer-to-peer (P2P) lending platform lets you invest in “microloans” that can provide a better rate of return than CDs, bonds, and bank interest.

Investors can earn as much as 25%, but averages are usually between 3-8%.

Since you are “the bank,” you earn an interest payment every month the borrowers send their monthly payment to Lending Club. You can track your progress and invest in new notes with Lending Club’s mobile app.


A smartphone can be used for so many more functions than browsing social media, streaming movies and podcasts, or playing games in your free time for free.

There are so many different ways to monetize your hobbies with a smartphone. And the best part of all is that all you need is access to your cellular internet network or a Wi-Fi hotspot.

What are the three activities you want to start making money from first?

Paribus compensates us when you sign up for Paribus using the links we provided.

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