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25 Best Money-Making Apps for 2021

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Money-making apps provide an easy way to earn extra money with very little effort. Most of them are simple to use and only take a few minutes a day. Some apps run in the background on your phone, others pay you for completing tasks, and some even provide great side hustle opportunities.

So, if you spend a lot of time on your phone, why not make money doing it? Here’s our list of the best money-making apps for 2020.

1) Instacart

Do you enjoy grocery shopping? Demand for grocery delivery services are hotter than ever, and you can take advantage by becoming a personal shopper for Instacart.

With Instacart, you get to set your own schedule and earn extra money when it is convenient for you. Once you have an order, simply go to the supermarket to pick out the customer’s shopping list. Then, deliver their groceries right to their door. You’ll be paid for each delivery, plus you can earn even more through tips.

Learn more about delivering for Instacart here.

2) DoorDash

Like grocery delivery, the demand for takeout has skyrocketed. By delivering for DoorDash, you can make money by delivering meals from your customers favorite restaurants straight to their door.

As a delivery driver, you set your own schedule. Simply turn on the app and start grabbing orders. You can deliver orders using your car, bike, or scooter, and you’ll get paid for each order you deliver plus tips. It’s a pretty sweet gig that you can do whenever you have free time.

Learn more about DoorDash here.

Apps That Pay You in Cash Back

3) Dosh

Dosh pays cash back for shopping at your favorite stores, restaurants, and more. You’ll even earn cash back at any one of more than 600,000 hotels.

It is super simple to use. Just download the app, link your payment cards, and then spend like you usually do. You can redeem cash back rewards once you reach $25, with payouts via PayPal and Venmo.

Learn more about Dosh.

4) Rakuten

Formerly known as Rakuten, Rakuten snags you cash back for online purchases at more than 2,500 stores. Shop online or through the Rakuten mobile app. Not only can you earn cash back, but Rakuten also gives you access to discount codes to find the best deals on what you need. Join Rakuten for free and receive a $10 bonus.

Download Rakuten and start earning today.

5) Capital One Shopping

Capital One Shopping helps you save in three ways: Capital One Shopping Credits, coupon and promo codes and price comparisons. Search for deals, click on them, and earn Credits you can redeem for gift cards at popular retailers.

Capital One Shopping compares prices across thousands of retailers while you shop on Amazon, Target and more to help make sure you get incredible deals on purchases. Download the browser extension to apply coupons and discount codes automatically at checkout or use the mobile app in-store to scan barcodes to locate better deals. (Disclosure: Capital One Shopping compensates us when you get the browser extension using the links provided.)

Get started with Capital One Shopping.

6) Fetch Rewards

Want to earn rewards every time you go grocery shopping? Download Fetch and start scanning your grocery receipts to earn rewards. Cash in as little as $3 in rewards for gift cards to popular retailers. Fetch even searches your email for Amazon and online grocery receipts. When you sign up, enter the code “APREWARDS” to earn a bonus 3,000 points!

Get started with Fetch.

7) Ibotta

Ibotta is another cash back app that helps you make money on your everyday purchases. Plus, you get a $20 bonus just for using the app! Use the app or browser extension to find offers. Shop and pay through the app to earn cash back rewards both online and in person.

Get started with Ibotta here.

8) MyPoints

MyPoints is one of the most popular rewards programs around. Membership is free and can get you up to 40% off at thousands of major retailers. The program works two ways: You can use it to search for money-saving promo codes or to earn points on your purchases. Then cash in your points for gift cards or for a PayPal payout. You’ll also receive a $10 welcome bonus when you sign up for MyPoints.

Get started with MyPoints here!

Money-Making Apps That Pay for Your Opinion

9) Survey Junkie

Survey Junkie is one of my favorite survey sites. It’s easy to sign up for and use, plus it’s free! Once you create a profile, you can start taking surveys that match right away. Survey Junkie points are redeemable for cash or gift cards, and you may begin cashing out at just 1,000 points.

Sign up for Survey Junkie here.

10) InboxDollars

InboxDollars offers multiple ways to earn money for your opinions. With this app, you’re rewarded for watching TV and videos, playing games, taking surveys, and reading emails. You’ll also earn cash back for shopping online at partner retailers. Plus, you have access to valuable coupons to save even more money. There are no points to track with InboxDollars. Payouts come through PayPal, a check in the mail, or an assortment of gift card choices.

Get started with InboxDollars here.

11) LifePoints

Get paid to share your opinions as part of the massive 5-million-plus-member LifePoints community. Complete surveys, test products, and complete tasks to earn LifePoints. Topics include sports, travel, and more. Once you’ve earned points, search the app’s catalog for rewards such as gift cards and cash via PayPal.

Earn 10 LifePoints for signing up!

12) Mistplay

Did you know you can make money playing video games? Mistplay is a gaming app that pays users to test out new mobile games. Start playing and you’ll earn points that you can redeem for Visa gift cards, as well as gift cards for specific companies, such as Xbox, Nintendo, Playstation, and Amazon. Games are free to play, and users can connect and compete with other gamers to rank higher on game leaderboards.

Earn points for playing games with Mistplay!

13) Nielsen Computer and Mobile Panel

Nielsen offers an unintrusive way to make money passively. Instead of filling out surveys, you download the app and let Nielsen track your usage. Tracking runs in the background but won’t slow down your phone. As the company tracks your device use, you’ll earn points that you can redeem for sweepstakes entries and other rewards.

Join Nielsen Computer and Mobile Panel here.

14) Vindale Research

If you want to earn cold, hard cash, Vindale Research is one of the best options for online surveys. There’s no point conversion involved. Payouts come via PayPal or paper check. Vindale works with some of the top companies in the world, including Disney and Nike. You can create a free account and receive a $1 signup bonus to start your earnings.

Get started with Vindale Research here.

Apps That Pay You to Invest

15) M1 Finance

M1 Finance is an online investing app with self-managed and robo-investing options. With M1 Finance, you can be as hands-on or hands-off as you are comfortable with. Plus, the app offers fractional shares. M1 Finance is customizable, offers individual and joint accounts, and offers upgrades to give you access to even more features, such as a checking account. Using the app’s cash management system earns up to 2% cash back on purchases.

Learn more about M1 Finance.

16) Acorns

Acorns automatically saves and invests your spare change. It carries a small monthly fee to use, but it may be worth the cost, depending on your balance. Acorns takes spare change rounded up from your purchases (through linked cards) and sets it aside in your investment portfolio. The app is incredibly helpful for people who have a hard time saving money on their own. It offers five portfolio types with varying risk tolerances.

Grow your money with Acorns.

Money-Making Apps for Exercise

17) HealthyWage

With HealthyWage, you can win money by competing in weight-loss challenges. You make a personal weight loss bet and win cash if you reach your goal in the allotted time. There are options to invite friends and create team weight-loss challenges, too.

Weigh-ins are a simple 30-second process involving a scale and your phone, which you use to record information through the app. You even get 24/7 access to coaches for advice and motivation. Keep in mind that HealthyWage is a betting app. You put money down on whether you’ll meet your goals, so there’s a chance of losing money, too.

Win money exercising with HealthyWage!

18) Sweatcoin

Sweatcoin pays you to walk. Download the app and earn Sweatcoins with each step you take. Then trade in your Sweatcoins to buy various products and services from the app’s marketplace. You can earn additional rewards through daily tasks such as watching video ads. Marathon offers are long-term step goals that earn even more Sweatcoins. If you already walk, why not earn some rewards for your hard work?

Earn cash for your steps.

19) StepBet

Similar to HealthyWage, StepBet is a betting app designed to spur you on toward better health. You place real bets that you can achieve the fitness goals that you set. Connect your favorite fitness tracker to the app to get started. Select a game in the app and place your bet into the pot. If you make your goals for the entire game, you split the pot with others.

Learn more about StepBet.

Apps That Pay You to Rent Out Your Stuff

20) FriendWithA

Rent out your stuff and make money doing it at FriendWithA! Whether you have tools sitting in your garage, a bike you aren’t using this week, or a GoPro camera on the shelf, you can rent out practically anything to make extra money.

Renters are verified by FriendWithA prior to borrowing your stuff, and most are required to put down a damage deposit. The company also provides up to $125,000 in property coverage and a liability guarantee of up to $100,000. Simply create an account and start earning today!

Rent your stuff for money here.

21) Turo

Do you have a car that sits idle in your garage most days? If so, you could be making money renting it out using this peer-to-peer car rental app. Turo allows you to make considerable money simply by letting people borrow your car, whether for a few hours or a few days. You set rental pricing, availability, mileage limits, and more.

Start making money with your car today.

22) RV Share

RV Share is the largest RV-rental marketplace. Think of it like Airbnb for RVs. Simply list your RV for rent, then make money by renting it out when you’re not using it.

According to RV Share, you can earn up to $40,000 annually by renting out an RV through their app. You are in control of all of the details — including pricing, availability, and more — but deposits and payments are handled through RV Share. All renters are verified, and there’s access to rental coaches in case you have questions or need help setting up your listing.

Learn more about RV Share here.

23) Outdoorsy

Outdoorsy is another RV-rental service that offers a chance at extra income by way of renting out your RV. It comes with a $1 million insurance policy covering both the RV owner and the renter. A DMV check is run on all renters. You can enter your RV information on Outdoorsy’s site to see how much rental money you can make per year. You set the renting guidelines and pricing and you also have the final say on who rents your RV.

Find out how much you can earn with Outdoorsy.

Apps That Pay You to Sell Your Stuff

24) Decluttr

Decluttr is a great money making app for selling a host of used goods: CDs, DVDs, video games, books, old cell phones, and other electronics. You can even sell Legos on Decluttr. Just search for your item on the app, get an offer, and ship the item for free.

Decluttr promises next-day payment once it’s received. Payments are made via PayPal or direct deposit.

Get started with Decluttr here.

25) Poshmark

Poshmark is one of the top fashion-resale apps today. Sellers get an online “closet” to hold all of their listings. Take pics of the clothes you’re selling and upload them into your closet to sell. All items are shipped using prepaid labels, and payment occurs once the item is delivered. Poshmark charges a flat $2.95 fee on items under $15 and takes a 20% commission on everything else.

Start your closet today!

Which Money-Making Apps Should You Use?

With apps like these, the opportunities seem almost endless. That doesn’t mean every app is worth your time, though. So how do you decide which money-making apps to use?

  • Time Investment — Some money-making apps serve as great ways to pass the time while you’re sitting at your kid’s soccer practice or standing in line at the grocery store. But if you calculate how much money you make for the time you’ve spent, you’ll see the hourly rate is pretty low. Time is one of our most valuable commodities, so make sure the money earned is worth it.
  • Payout — Take time to understand how and when you get paid before using one of these apps. If you’re not interested in gift cards, stick to apps that pay out cash via PayPal, Venmo, or paper check.
  • Initial Investment — Apps like HealthyWage and StepBet require you to bet your own money. You only make money if you win. It’s no different than any other gambling service. Investing apps also require a financial investment (fees and the investments themselves) and have an element of risk.
  • Reputation — Do your homework. Read online reviews to make sure the apps are legit before signing up. The good news is that most money-making apps are free to use, so you can check them out and quit if you don’t like it.

The Bottom Line

Money-Making Apps Pin - picture of brunette woman smiling at phone

Money-making apps can be a great way to earn extra money on the side in your free time. Keep in mind, most of these apps aren’t meant to replace your full-time job or provide a ton of income. However, if you spend a lot of time online anyway, why not treat yourself to some cash or gift cards through a money-making app?

What are your favorite apps to make extra money? Let us know in the comments below!

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