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9 Best Apps That Actually Pay: Ranked & Reviewed [2023]

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There’s no doubt that many of us are glued to our screens throughout the day.

Why not make good use of that time to make some easy money via apps on your phone?

Today, you can find many apps that pay you to do all kinds of activities on your phone.

From games to survey apps, there are lots of different ways to earn a little income with just a little effort.

We listed the best, most profitable money-making apps, and we’ll talk about their characteristics, what they offer, and how they compare to other apps.

An Overview of Money-Making Apps

There are many apps you can find on Android and iOS.

But did you know that there are apps that pay money while you scroll on your phone?

What Is a Money-Making App?

A money-making app is an application, platform, or software that pays you to do all kinds of simple daily activities and tasks.

These include taking a survey, watching an advertisement or video, and even playing video games for money.

These apps attract businesses and advertising companies looking for a viable source to conduct their market research.

The companies leverage the plethora of users that conduct these activities on the apps and use it for product placement to reach more audiences, gain revenue, and pay off their users.

Why Are Money-Making Apps Important?

Money-making apps are an excellent source of income because they represent a great alternative for people who spend a lot of time on their phones.

Instead of killing time for nothing, you can actually get paid just for doing the activities as prompted by the app of your choice.

Do I Need a Money-Making App?

If you’re looking for an easy way to earn money while scrolling on your phone, registering on a money-making app may be a suitable alternative source for extra cash.

The freedom of choice and guaranteed payment are the main reasons why money-making apps are viable for people looking for easier ways to earn.

The Best Money-Making App at a Glance

There are hundreds of apps that claim you can make a decent income in exchange for answering surveys and playing video games.

But many of them are scams.

Knowing which apps are the best money-making apps is crucial.

Here are some commonly asked questions when choosing money-making apps.

What Is the Best Money-Making App?

While it’s difficult to choose the single most effective money-making app from this list, Swagbucks is definitely one of the best.

Swagbucks is a free money-making app that allows users to participate in many activities to make money, earn rewards, or get coupon codes.

It’s great for people who enjoy watching videos, playing games, filling out questionnaires and surveys, and even shopping online.

What Money-Making Apps Pay the Most?

Taking into consideration how much time and effort you invest in one, Survey Junkie is definitely our main recommendation as the money-making app that pays the most.

Survey Junkie has an average payoff of $5 up to $50, and the minimal withdrawal amount is $5.

The other apps listed below pretty much pay the same but require a lot more effort.

Features to Look For in a Money-Making App

You can find literally thousands of apps like these.

Be warned; most of them are either scams or are too shady to be considered a legitimate source of income.

To avoid getting scammed, there are five important factors that help you decide between the many apps and software for making money.

1. Good Ratings Mean Good Reputation

To make sure you’re looking at the real deal, check every available source of ratings for the app you’re willing to invest time in.

This means reviewing ratings on the App Store or Google Play, checking Reddit or Quora, and even going deeper on the forums.

2. Consider Your Activities

Look for apps like Swagbucks, which lets you choose multiple activities like watching ads, playing video games, and many more.

The activities require lots of time spent if you want to earn the rewards.

Choose an app with tasks that correspond with your daily activities, personal schedule, and even mental willpower.

3. Safety, Security, and Legitimacy

An app’s reputation goes hand in hand with safety and cybersecurity.

Every app we’ve listed has security protocols that protect your data from scammers and malware.

Still, one should consider security as a top priority if they’re looking for a legitimate app that pays money.

Read their Terms and Conditions, and check the reviews and sources to assess their security and privacy measures.

4. Method of Transaction

When gauging the potential earnings from these apps, you should consider the method of transaction.

Most of the apps listed below allow you to withdraw your earnings via PayPal, but some users might be looking for a different method of transaction.

Consider your options carefully, and don’t fret if you don’t receive the money instantly. Some apps have delays around the first payment request.

5. User-Friendly Interface

You’ll be on this app most of the time, so you should consider using one with a decent-looking user interface with features that suit your preference.

Many apps have just one single activity that lets you earn money.

This can quickly become boring and tedious, and nobody wants to waste their time on controls that are buggy and difficult to work with.

Look for apps that have a sleek and minimalist user interface that’s easy to navigate.

Best Apps That Pay: Our Top 3 Options [Ranked & Reviewed]

First off, let’s start with the most viable money-making apps so you can compare them and choose the app that suits you best.

1. Swagbucks: Our Top Pick

screenshot of the swagbucks homepage

Swagbucks is a popular app for making money because it has multiple activities you can choose from.

Previously an online survey site, Swagbucks represents a vast online platform in which you can earn rewards by completing all kinds of online activities like watching videos, playing games, searching the web, surveys, and more.

If you complete the activities, Swagbucks places ads for you to watch and then requests feedback on how you feel about the advertisement.

Afterward, you’ll be rewarded with their specialized scoring system called “Swagbucks.”

Key Features of Swagbucks

Here are the characteristics that made Swagbucks our top choice as an app that pays money:

  • Sign-up bonus: If you sign up on Swagbucks, you’ll be eligible for a $10 bonus that you can use if you spend at least $25 at a Swagbucks-affiliated online shop.
  • Cash-back opportunities: Swagbucks offers cash-back options for coupon deals from all kinds of brands, and you can also transfer your Swagbucks points into your Amazon balance wallet.
  • Daily tournaments: You can participate in their daily tournaments to win prizes like electronic products, online shop items, and even vacations!
  • No sign-up fee: Feel free to sign up without worrying about pre-payments. Just verify your profile and bank account, and download the app to start making money right away.
  • Generous reward system: Unlike other apps, Swagbucks has a rewards system with points that never expire.

Pros of Swagbucks

  • Referral program: With Swagbucks’ referral system, you can make more money by inviting your friends.
  • Secure and legit: Many clients and users swear by Swagbucks as a secure and legitimate company.
  • Comprehensive interface: The Swagbucks dashboard has an excellent overview where you can see your earnings, monitor your progress, and browse other activities that might interest you.

Cons of Swagbucks

  • Slow income: It takes a lot of time to earn points, so keep in mind that you’ll have to be on the app for weeks until you start making real money.
  • Delayed payoff: Swagbucks’ payoff transactions may take a while, so it’s not a good choice if you want instant cash.
  • Limited transaction methods: You can only redeem your rewards by cash-back or PayPal cash, which may not suit some users with limited transaction options.

Swagbucks Income

You can make an average of $5 to $100 on Swagbucks, but it entirely depends on how active you are in completing the activities and how long you’ve been with the program.

Final Verdict: Should You Choose Swagbucks?

Swagbucks’ variety of activities, user-friendly interface, and many other features are the elements that make it stand out from the hundreds of money apps online.

It’s one of the most lucrative and secure ways to earn money via your cell phone.

2. InboxDollars: Runner-Up

screenshot of the inboxdollars homepage

InboxDollars is a money-making app that works in a similar fashion to Swagbucks.

Users can earn cash by reading emails, playing video games, watching videos, completing surveys, using coupon codes, and more.

By reading emails InboxDollars send you, you’ll be handsomely rewarded.

The first bonus you get acts as an incentive to get you hooked and start earning even more.

Key Features of InboxDollars

  • Get paid in cash: InboxDollars, like Swagbucks, offer their users cash that can be withdrawn, unlike the many other apps that only pay in coupon points or gift cards.
  • A variety of activities: If you don’t like reading emails on InboxDollars, you can choose to watch videos, take surveys, shop, and play video games.
  • Referral program: InboxDollars’ referral program is so lucrative some users have actually managed to earn more money than most just by inviting friends and family.
  • Contests: Almost copycatting Swagbucks, InboxDollars’ tournaments and sweepstakes have even more opportunities to earn you rewards you can use to make more money.
  • Minimalistic interface: With a user-friendly interface that’s easy to navigate and easy on the eyes, you can spend a lot of time on the app without getting a headache.

Pros of InboxDollars

  • Security and reputation: InboxDollars is known to be a legitimate, trustworthy, and secure app. Many users feel comfortable and trust the app as a decent way to make money without worrying about their payments.
  • Multiple ways to use your rewards: Besides withdrawing to your credit card, InboxDollars allows you to redeem your rewards by withdrawing via PayPal, gift cards, cash-back, prepaid Visa cards, or you can choose to donate to charitable events.
  • Additional rewards and opportunities: InboxDollars offers deals, discounts, and opportunities every day, so there’s never a dull moment with your activities.

Cons of InboxDollars 

  • Slow income: Much like Swagbucks, the daily grind on InboxDollars is tedious, slow, and doesn’t pay much at the start.
  • Slow transaction and minimum requirement: InboxDollars’ payment processing is slow, so don’t expect an instant payment after completing your tasks. You also need a minimum of $30 earned cash to cash out the payment.
  • Geographic restrictions: InboxDollars isn’t available in some countries, so please read their Terms and Conditions before signing up.

InboxDollars Income

Like most multi-task applications for making money, you can expect an average of $5 to $60 per month.

Once again, this entirely depends on how much you grind the activities.

Final Verdict: Should You Choose Inbox Dollars?

While it’s a runner-up, InboxDollars is pretty close to Swagbucks in terms of usability and reward opportunities.

What makes it special is its sign-up bonus which can be attractive to most users.

3. Survey Junkie: Best Survey App

screenshot of the survey junkie homepage

While other survey platforms barely pay, Survey Junkie guarantees a decent income as a mobile app that lets you participate in surveys and get paid in real cash for it.

The mobile app is available and free to download on PC, Android, and iOS via Google Play and the App Store.

Key Features of Survey Junkie

  • Questionnaires without hassle: Unlike most survey apps, Survey Junkie won’t disqualify you mid-survey, which saves you plenty of time and avoids further frustrations.
  • Popular and trustworthy: With over 60,000 ratings on the App Store, a solid 4.7 out of 5 stars, and over +3 million users, Survey Junkie remains king of the survey apps.
  • Scoring system: Completing the survey is easy and earns you points which you can turn into cash. The minimum cash out is $10, so it might take a while to rack up those earnings.
  • Half-hour surveys: Most Survey Junkie tasks take 15 to 30 minutes to complete.
  • Partnership companies: Similar to the apps mentioned above, Survey Junkie collaborates with brands and market research companies whose partnerships provide them with revenue. This is how users are guaranteed payment.

Pros of Survey Junkie

  • Easy income, transfer, and withdrawal: Users can start making money as soon as they sign up on Survey Junkie. By completing the surveys, you’re awarded points you can redeem for cash. Some users even make up to hundreds of dollars per month. While the minimum is $5, withdrawing from PayPal is super fast.
  • Alternative method: Aside from surveys, users can also make money by sharing their browsing data. This can also be regarded as an alternative method to make money on Survey Junkie.
  • Safe and secure: Survey Junkie is safe and secure, submitting your data anonymously.

Cons of Survey Junkie

  • Tedious interface: While the interface is pretty user-friendly, some features, like the completely unnecessary identification confirmation box, can be seriously annoying for most users.
  • Technical errors: Although this bug might have already been fixed (as of May 2023), some users have been receiving tasks for expired surveys, which is another annoying hindrance for most.
  • Possible termination: If you fail to complete your surveys, Survey Junkie may terminate your entire session if you don’t meet the questionnaire criteria.

Survey Junkie Income

Depending on how fast and truthfully you complete the surveys, you can make an average of $5 to $50. The minimal amount of withdrawal is $5.

Final Verdict: Should You Choose Survey Junkie?

Survey Junkie is not an app to be taken lightly.

As long as you complete your surveys in a tidy and timely manner, you will start earning decent money throughout the months.

Notable Mentions: Other Apps That Pay to Check Out

Here are other great apps that pay you real money to do all kinds of activities.

4. Rakuten: Best for Shopping

screenshot of the rakuten homepage

Are you a shopaholic?

Why not make use of those shopping habits and make money as you shop?

Here’s Rakuten, an online cash-back app with an excellent cash-back reward system that allows you to earn while you shop.

It’s easy to sign up, and you can start earning money right away.

Why Is Rakuten a Great Option?

Here’s the deal: Unlike most online shopping platforms, Rakuten offers you cash-back on everyday purchases.

This allows you to earn extra cash, and with their referral system, you can earn $25 if you invite your family and friends per referral link.

There are also discounts and coupon codes for you to check out.

Rakuten is safe, secure, and convenient for those who like to shop online to make some fast cash.

Drawbacks to Rakuten

While the cash-back rewards are fair, you can’t withdraw them at once, and you need to wait two days until you can.

Rakuten Income

Depending on how much you spend and how frequently you shop, your income with Rakuten is around 1% to 8% in cash-back on every purchase you make.

You can withdraw the rewards via PayPal or direct deposit.

You can also use them as special coupon codes for extra money.

5. Honey: Best Coupon Extension

screenshot of the honey homepage

Honey started out as a Chrome extension software, but now it’s available as an app for your mobile device.

It works by applying coupon codes as you browse, and you collect points for doing so.

No doubt, it’s an effortless way to make money. You literally forget it exists once you turn it on.

You’ll get used to Honey and applying coupons to make your shopping cheaper and more enjoyable.

Why Is Honey a Great Option?

Honey follows your browsing on the web, and it tries to find and apply the most cost-efficient coupon codes as you shop.

The thing is, you collect the points as you browse, and if you rack up 1,000 points while you shop with the Honey browser extension turned on, you get $10 worth of Amazon gift cards.

There’s also a referral system that earns you $5 for every referral.

Drawbacks to Honey

While many people are happy with its services, Honey is more focused on slow-and-steady browsing instead of actively earning your score for cash withdrawal.

Honey Income

You can collect your Honey score via their Honey Gold rewarding system.

A hundred Honey Gold points equal one cent.

You can redeem your rewards and turn them into coupons and gift cards.

6. Solitaire Cash: Best Video Game Money-Making App

screenshot of the solitaire cash homepage

Papaya Gamin’s Solitaire Cash is a video game you can play to earn real money in withdrawable cash. It’s a ‘get paid to play games’ type of gig.

You play a game of solitaire with other players, and you receive the same deck. Once you finish in the top 3 bracket with the most points, you win and earn cash.

Why Is Solitaire Cash a Great Option?

Solitaire Cash allows you to create a free account and download the app via QR code to your mobile phone, so you can start earning to play Solitaire right away.

Cash tournaments are available if you want to win big, but you have to pay a small fee and beat all opponents, which can be challenging.

There are a couple of versions of solitaire, like Klondike, Spider, Freecell, Pyramid, and others, so you won’t be bored so quickly.

Drawbacks to Solitaire Cash

While Solitaire Cash is free to play, the high-paying tournaments aren’t yet available in the following US states: AZ, IN, IO, LA, ME, MT, SC, and WA.

Solitaire Cash Income

To win cash on Solitaire Cash, you need to participate in the big tournaments in which you pay an entry fee of $1 up to $15. The prizes range from $5 for last place to $135 if you manage to beat every opponent.

7. Ibotta: Best Cash-Back App

screenshot of the ibotta homepage

Made for people who like to go on shopping sprees, Ibotta is a cash-back app that allows users to generate cash-back on store purchases.

There are many retailers and brands that work with Ibotta, like Home Depot, Walmart, Target, and Groupon.

You can get excellent deals with many of Ibotta’s features, like in-app rewards, to save money and optimize your savings.

Why Is Ibotta a Great Option?

Ibotta has many in-app rewards, bonuses, deals, promotions, loyalty cards, and even survey tasks that increase your earnings potential.

There’s also a referral system that also serves as a factor for maximizing your savings.

With its intuitive app UI, excellent reputation, and multiple payment options, Ibotta is still among the best cash-back apps.

Drawbacks to Ibotta

Sadly, Ibotta isn’t available in every U.S. state, and the cash-back amount may vary depending on brands and retailers.

Ibotta Income

Depending on how much time you spend shopping online and which brands and retailers you shop from, you can make a hefty amount of cash-back income.

While it may take time, you can generate a good amount of cash-back over time, varying from $5 to $50 in cash-back savings via PayPal.

8. UserTesting: Best Testing App

screenshot of the user testing homepage

Here’s a great app if you want to spend time testing and trying out products and apps for money.

UserTesting is a site that allows you to join their app and pays you to engage with all kinds of websites and apps.

Afterward, the app’s developers will get to hear your feedback and review, and you’ll be rewarded directly to your PayPal.

Why Is UserTesting a Great Option?

Working as a tester on UserTesting is a fantastic option because the payment is guaranteed, and the job is purposeful.

You might even learn more about UI/UX (user interface/user experience) and use it for future endeavors.

Once you apply for free as a user tester, you’ll be assigned tasks related to UI testing and reviewing.

With every test task, you’ll have to record yourself reviewing the app or website.

UserTesting pays you $10 for 20 minutes of reviewing an app and recording yourself doing it, as well as other tasks regarding UI/UX testing.

That’s roughly $30 per hour.

Drawbacks to UserTesting

Users may encounter issues while uploading the tests, which might be frustrating for some.

UserTesting Income

UserTesting pays $10 via PayPal per 20-minute video you put out.

9. HealthyWage: Best Fitness Money-Making App

screenshot of the healthy wage homepage

HealthyWage is an app that has a weight loss program where you earn money as you progress through your weight loss.

This might be an excellent app if you’re looking for a healthy alternative instead of scrolling on your phone.

To verify that you have lost weight, the app will require you to take a doctor’s verification document before getting paid via PayPal and gift cards.

Why Is HealthyWage a Great Option?

HealthyWage offers you challenges, tasks, and competitions for your workout. You can track your progress and customize your preferences according to your schedule.

It also offers many guides and resources to aid you in achieving your weight loss goals.

There’s also a financial incentive to get you started on the right track.

Drawbacks to HealthyWage

The HealthyWage challenges have a participation fee that can range from $25 to $150, which might not be suitable for some users.

The app can also take a small commission from your cash rewards, ranging from 10% to 25%, depending on the challenge.

HealthyWage Income

You can earn from $50 to thousands of dollars if you meet your goals.

Other Companies Relevant to Apps That Pay

If you’re looking for alternative income apps, here are some guides to consider:

  • Make More Money by Driving: If you have a car and a driver’s license, this guide will help you choose the best apps like Uber and Lyft so you can start making money driving people around.
  • How to Get Paid to Work Out: This guide is for gym buffs who enjoy working out almost every day. It rounds up all the apps on your phone that actually pay you to work out.
  • How to Get Paid to Play Video Games: This listicle rounds up the best, most efficient apps that allow you to earn money while you play video games.

Frequently Asked Questions

If you have questions regarding these mobile apps, hopefully, these will clear up your inquiries.

Are There Really Apps That Pay You to Play Video Games?


Apps like Swagbucks and InboxDollars rely on advertising companies that let the users watch ads that create their revenue.

The users make money as long as they play video games.

Are Money-Making Apps Safe?

The best money-making apps are free.

Apps that require you to pay an entrance fee are most likely scams, so be careful.

It’s recommended that you stick to apps where completing surveys, playing video games, and watching advertisements are the main activities.

What Are the Best Cash-Back Apps?

There are lots of cash-back apps with great features like Ibotta, InboxDollars, and Swagbucks.

The best part is that they’re legit and secure, so you can expect to withdraw the points via cash-back rewards, coupons, and even real money, depending on which app you choose.

Wrapping Up

You can see that these apps are a great source of income for anyone with a phone and internet connection.

Swagbucks, Survey Junkie, and InboxDollars are all excellent choices because they are safe, secure, and reputable enough for anyone to try out and make good money.

Still, always research everything about the app to confirm its legitimacy.

It’s also a good idea to maintain a consistent schedule to make the best out of any money-making app.

This wraps up our list of money-making apps, but if you have more suggestions, feel free to leave a comment below.

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