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How to Make Money from Your Phone

We show you how to make money with your smartphone with these free mobile apps. Check out these mobile apps to make extra cash.

Often times, a few hundreds dollars can really help you out — if you need money quickly. During these moments, your ability to make money fast in a day can make all the difference.

According to a report from PewResearch, 15% of adults report that they personally were laid off or lost their jobs because of the coronavirus outbreak.

Of those, one-third say they have returned to the job they had before the outbreak, while 15% are working at a different job. Half say they are currently not employed.

More than ever it is important to find ways to make extra money. But it is difficult to find ways to make hundreds of dollars within a day AND get access to the money immediately.

But not anymore, there are real ways to make money with your smartphone so that you can get rent paid, bills paid, and help with debt payments.

In this article, I'll show you how to make money with your smartphone with these free mobile apps.

Check out these mobile apps to put some extra cash in your pockets. I'm serious.

Shopping gigs to earn easy money

The easiest approach to earn money with your smartphone is, of course, to go shopping as you would normally do. Except, these apps that pay you just for doing that.

01: Fetch Rewards

The Fetch Rewards app makes it super easy to save money on grocery purchases by letting you send over just a picture of the receipt. Your account will automatically be eligible for the offer on the sent receipt. This works for any type of grocery receipt which makes this a very useful app. You can cash out your points for free gift cards instantly.

02: Rocket Money

One thing that I've found is that the easiest way to get more money is simply by saving more. But most people are used to their standard of living, so it can be hard. That's why I was pleasantly surprised to learn about a new app called Rocket Money that automatically lowers your bills and cancels forgotten subscriptions.

Within a week of using it, I saved $230.34 and it's very common among users to save even more. In fact, this free app has saved its users over $15M to date! If you wanted to see if they can lower your bills, download it for free here.

03: Rakuten

You'd be silly not to get cash-back for items you would have bought anyway. You can do this by shopping online and using coupons with Rakuten.

Rakuten is my favorite way to make money when I shop online and right now they are offering a $10 sign up bonus through this link. Every time I shop online, I start at Rakuten and then I get cash back deposited into my PayPal account.

04: Ibotta

It may be hard to believe, but Ibotta pays you for going shopping. No, really, it does! The app presents you with a list of offers currently available on a wide range of products, from food to drinks all the way through to cleaning products. The average Ibotta user earns $150 a year on groceries, online purchases, delivery, and more. Register for the free Ibotta browser extension and app today to start saving.

More side hustles from your phone

Let's be honest, shall we? Many of the applications you download and use won't make you rich.

Easy money isn't going to take the place of your full-time job or allow you to make ends meet with a part-time income. The good news is that there are several ways for you to generate some safe cash by using your phone to find side hustles.

Here are some side hustle ideas to help you make the most of your smartphone.

05: DoorDash (and Instacart)

Want to make money fast in the next few days just by delivering food around your city? There are lucrative gig economy apps for those who want to make some extra cash without compromising their time.

With delivery apps, you'll pick and deliver the items that customers want from grocery stores or restaurants and get paid for it. There are no set hours with delivery apps like DoorDash and Instacart.

Just open the apps and shop whenever it works for you. With Instant Cashout, you can opt to have your pay immediately transferred to a debit card. Or you can just get your earnings deposited to your bank account weekly.

Ready to shop, earn, and be a household hero for the people in your community? DoorDash and Instacart are the best apps to use to earn money in the gig economy by cashing in on the food delivery boom.

06: HyreCar

HyreCar is the leading carsharing marketplace where rideshare, food, grocery, and package delivery drivers can rent vehicles to drive and start earning income with gig services like Uber, Lyft, Postmates, Instacart, Shipt, and Amazon Flex, etc. You can definitely make some side income by using HyreCar and using different gig services to make money fast.

07: Rover

You can get paid a decent hourly rate for taking care of other people's pets in a fun way. Oftentimes pet owners will big the big bucks to guarantee that their animals are taken care of. If you don't want to find pet sitting or dog walker gigs, you can put up fliers or take to Facebook marketplace to advertise your services.

Or you can use a free side hustle app called Rover who will connect you to pet owners who need these services. You can likely rack up the big bucks this month if you grind it out on Rover.


You can become a home sitter on and earn from $10-25/hr being a responsible housekeeper or house sitter. This is a perfect side hustle to pull off that allows you to earn money while on the job. While you're house sitting you could also bring along your laptop and find more ways to earn online or even on your phone.

9: Turo

If there was ever a job for introverts, it would be this one. Did you know that you can rent out your car when you’re not using it? And that you can bring in a lot of extra cash in your wallet by doing so? Do you plan on heading on a vacation soon while your car sits unused at your home? Do you sometimes not use your car on the weekends?  If so, renting out your car while you’re not using it could be an easy way to make passive income.

A well-known company, Turo which has signed up nearly 5 million users to its website, according to Bloomberg, lets you do just that. It’s also really simple to do (and free). Listing your car is quick and easy and takes less than 10 minutes to set up. According to a recent Turo review, somebody listed their car for 5 days every month and made $3,496 in a year.  Sounds pretty good to me. Oh, and they also protect your car against physical damage, so you’re fully covered. You can sign up here and start making money with your car.

10: Decluttr

Do you have a bunch of junk lying around that you would rather sell? But don't want to list them on Craigslist, Bookscouter or OfferUp?

If you just want straight-up cash you can use Decluttr — just use the app to scan the barcode and you'll get a cash offer. Decluttr pays you for stuff you no longer need or are willing to sell. They pay more for electronics, but you can sell anything from cds, dvds, books, games, smartphones, and even LEGOs! Need to make make money without a job? Time to Decluttr.

Focus group and opinion survey gigs

It may not be particularly thrilling, but completing online surveys might help you earn some extra money. Not only that, but if you're part of a focus group or participate in other activities that aid marketers better understand their customers, you could make even more money.

11: Nielsen Mobile

Best for: passive income
Nielsen Mobile Panel
Cost: free

By participating in Nielsen research, you can improve products and services you use online today. Nielsen Computer and Mobile Panel combines your unique internet usage with people like you to build a picture of internet behavior.


Are you interested in learning about downloading an app and getting paid $50 each and every year from now on? Listen up. Nielsen Computer & Mobile Panel is a company that's been around for decades and they are paying people to help them learn about consumers.

All you have to do is install a non-invasive app and you're getting paid $50 each year. The app will anonymously collect data from you, but every app already does that anyway and now you can get paid for it. A no brainer.

12: Swagbucks

If you're waiting for your next payday but want to get paid today then sign up for Swagbucks. They are a legit top rewards site and pay you for searching the web, shopping, discovering content online, watching videos and taking fun, top-paying surveys.

They offer a free $10 welcome bonus when you sign up. Simply sign up and get started today by choosing the highest paying surveys that pay up to $5 each and take less than 10 min to complete.

13: InboxDollars


InboxDollars is a legitimate way to make extra money online. It's been around for 20 years, and the company says it's paid its members more than $59 million since 2000.


InboxDollars is another survey-based app that offers attractive rewards for taking surveys. They pay out real cash after you complete watching videos or taking surveys.

They have great reviews from their customers and look like they revert with payments quickly. An award-winning company, they have paid out $57 million in cash rewards so far.

14: Survey Junkie

So, let me preface by saying I'm not a fan of wasting my time taking boring surveys. But this one of the best ways to make money on your phone, quickly. Survey Junkie lets you get paid for taking online surveys from brands you use every day.

You can also participate in focus groups, try new products (free stuff, yay!) and get paid to listen to new music. This is one legit survey company, and you can get started with a registration bonus here.

15: Branded Surveys

Branded Surveys is another survey app for which you can get rewarded cash either through checks or PayPal or free gift cards. You can get matched up with big tech companies that need opinions on their electronics in exchange for free Amazon gift cards or Walmart gift cards.

This website is also optimized for mobile platforms so you can take surveys on the move. They have great reviews with Trustpilot and have paid our close to $7 million to customers already.

Game apps to make money on your phone

Do you want an easy way to help you earn money fast without leaving your apartment? Heck, even if you’re in a waiting room or standing in line, you can pass the time while making money. You love playing online games. Why not make a few dollars at it?

If you sign up for game apps that pay real money like Blackout Bingo, Swagbucks or Mistplay you can check out the games library and start earning. You can make up to $100-400 of rewards per month on gaming apps. Here are some of my favorite gaming apps that really pay real money.

16: Mistplay

Instead of wasting time playing games and not being productive, now you can get paid to do it – win-win! Getting paid to play games on your phone sounds like a dream, but Mistplay really pays you to play games.

It's a legit app with 41,124+ positive reviews in the Google Play Store. Sound like fun? You can download it from the Google Play Store here, and start playing free games for cash rewards.

17: Blackout Bingo

Best for playing bingo for money
Blackout Bingo

This app lets you play bingo for money — make $100 today. Over 5 Million players agree Blackout Bingo is the fresh, social competitive twist to the classic game where you can win real world rewards and cash prizes (where available).


Historically, Bingo was a game of chance. If you were lucky enough to have the right card, you’d win.

Now with Blackout Bingo – you are in control of how much you can make with this game app. This app is easy to use, everyone playing sees the same balls and cards. It takes concentration, speed, and strategy to become a bingo master.

Games only take about 2 minutes to play, so players can pick up and play whenever they like. If you wanted to try it out, you can compete for cash prizes as well. Blackout Bingo is one of the best game apps that pay real money.

18: Solitaire Cash

It may sound strange, but you can actually make money playing solitaire.

Let’s face it: most people enjoy playing games for money. But there are already games with cash prizes that are surprisingly popular.

A free game (Solitaire Cash) allows you to play head-to-head skill-based Solitaire for real money. The winner can win up to $83 per win.

Make up to $83/game playing solitaire!

It’s free to download, and they’ve given out a whopping $1.5+ million dollars in prizes so far.

Download it for free and see if you have what it takes to make real money.

You can win cash totally free, but you'll want to deposit $5 for cash tournaments to multiply your winnings.

Passive income apps to make money from your phone

Now a more lucrative way to earn money with your smartphone is through passive income apps. These are more investing oriented, so you'll have your money make you money.

19: Arrived Homes

Top offer pick

Arrived lets you invest in residential real estate and vacation rentals with only $100. It's an excellent option for anyone looking to earn passive income with rental units. And the platform is available to non-accredited investors.


Arrived is a great real estate investing platform to use if you want a low minimum investment threshold for real estate investing. You can get started with as little as $100!

It’s an especially useful tool to use if you want to diversify your portfolio and have someone else handle all the work that comes with being a landlord. All you really need to do is sign up, and collect your rental income each quarter.

The management fee is a modest 1% asset management fee, but it's worth it considering how easy it is to get started. You can sign up for free and view the different properties available to invest in. Buy shares of properties, earn rental income and appreciation — let Arrived take care of the rest.

Then you can literally beat the stock market year after year and start making money in your sleep. If you want to earn the big bucks then you can learn how to get started by getting more information from Arrived here.

20: Atom Finance

It's no secret that investing money can help you make build wealth. But what stocks should you invest in? What companies are worth checking out? For me, I use Atom Finance which is a free investment research platform that puts institutional-quality tools and resources in the hands of the everyday investor.

Atom Finance can help you invest smarter. It has all the investment research tools you need in one platform, including institutional-quality resources that were once only available to Wall Street professionals. Definitely a must-have (and free to download) if you want to use investing to help you make money fast or day-trade.

21: Robinhood

Are you ready to say goodbye to fees for when you buy and sell stocks and hello to commission-free trades?

That’s right, Robinhood lets you do everything for free and takes no fees — ever.

Robinhood is a free investing app for your phone. I really mean free all around – free to join and they don’t charge any fees to buy or sell the stock. You can get a share of stock like Apple, Ford, or Sprint for free when you join through this link.

They are also offering a free stock promotion and you don’t even have to deposit any money to receive the stock.

Just sign up and wait a few days for it to show up in your app. You can also cash out immediately and transfer the funds to your bank account — if you wanted to.

If you wanted to learn you can sign up for information from Robinhood through here.

Banking bonuses to claim on your phone

One of the easiest ways to make $100 fast or sometimes even more is simply by claiming banking offers. Most of the new online banks are fighting for customers, and you win since they offer lucrative sign-up bonuses. These offers are too good to pass up.

22: SoFi

With SoFi Invest you can trade stocks and ETFs without commissions, invest in IPOs, try automated investing, plan for early retirement, or start trading crypto—all from the SoFi app.

SoFi also offers fractional shares, so you can invest in brand-name companies with as little as $5, and margin trading at just 4.5% interest.

Now you can get an all-in-one investing that's easy to use — for free! You didn’t have to do anything, other than initially sign up for SoFi Invest. It’s as simple as that.

23: Empower

Empower is an app designed for today’s generation. No matter what lies ahead, they’ll help you thrive. By downloading the app you can get a cash advance of up to $250 when you need it most, and save for your future.

You can count on them to have your back and get a cash advance up to $250 directly to your account. No applications, no interest or late fees, no credit checks or credit risk. You just pay them back automatically when you receive your next direct deposit. There’s no catch. It’s that simple.

24: Aspiration

As an eco-friendly financial company, Aspiration puts your savings to work as more than just rainy day money. In fact, you can choose to “plant a climate change-fighting tree with every purchase you make” if you open an Aspiration account.

There are two different types of savings accounts at Aspiration: Basic and Plus. The basic savings account allows you to pay what is fair, which can be $0 per month if you choose. You will earn 3% APY on the first $10,000 you save, but the real savings begin with the Plus account which offers a 5% interest savings account.

This bank account is legit and only takes two minutes to sign up for an account.

Get free bitcoin bonuses on your phone

Which one of you wants to grab your hands on free bitcoins? If you want to know about apps that pay you bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies then you should know about these apps to earn bitcoin for free.

25: Coinbase Learn

Coinbase Learn is an educational resource provided by Coinbase, a popular cryptocurrency exchange. It is designed to help individuals learn about cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology, as well as how to safely and securely buy, sell, and store digital assets.

The platform offers a variety of educational resources, including articles, videos, and quizzes, that cover topics such as the basics of cryptocurrency, how to set up a digital wallet, and how to identify and avoid scams.

Coinbase Learn is intended for individuals who are new to the world of cryptocurrency and want to gain a better understanding of the technology and its potential uses.

Users can earn up $200 in free crypto in the program, but first, you'll have to sign up for Coinbase.

Final thoughts on how to make money on your phone

In the end, it all comes down to how you utilize your time and what you make of the situation.

Pay close attention to the activities that provide you the most return for your time. Combine various techniques to increase outcomes, as well as attempt to utilize multiple applications to make extra money from your side hustles, if possible.

It's also important to remember that it isn't always about making a lot of money. It's something if you can earn a five-dollar profit while waiting in line at the grocery store. After all, you wouldn't have earned that money any other way.

It's also money that you wouldn't have been able to use toward your education or any other debt.

Brian Meiggs
Brian Meiggs
Brian Meiggs is a personal finance expert, and the founder of Smarts, a personal finance site helping you easily explore your best money options. He helps readers follow the smart money in order to increase their earning potential and start building wealth for the future. He regularly writes about side hustles, investing, and general personal finance topics aimed to help anyone earn more, pay off debt, and reach financial freedom. He has been quoted as a top personal finance blogger in major publications including Business Insider, Yahoo! Finance, NASDAQ, Discover, and more.
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You’ve never included any apps that nigerians could earn from or invest with. Why? e.g fundrise was one of the apps I intended to invest with but I wasn’t privileged to do so.