10 of the best money-making apps
The Bankrate promise
At Bankrate we strive to help you make smarter financial decisions. While we adhere to strict , this post may contain references to products from our partners. Here's an explanation for .
Technology is making it easier than ever to make a little extra cash, whether it’s taking on side gigs or getting rewarded for certain purchases. With a money-making app, you can look for gigs, deals and other ways to earn money simply by browsing on your mobile phone.
There’s a slew of money-making apps available on the market tailored to a variety of skills and needs. These apps are some of the best to help you make a bit of extra money.
1. Rakuten: Best for cash back on online purchases
Rakuten is an app that earns you cash back for shopping at over 3,000 stores. It works by partnering with different stores and getting paid a commission for sales, which is then shared with the customer in the form of cash back.
Some popular brands that Rakuten partners with include Etsy, Macy’s, StubHub and Best Buy. A few stores come with the opportunity to earn over 10 percent cash back on purchases.
You can earn cash back by shopping through the Rakuten app or downloading the Rakuten browser extension. It’s also possible to collect earnings from in-store purchases by linking a card to Rakuten in the app and then using the linked card to pay in store. Earnings are paid out four times a year, and they can be distributed by check or PayPal.
How you make money: Cash back on purchases
2. Ibotta: Best for cash back on in-store purchases
Ibotta offers cash-back rewards on purchases made online and in stores, much like Rakuten. A unique feature of Ibotta, though, is its abundance of earnings opportunities for in-store purchases.
If you have loyalty cards at certain retailers, you can link them to the Ibotta app to earn cash-back rewards whenever you shop at the retailer. Another way to earn cash back is by submitting a receipt from stores Ibotta partners with; when you buy certain products listed in the app, you receive cash back on the purchase. You can also opt-in to Nearby Offer Alerts, which send notifications to your mobile phone whenever you’re near an Ibotta retailer.
Instead of earning points and then redeeming accumulated points, you get direct cash for each qualifying purchase within 24 hours. You can withdraw earnings whenever you reach $20, which can then be converted into a gift card or transferred to a bank account via PayPal. As of Nov. 10, 2022, Ibotta offers a $15 sign-up bonus, which is credited once you spend $50 shopping with Ibotta.
How you make money: Cash back on in-store and online purchases
3. Depop: Best for selling clothes
With Depop, users can sell their old clothes and accessories. Depop began as a social network for younger creatives to connect with new designers. Today, the app is a widespread online marketplace that boasts 26 million registered users, 90 percent of whom are under the age of 26.
Anyone can create an account with Depop to list items, and the app offers seller services to teach users the ins and outs of selling on the online marketplace. Once listed, an item can be liked or bookmarked by potential buyers, and there’s a messaging service embedded in the app so buyers and sellers can communicate. Sellers also have the option to offer international shipping.
How you make money: Selling clothing and accessories
4. Swagbucks: Best for app-based tasks
Swagbucks is a one-stop shop for earning monetary rewards on various tasks. Tasks you can make money on through the Swagbucks app include watching promotional videos, completing surveys and shopping online. You can also earn rewards for buying certain groceries — you just snap a picture of the receipt after shopping and upload it to the app.
For each task you complete, you’ll earn a certain amount of points. Then, the points can be redeemed for gift cards to popular retailers, a check or cash via PayPal. Every 100 points are equal to $1, and Swagbucks states that users typically earn $1 to $5 per day.
How you make money: Completing various app-based tasks
5. TaskRabbit: Best for local tasks
TaskRabbit could be a good option for someone looking to take on the odd job here and there to make extra cash at their own rate. The app connects service providers — called Taskers — to clients who need a helping hand in their local area. Some of the services that you can offer on TaskRabbit include furniture assembly, yard work, grocery shopping and moving help.
Signing up to become a Tasker is relatively simple — you download the app, select the services you want to offer and complete a verification process. You set your own availability and rates. There is, however, a one-time $25 registration fee for taskers to use the app.
How you make money: Completing tasks for local clients
6. Fiverr: Best for freelancers
Fiverr is an app designed to connect a variety of entrepreneurs and businesses with freelancers. Freelancers, called sellers in the app, can offer services in hundreds of categories, such as website design, copywriting and data engineering.
To become a seller with Fiverr, you must first create an account and undergo an onboarding process, which involves watching a few instructional videos. You’ll then provide information regarding your skill set, work history and identity verification. Fiverr will review the information to determine whether you are approved to become a seller.
Once approved, sellers can create gig packages, which are three tiers of the service offered. The seller determines the price of each tier (between $5 and $995) and can offer services on their own schedule. Payment is electronically dispersed to the seller as soon as the order is completed, though it can take up to two weeks to clear. Sellers keep 80 percent of the payment while Fiverr takes a 20 percent cut.
Cost: 20 percent of payment per gig
How you make money: Freelance work
7. Survey Junkie: Best for taking surveys
Survey Junkie rewards you for sharing your opinions and digital activity. After you sign up with the app, it will match you with surveys that you can complete on your own time and earn points for. You can also earn points by adding the Survey Junkie Pulse extension to your browser, which shares your digital browsing activity (such as shopping activity and website engagement) with market researchers.
Points can then be redeemed for cash via PayPal or gift cards with popular retailers.
Survey Junkie states that all data collected from both survey responses and digital activity are encrypted and collected directly by the researchers. Users can choose what they want to share to maintain privacy.
How you make money: Taking surveys and sharing digital activity
8. Airbnb: Best for renting out space
If you’ve got a spare room or you’re going away for a while, you could rent out your space using Airbnb. It’s available as both an app and a desktop site, and nearly anyone can become an Airbnb host by uploading photos of their space and making a listing.
Hosts can list spaces anywhere in the world to be rented out. They set the price per night, what days it’s available, check-in and check-out times and the maximum number of guests. According to Airbnb, hosts earned about $13,800 on average in 2021. While it’s free to post a listing, Airbnb takes a cut of the earnings — typically 3 percent, but more in some cases, such as if the host sets strict cancellation policies.
Cost: Typically 3 percent of earnings
How you make money: Renting out your space to guests
9. UrbanSitter: Best for babysitters
UrbanSitter is a platform that connects babysitters and parents in hundreds of cities across the U.S. To become a babysitter on the app, you sign up with your availability, set your own rate and complete a background check. Parents must verify their identities, too, so that both parties are safe.
Average rates charged by babysitters on UrbanSitter range from $11 to $16 per hour for one child, though each sitter decides their own rate. UrbanSitter doesn’t charge any fees for using its services, nor does it take a cut of earnings.
How you make money: Babysitting
10. Rocket Money: Best for negotiating bills
Rocket Money offers a unique way to make money: Cutting back on recurring payments. It does this by analyzing your bills and subscriptions, canceling unwanted subscriptions and negotiating to lower bills for you.
Additionally, Rocket Money comes with several other features to help users manage their personal finances. Some of these include a spending tracker, automated savings and credit score alerts.
The Rocket Money app itself is free, but if it successfully negotiates a bill for you, it takes a percentage of the savings for the first year. Users can choose for the service to charge between 30 and 60 percent of earnings from negotiated bills.
Cost: 30 to 60 percent of earnings for the first year
How you make money: Canceling unwanted subscriptions and negotiating bills
These money-making apps may be great for some, but they’re not for everyone. Look for an app that matches your skills and lifestyle before getting started.
Whether you’re a frequent online shopper or someone with a spare room to rent out, these apps can streamline the process of finding deals and gigs, and they can open the door for new money-making opportunities. It’s important to look at fees to determine whether the app is worth it. And make sure it’s a trusted platform so you don’t end up falling prey to any scams.