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13 Best Money-Making Apps for 2024

money making app

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updated: July 11, 2024

If you're looking for ways to balance your budget, numerous apps can help you earn extra cash or save money on everyday purchases. These money-making apps make it easy to use your mobile device to pick up a side gig, take online surveys, sell stuff you no longer use, lower your bills, and more. The best money-making apps let you sign up for free, get paid quickly, and set your own hours. Here are our top picks.

Our recommendations for the best apps to make money

1. Best for earning gift cards: Swagbucks

Swagbucks lets you earn points by completing easy tasks like answering surveys, playing games, watching videos, and searching the internet. You can also earn cash back and access exclusive deals and coupons when you shop at over 1,500 in-store and online retailers (including grocers). Membership is free, and you can redeem your points for gift cards to retailers like Amazon or Walmart or get cash back from PayPal.


  • Multiple ways to earn points
  • Redeem points for gift cards or cash


  • Low earnings potential
  • Some tasks are time-consuming

2. Best for online surveys: Survey Junkey

Survey Junkey is an online market research community. As a member, you complete surveys in exchange for virtual points, which you can instantly redeem for e-gift cards or PayPal payments. You'll answer a few questions and create a profile to get started, and then Survey Junkey matches you to relevant surveys. You won't get rich taking surveys, and the company points out that it's not meant to replace a full-time job. Still, it says you can earn $40 monthly by completing three surveys a day.


  • Earn money completing brief surveys
  • Redeem points for e-gift cards or PayPal


  • Surveys might be expired
  • Some surveys have repetitive questions

3. Best for playing games: FreeCash

FreeCash lets you earn money by playing games, taking surveys, watching videos, and more. The website says you can earn up to $399.89 per offer, though users earn an average of $27.90 daily. Once you sign up for a free account, you can browse a large selection of offers, choose one you like, complete the steps, and get paid in FreeCash coins ($1,000 coins equals $1). From there, you can cash out your rewards via PayPal, various cryptocurrencies, gift cards, or in-game items on games like Valorant and League of Legends.


  • Quick sign-up process
  • Numerous ways to earn


  • Earnings can be low
  • Rewards may expire

4. Best for finding customers: Bark

Bark is a lead generation service that connects you with potential customers. After creating a free Bark profile describing your services, the platform alerts you when a promising lead comes through. You’ll use Bark credits if you’re interested in contacting a lead, with the cost based on the service, the value of the job, and supply and demand in your area. After that, any further contact with the lead is free. The optional Elite Pro subscription helps you stand out from the crowd, and thecompany claims one extra customer a month could more than cover the cost (a free one-month trial is available).


  • Connects you with potential customers
  • Only pay for the leads you want to contact


  • The credit system can be confusing
  • Need an Elite Pro account to gain visibility

5. Best for investing spare change: Acorns

Acorns makes it easy to save and invest with little to no effort. The app automatically rounds up purchases you make from linked accounts, debit cards, and credit cards to the next dollar. Then, Acorns invests that spare change in a diversified portfolio of professionally managed exchange-traded funds (ETFs). Acorns also offers a browser extension called “Earn” that helps you earn money when you shop online. Subscriptions cost $3, $6, or $12 monthly, depending on the plan and features you choose.


  • Automatically invests your spare change
  • Earn cash back at 450+ retailers


  • Fees are high for small accounts
  • No tax-loss harvesting

6. Best for keeping track of your finances: Rocket Money

Rocket Money (the same company behind Rocket Mortgage) is a money management and budgeting app that lets you see all your financial accounts in one place, create budgets, automate your savings, and monitor your credit score so you can save more, spend less, and get (and stay) on track. The app is free, but you'll pay $3 to $12 monthly for premium services, including subscription cancellation, chatting with a money expert, and bill negotiation (which costs 30% to 60% of your first-year savings).


  • Numerous budgeting and savings features
  • Credit reports and tracking


  • Free version is limited
  • Bill negotiation service can be pricey

7. Best for delivery drivers: DoorDash

DoorDash "Dashers" make money delivering products from restaurants, convenience stores, pet stores, grocery stores, and more. To get started, sign up and apply online, set up your profile, and then schedule shifts or start dashing right away. You choose when and how much you want to work and earn a guaranteed base rate for every order, plus tips. You can set up free, automatic weekly payouts or get paid instantly after every dash for no fee with DasherDirect Instant Pay. 


  • Set your own hours
  • Keep 100% of your tips


  • Vehicle costs (gas, wear and tear, etc.)
  • No earnings while waiting for food orders

8. Best for gas station rewards: Upside

Upside (formerly GetUpside) partners with businesses nationwide to provide personalized cash back offers. While Upside offers cash back opportunities at restaurants and grocery stores, it's best known for helping people save at the pump. Download the app, create an account, and let Upside access your location to view offers in your area. From there, you'll find and claim offers, pay with a credit or debit card, and submit your receipt or check-in on the app. Upside validates your purchase, and then you can cash out your earnings to your bank account, PayPal, or a gift card.


  • User-friendly app shows map view of offers
  • Can stack with existing loyalty programs


  • Doesn’t work with cash
  • Some locations have few or no offers

9. Best for freelancers: Upwork

Upwork is a freelancing marketplace that connects gig workers with clients. Once you sign up and create a profile, you can pitch projects and bid for jobs in nearly every industry, job, and skill set. You'll invoice clients and track your earnings on Upwork, choose how to get paid (direct deposit, PayPal, Payoneer, or wire transfer), and pay a 10% freelancer service fee on your earnings.


  • Pitch projects and bid for jobs
  • Payment protection ensures you get paid


  • 10% freelancer service fee
  • Get paid 10 days after billing period ends

10. Best for active traders and investors: TradeStation

TradeStation is best known for its flagship desktop platform, but on-the-go traders will appreciate its freshly updated mobile app. With a quick and secure login, the app offers sophisticated charting with real-time data, advanced analysis, a streamlined order interface, intuitive order tracking, account monitoring, and more. You'll also have access to pre-built hot lists, news, analyst ratings, and earnings calendars. The app supports stocks, options, futures, and crypto currency trading—with the option to toggle between live and sim trading environments. 


  • Advanced tools and trade execution
  • Commission-free trades


  • Not as robust as the desktop platform
  • Steep learning curve

11. Best for passive investors: M1 Finance

M1 Finance is a low cost robo-advisor that's ideal for self-directed investors wanting to manage their investing, banking, and borrowing in one app. Offers like an Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC)-insured savings account that earns 5% APY (as of Nov. 2, 2023), a Visa credit card that offers up to 10% cash back, and no-fee personal loans may appeal to anyone. Self-directed investors will appreciate M1's competitive margin loan rates, digital tools, and automated investing with dynamic rebalancing to keep your portfolio allocation in check.


  • Integrate investment, banking, and borrowing
  • Trade automation with dynamic rebalancing


  • $10 monthly fee to get the best offers
  • No access to advisors or recommendations

12. Best for cash back: Rakuten Rewards

Rakuten Rewards (formerly Ebates) offers cash back, deals, and coupons at over 3,500 stores on everything from clothes and electronics to restaurants and ridesharing. Sign up for a free account in less than 30 seconds and start shopping on, the Rakuten app, or the browser extension. You can also link store offers to your credit card to earn in-store cash back. Rakuten Rewards emails you when it adds cash back to your account, and you'll get a payment every three months by check or PayPal.


  • Unlimited cash back
  • $10 welcome bonus for new users


  • Some cash back rates are low
  • Cash back awarded every three months

13. Best for selling tech and media: Decluttr

Decluttr is a resale app that lets you sell the tech and media products you no longer use, such as old smartphones, laptops, tablets, smartwatches, DVDs, game consoles, and video games. To get started, download the app, search for the item you want to sell (or scan the barcode on your media), and get an instant price quote. If you accept it, Decluttr sends a free UPS shipping label. Once Decluttr receives the item, you'll get paid by direct deposit or PayPal within 24 hours. Or, if Decluttr doesn't accept the item for some reason, it will send it back at no cost to you.


  • Accepts old and broken electronics
  • No fees and quick payments


  • Valuations aren’t negotiable
  • Decluttr might send your item back

Best money-making apps compared

TitleBest for
Surveys & gift cards
Survey Junkie
Online surveys
Playing games
Finding customers
Investing spare change
Rocket Money
Keeping track of your finances
Delivery drivers
Gas station rewards
Active traders and investors
M1 Finance
Passive investors
Cash back
Selling tech and media

TIME Stamp: Money-making apps can supplement your income

It's essential to set realistic expectations when using money-making apps. They aren't get-rich schemes, and you might not earn enough to make ends meet. And as a side gig, you won't receive any employee benefits like health insurance, a 401(k), or paid time off—and your earnings may be sporadic.

Still, money-making apps can be an excellent way to earn extra income while enjoying the flexibility of setting your own schedule. Keep in mind that using certain apps together could boost your earnings potential.

Survey Junkie
Inbox Dollar
Average payout

$0.40 – $2

$1 – $3

$0.50 – $5.00
Payment method
Paypal or gift cards
Paypal, eGift cards, or bank transfer
Paypal Cash, Amazon gift cards, Starbucks gift cards, and more
Minimum to cash out
$3 for gift cards; $25 for PayPal

$5 (500 points)




View OfferView OfferView Offer

Frequently asked questions (FAQs)

Which apps pay you instantly?

There is usually a delay between the time you earn cash through a money-making app and when you receive it. Depending on the app, the delay could be 10 days or longer. Still, some apps have low minimum thresholds for requesting payouts. For example, Survey Junkie lets you cash out with just $5 in earnings. You may have to verify your bank account or PayPal details before the app can send you money, which could take several days.

Are money-making apps safe?

Many money-making apps are safe. Legitimate ones will be transparent about how they pay and protect users. If you're unsure about an app, research the company, read online user reviews, and check its Google Play or Apple App Store ratings and download statistics.

How much does a money-making app cost?

Most money-making apps are free to download and use, but some offer in-store purchases to unlock premium features or charge user fees, typically deducted from your earnings. Of course, some apps let you earn cash through rebates—meaning you'll need to spend money to make money. In these situations, consider whether you really need the item. It doesn't make financial sense to buy something you don't need just to score a rebate.

The information presented here is created independently from the TIME editorial staff. To learn more, see our About page.