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So, you’re looking for apps that pay you money AND take minimal effort to use.

Well you’ve come to the right place. We’ve done the digging—we’ve tested all the ‘money-making apps’ and have found out which ones are legit (like the Ibotta app), and which aren’t worth their salt.

You can be confident that each of the money making apps you try today are:

  • Safe
  • Actually make you money
  • Worth your time (We know you don’t have time for time-consuming apps that pay pennies)

With that, here are the 12 BEST apps that pay you real money in 2020!

12 Free Apps That Pay You Money Fast

Pro Tip: Try out several of these apps at once.  Many of them earn money in the background and can be used simultaneously!

1. Ibotta: $10 Bonus- Make Money Grocery Shopping

Ibotta is the MVP when it comes to saving money on groceries. With this app, you will earn real money every. single. shopping trip.

Is Ibotta legit : Ibotta App Review

How It works:

All you have to do is snap a pic of your receipt and watch free money get instantly deposited into your account. And don’t worry, you won’t have to buy weird food items: Ibotta gives you cash back on the food you buy every week.

Plus, you’ll get a free $20 just for trying it out!

How do I get paid?

Do your same ol’ grocery shopping, load up your account with Ibotta cash, and redeem that money in these two ways:

  1. PayPal direct deposit 
  2. Free gift cards!

Final Ibotta App Rundown:

  • Sign Up Bonus: $20 Gift Card
  • Platform: iPhone & Android 
  • Money Redemption: PayPal, Gift Cards
  • Effort Required: Low
  • Price: Free
  • Final recommendation: 100% you need this app.

*COVID-19 Hack: Since you’re cooking at home, you’re probably buying more groceries than ever. Ibotta saves you money on groceries nearly every grocery trip. Grab your receipt, snap a pic, and earn cash back. (You’ll get a $20 welcome bonus just for using the app.) Another tip if you’ve been having your grocers delivered: Ibotta will give you 2% cash back on your Insacart delivers. So you’ll save on the delivery fee, and you still get to take a picture of your receipt to earn more cash back. 

Try the Ibotta app and get a $20 bonus added to your account from the start. 

Check out our Ibotta explainer video for even more reasons why you shouldn’t go another day without the best cash-back-on-groceries app.

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2. Dosh App: $1 Bonus- Effortless Cash Back 

The Dosh App is the epitome of LAZY money-making apps.  Just use your debit/credit card like normal and… well… that’s it. That’s all you have to do to earn free money! 

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*COVID-19 Hack: As of 4/22/20, Dosh is offering 4% cash back at Safeway and 4% cash back at Vons when you order your groceries online. Create your free Dosh account here to earn easy money on groceries through the Dosh app, and grab a $1 welcome bonus! (Pro tip: use Dosh and Ibotta together to earn more free money) 

As long as you’re spending money on the linked credit or debit card, you’re getting paid! 

And of course, as an incentive to try it out, they’ll automatically load $1 onto your account from the start!

dosh app

How It Works: 

Simply connect your credit or debit card to the Dosh App… that’s it. Now, just shop and dine out while getting up to 10% cash back loaded into your account automatically.  Here’s a few of the 1,000+ locations you could be earning *automatic* cash-back at:

  • Walmart – 3% Cash Back
  • Target – 1.5% Cash Back
  • Walgreens – 6% Cash Back
  • Exxon Mobile – 2% Cash Back
  • Guess – 5% Cash Back
  • Patagonia – 6% Cash Back
  • Bed Bath & Beyond – 7% Cash Back
  • Jiffy Lube – 10% Cash Back

How do I get paid?

The Dosh App pays you cash! You get to decide between: 

  1. Bank account deposit
  2. PayPal cash
  3. Donation to a charity

Final Dosh App Rundown:

  • Sign up Bonus: $1 Cash
  • Platform: iPhone App & Android App
  • Payment: Direct deposit, PayPal cash, Donation
  • Effort Required: Nada
  • Price: Free
  • Final recommendation: Want effortless free money? 100% Get this app!

Try out the Dosh App and get this $1 bonus added to your account

dosh app

3. MyPoints App: $10 Bonus- Get Paid To Watch, Play, Answer & Shop 

If you play games, search the web, shop, or watch videos on your phone, MyPoints is ready to hand you some cold-hard cash. 

How It Works: 

After you sign up for a free MyPoints account (and grab your free $10 Amazon gift card just for signing up) you’re eligible to download the MyPoints app on iPhone and Android devices. 

From there, you get to choose how you want to make your money.  MyPoints pays you to:

  • Read sales emails
  • Search the web
  • Answer surveys
  • Play mobile games
  • Watch videos
  • Shop
  • And even print coupons

Why not make a few bucks “watching videos” (on mute) while watching TV tonight?!

How do I get paid?

MyPoints awards users with “points” (go figure) for performing each task listed above.  You can then redeem those points for: 

  1. Gift Cards
  2. PayPal Cash
  3. United Airline Miles

Final MyPoints App Rundown:

  • Sign up Bonus: $10 Amazon Gift Card 
  • Platform:  Desktop, IPhone & Android 
  • Payment:  PayPal, Gift Cards, United Miles
  • Effort Required:  Low-mid
  • Price: Free
  • Final recommendation: If you want to make money simply watching videos, get this app!

Sign up for a free MyPoints account and get a free $10 Amazon Gift Card

Want to make tons of free money with surveys? Check out our favorite money making survey sites in our comprehensive list of ways to get free money right now (and even more in the future).

4. Rakuten (Ebates) App: $10 Bonus- Get Paid To Shop (Online and In-Store) 

Pretty much, you shouldn’t pay full price for anything you buy online, and Rakuten (formerly Ebates) is the key to making it happen. Rakuten offers you up to 40% cash back at thousands of online and in-store retailers. 

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How It Works: 

Rakuten is ‘mail-in rebates’ made easy.  Just open the Rakuten App before you make an online purchase to earn free money. Here’s exactly how to do it: 

  1. Sign up for a free Rakuten account (and grab this $10 Bonus just for signing up)
  2. Download the Rakuten App
  3. Search the online store you’re about to buy from
  4. Click on the “Shop Now” button

There you have it. You’re now getting paid to shop!

How do I get paid?

Rakuten pays you in the form of a “Big Fat Check” which can be sent as a: 

  1. Physical check delivered to your mailbox
  2. PayPal direct deposit

Final Rakuten App Rundown:

  • Sign up Bonus: $10 Gift Card 
  • Platform: Desktop, IPhone & Android 
  • Payment: Check or PayPal
  • Effort Required: Low
  • Price: Free
  • Final Recommendation: If you shop online, you 100% need this app

Try out Rakuten and grab this free $10 gift card while you’re at it (it will look something like this:)

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Related Post: How To Get Free Amazon Gift Cards Fast– 25+ Easy Ways

5. Drop App: Get Free Gift Cards On Auto-Pilot

The Drop App is kind of like the Dosh App: you get paid to spend money on a linked card.

Current Cash Back Promotions running on Drop (Updated 6/5/20)

  • 1% Cash Back at Safeway
  • 1.5% Cash Back at Walmart
  • 1.5% Cash Back at Sam’s Club
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How It Works: 

Download the Drop app, and link your credit/debit card to the app. Simply open the app, activate a cash-back offer, and you’re done. From that point forward, the Drop app will collect free money at the activated store when you swipe your linked card. 

How do I get paid?

Turn your Drop App money into free gift cards! They have a generous selection of gift cards to pick from including: Starbucks, Amazon, Uber, Regal Theaters, Nordstrom, Target, Best Buy, and so many more!

Final Drop App Rundown:

  • Platform: iPhone & Android 
  • Payment: Gift Cards
  • Effort Required: Very little
  • Price: Free
  • Final recommendation: Very little effort + free gift cards? 100% you need this app.

Click here to try the Drop App and start earning free gift cards\

Update 06/05/20: Drop just gave our readers a $5 Gift Card Sign Up Bonus Code! Use our promo code ‘BudgetingCouple’ when downloading the app to get a free $5 added to your account from the start!

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6. Sweatcoin App- Make Money Walking 

If you’ve needed a little extra incentive to get outside and finally start taking walks around the neighborhood, check out Sweatcoin. It’s an app that pays you to walk. 

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How It Works: 

The Sweatcoin App keeps track of your steps taken outside using your phone’s GPS location and accelerometers.  Each step you take is converted into “SweatCoins”. 

1,000 Outdoor Steps = 95 ‘Sweatcoins’

So go outside and get some fresh air. But make sure to take your phone with you and earn easy money! 

Check out all the ways to make money with Sweatcoin in our full Sweatcoin App Review.

How do I get paid?

You can redeem your sweatcoins for a variety of rewards (with new rewards added daily):

  • PayPal Cash
  • Charity Donation
  • Restaurant Voucher
  • IPhone X
  • Yoga Classes
  • Workout Clothes
  • And more.

Final SweatCoin Rundown:

  • Platform: iPhone & Android 
  • Payment: Goods, Services, Experiences, PayPal
  • Effort Required: 100% passive
  • Price: Free
  • Final recommendation: If you walk outside…ever, why not make money doing it?!

Click here to download SweatCoin and start getting paid to walk!

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Related Post: 9 Side Hustles to Make $200 Every Day (fast)

7. Fetch: An Intuitive “Cash-Back on Groceries” App

The Fetch app puts a twist on “cash-back on groceries.” Rather than partnering with grocery store companies, Fetch has partnered with big brands to make earning free money (and using their app) extremely simple.

How it works:

With Fetch, it doesn’t matter where you shop (grocery store, convenience store, drug store). When you pick-up groceries, open Fetch, scan your receipt, and more than likely, you will get cash back from one of Fetch’s 200+ big-brand partners.

Join the other 200k+ users who are making money with Fetch right now

fetch app pays you money

How do I get Paid?

Collect Fetch points, and redeem them for free gift cards to your favorite retailers (at time of writing: 1,000 points = $1). We recommend you grab their free Visa Gift Card so that you can can spend your free fetch money anywhere you’d like. (these things are as good as cash!)

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Get 2,000 Fetch points ($2 towards your next Visa Gift Card) when you sign up for free here. (Promo Code: FETCH2K)

Final Fetch App Rundown:

  • Sign-up Bonus: 2,000 points ($2 equivalent) Promo code: FETCH2K
  • Platform: iPhone & Android
  • Payment: Gift cards and Visa gift cards (practically cash)
  • Effort Required: Very little
  • Price: Free
  • Final recommendation: Cash back on brands & free Visa gift cards? You need Fetch.

Click here to deposit 2,000 points ($2 equivalent) into your free Fetch account (Promo Code: FETCH2K).

Limited Time Bonus (updated 01/20/20)When you download the Fetch App with our link you’ll get 4,000 bonus points! Use the Promo Code: FETCH4K (bonus ends 02/29/20).

(7.5. Six Hacks to Save More Money)

Saving money is easy… once you know how to do it. If you’re living without the peace of mind of having lots of money in the bank, then you haven’t learned how to make saving money easy.

Our Free “Savings Account Accelerator” Workshop exercises 6 Money-Saving Hacks that not only teach you *how* to save money, but also how to save money faster than ever before. Don’t change your lifestyle to save money – use this free information to make saving money easy.

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11. MistPlay: Get Paid To Play Games

Gamers! Want to *get paid* to play games on your phone?

How It Works: 

MistPlay pays you in free gift cards, rewards, and cash to play up-and-coming mobile games! Simply add your favorite games to your “mixlist” to start earning free money from your phone!

To get started all you need to do is download the free MistPlay app, (Android only at this time)

Check out this gamer’s 5 Star Review:

“The best game rewards app out there and I have received multiple gift cards now, 3 months currently.”

Nou L.

How do I get paid?

MistPlay pays out in free gift cards or cash rewards!

Final MistPlay Rundown:

  • Platform: Android, Google Play Store
  • Payment: Cash & Gift Cards
  • Effort Required: Moderate but fun
  • Price: Free
  • Final recommendation: If you enjoy playing mobile games, sign up now!

Click here to download the free MistPlay App (and start making easy money today!)

8. InboxDollars App- Get Paid For Your Opinion 

InboxDollars is your classic “take surveys, get paid” type of website.  What sets them apart is their interactive mobile app that pays you for your opinion on the go! (Or…y’know… sitting in your pj’s on the couch, too lazy to get up and grab your laptop)  

How It Works: 

Sign up for a free InboxDollars account, here (and snag this $5 sign up bonus). Then download their free Android or iPhone app.

From there, start taking surveys.  They’ve partnered with big names (Netflix, Target, Walmart, just to name a few) and need YOUR opinion to help influence their future! 

How do I get paid?

InboxDollar pays you cash in two forms:

  1. Visa Prepaid Gift Card 
  2. Check delivered to your mailbox

Final InboxDollars Rundown:

  • Sign Up Bonus: $5 Cash
  • Platform: Desktop, iPhone & Android 
  • Payment: Visa Gift Card, Physical Check
  • Effort Required: Minimal to Moderate
  • Price: Free
  • Final recommendation: If you want to make money answering survey q’s on the go… get this app!

Sign up for a free InboxDollars account here (for some easy extra cash + a $5 Cash Bonus)

9. SwagBucks $10 Bonus: Swag IQ- Get Paid To Answer Trivia 

Calling all trivia buffs, SwagIQ is the app for you. Every day, you can compete LIVE against 3000 others for your chance to win $1,000+! All you have to do is answer 10 multiple-choice questions correctly.

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How It Works: 

Before downloading SwagIQ, you’ll first need to create a free SwagBucks account. Be sure to create your account here to get a free $10 gift card.  

Then download the SwagIQ app, sign in with your SwagBucks ID, and you’re ready to put that trivia knowledge to good use!

How do I get paid?

Your “SB” earnings can be redeemed for free gift cards OR PayPal cash! 100SB = $1.00

Final SwagIQ Rundown:

  • Sign Up Bonus: $10 Gift Card
  • Platform: iPhone & Android 
  • Payment: PayPal or Gift Cards
  • Effort Required: No effort, only fun
  • Price: Free
  • Final recommendation: If trivia is your jam, get this app!

Sign up for a free SwagBucks account and start crushing those trivia q’s! (+ get this $10 gift card for signing up)

Side Note: SwagBucks is another one of those “get paid to goof around online” free membership sites.  For more info on how to make money fast with SwagBucks (and what you shouldn’t waste your time on) check out our “Is SwagBucks Worth It” review post.

10. SwagBucks $10 Bonus: Local- Make Money Going Out To Dinner  

If you’re going out to dinner tonight, why not earn some real money while you’re at it? Our 2nd ‘must have’ SwagBucks App is called ‘Local’. 

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How It Works: 

Again, before downloading ‘Local’ you’ll need to sign up for a free SwagBucks account here to grab a free $10 bonus. 

(You can read more about what comes with the free SwagBucks membership here in our Is SwagBucks Legit review article)

Once you download the app, find a restaurant in your area, and local will pay you to try them out.  Here’s what to do: 

  1. Create a Swagbucks account here
  2. Download ‘Local’
  3. Link your debit or credit card to the app
  4. Use the app’s map to find a restaurant
  5. Pay with your linked card
  6. Earn free money

How do I get paid?

Get paid in free gift cards or PayPal cash!

Final ‘Local’ Rundown:

  • Sign Up Bonus: $10 Gift Card
  • Platform: iPhone & Android 
  • Payment: PayPal or Gift Cards
  • Effort Required: 100% passive
  • Price: Free
  • Final recommendation: Want to try new restaurants while getting paid?! Get this app!

Sign up for a free SwagBucks account to get started making money with ‘Local’ (+ get this $10 gift card just for signing up)

Also See: Ultimate Money Making Guide

12. Nielsen Panel- Get Paid To Go Online 

Nielsen Panel is dedicated to improving online products and services, and they need your help. Allow Nielson to anonymously collect data from you as you use the internet. You will make great money in the process. 

How It Works: 

After you install the Nielsen App, just use the internet like normal. Nielsen pays you about $50 a year to participate (or more if you connect more than 1 device).  As long as you have a smart phone or computer you’re eligible to join: 

  1. Sign up 
  2. Install the Nielsen App
  3. Start earning rewards!

What’s more, you’ll also be entered into monthly $10,000 sweepstakes!

How do I get paid?

Nielsen Panel pays you in free gift cards!

Final Nielsen Panel Rundown:

  • Platform: Desktop, Tablet, iPhone & Android 
  • Payment: Gift Cards
  • Effort Required: 100% passive
  • Price: Free
  • Final recommendation: Want to get paid for using the internet? Get this app!

Sign Up For Nielsen Panel today for 100% passive money making

Apps That Pay You Real Money: FAQ

1. Can I use multiple of these money making apps at the same time?

YES!  For instance, when shopping at Safeway for Groceries we get paid from multiple apps:

You should have multiple sources of free money coming in for every shopping trip .

Our suggestions: Download all the apps that seem applicable to you and see which one’s *naturally* earns you free money.  For us, it has become a routine to come back from the grocery store and snap a picture of our receipt with Ibotta for easy free money (and some of these apps work in the background making you money on autopilot i.e. Drop App, Dosh, Ebates, and ShopKick). 

2. What is the best app to earn money?

This depends on what you already do and what you’re willing to do.  

If you’re a big online shopper, Ebates will make you the most.  Or, if you like taking surveys and watching videos on your phone, MyPoints or InboxDollars is the way to go.  That’s why we suggest to download a bunch of apps to see which are the best fit for you (and might as well grab all those free sign-up bonuses while you’re at it)

3. Will any of these apps make me money fast/instantly? 

Yes! Over half of the apps we suggest pay you to create an account and try them out!  Use our links below to take advantage of these lucrative sign up bonuses: 

Update 01/07/2020: Get a FREE $5 Gift Card when you download the Drop App with our link and use our exclusive promo code: BudgetingCouple

4. Are there any other easy ways to earn free gift cards? (not just apps)

Absolutely!  We love getting all the free gift cards we can get our hands on.  

We’ve listed out our 25+ favorite ways to stock up on free amazon gift cards (but most of these you can choose other gift cards to redeem as well).

Alright, those are the absolute BEST Android and iPhone apps that pay you money in 2020!

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