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:

  1. Safe
  2. Actually make you money
  3. Worth your time

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

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: $20 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.

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

Want to hear even more ways Ibotta can save you money? Check out our Ibotta explainer video, here!

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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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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. 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

4. The Upside of this Free App is Free Money, Especially on Gas Purchases

Had enough of high gas prices? Do something about it with a free app that pays you cash back when you fill your tank at the pump.

Upside, formerly GetUpside, is a cash-back app that focuses on local businesses. You will start earning rewards with just a few taps at gas stations, grocery stores, and restaurants.

How It Works: 

Download the free Upside app, sign up, look for offers around you. When you see something you like, claim it. Visit the establishment to purchase your gas, food, or meals with your linked debit or credit card. When done, just check in on the app.

Upside started as a cash-back app for gas and has been adding grocery stores and restaurants. The app works at 45,000 locations across the United States.

How do I get paid?

Choose how to get paid: PayPal, bank account, or gift card. Start earning cash back at nearby stores when you install the Upside app. Use the promo code AFF20 to grab a 20 cents-per-gallon sign-up bonus. Best of all, Upside is a free app. Get some free cash-back today.

5. Sweatcoin App- Earn Free Gifts 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 sweatcoins 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’

Your sweatcoins can be redeemed in the Sweatcoin Marketplace. Buy yourself fun gifts or even trips to Disney World simply from staying healthy and walking outside. 

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

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):

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

Final SweatCoin Rundown:

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

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

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Free Workshop – Join our free Simplify Money Workshop

The *only* way to save money is to spend less than you earn. That means you need to decrease your expenses or increase your income.

We want to help you do both.

Join our FREE Simplify Money Workshop to learn the fundamentals of growing wealth. Because when you can spend less than you earn, your money has no choice but to grow. You will build your savings and pay down debt. 

What’s more? We’ve got a bunch of free money-hacks to share with you:

  • Hacks to lower your monthly bills
  • Hacks to spend less on debt
  • Hacks to start investing
  • Hacks to increase your income by $20/month (with no extra effort)

This workshop has everything you need to accomplish the cardinal rule of personal finance: keep your income over your expenses.

Join our free 5-day Simplify Money Workshop, and start growing your wealth today.

6. SwagBucks $5 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 $5 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: $5 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 $5 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.

7. SwagBucks $5 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 $5 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: $5 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 $5 gift card just for signing up)

Also See: Ultimate Money Making Guide

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. Dosh and 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. Ibotta is necessary for every trip to the grocery store.  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: 

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!

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