Most people today are never more than a few feet from their smartphone. Plus, adults spend an average of 3.3 hours a day on their phone viewing digital media, mostly for sheer entertainment value. But, if you could make that time on your smartphone pay, wouldn’t that be ideal? With that in mind, here are five easy ways to earn money from your phone, starting today.
1. Surfing, Watching, and Gaming
There is actually a slew of apps that will compensate you for things you are probably doing anyway. If you are willing to spend some time watching ads, playing games, and maybe answering a few quick surveys to bolster your balance, then these apps are great ways to make some side cash with your phone.
Swagbucks is one of the most popular options, particularly with its companion web-based service. You earn SBs by doing simple activities and can cash them in for gift cards or deposits into a PayPal account.
CashPirate uses a similar premise, but also offers games and the ability to interact with ads they display to add to your “coin” balance. Once you have enough coins, you can cash out with a PayPal account.
Fronto gives you the ability to watch ads, read news, view articles, peruse product deals, and check out reviews in exchange for points. Plus, if you are open to downloading some free apps, you can earn bonuses too. With enough points, you can receive cash through PayPal, gift cards, or redeemable coupons.
2. Shopping: Rebates, Scans, and Receipt Pictures
If you want to earn a little money from shopping but don’t want to change what you buy, your smartphone can help you do just that. Several apps offer rebates (similar to coupons, but paid back after a purchase) for items you buy, allowing you to get cash back without changing your routine.
Both Checkout 51 and iBotta use the rebate approach. After you shop, you simply look for applicable deals on the apps. If you find a match, select it, scan your receipt, and receive your rebate into your account. Then, once you earn enough cashback (usually around $20), you can get your money through a gift card, check, or PayPal deposit.
Shopkick will give you points for what you buy, as well as other activities. For example, you might receive some points, called “kicks,” just for walking into a store with the app open. Additionally, if you are willing to scan some product’s barcodes during your trip, you can earn more kicks even if you don’t purchase the item. Once you have 500 kicks, you reach the first cash out tier. A range of gift cards is available, though you can select a PayPal deposit as well, if you prefer. Go to the Shopkick app and put in the promo code SAFREE5 to get started.
Alternatively, Receipt Hog doesn’t care about what you buy. Instead, it just wants you to take pictures of your receipt and submit them. In exchange, you receive “coins” that you can redeem for gift cards or a PayPal deposit. You can cash out once you have 1,000 coins, which translates to $5.
3. Small Tasks Based on Your Location
If you are open to completing micro tasks in your area in exchange for cash, there are apps for that. On Easy Shift, earn money by handling small assignments, like checking the price of a product, seeing if an item is in stock at a store, or taking a picture of a store display.
Each assignment, or shift, can include a few micro tasks, though they all are based on a single store. Once complete, you’ll earn the amount listed for the shift after the 48-hour approval period. Then, you can deposit your money into a PayPal account.
Field Agent is another app with a similar premise. You complete microtasks in exchange for cash and receive payment through PayPal.
GigWalk also uses the microtask approach, though it focuses more on tasks like verifying road signs, transportation options, and local landmarks. The Job Spotter focuses on “now hiring” signs, allowing you to earn points by sharing photos of the signage you spot in your city. Anyone who takes a daily walk through their city could make some extra cash or gift cards without really changing their routine.
If you live in a big city, you could find tons of opportunities. However, small towns don’t have as many assignments, making these apps less lucrative.
4. Purely Surveys
Completing surveys has been a quintessential way to earn a little side cash online, and the phone app options allow you to finish them easily while on-the-go. InboxDollars pays small amounts, usually less than a dollar, for a few minutes of your time on each survey you qualify for and submit.
If you look for survey apps, make sure to proceed with caution. While there are plenty of reputable companies out there, scams are also fairly common. Additionally, understand that these won’t make you rich. In fact, you probably won’t be eligible for the vast majority of the surveys you see, and you don’t receive cash for trying to qualify if you don’t.
5. Lock Screen Ads
If you are looking for an incredibly simple way to earn about $15 a month, then Slidejoy is a solid option. Instead of your usual lock screen image, you’ll see an ad. Then, by simply sliding right, you can unlock your phone. Slide left, and you interact with the ad, usually by being sent to a specific destination, like a page in the app store.
Regardless of whether you slide left or right, you’ll receive compensation. Over time, as the app learns your preferences, your payouts can actually increase since Slidejoy can market you as an ideal candidate for certain ad categories, making you more valuable in those areas.
While none of these apps will make you rich, the majority can easily fit into your life and help you earn some cash on the side. Since you won’t have to alter your routine or dedicate too much time, they are all worth exploring.
Do you have a tip for earning money with your phone? Share it in the comments below.
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