Who says you can’t download an app and make money doing almost nothing?
Sure, while it’s going to take some effort on your end with some options, the apps I’m about to mention can make you an okay side income, sometimes up to $200+ a month. You may be surprised as to how easy it actually is.
All you need to download the app and that’s about it. I know it sounds too good to be true, but I promise you it isn’t. I will explain later as to how it works.
After browsing through hundreds of apps and playing around with quite a few of them, I created a list to show you which passive income apps will make you money with very limited effort. This isn’t a list like you see on so many other blogs that say it’s a “passive income,” when in reality, it isn’t.
There’s a lot of garbage online, but I can promise you that the apps I’m about to list are 100% legit and can make you a few bucks a month in an honest way. As always, it will greatly depend on how active you are and what you download.
So, if you like the idea of a passive income while using your phone, then take a look at this list and hopefully you can find something of interest.
The Best Passive Income Apps for Android and iPhone
Much like Nielsen, the mobileXpression app is as easy as downloading the app and letting it run while using your phone. That’s it!
You don’t have to do anything on your part, I promise you that much.
In exchange for allowing the app to run, the company will reward you with credits every week you’re active, all of which you can then redeem for gift cards.
From what I read, first-time users will earn $5 their first week, but it will vary after your first week. Regardless, you will get rewarded. I know it’s not much, but if you add in as many of these passive income apps as possible, your earnings can really add up.
To determine your eligibility and learn more about the program, be sure to follow the link below as not everyone will be approved for the program.
- Website: mobileXpression
Nielsen Computer & Mobile Panel ($50/yr per device)
Out of all the options I’m about to list here, the Nielsen Computer & Mobile Panel was one of my favorite passive income apps, mainly due to the higher payouts.
To make money with this app, you simply need to download it and that’s it.
In doing so, the app will just want to track your non-sensitive data such as the websites you’re visiting, etc. They will never listen in on a conversation nor will they release your personal information. It’s very simple and private and is used for marketing purposes, that’s all.
And, the great thing about it is that you can download the app on more than one device and really capitalize your income. So, if you have another tablet/phone lying around the house, turn it on and download it here as well to earn even more.
While it’s not definite as to how much you can earn, members do report earning at least $50~ per year as long as it’s active on your phone. Download it on more than one device and earn even more. Three devices is an easy $150 per year!
Signing up is extremely easy and takes only minutes to do.
Best of all, once installed, you don’t have to do anything but collect the checks.
- Website: Nielsen Computer & Mobile Panel
I can almost assure you that you’re already making purchases with your debit and credit card, right?
If so, this is where the Drop app can come in and earn you cash back for the purchases you’re already making.
And, to use, it’s very easy!
Just link a credit card, usually, the one you use the most and the app does the rest.
Every time you make a purchase at a participating retailer, you will get cash back on your purchase. Technically, you earning money on purchases you already made.
The company works with hundreds of retailers/brands you have heard of, so at least connect a card and see how much you can make for the shopping you’re already doing. It’s 100% free.
- Website: Drop
Dosh is just like Drop, only that they could work with other retailers not found on the Drop app.
Securely link your credit and debit cards that you commonly use, and whenever you make a purchase with your linked cards, you can get money back.
The app works with thousands of stores, with some offers paying you back more than 10% back automatically.
I highly recommend you at least use a few of these apps to really capitalize on your cash back opportunities.
- Website: Dosh
Paribus, operated by Capital One, is a unique program that scans the receipts in your email, ultimately looking for price drops, late shipments and much more. It’s kind of like Drop and Dosh, but it’s a pinch different.
If this automated software finds anything that deserves a credit/refund, then they will do the dirty work, from contacting the retailer for you to getting your money back. From hotels to your big retailers, they work with a ton, so there’s a good chance you’re already shopping with the companies they scan.
If you’re already making purchases online, at least allow Paribus to scan your receipts. It’s 100% free and the company promises to never sell your data to third parties.
To date, Paribus has paid back more than $29 million for its customers.
- Website: Paribus
The Acorns app is a pinch different than the rest of these apps since it’s not really a true passive income app. Before you get mad at me, let me explain how it works.
With this app, you will connect your bank account to the app. Don’t worry, it’s safe as the company uses “serious security,” protecting your data with 256-bit encryption.
Once connected, every purchase you make with that connected account, your purchase is rounded up, with the spare change sent to an investment of your choice. So if you spent $33.10, the app would send $0.90 to your Acorns account.
As you can imagine, the longer you let your spare change sit in your investments, the more you can earn.
To give you an example, $30 in spare change per month at an 8% investment rate over 30 years is more than $40,000! This is just from your spare change.
For more information as to how this very popular app works, feel free to follow the link below.
- Website: Acorns
SavvyConnect ($60/yr per device)
SavvyConnect, as part of the popular survey site, SurveySavvy, will work much like the apps I already mentioned, wherein you will download it and that’s about it.
According to my research, for every month you keep it active, you can earn up to $60 for the year, but your earnings could be much more as they do allow you to install the app on up to three devices. This means you could earn $180 a year doing nothing.
Aside from being a member of SavvyConnect, you will also be part of the SurveySavvy, wherein you can receive exclusive, high-paying surveys. Taking these surveys are entirely optional, however.
- Website: SavvyConnect
CashMagnet ($15+/mo per device)
As long as you have a phone that can download an app, CashMagnet is said to be one of the best passive income earning apps on the market right now.
Unlike a lot of the apps I mention, CashMagnet works differently in that it acts as an auto-surfing device that browses articles on the internet. You can learn a lot more following the link below as they have a pretty in-depth FAQ.
By running this app, the amount you earn will greatly depend on your smartphone’s capacity and the time being spent, but according to the description, it is said that you can earn about $1 every two days or so. This is based on two years of data.
Also, let it be known you can use up to four devices per account, meaning that $15+ per month could be much more.
As long as your phone is idle and the app is active, you will earn rewards and nothing needs to be done on your end.
- Website: CashMagnet
DataCoup isn’t really an app, per se, but it’s an easy way to make a passive income as long as you don’t mind connecting your social media accounts or other related accounts.
The more accounts you add to your account, the more you can earn in rewards.
It’s hard to say how much you can earn, but from the reviews I found online, it appears you can earn about $5 a month for linking a few accounts or about $60 a year.
Just link it and forget it!
- Website: DataCoup
Mobile Performance Meter ($6/mo)
The free Mobile Performance Meter app will automatically distribute “Meter Points” every day you use your phone.
And, in exchange for these points, you can then cash out for a variety of great gift cards, including Amazon, Target and so much more.
This app is a simply hands-off money maker and has pretty decent reviews on the Google Play store.
Just download the app and do nothing else. There are no ads to watch, no videos to click through or annoying pop-ups.
To learn more about the program and how it works, you can find out more information via the link below.
- Website: Mobile Performance Meter
Panel App ($12/yr)
The Panel App rewards app is 100% free to join and has paid its members more than $2 million to date.
And, as a member, you can receive points just for having the app installed.
Since the device uses your data, including your apps and location, they will then use this for market purposes. It does not collect any sensitive data and is Google Play store approved.
From playing around the website, it appears you can earn about 30~ points a day, with 1,000 points equal to about $1. So, it’s not much, but hey, it’s a free $12 for the year.
- Website: Panel App
ScreenLift Rewards ($60/yr)
The ScreenLift Rewards app, more known as a lockscreen app, will present you with personalized content on your phone’s screen anytime you unlock your phone. It’s up to you to decide what you want to view, such as the weather, utilities, etc.
Now, the cool thing about this app is that you don’t need to interact with the content nor does it mess with your phone since you can unlock as you normally would. If you choose to do so, however, you can swipe left to engage with the story.
Every time you unlock your phone, you can get points, in which you can then cash out for a wide variety of prizes.
So seeing you’re unlocking your phone anyways, you may as well be rewarded for it.
- Website: ScreenLift Rewards
Slidejoy works in the same exact way as the ScreenLift Rewards, wherein you can get cash-like rewards just for using your lockscreen.
Now, the thing about these lockscreen apps is that you can only download one so I would recommend you play around with a few of them to see which one works best for you. In comparison to most lockscreen apps, Slidejoy does rank as the best so it may be wise to start with this one at first.
Again, there’s no need to do anything as you can unlock your phone like you normally would. If you decide to interact, then you can do so swiping up, left or down.
- Website: Slidejoy
As one last lockscreen app, this is yet another one to consider if you truly want to earn money doing absolutely nothing.
Every day, the app will reward you, no matter how often you interact with your lockscreen content. Just use your phone as you normally would and get paid.
Aside from the lockscreen options, you can also refer your friends, complete surveys and even try products to get rewarded as well.
- Website: S’more
The Shopkick app will take a smidge of work, but it’s a great one to at least download because it will reward you to simply check into stores and more.
Earning what’s known as “kicks,” the app will reward you to walk into a store, scan barcodes, upload a receipt and much more.
It’s extremely easy to use and only takes seconds to set up. Every time you walk into a store, just check in and earn “kicks” to use toward rewards.
If you’re the type that’s out and about shopping, it doesn’t hurt to at least open the app and check in to earn “kicks” toward free gift cards.
- Website: Shopkick
Smart Panel ($110/yr)
The Smart Panel is said to be a community collaboration between Verto Analytics and consumers to find out how people like you interact with their phone.
By joining the panel, you can help the company build valuable insights such as which apps you’re using, how long you’re using them and what you search on the internet. The app does not collect passwords, photos or any sensitive information. It’s for research purposes only.
Like some of these passive income apps, you will need to apply and be eligible for the program as not everyone can be approved. To determine this, you will be asked to take a short survey, answering questions that relate to your demographic and which smartphone you plan on using.
The longer you use the app, the more bonuses you can earn, with members reporting up to $110~ per year in earnings. This increases as the years go on.
As yet another passive income app, it’s a fantastic way to truly do nothing and make money while you’re asleep.
- Website: Smart Panel
The Spent app works much like the Drop app I mentioned prior, wherein you will connect one of your credit cards and watch the cash back roll in as you make purchases.
To use, it’s extremely simple, and from what I understand, you can use more than one of these apps to really capitalize on your cash back.
Download the app, connect your credit card and make purchases as you normally would. If any of the merchants are participating with the app, then you will get cash back for making a purchase you already would have made!
- Website: Spent
I contemplating putting this here, seeing you do have to work for your “Sweatcoins,” however, in order to earn these coins, you have to walk. That’s all.
So, seeing you’re already walking, you should at least consider downloading the app and earning cash as you go throughout your day.
I wrote about this very app in the past, so I do recommend you at least check out my review to learn more about it.
Don’t expect to make much, maybe a few dollars a month, but hey, if you’re walking, you might as well earn a few dollars doing so.
- Website: Sweatcoin
Upvoice ($1~ a week)
If you install the UpVoice Google Chrome extension, they will reward you with gift cards just for doing so.
Just continue your browsing activity as you normally would and the extension will reward you whenever you visit a participating site, such as Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn or Amazon. This list is subject to change.
I did write about this extension in depth in the past, and I highly recommend you check it out if you want to see how it works in detail.
- Website: Upvoice
If you have a car and don’t mind renting it out to strangers, then this could be the highest paying opportunity I list here.
With Turo, you can list your car whenever you please and name your own price. Not only that, Turo will provide you with a $1 million liability policy anytime someone rents your car, putting your mind at ease.
Seeing strangers are renting from a person rather than a corporation, you will also find that your potential renters will take much better care of your car than they would of a major car rental company.
Even if you rent out your car five times a month, that could be more than $150+, enough to at least pay a good chunk of your car payment. Rent it out more than this and it can really add up. How much you make will really depend on where you live and what kind of car you’re renting out.
Listing your car is very easy to do and only takes minutes to do.
- Website: Turo
Airbnb is a fantastic option if you don’t mind renting out your entire home or even a room. You’re in control so you can decide how much you want to charge as well as what the rules are when your guests stay.
Depending on where you live, it’s not uncommon to hear people make thousands a year, especially if you live in a high-demand, touristy area.
Of course, you have to own your home and clean up after guests leave, but hey, the money you earn won’t be comparable to what you could earn with a full-time job.
Setting up your listing only takes minutes, and who knows? If your area is in demand, you could have guests in as little as a week or so.
- Website: Airbnb
Passive Income FAQs
I’m sure you have a lot of questions as to how you can earn money while essentially doing nothing.
Yes, I can promise you that it can be done, as you can see via the apps above, but if you have more questions, I will try my best to answer them below.
What about my privacy?
All of these apps I mention are 100% legitimate and will let you know exactly what they are going to do with their apps. Most of the time, your data is submitted anonymously and is encrypted so it can’t be traced back to you. These apps also won’t record conversations or track your text messages, etc, and are simply designed to look at the websites you visit and the apps you download for marketing purchases.
How do these companies make money?
In short, these apps will take your behavioral information and then will sell it as market research. Companies often use this information to help improve a product and/or service based on all of the usage they gather. This is no different than surveys you can take online.
This isn’t a scam?
While it sounds too good to be true, I can promise you that it’s not! However, scams do exist in every industry, and to avoid them, never give away sensitive data or pay for information up front. If you’re using an app not found on this list, just make sure it’s free to download and comes from a reputable company. Generally, a quick search can tell you a lot about a company.
You won’t get rich with these passive income apps, but almost all of the options I mentioned will make you some money doing absolutely nothing. They are legitimate and have a long history of paying their members.
As long as you follow the directions and keep them active, then there’s no reason you can’t earn $20, $30 or even $100+ per month. As I mentioned, the more devices you add to your accounts, the more you can potentially make. Add as many as possible to really capitalize on your earnings.
I mentioned it in my Perk TV review post, but I will mention it again here. If you don’t mind investing in a cheap smartphone, you could break even relatively quick in your investment as you could run these devices with these apps and make even more. Just investing $200 in four phones, for instance, could multiply your earnings by four, making it that much easier to put money in your pocket.
The online world is filled with tons of passive income opportunities, most of which are scams, but if you want to take the easy street and start earning today, then I would recommend you at least check out the apps mentioned above to see how much you could earn while you’re asleep.
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