Are you looking for the best ways to make extra money online with your smart phone?
There are plenty of apps out there that allow you to earn money from the comfort of your couch.
But what are the highest paying apps to make money that are actually worth your time?
Don’t worry. We’ve done the research so you don’t have to!
While you won’t replace your day job with these apps, they are a nice way to earn an extra $50-100 per month or more.
We ranked dozens of apps based on the following criteria, and added the best of the best to the list:
- Hourly earning rate
- Sign up bonuses
- Referral bonuses
- Payout policy
- User friendliness
Highest Paying Apps to Make Money in 2021
Want to skip the reviews and get straight to making money?
Then give these a try. You can make $100 or more a month with just these apps if you put a little time and effort into it.
Here are our top 5 favorite highest paying apps:
- Swagbucks ($5 sign up bonus with lots of ways to earn money)
- Survey Junkie (one of the best and highest paying survey apps)
- Rakuten ($30 bonus when you spend $30, get cash back with every purchase)
- Mistplay (get paid to play games for free – Android only)
- Ibotta (up to $20 sign up bonus, get cash back on groceries)
Read on to get the full details and additional highest paying apps we recommend.
- Sign-up Bonus: Usually $5, sometimes as high as $10
- How to Cash Out: Redeem as little as 500 SB ($5) at a time for gift cards or through PayPal
- Join Swagbucks
Swagbucks is one of the OG apps for making money online and is one of the highest paying apps on the list. They have paid out over $530 million to members to date!
One of the best things about Swagbucks is there are many different ways to earn points (called Swagbucks) that can be exchanged for gift cards or withdrawn to your Paypal account.
Here are some of the ways to earn points:
- Taking surveys
- Watching videos
- Playing games
- Cash back offers
- Scanning receipts
- and more…
One of the more unique ways to earn with Swagbucks is by watching videos.
Since the videos play automatically, you can basically get free money every day without doing any work. However, there is a limit to how much you can earn with just videos.
With plenty of other ways to make money, Swagbucks can hold your interest longer than some of the other apps, which means you can earn more points and cash back.
In addition to earning through completing tasks, you can also refer a friend and get 10% of their earnings for life.
You can also earn a $5 sign up bonus (sometimes as high as $10) to get started.
2. Survey Junkie
- Sign-up Bonus: 75 points (for completing registration and user profile)
- How to Cash Out: Redeem as little as $10 for gift cards or deposit to your PayPal account
- Join Survey Junkie
Survey Junkie is our pick for the best and highest paying survey app.
If you’ve spent any time taking surveys online, you’ll know it can be a frustrating experience.
Survey Junkie cuts through most of the clutter of other survey sites to make it easy to earn rewards.
If you don’t qualify for a survey, Survey Junkie will let you know up front, unlike many apps that wait until you’ve almost completed to survey to tell you.
How about earnings? You can earn up to $50 per survey (although finding those is pretty rare).
Realistically, you can probably make $5-10 an hour with Survey Junkie. While that’s not a huge amount of money, it’s an easy thing to do while watching Netflix or standing in line at the grocery store.
- Sign-up Bonus: $30 after spending your first $30
- How to Cash Out: Get a quarterly “Big Fat Check” mailed to you or deposited to PayPal
- Join Rakuten
Rakuten is one of my favorite apps because you get paid for things you were going to buy anyway, plus it’s almost completely passive.
I’ve made over $1,000 so far from shopping online through Rakuten and referring friends.
How does it work?
When shopping online, as long as you go through the Rakuten app, you can get anywhere from 1-10% cash back on purchases at Amazon, Target, Lowe’s, etc. Pretty much any store you can think of offers cash back.
If you’re like me and sometimes forget to go through the app, there is even a Chrome extension that reminds you to apply the discount when you are in the shopping cart.
For example, we recently purchased an area rug for my son’s room from RugsUSA. Just by going through the Rakuten app, we got 4% cash back!
You can also earn cash for referring friends. After they make their first purchase of $30 or more, you both get $30 deposited into your account. This is one of the most generous sign up bonuses of any app out there.
4. Mistplay (Android Only)
- How to Cash Out: Redeem as little as $0.50 at a time for a range of gift cards
- Join Mistplay (Android)
Mistplay is the highest paying game app out there, which bumps it near the top of our list.
So far, Mistplay has paid out over $9 million to its members.
Get paid for playing games? What’s the catch?
Honestly, there isn’t one (that I could find). While Mistplay encourages you to cash out your points for in-game rewards, you can also redeem them for gift cards such as Amazon, VISA, and more.
The biggest negative about Mistplay is that it’s only for Android. Since I have an iPhone, I’m hoping for a similar app to come out soon for me!
- Sign-up Bonus: $20 for installing app and completing welcome bonuses
- How to Cash Out: Rewards can be deposited to a bank account, paypal, or gift card ($20 minimum)
- Join Ibotta
Ibotta is another app like Rakuten that allows you to get cash back for stuff you were going to buy anyway.
Originally geared toward grocery shopping, they have expanded their cash back options to many other online and offline retailers.
How Does Ibotta Work?
- Download the Ibotta App and add offers before you shop (kind of like coupons)
- Buy the products at a participating store
- Take a photo of the receipt with the app and redeem your offers
One of my favorite things about Ibotta is you don’t necessarily have to buy brand name products to get cash back. For example, on my latest purchase, I got a $0.25 coupon for scanning ANY receipt, $0.10 for any brand of pasta sauce, and $1.50 for buying apples in the produce section.
According to their website, the average Ibotta user earns $150 per year just from scanning receipts!
You can also earn $10 for each friend you refer after they redeem their first offer.
- Sign-up Bonus: 3,000 points ($3) with the code “APREWARDS”
- How to Cash Out: Redeem in as little as $3 increments for gift cards such as Amazon, Target, and more
- Join Fetch (iOS) | Join Fetch (Android)
Fetch is yet another app that pays you cash back for buying items you were going to buy anyway.
I highly recommend pairing Fetch with Ibotta. You can scan receipts in both apps and double your rewards.
Overall, Fetch is actually a little easier to use than Ibotta. All you have to do is take a photo of your receipt, and the app will scan your receipt to see if it matches any offers on file.
Even if you didn’t buy anything with a cash back offer, you still get points just for scanning the receipt.
There are also rotating special offers that get you a sizeable bonus. Right now as I scan through the app, I can get $5 back on $15 in Suave products, or 100% cash back for buying an OZO plant-based protein product (yay free stuff!)
Referral bonuses tend to vary, but right now you get can 4,000 points ($4) if a friend signs up with your referral link.
Download Fetch Now and Get a $3 Sign Up Bonus With Code “APREWARDS”
7. Trim Financial Manager
Trim is a little different than some of the other apps we’ve discussed so far.
It works like a personal assistant to save you money on your recurring bills such as:
- subscription services
When you sign up for Trim, it will automatically negotiate your accounts to save you money every month.
For example, you know that cable bill that’s been going up a little bit every month you’ve just never bothered to mess with? Trim will do the negotiating for you to lower your payment. In exchange, the service takes a small portion of the savings.
Per their website, the average user can save up to $645 per year.
- How to Cash Out: You can transfer money straight to you bank account once you’ve earned at least $25
- Join Dosh
Dosh is another cash back app that is almost completely passive.
All you have to do is connect your credit card, and it automatically applies cash back to purchases at over 10,000 stores.
This is probably the best app for getting cash back at local stores and restaurants.
You can also earn $10 for each friend you refer who downloads the app.
Highest Paying Investment Apps
- Sign-up Bonus: $10-20 with link below
- Minimum Investment: $10
- Join Groundfloor
Groundfloor is a great investing app to put your extra money to work making more money for you.
It allows you to invest as little as $10 in loans backed by real estate.
I’ve been investing with Groundfloor for a few years now, and have averaged an 11.9% return. It’s been a great way to diversify my portfolio!
Per their website, they have paid out over $12 million in interest and averaged a 10.5% annual return to date.
If you’re interested in learning more about real estate investing apps, check out my comparison between Groundfloor and Fundrise.
Groundfloor also has a referral program where both you and the person you refer gets $10 when they make their first investment.
- Minimum Investment: $500
- Join Fundrise
Looking to put your hard earned dollars to work from the comfort of your smart phone? Fundrise allows you to invest as little as $500 into a diversified portfolio of commercial real estate.
You can choose your risk profile and whether you prefer cash flow or growth potential.
I’ve been investing in Fundrise for a little under two years, and my portfolio has increased in value by 19% in that time.
I like Fundrise because it allows me to invest in an asset class that used to be out of reach for the individual investor – large commercial real estate.
If you want to learn more about passive real estate investing options, read my article comparing my personal experience with Groundfloor vs Fundrise.
- Earning Potential: 5-9% APY interest on cryptocurrency
- Join BlockFi
BlockFi is an investment app that allows you to earn interest on your cryptocurrency investments.
This is one of my favorite new apps for my Bitcoin investments. By holding my Bitcoin with BlockFi, I’m currently earning a 6% interest rate, way better than a high yield savings account!
Of course as with everything in the Bitcoin world, there are risks. Your money is not FDIC insured like it would be in the bank, so treat it like an investment, not an emergency fund.
To learn more about whether investing in Bitcoin is right for you, read my article on Bitcoin for Beginners.
Top Paying Apps to Make Money Online
If you’re looking to earn extra cash, keep reading for even more money making apps.
- Sign-up Bonus: $5 when you take your first 5 surveys
- How to Cash Out: Redeem points for gift cards from multiple brands
- Join MyPoints
MyPoints is another highly rated “get-paid-to” app similar to Swagbucks.
You can earn points for taking surveys, watching videos, playing games, shopping online, and even reading emails.
MyPoints has over 10 million members and has paid out $236 million in gift cards since 1996. That’s a long history of success – almost 25 years!
- Sign-up Bonus: $20 welcome bonus after first purchase
- How to Cash Out: Redeem points for PayPal cash, Bitcoin, or gift cards
- Join Pei
I haven’t seen too much written about the cashback app Pei, but it has honestly been one of my favorites.
First, they have an outstanding $20 welcome bonus.
They also seem to pay cashback at all the stores and restaurants I frequent: In-N-Out, Chipotle, Great Clips (don’t judge me), CVS, and more.
While a little bit of a novelty, it’s the only app I’ve found where you can redeem your rewards for Bitcoin, which is pretty cool too.
- How to Cash Out: Earn tokens you can redeem for gift cards, or win cash prizes
- Join Lucktastic (iOS) | Join Lucktastic (Android)
If you like matching games, scratch off cards, and other contests, Lucktastic is a great free app to earn extra income.
You can earn tokens by playing games and enter to win cash prizes, all for free.
- Earning Potential: $15-20 per hour or more
Instacart is a side hustle app to make extra money.
It goes without saying that this can be a very high paying app if you put in the work.
As an Instacart shopper, you provide full-service grocery shopping and delivery for people and get paid for each order you complete.
While pay varies with location and order volume, you could make around $20 an hour.
HealthyWage is a unique app designed to motivate you to lose weight and win cash prizes up to $10,000!
Here’s how it works:
- Choose how much weight you want to lose, how long you need to achieve your goal, and how much you want to bet per month
- Sign up for HealthyWage and agree to your monthly payment amount
- If you achieve your weight loss goal, you win you prize (up to $10,000). If you don’t, the money you bet goes to support prizes for others who achieve their goals.
I must say, when you have money on the line, it gives you extra incentive to reach your goals!
- Sign-up Bonus: $5 welcome bonus
- How to Cash Out: Redeem points for PayPal cash or gift cards
- Join InboxDollars
InboxDollars is another great rewards site similar to Swagbucks.
It has paid out over $59 million to its members since 2000.
You can earn cash rewards for taking surveys, playing games, watching videos, shopping online, and more.
- Potential Savings: $300-500 per bill
- Join BillShark
BillShark is an app that helps you negotiate your monthly bills down, similar to Trim.
According to their website, 8 out of 10 people are overpaying for their internet and cell phone bills.
BillShark will automatically negotiate your bill for you, so you don’t have to. Their negotiations have a 90% success rate, and they get paid by taking a percentage of the overall savings they achieve for you.
Some of the bills they can help you negotiate include:
- Cable and Satellite TV
- Wireless Phone
- Landline Phone
- Home Security
- and more
Ok, maybe Wikibuy shouldn’t necessarily be categorized as a highest paying app, but it’s definitely a highest saving app.
Wikibuy is an app that sits in the background and comparison shops for you to get the best deal.
Looking at a pair of shoes on Amazon? Wikibuy will evaluate other sellers like Target, Walmart, etc. to find the best price.
It even automatically tests coupon codes for you to make sure you take advantage of any savings you can.
With a Trustpilot rating of 4.6, it’s a no-brainer to add to your arsenal.
- Sign-up Bonus: $5 after linking your first card
- How to Cash Out: Redeem points for gift cards from multiple brands
- Join Drop
Drop is a cash back app similar to Dosh and Rakuten. You get reward points for shopping at your favorite brands.
One of my favorite things about the Drop app is that there is minimal work to do. Just link your credit card and shop like you normally would.
You can get extra points for completing surveys and playing games.
If you refer a friend, you each get 5,000 points ($5).
- How to Cash Out: Redeem “kicks” (reward points) for free gift cards
- Join Shopkick
Shopkick is a great app to make some extra money while doing your everyday shopping.
It’s easy to earn $0.25 or more just for stepping into the store, and that’s just the beginning.
There are several ways to earn points:
- Get points just for walking into certain stores such as Walmart, Lowe’s, and TJ Maxx
- Scan barcodes of certain products
- Submit purchase receipts
- Link a credit card to earn cash back for every dollar you spend at certain stores
- Earning Potential: $20/hr or more
DoorDash falls in the side hustle app category.
Like other driving and delivery apps such as Postmates and UberEats, you can earn money delivering food during your free time.
You can work as much or as little as you want, which is the power of the gig economy.
- Earning Potential: $20-30/hr or more
TaskRabbit is another great side hustle app that matches local freelancers with customers in their area.
It’s a great platform if you have some simple handyman skills, or just have time to help others with household tasks.
Some of the popular jobs on TaskRabbit include furniture assembly, handy man tasks, yard work, gutter cleaning, errand running, and many others.
The more specialized your skills, the more money you can make.
What apps make you the most money?
Survey Junkie and Swagbucks are the two apps I’d recommend that pay you the most money online the quickest. Once you’ve started with those, you should get a good idea of what other apps might work best for you.
If you have cable, internet, or cell phone bills, Trim could save you a substantial amount of money every month and is worth checking out.
For more ideas, see my article on how I make $500 with just 3 apps that pay you money.
What app has the biggest sign-up bonus?
While the welcome bonus isn’t everything, it is nice to get a quick cash boost just for downloading a free app!
How can I earn $200 a day?
To make $200 a day, I’d recommend looking into more traditional side hustles. Here is a list of 13 ways to make $200 in a day.
Which High Paying Apps Work for You?
The list of highest paying apps above are just a few of the ways to make money online.
There are several other apps, side hustles, or passive income streams that you can use to make money.
For more ideas on how to make money, try these guides:
- Best Rewards Credit Cards (How We Make $2,000/Year)
- 11 Easy Ways to Make an Extra $500 a Month
- 13 Ways to Make Money Fast
- How to Invest $1,000 and Double It