As you know, I’m an advocate of using our smartphones to generate passive income.
We carry our phones around everywhere we go, and oftentimes, we even have extra smartphones collecting dust in some forgotten box or drawer.
My phone farming guide was the first post I wrote on This Online World. It highlighted how you can easily earn $40-$50 of passive income a month (or more) with just a few smartphones.
Recently, I’ve started looking into some of the best money lockscreen apps for smartphones that pay you money just for using your phone!
So, if you’re looking to earn passive income with the best lockscreen apps, this is the post for you!
Looking for other easy ways to make money with your smartphone? Checkout:
- Mistplay – Play new Android mobile games and earn free gift cards just for playing!
- Survey Junkie – Share your opinion and earn PayPal cash and free gift cards with Survey Junkie!
How Do Money Lockscreen Apps Work?
Lockscreen apps earn money and reward users by transforming the lockscreen of a smartphone into an advertisement rich environment.
In other words, these apps pay you to put ads on your phone!
Money lockscreen apps have varying levels of intrusiveness or user interaction requirement, but in general they work like this:
- A user downloads a lockscreen app and gives the app permission/control.
- The user then watches a short video advertisement to unlock their phone, or the user must exit out of an advertisement or skip an advertisement.
Once you unlock your phone with these money lockscreen apps, you usually earn in-app credits which are redeemable for prizes like PayPal cash or free gift cards.
Some lockscreen apps occasionally present paid surveys that you can answer to earn additional credits, but the premise is basically same across all apps.
Simply view some advertisements or promoted content before unlocking your phone, sit back, and enjoy some additional income!
Time to take a look at some of the highest paying money lockscreen apps!
The Best Money Lockscreen Apps
Time to break down the best lockscreen apps you can use to make money with your phone!
I’m going to cut to the chase and state that S`mores is the best money lockscreen app for earning passive income.
Most lockscreen apps barely pay per unlock.
This means in order to actually earn, users will have to possibly unlock their phones dozens of times within a single day and watch advertisements.
With the S’mores lockscreen app, you are guaranteed to earn $0.10/day as long as you unlock your phone once.
S’mores also presents surveys once in a while, but the guaranteed earnings is what makes S`mores the best way to earn lockscreen rewards.
Additionally, you can also complete various online shopping and download offers through S’mores and earn points for shopping online or trying new mobile apps.
Points are redeemable for a variety of free gift cards, including ones to companies like:
If you want to earn $36.50/year without doing anything, just install the S’mores app on one of your phones and forget about it.
S’more lockscreen has a minimum payout threshold of $1, so it’s a fast way to earn rewards as well.
Just keep in mind that S’mores is only available in the United States.
Read our S’mores app review for more information!
Extra Reading – The Best Android Apps That Pay You.
2. ScreenLift Rewards
ScreenLift is one of the newer money lockscreen reward apps out there, which is good news seeing as so many fan favorites have been shut down.
There’s nothing revolutionary about ScreenLift, but the reviews are decent for the most part.
Simply install the app, enable it on your lockscreen, and gradually earn rewards for unlocking your phone.
You don’t have to actually read articles to earn lockscreen rewards from ScreenLift, and the app isn’t immensely intrusive. It is a slower earner than the S`mores app, however.
Users can cashout via PayPal or Amazon gift cards, and payments are processed within a few business days.
Like most apps like S’mores, ScreenLift is only available in the United States.
Checkout ScreenLift Rewards on the Google Play Store.
Fronto is one of the most popular money lockscreen apps that pay users, and it’s not overly intrusive like S’mores.
When you unlock your phone with Fronto, you can choose to swipe left or right to unlock your device.
Swiping right unlocks your phone normally, while swiping to the left will cause an advertisement to appear. This is extremely handy in case you don’t want to be bothered by an advertisement or offer.
The points you earn per swipe is varied based on the action you take. Actions can include:
- Reading an article.
- Unlocking your phone.
- Downloading an app.
- Following a company or individual on social media.
I’ve used Fronto for a few weeks, and all I ever do is unlock my device.
Unlocking your phone typically earns around 30 points, and 3,250 points = 1 dollar.
This is pretty abysmal. However, Fronto also offers daily check in bonuses of 100, 500, or 1,000 points, so this helps you earn rewards slightly faster!
Edit: Fronto has been taken down from the Google Play Store. The makers of Fronto have come out with another lockscreen app called Mintscreen, so you can try that app as an alternative to Fronto but I have no knowledge of how the app performs.
Extra Reading – How To Make $400 A Day.
Slidejoy is another immensely popular lockscreen money app for, and it’s certainly better than Fronto if you want to use it on just 1 phone farming phone or your personal device.
Slidejoy also lets you swipe left or right to check out advertisements or learn more, and the direction of your swipe has no impact on your earnings.
One main difference with Slidejoy is that points take roughly 24 hours to sync and will appear around 12pm EST for the previous day.
Slidejoy makes an effort to present users with tailored advertisements.
The app even suggests connecting through Facebook so their algorithm can figure out who you are and display targeted advertising.
Not only does this element creep me out quite substantially, but I also don’t think it’s worth it to earn a bit more money.
In any case, your earnings will vary. Some users earn $1/month, while others earn $5-$10 every month if they use Slidejoy on their personal smartphone.
EDIT: 01/15/2019: Slidejoy is no longer available on the Google Play Store.
Adme is another popular contender in the money lockscreen app family.
And, while it’s only available in the United States, Adme remains relatively popular and a frequent lockscreen app recommendation.
Adme’s lockscreen offers 3 different modes: Content Feed, Fullscreen Ad, and Double Screen Feed + Ad.
All modes essentially accomplish the same thing. You view ads (or ads and text feeds) before unlocking your phone and earn money for doing so.
Double Screen Feed + Ad mode pays the most but requires the most interaction, whereas Fullscreen Ad and Content Feed have reduced earnings.
Your Adme balance is updated every 24 hours, and on average, most users earn between $0.10-$0.20 a day.
Adme is probably the most similar apps like S’more because of this daily earning range, but I like S’mores much more because you don’t have to interact with the ads on your lockscreen to earn points.
Edit 10/25/2018: It seems like the Adme app is no longer offered on the Google Play Store and the app is winding down it’s reward program.
6. Survey Cow – Lockscreen Rewards
SurveyCow is a different form of lockscreen app as it presents users with a one question survey before they unlock their device.
All you have to do is answer the question, and you earn Beef Points. Beef Points are redeemable for PayPal cash, and it’s as simple as that.
Surveys on SurveyCow are fairly simple questions, and you can get through the lockscreen fairly quickly without much thought process.
Depending how often you unlock your phone, SurveyCow can also be a pretty strong earner (even more than S`mores).
SurveyCow also has an unfortunately high $10 minimum payout, but it might be worth putting on a phone farming device.
Edit: 12/29/2018: Unfortunately Survey Cow has also been taken down from the Google Play Store at this time.
Extra Reading – The Best Beermoney Websites & Apps.
7. BillsBoard Lockscreen App
BillsBoard is another money lockscreen app like S’mores that pays you for unlocking your phone every day.
To get started, download the BillsBoard app on your Android device, create an account, and enable the app to take over your lockscreen.
Before unlocking your phone, BillsBoard presents news stories or advertisements that you can choose to view or skip over quickly. You don’t have to read stories or watch advertisements to earn money with BillsBoard.
BillsBoard won’t make you rich, but like any other lockscreen app, it’s a decent way to accumulate a few dollars every month if you’re looking for some relatively passive income options.
BillsBoard lets you cash out through:
- PayPal cash
- Amazon gift cards
- Google Play Store credits.
Users can also transfer their BillsBoard credits over to their Zap Surveys account if they have one (since Zap Surveys owns BillsBoard, I believe).
Edit: 12/29/2018: BillsBoard is unfortunately no longer available on the Google Play Store.
8. Whaff Locker
Whaff Locker is the last lockscreen rewards app that I’m including on this list, and it’s also a peculiar app due to some interesting rewards and payment scheduling (more on this in a bit).
When you download Whaff Locker, your phone’s lockscreen is transformed as with any other lockscreen app and includes the following sections:
- Premium Picks (app downloads).
- Lockscreen Earning.
- Other Picks (more downloads).
- WHAFF Picks (more downloads).
Basically, Whaff Locker will then enable users to earn points by downloading apps, using apps, keeping apps installed on their phone, or passing through the lockscreen.
If you are looking to make passive income, Whaff Locker’s download to earn section isn’t useful. Additionally, their payment schedule is a bit wonky for the lockscreen part.
Initially, Whaff pays around $0.01/swipe, but this amount decreases overtime.
The general consensus on Reddit is to use Whaff Locker until your first redemption, and then ditch the app for a higher paying lockscreen app.
So, what rewards are available through Whaff Locker?
A fair variety, including:
- Google Play Store credit.
- XBOX cards.
- Steam codes.
- PayPal cash (requires a minimum balance of $11).
- Amazon gift cards.
All rewards require $11 or more to cash out, which is absurdly high for a lockscreen app.
If you are truly desperate to make extra money or haven’t found a lockscreen app that pays, perhaps consider giving Whaff Locker a try.
Edit 5/28/2019: Whaff Locker is no longer available on the Google Play Store.
How Much Can You Make With Money Lockscreen Apps?
Truthfully, you can’t earn much from installing lockscreen apps on your personal smartphone.
Additionally, most of these apps aren’t operating anymore since Google has cracked down on this way to make money online.
Realistically, apps like S’mores are the only viable money lockscreen app left, but it’s at least a reliable way to earn $0.10 just for using your phone.
If you use S’mores, you’re going to earn around $36.50 per year in free money, which isn’t bad for a free Android lockscreen app!
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Can I Use Multiple Money Lockscreen Apps?
You can, although using multiple lockscreen apps forced you to go through multiple advertisements to unlock your phone.
This can take up a lot of time and also make your phone somewhat glitchy in my experience.
2. Do Money Lockscreen Apps Drain Battery Life?
While I was testing out all of these lockscreen apps, I never noticed a difference in my phone’s battery life or performance.
My phone pauses for one or two seconds before it actually unlocks when I use S’mores, but this is the only change I notice.
3. Who Can Use These Apps?
Most of the lockscreen money apps I mentioned in this post are only available in Canada or the United States, but check the Google Play Store in your country.
4. Can I Unlock My Phone To Keep Earning?
Most money lockscreen apps limit how much you can make in a single day, so there isn’t a way to beat the system.
My advice is to stick with apps like S’mores so you only have to unlock your device once per day to earn the maximum amount rather than worrying about endlessly unlocking your phone.
5. Why Are These Only Available For Android?
The Apple App Store doesn’t allow the listing of apps that take over how a phone functions, and lockscreen apps violate their terms.
This is why apps that pay you to play games or most passive income apps are only available for Android and not iOS.
Money Lockscreen Alternatives
A lot of these apps have been taken down over the past few years, which is sad since this was a nifty passive income source.
So, if you’re looking for some easy alternatives to lockscreen reward apps, I suggest trying apps and platforms like:
- Gamehag – Play premium PC games and earn PayPal cash, gift cards, and other rewards.
- Mistplay – Play new Android mobile games and earn free gift cards!
- Mobile Performance Meter – Earn $0.10 per day in passive income from your phone!
- Money SMS – Get paid for sending text messages with the Money SMS app.
- MobileXpression – Run MobileXpression on your smartphone and earn approximately $5 per month in free gift cards.
- Panel App – Earn $1 per month in free gift cards with this passive income app.
- UpVoice – Earn $75 per year for browsing the web.
None of these apps are going to seriously change your finances.
However, if you like the idea of making money with money lockscreen apps, these apps are worth downloading.
Extra Reading – Best Ways To Make $50 Per Day.
Are Money Lockscreen Apps a Scam?
There are plenty of positive and negative reviews about various lockscreen apps, but this is what it boils down to: these apps won’t make anyone rich.
These apps are a useful way to earn extra income every month, but don’t expect something that will break the bank.
All of the apps I have mentioned in this list have been verified by dozens of users to have paid out, and I used most of these lockscreen apps on my phone farming phones.
Just keep up to date with industry news via Reddit or forums and make sure you set some realistic expectations!
Extra Reading – 10+ Best Passive Income Side Hustles.
Ultimately, after testing various money lockscreen apps I’ve decided not to use any on my personal smartphone.
Earning an extra $0.10-$0.20 a day simply isn’t worth the annoyance of dealing with advertisements.
However, I have installed Fronto and Slidejoy on 2 phone farming devices, and I will monitor how much they can make after 1 month. I suggest other phone farmers do the same and add these lockscreen apps to some idle smartphones.
Unfortunately S`mores isn’t available for download in Canada. However, if you live in the United States I highly recommend giving S`mores a try!
Making money with lockscreen apps might seem like a waste of time, but if you have spare phones for your phone farm or are looking to generate passive income, they aren’t a bad idea!
If you are looking for some other side hustle ideas to make money and want to venture away from the land of passive income, I suggest reading these posts:
- The best gig economy platforms to make extra money.
- How to make money by writing on Medium.
- 12 ways to make money in a pinch.
- 5 different income sources to boost your monthly income.
That’s all for now! Thanks for reading!
Catch you guys in the next post!
Tom is a full-time blogger and freelance writer with a passion for side hustling, passive income, and the gig economy. His work has appeared on dozens of personal finance websites like Money Crashers, The College Investor, Investor Junkie, and more. This Online World is all about providing people with honest ways to make and save more money by using technology. To learn more about Tom, read his About Page!
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