I’ve always been interested in finding ways to generate passive income.
The harsh reality is that most money making endeavors take an immense amount of time and effort before you can reap any rewards.
From starting a money making blog to investing, wealth generation can take months or years to kick into gear.
However, there’s always some free money left on the table if you know where to look, and that’s what this post is all about.
I’m going to break down the best passive income apps you can use to easily make additional income every single month! You won’t get rich overnight by using any of these platforms, but hey, some free money never hurts!
How Do Passive Income Apps Work?
There are a few different categories of money making apps that I’m going to include in this post, and you should be aware of how they function to earn you money.
The categories are:
Data collection apps: get paid for sharing your data with marketing companies.
Cashback apps: earn cashback automatically when you shop at various stores.
Video reward & lockscreen apps: get paid for watching videos and ads.
Time to find the best of the best for each of these categories!
Data Collection Apps That Pay – Embee Meter CX
Embee Meter runs in the background of your phone and collects data on phone connectivity to wireless networks. In return, users can earn between $0.10-$0.30/day.
This Android app is more specific as to what devices are accepted into the program, although I currently have 2 Moto G phones running the application and each device earns $0.1/day.
The payout threshold begins at $5 and is exclusively done through Paypal.
I’ve been using Embee Meter on some of my phone farming devices and have cashed out with $60 to PayPal:
It isn’t a lot of money, but this is a simple passive income app that can earn $5-$10/month without any work!
I’ve covered MobileXpression in my phone farming guide, and it is one of my favorite passive earners. It works the same way as Embee Meter and rewards you for collecting data.
MobileXpression doesn’t accept every smartphone into the service, but if you are eligible, MobileXpression is a great way to earn another $5/month without any work.
Brand new users of MobileXpression will also receive a $5 Amazon gift card after 1 week of running the app in the background of their smartphone. Points can be redeemed for Amazon, Starbucks, or Best Buy gift cards.
I’ve been using MobileXpression to earn passive income for more than a year, and I redeem a Starbucks or Best Buy gift card every month and a half.
Download MobileXpression and start earning free gift cards for your data!
Checkout my MobileXpression Review to learn more!
While Current is one of the newer apps for passive income, this music-streaming platform claims you can earn $600 per year just for listening to music.
This is a massive claim. The question is, how does Current work and does it pay?
Well, here’s how Current works in a nutshell:
- Download Current for Android or IOS.
- Choose from over 100,000 radio stations to jam to.
- Earn in-app points for listening to music, playing games, and watching ads.
- Redeem points for free gift cards to companies like Amazon, Target, Walmart, Google Play credit, Starbucks, and free Steam codes.
However, I wil say that Current’s claim of $600 per year is absolutely insane.
The consensus on Reddit seems like the app has slowed down lately. Realistically, you should expect around $30 to $60 per year with this app.
You can probably earn more if you grind ads and play games, but have realistic expectations for this passive income app!
If you want extra ideas for how to make money, you can also checkout this list of Android apps that pay you money!
Signup for Current today and start earning free money for your listening!
You can also read our Current app review for more info.
I don’t think you can realistically spend your way into a decent stream of passive income.
However, if you’re going to make purchases anyway, you might as well recoup some of your money automatically through the best reward apps around!
Drop is hands down my favorite passive income app, and it is very simple to understand.
When you signup with Drop (U.S. and Canada only) and connect your bank account, you can choose 5 stores to earn cashback at automatically.
Some popular stores that partner with Drop include:
There are plenty of other stores, and you can usually earn 0.5-1.5% cashback in the form of Drop Points for your purchases. These points can then be redeemed for gift cards to stores like Starbucks, Amazon, and more.
You can also make money with Drop by playing mobile mini-games or completing sponsored offers!
Additionally, Drop can stack with other cashback rewards (like from your credit card, or even some other apps), so double-dipping can greatly increase how much you earn.
Update: Drop is slightly less passive now, so I recommend checking out our official Drop app review to learn about the changes!
Rakuten, formerly known as Ebates, is one of the leading cash back platforms around.
On Rakuten, users earn cash back for shopping through the Rakuten platform at partnered merchants. Rakuten partners with some of the largest retailers and ecommerce platforms, including Amazon, Walmart, Macy’s, and thousands of other stores.
Now, Rakuten isn’t 100% passive since you have to be redirected from their website to a partnered merchant to earn cash back.
However, with the Rakuten browser extension, you will be reminded of earning opportunities as you shop, and can earn rewards with just the click of a button. Ultimately, this is an excellent semi-passive way to save on shopping.
To date, I’ve earned more than $500 from using Rakuten and referring some friends (as well as some This Online World readers):
Sign up for Rakuten and start earning cash back!
Dosh is another passive income app that works the same as Drop but is only available in the United States.
Currently, some of the top stores partnering with Dosh include:
However, there are plenty of other stores available on the platform, and you aren’t limited to picking just 5.
Dosh has a $25 cashout threshold which is worse than Drop, which has $5-$10 rewards, but you can earn rewards with Dosh at a faster rate.
Plus, you can also book travel arrangements or complete other Dosh offers to gain more lucrative bonuses!
You can also checkout our post on the best apps like Dosh for more ideas!
PEI is a newer cashback app on the scene, and with an extensive list of merchants and the ability to cashout with Bitcoin or cash, it’s also quite robust.
Once you connect a credit or debit card to PEI, you start earning cashback for shopping at their partners (they have hundreds).
Some of the most popular PEI merchants are:
- Burger King
- Dunkin Donuts
Chances are, you’ll find yourself earning passive income with PEI without even realizing at the time of purchase just because of how many merchants they partner with.
PEI also has a loyalty bonus that rewards users with $0.50 if they shop at the same store 5 times. Some merchants also grant a $2 bonus if you spend $20 or more.
PEI is running a $5 signup bonus and allows users to cashout with $USD or Bitcoin upon reaching $15 in their account. This app is also available on both Android and IOS devices.
Extra Reading – 8 Ways To Drink Starbucks For Free!
Bumped is another passive income earner except users are rewarded with stock of the companies they shop at instead of cash.
Bumped is currently accepting U.S. users through a waitlist, and if you’re accepted, you can connect your card to their system to start earning rewards.
Users must provide their SSN since you will have to have an investment account, so keep this in mind before signing up.
Bumped organizes their partnered brands into 13 categories, and you can select one partner from each category to earn rewards from. These selections can be changed once every 30 days if you wish (up to 3 times per year).
Some stores currently partnered with Bumped include:
- Kroger family of stores.
There are plenty more, and you can expect to earn 1-5% in the form of stock. However, rewards are limited to $50 per purchase and capped at $250 per brand/year.
Read our Bumped app review to get all the details!
I’ve covered Sweatcoin before in my list of fitness apps that pay, and while I didn’t like it at first, the app has made some strides since I first reviewed it.
Sweatcoin runs in the background of your phone and collects data on users as they walk around outside.
In return, users earn Sweatcoins, which can be redeemed for prizes, discounts, or cash.
Most of the lucrative Sweatcoin rewards require 1-2 years of work to reach (for example, $1,000 is equivalent to 20,000 Sweatcoins, which would definitely take more than a year of work and some referrals), but there are some fun bonuses.
For example, one I saw recently was a free pack of razors for a relatively modest amount of Sweatcoins.
Users had to pay $2 for shipping for this offer, but that still saves money on buying a pack of razors so I’m alright with it.
Sweatcoin certainly won’t make you rich, but this is a simple and fun way to start earning some passive income! Walking around for just a short amount will earn you a few Sweatcoins, so you can unlock some preliminary offers quite easily.
Out of all the apps that pay you for data collection, UpVoice is one of the reltively newer ones around.
UpVoice is a market research panel that pays you for installing their browser extension (for Edge or Chrome) and browsing the web.
Currently, you can realsitcally earn around $75 per year just for actively browsing the following websites:
UpVoice is interested in collecting data on the ads you’re shown, so you can’t have an active adblocker to make money.
Each week, users can earn up to 70 UpVoice tokens, which is equivalent to $1.12 per week, or $58.24 per year.
Once you factor in some milestone bonuses, you’ll reach approximately $75 per year. You can exchange tokens for free gift cards to a variety of popular stores like Amazon, Sephora, Target, and Starbucks.
If you frequently visit any of the sites UpVoice is interested in on your computer (not mobile phone), this extension is an easy way to score some simple passive income.
SavvyConnect is a straightforward data collection application from SurveySavvy. Once installed, SavvyConnect runs in the background of your phone, tablet, or computer and collects user data on how you browse the web.
You won’t earn much for browsing the web with SavvyConnect but from my experience, a given month can range between $1-$5.
Currently, U.S. residents are being offered a sign-up incentive that states new U.S. users will earn $5/month for each active device they install SavvyConnect on.
You can only have a single SavvyConnect account per device type, but that leaves $15/month to be made if you have active accounts on a computer, tablet, or phone.
Sign up for SavvyConnect here!
Neilsen Mobile & Computer Panel
Nielsen is one of the most well known and reputable panels out there, and has paid many of their users roughly $50/year for some time.
However, there are many users who seemingly can never get the Panel to work, and if you’re a Canadian user like me, you won’t have access to mobile side of the app (which actually pays).
Rather, you will only be able to install Nielsen’s Computer Panel, which enters you into monthly sweepstakes for cash prizes.
Nielsen’s Mobile Panel rewards users with points which can be redeemed for Amazon, Starbucks, Target, and other popular gift cards.
If you live in the United States, I would suggest taking a look at their Mobile Panel. You may be able to earn up to $50 per year without much effort!
Sign up for Nielsen’s Mobile Panel here!
Ah, another phone farming favorite! Panel App is another great passive income app for smartphones, and is both Android and IOS friendly.
Panel App won’t earn you more than $1/month, but considering all you need to do is download the app, sign up, and quickly answer a few demographic based questions, it isn’t the worst.
Also, the more phones you have, the merrier! All you have to do is ensure Panel App remains active in the background of your phone, and you will be credited with points each day. Minimum cashout is $1, and you can purchase Amazon or Walmart gift cards.
Payout times can take between 1-2 weeks but Panel App has always been reliable for me and functions without issue.
Extra Reading – Checkout our Panel app review for all the details!
While Paribus doesn’t earn users passive income for their purchases, it does help people save money by detecting price changes on items users have bought and then recouping the difference (this is done through price protection garauntees).
To date, Paribus has helped people save more than 29 million dollars.
Once you create a Paribus account, they will monitor the email you use for online shopping to track your purchases from 25+ retailers (including Amazon, Walmart, Target and more).
If the price drops on something you bought, Paribus will do their best to secure the savings.
Paribus also monitors hotel price drops, which can lead to massive savings, and they can help compensate users for late deliveries as well!
Other Money Making Apps & Platforms – S’Mores Lockscreen
I’ve mentioned S’mores in my post on lockscreen apps that pay, and it’s truly the front-runner in that category of apps for stability and performance.
S’mores is an Android-based app that changes the lockscreen of your smartphone to display an ad in the background. You can completely ignore the ad and unlock your phone as your normally would, so users aren’t forced to click anything.
S’mores pays U.S. users $0.10/day for unlocking their phone, and points can be cashed out for Amazon gift cards once you reach $1.
If you want a free $36.50 of passive income a year, download S’mores today!
Extra Reading – S’more App Review – How To Earn Passive Income With Your Phone.
If you are looking to make some extra money with a laptop or tablet, I’d say your best bet is to find a GPT (get paid to) website that runs passive video portals like Engageme.TV or Video Loyalty.
You can read more about the GPT websites in my post on the best GPT websites, or you can always consult the Reddit beermoney community for the latest information on the top money making apps and websites.
To date, I’ve earned more than $120 by running Grindabuck, and this is hands down my favorite passive income website.
The process is fairly simple. Just use a laptop or tablet to watch videos in the passive earnings section of the website and reap the rewards!
You can checkout my full Grindabuck review to learn more about the process as well.
Just note that Grindabuck only accepts users from the United States, Canada, Australia, Germany, and the U.K.
Most apps that pay you for data collection are interested in testing mobile network performance or your internet usage habits.
In contrast, Honeygain turns your phone into a node in a VPN network, letting Honeygain’s clients use your IP address from wherever they are in the world.
People use services like Honeygain all the time to bypass georestricted content and use the internet from another point in the world, so there’s nothing new here.
In exchange for selling your bandwidth, Honeygain pays you bits of honey.
Once you sell 200GB of bandwidth, you can cash out with $20 of PayPal cash.
This passive income app is a bit different than most of the ones in this list, and you have to be comfortable selling your internet.
However, if you’re interested, there’s no harm in running an old phone on Honeygain to see how much money you can make each day.
CashMagnet is an app that takes control of your phone and acts as an auto-surfing device that browses articles on the internet.
CashMagnet has a 4 phone device limit, so if you have some old phones laying around you can start up a modest operation in very litte time.
I’ve run CashMagnet on and off over the past year whenever I have time/am in the mood on 4 different phones and have earned $45:
If you optimize CashMagnet fully, you can probably earn $20 per month by taking advantage of the almost 24 hours of passive run-time the app allows for.
Just note: CashMagnet is taking forever to actually pay their users it seems. My most recent request took around 1 month to be resolved, which is definitely a major downside.
I also wouldn’t recommend using your primary phone with this app since it can strain the device and it’s a tad sketchy to turn your phone into an auto-surfer.
Signup for CashMagnet today to start earning some passive income with smartphones!
Extra Reading – Checkout our CashMagnet App Review.
At the end of the day, none of these money making apps are going to break the bank.
A lot of bloggers/publishers promise that these apps can earn you upwards of $1,000/year, but chances are, you will only be able to generate a few hundred dollars at best.
However, these apps are all effortless, and if you combine these apps with various ways to save money like cashback credit cards or other automatic ways to save money when shopping, it can add up.
I probably make around $300-$500 a year between a bunch of the apps listed here and a cashback credit card. Considering this takes no time at all, I figure everyone might as well implement some of these systems into their daily life.
After all, the point isn’t to get rich with your phone. Rather, the point is to make some easy passive income with apps and to take advantage of low hanging fruit whenever you can.
If these passive income apps weren’t enough to get you excited, be sure to checkout my recent video on passive income ideas for beginners as well:
If you want to look into additional passive income ideas for 2021 that require a lot of startup work initially but can lead to a steady source of income down the line, I suggest checking out these 3 posts as well:
- 7 Realistic Ways To Make $50 A Day – Online & Offline Ideas.
- How To Create A $100/Month Profitable Blog.
- The Best Gig Economy Apps To Start A Side Hustle.
You can also checkout this list of other passive income options!
Tom is a 23 year old recent college graduate from Canada with a passion for side hustling, passive income, and marketing. 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!
If you’re interested in freelance writing services or want to partner with This Online World, please visit Tom Blake Digital to get in touch!