Instead of scrolling on your social media platform of choice, why not start making money with your phone? There are plenty of apps on Android that let you make a little money on the side, and as long as you’re careful, you can build yourself a steady network of such platforms. There are plenty of scam apps out there, though, so you must choose wisely. We’re here to save you some elbow grease and present you with five of the more reliable money-making apps in 2023.
Making money online often sounds like a pipe dream or a scam. We’re not going to lie to you — you won’t make a fortune using these apps, at least not unless you also have a marketable skill that you can turn into a source of income. However, these Android apps can save you money while you shop by offering cashback rewards, help you sell things you don’t need, or turn little tasks or watching videos into money or rewards. Lastly, they can actually earn you a decent enough income if you use them the right way — perhaps enough to pay your phone bill every month, for example.
Upwork is a popular platform for making money as a freelancer. Whether you want to do some writing, graphic design, or data entry, countless gigs on Upwork might catch your eye. Unfortunately, it’s a double-edged sword — there are many jobs available, but there are probably twice as many people trying to score a new gig.
Using the app involves a few steps. You’ll need to create your profile and fill out the fields you’re interested in, as well as any relevant experience or qualifications. You can set your rate and choose your availability, so you can work as little or as much as you like. Next, you will have to look through the gigs posted on Upwork and pick the ones you want to apply for. Upwork users are given Connects that are required in order to send a job proposal. You can buy more of those Connects for a fee later or wait until you get some more at the start of the month.
Upwork is solid because it protects you in the event of fraud — if you deliver the work and the client doesn’t pay you, Upwork will cover the cost. However, the app takes a significant cut out of your earnings, which is anywhere between 5% to 20%.
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Swagbucks is among the most popular Android apps used to make money online. It offers both cash-back options and rewards, and you can choose whether you want to turn those rewards into gift cards or receive money directly to your PayPal account. You don’t need any special skills to earn a little bit of money through Swagbucks, but you do need a bit of patience, because it will take a while for you to rack up any substantial amount of cash.
The way the app works depends on what you want to do, but it all comes down to earning special points called “SB.” Those points are then used to be redeemed for your reward of choice. An easy way is to earn the points through cash-back when shopping online. Other tasks include watching videos, playing games, or taking surveys.
If it sounds too good to be true, the catch is that the tasks often pay very little. Watching a video or taking a survey can only be worth a few pennies. There’s almost no chance to make a fortune on Swagbucks, but little by little, you might gather enough money to buy a gift card.
Much like Swagbucks, Ibotta offers cash back on your purchases. Ibotta works both with online stores and in-person purchases. To earn cash back, you have to select your offers in the app. Buy the things you want, be it groceries (which is what Ibotta started with), clothes, or tech gadgets, and then redeem your points in the app. You can do this by either uploading your receipt or getting an Ibotta loyalty card to receive points instantly. Ibotta also sells gift cards through the app that you can then use for shopping.
The app is partnered with a large number of popular retailers and restaurants. The list includes Uber, Kohl’s, Booking.com, CVS, Walmart, Groupon, Costco, eBay, Walgreens, Petco, Trader Joe’s, Adidas, Best Buy, and more. Cash back payments are made through PayPal, directly to your bank account, or in the form of digital gift cards.
What’s the downside? It might take you a while to get enough cash back rewards to actually be able to redeem them. You’ll need at least $20, but if you want to get gift cards, some of them cost $25 and above. You also may not get your rewards instantly — it all depends on the retailer.
OfferUp lets you list things you want to sell and helps you get paid for them, and the sales can take place both locally (in person) or with the help of a shipping company. All you need to do is make an account, snap some pictures of the items you want to sell, and create listings for them.
If you’re selling to someone local, you will be responsible for meeting them and making the trade, so caution is needed. However, if you’re shipping to someone, all you need to do is set up a debit card or bank account and then send the package once your item sells. If the buyers have any questions, you will be able to respond to them within the app.
Aside from de-cluttering your own home, you can turn OfferUp into a decent source of income by starting your own store. There is no limit to how many items you can sell on the app, so if you’re crafty and have things you’d like to make or source and then sell, OfferUp can help you with that. Be prepared, though — sellers have to pay a fee for shipping transactions, adding up to a total of 12.9% of your item’s price. The minimum fee is $1.99.
Have you heard of the old saying that you have to spend money to make money? While this makes little sense in many situations, it certainly applies to earning money through Android apps. Rakuten is yet another app that gives you cash-back rewards.
Rakuten is partnered with a lot of different retailers, restaurants, food delivery services, and travel-related businesses. Once you’ve signed up and downloaded the app, you can choose the store you want to shop at and get shopping. You’ll make the transaction online through the app if you want to, but you can also shop in person. To do this, you need to link your credit or debit card to Rakuten and activate the offer in the app before you make your purchase.
Once you’ve accumulated some funds, you can choose to get paid either through PayPal or check. The downside of Rakuten is that getting paid takes a whopping three months. While Rakuten will confirm your transactions and usually acknowledge them within a few days, you won’t see the money for a long time after your purchase.