Get-rich-quick schemes proclaiming you’ll make millions online are everywhere, but most add up to little pay and lots of work. Still, if you’re looking to make a little extra cash using the Internet, your smartphone can be the quickest ticket to making it happen. Navigating this vast sea of mobile-based, money-making apps can be taxing, so we tested the lot of them to find five actually worth your time. All are available for Android and iPhone users.
1. Gigwalk: The concept of this free app is simple enough. Use the map to find businesses in your area that offer paying gigs. Apply, get accepted, then visit the locations and perform simple tasks such as taking pictures of the business, checking an endcap display or filling out surveys. Submit these photos and a short questionnaire to Gigwalk and receive a payment of $5 to $15. Experienced Gigwalkers can earn even more. The money can add up quickly for this task-oriented crowdsourcing work, especially if you live in a large city with many businesses near each other. Once you get the hang of it, you can complete two or maybe three in an hour, netting a potential hourly rate of $30, paid via PayPal. Unfortunately Gigwalk’s largest provider of gigs, the search engine Bing. just ended their contract. So hopefully more clients step up and fill the gap to create more money-making opportunities
2. Ibotta: If saving at the grocery store is a top priority, use this app beforehand to search for products you plan to buy. Then, answer questions or read about the products to rack up the savings. Post purchases to your Facebook page for a sweet bonus of around $1.25. So how does it work? Visit a participating retailer, take pictures of your purchases for verification, then wait for iBotta to send funds to your PayPal account.
3. Shopkick: This shopping rewards program has the serious perk for cost-conscious folks of not requiring purchases to earn points. That’s right, even if your budget only allows window shopping, you can still earn gift cards to leading retailers like Crate & Barrel, Best Buy, Old Navy, Target and gas stations. To earn “kicks” (points) you use your phone’s GPS to track your location, netting credits for walking into various retailers. Visit a mall or large shopping center to maximize your earnings. And earn bonus kicks for scanning bar codes and making purchases, then cash out when you have enough to buy the gift card you want.
4. GymPact: Earn financial rewards while getting fit using this GPS-tracking app. Just make a weekly workout pact by pledging to sweat a certain number of times per week. Put your money where you mouth is and make a cash bet to help you stay committed. If you reach your goal, you’ll earn some dough from members who didn’t reach their goals. If you don’t, be prepared to pay up. Cash payouts vary on how the number of days to which you committed.
5. Receipt Hog: Frugal shoppers can earn rewards for everyday grocery shopping trips with this easy-to-use app. Just take a picture of your store receipt and get rewarded with “coins” you can trade for cash (or donate to charity if you’re feeling generous). Don’t worry about privacy. Receipt Hog won’t sell or share your personal identification info.