These apps aren’t quite the solution to all your money woes, but they’re quick, easy, and sometimes, they’re even pretty fun. Apps like HQ Trivia help you earn money while playing a game on your phone.
Not sure you can actually be considered a member of the internet if you didn’t see this video after New Year’s Day. In it, Lauren May realizes she won $11.30 on HQ Trivia, a quiz show app. And her reaction is pretty intense. But understandable, because Lauren May has gotten what we all wanted: Winning money for doing basically nothing.
HQ Trivia is buzzy, but it’s only one player in a massive trend taking over the App Store right now: Apps that get you money. In fact, there are countless apps like HQ Trivia, survey apps and mystery shopper programs that promise an online payout.
But let’s be clear. All your fave apps are already selling your info. These money-making apps in particular aren’t exactly maximizing your privacy and many of them don’t have the user’s best interest at heart.
It’s not the fairest trade around (you’ve been warned). But there’s a bunch of apps like HQ Trivia that will indeed give you a little something in return for that info, or else that little slice of your time.
The below list are as legit as they get, and some of them are really fun. If you’re willing to experience a couple technical glitches on the road to your next $25, then keep reading.
This is probably the most legitimate money-making deal in the app store. You may have seen their ads all over TV when you were home for Thanksgiving and thought “this literally can’t be real.” Well, not everyone’s going to get huge payouts, but it is.
Ebates is an app version of the old school concept of rebates: post-purchase discounts to encourage customers to shop your brand. Ebates works through affiliate marketing and then brings the deals directly through you.
If you’re willing to adjust your shopping habits and streamline them into this app, then the payouts will come. Happy shopping!
Influenster is a review-based community, where you can get free products if you submit reviews of beauty and lifestyle items you love. At it’s best, it’s also a fun community. Reviewers say it’s a great service. If you review enough, you get a “Vox Box” a.k.a a full size product sent to your door.
The main gripes of reviewers on the App Store are that the app is pretty glitchy (but the website works), and when it comes to delivery, sometimes the gifts come slowly. But people generally love the idea.
The one you’ve all been waiting for. This super fun (but sometimes incredibly glitchy) game from the makers of Vineis a twice-daily live trivia gameshow. Scott Rogowsky, the show’s host, is a love-him-or-hate-him kind of guy, but the game is hard not to love.
The questions start out really easy, and get super hard as they go. In all, after 12 questions, the winners share their earnings. Each game averages 400,000 to 600,000 viewers, so you might not win that much. But you’ll definitely score bragging points if you do.
Book Scouter is a great way of getting rid of books that works in a few simple steps. First, you can type in ISBN manually or search any book’s ISBN using your phone’s camera, then compare price quotes. Hint: best prices are sorted to the top. Once you select where to sell your book and complete the transaction, you can package and ship your books for free with a provided shipping label.
Reviews in the App Store say that the two main problems with this—some books are worth very little (or nothing at all) according to the algorithms, and that the app has a habit of crashing. If you’re willing to chance it, this might be your opportunity have one less book you don’t read lying around, and a few more dollars!
Drop is basically a loyalty card, without the card. You start by linking your credit and debit cards, and then when you spend money at brands like Amazon, Starbucks, Uber, and Zara, Drop automatically earns you points. These points are instantly redeemable for gift cards.
The “Drop Points” need to reach 1,000 to equal $1,000, but the payouts are heftier than a lot of similar apps. A review by Million Mile Secrets found that it’s all about how you use the App. You have to choose five merchants for recurring rewards, and you can never change them. Million Mile Secrets has also provided the rough cashback percentages on their site.
The reviews in the App Store itself suggest that this app works most of the time, but that it has terrible customer support. So you might want to proceed with more caution on this one and do a little bit more research before starting to use it.
Foap is all about turning your photos into money. Basically, you create your own web portfolio for buyers to see your photos, and become part of a massive online community for photographers. You get to upload unlimited photos straight from your phone with the potential of being bought by Getty Images, Nivea, Bank of America, Volvo Group, Absolut Vodka, Pepsi, and more.
Reviews in the App Store say that this app is great ideally, and sometimes in execution, but remind potential users that you can’t get people to notice you or your photos. So, although purchased photos get a secure PayPal payment, you aren’t guaranteed to make any money. So it’s a gamble money-wise, but pretty low-risk.
iPoll is mostly a survey app, and to be straight, the surveys usually get you about $1 each. Beyond that, though, they offer “missions,” which you can get bigger rewards for. Examples of these include visiting a store, taking pictures and testing products.
Reviewers admit that the app can get pretty annoying if you continually don’t qualify for the surveys you choose. Also, there seems to be a good number of people who were told by the app that they “violated standards” and got kicked out of the app and lost their money. But if all works out, you can exchange your opinions for gift cards, airline points, and more.
Another survey app, Surveys On The Go, stands out because it pays you in actual cash (not in “points”). A few paid surveys are available per month, and you can rate TV shows and movies or evaluate products and shopping experiences. According to the app description, most surveys take just a few minutes.
Reviewers, however, have a couple of issues with the app. First of all, Surveys On The Go is not accessible to people with visual impairments. Second, they get more from you than you get from them, in terms of time and effort. But if you’re willing to make that tradeoff for some cash, check out this app.
Our final pick is a well-reviewed “secret shopping” app. According to the Federal Trade Commission, mystery shopping is when retailers hire companies to “instruct a mystery shopper to make a particular purchase in a store or restaurant, and then report on the experience. Typically, the shopper is reimbursed and can keep the product or service. Sometimes the shopper receives a small payment, as well.”
On this app, that becomes your gig. But the cool thing is, you can do it at places you already eat or shop. And you can earn some rewards in the form of gift cards and other items.
Reviewers warn potential mystery shoppers that Mobee, too, has poor customer service. #ironic Another issue with the app is vague missions that leave the shopper confused and sometimes without payment.