Apps to Earn Extra Money: 11 Lucrative Options to Download Now

Need to pick up a little extra spending money? Here are the best apps for putting cash in your pocket.
Last updated Mar 26, 2020 | By FinanceBuzz Editors
Enthusiastic man using smartphone

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Whether you’re struggling to make ends meet or striving to reach a financial goal, there are ways to make extra cash beyond applying for a second job. You can make money on your own schedule with little more than a good attitude and a smartphone. And earning money doesn’t have to be a drag either; you might enjoy using your talents to cash in from an app outside of your day job. If you really hustle, you could even make up to $1,000 per day.

11 top apps to make extra money

Wherever your passions lie, there’s probably an app you can use to make money from your skills and interests, even if you’re lacking education or experience. Some apps pay you to shop, hang out with dogs, or even share your opinions.

And these apps all have something in common: they make it easy to earn extra money on your own schedule. You decide when you work, which means you’re in control of what you earn.

Use your skills to pay the bills

Thumbtack is an online platform that matches local professionals with customers who need assistance. Thumbtack allows you to list nearly any professional service, from home improvement to legal services. When you sign up as a Thumbtack professional, you can set preferences around what hours you’d like to work, where you’d like to work, and what kinds of jobs you’d like to take. This helps ensure you find customers who are right for you.

You must be 18 years old to offer your services on Thumbtack. It’s free to create a profile and there’s no subscription fee. You pay only when a customer reaches out to you. By registering, you certify that you are qualified and hold any licenses, certifications, bonds, and/or insurance required by law.

You set your own prices on Thumbtack, and it’s a good idea to provide a base price or range of prices for jobs so potential customers know what to expect. The amount you can earn on Thumbtack varies based on your location, the services you provide, and how often you use the platform.

Get started with Thumbtack now

Make money delivering groceries

Instacart is an on-demand grocery delivery service that connects customers with shoppers who fulfill and deliver orders. As a full-service shopper for Instacart, you can make your own hours to shop and deliver orders to customers.

To get started with Instacart, you must be at least 18 years old, eligible to work in the U.S., and have access to a car. You should also be able to lift 50 pounds and have a recent smartphone (iPhone 5 / Android 4.4 or newer). You’ll receive orders through the Instacart app, which is available to download from the Apple and Google Play stores.

The amount you can earn on Instacart varies by your location, available bonuses, and tips you collect. You’ll get a payment for each delivery, plus a per-item payment and any applicable bonuses. You’ll see the rate schedule when reviewing a delivery opportunity, and Instacart will pay you within 30 days of your delivery.

Sign up as an Instacart shopper

Play with dogs and get paid

Rover is an app that connects dog walkers and pet sitters with pet owners who need their services. As a walker or pet sitter for Rover, you’ll be able to get outside and explore your community while meeting new furry friends. You’ll accept walk opportunities through the Rover app, which is available on the Apple and Google Play stores.

To be eligible to walk for Rover, you must be at least 18 years old and eligible to work in the U.S. To apply, you’ll need to inform Rover of your prior experience with dogs; complete your profile on the app; and pass a background check through Checkr.

Although the amount of money you can earn with Rover varies by location, walk length, and how often you pet-sit, it states that dog walkers and dog sitters can make up to $1,000 a month.

Get started as a dog walker with Rover

Earn cash back on your regular purchases

Ibotta is an app that allows you to earn cash back for your purchases at hundreds of supported retailers. The app is available on the Apple and Google Play stores.

There are a few ways to earn cash back with Ibotta. You can link a loyalty card, complete in-app purchases, or add offers on the app before you shop and then upload a photo of your receipt afterward. There are also bonus offers on the app, and you can even earn extra money for referring your friends.

As soon as you earn $20 with Ibotta, you can cash out via PayPal. You can also convert your cash back into gift cards for popular stores. The more you shop, the more you’ll earn!

Sign up for Ibotta

Shop at your favorite stores and get gift cards

If you love shopping and like the idea of earning rewards on your regular purchases, this one’s for you. Fetch Rewards awards you for purchasing qualifying products at your favorite stores. You simply scan your receipts to earn points, and then redeem those points for gift cards through the Fetch app.

Most qualifying purchases will earn you between 250 and 3,000 points through Fetch Rewards. 1,000 points are equivalent to $1, and you need a minimum of 3,000 points in order to redeem for a gift card. Total gift card earnings will vary based upon the types of purchases you make and how often.

To get started with Fetch Rewards, create an account on the app, which is available on the Apple and Google Play stores.

Get started with Fetch Rewards

Deliver food and earn extra cash

DoorDash is an on-demand delivery app that connects drivers with hungry customers and restaurants that don’t have their own delivery staff. As a Dasher for DoorDash, you’ll be responsible for picking up orders and delivering them to customers, and you’ll get paid and possibly earn tips for each delivery.

To get started, you must be at least 18 years old and have a smartphone with the app, which is available on the Apple and Google Play stores. You’ll also need a reliable mode of transportation, such as a car, bike, or scooter. If you’re using a motor vehicle, you’ll need a valid driver’s license and car insurance. It takes just a few minutes to sign up and one to two weeks to get your account activated.

Although the amount you can earn varies with your location, you’ll be able to see the payout for a delivery before you accept it in the app. You’ll receive a base pay for each order, which ranges from $2 to $10, plus any promotional pay, such as peak pay when it’s busy. On top of that, you’ll keep 100% of the tips you receive. Dashers are paid weekly via direct deposit.

Become a Dasher for DoorDash

Earn money by driving in your spare time

Lyft is a rideshare app that connects riders with drivers. As a driver for Lyft, you’ll have the opportunity to work on your own schedule, meet new people, and provide safe rides around your community. You accept rides through the Lyft app, which is available in the Apple and Google Play stores.

To drive for Lyft, you’ll need a car, driver’s license, and insurance. You’ll also need to pass a background check. The minimum age varies by region, and there are additional requirements in some cities.

The amount you can earn depends on where you live. For example, Lyft states that most drivers in San Francisco earn $27 to $37 per hour, whereas drivers in Denver earn $23 to $31 per hour. On top of that, drivers keep 100% of their tips. You’ll need to add your banking info to the app to get paid, and you can even set up Express Pay to cash out whenever you want.

Drive with Lyft

Get paid to share your opinion

Survey Junkie is an online survey site that is also available as an app on the Apple and Google Play stores. You’ll get paid to share your opinion about products and services by taking surveys.

To create an account with Survey Junkie, you’ll need to be at least 13 years old and live in the U.S., Canada, or Australia. The amount you can earn varies by survey, and Survey Junkie states that you will not get rich taking surveys, but you will earn extra cash for tasks that could be fun and interesting.

Each survey has a designated point value, which you can see before taking a survey. Once you’ve collected a minimum of 1,000 points on Survey Junkie, you’ll be able to cash out via PayPal or direct bank transfer. Or, if you prefer, you can redeem your points for e-gift cards.

Get started with Survey Junkie

Rent your car to boost your bank account

If the idea of driving doesn’t appeal to you, but you’d like to earn money from your car while you’re not using it, check out Getaround. This car-sharing app, which is available on the Apple and Google Play stores, allows renters to book and unlock local cars from their smartphones.

To get started, you’ll need to enroll your car. Getaround will install a Connect device that lets users access your vehicle. From there, simply set your car’s availability. You’ll also be responsible for keeping your vehicle in good condition for renters. All trips on Getaround are covered by a $1 million insurance policy.

To share your vehicle on Getaround, your car must be a 2010 model or newer, have less than 125,000 miles, have 10 or fewer seats, and be a private passenger vehicle with at least four wheels. You’ll also need to upload pictures to show that there is no damage to your car.

The amount you can earn depends on your car and its availability, but you’ll be able to easily track your earnings with the Getaround app and receive monthly payouts. The best part is, you can work or do other things while your car makes money for you.

Earn extra cash with Getaround

Find new customers for your biz

As a HomeAdvisor pro, you can turn your skills into cash. Thousands of potential customers search on HomeAdvisor for new projects each day, and there's a job there for almost every professional — whether it's painting, mowing lawns, cleaning houses or larger projects like roof and fence installations.

To get started, simply set up your business profile on HomeAdvisor. The team there will help you get reviews from happy customers so that you can continue to earn more business. The amount you can earn through HomeAdvisor will vary based on your particular skill set and how often you use the platform to engage with potential customers.

Get more customers with HomeAdvisor

Start investing with as little as $5

Stash* is an investment app where users can buy and sell stocks and exchange-traded funds (ETFs) with no trading fees. Stash offers fractional shares, so you can invest in the stocks you want with as little as $5.

Stash also has a checking account that’s FDIC-insured, has no fees, and offers some neat features. Account holders can get paid up to two days early, round up purchases and invest the change, and earn stock rewards when they spend with the Stash debit card.

Visit Stash to open your account and start investing today

The bottom line

We’ve done our best to include something for everyone on this list, so you can earn extra cash doing something you’re interested in. And there’s no reason you can’t try more than one, either. For example, you might want to pick up a side hustle driving for Lyft and also make money from your grocery receipts with Ibotta.

Although you won’t get rich with any of these apps, you can reach some important financial goals with a little persistence and a smartphone. So pick something that seems fun to you, and stick with it until your pockets are full.

*FinanceBuzz is a paid Affiliate/partner of Stash. Investment advisory services offered by Stash Investments LLC, an SEC-registered investment adviser. This material is not intended as investment advice and is not meant to suggest that any securities are suitable investments for any particular investor. Investment advice is only provided to Stash customers. All investments are subject to risk and may lose value.