How to Make Money from Your Phone

Making money from your phone might seem too good to be true, but if you find the right sites, you might be surprised at the possibilities.
Updated April 26, 2024
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Nearly everyone needs some extra funds now and again, but how do you find the time to make extra cash without committing to a second job or starting a business? 

You might be surprised to learn that you can make money just by using your phone. You can start investing, declutter, and find freelance gigs by finding the right website or app. 

You likely spend a lot of time with your phone in your hand anyway, so see whether any of the following options can help you put your phone to work.

Earn money online by taking surveys

$55,000 might sound crazy … but with a company called Survey Junkie, it’s possible to get your share of it every day by taking their surveys in your extra time.

Follow these simple steps to start earning:

  1. Sign up for an account with Survey Junkie here.
  2. Take surveys.
  3. Repeat daily and get paid for sharing your opinion!

P.S.: You can cash out with as little as $5 through PayPal or bank transfer, or transfer to gift cards from a number of stores.

Get your share of $55,000 daily by signing up here

Earn cash back

insta_photos /Adobe Woman playing on mobile phone

Cash back apps help you earn back a small percentage of the money you spend. Many credit card companies offer cash back as a reward option for using their cards, but several sites and apps provide the same perks.

Websites such as Ibotta and Rakuten, formerly known as Ebates, offer cashback options when you sign up and click through to a store website from the cashback site.

Others, such as Fetch, have shoppers take a photo of their physical receipt and upload it into the Fetch app. The more receipts you upload, the more points you can accumulate and trade in for gift cards to popular stores.

Sell photos

Daenin/Adobe excited african american woman using smartphone

If you love to take pictures, selling your work on a site like Shutterstock and Foap could help you turn your hobby into a side hustle. 

With Shutterstock, photographers upload their content to the platform and make money whenever a Shutterstock customer downloads a photo or video clip.

Foap is a free app that will pay you for your photos or videos. Upload your picture or other content to the app directly from your phone. If a brand or customer decides to purchase it, Foap splits the proceeds with you 50/50.

As your portfolio of photos grows, these sites could become a source of passive income.

Use an investment app

(JLco) Julia Amaral/Adobe black businesswoman using a smartphone in office

Robinhood is an app that lets you invest in various options, including individual stocks, exchange-traded funds, options, and even cryptocurrency, for as little as $1 through fractional share investing.

As with all investing, there’s no guarantee you’ll see a return on the money you put in, but if you’re thoughtful, using Robinhood could help you invest a little at a time and slowly build a diversified portfolio for the future.

Acorns is an app that rounds up to the nearest dollar on purchases and automatically invests the difference for you. You never have to worry about how much to send to an investment portfolio; it just adds up over time.

Some of your online shopping may even be eligible for bonus investments that add to your Acorns portfolio.

Stop overpaying when you shop online

Shopping online has its perks. It's super convenient, but it can be time consuming to find the best deals. Instead of hunting for coupon codes (that don't always work!) and opening tons of browser tabs comparing prices, you can try Capital One Shopping.

Capital One Shopping makes saving money effortless. Just add the browser extension and when you check out, it'll scour the internet for coupon codes to help you save cash. And before you check out at 25+ major retailers, Capital One Shopping will notify you with a friendly pop-up if the item you're buying is available cheaper somewhere else.

Capital One Shopping is free to use and won't show you ads. Add it today and stop overpaying!1

Get Capital One Shopping now

Play games online

deagreez/Adobe young woman wearing white t-shirt typing on mobile phone

If you’re one of the many people who like to play games on their phone to relax or while waiting in line, you might want to look into downloading some game apps that pay real money. Apps such as Solitaire Cash or Bingo Clash match you against other players of similar skill, and you can earn cash and points for winning.

Not all states allow cash tournaments for online games, but if cash games aren’t available in your area, you can still play for fun and to earn points.

If you like a wide variety of games within one app, consider using Rewarded Play and Cash Alarm as gaming platforms that help you earn cash without playing just one type of game. You can choose the games you play within the app, and the time you spend on each game will award points you can redeem for cash or gift cards.

Rewarded Play does not offer cash payouts, but you can trade your points for gift cards to popular retailers like Amazon, Best Buy, and Nike.

Whichever game or platform you choose, read reviews and confirm the games will actually pay out your earnings before signing up.

Complete surveys

Mego-studio/Adobe Smiling woman holding phone

Taking surveys can be a little dry, but you can make money by answering questions about things you use or your brand preferences in your spare time. Some survey apps, such as InboxDollars, offer multiple options to make money through their platform, like online surveys, cashback for online or grocery shopping, or even reading and responding to emails.

Other market research sites, such as Survey Junkie, have users answer in-depth questions to get matched with a money-making opportunity. Once you complete the survey, you’ll earn points to trade for gift cards or cash. Survey Junkie also offers Survey Pulse via extension or app, which automatically tracks your browsing behavior in exchange for rewards.

Swagbucks is among the most popular survey sites and offers online surveys, online shopping through their portal, redeeming special Swag codes, and playing games, all of which earn you rewards called SB. When you have at least 110 SB, you can redeem them for cash through PayPal, a check in the mail, or gift cards.

Use a gig app

bnenin/Adobe Smart woman looking at her phone

Perhaps the most familiar way to make money from your phone is by joining a rideshare service such as Uber or Lyft.

If you have some free time and enjoy driving, these apps might be a profitable side hustle. You don’t even have to drive people — through services such as Uber Eats and DoorDash, you can deliver food rather than spend your time in the car making conversation.

If you’re good at manual tasks, consider using TaskRabbit to get paid while helping others complete their to-do lists.

With Taskrabbit, you can sign up for specific services, such as helping people move, assembling furniture, painting, and even marketing or being a personal assistant. You set your rate and hours.

If remote marketing is more to your liking, try Gigwalk, which helps businesses collect data and handle remote tasks such as mystery shopping and retail audits at scale.

Gigwalk also lets you set your hours, but the rate is determined by the type of project you select. Some take five minutes and earn a few dollars. Others might take hours and are priced accordingly.

If you’re looking for remote freelance work, consider Upwork and Fiverr. Both apps connect freelancers in various fields to businesses looking for their services.

Sell your old stuff

Alex from the Rock/Adobe casual man working using mobile phone app

Resale apps can be an excellent way to put things gathering dust to good use.

Most people have heard of eBay, which lets users choose between auctioning an item to the highest bidder or having buyers pay a fixed price. Although listing unwanted items on eBay can be a great way to clear clutter, the site has multiple fees that sellers must pay when listing or completing a sale.

Poshmark offers a similar service for gently used clothes and will help you list your item within the app. Take a photo, add a description, and set the sale price. When an item sells, Poshmark will provide a prepaid, pre-addressed label so you can ship directly to the buyer.

If you have piles of old cell phones, tablets, and other tech, the Decluttr app will pay you for sending items to them for resale. Users enter the product details on their old devices, including cell phones, tablets, wearables, and even DVDs, CDs, and Blu-rays.

Decluttr will offer an instant price, which is good for 28 days. If you accept the price offered, send your old tech to Decluttr using a prepaid label the company sends you. Once Decluttr receives your box and verifies the devices are as described, they will pay you the quoted price.

Take a walk

kite_rin/Adobe Woman smiling and looking at phone

Learning how to make money online doesn’t have to only involve staring at a computer or phone. An app such as Sweatcoin can make your daily steps good for your health and wallet.

The free app converts your efforts into Sweatcoins, which you can exchange for goods and services redeemed through the Sweatcoin marketplace. You can even donate your Sweatcoins to a charity through their app or website.

Bottom line

(JLco) Julia Amaral/Adobe smiling woman using her mobile phone

Although you likely won’t make a full-time living from any of these suggestions, using the ideas on this list can help you earn a little extra money

They might seem like a waste of time, but if you are realistic about your expectations and put in the time, you can add to your emergency fund or save for a vacation.

Do your research and read reviews before signing up to help avoid scams or apps that don’t pay. And for more ideas, check out our list of the best side hustles.

SurveyJunkie Benefits

  • Over $55,000 paid to members daily
  • Earn up to $130 a month taking 4 or more surveys daily
  • $76 million paid out to date
  • 20M+ lifetime members and BBB accreditation

Author Details

Kate Daugherty Kate Daugherty is a professional writer with a passion for providing others the head start they deserve on their financial journeys. Largely self-taught, Kate relied on books, blogs, and trial-and-error to learn how to budget and save for the future, all while working to pay back about $15,000 in student loans.

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