You want to make some extra cash from your phone, but don’t know which to download and commit your time to. There are so many out there! Thankfully, our financially savvy Michael Barton has researched the best money-making apps in the UK for us…
If you have a mobile phone, money-making apps could be the ideal way to make extra money. In fact, it’s never been easier to put a few extra pounds in your pocket. Wherever you are, whenever you have a few spare minutes, you can use money-making apps to boost your finances.
You could be a passenger in a car, on a train, waiting for a bus, or on a break from a morning’s shopping. You might even be cosied-up on the sofa watching your favourite soap. There are always moments when you could be earning extra cash.
Whether you enjoy sharing your opinions, shopping, or testing out new software, and whether you prefer to earn gift vouchers, cash, or cashback, there are some fantastic money-making apps available today.
The question is, which are the best money-making apps in the UK?
Grab yourself a coffee, relax, and read this article to find out.
Money-making apps won’t make you rich. They don’t work like that. But they could give your finances a cash boost that helps to eliminate debt or, for example, pay for a family holiday.
The trick is to use a diverse range of apps, check them daily, and focus on those that give you the most pleasure and the most pay.
Our favourites are Streetbees, Sweatcoin, Ipsos iSay, CheckoutSmart, and Airtime Rewards, though Sprive could be a real winner if you have a mortgage.
Will Money-Making Apps Make You Rich?
You’re not going to become a wealthy person by spending hours upon hours on money-making apps. They just don’t work that way. They won’t replace the amount of income you could earn from a regular job (though a side hustle or a passive income stream could certainly help you achieve financial independence).
What money-making apps help you to do is make extra cash doing something you enjoy in your free time. It’s quite possible to make enough money to help pay off debts, build an emergency cash fund, or pay for a family holiday.
What Money-Making Apps Are Best for You?
Deciding which are the best apps for you requires what I call a top-down approach. Instead of focusing on what the app pays and how it works, first consider what you like to do most. Then, work down through the apps in those categories to find the best for you.
Why do this if your goal is to make more money? Why not simply focus on those apps that pay the most?
Quite simply – and my experience proves this – if you’re doing something you hate, you’ll quickly lose interest. When this happens, you’ll spend less time on the app.
The time you do spend, your heart won’t be in it. You’ll work with less enthusiasm, and achieve less. You’ll earn less than is possible on the best-paying apps, and probably less than you could if you were doing things you enjoy.
This is why I’ve divided this article into five sections:
- Shopping apps
- Software apps
- Survey apps
- Receipt scanning apps
- Cashback apps
The 5 Best Money-Making Shopping Apps
Do you love to shop? Not my favourite pastime, but if you love to browse big and boutique brands, sharing your finds and experiences with friends and followers, the following shopping apps could be right up your high street (excuse the pun).
This is an app that pays you to share your consumer experiences. Download the app, create an account, and get sharing! You’ll be asked questions on specific ‘stories’. There are no right or wrong answers.
You can share as much or as little as you like, and may be asked to upload a video or photos (don’t worry, nothing intrusive). Payment ranges from around £1 to £3 – not bad for a few minutes of your time.
Now, this is a great way to make extra dosh if you love to browse the high street. You can decide when to complete tasks, and you’ll get paid within three days. The tasks range from checking merchandise instore, to product reviewing (you’ll be sent the product), to selling the products!
Mystery shopping tasks are selected from the app, and you might find several close to each other (which increases your earning potential).
Complete the tasks, and get paid. The more tasks you complete, the more tasks you’ll be presented. You may only earn a few pounds per task, but what a way to earn!
3. Field Agent
Are you a mad keen supermarket fiend? Mrs B loves to compare products in every supermarket. She’s a mine of information about quality, quantity, offers and prices.
Once you have signed up with Field Agent, you’ll have access to mystery shopping tasks like appraising stores, taking photos, and trying the food and drink products sold instore. You may also be asked to check prices.
The downside is that tasks can be rare, depending on where you live. However, tasks can pay around £5 for 15 or 20 minutes of your time. Probably best for those who live in vibrant and sizeable towns or cities.
Another mystery shopping app, and one that is great for beginners. A map shows all tasks near you, with what you must do and how much you can earn. Tasks may be as simple as taking photos of displays. Earnings are usually between £2 and £20.
This site pays you for your views. You’ll be asked a series of questions around a single subject. Sometimes you may be asked to participate in a live video session. You might discuss how you drink your coffee, what TV and films you enjoy watching, your views on healthcare… you get the picture.
If you enjoy chatting about your experiences, and earning up to $100 for doing so (yep, it’s an American site), dscout could be your ideal coffee-time partner.
The 5 Best Software Money-Making Apps
Do you regularly download new apps or games to play? You know you could be getting paid to play, right? You didn’t?
Here are five of the best apps to make money if you’re a technophile. I mean, why not get paid for using what you download?
If you’re an avid walker like Mrs B and me, or you need a little encouragement to exercise more, Sweatcoin is the ideal app for you. Each step earns you Sweatcoins. Convert these Sweatcoins to merchandise from its Sweatcoins’ partners.
Get healthy. Earn points. Convert them into products that you will use. It has also partnered with the NHS to offer a Healthy Incentive Program.
It will take you a while to build up enough points to exchange, though – you receive 0.95 Sweatcoins for each 1,000 steps walked. However, there are also bonuses that you can earn, and premium memberships that could help you earn more.
You know those annoying online ads? You can get paid to watch them. Once you’ve signed up, you will start to receive invites to watch paid ads.
You’ll receive 20p for each that you watch, and 20p is also donated to a charity that WeAre8 supports. You get to do good while earning, too.
One for the game players. Instead of falling asleep on long journeys, get stuck into a game on your mobile. You won’t be bothered by the ads that interrupt these games, either. They play in the background.
This doesn’t mean you won’t be interacting with them, though – because you’ll earn a portion of the ad revenue for each one that you see. Finally, you’re a ‘professional’ game player!
This is a great app for earning passive income – money for doing almost nothing. Now, you’re not going to earn much with this app – typically £5 to £10 per month, but then you’re not doing much!
Download the app, and download software to your mobile device. The app measures your usage of the software behind the scenes. You need do nothing more than use your device as you normally would. That £10 doesn’t seem quite so trivial now, does it?
Up to £120 a year for doing what you would be doing anyway. Excellent!
5. Make Money
The Make Money app is a points-for-cash method of making money. You’ll see a list of tasks, which are usually to click through to an app or game and use/play. You might be asked some questions, requested to share a video, or another simple task. You may be required simply to get to a certain level on a game.
For each completed task, you’ll earn credits that you can exchange for cash, and then the money is sent to your PayPal account.
It might not have an interesting name, but Make Money could pique your interest if you’re an avid gamer or app animal.
The 5 Best Money-Making Survey Apps
If you love sharing your opinions with others, paid survey sites could be an ideal avenue for you.
Organisations of all types – and especially big brands – want to know what customers think about their products and services. You could get paid to tell them what you think, and help shape the future for your fellow consumers.
These five money-making survey sites are the best we’ve found:
1. Ipsos iSay
Ipsos is a leading market research company, conducting more than 70 million interviews around the world each year. It’s highly rated on Trustpilot.
Create an account on this Ipsos iSay, and you’ll receive a steady stream of surveys to take. Each lasts around 5 to 20 minutes. You’ll need to take a short pre-qualifying survey first.
You could also be given product testing opportunities, which can be fun to do, and you get to keep the product. More lucrative rewards are available when you become involved in focus groups.
For each task you complete, you’ll earn a pre-stated number of points, and these can be exchanged for varied rewards, such as global gift cards, prepaid Mastercards, and items from the Ipsos iSay Market.
Another global platform, Swagbucks has paid out more than £550 million to its users. Surveys cover a variety of subjects, and reward participants with points for each task. You can earn up to £10 for the best-paid surveys.
Swagbucks also offers other ways to earn points to convert into cash. This includes trying apps, online shopping, or playing games.
Rewards range from cash to Amazon vouchers. However, while the platform can be captivating, it’s crucial to be selective about the tasks you undertake.
Another way to earn cash on Swagbucks is to refer friends – you’ll get paid a portion of their Swagbucks earnings, for life.
3. Branded Surveys
Another top UK survey platform, Branded Surveys partners with major corporations.
Like other survey sites, you’ll be paid in points, with 500 points equating to £4.50. Surveys last 10-20 minutes on average, and there are other earning avenues like daily polls and referral bonuses.
Survey invites are based on your user profiles, with loyal and active participants enjoying more benefits. While points values may vary, they can be exchanged for cash or gift cards. However, cash payments are primarily via PayPal in US dollars, potentially incurring conversion costs.
4. Y Live
Y Live, previously PopulusLive, offers generous payouts. However, the number of surveys you’ll be invited to can fluctuate.
Users earn points for surveys, with 50 points equivalent to a £50 automatic bank payment. But because of the lower number of survey opportunities, it can take time to accumulate the £50 payout threshold.
Each point represents roughly five minutes of work, and this translates to an approximate yet attractive £12 per hour potential earning. Though there can be a wait for points to get validated post-survey, the high earning rate makes Y Live one of the UK’s top survey sites.
Panelbase is one of the survey apps that reward you for registering with it. You’ll also find that it offers a consistent number of survey invitations. This translates into steady survey values compared to competitors, with the ability to transfer your earnings direct to your UK bank account.
Most Panelbase surveys last 5-10 minutes, with intricate ones rewarding up to £10. You may also be invited for extended studies. These are typically with focus groups, and offer better pay and networking opportunities.
There are also opportunities for higher-earning individual video discussions. Engaging in mini polls not only offers entry to prize draws, but also potentially leads to more surveys.
Product testing is another feature. You’ll receive free samples and a paid follow-up survey to complete.
A minimum of £10 is required to cash out, either as money or gift cards.
The 5 Best Receipt Scanning Apps
How cool would it be to receive cash or rewards just for shopping? Well, now you can. Receipt scanning apps provide product choices for you to buy from your local stores and supermarkets. When you’ve bought them, scan your receipt for your reward.
Here are our top picks from receipt scanning apps:
Do you fancy 50% off a great range of products, including alcohol? Then sign up for CheckoutSmart. You can get some amazing cashback deals on this app.
It’s free to register, and all you need to do is find the products you wish to buy, and send a photo of your receipt when you have made your purchase.
You can withdraw at any time to your PayPal account, though you’ll be charged 5% for any withdrawal under £20.
Often, the best way to get us to buy new products is to heavily discount them. Shopmium allows brands to do this in a controlled way.
You’ll receive a product list every week or two. Products are placed on supermarket shelves at full price. If you like the look of the product, head to the store and buy it.
Then scan you receipt into the Shopmium app to submit a claim. You’ll receive cash into your PayPal account within a few days.
Storewards is a relatively new kid on the block. With this app, you’ll receive ‘coins’ for scanning receipts.
You can boost your earnings by linking your Amazon account and email – but you might want to think twice about this. In my experience, you may start to receive emails that clog up your inbox.
Once you have accumulated enough coins, you can exchange them for Amazon vouchers or receive cash into your PayPal account.
4. Amazon Shopper Panel
In a bid to improve customer loyalty, and to learn more about our shopping habits, Amazon also runs a receipt scanning app. All you need to do is scan 10 receipts per month into its Shopper Panel app to receive £5 worth of Amazon vouchers.
Pretty cool if you’re an Amazon junkie!
A receipt scanning app with a twist. This app wants you to take a photo of the receipt for the food you buy. This isn’t only from supermarkets.
Take snaps of food receipts from cafés and restaurants, too. You’ll receive £1 for every five receipts you send, and can claim Amazon vouchers when you amass £10 or more.
The 5 Best Money-Making Cashback Apps
Cashback apps are like receipt scanning apps, insofar as you don’t really earn money from them, but you save money by using them. This way, using a cashback app when you’re making everyday purchases it is like a passive form of rebating for spending.
Here’s our selection of the top five cashback apps in the UK.
1. Airtime Rewards
This is a super-easy app to use. You don’t need to remember to log in or use it to shop. Once downloaded, it buzzes away in the background, adding cashback rewards to your Airtime account each time you pay by connected cards in its affiliated stores.
Cashback offers are usually up to 10% of the cost of your purchases. Not bad for shopping normally. You can withdraw your Airtime cashback when you have accumulated £20 in your account.
If you don’t like the sound of linking your payments cards to a cashback app, then TopCashback is a great alternative to Airtime Rewards. This is an ideal app if you do a lot of shopping online – you’ll need to click on a link on the TopCashback app to make the cashback purchase.
You can save money on thousands of top brand names, and the site claims to be the UK’s top-paying cashback site, helping you to save up to £300 per year on your shopping.
Quidco works like TopCashback – shop online through the app to receive your cashback rewards. It has partnered with around 4,500 retailers, including travel companies and utility companies. Cashback offers are generous, though vary between retailers.
They also provide highest cashback guarantees – and will pay you double the difference if you could have received a better cashback deal elsewhere. You can also connect credit and debit cards to get cashback on purchases from some high street retailers.
Cheddar is another cashback app that requires you to link your bank card to receive cashback deals. Your cashback from its partner retailers is tracked automatically – with cashback offers as high as 20%.
Now for something a little different: Sprive.
This app is different because its primary function is not as a cashback app. It’s an app that helps you to redirect unnecessary spending to pay off your mortgage earlier. It’s pretty good, too.
You can purchase gift cards for many of your favourite stores on the app. When you do, you’ll earn a cashback reward (typically around 5%). This is then paid into your mortgage account.
All the savings you make may sound trivial compared to your mortgage, but Sprive has calculated that the average saving is £5,000 in interest and more than two years knocked off your mortgage term.
How to Maximise Your Earning Potential on Money-Making Apps
Money-making apps can be a convenient way to earn extra cash or save money on purchases. As we’ve seen, they can even help you pay off your mortgage earlier!
The key to getting the most out of them is to use them wisely. Here are our top tips to do this:
Stick to What You Love Doing
If you love survey apps, focus on these. If you’re an online gaming fan, look for apps that pay you to play. You have to enjoy it if you’re going to commit and repeatedly achieve those minimum payouts.
Use a mix of apps, such as survey apps, cash-back apps, and shopping apps. You’ll enjoy it more and will discover which suit you best.
Manage Your Time
Some apps require more time investment than others. Make sure the time you are putting into the app is worth the payout.
Check Your Apps Daily
Get into the habit of checking your apps each day, so that you never miss out on the best deals. Look out for special bonuses, too.
Refer Your Friends
When you find an app that is enjoyable and profitable, refer your friends and earn referral bonuses.
Keep Good Records
Keep a record of your performance on each app. This will help you to decide which are the apps to focus on.
Withdraw Your Money Regularly
Never keep a large balance in the app. Withdraw your earnings regularly in case the app shuts down or changes its terms.
The Bottom Line
Money-making apps may not make you rich, but they can make a big difference to your finances. In general, what you get out of them depends upon the time you invest in them.
However, there are also apps that reward you for doing no more than linking your card and spending as you normally would.
We’ve outlined 25 money-making apps in this article. All have their advantages. Which are best for you is for you to decide, but our favourites are Streetbees, Sweatcoin, Ipsos iSay, CheckoutSmart, and Airtime Rewards, though Sprive could be a real winner if you have a mortgage.