Download these apps to your phone to start earning.
If you find yourself with some spare time then a money-making app or website could be a worthwhile way to use the spare minutes.
I’ve shared the key ones to download and try and provided the codes and links for any which offer a welcome bonus. Plus I’ve taken a look at when I think you should use them and when you shouldn’t.
Data sharing apps
If you’re willing to share your data, it’s possible to earn rewards. Some of you might be worried about the consequences of giving other companies access to your information. There’s certainly something there, though it’s so prevalent in everyday life (Tesco Clubcard for example), that it could well be a case of closing the gate once the horse has bolted.
And technically, it’s no different to filling in a survey or scanning a receipt – you’re just taking out some of the effort.
Let’s start with one that’ll earn you at least £50, potentially every three months! Technically this one works via your mobile browser rather than the YouGov app.
If you connect your active current account or credit card via open banking (hence why you do this via an app for easiest results) you’ll earn 500 points, worth £5. You can do this 10 times, which will net you £50 – the minimum payout level.
That obviously depends on you having 10 current accounts and credit cards. If not you can add savings accounts, though you’ll get just 100 points for these. Remember, you’re capped at 10 accounts so prioritise the higher paying ones if you can.
This can be repeated every 91 days, though since you can renew your connections a couple of weeks early, you to do this five times in just over a year, adding up to £250!
Here’s more on how YouGov Finance works.
You can also share your banking data via the Unbanx app. You’ll earn 110 points per month when you connect an account. It’s a bit confusing how much these are worth. However when I signed up you needed 492 points to earn a £3 gift card 820 for a £5 one.
So that would make 110 points worth 67p, and you’d take almost five months to get the minimum voucher (not forgetting to refresh the connection every 90 days).
But there are also surveys to earn extra points, while there’s are 150 bonus points if you join via a referral link, which can speed things up.
Another data sharing option from YouGov, this time for your streaming history. You can connect Apple TV+, Netflix, Paramount+ and more to earn points. You’ll earn less than via the banking option (75 to 150 points), but these will all count towards the overall 5,000 minimum (£50) required for a payout.
There’s also an option for Amazon shopping history, though that’s currently labelled as beta. Here are all the options at the moment:
- Netflix Viewing History
- Paramount+ Viewing History
- Apple TV+ Viewing History
- Prime Video Viewing History
- Disney+ Viewing History
- Steam Game Library
- YouTube Viewing History
- Amazon Shopping History
You’ll actually need to do this one on your desktop as you need to add the YouGove Safe Chrome extension to your browser.
There might also be additional “projects” you can join for extra points based on your linked accounts.
I’m slightly dubious about most of these apps. Though you can earn some extra cash on the side, or get payout in vouchers, my experience has always been frustrating.
The biggest problem I’ve faced is always getting “screened out” of surveys. This can happen if your answers to some initial questions don’t fit the sample wanted. There are lots of reasons, from age, gender and income through to… well who knows!
And if you do get past these, then earnings won’t be huge. However, that doesn’t bother some people who are happy to tap away at the surveys while watching TV or waiting for a bus.
Watch out for minimum payouts too. It can sometimes take a lot of surveys before you’ve made enough money to cash out.
If you do want to try then, then the ones I see spoken about most are listed below. It’s worth looking for referral codes when signing up.
- Branded Surveys
- Ipsos iSay
What is your time really worth?
Though all these apps might sound like easy ways to make some cash, could your time be better spent elsewhere?
To answer this you need to find out what your time is worth, and I think the best way is do this is calculate your hourly rate.
Dvide your salary by 220 to get the amount you earn per working day, then divide that figure by the hours you work (this removes weekends and holidays). So someone on £35,000 a year working an eight-hour day earns just under £20 for each hour they work hour.
Suddenly £4 an hour from surveys doesn’t look so good! It looks even worse when you compare it to the £200 you might be able to make from 20 minutes spent switching bank.
If you can’t be bothered to work it out, then it’s worth noting that the National Living Wage will be £11.44 from April. That’s a good floor to work from, and shows that getting a part-time job might be a better payer.
These apps still want your opinion, but you’ll have to complete some testing tasks first and then give your feedback. I’ve seen quite mixed reviews about these, so do research before signing up. However there is one app that seems to be a decent one to try.
With User Testing you will be recorded and you’ll usually need to talk through your thinking as you complete the tasks.
Tests take you 10 to 20 minutes on average, paying around $10. The desktop version has more opportunities, so make sure you check this out too. There might even be higher paying live versions.
Since payment is in US dollars you could lose a little in the currency conversion.
Once again, be aware there are screening questions so you might miss out on some opportunities.
Tasking / Mystery Shopping apps
These are interesting ones to look at. There’s the potential to get some larger sums of cash each time (between £5 and £10, perhaps a little more or less), for something that could take you around 30 minutes in total (though this can vary too).
There are a few issues with the apps you need to be aware of. First available tasks really vary by location. You’ll get more in bit cities than villages and small towns. Though you’ll also have more competition in the bigger cities. So you can’t guarantee any regular bonus income – it’s as and when.
Also some of the tasks might seem simple, such as take a photo of displays in supermarkets and answer a few questions, others will require more effort (and time). For example you might need to record and upload videos, or you may have to engage with staff members without letting on that you’re a mystery shopper. You’ve also got to factor in the time and effort to get to the location.
A couple of apps worth downloading:
When I had a look at Field Agent this week I could earn £5 taking (lots of) photos of chocolates at Waitrose. Previously I’ve seen them for Asda and Sainsbury’s paying £5 and Tesco paying £10 for taking some photos and answering some questions – though they can go quite fast. The minimum payout is £5.
This works in the same way. There were more offers, such as £5.70 for my local Three store, £4.50 for my local Currys and £5 at Carphone Warehouse. These all required more time though and interaction with staff about certain products (eg Microsoft).
BeMyEye £1 welcome offer
Join with the code 6o2krk5 and you’ll get £1 credit added to your account when you complete your first “mission”.
Other mystery shopping apps
Listen to Cash Chats, our award-winning podcast, presented by Editor-in-chief Andy Webb.
Episodes every Tuesday.
Game playing apps
There are sites which will also pay you for playing online games. You might need to complete certain tasks or reach certain levels to trigger the rewards. Watch out for any additional in-game purchases that could cost you more than you make.
I’m not a gamer, but if you are they’re worth a look. Just keep an eye on how much time it’s taking you. I’ve seen people recommend:
There are a few different types of apps that pay you to scan receipts. First up the generic ones.
Amazon Shopping Panel
This is invite only, though you can download the app to join the waitlist. You scan receipts from outside Amazon, and will get £5 Amazon credit a month if you upload 10.
There are also surveys you can take for additional rewards, while there’s another £2 a month for “ad verification”, where you allow Amazon to see what ads are displayed on your devices.
This app has changed a bit over time. It used to offer 1% back, but it now pays you a very low 0.1% of the total on receipts you scan, which you can then put towards your utility bills.
There are sometimes boosted offers, such as 4% in-store at Asda and 3% at Boots – though you need to activate those offers first.
There’s a £5 minimum payout, and you can upload a maximum of 50 receipts a month. At the 0.1% rate, £10 spent gets you 1p, so you need to shell out £5,000 before you can get that fiver. Though of course if you’ve used the higher premium offers that’ll be reduced slightly.
And there’s the time to take into account too. Assuming an average spend of £25, it would need 200 receipts. I think one minute per scan isn’t too cautious or optimistic. That rate would mean you’re spending more than three hours to earn a fiver.
Other receipt apps
Supermarket receipt apps
These other receipt apps are product specific. so it’s unlikely you’ll get the money back on things you already buy (though you never know). More often than not it’s new items that brands what you do try. Many of these are like cashback apps, but you claim the money back after purchase.
I’ve written a full analysis here that’s worth checking out. The main apps are:
You can also get welcome offers for both Shopmium and GreenJinn – details can be found here.
These are the best apps to download as they’ll earn you money with very little effort.
Quidco and TopCashback
These two apps are essentials if you do most of your shopping on your phone (you can use your browser as well if you shop on your computer/laptop).
Click on these first before opening up a shopping site or app and you will hopefully earn some money back from your purchase. Be careful with your click opening up shopping apps as the tracking might not work (it’ll say in the Ts&Cs). If so you might need to delete that extra app to force the shopping to happen in your phone’s browser app.
Get a welcome bonus
Both TopCashback and Quidco offer new users a decent bonus via their first shop. It’s currently £17 at Quidco and £15 at TCB. Get all the details here.
This cashback app works slightly different to Quidco and TCB. This one is app only and you need to connect your Visa and Mastercard cards.
Then if you use one of your cards instore or online at a participating retailer, you’ll earn money back. Big brands include Boots, Argos, Asda and Primark.
Money earned will go towards your mobile bill – though not all networks have signed up. Here’s my full review of Airtime Rewards.
Airtime Rewards welcome bonus
Sign up with the code FGUHNUQH to earn £1, and then another 50p if you use a connected card within a week. This is sometimes boosted.
Other cashback apps
There are more you can use to earn cashback, mainly on gift cards that you can use for your everyday shopping. They’re particularly good for supermarkets. The main ones are listed below, though we’ve written in detail about them here.
A great way to earn some cash is to sell off items you don’t need, and apps can really help you. There are a few options here.
You’ll be familiar with some, and they can be operated on the app or on your desktop:
Each have strengths for different items, and each have different charges – so the one you use will depend on what you’re selling.
For selling old books, CDs, games and DVDs it can be really hit and miss. Some titles will earn you 1p or nothing at all. Others, especially text books and special editions, can earn decent amounts. I’ve compared the different apps in detail here, but the main ones are:
- Music Magpie
Are money making apps worth the time?
As you’ll have seen, the different types of app require a variety of effort and payout different amounts. The best ones are relatively low maintenance. Once you’ve signed up you can keep making money with just a couple of extra taps. So cashback apps are a must here. I like the data sharing ones too.
Others will need you to put the time in. User Testing and mystery shopping apps are worth giving a go to see if the payments justify the hours.
But others can be frustratingly picky about whether you’ll be eligible on each visit. Or they pay very little each time you use them. I personally don’t have the time or patience for these, but these small amounts can add up, which is why they are so popular.
Just remember to cash out as soon as you can. Your money isn’t protected in any of these apps so if they were to go bust you’d lose all your earnings.