Download these apps to your phone to start earning.
If you find yourself with some spare time then a money-making app 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.
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Watch my video looking at these apps in more detail
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 apps recommended by my blogging friend The Reverend are
- Curious Cat
One app which I think is worth looking at is User Testing. Rather than fill out surveys you’ll be giving feedback on websites.
This will be recorded and you’ll usually need to talk through your thinking as you complete the tasks.
It pays $10 per test on average, and will take you 15 to 20 minutes. The desktop version has more opportunities, so make sure you check this out too. There might even be higher paying live versions.
Once again, be aware there are screening questions so you might miss out on some opportunities.
There are a few different types of apps that pay you to scan receipts. First up the generic ones.
This app has recently started up again after losing funding in the first lockdown. It’s a simple idea. You earn 0.5% for each receipt you scan (you must do it within 7 days of purchase).
I think it’s worth a try, but it’s not something I’m personally going to bother with. That’s down to how many receipts you’ll need to upload.
There’s a £5 minimum payout, and you can upload a maximum of 50 receipts a month. At the 0.5% rate, £10 spent gets you 5p, so you need to shell out £1,000 before you can get that fiver.
And there’s the time to take into account too. Assuming an average spend of £25, it would need 40 receipts. I think one minute per scan isn’t too cautious or optimistic. That rate would mean you’re spending 40 minutes to earn a fiver. You’d need to get it down to 30 minutes to reach an hourly rate of £10.
The money you earn goes towards internet, phone, water, Council Tax, gas or electric bills.
This works in the same way. You earn 30 tokens per receipt. This is made up of 25 base points and 5 bonus points for uploading on the day of purchase.
You can upload a maximum of 30 receipts a week, earning at most 900 points. You need 3200 to cash out the minimum £5. This would require just under 107 receipts, which would take at least four weeks.
Let’s say 90 minutes to do all that, for a fiver. That’s £3.33 an hour. This wouldn’t be my priority.
However, download both this and ZipZero and scan receipts on both and see how you go. If you can do this fast it might be worth it.
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Supermarket receipt apps
Many of these are like cashback apps, but you claim the money back after purchase. It’s 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.
I’ve written a full analysis here that’s worth checking out. The main apps are:
Task / 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.
A couple of apps worth downloading:
When I had a look at Field Agent this week I could pick tasks at Asda and Sainsbury’s paying £5 and Tesco paying £10 for taking some photos and answering some questions. These went fast and I had nothing for a day or two, but in the last 30 minutes an extra one for M&S paying £10 has appeared.
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”.
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+ Get a £17 Quidco bonus (new members only). More details
Get the best of Andy’s money saving content every Thursday, straight to your inbox
Get a £17 Quidco bonus (new members only). More details
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
Twig welcome bonus
The app Twig will give you an offer on tech and clothes and if you cash out you can use the earnings to spend via a dedicated Visa debit card.
If you join with the code adwebb1 and register for a card you’ll get £4, and another £1 when you complete your first payout.
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 £10 at TCB, both requiring a £10 spend. 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.
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.
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.
I think the best way is to work out what you’re willing to earn per hour (though it might take quite a few visits to reach 60 minutes).
You’ll possibly have your own idea of what your time is worth. If not divide 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!
If you can’t be bothered to work it out, then it’s worth noting that the National Living Wage will be £9.50 from April. That’s a good floor to work from.