We spend hundreds if not thousands of hours every year on our smartphones browsing through Instagram stories and binge-watching YouTube and Netflix. With all this time wasted, I thought why not find more productive ways to use our phones. Below I have compiled a shortlist of some legitimate ways to earn money with your smartphone.
Rakuten was founded in 1998 in California and focuses on providing cashback to its customers. Users have to make a free account on Rakuten and can start shopping to get cashback on almost all their shopping, ranging anywhere from 1% to 40%. It is now accessible through their website, or their mobile app (available on iOS and Android).
The company is associated with more than 2500 stores including most of the famous brands and online stores like Amazon, eBay, Kohl’s, Nike, Adidas, Levi’s, Dell, Macy’s, Lenovo and many more. The full list of companies and stores is provided on their website.
How Rakuten works are through affiliate commissions. The associated brands and stores provide Rakuten with a commission for referring the customers to them which they, in turn, choose to split with their users. The only condition to earn the cashback is to access the stores through your Rakuten account. So in this way, you can earn money with your Smartphone
The app also currently offers a signup bonus of $10 and runs a referral program which gives you an additional $5 for every friend or family member that you refer (the bonus is available only after the referred person makes a purchase of at least $25 through them). The only catch is that you are not able to withdraw the cashback at your convenience. The company sends you the accumulated amount quarterly, and only if you have the minimum balance which currently is only $5.
For everyday shopping, using Rakuten is a no-brainer. You can do your routine shopping through the app and at the end of the quarter expect substantial cash back. That is free money! However, be careful not to get too excited by the discounts and go on a shopping spree.
Foap is a great mobile app that allows you to sell photos online to make some extra money. It is a platform that connects photographers to buyers of photography. The app is similar to the other stock photography platform but with an interesting twist. It is one of the easiest ways to earn money with your smartphone
With the cameras on our smartphones getting better every year, the use of professional DSLR cameras has greatly reduced in our daily lives. However, for professional use, if you wanted to be a photographer, an expensive multi-thousand-dollar camera was a must. Foap has changed all that. It allows users to upload photos directly from their phones to the app, and start selling them.
The app is focused on selling mobile photography to interested buyers at a reasonable price. These buyers may be web developers, bloggers, brands or other agencies. The proceeds from the sale are split to provide you with your 50% share. The 50% share by Foap may seem a bit steep to some but bear in mind that the platform is one of a kind and is focused on mobile phone photography. It even lets you upload photos already taken on your phone directly from your gallery allowing you to jumpstart your way into selling stock photos.
One drawback of the platform is that it is a bit too focused on mobile photography. Their website is built only for the buyers and does not allow photographers to upload their photos. The only way you can upload photos from any camera other than your phone is to copy them first to your phone, which is a less than ideal situation to say the least.
While there are many apps that claim to save you money while shopping online, this one here is an interesting variation to the savings scheme. Paribus allows you to make the savings after you have made the purchases.
If you made a purchase online, and only a few days after that you see the same item on the same store on sale, the app lets you claim the difference as a refund on the purchase. Yes, it does work and no, it’s not a scam.
The app is backed by CapitalOne, which is a well-established financial services company. They have even deployed banking grade security protocols on their servers to protect your personal data. Yes, there is personal data involved, but it is a necessity. You provide the application with your shopping lists and your receipts along with some other information and the app constantly look for any refunds or rebated for which you may be eligible.
Once the app finds an item that you have already purchased but is offered on discount now, the app then goes through the retailer’s terms and conditions (that small print that no human has ever read, except the lawyers who wrote it) in order to determine if you are eligible for a refund. The app then goes on to claim that refund on your behalf, perhaps for the laptop, you bought that is now $150 cheaper at the same store. The whole process is fully automated and the only time you realize that the application is doing something is when you get the alert on your banking app that the money has been deposited.
Bear in mind that the refund is not available on all the shopping that you do and the exact terms and conditions may vary from retailer to retailer. However, seeing that it is more or less a set and forget the experience that gives you back the money that you could have saved if you could predict the future it makes no sense to miss out on the opportunity to get this free money app.
Google opinion rewards
Hundreds of times I have hears companies say ‘your opinion is valuable for us’, but not once have I been paid a single penny when I make a complaint to the manager. Well, I found a way to make money providing my ‘valuable’ feedback, and it doesn’t get any more legit than google.
Filling out surveys to make money always has the skeptics raise eyebrows on the legitimacy of the whole scheme. However, with a company like Google, all such concerns disappear. With its app Google Opinion Rewards, the company allows you to complete short surveys for rewards. These rewards can be redeemed as Google Play or PayPal credit.
The company claims that you can finish their surveys while ‘standing in line, or waiting for subway’. However, in my experience, most of the surveys take a little bit longer than that. Nonetheless, you do get paid the promised amount. The amount for each survey varies depending on its length and the time it takes to complete the said survey. You just have to answer and can earn money with your smartphone. This usually varies from $0.10 to $1.00 per survey.
You do not have to answer the question in a certain way to earn the rewards. The more honest you reply, the more valued is your opinion and the more reward points you earn. The app is only available in select countries all over the world and also does not support every smartphone. All you need to do is go to the app store, or google play store for android, and search. If the app shows up, you just sign in with your Google account and you are good to go.
When it comes to the most ridiculous and weird ways to earn money, Sweatcoin is definitely a strong contender for the top position. The app itself makes no sense but given that it pays you free money, using it makes total sense.
Sweatcoin pays you to walk. Yes, you heard it right. An app that pays you to walk. At first, it seems a bit too good to be true. You get to take longer walks, encouraging you towards a healthier lifestyle, and get paid for it as well. It is even better than free money.
The company operates on a unique revenue model that capitalizes on partnerships, engagement and network effect. It gets its revenues from partnerships with the brands that want to connect with health-conscious audiences, insurers trying to encourage healthier lifestyles, and governments wanting to lower their health costs. The company has also successfully raised $5.7 million in a seed round from individual and institutional investors.
All you need to do to start earning is to download the app, make a free account and start walking. The app pays you in the form of ‘Sweatcoins’ which is an in-app currency. You can then redeem these Sweatcoins as cash to your PayPal account, or use them to redeem offers that are available through the app. Although you can use this to withdraw real money, you gain more value by redeeming the offers on the app. It is one of the quick and simple ways to earn money with your smartphone.
Depending on the type of subscription that you choose, you can earn 150 to 600 Sweatcoins each month. The payment for the premium subscriptions is also made by the Sweatcoins earned through the app so there is no money involved on this side. Although the overall earnings are not a lot (20 Sweatcoins equate to $1 if you redeem them for cash), the fact that it is free money that also encourages you to improve your lifestyle makes it a definite addition to your daily use apps.
ErliBird is a not an app, but a beta testing platform that allows you to earn money by testing apps, websites and other products. Beta testing is more or less similar to traditional product testing, however, the platform focuses on software solutions and mobile apps.
The company specifically mentions that it is not a replacement for a job but, in my experience, if you combine this with other similar platforms, you can make a decent side income. All you need to start is a smartphone, a computer, must be at least 18 years old and be able to communicate in English.
The registration process is fairly simple. You just fill out a short form and you are informed via e-mail when there is work available. You can also look at the dedicated section on their website however, your first paid work is only through an invitation that they send you. This may take a while, but you can shorten this time by taking a couple of unpaid app reviews on their platform.
Over time, the company assesses the quality of your work and send you more work as you build a better reputation with them. On average a test project pays off $10, however some may pay as high as $25. This depends on the complexity and the time taken to complete the testing. All payments are made through PayPal 7 days after completing the survey. So just by working on ErliBird, you earn money with your smartphone.
As I mentioned above, it is not a replacement for a job and the availability of work may vary from month to month. However, if you combine this with other similar platforms, you can make a few hundred dollars a month. I am currently testing a few other beta testing platforms and will soon be compiling a list with my reviews for each. If you are interested, be sure to check that out as well.