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Don't Sell Your Old Cell Phone! Use It to Make Passive Income

I've made money off phone applications in the past, and I share tips on how to do it.

Don't throw away your old phone! Discover four ways you can use it to make (mostly) passive income.

Don't throw away your old phone! Discover four ways you can use it to make (mostly) passive income.

I Made $500 With My Phone

From August to December of 2014, my wife and I earned about $500 each from various phone applications, which we used to pay for our Christmas plans that year. We did this through a variety of sources, including pay-to-watch phone advertisements and lock screens. Each app will pay a small amount per day, which adds up to a big payoff. I give a small explanation of each one to get you started.

1. Smartphone Apps

WiFi check: make sure your WiFi is on and connected!

The bulk of my earnings come from Perk and Swagbucks (and, more recently, Checkpoints).

Using Swagbucks

Swagbucks is a website with a series of 6 apps that run videos. You still earn points based on videos watched, but only up to a certain number per application, which changes from time to time. You must check your phone and switch which application is running to maximize your points. Shorter videos will earn you points quicker, so attempt to find a short video and "favorite" it by sliding to the left.

The 6 current apps for Swagbucks are SBTV, EntertaiNow,,,, and Swagbucks is a good starting point, especially if you only have one phone to earn from. My username is "koven;" use it to earn extra points when you first start out.

Using Perk

Perk (mainly Perk TV) is an application you can install on your phone that will play advertisements. Especially if you have a data plan, make sure you have your WiFi connected. You earn points based on advertisements viewed. Generally, 1,000 points are worth about a dollar. You can have up to 5 devices running Perk TV per adult/account in your house, and they do NOT need to be part of a phone service plan.

With both of these apps, you can purchase or use older phones that no longer have service plans, or even purchase inexpensive phones to run them. You can frequently find phones on sale for less than $20, and they will pay for themselves in less than a month.

Using Checkpoints

Checkpoints I am still new to, but it appears that Checkpoints must be on a phone with a service plan. The earnings from checkpoints are less than Swagbucks and Perk, but it also seems to need less time to reach the maximum amount per day.

2. Lock Screen

Do you have a lock screen on your phone? How would you like to be paid to use a specific lock screen?

While it lacks security, it does prevent accidentally calling another person, and it pays—not incredibly well, but every little bit counts. I use S'more myself, but I have used Slidejoy in the past. S'more pays a flat rate of 10 cents/day, whereas Slidejoy pays the more frequently you unlock your phone.

Both lock screen replacements show an advertisement on the upper half of the screen, while the bottom half will allow you to unlock your phone.

How Cross Media Panel works

How Cross Media Panel works

3. Cross Media Panel

Cross Media Panel is a program that installs an extension on Google Chrome, your phone, and/or your tablet. The browser extension starts you at 1 dollar per week, the phone will add 50 cents, and the tablet will add another 50 cents, increasing your earnings to a total of $2 per week. You can check out different gift cards, including Amazon, for $25.

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Cross Media Panel monitors your usage and will report it back to Google.

4. Completely Passive Apps

Completely passive apps seem to pay less, overall, than some that require a small amount of input.

Using Freeeats

Freeeats is a new program that I just started. Freeeats will send texts from time to time to your phone. I have gotten about one per week, but this may be increasing. I've received 25 cents per text, with a sign-up bonus of $1 and $1 per referral.

This doesn't seem like much, but what is nice is that it pays directly to PayPal, which you can transfer to your bank if you like, or use at the many places PayPal is now accepted (like Dollar General and Home Depot). As long as you keep the same number and PayPal account, you shouldn't have any problems at all.

Using Mobile Performance Monitor

Mobile Performance Monitor is another app that pays about a nickel per day. There are a limited number of spots per area, so you may have to try multiple times to get accepted into the program. Mobile Performance Monitor pays out in gift cards.

This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.


Karla Linnell on April 14, 2019:

Well, I will give it a try! What do I have to lose

Should be interesting & making money while doing this!!! A double plus........ Kumbaya kumbaya..

Dale Anderson from The High Seas on December 16, 2017:

This was interesting. Have never heard of some of them so am keen to try them out. Thanks for sharing your knowledge.

Amy from East Coast on January 13, 2017:

Thank for the info. I love apps that pay passive income. People don't realize how much it adds up on a monthly basis. The best part is that it's fun and takes minimal effort. I am a big fan of Swagbucks and Inbox dollars. Thank you for the other suggestions!

Nathan M from Tucson on December 23, 2014:

Amazing all the ways you can grab a few bucks here and there. May as well take full advantage of it while it's available. A useful hub to make a little extra cash.

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