How To Make Free Money With Smartphone Apps

Updated on February 12, 2017

Free Money? What's The Catch?

I will say, right from the start, that none of these smartphone applications will make somebody rich. That being said, it really is incredibly easy to conjure up a little extra cash. These apps are not the only apps I have tried, but all of the apps that I downloaded and enjoyed are on this page.

i-Say allows you to participate in surveys for money...Or at least that is the claim. I had no such luck with this app, and none of the surveys I attempted were able to be completed do to errors. I only put this one on the list because it comes highly recommended and apparently is a decent pick for those fortunate enough to be able to use it.


  • decent pay rate


  • didn't work for me
  • plenty of emails and notifications

Rating: 1/5

I won't wait a second longer to say that Slidejoy is my favorite money generating app! Basically, the lock screen on your phone will be replaced with ads. Swipe left to interact with the ad, or swipe right to unlock the phone normally. Just having this app installed earns points that equate to cash! There is no need to actually interact with the ads, doing so will award no extra points.


  • passive income
  • doesn't slow down phone


  • can't have pretty backgrounds on lock screen

Rating: 5/5

Swagbucks hosts a large platform of mobile money making opportunities. There are surveys, videos, polls, and of course the usual selection of "install apps or signup today for points". Although I have wasted time doing a qualification survey (that doesn't seem to be factored in to the estimated completion time) only to be told I am not eligible, you still receive $0.01 for this inconvenience.


  • decent pay rate
  • many ways to earn


  • qualification survey time not included in estimated completion time

Rating: 3/5

I love Google Opinion Rewards! This is is so straightforward. Occasionally a notification pops up notifying of an available survey. Completing these surveys rewards handsomely! The only drawback is that payments are made in the form of Google Play Credits. If that payment option suits you, I would highly recommend opening all of the notifications from this app!


  • nice pay rate
  • fast
  • consistent


  • can't browse for surveys
  • Google Play Credits are only payment option

Rating: 5/5

As a long standing name in consumer information surveying, Nielsen meets all expectations when it comes to the Nielsen Mobile App. After installing the app, the user must sign up and allow the app all necessary device permissions. All information is kept discreet and sold collectively. Nielsen claims that this app will not drain battery or slow the device, however, I have noticed a few hangups that I feel came from this app.


  • passive income


  • usage information is sold
  • possibly slows down device

Rating: 4/5

Here is a table showing briefly how I use these apps. I had each application installed for at least a month and came up with an average weekly pay.

Analysis and Recommendations

Overall, this is how I end up using these apps:

Passive Income

Both Nielsen and Slidejoy provide a free source of passive income. Assuming these rates continued for the course of a year, Slidejoy will net $49.44 and the Nielsen Mobile App will bring in $138.72. That is a combined total of $188.16 for doing nothing...Yea, I think you know what to do with this information.

Looking for somewhere to invest small amounts of money? Check out these Interesting Small Investment Ideas!

Time Killer

While using Swagbucks won't bring in huge profits, it certainly rewards the wallet more than social media or browsing "dank memes". I typically use this app during bathroom breaks, or while smoking if I am being honest. This, along with participating with every Google Opinion Rewards survey that comes my way, is my main method for actively gaining some pocket change from my smartphone.

Overall: I truly believe that using these apps as I have over the last month is well worth the sacrifice of my awesome lock screen art and Facebook scrolling time. However, it is entirely possible that I just like the concept of free money far too much!


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      Geneva Salley 10 months ago

      How to make money on my phone