10 Best Apps that Pay You Real Money Instantly in 2023

If you’re looking for apps that pay you real money instantly, you’re in luck. There are plenty of great platforms that will pay you PayPal and real cash rewards.

The ways to earn cash straight from your phone are almost endless and include market research, online surveys, playing games, scanning your grocery receipt, walking dogs, and printing T-shirts.

And while some cash prize apps make you wait until you cash out (i.e., you have to reach a minimum earning threshold that can be hard to achieve), we’ll cover some of the best apps that pay you real money instantly — or within a couple of minutes to a couple of days of completing the work.

10 Best Apps that Pay You Real Money Instantly

Here are the top apps you can download that pay you real money instantly:

1. Branded Surveys

Branded Surveys is a popular online survey program that pays participants PayPal cash or free gift cards. Take surveys and share your honest opinions to earn these rewards.

The cash-out threshold is set very low — you need a minimum of $5 in earnings. For most survey takers, it takes just a few surveys to reach this figure so it would be possible for you to cash out the same that you joined.

While $5 isn’t an enormous sum, it is free money for an activity that you can do while you’re watching TV. And $5 every day over a year is over $1,800.

You can also earn extra money every month for completing a high volume of surveys. Branded Surveys has an Elite loyalty program to reward its most engaged members.

Branded Surveys is available to consumers in the United States, Australia, the U.K., and Canada. For residents of the U.S., you must be at least 17 years of age.

2. Survey Junkie

Survey Junke is a popular online survey platform that rewards consumers with cash and free gift cards for taking paid surveys.

Most online surveys take 5 – 30 minutes to complete and pay 25 to 300 points. (It’s 100 points to $1 USD.) Redeem your earnings for PayPal cash or gift cards to Amazon, Target, Walmart, and other popular stores.

In addition to online surveys, Survey Junkie offers you other ways to make money:

  • SJ Pulse. Participate in this online consumer behavior study (your internet activity is monitored) to earn bonus points. Must install SJ pulse to your browser and keep it installed for at least 30 days.
  • Product testing. With some online surveys, there is an opportunity to complete additional paid research and do in-home product testing. These opportunities usually pay $5 to $50, and there is a follow-up survey involved.
  • Phone surveys. At least once a month, you’ll be invited to participate in a phone survey that pays $5 to $100.
  • In-person focus groups. After completing some online surveys, you may be invited to participate in a local, in-person focus group. These commonly pay $25 to $150 per session.

Cash out your earnings once you’ve reached at least 500 points or $5.

3. Swagbucks

Swagbucks is a free, popular online program that pays you cash to play games, take surveys, try new apps, search the web, answer trivia, and complete hundreds of other in-app tasks and micro-tasks.

Since 2008, the Swagbucks app has paid over $800 million in prepaid credit cards, gift cards, and PayPal to its members.

Here are some of the most lucrative ways to earn on Swagbucks:

  • Complete offers on the Discover page. You can sign up for different mobile apps and complete a specific in-app action to get a reward. Payouts can range from $0.10 to $200.
  • Play games. There are a variety of mobile games on the Swagbucks Discover page, including Blackout Bingo, Solitaire Cube, and Call of Duty. Earn for installing an app and completing a specific in-app action (i.e., reach level 15 within 21 days). Payouts can range from $0.25 to $150.
  • Invite your friends. Earn a cash bonus upfront when a friend joins, and then earn a 10% commission of their qualifying earnings for life. So if a friend you refer signs up for Robinhood to get the $30 free cash bonus, you’d get a 10% or $3 cut.
  • Cash-back shopping: Earn free cash-back rewards when you shop online at a featured (affiliate) partner store. There are thousands of eligible retailers, including Best Buy, Walmart, Home Depot, and Lowe’s.

Cash-out starts at $3, and reward options include PayPal, gift cards, cryptocurrency (Crypto Voucher to purchase Bitcoin), prepaid credit cards, or even a check in the mail. There’s also an option to donate your earnings to a charity of your choice.

4. Ibotta

Ibotta is one of my favorite cash-back apps. You can earn free cash-back rewards and Amazon gift cards for shopping at grocers and other stores and scanning your receipts after. You just have to snap a photo and tap submit.

Ibotta functions as both an app and a free browser extension. When shopping at over 2,000 partner merchants, you can earn cash-back rebates and save money on exclusive deals.

Cash-back shopping functions similar to MyPoints or Rakuten. Shop online — with your visit tracked through the Ibotta extension — and when you make a purchase at a featured store you will earn the associated cash-back reward. Rebates generally range from 1% to 20%.

For groceries, you can get paid for making grocery purchases in supermarkets and convenience stores. Earn cash for:

  • Purchasing specific items. (i.e. 24-pack of Coca-Cola)
  • Purchasing specific brand items. (i.e., Yoplait yogurt 4-pack or larger)
  • Purchasing any-category items of any brand and of any variety. (i.e., Meat)
  • Watching video ads.
  • Earning shopping bonuses (ie., Spend $10 or more on goods in a specific category).

Most of the offers pay $0.10 to $10. The more specific the product, the higher the reward.

After you’ve completed your shopping trip, you can scan and submit the receipt. Ibotta’s app scanning technology will automatically detect any qualifying items and credit the reward to your account.

You do need to add any offers before submitting your trip. (Just select the store and then select the savings you want.) Many users forget this step, so make sure you do it first so you can earn the cash rewards.

For added convenience, you can connect your store loyalty card or app (i.e., Target Circle) to the Ibotta. This way, you won’t need to submit your receipts. Ibotta already electronically receives all of your store purchase data.

Cash out your earnings once you’ve reached at least $20 in earnings. Payment options include cash (PayPal account deposit) or a gift card. You get your money fast, too. Most rewards are issued within 24 hours from the time of the request.

5. Uber Eats

Uber Eats is a great way to make money and cash out right away. Uber Eats drivers (of cars, scooters, or motorcycles) must be at least 19, but bicyclists can deliver at age 18.

It will take around 40 minutes on average to complete one delivery: driving to the restaurant to pick up the meal and then bringing it to the customer and completing the drop-off.

Daily earnings are credited to your card every morning (next day), but you can cash out even sooner. Uber Eats drivers can cash out up to five times per day.

6. Honeygain

Honeygain is one of the more intriguing ways to earn extra cash. It lets you sell your unused Internet bandwidth from your smartphone or laptop. Honeygain works with all major operating systems, including Windows, macOS, Linux, iOS, and Android.

You won’t earn a lot of money, but it’s very easy to set up Honeygain and use the app to earn. No personal data is collected, and you can even earn money while you sleep. Any time you don’t need to use the Internet at home (i.e., at the office or away on vacation), you can share your extra bandwidth with other users and earn cash.

Honeygain helps companies that use different IP addresses around the world for business purposes, like checking how web pages and other content load in different geo settings. You’ll earn $3 for every 10GB of Internet bandwidth that you share.

Once you have at least $20 in earnings, you can cash out. Redeem your earnings for PayPal or cryptocurrency.

7. Field Agent

Field Agent is a mystery-shopping type app that pays you cash for doing in-store research. This includes visiting stores and completing missions, like taking photos or video footage of specific signage, products, or displays. You’ll also complete surveys and provide more detailed feedback (comments) about the store experience.

There are three main field agent jobs you can complete:

  • Scavenger hunt: Find a specific item in the store (without being told where it is). Can pay up to $10 per job.
  • Common job audits: Visit a store and take pictures of specific products or displays and answer related questions. Can pay up to $8 per job.
  • Precision audits: Similar to common job audits, but much more detailed with more steps involved and more feedback requested, Can pay up to $12 per job.

Additionally, you can also earn raffle tickets for answering short basic surveys. Win monthly prices of $100 to $500 if your name is drawn.

You can redeem your Field Agent earnings via PayPal, Cash App, debit card (checking account), or prepaid credit card. According to their website, there is no minimum needed to cash out.

8. Rover

Rover is a popular app for pet owners and pet gig workers — especially dog walkers and dog sitters. These workers are independent contractors who provide a variety of pet care services:

  • Housesitting
  • Drop-in Services
  • In-home Pet Boarding (Pet boarded at their home)
  • Doggy Daycare
  • Dog Walking

While Rover workers primarily care for dogs, they can also care for cats, guinea pigs, hamsters, rabbits, and other family pets. (Although venomous snakes and horses are not eligible.)

As a pet caretaker, you’ll set your own hours and rates, but Rover will take a 20% service fee from each listing. Funds are available within two days of completing a service. Funds are paid via direct deposit to your bank account.

9. QuickRewards

Quick Rewards isn’t the highest-paying rewards app, but it’s one of the quickest to pay. You can earn free money and cash out almost instantly — the app has a minimum payout of $0.01. Similar to other task-based rewards apps like Kashkick or InboxDollars, you earn rewards for completing different activities within the platform.

Some of the things you can do to earn money:

  • Take surveys
  • Play new games
  • Shop online
  • Watch videos (ads)
  • Complete featured offers
  • Completing paid offers

With at least $0.01 in earnings, you can cash out via PayPal. (Although we recommend waiting until you reach a higher total.) And at $5 or more, you can cash out with gift cards for popular stores. Prepaid Visa cards may also be available.

10. Easy Shift

You can earn free cash through EasyShift, an app that pays you to “Shop, eat, and experience your city.” Complete random activities or tasks around your city, getting paid to go on an urban adventure.

EasyShift will pay you cash to complete a variety of different activities:

  • Take photos of restaurant and supermarket storefronts.
  • Check the availability of certain products.
  • Check the prices of specific goods.
  • Take pictures of product displays.
  • Locate certain items in store
  • Leave business reviews.
  • Verify the correct promotional pricing for sale goods.

Most shifts are 15 minutes in length and you need to sign-up in advance to work in a particular area. Shifts will generally pay $3 to $10 (the equivalent of $12 to $40 an hour).

While the earnings per hour figure may sound attractive, Easy Shift is not a full-time job. You need to take photos of your shift work, and your submission may be rejected for not meeting the needed criteria. Also, you will not always find as many shifts available as you’d like to work. If you live in a small town, there may be very few available shifts. But in larger areas, you may have more competition.

Still, Easy Shift is a decent gig. Depending on where you live the available work may be inconsistent, but the work is generally more engaging and better paying than survey apps.

And you get paid instantly. You’ll get paid real cash (through PayPal) upon completing a shift, but it could take up to 2 business days for the funds to be available.

Tips For Finding the Best Apps That Pay You Real Money Instantly

While using apps to earn extra cash likely won’t become a full-time job, I’ve earned rewards with quite a few of them over the years and think they’re worth your time if you find one that you enjoy and it really does pay.

Here are a few tips for looking for the right apps to try.

Have realistic expectations

Don’t sign up for game apps with the goal of winning hundreds of dollars a day in cash tournaments. Many video ads make it look that easy, but it’s not. Most cash apps — unless you’re actively delivering something like people, pets, or food — have a top earning potential of $3 to $5 per day. That’s still $1,095 to $1,825 a year. It’s a nice sum of cash, but not quit-your-day-job money.

Look for generous sign-up bonuses or referral bonuses

InboxDollars will offer you $5 free when you join their survey site. Lyft offers new drivers sign-up bonuses of up to $1,500. Most of these apps have some sort of a hook to encourage you to join. Research the best app sign-up bonuses and the best time to join (peak promotional period).

Diversify and join more than one app

I like to use multiple different cash-paying apps. It keeps things interesting and will maximize your earnings. You may tire of one app for a while and then want to go back to it. And it’s nice to have a different range of activities to choose from, whether it’s playing games, taking surveys, or redeeming social media prize codes.

Take advantage of referral bonuses

Some apps have especially generous referral programs where you can earn up-front cash rewards for referring your friends. Rakuten, for example, offers a $30 referral bonus when your friends join through your referral link.

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some common FAQs that readers have when researching apps that pay you real money instantly.

What apps can I make money on right now?

In addition to the apps we’ve shared with you on our list, there are a number of other apps that you can use to make money.

  • Personal finance or micro-investment apps like Acorn, Stash, Groundfloor, or Webull. They offer you a way to invest in fractional shares of stocks, funds, cryptocurrency, real estate, and other assets. It only takes a few dollars to invest (literally around $3) and your funds could see returns of 6% to 12% — more than 10x higher than what your money would earn in interest in a bank account.
  • Side hustle apps like Fiverr, TaskRabbit, or Airtasker. Businesses and people can outsource tasks — freelancer writing, yard work, waiting in line — to gig For online freelance work (i.e., Fiverr) you could charge $5 to $300 per task but it takes time to get clients and build a reputation. For other tasks where you complete real-life (offline) tasks, you could earn $20 to $50 an hour.
  • Rental apps allow you to make money on just about anything you’re not using: a spare bedroom, extra garage stall, parking spot, musical instruments, camping gear, and bicycles are among the more popular items to rent out for money. You could earn up to $100 a day. Airbnb (vacation rentals), Roomi, SpareRoom, Neighbor Storage, Spot Hero, and Fat Llama are solid apps to check out.
  • Get paid to declutter. Purge your closets of clothing you’re just not wearing anymore. While you may be tempted to just lug it all to the Goodwill, you could be sitting on a goldmine of $1K or more. The used clothing market is hot, and people are shelling out money for designer brand labels and vintage items. The RealReal, Mercari, thredUP, Poshmark, and eBay are all solid options.

How to make money in one hour?

To earn money by the hour, you would need to look for tasks that pay out a sizable amount per task (i.e. $50 for writing a blog article) or that pay an hourly rate.

  • Walk dogs with Rover or Wag
  • Babysit
  • Tutor
  • Yardwork
  • Furniture assembly
  • Drive for a rideshare service
  • Deliver groceries or meals

How to make money today?

If you’re looking to make money today, there are several rewards apps (for surveys and other task-based activities) that you can sign up for — and start earning on – right away.

  • Kashkick
  • Ipsos iSay
  • Branded Surveys
  • MyPoints
  • Tada
  • Opinion Outpost
  • PrizeRebel

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