Best Passive Income Apps in 2021

Want to boost your cash-flow, but don’t have enough time for a second job? You’ve come to the right place. With little time commitment and nothing but your smartphone, you can start pocketing extra money right now with passive income apps.

There are many passive income ideas out there and they come in a few different forms.

Some of these passive income apps we’ll cover are market research-based, offering cashback rewards for completing online surveys. Some are investing apps, and others simply monetize things you might not be using all the time (such as your spare bedroom or car).

Whether you have a little time to spare or just want to earn cash through your everyday routine, the mobile apps you’re about to learn about can give you the chance to do it.

And let’s be honest, who doesn’t love free money? It’s out there, and these platforms will help you find it.

In This Article

17 Best Passive Income Apps

Here are the best passive income apps to start building extra income today:

  1. Robinhood
  2. Airbnb
  3. Rakuten
  4. Seated
  5. Getaround
  6. Acorns
  7. Paribus
  8. Swagbucks
  9. Fundrise
  10. Dosh
  11. InboxDollars
  12. Honeygain
  13. Drop
  14. M1 Finance
  15. Public
  16. Neighbor
  17. Truebill

1. Robinhood

There’s been a lot of chatter about Robinhood’s (rumored) upcoming IPO, and for good reason. The popular app has made its name with an unintimidating platform to start and grow your investment portfolio.

Robinhood is free to join, with no withdrawal fees or account minimums to worry about. Once you link to your bank account and deposit funds, you can start trading in stocks, options, exchange-traded funds (ETFs), and cryptocurrencies. The app also gives you access to expert investment advice and insights on market trends.

Before you sign up, be sure to ask around and find out if any of your friends are already using the app. Robinhood offers free stock as a sign-up bonus if you’re referred, and you can get additional stock each time you bring in another user.

Check out our Robinhood review to learn more.

2. Airbnb

Airbnb is a massive online housing rental platform that is quickly making the hotel industry seem obsolete. If you have a spare room in your home or are fortunate enough to own multiple properties, you can quickly turn them into extra cash.

Airbnb makes it easy to host with no signup fees, and they let you set your own house rules and availability. They’ll also verify your guests, and protect your property with an insurance policy.

If you want to be really successful on Airbnb, you’ll have to make sure the space is clean and comfortable for your guests. So, if you’re the one physically cleaning and turning the apartment around after each use, then it’s not passive income. However, there are ways to automate that process, which I recommend looking into.

For example, you could hire a reliable cleaner or a property manager to handle the hard work. Initially, this means lower margins, since the people you hire will be earning a cut of your profits. However, by automating the process, it allows you to scale up and manage multiple units, and that’s when the real money starts flowing in.

With the right system in place, Airbnb has some serious earning potential.

3. Rakuten

Rakuten, formerly known as Ebates, can be a great passive income app for frequent online shoppers. The affiliate marketing app works with over 2,500 retailers who pay Rakuten a referral fee for your business. Then, Rakuten sends you your cut via PayPal or check.

They’ll also let you know if something you’re looking at is available elsewhere at a better price, and their browser extension will automatically add any existing coupon codes to your purchases.

Rakuten is free to join, and they’re currently offering a $10 sign-up bonus. You can also earn bonuses by referring friends.

Check out our Rakuten review to learn more.

4. Seated

On paper, Seated sounds like everyone’s dream job: Get paid to eat.

If you like going out for brunch or dinner, Seated is a no-brainer. You can search for restaurants on the app by location, cuisine, or price. Depending on how busy the restaurant is (look for those that are surging for a better deal), you’ll be offered a percentage (up to 30%) of your total bill in cashback rewards.

Seated partners with over 1,500 restaurants and bars, and allows you to make reservations or walk-in. They also recently added an option for takeout called Seated at Home, but keep in mind that you’ll have to order directly from the restaurant. (UberEats or Grubhub orders won’t qualify for rewards).

Here’s how it works. After you pay for your meal, take a photo of your receipt and upload it. Then, Seated will provide cashback in the form of gift cards for brands like Uber, Starbucks, and Amazon.

The app is currently only available in select cities such as New York, Los Angeles, and Washington D.C., but is quickly expanding. Seated is free to use, and make sure to look online for promo codes for your city, which can earn you up to $25 extra on your first reservation.

5. Getaround

Getaround is a carsharing app that lets you rent your car out when you aren’t using it. When someone rents your car, they can unlock it with a digital key on the app (cool, right?). So you don’t have to do much other than park it and leave the physical keys inside.

Once you start sharing your car, Getaround will pay you for rentals at the end of every month. They also have a predictive pricing algorithm that helps maximize the amount of money you bring in.

The app has a screening process for renters and a very owner-friendly $1 million insurance policy built-in, so there’s no need to worry about getting stuck with a huge repair bill. You can also set a daily mileage limit if you’re concerned about putting too many miles on your car.

Something to keep in mind is that Getaround isn’t quite free. They charge a monthly listing fee, in addition to a fee when you install the digital key software. But, there seems to be quite a bit of earning potential here to offset those costs. The app claims that renters can expect to make around $6,000 per year with regular listings. Not too shabby!

6. Acorns

If you’re interested in investing but don’t have the extra income to buy traditional stocks, Acorns is a great way to get started.

The Acorns investment app rounds your daily purchases up to the nearest dollar and then puts the spare change in an investment account. The account is managed by a robo-advisor, so you can just sit back and watch your money grow over time.

Acorns also offer a browser extension which, similar to Rakuten, offers cash back for your purchases at over 50 participating stores.

The service costs just $1 per month for their Lite option, and $3 per month for their all-in-one Personal option, which includes a debit card, bank account, and retirement planning.

7. Paribus

Paribus is a pretty simple concept. The app works by syncing with your email and keeping track of your online purchases. If the price of something you bought drops, later on, they’ll negotiate you a refund for the difference with the retailer. They’ll also monitor your shipments, and if an item arrives later than promised, they’ll get you compensation there as well.

Paribus won’t sell your data to third parties, and claims over $29 million in savings to date for their users. They can track your purchases from over 25 major retailers, including Target, Amazon, And Best Buy. The app is free to use, and Paribus doesn’t take a percentage of the refunds that you get.

Check out our Paribus review to learn more.

8. Swagbucks

If you want to earn cash through your daily iPhone scrolling, Swagbucks is the place for you. You’ll earn points on the app by shopping online, watching videos, playing games, and answering online surveys. Once you have enough points built up, you can redeem them for gift cards at places like Google Play and Amazon. You can also opt for cash back through PayPal.

Swagbucks is free to join and offers a $10 sign-up bonus, as well as a great referral program. For every new person that you bring in, you’ll earn 10% of whatever they earn for as long as they have the app, with no maximum limit.

Check out our Swagbucks review to learn more.

9. Fundrise

For those interested in building income through real-estate investments, the Fundrise might be a good choice. The app is available on both iOS and Android.

Fundrise works by crowdsourcing capital through its investor community (you), which accredited investors then use to acquire investment properties. After an initial investment, you can tailor the app to your own strategy and goals, and then, hopefully, watch your money grow. Your investment will be held in a diversified portfolio, which Fundrise has built intentionally to anticipate economic downturns.

It’s far from a get-rich-quick scheme, and real estate investing carries risk. Fundrise, like most financial institutions, encourages customers to think of their investment as long-term. That said, you can earn serious extra income, depending on the amount of money you invest.

Fundrise is free to sign up for and use, and they charge an annual advisory fee of .15%.

Check out our Fundrise review to learn more.

10. Dosh

Dosh is a no-frills cash-back app that pays you back a percentage of the things that you buy online. You don’t need to collect points or use coupon codes, and the payout is in actual cash, not gift cards or discounts.

You can typically expect to earn between 2% and 10% on your purchases, and if you book hotels on the platform, you can earn up to 40% back.

Dosh is free to join, and once you link your debit or credit card to the app you’ll start collecting money in your account. When you get up to at least $25, you can cash out via bank account transfer, PayPal, or Venmo.

Check out our Dosh review to learn more.

11. InboxDollars

InboxDollars operates similarly to Swagbucks by rewarding you for engaging in your typical online activities and taking online surveys. In fact, InboxDollars and Swagbucks are owned by the same parent company.

The main difference is in the payout system. With Swagbucks, you’ll build up points and buy your rewards with them. InboxDollars payments come in the form of cash via check or PayPal. You can cash out once your account hits $30.

InboxDollars will credit you $5 for signing up and they also offer up to 30% of the lifetime earnings for anyone you refer. Not bad.

Check out our InboxDollars review to learn more.

12. Honeygain

Honeygain is a nice option for anyone who has ever felt like they’re being taken to the cleaners by their internet provider.

The app provides enhanced internet connections to businesses through a network of residential proxies. Basically, they’ll pay you for access to your Wi-Fi.

The non-invasive app works in the background while you use the internet, and redistributes your connection to their customers.

Once you sign up, all you have to do is connect to the internet and you’ll start to earn cash rewards. The app strives to provide the fastest connections, so the higher your bandwidth is, the higher your payouts will be.

There’s a $5 bonus up for grabs if you join Honeygain through a referral, and you’ll earn 10% of the daily earnings of everyone else you get to sign up.

13. Drop

Drop is an online shopping platform that rewards for making purchases from affiliated businesses directly through the app, or with a linked debit or credit card. The app partners with many leading retailers, as well as services like Postmates and Uber.

You’ll earn points for every purchase on the app, which you can flip for virtual gift cards that you can redeem at places like Starbucks or Apple. The amount of points you’ll earn on each purchase varies by store, so be sure to check out the rates to maximize your return. Also keep an eye out for Flash Deals, which give you a chance to earn bonus points at featured retailers.

Drop is free to use and they are currently offering a sign-up bonus equivalent to $5 worth of points. You can also earn referral bonuses from your friends.

14. M1 Finance

M1 Finance is an investment app that gives you the freedom to invest, borrow, and spend through intelligent financial tools. The platform is designed to give you total control of your investment goals, while the investment automation component makes it a true source of passive income.

Once you sign up and create your portfolio, your first deposit will be invested based on the targets and intended outcomes that you set. Keep in mind that M1 is not a day-trading app. It’s intended for long-term investing, which is a key ingredient in any long-term financial independence recipe.

The app is free to use and offers a $10 referral credit. There’s a $100 minimum balance to get started, but once you hit that, you can make any deposit of at least $10.

Check out our M1 Finance review to learn more.

15. Public

Public is an investing app, and what separates it is its social-focused approach. The app allows you to buy any stock (or a portion of a stock) with no trading commission. You can also invest in ETFs. It’s a great place for people looking to learn how investing works, because they provide helpful resources along the way.

If you like the idea of having a supportive community around you while you make money online (as opposed to a traditional investment platform with no community) Public might be a good fit for you. Their platform hopes to make investing more inclusive and gives you the chance to follow accredited investors and connect with other users.

The Public app is free to use, with no account minimums or commissions on trading. You can earn a free stock worth up to $15 for referrals.

16. Neighbor

Have a spare closet or unused space in your garage? Time to put them to work.

Neighbor is a peer-to-peer storage platform that allows you to rent out extra storage space or parking spots. The app will connect you with verified users in need of a place to put their stuff, and protects you with up to $1 million in personal liability insurance.

Neighbor will help you set a fair price based on the type of space you have to offer and your location. Once your space is listed, interested renters can reach out, so you’ll get a chance to find out exactly what they’ll be storing before you agree to engage with them.

Payments made through the app are protected and guaranteed, and they will be directly deposited monthly once you link your bank account.

Neighbor is free to sign up for and use, and they charge a 4.9% processing fee for each rental. This seems like a reasonable fee to me considering the potential upside. Companies need to make money too, right?

17. Truebill

The Truebill app, available on both Android and iOS, is a self-described financial control center that gives you a snapshot of your entire financial life. The idea is that the app will help you save money by managing the small, easily forgettable parts of your finances.

After signing up and installing the app, Truebill monitors your accounts for indications of unwanted subscriptions that you may have forgotten about like that streaming TV service you no longer use. You’ll also get notified if you’re enrolled in a free trial that’s about to end before the charge hits your credit card. Now that’s pretty cool.

Truebill can also re-negotiate your existing bills by connecting you with hard-to-find promo codes and discounts. You can then side aside this extra money you’ve saved to achieve your savings goals.

While Truebill isn’t a source of new income, you can use the money you’ve saved to invest in new passive income streams, and that’s what it’s all about.

Truebill is free to use, but they do charge fees in certain areas if they save you money. For example, they charge a 40% fee on any savings you achieve from their bill negotiation service.

Check out our Truebill review to learn more.

Are Passive Income Apps Legit?

This is a fair question and one that you should be asking whenever you see a chance to make money online for seemingly doing nothing.

The most important thing to keep in mind is that while most of the above passive income apps are low-cost or free, they still need to generate revenue. It just comes down to what you’re personally comfortable with. Find out how the app you’re considering is making money, and look into their online security.

It’s also always a good idea to check out user reviews in the App Store and Google Play store and on sites like SiteJabber and the Better Business Bureau. That way, you’ll know exactly what you’re getting into and what you should watch out for.

As with any financial decision, as long as you do your due diligence and understand what it is you’re signing up for, you should be good to go.

Start Making Money with Passive Income Apps Now!

There have never been more money-making apps and side hustle opportunities than there are right now. No matter what your schedule looks like, there are loads of passive income ideas out there that can help you achieve your financial goals faster.

Working full-time can be time-consuming and exhausting. Unfortunately, the days of working a normal full-time job and getting ahead financially seem to be fleeting.

Passive income apps can help cover that gap without sacrificing your free time by, for example, moving furniture or babysitting on the weekends.

So go ahead. Try your hand at investing. Set up a semi-passive income stream with the stuff you aren’t using. Get paid to eat. And if nothing else, get some cashback from one of the best cashback apps for the things you spend on every day.

Whether you have a little extra time or none, you can be padding your bank account with these great passive income apps.

Now, get out there and try your hand at earning some extra money.

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