7 of the Best Money-Making Apps of 2022

For those looking to earn money in an easily accessible way, apps offer plenty of opportunities to consider. You can use your smartphone to take surveys, get side jobs, sell your unwanted stuff, and more.

Here's the inside scoop on seven free money-making apps. NerdWallet considered apps with at least four stars and 25,000 reviews on Google Play and the iOS App Store.

The best apps to earn money

1. Ibotta

How it works: Ibotta lets you earn cash back on in-store and online purchases at over 2,000 supported retailers. Originally for groceries, it has expanded to include clothing, entertainment and restaurants, pet supplies and other categories. Offers may be product or retailer specific, and some will apply automatically. For others, you'll need to complete an additional task, like watching a video or taking a survey.

There are three ways to earn money in-store: add offers and submit your in-app receipt after shopping, link your loyalty accounts, or buy a gift card through the Ibotta app. For online purchases, buy through the app or with the Ibotta browser extension on your computer.

Payment: PayPal, digital gift card or direct to bank account.

Pros: You'll receive cash back quickly for in-store purchases, usually within 24 hours. Ibotta also offers a welcome bonus for new users, referral bonuses and a variety of payment methods.

Cons: Earning money can be a slow process. You must have at least $20 in cash to redeem your winnings (some gift cards require at least $25 in winnings). For online purchases, the waiting period for earning cash back varies by retailer.

Download: Android, iOS.

2. Rakuten

How it works: Rakuten (formerly known as Ebates) rewards shoppers with up to 40% cash back on purchases made at popular retailers, restaurants and food delivery services. Users can also earn money on travel, gift cards, etc. It's simple: create an account, tap the store you want to shop in the app, then complete the transaction through the portal. You can also link a credit or debit card to your Rakuten account to get cash back in-store, provided you first activate the offer through the app. Rakuten credits the cash back to your account after confirming the purchase with the retailer, which they say can take anywhere from a few hours to several days.

Payment: Paypal or check.

Benefits: Thousands of stores and purchases are eligible for cash back, so chances are you'll find deals where you already shop. New users can earn a $10 welcome bonus after their first qualifying purchase. You can also earn signup and referral bonuses.

Cons: As with most cashback services, you have to spend money to earn money. You also won't see your winnings right away; Rakuten sends out payments every three months, and you need at least a $5 repayment balance to get paid.

Download: Android, iOS.

3. Swag Bucks

How it works: Swagbucks is a cashback and rewards app. You earn points, called "SB", when you shop, take surveys, watch videos, play games, or do other things through Swagbucks. You can redeem these points for gift cards or receive cash back in your PayPal account. The total points awarded may vary depending on the task. For example, surveys are usually worth between 40 and 200 SB points each. The minimum balance required to redeem depends on the payment option you choose, but some gift cards are available for as little as 110 SB.

Method of payment: Gift card or PayPal.

Pros: Swagbucks offers lots of easy ways to earn rewards and there's no waiting time to get paid. Payments usually arrive within 10 business days of exchange. You can also get a $10 bonus on a qualifying purchase of $25 when you sign up.

Cons: Doesn't pay much; an SB is worth about a penny. With many tasks valued at pennies, it can take a lot of time and effort to earn a substantial amount of money. Also, you will not be eligible for any surveys or missions. Users often report being kicked out of surveys in the middle of participating. This may be due to demographics or dishonest or inconsistent responses, according to Swagbucks.

Download: Android, iOS.

4. Fifth

How it works: Fiverr is an independent marketplace that features work in over 200 categories, including programming, video, and animation. Create an account first, then you can set up your profile as a "seller" highlighting your experience. Post the gig you are offering, which will include the price and a description of your services. Customers, referred to as "buyers", can click through and place orders. You will be paid once you complete the job. Fiverr assigns seller levels based on performance. As you level up, you will be able to sell more "extras" like faster delivery time.

Payment: PayPal, directly to a bank account or credit to a Fiverr Revenue Card (a prepaid card). Minimum withdrawal amounts vary and you may be charged a withdrawal fee, depending on the option you choose.

Pros: You don't have to worry about tracking buyers because they come to you. You can also earn tips.

Cons: Fiverr keeps 20% of your earnings for each gig, including tips, and there's a standard 14-day waiting period to withdraw money after completing an order (top sellers wait seven days for him to liquidate the funds) .

Download: Android, iOS.

5. Improve work

How it works: Upwork connects freelancers with jobs in writing, design, marketing, and other categories in the marketplace. First, you will create a profile. You should include information such as the area you are interested in as well as your qualifications, availability, and desired rate. You can then submit proposals. Customers will review them and suggest projects if they think it's right for them.

You start each month with a certain number of "Connections", which are like credits allowing you to contact potential customers. You can earn or pay a small fee for more connections, but you won't be charged when customers contact you. You can be paid by the hour or by the project.

Payment: Direct to US Bank, direct to your bank account, Wire Transfer, Instant Pay, PayPal and Payoneer. Fees apply to some payment options, so be sure to check Upwork for details.

Benefits: Upwork helps simplify finding clients, building relationships, and getting paid. The service also gives you the option to set your preferred rate and schedule.

Cons: The app is free to download, but initiating contact with many customers costs money. Users also have to pay a service fee. Upwork takes a 5% to 20% cut of your revenue depending on how much you charged a client. The more you earn, the more you can keep. However, you will not be paid until 10 days after the end of the billing period. Also, remember that you are competing with other freelancers on the platform. This means that customers can choose those who have set lower rates.

Download: Android, iOS.

6. Offer

How it works: Combined with its competitor Letgo in 2020, OfferUp functions as a local marketplace that you can use to sell your products. If you want to reach a wider audience, OfferUp also lets you ship to the continental United States. Create an account and take a picture of your smartphone, car, sofa or whatever you sell. Once you've added a title, description, and price, you can post your listing and chat with buyers directly through the app. You will then proceed either to the shipment or to an appointment with the buyer.

Method of payment: Cash or deposit on debit card or bank account.

Pros: Creating an ad is quick and easy, and you'll get paid instantly when you make a cash sale. You can also check the reviews and ratings of a potential buyer to get an idea of ​​their reliability beforehand. If you ship your item, the buyer pays the cost and OfferUp provides the label.

Cons: You are responsible for meeting local buyers in person and handling transactions. Sellers must pay a service fee of 12.9%, or a minimum of $1.99, for shipments.

Download: Android, iOS.

7. Elegant mark

How it works: The Poshmark app is tailor-made for selling clothes, accessories, and even home decor. After signing up, you take or upload photos of your item, fill out a description, assign a price, and share the listing. You can also showcase items at the app's "Fancy Parties," which are virtual shopping events focused on particular brands, categories, and themes. Poshmark emails you a prepaid shipping label after purchase. Then you send the package.

Payment: Check or direct deposit to a bank account.

Pros: Poshmark makes the whole process easy, from sale to shipping. Plus, you don't have to meet strangers to make a sale. The company will cover lost packages and handle issues between you and the buyer. Getting paid is also relatively quick; Poshmark issues the money within three days of the buyer receiving the order.

Cons: You will pay a fee to sell through Poshmark. The company charges a commission of $2.95 for sales under $15 and a 20% commission for sales of $15 or more.