You may love your smartphone, but your monthly bill has to be a drag.
Fortunately, there is a way to make your smartphone start pulling its weight. A whole slew of apps are available that will pay you cash or gift cards in exchange for doing everything from completing your daily workout to uploading a photo.
Watch the video below as Money Talks News finance expert Stacy Johnson explains how to make your smartphone work for you. Then, read on to discover 15 moneymaking apps for your Apple or Android device (sorry, BlackBerry and Windows users!).
For those who want to make money and get healthy, Pact makes it easy to work on both goals at the same time.
The app is actually broken down into three separate options: Veggie Pact, Gym Pact and Food Log Pact. You commit to a specific goal, track your progress on the app and then earn cash for meeting your goals. The downside is, if you fail to keep your commitment, you could have to pony up cash to pay the more dedicated users.
Pact is available for free for both Apple and Android devices.
Also available to Apple and Android users, Viggle rewards you for watching TV or listening to music. You simply tap the app so it can use audio to recognize the show or music and then the app issues you points. Those points can be redeemed for gift cards.
You can also use the Viggle Live feature to answer trivia or take polls while watching a show to earn extra points. As a free download, Viggle can be an easy way to earn some extra rewards, but be aware that some reviewers have said the app offers a limited selection of gift cards for redemption.
The couponers in the crowd probably already know about Ibotta. The app made a splash when it debuted as a totally digital way to earn grocery savings, but it has since expanded to include movie theaters, restaurants and other retailers.
Before shopping, users unlock rebate offers by completing tasks such as posting about the offer to Facebook or Twitter, viewing nutritional information or answering a trivia question. Then you buy a specified product and upload the receipt to claim your rebate cash.
Both Android and Apple devices can download Ibotta for free.
4. Checkout 51
Checkout 51 is a relative newcomer in the world of apps and, like Ibotta, can save you money on groceries and personal care items. However, there are no rebates to unlock; the app simply lets you clip and redeem coupon offers.
After you download the app for free from either the Apple App Store or the Android Google Play store, select the offers that interest you. As of this writing, sample offers include 50 cents for a purchase of sliced cheese, $1 for window cleaner and $2 for two boxes of cereal, among others. Once you’re done shopping, upload your receipt for verification and to receive your account credit.
5. Receipt Hog
Another app that rewards you for taking photos of receipts is Receipt Hog. However, unlike Ibotta and Checkout 51, there are no specific purchase requirements. Snap a photo of your receipt from grocery stores, dollar stores, convenience stores and similar retailers for a credit of coins that can be converted to cash or gift cards.
If you’re wondering why Receipt Hog would pay to see your receipts, it’s because the company operating the app is a marketing firm that is gathering data to create research reports. According to the company, all data is anonymous for reporting purposes.
You can download Receipt Hog for free for either your Apple or Android device.
If you still do most of your shopping at brick-and-mortar businesses, Shopkick can be a great way to earn reward points that can be redeemed for gift cards.
Users of the app receive “kicks” for walking into participating stores, scanning items and making purchases. Shopkick is a free download for Apple and Android devices.
CheckPoints works under the same premise as Shopkick. You earn points by checking in at stores and completing tasks such as scanning products. However, CheckPoints offers expanded point-earning possibilities, including rewards for watching videos, shopping on the Web and taking quizzes. Points can then be redeemed for gift cards.
The app supports both Android and Apple devices.
You might be familiar with the desktop version of Fiverr, the site that allows you to sell gigs for $5 each. A gig might be anything from completing some quick graphic design work, providing professional advice or creating personalized jewelry. If you have a talent or skill, chances are it can be turned into a Fiverr gig.
Now, Fiverr sellers can use a mobile app to manage their account and sales. However, be aware that the official version of the app is available only for Apple devices. While the Google Play store has plenty of apps using the Fiverr name, these are created by third-party developers and tend to have poor reviews.
9. Field Agent
Field Agent is one of several apps that let you earn some extra money in your spare time by completing market research tasks.
According to the app, most tasks pay from $3 to $12 and may include checking whether a product is in stock at a particular store, snapping a photo of a display or taking a brief survey. When it comes time to cash out, users can receive their money either through PayPal or Dwolla.
Field Agent is available only in the Apple App Store.
10. Easy Shift
Like Field Agent, Easy Shift is an Apple-only app that allows users to earn money for completing tasks such as taking photos of promotional displays. Tasks typically must be completed within 24 to 48 hours, and payment is made via PayPal.
Android users feeling left out because Field Agent and Easy Shift don’t support their phones may want to try Gigwalk instead. Operating under a similar premise, Gigwalk pays users for checking product inventory levels at area stores.
Gigwalk is available for free for both Apple and Android devices.
Yet another task-oriented app is Rewardable. As with the apps above, you have the opportunity to sign up for tasks such as checking displays, taking photos and recording information such as prices and inventory levels. According to the company, tasks can take five to 15 minutes to complete and may earn you up to $20 a pop.
Rewardable is a free app for Apple and Android devices.
If you love sharing your opinion, you might want to download iPoll. Available for free to both Apple and Android users, the app offers “missions” that include taking surveys or providing feedback on products or services. Other earning opportunities include market research activities such as taking photos of store displays.
IPoll will notify you of available missions nearby, although it appears those in large metro areas may benefit most from the app. Some reviewers indicate missions in their area are few and far between.
14. App Trailers
App junkies should consider making some money off their obsession by downloading App Trailers. Compatible with Apple and Android devices, App Trailers rewards users for watching 30-second overviews of apps. You won’t get rich, but if you are already spending a lot of time reviewing the latest apps, you might as well get paid for it, right?
15. ESPN Streak for the Cash
This final app isn’t a sure thing, but it does offer the promise of the largest payout. ESPN Streak for the Cash asks users to predict the winner of a weekly sports competition. At the end of each month, the person with the longest streak gets a monthly prize – currently set at $20,000.
The longest streak on record, as of this writing, is 19, and you can get your chance to go toe to toe with the champion by downloading the free app on your Apple or Android device.
Those are 15 of the most popular – and lucrative – mobile moneymaking apps. Do you have a favorite that didn’t make the cut? Tell us in the comments below or on our Facebook page.