Getting paid to do something you were going to do anyway might sound like a dream, but that just means it’s time for some sleepwalking.
Yes, you really can earn money for walking, with a number of smartphone apps. It might not be a lot of cash, but any number above zero is a pleasant surprise. So, if you’re looking for ways to make money online — or to lose a few pounds, or maybe a bit of both — consider an app that pays you to walk.
If fitness is your motivation, you’ll find it easy to get paid to walk — there are a lot of walking money apps designed around just that.
StepBet is one that pays you directly, rather than in prizes, gift cards or points not redeemable for cash. The game is in the name: You put up money and, if you hit your personalized step goals, split the pot with other winners.
StepBet usually has $40 bets, and most games last six weeks. You have to make your goal in each of those weeks to be eligible to win.
Each challenge has a “No Lose Guarantee,” such that you’ll never lose money if you make your goal. Even if a lot of people win a given challenge, StepBet forfeits its cut of the pot to ensure winners, at minimum, get back what they put in.
So, from the start, you understand that you’re not getting something for nothing, but also that you have nothing to lose if you put in the steps, which are based on your fitness level.
The app is available for Android and Apple phones and is compatible with Fitbit, Google Fit, Garmin trackers, Apple Watch Android S Health and Apple Health. (This means your phone can track your steps, or you can use a compatible wearable device if you have one.)
2. myWalgreens Health Goals
If you don’t like the idea of spending money to make money, there are other “get paid to walk” apps — they just tend to have caveats or smaller payouts.
One of these is myWalgreens Health Goals (formerly the Walgreens Balance Rewards for Healthy Choices program), which rewards you with Walgreens Cash rewards for physical activity and lifestyle challenges such as walking.
You can earn $1 in Walgreens Cash rewards per month by completing weekly challenges, with a bonus worth up to $2 more in Walgreens Cash rewards if you complete them all each month.
Here’s one more fitness-based “get money for walking” app if you don’t want to bet or shop at Walgreens: LifeCoin.
This app for Android and Apple devices tracks your steps with GPS (which means only outdoor activity counts) and rewards you with points.
You can ultimately convert these points into rewards that include phones, drones and gift cards for stores such as Amazon or iTunes. But if you’ve ever looked into how to make money online, you know you need patience: These rewards require many months of regular walking.
LifeCoin is a product of Azumio, a company that develops health AI and tracking apps.
If fitness is not your primary goal, don’t worry: You can still make money by walking. One option is Rover, an app that pays you for walking other people’s dogs.
You can use the app to connect with people in your neighborhood looking for walkers, who can hire you and schedule walks. The app handles payments too.
All dog walkers go through a background check process and select the types of dogs they are willing to care for before being listed in the app. Rover says you can earn up to $1,000 per month, although that figure is also based on other services the app provides, including boarding pets and house-sitting.
Another “get paid to walk” app for pet lovers is Wag!
Similar to Rover, it’s a service that allows people across the country (in 4,600 cities and counting) to earn money walking and boarding pets. It conducts background checks on applicants; the application costs $29.95.
A 30-minute walk normally runs a pet owner $17-$27 plus tips, Wag! says, and “some of the walkers on our platform make a full-time income walking dogs!” You can see the payout before taking the job.
Here’s another app that pays you to walk and complete simple tasks: Gigwalk.
Gigwalk is less about racking up the steps and miles, and more about being in the right place at the right time. It might pair well with other apps on the list, especially if you prefer to walk around town rather than in natural areas.
Gigwalk describes itself as a “brand intelligence” platform, and it relies on a network of “Gigwalkers” using its app to report how products are stocked and displayed, among other things. It’s somewhat similar to taking surveys for money, but done through the app.
You use the app for Android and Apple devices to locate and accept local Gigs that pay anywhere “from $3 to $100 or more.” You get paid through PayPal.