The following ways to make money with your phone aren’t exactly a way to make a real living, but — if used sensibly — they will help you recover some of your cell phone bill’s costs and maybe put some extra dollars in your wallet.
The concept behind these games, like most microwork, is to make extra money but be careful that you don’t really lose money in the process. Eight applications you can use to earn money, ranging from crowdsourcing to social media ads, are listed below, so you can compare and find those that will really allow you to earn some extra revenue.
Type of program: Task-oriented crowdsourcing, a.k.a micro labor platform Technical requirements: iPhone Locations: United States, but there may be restricted availability of shifts in certain areas How it works: download the app and build an account to start accepting “shifts.” Sometimes, you get better-paying tasks. The types of jobs offered by this crowdsourcing business appear to be for consumer companies who are trying to monitor their goods, so images of goods with price checks are the cornerstone of this organization.
What it pays: Pay cash into account PayPal. Payments for shifts range from $2 to $20. These are paid out over a span of 48 hours.
Bottom line: While this is accessible globally because so many of its shifts are location-based, it really depends on how many are local to you. You don’t want to waste a single hour collecting $2 in travel time.
Type of program: Task-oriented crowdsourcing Technological requirements: iPhone Locations: United States, Canada, Norway, and Australia How it works: You must pick a job after installing the software. The list includes positions such as surveys, interviews, brochure placement, quality checks, and product reviews. Tasks must be done within a timeframe of 2 hours. As an agent, you earn points for the assignments that you successfully complete. But for any unfinished work, you lose points too.
What it pays: The compensation for work you sign up for a cash range from $3 to $12 each. You need to have a PayPal account because your pay is deposited here.
Bottom line: The app isn’t like many, only first-come, first-served applicants get jobs. But some jobs are built on ranking, so you’ll be eligible for more jobs if you have more points. It means you’re not going to waste too much money on work you won’t be having.
Type of program: Prepaid rewards Technological requirements: Available to over 300 mobile providers, like AT&T and Verizon.
Locations: More than 100 countries How it works: install the “mobile output meter” and win gift cards How it pays: gift cards Bottom line: users install the Google Play app and people in the U.S. collect gift cards from sites like Amazon, Domino’s Pizza and Dell. The points can be traded outside the USA for mobile airtime. This isn’t available in all cities so you need to test and see if it’s going to work where you are.
Type of program: Task-oriented crowdsourcing Technological requirements: iPhone (Android app is planned) Locations: More than 6,000 cities in the U.S. How it works: people log in and find “gigs” or assignments. These activities may be almost anything, but some of the usual are price tests, device checking, data verification, taking pictures, shopping for mysteries, and surveys. We apply to the company requesting the job for these tasks and request the jobs if chosen. They are getting input from their customers. Warm feedback gives them access to higher-paid gigs.
How it pays: Pay cash into an account with PayPal. Tasks usually pay $3 to $5, but there are several tasks that pay up to $100 for professional Gigwalkers. Payment is made within 7 days for the assignments. Gigwalkers are expected to pay the transaction fees for PayPal but may select a higher minimum payment to reduce their frequency.
Bottom line: To assess how profitable this money-making app can be for you, you need to find out a few things: not just the time it takes to complete the job, but the time it takes to apply to the tasks and the travel needed to complete the gigs. A gig probably doesn’t pay for traveling far, at $3 to $5. However, the rivalry is greater for gigs that don’t need to fly or are in a densely populated area.
Application Type: Surveys Technical Requirements: iPhone and Android Network Locations: United States, although some international surveys may be available from time to time How it works: Download the free app; fill out the profile with details such as your name, address, gender, birthday and employment status. You’ll then be contacted to participate in surveys that suit your profile via email, push notifications, or phone.
How it pays: Pays in reward points that can be exchanged in a PayPal account or gift card for cash. The payment threshold is $35.
Bottom line: I’m not a big fan of surveys generally because they can take a lot of time for just a little reward. Nevertheless, the fact that you can do this on your phone means you can do them in a timely way that might otherwise be lost, such as waiting for kids to complete events or in a waiting room. That being said, it’s not under your control how many surveys are sent to you, so if your profile doesn’t fit many surveys, you can not make it to the threshold!
Type of program: Social media ads Technical requirements: ios and Android with social media accounts on Facebook, Tumblr, and/or YouTube Locations: wherever it works: after setting up your account, you may connect your social media profiles. You will then have the option to select from a list of appropriate ads for your profile. Everything you need to do is share the connection in text or video. Yet you’re limited to how many you can post-just a couple of times a day.
Why it pays: You have two payment options: cash into a PayPal account or gift cards with Amazon. Pay depends on how many views the posts get during the campaign or how many clicks. Cost-per-click varies according to program. But you can get a picture of how much you will earn, as My likes can send you an estimation of how much each campaign costs, based on your followers.
Bottom line: This software is not for people who make moderate use of social media. Actually, it’s meant for those who use social media a lot. You can make some money if this is you — as long as you have no trouble endorsing goods.
Type of system: Shopping rewards plan Technical requirements: iPhone or Android device locations: the U.S. How it works: earn “kicks” or points when you only visit stores like Target, Macy’s, Best Buy, Crate & Barrel, Old Navy, Toys’R’Us, and Exxon and Mobil convenience stores. It knows your location and sends correct offers using the GPS on your smartphone. Scan barcodes for additional points and even more when making transactions, but you need to connect your credit card to it to gain points via transactions.
How it pays: Pay redeemable points for gift cards and rebates.
Bottom line: Unlike some other bonus applications for shopping, this one doesn’t require sales, so you can make money when you’re doing your errands.
Type of plan: Loyalty / Rewards program Technical requirements: Ios and Apple devices (including tablets) Locations: U.S. legal citizens, including Puerto Rico How it works: Use your mobile to record and pay for your TV viewing hours. It records the audio when you sign in to Viggle, and recognizes the TV series. Although points are awarded for any television viewing up to 12 hours a day, the most points are received by the Viggle sponsored ones. Consumers can earn points for engaging with what’s on television for answering trivia questions, voting in surveys, etc., and using social media and recommending new customers. Customers on DirecTv receive extra rewards.
How it charges: charges loyalty points in companies such as Groupon, 1-800-Flowers, Fandango, and Foot Locker that can be redeemed. If the Viggle account remains inactive for 12 consecutive months, the rewards expire. The reward value (not including any prizes won in contests) is limited to $550 unless Viggle waives the limit.
Bottom line: You’ll actually need to watch a lot of television to make this work. Take note, couch potatoes!