Best Money Making Apps: 20+ Apps That Pay You Real Money
If there’s one thing we’ve learned so far in 2022, life is only getting more expensive. Decades-high inflation has made everything from gas to groceries to used cars more costly. The good news is that it’s never been easier to make extra money.
If you’re already working at a traditional job but still feel the need to boost your income, consider making money online by using a free app. To help you get started, I’ve gathered a list of the best money-making apps available to Canadians, organized into the following categories:
- Gig Economy/Sharing Apps
- Gaming Apps
- Cash Back Apps
- Get-Paid-To/Paid Survey Apps
- Investing Apps
Gig Economy/Sharing Apps
The gig economy utilizes technology to connect workers with people who are in need of a specific service. The work is typically short-term and flexible in nature, like freelance work, pet sitting, or food delivery. Meanwhile, the sharing economy uses the same mobile technology to connect people willing to “share” their stuff with others for a fee.
Perhaps the best examples of the sharing economy are ride-sharing services like Uber, and property-sharing apps like Airbnb. Participating in the gig/sharing economy will not likely make you rich, but you can make a decent income if you’re willing to hustle.
Here are ten gig economy/sharing apps to consider.
Instacart is a grocery delivery service available in most medium and large-sized Canadian cities. You can make extra money by receiving and filling grocery orders via the Instacart app and then delivering them to customers. As with most gig economy jobs, you can choose when and how often you want to work, making this a highly flexible job. Read our full Instacart review to find out how to get started as an Instacart shopper.
DoorDash drivers deliver to restaurants, grocery stores, and flower shops in over 100 Canadian cities. Like Instacart, it’s a great way to make more money on the side, whether you are a student or have a 9-5. And DoorDash offers perks, which include special pricing on everything from oil changes to income tax preparation to digital marketing services, all of which can help you maximize your Dash earnings. To qualify as a driver, you must be 18 years or older, have a reliable car, scooter, or bicycle (in select locations), provide your driver’s license number, and consent to a background check.
Skip The Dishes
Winnipeg-based Skip the Dishes is an online food delivery service that lets users order and pay for food from select restaurants and have it delivered to them by Skip delivery drivers who pick up the orders via the app. In addition to setting your own schedule, a nice perk of Skip The Dishes is that delivery drivers, aka Couriers, get paid weekly via direct deposit, including tips.
The name Uber is synonymous with the gig economy, with the ride-share service one of the first money-making apps to let people earn extra cash in their spare time. Uber is available in most large Canadian cities, and it’s ideal for anyone with a decent car and some schedule flexibility who wants to make some side income. Some top Uber drivers have managed to turn it into a full-time business. If you’re interested in driving for Uber, however, you will need to meet the company’s requirements, which include being at least 21 years of age with a valid driver’s license and a vehicle in good working condition. You can make the most money if you live close to airports or in the downtown area of a large city.
Lyft is a popular ride-sharing app that’s very similar to Uber. Available in Canada or the US, Lyft provides drivers with a reliable way to earn cash. A nice Lyft feature is that drivers don’t have to wait until payday to get paid. According to Lyft, you can request payment anytime and receive your funds within an hour or two. There is also an option for a Lyft debit card, which allows you to access your earnings as soon as you are paid.
Turo is a ride-sharing app of a different kind. Instead of making money by driving others around, Turo is a car rental agency alternative that lets you rent out your ride by connecting you with people who need a car. They say the average car spends 90% of its life sitting in the driveway. If you own a late-model car in good working condition but isn’t being used, why not make some money with it?
The best part is that Turo handles the insurance, so you don’t have to worry about a customer getting into an accident with your car. Your car will need to meet Turo’s vehicle requirements, which include being less than ten years old and having fewer than 200,000 kilometres on the odometer. To learn more, check out our full Turo review.
RVs, including motorhomes and travel trailers, are expensive to purchase and operate. If you own an RV, why not offset the costs by renting it out to others when it’s not being used? Apps like Rvezy and Outdoorsy connect RV owners with individuals and families looking to rent an RV for camping or a road trip adventure. Most RV owners charge on a per/night basis, and the nicer your camper, the more money you can make. Large, class-A motorhomes can go for $250 CAD per night, and it’s not uncommon for a medium-sized travel trailer to fetch $150 per night. RV owners and renters are connected via the Rvezy or Outdoorsy app.
More than 100,000 dog lovers across Canada, the US, and the UK use Rover, a dog walking and pet sitting app that lets you make money in your spare time. Rover works by connecting pet owners with people who want to earn extra cash by dog walking or pet sitting. As with most money-making apps, bookings and payments are made through the Rover app, so you don’t have to worry about handling cash or collecting payments.
Airbnb is a money-making app that connects private property owners with travellers who need a place to stay. As an Airbnb host, you can rent out a room in your house, your entire home, or vacation property. You also set your own rates and decide when and how often you wish to rent out your space. Payment is handled through the app, and you don’t have to worry about advertising; Airbnb does everything for you. You don’t even need your own property to make money with Airbnb. This podcast episode explains how to start a side hustle through Airbnb experiences.
Fiverr is a freelancer marketplace. If you have just about any kind of marketable skill, you can sell your services to individuals and businesses who are looking for help in a specific area. Job categories include audio and video editing, copy editing, freelance writing, logo design, voiceover work, and more. The premise behind Fiverr is that low-cost providers sell their services, but you can charge more money for in-depth or time-consuming projects. You can make good money as a freelancer, and if you’ve never freelanced before, Fiverr might be the place to start.
Your 13-year-old self would never have believed that you could make money playing games online. But that’s the world we’re living in. While a select few make millions playing video games, you can make a few extra dollars by signing up for online gaming apps. If that sounds like fun, here are six apps to check out.
If you own an Android phone, you can play games on Mistplay, one of the most popular online gaming sites. The longer you play, the more money you make. Mistplay has several games to choose from, personalized to your taste. Once you’ve earned enough points, you can redeem them for gift cards to the Google Play store, PayPal Cash, Amazon, and more.
Mistplay also lets you earn bonus points when you unlock achievement badges, and there are weekly contests as well as a monthly grand prize.
Cashyy is similar to Mistplay in that it lets you earn money for playing games online. It’s available for download on the Google Play store, and there are no in-app purchases to worry about. There is a signup bonus available, but the more you play, the more difficult it is to earn points. The main rewards are gift cards, including PayPal cash, and you must be 18 years or older to participate.
AppStation is another popular gaming app with more than 10 million downloads. Like Cashyy, there are no annoying in-app purchases. AppStation also offers an ad-free experience. To make the most money with AppStation, invite your friends – referrals are worth a 25% bonus. Prizes include gift cards to popular retailers, as well as Google Play cards, Playstation vouchers, Steam coupons, and PayPal cash.
With Skillz, you can win money by playing skill-based online games with other gamers. Their top games include Blackout Bingo, Dominoes Gold, Spades Cash, Pool Payday, and Solitaire Cube. Users can also host their own tournaments on Skillz for more chances to earn money. For tournaments, you get to decide on the game being played, the date, and the tournament format.
iRazoo is more of a get-paid-to website like Swagbucks, but I’ve included it in this section because it lets you make money by playing games like Solitaire, Bridge, Mahjongg Dimensions, and Crossword. Earn iRazoo points, then redeem them for free gift cards at online retailers and PayPal cash. iRazoo will pay you 500 bonus points whenever you refer friends or family. The bonus grows larger as your referrals earn points of their own.
ClipClaps is a bit different in that it is a social media platform. The primary way you earn money is by watching videos on the ClipClap feed, but there is an option to make money playing games. ClipClap’s arcade-style games give you a chance to earn cash, or Clapcoins, ClipClap’s own form of digital currency. Clapcoins must be converted to dollars for them to be redeemed for rewards.
Cash Back Apps
Cash back apps are some of the most popular money-making apps available to Canadians, and several of them have become household names. While each app differs slightly, the underlying premise is simple. Earn cash back when you shop at your favourite retail stores online via cash back rebate websites like Rakuten or Drop.
Rakuten, formerly known as Ebates, is one of the most popular cash rewards apps in Canada and the US. You can shop at more than 750 partner stores directly from Rakuten’s website. Not only does that allow you to shop from one site, but you can earn up to 30% cash back on your items. Rakuten pays your cash back quarterly via a cheque in the mail or a PayPal transfer. Retail partners include Sephora, Walmart, Old Navy, Canadian Tire, and Sportchek. It’s free to signup with Rakuten.
The Drop app is similar to Rakuten in that they are a shopping app offering cash back rewards when you spend money with their retail partners. The difference with Drop is that you can link the app to your credit or debit card, and the cash back is applied automatically when you shop online or in-store. To maximize your earnings, consider syncing Drop to a rewards credit card. That allows you to stack your rewards by earning cash back (or travel points) on the credit card and through Drop. Check out our Drop review for more information.
Ampli by Avion Rewards is a cash back app affiliated with RBC, Canada’s largest bank. Ampli has three primary benefits: You earn cash rewards, which means there is no need to convert points to cash; you get instant cash back, you don’t have to upload your receipts or wait for a cheque to arrive in the mail; and they have a low payout threshold of $15, which you can access with ease via e-Transfer.
Checkout 51 puts a unique spin on cash back rewards; it’s a grocery shopping app that lets you take advantage of grocery discounts by uploading your receipts to the app after you shop. The Checkout 51 team will verify your receipts before crediting your account. Once your cash back balance reaches $20, you can request payment. While uploading receipts may seem cumbersome, a key Checkout 51 advantage is that discounts are not limited to participating stores. If the item you purchase qualifies, you get the discount regardless of where it was purchased.
Caddle works like Checkout 51 – you can earn cash back when you purchase items attached to Caddle offers and upload your receipts for verification. But with Caddle, you can also earn cash for completing surveys and watching videos. The downside to Caddle is that the offers are few and far between, and most are worth a few cents. To maximize earnings, earn points with a cashback credit card when making Caddle purchases.
Great Canadian Rebates
Great Canadian Rebates (GCR) is on our list of the best cash back rebate websites, and for good reason – it’s one of the longest-running money-making apps in Canada. GCR is similar to Rakuten in that you earn cash back rewards for shopping online on the GCR website. I’ve seen offers of up to 12% cash back on the site.
They also have cash back offers on credit cards. At the time of this writing, you can earn up to $100 cash back if you sign up for an American Express card through GCR or up to $200 cash back on select Scotiabank credit cards.
Get-Paid-To/Paid Survey Apps
Everyone knows about get-paid-to apps. Sign up for free, and get paid to perform various tasks, including taking surveys, shopping online, watching videos, searching the web, playing games, and more. The advantage of get-paid-to sites is how easy it is to earn money – you can take surveys while you watch TV, sit in a busy waiting room, or take the bus to work or school. The downside of all the survey apps on this list is that the earning potential is limited – you won’t make more than a few dollars each month.
Survey Junkie is one of the top paid survey apps out there. You earn points for every survey you take – your points can then be redeemed for cash or gift cards. Survey Junkie has a low minimum payout threshold – you can redeem your points once you reach $10 of your earnings. Another thing I like – Survey Junkie lets you know how long the survey will take and how many points you will earn before you start. The downside is the inability to control how many surveys you receive; you’re at the mercy of Survey Junkie. For more information on Survey Junkie, read the full review.
Swagbucks gives you no fewer than seven ways to earn money online: answer questions, shop online, watch videos, search the web, discover deals, play games, and refer your friends. Swagbucks is transparent about how much you can make, between $50 to $100 per year if you work hard at it. The best way to maximize your earnings is to include Swagbucks in your daily routine – complete tasks while hanging out in your living room.
PrizeRebel is similar to Swagbucks – a GPT site that rewards you for performing various tasks. What I like about PrizeRebel is that they offer bonus rewards the more you use the site. Points can be redeemed for gift cards, PayPal cash, video game codes (League of Legends, World of Warcraft), and Gift Codes *(Xbox Live, Playstation Network). Learn more in our PrizeRebel review.
Daily Rewards is a Canadian survey website owned by the company that runs Inbox Dollars in the US. The two websites look almost identical. You can earn up to $3 per survey, and you get a $5 bonus just for signing up. One major drawback is the minimum payout threshold of $30, which is far higher than most get-paid-to sites. It will take a while to get paid by Daily Rewards.
Pinecone Research is a legit market research firm that will pay you to share your opinion on various upcoming products and services. Brands pay Pinecone for this valuable feedback to help them ensure their products are ready for market.
Here’s an interesting one. Sweatcoin is a fitness app that rewards you for staying in shape. It tracks your physical activity, specifically your daily steps, and rewards you with a digital currency called Sweatcoins. The more you exercise, the more you can make (approximately 1 Sweatcoin for every 1000 steps). The app is available on Apple iWatch and is incredibly easy to use. Unfortunately, you won’t make much money – according to my calculations, you would need to walk 20,000 steps per day for three years to earn $1000. Learn more about Sweatcoin.
The last category on our list could be the most lucrative if you make the most of the following apps. Several online banks and investment companies offer attractive savings rates and investment products via their websites and money-earning apps.
Tangerine is the digital banking arm of Scotiabank and our choice for the top Canadian online bank here at MapleMoney. In addition to a wide variety of banking and investment products, Tangerine offers attractive bonus interest and cash rewards to new customers. At the time of this writing, you can earn up to $400 cash back and 4.25% interest on your savings for a limited time.
Like Tangerine, EQ Bank is a digital bank that offers better-than-average returns on savings accounts and GICs. As I write this, you can earn 4.55% on a 1-year GIC. You also get free banking, so in addition to earning high-interest rates, you’ll save money by not paying transaction fees.
Wealthsimple is Canada’s top robo-advisor. Experience fully automated investing when you purchase ETFs in one of their robo-advisor portfolios. You’ll pay a low annual management fee and a small account fee – a small price to pay for hands-off investing.
Moka (formerly Mylo) is a roundup savings app similar to Acorns in the US. It lets you create multiple savings goals, and when you spend money with your debit card, the purchase is rounded up to the nearest dollar and transferred into your Moka investment account. You can also set up a recurring transfer from your regular checking account. The idea is to automate savings into an account that stays out of sight, out of mind. You can withdraw the funds once you reach your savings goal or any time before. The funds are invested into low-cost exchange-traded funds per your investment objectives.
Which Money-Making Apps Should I Use?
If you need extra cash, money-making apps can help you increase your income. But as you can see from our list, some apps pay more than others. If you need to make good money, consider joining the gig economy and either finding freelance work in an area you are skilled at or working with companies like Skip The Dishes, Uber, or DoorDash. If you own property or an RV, look into Airbnb or Rvezy. You never know what’s possible.