Updated February 16, 2022

Best Passive Income Apps

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Want to earn passive income no matter where you are? Then this list of over 25 of the best passive income apps may be just what you're looking for.

Passive income is money you get for doing nothing, or almost nothing.

It's even possible to earn a passive income with an app.

Whether you want to invest, rent out your assets, or do what you already do, there's an app for earning passive income.

In this guide, discover nearly 30 apps that help you earn passive income on your own terms.

What kind of phone do you use?

Best Passive Income Apps

Not all these apps work the same, and not all of them will be right for you. Browse the list, see what fits, and you'll be earning passive income in no time.

Remember, the more apps you use, the more money you get.

1. Robinhood

If you've been thinking of dipping your toes into investing, you might consider Robinhood. You can trade stocks, ETFs, options, and even cryptocurrency commission-free.

Robinhood doesn't have all the analytical and research tools you might find with some of its competitors. But you'll have a hard time finding a platform that's as easy to use as Robinhood is.

You can trade fractional shares, meaning there's no worry of getting priced out by the popularity of your favorite stock, and there's no minimum to get started.

Before you invest: While investing isn't a guaranteed way to earn passive income—there's always risk—it is one of the most popular. If you're careful, and do your research, you ought to be able to grow your money by investing reasonably. The danger usually comes in trying to get rich quick, so try to take it slow.

Plus, Robinhood sometimes offers free stocks just for signing up. There's not much easier than that.

2. Coinbase

If you have any interest in cryptocurrency, you've probably heard of Coinbase. It's one of the most widely used crypto investing apps on the market.

Coinbase has a lot in common with Robinhood. It was designed with everyday users in mind, making it easy to get into the world of crypto investing.

You can earn passive income by investing in cryptocurrency, but the volatility of the crypto market means that it's riskier than investing in stocks. If you do decide to invest in crypto, make sure to do your research first, and only invest what you can afford to lose.

With Coinbase though, you can earn crypto just for watching videos and taking short quizzes. You can get coins like Compound, Stellar Lumens, and Amp just for learning about them.

How does Coinbase compare? Review other platforms for trading crypto in our round up of the best Coinbase alternatives.

3. Public

Public is an investing social network that aims to make investing accessible by promoting financial literacy and education. It's free to download, and it costs just $1 to get started trading stocks and ETFs commission-free[1]

Since it's a trading social network, you can see what others are trading. Knowing what stocks other people are buying and selling can help you make more informed decisions on what to invest in too.

Follow curated themes like The Crypto Revolution, For the Win! (gaming and eSports), Women in Charge, and Growing Diversity.

And for more passive income, it may be possible to earn $10 just for signing up with Public.

4. Acorns

Acorns is a mobile investing app that aims to help people save money and start investing. One of Acorns' main features is the ability to round up the spare change on purchases and put it away automatically to save or invest.

By investing your spare change, you can earn interest that you can put toward anything you like, whether it's a night at the movies or a college fund for the kids.

With Acorns, you can quickly set up investment accounts for the whole family. Just keep in mind that depending on the account you choose, there's a monthly fee of $1, $3, or $5.[2]

Acorns also offers retirement and checking accounts. Take advantage of portfolios designed by experts that automatically adjust to keep your investments on track.

5. M1 Finance

M1 Finance is another investing app with a variety of investment accounts to help you grow your money, and it's free to use.

They offer fractional shares of stocks and automatic rebalancing, with automation so you don't have to worry about making trades manually if you don't want to. And if you want to invest like an expert, you can choose from one of their curated "pies," each following its own unique investing strategy.

You can borrow against your investments to avoid selling and taxes if you're faced with a big expense, and they offer an integrated checking account.

Remember, passive income doesn't have to mean a quick buck while you're sitting on the couch. Sometimes it means preparing for the future, letting your money make money for you. That's why M1 has a range of investment and retirement accounts including individual taxable accounts, joint accounts, traditional, Roth, and SEP IRAs, and trusts.

6. Fundrise

There are lots of opportunities for earning passive income with real estate investments. But unless you've got a couple hundred thousand dollars lying around, those opportunities aren't exactly accessible.

Enter: Fundrise. This forward-thinking mobile app has brought real estate crowdfunding to the average investor.

There's no need to be an accredited investor, and you can get started with as little as $500.

Keep in mind: you won't earn as much in crowdfunded real estate as you might with other, riskier investments. But unlike some of the other options, putting your money here is relatively safe—safer still if you invest in a diverse portfolio of real estate holdings.

You can grow your wealth even further by opting into a dividend reinvestment program, which Fundrise offers to those who want to leave their money on the platform.

7. DiversyFund

DiversyFund is another option for those looking to grow their wealth through investments in crowdfunded real estate.

Sure, you could spend years of your savings and buy a property to rent. And then you'd be stuck playing landlord. Even if you hire a property management company, they'd be profiting from your investment too.

Or you could buy part of a multifamily home, or even part of a few with DiversyFund. There are no management fees, and with a $500 minimum investment to start, you could see your wealth grow a whole lot more easily than if you decided to rent out a house somewhere.

8. Airbnb

If you do have some extra space—an empty condo, a spare room, a guest house—then you can earn passive income by renting it out on Airbnb.

There is potential for real money with Airbnb, depending on the desirability of your location and whether short-term rentals are permitted. You could make hundreds or even thousands of dollars a month from renting out your property.

Of course, there may be some work involved. Consistently good reviews are important, as well as maintaining a clean and comfortable space for people to stay in. Still, for the potential rewards, putting in a little effort is worth it.

Download: iPhone, Android

What makes a good app?

9. Turo

Turo is like the Airbnb of cars. If you've got a car sitting idle much of the time, you can turn it into a source of passive income with Turo.

You just create a profile, add your car to the app, and then users can rent it out at their—and your—convenience.

According to Turo, the average car can earn $10,516 a year in rentals, not accounting for maintenance, cleaning, insurance, and deductibles.

While those will certainly eat into your profits, if you're not using the car and could use some extra cash, it's certainly better than letting it sit around under a tarp.

Turo also offers contactless check-in to save your time, and liability insurance, so you know your car is safe, even when it's in someone else's hands.

And for those looking to really level up their passive income, there's always the option of putting together a whole fleet of rental cars and turning it into a business.

Download: iPhone, Android

10. Neighbor

With the Neighbor app, you can rent unused space around your property to people in your neighborhood.

If you've got open space in your garage, empty bedrooms, or even a spare parking space, you can turn it into a source of supplementary income with almost no effort. Just sign up, post your rentals on the app, and wait for people to sign up.

Neighbor even offers a Host Guarantee, so that if something happens to your property because you used the app, you should be covered.

Who knew it paid to be neighborly?

Download: iPhone, Android

11. Seated

If you like food—who doesn't?—then you'll be pleased to learn about Seated, an app that offers cash back on food delivery, pickup, and restaurant reservations.

There's a lot to like about Seated. It's a great way to discover new places to eat, with a search function that lets you sort by a variety of features like price, food type, ratings, and plenty more.

They can connect you to thousands of restaurants throughout the U.S., and you can use the app to schedule your pickup, reservations, or delivery.

And in a recent update, they added the ability to confirm the price of your meal by taking a picture of the receipt, so there's no need to link a credit card.

Right now, Seated is limited to certain cities, but it's worth checking to see if they're in your area too.

Download: iPhone, Android

12. MyConstant

If you're looking to (passively) turn your money into more money, you might consider lending it out with MyConstant, a peer-to-peer lending app.

Now, you're probably thinking that sounds a bit risky. Why would I want to trust a stranger with my hard-earned money?

Luckily, MyConstant requires collateral, typically in the form of cryptocurrency held by them or one of their partners. That means if your borrower defaults or disappears, you shouldn't be out a dollar.

And public opinion seems to favor them—they've got a 4.6 out of 5 stars on Trustpilot, with over 1,000 reviews.[3]

Best of all, it's easy to withdraw your money when you need it, with free withdrawals to bank or gift cards and flexible terms. ACH withdrawals can take up to 3-5 business days, but gift card withdrawals are instant and can even earn you cash back.

You may even receive a bonus just for funding your account.

Download: Android

13. Truebill

Sometimes earning money has more to do with saving money. That's the case with Truebill, whose goal is to help you save money by spending less on bills.

Truebill helps you lower your bills by negotiating with your providers. They go through and cancel unwanted subscriptions, which is often far more difficult than it needs to be.

According to Truebill, they have an 85% success rate at lowering bills with services like Comcast, Verizon, and AT&T.[4] Truebill users reportedly save an average of 20% of their current phone and internet plans.

If that wasn't enough, Truebill also functions as a budgeting app. They help you spend more responsibly by keeping track of your expenses.

It's free to sign up, though there are paid premium plans as well.

14. Rakuten

Another service that lets you earn by saving is Rakuten, known formerly as Ebates. By shopping through the Rakuten app, you can find discounts on a wide range of products via coupons and cashback rewards.

You shop at your favorite retailers, like Target, Kohl's, and Macy's, those stores pay Rakuten for your business, and Rakuten passes a portion of those earnings on to you. All for free, of course.

Once you install the Rakuten app or the browser extension for browsers like Chrome and Safari, you'll be notified whenever cash back deals are available, and if there are any coupons, those will be applied automatically. No more missing out just because you don't know.

15. Capital One Shopping

There's more than one way to earn passive income with Capital One Shopping, and you don't have to be a registered member of Capital One to get them.

Comparison shopping is the first. You can use the Capital One Shopping app to help shop around for things you already wanted. When the app finds you a lower price available for the items you're looking for, you save.

The second is through earning rewards points for shopping at stores you visit already. These rewards can be redeemed for gift cards to major retailers.

Savings vary, but typically amount to a couple of dollars a sale. Capital One Shopping is available both as an app and online.

16. Paribus

Paribus, which recently became part of Capital One Shopping, helps you save on shopping you may have already done.

The Paribus app tracks all of the purchases you make online, and when they detect a price drop, you get money back. This is a great way to be sure you're not missing out on any deals just because of bad timing.

They also help you take advantage of shipping promises offered by companies like Amazon by helping you fill out compensation request forms with a few clicks.

Download: iPhone

17. Drop

Earn passive income while you shop at your favorite retailers with Drop. If you've got any rewards credit cards, then you'll already be familiar with how Drop works.

You spend money, you earn points, and those points can be redeemed for gift cards worth real money.

One of the best things about Drop is that if you're already earning rewards on your spending, this is a way to earn more.

With most rewards programs you'll have to choose between one or the other—most are offered through a payment provider, and you probably don't want to pay twice to double your rewards.

But Drop works in addition to whatever you're already earning. The only caveat is that you must pick the five businesses you want to automatically earn cash back from.

Still, if you do most of your shopping at a few places, as many people do, you can probably earn rewards on a good portion of your outgoing dollars.

Download: iPhone, Android

18. Dosh

Dosh is another popular cashback app that lets you earn passive income for shopping as you normally do.

It works with thousands of frequently used brands like Uber, Old Navy, and Domino's, as well as over 600,000 hotels.

Using Dosh is easy, too. Just download the app, connect your credit and debit cards, and the rewards will accrue automatically.

Once you've hit the minimum withdrawal threshold of $25, you can take your money via Venmo or PayPal, or transfer it straight to your bank account.

19. Earny

Earny tracks prices of your recent purchases so that if the price drops after you buy, you get a refund automatically. Why should you pay more than anybody else?

If you want to be proactive, you can create a watchlist, which will tell you the best time to buy, with a 90-day price history that lets you know you're getting the lowest price.

You can also save money by shopping through the Earny app. Find deals for travel, retail, rideshare, food and more. There's very little effort involved with Earny, making it a real passive income tool.

An annual subscription is $19.99.

Download: iPhone, Android

20. Swagbucks

With Swagbucks, you can earn passive income when you sign up for special offers with their partners.

The way it works is simple. Download the app, check out their rewards page, and see if there's anything that catches your eye.

You earn Swagbucks, which can be redeemed for gift cards, in a variety of ways. Sign up for services, shop at popular retailers. Even some jobs like Uber Eats will pay Swagbucks when you complete your first delivery.

To make it truly passive, look for things that you were already planning to do. By going through the Swagbucks app, you're rewarded for just going about your life.

Other Apps to Consider

The apps below won't make you rich, but they may add a little boost to your bank account.

Background Data Tracking Apps
These apps definitely aren't for everyone. There is a type of app that pays you for letting it run in the background on your device, collecting data about certain aspects of your behavior or sometimes the device itself.

Some of these apps are:

  • Embee Meter CX: tracks data on connection quality to wireless networks, currently Android only
  • SavvyConnect: tracks data on your internet browsing habits, available on Android
  • Nielsen Computer & Mobile Panel: tracks data on your internet browsing habits
  • Mobile Performance Meter: tracks data for market research, available on Android
  • MobileXpression: tracks data on your internet browsing habits, available on Android

OnMyWay
OnMyWay is an app that's aiming to encourage safe driving. It's a pretty simple premise. They don't want people to text and drive, so they'll pay you 5 cents for every mile you drive without texting, with bonuses if you refer friends. Not bad if you have a long commute.

Available on iPhone and Android.

S'mores Lockscreen
If you don't mind ads—or you've just given up fighting them—consider S'mores Lockscreen, an app that places an ad on the lock screen of your phone in exchange for a small payout, redeemable for Amazon gift cards. S'mores is Android only.

Bottom Line

Lots of articles you'll find about passive income will tell you that you can earn money playing smartphone games and taking surveys.

But we wanted to focus on real passive income—not doing simple, repetitive tasks to make a few dollars a day, but things that you can set and forget. Ways to earn with no work at all, barring a small initial time investment.

Not all of these apps will make you all that much money. But between what you'll save on shopping and bills, what you can earn through good investments over time, and the number of ways you can put your existing assets to work, it all adds up to a pretty nice chunk of passive cash.

Here's hoping you put it towards something fun!

References

  1. ^ Public. Fee Schedule, Retrieved 1/20/2022
  2. ^ Acorns. Pricing, Retrieved 1/23/2022
  3. ^ Trustpilot. MyConstant Reviews, Retrieved 1/23/2022
  4. ^ Truebill. How to lower your bills with Truebill, Retrieved 1/23/2022

Jeremy Harshman is a protector of art and writing at CreditDonkey, a personal finance comparison and reviews website. Write to Jeremy Harshman at jeremy.harshman@creditdonkey.com. Follow us on Twitter and Facebook for our latest posts.

Note: This website is made possible through financial relationships with some of the products and services mentioned on this site. We may receive compensation if you shop through links in our content. You do not have to use our links, but you help support CreditDonkey if you do.

Capital One Shopping compensates us when you get the Capital One Shopping extension using the links provided.

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