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Don't Sell your Old Cell Phone, make (mostly) passive income every day

Updated on December 23, 2014

How my wife and I paid for Christmas 2014

From August to December 19, 2014 my wife and I have earned about $500 each from various phone applications, which we used to pay for Christmas 2014. This was from a variety of sources, including pay-to-watch on your phone advertisements and lock screens. Each app will pay a small amount per day, which adds up to a big payoff. I give a small explanation of each one to get you started.

1. The bulk of earnings were from smartphone apps

Make sure your WiFi is on and connected!

The bulk of my earnings come from Perk and Swagbucks (and recently starting Checkpoints).

Swagbucks is a website with a series of 6 apps that run videos. You still earn points based on videos watched, but only up to a certain number per application, which changes from time to time. You must check on your phone and switch which application is running to maximize your points. Shorter videos will earn you points quicker, so attempt to find a short video and "favorite" it by sliding to the left. The 6 current apps for swagbucks are SBTV, EntertaiNow, Lifestylz.tv, Moviecli.ps, Sport.ly, and Indymusic.tv. Swagbucks is a good starting point, especially if you only have one phone to earn from. My username is "koven" use it to earn extra points when you first start out.

Perk (mainly Perk TV) is an application you can install on your phone that will play advertisements. Especially if you have a data plan, make sure you have your WiFi connected. You earn points based on advertisements viewed. Generally, 1,000 points are worth about a dollar. You can have up to 5 devices running Perk TV per adult/account in your house, and they do NOT need to be part of a phone service plan.

With both of these apps, you can purchase or use older phones that no longer have service plans, or even purchase inexpensive phones to run them. You can frequently find phones on sale for less than $20, and they will pay for themselves in less than a month.

Checkpoints I am still new to, but it appears that Checkpoints must be on a phone with a service plan. The earnings from checkpoints are less than Swagbucks and Perk, but it also seems to need less time to reach the maximum amount per day.




2. Lock Screen

Do you have a lock screen on your phone? How would you like to be paid to use a specific lockscreen?

While it lacks security, it does prevent accidentally calling another person and it pays. Not incredibly well, but every little bit counts. I use screenpay myself, but I have used slidejoy in the past. Screenpay pays a flat rate, whereas slidejoy pays the more frequently you unlock your phone.

Both lock screen replacements show an advertisement on the upper half of the screen, while the bottom half will allow you to unlock your phone.

3. Screenwise Trends

Screenwise Trends is a program that installs an extension on Google Chrome, your phone, and/or your tablet. The browser extension starts you at 1 dollar per week, the phone will add 50 cents and the tablet will add another 50 cents, increasing your earnings to a total of $2 per week. You can check out different gift cards, including amazon, at $25.

Screenwise trends monitors your usage and will report it back to Google.

4. Completely Passive apps

Completely passive apps seem to pay less, overall, than some that require a small amount of input.


Freeeats is a new program that I just started. Freeeats will send texts from time to time to your phone. I have gotten about one per week, but this may be increasing. I've received 25 cents per text, with a sign up bonus of $1 and $1 per referral.

This doesn't seem like much, but what is nice is that it pays directly to paypal, which you can transfer to your bank if you like, or use at the many places paypal is now accepted (like Dollar General and Home Depot).

What is especially nice about Freeeats is that it deposits directly into paypal, without any need to check out. As long as you keep the same number and paypal account, you shouldn't have any problems at all. Mobile Performance Monitor pays out in gift cards.

Mobile Performance Monitor is another app that pays about a nickel per day. There are a limited number of spots per area, so you may have to try multiple times to get accepted into the program.

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    • Happymommy2520 profile image

      Amy 10 months ago from East Coast

      Thank for the info. I love apps that pay passive income. People don't realize how much it adds up on a monthly basis. The best part is that it's fun and takes minimal effort. I am a big fan of Swagbucks and Inbox dollars. Thank you for the other suggestions!

    • wildbluefrontier profile image

      Nathan M 2 years ago from Tucson

      Amazing all the ways you can grab a few bucks here and there. May as well take full advantage of it while it's available. A useful hub to make a little extra cash.