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Put that phone to work: five apps for Android and iOS to help you earn extra money

Updated on June 6, 2013
Cell phone by alumroot on Flickr
Cell phone by alumroot on Flickr

Just as it's possible to earn money online, it's also possible to earn money with apps on your iPhone or Android device. The pay may not be great, but little amounts can add up to good mad money. Many times, you can even make money from doing the things you'd normally do.

The number of apps for making money is growing. The key to earning money through apps is having a phone with enough smarts. Some apps require GPS capabilities, while others require a camera phone good enough to scan bar codes. Once that is taken care of, however, you'll be able to install most money-making apps available on the market so long as you're using the correct operating system, and you'll be on your way to extra spending money.

1. GymPact, the app that rewards you for working out

Do you go to the gym often? Do you work out and run with RunKeeper? Then GymPact is an app that can earn you some extra money--if you commit to stay fit.

GymPact is an app designed to help keep people motivated to work out. You commit to an exercise schedule and bet money on whether or not you'll work out. Bets can range from $5 to $50. This money goes into a betting pool. If you miss your workout, the money is deducted from your account. But if you commit to your schedule, then you earn a reward.

Rewards vary from week to week. The amount you earn depends on how many people missed their workout. Whatever is left in the betting pool is split among all the people who kept to their commitments. Because of this GymPact can be very lucrative. Just don't commit to working out when you know you can't, as you'll lose money rather than earn it!

GymPact is available for all devices and is one of many workout apps for iPhone and Android users.

2. CheckPoints and Shopkick, earning points for tasks

CheckPoints--and a similar app, Shopkick--is an app that rewards users for checking into stores via geolocation. Additional points can be earned by scanning products from a rotating list. On CheckPoints, you earn corns which can be further used to spin slots for points. In Shopkick, the biggest rewards can be earned by visiting certain stores and walking on the premises.

Both apps allow users to earn points that can be redeemed for gift cards. Although neither app directly rewards users with a cash deposit, both apps have a wide variety of reward options. Shopkick, for example, is partnered with big-name stores such as Target, Walmart, and Best Buy for scan-in rewards, while check-in rewards are offered for smaller retailers and restaurants.

Gift cards on CheckPoints are for things such as airline miles, Amazon, Louis Vuitton handbags, Kiva, and more. Shopkick offers similar rewards. Kickbucks, points earned through Shopkick, can be redeemed for gift cards, restaurant vouchers, movie theaters, and more. Shopkick also offers deals and coupons through the app for certain brands within their retailer network.

Here is a guide to the best way to utilize Shopkick to earn points.

Both CheckPoints and Shopkick are available for both iOS and Android.

3. Swagbucks, where you search, watch TV, and take polls for points

Swagbucks is a group of apps that allows you to accumulate Swagbucks through various tasks. One app is a search engine; one app is for watching videos through SBTV, Swagbucks TV. These points can be used to earn gift cards and PayPal cash.

Tasks that can be performed for Swagbucks include playing games, purchasing items, watching videos through SBTV, searching, and voting in polls. The Swagbucks search is not the same as using Google due to the ad programs Swagbucks uses, but it's still useful as a search engine--and it gives you a possible payday.

The Swagbucks search app is only available on Android devices, but Swagbucks TV can be watched on both iOS and Android.

4. JunoWallet and BambooWallet, where they pay you for tasks and surveys

JunoWallet--and its iOS counterpart, BambooWallet--are apps that pay you to watch videos, download apps, and make referrals. Like other apps, they work on a points system. With JunoWallet, you can trade in JunoCredits for gift cards.

In addition to videos and referrals, you can take surveys and perform small tasks. Example tasks include surveys and liking pages on Facebook. You can even play games to earn JunoCredits.

Although the points you can earn are minimal, if you utilize JunoWallet's referral system, you can reap additional rewards.

5. Cash4Books, an app to sell your books for cash

Do you have books lying around and want to turn them into cash? The Cash4Books app can help you with that.

The way Cash4Books works is you scan books through the Cash4Books app. It searches its database for a price, and it gives you a quote. If the price is agreeable, you agree to sell the book, and Cash4Books will send you a free prepaid label. As soon as Cash4Books receives the book, you'll get your payment.

Although there is certain criteria as to which books they'll accept, Cash4Books will pay you with a check or through PayPal, making this one of the few apps that makes you cash money rather than gift cards. Cash4Books must receive the books before they'll pay you.

Cash4Books is especially useful for selling unwanted textbooks. On their site, they've listed 500 books they've recently bought as well as example prices.

Cash4Books is available on all devices.

Books, books, books from Ian Wilson on Flickr
Books, books, books from Ian Wilson on Flickr

Have you made any money from apps?

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    • luisj305 profile image

      luisj305 2 years ago from Florida

      Awesome. Seriously, I'm downloading apps this very moment. Thanks for the tips!

    • Chuck profile image

      Chuck Nugent 3 years ago from Tucson, Arizona

      Thanks for the suggestions in the Hub. I have never thought about using my smart phone as a money making tool.

      I especially liked the Cash4Books. I have a number of books laying around and could use the space they are taking up so an opportunity to sell them sounds good.

    • iguidenetwork profile image

      iguidenetwork 4 years ago from Austin, TX

      These are very good apps. I usually take surveys time and again but I've never heard of JunoWallet or BambooWallet, Might take advantage of that! And Cash4Books should be a fantastic app, I've got a lot of old books in my house. Thanks for posting! Up, useful and shared.

    • Ceres Schwarz profile image

      Ceres Schwarz 4 years ago

      These are all good apps that can help you earn some money. That GymPact app seems especially useful for all those that are planning to work out. It can serve as motivation to them to keep working out because they have the potential to earn money. And Cash4Books seems very useful for those that have a lot of books. If you're not using those books anymore, then it would be a good idea to make some money out of them.