We’ve already covered websites that give you money and rewards and getting paid apps for free. But we haven’t quite covered apps that pay you money or give you rewards. So if you’re like everyone that asks themselves “Why aren’t I getting paid to use my phone?” then this article is perfect for you.

However, you should keep in mind that even though these are the best apps out there for making money, they don’t actually make you that much. It would be surprising if you earned enough points (with minimal effort) to buy yourself a $5 gift card. All of these apps are kind of like Chuck E. Cheese. To purchase the rewards Chuck E. Cheese sells (usually worth $2-50) using tickets from games you’ve won, you’d have to spend anywhere from $70-$4,000 on coins to play enough games to earn those tickets.

It’s kind of a “dangle a carrot in front of the donkey” system. So don’t get too upset if spend an hour or more on these apps only to earn $$1.50-$4.00. These are the highest rated apps that earn you money/rewards on the App Store. That means that if you don’t like them, there’s no immediate alternative to choose from.


ShopKick gives you points called “Kicks” when you walk into stores such as Target, Macy’s Best Buy, Old Navy, American Eagle and Crate & Barrel. You can even earn Kicks for scanning certain items in these stores or making purchases using your credit card.

ShopKick also shows you discounts in stores so you can save money by using it. But the greatest part about ShopKick is that the points you earn, “Kicks,” can be traded for rewards. These rewards span iTunes song downloads, designer merchandise and even trips.


The idea here is that big stores pay ShopKick to get people to shop there, and ShopKick in return pays you with bribes rewards to do things. Something else that’s really cool about this app is that it gives you 50% of Kicks that your friends earn within the first two weeks after you invited them.

There’s a downside to all of this “Kicks” business though. 2,500 Kicks get you a $10 gift card. So what first sounds like easy money by telling ShopKick you’ve entered a store, or scanning items, soon becomes a chore you need to do to earn $10. However if you’re smart about it you could walk about your local mall and easily score a couple of shops/scanned products. I have Best Buy, American Eagle, Old Navy and Macy’s in my mall. So a couple of walks around the mall each month could make you $10.


It’s not going to hurt to give it a try, but don’t have high expectations for ShopKick. The introduction video makes it seem as if you can get free massages and cruise trips by using this thing. Sorry to break it to you, but even thought it’s “technically possible” to earn those things using this app, you never will. They tricked us once again… (The first major market to do this was credit cards. Spend $100 and earn 1 point! 29,000 points = a cruise!)

While money may not be at stake with ShopKick/other similar apps, your time is. Time is money, so don’t waste it trying to get $10 gift cards unless you’re certain it’s worth it. I may be a bit too skeptical about this app. You’d be suprised to find out that it actually has an average of 4 1/2 stars from over 66k users.

You can try it out and let us know in the comments how much time/work you had to put in to get a $5-10 gift card though.


This app is a bit more effective than ShopKick at getting you rewards. This is how it works: Watch app trailers for apps you’re interested in getting, and get paid points after you’ve finished each trailer. The hopes behind AppTrailers is that you’ll download the apps, so the developers get exposure.













It’s kind of like ShopKick, developers pay AppTrailers for each download/video, and AppTrailers bribes rewards you to do things that make them money for these tasks.

The reason AppTrailers is more effective at getting rewards is because you don’t have to walk around to earn stuff. You could be in your bed, clicking on videos and watching TV. AppTrailers even gives you points for redeeming app promos. So you’re being given free promo codes for paid apps, which you’re also being paid to use.

5,000 AppTrailers points = one $10 gift card. But at least here the work effort is way less than ShopKick.

AppTrailers is rated an average of 4 stars by over 88k users.

Bamboo Wallet

This app rewards you points for each friend invite, task, video, survey or call you complete. The good part about Bamboo Wallet is that the credits are represented as $.01. So if you do something for $.01 JunoCredit, then you know that it’s worth $.01 in the rewards. When I was reviewing this app I don’t think there were even enough tasks/surveys to complete (without purchasing anything) that would even add up to a $5 giftcard. So definitely stay away from this one.


You can download this app from here. It’s rated an average of 4 1/2 stars by over 6.5k users.


Apparently this app isn’t compatible with iOS 7 on the iPhone 5 yet. I’ve been running the iOS 7 beta for a couple of weeks now and this is the first app that isn’t compatible. If you’re interested in learning more about the iOS 7 or reading a review about it, then check it out here. To test CheckPoints I used my old iPhone 4 running iOS 6.1.3 instead.

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CheckPoints is pretty much the same exact app as ShopKick. In addition to letting you earn points by going places and scanning things, it also gives you points for watching videos referring friends and completing offers. It also has some lottery system where you can use points to win more points.

As for the rewards… You can’t actually get rewards for points. Instead you have to enter the rewards sweepstakes. So the chances of this app being worth any body’s time is really slim.

Somehow it’s still rated 4 stars on average by over 26k people.


This app  was hailed as the best fitness tracker for weight loss on CBS’ “The Doctors” talk show. It basically uses gamification techniques including social incentives, leader boards, rewards and points to help you lose weight and build motivation.

When you first open it up you’re asked to signup using Facebook or email. Then you can start logging exercise activities that you’re doing, or have recently done.


I logged 99.9 miles on the bike as being completed within 59 minutes (the maximum amount of minutes you can enter). Then I was told that logging recent activities earns you less XP (experience points) than logging activities you’re currently doing. I was also told that cheating is against the rules and will get you banned.

After agreeing to the cheating policy by checking a small box, I was told “Great Job!” and that I’d earned 268 XP. I was kind of surprised such a huge exercise as that got logged without some quick message box asking me if I’d made a mistake. You know like “Are you sure you really rode your bike at 100 MPH for one straight hour? Were you going down a hill? Do you want to reconsider that statement?”

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If you want to record activities that you’re currently doing, you have to keep the Nexercise app open and your device on your body. If it’s on the floor or on the treadmill then it’s not going to give you as much points as you would have earned with the device on your body.

Nexercise has XP you can earn to level up as well as medals. After each exercise you complete you also get a chance to win mPoints or Klip points. mPoints and Klip can be used to buy rewards by using the respective apps in which you won the points.

So Nexercise effectively gives you points (at random) in another app. Then you have to download this app, and convert your points into gift cards. While the idea of Nexercise may sound great, the way it’s been implemented isn’t.

Nexercise is rated 4 1/2 stars by over 9k users.


None of these apps are likely to make you any money. In fact they might waste enough of your time that it will directly cause you to not make money by doing something more productive. But what if someone outsmarted these apps? (We don’t condone breaking the TOS of  any apps).

You could put a jack hammer or some other tool on low speed and attach your device to it (running Nexercise). Just say you did weightlifting 4 times a day and you should be making profit soon enough. Hopefully Nexercise rewards can pay off your jack hammer’s electricity bill…


For ShopKick or CheckPoints you could get a bit more creative. For example: both of these apps probably don’t let you scan things outside of the stores they are supposed to be in. But what if you brought along another friend’s phone and looked up the UPC barcodes on Google for each respective product, then scanned it. Since you’re in the store, and you’re scanning the products you need to scan, the app wouldn’t know the difference between the real deal and a UPC code on a phone screen.

You could scan all the products needed to earn points within seconds.

But even then cheating wouldn’t get you very far. Until something else comes out, there’s no app out there that can realistically make you money. However we have to give Nexercise credit for being creative in getting people to work out. If you’re looking to make money it’s not really a good choice. But if you’re looking to lose some weight or track your activity levels, then you should give it a try.

Article written by Octavian.