Best Passive Income Apps that Give and Make You Money

One of the best forms of income is passive income. That’s because it flows in while you’re busy doing other things. It can provide a valuable second income, that you can use to fund your retirement plan, get out of debt, or save up for your next vacation.

With the dozens of passive income apps available, you can find one for just about any income venture you can think of. Some are truly passive–you invest money or create a product or service–then the income rolls in without any further action on your part.

Others are what you might call semi-passive. They require a significant amount of effort up front, but then very little later on while maintaining a continuous cash flow.

There are many passive income apps available, offering a wide variety of ways to earn more money. You can sign up with any of these apps to start earning passive income that requires little time or effort.

Let’s take a look at the best passive income apps for a variety of income sources. You’re certain to find one that will work for you.

Shopping Apps

Shopping apps are a way to earn passive income through regular activity, like shopping. The shopping is certainly active, but since you’d be doing it anyway, the rewards you earn are true passive income.

Just be careful you’re not spending money just to get the rewards, otherwise, you’ll end up spending more money than you earn.

Shopping portal rewards apps worth plugging into include:

1. Rakuten (Formerly Ebates)

Rakuten is probably the most popular shopping rewards app right now. You’ve likely heard of it as Ebates, but Rakuten has actually owned Ebates since 2014. Then in 2018, the company began integrating Ebates fully with Rakuten.

The app still works the same as always: it connects you with more than 2,000 online companies that pay cashback rewards. The rewards go to the company, which then splits them with the app user. It’s an excellent way to get cash back on your regular shopping activity.

Check out our full review of Rakuten here.

Rakuten: Cash Back Shopping

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2. Birch Finance

Birch Finance analyzes your regular spending, then helps you to maximize credit card rewards. It even recommends credit cards that are more suitable based on your spending patterns.

Just be aware that cashback offers work best for people who pay off their balances in full each month. If you carry a balance, the interest charges may more than offset the rewards.

3. Seated

Seated is an app created specifically for restaurant dining. If you make a reservation through the app, you can earn gift cards worth as much as $60. This is an excellent way to generate gift cards if you’re a frequent diner.

Saving and Investing Apps

Savings and investing apps enable you to accumulate higher savings, either through earning investment income, or allocating a portion of your regular spending to savings and investing.

Either activity, earning investment income or making regular allocations to savings and investing, are passive activities. With either activity, you’ll have more money at the end of each month.

Some of these apps do involve taking on a certain amount of risk of loss. If you’re not comfortable with that prospect, it’s best to use several apps for diversification purposes.

For example, you might want to have one that focuses on bank savings, one for stocks, another for bonds, and still another for reIal estate. In that way, you can create a fully diversified portfolio with a small amount of money.

Saving Apps

5. Current

Current is a new fintech company and app that solves a variety of financial issues – one of which is lack of savings. Current has an automatic saving feature that creates “pods” for your different savings goals. When you get paid, money is automatically deposited into your pods. They also have a nice round-up savings feature.

Current | Automatic Savings App

Set aside money for specific purchases and create savings goals using Saving Pods. And, use round-ups to move a little money to your pods every time you swipe your debit card.

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6. Digit

Digit is a micro-savings app that helps a non-saver become a saver. It evaluates your spending habits and transfers very small amounts of money from your linked bank account into your Digit account.

This is a way to build up savings passively since it involves no additional action on your part. To learn more about it, check out our review of Digit here.

7. Acorns

Acorns is a combination micro-savings and micro-investing app. It works using a process called “round ups”. When you make a purchase for $5.25, Acorns rounds the amount up to $6, pays the vendor $5.25, then transfers 75 cents into your Acorns account.

Once you accumulate $5, it’s transferred over to the Acorns robo-advisor, where it’s invested and managed for you. It turns spending money into savings and investments. Check out our full review of Acorns here.

Check out the new Acorns Spend checking account as well. This provides you with a useful debit card that invests and saves for you instantly as you make a purchase.

There are no overdraft or minimum balance fees to worry about. Plus, you get free bank-to-bank transfers and access to free ATMs nationwide (and fee-reimbursed ATMs). It’s investment, retirement, and checking all in one place.

Investing Apps

These are apps that enable you to invest very small amounts of money, giving you an opportunity to earn income on your savings. This is the best kind of passive income of all, since you’re essentially earning money on your money.

8. Ally Invest

Ally Invest is diversified investment brokerage, where you can get involved in self-directed investing.

But they have their own robo-advisor, Ally Invest Cash-Enhanced Robo Portfolios, so you can have some or all your money professionally managed, while also having the option to dabble in individual investments.

Here are a few of the highlights of Ally Invest Cash-Enhanced Robo Portfolios:

  • Low Advisory Fee: 0.00%
  • Low Investment Minimum: $100
  • 24/7 Support: You can call or chat with a member of Ally‘s customer support team whenever you have a question.
  • Rebalancing: Ally Invest will keep an eye on your portfolio and rebalance your asset allocation mix when necessary.

With Ally Invest Cash-Enhanced Robo Portfolios, you get to create your own customized portfolio that matches your risk tolerance. And once you’ve told Ally Invest how you want your money diversified, they take care of the rest. You just get to sit back and watch your money grow.

Check out our full review of Ally Invest here.

9. Stash

Stash is a micro-investing app that allows you to invest with no minimum deposit. They provide an investment template of exchange-traded funds (ETFs) and individual stocks to invest your money in.

Stash doesn’t manage your investments, but they do give you an opportunity to get started if you never have in the past. Check out our full review of Stash here.

10. Betterment

Betterment is an automated online investment platform, commonly known as a robo-advisor. You can open an account with no money at all, then fund it with regular contributions. Betterment will design a portfolio for you, and then manage it for a very small fee. Check out our full review of Betterment here.

11. M1 Finance

M1 Finance is another robo-advisor. You can create your portfolio for free. Schedule deposits in a way that works best for you, weekly, bi-weekly or monthly. Check out our full review of M1 Finance here.

Dividend Investing Apps

Some investors are not entirely comfortable with growth stocks since they can swing in uncomfortable directions. But you can still invest in stocks and earn a steady income by investing in high dividend-paying stocks. You can do that through diversified investment brokerage platforms.

Ally Invest (Again!)

Ally Invest enables you to invest in anything you like. You can choose high dividend-paying stocks, or invest in either a mutual fund or an ETF that invests strictly in high dividend stocks. They also have very low trading fees to make investing less costly.

Check out our full review of Ally Invest here.

12. TD Ameritrade

TD Ameritrade is another diversified investment brokerage, but one with a higher degree of hands-on financial assistance. You can also use TD Ameritrade to invest in high dividend-paying stocks on this platform or choose ETFs or mutual funds.

Disclosure: All opinions expressed are our own. We are compensated by some of the businesses that we review (e.g. TD Ameritrade).

Bond Investing Apps

A way to earn higher interest, without taking the risks involved with stocks, is to invest in bonds. There are apps that can help you do that as well.

Ally Invest (Again!)

Ally Invest gets a strong mention anytime the topic is investing because they offer virtually every option available and at very low fees. But you can use this broker to buy individual bonds, or invest in ETFs or mutual funds that invest in bonds.

13. Worthy Bonds

Worthy Bonds makes loans to small businesses, mainly to help them with their inventory and purchase financing. This enables them to earn higher interest, which they pass on to their investors. You can earn 5% on your money by investing as little as $10. That’s well above the rate of return you can get at a local bank. Plus, you can feel good about assisting small business owners.

Peer Lending Apps

More formally referred to as “peer-to-peer” (P2P) lenders, they allow investors to fund loans directly to borrowers. In the process, investors earn much higher interest than they can with traditional bank investments. It’s essentially banking without the banker, and where you as the investor become the banker.

15. Prosper Invest

Prosper Invest not only operates similarly to Lending Club but is also its primary competitor. One of the main advantages with Prosper is that you only need $25 to open an account.

Real Estate Crowdfunding Apps

A lot of people would like to invest in real estate, but don’t want to get their hands dirty. With the many investment apps available today, that’s now entirely possible. You can utilize real estate crowdfunding apps that allow you to invest in commercial real estate without getting involved in the process itself. You invest your money, and earn your return–it’s that simple.


More info coming soon…

17. Fundrise

With as little as $500, you can invest in one of two real estate investment trusts (REITs). One is an eREIT, which provides income, and the other is an eFund, which invests for growth. Fundrise is the perfect app for a small investor to invest in commercial real estate.

Typically, investing in REITs can be expensive because of high administrative costs. And they also tend to require that your money remain illiquid for several years.

Low Fees

But Fundrise portfolios charge a total annual cost of 1% (including their investment advisor fee and management fee). That’s not as low as what you’d pay with some of the cheapest stock and mutual fund robo-advisors. But it’s much better than the typical cost of investing in commercial real estate in a REIT.

Potential Liquidity

Fundrise has also built in the potential for quarterly liquidity to their plans. If you need to access your funds early (before five years), you can request that on a quarterly basis.

However, you may owe a fee, depending on how long you’ve owned the investment. For this reason, we recommended that you only invest in Fundrise if you’re ok with your money being tied up for at least 5 years. But it’s good to know that you have the potential to get your hands on your money early in the event of an emergency.


Although past performance is no guarantee of future success, Fundrise has quite an impressive track record.


If you’re not an accredited investor but would like to dabble in real estate crowdfunding, Fundrise may be exactly what you’re looking for.

Check out our full review of Fundrise here.

Equity Crowdfunding Apps

We’ve already covered crowdfunding for consumer loans and real estate. But it also exists for upstart businesses to fund their ventures with money from participating investors.

This is a classic example of a high reward/high-risk investment, which is why it’s generally reserved for accredited investors. But if you meet the qualifications, it’s a way to earn much higher returns than you can get on more conventional investments.

Equity crowdfunding apps include:

18. AngelList

AngelList enables registered investors to help fund various business ventures. Investors pool their money to invest in business startups. The minimum investment is $1,000, and the best strategy is to invest in several different ventures. That will both minimize the losses from the failure of one or two ventures, and maximize the overall profit potential.

19. CircleUp

CircleUp allows investors to fund relatively new businesses with existing cash flows. This is usually money used to expand a business, rather than to launch a brand new venture.

It should prove at least somewhat less risky than funding brand new ventures since the business already exists. The minimum investment is also $1,000, and diversification is strongly recommended.

20. Fundable

Fundable doesn’t work with any specific type of business, so the possibilities are wide open. Once again, the minimum investment is $1,000. But Fundable may be a bit more solid than funding pure startups since it also helps companies develop their businesses and expand their cash flows.

Passive Income Through Ownership

Now we begin the shift into what might be best referred to as semi-passive income apps. That’s because they typically involve an investment of either cash or time and effort. But for most, once you get the venture up and running, you earn income with very little time or effort on your part.

These may not fit the pure definition of passive, but they have the potential to produce much higher income flows than purely passive ventures. We’re presenting several alternatives, so you can choose the one that works best with your time, talents, and preferences.

Leasing/Renting Your Stuff Apps

One way to earn some passive income is to rent out certain assets you have, but may not be using. This is a great way to earn passive income without initial funds.

21. Turo

Turo is a carsharing marketplace. You can rent out your vehicle either online or through mobile apps. People rent your vehicle for a little bit less than what it costs through a car rental company. You’ll earn money for that rental during times when you wouldn’t be using your vehicle anyway. You can lease out your car for as little or as much time as you choose.

22. Rv Share

RV Share is an RV rental marketplace for people who own recreational vehicles. And if you do, you can rent them out and earn some extra money. After all, you’re probably not using your RV most of the time. And when you’re not using it, you can rent it out to help pay for it.

Rental Property Management Apps

You can do the same thing with your home or investment real estate that you can do with your car or an RV through rental property management apps.

23. Airbnb

Airbnb is an app that enables you to rent out your home to travelers. It gives you the advantage of earning some money on your home, while guests pay less than they might at local hotels. It could work particularly well if your home is located in a large city or a popular tourist destination that draws a steady flow of travelers.

24. Zillow Rental Manager

Zillow Rental Manager helps you manage your rental property more efficiently, and that can put more money in your pocket. It enables you to list your rental on Zillow, Trulia, and HotPads. It also allows you to screen tenants online, run criminal and credit checks, and have rental payments sent directly to your bank account.

25. Landlordy

Landlordy is a mobile companion for a private landlord. It can help you manage and control expenses, which will maximize the profit you earn on your rental. Landlordy also assists with digital organization of key documents and communication with tenants.

26. Cozy

Cozy is a free app that gives you “modern tools” to help you spend less time managing your rental. They help you find and communicate with tenants all within the app. They also allow you to collect rent automatically and track your expenses.

27. Honeygain

We’ve discussed renting out your stuff–house, apartment, car, etc. But have you ever considered “renting” out your Internet access through your electronic devices? That’s basically how Honeygain works.

The app enables you to share your unused internet bandwidth. Data scientists will gather businesses that use this for intelligence and market research.

honeygain review

When you sign up with Honeygain, it’s a simple process: just give your email and create a password. Next, you’ll need to install the Honeygain app on any device you like. When those devices are connected to the web, data scientists will use the Honeygain network to connect to the Internet. Earning is simply based on the amount of GB you share with the Honeygain network.

Once your account and devices are set up, you can begin earning passive income.

Blogging/Writing Apps

These are at best considered semi-passive income ideas. You’ll have to put a reasonable amount of work into the venture at the very beginning, just to get it up and running. But once you do, cash will flow in, even though you’ll need to keep it regularly updated.

One of the underappreciated aspects of this type of venture is that it can lead to all kinds of opportunities you never imagined.

28. WordPress

WordPress is a free app you can use to create a professional-looking blog or website. They offer various templates, which you can customize based on your own personal preferences.

You can make your website as simple or as complicated as you like. WordPress even offers premium templates to provide a higher quality website. It’s a perfect app to use if you’re new to blogging or creating a website. Not only are many of the apps free, but they’re also very user-friendly to install and work with.

29. Medium

Medium is an evolutionary version of Twitter that allows you to publish ideas and stories that are longer than 140 spaces. You can create stories and updates, and use it to promote your blog or website.

It’s a way to get your content out on the web, where you might find clients willing to pay for what you write.

Related: How to Make Extra Money Blogging

Self-Publishing Apps

Have you ever dreamed of writing a book? There are apps that can help you do just that. Self-publishing has become one of the new waves of the 21st century, and offers a real opportunity to get your book idea in print, without going through the usual grind with the major publishing houses.

30. Scrivener

Scrivener enables you to build a manuscript. You can write when the mood strikes you, then come back and continue your work later. You can even write random ideas and chapters, then organize them as you go forward. It also helps you to do research as well as edit your work.

31. Everywriter

Everywriter works in a similar manner to Scrivener, in that it offers you a basic outline to write a book or other document. It provides an online outline design, and can even facilitate your book cover design.

Apps to License Your Creativity

If you have any kind of creative ability at all, chances are there is an app that can enable you to monetize it. Check these out…

32. Udemy

Udemy is a platform that enables you to create courses. For example, let’s say you want to create a course on playing a musical instrument. Do it on the web platform, and even have Udemy help you market the course to users.

You’ll share some of the profits with the platform, but it’ll be a significant earning opportunity if you have a specialty you’d like to arrange into a course to be sold to potential students.

33. Shutterstock Contributor

Shutterstock Contributor is a mobile app that enables you to upload photos on the go. It has an auto keywording function that makes it easy to complete submissions on your phone. It also enables you to check your Shutterstock earnings and activity.

34. Foap

Foap can be used to make extra money with your photos and videos. When a client wants to purchase your work from your online portfolio, you do a 50/50 split with Foap.

You can even submit pictures and videos to one of the Foap “missions” and win hundreds of dollars. The Foap community has nearly three million members, so there’s a huge potential market for selling your work.

35. EyeEm

EyeEm works much like Foap. You download your photos, which are then available to customers and clients who use the app. In addition, EyeEm hosts weekly photo competitions as another means for winners to earn more money.

You earn royalties on those photos as they’re selected by clients.

36. Amuse

Amuse is a mobile record company that does for music what Shutterstock, Foap, and EyeEm do for photos. It allows unsigned artists to distribute their music to digital platforms.

It also provides an opportunity for the creator to be signed based on data-tracking hit potential. It’s a fairly new app, having only been launched in 2017. But it could be a real opportunity for musical talent to find its way to the mainstream.

Final Thoughts on the Best Passive Income Apps

Some of the apps on this list do require an investment up front to generate a passive income.

But there are a lot more that could help you capitalize on talents or even hobbies that you have. Whether it’s creating photos, videos, or even courses, you can create it, then watch it generate steady cash flow for a very long time.

Creating multiple income sources is becoming more important all the time. Passive income streams are the best sources of income because they ultimately require little or no effort going forward. Pick one or more of these apps, and get your passive income started.

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One Comment

  1. I use Honeygain too! and i make around $30 a month with it + i used extra $5 coupon when i signed up 🙂

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