Okay, so here’s a stupid question: Would you like to earn a little pocket money for basically doing nothing? Yes, you read that right – nada, zip, zilch, zero, or darn near next-to-nothing, anyways.
So what are you waiting for? Get up off that keister and – er – scratch that (not your keister, the idea). Stay in your comfy chair, lazy bones, let your fingers do some flicking and download a few of these nifty apps that’ll earn you gift cards, cash and a few other goodies while you turn into a potato; no tea no shade, cuz tubby spuds are a great accoutrement to most any entrée.
Yes, that Nielsen. And for those who are too young to know who that Nielsen is, pull up a chair while you’re regaled with tales of yesteryear…
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Once upon a time, there was a little thing called a Nielsen box that a select few installed in their homes and was used to track television monitoring habits, hence where the now largely defunct term, “Nielsen Ratings” came from.
Fast forward to present day, where rabbit ears are exclusively for rabbits, and Nielsen has rebranded its TV tracking box to an app that tracks your daily cell phone activity.
To make the magic happen, install the app on your phone or tablet, and it’ll monitor your usage in the background. But fret not, Big Brother conspiracy theorists, because no personal data is ever collected or shared.
Basically, they just watch general statistics, like how many minutes you used your phone to surf the web, play games, send texts, browse social media, and perhaps even make a call or two – eek! Do people still do that?
Your account will be credited with points monthly, and as they add up, you can trade them in for prizes or gift cards. Just sign up for a Nielsen Mobile account to get started.
Otherwise known as the National Consumer Panel, this service requires you to download the NCPMobile app and fill out a brief intake survey to see if your household qualifies for the program.
If selected, you’ll be assigned a User ID and can then begin scanning barcodes with your cell phone for all purchases you make. It doesn’t matter if you buy stuff online, in a store, or even at a vending machine. If it has a barcode and you paid for it, then scan it.
NCP will track your purchases, spending habits and the stores you frequent, and in exchange, you’ll be awarded points that can be traded for gift cards at stores like Amazon. Occasionally, NCP will contact you with push notifications, texts and emails to ask for additional details. It takes very little time and the rewards add up fast. It’s an easy way to earn a passive income for an activity you’re already doing – shopping.
This cool app sorta borrows a page from Amazon’s Kindle Fire tablets. For years now, Kindle Fire has been selling two versions of its popular tablets: one with no ads, and one that shows ads on your lock screen.
The no ad version costs more, and the one that displays ads costs less because, well, they’re gonna nag you with ads on your lock screen.
Well, SlideJoy works in a similar way. Just install their app, register for an account, and from then on, you’ll see ads displayed on your lock screen. Now, before you get your undies in a bunch, release that cosmic wedgie, because it’s really not as bad as it sounds. The ads are targeted, so you’ll probably see some deals and offers you’re actually interested in, and once you swipe to unlock your phone, those pesky ads go away.
However, if you happen to see an ad you like, you can swipe left for more info, swipe up to see another offer, or swipe right to unlock your screen; think Tinder for advertising.
SlideJoy pays monthly via Paypal or with gift cards to your favorite retailers. It’s all a rather simple and painless way to make money with your cell phone, and if you decide it’s not right for you, no harm no foul, simply uninstall the app and be done with it.
4) Smart Panel
This one is similar to the Nielsen app. Just visit the Vetro Smart website, take a three-minute smart survey to see if you qualify, then download and install the app and use your phone as usual.
The app works in the background to track how you use your phone, gathers anonymous statistics, and sends them back to Vetro for analysis. Users can earn a passive income of $5 a month, with the opportunity to earn additional loyalty awards every quarter.
Your cash balance can be sent to your Paypal account, or redeemed for Amazon gift cards. And if you get creeped out by Big Brother watching your every move, just uninstall and go back to the regular run-of-the-mill NSA spying that we’re all subject to, whether we like it or not. Yup, total buzz kill. So why not install the app and at least get paid for some of that spying?
5) Perk TV
Sure, there’s lots of apps that pay chump change for watching videos, but what sets Perk TV apart from the rest is there’s actually a lot of cool videos that you’re probably already watching anyway. Watch them on Perk TV and get paid in gift cards from Amazon, Target, The Gap and more.
Even better, the videos just keep playing so long as the app is open, so you can literally just set your phone aside and keep the videos going and the point tally counting. You can even watch vids on the Perk TV website, though it’s a tad wonky and slow. This app is a couch potato’s dream, and a true lazy way to make money with your cell phone.
6) Bing Rewards
Yes, that Bing. What’s that you say? You’ve never heard of Bing? Try Googling it and really catch the ire of Microsoft.
Bing is a lowly little search engine brought to you by a really, really big company that remains rather perplexed as to why everyone prefers to Google instead of Bing. In fact, they’re so desperate for users, that Bing will pay you with gift cards just to use their search engine.
The good news is, if you already have a Microsoft account, you can use your same credentials to sign up for this app, and then you’ll get paid for any search engine query used via Bing. Go ahead and support a struggling conglomerate, and get paid to boot.
Okay, so you’ve signed up for all of these cool money-making apps, but now you’re shafted with a bunch of gift cards you don’t want or can’t use. Fret not, dear frugal one. The Raise app earns you extra pocket money a little differently than all the rest.
Just list any unwanted gift cards within the app and sell them to someone who can actually use it. Money earned can be deposited directly into your bank account, Paypal account, or they can mail you a good-old-fashioned check.
As an added bonus, you can also buy gift cards here for less than their face value, and use them instantly at full value. So the next time you’re about to make a purchase, search this app first, and if you find a gift card you want, you’ll score yourself an instant discount.
8) Receipt Hog
This one earns bonus points just for having a cute icon. However, it can also earn you points for each store receipt you scan, which can then be redeemed for Amazon gift cards or cash deposits into your Paypal account.
Just shop till you drop as usual, then scan any and all receipts to reap the rewards. Oh, and by “scan” we’re talking ‘take a picture of your receipt with your cell phone,’ not stick it in an old-school scanner. But hey, if you like doing things the hard way, then more power to ya.
However you decide to rope that hog, it all adds up to some decent pay-back on that piggy-back. Check out the Receipt Hog website for details.
Okay, everyone takes copious photos with their cell phones all day long, so why not turn those pics into cold hard cash? If it works for the Kardashians, then why not you? (No, not those kind of pictures; your mother might be watching – eek!)
Foap lists your pictures for sale on their website, where users can buy them for 10 bucks a pop. The money is split 50/50, with five bucks to you, and five bucks to Foap. The money can be cashed out to your Paypal account at any time, and your pics can be sold an unlimited number of times, so if you take a particularly compelling photo, it may be bought and sold again and again. Plus, you get the added satisfaction of seeing your work used in ads, on websites, or in any number of ways. So what are you waiting for? Get snapping and start earning.
Th-th-th-th-that’s all folks! Surely there’s loads of other ways to make money with your cell phone that we don’t know about. Post your favorites apps below and let us know how much you raked in. Don’t worry, we won’t tell the IRS.
Featured Image ©Intel Free Press, cropped
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September 15 2016