Imagine turning your smartphone into a source of income that pays you year after year, without lifting a finger beyond the initial setup. In this guide we’ll teach you how to do just that.

Introduction: The Value of Your Digital Footprint

Every day as you watch videos, shop, play games, and generally go about your day, companies are collecting data. They then combine this data with thousands of other peoples’ data and sell it to research companies and brands to help plan and improve their products.

The good news is, you can also get paid for data. And the better news, it’s REALLY easy.

In this guide you’ll learn how to effortlessly earn money by doing what you already do every day — simply using your phone.

What is passive income?

There are a lot of websites that promise to teach you how to earn with “passive income,” and suggest things like e-books, drop-shipping, niche websites, and even paid surveys.

While all of these are less work than a “real” job, none of them are truly passive and most require significant effort to get started and keep going.

At Paid Survey Update we are a little lazy, and so for us, the only TRULY passive income is where you do, well, basically nothing.

Of course there aren’t many ways to get paid for doing nothing, but there is one! Let’s find out what it is.

What are passive income money making apps?

Passive income apps, also called “making money apps” are the secret to turning your data into dollars, simply by sharing the data you already share for free.

All you have to do is install the app on your Smartphone and answer a few questions about yourself.

These apps that give you money can then collect information about how you interact with your smartphone just like every other app, except they’re transforming your data into a stream of earnings with zero additional effort on your part.

If you’re wondering exactly what information gets collected, you’re in luck. That’s next.

What data do passive income apps collect?

Passive income money making apps are designed to track behaviors, preferences, and trends, all of which are valuable to businesses for doing market research, advertising, and developing new products and services.

Let’s take a close look at the types of data these apps typically do and do not collect.

Passive Income Apps May Collect

  • Device Type and Specifications: Knowing the types of devices consumers use helps companies optimize their digital offerings for popular models and operating systems, ensuring better user experiences. Your Benefit: Contributing to market statistics that drive user-centric developments rewards you with earnings from companies valuing these insights.
  • App Usage: Insights into popular apps and usage patterns inform companies about consumer preferences, guiding app improvements and innovations. Your Benefit: Your app usage data shapes the app ecosystem, making your participation valuable and earning you compensation from interested apps.
  • Browser History: Companies analyze browsing habits to tailor online advertising and improve website designs, based on consumer interests and online shopping behavior. Your Benefit: Although sensitive, responsibly shared browsing data helps personalize your online experience, compensating you for these valuable insights.
  • Geolocation Data: Location data reveals consumer movement patterns and popular venues, aiding in local market strategies and advertisement placements. Your Benefit: Sharing your location influences local market development, making your data highly valuable to businesses that reward you in return.
  • Wi-Fi Networks: Data on Wi-Fi connections offer insights into connectivity trends and public Wi-Fi usage, which can guide infrastructure improvements. Your Benefit: Your connectivity data aids in enhancing network services, with companies paying for these insights to ensure better connectivity solutions.
  • Shopping Habits: Understanding consumer purchasing trends through shopping habits allows companies to tailor marketing and product development. Your Benefit: Your shopping data directly impacts product offerings and marketing strategies, with companies compensating you for these insights to stay ahead in the market.

“Our research software knows the names of the apps that you may have installed to send text messages or make phone calls, but we never record or monitor your private conversations, photos, or voicemail messages.”

Passive Income Apps Usually Do NOT Collect

  • Sensitive Personal Details: Such as Social Security numbers, bank account details, and passwords. Legitimate apps avoid collecting this data without explicit permission.
  • Personal Communications: Content of personal emails, text messages, and calls. Collection of this data without explicit consent is generally prohibited.
  • Medical Information: Health records, doctor visits, and other medical data.
  • Biometric Data: Fingerprints, facial recognition data, and DNA profiles.
  • Precise Real-Time Location: While general location data might be collected, continuous tracking of precise real-time location without user consent is not common.
  • Political and Religious Beliefs: Information on an individual’s political affiliations, religious beliefs, and other sensitive personal views.

Please know that all apps are different, and we encourage you to read the terms BEFORE you sign up so you know exactly what data is being collected.

Next we’ll take a look at some of the best apps to make money with no effort.

What are the best passive apps that give you money?

Here are some of the highest-paying passive income apps for making money. See our detailed reviews of each so you can decide which ones are right for you.


An instant $5 PayPal gift code just to join

The MobileXpression app is a market research platform that monitors your internet usage and behavior, and rewards you with points that can be redeemed for gift cards or merchandise.

Our Rating [4.71/5]
16 User Ratings [4/5]

Nielsen Mobile

The Easiest $60 in Passive Income You’ll Ever Earn

The Nielsen Mobile app collects data on your internet usage and demographics, with users entered into sweepstakes draws for having the app installed, and active participants have additional opportunities to earn through surveys.

Our Rating [4.62/5]
9 User Ratings [4.5/5]

Media Rewards

Passive income just for downloading the app

The Media Rewards app collects data on your TV viewing habits by running quietly in the background and provides users with reward points that can be exchanged for various gifts such as gift cards.

Our Rating [4.67/5]
3 User Ratings [5/5]

Want more? See our full list of sites that pay you to share data with passive income apps.

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Get Started

How do I get started with passive income apps?

Getting started with a new app that gives you money is usually very straightforward — just complete a quick signup and install the app.

See our FAQ on signing up for a paid survey site if you’re new to all this.

The beauty of passive income apps lies in their simplicity. Once installed, they require little to no interaction from you.

This hands-off approach is perfect if you’re looking for a set-it-and-forget-it method for earning some extra going. Keep reading to see how much you can earn.

How much can I earn with passive income money making apps?

While the concept of earning money for ‘doing nothing’ may seem too good to be true, passive income apps offer a legitimate way for you to monetize the data you’re already sharing for free.

“Joining our research community unlocks up to $60 in rewards points per year, redeemable via PayPal and gift cards from retailers such as Amazon, Walmart, and others!”

Depending on the app and the data shared, you could potentially add an extra $150 or more to your yearly income – even making money while you’re sleeping!

But remember, this might not be the case for everyone, so it’s always wise to be realistic about what you can earn.

What are some common concerns with passive income apps?

In addition to people thinking these apps that give you money can read their email or hear their conversations (they can’t) here are some other concerns people have with passive income apps:

  • Security: Understandably, security is a top concern when it comes to apps that collect data. Reputable passive income apps are run by massive market research firms with years if not decades of experience managing customer data and security for high-profile clients. They’re really no different from other apps and services you use all the time (and don’t get paid for).
  • Privacy: As with security, these companies generally work hard to provide a clear and easy-to-understand privacy policy and app permissions so you can decide for yourself if you’re comfortable with their privacy measures. They’re transparent about what data is collected and how it’s used, ensuring you’re informed and in control
  • Battery Life: Your mileage may vary, but we’ve found no major impact on battery life, even when running multiple data collection apps all the time. They generally have a very small footprint.

Closing Thoughts: Are passive income apps right for me?

If you’re keen on boosting your income through surveys and online market research, passive income apps are an easy way to enhance your earnings. These non-invasive apps won’t interfere with your device’s performance, and the signup process is a breeze.

In addition to the potential $150+ you can earn yearly just by registering, you could qualify for special surveys to pad your income further. If you’ve got a smartphone or tablet, it’s high time to maximize its earning potential with these programs.

P.S. If you’re willing to complete some surveys to earn from your mobile device, see our article about the best survey apps. You can get paid for sharing your opinion while you’re on the go.

Robert Fleming
Written By
Robert Fleming

Robert Fleming is a 20-year veteran of the market research industry and now serves as co-CEO of Paid Survey Update which he co-founded in 2015. He resides in Myrtle Beach with his dog Gunnar.