You already know what it's like to pay for your smartphone. (And how!) Wouldn't it be nice if your smartphone could pay you for a change? It can, if you stock it with a few special apps.
Just by going about your daily routine -- shopping in stores, watching TV, and so on -- you can earn points good for rewards, prizes, or even cash. In most cases it costs nothing for the app or the service that provides it. Your only investment is a few minutes of your time.
Get paid to shop The only thing better than finding a sale? Getting a reward every time you set foot in a store, buy something, and/or point your camera at a product.
CheckPoints, for example, rewards you for scanning product barcodes, checking in at various stores, and completing offers on your phone. You can redeem your points for things like Amazon and Walmart gift cards.
Shopkick works similarly, awarding points when you walk into stores like Best Buy and Old Navy, and more points when you actually buy something.
Ibotta serves up offers for various products at grocery stores, drugstores, and popular retail chains like Target. Before you head out, just choose the products you plan to buy. When you're done shopping, simply scan your receipt to score cash rewards. (Think of it as reverse couponing.)
Get paid to watch Couch potato? How about couch earner? Some apps will actually pay you to watch TV shows and videos.
For example, Jingit pays you cash to watch ads on your PC, smartphone, or tablet. Play a few in the background while you're making dinner, or knock out some commercials while you're stuck in line at the post office. It adds up. (The Jingit app also offers store check-in rewards, much like CheckPoints and Shopkick.)
If you're a fan of Swagbucks, which earns you points for all kinds of online activities, be sure to grab theSwag Bucks TV Mobile app. Every time you watch a video clip, you score extra Bucks.
Finally, there's Viggle, a must-have app for TV junkies. Just watch your favorite shows to earn points you can redeem for gift cards, gadgets, and even charitable donations.
Get paid to share Feeling generous? Why not earn a few bucks in return?
For example, if you have a spare room to rent (or even a spare house), use the Airbnb app to snap photos, schedule availability, and accept or decline reservation requests.
Or how about renting out your driveway when there's a big game or other special event happening nearby? Parking Panda lets you list an available parking space, upload an image, set your price, and monitor bookings.
Finally, there's Foap, which pays you to share the photos you snap on your iPhone. Just upload any photos you're comfortable turning into stock artwork. Once they're approved, they're made available via the Foap Market. When a company or individual buys one, you get $5.
Have you found any other apps that can turn your smartphone into a profit machine? Share your favorites in the comments.
Veteran technology writer Rick Broida is the author of numerous books, blogs, and features. He lends his money-saving expertise to CNET and Savings.com, and also writes for PC World and Wired.
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