how to get paid to download apps, blog post image

How to Get Paid to Download Apps: A Step-by-Step Guide for 2019

Get paid to download apps? You might think that I’m making this up, but it’s actually a real way to earn semi-passive income online. No, you don’t have to be a programmer and you don’t have to hack anything. All you need to do is simply install, run, and sometimes use the apps for a little while in order to get paid.


Here’s my step-by-step guide on how to get paid to download apps.



1. Buy a Cheap Phone


This is the most critical step of this guide. I don’t recommend you use your brand new phone to do this because if you’re phone gets damaged from malware or simply from running continuously, you’re going to be pretty pissed.


So the first thing you need to do before you earn money installing apps is buy a cheap phone. If you have an older smartphone lying around after you recently upgraded, you can totally skip this step and just use that phone.


The best cheap phones to use are the ones that are often sold by prepaid wireless carriers and have high ratings. Try to stick to a model that will run you $30 or less and look for sales and deals that can help you save on your phone investment.


Here are some stores you can use to research cheap phones that have high reviews:


BoostMobile No Contract Phones


Tracfone No Contract Phones


Straight Talk Prepaid Phones


Regardless of where you get the phone that you use for this, I recommend doing a factory reset so that your personal information isn’t on the phone.


Some of the apps that you’ll need to download while earning ask for total permissions, including use of your camera and microphone and access to your files. So if you value your privacy, I highly recommend not keeping your personal information on this phone.


2. Buy an SD Card


Your new cheap phone will have a very limited storage capacity (usually 8 GB) so you won’t be able to download a lot of apps at once. To expand your capabilities, you’ll need to purchase an SD card for your phone.


I recommend a 16 GB micro SD card or 32 GB micro SD card which you can purchase at a discount from eBay or Amazon.


3. Connect Your Phone to Wi-Fi


The best part about this method is that you DON’T need a data plan to earn from the apps that I will describe in this article. Simply connect the phone to your home Wi-Fi and move on to the next step.


4. Make Money Downloading These Apps


Now that you have your device ready, you can start downloading some apps that pay you money and make some cash. Here are the top apps that I recommend installing to earn money on your phone.






CashPirate is the main app that pays you to download apps. What you do is download an app, open it and then your coins will be instantly added to your account. On occasion, you will be asked to register for the app or keep it on your device for 3 days in order to receive the coins.


After you install CashPirate, enter my referral code “GMCTNP” at signup to claim bonus coins.


CashPirate Minimum Cashout: $2.50 via PayPal

CashPirate Cashout Options: Gift Cards, Prizes, Bitcoin, Ethereum, PayPal

Sign Up Bonus: Enter “GMCTNP” at signup for +50% coins for the first 1000 coins you earn (= 500 coins bonus)






CashMagnet is an app that basically turns your phone into a bot by automatically browsing websites and testing apps. When it’s activated it seems to just browse blogs and play games. It doesn’t seem like it’s doing anything harmful or questionable.


I usually turn this app on when I go to bed since CashMagnet will only activate when your phone is idle. When you want to use your phone for something else, just press ‘STOP EARNING’ to pause the app.


CashMagnet Minimum Cashout: $5 via PayPal ($2 for Bitcoin, Ethereum, $3 for Giftcard)

CashMagnet Cashout Options: Gift Cards, Prizes, Bitcoin, Ethereum, PayPal




FitPlay / AppFlame


applike          appflame dashboard


FitPlay and AppFlame are owned by the same company so I’m mentioning them together. They also have the exact same concept and user interface.


The only real difference is the name of the app. These apps allow you to download games to play on your phone. As you play the games, every so often you’ll be awarded mCoins which you can redeem for cash or gift cards to your favorite stores.


While these sites are very reliable and pay out fast, I would like to warn against simply opening the games and leaving them idle for days at a time. This can result in a ban according a few user reports I found online.


FitPlay / AppFlame Minimum Cashout: $0.50 via PayPal

FitPlay / AppFlame Cashout Options: Gift Cards, PayPal

FitPlay / AppFlame Sign Up Bonuses: 4444 coins as an start-up bonus (FitPlay: claim here, AppFlame: claim here)


Perk TV


perk tv app


I discussed Perk in an earlier article here: 5 Sites That Pay You to Do Almost Nothing | Earn Money Online. Perk also has mobile apps which are the equivalent of the desktop versions of the site that you can use to earn.


Perk Minimum Cashout: $0.50 via Instant PayPal

Perk Cashout Options: Gift Cards, Prizes, PayPal, Instant PayPal (use Instant PayPal to avoid PayPal fees)

Perk Available Countries: United States, Canada (excluding Quebec), UK, Australia, New Zealand, and India




Survey Site App Download Offers


A number of survey sites offer mobile download offers, such as Swagbucks, that you can take advantage of. They are typically listed in the Offers section of the site from specific offer companies such as AdGate Rewards and OfferToro.


I’m mentioning these as a last resort for earning because many times these offers have been broken when I’ve tried them. However, since others have reported that they do work, I have posted about them in this article.


Lock Screen Apps


slidejoy, slidejoy app                  smore lockscreen, smore app


You can also get paid to unlock the screen of your phone. Two apps that I like that you can install and run simultaneously are Slidejoy and S’more. Every time you turn on your phone screen, these apps will activate and lock your phone screen and show you a banner ad. When you unlock the screen via the app, you’ll get credited to your account.


Both apps also offer the option to earn via surveys and offers just like survey sites.


By installing lock screen apps, you’ll also have to disable any passcode lock screen that you may have on your phone so this is another reason why I recommend not using your main phone for these activities.


Slidejoy Minimum Cashout: $2 via PayPal

Slidejoy Cashout Options: Gift Cards, Mobile Topup, PayPal

Slidejoy Referral Bonus: 100 carats for every 500 carats your friends receive




S’more Minimum Cashout: $1 via Amazon Gift Card

S’more Cashout Options: Gift Cards

S’more Sign Up Bonus: 25 points (claim here)

S’more Referral Bonus: 25 points after 10 days




5. Final Tips


Now that this tutorial has come to an end, I just have a few last tips. You should make sure to:


  • Use a dedicated email address. Some download offers will require you to register in the app in order to get credited. Just like survey sites, you’ll want to use a separate email address for these offers so that you don’t end up with a ton of spam.


  • Be cautious when using multiple devices. Some of these apps can be run on multiple devices at the same time. Make sure to check with the site to see how many devices are allowed so that you don’t end up getting banned.


  • Scale up profitably. It is up to you to make this venture profitable. Therefore, keep track of your earnings and scale up your passive income operation in a way that will make it profitable. You can get access to the same Excel spreadsheets I use to track my earnings and expenses here.


  • Check the App Minimum Requirements. All of these apps have minimum requirements as far as the phone specs go. Before you buy any older phone, make sure that the passive income app you want to install is actually compatible with the operating system installed on the phone otherwise the app isn’t going to run.


This article is not an exhaustive list of apps that you can use to earn cash from a smartphone. In fact, there are also apps that pay you for data collection. This article is designed to help you get started only. You can certainly continue to install other apps.


What are your favorite passive income mobile apps? Share your reviews in the comments below!

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Comments (14)

  • It would be interesting to see total expenses (phone cost + power cost) deducted from total profits. I wonder how profitable overall these apps would be and whether it would be worth it once expenses are deducted? Has anyone got any data on this?

    • As far as calculating the cost with power included, I can’t really offer you that since I have people commenting from all over the world. If you want to estimate the power costs, just calculate how much it costs you to keep your phone plugged in all of the time. That is probably the best way to estimate this.

  • I have a question, is there a country limit to these apps? for example I live in Venezuela where lots of people are looking online for a way to make money and this could be a great way of doing it, but I have found out that most of the ways of money making are not available to us, so I would like to know if this is available for the people of my corner of the world. Thank you.

    • The easiest way to check if the app is available in your country is to click on the links in my article to go to the website for the app. From there, you can click the link to go to the Google Play store (do this on a mobile device).

      If Google Play says the app is available in your country, then you’ll be able to download and use it. However, some offers within the app may not be available in your country for the apps that offer surveys.

      CashMagnet might be your best bet out of all of the apps on this list. Hope this helps!

  • Shane, these are definitely great apps. I’m an iOS only user so, a lot of these options wouldn’t work for me. I recently found an app called Appjest, which is similar to the apps you shared. It pays you to play a game or use an app for 20 minutes and you provide a screenshot of the battery statistics that prove it. For about 20 minutes of gameplay, you can earn about 60 cents. Thanks for sharing these as well.

  • is it rea possible I wonder Because I had that app too they pay you after viewing their adds but unfortunately when I reached the minimum payout until now they did not pay me. so I’m confuse about the other app.

    • Which app didn’t pay you? I’d recommend that you contact their support and let them know that you didn’t get paid.

  • I’m making use of Samsung Galaxy J7 and Tecno Camon 8 at the moment, I hope that some these applications can run freely without any issues in either one of my android devices?

    I know about swaggerbucks site but I never knew it also have an application a well, this is very good because I normally find using applications very easier than going through the website.

    • I can’t confirm it. You’ll have to install the apps, test them out and report back. But from my understanding as long as your device has at least Android – 5.0 Lollipop you shouldn’t experience any problems.

  • Just a concern question here. I’ve been using these kind of apps for months now on a high end smartphone. After reading your article, I really got scared of the fact that my phone might get damaged by these apps. I’ve been using Huawei Mate 8 and recently my phone’d battery gets drained after an hour of usage. Have these apps affected my phone’s battery life in some sort of ways?

    • I really don’t know the answer to this question. Perhaps you can search on an Android phone forum for help. But this is exactly why I’d recommend installing these apps on a phone that isn’t your primary phone. Hope this helps!

  • It’s great to know that it’s possible to earn, not only on pc’s but also on android phones. I’ve been having trouble earning online using my pc lately so I’ve been spending a lot of time looking for another source of income.

    I have 3 unused android phones at home and I’m glad to know it has potential to earn extra income.

    I’ll definitely install these apps and I’ll gladly share my results here if I have a successful payout on these apps in the future.

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