The Best Legit Quick Ways to Get Some Money

cash back mobile
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The finance bro who walks dogs on weekends. The graphic designer peddling activated charcoal supplements on their Insta. The account manager who’s trying to disrupt the shoelace industry. It seems like everyone these days has a side hustle or three. Luckily, the internet has made it easier than ever to make a little money on the side, and you don’t even have to sell your blood plasma or enroll in a pyramid scheme to get started. But can you actually make decent money from cash-back apps or reselling stuff online? We take a look.


Difficulty: 1/10

Time investment: 0/10

Earnings potential: 1/10

Dosh is an app that gives you cash in return for shopping at participating retailers in your area. You just link your credit card(s) to the app, and whenever a purchase is made, Dosh automatically detects it and sends cash back, generally between three to five percent. You can also look for cash-back opportunities in your area in the app itself. It works by partnering with merchants and rewarding purchases in the same way that clipping coupons does.

While getting three to five cents back for every dollar spent is generally not a recommended investment strategy, if you’re going to make these purchases anyway, then Dosh is a great way to layer rewards on top of your existing cash-back promotions on your credit cards. However, there are currently too few participating retailers for this to become a steady income source.


Difficulty: 2/10

Time investment: 2/10

Earnings potential: 1.5/10

Ibotta is the largest player in the cash-back app space, with more than 10 million active users. With Ibotta, you search the app for deals before going shopping, add them to your offers section and then scan your receipt after shopping to redeem the offers. Offers tend to center around household items and groceries, things like 50 cents off antiseptic wipes or 75 cents off a box of cookies.

Ibotta users have redeemed more than $2 billion in rewards to date, so you can be sure you’ll get paid. However, if you tend not to shop at Walmart/Target or don't often buy brand-name groceries, the deals are not catered to you. City slickers should look elsewhere for some extra dough.


​​​​​Difficulty: 1/10

Time investment: 4/10

Earnings potential: 2/10

Swagbucks was founded in 2008, which you probably could have guessed from its extremely 2008-sounding name. Users on Swagbucks receive points for filling out surveys, watching videos and making purchases at participating retailers. Points can then be exchanged for gift cards or cash back.

To date, Swagbucks has paid out more than $300 million rewards to its users. But while the barrier to entry is low, users complain about the high rejection rate when applying to take surveys as well as the return on your time investment, which is roughly $1 an hour. If you’re devoting the time you would have spent playing video games or doing your seventh rewatch of The Office, then, by all means, give it a shot. Otherwise, you’d be better off using that time to explore more profitable ventures.


Difficulty: 1/10

Time investment: 2/10

Earnings potential: 1/10

When publishers and other content creators need images for their projects, they often turn to stock photo companies instead of using their own photography. Foap takes this business model but harvests user-generated imagery to fill their stock image portfolio.

When someone buys the rights to use an image (for $10), Foap splits the proceeds with the uploader. So if you have a bank of high-quality photography on your phone or enjoy taking pictures in your spare time, uploading your shots to Foap is an easy way to make passive income. Unfortunately, users have complained that they get almost no sales on their images, largely due to the glut of imagery on the site in comparison to the number of buyers. 

Coin Roll Hunting

Difficulty: 3/10

Time investment: 5/10

Earnings potential: 2/10

Coin roll hunting is a growing hobby across the country. Its basic premise is this: Go to banks in your area, buy rolls of coins and then sift through the coins for sought-after or valuable ones, before returning the rest back to the banks and exchanging for more rolls of coins, repeating the process indefinitely.

The main CRH tactic is to accumulate pre-1982 pennies, as they are 95 percent copper and the raw copper is worth roughly 2 cents. Pennies from 1983 and later are 97.5 percent zinc and plated with a thin copper coating. This hobby has become so popular that coin sorters are being sold on eBay to quickly identify pre-1982 pennies from rolls.

One key issue with this money-making tactic: Selling pennies for their raw metal is currently illegal. Coin roll hunters are banking on the U.S. Treasury to eventually discontinue the penny, as other countries have already done. If that happens, they’ll finally be able to cash in on their hoards of copper pennies. This isn’t too farfetched, as the penny currently costs more to produce than it is worth, and inflation has made the penny practically worthless at this point. 


Difficulty: 3/10

Time investment: 5/10

Earnings potential: 10/10

Look, we know you have old electronics, baseball cards and action figures collecting dust deep in your closet right now, and so few people truly take advantage of the massive buyer’s market on eBay. Beyond selling your old junk, you can head out to garage sales and search the Craigslist postings in your area to find great deals and then flip them on eBay. Serial entrepreneur Gary Vaynerchuk has released a guide to making serious money selling on eBay if you’re interested in getting started.

Monetize your existing skills

Are you good at web design? Capable of tutoring math? Have a strong eye for making Instagram posts? Fiverr and social media sites have made it easier than ever to do small consulting work in your free time.

Create a simple website and some social media handles, and then start posting content and buying ads toward the target market in your local community. Make sure to leverage your network—you’d be surprised how many small businesses and households need help in your area. Ultimately, leveraging hard skills will always have a higher ROI than gaming any cash back-app out there. There’s no replacement for good old-fashioned hustle. So find your niche and get out there!  

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