Looking for passive income ideas for 2021? The internet is rife with ideas for how to earn money while you sleep. We will list some of the most often-cited passive income apps below.
What exactly is passive income? As The Motley Fool explains, passive income is “money that you earn with little to no effort.” The site also warns that passive income usually requires time and money upfront. The IRS might have special tax rules for passive income earnings.
Swagbucks lets you earn gift cards and cash by taking surveys, shopping at popular retailers, mystery-shopping at grocery stores, and discovering new products. It gets 4.4 stars out of 5 on the App Store, with 42.5k ratings. “For a free money app, this is actually very generous,” one reviewer says. “It pays you to do a variety of things, such as playing games, watching videos, answering surveys, etc.”
Sweatcoin, which gets 4.5 stars from 171.3k ratings, tracks your step count—and your location, FYI—and coverts your steps into “sweat coins” that you can spend on goods, services, and experiences. “I earned more than $100 in less than two months,” one reviewer wrote.
Acorns takes your spare change with automatic “Round-Ups” and automatically invests that money into diversified ETF portfolios. The app description boasts that the Acorns platform already has 9 million users. The app gets 4.7 stars from 743.6k ratings. One user says that it “gives less educated and new investors a place to start with less risk than other investment vehicles.”
Ibotta offers cash back every time you shop online or at a brick-and-mortar location for many retailers. The app description boasts that Ibotta customers have so far earned more than $550 million. It gets 4.8 stars from 1.2 million ratings. “I’ve earned a lot of money using this app over the years, and it has helped in tough times,” one user wrote.
Airbnb might not be as passive as some of the other apps on this list, but there’s no denying that millions of people around the world have earned money renting out spare real estate to travelers. The Airbnb app gets 4.8 stars from 485.9k ratings, and it’s also an App Store Editors’ Choice for “[changing] the way we find places to say.”
Rakuten gives users coupons, promo codes, and cash back for shopping at Macy’s, Nike, Best Buy, QVC, and more than 2,500 other retailers. The Rakuten app gets 4.8 stars from 138.k ratings. “Not only have they helped me score some hidden sales, but I have also gotten cash back on rock bottom prices,” one satisfied customer says.
Dosh, with 4.7 stars from 119.k ratings, offers automatic cash back at many stores—including Costco, Bay, Home Depot, and more. The app also rewards users for dining out and booking hotels, sometimes with as much as 40-percent cash back. “It’s easy cash back without having to think about it,” one user wrote in a review.