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25 Apps That Pay You For Data Collection: Earn a Passive Income

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Written by: Kate Starr
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In today’s digital age, smartphones and tablets have become integral parts of our daily lives. But what if you could turn your device usage into a source of passive income?

Believe it or not, there are numerous apps available that pay you simply to install them on your device. These apps collect data on your phone usage, browsing habits, and other non-personal information, which companies then use for market research purposes.

In this article, we’ll introduce you to 25 legit apps that offer rewards, cash, or gift cards in exchange for your participation.

Key Takeaways:

  • Apps like Honeygain, Nielsen Computer & Mobile Panel, and MobileXpression pay you for sharing your internet bandwidth or allowing them to collect data on your device usage. Your earnings range from $5 to $60 per year.
  • Fitness apps such as Sweatcoin, Evidation, and Runtopia reward you for staying active and meeting your health goals, offering gift cards, cash, or other prizes for your progress.
  • Some apps, like OnMyWay and Safe 2 Save, encourage safe driving habits by rewarding users for not using their phones while behind the wheel.

25 Apps That Pay You to Install Them


Honeygain Summary

  • Earn $1 for every 10GB of data shared
  • Get $5 for each person you refer
  • Maximize earnings with more IP addresses
  • 2 payment options – PayPal and Bitcoin

Honeygain is a platform enabling you to share your internet access to earn extra income. The company pays you for your spare internet bandwidth and uses it to conduct market research. 

You can sign up for a Honeygain account with a valid email address. Once you have created an account, you can download the app to earn money. Each time your devices are connected to the internet, the Honeygain network will also connect. 

Your earning potential with Honeygain will vary depending on how much bandwidth you share. The platform will average pay you $1 for every 10GB of data you share. It can take you up to 48 days to reach $20.

If you have an unlimited data plan, using the money you earn with Honeygain to pay your internet bills could also be a great way to get free internet.


Sweatcoin Summary

  • Earn up to $20 per month once you reach highest membership tier
  • Get $0.25 per referred friend
  • You can transfer Sweatcoins between users
  • Accurate step counting

Sweatcoin is an app that pays users for losing weight. It is available for iOS or Android devices. Once installed, users can carry their phones with them when walking. The app tracks users’ steps automatically, regardless of whether they are indoors or outdoors. 

For every 1,000 steps you take, you’ll receive 0.95 Sweatcoins. You cannot withdraw these coins as cash, but you can exchange your accumulated coins for goods and services. For example, you may request a $10 gift card for 100 Sweatcoins.


Nielsen Summary

  • Earn up to $60/year by installing an app
  • Earn up to $1000 from sweepstakes
  • 15 different types of rewards
  • Win up to $500 by downloading PC app

Nielsen is one of the most well-known companies in the consumer research industry. With the Nielsen Computer & Mobile Panel, you can earn a passive income while helping with market research. Once you download this app, you can use your phone or device as usual. 

For your participation, you will receive around $60 per year in credits to exchange for various physical products. There are also regular sweepstakes draws that give you a chance to win up to $1000.

Joining the Nielsen Computer & Mobile Panel is a great way to earn a passive income. However, some users have found that the app can shorten device battery life and slow performance. Nielsen assures all users that personal data is secure, as the app anonymously tracks usage patterns.


Dosh Summary

  • Data is secured with 256-bit encryption
  • $10 sign up bonus for new members
  • Get $10 for each friend you refer
  • Over 100,000 places to get cashback

Dosh is a highly popular mobile app that will pay you for data collection. The app enables you to earn passive income from your everyday purchases. You will earn cashback each time you buy something at a participating retailer. 

To qualify for your cashback, you must purchase using a credit card. This means you can receive a percentage of cashback automatically without scanning receipts. 

You can earn up to 10 percent cash back on shopping or dining-in purchases at over 1000 stores and restaurants. You can claim your cashback as a PayPal payment or direct bank transfer. 


Mobile Xpression Summary

  • Earn a $5 gift card every few weeks for keeping app active in background
  • Get paid $0.50 per survey
  • New members receive an entry into a $100,000 sweepstake
  • Donates tree if you keep your new account active for 90 days

MobileXpression is one of the best apps that will pay you for data collection. This market research company collects data about its members’ internet usage. 

The app is available for both Android and iOS devices. After you install it, it will record data about your online habits.

Some of the data that the app collects include:

  • Pages you view
  • Links you access
  • Lengths of your calls

Once installed, the app does not affect your regular phone use. It constantly rewards you just for leaving it installed on your phone.


PermissionResearch is an online market research platform that aims to gain insight into internet behavior and trends. Thus, it is one of the best apps that pays for data collection.

Unlike typical survey companies, PermissionResearch operates by having members install software on their devices. The data is collected and sold to various companies. You may also receive survey invitations via email to further boost your earnings. 

PermissionResearch is careful to protect your personal information. They do not store valuable personal information, and the company uses digital and physical security to protect your data. However, the platform does not pay you for your data. Instead, you get a chance each month to win a prize of between $2500 to $100,000.

Killi App

Killi is one of the top contenders on this list of apps that pay you for data collection. It allows you to control how much of your data you want to share and enables you to earn cash when you complete tasks within the app. Generally, the more of data you share, the more you can stand to earn.

The app allows you to earn a passive income by going about your daily activities. In addition, you can also complete surveys and refer friends to boost your earnings. You can expect to earn up to $10 per week as an average user.

Get Pei

Get Pei is a very popular cash-back app that rewards you for your spending. When you use your linked credit or debit card at an affiliated merchant, you can earn up to 20 percent cash back. There are more than 110,000 locations throughout the US where you can earn cashback.

These include popular brands such as:

  • Target
  • Trader Joe’s
  • AMC Theaters
  • and many more

The app will use your shopping habit data to help brands improve their products, services, and marketing strategies. 


DataCoup is a relatively new platform that will pay you up to $8 monthly to access your social media account data. You will need to provide the company access to your social media accounts. Your data is stripped of personally identifying details before being sold to advertisers, so your privacy remains protected.

One unique feature of DataCoup is that there is an option only to sell data that you want to share. Thus, you can link more accounts to earn more money. You can also decide who will buy your data. 

While you may be reluctant to share this information, your social media platforms already provide it for free. At least with DataCoup, you can earn a passive income by sharing your data. 


ScreenLift is an app that places ads on your lock screen, and you’ll receive rewards for viewing these ads, regardless of whether you interact with them. 

All you need to do is unlock your phone and use it daily. Each time you lift your phone to use it, you will earn a “lift”, the app’s internal currency. You can also look for more ways to earn extra lifts within the app, such as by playing a game in the app.

The app also has a system that detects if you’re trying to use your phone more than usual to earn more. If this happens, you will not receive rewards. To get $5 in cash, you need to accumulate approximately 7,100 lifts. You can cash out your earnings either via PayPal or in the form of an Amazon gift card. 


Universal Basic Data Income (UBDI) allows you to get paid for exchanging your data and insights for cash. The platform’s main goal is to help companies improve their products and services. All data is shared anonymously, so you don’t need to worry about your details getting leaked. 

With UBDI, you can earn up to $1,000 per year simply by sharing your data. Plus, the platform has no minimum withdrawal threshold, so you can withdraw your earnings via bank transfer anytime.


AppOptix is a great choice on this mobile app list that pays you for data collection. Once installed, the app runs in the background, collecting data on your phone’s performance.

Some of the data that AppOptix collects include:

  • Apps installed on your device
  • How long are your apps open for
  • Your GPS location
  • Battery performance of your device

Essentially, AppOptix is a research platform that analyzes consumer behavior. Wireless industry companies use the data the app pays you for to improve their products and services. As an average user, you can earn up to $50 worth of gift cards each year.


PhonePaycheck is a renowned app that will pay you to use your phone’s processing power while sleeping. The app only runs when your phone is plugged into a charger and connected to WiFi. One unique feature of the app is that it does not use up any of your mobile data and does not access your personal information. 

Up to $80 per year can be earned by using the app for 8 hours daily while you sleep. As such, this app provides one of the best ways to make money while you sleep. Once your earnings reach $10, you can withdraw them either via PayPal payment or as a gift card.

You can increase your earnings even further by downloading the app onto your old phones using the same account. You can have up to five devices on one account.

Mobile Performance Meter

Mobile Performance Meter is one of the most popular apps to pay you for data collection about your phone activity. The app runs in the background, earning you points each day it remains installed on your phone.

The app collects data about your mobile usage habits, including:

  • The lengths of your phone calls
  • The times and dates of text messages
  • Your phone’s battery life
  • The duration of your internet browsing sessions
  • The speed of your network.

Although this may seem like a lot of data, you will not need to worry about your privacy being affected. The app does not collect personal data, such as pictures, emails, or the content of your text messages. 

This app only works on specific Android devices, although you can earn up to $6 per month simply by installing the app on a compatible Android device.

Money SMS

Money SMS is an easy-to-use app you can download to earn money to receive test text messages. You’ll receive test SMS messages from the platform when you run the app and connect to the internet.

Money SMS uses these test messages to help mobile network operators and telecom providers ensure messages are properly delivered. You will earn around $0.20 for each test message that you receive.

You can withdraw your earnings via:

  • BitCoin
  • Ethereum
  • Litecoin
  • PayPal


McMoney is a top website you can join to earn money for sharing your mobile number. When you install the app, you will receive random messages for testing, earning around $0.06 for each one. These test messages help mobile operators improve their services.

To join McMoney, you must use an Android phone and have a stable connection. The number of messages you receive will depend on the testing system’s needs. However, it will usually not exceed two messages per day. 


Evidation is a great way to get paid for losing weight. The app allows you to collect points by performing healthy actions. You can connect your other health apps and use Evidation to track your progress walking, meditating, sleeping, and eating. There are also surveys, where you’ll receive up to 200 points for answering basic questions.

The company uses the information from the app to help companies improve their products and services. In addition, it can be a great way to remain motivated to make health-conscious decisions. 

How much can you earn on Evidation?

ActivityEarning Potential
Track your heart rate6 points
Walk 14,633 steps39 points
Answer a surveyUp to 200 points
Log your food6 points
Bike 5 miles10 points
Post a health-related Tweet6 points

Once you accumulate 10,000 points, you can exchange your points for $10 in cash via PayPal. 


OnMyWay enables you to earn up to $0.05 for each mile you drive safely. The app aims to encourage drivers to avoid using their phones when driving. At the same time, it also collects data on phone usage and habits.

The app activates automatically when you are driving. You will earn rewards for your entire journey if your phone stays locked. You can then redeem the virtual currency you earn for PayPal cash or gift cards.

Joining the platform also gives you access to exclusive offers and discounts.


Mobilio is a highly popular app that enables you to earn money by driving without distractions. It is available for Android and iOS users. 

The app automatically activates once you travel at over 12mph. Thus, this makes it a great way to make money without much effort.

Mobilio uses the data the app collects to help organizations promote safe driving. Insurance companies can integrate this rewards protocol into their business models. 

Mobilio’s overall aim is to create a safety marketplace that encourages safe driving while helping companies boost their bottom line. 


CashMagnet is an app that allows you to get paid for browsing the internet and visiting specific sites. The app essentially turns your phone into a traffic network node. It will help marketers increase click numbers to improve their traffic figures. 

You’ll earn points every 5 minutes using your phone with CashMagnet turned on. It takes 10 points to earn $0.01. Fortunately, CashMagnet has a very low minimum redemption of just $1 or 1,000 points.

You can withdraw your earnings via:

  • PayPal
  • Amazon gift cards
  • Ethereum
  • Bitcoin

Placed Panel App

Placed Panel is an app that runs in the background on your device. You can use your tablet or phone normally while the app collects your data.

For Placed Panel to work, your device must be connected to the internet with your GPS on. However, uninstalling the app lets you opt out of data collection at any time. The app also gives you access to surveys that can enable you to increase your potential earnings.

On average, most users earn around 33 points per day, and 1000 points are worth $1. Users can redeem their points for gift cards starting from $5 onwards. Although this may not seem like much, you do not need to put in much effort, making it a great way to get gift cards for free.

In general, you should be able to get at least one gift card every month or so.


If you are looking for apps that pay you for data collection, SavvyConnect is one of the best options. The platform enables you to earn up to $180 per year. You can install the company’s software on your devices and earn $5 per device per month in passive income.

In addition, you can also get survey invitations from SavvyConnect’s sister company, SurveySavvy, to further boost your earnings. 

The minimum cash out is relatively low at just $1, so you can withdraw your earnings via check whenever possible.

Safe 2 Save

Safe2Save is a great rewards program that you can join to earn points when you drive without using your phone. The platform aims to help people become safer drivers since you are 23 times more likely to get in an accident if you use your phone while driving.

On average, you can earn around 2 points for every minute you drive above ten mph without using your phone. However, the value of your points may vary depending on the city.

PK Rewards

PK Rewards is one of the best health apps that will pay you for data collection. With PK Rewards, you can earn rewards to motivate yourself to work out. Connect the app to your Apple Watch or other supported Bluetooth tracker. The app will then monitor your exercise levels. 

Each time you complete a workout, you will receive an Effort Score. The app calculates this score according to the intensity of your workout. From there, you will receive points according to this score.

You can redeem your coins for various prizes, including Amazon gift cards. Similar to other fitness apps that pay you for data collection, PK Rewards will use your workout data for market research purposes. This data will also help brands improve their products and services.


Runtopia allows you to set running, cycling, or walking goals. There are even audio coach sessions you can listen to during your workout. 

Each time you work out or compete in a daily challenge, you will earn Sports Coins. You can redeem these coins for prizes, PayPal payments, and discounts. For example, you can exchange 599 coins for $10 in cash via PayPal.

In addition, you can also sign up for a premium membership to get access to the following:

  • Detailed analysis of your running data
  • Exclusive access to cadence metronome for your run
  • Double the daily limit of Sports Coins you can earn
  • and many more great features

New users can get a one-time 1-month premium membership for free.

How Much Can You Make With Mobile Apps That Pay You?

How much you can earn depends on the app you use and how much data you want to share. You can use most of the apps on this list simultaneously if each app collects different data.

For example, you could install MobileXpression, Dosh, and Screenlift on your mobile phone to earn approximately $20 a week without effort.

How Can I Make 20 Dollars Right Now?

Many great apps will pay you for data collection. It is possible to start making cash instantly with some of these apps.

If you want to make $20 quickly, there are several platforms that you can use to achieve this.

For example, joining the Media Insiders panel will enable you to earn up to $15 per month. SavvyConnect also pays users $5 per month per device. If you need some cash even quicker, MobileXpression will send you a $5 gift card after your first week. 

As such, you can easily earn $20 in cash just for installing apps on your devices. 

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Kate Starr


About the author:

Kate Starr is a personal finance, FinTech and MarTech writer. Her areas of expertise include making money, investing, and money management.

From earning money as a beginner entrepreneur to advanced investing in the stock market, Kate’s guides can help you to get more ideas on how to earn income online and increase your wealth.

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