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It seems like everyone is talking about passive income these days — and why not? Extra cash for minimal labor is something that’s sure to pique a lot of interest from a lot of people.
If you’re short on spare time but still want to make money online, there are plenty of ways to do it.
One of the easiest ways is to install a lockscreen app on your phone. These apps are 100% passive, unless you count picking up your phone as labor.
Not sure what a lockscreen app is? You’ve come to the right place.
In this post, I’ll cover all of the best current lockscreen apps. But first, keep reading to learn more about what these apps are and how they work to decide whether it makes sense to install one on your device.
What Is a Lockscreen Cash App?
If you aren’t familiar with lockscreen apps, the concept is pretty simple. When you download and use a lockscreen app, you’re effectively selling ad space on your phone.
Each app works a little differently. But in general, you can expect to earn rewards and points each time you open your phone while the app is running.
Many of these mobile apps are available on Android devices but not iOS. This is due to privacy restrictions that tend to be a little stricter for Apple product users. So, unfortunately, you won’t find them in the App Store.
Before we get started, here’s a quick disclaimer: Lockscreen apps tend to come and go, and there are a number of previously popular apps that aren’t online anymore. Here are a few that are no longer available in the Google Play Store: Adme, Fronto, SurveyCow, Whaff Locker, BillsBoard, Locket, ScreenKarma, and Slidejoy.
Now that you’re familiar with some of the defunct apps in this space, let’s move on to the highest-paying options that are available so you can start earning lockscreen cash rewards today.
7 Best Lockscreen Cash Apps
ScreenLift is one of the most popular lockscreen apps on the market, with more than 100,000 users worldwide.
The app allows you to customize the first screen you see on your phone. When you open this screen, ScreenLift will populate it with trending news articles. Each time you see one, you earn points, called Lifts. You don’t need to actually read the articles unless you want to; an impression is all that’s required.
The longer you keep the app running, the more Lifts you can earn. When you build up enough to earn a payout, you can exchange your Lifts for PayPal cash or gift cards from a variety of brand-name retailers.
You’ll also get a boost if you refer your friends to use the app. For each person you bring in, ScreenLift will give you a cut of their lifetime earnings. If you’re an exceptionally popular and persuasive person, this could lead to a decent passive income stream.
S’more is a U.S.-only lockscreen app that’s as simple as it gets. When you use it, you’ll see a tailored ad each time you unlock your phone, and you’ll earn points as long as the app is installed.
To get an ad off your home screen, all you have to do is slide up. You can also click on it if it’s interesting, but you’ll earn points whether you do or not.
If you want to earn even more with S’more, you can also complete offers, play games, and make referrals.
Once you have enough points, you can cash out for Walmart, Target, Visa, or Amazon gift cards (to name just a few). Unfortunately, S’more pays out only in gift cards — not real money. This is a big disadvantage. I always prefer services that pay you in cold, hard cash.
S’more is only in the Google Play Store, where its Android app holds an impressive 4.4-star rating (out of 5).
3. Ad It Up
If you’re a Cricket Wireless user, you should check out Ad It Up. The app offers credits toward your wireless bill when you use it regularly.
With Ad It Up, you earn points each time you unlock your phone, watch a video, complete an offer, or take a survey. You can also play games or download sponsored apps to build up your point balance.
To maximize your points, you need to opt into the lockscreen function, which is the easiest way to get ahead. Then, in your downtime, you can click into the app and complete its various tasks.
When you earn enough for a payout, you can choose to apply your credits to your Cricket bill or get a free Amazon gift card.
Ad It Up is one of the best-rated lockscreen apps available on the market today, with a stellar 4.8 stars (out of 5) in the Google Play Store.
For online shoppers, MYTOZ is an interesting option.
The app populates ads on your lock screen, but you can also head directly into the app to view more. Like most lockscreen apps, you don’t need to actually engage with any ads. The more you see, the more you earn.
Every time you see an ad, you get points. Unfortunately, the only way to spend your MYTOZ points is to shop in its online store. MYTOZ operates as an affiliate marketer, so you can use your points to shop with a wide variety of merchants and retailers.
5. Current Rewards
Current Rewards is perfect for those who want to earn by listening to music. The app comes with a free music player, which gives you access to more than 100,000 radio stations. When you listen in, you earn rewards.
On top of using its lockscreen music player, there are a bunch of other ways to earn with Current, including:
- Taking surveys
- Playing games and watching videos
- Downloading apps
- Shopping online
- Charging your phone
When you build up a high enough balance, you can exchange your points for PayPal cash, gift cards, or shopping discounts.
Giftloop is another option that comes with a variety of ways to earn. The first and easiest is to simply charge your phone. Giftloop sends targeted ads to your charging screen in addition to your lock screen, so you can earn points even while you’re sleeping.
When you use your phone, Giftloop hits you with new updates and offers on your lock screen. Each time you view one, you earn points. It’s that easy.
If you have time for something a little more involved, you can also take surveys, check out other new apps, watch videos, and more. If luck is on your side, you might even get some bonus points in the Giftloop daily raffle.
Giftloop is totally free to use, and you can exchange your points for PayPal cash or gift cards from Amazon, Netflix, and more.
7. XLOAD Swipe
XLOAD Swipe is a basic app that sends a targeted news feed to your home screen. You can read content directly from your lock screen or swipe it away to access your phone. It’s up to you.
Instead of cash or gift cards, XLOAD Swipe issues mobile top-ups as rewards. This can be great if you’re traveling outside your mobile network or if you’re just trying to save a little money on your bill.
Overall, XLOAD Swipe is recommended only for those who use a Tracfone or have a limited data plan.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Here are the most frequently asked questions about lockscreen cash apps.
Which apps pay you instantly?
To be honest, very few of these apps will pay you right away. Most apps that offer extra money take a bit of time and use to build up your balance. Nearly all of them have a payout threshold, so there’s no way to get your hands on the cash you’ve made immediately.
If you’re looking for instant cash, there are better avenues than lockscreen apps.
How do lockscreen apps make money?
Like most rewards apps, these options help you make money by connecting you with ads. Retailers pay to get eyes on their products, so there’s money to be made by placing them where you’re already looking dozens of times a day (i.e., your phone).
What is the best lockscreen app?
If you’re interested in lockscreen apps, your two best options are S’more and ScreenLift. These are the most popular and reputable lockscreen apps and are the most likely to issue timely payments when you cash out.
To be sure, these sites take a little more effort than unlocking your phone. But they offer plenty of paid opportunities to participate in market research studies, and you should be able to make a little more money than you can with lockscreen apps.
The Bottom Line
At the end of the day, there’s no such thing as free money. Even so, lockscreen apps come about as close as it gets.
The important thing to understand is that we aren’t talking about very much cash here. If you’re using any type of reward app, you should never expect to make more than a few dollars a week.
To put it bluntly, lockscreen apps are not a true side hustle. Downloading apps is never going to make you rich. But it could help you add a little extra income.
Unfortunately, there are no big-money lockscreen apps, and even the best ones won’t net you more than a couple of movie tickets each month.
All that said, money is money. Considering how little effort these apps take to use, it’s tough to completely disregard them. And as long as you know what to expect, you can make decent use of them.
And hey, every dollar earned edges you a little closer toward your financial goals.
Here’s to making the best decisions on your journey to financial freedom!