I love sharing info about apps that pay because so many of you have smartphones and it seems like there are constantly more and more ways to earn money with them. And recently, I've noticed a surge in these apps that pay you to unlock your phone.
I like the idea of apps that pay you to unlock your phone because while it is of course just extra money, it's still so passive! You literally don't have to do anything apart from just have the app installed and running on your phone.
At this time, the apps only work for Android phones. Not sure why this is — maybe it's not as easy for app developers to make something like this work with iOS?
How These Apps Pay You To Unlock Your Phone
All of the “get paid to unlock your phone” apps have slight differences, but the basic premise is the same — install the app on your phone and you are pretty much allowing the app to take over your lock screen.
This means you'll see some advertisements when you go to unlock your phone. Simply do a swipe and you earn a little bit of money (usually just a few cents). But if you think about how often you unlock your phone each day, this can add up.
Here's a little list of the apps I know about that are like this. If more come out, or if you know of a few I don't have listed, feel free to comment below.
#1 – Fronto
Available for Android only, US residents. Currently has 4.5 stars on the Google Play store. When you have the app installed, you'll see ads plus occasional interesting content you can interact with (articles to read, etc.).
Swiping right means you simply unlock your phone like always. Swiping left means you are engaging with the content you see — and therefore earning points you can redeem for rewards like Paypal cash and Amazon codes.
You can only earn points for engaging three times an hour. Once you have at least 25,000 points accumulated, you can request your earnings and payments are — according to Fronto — made in real time at that point. Fronto also has a referral program you can earn from. When your friends sign up using your link, you both get .50 cents.
You can cash out for Paypal payments, Amazon gift cards, or coupons.
#2 – Slidejoy
Slidejoy is also only available for Android, although last I heard they are working on a version for iOS (Apple) users. Also, this one is US only, too. Slidejoy currently has a 4.3 on the Google Play store.
Similar to Fronto, you will see various ads on your lockscreen once the app is installed. Sliding left engages with the ad and sliding right takes you straight to your homescreen.
Unlike Fronto, you will be paid the same amount no matter whether your swipe left or right. Your accumulated earnings for each day will show up by the next evening.
You can choose to be paid via Paypal, or you can donate your earnings to a worthy cause. With this one, you do have to wait three months before you can cash out for the first time and from what I can tell, you are only able to cash out monthly after that.
#3 – ScreenPay ScreenPay is also just available for Android users. When you sign up, you are asked to let ScreenPay know about your interests and lifestyle so they can show you promotions on your lockscreen that are relevant. Every time you go to unlock your phone, you'll see a little circle on your lockscreen along with a promotion. You then drag the circle toward the promotion if you want to learn more about it, or toward the app icon to just unlock your phone. ScreenPay pays with Paypal, and you can cash out once you've got $7 accumulated. They start you off with $1 in your account, and they also have a referral program you can benefit from. Go here to visit the ScreenPay website.
#4 – Perk Screen
Some of you may already know about the popular Perk app — a mobile rewards program that is fairly lucrative, especially PerkTV.
If you want to know more about PerkTV, I do have a review of it on my other site here. Anyway, I just learned today that Perk also has a feature called Perk Screen that, similar to the apps above, pays you some Perk points for unlocking your phone.
Even though Perk has other apps that work on iOS, this one is also only available for Android. I've read that the Perk Screen app isn't quite as lucrative as ScreenPay, Slidejoy, or Fronto. Still, it may be worth checking out.
Perk lets you redeem points for gift certificates and also Paypal cash.
Go here to visit the Perk website and read about all the different apps they have that you can earn from.
How Much Money Do People Really Earn From These Apps?
As I said above, I know these are just extra money — but I'm also a firm believer that every little bit helps. For each app, you probably shouldn't expect more than $5 or maybe $10 monthly — although I know that the people at Fronto told me they want their users to earn more than that, like around $15 or $20 monthly.
Also, this is such passive income. I love that you don't really have to do anything out of the ordinary to earn the money/rewards.
Can You Use More Than One at a Time?
This is what I've been wondering! Obviously you'll earn the most by using them all if there is a way to do it. I believe you can do this.
I've been scouring the Beer Money sub-reddit on Reddit because a lot of those folks use these apps. I've seen some of those people mention more than once that they are using these apps at the same time, although I'm not sure exactly how that works.
Which of the above apps is your favorite? Do you successfully use more than one? Know of any other similar apps? Please share!
Want More Paying Apps?
My two favorite apps if you're looking for the some of the best that pay reliably are as follows: