Ever wondered, “How can I make money by unlocking my phone“?
Getting paid to unlock your phone has to be one of the easiest ways to earn extra cash. And those lock screen apps have to be the best kind of passive income apps.
Chances are, you unlock your phone several times a day without even noticing you’re doing it. I know I do, and I only just started keeping track of just how often I have to wake my little glass brick up.
According to statistics, people unlock their phones anywhere from 18 to 79 times per day. Now imagine if you could monetize all that phone work!
What will I learn?
Apps that Pay You to Unlock Your Phone
Here’s a list of apps that offer the opportunity to get paid to unlock your phone:
One of the most well-known lock screen apps, S’more (review), lets you earn points toward rewards by opting to put ads and other content on your lock screen. S’more also offers more opportunities to earn points toward gift cards by completing surveys and completing offers to try other apps.
Panel Payday: Earn up to $75 per survey. They also pay up to $50/hr for mystery shopping. Join Now!
InboxDollars: Paid over $57 Million to members to watch videos, take surveys, shop and more. Get $5 instantly!
KashKick: Get paid directly into your PayPal for watching videos, surfing, shopping and more. Join KashKick Now!
Panda Research: Join Panda Research and make more money for doing surveys and offers. Earn up to $50 per survey!
Branded Surveys: Get $1 instantly just for joining for free. Plus get paid within 48 hours by PayPal! Join Branded Surveys
Toluna: Earn PayPal, Amazon & Tango e-vouchers for taking surveys (& product testing!). Join & get 500 bonus!
Swagbucks: Get paid to watch videos, shop online, take surveys and more. Join now & get $5 instantly!
Sometimes they even reward you for watching videos!
Some of the gift cards you can get are:
- Game Stop
At the time of writing this post, S’more is only available for Android devices.
ScreenLift is a lightweight alternative to other lock screen apps. The best thing about this app, for me personally, is that once you installed it, you don’t even notice it anymore. All you have to do is install the app and use it to personalize your home screen. Every time you open your phone, you earn “Lifts”. 1500 lifts equals about $1.
ScreenLift offers Cash and gift cards. Fop cash payments, you are paid via PayPal within one to three business days. If you like to be paid in gift cards, you can choose from a few different options including free gift card to Google Play, Amazon or Walmart.
3. Mint Screen (Previously Fronto)
Update: MintScreen is no longer available on Google Play Store.
In addition to giving you points for unlocking your phone, Mint Screen offers a scrolling feed of news and trends on your lock screen, as well as neat new wallpapers you can use. The app uses Artificial Intelligence to analyze the things you enjoy and then cater the ads you receive to those interests.
Update: Slidejoy is no longer available.
Registering with Slidejoy is an easy way to earn money without any hassle. Use their proprietary lock screen and every time you’ll be greeted with an ad, from which you can swipe right to get back to doing whatever you were doing beforehand.
Some features of the app are:
- Ability to check notifications on your screen, even while using this app
- Receive points from their system to redeem for either real money or gift cards
- See not only ads but also news on your lock screen
- News, deals, and ads are tailored to your preferences
- You are awarded daily points
Update: MYTOZ is no longer available on Google Play Store.
“Save. Doing nothing,” is their slogan, and that’s sure an attractive offer, isn’t it? With the ability to list your interests so you get ads for things you’d actually like, MYTOZ is a neat way to passively earn points toward fun prizes. You basically get paid to watch ads. Even if you don’t click the ad or look at it for long, you’ll still get points passively.
Update: ScreenKarma is no longer available on Google Play Store.
Already have AppKarma, the popular rewards app? Now you can earn bonus points with its sister app, ScreenKarma, which adds points to your account for showing ads on your lock screen. The payout on this isn’t as high as other sites, but it can nicely cushion your appKarma account with more points if you already are an active member there.
Update: Snore is no longer available on Google Play Store.
With Snore, you can download their app to either earn points toward an Amazon gift card or toward charities like the Red Cross, Unicef, or Worldvision! You can earn bonus points by referring friends or by choosing websites to follow, which will show up on your lock screen’s feed.
Once you earn 20,000 coins you can start redeeming those towards gift cards. 10,000 coins are equivalent to $1 in their system.
Apps that No Longer Work
While researching for this post, I noticed a lot of lock screen apps being mentioned most of which are no longer around.
Many of them are out of business (I think mainly because of the low profit margin for the owners. It’s great for use, users, but not so much for the app owners!). So I thought I’d add those apps here in case you were wondering what happened to the X app.
- Perk Screen
- Whaff Locker:
I’ll update this post if any of them make a comeback or new players enter the market.
I think one of the major downsides to these types of apps is that you can’t use more than one at a time. One of my favorite things to do, especially with receipt scanning apps (like these), is to stack rewards from multiple apps to maximize my profit. In this case, you can’t do that. You can only pick one app to use at a time. This might be something you want to keep in mind as you figure out which of these apps are going to work best for you.
Unfortunately, there are currently no lock screen apps available for iOS, as it’s not built for that kind of functionality (but there are a lot of other iPhone apps that make you money). Perhaps in the future, Apple will allow this kind of app. For now, if you are an Android user only you get to enjoy the ability to get paid by unlocking your phone.
The pay will never be enough to make a living off of, obviously, but I’m a strong believer that every little bit of extra money can really help you out in the long run. You just have to have patience and keep using one of these apps for a few months before you see any real rewards off it.
If you know of any other app or way to get paid for unlocking your phone, please let us know in the comments below.
It’s amazingly easy to earn money online using such apps