Every day, search engines, social media platforms, and blogs collect and store your data.
When you spend time on these websites, e-commerce stores and other businesses learn about your browsing habits, buying behavior, and interests. This data helps them improve their marketing campaigns, launch new products, and ultimately make more money.
Most of these websites take your valuable data for free (and sometimes without your explicit permission). But if you don’t mind sharing your personal information, you can find data collection apps that will pay you for your data.
Get Paid for Your Data with These 13 Apps
Each data collection app will be interested in a different type of data, so don’t worry if you’re not comfortable sharing some of your personal information. You may find an app that only collects data you couldn’t care less about.
If you spend a lot of time searching the internet, visiting different websites, and checking social media, you can make money with an app that reimburses you for data about your online activities.
1. Nielsen Computer and Mobile Panel
The Nielsen Computer and Mobile Panel app tracks how people use their smartphones, tablets, and other devices to surf the web. It was designed by Nielsen Research, one of the largest consumer research companies that’s famous for its Nielsen Ratings.
If you sign up and install the app on a device, you can earn up to $50 each year and get entered into various sweepstakes. You can also collect points for having the app run the background while you’re online. These points can be redeemed for gift cards and merchandise.
MobileXpression is an app created by Comscore, which is a media measurement and analytics company. It gathers data related to your browsing history and duration.
If you install the app on your phone, you can earn credits, which you can redeem for gift cards at different retailers like Dunkin’ Donuts, Cold Stone Creamery, and AMC. The app says you can earn a $10 gift card after you’ve been a member for one week.
Tom Blake has used MobileXpression on and off for the past two years and earned a little more than $100 in Amazon and Starbucks gift cards.
“Just be sure to hold out until you can cash out for the $10 rewards as they give a better value-per-credit than cashing out at $5,” Blake said. “Also, try restarting the app occasionally if you stop earning credits because the app can be finicky sometimes.”
Related: 12 Best Sites for Taking Paid Surveys
Honeygain is an app that monitors your web usage data and reports it to companies. You can download the app on Android, Windows, and MacOS devices.
According to its website, you can earn up to $19/month if you download the app on three devices. That’s almost $230 a year for not doing anything except allowing the app to access your usage history.
This average may vary depending on your location (some pay more than others), your internet speed, and how much daily content and traffic you share with Honeygain.
The app has a 4.0 rating on Trustpilot with more than 600 reviews.
UpVoice tracks the ads you receive while you browse sites including Facebook, YouTube, and Amazon. The site is the research division of BrandTotal, a competitive intelligence platform that supports brands in its advertising initiatives.
If you visit these participating sites while logged onto the app, you can earn $75 or more in annual rewards. You’ll get a sign-up bonus of 300 tokens, or $5, and receive 10 tokens each day you’re on one or more of the sites.
Once you accrue at least 600 tokens (equal to $10), you can redeem them for e-gift cards to places like iTunes, Spotify, and Target.
If you like to shop, you might as well earn some extra cash while doing so through an app that collects your shopping data.
You can use the Dosh app to earn cash-back for both in-store and online purchases you make with a linked credit or debit card at participating stores. Even though stores and offers change on a regular basis, the Dosh app typically includes popular chains like Target and Walmart.
Once you download the app, you’ll add your credit or debit card. Any time you make a purchase at a participating store, the cash-back rewards will be automatically added to your account. While most stores pay 2% to 3%, some have a 10% cash-back reward.
Even if your credit card already offers cash-back rewards, you can earn even more with the Dosh app. Once you have at least $25, you can transfer it to your PayPal or bank account or donate the money to charity.
Related: 10 Best Shopping Apps to Score Epic Savings
With the Drop app, you can earn cash rewards for shopping at your favorite stores. After you download Drop, you’ll link your credit or debit card and choose five stores you shop at most often. When the app notices you’ve made a purchase at one of these stores, you’ll receive points.
The number of points you can earn will depend on the stores you shop at. For example, Target may reward you 8 points per dollar while Starbucks offers 12 points per dollar. Once you have at least 5,000 points, equal to $50, you can get gift cards to places like Amazon, Trader Joes, and Domino’s Pizza.
nimbus33 reader Blake earned $52 in free gift cards via Drop over the past two years.
“The app offers plenty of bonuses when you try out a new service,” he said. “I’ve seen it pay anywhere between $30 and $150 in Drop points.”
For example, Drop is currently giving new Sun Basket delivery subscribers 30,000 Drop points, and users can receive 150,000 Drop points for trying Payoff to consolidate credit card payments.
Related: How to Maximize Your Cashback with Dosh
Pei is a newer app that gives cash back at certain stores and restaurants. Once you download the app and link your credit or debit card, Pei will track your spending at participating stores and automatically credit your account with points.
After you accumulate at least $15 worth of points, you can cash out via PayPal, bitcoin, or a gift card. Cash-back percentages on Pei range from 1% all the way up to 20%. To maximize your earnings with the app, you can link to multiple credit or debit cards.
Related: 12 Must-Have Cashback Apps for Your Phone
If you drive every day, you can make some extra money with a mileage data collection app.
OnMyWay pays users to stay off their phones every time they drive to stop distracted driving. Once you enter your phone number on the OnMyWay website, you’ll receive a link to download the app.
You’ll get $10 for becoming a user and earn $0.05 for every mile you don’t text and drive. If you refer a friend, you’ll also lock in $2 plus $0.02 for every mile they drive without texting. You can redeem your OnMyWay Cash for “deals” within the app. These deals are coupon codes to stores like Jordan Lash or Hollywood Sensation. There’s no way to convert that money into PayPal credit or direct deposit.
Mobilo’s mission is to reward people for not using their phones while driving. After you download the app, it will activate the GPS feature on your phone. Any time it detects a speed above 12 mph that lasts for at least 2 minutes, the point tracker will begin.
You’ll get one point for every minute you don’t use your phone. If the app notices you’re using your phone, it’ll deduct a point. If you use Google Maps, Spotify, or another app, make sure you put your phone in a cradle so that it won’t move while you’re driving.
You can exchange your points for a new cryptocurrency called Mobilio. In February 2020, Mobilio announced the Mobilio Airbag, the first product you can purchase with its cryptocurrency.
If you use a car-sharing service like Zipcar or Share Now and buy the Mobilio Airbag at least 30 minutes before a ride, it’ll pay for the Zipcar or Share Now damage fee if you get into a crash, as long as you didn’t use your phone during the trip.
10. Safe 2 Save
Safe 2 Save promotes safe driving by rewarding you for paying attention to the road. After you create an account and download the app, you can start earning points. You get two points for every minute of safe driving while going at least 10 mph. If you touch your phone while you’re driving, the app will stop adding points to your account.
You can redeem your points at a specific business, all in-store options that are local to you. Once you visit the business, you’ll present the promotion to the cashier. An example of an in-store promotion is a free ice cream cone at Panera or smoothie at Tropical Smoothie Cafe.
Related: 23 Free Apps for Making Extra Money in Your Spare Time
These data collection apps pay you to lead an active lifestyle and improve your health.
Achievement rewards users with points every time they walk, meditate, log meals, and participate in other healthy activities. It’s an aggregator by Evidation Health that syncs to more than 20 other health and fitness apps.
The number of points you earn depends on the apps you choose and the healthy activities you participate in. You’ll get $10 for every 10,000 points and can redeem them via PayPal, direct deposit, or by donating to charity. You need a minimum of 10,000 points to redeem your rewards.
Right now you can earn six points for tracking your heart rate, 100 points for completing a survey on diabetes, and 39 points for walking 14,000 steps. With numbers like that, it may take some time to get to 10,000 points.
Related: 5 Apps That Incentivize Weight Loss with Cash Rewards
12. PK Rewards
PK Rewards incentivize you to exercise. Once you activate the app, it’ll track your workouts.
You’ll receive an effort score after every workout, which will convert to coins. The longer you work out and the higher your heart rate is, the more coins you’ll earn. You can redeem your coins for prizes from brands like Lululemon, Amazon, and Nike.
Runtopia offers a variety of features to motivate you to run every day. The app records running data like distance, pace, and calories. It also provides personalized running-focused training plans that can help you meet your unique goals.
If you download Runtopia, complete daily exercise tasks, and track your steps, you’ll earn Sports Coins. You can exchange your Sports Coins for PayPal cash, fitness clothes, and other free products.
Related: 13 Apps That Pay for Your Smartphone Step Data
Watch Out for Illegitimate Data Collection Apps
While data collection apps can be a great way to earn passive income with your smartphone, not all apps that claim to pay for your data are legitimate. It’s important to do your research and only give out information and permissions to trusted apps. Not only can malicious apps slow down your phone, they can create unnecessary identity theft and financial troubles.