Getting paid to watch ads sounds like a scam.
We’ve done the digging ourselves and tested out this side hustle. The verdict? It’s legit, but it’s a very slow process to earn any meaningful amount of money. As long as your expectations are reasonable, this is an easy way to earn a few extra dollars each month.
But how exactly can you get paid to watch ads, and how much can you expect to make?
Here’s How It Works
There are a variety of money-making apps and websites that will pay you money for watching online content. Some of them also offer other ways to earn cash by taking paid online surveys, completing tasks, and redeeming coupons.
It’s not much of a time investment, and you can get paid to watch ads in short bursts of time, like during your lunch break or while the kids are napping. Another trick to earning more is to play the videos on your phone or tablet and let them run in the background while you do your regular tasks. That way you’re not spending hours glued to the screen.
How much money can you make watching ads?
How much you make depends on how much time you want to invest, but it’s reasonable to expect anywhere from $5-20 per month in payouts and rewards. Earnings vary with the platform you use, so make sure you check out a few of the ideas below.
Some of the apps and websites from our list even offer bonus categories that can increase your payout. While the payout method varies, most offer the option to redeem your rewards for gift cards or via PayPal.
6 Top-Rated Apps for Getting Paid to Watch Ads
Here are seven ways you can get paid to watch ads.
If you’re looking for a quick and easy way to make money watching videos and ads, check out InboxDollars. You can earn rewards by watching a variety of short videos daily. Check each day for new videos and other money-making opportunities including performing web searches, completing online surveys, playing games, and signing up for promotional offers.
There are a number of ways to make money with InboxDollars, and you get $5 just for signing up.
You need to earn at least $30 before you get paid. You’ll receive your cash payout in the form of PayPal cash, ePayment (merchant gift cards, prepaid Visa card, or a charity donation), or a check in the mail. It can take between 10 and 16 business days for checks to arrive.
Related: nimbus33’s InboxDollars Review
Swagbucks is a free online rewards site. Earn points, or Swagbucks (SBs), for watching a variety of videos — some short and some longer. Video categories include entertainment, fashion, food, health, home and garden, news and politics, parenting, and sports.
In addition to watching videos, you can earn SBs by answering surveys, using coupons, shopping online via the cash-back portal, and more. Cash out your points for gift cards or PayPal cash.
You can redeem as few as 160 SBs for a $1 Amazon gift card. If you prefer cash, the payout threshold for PayPal is $5 or 500 points.
Related: Is Swagbucks Worth It? Here’s Our Official Swagbucks Review
One of the most popular ways to get cash back on your groceries and other items, Ibotta may require you to watch ads in order to claim your rebates. But if you do, you might be able to get up to $1 (or more) off that item when you scan your receipt.
It’s a quick and simple way to get extra money back on your purchases, with ads often lasting fewer than 30 seconds. And don’t forget that if you’re not currently using Ibotta, you can get up to $20 in bonuses when you create an account and redeem qualifying offers within 30 days of signing up.
Related: Ibotta Review 2020: Pros, Cons, and How the Grocery Cash-Back App Works
Slidejoy is an app for Android phones only that rents your device’s lock screen in exchange for cash rewards. When you install the app, you’ll see a card with a news story or a promotion on your lock screen. You’ll have the option to get more info about the card, view another card, or go to your home screen.
As ads run, you’ll accrue points, known as carats. Every 1,000 is worth $1. You need at least 2,000 carats (or $2) to cash out. Redemption options include gift cards for popular retailers such as Amazon, Walmart, and Starbucks. You can also redeem your payout in cash through PayPal.
While you do watch ads for money, your payout is not dependent on how much you interact with those ads. Rather, earnings are based on Slidejoy’s proprietary algorithm. Keep an eye on your account to see the balance grow throughout the day.
According to its site, iRazoo has paid out more than $55 million in cash rewards to its users. It’s free to join and you’ll get paid to watch ads and videos on your phone.
You can also share your opinion on the newest ads or movie trailers, watch short films, app trailers, cooking tutorials, and more. There are more than 50 channels of content, and inventory refreshes daily.
You’ll earn points for each activity you complete on iRazoo. In addition to watching videos and ads, you can earn points for entering promo codes, reading emails, and completing other offers. Once you earn 3,000 iRazoo points, you can cash them out for gift cards to retailers like Amazon or AMC theaters, or opt for cash via PayPal.
6. Nielsen TV Ratings
Nielsen is most known as the system used for TV show ratings. The company measures the number of people watching television shows and collects data that’s then sold to television and cable networks, advertisers, and the media.
Every U.S. household with a TV is eligible to be selected as a Nielsen Family. Participation is by invitation only, so you can’t sign up to join. But make sure to keep an eye on your mailbox for your invite.
If you do get an invitation and you accept, you’ll receive compensation for being part of the program. It’s not much — typically around $200 per year — but it’s still a way to get paid for watching TV.
Related: 15 Legit Paid Focus Groups You Can Sign Up for Today
Keep the Big Picture in Mind
Watching ads isn’t a replacement for your full-time job – not even close – but it is a way to earn money online to pay for a splurge.
In the long run, there are better ways to invest your time. Learn a new skill, try out one of the higher-paying gig apps, work extra hours at your day job, etc. You’ll make way more money that way and probably feel more fulfilled, too.
That said, there is nothing wrong with spending a few minutes of downtime here and there on this. Every little bit adds up!