Whether you’re trying to pay down student loan debt, saving up for your next big purchase, or just want money for your daily coffee, finding a side gig to make additional income to your full-time work is a great way to reach that financial goal. One often-overlooked source of income is texting — yes, you can get paid to text.

These four services make it easy to make some extra money doing what many of us do every day anyway.

In This Article

How Can I Make Money Texting?

There are essentially two different ways to make money texting: by answering questions and by viewing ads. Multiple services throughout the 2000s allowed you to make money by answering questions via text (including ChaCha, AQA, and TexTango), but many of these have stopped service because of how easy it has become to search via Google or another search engine on your phone instead.

However, this type of service still exists in the form of questions from companies looking to survey people for marketing purposes — that’s first-person feedback that those companies might have a hard time getting otherwise.

The other type of paid-to-text service involves viewing ads for a fee. Again, this helps marketers by getting their name and message easily in front of an audience without the investment of buying expensive ad time. If you don’t mind a banner ad here or there, this type of service will pay you for doing what you’re already spending a lot of time doing, anyway — looking at your phone.

1. 1Q

  • How it works: Marketers are looking for valuable consumer insight every day, and 1Q helps users cash in on that need by directing companies with survey questions to the demographic that can best answer them. Companies ask a question (called an “Askvert”), 1Q texts the question to members who can provide meaningful responses, and those members get paid per answer.
  • Requirements: All you need to use this service is a cell phone — it’s free to sign up and use, whether you have a smartphone or a flip phone. Check 1Q’s FAQ page for more details on registering to earn.
  • What it pays: $0.25 to $0.50 per question answered — 1Q recommends choosing the lower payment per response in order to get more questions.
  • Minimum earnings for payout: There is no minimum earned before payout for this service, every time you answer a question, 1Q pays you.
  • How you get paid: Via PayPal, but if you don’t have a PayPal account yet, 1Q has resources to guide you through the process of setting one up on their FAQ page.
  • Sign up: Sign up on the 1Q registration page to receive 1Q’s texted survey questions and get paid to answer them.

2. Drizzle SMS

  • How it works: Drizzle places banner ads at the top of the app’s texting interface, and all you have to do is use Drizzle to text instead of your phone’s native texting program.
  • Requirements: This app is currently only available for Android users.
  • What it pays: Drizzle pays users in a form called Drops. One thousand Drops equal $1.
  • Minimum earnings for payout: 5,000 Drops, or $5 in cash or toward a gift card.
  • How you get paid: PayPal, Square Cash, or as a gift card to major retailers. In the past, you needed to download the Drizzle Rewards app to claim rewards — however, according to the Drizzle SMS download page, developers are working on an update and rewards are currently suspended.
  • Sign up: If you have an Android, you can download the app on the Drizzle SMS download page.

3. FreeEats

  • How it works: FreeEats offers an opportunity to earn for viewing ads texted directly to your phone. No need to download an app to participate. According to FreeEats’ FAQ, don’t expect to be flooded with texts right away — the company is still working on growing its list of participating clients. But as far as passive income goes, it doesn’t get much easier than opening a text every now and then.
  • Requirements: You’ll need to have a smartphone, US cell phone number and zip code, and agree to FreeEats’ terms of service.
  • What it pays: $0.25 per ad viewed and $1 when you register.
  • Minimum earnings for payout: No minimum — payments are made when text messages are sent.
  • How you get paid: PayPal. Make sure the phone number you use to register is the one that is associated with your PayPal account. It’s all detailed in their terms of service.
  • Sign up: Visit the FreeEats sign up page to register

4. IMGR

  • How it works: Like Drizzle, IMGR requires you to download and text through their app, which will add small, emoji-like brand icons to your texts to earn points. The only catch is that the people you’re texting also need to be using IMGR — no points are earned if you do not receive IMGR texts as well as send them. So be sure to invite all of your friends to join, and you can earn together.
  • Requirements: You just need to register on their site and be over 13 years of age.
  • What it pays: You accumulate points for using the app, with each point equaling roughly $0.01. You can earn $3 to $50 per month, and point-to-dollar conversions can be found on a chart on the IMGR Points page.
  • Minimum earnings for payout: The minimum payout is $3 — 300 points, which takes 150 texts sent and 150 texts received to earn. Points reset at the beginning of each month, so you’ll have to send and receive at least 150 texts per month to get your payout.
  • How you get paid: Paypal Cash, iTunes Gift Card, Google Play Gift Card, or select a charity for donation. You can find more about points and redemption on IMGR Points page.
  • Sign up: Start using the app by downloading from iTunes or Google Play, but be sure to register as well in order to get paid.
IMGR texts examples

This is what the IMGR texts look like. Source: http://imgr.im/im/

A Word of Caution About Paid to Text Services

While these services all seem fairly straightforward, there’s always the risk — especially with new start-ups — that you might not eventually get paid. For example, KGB, a now defunct directory service company, once operated a service in which clients could text questions and users would do the research to provide answers. It was found that researchers were not being adequately paid, resulting in a $1.3 million class action lawsuit.

And then there’s Drizzle, for example, which has mixed reviews and isn’t able to offer payment at this time. If you don’t like the idea of waking up one day to find out the app you think you’ve been earning money on is no longer in business, then we suggest using caution going forward. Check out each service’s reviews when you download their app and keep expectations for your earning potential realistic, and you should be fine.

In Summary

You might not be able to retire early with these texting-for-cash programs, but you can definitely earn enough to support your Starbucks habit. If you’re looking for easy, passive income as a side gig, give one of the above a try — and let us know in the comments how your experience goes.