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 is a great way to reach your financial goals.
One often-overlooked source of income is texting — yes, you can get paid to text. Continue on for more details.
How to Make Money Texting
There are essentially two different ways to make money texting: answering questions or 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.
The other type of paid-to-text service involves viewing ads for a fee. This helps marketers by getting their name and message 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.
A Word of Caution
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 was Drizzle, which had mixed reviews and wasn’t able to offer payment. (The app is no longer operating.) 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 get the app and keep expectations for your earning potential realistic. These apps typically pay well under $1 per text message or ad view, so a paid-to-text gig is never going to be able to replace your regular source of income. Determine whether the time needed to complete each task is worth the rate you’ll be paid.
It’s also important to note that while these services are free to join, text message and data rates still apply; this is particularly important to keep in mind if you don’t have an unlimited text messaging and data plan.
Most Popular Companies
- 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.
- How it works: Like Drizzle, IMGR requires you to text through its 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 from the App Store or Google Play, but be sure to register as well in order to get paid.
For more ways to earn money on your phone, see our list of apps and sites where you can earn PayPal money.