Sign-up bonuses are a common way for rewards and survey companies to attract users to sign up for their apps. And they offer users an easy way to snag an extra $5 or $10 on top of completing offers.
The bonuses are easy to qualify for (mostly). The hard part is telling between which apps genuinely offer them, and those that are complete time wasters.
After hours of research, we've ranked the best apps that pay you for signing up. Do all of them on this list, and you could get a cool $30 in sign-up bonuses.
Make sure you read till the end of the article where we list which apps to avoid.
But how did we decide which apps were worth signing up for?
Here's our criteria:
- Amount: The more money you get paid, the better.
- Easy to qualify: The app shouldn’t need you to make deposits, investments, or purchases to qualify for the bonus.
- Instant withdrawal: In our research, we found that there was such thing as an instant sign-up bonus. In every case, you’d have to take some small action in the app which would unlock your bonus. So, we lookedfor apps that made it easy and quick for users meet the criteria for withdrawal.
- User reviews: In addition to our own experience, we checked if others were also able to get money from the app.
- Payout methods: There’s no point getting paid in a method you don't use. We looked for bonuses that were paid in widely accepted methods like PayPal, Amazon gift cards etc.
Here's a quick look at how the apps stacked up (scroll to the article to learn more about each offer):
Why we like it
Track phone use in the background
Shopping & cashback
Opinion Inn is our top pick because of their $10 sign-up bonus, which is the highest out there right now. This is also a true sign-up bonus, meaning they pay you just for signing up.
You won’t get your bonus right away as they have a $25 payout threshold. However, we found Opinion Inn to have very high paying surveys – about $2 to $6 per survey.
This means that you could technically hit $25 relatively quickly. Some users have reported that they were able to hit the minimum cash out amount in 1 week. We weren’t as lucky though, as we didn’t qualify for as many surveys.
All in all, we still think that Opinion Inn should rank number 1 in case you’re one of the lucky few that qualifies for lots of surveys.
InboxDollars takes the second spot. It was a tough fight between InboxDollars and Swagbucks, as both offer a high $5 sign-up bonus, and have similar offers.
Ultimately, we felt that InboxDollars had a slight edge because it had a lower payout threshold of $15, which is easier to hit.
We like that InboxDollars also gave us a clear way to earn our first $30. Most people following this guide should be able to complete these offers and get their sign-up bonus in less than 24 hours.
One possible downside is that InboxDollars only pays you in giftcards. So tough luck to PayPal users. Although we noted that they also pay in Visa giftcards, which we would consider as cash.
Swagbucks is run by the same people who run InboxDollars, so you can expect the same good reputation and experience with Swagbucks.
Swagbucks is third place on our list because it’s got a high $5 sign-up bonus, and it is even larger than Inbox Dollars, meaning that it has a very wide selection of offers.
The reason we didn’t rank Swagbucks higher is because you have to earned 2,500 SB (or $125) within your first 60 days to unlock the sign-up bonus.
Is $125 hard to hit? It depends on what offers are available when you sign up. Based on this guide from April 2022, you could hit $125 just by downloading and playing Mafia City for 10 hours.
Swagbucks is a big-player in the rewards space, so you can’t go wrong by giving it a go.
Despite offering only 10 LP (or $0.08) as a sign-up bonus, we still think LifePoints deserves 4th place because it has a very low withdrawal threshold of $5.
We’ve known of stories where people make roughly $6 an hour on the app. This means you could withdraw your sign-up bonus within an hour of registering! We’d consider that near instant.
We found the surveys pretty engaging and even did a few polls.
Our experience with cashing out mirrored that of most users – it was very straightforward. Even if you run into an issue, most people get support easily.
Some sites report that MobileXpression grants you $10 for signing up. This isn’t technically true. What they mean is that you only have to keep the app installed for about 2 weeks before you earn your first $10.
This is completely passive – just keep the app running while you use your phone and you’re on your way to earning your first $10.
So why not rank MobileXpression higher?
We didn’t like MobileXpression for two reasons. Firstly, it collects data on your phone usage. Sure, your internet provider and Facebook do that too. So it’s really up to whether you feel comfortable with that or not.
Secondly, users give it mixed reviews – some get paid without a hitch. Others have their phone usage wrongly flagged as “fraudulent” and get their payments blocked.
Still, we think that MobileXpression could be a passive earner for the right person. That’s why it takes spot number 5.
Branded Surveys only offers a $1 sign-up bonus. But it has a very low cash out threshold of $5, meaning you can cash out quite quickly.
The reason it doesn’t beat the likes of LifePoints (lower bonus, same payout threshold) is that you must also complete a survey to get the bonus. It’s just an extra hoop to jump through.
Another gripe we had was that we didn’t qualify for some surveys. Now, this is very common on survey apps.
BUT other apps screen you out quickly. Not so for Branded Surveys. We were 15 minutes through one survey before we were disqualified, and we didn’t get any points for it.
That was enough for us to put the app down and decide the $1 bonus just wasn’t worth it.
It still makes it to our top 10 list though, because many users have had positive reviews of Branded Surveys.
Despite its name, ShopKick doesn’t just pay you for shopping. You can get paid even for watching product videos. So technically, you don’t have to make a purchase to hit the $20 withdrawal mark and get its $1 sign-up bonus.
But it will take you a long time, a very long time. We were paid only 3 kicks for each product video (or $0.012).
The better way would be to make a purchase. For example, buying a bottle of vodka might give you $10. Practically, we think ShopKick is more of a cashback app. So it comes in at last place.
Avoid these apps that supposedly give you sign-up bonuses
The internet is rife with apps that promise you a juicy “sign-up bonus”. We tried them and found that many times it’s impossible to get your bonus because the apps either:
- Don’t have enough offers, meaning you never hit the minimum cash out requirement.
- Simply don’t offer the sign-up bonus anymore.
- Have hidden rules that they tack on suddenly when you try to withdraw your money.
We list all of them here (in alphabetical order) so you won’t have to go through the pain of registering with no rewards to show for it.
Checkout 51 is really interesting cashback app that focuses on groceries and gas. We really wanted to get the bonus that other blogs are writing about. Unfortunately, that referral bonus program ended in July 2020 and no other program has replaced it since.
FusionCash was a once active site that now has very few offers for you to complete. While we found that it does deliver on its $5 bonus, the time required to hit the payout threshold just wasn’t worth it. We weren’t alone. Even veterans on its own forums say they take 3 to 5 months to get to the cashout threshold!
You’ve probably head of Ibotta by now – it’s a reputable cashback app that promises a $5 “sign-up bonus”. We think of it as more of bonus cashback because you need to spend $15 to get the $5 bonus. This is unlike Shopkick that’ll let you watch product videos for rewards. If you’re looking for a pure sign-up bonus with no strings attached, avoid this one.
Jobs2Shop was no longer active when we researched it in late 2022.
We like MyPoints as a rewards platform because it offers both surveys and cashback. However, its sign-up bonus can only be unlocked by spending $20 on the app. So it’s more like bonus cashback.
You might like that you only need $10 to cash out, which means you can instantly withdraw your bonus if you do choose to spend the money.
One Poll is a reputable platform, with most users praising its customer support. We’re recommending “avoid” here because no matter how hard we tried, we couldn’t find it offering the $5 sign-up bonus that other sites mention! So if you’re looking for sign-up bonuses, look elsewhere.
User reviews of PaidViewpoint are good. However, we never saw where it was promoting a sign-up bonus. In any case, users complain that they restrict how many surveys you can do and each survey is low-paying. So the app wouldn’t have been high on our list even if it did offer a registration bonus.
PointClub supposedly offers a $5 bonus. However, we’d advise to stay away from it as users report not being able to get their points awarded. Worse still, PointClub lacks contact information, so you won’t even get the support you need when you run into trouble!
A cashback platform, Rakuten pays you $10 for spending $25 on their app. Like Ibotta, we don’t consider it a sign-up bonus because you’re spending money.
We were unable to verify if Toluna really offered a sign-up bonus. In addition, its app was rather buggy. This was confirmed by other users on the Google Play store.
You’ll see Vindale mentioned in many blogs online. Tough luck for us, it ceased operations on November 1, 2021.
Zap Surveys promises a $3 bonus. Not bad if only you could hit the $20 minimum for withdrawal. We didn’t get any surveys on there, and the few users that have done surveys say they’ve only gotten $2.30 in an entire month!