The gig economy has made it easy to earn money from home.
But that often keeps you sitting in one place, working on a computer, driving a car, or using an app. And while it’s great for earning extra money, it’s not necessarily the best thing for your health.
That’s why many people look for ways to earn money while staying active. The easiest way to do this is simply by walking, because you can do it anywhere, it’s free, and it’s low-impact.
Oddly enough, there are several apps you can download where you can actually get paid to walk. It might not be as lucrative as other side hustles like freelance writing or delivering for Grubhub, but it can still be a good way to earn a few extra bucks here and there.
13 Legit Apps that Pay You to Walk
If you’re going to use one of these apps, it’s best to pair them with a fitness tracker like a Fitbit or an Apple Watch. You can use the tracker on your smartphone, but you might miss some steps if you don’t have your phone on you while you walk.
Furthermore, these devices often pick up steps better if you’re in a building where your smartphone may miss steps altogether. To temper expectations, you shouldn’t expect to make a significant sum of cash on a daily basis using any of the below apps. That said, it’s perfectly reasonable to net a few dollars a day across several of the apps if you’re consistent about checking in. Consistency that can pay off to the tune of several hundred dollars per year.
You can earn points with Achievement by syncing your fitness tracker, and it pays you $10 for every 10,000 points you earn through the app.
For example, you’ll earn six points every day you record your weight, body fat percentage, sleep, steps, food intake, water intake, and heart rate through your Fitbit.
Periodically, Achievement will also give you the ability to earn extra points by reading certain articles. Each of those articles you read is worth three points.
Because this app operates in the background, is easy to use, and gives you credit for so many different activities, it’s a great way to earn a small amount of passive income.
With StepBet, you make a $40 bet that you’ll be able to reach customized daily step targets for six weeks. StepBet uses your own step history to generate this, adding on a bit more than you usually walk each time to challenge you.
If you don’t meet these daily goals, you’ll lose your $40 bet. But if you do, you’ll win back your original $40 plus a share of the winnings. Winnings are calculated based on the amount of participants who didn’t win their bet, and are split up among those who did.
You can only play one StepBet game at a time with a basic membership or you can pay a $50 yearly fee to play up to three games at a time.
StepBet earns a four-star rating because as long as you’re successful, you can expect to win around $10 per six-week game, or a 25% return on your investment.
3. Charity Miles
If your budget doesn’t have enough money for charitable donations but you’d still like to contribute to causes that are important to you, Charity Miles is a great option. You won’t get paid directly, but you can choose from 40+ charities to walk and earn money for.
You’ll earn up to 25 cents for each mile you walk or run for your chosen charity, or 10 cents if you choose to bike instead.
You’ll need to start the app before each walking session because Charity Miles uses your phone’s GPS or accelerometer to record how far you’ve gone, so make sure you keep your phone with you to track your miles.
Since this app makes it easy to donate to charity and meet fitness goals at the same time, it gets a four-star rating.
Most people use the Walgreens app to fill prescriptions and earn rewards from purchases. But there’s also a lesser-used area of the app that allows you to set personal four-week physical or lifestyle challenges, such as hitting 10,000 steps or eating more fruits and vegetables.
For each week you’re successful, you’ll earn 100 Balance Rewards points, which is worth 10 cents towards a Walgreens purchase. If you’re successful for all four weeks, you can spin a prize wheel for a chance to earn up to 2,000 Balance Rewards points (equal to $2).
This app gets three stars because while it does offer up rewards, they won’t get you very far and they require you to make a purchase at Walgreens in order to use the points.
MapMyFitness is a great app for tracking your runs and walks. And while this app doesn’t offer you a way to earn money for walking, it does offer the possibility of earning prizes.
To have a chance at winning a prize, you’ll need to sign up for a Featured Challenge, which appears to be MapMyFitness’s language for a regular challenge.
Unfortunately, these challenges are more for fun than a serious way to get paid for walking. For example, in October 2019, there was only one Featured Challenge offered and that was the chance to win a prize for running 1019 total kilometers in all of 2019.
If you sign up now, this challenge isn’t worth it. Not only are the prizes not specified, but the year is almost over and there’s no guarantee that you’ll win anything.
If you like fun challenges to keep you motivated, this might be a good option for you but if you’re looking to get paid to walk, it’s probably not your best choice.
Sweatcoin doesn’t pay you directly in cash, but rather in a proprietary virtual currency called Sweatcoin. You can use Sweatcoins to get discounts on products or even pay for purchases within the app.
Unfortunately the selection is limited to just a few choices at a time, such as a discounted BarkBox subscription or designer clothing. But if you keep an eye on the ever-changing rewards, there’s a good chance you’ll eventually find something valuable to you.
Related: Sweatcoin Review 2020
Lympo offers a proprietary currency, known as LYM coins, that you can earn by participating in step challenges, referring new users, and by watching ads from sponsor companies.
You can redeem LYM coins for discounts or purchases of certain products in Lympo’s store. There are a few more options than on similar apps like Sweatcoin, but the choices are still fairly limited. For example, the “digital goods” section currently only offers discounts off protein shakes, women’s athletic clothing, and supplement snack bars.
This app gets a two-star rating because like Sweatcoin, you can only redeem rewards for a select number of items or discounts on those items. You may not like what’s offered, and the discounts mean you still need to pay for the items.
8. PK Rewards
PK Rewards is an app you can download to track your workouts and then convert those efforts into “coins” that you can redeem for rewards like gift cards and travel discounts.
The app also gives you the ability to join and create groups with friends and family to stay motivated and accountable to your goals. However, you do need to input your phone number in order to gain access to the app features and rewards listings, and the app integrates with Facebook so if you have privacy concerns, this might not be the app for you.
If using your phone number or Facebook account doesn’t bother you, PK Rewards can be a good way to earn rewards and discounts for working out.
Higi is a company that makes the automated blood pressure measurement stations you see outside of many pharmacies. If you download its app, you can participate in monthly challenges that offer the possibility of winning a $50 Visa gift card by earning over 600 watts throughout the month.
You can earn watts by checking your blood pressure (50 watts), your weight (50 watts), or both at a local Higi station. Checking in at a gym on Foursquare will net you 15 watts. You’ll also earn watts by syncing your fitness tracker with the app, although Higi doesn’t say how many points you’ll earn per step.
We gave this app one star because you aren’t actually guaranteed anything, only the possibility of winning a $50 Visa gift card. In addition, the app is not transparent about how many steps translate into watts.
FitFetti claims to offer you rewards for meeting certain step goals, but the details are light and the app is confusing. For example, you can get sponsors or sponsor someone else, but it’s not clear how this works or what the benefit is.
It’s also not clear how the step goals are set, or if you can change them. Finally, the rewards section in the app is locked from view when you first sign up, so you can’t see what is available to help you make an informed decision about using this app.
Related: 22 Apps to Make Money on Your Phone
Other Ways to Get Paid for Walking
While the previous apps reward you for your steps, these apps help you earn money by walking dogs, which can also be a lucrative side gig.
Rover is a popular pet care app that allows you to offer pet care services, including taking dogs for walks. You can create a profile, and set your own schedule and rates through the app. In certain larger metro areas you can also find jobs directly from clients through the Rover Now feature.
Rover does take a 20% commission off your rate, but if you’re charging $20-$30 per visit, this is still a great way to get paid to walk.
Care.com is a web and app-based marketplace that connects people for a wide range of care services. You can set your own hourly rates on Care.com rather than a per-walk rate. This means that if someone wants their dog walked for longer than the standard 30-minute walks, they have an easier way to pay you for that extra effort.
To find clients, you can create and list a profile for dog owners to contact you, or you can apply to a dog walking job posting. This may make it easier to find a steady dog-walking gig, rather than one-off dog walks that might be more common through other apps.
Although Wag! has expanded and now allows you to offer multiple kinds of dog care services, it’s still primarily a site for dog walkers to find gigs. And it offers more features than other apps, too. For example, owners can request a Wag!-branded lock box that holds a key you can access while the owner is away from home.
However, Wag! isn’t exactly transparent about how much you’ll earn per walk or who gets to set the prices, but it does say owners can choose to tip you and you keep 100% of all tips.
No Extra Effort Needed
We’d recommend these apps to just about anyone as a way to walk and earn money. If you already walk a lot as part of your daily commute, it’s an easy way to earn a few extra bucks on the side. If you don’t move much, you can use it as a way to reward yourself for staying active.
Either way, apps that pay you to walk are an easy way to knock out two goals at once. You can take care of your physical health while you make money from home at the same time.