7 Ways to Watch Ads for Money and Earn Cash in Your Spare Time
Our readers always come first
The content on DollarSprout includes links to our advertising partners. When you read our content and click on one of our partners’ links, and then decide to complete an offer — whether it’s downloading an app, opening an account, or some other action — we may earn a commission from that advertiser, at no extra cost to you.
Our ultimate goal is to educate and inform, not lure you into signing up for certain offers. Compensation from our partners may impact what products we cover and where they appear on the site, but does not have any impact on the objectivity of our reviews or advice.
Getting paid to watch ads sounds like a scam.
But rest assured, it’s not. In fact, it’s a quick and easy way to earn extra cash just for using your smartphone or laptop.
But how exactly can you get paid to watch ads, and how much can you expect to make?
How to Earn Money by Watching Video Ads
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.
7 Ways to Get Paid to Watch Ads on Your Phone
Now that you know watching ads for money is possible, 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.
You might also want to check out SurveyJunkie. It works similar to InboxDollars in that you can earn incremental rewards for watching short ads and giving feedback to help companies tailor their campaigns and better reach their target audience.
Periodically checking both apps gives you the most opportunities to earn money since there is a fixed number of ads you can watch on each site.
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.
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.
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.
SuccessBux is another app you can use to watch ads for money. Registering for an account is free, and once you join, you can watch ads, participate in contests, perform tasks, or take surveys to earn points you can convert to cash. There’s no cap on how much you can earn.
It’s not clear how much each task is worth. It appears that the points value varies based on the task you complete, but you need to accrue enough points to reach the minimum payout threshold of $1.
You can get your money via PayPal or another payment processor.
7. 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.
Have a Strategy to Make Money Watching Ads
Watching ads isn’t a replacement for your full-time job, but it is a way to earn money online to pay for a splurge.
The best way to make good use of your time is to devise a game plan. Turn the ads or videos on in the background while you work or do chores. Make sure you log in daily for new options, and don’t forget to check out all the additional ways each platform offers for making extra money.
Every task adds up.