PayPal is one of the most popular and recognizable online payment platforms. According to Statista, there are over 390 million PayPal accounts worldwide as of 2021.
But PayPal isn’t just a popular payment solution to split a bill with friends or shop online. In fact, there are numerous ways to make money with PayPal if you want to make extra cash online.
And, if you want to increase your monthly income and earn real cash rather than free gift cards, leveraging PayPal to make extra money is one of your best options.
The Best Ways to Earn PayPal Money
There are plenty of legit ways to make money with PayPal. Some methods offer fast cash payouts whereas others require starting a more serious business.
Whatever you choose, remember to track your earnings because starting a side hustle can impact your taxes, and getting paid with PayPal doesn’t make you exempt from reporting additional income.
1. Try Fast-Paying Survey Websites
Answering online surveys isn’t usually worth it. This is because many survey sites have high redemption minimums, so it can take weeks or months to get paid.
But not all survey websites have unrealistically high redemption requirements. The options below have a history of paying customers.
You can try other survey websites too, like InboxDollars, since this platform also pays you through PayPal and has a $5 sign-up bonus. Just note that you need to earn $25 before cashing out with InboxDollars, which can take a few days.
Ultimately, answering online surveys isn’t a high-paying side gig. But if you want to earn free PayPal money while you watch TV or in your spare time, these survey websites let you quickly earn PayPal cash:
Another popular survey platform is Survey Junkie. Unlike Swagbucks, surveys are the only way to make money with Survey Junkie. But you can redeem earnings for PayPal cash once you earn $5, as well as various free gift cards.
You have to request to join Pinecone Research, so you might end up on a waitlist until this survey website needs more members. But once you’re a member, Pinecone Research sends you to survey opportunities via email.
Every survey pays 300 points, which is worth $3. This rate is much higher than the average payout-per-survey on most platforms. You can also redeem points immediately for PayPal cash.
PrizeRebel lets you earn dozens of free gift cards and PayPal cash for answering surveys, downloading mobile games, and watching videos.
Surveys pay less than Pinecone Research and are usually in the $0.25 to $1 range, but you can join for free and there isn’t a waitlist. Prizes are redeemable once you earn $5, so you can get free PayPal money fast by using this website.
If you want another fast way to make PayPal cash, Swagbucks is the right platform. This rewards site lets you earn points for completing small tasks like answering surveys, downloading new mobile games, shopping online and scanning grocery receipts.
You can redeem points for PayPal cash starting at $5, which is a realistic amount to make with Swagbucks in a day or two. If you don’t have enough points for PayPal, Swagbucks also has various gift cards starting at $1. But if you want to answer surveys and play games to earn PayPal cash, Swagbucks is one of the most popular options.
2. Start Freelancing
As a freelancer, you’re usually responsible for tracking your billable hours and invoicing clients every month. But, while some clients might pay you directly to your bank account, PayPal is still the payment method of choice for many freelancers and small businesses because of its availability and simplicity.
Additionally, there are numerous ways to become an online freelancer depending on your skills. Some popular freelancing jobs and average hourly rates include:
- Graphic Design: Help clients with design tasks like website updates, brochures, business cards, and other promotional graphics; earn an average of $28.06 per hour according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).
- Programming: Create websites, apps, and software for businesses; earn an average of $45.98 per hour according to the BLS.
- Transcription: Copy audio recordings into the written text as a transcriptionist; earn $15 per hour on average according to ZipRecruiter.
- Tutoring: Teach subjects like English to online students across the world from your computer with online tutoring companies like EF Education First and VIPKid; earn an average of $20.44 per hour according to PayScale.
- Writing: Write content like blog posts, news updates, and website copy for clients; earn $36.67 per hour on average according to the BLS.
- Virtual Assistant Work: Assist with administrative tasks like scheduling appointments, email correspondence, bookkeeping, and making travel arrangements; earn an average of $18.95 per hour according to Indeed.
There are numerous freelance job websites where you can look for work. Websites like Upwork and Fiverr are fairly general and cater to most types of freelancers. By contrast, you can find industry-specific freelance websites, like TextBroker for freelance writing or Guru for programming.
Finding freelancer success takes time because you ideally want several clients to diversify your income. It can also take time to gradually increase your freelancer rates to charge clients more per hour or job.
But if your goal is to make money online or even start a new career, freelancing is your best bet. You can also start freelancing as a side gig while working your day job and make the switch to full-time freelancing when the income begins to outgrow your salary.
3. Use Cash-Back Reward Apps
One of the simplest ways to get free PayPal money is to use cash-back reward apps and websites. These platforms partner with brands and pay you to shop with cashback. Oftentimes, the cash back you earn is redeemable for PayPal cash and various gift cards.
Several popular cash-back platforms you can use include:
Once you connect a credit or debit card to Dosh, the app tracks when you spend at partner brands and pays you cash back automatically. Dosh has hundreds of partners, including Dunkin’, Domino’s, Macy’s, Instacart, and Walmart.
You usually earn 0.5% to 2% cash back, but offers are subject to change and can reach 5% or higher.
Cash-back earnings deposit in your Dosh account, and you can redeem cash back through PayPal, direct deposit, or Venmo when you earn $25.
This popular rebate app lets you earn cash back for buying groceries, clothing, beauty products, electronics, and everyday essentials from over 300 retailers.
To use Ibotta, download the app and activate offers for products you want to buy. After shopping, snap a picture of your receipt with the Ibotta app to provide proof of purchase to earn cash back.
With partners like Best Buy, Kroger, Target, and Walmart, incorporating Ibotta into your shopping routine aren’t difficult. Ibotta lets you cash out through PayPal, direct deposit, and free gift cards once you earn $20.
If you want to earn rewards with almost any type of receipt, Receipt Hog is for you. This rewards app lets you take pictures of your shopping receipts in exchange for coins, which are redeemable for PayPal money and Amazon gift cards.
Some receipt types, like electronics or office supplies, grant you spins at Hog Slots instead of coins, which gives you the chance to win bonus coins and cash prizes. Similarly, receipts like a gas station or restaurant receipts award you with sweepstake entries to win bonus coins.
It takes 1,000 coins, or $10, to cash out, and Receipt Hog is a slower earner than Ibotta. But, Receipt Hog is one of the most reliable ways to earn rewards for your shopping because it accepts almost any type of receipt.
Choosing a Cash-Back App
If you want to earn passive rewards, Dosh is the best app because you don’t have to activate offers before shopping.
If you don’t mind activating offers and doing most of your household shopping, apps like Ibotta are superior because rebates usually pay more than Dosh.
Finally, you can upload most of your shopping receipts to Receipt Hog, even if you use Ibotta, to slowly earn rewards.
Just remember to only buy products you normally buy and to stick to a budget. Reward apps are useful for earning freebies, but they don’t help you save money if they encourage you to impulse shop for products you don’t actually need.
4. Shop Online and Earn PayPal Cash
Many popular shopping browser extensions automatically apply coupon codes and let you earn free gift cards for shopping. For example, Honey and Capital One Shopping both help you save at thousands of retailers and redeem gift cards with your cash-back earnings.
But if you want to earn real money for shopping, gift cards aren’t for you. Thankfully, several other shopping platforms let you cash out through PayPal after you earn cash back.
MyPoints is a paid survey website that lets you earn points for sharing your opinion and trying new mobile apps. But MyPoints also has an online shopping platform that lets you earn cashback from retailers like Amazon, Best Buy, Home Depot, and Walmart.
You can redeem cash back for a variety of gift cards at $5 or for PayPal cash at $25.
MyPoints also gives new members a free $10 Amazon gift card or $10 Visa gift card when they sign up and spend $20 or more through MyPoints at an eligible retailer.
With Rakuten, you earn cash back for shopping at thousands of retailers, including Kohl’s, Macy’s, Nike, Old Navy, Target, and Walmart.
Cash back you earn appears in your Rakuten account balance. You get paid quarterly through PayPal or check as long as you have at least $5 in your balance.
Rakuten usually pays sign-up bonuses between $10 and $20 after you create an account and complete your first cash-back offer.
TopCashback is similar to Rakuten and lets you earn cash back at thousands of retailers like Amazon, CVS, Home Depot, Sephora, Staples, and Walmart. You can cash out at any time, and reward options include direct deposit, PayPal cash, and free gift cards.
Like Rakuten, TopCashback also has a browser extension you can use to automatically earn cash back when you shop at a partner, so you never miss out on rewards.
Note: It’s worth checking all three shopping platforms because cash-back rates and retailers are subject to change. So, while TopCashback might have the best Target offer one week, Rakuten or MyPoints might pay more another week, making it worthwhile to shop around.
5. Sell Stuff Online
If it’s been a while since you did some spring cleaning, there’s a chance you’re sitting on a stash of potential PayPal cash.
Selling stuff online is a side hustle that’s existed since the Internet began. But many online marketplaces like Amazon, eBay, and Craigslist aren’t always PayPal-friendly.
For starters, Amazon doesn’t pay sellers with PayPal. Similarly, Craigslist is mostly for in-person cash sales. Finally, while eBay does accept PayPal as a payment method, it also accepts credit cards and pays sellers differently depending on the customer’s purchasing method.
That said, you can still sell stuff for PayPal cash on other online marketplaces. Some popular goods to sell and the corresponding marketplace to use include:
- Clothing. Sell designer, streetwear, and vintage pieces on Depop and get paid through PayPal.
- Cellphones. Turn your smartphone into cash with SellCell.
- Home Decor and Furniture. Sell used and vintage furniture and home decor with Chairish.
- Laptops. Sell used laptops for PayPal cash with Decluttr.
It’s still worth exploring other marketplaces like Amazon and eBay because they let you access millions of worldwide buyers. Additionally, getting paid with a direct deposit shouldn’t be much different than getting PayPal cash in terms of how you access your funds.
Ultimately, selling stuff online is a quick way to make some extra cash on the side. Once you run out of inventory to sell, you can always try side hustles like thrift store flipping or retail arbitrage and buy merchandise to resell online.
6. Make Money Testing Websites
Becoming a website tester is another way to earn PayPal money in your spare time. And, the best part is that you don’t need prior quality assurance experience or the ability to program websites to start.
Numerous companies pay people to test apps and websites on behalf of clients. As a tester, your job typically involves completing a set of tasks the client outlines, like creating a new online account or adding a product to your shopping cart.
Testers voice their thoughts aloud as they complete tasks and give as much feedback as possible. The end goal is to help clients improve their app or website’s usability to create a better user experience.
Website testing gigs normally take between 10 to 20 minutes and pay $10 to $15. Occasionally, certain companies also offer longer testing sessions that usually pay $50 or more per hour, but these are rare.
Some companies also require having an external computer microphone, but other than that, a strong Internet connection and spare time for testing are all you need to become a website tester.
Some leading companies that offer website testing gigs include:
- User Testing: Pays $10 per test; tests typically take 20 minutes; earn up to $120 for live hour-long testing sessions with clients; requires an external microphone.
- TryMyUI: Pays $10 per test; tests typically take 20 minutes; don’t require an external microphone.
- Userlytics: Earn approximately $10 per test; tests typically take 20 minutes; some longer sessions can pay $60 or more; doesn’t require an external microphone.
- PlaytestCloud: Earn approximately $9 per test; tests take around 15 minutes; mostly testing mobile apps instead of websites; doesn’t require an external microphone.
Most testing opportunities are available in North America and Europe. Once you sign up as a tester with a company, you receive email invitations when testing opportunities are available.
Testing gigs are on a first-come, first-serve basis, so it’s important to check your email and quickly claim testing gigs before other testers snag the jobs.
Because of the competition between testers, it’s unlikely you can earn more than extra grocery money each month with these companies. Ultimately, testing websites is a fun way to make PayPal cash in your extra time. But if you want to quit your day job with a new side hustle, this isn’t the gig for you.
7. Start an Online Business
PayPal is one of the most popular payment processing options for businesses alongside competitors like Square and Stripe. Therefore, it’s no surprise e-commerce operations frequently use PayPal to accept payments from customers.
Two popular platforms that integrate with PayPal are Shopify and WooCommerce for WordPress. If you sell physical or digital products, you can start a storefront with either solution and safely process payments from customers using PayPal.
Examples of products or services you can sell include:
- Apparel and accessories
- Craft kits, like supplies to make candles or DIY bath bombs
- Digital downloads, such as art prints or printable documents like a budget tracking sheet or meal planning sheet
- Home decor items
- Online coaching services
- Personalized gifts like custom bookmarks or pins
- Subscription boxes
- Your own course
Deciding what to sell online largely depends on your interests and what you’re capable of creating. But, it’s possible to turn a hobby into a business by selling online.
Selling on Etsy is another popular choice for selling handmade goods, although Etsy doesn’t accept PayPal in every region. However, Etsy can pay store owners through direct deposit, so this isn’t typically a dealbreaker.
The bottom line is that launching an online store doesn’t have many barriers to entry. The hardest part of online selling is attracting customers to your storefront and convincing them to buy, not setting up your store. This is why learning how to use social media marketing to drive sales and properly pricing your products is critical for success.
You can start an online business while holding down your day job and treat the work as a side hustle. As your business grows, you can potentially hire help or even take your online store full-time depending on your monthly profit.
8. Try Fitness Apps That Pay
Health care is expensive, and costs continue to rise. According to the American Medical Association, U.S. health spending increased by 4.6% in 2019 to nearly $11,600 per capita.
It’s also clear that staying healthy is important for both our wallets and happiness. And, one of the best ways to remain healthy is to regularly exercise. According to a 2021 study in the Journal of Comprehensive Physiology, physical activity is one of the best ways to prevent and delay the onset of chronic diseases.
The good news is that you can also get paid to stay fit with fitness apps. Various apps let you bet money on yourself to reach a certain fitness goal within a certain time frame.
Goals typically involve losing a certain amount of weight or reaching a weekly step goal. In exchange for reaching your goal, you win back your initial bet plus interest, letting you earn PayPal cash for getting in shape.
Popular fitness apps where you can win PayPal cash include:
With DietBet, you join weight loss challenges with groups of other players. The most popular game, Kickstarter, requires losing 4% of your total body weight within one month. The other game, Transformer, gives participants six months to lose 10% of their body weight.
Games usually cost $40 to enter, although Transformer games can cost several hundred dollars to enter. If you successfully reach your weight loss goal by the end of the challenge, you split the prize pot of entry fees with the remaining players.
Usually, this means DietBet winners earn $20 to $100 in profit for completing a DietBet challenge. You can use winnings to enter another game or get PayPal cash.
Like DietBet, HealthyWage lets you bet on yourself to lose weight. However, you’re not competing against a pool of players, just yourself. You decide on your weight loss target, time frame, and how much money you bet each month.
Your potential prize depends on how aggressive your goal is, how much you bet, and other variables like your starting weight, height, age, and gender. You can use HealthyWage’s calculator to estimate how much you can win, and you must bet at least $100. Additionally, your goal must be at least 10% of your body weight and be no shorter than six months.
HealthyWage pays out through check or PayPal.
WayBetter, the parent company behind DietBet, also lets players earn PayPal cash for winning step-based challenges through StepBet.
The process is almost identical to DietBet: simply buy into a step challenge, reach the end with winning players, and split the prize pool. Most games are six weeks long and have a $40 entry fee.
StepBet connects to fitness tracking devices like FitBit or fitness apps like Google Health to calculate a weekly step goal for you based on your historical activity levels. This could mean reaching 10,000 steps every day for a week or something more challenging if you’re very active.
Winning players usually earn $10 to $20 of profit. StepBet also pays winnings with PayPal.
Choosing a Fitness App
HealthyWage has the highest earning potential out of these fitness apps. If you want less financial risk but still want motivation to lose weight, DietBet is a happy medium. Finally, StepBet is your best option if you want to stay active but don’t want to lose weight.
The real prize you get with these apps is the encouragement to stay active; getting free PayPal money is just the cherry on top.
9. Rent Out Assets for Money
Most methods of earning PayPal cash require putting in some effort. But if you have a busy day job or already work a part-time job, taking on another side hustle might be impossible.
Thankfully, one way to earn passive income through regular PayPal payments is to rent out assets you own. There are numerous rental marketplaces where you can rent things to people in your city to make extra cash.
Rental categories and marketplaces you can try include:
- Airbnb. Make money as an Airbnb host by renting out a spare room or your entire place, or providing local experiences and tours for renters. Hosts set their own nightly prices; most hosts pay 3% in fees per renter. Airbnb pays hosts using direct deposit and also offers PayPal in some regions.
- Neighbor.com. You can earn extra money by renting out storage space in your home. It could be space in your basement, garage, or even a storage shed.
- Getaround. Make extra money with your car by renting it on Getaround. Hosts earn 60% of rental income; Getaround pays through check or PayPal.
- SpinLister. Rent out your bike, surfboard, snowboard, or skiing equipment. Set your own hourly, daily, or weekly rental prices. SpinLister pays through check or PayPal.
- StyleLend. Rent out designer accessories, clothing, handbags, and shoes. Earn 80% of your rental price. StyleLend pays through PayPal or Venmo.
These are a few rental ideas to start with. You can also use general rental marketplaces like Fat Llama and rent out assets like camera equipment, drones, electronics, musical instruments, and vehicles. Fat Llama charges lenders a 25% fee and pays with direct deposit.
Renting out assets for money is typically easier in larger cities because you have access to more potential renters. But the bottom line is that creating a rental income source that pays you with PayPal or direct deposit is your best choice if you want to limit how much time you spend on a new side hustle.
10. Mystery Shopping Gigs
Mystery shopping jobs have been around for decades and provide companies with an unbiased view of how their customer service and product quality hold up.
Typically, mystery shopping jobs require completing simple tasks like:
- Asking a store employee for help
- Buying a specific product in-store
- Ordering food and rating the quality
- Taking photos of store aisles, bathrooms, and promotional displays
- Testing specific products and giving your feedback
Today, you don’t need to join a mystery shopping company or interview to become a secret shopper. Instead, you can use mystery shopping apps to start a new side hustle that pays you with PayPal cash.
Generally, larger cities have more mystery shopping gigs than smaller towns. But even smaller markets can have gigs, so it’s worth checking a few mystery shopping apps to find earning opportunities in your area.
Some leading mystery shopping apps include:
This leading mystery shopping platform has over 1 million shoppers in seven countries. On Field Agent, you can find local mystery shopping gigs on the in-app map.
Gigs usually involve auditing stores for cleanliness and how nice store displays are, rating customer service, or buying certain products and providing feedback.
You typically earn a few dollars for completing a mystery shopping gig, but there’s no minimum payout requirement. Field Agent pays with direct deposit but can also pay through PayPal if you have a PayPal Cash Plus account.
Gigwalk is another popular mystery shopping app that’s available in seven countries. Most of its mystery shopping gigs are available in the United States and Canada, and gigs are similar to ones on Field Agent.
Gigwalk also has many real estate tasks, like taking photos of apartment buildings and verifying how many floors they have.
According to Gigwalk, gigs pay anywhere from $3 to $100. However, most gigs are in the $3 to $10 range. You can redeem your earnings for PayPal cash when you reach $35.
While Shopkick isn’t exclusively for mystery shoppers, this rewards app is one of the most comprehensive apps that pays you for shopping.
With Shopkick, you can earn kicks, the in-app points system, for mystery shopping tasks like scanning product barcodes or finding a certain product in-store.
You can also earn kicks for walking into stores, shopping with a linked credit or debit card, watching videos, or shopping online through Shopkick’s app.
Kicks are redeemable for free PayPal cash or gift cards. You need $5 to redeem with PayPal.
Some methods of earning PayPal money involve using websites and apps that pay you small amounts of money for completing short online gigs.
By contrast, other PayPal moneymakers like starting an online business are more serious work that can pay above minimum wage and even become a full-time job.
Choosing the right PayPal gig depends on your income goals and skills. Consider how much money you want to earn per month, how many hours you can work, and what type of jobs you might enjoy before picking a way to make money with PayPal.