Go on a mission with iPoll

Happy beautiful woman testing perfumes in cosmetics store

Feeling adventurous? Install iPoll onto your phone and become the James Bond of making money online. This app sends users on location-based “missions,” which include fun tasks such as visiting stores, taking pictures, and testing products. The more missions completed, the more rewards, which can be redeemed for things like gift cards, airline points, and cold hard cash transferred by PayPal.

Shop with Ratuken

Got an online shopping habit? Rakuten.ca will literally pay you to shop on their website. After setting up an account, all you have to do is go to the Rakuten site, click on one of the 750 partner retail sites (ranging from The Hudson’s Bay Company to Amazon.ca to Sephora to Toys R Us), and make a purchase. You’ll get a percentage of cash back by cheque, PayPal payment, or Amazon.ca gift card every three months. There’s some good money to be made through this site: Rakuten.ca has 6 million+ members across Canada and has paid out over $70 million in cash back in the last six years.

Become an Airbnb host

Outdoor, woman traveler with yellow suitcase opening closing door of the house

Got a cool pad or spare room in a high-demand location? Rent it out on Airbnb. It’s estimated that Airbnb hosts earn an average of $924 USD ($1220 CAD) a month (!) – more than anyone else in the “gig economy.” That’s crazy-good money that you can sock away for a rainy day. A word to the wise: check your municipal laws, rental agreement and/or condo board rules to ensure short-term rentals/subletting are A-OK.

Rent your parking space

Got an empty parking spot in a prime location? There’s an app for that. Known as the “Airbnb of parking,” SpotHero matches drivers looking for parking with owners of unused parking spots. It’s really easy to get started: just type in your address, add a photo of your parking spot, and add a brief description. Then, set dates and times when your spot is available and you’re ready to go. Once your ad is posted, you’ll be notified if a SpotHero user parks in your space.

It’s also a quick and easy payout: Earnings are directly deposited into your bank account, and some owners of top spots are reportedly earning $400 to $500/month – enough to bankroll their monthly car payments.

Participate in online surveys or virtual focus groups

Want to sell your two cents? Sign up to complete online surveys or join a virtual focus group. It’s simple: Register with a reputable company, like i-Say, Maru Voice Canada, or Angus Reid Forum, and then get paid to share your views and opinions on a variety of topics, products, and services. But keep in mind that the chances of becoming a zillionaire this way are virtually zilch, with the payouts being pretty meagre, ranging from $0.50 to $5.00 per survey. Plus, some sites pay in points, not cash. But the dough does add up over time, and the more you participate, the more money you make. A few hundred bucks earned can go toward paying your rent or phone bill.

Open a new bank account

Canadian banks are hungry for your balance, and some will reward you handsomely for switching over from a competitor to their account. For example, if you sign up for Tangerine’s No-Fee Daily Chequing Account , you can get up to a $500 cash bonus. To earn the bonus you need to sign up for direct deposit of your payroll within 60 days of opening the account, and keep the deposit going for at least three straight months.

Get started with Tangerine

Sell your stuff

Selling clothes
Lysenko Andrii/Shutterstock

Got stuff cluttering your closets, drawers, and cupboards? Consider selling gently used items with online marketplaces like Craigslist, Kijiji, or Facebook Marketplace. There are also some newfangled phone apps like VarageSale that make selling stuff a cinch. For speedy sales, cross-post your items on multiple platforms and remember to include eye-catching photos with your advert. Pro-tip: Clean items posed in an immaculate-looking space tend to sell faster and get top dollar.

Collect your (virtual) change

Forget rooting around under the couch cushions for loose coins. Instead, download KOHO, a Canadian budgeting and savings app. Here’s how it works: Install the app on your phone, and for every purchase you make, it rounds up to the nearest dollar and invests the spare change. Then, sit back and watch your savings and investments grow. The app costs $1 per month to use, but in all likelihood you’ll pocket far more money than that.

Get started with KOHO

Open an Etsy store


Consider yourself artsy? Open a shop with Etsy – a virtual marketplace for unique and creative artisan goods. It’s a great way to turn your passion into profit: The website had nearly 40 million active buyers and almost $10 billion in gross merchandise sales in 2020. Once your shop is open, you can list handmade items for sale—everything from photography and paintings to jewelry and knickknacks to embroidery and pottery. Your earning potential is limitless and payment is seamless, with earnings from sales deposited directly into your bank account.

Report gas prices


Getting gouged at the pump? Get GasBuddy, an ingenious app that helps you find the cheapest gas prices in your area. The app’s map lists real-time pump prices at more than 150,000 gas stations, based on reports from over 30 million users who are constantly updating fuel prices across North America. Using this app could save you as much as 10 cents or more per litre. Plus, you can earn points and achievements just for reporting fuel prices, redeemable for entries in their daily draw of $100 in free gas.

Sell your iPhotos


Turn your iPhone pics into dollars with Foap, an app that lets you upload your photos and sell ‘em to big-time brands all over the world, like Nivea, Bank of America, Absolut Vodka, Air Asia, and Pepsi.

The app also distributes your snapshots through partners such as Getty Images, which will boost your sales even more. Aside from posting random pics, Foap also recruits photographers for “missions”– assignments seeking specific images for clients. Foap is free to download, and for every photo sold, you get 50% of the commission. Cash-outs are easy too, thanks to PayPal integration.

Lisa Jackson is a freelance personal finance and travel journalist, editor, and blogger who contributes to various online and print media outlets in Canada and abroad, including The Globe & Mail, Toronto Star, Islands Magazine, Fodors, BRIDES, Huffington Post Canada, CAA Magazine, The Food Network, West Jet Magazine, NUVO Magazine, and many others. When she's not writing from her home office, she's busy globe-trotting to new destinations in search of her next story.

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