In the past 30 days, I tested legitimate secret shopping apps and earned $224.75 in 4 hours and 15 minutes. In hourly terms, I earned $54.16 per hour.
- FieldAgent – $123.30 (most available shops)
- GigWalk – $56.00 (made in 1 hour)
- EasyShift – $7.70 (only a few shops available)
- Mobee – 3675 points ($36.75) including bonuses
- Shopkick – 9,785 points ($35.00) flexible options
If you included the time I was stuck in traffic or the time I sat in the car too nervous to do an audit (this happened a few times), I spent an additional 2 hours and 15 minutes. Adding that time to calculate an hourly rate, I still made $34.58 per hour.
How to earn extra money with secret shopper apps
My goal for this research was to share legitimate and non-scam ways to earn extra money using secret shopper apps.
This was my criteria:
- Earn money performing secret shops, audits, or store tasks with no purchases required
- Must be a mobile app available for iPhones and Androids
- A company established for at least 2 years
- A large number of available shops and audits
- Easy and quick payouts
- Helpful customer service support for auditors and secret shoppers
FieldAgent: Best for Variety and Quantity
FieldAgent is an easy secret shopping and audit app that can help you earn money completing various tasks. You can easily find available shops in your area and apply for them. You usually will have two hours to complete each task.
FieldAgent lists the amount of money you’ll earn so you can decide what audits to take based on the payout. Once you’ve completed the job, it will be verified and payment will be approved into your account. You can then transfer the amount to your bank account.
Customer service and tech support are very responsive. The mobile app is very easy to use.
- Very easy account setup and can reserve jobs for two hours
- Find audits, shops, and other tasks locally
- Quick turn-around time for audit approvals
- Transfer money earned into your bank account in 2-3 days
>> Get started with FieldAgent.
Shopkick: Best for In-store Experience
Shopkick is a different type of secret shopper app. You don’t technically get gigs assigned to you but it’s worth adding to the list. With Shopkick, you earn kicks (points) by entering retail stores and points for scanning products. In a way, you’re doing a mystery audit when you’re walking around the store scanning barcodes.
There are lots of opportunities to earn kicks from walking into a store to scanning products to watching 15 second videos. I think I’ve rewatched a Starbucks promo a few times.
Once you have enough kicks you can redeem for gift cards or Paypal credit. I currently have mine set to Amazon.
- Simple signup process
- Add your debit and credit card for automatic kicks
- Check the app when entering stores
- Kicks rewarding almost immediately for most
- Fast redemption of kicks to electronic gift cards
>> Get started with Shopkick – If prompted use code: BLUE119343 – Get 250 Bonus Kicks
Gigwalk: Best for Highest and Quickest Payout
Gigwalk has been around for many years. It was among the first to offer people an opportunity to earn money as a secret shopper. The gigs available at Gigwalk vary from store audits of product placements to storefront marketing placements. Gigs can take place at small shops or large retailers.
Make sure you read the entire audit description. You’ll be required to take photos of storefronts and may be asked to speak with an associate too.
Gigwalk has an easy mobile interface. You can apply for jobs up to 24 hours in advance. You’ll get notified if you’re selected. The quicker you can complete a gig the better chance for approval.
Payouts are quick with Gigwalk. They actually have the fastest turnaround time from the apps I’ve tested. Customer service was very helpful as well and responded within 36 hours.
- Very easy account setup
- Find audits and shops locally
- Apply for jobs up to 24 hours in advance
- Once the audit is approved, the payout is immediate and sent to your PayPal account
>> Get started with Gigwalk.
EasyShift: Best for Planning Your Time
EasyShift allows you to apply for a shift to earn money completing simple audits and shops of local retailers. It’s very easy to set up an account and begin applying for shifts.
Each job has a payout range compared with other apps that have a fixed amount. For instance, a shift I performed at Target was $6.70-9.80. My work resulted in a payout of $7.70. Not too bad for 15 minutes of work.
EasyShift will review your work and finalize payment by sending it directly to your PayPal account. In my experience, it took 24 hours to get paid after completing the shift. The app works great and customer service was quick to answer questions. The only drawback for me was the limited number of audits available.
- Simple account setup
- Find audits locally and apply for “shifts” with a scaling payout
- Completed shifts approved within 48 hours
- Payments made 2-3 days from approval directly to PayPal account
>> Get started with EasyShift.
Mobee: Best for Rewards and Giftcards
Mobee is a rewards app giving you the opportunity to earn points auditing the places you shop. They are different from other mobile secret shopping apps in that they offer points for completed and approved missions. You can then exchange the points for gift cards or cash into your account.
Mobee does not allow you to reserve missions ahead of time. You must be in front of the store in order to start a mission. You can view the mission ahead of time to determine the scope.
Compared with other apps, Mobee doesn’t pay the most and often times took more time to complete a mission. What they lack in mission payouts they excel with bonuses. Some bonuses are worth 500 points = $5.
Additionally, Mobee takes longer to approve a mission once you’ve completed it. There were missions that took 4-5 days to be approved. However, I found Mobee customer support to be really helpful.
- Easy account setup
- Find local audits and shops. You cannot reserve shops in advance
- Earn points redeemable for gift cards or cash
- Get additional points by completing bonuses and getting badges
- A review of your shops takes longer about 3-5 days than other apps
My Smile Summary: Earn extra money for your goals
You don’t have to change your lifestyle to earn extra money while you’re out living life. These apps are really great for adding a few extra dollars to your pocket. Use the money to grow your emergency fund or pay off debt. You can also use the money made from these apps to start investing with micro-investing apps.
Are you looking for additional ways to earn extra income? We’ve partnered with Steady, a free app, that helps you connect with hundreds of side hustle gigs. Learn more about Steady.
I want to be clear that I’ve used these apps myself to give you an authentic idea of how much you can make. Nothing is guaranteed. I may have made more than others because I was intent on figuring out how to make money with these apps.
What I’ve made so far using the secret shopper apps (Updated 03/29/21):
- FieldAgent: $638.75
- Shopkick: $255.00 (this is more of a passive shop)
- Gigwalk: $128.00
- EasyShift: $110.05
- Mobee: $200.00 (points exchanged for a gift card)
You can certainly give all of them a try. Let us know what worked for you.