How much time do you spend on your smartphone? There’s a good chance you’re spending hours a day on mobile devices.
So, if you’re spending so much time on your phone anyway, could you perhaps make some money?
When you’re ready for a side hustle to earn extra cash (or if you want to start working from home full time), consider how to make money on your phone, whether it’s an Android or an iPhone, with these 25 easy strategies.
The best part? There aren’t any special tech requirements for these apps; as long as you’ve got a smartphone and the desire to hustle, you can make extra money.
- Shopping gigs
- Focus group and opinion survey gigs
- Selling items from your phone
- More side hustles from your phone
- Plus: Final thoughts on how to make money on your phone
One of the easiest ways to make money with your smartphone is to do what you normally do when you go to the store: go shopping. Except with these apps, you can actually make money with your smartphone.
Earn cash back on things you buy anyway. Here’s how Ibotta works for in-person shopping:
- Before you head to the store, open the app and complete a few tasks to find offers for your favorite products and brands.
- Next, head to the store and purchase items you selected in the app.
- Once you’re done, take a picture of your receipt to redeem the offers you selected.
And for online purchases, you simply need to have the app downloaded to your device. It will automatically calculate your cashback earnings.
You’ll be credited with your cash back, based on the activities you completed ahead of time. Ibotta is compatible with PayPal and Venmo, and it also provides the option to claim gift cards.
Offers range from 25 cents to $1 or more. You have to prepare ahead of time, but depending on the items you purchase from your grocery list, it’s possible to get between $5 and $50 back at the store each month. All told, Ibotta claims to have shelled out $600 million to 35 million users since its founding in 2012.
Ibotta also works with your desktop or laptop, but if you prefer online shopping this way, also consider browser coupon extensions.
You won’t get direct cash back with Shopkick, but you can earn points to redeem for gift cards. Shopkick offers gift cards to popular retailers like Amazon, Old Navy and Lowe’s.
You don’t even have to actually buy anything to benefit from Shopkick. Just walking into a partner store or scanning certain items can help you earn points.
You don’t have to buy anything to make money on your phone using the Mobee app. You could simply answer questions or take photos while you’re browsing your favorite stores.
A “Mission” in the app might encourage you to visit a specific store, document what you find there and, upon completion, redeem your rewards. They could take the form of gift cards to major retailers sent your way within 48 hours.
Like other apps on this list, you probably won’t break the bank by using Mobee. But if you accept missions where you like to shop anyway, you could earn gift cards for routine expenses without putting in a lot of effort.
Today, mystery shopping is as easy as downloading an app, frequenting targeted stores or restaurants and leaving feedback. There are other actions you can take in the Jobs2Shop app to boost your earnings before cashing out via PayPal.
How much money you make depends on the type of evaluation you do. The main downside is that you rely on there being a demand for mystery shopping in your area. If you live in a relatively small town that doesn’t have a huge need for it, you may not get these gigs very often.
If you live in a bigger city and are regularly sent out to evaluate businesses, you could make up to $100 a month or more. Jobs2Shop estimates that it’s paid out $1.25 million to its 1.7 million members.
EasyShift is another mystery shopping app that can help you earn money by following a checklist. In some cases, you only need to take pictures of products or check prices and share the information inside the app. You can also earn money for writing reviews of certain promotions.
How much you make depends on the demand in your area and the types of tasks you do. Just going in and taking a picture of product placement might make you $2. You might make $20 on an assignment if you’re required to make a purchase.
It’s a simple way to go about your business and earn a few bucks per month. However, you probably won’t get rich with this app, especially if you live in a sparsely populated area.
This app is all about making sure you didn’t overpay for something you bought. Connect the app to your email account, and Paribus will scan your recent purchases and receipts. If a retailer owes you a refund based on price protection policies, the app sends a letter to the seller and notifies you when the money is returned. For example, if the price drops on a qualifying purchase, you’ll get money back.
Paribus doesn’t monitor all stores, though. It can help to check to see if the stores you frequent are on the list. The app also only monitors retailers that have price-match policies.
Can you do this yourself without the app? Yes. Does it take extra time? Sure does. So you might as well have Paribus do the heavy lifting.
One of your new favorite ways to make money using a phone could be Swagbucks. You might earn points, or “SB,” for shopping as usual online and by using the mobile app. You don’t get direct cash back when converting SB, but there are plenty of gift cards to choose from.
You could net about $100 a year in Amazon gift cards depending on your regular shopping habits and doing small tasks, such as taking short surveys or answering the daily poll question in the mobile app. Not bad for doing what you might already do, especially when combined with other loyalty and rewards programs.
For what it’s worth, Swagbucks says on its website that it awards 7,000 free gift cards per day and has paid its members more than $484 million in rewards overall.
It’s not always exciting, but filling out online surveys can be a way to earn extra money. Not only that, but you could make even more money if you’re part of a focus group or engage in other activities that result in helping marketers better understand their audiences.
For every 20-minute session you spend testing out apps or products, you can receive $10. That’s right, you can make $30 an hour by trying new things on your phone with UserTesting.
You probably won’t be able to find enough projects to replace your full-time job, though. Chances are that you won’t be offered enough projects to be busy for five or six hours a day. Instead, you’re more likely to see between two and six projects a week.
It’s still a pretty good way to make a little extra money each week, even if it’s just another $30 in spending money. They pay you exactly one week after you complete a test.
The user testing platform uTest pays you based on offers. You can look for available projects, ranging from creating bug reports to creating usability testing reports. Each of these projects takes different amounts of time and payouts are based on the way the customer perceives the quality of work.
You might get paid anywhere from $3 to $50, and there are bonuses available as well. If you have a few hours to spend each week, you could make between $10 and $100 without too much trouble.
In the past, Nielsen ratings used to put small electronic monitors (they looked a lot like DVRs) on TVs to get an idea of what families were watching.
Now Nielsen is involved in all sorts of rating information. Join its platform, and Nielsen will track your smartphone use as part of its efforts to find out more information about how consumers use their phones to communicate with others, use apps, and even surf online.
The main downside is that the points you earn might not translate directly into cash. Instead, it translates into extra chances to win prizes. You have a chance to get cash in the monthly sweepstakes, where you’re entered to win your share of $10,000.
It’s not a guaranteed way to make a ton of money, but it can be a way to get a little extra cash without any added effort.
With Survey Junkie, you can either answer survey questions or share your online browsing data to reap rewards. After each survey, for example, you earn points that can be redeemed for cash or gift cards toward retailers like Walmart. Surveys could ask you about your thoughts and feelings on a range of topics.
It’s not the kind of work that’ll stimulate your brain necessarily, but you could be making money on your phone during downtime, such as when you’re commuting to your day job or waiting on a load of laundry.
If you’re more interested in product-testing, you can earn $3 per survey from Pinecone Research. That might not sound like a lot of dough, but it could add up quickly if you’re especially keen on providing input on product development and you’re quick to complete one survey after another.
Just be prepared for a new bother to your email inbox. You can make money on your phone using Pinecone, but the company notifies you of new projects by sending email notifications. If you’re looking for an all-in-the-app, on-demand experience, you might be better suited to a different company.
|While side hustling, sharpen your finance knowledge too…|
|● Free personal finance courses
● Best personal finance podcasts
● Most helpful personal finance books
● Top personal finance accounts on Instagram
One way to make money quickly and easily from your phone is to sell items. How much you make depends largely on your items’ quality, plus the cost to ship them. But with the right apps, it’s pretty easy to make a little extra cash.
Do you like taking photos with your phone? Use Foap to sell those images. Deborah Sawyerr, the founder of financial literacy website Sawyerrs’ House, sells all kinds of photos on Foap for $5 a piece (that’s her cut of the 50-50 split with Foap).
“I can upload any of my own photos, from selfies to food, landscape, pets and practically any object that can be photographed,” Sawyerr said. “There are additional money-making rewards ranging from $100 to $2,500 when I participate in specific missions.”
Plus, in some cases, Foap transfers photos to partners, such as Shutterstock and Adobe. This results in even more opportunities to make money. The higher quality the images, the more likely it is that you can use them to make money from your phone.
Do you have in-demand clothing brands cluttering up your closet? If so, snap pictures and post them for sale on Poshmark. If you’re trying to make money by selling your clothes, this is an easy way to do it.
You can set up your own boutique or closet and take pictures. It’s a lot like having your own consignment store. There are also Poshmark parties that give you a chance to highlight your wares. Being social can help you get higher visibility.
Poshmark keeps $2.95 of each sale of $15 or less and 20% of larger sales, but you could still come out ahead. If you clean out your child’s closet, for example, you might be surprised to see how well-preserved clothes can fetch significant earnings.
Don’t limit yourself to clothes. Clear out the clutter and use Depop to sell items that are unique and of interest to someone else. It’s true that one person’s trash is another’s treasure.
You can make anywhere from $5 to $100 or more on items that you don’t want to keep. You set the price and see if anyone’s willing to pay it.
The app charges a 10% fee on the total cost, including shipping. So, if you sell an item for $20 and charge $10 shipping, Depop will charge you $3. However, since you do this through PayPal, you’ll be subject to those fees, too.
Decluttr specializes in electronics and other items. You can find a market for old CDs, DVDs and games as well as books; there’s even a Lego marketplace if you have an unwanted set somewhere around the house.
All you have to do is enter the barcode for your item into Decluttr; this works well for CDs and DVDs. The app makes it easy to scan the barcodes. For electronics, you can simply search for the item and describe it.
With Decluttr, all you have to do is accept an offer and print out a shipping label. You won’t have to pay shipping or any other fees.
Once Decluttr receives your merchandise, you receive payment via PayPal or direct deposit. You don’t have to worry about commissions. What Decluttr offers is what it pays you — as long as you haven’t misrepresented the condition of your merchandise. The company points out that it’s paid out $400 million to its sellers to date.
Do you have old textbooks? If you can find the International Standard Book Number (ISBN) on the back cover, you can sell them back using BookScouter. You can’t set the prices, though. Basically, the app uses the ISBN and the condition of the book to provide an offer. Then, you can decide whether to accept the offer and send in your book.
The company has 30-plus buyback vendors included in one search. Shipping is free, so you don’t have to worry about those costs eating into the amount you receive.
And if you’re a recent grad or a recovering hoarder, trying other ways to sell back textbooks from college.
“Let’s be honest. Many of the apps you download and use aren’t going to provide you the big bucks,” said Tom Drake, a financial analyst and the founder of financial education website MapleMoney.
“Really easy money isn’t going to replace your day job or even give you a way to keep up with a part-time income,” Drake continued. “The good news is that you can make some solid cash by using your phone with a side hustle.”
Here are some side hustle ideas that can help you make the most of your smartphone.
Depending on where you live and the times you drive, it’s possible to make pretty decent money driving for ride-sharing services, such as Lyft and Uber. For instance, you could earn a couple hundred bucks by shuttling people around town during the annual beer festival.
Plan out your availability to coincide with special events, airline departures and arrivals and weekend bar crawls. You might be able to make a solid part-time income. However, keep in mind that gas and wear and tear on your car will eat into your profits.
You can make $18 to $25 an hour delivering for Amazon Flex. Use the app to schedule your availability ahead of time, or check to see if there’s an open block. Then, make your deliveries and track your earnings using the app. You can work around your own schedule, and there’s potential to make a part-time income each month.
This side hustle entails literally talking on the phone and helping with customer service. Working Solutions outsources call center activities to agents who work from home. The average agent earns $15 per hour.
However, you might have to maintain some sort of a regular schedule if you expect to make this side hustle work. Some of the jobs require you to answer calls during certain hours or be available for other work.
Are you an expert in some field? If so, you can make money by being available (on your own schedule) to answer others’ questions through JustAnswer.
Your rate is actually set by the person asking the question. The client sets what they’re willing to pay and you submit an answer. If yours is accepted, you get paid a portion of the fee, depending on your expertise level. So, you could potentially answer questions and not get paid.
You do have to go through an approval process before you can start offering your expertise or professional opinion. However, once you get set up, you could potentially make hundreds of dollars a month, depending on how often you’re available.
JustAnswer promotes that you could earn an average of $2,000 to $7,000 per month, though that’s a lot of variability and depends on numerous factors.
If you have an empty property or room, you could make money with Airbnb. The Airbnb app makes it easy to manage everything from your phone, no matter where you are.
If your home is in an in-demand area, you could make a few hundred dollars a month or more. It’s one of the best ways to use your home to pay off student loan debt.
Users who are skilled at handiwork can earn money through the Handy app. From cleaning to small fix-it projects, you can make between $22 and $62 an hour by signing up with Handy. Use the app on your smartphone to manage your gigs. After receiving a few reviews, you could start earning even more money.
Looking for simple side jobs to do around town? Download the Gigwalk app to get access to various tasks that can be taken care of almost anywhere.
Some gigs are simple and take five minutes. Others might require a commitment of a few hours. However, no matter what you do, you could earn between $3 and $100 per gig. So, depending on what’s available in your area, it’s possible to make a solid income, just from using your phone.
Deliver food from various restaurants to their customers with Grubhub. You can create a schedule that makes sense for you, allowing you to work when it’s most convenient.
Manage your pickups and deliveries from your phone. You get to keep 100% of the tips you receive on top of typical wages. Grubhub bases your pay on your location and the market.
Glassdoor puts the average Grubhub delivery base pay at $13 an hour. Compare your potential earnings with other options like Postmates, Instacart and DoorDash before choosing one side hustle over another.
In the end, it’s all about what you make of the situation and how you focus your time.
“Pay attention to the activities that provide you the highest return for the time you invest,” said Drake. He suggested combining different strategies to boost results, as well as seeing if you can use multiple apps to make more off your side hustles.
“Realize, too, that sometimes it’s not about making a ton of money. If you can make a quick five bucks while you’re standing in line at the grocery store, that’s something,” Drake pointed out. “After all, that’s money you wouldn’t have made otherwise.”
It’s also money you otherwise might not have been able to put toward your education or other debt. To see the power of extra loan payments, trying out our student loan prepayment calculator.
Andrew Pentis contributed to this report.
Interested in refinancing student loans?Here are the top 9 lenders of 2021!
|Lender||Variable APR||Eligible Degrees|
|1.88% – 6.15%1||Undergrad & Graduate|
|1.88% – 5.64%2||Undergrad & Graduate|
|2.50% – 6.85%3||Undergrad & Graduate|
|1.89% – 5.90%4||Undergrad & Graduate|
|1.99% – 6.59%5||Undergrad & Graduate|
|1.88% – 5.64%6||Undergrad & Graduate|
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|2.39% – 6.01%||Undergrad |
|2.13% – 5.25%8||Undergrad & Graduate|
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1 Important Disclosures for Splash Financial.
Splash Financial Disclosures
Terms and Conditions apply. Splash reserves the right to modify or discontinue products and benefits at any time without notice. Rates and terms are also subject to change at any time without notice. Offers are subject to credit approval. To qualify, a borrower must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident in an eligible state and meet applicable underwriting requirements. Not all borrowers receive the lowest rate. Lowest rates are reserved for the highest qualified borrowers. If approved, your actual rate will be within a range of rates and will depend on a variety of factors, including term of loan, a responsible financial history, income and other factors. Refinancing or consolidating private and federal student loans may not be the right decision for everyone. Federal loans carry special benefits not available for loans made through Splash Financial, for example, public service loan forgiveness and economic hardship programs, fee waivers and rebates on the principal, which may not be accessible to you after you refinance. The rates displayed may include a 0.25% autopay discount
The information you provide to us is an inquiry to determine whether we or our lenders can make a loan offer that meets your needs. If we or any of our lending partners has an available loan offer for you, you will be invited to submit a loan application to the lender for its review. We do not guarantee that you will receive any loan offers or that your loan application will be approved. Offers are subject to credit approval and are available only to U.S. citizens or permanent residents who meet applicable underwriting requirements. Not all borrowers will receive the lowest rates, which are available to the most qualified borrowers. Participating lenders, rates and terms are subject to change at any time without notice.
To check the rates and terms you qualify for, Splash Financial conducts a soft credit pull that will not affect your credit score. However, if you choose a product and continue your application, the lender will request your full credit report from one or more consumer reporting agencies, which is considered a hard credit pull and may affect your credit.
Splash Financial and our lending partners reserve the right to modify or discontinue products and benefits at any time without notice. To qualify, a borrower must be a U.S. citizen and meet our lending partner’s underwriting requirements. Lowest rates are reserved for the highest qualified borrowers. This information is current as of June 1, 2021.
2 Rate range above includes optional 0.25% Auto Pay discount. Important Disclosures for Earnest.
Interest Rate Disclosure
Actual rate and available repayment terms will vary based on your income. Fixed rates range from 2.48% APR to 5.79% APR (excludes 0.25% Auto Pay discount). Variable rates range from 1.88% APR to 5.64% APR (excludes 0.25% Auto Pay discount). For variable rate loans, although the interest rate will vary after you are approved, the interest rate will never exceed 36% (the maximum allowable for these loans). Earnest variable interest rate student loan refinance loans are based on a publicly available index, the one month London Interbank Offered Rate (LIBOR). Your rate will be calculated each month by adding a margin between 2.04% and 5.8% to the one month LIBOR. Earnest rate ranges are current as of 6/8/2021, and are subject to change based on market conditions.
Auto Pay Discount Disclosure
You can take advantage of the Auto Pay interest rate reduction by setting up and maintaining active and automatic ACH withdrawal of your loan payment. The interest rate reduction for Auto Pay will be available only while your loan is enrolled in Auto Pay. Interest rate incentives for utilizing Auto Pay may not be combined with certain private student loan repayment programs that also offer an interest rate reduction. For multi-party loans, only one party may enroll in Auto Pay.
Student Loan Refinancing Loan Cost Examples
These examples provide estimates based on payments beginning immediately upon loan disbursement. Variable APR: A $10,000 loan with a 20-year term (240 monthly payments of $72) and a 5.89% APR would result in a total estimated payment amount of $17,042.39. For a variable loan, after your starting rate is set, your rate will then vary with the market. Fixed APR: A $10,000 loan with a 20-year term (240 monthly payments of $72) and a 6.04% APR would result in a total estimated payment amount of $17,249.77. Your actual repayment terms may vary.Terms and Conditions apply. Visit https://www.earnest. com/terms-of-service, e-mail us at [email protected], or call 888-601-2801 for more information on our student loan refinance product.
Earnest Loans are made by Earnest Operations LLC or One American Bank, Member FDIC. Earnest Operations LLC, NMLS #1204917. 535 Mission St., Suite 1663, San Francisco, CA 94105. California Financing Law License 6054788. Visit earnest.com/licenses for a full list of licensed states. For California residents (Student Loan Refinance Only): Loans will be arranged or made pursuant to a California Financing Law License.
One American Bank, 515 S. Minnesota Ave, Sioux Falls, SD 57104. Earnest loans are serviced by Earnest Operations LLC with support from Navient Solutions LLC (NMLS #212430). One American Bank and Earnest LLC and its subsidiaries are not sponsored by or agencies of the United States of America.
© 2021 Earnest LLC. All rights reserved.
3 Important Disclosures for CommonBond.
Offered terms are subject to change and state law restriction. Loans are offered by CommonBond Lending, LLC (NMLS # 1175900), NMLS Consumer Access. If you are approved for a loan, the interest rate offered will depend on your credit profile, your application, the loan term selected and will be within the ranges of rates shown. All Annual Percentage Rates (APRs) displayed assume borrowers enroll in auto pay and account for the 0.25% reduction in interest rate. All variable rates are based on a 1-month LIBOR assumption of 0.15% effective Jan 1, 2021 and may increase after consummation.
4 Important Disclosures for Laurel Road.
Laurel Road Disclosures
All credit products are subject to credit approval.
Laurel Road began originating student loans in 2013 and has since helped thousands of professionals with undergraduate and postgraduate degrees consolidate and refinance more than $4 billion in federal and private school loans. Laurel Road also offers a suite of online graduate school loan products and personal loans that help simplify lending through customized technology and personalized service. In April 2019, Laurel Road was acquired by KeyBank, one of the nation’s largest bank-based financial services companies. Laurel Road is a brand of KeyBank National Association offering online lending products in all 50 U.S. states, Washington, D.C., and Puerto Rico. All loans are provided by KeyBank National Association, a nationally chartered bank. Member FDIC. For more information, visit www.laurelroad.com.
As used throughout these Terms & Conditions, the term “Lender” refers to KeyBank National Association and its affiliates, agents, guaranty insurers, investors, assigns, and successors in interest.
Assumptions: Repayment examples above assume a loan amount of $10,000 with repayment beginning immediately following disbursement. Repayment examples do not include the 0.25% AutoPay Discount.
Annual Percentage Rate (“APR”): This term represents the actual cost of financing to the borrower over the life of the loan expressed as a yearly rate.
Interest Rate: A simple annual rate that is applied to an unpaid balance.
Variable Rates: The current index for variable rate loans is derived from the one-month London Interbank Offered Rate (“LIBOR”) and changes in the LIBOR index may cause your monthly payment to increase. Borrowers who take out a term of 5, 7, or 10 years will have a maximum interest rate of 9%, those who take out a 15 or 20-year variable loan will have a maximum interest rate of 10%.
KEYBANK NATIONAL ASSOCIATION RESERVES THE RIGHT TO MODIFY OR DISCONTINUE PRODUCTS AND BENEFITS AT ANY TIME WITHOUT NOTICE.
This information is current as of April 29, 2021. Information and rates are subject to change without notice.
5 Important Disclosures for SoFi.
Fixed rates from 2.49% APR to 6.94% APR (with autopay). Variable rates from 1.99% APR to 6.59% APR (with autopay). All variable rates are based on the 1-month LIBOR and may increase after consummation if LIBOR increases; see more at SoFi.com/legal/#1. If approved for a loan your rate will depend on a variety of factors such as your credit profile, your application and your selected loan terms. Your rate will be within the ranges of rates listed above. Lowest rates reserved for the most creditworthy borrowers. SoFi refinance loans are private loans and do not have the same repayment options that the federal loan program offers, or may become available, such as Income Based Repayment or Income Contingent Repayment or PAYE. SoFi loans are originated by SoFi Lending Corp. or an affiliate (dba SoFi), a lender licensed by the Department of Financial Protection and Innovation under the California Financing Law, license #6054612; NMLS #1121636 (www.nmlsconsumeraccess.org). Additional terms and conditions apply; see SoFi.com/eligibility for details. SOFI RESERVES THE RIGHT TO MODIFY OR DISCONTINUE PRODUCTS AND BENEFITS AT ANY TIME WITHOUT NOTICE.
6 Important Disclosures for Navient.
7 Important Disclosures for LendKey.
Refinancing via LendKey.com is only available for applicants with qualified private education loans from an eligible institution. Loans that were used for exam preparation classes, including, but not limited to, loans for LSAT, MCAT, GMAT, and GRE preparation, are not eligible for refinancing with a lender via LendKey.com. If you currently have any of these exam preparation loans, you should not include them in an application to refinance your student loans on this website. Applicants must be either U.S. citizens or Permanent Residents in an eligible state to qualify for a loan. Certain membership requirements (including the opening of a share account and any applicable association fees in connection with membership) may apply in the event that an applicant wishes to accept a loan offer from a credit union lender. Lenders participating on LendKey.com reserve the right to modify or discontinue the products, terms, and benefits offered on this website at any time without notice. LendKey Technologies, Inc. is not affiliated with, nor does it endorse, any educational institution.
Subject to floor rate and may require the automatic payments be made from a checking or savings account with the lender. The rate reduction will be removed and the rate will be increased by 0.25% upon any cancellation or failed collection attempt of the automatic payment and will be suspended during any period of deferment or forbearance. As a result, during the forbearance or suspension period, and/or if the automatic payment is canceled, any increase will take the form of higher payments. The lowest advertised variable APR is only available for loan terms of 5 years and is reserved for applicants with FICO scores of at least 810.
As of 04/07/2021 student loan refinancing rates range from 1.90% APR – 5.25% Variable APR with AutoPay and 2.49% APR – 7.75% Fixed APR with AutoPay.
8 Important Disclosures for PenFed.
Annual Percentage Rate (APR) is the cost of credit calculating the interest rate, loan amount, repayment term and the timing of payments. Fixed Rates range from 2.89%-4.78% APR and Variable Rates range from 2.13%-5.25% APR. Both Fixed and Variable Rates will vary based on application terms, level of degree and presence of a co-signer. These rates are subject to additional terms and conditions and rates are subject to change at any time without notice. For Variable Rate student loans, the rate will never exceed 9.00% for 5 year and 8 year loans and 10.00% for 12 and 15 years loans (the maximum allowable for this loan). Minimum variable rate will be 2.00%. These rates are subject to additional terms and conditions, and rates are subject to change at any time without notice. Such changes will only apply to applications taken after the effective date of change.