GTA 5 Online is a fantastic playground if you manage to get on the same server as your friends, but if you want the best tools, the top apartments, the hottest cars, you're going to need to pay. Moolah is everything. Fortunately, there are a bunch of ways to grow your stack before you even get into the super-rewarding heist missions. Here's our guide to making fast money in GTA 5 Online, starting with a bit of advice.
Keep it safe
Before getting started, it's important to note that your GTA$ are divided into two separate balances—your bank account and your cash in hand. Money in your bank account is safe, but if you're carrying more than $5,000 in cash then you stand to lose a portion of it if you get killed or another player sends a mugger after you. Get into the habit of banking your cash regularly—you can do this at any ATM, but it's much quicker to pull out your phone and visit the Maze Bank website through "Money " then deposit it online.
There are plenty of convenience stores dotted around the map, marked by a shopping basket icon, and these can all be robbed to grab some quick cash. Once inside, point a weapon at the clerk to initiate the robbery, then boost the intimidation meter to get them to pay up quicker—shooting the shelves behind them will do this, but if you're using a headset then making noise into it will have the same effect without drawing attention to your crime. If the shop has a second register then shoot it once the first has been emptied to double your takings, then get out of there.
To make escaping the resulting police interest easier, you should equip a mask before entering the store and starting the robbery. Then once you make your getaway and are out of sight of the cops, removing the mask should quickly knock one star off your wanted level, though it won't get rid of it completely if you only have one star at the time.
Sell cars to Los Santos Customs
As well as offering all sorts of upgrades and tweaks, Los Santos Customs will also purchase stolen vehicles you deliver to their workshops. Simply drive in then select the 'Sell' option from the list, and you'll be told how much they'll pay for it. You can only sell one vehicle every 48 minutes real time (one in-game day) so look for the most valuable cars to flog—the Lampadati Felon or Gallivanter Baller are two premium models, which can often be found around the Rockford Hills area. Any damage will reduce the final sale price, so drive carefully once you've found your ride of choice.
Find cars for Simeon
After you reach Rank 10 in GTA Online you'll receive regular texts from Simeon, with a list of five particular vehicle types that's he'll pay more than Los Santos Customs for. These can often be spotted driving around the streets, and if you see one then jump in and grab it. You'll automatically get a two star wanted level, and you need to get the car resprayed before Simeon will accept it, so head to the nearest mod shop for a new lick of paint. The amount you spend doesn't affect how much he'll pay you, so make sure you pick one of the cheapest 'Classic' colours. Again, any damage lowers the final sale price, so make your way steadily to Simeon's lock up at the docks to cash in.
From time to time you'll also get a notification of a 'High Priority' vehicle that Simeon is after, for which he'll pay even more for than his usual requests. This will appear as a green car icon on your map, but it'll also be visible to any other players in your session, so make a beeline for it and be on the lookout for others coming to steal your prize.
There are two ways a player can get a bounty on their head in GTA Online—either having one set on them by another player or NPC, or by causing enough destruction to increase their 'mental state' level. Look on your map for players marked with pink or red blips as the darker the colour, the higher the reward you'll receive for killing them. If you find yourself subject to a bounty, you can receive the amount yourself if you survive for a full game day (48 minutes), so if you're feeling the heat or just don't fancy doing anything for a while you can hide and wait until the outstanding amount is paid to you.
Jobs is the collective term for all the different game modes available, including deathmatches, races, last team standing and survivals. Races are a good way to make cash, and there are a number of short courses available which can be quickly replayed to rack up the prize money. If you can team up with three other players then survivals are another good source of income, as if you manage to complete all 10 waves then you'll all receive a tidy payout. You can quickly access all available jobs from the Online tab of the pause menu, by choosing Jobs -> Play Job -> Rockstar Created then selecting the type of job you're after.
Complete Contact Missions
Contact missions are another type of job, which you receive from various NPCs via your phone as you increase your online rank. These missions have individual plotlines and usually offer much better rewards than standard jobs, and although they are designed for multiple players you can tackle them on your own. Some missions have a minimum online rank requirement, but even if you haven't advanced enough to initiate them yourself a higher level player can invite you to participate with them. As with the previous jobs, any unlocked missions can be accessed through the Online tab of the pause menu.
Buy a High End apartment
Ok, so this isn't really a money making tip as such, but you do need to invest in a high end apartment as soon as possible, as this unlocks the planning room required to initiate heists. You can also use the attached garage to store valuable cars for later sale to Los Santos Customs, and if you have a bounty on your head you can safely hide inside your apartment away from harm until the timer expires. The high end apartment interiors all look the same, so the only real differentiating factor is the view from your new pad—arguably the best vistas can be found from Weasel Plaza Apt 101 or Eclipse Towers Apt 40.
Once you get to rank 12 and own a high end apartment, you'll be able to initiate online heists. There are five of these in total—the initial 'tutorial' heist is for two players, whereas four people are required for the others. Each heist consists of a series of missions, which are best tackled with friends or at the very least by using headsets to communicate with your teammates. The first time you complete each heist you receive double the reward, so it's worth getting through them all as soon as you can to bolster your bank balance.
Although you can accept invites to participate in any heist, you need to complete each mission as heist leader to be able to initiate them again yourself at a later time. This is done from the planning room in your apartment, and you'll lose any current mission progress when you initiate a heist as leader. Be aware that as leader you have to pay the setup cost in advance, but you also get to choose the reward split for final mission of each heist, so make sure you're suitable compensated while still keeping your crew happy.