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Best Cash Advance Apps in May 2024

Best Cash Advance Apps
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Updated May 15, 2024

Sometimes, payday just doesn’t come soon enough—and while you may not want to take out a whole loan, you could use a little extra money to float you through the interim. Cash advance apps make it possible to access relatively small portions of your own pay ahead of time: Users borrow money, usually on the order of $10 to $500, for the short term, which is usually automatically withdrawn from their linked bank account when their next paycheck hits.

So how do cash advance apps make money? These days, most are tied to larger money management platforms and budgeting tools that come with monthly membership fees—and if you want to get access to your advance fast, you may pay hefty express delivery fees as well. Read on to learn more about the various features and functionalities of today’s best cash advance apps.

Best cash advance apps compared

Cash advance appBest forMonthly feeExpress delivery feesAdvance limit
Building credit
$9.99 to $14.99 per month
Undisclosed, but free with premium ($14.99 per month) membership
$250
App design
$8 per month
$1 to $8
$250
Higher advance amounts
None, but optional “tips”
Undisclosed
$100 per day/$750 per pay period
No monthly fee
None
$0.49 to $8.99
$500
Investment options
$12.49 to $14.99 per month
Undisclosed
$250
Klover
Sweepstakes option
$3.99 per month
$2.99 to $12.29
$200
FloatMe
External transfers
$3.99 per month
$3 to $5
$50
Dave
Low monthly fee
$1 per month
$1.99 to $13.99
$500

Our recommendations for the best cash advance apps

Best for building credit: Brigit

Brigit

Brigit Cash Advance App Engine

Brigit Cash Advance App Engine

Monthly fee
$9.99 to $14.99 per month
Express delivery fees
Undisclosed, but free with premium ($14.99 per month) membership
Advance limit
$250

Like all the cash advance apps we reviewed, Brigit doesn’t require a credit check to put money in your pocket instantly—but it does make it easy to build and track your credit over time. The app seamlessly integrates a Credit Builder account that can be opened with as little as $1 per month in deposits. Building your positive credit history in this way can help you successfully apply in the future for a credit card or other loan or line of credit.

Pros:

  • Helpful additional functionalities including a Credit Builder account and budgeting tools.
  • Premium members get free instant transfers of their cash advances.

Cons:

  • Membership rates are on the higher side, starting at $9.99 per month for the standard package and $14.99 for Premium.
  • Cash advances are capped at $250.

Best for app design: Empower

Empower

Empower Cash Advance App

Empower Cash Advance App

Monthly fee
$8 per month
Express delivery fees
$1 to $8
Advance limit
$250

As their moniker suggests, most cash advance apps provide their cash advances through mobile apps, often paired with money management tools that help users track their spending, savings, and more. But if you’re looking for the option with the most pristine-looking app of the ones we’ve analyzed, Empower takes the cake, thanks to its beautiful and easy-to-navigate interface offering credit monitoring, personalizable budgeting, and more.

Pros:

  • Empower’s app is well-designed and ranks highly on both the Google Play Store and Apple App Store, with rankings of 4.7 and 4.8 stars, respectively, at the time of this writing.
  • Express delivery fees are at the lower end, starting at just $1.
  • Monthly membership fee only applies for Empower Thrive, the firm’s line of credit.

Cons:

  • Cash advance limit of just $250 is on the lower side.
  • Express delivery fees can be as high as $8 per transaction.

Best for higher advance amounts: EarnIn

Earnin

Earnin

Earnin

Monthly fee
None
Express delivery fees
$0.49 to $8.99
Advance limit
$500

Offering users the opportunity to cash out up to $100 per work day (up to a maximum of $750 per pay period) as an advance, EarnIn has the highest cash advance maximums on our list by a long shot. We also love that—instead of charging a monthly fee or automatically enrolling you in a money management app that does—EarnIn relies on an optional (and refundable) tipping mechanism to earn money on its cash advance product. Just don’t let our economy’s increasing comfort with tipping relax you into paying too much for your loan, especially a small one.

Pros:

  • Cash advance max of up to $750 per pay period is the highest in our comparison.
  • No mandatory fees and optional, refundable tip option makes accessing cash more financially flexible.

Cons:

  • Expedited transfer fees—known as “Lightning Fees” in the EarnIn ecosystem—may still apply, and are undisclosed until they’re being charged.
  • Fewer additional functionalities, like budgeting and spend tracking, than other cash advance apps.
  • Recommended tips could amount to a high APR if you accept them for a small loan repayable in a short time.

Best for no monthly fee: MoneyLion

MoneyLion

MoneyLion

MoneyLion

Monthly fee
None
Express delivery fees
$0.49 to $8.99
Advance limit
$500

An all-inclusive money management platform with products ranging from money management tools to credit builder accounts and, of course, cash advances, MoneyLion bears the distinction of carrying no monthly fee (at least for its cash advance specifically). Expedited transfer fees—known as Turbo delivery fees—do apply, however, and are slightly higher for those transferring to an external account (rather than a RoarMoney account).

Pros:

  • Possibility to get a cash advance totally free, without interest, monthly membership fees, or delivery fees.
  • Cash advance max of $500 is substantial enough for many expenses.
  • Integration with a wide variety of money management tools and accounts that can make the app a one-stop shop for some.

Cons:

  • While the cash advance itself can be free, other parts of the MoneyLion platform are paywalled, and membership fees can be as high as $19.99 per month.
  • Upcharge to transfer to external accounts.

Best for investment options: Albert

Albert

Albert

Albert

Monthly fee
$12.49 to $14.99 per month
Express delivery fees
Undisclosed
Advance limit
$250

A simple cash advance is one thing—and budgeting tools are nice, too. But with Albert, you can do it all: banking, automated savings, and even investing, which you can start to build with as little as a single dollar. Albert also offers its “ask a Genius” function to help users get real-time help and financial advice.

Pros:

  • Truly all-inclusive financial platform means Albert could be your home for banking, expense tracking, and more.
  • Cash advance is capped at a relatively substantial $250.

Cons:

  • Cash advance clients are automatically enrolled in a 30-day free trial of Albert Genius, which then goes up to $14.99 per month if not canceled (or $12.49 per month billed annually).
  • Express delivery fees may apply but are undisclosed.

Best for sweepstakes option: Klover

Klover

Klover

Klover

Monthly fee
$3.99 per month
Express delivery fees
$2.99 to $12.29
Advance limit
$200

Like other cash advance apps, Klover leverages your future paycheck to put some money in your pocket today, all without credit checks, late fees, or interest. Unlike other cash advance apps, though, Klover integrates Points-earning opportunities as simple as taking surveys and watching ads—and those points can translate to larger cash advances. And thanks to its built-in sweepstakes, one lucky user gets $100 every day the app is functioning, with five additional members getting a $20 gift, just for using the app.

Pros:

  • Along with typical features like budgeting tools and cash advance management, Klover offers sweepstakes and valuable Points-earning opportunities.
  • The $3.99 per month membership fee is relatively low, by industry standards.

Cons:

  • Cash advance app of $200 is on the lower side.
  • Expedite transfer fees can range as high as $12.49 for Points transfers of $75.01 and up.

Best for external transfers: FloatMe

FloatMe

FloatMe

FloatMe

Monthly fee
$3.99 per month
Express delivery fees
$3 to $5
Advance limit
$50

Many cash advance apps want to keep their customers within the ecosystem of their apps and build in proprietary savings and spending accounts for that purpose. FloatMe, on the other hand, defaults to external bank account transfers. Even if you opt for instant transfers, fees are $5 or less.

Pros:

  • Easy functionality and no upsell to transfer to external bank accounts.
  • Membership fee of $3.99 per month is relatively low, by industry standards.

Cons:

  • Advance max of $50 is the lowest on our list, though useful for covering small, quick expenses until payday.

Best for low monthly fee: Dave

Dave

Dave’s ExtraCash™ cash advance option

Dave’s ExtraCash™ cash advance option

Monthly fee
$1 per month
Express delivery fees
$1 per month subscription fee
Advance limit
Up to $500

With a monthly fee of just $1 for its associated Dave Spending Account, Dave’s ExtraCash™ cash advance option comes with one of the lowest ongoing costs in our comparison. Dave Spending Accounts come with a linked debit card that offers up to 15% cash back on eligible purchases and allows you to round up purchase totals for savings.

Pros:

  • Low monthly fee for associated Spending Account.
  • Features like APY-earning Goals account and cash-back debit rewards available.
  • Advance amount limit of $500 is relatively high.

Cons:

  • Even internal instant transfers cost $1.99 to $9.99, and transfers to external accounts are priced higher.
  • Automatic settlement attempts on payday may cause issues for users with low balances.

Our Methodology

TIME reviewed eight of the most popular cash advance apps, analyzing data points such as their fees, spend limits, functionality with external banks, additional in-app features, and customer satisfaction via app ratings. We chose best-of categories for each of these apps based on their unique features and which target demographics they might best serve.

How to select a cash advance app

With so many cash advance apps on the market, it can be difficult to discern which one is right for you. Here are some features to keep in mind while you shop for your next cash advance.

Advance maximum

One of the most important considerations when choosing a cash advance app is how much money you actually need from the advance to meet your financial goals. If you need a larger advance, you will be limited to the apps that offer more substantial advance maximums. For just a few dollars, your range of options may be wider.

Fees

Spoiler alert: All cash advance apps are for-profit companies, and they all need to make money. One way that many of them do so is through charging monthly membership fees—either to access the cash advance itself or to maintain an account with the company, often tied to money management tools like a budgeting app or spending and savings accounts.

Always be sure you read all the fine print before choosing your cash advance app so you know how much money you’ll pay for the service of the advance itself—and how much you may be locked into on an ongoing basis.

Additional functionalities

Some people are simply looking for quick cash, while others may be in need of a more holistic “home base” for their finances including expense tracking, budgeting functionalities, and even an investment platform. Depending on your needs, different apps will appeal to you based on how many additional functionalities they build in. Again, just keep an eye out for monthly membership fees.

Alternatives to cash advance apps

While cash advance apps can help in a pinch, if you’re in need of quick cash, there are other options to consider that may make more sense depending on your circumstances.

Credit cards

While even the best credit cards often come with double-digit interest rates (which will be listed in your credit card agreement as APR), if you pay off your balance in full each and every month, you’ll never pay interest on your purchases. What’s more, you may already have a credit card available, avoiding the need to sign up for a new cash advance app and its attendant monthly membership fee. That said, falling into high-interest credit card debt is all too easy. If you can’t pay off the balance in full each month, you need to proceed with caution. We therefore recommend credit cards with 0% APR interest, up to a number of months.

Personal loans

Personal, unsecured loans don’t require collateral (unlike, say, mortgage loans or auto loans). For that reason, they can generally be used to pay for just about anything. If you need a larger amount of money than cash advance apps offer, a personal loan might be your best bet. Again, beware of high interest rates—and more stringent qualification requirements. (Almost all personal loans require a credit check, unlike cash advance apps.)

Emergency savings

Ideally, emergency funds should come from an emergency savings account that you’ve built up over time. (In a truly ideal world, that account has some three to six months’ worth of living expenses for you to draw from in case of a true financial crisis.) Of course, the world we live in is not ideal. If you, like many Americans, are living paycheck-to-paycheck, perhaps this is a good time to start stashing away toward this goal. Even a small savings habit builds up over time, especially if you’re consistent.

More on credit cash advance apps

Curious to know more about cash advance apps? Here’s the scoop.

What is a cash advance app?

A cash advance app is an app or web platform that offers short-term loans designed to tide users over until payday. In many instances, the loan amount is automatically withdrawn from your bank account, or “settled,” the day your next paycheck hits your account.

Cash advance apps often allow users to access cash advances without credit checks, interest, or late fees, but may come with monthly membership fees to access their money management tools, spending accounts, or simply to have your account open at all.

What are the pros and cons of cash apps?

Pros:

  • Cash advance apps allow you to access money you’ve already earned ahead of time—and unlike personal loans, they don’t come with interest charges.
  • Cash advance apps make it easy for almost anyone to qualify since they typically don’t require a credit check.
  • Cash advance apps often come with additional functionalities that can make money management easier for users, such as budgeting tools and expense tracking.

Cons:

  • Although the advance itself is free, cash advance apps often automatically enroll users in their large financial management platform, which may come with hefty monthly fees—sometimes as high as $19.99 per month.
  • Advances may take several days to hit your bank account. Cash advance apps often leverage this fact to charge expedited delivery fees that eat significantly into the advance itself. (For instance, even FloatMe’s relatively low $5 fee is for its $50 “float,” which accounts for 10% of the overall advance.)
  • In some instances, fees may not be transparent to users during sign up. It’s important to read the fine print.
  • Automatic settlement from your bank account may cause overdrafts if your paycheck is late (or the settlement date is miscalculated).
  • Cash advance apps may charge an additional fee to transfer the advance to an external, existing bank account. Avoiding that fee keeps you within their ecosystem to spend the money you borrowed with a proprietary account.

How do cash advance apps work?

Cash advance apps leverage your upcoming paycheck to allow you to access smaller amounts of money—usually between $10 and $500—before payday. Once your next payday arrives, the amount is often automatically withdrawn from your linked bank account. However, you may also be subject to expedited transfer fees or an ongoing monthly membership fee.

Are cash apps payday lenders?

Because cash advance apps leverage your upcoming paycheck to lend you money, they are similar to payday lenders—but they aren’t technically issuing you a loan. Many cash advance apps are not technically banks or financial institutions, though they may be partnered with banks, and advances are not the same as loans.

How do I best use cash advance apps?

Cash advance apps are best used if you need only a small amount of money that you know your next paycheck will cover—and if you can find an app that doesn’t charge high fees for external or expedited transfers. If, on the other hand, you’re looking for an all-inclusive money management platform, and you’re willing to pay a monthly membership, it may make more sense to find the platform that works best for you first—and scope out its cash advance products from there.

TIME Stamp: Cash advance apps can help in a pinch

While drawing from a robust emergency fund is the best way to cover an unexpected expense, cash advance apps can be a lower-cost alternative to personal loans or high-interest credit cards. However, keep in mind that monthly membership fees may apply—and may be high enough to cost well over $100 per year if you don’t cancel.

Frequently asked questions (FAQs)

What is the easiest app to get a cash advance?

There are a wide variety of cash advance apps on the market today, and most make the advance process as easy as entering your demographic information and linking your bank account. (Few require a credit check to qualify.) However, delivery times vary, and it may be as long as several days before the advance hits your bank account—unless you pay express transfer delivery fees that can eat substantially into your advance. It’s worth shopping around for the lowest fees possible.

Which money app gives you money instantly?

Apps like Klover, Brigit, Dave, Empower, FloatMe, and many others offer instant access to cash advances from your upcoming paycheck. The cash will be settled, or paid back, from your bank account once your next paycheck hits.

Which app gives you a $1,000 loan?

None of the cash advance apps we analyzed have a maximum as high as $1,000. EarnIn offers users the opportunity to take out up to $750 per pay period in cash advances, and several of the apps have maximums of $500.

Which cash advance apps work with Cash App?

Cash advance apps are constantly evolving, and new ones come out all the time. Many allow for external transfers to bank accounts and through Cash App, including Dave and EarnIn.

How do I get a cash advance on Cash App?

You don’t. While it’s popular for peer-to-peer cash transfers and payment requests, Cash App does not offer a consistently available cash advance product at the time of this writing.

The information presented here is created independently from the TIME editorial staff. To learn more, see our About page.

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