If you constantly find yourself overdrawing your checking account and require a temporary loan to bridge the gap until your next payday, cash advance apps may help.
Some payday advance apps do only one thing: give you access to your paycheck early. However, most of them come with more features.
Many apps provide online banking services, cash-back shopping, online investing, and tools for employers to manage their workforces.
Don’t just download the first app you find. Discover the best cash advance apps that can provide you with the funds and features you need with as few fees as possible.
11 Best Cash Advance Apps of 2024
Here are the best cash advance apps to cover you until payday.
- Cash Advance: Up to $250
- Speed: Instant
- Fees: Up to $15, depending on the amount borrowed
- Our Rating: 4.3 / 5
Varo is another online banking service that gives you faster paycheck access. When you use direct deposit with your Varo account, your paycheck enters your account as soon as your employer transfers it. Thus, the money can be in your hands up to two days earlier.*
Once you have a Varo account, you can become eligible for Varo Advance. This feature lets you borrow up to $250 interest-free. When you first qualify, you can receive advances of up to $20 and build your limit from there.
- Varo’s secured credit card: The Varo Believe Card can help if you’re trying to build your credit score. To use it, transfer money from your Varo bank account to your Varo secured account. Your balance is the limit on your card that guarantees you can always pay your balance in full, and you can use the automated SafePay feature to ensure you pay on time.
- Reports to the Credit Bureaus: Varo reports these on-time payments to the three major credit bureaus to boost your credit score fast. You can even watch it improve through credit monitoring in the Varo Bank app.
- Additional Features: Transfer money for free to others, access a large network of fee-free ATMs, use remote check deposit, and build credit with a secured credit card
- Earn cash back
- Faster paycheck access
- Interest-free advances
- Automatic savings tools
- Low initial limit
- Must have $800 in direct deposits
*Early access to direct deposit funds depends on the timing of payer’s submission of deposits. Varo generally posts such deposits on the day they are received which may be up to 2 days earlier than the payer’s scheduled payment date.
Bank Account Services provided by Varo Bank, N.A. Member FDIC. Visa® Debit Card is issued by Varo Bank, N.A. pursuant to a license from Visa U.S.A. Inc and may be used everywhere Visa debit cards are accepted.
©2021 Varo Bank, N.A.
- Cash Advance: Up to $250
- Speed: Instant (for a fee)
- Fees: $8/month
- Our Rating: 4.3 / 5
With Empower, you can get an interest-free advance of up to $250*. There are no late fees and no credit checks, and you can get your money instantly.
Empower comes with a payment card (the Empower Card), making the platform much more than just a payroll advance app.
Empower charges a fee of $8 per month. You must also meet certain qualifications, which are identified when you sign up for the Empower app, to use Empower Cash Advance.
- Empower Perks: Get up to 10% cash back** on places and things you spend money on already. Select the deals you want in the app and use your Empower Card at qualifying merchants
- Early paycheck deposit: You can get access to your paycheck up to two days faster^ by having it deposited into your Empower Card account, which is a separate feature from the payroll advance
- Free ATMs: Get free unlimited access to over 40,000 MoneyPass ATMs across the US
- No credit checks
- Instant transfers
- Automated savings
- Interest-free advance up to $250
- Small cash advances to start
- Cash advance limits change often
*Eligibility requirements apply.
**Deals will vary and must be selected in the app.
^Timing may vary by employer.
- Cash Advance: Up to $200
- Speed: Instant (overdraft protection)
- Fees: Tips are optional
- Our Rating: 4.2 / 5
Chime is an online financial app that gives you access to your pay faster. If you have a Chime account with direct deposit, your wages become available the same day your employer deposits them, providing access to your money up to two days earlier.
Chime is a full-service app you can use to transfer money, send and deposit checks, and pay bills online. It also offers a lot of other great perks that most competitors don’t.
- Convenient payments: Chime facilitates easy payments to friends through its Pay feature, enabling hassle-free transactions whether or not they use Chime. You can use it to split a restaurant check, pay your share of the rent or utility bill, or instantly pay the babysitter.
- Secured credit card: Chime offers a secured Credit Builder account linked to a Visa credit card. The card has no annual fee or interest, and it requires no credit check or minimum security deposit.
- Customizable banking alerts
- No hidden fees
- No overdraft fees
- Automatic savings
- Faster access to pay
- Direct deposit required
- Doesn't work on automated payments or checkbook transactions
Chime is a financial technology company, not a bank. Banking services provided by, and debit card issued by, The Bancorp Bank or Stride Bank, N.A.; Members FDIC.
*To apply for Credit Builder, you must have received a single qualifying direct deposit of $200 or more to your Checking Account. The qualifying direct deposit must be from your employer, payroll provider, gig economy payer, or benefits payer by Automated Clearing House (ACH) deposit OR Original Credit Transaction (OCT). Bank ACH transfers, Pay Anyone transfers, verification or trial deposits from financial institutions, peer-to-peer transfers from services such as PayPal, Cash App, or Venmo, mobile check deposits, cash loads or deposits, one-time direct deposits, such as tax refunds and other similar transactions, and any deposit to which Chime deems to not be a qualifying direct deposit are not qualifying direct deposits.
- Cash Advance: Up to $500
- Speed: Instant and standard
- Fees: $1/Month
- Our Rating: 4.2 / 5
The ExtraCash account from Dave is an online banking account —You can use its overdraft feature to give yourself a no-interest advance.
Based on eligibility, you can get up to $500 sent from your ExtraCash account to your external bank in one to three days for free, or you can transfer it instantly to your Dave Debit Mastercard for a small fee.
You start with a balance of zero in your ExtraCash account. If you take a cash advance from the account, the balance becomes negative, but there’s no overdraft fee.
A basic Dave membership costs just $1 per month. You can also give Dave a tip when you request an advance.
- Automatic Calculations: Dave automatically calculates the date the money will come out of your linked bank account — usually your next payday. When that happens, the balance in your account returns to zero. However, if you can’t pay the full amount, you can pay part of it with no late fee.
- Pay Back Early: You can also opt to pay back your Dave advance early.
- Side Hustle: Get access to money-making gigs through the Side Hustle feature
- ATM access
- Smart budgeting
- Spending account
- No-interest overdraft
- Instant or free transfers
- Mandantory monthly subscription
- Due date is next payday
- Cash Advance: Up to $250
- Speed: Same day
- Fees: Pay what you want
- Our Rating: 4.6 / 5
Albert is a mobile-first financial app with a no-fee, no-interest cash advance feature that can spot you up to $250 from your next paycheck.
Called Albert Instant, it’s free to use, but you must have a Genius subscription, which has a monthly fee. You can also pay a small fee to get your money instantly rather than in two to three business days.
You can use Albert Instant as de facto overdraft protection too. No matter how you employ it, there’s no credit check — not even a soft inquiry — and no hidden fees for use. When your next paycheck comes, simply repay Albert for the advance and move on.
- Up to 20% instant cash back on eligible purchases of gas, groceries, and delivery with your debit card
- Automated savings on a custom schedule that fits your needs
- Guided or DIY investing — pick your own stocks and themes or have Albert do it for you
- No minimum balance fees or commissions
- No credit check
- Transparent fees
- No-fees, no-interest for cash advances
- Pay what you think is fair
- Small fee for intstant transfers
- Must have Genius Subscription
- Cash Advance: Up to $250
- Speed: Instant or standard
- Fees: $9.99 – $14.99 monthly subscription
- Our Rating: 4.1 / 5
Perhaps the most flexible payday advance app is Brigit. It delivers up to $250 to your account within one to three business days without subjecting you to a credit check (instantly for a fee).
You can choose your own repayment date to pull the money out of your bank account.
However, Brigit doesn’t offer cash advances to just anyone, you must meet the following app requirements.
Brigit App Requirements:
- Income. You must show you’ve received at least three paycheck direct deposits from the same source before Brigit grants you an advance. ATM deposits, paper checks, and irregular direct deposits don’t count.
- Banking. You must have a checking account at least 60 days old with a balance over $0. You must also show a sufficient end-of-day balance on your payday so Brigit knows it can safely collect your payment without overdrawing your account.
- Brigit Score. Brigit applies a scoring system similar to a credit score to all potential members. It’s based on your earnings, spending, and banking behavior. The score ranges from 1 to 100, and the app tells you what score you need to receive cash advances.
- Credit-builder feature: Build credit with a 24-month ‘loan’ that you choose the payment amount to make, with the difference coming from the locked-up loan funds to build a better credit score (only available in the Premium package)
- Useful financial tools
- Automated advances (overdraft protection)
- Credit protection tools
- Flexible payday advances
- Large number of requirements
- Requires a paid monthly subscription
- Cash Advance: Up to $100/day
- Speed: 1-3 business days or instant
- Fees: Optional tips
- Our Rating: 5 / 5
The very first payroll advance app was ActiveHours, which is now Earnin.
Its creator, Ram Palaniappan, says its goal is to make the financial system more equal by helping workers break free of the pay cycle that holds back their money.
Earnin works much the same way as Brigit, but it only allows you to cash out up to $100 per day and up to $750 per pay period.
There’s no fee for this service, but you can add a “tip” of up to $14. Some even opt to “pay it forward,” deliberately leaving a bigger tip to cover the cost for those who can’t afford it.
In addition to paycheck advances, Earnin provides several other features to help workers on a budget.
- Balance Shield: Use other features like Balance Shield for overdraft protection
- Earning Express: Earnin Express is used for early access to pay up to two days earlier,
- Financial Calendar: The Financial Calendar is to track expenses and schedule cash advances
- Tip Yourself Feature
- Daily cash-outs
- Direct deposit required
- Maximum transfer of $100 per day
- Cash Advance: Up to $500
- Speed: Up to five business days or instant (for a fee)
- Fees: None, unless you want an instant transfer
- Our Rating: 4.2 / 5
Another online banking app that offers a combination of early cash advances and early paycheck access is MoneyLion.
Its Instacash feature lets you borrow up to $500 without interest or a credit check. The money appears in your account within minutes for a fee or in up to five business days for free.
In addition, its online RoarMoney account gives you access to your paycheck up to two days early.
But MoneyLion’s features don’t end there.
- Spending & Money Management Interface: It also offers a comprehensive spending and money management interface with a low-cost investing platform that lets you transfer money from your savings account into a portfolio of exchange-traded funds customized to fit your risk tolerance. You can also adjust your investments to suit specific interests, such as socially responsible investing.
- No Management Fees: Your account is fully managed but has no management fees or minimum balance. However, there is a tiered monthly account fee ranging from $1 to $5, depending on how much you invest. There’s even an automatic investment feature to make investing easy.
- Paid Account Option: For $19.99 per month, you can upgrade to a Credit Builder Plus account. This feature allows you to take out a loan of up to $1,000 and pay it back over 12 months. Annual percentage rates (APRs) range from 5.99% to 29.99%, depending on your credit rating. You can build a solid credit history by making regular, on-time payments. Credit Builder Plus also includes other features to help build your credit. It comes with free credit monitoring, allowing you to track your progress, and it allows you to waive the monthly administrative fee on a RoarMoney bank account, a MoneyLion investment account, or both.
- Low fee investing options
- Earn cash back rewards
- Low fee checking account
- Earnly cash advnaces & paycheck access
- Price protection
- Standard delivery takes up to 5 days
- Due date is usually 2 weeks or less
- Cash Advance: Up to 50% of your earned pay
- Speed: 1-3 business days for free or instant for a fee
- Fee: $3 per instant transfer
- Our Rating: 3.9 / 5
There are two ways to use Payactiv.
First, if your employer offers it to you as a benefit, you can sign up for earned wage access. It allows you to collect your wages as soon as you earn them. This service comes with a $1 fee for each day you use it, capped at $5 for each two-week pay period unless you have direct deposit to your Payactiv Visa debit card, then it’s free.
You can transfer the money to your bank account, load it to a Payactiv Visa prepaid card, or receive it in cash at a Walmart Money Center. There’s a $1.99 fee for cash pickup and instant deposits to cards other than the Payactiv card.
Second, if your employer doesn’t offer Payactiv, you can still sign up for the Payactiv Visa card. That doesn’t qualify you for earned wage access, but you can deposit your paycheck to the card up to two days early. The card is accepted anywhere Visa is and works at 40,000 MoneyPass ATMs.
- Perks for Employees: The Payactiv app also offers one-on-one financial coaching, savings tools, and payment features for employees. You can use it to pay bills, summon an Uber, make payments to friends, or make purchases at businesses like Amazon and Walmart. It even provides discounts on certain purchases.
- Perks for Employers: Payactiv has perks for employers as well. It makes payroll easier and automatically handles tips and mileage reimbursement distribution if you coordinate your team, arrange shifts, and pay bonuses. The service costs employers nothing and takes only two days to set up.
- Payactive Visa card
- Eaerned wage access
- Savings tools
- One-on-one financial coaching
- Employer must offer it
- Can only acces 50% of your earnings
- Cash Advance: Up to your employer
- Speed: Instantly to a few days
- Fees: Up to employer
- Our rating: 5 / 5
For a limited time, earn a $10 cash bonus when you sign up for a Revolut account.
Revolut is a financial technology company that makes it easy to access your entire paycheck early — up to 2 days before your scheduled payday with a qualifying direct deposit payer.
Unlike some early direct deposit providers, Revolut doesn’t take any fees from your paycheck. And you’ll get a notification as soon as the funds hit your account — no more worrying about funds lost in limbo.
Plus, there are no hidden fees or minimum balance requirements.
- 4.25% APY on savings (vs. 3.25% with Revolut Standard)
- Primary accidental medical insurance, trip delay expense coverage, trip cancellation and interruption coverage, and lost or damaged baggage protection
- Lounge access with SmartDelay for you and a friend, plus discounted airport lounge access
- Early paycheck access
- Free person-to-person transfers
- International wires
- Multi-currency accounts
- Cash back rewards
- High monthly fee for premium features
- On-demand pay only available through employer
Please note that Revolut is frequently updating its products and features. See the Revolut Terms and Conditions for the latest offerings.
Revolut is a financial technology company. Banking services provided by Metropolitan Commercial Bank (Member FDIC) and are subject applicable terms.
- Cash Advance: Up to $200
- Speed: Instantly to 3 business days
- Fee: Varies depending on speed
- Our Rating: 4.5 / 5
Klover offers cash advances with no interest or late fees. It takes only seconds to set up an account, and once you link your bank, you can apply for a cash advance without a credit check.
Klover doesn’t charge any fees. Instead, they leverage your data, sending you targeted ads that earn Klover commissions when you click the links and make a purchase. But don’t worry, they use military-grade 256-bit encryption to ensure your privacy.
- You can earn points for things like taking surveys or watching ads and use the points to get larger cash advances
- Use the Klover budgeting tools to create goals, track spending, and monitor your credit score
- Enter the daily sweepstakes to earn $100 daily
- No fees
- Won't overdraft your account
- Budgeting tools
- Have to wait to qualify for cash advances
- Have to wait up to three days after payday for another advance
How Cash Advance Apps Work
Technically, the service these apps offer isn’t a loan. It’s a paycheck advance, or cash advance to help cover you until your next payday. In other words, it’s a way to get paid a little early for the work you’ve already performed, usually without a credit check.
Cash advance apps pay you for some of the work you’ve already done this week, even if your paycheck is still several days away. For example, the app transfers the $100 you need to borrow to your checking account, and when your next paycheck arrives, the app takes $100 directly from it to cover the cost.
It’s the same way a payday loan works but with one crucial difference: There’s no interest.
When you receive your paycheck, all that comes out is the $100 you actually received — without an extra $15 or more in interest. The apps earn money in various other ways, including tips and monthly fees.
However, the lack of interest doesn’t mean there’s no downside.
You’re still taking money out of your next paycheck, leaving yourself with even less to pay all the bills. For many, that leads to taking another advance before the next paycheck and another paycheck after that. Eventually, you’re stuck in a cycle. You’re always behind and dependent on the app and the advances it offers to get you through the month.
Taking a paycheck advance is only a stopgap measure. It doesn’t make your limited paycheck stretch any further this month than it did last month. Use it for immediate cash to deal with an unexpected one-time expense. If you’re always behind, it’s time to either earn extra cash or tighten your belt a notch or two.
Sometimes, the $100 or $250 limit on payday advance apps isn’t enough to cover all your expenses. Even in this situation, a payday loan isn’t the best way to get the help you need.
A personal loan has much lower interest and more manageable payments than a payday loan, which is due in a lump sum.
Banks, credit unions, online lenders, and peer-to-peer lenders like Prosper offer personal loans. The lender performs a credit check before approving you for a loan. Some personal loans, called secured loans, also require some form of collateral, such as a car or cash in your bank account. Unsecured loans don’t require collateral, but they usually have higher interest rates.
Banks offer personal loans for amounts ranging from $1,000 to $10,000. You can get a personal loan for as low as 3% AP if you have great credit. That’s significantly less than the rate on most credit cards.
However, if your credit is poor, the interest rate on a personal loan could be as high as 36%. Additionally, these loans often come with origination fees of 1% to 6%. So, before signing off on a loan, check the total cost to ensure using your credit card wouldn’t be cheaper.
Before choosing a cash advance app, understand the pros and cons of using one.
- Little to no fees
- No interest (in most cases)
- May offer other financial services
- Fast access to funds in an emergency
- Can turn into a vicious cycle
- May cause you to overspend
- Some apps have a monthly subscription fee
Still have questions about paycheck advance apps? Here are some answers to relatively common questions about what they are (and aren’t) and how they work.
A paycheck advance is not technically a loan because it doesn’t charge interest. This is an important and positive contrast with payday loans, which infamously charge ridiculously high-interest rates that trap borrowers in cycles of debt.
Paycheck advances often carry one-time fees, and some apps charge subscription fees to cover the cost of additional services. But you shouldn’t pay interest on a paycheck advance (and definitely not on an early direct deposit).
A paycheck advance is a partial advance on your next paycheck. It’s paid back, with or without a fee, when you receive that paycheck. It can come anytime during your pay period, but typically one to two weeks in advance.
Early direct deposit is an early deposit of your entire paycheck. It doesn’t need to be repaid and shouldn’t carry a fee. It arrives closer to your pay date than a paycheck advance can — typically two business days early and no more than four.
It depends on the service you’re using. A paycheck advance can cost anywhere from nothing to $4 or $5. Instant advances typically cost more when the money hits your account as soon as you authorize the transfer.
If you need money in a hurry to cover an unexpected expense, the best cash advance apps offer a cheap and convenient way to get it.
However, they’re not a long-term solution to your financial woes. If you consistently have trouble making ends meet, you need more than just a one-time cash infusion.
You need to stop living paycheck to paycheck.
Fortunately, many of these apps help you with that too. For starters, they help you break free from payday lenders and the high-interest payments they charge. They also help you stay on top of your bills and avoid the late or overdraft fees weighing down your budget.
Some payday advance apps also offer budgeting tools to help you track and manage your spending or automated savings tools to help you build up your emergency fund. Many also provide ways to help you earn extra money through cash-back rewards, extra shifts, or side gigs.
With the help of these tools, you won’t need to rely on cash advances to cover those unplanned expenses; you’ll have money in the bank to take care of them.
Methodology: How We Choose the Best Cash Advance Apps
We use several factors to evaluate the cash advance apps on this list. All relate to the overall cost of their services, ease of use, and general applicability for everyday money management needs.
When you need money, you need it fast. The best paycheck advance apps offer next-day or same-day (“instant”) transfers. It’s often the case that you have to pay more for an instant transfer, but that’s an acceptable tradeoff when getting your money in two to three business days simply won’t cut it.
The best paycheck advance apps charge nothing for standard transfers, which typically clear within three business days. They should also charge nothing for early direct deposit, which usually arrives two business days early but can come up to four business days early in some cases.
Most apps do charge for instant transfers. This revenue stream is crucial to their business models. But all else being equal, we prefer apps that keep those fees low or even waive them altogether.
Many of the apps on this list charge monthly subscription fees or have premium tiers that carry fees. In return, users typically get much more than paycheck advances and, in some cases, feature suites that rival full-service banks.
The best paycheck advance apps aren’t really paycheck advance apps at all. They’re comprehensive financial technology apps that partner with FDIC-insured banks to offer checking accounts, savings accounts, and possibly other account types as well.
We like our paycheck advance apps to be comprehensive. The more account options and other features they offer, the better.
Again, comprehensiveness is better, so the best paycheck advance apps offer some or all of the following:
- Fee waivers for meeting qualifying activities
- Referral bonuses when you get friends to sign up
- Cash back on eligible debit card purchases
- Interest on checking or savings balances
Account opening bonuses are relatively rare in this space, but they’re out there if you know where to look.
Many paycheck advance apps are designed for new-to-credit users and people rebuilding their credit for one reason or another. The best options offer products and services to help, including credit-builder loans, secured credit cards, and free credit scores.