Banks that offer cash advances

Banks that offer cash advances DEFAULT

How to Get a Free Cash Advance With No Credit Check

7 free and low-cost cash advance apps

1. Boro


You can access a loan for up to $2,000 at an interest rate that depends on your credit score. Repayment must be complete in 12 months. You don't need to have a direct deposit set up or a job. But you will be responsible for monthly payments.


Membership is free. Interest rates are based on your creditworthiness. If you repay your loan within one month, it is interest free.

Who can use it

Boro is for college students. You must be at least 18 years old and enrolled in a U.S. college or university. Recent grads can also qualify. Boro loans (called BoroCash) are only available in about half the country. You'll need to check the website to see if loans are available in your state.

Other features you should know about

Repaying your loan will help you build credit. Payments are automatically deducted from your linked checking account.

2. Brigit


Get a free cash advance for up to $250. No credit check is required. The first time you take a cash advance it will be automatically deducted from your next paycheck, or you can request a due date extension one time. As you use the app, you will qualify for more payment due date extensions (up to three).


Brigit is free but not instant. For a same-day cash advance, you need the premium membership for $9.99 per month. With this option, Brigit automatically funds your checking account to avoid potential overdrafts, and allows more time for loan repayment, among other benefits.

Who can use it

You must have an active bank account with a recurring direct deposit to qualify for Brigit Instant Cash.

There is no minimum credit score requirement, and using Brigit does not affect your credit. However, Brigit may limit or deny services if:

  • Your bank account is new (opened in the last 60 days).
  • You have a history of overdrafting your account.
  • You have not received at least three direct deposits from your primary source of income.

Other details you should know about

Brigit provides free financial health updates, plus information about extra income earning opportunities.

3. Chime


If you have direct deposit, Chime releases your pay the same day your employer deposits it. Most banks hold the funds for 1-3 days. This isn't quite an emergency loan, but it does speed up access to the money you've already earned.


Free. There is no monthly maintenance fee, no fee if you overdraft your account, and no fee to use the 38,000 ATMs in its network.

Who can use it

Anyone can apply for membership at Chime. You'll need to provide your social security number, cell phone number and address. You might have to provide a copy of your ID. Chime says opening an account will not affect your credit score. Certain features, like the free overdraft protection, require a minimum direct deposit amount each month.

Other details you should know about

  • Chime is an app that partners with an FDIC insured bank to help you manage your money.
  • You'll earn more with Chime's high yield savings than you will at most banks.
  • Chime offers a credit-builder secured credit card with no credit check required. The card has no annual fee, no maintenance fee, and does not charge interest (because the account is pre-funded by you like a prepaid debit card).
  • Automatic savings is streamlined at Chime. Like most banks, Chime allows you to set aside a portion of each paycheck. Chime also allows you to round up each debit card purchase and put that spare change into your savings account.
  • The overdraft protection is limited to $20 initially but increases to up to $200 for members with positive account history.

4. Dave


You can get a cash advance of up to $200 when Dave notifies you that you are at risk of overdrafting. No credit check required. If you have direct deposit, Dave releases the money to you as soon as your employer transfers it.


A Dave membership is $1 per month. There is no minimum balance requirement for a Dave checking account. Qualified members can pay an additional fee to get up to $100 of cash above the regular limit. Tips are accepted, but optional.

Who can use it

Anyone can join Dave. You'll need to provide identifying information and connect your bank account. You may be asked for proof of your address or a copy of your ID.

Other details you should know about

Dave offers a free rent reporting service to help you build credit and information about how to earn more money. Also, you can access your account via 32,000 fee-free ATMs.

5. Earnin


Get cash advances of up to $100 per day and $500 per pay period. No credit check required. The repayment date is your next payday unless you request a different due date at least two business days prior to that date.


Free but Earnin accepts tips of up to $14 per $100 cash out transaction. Tips are optional but Earnin says they financially support the app.

Who can use it

Anyone with a job, a bank account, and direct deposit. You'll need to set up your Earnin account first by downloading the app, entering your information, and connecting your bank account.

Other details you should know about

Earnin is an app that partners with an FDIC insured bank to help you manage your money. Earnin offers other features besides the cash advance product, including a savings tool, financial insights, and a low balance alert. If enabled, the low balance tool will automatically transfer a $100 cash advance to your bank account when your balance falls below that amount (to help you avoid overdrafts).

6. Empower


You can get an instant cash advance of up to $250 any time during your pay cycle. No credit check is required.


Empower membership is $8 per month after a free 14-day trial period. Instant cash advances require an Empower checking account; if you want the money to be transferred to an external bank account, you might need to pay a $3 fee and it won't hit your account the same day you request it.

Who can use it

To be eligible for the free cash advance, you need to have an established account with Empower and minimum direct deposits. To join, Empower will need your address, phone number, and social security number. You may have to provide a copy of your ID and proof of your current address.

Other details you should know about

  • Empower is an app that partners with an FDIC insured bank to help you manage your money.
  • You can take advantage of an automatic savings plan that sets aside small amounts of money every week.
  • You'll get free access to 37,000 ATMs.
  • If you have direct deposit, Empower generally releases the money to you on the same day your employer deposits it. At many other banks this takes 1-3 days.
  • You can earn up to 10% cash back on debit card purchases.
  • Set your own spending limit to help you manage your money.

7. MoneyLion


You can get a free cash advance for up to $250. No credit check is required. If you switch your direct deposits to a MoneyLion account (called RoarMoney) or take a MoneyLion credit builder loan, you can eventually access up to $300.


Free, but cash advances take anywhere from 12 hours to 5 business days, depending on what type of checking account you have linked. If you want the money instantly, you'll need to pay a fee of $3.99 to $4.99 for each cash advance.

Who can use it

You'll need to already have linked your checking account and verified your identity to be eligible for the free cash advance. Your cash advance limit will depend on how high and consistent your direct deposits are. Limits start at $25. Also, your checking account should be established (at least two months old) and active (regularly used).

Other details you should know about

  • Credit Builder Plus is a low interest credit builder loan that helps you establish 12 months of payment history so that you can build credit and save money. The loan amount can be up to $1,000 but you won't get access to all of those funds immediately. You'll get a portion, and the rest is held in a reserve account and released as you make payments. The program fee is $19.99 per month, and interest is charged on the loan.
  • Members who open a RoarMoney checking account can earn cash back on debit card purchases. The cash back is automatically invested in a managed portfolio account where you can access it or let it grow.

Emergency loans

If you have a need for cash right now and you haven't set up one of these apps yet, you may still have options. If you have a credit card, you might qualify for a credit card cash advance. Members of some credit unions can get a low-cost payday alternative loan (PAL). Homeowners and renters can even qualify for a Small Business Association (SBA) disaster loan under certain circumstances. Check out our post on emergency loans to learn more.

If what you want is a consistently earlier payday, here are a few apps besides Chime that help you get your direct deposit faster (but might not offer payday loans or cash advances):

  • Axos Bank
  • Go2Bank
  • SoFi Money
  • Varo (Varo also offers free cash advances of up to $20 to qualifying members, and bigger cash advances for a fee.)
  • Wealthfront Cash Account
Fifth Third Bank LogoFifth Third Bank Logo
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Can You Get a Cash Advance with a Debit Card?

Paying with cash is like using the bathroom. When you gotta do it, you gotta do it. And while cash-only transactions might not be as common now in the age of your Venmos and your Paypals, it’s still something you’re going to encounter every so often.

Even if you don’t carry cash around on the regular, any small cash transaction can be handled pretty easily. You can just go to your local ATM  and make a withdrawal, or you can pop into the store and get cash back.

But if you need to make a larger cash transaction—like paying for a used car—then you’re going to have to turn elsewhere. You’ll probably have to take out a cash advance on your debit card. Not familiar with how that works? No worries. That’s what we’re here for.

Yes, you can use your debit card to get a cash advance.

When you think “cash advance”, you’re probably thinking about a credit card cash advance. That’s where you take out money using your credit card, and the amount you withdraw is added to your total balance. (You can read our complete guide to cash advances in the OppU article What is a Cash Advance?)

A debit card cash advance is different. Instead of adding funds to a revolving balance, a debit card cash advance withdraws that money directly from your checking account. In terms of where the money comes from, a debit card cash advance is exactly the same as taking out money from the ATM.

To take out a debit card cash advance, all you need to do is go to a local bank or credit union branch and talk to a teller. There will be a fee for requesting the advance, usually some small percentage of the total amount withdrawn.

What’s the point of a debit card cash advance?

If taking out a debit card cash advance is basically the same thing as taking out money from the ATM, then what’s the point? Well, there are a few different reasons why taking out a cash advance on a debit card is useful:

1. They come with higher limits: If you’ve ever tried to take out a lot of money from your ATM, you’ve probably run into a problem: There’s a daily limit on how much you can withdraw.  For regular ol’ checking accounts, it’s usually somewhere between $300 to $500. But with a cash advance, the limit will be much higher—in the thousands of dollars, not the hundreds.

2. You can use other banks: For the most part, you can go to any local bank branch and get a debit card cash advance, even if it’s not affiliated with your bank. If you bank through a credit union, this will mostly be the with other credit unions too. Not being limited to your bank is a huge advantage. Though it should be noted that not all banks will accept your request for a cash advance. Check with your bank for details.

3. They don’t carry interest: When you take out a cash advance on your credit card, you’re getting charged more than just a fee; you’re getting charged interest, too. And that interest rate will not only be higher than the rate for your standard transactions, it will also skip the one-month grace period. That interest will start accruing immediately. On the other hand, debit card cash advances don’t come with any interest, just the initial fee. That makes them a much cheaper option for fast cash!

What are the downsides to a debit card cash advance?

The biggest downside is this: you cannot take out a cash advance on a debit card for more than you have in your checking account. Many times, when people need emergency cash, it’s because they don’t have the money period to cover an unforeseen bill. In cases like this, a debit card cash advance isn’t going to do them much good.

Now, you may be able to swing a cash advance that’s larger than your checking account balance, but doing so means overdrafting, and overdrafting means dealing with some pretty sizeable fees. According to a report from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), the average overdraft fee works out to an annual percentage rate (APR) of over 17,000%.

In the end, the best way to handle unforeseen expenses is to have an emergency fund—cash that’s available for you to use anytime.

How to Get a Cash Advance from a Credit Card
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Offer advances that banks cash

What is a credit card cash advance?

Before you take out a cash advance on your credit card, it’s important to understand the fees and risks involved, as well as the benefits.

Couple using a credit card to make a purchase

A credit card cash advance is a withdrawal of cash from your credit card account. Essentially, you’re borrowing against your credit card to put cash in your pocket. However, there are costs to taking a credit card cash advance and, in some cases, limits on the amount you can withdraw. Here’s what you need to know.

You may be able to go to your bank or an ATM and use your credit card to take out money. While the process may seem similar to withdrawing money with a debit card, what you’re really doing is taking a cash advance on your credit card. Unlike a debit card withdrawal, where you’re accessing your own funds, with a cash advance, your credit card company is essentially lending you money and charging your account. The charge will likely cost you; cash advances generally have a transaction fee and a higher annual percentage rate (APR). Additionally, you will likely be subject to a limit on how much you can advance; this is called a cash credit line and is likely only a portion of your total credit line.

Using your card for cash isn’t the only form of cash advance, though. Some credit card companies send customers checks in the mail linked to their accounts—known as convenience checks. If you deposited them, the transaction would be considered a form of cash advance and you’d be subject to the cash advance APR and may be subject to transaction fees.

When to consider using a cash advance

Cash advances can be an important source of funds in an emergency. While you don’t want to plan on using cash advances regularly, you might use them if you are short of funds and unable to charge an expense. However, always be sure to consider all of your options given the costs.

It’s a good idea to consult your credit card agreement to make sure you know the rules and fees. Particularly, look for and consider:

  • Transaction fee: You will pay a transaction fee for credit card cash advances.
  • APR: The APR for cash advances is often higher than for credit card purchases.
  • Interest-free period: Cash advances often begin accruing interest at the time of the withdrawal, meaning there’s no grace period.

Ways to limit the fees associated with a cash advance

  • Understand your transaction fees: Some transaction fees are a percentage of the overall advance; in that case, you could limit the fee by withdrawing only as much as you need. Other transaction fees may be a flat rate or a combination of a flat rate and percentage of the transaction. In this case, if you take all the cash you think you’ll need at once, instead of making multiple smaller transactions, you only pay the flat fee once.
  • Plan your repayment: Unlike standard credit card purchases, where there’s a grace period between the purchase and the payment due date when interest kicks in, cash transactions, such as an advance, generally begin accruing interest immediately. That means paying off your cash advance in a timely manner is crucial to saving you money long term.

How to avoid taking a cash advance

  • Make purchases with your credit card: If you have the option, you can often limit interest and transaction fees by charging purchases to your card rather than getting a cash advance.
  • Avoid unnecessary purchases: Ask yourself if the purchase you intend to make with your cash advance is worth the extra fees or if it can wait.
  • Monitor your balance: If you’re worried about running low on funds, it’s a good idea to keep track of your account balance so you’re not caught by surprise. If you bank online, you can generally set up text or email alerts to notify you if your balance drops below a set amount. If you’re a Bank of America customer, you can sign up for mobile alerts.
  • Build an emergency fund: Occasionally you’ll need to pay for things that aren’t in your monthly budget, such as car repairs. Build an emergency fund when things are going well, and you may be able to avoid having to use credit card cash advances for these transactions.

For more information about bank cash advances, direct deposit and check cash advances, refer to your credit card agreement or your credit card statement. You can also contact your credit card company for more information.

How to Sell Cash Advances on the Phone

When to Use a Debit Card Cash Advance

cash advance

Cash advances are typically associated with credit cards, but some banks allow you to do the same with a debit card.

If you've hit your daily ATM withdrawal limit find out how a debit card cash advance can help and what fees you'll be expected to pay.

Debit cards are convenient for making purchases and withdrawing money at the ATM but you may not know that you can also use it to get cash at another bank's teller window.

That can certainly come in handy if you need to withdraw a large sum of cash in a pinch.

Quick answer: Use debit card cash advances when you've hit your daily ATM withdrawal limit and you still need more cash for an emergency. Debit card cash advances are provided by banks to non-customers.

How a debit card cash advance works

Using your debit card to take a cash advance at a bank where you are not a customer is fairly simple.

You present your card at the teller window and the transaction is processed the same as a credit card cash advance, only the money is debited from your account rather than being charged against a line of credit.

Depending on the bank's policy, you may have to provide a signature or your PIN number to complete the transaction.

Debit card cash advances are available at most banks in the U.S., although Citibank and SunTrust are two of the larger financial institutions that don't allow them.

So, you've hit your daily ATM withdrawal limit

If you've hit your daily ATM withdrawal limit and need a lot more cash, you may want to consider a debit card cash advance, since it's fairly easy to do, even if it's not at your own bank.

Your ATM withdrawal limit varies from bank to bank and the type of account you have usually determine how much money you can take out at the ATM each day.

Tip: If you don't need a huge amount, you can always go to your local grocery or drugstore and make a small purchase and ask for cash back. Remember that merchants place limits on how much cash back you can receive.

Comparing debit card cash advance fees

Using your debit card to withdraw money at another bank's ATM will cost you a few dollars in fees and the same is true if you're taking a cash advance from your account, with a teller.

The fee may be calculated as a flat dollar amount or as a percentage of what you withdraw.

Some banks charge a higher fee for taking cash advances from banks that are located outside the U.S.

Compared to a credit card cash advance, the fees are roughly the same but the difference is you're not paying interest on the money you withdraw.

Many credit card issuers charge anywhere from 25% to 29% APR on cash advances, so using your debit card instead is a much less expensive option.

To give you an idea of what the top banks charge for taking a debit card cash advance, check out the table below to see how they add up.

Debit Card Cash Advance Fees

Bank NameDebit Card Cash Advance Fee
Chase$5 or 3% of withdrawal amount, whichever is greater
Bank of America$5 or 3% of withdrawal amount, whichever is greater, up to a maximum of $10.00
CitibankDebit card cash advances are not permitted
PNC Bank$3 at a PNC branch, $5 at all other banks
TD Bank$3
Branch Banking & Trust (BB&T)$0
SunTrustDebit card cash advances are not permitted
Capital One 360$0
US Bank$2
Wells Fargo$3 for domestic withdrawals, 3% of the amount for international transactions
Citizens BankEither $10 or up to 3% of the amount of each advance, whichever is greater.
Fifth Third BankGreater of $5 or 3% of the transaction amount up to a maximum of $10
Bank of the West$3
BBVA Compass$0

What to watch out for

The most important thing to remember about a debit card cash advance is that you need to have sufficient funds in your account for it to be processed.

If you try to take out more money than what you have available or there are pending debits that haven't cleared from your account, you run the risk of incurring overdraft fees once the withdrawal is complete.

Many banks charge more than one overdraft fee per day so if you have multiple items returned as a result of a debit card advance, that can push your account even further into the negative.

You'll also need to keep in mind taking a large advance could impact your minimum balance requirements.

At some banks, this is calculated based on the average amount of money you keep in your account each month but at others, it's based on the daily average balance.

If a debit card advance causes your balance to dip below the daily required minimum, it could trigger a separate maintenance fee.

Final thoughts

If you end up in a situation where you need to withdraw more money than you're able to get through the ATM, a debit card cash advance is an easy solution.

It's generally cheaper than taking an advance from your credit card and you also don't have to worry about it affecting your credit score.

Just be clear on what the fees are up front so you know how much the convenience will cost you.

Continue Reading


Now discussing:

15 Best Paycheck Advance Apps to Help You Make It to Payday

If you sometimes feel like there’s too much month at the end of your money, you’re not alone.

According to the 2016 National Financial Well-Being Survey conducted by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, more than 40% of American adults have trouble making ends meet. It’s one reason payday loans are such big business in this country. These short-term loans promise a quick and easy way to tide yourself over until your next payday. But in the long run, they only make your situation worse by adding a whopping interest payment to all your other bills.

Thanks to modern technology, there’s a better solution. Several popular personal finance apps help you make it from one payday to the next by giving you access to your paycheck a few days early. That way, if it’s the middle of the week and your car battery just died, you can get the money to cover the repair without paying hefty interest and fees.

How Payday Advance Apps Work

Technically, the service these apps offer isn’t a loan. It’s a paycheck advance. In other words, it’s a way to get paid a little early for the work you’ve already performed.

A payday advance app pays 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 their makers 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 the 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 the immediate cash you need 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.

Top Payday Advance Apps

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 use the first app you download. Figure out which one has the features you really need, and stick with that one.

1. Brigit

Perhaps the most flexible payday advance app is Brigit. It delivers up to $250 that you’ve already earned to your account by the next business day without subjecting you to a credit check.

When your next paycheck arrives, Brigit automatically pulls the money out of your bank account. However, you can opt to pay back the loan early. You can also extend the due date once on your first loan with no late fee or penalty. As you continue to use the app, you can earn additional extension credits that allow you to delay payment up to three times in a row.

Brigit has an option to notify you if your account balance is running low so you can request an advance if you need it. You can also set up automated advances to receive a transfer anytime your account balance is in danger of dropping below zero to avoid overdraft fees. However, this perk is only available as part of Brigit’s Plus plan, which comes with a $10 monthly fee.

Brigit doesn’t offer cash advances to just anyone. You must meet the app’s requirements for:

  • Income. You have to show your monthly income is above a certain amount, which they don’t specify on the site. Moreover, all this income must come from a single steady source. You must show you’ve received at least three paycheck direct deposits from the same employer before Brigit grants you an advance.
  • Banking. You must have a checking account that’s at least 60 days old with a balance greater than $0. Additionally, you must show sufficient activity in your account, which means using it regularly to make payments, receive deposits, or check balances. Finally, you must show you have 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 you must have at least a 70 to receive cash advances.

In addition to cash advances, Brigit offers a few extra features to help you stay on top of your finances. With the free plan, you get updates on your financial health, personalized tips for improving it, and opportunities to earn extra cash. The Plus plan also provides instant deposit, flexible repayment, credit monitoring, and identity theft insurance.

Learn More

2. Go2Bank

Yet another mobile bank account that provides early paycheck access is Go2Bank, a subsidiary of Green Dot. It offers all the perks you’d expect from an online bank account, including:

  • An interest rate of 1% APY — over 10 times the national average
  • No monthly fees, as long as you use direct deposit. (Without direct deposit, the fee is $5 per month.)
  • Fraud alerts if there’s suspicious activity on your account
  • The ability to lock and unlock your account in the app
  • Online bill payment
  • Overdraft protection of up to $200 with direct deposit
  • Access to a network of free ATMs that you can find through the app. (There’s a fee of $3 for out-of-network ATM withdrawals.)
  • A secured credit card to help you build credit
  • A free monthly credit score from Equifax
  • The ability to make cash deposits at a participating retail store (although the store may charge a fee)
  • The ability to cash checks via the app for a fee of 1% to 5% (minimum $5)
  • Up to 7% cash back on in-app purchases of electronic gift cards

Learn More

3. Empower

With Empower, you can get an interest-free advance of up to $250* There are no late fees and no credit checks. You can have the money sent instantly to your external bank account for a $3 fee or to the Empower Card (discussed below) for free.

However, Empower is more than just a payroll advance app. Get the only card you’ll ever need with a suite of benefits that helps you feel more secure in between paychecks. The Empower Card has benefits tailor-made for you:

  • Cash Advance. Get Cash Advance of up to $250* with no applications, no interest or late fees, and no risk to your credit score.
  • Empower Perks. Get up to 10% cashback** on places and things you spend money on already. Simply activate your preferred Perk and use your Empower Card at qualifying merchants like restaurants, grocery stores, and gas stations.
  • Early Paycheck Deposit. You can get access to your paycheck up to two days faster^ by having it deposited into your Empower Card. This is a separate feature from the payroll advance. It works just like the same feature in Wealthfront and Varo (discussed below).
  • Free ATMs. Get free unlimited access to over 37,000 ATMs across the US.
  • Maximum flexibility. There’s no overdraft fees, no insufficient funds fees, and no account minimums.

Empower also has an Automatic Savings feature. The app tracks your income and expenses and uses that information to transfer money to your AutoSave Account. It sets aside more money when your balance is high and less when your expenses increase. It keeps doing this every day until you hit your designated weekly savings goal.

You can use Empower as a budgeting app too. The app suggests an overall spending limit based on your income, and you decide how much of that limit to devote to specific budget categories. Empower sends you alerts when your spending in a given category is about to go over the limit. It also provides monthly reports that show how much you spend in each category.

Empower is free for the first 14 days for first-time customers. After that, it charges a fee of $8 per month. To qualify for up to $250 Cash Advance, you must make regular direct deposits to your Empower Card.* You must also meet certain requirements for account history and activity.

Learn More

Empower is a financial technology company, not a bank. Banking services provided by nbkc bank, Member FDIC.

*Eligibility requirements apply. Free instant delivery is available for eligible Empower Checking Account customers with an activated debit card.

**Cashback deals on Empower Card purchases, including categories, merchants, and percentages, will vary and must be selected in the app. Cashback will be applied automatically when the final transaction posts, which may be up to a week after the qualifying purchase.

^Early access to paycheck deposit funds depends on the timing of the employer’s submission of deposits. We generally post such deposits on the day they are received which may be up to 2 days earlier than the employer’s scheduled payment date.

4. SoFi Money

Like Chime and Axos, SoFi Money gives you access to your pay up to two days early with direct deposit. However, SoFi Money isn’t a bank account. Instead, it’s a cash management account at a brokerage that offers many of the same benefits as a bank, including FDIC insurance, bill payment, checks, and person-to-person transfers.

In many ways, SoFi Money is better than a typical bank account. Its perks include:

  • No Account Fees. SoFi Money charges no monthly fees, no minimum balance fees, and no overdraft fees. It also gives you fee-free access to a network of over 55,000 ATMs.
  • Free Overdraft Coverage. Your SoFi Money account will cover accidental overdrafts of up to $50 with no fee. You must sign up for direct deposit to get this benefit.
  • Interest. With SoFi Money, your savings earn 0.25% APY — six times the national average. To get this rate, you must make direct deposits of at least $500 monthly.
  • Cash Back Rewards. You can earn cash back rewards of up to 15% when you make payments from your SoFi Money account. Rewards are available at a rotating selection of your favorite brands and merchants.
  • Vaults. With the Vaults feature, you can lock away savings that you don’t want to use for your everyday expenses. For instance, suppose you want to save for a down payment on a house. You can set up a Vault for this purpose, make regular monthly deposits into it, and track your progress toward your goal. You can have up to 20 Vaults at a time.
  • Roundups. To boost the savings in your Vault faster, you can sign up for Roundups. Every time you make a purchase with your SoFi Money debit card, it gets rounded up to the nearest dollar and the extra cents are transferred to your Vault.
  • Mobile App. SoFi Money makes it easy to bank from your phone. You can pay bills, transfer and receive funds, and deposit checks without setting foot in a bank.
  • Monthly Giveaway. Through the end of 2021, SoFi is giving away $20,000 in cash prizes each month. Each time you spend with your SoFi Money debit card, you earn one entry for a chance to win. If you have direct deposit set up, you earn three times as many entries.
  • Cash Bonus. If you switch a direct deposit from your current bank to SoFi Money, you get a one-time cash bonus of $100. This deposit appears in your So-Fi Money account within two weeks.

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5. Wealthfront Cash Account

Nextgen banking service Wealthfront now offers an additional perk: a bank account that processes your paycheck faster. When you set up direct deposit on your Wealthfront Cash Account, the money can enter your account up to two days before your official payday, depending on your payroll provider. In addition to making the money available sooner, that gives it two extra days of each pay period to earn interest. And with unlimited free transfers to your connected investment account, you can easily put your money to work in the market at any time.

The Wealthfront Cash Account offers a generous interest rate of 0.10% APY, with no account fees or monthly maintenance fee. You can make an unlimited number of transfers into and out of your account each month at no cost. You can also make payments directly from your account or withdraw cash with no fees through a nationwide network of 19,000 ATMs. And, unlike most banks, it insures the cash in your account up to $1 million — four times the amount covered by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation.

One unique feature of Wealthfront is its Self-Driving Money™ vision. It gives you the option to take care of all your financial obligations automatically. Once you direct-deposit your paycheck, Wealthfront can pay all your bills, replenish your emergency fund, and direct any extra money into an investment account based on your personal goals.

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6. Varo

Varo is an online banking service that can give you faster access to your paycheck. With most traditional bank accounts, you have to wait up to two days for the payment to clear before you have access to the money. But 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.*

Other features of a Varo Bank Account include:

  • Varo Visa® Debit Card. The account comes with a contactless debit card that bears the Visa brand mark. It comes with a Zero Liability guarantee, meaning you aren’t responsible for any unauthorized charges. The app gives you the ability to lock this card instantly if it’s lost or stolen. You can link your debit card to your Apple Pay, Google Pay, PayPal, Cash App, and Venmo accounts for online payments.
  • Transfers to Other Varo Bank Customers. You can transfer money instantly from your Varo account to anyone else’s. There’s no fee for this service.
  • Fewer Fees. Varo has no monthly fee, no minimum balance, no transfer fees, and no foreign transaction fees. It also provides fee-free access to more than 55,000 ATMs in the Allpoint® network in stores like Walgreens, Target, and CVS.
  • Deposit Money. You can deposit checks remotely using the Varo app. You can also deposit cash into your account at any of more than 90,000 retail locations that use Green Dot Reload® @ the Register, though most retailers charge a fee for this service.
  • Automatic Savings Tools. A standard Varo Bank Account is similar to a checking account. However, if you also have a Varo Savings Account, Varo offers two automatic savings tools to build up your nest egg. With Save Your Pay, you can automatically have a chosen percentage of every paycheck transferred from your bank account to your savings account. Or with Save Your Change, you can round up every transaction to the nearest dollar, and Varo transfers that amount from your Varo Bank Account to your Savings Account.
  • Varo Believe Credit Card. If you’re trying to build your credit score, Varo’s secured credit card can help. It’s linked to your Varo Bank Account, and each time you use the card, Varo automatically sets aside money to meet the payment. That guarantees you can always pay your balance in full and on time. 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.

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*Early access to direct deposit funds depends on 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.

7. Chime

Like Wealthfront and Varo, Chime is an online bank account that gives you access to your pay faster. If you have a Chime account with direct deposit, your wages become available to you the same day your employer deposits them into the account. That gives you access to your money up to two days earlier.

Chime is a full-service bank account you can use to transfer money, send and deposit checks, and pay bills online. It also offers a lot of other great perks most bank accounts don’t, including:

  • No Hidden Fees. Most brick-and-mortar banks load down their accounts with costly bank fees. By contrast, Chime charges no overdraft fees, minimum balance fees, monthly service fees, transfer fees, or foreign transaction fees. It also offers fee-free access to a network of over 38,000 MoneyPass and Visa Plus Alliance ATMs.
  • Banking Alerts. Chime helps you keep track of your money by sending you an alert any time it transfers cash into or out of your account. The app notifies you when your paycheck comes in or when you make a purchase with your Chime debit card. It also tells you every day exactly how much money you have in your account.
  • Automatic Savings. Chime offers a savings account with built-in automatic savings features. For instance, you can arrange to have 10% of every paycheck transferred to your savings account immediately. There’s also a feature to automatically round up your debit card purchases to the nearest dollar and deposit the change into savings.
  • Debit Card Protections. Chime’s debit card is protected by Visa Zero Liability. Additionally, if your card is ever lost or stolen, you can stop others from using it by disabling it right in the app with one swipe.
  • Payments to Friends. Chime’s Pay Friends feature allows you to send payments to other Chime users free of charge. You can use it for splitting a restaurant check, paying your share of the rent or utility bill, or making an instant payment to the babysitter.

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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.

8. Axos Bank — Direct Deposit Express

Another online bank that offers faster access to your paycheck is Axos Bank. Its fee-free Essential Checking account comes with Direct Deposit Express, a feature that gives you access to your paycheck as soon as your employer submits the payroll instruction to the bank — up to two days before your coworkers get theirs. All you have to do is set up direct deposit for your account, and the bank does the rest.

Essential Checking from Axos also offers other perks, such as:

  • Low Fees. Essential Checking has no monthly maintenance fees, no minimum monthly balance, and no overdraft or nonsufficient funds fees. It also offers unlimited reimbursement for ATM fees from other banks within the United States.
  • Online and Mobile Banking. You can use the Axos website or mobile app to manage your account from anywhere. Its features include free mobile check deposit and online bill payment. And you can integrate it with third-party apps like Venmo or Mint.
  • No-Hassle Switching. If you don’t currently have an Essential Checking account, it’s easy to set one up. Axos can walk you through the whole process in two minutes. You don’t even need to make an initial deposit.

Another Axos account that comes with Direct Deposit Express is Nationwide My Checking. This special checking account is available only to customers of Nationwide insurance. It’s similar to Essential Checking except it requires an opening deposit of $100.

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9. Earnin

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 fairer 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 $500 per pay period. There’s no fee for this service, but you can add a “tip” of any amount up to $14. Although the tip is optional, Palaniappan told Vox in May 2019 that many Earnin users voluntarily pay it to help keep the app running. 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, including:

  • Balance Shield. This feature protects you from hefty bank overdraft fees. It keeps track of your bank balance and alerts you if your balance drops below a particular amount you choose. It can also automatically give you a $100 cash advance if you need one.
  • Cash-Back Rewards. Earnin also acts as a shopping rewards app. Just link your credit card to your Earnin account and earn rewards of up to 10% cash back at participating local stores and restaurants. Cash in your rewards at any time and transfer them directly to your bank account.
  • Tip Yourself. This is an FDIC-insured online bank account with a special perk. When you save money in your Tip Yourself account, you enter a drawing to win weekly cash prizes. It’s like a lottery ticket that pays out interest even when you don’t win.

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10. Dave

The Dave app combines some of the features of Earnin and Chime. It’s an online checking account with no minimum balance that also offers a no-interest cash advance.

With most banks, if you make a payment that’s more than you have in your account, the bank pays out the money and then hits you with a stiff fee. Dave takes a different approach. It notifies you you’re at risk of going over your balance and gives you the option to request a cash advance of up to $200 from your next paycheck. There’s no interest, and no credit check is required.

Other Dave features include:

  • An electronic checking account with no minimum balance
  • Fee-free access to 32,000 MoneyPass ATMs nationwide
  • The ability to freeze and unfreeze your card via the app
  • Automatic budgeting based on your monthly expenses
  • Free subscription to LevelCredit, which reports your rent payment to the credit bureaus to let you build credit without a credit card. (This feature is available only to users who make regular direct deposits of at least $200 into their Dave Spending Account.)
  • A Side Hustle feature to connect you with money-making gigs in your area

Dave has a minimal membership fee (just $1 per month), but it makes most of its money from tips. Each time you request an advance, you can opt to tip a suggested amount or set your own amount. For each 1% you tip, Dave gives back by planting a tree through Trees for the Future and making a donation to Feeding America.

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11. MoneyLion

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 $250 of your next paycheck with no interest and no credit check. This feature is available 24/7, and the money appears in your account within seconds. And, at the same time, its online RoarMoney account gives you access to your paycheck up to two days early.

But MoneyLion’s features don’t end there. It also offers:

  • Low-Fee Checking. RoarMoney has no minimum balance requirement and no fees for standard transfers, foreign transactions, mobile check deposit, stop payment, or card replacement. It also gives you fee-free access to over 55,000 Allpoint ATMs worldwide. The only fee is a $1 monthly administrative fee.
  • Low-Fee Investing. MoneyLion isn’t just for saving. It 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 fit specific interests, such as socially responsible investing. Your account is fully managed but has no management fees and no minimum balance. There’s even an automatic investment feature to make investing easy. Like RoarMoney, this account has a $1 monthly fee.
  • Free Fraud Protection. MoneyLion uses multi-factor authentication to keep your account secure. It also enables you to lock and unlock your debit card through the app.
  • Budgeting Tools. MoneyLion sends weekly spending reports so you can see where your cash is going. It also provides budgeting tools to help you get your spending under control.
  • Cash-Back Rewards. With the MoneyLion app, you earn cash back on debit card purchases from select online merchants. And with MoneyLion’s Shake ‘N’ Bank feature, you can earn additional rewards just by shaking your phone after making a $10 purchase.
  • Price Protection. Your purchases through MoneyLion are also price-protected. If you find a lower price within 90 days after making a purchase, you can get a refund of the difference. (There’s a limit of $250 per refund and four refunds per year.)

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. By making regular, on-time payments, you can build a solid credit history.

Credit Builder Plus also includes other features to help build your credit. It comes with free credit monitoring from TransUnion, allowing you to track your progress. And it allows you to waive the $1 administrative fee on a RoarMoney bank account, a MoneyLion investment account, or both.

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12. PayActiv

Unlike some payday advance apps, PayActiv isn’t something you use on your own. Instead, your employer offers it to you as a benefit. Its core feature is what it calls “earned wage access,” or EWA, which is the ability to collect your wages as soon as you earn them.

PayActiv allows you to collect up to 50% of any wages you’ve already earned, up to a maximum of $500. You can transfer the money to your bank account, use it to pay bills online, transfer it to a prepaid card, or even receive it in cash at a Walmart Money Center. The app charges a flat fee of $5 for each biweekly period in which you use the service. If you don’t use it, you don’t pay a fee.

Along with EWA, PayActiv offers one-on-one financial coaching and payment features for employees. You can use it to pay bills, summon an Uber, or make purchases on Amazon. It even provides discounts on prescription drugs. You can also choose to put your money on a free PayActiv prepaid card, which is accepted anywhere Visa is and also works at 65,000 in-network ATMs.

PayActiv has perks for employers as well. It helps improve worker satisfaction, reduces turnover, attracts new workers, improves on-the-job productivity, and even reduces stress-related health care costs. The service costs employers nothing and takes only two days to set up. Employers using it include restaurants such as Wendy’s, retailers such as Walmart, and senior care facilities.

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13. DailyPay

DailyPay is another app for employers to offer as a benefit. Like PayActiv, it gives you access to a portion of the wages you’ve earned before payday.

For each shift you work, you build up credit in your DailyPay account, which you can then transfer to your bank account at any time. The app charges a fee of $1.99 per transfer to receive your money by the next business day or $2.99 to receive your money instantly. When payday comes around, you receive your regular paycheck minus any advances you’ve requested. According to DailyPay, the average employee using the service saves $1,205 in overdraft fees, late fees, and payday loan interest.

DailyPay also lets you set up various kinds of automatic transfers to your savings account. You can use AutoSave to save a set amount each payday, DirectSave to set aside a percentage of each paycheck, or RoundupSave to make a transfer to savings whenever you request an advance.

DailyPay boasts that it can help employers attract nearly twice as many job applicants and reduce turnover by more than 45%. It even says one out of six workers using DailyPay applied for their current jobs specifically because of this benefit. Companies that use it include Kroger, Vera Bradley, Westgate Resorts, and The Maids International.

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14. FlexWage

The FlexWage app for employers works a little differently from DailyPay and PayActive. When you sign up for the app as an employee, you receive a reloadable debit card for your wages, which takes the place of a paper paycheck. This gives you immediate access to your money on payday, unlike a check you deposit at the bank. You can use the card at any retailer that accepts Visa and at any Allpoint ATM, or transfer the cash to a bank account for free.

If you need money before payday arrives, the OnDemand Pay feature lets you request an advance. However, it’s up to your employer to decide how often that feature is available and what the limit on the advance is. The fee you pay for this service also varies by employer.

An additional feature, called FlexPay, is specifically for tipped employees, such as restaurant servers. It allows them to receive all their tips on their pay card instantly at the end of their shift. It’s faster than waiting for tips submitted with a credit card payment and safer than leaving work with a large sum in cash. FlexPay also lets employers pay contract workers or make one-time payments such as commissions, bonuses, and per diems to their regular workers.

FlexWage gives you access to a financial wellness program called Sum180 too. It allows you to:

  • Link and view all your financial accounts in one place
  • Make a starter budget in seconds
  • Receive daily financial tips and challenges
  • Read more detailed information on financial topics of interest
  • Talk to a financial wellness coach

In addition to improving worker satisfaction, FlexWage helps employers save money by eliminating the need for paper paychecks. Many well-known restaurant chains use this app, including McDonald’s, Burger King, Wendy’s, Denny’s, and Panda Express. Other clients include RWJBarnabas Health and Peppermill Casinos.

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15. Branch

Branch is another payday advance app designed mainly for employers. It replaces paper paychecks with cashless payments to a free digital account complete with its own debit card. Employers can use the service to pay contractors, reimburse employees for expenses, and grant workers access to their pay through EWA.

For employees, Branch also offers savings tools to get ahead financially. Aside from accessing your wages early, the app lets you:

  • Keep track of your balance and payments
  • Get alerts about upcoming bills
  • Receive regular spending reports

Branch is a great benefit for employers with a lot of unbanked or underbanked employees. It provides them with their own bank account, payment card, and fast access to their wages. Branch says it can help employers reduce absenteeism by 16% and double their worker retention.

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Payday Advance App Won’t Lend Enough?

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 such as Prosper all 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. If you have great credit, you can get a personal loan for as low as 10% APR, according to ValuePenguin. 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 30%. Additionally, these loans often come with origination fees of 1% to 6%. So, before signing off on a loan, check the total cost to make sure it wouldn’t be cheaper to use your credit card.

Final Word

If you need money in a hurry to cover an unexpected expense, 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 that are 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.


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