13 Best Cash Advance App Options For Instant Money

Do you need money right away to cover an urgent expense? Don’t head to a payday loan store if you can’t wait until your next paycheck. Use a cash advance app instead.

But the number of choices can be overwhelming. Here’s what you need to know to choose the app that best meets your needs.

AppLoan amountTime for free transfersSubscription fee
Albert$25-$2502-3 business daysGenius costs $15/month;basic service is free
Brigit$50-$2501 to 3 business days$9.99 per month for Plus, $14.99 for Premium
Cleo$100Up to four days$5.99 per month
DaveUp to $500Three business days$1 per month
EarninUp to $750 per pay period1 to 2 business daysNone
EmpowerUp to $250One business day$8 per month
FloatMe$50Up to three business daysFree trial, then $1.99 per month
FrontPay$100Up to two business days$14.99 per month
KloverUp to $200One to three business daysNone for basic services, $3.99 for premium
MoneyLion$25 to $250One to two business daysNone
Possible*Up to $500Up to five business days2% origination fee
VaroUp to $500One to four business days; faster if you bank through VaroNo monthly fee; You’ll pay between $1.60 to $40, depending on the total borrowed.

Possible loans are only allowed in the following states: AL, CA, DE, FL, IA, ID, IN, KS, KY, LA, MI, MS, MO, OH, OK, RI, SC, TN, TX, UT and VT.

Disclaimer: DebtHammer may be affiliated with some of the companies mentioned in this article. DebtHammer may make money from advertisements or when you contact a company through our platform.

Best for actual human contact: Albert

Albert can be a one-stop shop because its primary services are banking and financial services. Albert users who set up an account with direct deposit can access their paycheck up to two days early, which can be a lifesaver if you’re struggling to make it to payday.

Albert also offers small cash advances of up to $250, but to be eligible, you need to subscribe to the “Genius” service, which costs about $15 per month. The “Genius” membership is unique because it offers direct access to humans via text. You can set up automatic deposits into a savings account and Albert will invest your money for you. However, the monthly cost is relatively high.

You won’t be able to borrow the maximum amount at first. Albert advances start as low as $25, and Albert says the average customer can borrow $80.

Albert’s basic functions are free to use. You can get spending alerts, monitor your checking account, see upcoming bills, track debit card purchases and get alerts when you’re charged overdraft fees. 

Pro tip: If you don’t contact Albert directly to change your billing, you’ll be billed for an entire year of Genius ($156) in one lump sum. If you’re trying to avoid payday loans and struggling to make it to your next payday, an unexpected $156 fee can be a huge financial setback. Albert will bill monthly, but you have to contact the company to request it.

Does Albert check credit?No
Does Albert charge interest? No
Subscription feeYou must subscribe to Genius for instant cash advances. The cost is $15 per month, or $13 per month if you pay annually in a lump sum.
Is Plaid required?Yes
Time to get money?Two to three business days
Better Business Bureau ratingB (3.16 of 5 stars)
Fee to get money instantly$6.99
APR equivalentIf you borrow $100, pay the $15 Genius membership fee, pay $6.99 to get the money instantly and tipped $1, the APR would be about 526%

READ MORE: Apps like Albert

Best for help with budgeting: Brigit

Brigit will advance members anywhere from $50 to $250, depending on your banking history, but you have to have a paid membership to get an advance. That will set you back $10 per month. It will take anywhere from one to three business days for the money to be deposited into your account. You can pay a fee to have the money transferred instantly, but it varies based on the amount of the advance.

Brigit offers a limited number of free services. These include opportunities to earn and save money, and its “Finance Helper” features. Otherwise, you will need a paid subscription. 

Like most cash advance apps, Brigit doesn’t charge interest. But unlike most other apps, it does not request tips. However, you’ll need to pay for a subscription to be eligible for cash advances, and that fee is pretty steep. 

The Plus plan costs $9.99 per month and includes cash advances, credit monitoring and overdraft protection. Instant money transfers will cost Plus members $0.99 to $3.99 per advance. 

You can also pay $14.99 a month for a Premium subscription that includes free instant money transfers and credit-builder loans.

Does Brigit check credit?No
Does Brigit charge interest? No
Subscription feeBasic services are free; Plus membership costs $9.99 per month; Premium membership is $14.99
Does Brigit require Plaid?Yes
Time to get money?One to three business days
BBB ratingB- (1.2 of 5 stars)
Fee to get money instantlyBetween $1 to $4
APR equivalentIf you borrow $100, pay the $9.99 Plus membership fee and pay $2.99 to get the money instantly, the APR is 254%. For Premium subscribers, the APR would be 302%.

Brigit’s FTC settlement

On November 2, 2023, the FTC announced that it had taken action against Brigit, alleging that the company made canceling a paid subscription exceptionally difficult and called the company’s promises of free “instant” cash advances of up to $250 deceptive.

Brigit agreed to settle the FTC’s charges. This led to a proposed court order that requires the company to pay customers $18 million in refunds, stop its deceptive marketing promises and simplify the cancellation process.

The proposed settlement order must be approved by a federal judge. The money would be used to refund Brigit customers.

“Brigit trapped those consumers least able to afford it into monthly membership plans they struggled to escape from,” said Sam Levine, Director of the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection. “Companies that offer cash advances and other alternative financial products have to play by the same rules as other businesses or face potential action by the FTC.”

READ MORE: Apps like Brigit

Best for flexibility: Chime

Chime offers an array of mobile banking services ranging from debit cards to early paycheck access for members who set up direct deposit. Chime charges no monthly fee, and its SpotMe program will spot customers anywhere from $25 to $200, depending on their banking history.

Pro tip: Chime is not a bank. Chime works with FDIC-insured banking partners to provide consumer-oriented banking products.

Basically, instead of advancing you money, Chime allows you to overdraft your account. This means you can make an extra $200 in debit card purchases and cash withdrawals with no overdraft fees. They apply your next deposit to your negative balance. This can be particularly handy because you don’t have to pay a separate subscription fee.

To be eligible for SpotMe, Chime members must receive $200 or more in qualifying direct deposits over the preceding 34 days and have an active Chime debit card.

Does Chime check credit?No
Does Chime charge interest? No
Subscription feeNone
Does Chime require Plaid?Yes
Time to get moneyInstant
BBB ratingA (4.17 of 5 stars)
Fee to get money instantlyNone
APR equivalentIf you used Chime’s overdraft protection to loan yourself $100 and tipped $1, the APR you’d pay is 26%

READ MORE: Apps that work with Chime

Best for building credit: Cleo

Cleo is the cash advance app with sass. It calls itself the “world’s first AI assistant dedicated to personal finance.” The idea is to make it seem like you’re talking to a friend rather than an algorithm. In addition to small cash advances from $20 to $200, Cleo also offers budgeting help, credit-building products and can even identify steps you can take to raise your credit score. Ask Cleo to roast you and the app will mock your spending habits. Ask it to hype you and Cleo will praise you for something. 

If you want to use Cleo for cash advances, you must enroll in one of Cleo’s paid subscription plans — Plus or Builder. Cleo Plus will set you back $5.99 a month, or about $72 per year. And keep in mind that it could take several months for you to work your way up to advancing yourself more than about $60.

Does Cleo check credit?No
Does Cleo charge interest? No
Subscription fee$5.99 per month for Plus; $14.99 for Builder
Does Cleo require Plaid?Yes
Time to get moneyUp to four days
BBB ratingF (1 of 5 stars)
Fee to get money instantly$4
APR equivalentIf you borrow $100 for 14 days, pay $4 to have the money expedited, pay the $5.99 membership fee and tip $1, the APR you’d pay is about 209%.

Note: Cleo’s poor BBB rating stems more from complaints by people who don’t fully understand the services or have had issues with customer service. Cleo has been responsive to these complaints.

READ MORE: Apps like Cleo

Best for improving your financial weak spots: Dave

The Dave app is popular – you may have already seen Dave’s TV ads featuring a cartoon bear. It offers cash advances up to $500 to help members prevent their bank accounts from overdrafting while waiting for their next paycheck. The company also offers checking account services to people who might have trouble getting (or do not want to use) traditional bank accounts. Dave also has a low monthly subscription fee of $1.

Unlike most other similar apps, Dave doesn’t require direct deposit to use ExtraCash. This makes it ideal for gig workers who have a steady income but not a steady paycheck. Instead, you need:

  • At least three recurring bank account deposits into your Dave checking account
  • Monthly deposits totaling at least $1,000
  • A minimum history of 60 days with Dave
  • To be a U.S. resident
  • To be at least 18
  • To pass an identity verification
  • To present a valid Social Security number

Dave’s cash advance feature, ExtraCash, utilizes an AI-driven underwriting process to determine the amount customers qualify for. Additionally, Dave offers a side hustle feature that connects users with local flexible jobs to further support their financial stability.

For returning users, Dave also considers repayment history when deciding whether to provide another advance and how much to advance you.

Does Dave check credit?No
Does Dave charge interest? No
Subscription fee$1 per month
Does Dave require Plaid?No; Dave works with both Plaid and Galileo
Time to get moneyThree business days
BBB ratingB+ (1.15 of 5 stars)
Fee to get money instantly$1.99 to $9.99 for instant transfers to a Dave Spending account; $2.99 to $13.99 for instant transfers to an external debit card
APR equivalentIf you borrow $100, pay $3.99 to have it expedited, the $1 per month subscription fee and tip $1, the APR you’d pay is about 156%

READ MORE: Apps like Dave

Best for paying as little as possible to borrow: Earnin

Earnin is a highly reputable lender with largely positive reviews. The paycheck advance feature lets you borrow money you’ve already earned by monitoring your work hours. You can borrow up to $100 of your pay per day and up to $750 per pay period – within minutes of earning it. There are no mandatory fees and no credit checks. You are not required to enroll in direct deposit, but you must link your bank account.

Does Earnin check credit?No
Does Earnin charge interest? No
Subscription feeNone
Does Earnin require Plaid?Yes
Time to get moneyOne to two business days
BBB ratingA (2.34 of 5 stars)
Fee to get money instantly$1.99 to $3.99
APR equivalentIf you borrow $100, pay $1.99 to have the money expedited and tip $1, the APR would be about 78%.

Best if you also need extra money management help: Empower

Empower is more than a cash advance app. It offers automatic savings and budgeting tools, plus access to a large network of ATMs. Empower customers can qualify for advances ranging from $10 to $250 with no interest charges, late fees or credit checks. You can deposit those funds into your bank account or onto the Empower Debit Card, 

Empower offers a 14-day free trial for new customers. After the trial ends, Empower charges a monthly subscription fee of $8. Returning customers are not eligible for the free trial.

Pro tip: Because Empower offers an array of loan options, be sure that you’re requesting an interest-free cash advance. Other lending options can charge interest rates up to 36% APR.

Does Empower check credit?No
Does Empower charge interest? No
Subscription fee$8 per month
Does Empower require Plaid?Yes
Time to get moneyOne business day
BBB ratingB+ (1.3 of 5 stars)
Fee to get money instantly$1 to $8
APR equivalentIf you borrow $100, pay $3 to expedite the money, the $8 subscription fee and a $1 tip, the APR you’re paying is about 312%.

READ MORE: Apps like Empower

Best for speed: FloatMe

FloatMe will loan (or “float”) you between $10 to $50 until payday. The money can be used however you like, but it’s a very small cap, and you’ll have to pay a monthly subscription fee of $3.99. FloatMe connects to your bank account and analyzes your transactions. If you meet their criteria, you will be approved for a “float.” 

Pro tip: Instant transfers are expensive. Instant Floats of $10 have a $3.00 fee; $20 Instant Floats have a $4.00 fee; and $30+ Instant Floats have a $5.00 fee.

FloatMe is only available to employed people who can verify that status with W-2 forms.

Does FloatMe check credit?No
Does FloatMe charge interest? No
Subscription feeFree 7-day trial, then $3.99 per month
Does FloatMe require Plaid?Yes
Time to get moneyThree business days or less
BBB ratingC- (3.15 of 5 stars)
Fee to get money instantly$10 Instant Floats have a $3.00 fee, $20 Instant Floats have a $4.00 fee, and $30+ Instant Floats have a $5.00 fee.
APR equivalentIf you borrow $50, pay the subscription fee, the instant transfer fee and tip $1, your APR would be about 521%

READ MORE: Apps like FloatMe

Newest option: FrontPay

FrontPay offers small cash advances up to $100 with no interest and fees or credit check. For eligibility, you must receive a qualifying electronic direct deposit in a linked bank account. ATM deposits, paper checks, cash transfers, or paychecks with irregular pay schedules do not qualify. You also likely won’t be able to borrow the full $100 at first. Advances may start as low as $15.

FrontPay does not have much customer review history with the Better Business Bureau, the Google Play Store or Apple’s App Store.
Frontpay also requires a lot of personal information upfront before you can even complete the signup process. This includes your home address, telephone number, Social Security number, bank account information and routing number.

Does FrontPay check credit?No
Does FrontPay charge interest? No
Subscription feeFree trial until your next payday, then $14.99 per month
Does FrontPay require Plaid?Not specified
Time to get moneyTwo business days or less
BBB ratingNot listed
Fee to get money instantlyNone
APR equivalentIf you borrow $100, pay the subscription fee and tip $1, your APR would be about 416%

Best for personal security: Klover

Klover is one of the only apps that will give you cash advances without any type of paid subscription – but there’s a catch. The company uses your personal data to offset the costs. 

“We partner with trusted institutions to leverage insights from your data …” Klover says.
“Over time, this means you’ll only see ads that are relevant to you, plus the more you use Klover, the more you can get from your advance –– up to $200.”

But Klover says they’ve implemented “military-grade” encryption to ensure your data stays secure.

Klover uses a points system to increase the limit users can borrow. Points begin to accrue the moment the customer signs up, and they continue to accrue with regular app use.

Klover charges a membership fee of $3.99 per month for premium services, and to avoid any fees on your cash advance, you may have to wait up to three business days to get the money. If you need cash immediately, you’ll have to pay an express fee based on how much money you need to transfer. The smallest transfers will cost $1.99 while the largest can cost up to $16.78.

Does Klover check credit?No
Does Klover charge interest? No
Subscription feeFree, or $3.99 for premium services
Does Klover require Plaid?Yes
Time to get moneyThree business days or less
BBB ratingA+ (1.14 of 5 stars)
Fee to get money instantly$1.99 to $16.78
APR equivalentIf you borrow $100, pay an instant transfer fee of $8 and tip $1, your APR would be about 166%

READ MORE: Is Klover legit?

Best for offering multiple financial products: MoneyLion Instacash

MoneyLion’s Instacash feature offers short-term cash advances of up to $500 or as high as $1,000 if you use other MoneyLion features. There’s no membership fee and standard delivery is available at no additional cost, but it could take up to 5 business days. Otherwise, you’ll have to pay a fee for optional Turbo delivery.

First-time MoneyLion borrowers may only be eligible for an advance of $10. It can take three to eight weeks for borrowers to be eligible for larger advances.

Borrowers who sign up for a $19.99 per month Credit Builder Plus membership can unlock access up to $700 in Instacash. Customers who link their RoarMoney accounts with recurring direct deposits can unlock access to up to $1,000 in Instacash.

Pro tip: Compared to personal loans, which are often used to fund larger purchases without requiring collateral but come with high interest rates and stringent credit check requirements, MoneyLion Instacash provides a more accessible and affordable option for short-term borrowing needs. Unlike personal loans, Instacash advances do not require a credit check, making them a viable option for those who may not qualify for traditional loans due to their credit history.

Does MoneyLion check credit?No
Does MoneyLion charge interest? No
Subscription feeNone, or $19.99 for Credit Builder Plus
Does MoneyLion require Plaid?Yes
Time to get moneyTwo business days or less
BBB ratingF (4.66 of 5 stars)
Fee to get money instantly$.49 to $8.99
APR equivalentIf you borrow $100, pay $5 to expedite the money and tip $1, you’ll pay an APR of about 156%

Legal action against MoneyLion

In September 2022, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) announced that it had sued MoneyLion, alleging that MoneyLion violated the Military Lending Act by charging interest rates higher than the 36% rate cap on loans to servicemembers and their dependents through a combination of stated interest rates and monthly membership fees. The CFPB also alleges that MoneyLion required customers to join a membership program to access specific “low-APR” loans and then did not allow them to cancel their memberships until their loans were paid. 

READ MORE: Apps like MoneyLion

Best for taking out a large cash advance: Possible

Possible’s cash advances are short-term installment loans. Instead of repaying the full amount from your next paycheck, you make four equal payments over eight weeks – with no late fees. Loans are capped at $500.

Pro tip: Unlike other apps, Possible will charge loan fees equating to an interest rate of up to 36% APR. The specific fees are not disclosed and vary by state, but these rates are lower than many comparable cash-advance apps.

Possible doesn’t care about your credit score, but you must meet the following requirements:

  • Possible loans are only allowed in the following states: Alabama, California, Delaware, Florida, Iowa, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Ohio, Oklahoma, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah and Vermont
  • Have a driver’s license or state-issued ID
  • Have a bank account supported by the app
  • Three months of transaction history
  • Positive checking account balance

Does Possible Finance check credit?No
Does Possible Finance charge interest? Yes, but they refer to it as a 2% origination fee
Subscription feeNone
Does Possible require Plaid?Yes
Time to get moneyUp to five business days
BBB ratingB (4.52 of 5 stars)
Fee to get money instantlyN/A
APR equivalentIf you borrow $100 from Possible with a 2% origination fee, pay it back over eight weeks and tip $1, the APR would be about 30%.

READ MORE: Apps like Possible

Best for fast access to your paycheck: Varo

Varo is a full-service online bank known for granting users early access to their paychecks. It also offers cash advances, but you will start as low as $20 and have to work your way up to the maximum, which was recently increased to $500.

Pro tip: Unlike cash advance apps, Varo’s offerings emphasize different qualification requirements and financial implications, providing a unique alternative for users in need of quick funds.

With direct deposit, you can access your paycheck as soon as your employer transfers the money.

Fees can be high, but if you bank with Varo, it may be worth it for the speed and convenience. It will still cost less overall than a payday loan.

Does Varo check credit?No
Does Varo charge interest? Yes, but they refer to it as a 2% origination fee
Subscription feeNo monthly fee, but cash advance fees range from $1.60 to $40
Does Varo require Plaid?Yes
Time to get moneyOne to four business days, but almost immediate if you bank with Varo
BBB ratingA- (3.2 of 5 stars)
Fee to get money instantlyN/A
APR equivalentIf you borrow $500 with a $40 fee, it would be the equivalent of a 103% APR.

READ MORE: Apps that work with Varo

Pro tip: If none of these will work for you, the number of options constantly increases. Other apps include Lenme, SoLo Funds, Kora, Current, Vola, Gerald, B9, Line, Cash App Borrow, Grid Pay Boost, Loan Hunter and Hundy.

Can’t wait until payday? Try these earned-wage apps

These “earned wage apps” allow you to access your paycheck before payday, but your employer has to participate, so they aren’t available to everyone.

Best app that requires employer participation: One@Work (formerly Even Instapay)

Created by Walmart in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, One@Work is designed to help workers who may have cash flow problems. ONE@Work partners with employers to provide tools that help you take control of your pay. The app works by getting payroll information from a qualifying employer to provide early access to the wages you’ve earned. Depending on your employer, you may be able to access up to 50% of your pay before payday. 

One@Work’s Instapay option is free – if your employer has set up this benefit in the app. If they have not, you’ll have to pay a small fee for instant deposits. One@Work says it partners with multiple companies but doesn’t disclose the companies. Instead, you’re instructed to check with your employer. All Walmart and Sam’s Club employees have access. 

Runner up: DailyPay

With DailyPay, employees build a balance with each hour of work they complete. They can then dip into that balance before payday. You can even have your pay automatically sent to any account as soon as you’ve earned it (though transfers could take up to one business day to post to your accounts. There’s no monthly fee. However, it costs $1.25 each time you transfer money, and your employer must participate.

Pro tip: All of the above apps integrate with your bank through a service called Plaid. It’s possible that your bank isn’t compatible with Plaid (some of the biggest banks, including PNC and Capital One, will not work with Plaid). Don’t be discouraged — you still have a few options for a quick cash advance. Dave offers an alternate way to connect if your bank isn’t compatible with Plaid, and these others work without it: B9, Venmo, Cash App Borrow, Line, Grid Pay Boost and Branch App (this one is an employer-sponsored earned wage app.)

Paycheck advance app success stories

  • Dave: “I have used Dave before when I was in a financial bind and it really helped me out,” said Danny Trichter, co-founder of accessibilitychecker.org. “I didn’t have to worry about late fees or over-drafting my account. I do think there are risks involved with relying on these apps too much. If you’re not careful, you can easily get into a cycle of debt. So I would recommend usin them sparingly and only when you absolutely need to.”
  • Earnin: Jen Jones, a professional dog trainer, chose Earnin and was pleased with how it worked. “I was able to get a loan of $1,000 in just a few minutes,” she said. “Getting approved for a small loan was fairly easy and it was delivered to me quickly.” Jones said that what stood out for her was how she could track her loan from bank account to bank account. One fallback she mentioned was that the interest rate is relatively high.
  • MoneyLion: Jennifer Spinelli, founder & CEO of Watson Buys, based in Denver, Colo., chose to use MoneyLion. “They offer a quick and easy way to get cash when you need it,” she said, adding that the fees add up, so borrowers must use the apps wisely.

Cash advance apps vs. payday loans

These apps are almost identical to traditional payday loans. They’re short-term loans for small amounts of money. The key differences are that you won’t pay the insanely high interest rates charged by many payday lenders, but you also will have to work your way up until you’re allowed to advance yourself the maximum amount of money.

Pro tip: Loan fees through these apps are significantly more affordable if you can avoid paying the additional fees to get the money expedited. Plan ahead. Set up your account in advance, and borrow money as soon as you anticipate a need. Because these loans have no interest, it’s better to borrow money you don’t need and repay it than to borrow at the last minute and pay high fees to expedite it. It’s also OK to skip the tip. You will not be penalized; you can always tip extra the next time.

Other alternatives

  • Payday Alternative Loans: These loans of up to $2,000 are available through credit unions, have no fees and interest rates are capped at 28%. Your credit history doesn’t matter, but you will have to become a member of the credit union.
  • Credit card cash advance: If you have a credit card, you can simply withdraw cash out of an ATM. Though interest will immediately begin to accrue, most credit card interest rates don’t exceed 36% APR.

The bottom line

Cash advance apps are a more affordable alternative when you need money but can’t wait until payday. However, they aren’t perfect. The fees for instant transfers can be high, and the amount of money they’re willing to advance can be very low at first. 

If you only need these apps now and then to make ends meet, a cash advance won’t usually be as risky as payday loans. But if you start borrowing from one app to repay another, you could still end up trapped in a cycle of debt that’s difficult to escape. 

If you’re worried or unsure about your options, contact DebtHammer today for a free consultation. Our team will help you choose the next logical step that’s best for your financial situation.

Scroll to Top