Here are 10 Cash Advance Apps Like FloatMe + 13 Other Options

Everybody deals with cash shortages from time to time. When this happens, don’t turn to a payday lender.

If you don’t need that much to keep your balance positive, you could try a cash advance app like FloatMe.

Our #1 Pick: Dave

Our top pick for instant cash
  • Borrow up to $500 and spend it instantly
  • Get paid up to 2 days early
  • Earn up to 15% cash back

Disclaimer: Some or all of the products featured in this article are from our partners who compensate us. This may influence which products we write about and where and how the product appears on a page. However, this does not influence our evaluations. All opinions are our own.

Key points

  • FloatMe offers small loans (or “floats”) of $50 until payday
  • FloatMe doesn’t charge interest on those loans
  • FloatMe charges a monthly subscription fee of $1.99
  • If $50 isn’t enough to carry you through, there are plenty of other apps that will advance higher amounts
  • FloatMe won’t help you build credit

If you already know the basics of using FloatMe and are looking for comparable products, click here to go straight to the best alternatives.

FloatMe review: What you need to know

FloatMe is a paycheck advance app that loans or “floats” you $50 until payday. You can use the money however you need to, whether it’s to buy groceries, fill up the gas tank or pay a bill.

Here are some of FloatMe’s key features:

  • FloatMe doesn’t charge interest: FloatMe will withdraw the loan from your next paycheck, but if you can’t afford to pay back the entire $50 in a lump sum, you can make arrangements for a partial payment to prevent an overdraft.
  • Membership fee: FloatMe charges a membership fee of $1.99 a month to qualify for “floats,” but you can cancel at any time.
  • Fast funding: It can take up to three business days to get your float, but depending on your bank, you may be able to get the money within an hour.
  • Low borrowing amount: You’ll probably only be eligible to borrow between $10 to $30 to start. The loans max out at $50.
  • No credit check: FloatMe doesn’t care about your credit history, and your score won’t be dragged down by a hard pull when you apply.
  • You must have a W-2: Self-employed workers aren’t eligible. Borrowers also must earn at least $200 per paycheck, and the paycheck must be direct-deposited into a bank account.
  • Keeps tabs on your bank balance: FloatMe will monitor your bank account and alert you when your balance is low, so you can avoid overdraft fees.
  • Bank account access: Keep in mind that FloatMe will have access to your account and will automatically debit you when your payment is due.
  • FloatMe won’t help you build credit: Because FloatMe doesn’t report payments to any of the three major credit bureaus, the loans won’t help improve your credit history — even if you make your payments on time.
  • Helps you build savings: FloatMe has some features that can help you set aside a small bit of money each payday in order to build a small emergency fund.

What makes FloatMe stand out?

FloatMe is not a lender or a provider of loans. They offer advances on users’ paychecks, and those advances have a cap. That cap is no joke. Instead of offering users a couple of hundred bucks in one go, FloatMe caps advances at $50. It will then transfer money to your bank account. You repay it on your next payday.

FloatMe works by connecting to your bank account and analyzing your transactions. If you meet their criteria, you will be approved for a “float.” The amount of the float will be automatically deducted from your next paycheck’s deposit.

Currently, FloatMe only works with people who are employed and can verify that they are employed by W-2 employers. Unfortunately, this means that gig workers and the self-employed are unlikely to be eligible for floats.

The FloatMe experience

First, you’ll need to download the mobile app for your phone. Though FloatMe has a web presence, you will only be able to access your account via your mobile device. It is available for IOS and Android.

Before you can use FloatMe, you’ll need to create an account. They tell you that your “first month is free” but that when that month is over, they’ll be charging you $1.99/month to use their service.

Creating your account means giving the company some basic information (legal name, address, and phone number) and connecting your bank account via the Plaid platform. You’ll also be asked to choose a minimum balance for your bank account. This is so that the app can notify you if your balance falls below, well, whatever amount you’ve specified. Once all of that is done, you’re good to go! You can request your first float!

How long does it take to get your float?

That depends on how well your bank and FloatMe communicate. Some users can get their floats almost immediately. Others take a couple of days to show up. It might be worth it, when you first sign up for the app, to do a test float. That way you can see how much time it will take for future floats to arrive.

Does FloatMe use Plaid?

FloatMe uses Plaid to connect your bank accounts securely. Plaid is a service that securely connects your bank accounts to various apps. Unfortunately, not all financial institutions are compatible with Plaid. Chase, Capital One, and PNC are among the major banks incompatible with Plaid. If you bank through one of these, you will have to switch banks to use FloatMe.

Pros and cons of using FloatMe

Every cash advance app is a little different. For example, what works for people who love MoneyLion might not work for you. Here are some of FloatMe’s key benefits and drawbacks.

Pros

  • FloatMe excels at what it does. The app is super easy to use. Your floats (hopefully) won’t take forever to process or be deposited.
  • There are no interest or late fees.
  • There is no credit check.

Cons

  • FloatMe only does one thing. You can borrow up to $50 at a time. That’s it.
  • The app isn’t free. After your first month, you’ll need to pay a monthly fee of $1.99 to keep your account active, whether you use the service in a given month.
  • FloatMe is only available for people who work for W-2 employers. If you’re a gig worker or freelancer/self-employed, you are out of luck and will need to use a different app.
  • FloatMe won’t help you build credit.
  • You can’t use the service if your bank isn’t compatible with Plaid.

Customer Reviews

FloatMe has earned a B grade from the Better Business Bureau (BBB.) It has a rating of 4.8 stars out of 5 in Apple’s App Store, and 4.6 out of 5 stars in the Google Play store.

Here is an example of an upvoted positive review:

And here is an upvoted negative review:

READ MORE: How to pay off $10,000 in credit card debt

Here are a few of the best cash advance apps like FloatMe

FloatMe’s $50 limit is very restrictive, so it may not be the best platform for everyone. However, it is far from being the only option out there and plenty of others with higher borrowing limits. Here are some other trustworthy cash advance apps.

Best for its “Genius” program: Albert

  • Albert lets you borrow up to $250.
  • No credit check
  • No fees (unless you want to pay to get your advance faster)
  • Also offers banking, balance monitoring, and help with investing
  • Offers cool perks to Pro Plan members, like cash back and help with bill negotiations.
  • Pro Plan is pay what you want, anywhere from $6 to $16 per month.

READ MORE: Apps like Albert


Best for repayment flexibility: Brigit

  • Brigit offers advances up to $250.
  • No credit check
  • No fees
  • Offers extra financial services including savings advice, help finding gig work, etc.
  • Pro Plan is $9.99 per month and includes identity theft protection, flexible repayment plans, and more.

READ MORE: Apps like Brigit


Best for extra services: Earnin

  • Earnin caps advances at $100 per day and $500 per pay period.
  • No credit check
  • No fee, unless you want to speed up your advance deposit
  • Lots of awesome extra services like Balance Shield, which monitors your bank account and notifies you that it gets too low.


Best for traditional banking services: Empower

  • Empower offers advances up to $250
  • No credit check
  • Membership costs $8/month, but there’s no pro plan
  • Also offers banking services and cash back when you use their debit card

READ MORE: Apps like Empower


Best for spending critiques: Cleo

  • First-time Cleo borrowers get up to $70
  • If you want an advance, you have to opt-in to the premium plan, which is $5.99/month
  • No credit check
  • No fees
  • The app has a conversational approach and offers to critique your spending and saving habits, encourage you to save, celebrate your wins, etc.

READ MORE: Apps like Cleo


Best low-cost option: Dave

  • Dave offers advances up to $500 with Extracash
  • No credit check
  • Costs $1 per month. Doesn’t have a free plan.
  • App offers banking and balance monitoring. Also, apps like Dave offer an extra financial service by reporting on-time bill payments to the credit bureaus. This can you boost your credit score.

READ MORE: Apps like Dave


Best for small advances: Klover

  • Klover offers advances of up to $100
  • No credit check
  • $2.49/month if you want to upgrade to Klover+
  • No fees or perks
  • You can complete micro-tasks like watching ads to increase the amount you can get in advance.

READ MORE: Is the Klover app legitimate?


Best for larger advances: MoneyLion

  • MoneyLion’s cash advance program is called Instacash
  • Offers up to $500 in Instacash advances
  • No credit check for Instacash
  • No fees for Instacash unless you want “turbo” services. Then the fee is based on the amount of your advance
  • Also offers banking, credit building, financial planning, crypto and investing services for additional fees

READ MORE: Apps like MoneyLion


Best for longer loan terms: Possible Finance

Possible’s “cash advances” are more like small-dollar installment loans for borrowers with bad credit, so they allow you to borrow more and they don’t have to be paid back in full on your next payday. However, the fees are significantly higher than the alternatives.

  • Possible allows loans up to $500.
  • Does a credit check
  • The fees are $10 to $25 per $100 advanced, depending on where you live
  • No other plans, perks, or services

READ MORE: Apps like Possible Finance

Online banking apps

​Online banking apps are just as easy to use as cash advance apps. And, because so many cash advance apps offer banking services while online banks sometimes offer paycheck advances, it’s easy to get them confused. If you’re shopping around for a new bank account, here are a couple of good ones.

Best all-in-one banking option: Chime

Chime is the current go-to when it comes to online banking. According to the marketing, Chime is the easiest and most convenient option out there for online banking. Whether that’s true or not? That will depend on what you want from your bank and its app.

Chime is similar to a traditional bank or credit union but without the brick-and-mortar storefronts.

Chime offers checking accounts (which it calls “spending” accounts) and savings accounts. The spending account comes with a Visa debit card linked to the ATMs you’ll find in stores like Walgreens, CVS, etc. The company also offers personal loans, credit-builder products and early access to your paycheck’s direct deposit.

Instead of a cash advance or paycheck advance, Chime has a program called “SpotMe.” SpotMe helps you avoid overdraft fees and having purchases declined if your bank account balance is too low to cover your spending.

SpotMe is only available to some of Chime’s customers. The program only accepts certain types of direct deposits in its enrollment criteria. Usually, the direct deposit must be from an employer. Right now, self-employed people can’t take advantage of the program.

When enrolling in SpotMe, you’ll only qualify for around $40 in spending coverage before the usual fees are applied. Over time, if you pay back what SpotMe has “loaned” you on time, your spot limit will increase. Currently, the largest amount users qualify for is $200.

If you don’t want to enroll in SpotMe, there are a few cash advance apps that work seamlessly with Chime.


Best for no fees or minimum deposits: Varo

Varo is “younger” than Chime but is already its primary competition. Varo markets itself as “a bank for all of us” because “money shouldn’t just work for some of us.”

Varo offers checking and savings accounts. The accounts are 100% free. They don’t charge any setup fees or require any minimum deposits. They also don’t charge overdrafts or returned service fees. Users can access mobile bank deposits for checks and partner Green Dot for cash deposits. Account holders can also sign up for “Varo Believe,” the bank’s credit-building program.

Varo also bridges the gap between online banking and cash advances with its Varo Advance program. The program is a little like Chime’s SpotMe, or your bank’s paycheck advance program. You can have up to $500 of your next direct deposit “advanced” when needed. The catch is that you’ll have to pay a small fee. The fee ranges from $1.60 to borrow $20 all the way up to $40 to borrow $500 (this is the equivalent of an annual percentage rate of 103%.) Unlike most cash advance programs, however, Varo Advance allows borrowers to repay their advances however they want, so long as the balance is taken care of within 30 days.

Best apps that require your employer to sign up

Personal paycheck and cash advance apps are not your only option if you need money quickly. It is possible that your employer has partnered with a cash advance app, too!

Employer-sponsored cash advance apps are apps that link to your time clock or salary information. They allow you to receive the money you’ve earned as you earn it instead of waiting for one lump sum. The apps use your employment information as verification of your earnings instead of your personal bank account.

If you are a gig worker, don’t worry! A few of these apps also pair with gig providers like Uber, DoorDash, Instacart, etc.

If you’re unsure whether your employer has partnered with a cash advance app, ask them. If they haven’t, maybe they’ll start a partnership.

Here are the most reliable and popular employer and gig provider-sponsored cash advance apps:

  • ActiveHours
  • Amazon Anytime Pay
  • Axos Bank Direct Deposit Express
  • Branch
  • Dailypay
  • Even Instapay
  • Flexwage
  • PayActiv

Peer-to-peer loan apps

Finally, if you aren’t sure about cash advance apps and your employer doesn’t sponsor this service, try a peer-to-peer loan. You’ve probably seen a few P2P lenders advertised here and there. Kiva, for instance, allows users to offer microloans to people (usually in third-world countries) who need help building businesses. Here are some of the P2P lending platforms that we like best:

  • SoLo Funds combines lending and social media in a way that is very intriguing. Here’s how the platform works: Hopeful borrowers create listings that ask for money. Lenders then browse the listings and send money to the people whose listings they like best.
  • LenMe is the inverse of Solo Funds. With LenMe, hopeful borrowers post their requests and then the lenders compete to offer those borrowers the best deals. The borrowers decide which loan to take.
  • Zirtue is more of a facilitator/middle-person platform. You request a loan from someone you already know. They agree to lend you the money. Zirtue acts as the go-between to ensure that rates are fair, payments are made on time, etc.

How payday cash advances work

Cash advance apps are similar to payday loans. They’re short-term loans for small dollar amounts repaid from your next paycheck. But the app companies aren’t technically lenders. They’re just fronting you interest-free money — money that they recoup automatically on the due date from your next direct deposit.

You request an advance. If approved, the app transfers money into your bank account. Then, when your next direct deposit arrives, the amount of the advance is automatically sent back to the app.

Tips are OPTIONAL

A lot of cash advance apps encourage users to “tip” their lenders or the companies behind the app platform. They use these tips to offset their operating costs. Some apps will try to sweeten the tip request by promising to send a percentage of your tip to a charity or non-profit.

It’s easy to get caught up in this and feel like you have to tip. Here’s the thing: YOU DON’T.

If you aren’t sure how much to tip, use an APR calculator to determine a fair amount. For example, credit card companies charge a 36% APR. On a loan of $100 for two weeks, a 36% APR would be just under $1.50.

Why are loan apps like FloatMe better than payday loans?

Payday loans are never a good idea. More than 90% of borrowers end up regretting their original payday loan. Cash advance apps and loan apps like FloatMe are way better than payday loans for a lot of reasons. For example:

  • Loan apps are cheaper than payday loans
  • There are no hidden fees or astronomical interest rates (though you may have to pay a small subscription fee)
  • The companies behind the apps want you to improve your finances, not get stuck in a debt trap.
  • The repayment terms are better.
  • You are unlikely to ever get sent to collections if you can’t make your payments on time. Most apps have extension requests built into them just for this reason.

Want to learn more about why payday loans are never a good idea? Check out this video:

What to look for in a cash advance app like FloatMe

Here are some of the criteria you should consider when you’re shopping around for a cash advance app.

  • Borrowing limits: Find out how much you can borrow at once. The biggest drawback with FloatMe is that you can’t borrow more than $50.
  • Turnaround time: How quickly will you get your money? With some apps, funds are available almost instantly, but it can sometimes take a couple of business days. With FloatMe, it varies. If you choose to subscribe, it’s probably best to test it out before you run into a situation where you truly need the advance.
  • Fees: FloatMe does have a small monthly membership fee. Other apps, though, don’t! And very few of them charge interest or late fees … unless you want your advance expedited. Then, you can expect to pay a few bucks extra.
  • Eligibility requirements: You must be 18, a legal U.S. citizen, have a valid bank account and have ID.
  • Other features: FloatMe just gives you an advance on your next paycheck. That’s it. Other apps, though, offer more services.
  • Reviews: What are people saying about the cash app? FloatMe, for example, has nearly five-star ratings in both the Google Play and the Apple app stores.
  • Will the app help me build credit? FloatMe will not help your credit score.

The bottom line

One of the reasons so many people end up in payday loan traps is that they borrow more than they actually need. FloatMe wants to remove this temptation. That’s why users can only float up to $50 at a time. Other apps have similar borrowing limits — especially for first-time applicants. FloatMe’s goal (and other cash advance apps share it) is to help you improve your finances for the long term so that you don’t need them anymore.

FAQs

How can I fix my spending habits?

Start by tracking every single penny you spend over the course of a month. This will help you figure out where your money is currently going. Then, you can figure out where cuts can be made.
It’s also worth figuring out why you spend money. For example, do you buy yourself a little treat after a hard day at work? It’s a perfectly reasonable thing to do and a perfect pick-me-up…if it only happens occasionally. If every day at work is hard, you might find yourself spending less if you find a different job or move to a different department.

What does FDIC mean?

Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation. They’re the agency that protects people’s money should something happen to the bank that holds it.

Do cash advance apps offer prepaid cards?

Some of the employer-sponsored advance apps do offer refillable prepaid cards. Most of the personal cash advance apps, however, don’t. They can’t because their systems depend on communication between their platforms and your bank or credit union in order to process transactions.

About The Author

Scroll to Top