11 Best Cash Advance Apps to Cover You Until Payday

If you constantly find yourself overdrawing your checking account and require a temporary loan to bridge the gap until your next payday, cash advance apps are specifically designed for that purpose.

Some payday advance apps do only one thing: give you access to your paycheck early. However, most of them come with more features.

Many apps provide online banking services, cash-back shopping, online investing, and tools for employers to manage their workforces.

Don’t just download the first app you find, keep reading to discover the top cash advance apps that can provide you with the funds and features that you need with as few fees as possible.

Top Payday Advance Apps

Here are the best cash advance apps to use to cover you ’til payday.



Mobile-first financial app with a no-fee, no-interest cash advance feature that advance up to $250 from your next paycheck.


Apply NowAlbert Review

[+] See Details
[-] Hide Details

Albert is a mobile-first financial app with a no-fee, no-interest cash advance feature that can spot you up to $250 from your next paycheck.

Called Albert Instant, it’s free to use — though you can pay a small fee to get your money instantly rather than in two to three business days.

You can use Albert Instant as de facto overdraft protection too. No matter how you employ it, there’s no credit check — not even a soft inquiry — and no hidden fees for use. When your next paycheck comes, simply repay Albert for the advance and move on.

Notable Features

  • Up to 20% instant cash back on eligible purchases with your debit card
  • Automated savings on a custom schedule that fits your needs
  • Guided or DIY investing — pick your own stocks and themes or have Albert do it for you
  • No minimum balance fees or commissions

Apply NowAlbert Review



Enjoy interest-free cash advance sup to $250* per occurrence, plus a range of other useful features for everyday money management and long-term planning.


Instant (for a fee)

Credit Check Required?



Apply NowEmpower Review

[+] See Details
[-] Hide Details

With Empower, you can get an interest-free advance up to $250.* There are no late fees and no credit checks, and you have the option to get your money instantly.

Empower comes with a payment card (the Empower Card) that makes the platform much more more than just a payroll advance app.

Notable Features

  • Empower Perks. Get up to 10% cash back** on places and things you spend money on already. Select the deals you want in the app and use your Empower Card at qualifying merchants.
  • Early paycheck deposit. You can get access to your paycheck up to two days faster^ by having it deposited into your Empower Card account, which is a separate feature from the payroll advance.
  • Free ATMs. Get free unlimited access to over 37,000 MoneyPass ATMs across the US.

Empower charges a fee of $8 per month. You must meet certain qualifications, which are identified when you sign up for the Empower app, to use Empower Cash Advance.

*Eligibility requirements apply.
** Deals will vary and must be selected in the app.
^ Timing may vary by employer.

Apply NowEmpower Review



Chime is an online bank account that provides faster access to your pay, offers no hidden fees, banking alerts, automatic savings, a secured credit card (separate qualification required), and convenient payments to friends.


Apply NowChime Review

[+] See Details
[-] Hide Details

Chime is an online financial app that gives you access to your pay faster. If you have a Chime account with direct deposit, your wages become available 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 app you can use to transfer money, send and deposit checks, and pay bills online. It also offers a lot of other great perks most competitors don’t.

Notable Features

  • Convenient payments: Chime facilitates easy payments to friends through its Pay feature, enabling hassle-free transactions between Chime users. You can use it to split a restaurant check, pay your share of the rent or utility bill, or make an instant payment to the babysitter.
  • Secured credit card. Chime offers a secured Credit Builder account linked to a Visa credit card. The card has no annual fee or interest, and it requires no credit check or minimum security deposit.

Chime is a financial technology company, not a bank. Banking services provided by, and debit card issued by, The Bancorp Bank or Stride Bank, N.A.; Members FDIC.
To apply for Credit Builder, you must have received a single qualifying direct deposit of $200 or more to your Checking Account. The qualifying direct deposit must be from your employer, payroll provider, gig economy payer, or benefits payer by Automated Clearing House (ACH) deposit OR Original Credit Transaction (OCT). Bank ACH transfers, Pay Anyone transfers, verification or trial deposits from financial institutions, peer to peer transfers from services such as PayPal, Cash App, or Venmo, mobile check deposits, cash loads or deposits, one-time direct deposits, such as tax refunds and other similar transactions, and any deposit to which Chime deems to not be a qualifying direct deposit are not qualifying direct deposits.

Early access to direct deposit funds depends on the timing of the submission of the payment file from the payer. We generally make these funds available on the day the payment file is received, which may be up to 2 days earlier than the scheduled payment date.

Round Ups automatically round up debit card purchases to the nearest dollar and transfer the round up from your Chime Checking Account to your savings account.

Money added to Credit Builder will be held in a secured account as collateral for your Credit Builder Visa card, which means you can spend up to this amount on your card. This is money you can use to pay off your charges at the end of every month.

Out of network ATM withdrawal fees may apply. See here for details.

Apply NowChime Review



Take advantage of a comprehensive money app with up to $250 in paycheck advance, cashback, credit tools, and a secured credit card for building credit through paid accounts.


Apply NowCleo Review

[+] See Details
[-] Hide Details

Cleo isn’t a bank. It’s a money app that links to your existing bank account. One of its key features is a salary advance benefit to help you avoid overdraft fees.

Salary Advance isn’t included with the free version of the Cleo app. It’s available only as part of the Cleo Plus and Cleo Builder accounts, which come with monthly fees. However, these accounts also provide other perks.

Cleo Plus doubles as a cash-back app. You can earn cash back at five retailers of your choice as well as at online partners that change daily.

Notable Features

  • A full credit report and tips on improving your credit
  • An easy-to-use budgeting tool based on your spending
  • Automated savings tools like roundups, regular transfers to save money, a “swear jar” to penalize yourself for bad behavior, and a tool that calculates how much you can afford to save each week

Cleo Builder has these same features and more. Its primary perk is a secured credit card for building credit. It also provides other tools to help your credit, like bill reminders and credit monitoring.

Apply NowCleo Review



Enjoy early paycheck access, no fees, multi-currency accounts, cash-back rewards, and premium benefits like higher APY and travel insurance.

Premium Savings APY


Standard Savings APY


Early Paycheck Access



Apply Now

[+] See Details
[-] Hide Details

For a limited time, earn 3 months of Revolut Premium for free (usually $9.99/month) when you sign up for a Revolut account using the link below.

Revolut is a financial technology company that makes it easy to access your entire paycheck early — up to 2 days before your scheduled payday with a qualifying direct deposit payer.

Unlike some early direct deposit providers, Revolut doesn’t take any fees from your paycheck. And you’ll get a notification as soon as the funds hit your account — no more worrying about funds lost in limbo.

Plus, there are no hidden fees or minimum balance requirements.

Upgrade to Revolut Premium to get additional benefits like:

  • 4.25% APY on savings (vs. 3.25% with Revolut Standard)
  • Primary accidental medical insurance, trip delay expense coverage, trip cancellation and interruption coverage, and lost or damaged baggage protection
  • Lounge access with SmartDelay for you and a friend, plus discounted airport lounge access

Please note that Revolut is frequently updating its products and features. See the Revolut Terms and Conditions for the latest offerings.

Revolut is a financial technology company. Banking services provided by Metropolitan Commercial Bank, Member FDIC.

Apply Now



With Dave’s ExtraCash account, get no-interest overdraft up to $500, instant or free transfers, automatic budgeting, and money-making gigs, all for a $1 monthly cost.

No-Interest Overdraft

Up to $500

Instant & Free Transfers

Both Available

Basic Membership Cost



Apply Now

[+] See Details
[-] Hide Details

The ExtraCash account from Dave is an online banking account —You can use its overdraft feature to give yourself a no-interest advance.

Based on eligibility, you can get up to $500 sent from your ExtraCash account to your external bank in one to three days for free. Or for a small fee, you can transfer it instantly to your Dave Debit Mastercard.

You start with a balance of zero in your ExtraCash account. If you take a cash advance from the account, the balance becomes negative, but there’s no overdraft fee.

Dave automatically calculates the date the money will come out of your linked bank account — usually your next payday. When that happens, the balance in your account returns to zero. However, if you can’t pay the full amount, you can pay part of it with no late fee.

You can also opt to pay back your Dave advance early.

A basic Dave membership costs just $1 per month. You can also give Dave a tip when you request an advance.

Apply Now



Enjoy flexible payday advance app offers up to $250 without credit checks, adjustable repayment, automated advances, and credit-building features through its Plus plan.

Financial Tools Included?



Apply Now

[+] See Details
[-] Hide Details

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. You can choose your own repayment date to pull the money out of your bank account.

Brigit doesn’t offer cash advances to just anyone.

You must meet the Brigit app requirements:

  • Income. You must show you’ve received at least three paycheck direct deposits from the same source before Brigit grants you an advance. ATM deposits, paper checks, and irregular direct deposits don’t count.
  • Banking. You must have a checking account that’s at least 60 days old with a balance greater than $0. Additionally, you must use your account daily for at least a few weeks to establish your earning and spending patterns. 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 the app tells you what score you need to receive cash advances.

Apply Now



Take advantage of a flexible payroll advance app with up to $100 daily cash-outs, features like Balance Shield, Earnin Express for early pay access, Financial Calendar, and a virtual tip jar called Tip Yourself.

Automatic Savings

Yes (Tip Yourself)


Apply Now

[+] See Details
[-] Hide Details

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 up to $500 per pay period. There’s no fee for this service, but you can add a “tip” of any amount up to $14. Some even opt to “pay it forward,” deliberately leaving a bigger tip to cover the cost for those who can’t afford it.

In addition to paycheck advances, Earnin provides several other features to help workers on a budget. They’re described in more detail at right.

Apply Now



Online banking service with faster paycheck access, interest-free advances, fee-free transfers, automatic savings tools, secured credit card for credit-building, and cash back rewards.

Interest-Free Advance

Up to $250


Apply NowVaro Review

[+] See Details
[-] Hide Details

Varo is another online banking service that can give you faster access to your paycheck. When you use direct deposit with your Varo account, your paycheck enters your account as soon as your employer transfers it. Thus, the money can be in your hands up to two days earlier.*

Once you have a Varo account, you can become eligible for Varo Advance. This feature lets you borrow up to $250 interest-free. When you first qualify, you can receive advances of up to $20, and you can build your limit from there.

One other notable benefit of Varo: If you’re trying to build your credit score, Varo’s secured credit card (the Varo Believe Card) can help. To use it, transfer money from your Varo bank account to your Varo secured account. That’s the limit on your card. That guarantees you can always pay your balance in full, and you can use the automated SafePay feature to ensure you pay on time.

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.

*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.

Apply NowVaro Review



Use this low-key online banking app for early cash advances, early paycheck access, low-fee checking and investing, budgeting tools, cryptocurrency purchases, cash-back rewards, price protection, and a Credit Builder Plus account for credit-building.

Investing Fee



Learn More

[+] See Details
[-] Hide Details

Another online banking app that offers a combination of early cash advances and early paycheck access is MoneyLion. Its Instacash feature lets you borrow up to $500 with no interest or credit check. The money appears in your account within minutes. 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 a comprehensive spending and money management interface along with a low-cost investing platform that lets you transfer money from your savings account into a portfolio of exchange-traded funds customized to fit your risk tolerance. You can also adjust your investments to suit specific interests, such as socially responsible investing. Your account is fully managed but has no management fees or minimum balance. There’s even an automatic investment feature to make investing easy.

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 monthly administrative fee on a RoarMoney bank account, a MoneyLion investment account, or both.

Learn More



Earned wage access with no fees, Payactiv Visa card for early paycheck deposits, one-on-one financial coaching, payment features, and benefits for employers.

Earned Wage Access Fees


Payactiv Visa Card


Financial Coaching



Learn More

[+] See Details
[-] Hide Details

There are two ways to use Payactiv. If your employer offers it to you as a benefit, you can sign up for earned wage access. It allows you to collect your wages as soon as you earn them. This service comes with a $1 fee for each day you use it, capped at $5 for each two-week pay period.

You can transfer the money to your bank account, load it to a Payactiv Visa prepaid card, or receive it in cash at a Walmart Money Center. There’s a $1.99 fee for cash pickup and instant deposits to cards other than the Payactiv card.

If your employer doesn’t offer Payactiv, you can still sign up for the Payactiv Visa card. That doesn’t qualify you for earned wage access, but you can have your paycheck deposited to the card up to two days early. The card is accepted anywhere Visa is and also works at 37,000 MoneyPass ATMs.

The Payactiv app also offers one-on-one financial coaching, savings tools, and payment features for employees. You can use it to pay bills, summon an Uber, make payments to friends, or make purchases at businesses like Amazon and Walmart. It even provides discounts on certain purchases.

Payactiv has perks for employers as well. It makes payroll easier and handles the distribution of tips and mileage reimbursement automatically. If you coordinate your team, arrange shifts, and pay bonuses. The service costs employers nothing and takes only two days to set up.

Learn More

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, usually without a credit check.

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 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.

Pro Tip: Are you struggling with high amounts of debt? If so, Accredited Debt Relief charges no upfront fees and can help you reduce your total debt by up to 50%.

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 like Prosper offer personal loans. The lender performs a credit check before approving you for a loan. Some personal loans, called secured loans, also require some form of collateral, such as a car or cash in your bank account. Unsecured loans don’t require collateral, but they usually have higher interest rates.

Banks offer personal loans for amounts ranging from $1,000 to $10,000. If you have great credit, you can get a personal loan for as low as 3% APR. That’s significantly less than the rate on most credit cards.

However, if your credit is poor, the interest rate on a personal loan could be as high as 36%. Additionally, these loans often come with origination fees of 1% to 6%. So, before signing off on a loan, check the total cost to ensure it wouldn’t be cheaper to use your credit card.

Methodology: How We Choose the Best Paycheck Advance Apps

We use several factors to evaluate the paycheck advance apps on this list. All relate in some way to the overall cost of their services, their ease of use, and their general applicability for everyday money management needs.

Transfer Speed

When you need money, you need it. Fast. 

The best paycheck advance apps offer next-day or same-day (“instant”) transfers. It’s often the case that you have to pay more for an instant transfer, but that’s an acceptable tradeoff when getting your money in two to three business days simply won’t cut it.

Transfer Cost

The best paycheck advance apps charge nothing for standard transfers, which typically clear within three business days. They should also charge nothing for early direct deposit, which usually arrives two business days early but can come up to four business days early in some cases.

Most apps do charge for instant transfers. This revenue stream is crucial to their business models. But all else being equal, we prefer apps that keep those fees low or even waive them altogether.

Many of the apps on this list charge monthly subscription fees or have premium tiers that carry fees. In return, users typically get much more than paycheck advances and, in some cases feature suites that rival full-service banks.

Built-In Deposit Accounts

The best paycheck advance apps aren’t really paycheck advance apps at all. They’re comprehensive financial technology apps that partner with FDIC-insured banks to offer checking accounts, savings accounts, and possibly other account types as well.

We like our paycheck advance apps to be comprehensive. The more account options and other features they offer, the better.

Perks & Rewards

Again, comprehensiveness is better. The best paycheck advance apps offer some or all of the following:

  • Fee waivers for meeting qualifying activities
  • Referral bonuses when you get friends to sign up
  • Cash back on eligible debit card purchases
  • Interest on checking or savings balances

Account opening bonuses are relatively rare in this space, but they’re out there if you know where to look.

Credit Products & Credit-Building Services

Many paycheck advance apps are designed for new-to-credit users and people in the process of rebuilding their credit for one reason or another. The best options tend to offer products and services to help, including credit-builder loans, secured credit cards, and free credit scores.


Still have questions about paycheck advance apps? Here are some answers to relatively common questions about what they are (and aren’t) and how they work.

Is a Paycheck Advance a Loan?

A paycheck advance is not technically a loan because it doesn’t charge interest. This is an important and positive contrast with payday loans, which infamously charge ridiculously high-interest rates that trap borrowers in cycles of debt. 

Paycheck advances do often carry one-time fees, and some apps charge subscription fees to cover the cost of additional services. But you shouldn’t pay interest on a paycheck advance (and definitely not on an early direct deposit).

What’s the Difference Between a Paycheck Advance and Early Direct Deposit?

A paycheck advance is a partial advance on your next paycheck. It’s paid back, with or without a fee, when you receive that paycheck. It can come anytime during your pay period, but typically one to two weeks in advance.

Early direct deposit is an early deposit of your entire paycheck. It doesn’t need to be repaid and shouldn’t carry a fee. It arrives closer to your pay date than a paycheck advance can — typically two business days early and no more than four.

How Much Does a Cash Advance Cost?

It depends on the service you’re using. A paycheck advance can cost anywhere from nothing to $4 or $5. Instant advances, where the money hits your account as soon as you authorize the transfer, typically cost more.

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 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.

Share This :

Follow Us


Subscribe Our Newsletter