8 Apps Like Dave for Small Cash Advances

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Dave is one of the most popular financial apps. It made a name for itself by eliminating overdraft fees for its customers. Famously receiving an investment from Shark Tank’s Mark Cuban in its early stages, Dave is well-known as one of the best fee-free cash advance apps. 

A cash advance, simply put, is a short-term loan issued by an institution, usually for a relatively small sum. Dave isn’t alone in offering this service. So, consumers should weigh their options and choose the one that is best for them. 

What Apps Are Similar to Dave?

Many consumers might have questions like, “What apps will let me borrow money instantly?” and “What app will give me cash now?” In addition to Dave, here are eight of the best cash advance apps people can use to get quick cash right now.

1. Chime

Chime offers a fee-free overdraft service called SpotMe for its customers. Users can claim up to $20 via SpotMe, with the limit increasing to $200 once a customer meets certain criteria concerning account history and activity.

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To qualify for SpotMe, members simply need to have received at least $200 through direct deposit in the 34 days prior and have an active Chime debit card. Once the terms are met, customers are automatically set up for a fee-free overdraft, subject to their own limits. The negative balance will be repaid upon a user’s next deposit.

Another additional benefit with Chime is being paid up to two days early. If a user is also set up with a direct deposit, they qualify. 

Pros

  • No fees
  • Two-day-early paycheck
  • Up to $200 cash advance

Cons

  • Limits depend on user activity
  • Must have an active debit card and direct deposit set up
Cash Advance Paycheck Standard Fees
Up to $200 Up to two days early None

Download: Android (Free), iOS (Free)

2. Varo

Varo offers similar cash advance services, but with more stringent eligibility requirements. The service, known as Varo Advance, requires an active account that has been open for at least 30 days. In the previous 30 days, $1,000 in direct deposits must have been made and the user must have an active Varo debit card linked to a Varo bank account. 

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Varo members can get a cash advance of $20 or less at no expense, but above that, fees will apply that depend on the amount borrowed. Varo’s cash advance limit is $100.

Once direct deposit is set up with Varo, users can also take advantage of its two-day-early paycheck. This benefit also includes early payment for tax refunds. 

Pros

  • No fees on cash advances of $20 or less 
  • Two-day-early paycheck

Cons

  • High fees in percentage terms
  • Low cash advance limit
Cash Advance Paycheck Standard Fees
Up to $100 Up to two days early $0 – $5

Download: Android (Free), iOS (Free)

3. Earnin

Earnin is unique on this list, as it lets customers access the money they’ve earned from their work before payday arrives. It works out what percentage of a user’s paycheck is available for redemption based on how far into the earning cycle they are. 

For example, let’s say a user is paid monthly and they have already worked for half the month. Before payday, they can claim their wages. However, some restrictions do apply. A maximum of $500 can be claimed early per pay period and only $100 can be redeemed per day. 

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Most cash-outs take 2 to 3 business days. However, depending on a user’s main bank, they may qualify for a “Lightning Speed” payment. In this case, cash-outs can be processed within 30 minutes, but members need to be aware that fees can apply in this scenario.

Should a user decide not to use this service, a two-day-early paycheck option is also available. Earnin doesn’t directly charge any user fees itself, but customers can choose to tip for services. 

Pros

  • No fees
  • Two-day-early paycheck
  • Up to $500 cash advance

Cons

  • Bank fees can apply to “Lightning Speed” payments
  • Only available to U.S. citizens
Cash Advance Paycheck Standard Fees
Up to $500 Up to two days early None

Download: Android (Free), iOS (Free)

4. Albert

Albert gives cash advances of up to $250 with no interest and no late fees. The negative balance will be deducted from the next paycheck once the user is paid. Users are not required to sign up for Albert’s paid subscription tier to access cash advances. 

One limiting factor to consider, though, is the $4.99 fee for instant access to cash. Otherwise, the cash transaction will take 2 to 3 days to reach a customer’s account. 

Additional benefits include two-day-early paychecks and no impact on credit scores for cash advances.

Pros

  • No fees for standard delivery
  • Two-day-early paycheck
  • Up to $250 cash advance
  • No effect on credit scores

Cons

  • $4.99 for instant cash advances
Cash Advance Paycheck Standard Fees
Up to $250 Up to two days early None

Download: Android (Free), iOS (Free)

5. MoneyLion

MoneyLion operates a service called Instacash that allows users to claim up to $250 in cash advances. To qualify, customers simply need to link with a checking account. In the beginning, members can claim a cash advance of up to $50, but the limits will increase once MoneyLion has determined a user has a recurring monthly income. 

No fees apply to the MoneyLion’s Instacash service and it does not affect customer credit scores. However, if the money is required quickly, a “Turbo Fee” will apply. Regular delivery takes 12 to 48 hours with a RoarMoney account, or 3 to 5 business days with a regular bank account. For instant cash advances, fees can be as much as $5.99 for RoarMoney accounts or $7.99 for external cards and accounts. 

MoneyLion members can also get paid 2 days early by signing up for a RoarMoney account and linking direct deposit. 

Pros

  • No fees for standard delivery
  • Two-day-early paycheck
  • Up to $250 cash advance

Cons

  • “Turbo Fees” apply for instant cash advances
  • No effect on credit scores
Cash Advance Paycheck Standard Fees
Up to $250 Up to two days early None

Download: Android (Free), iOS (Free)

6. SoFi

SoFi offers cash advance services through its credit card. In contrast to other companies mentioned on this list, SoFi is a bank, so the limits are much higher. The minimum cash advance is $40, but members can also make use of up to $1,000 in cash advance credit per day. 

Given larger cash advance options, standard fees apply. This is either $10 or 5%, and the interest charged is the higher one of the two. SoFi members can also claim paychecks up to two days early. 

Pros

  • Large cash advance payments available
  • Two-day-early paycheck

Cons

  • Must have a SoFi credit card
  • Higher fees than most
Cash Advance Paycheck Standard Fees
Up to $1,000 per day Up to two days early Up to 5%

Download: Android (Free), iOS (Free)

7. Empower

The Empower app lets users claim up to $250 in cash advances. No credit checks, interest or fees apply. Eligibility takes into account earned income and account activity to decide what amount a customer can borrow. Empower offers a two-day-early paycheck scheme too. 

An Empower card must be activated for a cash advance. It charges a monthly subscription of $8, but this comes with extra benefits such as cash-back rewards and free ATM withdrawals

Pros

  • No interest or fees
  • Two-day-early paycheck
  • Up to $250 cash advance

Cons

  • Account criteria determine cash advance amounts
  • Paid subscription service
Cash Advance Paycheck Standard Fees
Up to $250 Up to two days early $8 per month

Download: Android (Free), iOS (Free)

8. Brigit

The Brigit app gives users the ability to claim up to $250 in cash advances. It doesn’t include interest, fees or “tips” like many of the other apps. 

However, to benefit from cash advances, a paid subscription of $9.99 per month is required.

On top of this, benefits such as overdraft protection, identity theft insurance, flexible repayment schedules and credit builders are available.

Pros

  • No interest, fees or tips
  • Up to $250 cash advance
  • Extra benefits included

Cons

  • Account criteria determine cash advance amounts
  • Subscription service
Cash Advance Paycheck Standard Fees
Up to $250 No benefit $9.99 per month

Download: Android (Free), iOS (Free)

Final Take

Cash advances without incurred interest can certainly be useful. However, in most circumstances, consumers should strive to only use apps like Dave for cash advances in emergencies. Using cash advance services regularly can tend to lead to bad money habits and result in an accrual of hefty interest rates when not managed appropriately.

Information is accurate as of June 16, 2022.

Our in-house research team and on-site financial experts work together to create content that’s accurate, impartial, and up to date. We fact-check every single statistic, quote and fact using trusted primary resources to make sure the information we provide is correct. You can learn more about GOBankingRates’ processes and standards in our editorial policy.

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About the Author

David is a qualified financial advisor in the Republic of Ireland. He has a bachelor's degree in business and entrepreneurship, as well as over five years of investing experience.
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