If you run out of money before your next payday, you may not want an entire loan but a little extra cash to get you by. Cash advance apps allow you to borrow small amounts, usually $10 to $500, and repay it when you get your next paycheck.

New cash advance apps today also offer other features like money management and budgeting tools. While it’s a convenient way to get access to cash, you may have to pay a monthly membership fee and an express delivery fee. Read on to learn more about our top recommendations for cash advance apps, how they work, and tips on how to pick one that’s right for you.

Top 5 Cash Advance Apps

We reviewed 12 of the most popular apps and compared their fees, features, customer satisfaction, spending limits, and functionality to choose our recommendations for the best cash advance apps in 2024.

DaveEarnInMoneyLionBrigitAlbert
Advance Limit$500$750$500$250$250
Monthly Fee$1/monthOptional tipNA$9.99 to $14.99/month$12.49 to $14.99/month
Express Delivery Fee$1/monthNot disclosed$0.49 to $8.99Not disclosedNot disclosed

1. Dave

  • Advance Limit: $500
  • Monthly Fee: $1/month
  • Express Delivery Fee: $1/month

If you’re looking for low monthly fees, Dave is a cash advance app to consider. The ExtraCash option offers one of the lowest costs when compared to competitors. The app also offers additional features such as 15% cash back for some purchases, no late fees, and no credit checks.

  • Advance Limit: $750
  • Monthly Fee: Optional tip
  • Express Delivery Fee: Not disclosed

The EarnIn cash advance app allows you to borrow up to $100/work day, up to a maximum of $750/pay period. There’s no monthly fee involved. Instead, EarnIn works on a refundable and optional tipping structure. You’ll have to pay extra for the Lightning Speed facility if you want instant cash.

If you’re interested in borrowing larger amounts, EarnIn is a good option. Make sure you don’t rely too much on borrowing cash advances since the costs can add up over time.

  • Advance Limit: $500
  • Monthly Fee: NA
  • Express Delivery Fee: $0.49 to $8.99

If you’re looking for a feature-rich platform that offers cash advances, credit builder accounts, and money management tools, MoneyLion cash advance is a good option.

There’s no monthly fee, but you may have to pay an express delivery fee if you want faster access to money. These fees can vary but are usually higher when transferring to an external bank account.

Advance Limit: $250

Monthly Fee: $9.99 to $14.99/month

Express Delivery Fee: Not disclosed

Apps like Brigit don’t require a credit check, so they’re an easy and convenient way to borrow small amounts when you need them.

Brigit also makes it easy to build your credit since it integrates with a Credit Builder account. You can open the account with just $1 in deposits and use it to build a positive credit history to qualify for a personal loan or credit card in the future.

  • Advance Limit: $250
  • Monthly Fee: $12.49 to $14.99/month
  • Express Delivery Fee: Not disclosed

The Albert cash advance app allows you to bank, automate your savings, and invest with a single platform. While its monthly fees are higher than those of other apps on the list, it also allows you to get real-time financial advice and help from within the app.

What are Cash Advance Apps?

Cash advance apps are tools that allow you to borrow funds until your next paycheck. Once you download the app, you can provide information about your employment and earnings and connect your bank account.

You can then transfer the advance amount to your account. These small advances are often helpful when you’re dealing with unexpected costs. They’re also used by those who don’t want to risk overdraft fees or penalties for missing due dates on bills.

How do Cash Advance Apps Work?

Cash advance apps are similar to payday loans because they allow you to borrow a small portion of your paycheck. The funds you borrow can be transferred to your checking account through direct deposit or to a debit card.

Repayment is through automatic withdrawals from your bank account. Most of these apps don’t require credit checks, so they’re an attractive option for those with a low credit score. However, you’ll need to provide information about your employment and earnings to determine your eligibility.

Cash advances are usually interest-fee. However, there may be an optional tip, a monthly fee, and an express delivery fee. While it may look like a risk-free option, especially when compared to a payday loan, ensure you’re aware of the true cost of borrowing money.

Pros and Cons of Cash Advance Apps

Cash advance apps are a quick and easy option for getting access to money before your payday. However, you may want to weigh the pros and cons of using them.

Pros 

  • No credit checks
  • Quick access to funds, sometimes within minutes
  • No interest and usually very few fees
  • You may be able to move your repayment date
  • Many apps include other tools, such as budgeting, investing and savings accounts, overdraft protection, and real-time financial advice

Cons 

  • You’ll only be able to borrow a small amount of money
  • Fees can add up
  • May lead to a reliance on borrowing
  • Automatic repayment may lead to overdraft fees

How To Select a Cash Advance App

With so many cash advance apps to choose from, it may be difficult to find one that matches your needs. Here are a few key things to keep in mind when comparing mobile apps.

Advance Limit

Each app has a different advance limit. Review your financial goals and needs to determine how much you’ll need to borrow. Most apps offer lower advance amounts, so if you need to borrow a larger amount, your options may be limited.

Fees

Cash advance apps are not completely free. They may charge you money in several different forms. Some of these apps have a monthly fee to access the advance, while others may charge it to provide you access to the extra features.

There may also be optional tips and an extra fee if you want access to funds quickly. Be sure to read the fine print and compare the fees of different apps, so you know how much you’ll pay.

Features

Many cash advance apps offer additional features, such as expense tracking, budgeting, investing, and banking. You’ll need to determine whether you only want to borrow money or need an all-inclusive platform that offers all these features. Be sure to compare the monthly fees you’ll need to pay in exchange for using these features.

Alternatives To Cash Advance Apps

While a cash advance app can be useful in some cases, there are other borrowing options available you may want to consider.

Personal Loans

If you need to borrow a larger loan amount, you may want to opt for a personal loan from an online lender, bank, or credit union. Some online lenders offer loans to borrowers with bad credit, so qualifying is easy. Annual percentage rates (APRs) are usually below 36%, which is the highest rate an affordable loan should have.

Credit Cards

If you’re in a pinch, a credit card can also be useful. If you already have a credit card with a competitive interest rate, you may want to use it instead of using a cash advance app. Ideally, you should pay off the balance at the end of the month to avoid paying any interest charges.

Buy Now Pay Later

Buy Now Pay Later (BNPL) apps are convenient if you want to purchase a large item but don’t have the money to pay for it upfront. Many of these apps have 0% interest charges, but there can be other fees. Check the fine print to ensure you’re aware of BNPL risks so you don’t get stuck in a debt cycle.

Friends and Family Loans

While it may be uncomfortable to ask for money from family and friends, it’s often the best option. Borrowing money from someone you trust is a good option in an emergency without having to deal with very high borrowing costs. You can always draw up a contract to specify interest and repayment terms.

Compare the Costs Before Using a Cash Advance App

The best way to deal with an unexpected expense is by using your emergency fund. However, if you don’t have one, a cash advance app can be a good alternative for short-term borrowing needs. Keep in mind that these apps do have several types of fees (optional and mandatory fees), such as monthly subscription fees and express delivery fees, which can add up over time.