If you’re short on cash and need a small loan to tide you over until your next paycheck, cash advance apps like Earnin can be a convenient solution. However, with so many options available, it can be challenging to decide which to choose.
The Earnin app is a popular choice for many strapped-for-cash between paydays. One reason it’s so appealing to users is that it doesn’t have hidden fees or require a subscription. However, a downside is that Earnin limits the amount you can borrow to $100 per day, which may not be enough to cover your expenses.
Earnin is just one of the many apps available for quick access to extra cash. Here, I’ll share some of the best cash advance apps, like Earnin, that can get you a cash or paycheck advance. Each has its own unique features, limits, eligibility requirements, and fees, so it’s important to understand the terms and conditions before enrolling with one.
Continue reading for my top 11 choices of the best cash advance apps like Earnin to help you choose the right one for your financial needs.
11 Apps Like Earnin for Small Cash Advances
Albert is an all-in-one financial app. You can get a fee-free cash advance up to $250, but it offers so much more than that. With Albert, you can manage your money with banking, budgeting, saving, and investing features—all in one platform.
The Albert app is free to use, and there are no fees or interest on your cash advances (unless you need an instant delivery, which comes with a small fee).
It also includes two useful features—a Smart Savings tool that analyzes your spending and sets aside money to help you reach your financial goals, and an Albert Cash account with early direct deposit and cashback rewards. Albert Savings and Albert Cash are FDIC-insured, and investment accounts are SIPC insured.
Users can subscribe to Albert’s optional premium plan, Albert Genius, which offers personal financial advice from real-life “geniuses,” an investment account, and access to 55,000+ fee-free ATMs. Genius uses a “pay what’s fair” system, with an $8 minimum monthly cost.
- Up to $250 fee-free cash advances
- No membership fee or interest for cash advances
- Get your paycheck two days early with Albert Cash
- Can be used as an all-in-one banking platform
- Customer service can be difficult to reach
- Poor online reviews
Get a $250 Cash Advance Right Now
Albert will spot you as much as $250 with no credit check, interest, or late fees.
Chime is a digital finance company that provides banking features, including a checking account, a credit-building credit card, and a high-yield savings account.
While Chime does not offer cash advances, it provides overdraft protection through its SpotMe® program. Should you overdraft on your spending account, SpotMe® will cover you (up to $200), and you won’t pay any overdraft fees.
SpotMe® is free for Chime accountholders. New users can receive overdraft protection starting at $20; however, after making timely repayments, limits will increase to $200. To be eligible for SpotMe®, you must have a qualifying direct deposit of at least $200 in your account every month.
- Offers multiple banking features
- Covers up to $200 in overdrafts
- No membership fees, overdraft fees, or tips
- Only available to Chime users with direct deposit
- Has a low starting limit of $20
Chime offers no hassle online banking with a quick and easy to use app that allows you to manage all of your accounts in one place, and best of all, there are no fees to worry about.
Chime is a financial technology company, not a bank. Banking services provided by The Bancorp Bank, N.A. or Stride Bank, N.A., Members FDIC.
Chime SpotMe® is an optional, no fee service that requires a single deposit of $200 or more in qualifying direct deposits to the Chime Checking Account each at least once every 34 days. All qualifying members will be allowed to overdraw their account up to $20 on debit card purchases and cash withdrawals initially, but may be later eligible for a higher limit of up to $200 or more based on member’s Chime Account history, direct deposit frequency and amount, spending activity and other risk-based factors. Your limit will be displayed to you within the Chime mobile app. You will receive notice of any changes to your limit. Your limit may change at any time, at Chime’s discretion. Although there are no overdraft fees, there may be out-of-network or third party fees associated with ATM transactions. SpotMe® won’t cover non-debit card transactions, including ACH transfers, Pay Anyone transfers, or Chime Checkbook transactions. See Terms and Conditions
Similar to Albert, MoneyLion is a personal finance app that offers useful banking tools, including a RoarMoney account, giving users early access to direct deposit paychecks.
Its Credit Builder Plus program offers credit-builder loans up to $1,000 to be repaid over 12 months (with a $19.99 monthly fee). MoneyLion will report your payments to the major credit bureaus to help you improve your credit score.
MoneyLion’s Instacash feature is for cash advances up to $500 with 0% APR. Standard delivery is free, and can arrive between 24 hours and five business days (it takes longer for delivery for an account outside of MoneyLion). Turbo delivery can get you quick cash within minutes up to four hours; however, the fee can range anywhere from $.99 to $8.99 (fees are higher for external accounts).
To be eligible, you need to have an active linked checking account that’s been open for at least two months, receives direct deposits, and shows a positive balance.
- No interest on your advance
- Has all the functionality of a mobile banking app
- $1,000 cash advance limit for those that use Moneylion’s products
- Partial payment withdrawals until your repayment is complete
- $1 monthly membership fee
Varo is a digital bank that offers banking features similar to Chime, including a debit card, a high-yield savings account, a large ATM network, and cash advances.
With Varo Advance, you can receive up $100, but there is a fee ranging from $3 to $5, depending on the size of your advance. (Advances $20 and under are free). To qualify, you should have an active Varo debit card linked to your Varo account, and the account should have a least $1,000 in direct deposits within the past month.
Once you’ve qualified for Varo Advance, you’ll receive a $20 advance. Pay it back on time, and you’ll begin earning larger advances.
Varo is unique in that you have between 15 and 30 days to pay back your advance instead of automatically withdrawing it on your next payday.
- Fifteen to 30 days to repay your advance
- No monthly fees
- Early access to your paycheck with a Varo account
- Fees for each advance over $20
- Maximum $100 advance may not be enough to cover your expenses
If you are running a little short until your next payday, Varo Advance can come in handy, providing up to $100 instant cash advance for a small, one-time fee.
When it comes to Cleo, you are getting more than a money management tool—you’re getting a money-savvy friend to whip your finances into shape. Cleo uses funny quips and motivating messages to manage your spending and saving. Cleo will hype you up when you make good financial decisions and roast you for the bad ones!
Cleo offers numerous features, including cash advances that allow users to borrow small amounts of money. First-time borrowers have a cash advance limit ranging from $20 to $70. However, once you’ve shown that you can make timely repayments, your limit will increase up to $100.
This feature comes with no interest, no impact on your credit score, and you can choose your repayment date (between three days and two weeks). A downside is that it is only available if you subscribe to the Cleo Plus plan at $5.99 per month or the Cleo Builder plan at $14.99.
- Cashback rewards with the premium plan
- Savings and budgeting assistance
- Gig or freelance workers qualify
- Monthly subscription required for $5.99 or $14.99
- $100 maximum limit
- Only available to iPhone users
Primarily a financial wellness tool, Brigit provides users with budgeting help, spending insights, and “Instant Cash” cash advances up to $250.
With Brigit’s Instant Cash, you can receive your advance in two to three business days for free, or pay a small fee for Express Delivery which arrives in minutes. It does not require a credit check, charge interest or late fees, or request a tip. Additionally, Brigit provides overdraft protection, as it detects low account balances and transfers up to $250 advance so you can avoid costly overdraft fees.
However, note that this service is only available if you are subscribed to the Plus plan ($9.99 per month). The Plus plan comes with additional financial support services, such as a Credit Builder credit card, tracking of spending habits, and identity theft protection.
Brigit also offers credit-builder loans where you choose your repayment plan—between $1 and $25 per month for a 24-month term, or $1 to $50 for a 12-month term. Brigit reports payments to the major credit bureaus, which will ideally help you build your credit.
- Covers up to $1 million in identity theft protection
- No interest, fees, or tipping
- Offers credit builder loans with easy payment plans
- Brigit will need access to your bank account
- Required monthly membership fee of $9.99 for cash advances
Another app similar to Earnin is Dave, one of the most popular cash advance apps. Dave’s ExtraCash offers a no-interest, no-fee cash advance of up to $500. Dave will not check your credit history, so this app is still available to you even if you have bad credit.
With ExtraCash, you can opt for a free standard transfer, which can take one to three business days, or the express option, which can take minutes up to a couple of hours. Fees for the express option start at $2.49.
What makes Dave stand out over Earnin is its partnership with LevelCredit, which reports your rent payments to the major credit bureaus, which will help you build your credit score (as long as you make payments on time).
Additionally, Dave sends alerts if your account balance is low, helping you avoid overdraft fees.
There is a $1 monthly membership fee to use Dave, which also gives you access to features such as budgeting tools, low balance alerts, and savings goal setting.
- No late fees
- Helps with a side hustle job search
- Features a budgeting tool that creates a personalized plan for you
- Access requires a $1 monthly subscription fee
- Standard transfers take up to 3 business days
- Express turnaround fees range from $2.49 to $5.99
8. Possible Finance
Possible Finance is a digital lender that offers small loans with high-interest rates through its mobile app. If you have bad credit or no credit, you can still qualify for a loan of up to $500.
Unlike Earnin, which requires repayment from your next paycheck, Possible Finance breaks it up into four payments over two months. Possible Finance also does not require a subscription or monthly fee, so it’s a good option if you need a one-time loan.
However, a considerable downside to Possible Finance is its high loan APRs, ranging from 150% to 249%, depending on your state.
Note that Possible Finance is currently only available in the following states: Alabama, California, Delaware, Florida, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Ohio, Oklahoma, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, and Washington.
- No subscription or monthly fee
- Repayments spread out over two months
- High APRs
- Not available in all states
Empower is geared towards helping clients improve their credit. With Empower, you can receive a cash advance of up to $250 with no late fees and no credit check. Your money is instantly delivered and, as long as you repay the next time you get paid, there are no interest charges.
Users can open an Empower debit card account to deposit funds into or transfer them to an external bank account. If you opt for the Empower debit card account, it offers helpful features, such as overdraft fee protection, early paycheck access, and cashback of up to 10% on purchases.
To access Empower’s money management tools, including cash advances, you’ll need a monthly subscription. There is a 14-day free trial; after that, the subscription costs $8 per month.
- No late fees or interest
- Debit card compatible with Apple Pay, Google Pay, and Samsung Pay
- Empower monthly subscription ($8) required
- Only mobile-based (no web access)
Unlike Earnin, to use PayActiv, your employer must offer it as a benefit to their employees. Once PayActiv is linked with your employer, the app will track your hours and give you access to $500 of your earnings (with direct deposit, access up to $1,000).
You can transfer your earnings to your bank account, debit card, or PayActiv Visa card. Once your next direct deposit arrives, PayActiv will automatically deduct what you borrowed. This app also provides financial services, including prescription discounts, bill pay, and automatic contributions to your savings.
- Helps both salaried and hourly employees
- Access up to $1,000 of your paycheck with direct deposit
- Highly rated app
- Needs be offered by your employer for access to earned wages
- Possible $5 fee if you don’t have direct depost
Vola provides cash advances of up to $300, and, in most cases, you can receive money within 5 hours. Unlike most apps, you do not need regular direct deposits to be eligible for a cash advance. As long as your account has regular activity and an average balance of at least $150, you should qualify.
While Vola appears to have one of the most straightforward cash advance processes, you must enroll in a monthly plan starting at $4.99. Unfortunately, fee information is not easily found on Vola’s website.
A unique feature of Vola is your Vola Score, which can range from 0 to 100. You can qualify for lower subscription fees and larger cash advances as your score increases.
- Quick turnaround time
- Easy qualifications
- Monthly fee required
- Website lacks information about its monthly plans
What is Earnin and How Does it Work?
Earnin is a digital finance app that gives you part of your upcoming paycheck before payday. It is not a lender and does not offer personal loans, instead, it allows employees to access their own money and later repay it out of their next paycheck.
Cash Out with Earnin
With Earnin’s “Cash Out” feature, you can request a cash advance from your paycheck to your linked bank account. You can request up to a “Daily Max” of $100 per day, or up to your Pay Period Max ($250 for new users, $500 for ongoing users with a good repayment history).
Earnin’s standard speed transfer is free and usually takes one to two business days. Its “Lightning Speed” transfer can send money in minutes. This service is free with certain eligible banks, but otherwise, charges a fee.
The funds you borrowed are directly deposited into your bank account, and once your next paycheck comes in, the loan amount is repaid from that same account. No interest fees will accrue on your paycheck advance; however, you can choose to leave a tip for using Earnin’s services.
There are a few requirements regarding your employment and how you receive your paychecks to use the Earnin app. You must:
- Be an employee paid via direct deposit.
- Have at least 50% of your total income must direct deposit to your checking account
- Have a consistent pay schedule (weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly)
- Work in a fixed location
- Provide a timesheet (either an electronic, paper printout, or PDF-style)
Remote workers are not currently supported with the Earnin app.
- Low balance alerts to help you avoid overdraft fees
- No interest on your advance
- No transfer fees (unless you opt for express delivery)
- App must be able to access your bank account
- Strict eligibility requirements
- Low advance limits
What Are Cash Advance Apps?
Cash advance apps offer a quick and convenient solution for unexpected expenses or a financial emergencies. You can borrow money on a short-term basis, often until your next paycheck.
To be eligible for most cash advance apps, you must have an active checking account and show evidence of recurring direct deposits. Once approved and the request submitted, funds are deposited directly into your bank account.
Popular options include Earnin, MoneyLion, Albert, and Dave. Before enrolling, review the app’s terms and conditions, read reviews, and compare your options. Decide on the most important features, and make sure it accommodates the advance limit you expect you will need.
Tips for Choosing a Cash Advance App Like Earnin
Depending on your financial situation, there may be specific features you’re looking for in a cash advance app. Below are a few of the most significant cash advance app features to consider.
Cash Advance Limits
Consider how much you think you will need to cover your expenses. Most cash advance limits range between $100 to $1,000. Many apps will not let you borrow the maximum amount until you’ve shown that you can consistently repay your loan on time.
Customer Service Availability
As these apps are primarily mobile-based, you’ll want to consider the level of customer support offered, including availability, how they can be reached, and response time. Reviews posted on Trustpilot and Better Business Bureau can provide insight into how each app communicates and supports its users.
Every provider has its own set of eligibility requirements that must be met to get a cash advance. In most instances, you need to be at least 18 years old to qualify. Other qualifications can include:
- Proof of employment
- Level of income
- Direct deposit set-up with your account
- Frequency of your direct deposits
- Active bank account that’s been open for a certain amount of time
- Credit score
Some cash advance apps, like Possible Finance, are only available in select states.
Fees and Interest
Before enrolling, look into the fees associated with cash advances, as they can vary across companies. Some common fees with cash advance apps can include monthly subscription fees, transaction fees, interest charges, late fees, or delivery fees. You’ll want to consider these potential expenses when deciding if a particular cash advance app is worth it.
Some cash advance apps can do so much more than advances. With Chime and Varo, you can manage all of your financial accounts from one location. With Brigit and Dave, you can enroll in a credit card account that helps you build up your credit score. Other apps provide tools for budgeting, saving, and cash back rewards.
If you’re in a pinch for cash, chances are you want it as quickly as possible. Look into each app’s turnaround time. Some can transfer within a few hours, while others can take up to five business days. More often than not, there is a fee for express delivery, which can arrive in your account within minutes. These fees are usually taken out of your account at the same time as repayment, so you’ll want to ensure that when the time comes, you’ll be able to pay it all back.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why are cash advance apps like Earnin better than payday loans?
Earnin and other cash advance apps are similar to payday loans as they both allow you to quickly borrow money for the short-term, usually without a credit check.
Where they differ is in interest rates. Payday loans typically have high-interest rates, which can prove difficult for some to repay fully. You could find yourself taking out multiple payday loans, trapped in a cycle of debt. Cash advance apps don’t have high-interest rates, and limit how much you can borrow at a time, making it easier to repay and improving your financial stability in the long term.
How quickly will I get my money with a cash advance app like Earnin?
How quickly you get funds from Earnin or another cash advance app varies across providers. You will need to factor in how long it takes to apply and be approved (typically one to two days), as well as how long your particular app guarantees delivery. Often cash advances can transfer to your account within minutes up to three business days (in some cases as long as five business days). There is often an option for express or turbo delivery; however, it can come with a small fee.
What apps let me borrow money instantly?
Apps such as Earnin, MoneyLion, Dave, and Brigit can instantly transfer money to your bank account. Note that there is usually a fee for speedy delivery, but the upside is that it can sometimes get to you in minutes.
Life is unpredictable. There may be moments when you struggle to make ends meet, or are faced with an unexpected emergency. Early access to your paycheck or a cash advance app can be a great relief.
The cash advance apps listed here can be helpful alternatives to Earnin when you need quick, extra cash. While many apps work similarly, some may come with varying fees, turnaround times, or membership requirements.
When considering an app like Earnin, do your due diligence and compare all your options. Read online reviews, and make yourself aware of all related fees. Choosing the best option for you will help you improve your financial situation in the long run.