7 Best Apps Like Empower

You may be familiar with Empower, the popular app that offers fee-free cash advances of up to $250 with no credit check. For a small fee, you can even get instant cash instead of waiting a couple of business days for standard processing time.

The Empower app is especially popular among gig workers, as even freelancers, contractors, and other non-traditional employees can get an Empower cash advance.

While Empower is a solid option if you need extra cash right now, there are many other apps like Empower too. They may advance higher loans, provide more flexible terms, or offer other helpful budgeting tools.

7 Best Apps Like Empower for Small Cash Advances

These are our picks for the best apps like Empower you can download today:

1. Chime

Best for: Immediate Access

Chime is known for being a solid checking account option, but did you know it can advance account holders up to $200 through the Chime SpotMe program?

Through SpotMe, you can overdraw your account by up to $200 on debit card purchases without any overdraft fees.

Additionally, Chime cardholders pay no monthly service fees, no minimum balance fees, no foreign transaction fees, and no ATM fees at a nationwide network of over 60,000 teller machines.

Account holders can also get early access to their paycheck up to two (2) days early if they have direct deposit in place.

Chime itself is not a bank, but a financial technology or fintech company. Chime partners with The Bancorp Bank, N.A., and Stride Bank, N.A., both of which are Member FDIC financial institutions.

2. Dave

Best for: Low fees

Dave is a similar app that will spot users an advance amount of up to $500 with no interest or credit check. Funds are paid back on your next payday.

In addition to offering quick access to emergency funds, Dave has budgeting tools, overdraft protection alerts, credit monitoring, and automatic bill pay tools.

Dave users connect their external bank account to the app for cash advances and other personal finance tools. The app has a monthly subscription fee of just $1 (compared to $8 for Empower) and saves the average American consumer $500 a year.

3. Varo

Best for: Flexible repayment terms

Varo is a popular banking app that offers checking and high-yield savings accounts, along with roundup and other tools to automate savings.

Account holders in a pinch can use Varo Advance access up to $250 before their next paycheck hits the bank. Borrow anywhere from $20 to $250 with no interest, and you determine the repayment terms with the full balance owed within 30 days of the advance.

You can borrow up to $20 for free, making Varo a good option if you need a small amount of money (i.e. topping up your gas tank) before payday. Advances of $50 and more have a fee of $4 to $15 depending on the amount of your cash advance.

There are no tips, subscription fees, or transfer fees to use Varo Advance. Additionally, customers can eventually qualify for cash advances of up to $500. Whatever their starting limit, customers unlock higher loan amounts over time through a positive repayment history.

Side hustle workers, like Uber drivers, can use Varo but there are eligibility requirements for incoming funds. To be eligible for an advance, you must have received at least $800 in direct deposits within the current month or the previous month.

4. MoneyLion

Best for: Large cash advance amounts

MoneyLion is a payday loan app with an arsenal of features for consumers to take control of their financial well-being. It offers low-interest personal loans, no-interest cash advances, credit monitoring, budgeting assistance, and tools to track spending and avoid missed payments or late fees.

Fast cash advances, referred to as Instacash, are offered to MoneyLion debit card holders. Similar to Chime, MoneyLion is a fintech company and is not a bank. Meta Bank, National Association, a Member FDIC institution, issues the MoneyLion Debit Mastercard.

To qualify for cash advances:

  • Download the MoneyLion app.
  • Enroll in MoneyLion Your free membership gives you a free MoneyLion checking account, access to a large, national network of ATMs, and cash back on everyday spending.
  • Set up direct deposits of $250 or more per pay period.

Regular account holders can qualify for up to $500 or $700 in cash advances. Those with a premium RoarMoney account can get advances up to $1,000.

5. EarnIn

Best for: Getting Paid Early

EarnIn is a cash advance app that lets you access your earned wages before payday. The app connects to your external bank account and work hours, and can send a cash advance within three (3) days of your request.

There are no credit check requirements with EarnIn. The advance is fee-free and interest-free, with no monthly subscription charges. EarnIn asks app users to tip what they feel is fair and suggests a tip of around 10%.

The app will advance you up to $750 per pay period (or up to $100 per day) for hours that you have already worked.

EarnIn makes money through user tips or Lightning Speed transaction fees. Lightning Speed is a service to advance funds instantly (within minutes). Fees range from $3.99 to $4.99, and your first Lightning Speed transfer is always free.

6. Brigit Loan App

Best for: Avoiding overdraft fees

The Brigit app will advance you up to $250. The “Instant Cash” advance is interest free and there is no credit check. The app monitors your account proactively to help you avoid low balances and overdraft fees. When Brigit sees your balance nearing zero, it will send you up to $250 to cover expenses. Through this proactive coverage, Brigit has saved consumers hundreds of dollars in overdraft fees every year.

Users like how simple the process is. To work with Brigit, you just need to connect your bank account. It’s easy to do, and Brigit works with 15,000+ financial institutions including Wells Fargo, Bank of America, Chase, and the Navy Federal Credit Union.

There’s no hidden fees or requests for tips. Like Empower, Brigit is a monthly subscription service. It’s $8.99 a month for Brigit Plus or $14.99 a month for Brigit Premium. There is also a free version, but it does not provide cash advances.

Premium subscribers can receive their Instant Cash with express delivery — typically within 20 minutes of initiating a request. Plus members get free standard delivery, which takes up to three (3) business days or they can pay a small fee for express delivery.

Credit Builder loans are also available to Premium customers. Brigit will report on-time payments to the credit bureaus, improving customer credit scores over time.

7. Cleo App

Best for: AI Support

Cleo has been called an Alexa or Siri to look after your money, and that’s a fairly apt description. The Cleo app has features to help you budget, save, track spending, monitor your credit score, and spot you a cash advance if you need emergency funds before payday.

As with other voice assistants, you can ask Cleo questions like, “What’s my checking account balance.” Or “Can I afford to go out to eat tonight?” Cleo will do the calculation and offer their financial advice, basing it on your income, bills, spending habits, and other data-driven insights.

The app has other features to help you automate savings and build a rainy day fund and create a budget that you can stick to.

Cleo Plus members, who pay a monthly subscription fee of $5.99, are spotted up to $100 to prevent account overdrafts and can request a cash advance of up to $250 per month with no credit check or cash advance fees or any interest.

There is also a Cleo Builder membership for $15.99 a month, where timely repayments to credit builder loans are reported to the credit bureaus to improve your credit history.

If you are not a Cleo subscriber and need a cash advance, you can apply by contacting customer service at [email protected].

Pros and Cons of Cash Advance Apps

While apps like Empower are a much better option than predatory payday loans or trying to pawn your belongings, these apps come with pros and cons.


  • Receive funds quickly with no interest or cash advance fees.
  • No credit check
  • Cover cash emergencies in a discreet and dignified way.
  • Costs less than payday loans, which can have interest rates of over 450%.
  • Will not negatively impact your credit score.
  • Can prevent overdraft fees, saving you hundreds of dollars each year.
  • Enables you to meet monthly obligations, preventing late payments which can negatively impact your credit score.


  • Paid subscription required for access to cash advances, ranging from $1 to $18.
  • Extra fees for immediate (same-day) access to funds.
  • Can create dependence on cash advances which is not a good situation to be in.
  • No guarantee you will be able to get a cash advance, even with a paid subscription. Even if you have qualified before, qualifying terms can change at any time.
  • Cash advances can be quite small (i.e., less than $50) for those with thin or damaged credit profiles and it can be hard to get increases.


There are other alternative to using apps like Empower, especially if you don’t want to link your bank account to a third-party platform.

Here are some other methods you can use get immediate access to cash funds:

  • Salary advance. Ask your workplace if they can advance you a portion of your next paycheck.
  • Credit cards. If possible, use a credit card to cover (charge) an unforeseen bill and then pay the balance in full on your next payday. Credit card cash advances can be a convenient way to get cash quickly, but those fees can run very high.
  • Peer-to-peer loans. There many peer-to-peer (P2P) lending platforms that offer alternative loans to consumers who may not otherwise qualify. Interest rates commonly range from 6% to 35% and some P2P platforms report payments to credit bureaus.
  • CDFI loan. These are short-term, small-dollar loans offered through Community Development Financial Institutions. The aim is to expand economic opportunity and promote community growth. Interest rates commonly range from 4% to 9%.
  • Sell something you don’t need. While we don’t recommend taking all your goods to the pawn shop to see what they’ll take (thus getting pennies on the dollar), there may be some unused items of value in your home you could part with like old furniture, baby gear, name brand clothing or sporting gear.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do You Have to Pay Interest on Cash Advances?

For apps like Empower and other platforms featured in our article, no. There is no interest paid on cash advances however you do need to subscribe to the platform with monthly fees starting around $3 to $8 for most apps.

Credit cards that extend cash advances typically start charging interest from the very first day that the cash advance posts to your card. Interest rates can be as high as 30%.

What is the Easiest Loan to Get Immediately?

The easiest personal loan to get is commonly a payday loan or car title loan. They typically offer up to $500 (or more in states without a maximum borrower amount) for payday loans or several thousand for car title loans. These loans, however, are predatory in nature and charge shockingly high interest rates.

Cash advances from apps like Empower are similarly easy to obtain as they do not require a credit check, however, they do require a verified source of income (direct deposits), active bank account, and may advance much lower amounts than a payday loan. Depending on your borrower profile, you may only be eligible for $10 to $25.

What Are the Fastest Apps like Empower for Small Cash Advances?

The apps featured in this review can all issue same-day cash advances, often within an hour. There is a fee for immediate access to funds though, ranging from $0.99 to $8.99 depending on the app platform and total cash advance amount.

Chime is the fastest overall, as it is the only app that issues funds instantly. However, this is because you must be a Chime checking account holder in order to get a Chime cash advance.

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