Cash App Review 2023: Pros and Cons
- Money transfers to friends, family
- Uncomplicated, free banking
- Micro-investing in stocks, Bitcoin
The way people bank, invest and manage money has changed rapidly over the past few years and Cash App is one of few platforms that has been nimble enough to adapt to the digital financial world and continue to serve customers’ needs.
The app by Block, Inc. (formerly Square, Inc.) — previously called Square Cash — started as a money transfer app. The app had a particular appeal to communities who are traditionally unbanked or underbanked because of its ease of use, lack of fees and almost exclusively mobile design.
Cash App has continued to expand since its inception in 2013 to include more ways to uniquely serve this customer base and broaden the app’s appeal. Now the app supports money transfers, banking, stock and ETF investing, Bitcoin trading and tax filing.
In our Cash App review, we’ll cover everything you need to know to figure out whether Cash App is the right place for your money — including its banking features, fees, perks and customer service.
Cash App Review: Accounts
Cash App Account
- Send and receive money with friends
- Send as cash, stock or Bitcoin
- Pay with your Cash App balance
More Information About the Cash App Account
Everyone who signs up for Cash App starts with a basic Cash App account, which you use to send and receive money. This peer-to-peer payment function is Cash App’s bread and butter, and is the app’s original purpose and reason most people download the app.
When you create an account, you’ll choose a username called a $Cashtag. Friends can use your $Cashtag, email address or phone number to send you money through the app, or they scan a unique QR code that links to your Cash App account.
Cash App is available for users in the U.S. and UK, and you can only send and receive payments with users in these countries. The app supports USD and GBP currencies.
Other Features of the Cash App Account
The following features can help you decide if the Cash App Account is right for you.
Cash App Payments
As soon as you sign up for a Cash App account you can receive money. You can send money as long as you have a balance in the app — you are not required to connect a bank account to use Cash App.
Before you can transfer money to friends, you must enter your name, birthdate and last four digits of your Social Security number to verify your identity, which is a common practice with any financial institution.
To “cash out” (i.e. transfer your Cash App money to a bank account) or send more money than you have in your Cash App in-app balance, you can connect a bank account using your debit card information or your bank’s online login details. Cash outs instantly send money to the bank account you connected to Cash App.
Send Cash, Stocks or Bitcoin
With Cash App, you can send funds as cash, stock, or Bitcoin. You do not need to own stock, Bitcoin, or have an investing account for either to send them as funds through Cash App app. Instead, Cash App pulls the USD (or GBP if you’re in the UK) from your account balance and gives the recipient the option to use it to buy the stock or Bitcoin you “send.”
Others can send you money as stock or Bitcoin, too, and you have the option to accept or decline it.
To accept stock, you have to have or open a brokerage account in the app. To accept Bitcoin, you have to verify your identity in the app, but you don’t need a separate crypto wallet. If you decline stock or Bitcoin payments, you will get the sent money as cash instead.
Cash App Pay
You can use your Cash App account directly to pay merchants who use Square for payments — for example, at markets, small businesses and online stores. This feature is called Cash App Pay. To do so, scan the vendor’s QR code with your phone and follow the prompts to complete the payment from your balance. You can also use Cash App Pay at participating vendors’ websites. Select “Cash App Pay” at checkout, either scan the Cash App QR code if on desktop (or if you are on mobile, you will automatically be redirected to the app itself), and follow the prompts to complete your online transaction.
A Cash App account on its own doesn’t work with other online or mobile payment systems; you need a Cash Card to do that.
Banking With Cash Card
- No minimums and no service fees
- Early payday with paycheck direct deposit
- Pay with your Cash App balance anywhere
To get more functionality out of your Cash App account, sign up for the Cash App debit card called Cash Card, a debit card that turns your Cash App account into a fully-fledged bank account.
With a Cash Card, your Cash App account becomes an FDIC-insured direct deposit account backed by Lincoln Savings Bank.
Other Features of the Cash Card
The following features can help you decide if the Cash Card is right for you.
Funding the Account
You can use your routing and account number to set up direct deposit for your paycheck and other payments. You can get paid up to two days ahead of the scheduled payday depending on when the payer initiates a direct deposit.
The Cash App account can only be funded through electronic payments: direct deposit, transfers from a linked bank account or payments from other Cash App users. As of 2022, Cash App users can deposit checks through the app. To do so, tap the “$” icon to see your Cash App balance. Then, tap on the “Deposit a Check” option, enter the amount of the check you are depositing, then follow the prompts to take photos of the front and back of the check. You cannot use Cash App for wire transfers, though.
You can deposit cash into your account through retailers including Walmart Customer Service Desk/ Money Centers, Walgreens, 7-Eleven, Family Dollar, Sheetz, KwikTrip, Speedway, StopNGo and Dollar General.
You can withdraw cash from ATMs with your debit card, and Cash App will reimburse up to three ATM fees each month as long as you receive at least $300 in direct deposits each month. Otherwise, you’re responsible for a $2 ATM fee charged by Cash App, plus any fees the ATM operator charges.
You can also use your bank account to pay bills and credit card payments by giving the payee your Cash App routing and account number to schedule a payment or set up auto pay.
You can use your Cash Card for purchases anywhere Visa is accepted. The fun part? When you order a Cash Card, you can add a custom doodle or emojis to the card’s design from right in the app; you will be the only one to own that unique Cash Card.
Debit Card Rewards
When you pay with your Cash Card, you have access to special deals from retailers with Cash Boost discounts.
Find Boosts from the Cash Card section in the app, and select a Boost you want to use. The Boost will be added to your account and applied when you buy from that retailer.
A Bitcoin Boost is an offer that rewards you in Bitcoin for a purchase with your Cash Card. Those rewards go straight to your Bitcoin balance.
Investing and Cryptocurrency
Cash App seamlessly integrates investing and Bitcoin collecting into the app alongside banking and payments.
Stock Investing With Cash App
You can use Cash App to open a brokerage account and trade stocks and mutual funds. The app shares stock market news and lets you see the recent performance of stocks before you buy.
The app is set up for active, self-directed stock trading, so it’s not a good fit if you prefer a robo-advisor to create a portfolio for you. You can set up daily, weekly or bi-weekly auto-invest on particular securities. You can buy fractional shares of any stock or ETF with as little as $1 ($10 for auto-invest).
Cash App doesn’t make every stock or fund available, though it’s constantly expanding what you can access through the app.
For now, you can buy or sell stocks or ETFs listed on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) or Nasdaq that have more than $1 billion in market capitalization or more than $5 million average daily trade volume, as long as they’re supported by DriveWealth, the broker behind Cash App Investing.
Buy and Sell Bitcoin on Cash App
You can use your Cash App funds to buy Bitcoin through the app without setting up a separate crypto wallet or an account on a crypto exchange.
You can always deposit Bitcoin into your Cash App Bitcoin account (a crypto wallet within your account) by sharing your wallet address with an external wallet. Don’t send any other cryptocurrencies to Cash App — the app only supports Bitcoin and all other currencies will simply be lost in the transaction.
Withdraw Bitcoin to an external wallet by entering the wallet’s address in Cash App to make the transfer.
Pay With Bitcoin
You can make payments in Bitcoin to friends, family or merchants using the option to pay with Bitcoin during the transaction. These transactions come out of your Cash App account balance, not your Bitcoin wallet balance. Technically, you send the recipient cash they can use to buy Bitcoin.
To send and receive Bitcoin directly between your wallet and another, you have to enter the other wallet address or scan their QR code in the Bitcoin section of the app. That way you can make an actual decentralized transaction on the blockchain. (This feature is available everywhere in the U.S. except New York state.)
Cash App Taxes
Starting in 2022 (for the 2021 tax year), Cash App has taken over Credit Karma Tax to let you file your taxes for free from the app or online.
Cash App Taxes supports most common tax situations, including some for more complex filers, like business income and itemizing deductions. You can file a federal and state tax return for free and have the option to get your refund deposited directly into your Cash App account.
Like other tax software, Cash App Taxes comes with an accuracy and maximum refund guarantee.
Cash for Business
If you want to use Cash App to get paid for products or services you sell in your business, you need a business account in the app. It is easy to change your account type via your in-app profile.
A Cash for Business account gives you unlimited daily transfers, while a personal account limits them, so you can accommodate the higher volume of transactions you’re likely to have as a business. Cash for Business accounts let you receive payments from customers using credit or debit cards by sending them a payment link.
Cash for Business is a good option for new and very small businesses, but its features are limited to sending and receiving cash. As your business grows, you can switch to Square or another payment processor to access more features.
Business owners accrue a 2.75% transaction fee to receive money through Cash for Business. This fee is automatically deducted from each sale. Sending money is always free.
Cash App Fees
Fees in Cash App are minimal. The app does away with common financial services costs, including:
- There’s no minimum deposit to open an account and no minimum balance.
- Cash App has no monthly fees
- There are no overdraft fees — if you have insufficient funds, transactions will be declined.
- Cash App does not charge commissions for investing.
- Cash App does not charge foreign transaction fees for using your Cash Card for purchases in or from other countries.
- Up to three ATM fees per month are reimbursed so long as you have at least $300 per month in direct deposits.
You can expect to pay these fees:
- ATM withdrawal: Cash App charges $2, and you must pay any fee charged by the ATM operator outside of the Visa network. Cash App reimburses up to three ATM fees per month so long as you have at least $300 per month in direct deposits.
- Investing fees: Cash App will alert you before a buy if your investment comes with any regulatory or government fees.
- ETF expense ratios: ETFs and mutual funds usually come with fees of around 0.5% to 2%, which come out of your investment account balance (i.e. no upfront fees). Those fees go to the fund managers, not Cash App or its broker.
- Bitcoin fees: Cash App may charge a fee when you buy or sell Bitcoin, which varies with the market price of the cryptocurrency. You must also pay a fee for an expedited Bitcoin withdrawal, but standard-speed withdrawals are free.
Cash App Customer Experience
Cash App has a pared-down, intuitive and user-friendly design with an interface that makes it easy to set up in seconds and simple for anyone to figure out how to use it. You can easily flow between banking, sending and receiving money, stock investing and Bitcoin collecting from one screen.
The app is highly rated: 4.7 stars in the Google Play Store and 4.8 stars in the iOS App Store.
You can contact customer support for Cash App primarily through the app, and you can also reach them:
- Online at cash.app/help.
- Over the phone at 800-969-1940.
- On social media @CashApp on Instagram, Twitter, TikTok and Twitch; u//CashAppAndi on Reddit; and SquareCash on Facebook.
Avoid Cash App Scams
The biggest consumer complaint about Cash App is less about the app or company itself and more about how scammers have used the app to steal users’ information or money.
To avoid scams, Cash App recommends:
- Only send payments to people you know and trust. Do not respond to transfer requests from accounts you don’t recognize.
- Double-check recipient information like their email address, phone number or $Cashtag before sending money to make sure the funds are going to the right person.
- Check the recipient’s profile to make sure it is the person you’re looking for. Do not make a guess or assumption based on a $Cashtag.
- Do not send money to anyone who sends a request and promises something in the future (like free money in return).
- Do not give your Cash App password, PIN or other sensitive information to someone who asks for it, even if they claim to be from Cash App. The company says it will never ask you to share sensitive information, even for Cash App sweepstakes and giveaways.
- Do not ever send a “test” transaction to someone claiming to be from Cash App. The company says it will never ask for this.
If you get scammed through the app, you can report an issue with the payment through the app and report or block the account. Cash App notes most transfers cannot be canceled, though you can file a dispute for a fraudulent Cash Card transaction.
Is Cash App Right for You?
Cash App is a straightforward banking, payments and investing app for individuals with uncomplicated financial circumstances.
Some people wonder how safe Cash App is. Most popular money transfer apps keep your money safe by encrypting your data, requiring security measures and offering bank-backed protection for your account balances. To learn more about Cash App’s major competitors, check out our comparison of Venmo versus PayPal.
Cash App might be right for you if you:
- Live in the U.S. or UK.
- Have trouble opening traditional bank accounts because of bad history on ChexSystems.
- Use a bank account for yourself and do not need a joint account.
- Frequently exchange money with friends or family.
- Want to dip your toe into stock or crypto trading without a major investment.
- Get paid primarily through direct deposit.
- Own a small business that needs a simple, affordable and mobile POS.
Cash App probably isn’t a fit for you if you:
- Live outside of the U.S. or UK.
- Need a joint bank account with a partner.
- Need a business bank account.
- Want other financial products, including savings, loans, credit cards and other services in one place.
- Want a robo-advisor for passive investing.
- Are interested in cryptocurrency other than Bitcoin.
Pros and Cons of Cash App
This list will help you understand the great and not-so-great attributes of Cash App.
- Send and receive cash, stock and Bitcoin with friends and family for free
- Invest in stocks and ETFs with as little as $1
- Pay with your Cash App balance at Square merchants
- Use your Cash Card for in-store payments anywhere Visa is accepted
- No minimums and no service fees for banking
- Early payday with direct deposit if you get a Cash Card
- Up to three free ATM withdrawals per month with a Cash Card
- Mobile banking with cash deposits
- Commission-free investing
- Only available in the UK or U.S.
- You cannot order or write paper checks
- No joint accounts
- You will not earn interest on your account balance
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) About Cash App
Here are our answers to common questions about Cash App.
Yes. While users have reported scams to watch out for, you can trust that Cash App keeps your money safe. Cash App’s parent company, Block, Inc. (formerly Square, Inc.) was founded in 2009 by former Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey and entrepreneur and venture capitalist Jim Mckelvey. Cash App encrypts your data and offers security measures and fraud protection to keep your identity and money safe from thieves. FDIC and SIPC insurance through partner banks protects your account balances.
No. The money in your Cash App account, Bitcoin wallet and brokerage account are yours. Cash App does not charge any service fees or commissions for investing. If you have been defrauded by someone claiming to be from Cash App, immediately report and block the account and contact Cash App customer service.
Cash App’s simple banking and investing platform is not a good fit for everyone. If you have complex banking needs, like loans, credit cards, insurance or a business account, a more traditional bank account is a better fit. Cash App is best if your financial needs revolve on moving money around between friends and family.
Cash App and PayPal offer many of the same services, but Cash App focuses on consumers while PayPal is better suited for businesses. Both apps offer limited personal and business services, but Cash App is a better choice if you want to use a simple bank account and send and request money with friends and family.
Yes. You can open a Cash App account with no minimum balance, and there is no service fee. The app does not charge commissions for trading stocks, though you may pay occasional fees for trading Bitcoin and some regulatory fees for trading stocks. With a Cash Card, you pay a $2 ATM fee, but Cash App reimburses up to three ATM fees per month as long as you have at least $300 in direct deposits per month.
Contributor Dana Miranda is a Certified Educator in Personal Finance® who has written about work and money for publications including Forbes, The New York Times, CNBC, Insider, NextAdvisor and Inc. Magazine. Freelancer Kristin Jenny contributed to this report.