The 5 Best Cash Advance Apps of May 2022

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Even the best financial wizards need a bit of help every once in a while. If payday is still around the corner but you need a little cash now, these apps can help to deposit small amounts of additional funds into your bank account quickly.

We’ve researched the best options, examining each service’s loan amounts, fees (even those tricky hidden fees), overall speed to get to your checking account and repayment terms.

If you’re looking for the best cash advance app options, we’ve got you covered.

5 Best Cash Advance Apps

Cash Advance App Loan Amounts Service Fees Transfer Time Repayment Method
Earnin Up to $500 Voluntary tips. Extra charge for instant transfer. 1-3 days or instant (Lightning Speed). Auto debits from your bank on your next payday.
MoneyLion Up to $250 Voluntary tips. Extra charge for instant transfer. 12-48 hours or instant. Auto debits from your bank on your next payday.
Dave Up to $250 $1/mo. Extra charge for instant transfer. 1-3 days or within 8 hours (Express). Auto debits from your bank on your next payday.
Brigit Up to $250 $10/mo. 1-2 days. Auto debits from your bank on your next payday.
Chime Up to $200 Voluntary tips Instant. Auto debits from your bank on your next payday.

Why Use a Cash Advance App?

Cash advance apps allow short-term, low-amount loans — with many options not charging a single penny for their services. These apps are perfect when your direct deposit for payday hasn’t yet hit, but you need a cushion to prevent from hitting overdraft fees.

Cash advance apps provide you money at a much lower fee (and much less hassle) than a traditional personal loan. They typically also work with your pay period, to automatically debit the borrowed amount the next time your direct deposit hits. These apps also avoid some of the major pitfalls of payday loans and sometimes provide options for building credit via the major credit bureaus.

Earnin

Best Overall

4.5 out of 5 Overall

Key Features
  • Borrow up to $500/pay period or $100/day
  • Instantly cash out your loan (fees apply)
  • Operates on voluntary tips, so no mandatory fees
Earnin is our top pick for the best cash advance app. Available for both iOS and Android, the Earnin app has the highest withdrawal amount, allowing borrowers to potentially take out up to $500 right into their checking account. Earnin is a great option for covering small emergencies or helping to avoid account overdraft fees.
Earnin

Service fees
Service operates on optional tips from $0-14. There is a fee of up to $3.99 to cash out your loan instantly.
Maximum loan
Max is individually set by Earnin, up to $500 per pay period. Request limit is up to $100 per day.
Transfer time
Instant transfer with service fees of up to $3.99, or free bank transfer that may take up to 3 days.

The service doesn’t feature any mandatory fees, as Earnin operates completely on a tip-based model where you can throw in a few dollars to support the cash advances. Once requested, your money will get to your bank account in 1-3 days, or, you can use the Lightning Speed feature to get money instantly for a one-time fee.

When it’s time to repay, Earnin will automatically bill your checking account on payday.

MoneyLion

Runner-up for Best App

4 out of 5 Overall

Key Features
  • Borrow up to $250 per pay period
  • Instantly cash out your loan (fees apply)
  • Operates on voluntary tips, so no mandatory fees
MoneyLion is a cash advance app for iOS and Android that has been making a roar. The runner-up to our cash advance apps, MoneyLion allows users to request up to $250 via its InstaCash feature. If you opt to sign up for MoneyLion’s Credit Builder Plus subscription, that amount of instant loan money is increased to $300.
MoneyLion

Service fees
Service operates on optional tips. There is a fee of up to $3.99 to cash out your loan instantly.
Maximum loan
Max is individually set by MoneyLion, up to $250 per pay period.
Transfer time
Instant with service fees of up to $3.99, or free bank transfer that may take up to 48 hours.

MoneyLion operates on a tip-based revenue model, so there aren’t any mandatory fees for its Instacash service — simply tip what you think is appropriate to help support your cash advances. Money is delivered to your checking account within 12 to 48 hours, or you can pay a one-time fee for an instant deposit. 

Money is auto-debited on payday via an automatically scheduled payment.

Dave

Best for Small Loans

3.5 out of 5 Overall

Key Features
  • Borrow up to $250 per pay period
  • Cash out your loan within 8 hours (fees apply)
  • $1/mo. membership, plus voluntary tips
Beyond having iOS and Android apps with an adorably cute bear, Dave allows you to request up to $250 when you need extra cash.
Dave

Service fees
$1 per month. There is a fee of up to $5.99 to cash out your loan within 8 hours. Voluntary tips accepted.
Maximum loan
Max is individually set by Dave, up to $250 per pay period.
Transfer time
Within 8 hours with service fees of up to $5.99, or free bank transfer that may take up to 3 days.

While Dave also runs on a tip-based model, where you can tip what you feel your loan is worth to help support the company, a monthly membership is required but costs just $1. The standard cash-out option takes up to three business days to hit your bank account, or you can opt for the Express method for a small one-time fee. 

Like other apps, Dave automatically pulls from your bank account on payday to pay back the cash advance, but the date can be changed if needed.

Brigit

Best for Frequent Cash Advances

3.5 out of 5 Overall

Key Features
  • Borrow up to $250 per pay period
  • No additional fees for same-day cash outs
  • Monthly fee includes credit-building tools
While most cash-advance apps offer direct access to fast cash advances with other budgeting services behind a paywall, Brigit puts everything behind a monthly fee. Users will need to shell out $9.99 per month for its full suite of features, such as credit building and instant cash loans up to $250 directly into your checking account.
Brigit

Service fees
$10 per mo. membership fee.
Maximum loan
Max is individually set by Brigit, up to $250 per pay period.
Transfer time
Same-day transfers for requests submitted before 10 AM ET; otherwise, next-day.

You won’t need to feel guilty about skipping out on tipping for the service due to the monthly fee, so if you pull out cash often that might be something to consider. Money from Brigit is generally delivered the next day (unless you request it before 10 AM ET for same-day delivery), but there is no instant option. 

Your cash advances will automatically be debited from your checking account on your next payday, but limited extensions can be requested every two advances you pay back within a timely manner.

Chime

Best for Chime Banking Users

4 out of 5 Overall

Key Features
  • Borrow up to $200 per pay period
  • Money is instantly approved to prevent overdraft
  • Requires Chime debit card with direct deposit
Here’s a bonus option for all the Chime users out there: Chime offers an overdraft protection service that automatically loans you up to $200 via a cash advance when needed. To qualify for this Chime feature, you’ll need to have a $200+ qualifying direct deposit set up for your account, and an activated Chime debit card.
Chime

Service fees
Feature operates on optional tips.
Maximum loan
Max is individually set by Chime, up to $200 per pay period.
Transfer time
Instant

When it comes to fees, the service is provided at no charge to Chime members, but you can submit a tip if desired. Money added to your Chime account via the SpotMe cash advance feature is instant and you won’t find yourself waiting for any money to transfer; the entire process is automatic.

On your next pay period, Chime will automatically repay the amount you owe.

Chime is technically a neobank. Here’s what they are and why we like them.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What cash advance app is the best?

Earnin is our top pick due to its comparatively high cash advance amount of up to $500, tip-based revenue model without any mandatory fees, and multiple options for getting your money to you, including the Lightning Speed instant feature.

What apps give cash advances instantly?

The majority of the cash advance apps on our list provide an option for obtaining your loan instantly, including Earnin, MoneyLion and Chime — although small one-time fees are required with the latter two choices. Dave also offers an express transfer option that can give you your money within 8 hours.

What app gives you $100?

All of the apps in our cash advance app guide have the option to borrow at least $250; however, your permitted borrowing amount may differ in each app as the terms are set by the providers. If you need a certain amount of money, your best bet is to try out a few different apps to see which provides you with the best loan.

Are there any cash advance apps that work with Cash app?

Due to the type of debit card that Cash app provides to its users, it may not work with all cash advance services. MoneyLion supports the Cash app debit card, even for instant transfers. Our top choice, Earnin, may have issues as it does not support prepaid accounts.

How do I borrow money from Cash app?

Cash app is allowing select users to borrow up to $200 via a cash advance. 

You’ll need to follow these steps to see if the service is available to you. Open Cash app, then navigate to the Banking tab (first at the bottom of the screen), next scroll down and select the Lending option—if you do not see the Lending option, you do not have access to this feature. Lastly, request the amount of money you wish to borrow and select the lending terms.

Michael Archambault is a senior writer for The Penny Hoarder specializing in technology.