The 8 Best Cash Advance Apps Like Earnin For 2022 - Investor Junkie (2022)

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If you're in a pinch and need some cash to hold you over until payday, there are plenty of apps out there that can help. Earnin is one of the more popular cash advance apps. It has over 2.5 million members and lets you borrow up to $500 per pay period.

But Earnin is just one of many apps that let you access a portion of your paycheck. And some alternatives have more comprehensive banking features or can be superior depending on how much cash you need.

We've found the best apps like Earnin you can use to get a quick cash spot if you need a helping hand.

The Best Apps Like Earnin Right Now

Our list of Earnin alternatives includes apps that provide interest-free cash advances as well as other features to help people save money and avoid overdraft fees.

That said, you shouldn't use any of these apps lightly. Borrowing money against your paycheck is still borrowing, and even interest-free cash advances can put you in the hole if you continue living paycheck to paycheck.

We believe these apps are better alternatives than expensive payday loans. But remember the importance of creating a budget and emergency fund so you're financially prepared.

Chime

The 8 Best Cash Advance Apps Like Earnin For 2022 - Investor Junkie (1)

Get Started With Chime

Why We Chose Chime: Like Earnin, Chime provides interest-free cash advances with its SpotMe feature of up to $200. You need to set up direct deposits to be eligible for SpotMe and your limit depends on your account history. But this provides a potentially higher one-day limit than Earnin's $100 daily limit.

We also like Chime since it has a competitive high-yield savings account, very few fees, and lets you get paid up to two days early. There's even a free credit building tool you can use to slowly improve your credit score without fees or credit checks.

Cost: Chime doesn't charge monthly fees or interest on cash advances through SpotMe

Pros:

  • Potentially higher daily cash advance limit than Earnin
  • Numerous bank-like features and services to help you save money

Cons:

  • Qualifying for Chime SpotMe requires direct deposits

Brigit

Why We Chose Brigit: With Brigit, you get up to $250 in instant cash advances without paying interest or dealing with credit checks. And with its overdraft alert feature, it notifies you when a cash advance might be a good idea to help you avoid overdraft fees.

We also like Brigit because of its gigs and job section that connects members with gig opportunities. Between these gigs and its cash advance, Brigit can help hold you over until your next paycheck. There's also a new credit builder tool and spending insights dashboard that helps you identify areas of overspending so you know where to cut back.

Cost: Brigit's free plan includes its spending insights dashboard and basic budgeting tools. But Brigit Plus costs $9.99 per month and provides perks like cash advances and its credit builder.

Pros:

  • Helpful budgeting and spending insight tools
  • Overdraft alert feature can help you avoid bank fees

Cons:

  • A $9.99 monthly membership is more expensive than Earnin

Dave

Why We Chose Dave: Out of all the Earnin alternatives, Dave is probably the most similar. It offers up to $500 in cash advances with its ExtraCash feature. Like Earnin, cash advances don't charge interest or require a credit check. Plus, as you pay your cash advances back on time, you slowly build your credit.

Dave also uses a tipping system like Earnin, so you pay what you think is fair. There's still a $1 monthly membership fee, and you pay a bit extra if you want your cash advances instantly. But we also like Dave since it has a side hustle section like Brigit where you can find gig jobs to increase your income.

Cost: Dave's membership is $1 per month. You pay an express fee if you want cash advances instantly that costs $0.99 to $11.99 depending on the dollar amount and if you're sending money to your Dave account or an external debit card.

Pros:

  • High cash advance limit

Cons:

  • Instant cash advances can be expensive

MoneyLion

Why We Chose MoneyLion: One app like Earnin that has more bank-like features is MoneyLion. For starters, it lets you borrow up to $250 in a no-interest cash advance. You can also get paid up to two days early and improve your credit score with its credit builder.

And with its RoarMoney account, you can get up to $1,000 in cash advances by adding recurring direct deposits to your account. This account is free, and MoneyLion can also help you save with its spare change round-up system that's similar to apps like Acorns or Digit.

Cost: MoneyLion has a $1 monthly membership. Instant cash advances cost $0.99 to $7.99 depending on the amount and if you're moving money to your RoarMoney account or an external debit card. Regular cash advances are free but can take two business days to deposit.

Pros:

  • High cash advance limits
  • Numerous other bank-like features to help you save money

Cons:

  • Instant cash advances can be expensive

Albert

Why We Chose Albert: With Albert, you can get up to $250 in a cash advance without paying interest or needing a credit check. But this Earnin alternative is much more than just a cash advance app.

Albert also has other features like a Smart Savings tool that analyzes your spending, income, and bills and automatically sets small amounts of cash aside to help you save. And with the Albert Cash account, you can get early direct deposits from your paycheck and earn cash-back rewards. Plus, you can even invest in pre-built portfolios or individual fractional shares starting at just $1.

Cost: Most Albert features are free, including cash advances. You can pay small variable fees for instant cash advances, but waiting two to three days for regular deposits is free. Albert Genius, which is how you invest, uses a “pay-what-is-fair” model that starts at $4 per month.

Pros:

  • Numerous bank-like features like cash-back rewards and fractional share investing
  • No fees for cash advances or membership requirements

Cons:

  • Free cash advances can take two to three business days to deposit

Payactiv

Why We Chose Payactiv: The Payactiv platform lets you access a portion of your earned wages through its partnership with your employer. At the time of writing, over 1,500 companies work with Payactiv, including Walmart, Uber, Pizza Hut, and Hilton Hotels & Resorts. And even if your employer isn't on Payactive, you can apply for its Visa card and receive your paycheck up to two days early.

Money you borrow from your earned wages gets deducted from your next paycheck, so you eventually pay everything back. But you don't pay fees or interest like Earnin. You can withdraw up to 50% of your earned wages, although your employer sets the limit if they're working with Payactiv.

Cost: Payactiv is free if you set up direct deposits for your Payactiv card. Otherwise, you pay $1 for cash advances. There's also a $1.99 fee for cash pickup at Walmart and instant cash deposits to external debit cards.

Pros:

  • Very low fees or completely free if you set up direct deposits

Cons:

  • Getting full benefits requires your employer to work with Payactiv

Empower

The 8 Best Cash Advance Apps Like Earnin For 2022 - Investor Junkie (7)

Get Started With Empower

Why We Chose Empower: Another popular app like Earnin that keeps cash advances simple is Empower. The app lets you borrow $25, $50, $75, or $100 instantly without paying any interest. Users who have Empower's debit card can also get their paychecks up to two days early.

Empower is also working on Empower Thrive, its credit-building tool that begins with a $200 line of credit that can increase to $1,000 with on-time payments. While the app currently has lower cash advance limits than other Earnin alternatives, it can still help cover smaller bills if you're in a pinch.

Cost: Empower costs $8 per month.

Pros:

  • Cash advances are instant

Cons:

  • High monthly fee

Varo

Why We Chose Varo: As one of our favorite Chime alternatives, Varo is another excellent alternative to Earnin if you need cash advances but also want more banking features.

With Varo Advance, you can borrow up to $100 without paying interest. The catch is you need at least $1,000 in direct deposits into your Varo account within the last 31 days. But Varo has other useful features like a free checking account where you can get paid up to two days early. And its savings account lets you earn up to 5% APY on balances up to $5,000, which is an incredibly high rate.

Cost: Varo barely has any fees which is one of the main selling points. However, you pay $3 for $50 cash advances, $4 for $75 cash advances, and $5 for $100 cash advances. Cash advances of $20 don't charge fees.

Pros:

  • One of the best high-yield savings accounts for smaller balances
  • No monthly fees or balance requirements

Cons:

  • Most cash advance tiers charge fees

What to Consider When Picking an Earnin Alternative

There are plenty of cash advance apps like Earnin on the market, and it's a very crowded space. This amount of choice is a positive for consumers. But it can also make finding the right app more difficult since you have so many options.

When deciding on an Earnin alternative, here are some of the most important factors to consider:

  1. Cash Advance Limits: How much money do you need to borrow? Some apps like Earnin can spot you up to $100, which is enough for small bills, while others provide up to $1,000 in interest-free cash advances depending on your direct deposit amount and account history.
  2. Membership Fees: Earnin is popular because it uses a “pay-what's-fair” model, which makes it free for many users. When looking for alternatives, consider how often you'll use the app and if paying a monthly membership is worth it.
  3. Hidden Fees: Many cash advance apps are free for standard transfers but charge fees for instant transfers. Always read the terms and conditions of the app you're using carefully so you can spot hidden fees.
  4. Other Features: Earnin alternatives like aChime and Varo have other bank-like features aside from cash advances. These features are great if you plan on using them, but more simplistic apps can also get the job done if you just need a quick cash advance.

Methodology

To create our list of the best apps like Earnin, we reviewed over a dozen different cash advance apps and FinTech companies that offer cash advances. Factors like cash advance limits, fees, ease-of-use, and additional features influenced the companies that we included.

The companies on this list didn't influence their inclusion or position; our author's research and views are what determined the Earnin alternatives for this article. We believe these are the current best apps like Earnin you can use, but there are also plenty of other similar apps out there that didn't make our list. Always do your own research and due diligence when choosing financial apps and services to use.

Bottom Line

If you need some quick cash to hold you over until payday, apps like Earnin can get the job done. But, as mentioned, don't rely on these apps or use them without giving it any thought.

These cash advance apps are generally a better solution than payday loans or expensive personal loans. However, you're still borrowing money, even if it's against your future paycheck. Use these apps to avoid painful fees or expensive loans, but also make a game plan to build your emergency fund and grow your savings.

Chime Disclosure - Chime is a financial technology company, not a bank. Banking services and debit card provided by The Bancorp Bank or Stride Bank, N.A.; Members FDIC.
1Chime cannot guarantee when files are sent by the IRS and funds can be made available.
^Early access to direct deposit funds depends on payer

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