Dave pretty much invented no-interest cash advances, and the ability to get up to $250 with just a few taps on your phone remains popular with the company’s millions of users. However, Dave charges higher fees than many other apps and offers less flexibility in how you can access extra cash when you need it. Here are several apps like Dave that offer additional ways to conveniently get a spending boost when your funds are low, with fees that lower than Dave charges – sometimes even free.
What are the top features of the Dave app?
Dave offers a full suite of features to help you manage and access your money.
Dave is best known for its no-interest cash advances, that enable you to get up to $250 with just a few taps on your phone. They money is deposited into your linked bank account, so you can avoid the hassle of moving your direct deposit to a new bank and you can use the money for whatever you like, including ATM withdrawals, debit card purchases, bill payments, or transfers through Venmo or Cash App.
Dave includes some nifty tools to help you get a better handle on your money and your life. Its budgeting feature looks at your spending habits and deposit history to help you better plan ahead, including warning you of potential upcoming overdrafts. Side Hustle is a job search function built into the app that helps you find short term or part time jobs and gig work to earn a few extra bucks.
You can also use Dave as a full featured bank, through its partnership with Evolve Bank & Trust (an FDIC insured bank so you know your money is safe with Dave). There is no minimum balance and no monthly fees, and you’ll get a Dave debit card that you can use for purchases and at over 30,000 fee-free ATMs. Set up your direct deposit with Dave and you can also get access to your regular paycheck up to two days early. A qualifying direct deposit also gets you one free year of LevelCredit, which reports your rent, utility and cell phone payments to credit bureaus to help boost your credit score.
However, you cannot overdraft your Dave card, so if your balance is low, you may not be able to get cash from an ATM or make debit card purchases. And since a Dave cash advance takes up to to three days (which can be reduced to up to 8 hours for an additional fee), you could find yourself in an awkward situation if you need to pay for something and didn’t plan ahead.
See our Dave App review for a more detailed look at what Dave offers.
How much will Dave let you borrow?
Dave offers cash advances for up to $250, however you are unlikely to qualify for the full $250 cash advance limit right away and your Dave cash advance limit may only be for $25 – $75.
To qualify for an advance, your linked bank account must be at least 60 days old, show at least two recurring deposits and have a positive balance. Dave will consider a number of factors when you make a request for a cash advance, including how far away your next payday is, your account history and spending patterns, and how much is deposited into your bank account each month.
Your advance limit is recalculated daily, so reapplying after you have made a deposit into your bank account or are closer to payday may increase your approved cash advance amount (though you also may no longer need the money under those circumstances). Dave doesn’t check your credit when you request a cash advance, so there is no impact to your credit score.
How much does the Dave app cost?
While a few features on the Dave app are free to everyone, you’ll need to become a paid subscriber to access cash advances. Plus, Dave’s fee structure isn’t always clear which can result in some unexpected charges.
Subscribing to Dave costs $1 per month, and is a requirement for accessing cash advances.
If you request a cash advance, it will be posted to your bank account in three days. If you need your money faster, you’ll need to pay Dave’s Express Fee to get it deposited in 8 hours or less. The fee starts at $1.99 and increases to $5.99 for cash advances of $100 or more.
Additionally, Dave will ask you make a tip when you schedule a cash advance. The tip is optional and Dave says it helps offer services to other users (and an undisclosed donation is made to the charity Feeding America for each tip.). However, Dave is a public, for-profit company so it’s more likely that your tip is lining Dave’s pockets than it is for altruistic purposes. The good news is that tipping is completely optional and the amount of your tip won’t impact your cash advance limit.
These fees can add up. Let’s say you sign up as a subscriber so that you can get a $100 cash advance for one week. You need your money quickly so you pay the $5.99 express fee and leave a 10% tip of $10. Your no-interest cash advance from Dave has now cost you $17, which is the equivalent of an 855% annual percentage rate – well above what a payday loan may cost you!
Apps like Dave
Dave invented the cash advance app, making it more convenient and less costly to access cash when you need it. With six million users, Dave remains the king of the category. However, the competition hasn’t been standing still and a number of newer apps offer features that make it faster and easier to get money when you need it, and with lower fees – in some cases, FREE.
Here are three apps that can make up for Dave’s shortcomings:
You don’t want to pay for cash advances – Earnin
You’ve worked hard for your money, so why shouldn’t you access it when you need it? Earnin lets you get paid early any time you have earnings.
You can access a cash advance for up to $100 through Earnin and have your bank account in under 30 minutes. And Earnin’s limits are higher than Dave’s. You can qualify for cash advances of up to $100 per day and up to $500 per pay period! Your advance will be automatically repaid when you receive your next paycheck, and then you can use Earnin to cash out again whenever you need to.
Earnin connects to your existing account (same as Dave does) so you don’t need to go through the hassle of moving your direct deposit. It also means that you can use your money however you like, including ATM withdrawals and bill payments.
Earnin offers true no-cost cash outs. Unlike Dave, there is no subscription fee and you don’t need to pay extra to get your money quickly. Earnin does also ask you make an optional tip when you request a cash advance, but it is completely optional and declining to leave a tip won’t impact your ability to get another cash advance.
Here’s how Earnin makes it easy to get cash when you need it:
You’ve got the day off work and your favorite band is in town - but your bank account is empty. Instead of overdrawing your account (and copping expensive overdraft fees), you use Earnin to request a $100 advance on your wages. Earnin moves your money to your bank account in minutes, with zero fees or charges. You get your concert tickets with the outstanding amount automatically deducted from your next paycheck.
It only takes a few minutes to create and verify a new Earnin account, and you can request your first cash out right away.
You don’t want to plan ahead for when you’ll need a few extra bucks – Current
Dave’s cash advances come in handy when you know you’re going to need some extra cash over the next few days, but what about that nerve-wracking when you go to pay with your debit card and are unsure if the charge is going to go through?
Dave doesn’t let you overdraft your debit card, so if your account balance is low and you didn’t plan ahead with a cash advance then you’re out of luck. Fortunately, there’s Current, which offers many of the same great features that Dave does, plus the ability to overdraft your debit card by up to $200 with no fees.
Like Dave, Current has partnered with a bank to offer convenient banking features right from your phone. You can access cash from nearly 40,000 fee-free ATMs, cash checks right in the Current app, and use your Current debit card with the millions of merchants that accept MasterCard. Plus, Current offers a slew of cashback offers at local and national retailers, restaurants and gas stations. (It’s tough to find cashback offers on a debit card, and many of Curren’t offers are quite generous, including 4% back at heaps of restaurants and 2% back from brand name gas stations!)
Set up direct deposit with your Current account and you can access your paycheck two days early (same as Dave) and gain access to no-fee overdrafts for up to $200, so you can still use your debit card if your balance is temporarily below $0. You won’t pay a monthly or minimum balance fee, either.
Signing up for Current is free and takes less than two minutes.
You need cash but Dave turned you down – PockBox
Dave offers cash advances of up to $250, but for many users (especially new ones) Dave only offers $25, and sometimes you may not be eligible at all.
If Dave can’t get you the cash that you need, the PockBox app could be a good solution. It allows you to get a personal loan as soon as tomorrow for up to $2,500 (or borrow as little as $100).
Answer just a few quick questions, and PockBox will quickly seek offers from more than 50 online and offline lenders, which means that the chances of being approved for a loan is higher than individual lending apps. You can qualify for a loan even if you have some problems with your credit history and may have several offers to choose from!