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Dave makes it easy and affordable to get a rapid cash advance for up to $250, and offers a number of additional features that can help you build your credit and find opportunities for extra income. Dave may be able to help you save hundreds of dollars per year, but while its fees are much lower than most banks charge, little charges here and there certainly add up and you may be able to find similar features for much less through other banking apps. See if it’s the best solution for your needs in our Dave app review.
Dave was one of the first low cost cash advance apps to provide a cheaper alternative to costly overdraft fees or payday loans. Launched in 2017, Dave now has 6 million members who use it to manage their money, improve their credit, find extra income opportunities, and, of course, get no-interest cash advances.
Dave offers a bunch of features that make it easier to manage and access your money, and that could save you hundreds of dollars a year. However, the competition has noticed Dave’s success and a number of apps now offer similar features, and some at a much better price – FREE.
Is Dave still the best cash advance app for your needs? Let’s take a look.
Dave’s Top Feature: $250 Cash Advances
Dave is most famous for offering fast cash advances for up to $250 with no interest and no credit check.
The money is sent to your linked bank account, so you don’t need to (necessarily) setup or move your direct deposit to Dave, and since the funds you go to your existing bank account, you have much more flexibility to use them than some other cash advance apps offer. You can use your cash advance from Dave to withdraw cash from an ATM, write a check, pay a bill, make a debit cad purchase, or fund transfers on apps like Venmo or Cash App.
Your Dave cash advance will automatically be repaid when you receive your next paycheck, so you’ll need to pay it back all at once and usually in less than 14 days. You can use multiple cash advances in a month, but can only have one outstanding at a time.
You may not be able to get a cash advance from Dave right away. To qualify for an advance, your linked bank account must be at least 60 days old, have a positive balance, and show at least two recurring deposits. When you request a cash advance, Dave will consider a number of factors, including how long until your next payday, your history and spending patterns, and how much is deposited into your bank account each month.
Based on these criteria, you may only qualify for a lower cash advance amount than $250 or you may be declined; there is no impact to your credit score for asking for a cash advance. You are unlikely to qualify for the full $250 cash advance limit right away and your first Dave cash advance limit may only be for $25. 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 will deposit your cash advance into your bank account within three days. If you need the funds faster, you can use Dave’s express feature, which will ensure you have your funds within 8 hours, however you’ll need to pay an additional fee.
Get $15 when you take an advance with Dave >>> Get started with Dave now
How much does Dave charge for cash advances?
Dave boasts that you can get a cash advance for up to $250 with no interest or fees. While this may be factually correct, there are a number of fees that you may need to pay to Dave that make this claim a bit dubious. It’s worth noting that Dave doesn’t make the ‘no hidden fees’ claim that many other apps for borrowing money embrace.
To obtain a cash advance from Dave, you’ll need to subscribe, which costs $1 per month.
If you’d like to get your cash advance in the same day, you’ll need to pay an optional Express Fee, which is based on the size of your advance. There is a $1.99 minimum and the fee tops out at $5.99 for amounts of $100 or more.
Dave will also invite you to contribute an optional tip for your cash advance, which it says will, “help provide an equal financial playing field to Dave’s millions of members.” As Dave is a for-profit company, it’s unclear how this directly helps other users, though Dave does make an undisclosed contribution to Feeding America for each tip it receives. Whether or not you make a tip and the amount of the tip have no impact on your ability to access future cash advances.
So, while a cash advance from Dave does indeed have no direct fees or interest, the cost of an advance can be significant. If you take out a $100 cash advance for one week and by signing up for the $1 monthly fee, $5.99 Express Fee and made a $10 tip, you’d incur $17 in costs, which works out to a whopping 885% annual percentage rate, which is well above what many payday lenders charge! (Of course, $17 may be a significantly lower cost than incurring overdraft fees and late payment fees.)
Get paid early with Dave
While you can access Dave cash advances without moving your direct deposit or setting up a new bank account, Dave does offer bank accounts (though a partnership with FDIC insured Evolve Bank and Trust) and offers a number of additional benefits to encourage you to set one up.
There is no minimum balance and no monthly fee for a Dave account, and you can access your funds through a Dave debit card and a network of over 30,000 fee-free ATMs; you can also cash checks via the Dave app.
If you do set up direct deposit with your Dave spending account, you’ll gain access to several additional features. Most notably, you can access your paycheck two days early.
You can also boost your credit score by enrolling in LevelCredit for one year at no charge. (Dave claims this is a $100 value on its website, though LevelCredit lists its pricing at $6.95 per month – $84 per year, and coupon codes are widely available online). LevelCredit will report your rent and some other regular bill payments to major credit bureaus, which can improve your credit score.
Additional features of a Dave spending account are Dave’s automated budgeting tools and some cash back offers available when you use your Dave debit card at selected stores and restaurants through the Dave Rewards program.
Get $15 when you take an advance with Dave >>> Get started with Dave now
Can you overdraft your Dave card?
Dave does not allow you to overdraft your account, so if your balance is low you may be unable to use your Dave debit card to make an ATM withdrawal or purchase. Since you may need to wait up to three days for a cash advance from Dave (or up to 8 hours if you pay the Express Fee), you could find yourself in a lurch if you are unexpectedly out of cash and need to pay for something.
Is subscribing to Dave worth it?
Dave pioneered free/low cost cash apps to help consumers avoid paying costly overdraft fees, which typically cost about $35 and can quickly surpass $100 a day if you don’t pay close attention to your bank balance. Compared to those punitive fees, a $1/month subscription and perhaps a bit more for Express Fees and tips is certainly still a bargain. Plus, being able to move funds to your existing bank account gives you the flexibility to use them however you’d like, and without the hassle of credit checks or changing your direct deposit. (Of course, Dave isn’t alone in charging monthly fees – you’ll need to subscribe to the Cleo app to access cash advances, while Albert offers its Genius access for an additional cost.)
Dave is a safe choice. However, the competition hasn’t been standing still, and a number of apps now offer similar features to Dave, and they often can get you the cash you need faster and with no fees.
Apps like Earnin also enable you to access cash advances against your next paycheck, with higher limits than Dave – up to $100 per day and up to $500 per pay period. The money generally posts to your bank account in under 30 minutes. Earnin also links to your existing bank account, so you don’t need to change your direct deposit. There are no fees with Earnin, though it does also ask for an optional tip whenever you make a cash advance. (Sign up for a free Earnin account here.)
There are also a slew of “neobank” apps that give you many of the same features of Dave with no fees. Current, Go2Bank and Chime all offer no-fee overdrafts for up to $200, the ability to access your paycheck two days early, and access to thousands of ATMs with no fees. Some of these services do require a qualifying direct deposit to access, though this generally gets you access to most common services – including cash advances – with no fees.
>> Check out other apps like Dave
- How to Refund Overdraft Fees: Chase, Wells Fargo, Bank of America and More - August 10, 2022
- How to overdraft your bank account on purpose - July 27, 2022
- Apps like Dave (For Fast and Easy Cash Advances Up To $500) - July 27, 2022