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Have a holiday shopping list that’s a mile long, but a wallet that’s close to empty? Don’t turn to high interest credit cards or buy now pay later programs that will leave you with a costly holiday hangover you’ll be paying off well into the new year. With just a little bit of shopping around and a few (totally legitimate!) tricks, you can get extra cash to help you cross off every gift on your shopping list at a price that can’t be beat: $0. No interest and no fees.
This isn’t just another seasonal sale; it’s a little-known financial hack that could make the Grinch himself green with envy.
The Merry World of Cash Advance Apps
There’s not much your phone can’t do these days, and that includes getting you money in minutes. Browse through the most popular financial apps, and you’ll find several dozen cash advance apps that can quickly put a few hundred extra dollars into your bank account.
Don’t confuse these apps with costly payday loans with sky-high interest rates that are about as fun as a lump of coal in your stocking. Most of these apps don’t charge any interest at all and you can qualify within minutes of downloading them with no credit check.
Instead, they safely and securely connect to your bank account with just a few taps in the app to analyze your account history and activity, particularly your deposits. Have a pattern of regular, recurring deposits (like a biweekly paycheck) and you’re likely to score a high borrowing limit, though if your income comes from gig work or government benefits (like Social Security), you’ll often qualify too.
While these apps don’t charge interest, they can have a long list of fees that will grate on your wallet like an overplayed Christmas classic. We found the average cost of borrowing $100 from these apps to be $19.08 and the most expensive apps will hit you for more than $30 in fees and tips – not so festive!
Santa’s Secret: Get Holiday Cash at Zero Cost
Nobody likes paying high fees, and the good news is that many of these apps can be as generous as Scrooge after a bad night’s sleep. By shopping around and knowing a few key tricks, you can borrow again and again from these apps without spending a thing on interest or fees.
While these apps don’t charge interest, they do charge an express fee to get your money delivered right away and/or require you to subscribe to use their cash advance features. Many apps also strongly encourage you to leave a tip to help support their service.
Understand how these fees work and with many apps you can completely avoid them to pay no fees!
- Plan Ahead Like an Elf: Elves are known for their impeccable planning skills. By choosing a slower delivery option for your cash advance, you can avoid the express fees for same day funding that can reach as much as $15! For instance, apps like MoneyLion offer a no-fee option if you can wait a few days for your funds. It’s like waiting a bit longer to open that perfect gift – the anticipation makes it sweeter.
- Tip? Maybe Next Year: While the season is about giving, you can skip the tip on cash advance apps without ending up on the naughty list. For example, apps like Earnin suggest a tip, but it’s entirely optional, and leaving no tip won’t impact the amount that you can borrow. If you found yourself feeling overly generous, Earnin will even refund the tips you already paid if you contact customer service within 30 days of your repayment.
- Get the Gift of a Free Subscription: Many apps require you to pay a monthly subscription fee to access extra cash. Those recurring charges are easy to forget about and can cost you up to $180 a year! But several apps are happy to pluck a free subscription from your wish list; all you have to do is ask. Dig deep in the Terms of Service, and you’ll discover that Brigit, Empower, Grid Money, and other apps will let you borrow without paying a subscription by simply emailing them your request. (Here’s a list of which apps will waive their subscription fees and the secret email addresses you’ll need to use to ask them to do so.)
Deck the Halls, Not Your Bank Account
These apps will all schedule automatic repayment for when they expect you to receive your next paycheck or deposit. But if you need more time, you can select a later date that fits better with your finances. And there’s one more holiday surprise, too!
Few of these apps charge late fees (and none charge interest), so taking more time to repay won’t add any unexpected costs. They don’t report late payments to credit bureaus either, so you don’t need to worry about a ding to your credit score. Don’t wait too long, though, or you may see your borrowing limit reduced or your borrowing privileges may be suspended.
Just like Santa makes his list, plan your shopping and cash advances carefully. Take advantage of no-fee options, and you can toast to a holiday season that’s merry, bright, and financially light.
WAIT! Why borrow quick cash when you can earn it?!
Cash advance apps can be a great tool for getting a little extra cash when you need it, but you’ll need to repay it – plus fees – wihtin a week or two. Did you know there’s an easy way to earn extra cash that’s yours to keep?
KashKick is a wildly popular service that lets you earn money for playing games, completing surveys, signing up for trial offers and more. (You’ll even earn cash for just completing your profile!) You can earn cash today and withdraw your earnings through PayPal once you’ve reached $10. You can earn over $100/month with KashKick – and you don’t need to spend a dime or take out your credit card to do it.
There are dozens of high-paying offers available on KashKick, and if you’re into playing new games on your phone, you can earn some serious cash for doing what you love. Though offers change regularly, there are currently1 more than three dozen offers available where you can earn cash – sometimes over $100 – just by downloading and playing popular games like Coin Master, Monoply Go, Bingo Blitz, and more. These games are all free to download, and no in-app purchases are required to earn with KashKick.
Get paid to play on your phone >>> Check out KashKick
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- As of February 13, 2024. Offers may change and may not be available to all users. Eligibity requirements apply. See KashKick's Terms of Service for full details.