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Our verdict

Albert Instant cash advance is now an overdraft protection feature, but you’ll need a subscription.

Albert has changed Instant, the cash advance feature on its banking app, to an overdraft service offering up to $250 in protection. Using this feature keeps you from having to pay overdraft fees, and you don’t have to get a credit check to qualify. But in order to access this feature, you must have an Albert Genius subscription, which costs $14.99 per month. Albert states in its disclosures that your overdraft coverage starts at only $10 and is increased at their discretion, with no real direction on how you can earn the increase. Also at their discretion is whether they pay your overdraft at all, regardless of whether the service is turned on or not.

Best for:Borrowers with a Genius subscription, who are worried about overdrafting their account.


  • No credit check required.
  • Gives you 10 days to repay the overdraft
  • Saves you from overdraft fees


  • Must have Genius subscription to access
  • Must have the Smart Money feature turned on
  • No customer service phone number
  • Mixed customer reviews

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  • Your reviews
  • Ask a question

Where Albert shines

Primarily, Albert is a banking app with multiple features. It has two plans: core and Genius. The core plan is free, which only includes basic banking, protection and budgeting features. But to access Instant, you’ll need the Genius subscription, which currently costs $14.99 per month. You can choose to pay for the subscription monthly or annually ($180 per year). The app offers a 30-day free trial to the subscription, which can give you an opportunity to try the features before you commit.

That subscription also includes the Savings and Investment features.

Where Albert falls short

One of the top customer complaints against Albert is that it doesn’t list a customer service number, so there’s no way to speak to a real person to resolve issues. Instead, you’ll have to text or email.

The required Genius subscription is also a large expense, a little under $180 per year. And customers complain that it’s difficult to cancel the subscription. Some customers stating they even had to block the app through their bank to escape the withdrawals. In addition, you have to have the Smart Money feature turned on, which not every user is comfortable using, as it invests money for you based on its own analysis.

Another common thread among complaints is the Albert app has a lot of pop-ups trying to get users to sign up for the paid membership. According to past users, these pop-up are constant and hard to close.

Many negative customer reviews about the Genius free trial

Albert users technically have 30 days to cancel the subscription, but many people forget or don’t know how. This is one of the main complaints against Albert. Some say they didn’t know they were enrolled in a free trial upon creating an account with the app, while others don’t like the inconvenience.

Requirements for Albert Instant

To get access to Albert Instant, you’ll have to meet these basic requirements:

  • Have a Genius subscription
  • Have the Smart Money schedule set up
  • Have an active bank account linked to Albert

Albert Instant starts with $25 of overdraft coverage, which can be increased at Albert’s discretion. But the company says these are the factors they consider when deciding your Instant limit:

  • Account activity
  • Transaction history
  • Direct deposits with Albert Cash

Albert states that eligibility to Instant isn’t guaranteed, even with the subscription.

Other features

You get access to a few more features with the paid membership, but the core membership still has a myriad of tools to use. Features with the core free membership include:

  • Debit card
  • Early paycheck access
  • Cash back
  • Automatic budgeting
  • Bill negotiation
  • Subscription monitoring
  • Protection services

With the Genius paid membership, the additional perks include savings, investing and individual financial advice. The investing feature allows you to create a custom portfolio with guidance, and you can choose to be aggressive, moderate or conservative investing strategy.

Albert reviews and complaints

BBB accredited No
BBB rating B
BBB customer reviews 1.49 out of 5 stars, based on 211 customer reviews
BBB customer complaints 1,276 customer complaints
Trustpilot Score 1.3 out of 5 stars, based on 157 customer reviews
App Store Score 4.6 out of 5 stars, based on 160,100 customer reviews
Google Play Score 4.2 out of 5 stars, based on 78,700 customer reviews
Customer reviews verified as of 13 October 2023

Customer reviews and ratings are pretty mixed among reviewing platforms, with reviews on BBB and Trustpilot being overwhelmingly negative. Many reviews cite issues contacting customer service and problems resolving fraudulent charges.

Multiple reviews also state they were automatically charged the yearly membership fee once the free 30-day Genius trial ended. This is pretty standard after free trials, but according to users, you’re automatically enrolled in the yearly plan, and it’s a pain to switch to a monthly plan or cancel the membership. And there’s no customer phone line, so support is limited in resolving issues.

App store reviews are so-so, with many customers stating it’s an “alright” banking app with limited features. Many customers talk about pop-ups that are difficult to close in the app itself, but the overall sentiment is that the app’s functionality is decent if you’re enrolled in the free plan. But even the more positive reviews wish the paid Genius membership came with more perks.

Is Albert legit?

Yes, the Albert app is legitimate. Albert itself is not a bank, and its banking services are provided by Sutton Bank. The Albert savings accounts are actually held at FDIC-insured banks, including Wells Fargo and Axos Bank.

The app also takes steps to verify your identity before fulfilling requests, under the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA). This can include personally identifying information, answering security questions or signing forms. Albert also encrypts data using SSL and other technologies.

Compare Albert to other cash advance apps

Now that Albert is no longer a cash advance app, you’ll need to look elsewhere to find those features. Select Compare for up to four providers to weigh the benefits side by side. If you’re interested in downloading the app, click Go to site.

1 - 0 of 0
Name Product Filter Values Max. amount per pay period Turnaround time Costs
Chime SpotMe®
Not rated yet
Chime SpotMe®
Up to $200
Same day
No fee
Access fee-free overdrafts up to $200 when eligible. Plus get your paycheck up to 2 days early with direct deposit. See Chime terms and conditions.
Not rated yet
Get up to $100 per day or $750 per pay period.
1 to 3 business days, or same-day for a fee
Free to use or $3.99 for Lightning Speed transfers.
No mandatory fees, no interest, and no credit checks. Subject to EarnIn terms & conditions
Not rated yet
Up to $250
3 to 4 days standard transfer. Same day with $3.99 express fee.
$5.99 monthly membership fee to access cash advances
Automatically monitor your spending plus access cash advances up to $100 at a time.
Not rated yet
Up to $250
2–3 business days or instant for a fee
$14.99 monthly subscription to access overdraft protection
Get up to $250 overdraft protection if you sign up for Albert's banking app.
Not rated yet
Up to $250
1 to 3 business days or instantly with a fee
$8.99 monthly membership fee, up to $3.99 in express fees
Have up to $250 automatically deposited into your account — for a $8.99 membership fee.

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Bethany Finder

Writer, Banking and Loans

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