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Apps like Branch

Compare more cash advance apps with potentially lower fees and a range of budget-friendly features.

Branch is an employer-sponsored cash advance app that allows employees to borrow up to 50% against their earned wages — before payday. Branch never charges any finance fees or interest on what you borrow, and if you open a Branch debit card, you can get instant transfers to the card for free.

But if your employer doesn’t partner with Branch, don’t worry. These other cash advance apps work similarly to Branch and let you borrow up to $250, $500 or even $1,000 against your next paycheck. As long as you get regular direct deposits, you’ll likely qualify.

Our 8 top picks for apps like Branch

Alternative for overdraft feature: Chime SpotMe

Chime SpotMe®

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If you're a Chime customer, taking advantage of Chime SpotMe avoids costly overdraft fees. SpotMe provides up to $200 in free overdraft to users who directly deposit a minimum of $200 into their Chime account in a 34-day period. But to unlock the full amount of the overdraft feature, you must build up a history of deposits.

Chime also lets users get paid up to two days early in their Chime bank account. To qualify, sign up for direct deposit with Chime. Chime generally gets high marks from customers for its credit-boosting features, bill-paying service and SpotMe, but some report issues with the app.

  • Available in all states
Chime is a financial technology company, not a bank. Banking services provided by The Bancorp Bank, N.A. or Stride Bank, N.A., Members FDIC. Direct deposit: Early access to direct deposit funds depends on the timing of the submission of the payment file from the payer. We generally make these funds available on the day the payment file is received, which may be up to 2 days earlier than the scheduled payment date. SpotMe: Chime SpotMe is an optional, no fee service that requires a single deposit of $200 or more in qualifying direct deposits to the Chime Checking Account each at least once every 34 days. All qualifying members will be allowed to overdraw their account up to $20 on debit card purchases and cash withdrawals initially, but may be later eligible for a higher limit of up to $200 or more based on member’s Chime Account history, direct deposit frequency and amount, spending activity and other risk-based factors. Your limit will be displayed to you within the Chime mobile app. You will receive notice of any changes to your limit. Your limit may change at any time, at Chime’s discretion. Although there are no overdraft fees, there may be out-of-network or third party fees associated with ATM transactions. SpotMe won’t cover non-debit card transactions, including ACH transfers, Pay Anyone transfers, or Chime Checkbook transactions. See Terms and Conditions.
Pros
  • No fees or obligation to tip
  • Low monthly direct deposit requirement
  • Easy to enroll for overdraft feature
Cons
  • SpotMe limits start at $20
  • SpotMe doesn't cover ACH transfers
  • Must be used with Chime checking account
Loan amountUp to $200
Loan TermNext deposit
Turnaround timeSame day

Alternative for budgeting features: Cleo

Cleo

If you’re looking for a way to track your spending better to save more every month, Cleo could fit the bill. This AI-powered app packs more budgeting features than Branch, offering a plethora of budgeting and saving features and humorous “roasting” reminders to let you know when you’ve gone off track.

Cleo's paid version also offers cash advances on its app with no minimum income requirement – making it ideal for gig workers and freelancers. As long as you have regular income coming into your bank account, you could qualify for cash advances starting at $20 to $70 and potentially increasing to $250 over time.

  • Available in all states
Pros
  • No payslips or W-2 forms required
  • No credit checks or interest charged
  • Set personalized savings goals
Cons
  • Paid plan costs $5.99 a month
  • Same-day transfers cost $3.99
  • Mixed customer reviews
Loan amountUp to $250
Loan TermVaries
Turnaround time3 to 4 days standard transfer. Same day with $3.99 express fee.

Alternative for building a portfolio: Albert

Albert

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Albert is a financial services app that lets you borrow up to $250 against your next paycheck and doesn't require your employer's participation. But it's more than just a cash advance tool. Albert also features an automated savings account, plus investment portfolio building and financial advice through its Genius service.

The Genius service costs to $16 a month, and you must sign up for a 30-day trial when you start using Albert. However, some users report difficulty canceling Genius, making this app best for users who want Genius as part of their cash advance app service.

  • Available in all states
Pros
  • Offers budgeting, loans and investment help
  • Paid membership not required for advances
  • No late fees or inactivity fees
Cons
  • Must sign up for a free trial of Genius
  • Instant transfer fees not listed
  • No phone support
Loan amountUp to $250
Loan TermN/A
Turnaround time2–3 business days or instant for a fee

Alternative for payment flexibility: Brigit

Brigit

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Brigit is a cash advance app and budgeting tool that offers up to $250 per pay cycle. Like Branch, Brigit never charges finance fees or interest, but it does charge a $8.99 monthly subscription fee if you want to access cash advances.

However, this monthly fee includes free overdraft protection, a credit builder program, $1 million in identity theft protection and the ability to extend your payment due date. As long as you've had two consecutive on-time payments, you can request an extension through the app.

  • Available in all states
Pros
  • Tracks spending to prevent overdraft fees
  • Extra features built into subscription price
  • Store up to three repayment extensions
Cons
  • High $8.99 monthly membership fee
  • Standard transfers can take up to two days
  • Must meet strict eligibility requirements for higher advances
Loan amountUp to $250
Loan TermVaries
Turnaround time1 to 3 business days or instantly with a fee

Alternative for gig workers: Cash App Borrow

Cash App

If you're a gig worker who gets paid in cash, you may not qualify for many cash advance apps since they require proof of regular direct deposits. That's where Borrow could come in handy. Borrow is a pilot feature of Cash App that lets you borrow up to $200, apparently, even if you don't have a regular job — but it's only available to select users right now.

Cash App states that its selection criteria is based on your credit score, which state you're in, if you have an activated Cash Card and if you use Cash App. To increase your chances of being selected, start uploading money to Cash App and sending payments. But unlike other cash advance apps, Borrow charges a 5% finance fee on its advances.

  • Available in all states
Pros
  • Credit check not required
  • Direct deposits may not be required
  • Having a job may not be required
Cons
  • Finance fee is 5% of amount borrowed
  • Limited to $200 per advance
  • Eligibility requirements are unclear
Loan amount$20 to $200
Loan TermVaries
Turnaround timeSame day

Alternative for low monthly fees: Dave

Dave ExtraCash

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While Dave charges a monthly subscription fee, it's just $1 a month, which is much lower than some competitors, like Brigit. It offers up to $500 per pay cycle, and if you open a Dave Spending Account, you could get your paycheck up to two days early.

Dave also packs other features to help you save for future goals and expenses and even locate side jobs for extra cash. But if you need an instant transfer, expect to pay between $1.99 and $13.99, depending on the amount and the type of account you transfer it to.

  • Available in all states
Pros
  • Low monthly fee compared to other apps
  • Tracks your spending to prevent overdrafts
  • No obligation to tip
Cons
  • Cash advances limited to $500 or less
  • External bank transfers can be expensive
  • Standard turnaround can take up to three days
Loan amountUp to $500
Loan TermVaries
Turnaround timeUp to 3 business days, or instant for a fee

Alternative for building credit: Possible Finance

Possible Finance Mobile Installment Loans

Possible Finance is a short-term lender, not a cash advance app. But unlike normal installment loans, you can borrow up to $500 through its app, and your repayments are reported to two of the three major credit bureaus — Experian and TransUnion — which can help build your credit.

But compared to cash apps, it's a much more expensive option. It charges a fee based on the amount borrowed, which can push your loan's APR well over 400%. On the plus side, you can pay over four installments and get access to the Possible Card with on-time payments. The card features a credit limit of up to $800 and no interest or late fees.

  • Available in: Alabama, California, Delaware, Florida, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Ohio, Oklahoma, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Washington
Pros
  • No credit check required
  • More flexible loan repayment terms
  • Reports activity to the three major credit bureaus
Cons
  • APRs can reach up to460%
  • A history of negative customer reviews
  • More costly than using a cash advance app
Loan amount$50 - $500
Interest rate typeFixed
Loan Term2 to 8 weeks
Turnaround timeAs fast as 1 business day

Alternative for higher advance amounts: MoneyLion

MoneyLion Instacash advances

MoneyLion is a banking and cash advance app that offers up to $500 between paydays. Like Branch, it doesn't charge any monthly or finance fees. But if you need funds same day, the cost can escalate quickly depending on how much you need to borrow.

But unlike other apps that cap out at $250 or $500, MoneyLion may let you borrow up to $1,000 per pay period if you open a linked RoarMoney account. MoneyLion also features an investment account, a crypto trading feature and the ability to round up your spare change to buy Bitcoin.

  • Available in: Alabama, Arizona, California, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Kansas, Louisiana, Maryland, Michigan, Missouri, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, Washington, Wisconsin, Wyoming
Pros
  • No membership fees or obligation to tip
  • Free standard delivery takes just 1 to 2 business days
  • Free credit monitoring included
Cons
  • Instant transfers can be expensive
  • RoarMoney checking account or credit builder program required for higher advances
  • Credit builder program costs a hefty $19.99
Loan amountUp to $500 or $1,000 with RoarMoney account
Loan TermDue by your next pay date
Turnaround timeUp to 5 days or instant for a fee of $0.49 to $8.99

How does Branch compare?

Branch is a convenient way to access up to 50% of the wages you’ve already earned. And if you open a Branch debit card, you can get instant transfers to the card for free. Like other cash advance apps, Branch doesn’t finance fees or interests on what you borrow. But unless you have a Branch Card, you won’t get your money the same day without paying a fee.

With Branch:

  • Standard transfers to your bank account are free and take 3 to 5 business days.
  • Instant transfers to a Branch Card are free.
  • Instant transfers to a non-Branch Card card cost $2.99.

If your employer doesn’t partner with Branch, there are many other cash advance apps to choose from. Many have no or low monthly fees, overdraft protection, credit-building programs, budgeting tools and other features you may find useful. Like Branch, most of these apps offer standard advances for no or low monthly fees, although instant transfers cost extra.

Pros

  • Cash advances up to 50% of wages earned
  • Same-day transfers with a Branch debit card
  • No interest, membership fees or tipping required
  • Features to help manage your finances and work schedule

Cons

  • Access only the money you’ve already earned
  • Must have two months of direct deposits from an employer
  • App features depend on your employer

More alternatives to payday and installment loans.

You may have noticed that we didn’t include payday and short-term installment loans as alternatives to Branch — as they’re considered predatory and come with sky-high interest rates.

Consider that:

  • A typical $375 payday loan comes with $520 in fees because of repeat borrowing.
  • The average APR on a payday loan can reach as high as 650% in states with no protections against predatory short-term lenders.
  • While payday loans are designed for one-time emergencies, about 70% of borrowers use them for recurring costs like utilities and bills.
  • Most payday loan borrowers stay in debt for at least 11 months.

Conversely, cash advance apps don’t charge financing fees or interest on what you borrow, making them cheaper than installment loans while helping to prevent a cycle of debt.

Alternatives to cash advance apps

If you don’t qualify for a cash advance app or don’t want to use one, here are more options for accessing cash:

  • Credit card cash advance. Credit card cash advances are a fast and convenient way to access cash at an ATM or bank counter. Cash advance fees run high, so it’s best to limit how often you use them. Compare the best credit cards of 2023.
  • Personal loan. If you need more than $500, compare personal loan providers with Monevo to narrow down the best offer from multiple lenders based on your credit score.
  • Buy Now Pay Later (BNPL) app. BNPL apps let you purchase items you need today and pay them off later. Discover the best BNPL apps offering low fees and interest.
  • CDFI loan. These are small-dollar, short-term loans at a lower cost than from a payday lender. They’re available from Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs).
  • Employer advance. If you need funds before payday, your employer may be willing to advance part of your paycheck.

Just say no to high-cost installment and payday loans and find cheaper alternatives with our payday loan alternatives guide.

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