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Our verdict

This all-in-one banking app can organize your finances and build credit history.

The Cushion app initially focused on disputing charges on users’ behalf, but it has since added new features like budgeting and credit building. You can use the budgeting and bill tracking features for free, letting you clearly see your loans, bills and budget by syncing your accounts to the app. To build credit, you’ll need to use Cushion’s virtual card to pay your bills. But you can only pay and report bills that accept a virtual debit card, so attempting to build credit for bills that require an ACH transfer won’t work. Credit building also costs $4.99 to $12.99, depending on your plan, and Cushion only reports to Experian.

Best for: Those who want to track bills and build credit.


  • Syncs to bank accounts and tracks bills
  • Get unreported bills added to your Experian report
  • No credit check or APR for credit building


  • Monthly fee for credit-building plan
  • Can’t report bills that require ACH transfers
  • Doesn’t report to TransUnion or Equifax

In this guide

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Who is Cushion best for?

Cushion is best for someone looking to organize their bills, track spending and build credit history. The bill and spend tracking features are free to use, allowing you to sync your accounts for visibility and easy tracking right in the Cushion app.

While there are no interest charges or credit checks to access the credit-building feature, it’ll cost you $4.99 per month for the Buy Now Pay Later (BNPL) Builder plan and $12.99 per month for its Pro plan, which can report bills that accept virtual card payments.

Cushion no longer offers the Fee Negotiation feature where Cushion would negotiate fees on your behalf. You can, however, negotiate fees yourself within the app under the Bank Fees tab within the app.

How Cushion works

Cushion‘s budgeting features are similar to other budget apps in that you sync your bank account to sort and track your bills. Cushion‘s credit-building feature works similarly to some debit-credit cards, but it’s more like a hybrid between a credit reporting service and a secured credit card.

Once you choose one of the two credit-building plans, you’ll connect the primary bank account you normally use to pay your bills and get a virtual Cushion card. The app scans your accounts to add your BNPL loans, rent, utility bills, monthly subscriptions and more to your Bill Center. Then, you’ll go to the sites where you want to use the Cushion card, make the card the primary payment method and turn on autopay.

With autopay on, the Cushion card will be charged for those select bills, and Cushion will then automatically deduct the amount paid from your linked bank account. Those bill payments made with the Cushion card are reported to Experian.

Cushion plans and cost

You have three Cushion plan options, and the main difference is the types of bills you can get reported with the credit-building feature. There’s also a free 30-day trial when you sign up for a paid plan, and it won’t automatically charge you a subscription fee once the trial ends.

  • Track bills and subscriptions
  • Organize BNPL payments
  • Use tracking for budgeting
BNPL Builder$4.99/moEverything with Organizer, plus:
  • Get virtual Cushion card
  • Pay bills with Cushion card
  • Build credit with BNPL payments
Pro$12.99/moEverything with BNPL Builder, plus:
  • Build credit with any bills you pay with the Cushion card that accept virtual card payments

What we like about Cushion

Cushion offers bill tracking and organization for free, which is more than what many other budgeting apps can say. Many budgeting apps, like Good Budget, don’t let you connect your bank accounts for free. And many other apps charge you monthly fees for account syncing or tracking features — a bit counterintuitive if you’re looking to watch your spending.

For its credit reporting features, it’s a bit of a give-and-take. Comparatively, other credit reporting services are more expensive, often costing $50 to $75 setup fees and $10 to $20 per month just to report rent. On the flipside, Cushion currently only reports to Experian, making the cost of the Pro plan a bit steep.

Build credit without debt

If you enroll in one of Cushion‘s credit building plans — BNPL Builder or Pro — you can start building a positive credit history without taking on debt. Unlike traditional credit cards, the virtual Cushion card used to pay your bills doesn’t charge any interest, and there’s no credit check.

You’re given a virtual card that can be used to pay the bills you want reported, and Cushion takes the amount automatically from your linked bank account, so there’s no risk of accumulating debt. In a way, it’s like a debit card that’s exclusively used to pay your bills that are then reported to Experian.

Also, if you don’t have enough funds in your linked account to cover a bill payment, Cushion‘s virtual card will decline it, so there’s no risk of overdraft fees either.

Where Cushion falls short

A large downside to Cushion is that its credit-building card doesn’t report to all three credit bureaus, just Experian. This means that while you can build a credit history with Experian, you won’t see any improvement with TransUnion or Equifax.

You’ll also have to pay a monthly fee of $4.99 to $12.99 per month, and while it’s not as high as other reporting services, it’s a big price considering you won’t get reporting action for all bureaus.

As a budget and tracking app, Cushion is a great option as it won’t cost you. But as a credit-building service, you’ve got better options. Other similar debit-credit card products such as The Extra Card, the Current Credit Building Card and the Fizz debit card either report to at least two bureaus or all three. These cards don’t charge interest or require a credit check, and Fizz and Current also don’t charge monthly fees, either.

Cushion fees and access

Type of feeFee details
Membership fee
  • Organizer: $0
  • BNPL Plan: $4.99
  • Pro: $12.99
Minimum deposit$0
Credit scoreNot required
Foreign transaction feeN/A
Overdraft or nonsufficient funds$0

Compare Cushion to other credit-building cards

Narrow down top credit-building debit cards by monthly fees, APR and features. For a better comparison, tick the Compare box on up to four options to see features side by side.

Name Product Fee Minimum deposit to open Requirements Credit Bureaus Offer
Experian Boost®
Not rated yet
Experian Boost®
$0 per month
Requires Free Experian® membership and Experian Boost to build credit.
Finder Score: 4 / 5: ★★★★★
From $4.99 per month
Must be at least 18 years old and a US resident with a valid Social Security number.
Equifax, Experian
Finder Score: 4 / 5: ★★★★★
From $4.99 per month
Must be at least 18 years old, have an existing US bank account and a Social Security number
Chime® Credit Builder Secured Visa® Credit Card
Finder Score: 5 / 5: ★★★★★
Chime® Credit Builder Secured Visa® Credit Card
$0 per month
Must have a Chime Checking Account with eligible direct deposits to qualify.
Equifax, Experian,TransUnion
Finder Score: 4.3 / 5: ★★★★★
From $20 per month
Requires an existing bank account.
Equifax, Experian

How to open a Cushion app

To get Cushion, you must be at least 18 years old, have a valid US bank account and a Social Security number. If you want to sign up for the credit-building feature, you’ll have to choose either the BNPL Builder or Pro plan. To add bills to Cushion for credit building, follow these steps:

  1. Connect your bank accounts and credit cards.
  2. Choose a credit builder plan.
  3. Wait for Cushion to scan your bill payments and add them to the Bill Center. You can manually add bills as well.
  4. Head to the Bill Pay Card tab and activate your Cushion card.
  5. Visit the sites where you want to use your Cushion card to pay your bills, make it your primary payment method and turn on autopay.

Customer experience

Cushion has pretty decent customer reviews, especially on Trustpilot, holding a stellar 4.7-star rating out of over 2,000 ratings. Overall, customers are happy with the app, saying how they saw a real increase in their credit score in a short period, how it helped them organize their BNPL bills and build credit off them and how happy they are to have all their bills in one place.

Most of the feedback for the app on Reddit is from the app’s early days when it was largely a refund app that negotiated bank fees. Feedback is mixed, with some saying it worked great and others stating the customer service was unresponsive and Cushion didn’t get anything refunded.

On its Better Business Bureau (BBB) profile, it’s not so great, but that’s pretty typical for fintechs with banking services. Cushion has a D rating, with a handful of complaints and customer reviews. Like other companies on BBB, most are negative, with customers stating issues contacting customer representatives, being charged after canceling and being disappointed with not getting refunds.
On the whole, Cushion has many more positive reviews than negative. The app’s free bill and tracking feature gets frequent praise, and those who signed up for the credit-building plans are pleased.

Credit building card ratings

★★★★★ — Excellent

★★★★★ — Good

★★★★★ — Average

★★★★★ — Subpar

★★★★★ — Poor

We analyze top credit-building cards and rate them one to five stars based on factors that are most important to you. The five factors include: Fees, credit score requirements, credit reporting practices, annual percentage rate (APR) and customer support options.

Read the full methodology of how we rate credit building cards.

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Bethany Finder

Writer, Banking and Loans

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