Empower cash advance review
Solid option for those with Empower memberships. May not be a good fit for everyone else.
Bottom line: Empower offers cash advances up to $250 — with an option to get your money on the same day at no extra cost. But negative customer reviews and strict eligibility requirements may not appeal to all borrowers.
|Product Name||Empower cash advance|
|Turnaround Time||Same-day turnaround available|
|Requirements||Empower checking account for at least 60 days, at least three deposits from same employer, monthly income of $1,000+, maintain account balance of $100|
- Same-day delivery to an Empower checking account
- No fees or interest payments
- No credit check
- Automatic repayment on next pay day
- Monthly fee of $8
- Must have a bank account for at least 60 days
- Self-employed income may not count
- Mixed customer reviews
Our take on Empower
Empower is probably best for existing Empower customers already using the service, are happy with it and need an occasional small cash boost. Its cash advance option starts at $25, but with an Empower checking account and a history of on-time payments, you could borrow up to $250 per pay period.
Empower is a relatively simple cash advance app, but requirements to qualify for the full $250 advance appear to be stricter and less transparent than other apps. There are also multiple complaints about Empower’s customer service and mobile app — with many customers reporting billing errors, low cash advance amounts and inexplicable bugs that make the app unusable for withdrawing cash.
Because you must jump through so many hoops to use the app — including setting up direct deposit switching banks to qualify for the full amount — you may want to check out other cash advance options before downloading the Empower app.
Empower doesn't provide much information about how its service works online. It states you can borrow between $25 and $250, but doesn't explain how a user can qualify for these amounts.
- Maximum withdrawal.$250
- Cost.$8 monthly membership fee
- Turnaround. Same-day turnaround available
In addition to a fee-based instant transfer service, it has two free options for receiving funds: transferring your advance to your Empower debit card in minutes or via ACH into your paycheck account typically within one business day.
Empower doesn't clearly state what its eligibility requirements are online and customer service refused to provide any detailed information to me without an account. The company does state it will increase your limit over time as long as you pay back your cash advances on time, but not much else.
Expect to meet these general requirements to get an Empower cash advance:
- Bank account open for at least 60 days
- Average of two transactions per day in active bank account
- Three recent deposits of $200 or more from same employer
- Monthly take-home income of at least $1,000
- Average account balance of $100 or more after pay date
While an account with Empower isn't required, you'll only be able to get same-day advances to an Empower checking account.
In addition to a cash advance, Empower also has a checking account, automatic savings program, budget tracking and personalized financial recommendations. These features are all included with its $8 monthly membership fee.
The company is also offering an Empower Thrive revolving line in the near future. It will allow eligible members to start with a $200 revolving line of credit that can increase to $1,000 with a history of on-time payments. The APR is 0% if pay your balance off before your paycheck, but charges a whopping 35.99% APR if you don't.
Empower reviews and complaints
|BBB customer reviews|
3 out of 5 stars, based on 4 customer reviews
|BBB customer complaints||27 customer complaints|
|Trustpilot Score||3.2 out of 5 stars, based on 1 customer reviews|
|App Store Score||4.8 out of 5 stars, based on 40,900 customer reviews|
|Google Play Score||4.6 out of 5 stars, based on 31,010 customer reviews|
|Customer reviews verified as of||27 April 2022|
The Empower app generally receives high marks on Google Play and the App Store. But a disproportionate number of customers have left negative reviews mentioning bugs with the app, inexplicably low cash advance amounts and multiple billing errors. Others report canceling the service and getting billed the monthly fee anyways.
More satisfied customers also mention running into bugs, but say they like the ability to track their spending and budgeting in one place. But the overall trend of recent reviews on Google Play and the App Stores tends towards the negative, with some positive reviews mixed in.
Empower cash advance vs. payday loans
Empower is a short-term solution like a payday loan, but the cost to use it is limited — and the app comes with other useful services that payday loans lack.
Up to $250 per pay period
Typically up to $1,000, and most states allow only one at a time
Typically next business day
Sign up through mobile app by connecting to bank account
Simple online application, typically requires Social Security number and bank account numbers
$8 monthly membership fee
High interest rate that can equal fees of $15 to $25 per $100 borrowed
Anywhere in the US
Is Empower safe?
In general, yes — but no app can guarantee your information stays 100% secure. However, Empower's checking and savings accounts are backed up to $250,000 by Evolve Bank and Trust. It also uses Plaid, a third-party service and industry-standard security measure, when you connect your current bank account through the app.
But pay attention to user complaints against Empower and its lack of response. While these aren't necessarily red flags, they could mean it doesn't take customer concerns as seriously as similar apps and services.
Is Empower worth it?
If you're already interested in Empower's banking options and financial advisor tools, using its cash advance option is simply another benefit. But with many negative reviews about problems with the app and low cash advance amounts — Empower may not be the right choice for people who need higher amounts advanced before pay day and a clearer path to qualifying.
Before you sign up and switch your money over, consider more cash advance apps and learn more about the borrowing process.
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