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TurboTax refund advance review

Last updated:  

A fully online application sets this provider apart from the crowd.

  • Best for a smaller advance that you can apply for online.
  • Pick something else if you don't want your whole refund on a prepaid debit card.


Tax preparation fee



February 7, 2020 or until funds run out

Application deadline


Product nameIntuit TurboTax Tax Refund Advance
Maximum advance amount$2,000
Minimum advance amount$250
TurnaroundAs soon as 1 hour
Tax preparation feeVaries
Application deadlineFebruary 7, 2020 or until funds run out
States servicedAvailable everywhere except Illinois, North Carolina, Rhode Island, or Vermont
RequirementsFederal refund of $500+; must file with TurboTax; ages 18+; not filing a 1310, 1040SS, 1040PR, 1040X, 8888 or 8862 form

Expert review

Kellye Guinan

Review by

Kellye Guinan is a writer and editor with Finder and has years of experience in academic writing and research. Between her passion for books and her love of language, she works on creating stories and volunteering her time on worthy causes. She lives in the woods and likes to find new bug friends in between reading just a little too much nonfiction.

Expert review

Intuit TurboTax offers tax refund advances with no interest and a fully online application process. You’ll receive a portion of your tax refund as an advance when you e-file with TurboTax — there’s no separate application. And your credit won’t be the only factor that determines your approval decision. The size of your federal refund and your tax information will also play a role.

But with a shorter window to grab an advance and a low maximum refund amount of $2,000, it may not be the right choice if you received your W-2s late or want a larger advance. And you can’t get your funds directly deposited into your bank account — you’re stuck getting your entire advance on a prepaid debit card.

Rather apply for a personal loan instead? Compare your options below.

TurboTax tax refund advance requirements

To qualify for a tax refund advance from Intuit TurboTax, you need to meet the following criteria:

  • Federal refund is at least $500
  • E-filing your federal tax return through TurboTax
  • At least 18 years old
  • File your 2019 taxes before February 7, 2020
  • Not filing an Illinois, North Carolina, Rhode Island or Vermont state tax return
  • Not filing a 1310, 1040SS, 1040PR, 1040X, 8888 or 8862 form

TurboTax offers its refund advances through Green Dot Bank, which might have additional eligibility requirements not listed.

How TurboTax’s tax refund advance works

Rather than filling out a separate application, you can select a refund advance as part of the tax-filing process when e-filing with TurboTax.

You’ll receive your advance on a prepaid debit card, the Turbo Visa Debit Card, which will be mailed to you within five to 10 days. However, Intuit will also email you your temporary card information within 48 hours so you can start spending your advance immediately. When your refund is processed by the IRS, the rest of your funds will be loaded onto your debit card — minus the advance you already received and your tax preparation fee.

How much you’re able to receive is based on the size of your expected federal refund:

Expected federal refundMaximum advance
$500 to $999$250
$1,000 to $1,499$500
$1,500 to $1,999$750
$2,000 to $2,999$1,000
$3,000 to 3,999$1,500

How much does it cost?

Intuit TurboTax doesn’t charge any interest on your refund advance. However, you might need to pay a tax preparation fee to file through TurboTax, which varies depending on which service you sign up for. But you don’t have to pay this fee up front — you can have it taken out of your refund after the IRS processes it.

While TurboTax issues its refund on a Turbo Visa Debit Card, you can withdraw cash at no cost from its network of 19,000 ATMs. These are available in every state.

What documents do I need to apply?

Intuit TurboTax doesn’t list any additional documents you need to apply for the tax refund advance, though you’ll definitely need to have your W-2 and last year’s tax information to e-file your taxes through Intuit TurboTax.

Pros and cons

Intuit TurboTax offers some benefits that set it apart from other tax refund advance providers. But there are a few reasons you may want to go with another option.


  • No cost if you use TurboTax’s free edition
  • Withdraw cash for free from its network of ATMs
  • Access advance as soon as an hour after approval


  • No advances over $2,000
  • Must file before February 7, 2020 to qualify
  • Not available in IL, NC, RI or VT

Will applying affect my credit?

No, applying for a tax refund advance with Intuit TurboTax won’t affect your credit. However, Green Dot Bank may perform a soft pull of your credit to confirm you meet its eligibility requirements when you apply through Intuit TurboTax.

TurboTax reviews and complaints

BBB accredited No
BBB rating A+
BBB customer reviews 4.6 out of 5 stars, based on 430 customer reviews No reviews
Trustpilot Score 1.6 out of 5 stars, based on 61 customer reviews
Customer reviews verified as of 27 May 2020
TurboTax gets mostly negative reviews. Many were upset over having to pay a fee for TurboTax’s services after using the free version for years. And several reported having trouble reaching customer service or getting a refund. If you’ve used TurboTax for free in the past, make sure you’re still eligible before you sign up.

3 tax prep sites like TurboTax

Refund advance amountAPRTax preparation feeDeadlineOnline application
H&R Block$250 to $3,5000%Yes, but not statedFebruary 29, 2020NoRead review
Jackson Hewitt$200 to $3,2000%Starts at $48February 23, 2020NoRead review
Liberty Tax Service$500 to $6,25035.99%Not statedFebruary 28, 2020NoRead review

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How do I apply?

You can apply online by e-filing your taxes through Intuit TurboTax. Follow these steps to get started:

  1. Visit Intuit TurboTax’s website and click Start for free.
  2. Sign in to your TurboTax online account or create one by selecting the service that best fits your finances.
  3. Select Refund advance as your refund option, then file your taxes.

If approved, you may have access to your advance within an hour by receiving an email with your temporary card information. You can use this to shop online the same day you apply.

TurboTax will then send you your permanent prepaid debit card within five to 10 business days.

Miss the deadline to file with TurboTax? Read our guide to other alternatives to tax refund advances.

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