Payactiv cash advance app review

No monthly fees on an advance of up to 50% of your earned wages set this employer-based app apart.

Bottom line: This employer-based pay advance app offers low-cost advances on paychecks with no bank account required. But to get the most benefits, you need to have sign up for direct deposit to a Payactiv card. Read our full review or get our 30-second take.

1.1 ★★★★★ (14 reviews) Write a review


Product NamePayactiv pay advance app
Loan TermVaries
Turnaround TimeInstant to a Payactiv card, otherwise up to 48 hours
RequirementsEmployer that offers PayActiv


  • No bank account required
  • Instant financing available
  • Available to salaried and hourly employees


  • Limited options if your employer isn’t enrolled in Payactiv
  • Instant funding requires Payactiv card
  • Potential program fees of up to $5 per pay period

Our take on Payactiv

Payactiv is a popular paycheck advance app offering an inexpensive alternative to payday loans — and even some cash advance apps. You can receive an advance as high as 50% of the wages you’ve already earned — sometimes at no cost. It’s also one of the few cash advance apps I’ve reviewed that offers cash advances.
If your employer is enrolled with Payactiv, you can pick up your advance in cash at a Walmart Money Center. This makes it one of the few cash advance providers that doesn’t require a bank account.
But options are limited if your employer isn’t enrolled with Payactiv. You can get your paycheck two days in advance — but only if you sign up for a Payactiv Visa Prepaid Card.
Some employers also may limit how much of an advance they’re willing to offer. And it’s only free if you sign up for direct deposit to a Payactiv Visa Payroll Card. Otherwise, you could pay as much as $5 per month. Consider another cash advance option if your employer isn’t enrolled.
Additionally, many customers complain about bugs with the Payactiv app, causing unnecessary headaches and problems accessing funds.

Payactiv overview

Payactiv works by partnering with employers to offer advances on their earned wages. Advances can reach 50% of your earned wages — though some employers may limit how much you can borrow. If you don’t work for an employer that partners with Payactiv, you can still receive your paycheck up to two days in advance by signing up for a Payactiv Visa Prepaid Card, which is a debit card.


Payactiv is free to use if you sign up for a Payactiv Visa Payroll Card and request a cash advance. Otherwise, it charges these two types of fees:

  • Maximum advance: As high as 50% of the wages you’ve already earned, subject to employer limitations.
  • Program fee: A $1 fee each day you use a service like a bank transfer, card load, cash access, bill pay, Uber or Amazon. Payactiv caps this fee at $5 a month.
  • Processing fee: A $1.99 fee each time you pick up your advance in cash at Walmart or request an instant deposit on a non-Payactiv card.
  • Turnaround: Instant to a Payactiv card; otherwise up to 48 hours.

When you request an advance, Payactiv can send the money to your bank account, debit card or a Walmart Money Center. Instant funding is available for free through a Payactiv card or for a fee if you send the funds to another account.
Your employer automatically deducts the advance from your next paycheck, so there’s technically no repayment term.


If your employer partners with Payactiv, you’re automatically eligible to use this service. It’s available to part-time and full-time salaried workers, as well as hourly workers.
If your employer doesn’t partner with Payactiv, you must be over 16 and have a valid Social Security number to sign up for a Payactiv card.

Other features

Like other cash advance apps, Payactiv also offers financial wellness services. This includes the following features:
  • Free one-on-one financial counseling
  • SmartSpend tool to track your spending
  • SmartSave tool to help you set monthly savings goals
  • Access to online banking through the Payactiv debit cards
  • Exclusive discounts on gas, prescription drugs and other products
  • Bill pay and the ability to transfer funds to Uber and AmazonCash

Payactiv reviews and complaints

BBB accredited Yes
BBB rating A-
BBB customer reviews 2.63 out of 5 stars, based on 41 customer reviews
BBB customer complaints 116 customer complaints
Trustpilot Score 3.3 out of 5 stars, based on 354 customer reviews
App Store Score 4.8 out of 5 stars, based on 28,100 customer reviews
Google Play Score 4.7 out of 5 stars, based on 29,699 customer reviews
Customer reviews verified as of 27 April 2022
While the Payactiv app gets high ratings on the App Store and Google Play — don’t let the numbers fool you. Most of the recent reviews are negative and many five-star reviews are actually complaints from customers who want their reviews to be seen. Most negative reviews mention glitches with the app, including not linking bank accounts correctly, passwords not resetting and problems accessing funds.
While some customers are genuinely happy with how easy and inexpensive Payactiv is compared to other cash advance apps, many complain about technical bugs and a lack of customer support when the app malfunctions.

How Payactiv compares to other cash advance apps

Here’s how Payactiv compares to Earnin, another popular cash advance app.

Maximum advance50% of earned wages$750
  • Program fee of $0 to $5 a month
  • Processing fee of $1.99 for advances in cash and instant funding to a non-Payactiv card
Optional tip of up to $14
Turnaround timeInstant in some cases — otherwise up to two business daysInstant in some cases — otherwise up to two business days

Payactiv vs. payday loans

Payactiv is part of a growing trend of apps that offer low-cost alternatives to a more traditional option: the payday loan. Here’s how Payactiv and payday loans compare.

PayactivTypical payday loan
Borrowing amountUp to 50% of your earned wagesUp to $1,000
Turnaround timeInstant or up to 48 hoursUsually 24 hours
Application processRegister on app and connect to bank account before requesting funds as neededApply online and connect to bank account each time you apply
State availabilityAll 50 statesProhibited in some states

Is Payactiv legit?

Yes, it’s legit. Payactiv partners with companies of all sizes, including Walmart, Visa and Amazon. It’s compliant in all 50 states and offers its Earned Wage Access program with an Approval Order from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB).

Is Payactiv safe?

In terms of security, no app is 100% secure. But Payactiv takes reasonable measures to protect its customers’ information from theft and loss using SSL encryption techniques and authentication procedures.
Its privacy policy states that it discloses customer information to third parties necessary to facilitate the delivery of its services but tries to limit the information provided. If you have questions about Payactiv’s security policies, contact the company on its website.

Is Payactiv worth it?

Payactiv is worth it if your employer is a Payactiv partner and you need an advance on your paycheck. With fees no higher than $5 a month, Payactiv is a lot less expensive than overdrafting your bank account, getting a credit card cash advance or taking out a payday loan. It’s even less expensive than many other cash advance apps, which sometimes require a monthly subscription fee.
If your employer doesn’t partner with Payactiv, then this provider might not be worth the trouble. You can only get your advance two days ahead of time, and you’ll have to sign up for a prepaid debit card to receive the funds. Consider a provider that doesn’t require you to work for a partner company instead.

Compare more cash advance apps

These apps offer advances on your wages to help avoid overdraft fees and expensive short-term loans. Select your state to see the options available to you. Visit our guide to cash advance apps to learn about how these apps work.

1 - 0 of 0
Name Product Filter Values Loan amount Turnaround time Requirements
Chime SpotMe®
Not rated yet
Chime SpotMe®
Up to $200
Same day
Single qualifying $200 direct deposit into Chime checking account in the last 34 days.
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.
OppLoans Installment Loans
Finder Rating: 4.7 / 5: ★★★★★
OppLoans Installment Loans
$500 to $4,000
As soon as the same business day.
+18 years old, Receive paychecks through direct deposit, Meet minimum income requirements, Live in eligible state
Comes with the option to change your due date so you won’t fall behind on repayments.
MoneyLion Instacash advances
$250, $1000 with RoarMoney account
3 to 5 business days to external checking account, 12 to 48 hours to RoarMoney account
Bank account must have at least 60 days of activity, show recurring deposits and must have a positive balance
Fee-free, interest-free cash advances up to $250.
Not rated yet
Up to $250
1 to 3 days or same-day in some circumstances
Bank account must have at least 60 days of activity, Balance must be above $0 and have an average minimum balance on pay day
Have up to $250 automatically deposited into your account — for a $9.99 membership fee.
Not rated yet
Up to $250
2 to 3 days
Checking account 2+ months old receiving direct deposit, 2+ months working for the same employer, positive account balance, most recent paycheck was on-time, funds still available in bank account 24 hours after most recent payday.
Advance up to $250 from your paycheck plus get access to your paychecks up to 2 days early with direct deposit.
Possible Finance Mobile Installment Loans
Up to $500
As fast as 1 business day
Checking account with 3+ months of banking history, $750+ monthly income, live in eligible state, ages 18+
Borrow up to $500 with just a few swipes — but only for residents of 21 states.

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