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Cash advance app review methodology

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If you have to cover an unexpected expense — or if you need some cash to tide you over until your next paycheck, a cash advance app could help you get the funds you need. Cash advance apps allow you to borrow a small amount — usually between $20 to $500 — against your next paycheck. Although some platforms offer these services at no cost, some may charge hefty fees.

To help you find the best cash advance app that offers top-notch service, without steep charges, the Bankrate team has taken on the task of vetting some of the most widely available apps, using our meticulous ranking system.

How does Bankrate evaluate cash advance apps?

Our editorial team uses a 17-point scale known as the Bankrate Score to evaluate cash advance apps. This scoring system takes into account three key factors: availability, affordability and customer experience. 

How does Bankrate assign lender stars?

Bankrate’s editorial team collects data pertaining to the three key factors evaluated in the Bankrate Score. Once this phase concludes, apps are rated with a score from one to five — the latter being the highest possible score. For instance, the lower the fees, the higher the app will rank, whereas the more expensive the fees, the lower it will rank.

Some of the apps reviewed may have partnerships with Bankrate, but this doesn’t influence our decisions or rankings. App scores are based on hard data and expert analysis. Our goal is to provide transparent feedback so you can find the right service for your needs.


  • Minimum and maximum loan amounts.
  • Repayment term lengths.
  • Overdraft protection.
  • Standard funding timeline.

Why we consider this

Availability factors allow us to determine which consumers may benefit the most from using the company’s services, along with its capability to satisfy multiple needs.


  • Free version availability.
  • Monthly subscription price.
  • Additional tools included within the basic subscription.
  • Express funding fee.
  • Required and voluntary fees.

Why we consider this

Affordability factors give us a broader understanding of how competitive a company's products are — relative to the industry — as well as their overall value.


Customer Experience

  • Payment extension availability.
  • Mobile app rating.
  • Customer support options and service hours.
  • Company reputation.

Why we consider this

Customer experience factors are essential to determining a company’s ability to serve its customers, as well as its capacity to do it successfully and in a timely manner.