Dave App Review

Dave App

Overall Rating

9

Bottom Line

The Dave App addresses one relatively specific problem for banking customers — what to do if you don't have enough cash to cover your monthly bills.

Pros

  • Few fees
  • Interest-free cash advances
  • Highly-rated mobile app
  • Free LevelCredit account

Cons

  • No APY
  • Limited functionality
  • Few account options
  • No signup bonus

Dave App is a money management app with over 10 million customers. The app is owned by Dave, Inc., and is commonly referred to as just Dave.

It was founded in 2017 with the financial backing of Mark Cuban.

From the get-go, Dave’s founders wanted to help people avoid paying overdraft fees to traditional banks.

With big bank loyalty shrinking, they saw an opportunity to provide a modern alternative that steers clear of nickel and dime fees and opens up financial opportunities for everyone.

Dave aims to fulfill this mission through simple, digital tools like a cash management account, fee-free cash advances, and intuitive spending tools.

In This Article

Dave App Products

Dave Spending Account

The Dave Spending Account is a cash management account that functions as an online checking account.

Dave Spending comes with a debit card, fully digital banking, and access to early direct deposit.

There’s no minimum deposit requirement to open an account, and you won’t have to worry about any low-balance charges.

The account is simple but opens up access to Dave’s other features like Credit Builder and Side Hustle. Plus, you’ll get a higher limit on cash advances when you open a Dave account and enroll in direct deposit.

Dave accounts run through Evolve Bank & Trust, so any deposited funds come with FDIC insurance.

Advance Service

Dave’s original financial product is its cash advance feature, which helps hold you over until your next paycheck without overdrawing your account.

Dave banking customers can request an interest-free cash advance based on anticipated income. This means that through its analysis, Dave will determine the loan amount that you’re eligible for.

For those who don’t have a Dave Spending Account, the maximum advance is $100, but it’s upped to $200 when you have an account that’s linked with direct deposit.

Dave doesn’t run a hard or soft credit check to determine eligibility, so there’s no need to worry about your credit score taking a hit. Instead, Dave analyzes your incoming funds and outgoing expenses to determine if you’re eligible.

Advances typically take one to three business days to show up in your account, but you can opt for express delivery (within 8 hours) for a fee between $1.99 and $5.99, depending on the amount of the advance.

When it comes to repayment, users can opt to manually pay back the advance early. Otherwise, the funds will automatically draw from your linked account on the following payday.

Dave App Features

Mobile Banking

Dave is an entirely mobile platform, so you’ll directly access all of its products and features from the app.

The app is available on both iOS and Android and seems to perform well on both operating systems — it currently has a rating of 4.8 stars (out of 5) in the App Store and 4.6 stars (out of 5) in the Google Play Store.

32,000 Free ATMs

Dave partners with MoneyPass, so users have access to its network of more than 32,000 fee-free ATMs.

There are out-of-network ATM fees, and Dave doesn’t reimburse for any of those fees charged by the ATM.

Budgeting Tools

On top of its fee-avoidance tools, a main guiding principle with Dave is understanding where your money is going.

In that pursuit, Dave’s budgeting tools help track your spending and recommend ways for keeping more money in your pocket.

The budgeting feature learns your spending habits and helps you stay on top of upcoming expenses. It also lets you know if you’re heading towards an overdraft.

Credit Builder

Dave has a partnership with LevelCredit, a service that helps you build credit by reporting utility and rent payments to credit bureaus.

LevelCredit usually comes with a monthly fee of $6.95, but with a Dave spending account, it’s completely free.

Side Hustle

If you’re looking to make a little extra cash on the side, Dave can help find a side hustle that fits your schedule.

Through its network of partners, Dave helps members find and apply for opportunities that could give their bank account a little boost.

Dave App Fees

Dave stays away from most traditional banking fees like overdraft and low balance fees. But, there are still some costs associated with membership.

Let’s take a look at everything that you should be aware of before signing up.

Membership Fee (Optional)

Dave charges a $1 monthly membership fee, but it’s important to note that this fee is optional and you can switch it off in the app.

Whether you pay the fee or not, your account status won’t be affected.

ATM Fees

MoneyPass ATMs are always free with your Dave debit card, but you’ll run into out-of-network and foreign transaction fees for all other ATMs.

There’s a 3% charge for using foreign ATMs, and non-network domestic withdrawals cost $2.50 each, plus whatever the ATM charges.

Tips (Optional)

When you use Dave’s cash advance service, the app will ask if you want to add a tip up to 20% of the loan amount.

Dave claims that it generates most of its revenue on these tips, but it’s entirely optional.

Opting for a 0% tip won’t affect your status as a Dave member, and choosing to add a tip doesn’t come with any added perks.

Getting Started

You can sign up for an account on Dave.com or directly in the mobile app.

To create an account, all you’ll need is a mobile phone number and email address. From there, it’s as simple as linking a bank account for funding and setting up direct deposits.

Dave App Promotions

At the moment, there’s no signup bonus for starting your membership with Dave.

However, we’ll keep an eye out for any promotions or referral bonuses, so be sure to check back here to see if anything pops up in the future.

Security

As a digital platform, Dave makes the security of your funds and sensitive information a priority. 2048-bit encryption protects the transmission of your data, and your online banking credentials are never stored within the app.

Dave’s servers are monitored 24/7 by its security team, and it also enlists third-party experts to assess the app’s vulnerabilities to stay ahead of any potential threats.

Most importantly, Dave accounts are FDIC-insured, so any funds deposited are protected up to $250,000 if the bank fails.

Customer Service

Dave’s online help center is accessible through the website or the app and provides tons of answers to commonly asked questions.

You can search or scroll through hundreds of FAQs or utilize its chatbot to find a quicker answer.

Live chat is available in-app Monday through Saturday from 8 am to 5 pm Pacific Time when you need to talk to someone.

You can also opt to call customer service, which is open from 4 am to 10 pm on weekdays and 5 am to 5 pm on weekends.

Pros & Cons

Pros:

  • Few fees
  • Interest-free cash advances
  • Highly-rated mobile app
  • Free LevelCredit account

Cons:

  • No APY
  • Limited functionality
  • Few account options
  • No signup bonus

Alternatives to Dave App

Aside from Dave, there are a few other banking apps that serve as short-term lenders.

Some popular options are Earnin and Branch, which provide comparable services to Dave and offer a slightly higher cash advance amount.

If Dave’s main draw for you is the lack of fees, it’s worth looking into some more comprehensive digital banking options like Chime, Ally, and Axos.

These platforms all operate a low-fee, high-yield structure, so you can save on bank charges while also keeping your deposits in an interest-bearing account.

FAQs

Is Dave app legit?

Yes, Dave is legit. The account is backed by the FDIC, and the app as a whole is a legitimate source of short-term cash advances. That said, whether or not it’s the best fit for you is a matter of assessing your personal finance picture.

Does Dave really give you $75?

Yes, the Dave app really sends out fee and interest-free cash advances (up to $200) to eligible members.

How long does the Dave App take to deposit money?

It depends on the type of deposit. If you enroll in direct deposit, Dave gives access to your funds up to 2 days early. Otherwise, deposits received on a business day before 3 pm Pacific Time should be available that same day.

What happens if you don’t pay the Dave app back?

Dave doesn’t charge any late fees or overdraft fees, so you won’t have to pay any additional charges. That said, if you’re unable to pay back a cash advance, your access to the app will eventually be suspended.

Is Dave App Right For You?

The Dave App addresses one relatively specific problem for banking customers — what to do if you don’t have enough cash to cover your monthly bills.

Historically, the move would be to put expenses on a credit card or take out an interest-bearing loan.

Unfortunately, both of those options end up costing you more in the long run. Even bank staples like overdraft protection come with added fees.

With this in mind, Dave provides a decent alternative to bank overdrafts and low balance fees with payday loans that bridge the gap until your check clears.

While it’s a poor personal finance practice to rely on money that you don’t have, Dave’s fee-free structure makes it a reasonable option in a pinch.

The issues with the Dave App aren’t in its principles, which are solid, but in its limitations in comparison to other digital banking options.

Dave provides a viable alternative to overdrawing your account, but falls short when you consider how many fee-free digital banking options there are that offer more services.

Overall, Dave’s cash advance services can be a useful tool in the right situation, but ideally, you won’t have to rely on that.

Here’s to finding the best bank that works for your wallet.