Cash App Review [2024]: Is it a Safe Way to Send and Receive Money?

BANKING - BANK REVIEWS
Here’s how Cash App works and what you should know before using it.
Updated July 14, 2024
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If you’ve ever been out with a large group, chances are you’ve had someone ask to send you their share of the tab via Cash App. This financial app simplifies the process of transferring money or paying a friend with a credit card. With just a few hits of a button, you can send and receive money for free when using a linked bank account or for a 3% fee when using a credit card.

Cash App gets high praise from users who give it a 4.8-star rating in Apple's App Store. Learn how it works, who it’s for, and whether it’s safe to use in this Cash App review.

Quick Summary

Send and receive money quickly and easily.

  • Safe and secure transactions with data encryption and in-app security lock
  • No fees to send money from your Cash App balance or a linked bank account
  • Simplify reimbursements with Cash App payment requests
In this Cash App review

Key takeaways

  • Cash App is a simple financial app created by Square, Inc. (now called Block, Inc.) in 2013. The app is available for iOS and Android devices.
  • Sending payments from your Cash App balance or bank account is free, but if you use a credit card to send a payment, there’s a 3% transaction fee.
  • When you receive money, it goes into your Cash App account first, and then you can withdraw to a connected bank account or debit card. A standard deposit shows up in your bank account within one to three business days, whereas an instant deposit to your debit card happens instantly but has a fee that ranges between 0.5%-1.75%.
  • Cash App isn’t a bank, but it offers banking services.1 This allows you to deposit funds, including direct deposits, into your Cash App banking account. The Cash App account balance is FDIC-insured through Cash App's partner banks.2
  • Cash App enables users to invest in stocks and exchange-traded funds (ETFs) for as little as $1, with no commission fees. It also supports Bitcoin trading.

Cash app overview: what is Cash App?

Pros Cons
  • Easy to set up and use, with no minimum balance requirement or monthly fees
  • Access peer-to-peer payments, tax filing, and banking services,1including a debit card (Cash Card),3a savings account, and ATM withdrawals
  • With a free Cash Card, your Cash balance has up to $250,000 FDIC insurance
  • Free in-network ATM withdrawals require at least $300 in direct deposits per month
  • Out-of-network ATM withdrawals have a $2.50 fee 
  • $1 fee for paper money deposits 

Cash App is a financial app created by Block, Inc. (previously known as Square, Inc.) in 2013.

The mobile app is available for iOS and Android and is widely popular for sending peer-to-peer payments, tax filing, and providing banking services,1such as a savings account, direct deposit, and debit card (Cash Card). Cash App had 55 million users in 2023, and it ranks first in the App Store finance category.

Cash App is just one of many products that Block offers to help people with money transactions. Headquartered in San Francisco, California, Block launched in 2009 under the name Square and provides payroll tools, payment hardware, and more for restaurants and other small businesses.

> Enter to win a $300 Cash App deposit

Cash App: the basics

Annual percentage yield (APY) Cash App Savings None
Minimum deposit requirement None
Monthly maintenance fees None
ATM access Yes – $0 Cash App fee if you have $300 or more in direct deposits per month and ATM is in-network ($2.50 fee otherwise, plus any applicable ATM servicer fee)
FDIC insured (Cash App account balance) Up to $250,000

What we like about Cash App

  • Cash Card: You can use this Visa debit card anywhere Visa cards are accepted, whether it’s online or in stores. Cash Cards are free and offer access to instant discounts, personalized designs, and Cash App Savings.
  • Peer-to-peer payments: One of Cash App’s most popular features, you can send and receive money using your Cash App balance.
  • Cash App Savings: Open a separate Savings Balance right in your Cash App account, where you can set manual or automatic savings goals. There are no minimum balance requirements.
  • Round Ups: You have the option to use Round Ups to automatically round up your purchases to the nearest dollar, where the extra money is put into your Savings account or invested in stocks or bitcoin.
  • Cash App Taxes: You can file your taxes for free with Cash App Taxes. If there’s nothing complicated about your taxes, this is an excellent alternative to paid tax services.
  • No hidden or monthly fees: There are no monthly or hidden fees associated with Cash App’s banking services.1You also don’t have to worry about overdraft charges.
  • Direct deposit: You can receive your paycheck up to two days early when you take advantage of direct deposit with Cash App.
  • Paper money deposit: You can deposit cash (paper money) at different types of locations that are convenient for you. That includes Walgreens, 7-Eleven, Circle K, Walmart, and more. A $1 fee per cash deposit will apply.
  • ATM access: Withdraw money from any ATM. To avoid Cash App ATM fees, use in-network ATMs and have direct deposits of at least $300 per month.
  • FDIC insurance: With a Cash Card, your Cash Balance receives up to $250,000 FDIC insurance.
  • Gift cards: Send and receive gift cards from popular retailers through Cash App. You can use your Cash Balance to send gift cards. If you have a Cash Card, you can convert gift card balances of $10 or below to cash. There are no fees to send and receive gift cards with Cash App.
  • Investing: Cash App allows you to buy stocks and bitcoin.

What Cash App could improve

  • ATM fee: If you don’t have direct deposits of at least $300 per month, you have to pay a Cash App fee of $2.50 per ATM withdrawal. That could be in addition to any service fee an ATM operator might charge you.

Perspectives
Ben Walker, CEPF, CFEI®
Ben Walker, CEPF, CFEI®
Senior Credit Cards Writer

Ben is a Senior Credit Cards Writer for FinanceBuzz.

WHY I LIKE CASH APP

Cash App has been one of my go-to financial apps for years because it’s free and easy to use. Adding or withdrawing cash is always a breeze and I haven’t had any issues sending or receiving money from friends. I’ve also used Cash App Taxes and I find it’s a welcome alternative to other options if you want a simple and affordable (it’s free!) way to file your taxes.

How does Cash App work?

Cash App has four main functionalities: sending money, receiving money, mobile banking, and investing.

Sending money via Cash App

All you need is the recipient’s email address, phone number, or $Cashtag to send cash. The $Cashtag is the name that each Cash App user sets up within their app profile.

After entering the person’s information, the app will ask where you want to withdraw money to make the payment. The money can come from your Cash App balance, linked bank account, debit card, or credit card. Cash App accepts Visa, MasterCard, American Express, and Discover.

Sending payments from your Cash App balance, linked bank account, or debit card is free. If you use a credit card to send a payment, there’s a 3% transaction fee.

You can send up to $1,000 within a 30-day period, but that limit will increase if you verify your name, date of birth, and last four digits of your Social Security number.

Receiving money via Cash App

When you receive money, it goes into your Cash App account first, and then you can withdraw to a connected bank account or debit card.

A standard deposit shows up in your bank account within one to three business days, whereas an instant deposit to your debit card happens instantly but has a rush fee that ranges between 0.5%-1.75%.

If you don't want to use bank account withdrawals, you can also request a Cash Card. The Cash Card is a Visa debit card that lets you use Cash App funds to purchase items online or in retail stores.

There’s a $2.50 fee if you use the Cash Card at an ATM, plus the ATM servicer may charge a fee as well. The Cash App ATM fee can be waived by receiving $300 or more in qualifying direct deposits per month and only using in-network ATMs.

On the flip side, having a Cash Card gets you access to Cash Boosts. These are discounts you can add right in your phone to save money on everyday purchases like at restaurants and stores.

Safe and free way to send, spend, and save money

Learn More

Banking via Cash App

Besides receiving payments from friends, Cash App offers a variety of banking features to its users. Here's what you need to know:

  • Cash Card: The Cash Card is a Visa debit card that can be used anywhere Visa is accepted, both online and in stores. You can choose from a variety of designs, including black or white (free cards), metal, and even glow-in-the-dark cards. You can also customize and personalize your Cash Card in the app for free.
  • Savings: Cash App also has an option to open a separate Savings Balance within the app without the need for a new account. There are no minimum balance requirements, and you can easily transfer money between your Cash Balance and Savings Balance. You can also set savings goals and enable Round Ups, which automatically round up your purchases to the nearest dollar and save the spare change in your Savings Balance.
  • Direct deposit: You can set up direct deposit to get your paycheck deposited directly into Cash App. According to the website, setting up direct deposits into your Cash App account could help you get your paycheck up to two days faster than direct deposit to another bank. Additionally, if you direct deposit at least $300 per month, you can enjoy benefits like fee-free ATM withdrawals and reimbursement of ATM fees at in-network ATMs.
  • FDIC insurance: If you have Cash App's card, then your Cash App account balance is FDIC-insured through Cash App's partner banks. FDIC insurance guarantees up to $250,000 of your cash if a financial institution goes belly up.

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Investing via Cash App

Cash App Investing lets you invest in fractional shares of stocks and ETFs for as little as $1 with no commission fees. This feature is available only to U.S. residents who are 18 years or older. To sign up, you need to tell Cash App your full name, date of birth, Social Security number, address, and employment information.

If you’re new to investing, learn more about how to invest money.

Cash App also supports cryptocurrency. However, the only cryptocurrency it supports is Bitcoin, which you can buy and sell within the app. You can also deposit Bitcoin or withdraw it to an external wallet.

Who is Cash App best for?

Cash App is one of the best money apps for person-to-person transactions between friends and other people you trust. There’s no need to remind your roommate to pay their share of the rent or utilities each month. Instead, you can just send them a Cash App payment request.

Another app that works very similarly is Venmo. Learn how Cash App and Venmo compare.

Using Cash App outside the U.S.

There are location limitations to money transfers via Cash App. Cash App is primarily aimed at transactions within the U.S., but you can also send money to people in the U.K. Money transferred across the pond is converted from USD to GBP. If you’re living abroad or trying to send money to someone in another country, you could consider PayPal or Wise instead.

Using Cash App for banking needs

Before using Cash App to handle your banking, shop around to see which of the best checking accounts or high-yield savings accounts are available at credit unions or online banks.

Cash App offers banking services1in collaboration with its bank partners. The app offers direct-deposit functionality, but the banking features are limited. The account doesn’t earn interest, you can’t deposit or write checks, and there’s a $2.50 ATM fee for people who don't receive at least $300 per month in qualifying direct deposits.

The best banks have no ATM fees and expanded banking features, such as mobile check deposits, mobile payments via services like Zelle, and other essential financial services.

Using Cash App for business transactions

For businesses and retailers, the personal Cash App account may not be ideal for many transactions. It’s free to use, but you can only send up to $1,000 in a 30-day period until you go through the steps of verifying your account.

Plus, tracking dozens of Cash App payments could be an accounting and logistical nightmare. Cash App has a Cash for Business version that you can upgrade to, but there is a 2.75% transaction fee for each payment you receive.

Is it safe to send money with Cash App?

Payment information is encrypted and sent through secure servers, according to the Cash App website. You should take some additional steps to ensure no one can send money using your phone without your permission. Cash App recommends password-protecting your phone and enabling the in-app security lock, which will require a PIN or touch ID for each transaction.

Also, keep in mind that you probably won’t be able to cancel payments you send to another person’s Cash App. Because of this, you should be extra careful when sending money to people you don’t know, especially if you’re trying to buy something. A popular scam is for sellers to say they accept only Cash App payments and then ghost you before sending the product.

If someone calls or texts you claiming to be from Cash App customer support, that could be a scam too. The Better Business Bureau previously warned that people posing as Cash App support reps have been asking users to set up a new Cash App account to troubleshoot a problem, only to run off with their Cash App balance.

How to sign up for Cash App

  1. Download the app: Head to the Apple or Google Play store to download the app for free.
  2. Enter your phone number: Cash App will ask for your phone number to send a confirmation code. Enter the code you receive to start the account.
  3. Choose your $Cashtag: Add a photo, $Cashtag, and email to complete your profile.
  4. Link financial accounts: Add a bank account or credit card account to send payments.
  5. Send and receive money: Get the $Cashtag, email, or phone number from your friends to send them money, or send payment requests to receive cash.

Cash App FAQ

Is Cash App legit?

Yes, Cash App is a legit finance app that was created by Block, Inc. brand. Although the app is legitimate, you should use it cautiously. Scammers have found ways to defraud people using the app, so only send and accept money from people you trust.

Protect your money by creating a password for your phone. Cash App recommends always double-checking the recipient’s $CashTag, email, and phone number before sending money to avoid accidentally sending it to the wrong person.

How much money can you send through Cash App?

You can send up to $1,000 within a 30-day period, so you could have to do a bit of budgeting to stay under that limit. You can increase this limit if you provide information about yourself, including your name, date of birth, and last four digits of your Social Security number. 

Learn more about Cash App sending limits

Does Cash App charge a fee to send money?

Cash App doesn't charge a fee if you use your Cash App balance, linked bank account, or debit card. However, it charges a 3% fee if you send money from a credit card. Learn more about Cash App fees

How do you withdraw money from Cash App?

To withdraw funds from Cash App, click on your Cash App balance and then hit the “Cash Out” button. You tell Cash App how much you want to withdraw from your balance and how soon you want to receive the funds.

The standard transfer deposits into your account within one to three business days, and it’s free. The instant transfer has a fee that ranges from 0.5% to 1.75%. For instance, if you wanted to deposit $500 into your bank account instantly, it could cost you up to $8.75.

Do you need a bank account for Cash App?

You don’t need a bank account to use Cash App. Instead of sending money you receive to a connected bank account, you can use the Cash Card to make online and in-store purchases.

A bank account is not necessary to send money either. You can send money from your Cash App balance, or you can use a credit card. However, credit card payments do have a 3% transaction fee.

Alternatives to Cash App

Payment apps

If you want different options for sending money to other people, consider Venmo and Zelle. Neither of these apps can match the level of banking services1that Cash App provides, but they work well as payment apps.

Venmo is primarily a payments app, but also has options for a debit card and credit card. You can use the debit card anywhere Mastercard is accepted, while the credit card uses the Visa card network.

Learn about the best credit cards for Venmo.

Zelle is a payment app that integrates with U.S. banks to send and receive money between bank accounts. If you use any major U.S. banks, you may have already seen an option to use Zelle in your banking app.

Read our full Zelle review.

High-yield savings accounts

You can use Cash App Savings to help reach your savings goals. To earn the highest interest rate on your Cash App Savings balance, you need to be 18 or older, have a Cash App Card, and direct deposit at least $300 monthly into Cash App. If you don't meet these requirements, you will be paid a lower interest rate. Alternatively, you could consider these best savings accounts instead.

Cash App review: bottom line

No one likes being the person splitting up the check after everyone throws in a credit card. It can make a mess of your personal finances.

Cash App has made it easier to navigate this situation — pay with your credit cards, collect the points, and have everyone else send you money through Cash App. Cash App also offers a banking product and investing product that allows you to invest in stocks online for free.

The app does have some limitations, though. You can’t send or receive more than $1,000 in a 30-day period until you verify your account. Say your best friend is trying to send you their share of the hotel stay and airfare after a vacation. You might have to wait until their account is verified before you can get the money.

Also, make sure that you’re careful when sending cash. If you accidentally send money to the wrong person, there’s no guarantee you’ll get it back. Check and re-check the $CashTag, phone number, and email address before you send money.

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Author Details

Taylor Medine Taylor Medine is a freelance writer who's covered all things personal finance for the last seven years. She enjoys writing financial product reviews and guides on budgeting, saving, repaying debt, and building credit.
Yahia Barakah, CEPF Yahia Barakah, CEPF, is a Senior Editor at FinanceBuzz and has created finance-focused content since 2011. As a Certified Educator of Personal Finance, he has a background in institutional investment and asset management, as well as a deep passion for financial literacy.