Cash App and Venmo are peer-to-peer payment apps that make it easy to send and receive money — all through your mobile phone. Both also offer helpful features, including ATM withdrawals, instant transfers, and various payment methods.
But which app is better? Or, more importantly, which app is better for you? Let’s see how both apps compare and which one might work better for the way you need to transfer money.
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Cash App vs. Venmo
Cash App and Venmo have similar fee structures for their primary services, including sending and receiving money. But you might find a few differences in each app’s transfer limits and payment methods. This table gives a quick overview of how the two apps compare.
|Transfer limits||Unverified accounts:
|Payment methods||Send money:
Spend on purchases:
Spend on purchases:
|International transfers?||Yes, between the U.S. and U.K.||No|
|Visit Cash App||Visit Venmo|
How does Cash App work?
Cash App is a payments app and financial platform (not a bank) owned by payment processing company Square.1 It is primarily a money transfer service provider, letting you send and receive money through a mobile app or logging into your Cash App account online.
Cash App offers additional services and features, such as investing in stocks or trading Bitcoin. You can also get a free Cash Card debit card that connects to your Cash App balance and can be used anywhere Visa credit cards are accepted. Cash Cards can also be connected to digital wallets such as Apple Pay and Google Play and used to make withdrawals from ATMs.
To learn more, read our Cash App review.
How does Venmo work?
Venmo is a mobile app and payment service owned by PayPal. It can be used to send and receive money, make purchases at eligible stores, and buy and sell certain cryptocurrencies. Many Venmo users use the app for everyday money transfers, including paying a friend for lunch or sending rent money to a roommate.
Venmo also offers a debit card and a credit card. Both provide cash back when making eligible purchases, and you can manage both from your Venmo app. Mastercard issues the debit card, while Visa issues the credit card.
If you need cash, you can use the Venmo debit card for fee-free withdrawals at MoneyPass ATMs in the U.S. If you plan to use a credit card for sending money, read about the best credit cards for Venmo.
What both apps excel at
The best money apps often overlap in many ways, and it’s no different with Cash App and Venmo. Both mobile payment apps offer the same primary service of sending and receiving money, so it’s no surprise they have some similarities. Here are some of the features and benefits that Cash App and Venmo share:
- Sending and receiving money: Both apps' main feature is sending and receiving money, including sending money with a credit card. So rather than carrying cash on you at all times, you can pull out your phone and pay someone with either app.
- No hidden fees: Both apps are free to download, and neither charges a monthly maintenance fee. You also won’t have to pay high fees to send and receive money unless you want a faster transfer.
- Transfer limits: Both apps have sending and spending limits for new users that can be increased if you go through a verification process. This process typically includes sending documentation or additional personal information.
- Transfer speed options: Cash App and Venmo have standard or instant transfer options. Standard transfers are typically free and take one to three business days. Instant transfers have a 1.5% transaction fee and often happen immediately.
- Supported devices: It’s simple to get started with either app on any iOS or Android device or through a web browser. Cash App and Venmo apps are available on the App Store and Google Play.
- Additional features: Both apps also offer debit cards and ways to invest your money. You don’t have to use these features, but some people might find them helpful.
4 important differences between Cash App and Venmo
Both Cash App and Venmo were designed for sending and receiving money, but they also have other uses.
You typically have to choose a payment method if you want to send money to someone else using a payment service. Both Cash App and Venmo accounts offer payment methods such as using a credit card, a debit card, a linked bank account, or your account balance. However, with Cash App, you can also use Apple Pay and Google Play by connecting them to your Cash Card.
Venmo offers an Amex Send feature that lets you use American Express credit cards without paying the standard credit card fee. Keep in mind that you likely won’t receive any rewards (if applicable) for credit cards used this way, but it’s still a unique feature that’s probably more useful than what Cash App offers.
Venmo requires you to be physically located in the U.S., which means users in other countries can’t use its services. However, you might still be able to send and receive money from other U.S.-based Venmo users, even if you’re traveling abroad. Just don’t expect to use it with any non-U.S.-based users.
Cash App beats Venmo for international transfers. Cash App still isn’t available everywhere, but it’s available in the U.K. (in addition to the U.S.), which increases its functionality worldwide. That’s not a much wider reach, but it’s still more than what Venmo offers.
Winner: Cash App
Investing is relatively new on Cash App and Venmo and not as comprehensive as the best investment apps. Cash App users can buy, sell, and trade Bitcoin through the app and invest in stocks. While Venmo doesn’t allow you to invest in stocks, you can purchase popular cryptocurrencies, including Bitcoin, Ethereum, Bitcoin Cash, and Litecoin.
This category has no overall winner because it depends on your situation and investing preferences. For example, if you’re more interested in the cryptocurrencies offered by Venmo and don’t want to invest in stocks, Venmo may be a more suitable option. But if you want to invest in stocks and Bitcoin, Cash App might make more sense.
In addition to letting you send, receive, and invest money, Cash App allows you to file taxes and receive tax refunds. The feature is new in 2022 for Cash App, and it’s seen as a unique move. Venmo doesn’t have anything like this, making Cash App the clear winner here.
Winner: Cash App
Which app should you choose?
The better app for you between Cash App vs. Venmo comes down to multiple factors, including your lifestyle and financial preferences. Both apps are easy to use for sending and receiving money, and there aren’t many fees to worry about. You likely won’t pay any fees if you only use the apps for money transfers and stick to standard transfer times.
However, you might prefer to use one app over the other depending on which one your friends and family use. If they primarily use Venmo, it likely wouldn’t make sense to use Cash App. Similarly, if you’re interested in investing in stocks or cryptocurrency, Cash App users have more options to invest in stocks, while Venmo users have more cryptocurrency opportunities.
Review each app’s differences and see how their features align with your financial goals. Keep in mind that these aren’t the only payment apps available. Many of the best banks offer different money transfer options, including Zelle.
Is Cash App safer than Venmo?
Not necessarily. Cash App and Venmo are money transfer apps, which are inherently risky since their services involve sending money to other people. But if you stick to sending money to friends and family, you likely won’t run into any issues involving scams. Additionally, both apps use encryption and other protection methods to help ensure your account information is kept secure.
Are Cash App and Venmo FDIC-insured?
No, not entirely. If you have a Cash Card with Cash App, the money in your Cash App account balance is covered by the FDIC through partner banks (this is called “FDIC pass-through insurance”) in case of bank failure.3
Similarly, funds held in your Venmo account are only eligible for FDIC pass-through insurance if you’ve added money to your account via mobile check deposit or direct deposit.
Is Venmo cheaper than Cash App?
Neither Venmo nor Cash App charges account or maintenance fees (more on Cash App fees). You also don’t have to worry about additional fees for sending money as long as you use your account balance or a linked bank account or debit card for the transfer. Overall, neither app is significantly cheaper than the other for sending and receiving money.
Which app is better for paying your friends?
Both Cash App and Venmo make it easy to pay your friends as long as you’re connected through the app or have certain items of the required information, such as an email address or phone number.
However, Venmo focuses on networking with friends and family members and functions similarly to a social media network, emojis and all. Cash App can be used to pay and receive money from anyone if you have their email address, phone number, or $Cashtag. This might make it a preferred way to send money to people you don’t know.
Cash App and Venmo provide easy and straightforward ways to send and receive money, either from a mobile device or a web browser. If you want to transfer money between friends and family, you can’t go wrong with either option. But for additional features, you might need to compare the differences between the apps.
For example, Cash App provides ways to invest in Bitcoin and stocks, while Venmo focuses more on popular cryptocurrencies. If you’re just starting to learn how to invest money, these differences could push you toward one app over the other.
Cash App Benefits
- No hidden transfer fees when sending money from your Cash App balance or bank account
- Deposit advances as well as simplified reimbursements requests
- Allows for the trading of stocks and Bitcoin directly on the app