Cash App vs Venmo: Which is Better?

Tara Seboldt
Mar 18, 2022

Peer-to-peer payment apps make it easy to pay someone without the need to carry cash.

Two of the most popular mobile apps are Cash App and Venmo, but should you use one over the other?

We took a closer look at Cash App vs Venmo to get a better idea of their features and drawbacks to see which app is better.

What is Cash App?

Cash App is the peer-to-peer payment app from payment-processing company Square. It launched in 2013 and lets users send and receive money from one another.

You can also get a Cash App Visa debit card (called the Cash Card) to use for everyday purchases or ATM withdrawals.

This card isn’t linked to your bank account, so you’ll need to have money in your Cash App balance to use it.

Cash App Pros and Cons


  • You can easily send and receive mobile payments from other users, including businesses.
  • Invest in Bitcoin and a select number of stocks.
  • Available in US and UK.
  • Cash Card debit card lets you make purchases or withdraw money from ATMs.


  • Low initial limit to the amount you can send or receive. You can request an increase after 30 days.
  • Cash App is not a bank, so your balance is not FDIC insured.
  • Investment options are limited.
  • There’s no way to request a refund if you accidentally send money to the wrong person.

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What is Venmo?

Introduced in 2009, Venmo is one of the original peer-to-peer payment apps.

It’s owned by PayPal and runs like a social media platform for transactions.

Like Cash App, Venmo lets you send and receive money from other Venmo users. You can use your Venmo debit card to withdraw money from your Venmo balance at an ATM, as well as to make purchases.

Venmo also offers a Visa credit card for eligible users. You can use your credit card for purchases and earn cashback that goes to your Venmo account.

The card tracks your spending and gives you 3% cashback on your top spending category.

There’s no annual fee to use the Venmo credit card.

Venmo Pros and Cons


  • Easily send and receive payments from other users.
  • Offers a debit card for making purchases and withdrawing cash at ATMs.
  • Eligible users can get a credit card with cashback rewards.
  • Runs like a social media platform —lets you comment on transactions and send emojis with your payments.
  • Venmo lets you invest in several types of cryptocurrency.


  • Transactions are public by default (except amount).
  • No options to cancel payments or ask for a refund.
  • Not available outside of the US.
  • Venmo is not a bank account and your Venmo balance is not FDIC insured.
  • As one of the most popular apps, it’s more prone to scams and fraud.

Differences Between Cash App and Venmo

You probably noticed many of the pros and cons of Cash App vs Venmo are similar.

Both apps offer an easy way to make mobile payments to your friends and family. Or, you can use the apps to pay for a purchase from a private party, like buying a couch off of an online marketplace.

You can download both Cash App and Venmo on iPhone or Android devices.

There aren’t a lot of differences between Cash App and Venmo.

However, there are a few key differences that could change which app is better for you.

Check out the chart below to compare Cash App vs Venmo features.

FeaturesCash AppVenmo
Look and FeelDesigned as a personal finance hub for paying others and investing.Social media platform for mobile payments.
Can react to others’ transactions with emojis and comments.
FeesNo fees for standard
bank transfers (1-3 business days)
0.5%-1.75% fee for Instant Deposits
3% fee for credit card transactions
No fees for standard
bank transfers (1-3 business days)
1.5% fee for Instant Transfers
3% fee for credit card transactions
Investment OptionsInvest in Bitcoin
Invest in select stocks and ETFs
Buy and sell crypto, including Bitcoin and Ethereum
International AvailabilityAvailable in the U.S. and U.K.No international availability (U.S. only)
Card OptionsVisa debit cardVisa debit card
Visa cash back credit card (for eligible users)
Linked Accounts and Payment MethodsBank account and debit card
Direct deposit
Credit card
Apple Pay
Google Pay
Bank account and debit card
Direct deposit
Credit card

As you can see, the differences between the apps could help you make a personal decision on which is better.

Neither app charges you to send money to your bank and both offer debit cards.

However, if you want to invest in stocks, Cash App may be better.

If you’re looking for a credit card, on the other hand, Venmo might be ideal for you.

Is Cash App or Venmo Safer?

Cash App and Venmo both use bank-level encryption to keep your data safe.

No matter which app you choose, you should feel confident that your bank information is secure.

Each app also has security features—like FaceID on iOS devices—to help keep your money safe.

However, there are drawbacks to keeping a balance outside of an FDIC-insured bank.

If you send money to the wrong person, there is no way to ask for a refund on either Cash App or Venmo.

You will need to contact the person, explain your mistake, and ask for the money back. There’s no guarantee you’ll get it back.

You’ll also need to watch out for scams. Although more common on Venmo, fraud will likely increase on Cash App as it gains popularity.

Be wary of any money you receive from an unknown party and only send money to people you can verify.

Alternatives to Cash App and Venmo

Don’t think Cash App or Venmo is right for you?

The good news is, there are a lot of peer-to-peer mobile payment apps available.

Let’s explore some of the alternatives.


As the original peer-to-peer payment system, PayPal has been around for a long time.

Although it owns Venmo, PayPal still operates as an independent app.

You can use PayPal to pay friends and family with no fees (unless you pay with a credit card).

PayPal is especially great for small businesses. The “Good and Services” feature lets users pay an invoice from the seller.

If you’re not happy with the product or service, you can file a complaint and potentially get your money back.


Zelle is another peer-to-peer money transfer app.

You can download it as a standalone app, but many banks have integrated the program into their apps.

Unlike Cash App and Venmo, Zelle doesn’t have a balance.

Any money you receive goes directly into your bank account.

Zelle is a good option if you’re looking for a simplified option to send and receive money between friends and family.

Over 1,000 banks already have Zelle ready for account holders to use, including Wells Fargo and Bank of America. 

Final Thoughts

Both Cash App and Venmo let you easily send and receive money from friends and family.

With lots of similar features, deciding between Cash App vs Venmo is a personal choice.

We suggest looking at the extra features, such as stock investments or credit card access, to help you choose which app makes more sense for your needs.

Tara Seboldt

Tara is a financial writer with over five years of professional writing experience. She previously worked at a financial planning firm. Tara uses this professional experience to help readers better understand their finances and make smart financial moves. When she’s not writing about money, Tara enjoys spending time in the Idaho mountains hiking, camping, and skiing.

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