You may have recently noticed ads for different financial subscriptions claiming they can help you improve your credit score or get your paycheck early.
You’re also probably wondering if these paid financial services work. Or more importantly, if they’re worth the monthly fees.
Let’s take a closer look to find out.
Financial subscriptions give you access to a range of financial services and products.
While many of these services are free to use, you’ll often pay a monthly fee for premium features and advanced functionality.
These subscriptions are a financial membership, just like Netflix, Amazon Prime, or other digital subscriptions. They’re usually offered by startups, though some established brands may offer them in the near future.
How does it all work? You pay the monthly fee and get to use their products or services.
Common services include:
Fast Cash When You Need It.
The cost of financial subscription services varies by provider. Most offer a free-to-use platform, such as a no-fee cash account.
You may have to pay for premium features like cash advances. We researched several of the top subscription services to see how their services compare.
|Dave||$1 monthly, plus optional tips||Small paycheck advances|
Credit payment reporting
|Chime||No fees||Overdraft advances|
CreditBuilder credit card
Instant transfers to family and friends
|MoneyLion||$19.99/month for Credit Builder Plus||Credit builder loan|
Lion’s Share rewards
Loan cash advances
|Brigit||$9.99/month for Plus plan||Instant transfer|
Flexible repayment dates
Credit builder loan
Dave is a banking app that centers around a cash account. You’ll have to pay a monthly administrative fee of $1 to use the service. You can also give tips, much like you would a server at a restaurant.
Dave offers an automatic budgeting feature to help you manage your money. You can also get paid early or receive a paycheck advance to cover an upcoming bill.
The app has a side hustle feature, which helps you find gig work to earn extra cash.
By partnering with a credit reporting service, Dave also lets you build credit history for rent and utility payments.
You can cancel your service using the mobile app to manage your subscription. Some accounts may need to be canceled by contacting customer service.
Chime is a no-fee banking app that gives you a cash account, debit card, and access to a credit-building credit card.
Your cash account earns interest, so you earn more by saving more. Like Dave, Chime lets you get your paycheck early, depending on qualifications. The cash account also has overdraft protection using the SpotMe feature.
SpotMe gives you up to $200 of overdraft protection. Your negative balance is paid off with your next deposit.
Chime’s credit-builder credit card works a little differently than credit builder loans. You move money into your credit-builder account. This becomes your credit limit on your credit-building credit card.
It can be confusing to close your Chime account or cancel your subscription. You may have to call customer service or email them to request an account closure.
Additionally, Chime has faced backlash for randomly closing accounts and refusing to pay outstanding account balances.
MoneyLion offers several no-fee services, including a cash account that includes early paychecks and debit card rewards. To access credit building features, however, you have to get a Credit Builder Plus account for $19.99 per month.
The biggest benefit of the premium subscription is access to a credit builder loan. Your loan payments are reported to the major credit bureaus to help build your credit score.
You’ll also get access to credit-monitoring tools to make sure your credit score is on track. Depending on your qualifications, you could get up to $300 per period in a 0% interest cash advance.
You can cancel your membership as long as you don’t owe money on a credit-building loan. Canceling is easy within the app by navigating to the membership management area.
The free subscription to the Brigit app gives you access to money management tools like budgeting alerts and financial insights.
The Plus membership costs $9.99 per month and gives you premium features, including flexible repayment options.
You also get access to credit-builder loans that allow you to choose how much of the minimum payment you want to cover. The remaining amount is paid using the loan funds, meaning you won’t receive them when the loan is paid off.
Plus members also get access to identity theft protection services and cash advances to avoid overdrafting your account.
You can cancel your Plus membership at any time by deleting your account in the app.
Depending on your financial situation, financial subscriptions can be worth the cost.
It’s important to weigh the pros and cons of a service to decide if it’s a good fit.
Subscription financial services have taken off in popularity. As with any popular service, scammers are bound to try to take advantage of users.
Research user reviews and ratings before committing to a subscription. This can help you spot scams or predatory services.
You should also carefully read any contract or application for your new account. Your contract should detail what features are included, the monthly cost, and any fees for which you may be liable.
Like gym memberships, financial service issuers make it difficult to cancel your account.
New customers should ask a customer service representative exactly how to cancel a membership if you no longer want the service.
Should you join a financial membership? The bottom line is, it depends on your goals and personal discipline.
You’ll want to make sure the membership fees are worth it. The best plan is to consider your personal financial needs and research which service would be the best fit for you.