Recoup vs. Cushion App

Michael Collins
June 2, 2021

Recoup and Cushion are two apps that work to refund you money that you had to pay on expensive fees like ATM fees,  an overdraft fee, and other types of bank fees. Recoup and Cushion are fairly similar, so let’s dive into both of them to learn more about these two bank fee refund apps. 

What do Cushion and Recoup do? 

Cushion and Recoup are fee refunding apps. Cushion and Recoup work to refund you money for fees you have been charged in the past from things like a credit card late fee, overdraft fee, debit card transaction fee, ATM fee, credit card interest, service fees, and others. 

Fees are frustrating. Fees seem to always be unfairly charged. They are expensive and can really add up over time. According to Recoup’s co-founder, the typical customer is charged nearly $750 in fees every single year. Banks alone charge around $324 in overdraft fees to their savings account or bank account holders on average. These are huge amounts of money! 

However, did you know that you can get some of these fees refunded back to you? By reaching out to whoever charged you your fees and asking them to refund it to you, there is a possibility you can get some of the fee money back. Apps like Cushion and Recoup do this automatically for you.

How do Cushion and Recoup Work?

Apps like Cushion and Recoup, analyze your bank statements and find places where you were charged for fees. They then automatically reach out to whoever charged these fees on your behalf and ask that they refund some of the money. 

For example, let’s say you do not have overdraft protection and were charged $200 in overdraft fees over the last six months by your bank. Recoup and Cushion would find these fees and automatically reach out to your bank to refund the fees. If successful, they return some or all of the fees back to you. Pretty sweet, right? 

How Much Money can Cushion and Recoup Refund for Me?

The amount Cushion and Recoup can refund for you depends on a few factors:

  1. Your relationship with the company: If you are a long time customer with your bank, for example, your bank will likely be more willing to refund you some of your money in return for your loyalty. If you are a relatively new customer, your bank may be less inclined to shell money back out to you. 
  1. The amount in fees you have paid: If you have been charged $700 in fees, you will likely get back more money than if you’ve been charged $100 in fees. 
  1. The type of fees you have been charged: Some fees may be easier to get refunded than others. For example, overdraft fees seem to be the easiest to refund, while other fees like credit card interest charges and service fees might be harder to refund. 

How do Cushion and Recoup make money? 

Cushion and Recoup make their money in two different ways, and it can affect how much money you get at the end of the process after paying Cushion and Recoup back. 

Cushion charges a yearly membership fee for its services. Cushion offers three levels of membership, with each level getting more expensive but offering more services. 

On the other hand, Recoup charges a small flat fee of about $5, then takes a percentage of whatever refunds they can get for you. Recoup takes about 25% off of whatever refund you get.

Depending on how many fees you get charged, one might be more expensive than the other. 

Cushion

Cushion is a fee-fighting app that was founded in 2018 by current CEO Paul Kesserwani. Kesserwani founded the app after he discovered he had over $400 in bank fees. Kesserwani then decided that he would create a solution to this problem that did not require people to devote time and energy to fight these annoying and expensive fees. 

Cushion uses its capabilities to locate and refund bank fees, secured credit card interest fees, ATM fees, and just about any other type of fee that you can think of.

To date, Cushion has refunded $9 million to its customers in bank fees and credit card fees alone in only three years of being a company. Cushion claims 85% of their customers are able to get fees refunded, and also points out that they even got one customer $2,500 refunded in fees! 

How Cushion Works

Cushion utilizes artificial intelligence to locate fees and then negotiates them on your behalf. Cushion constantly scans your accounts for times when you are charged fees. After that, Cushion then automatically contacts whoever is charging you fees in an attempt to get these fees refunded. 

To start, Cushion will ask you to link your various bank accounts you have. This is for Cushion to scan your account statements for times you have been charged fees. Cushion looks for a wide variety of fees from lenders, card providers, and other companies that charge fees like ATM charges, credit card interest fees, and service charges. 

Once the bank accounts have been linked, Cushion will scan your account. Once checked, it will ask your permission to contact the companies that charged you your fees. If granted permission, the fee-fighting process begins. 

If fees have been refunded to you, they will be returned to your bank account, and they are yours. Note though that there is no guarantee that any fees will be refunded to you.

Using Cushion is extremely easy. Setting up your account and linking the bank accounts you have is really the only effort you have to do besides giving Cushion permission to contact companies. It’s that easy!

How Long Does it Take to Get Refunded? 

The time it takes for Cushion to get your refund depends on how much the fees are for, what the fees are from, and who charged you the fees. 

Typically, any fee can take 2-90 days to get refunded. Since this is such a huge window of time, you shouldn’t use refunded fees as a reliable source of income from Cushion. 

Costs

Other fee refund apps make money by taking a percent of the refunds you get. Cushion lets you keep all of your refund fees and instead charges you a yearly subscription fee. There are three levels of subscriptions with Cushion; a basic $36/year plan, a $48/year plan, and a $96/year plan. 

Each plan offers more and more services. The basic plan scans weekly and allows 1 negotiation a month on your behalf. The $48 plan offers 3 negotiations a month and daily scanning. The $96 plan offers unlimited negotiations, daily scanning, and “priority support.” 

Is it Worth it? 

If you aren’t overdrafting your account very often, $36 can still save you money. If you get charged 4 overdraft fees in a year and Cushion is able to get a refund on two of them, you have already saved around $35. 

If you find yourself constantly overdrafting your account and get charged various fees, the $48 or $96 can save you a great deal of money. On average, individuals get charged about $300 per year in overdraft fees alone. Paying Cushion to negotiate overdraft fees along with all the other fees can save you hundreds! 

Pros and Cons 

Pros

  • Easy setup: Getting setup with Cushion is extremely easy and should not take more than a few minutes. Once linking your accounts, the scanning does not take long. Once you give Cushion the go-ahead, your work is done!
  • Security: Cushion used 256 bit encryption software which is some of the best security software in the industry. Since you are giving Cushion important information, it is important that the information is secure and doesn’t fall into the wrong hands. 

Cons

  • May not be worth it: The subscription fees are somewhat expensive. If you get charged tons of fees, the subscriptions will be worth it. If you don’t and you are looking to just get a few dollars back, you might actually lose money paying Cushion.
  • Limited features for some subscription levels: The lower two subscription levels do not offer unlimited negotiations. Since not every negotiation is successful, you could find yourself with no refunds some months at these lower subscription levels. 

Recoup

Recoup is another fee refund app that helps you reclaim the money you lost from paying fees without you ever needing to do anything. 

On their website, Recoup notes that roughly 40% of Americans cannot afford a $400 emergency expense should one ever come up. That’s roughly over 130 million Americans. 

They also point out how these same Americans pay about $571 in bank fees every single year. 

According to Recoup’s co-founder, the average amount of fees Recoup customers have to pay is a whopping $753 per bank account! 

Recoup sees this is a huge problem and has created a fee-fighting solution that can combat it. According to Recoup’s co-founder,  a Recoup customer can save $225 in the first 3 months of using the app. Overall, Recoup claims to save their customers a total of $1,000,000 most months, which is great. 

How Does Recoup Work? 

In a broad sense, Recoup works like Cushion. Recoup has you link your various bank accounts. They then utilize artificial intelligence to scan your accounts and locate any times you were charged bank fees, credit card fees, ATM fees, and other fees. They then reach out to these banks, credit card providers, and other companies to try to get those fees refunded.

Under the surface however, Recoup does some arguably shady things. Cushion reaches out to these companies as a third party. However, Recoup reportedly reaches out to these companies and pretends to be you. This is pretty dishonest and can create problems between you and your bank if they find out. Customers of Recoup also claim Recoup asks customers to refrain from reaching out to the bank yourself which is also shady.

Recoup also reportedly has contacted banks and other companies in your name and has cited Covid-19 struggles to convince them to refund your fees. While this fully might be applicable to you, this is an unethical practice that should not be done. 

Additional Features

Recoup offers additional services that can help you to save money. Aside from trying to reclaim fees for you, Recoup can analyze your spending, manage your subscriptions and help prevent overdraft fees.

One your accounts are linked with Recoup, Recoup automatically looks at your accounts and shows you places that can help you save money. Likewise, they analyze your subscriptions and alert you if they think some money could be saved by cancelling old subscriptions. 

Cushion also automatically alerts you when you are at risk of overdrafting your account. Since many banks fail to do this, using Cushion can save you from ever overdrafting in the first place! 

Costs

Recoup has a different payment structure than Cushion. With Cushion, you keep all your refund money and pay a subscription fee. With Recoup, you pay Recoup 25% of every refund amount they get for you. 

While 25% may seem like a bad deal, any fee refund money Recoup gets you is money you  never had before! Also, if you don’t overdraft your account too often, letting Recoup automatically take 25% of the refund is a better deal for you than needing to pay a  subscription fee. 

Pros and Cons 

Pros

  • Better cost structure: Unless you get charged a huge amount of fees, the 25% Recoup charges is better than Cushion’s cost structure. If you just want to test out a fee refund app and hope to get a few dollars back, Recoup is the better choice. 
  • More features: Besides the bank fee and credit card fee refund feature, Recoup has more additional features than Cushion which could make it an overall more useful app to use. 

Cons

  • Shady practices: Customers claim Recoup pretends to be you when they contact your banks and credit card companies. This is deceitful and unethical and not only could harm your relationship with these companies, but could also potentially get you in trouble. 
  • Security issues: While Recoup used 256 bit encryption like Cushion, the fact they lie to banks and credit card companies while having access to all of your bank account information is a security risk in of itself. You might want to think twice about giving Recoup all of your sensitive information. 
  • Refund percentage must be paid: Instead of taking the 25% of the refund out of your total refund, they instead charge you for it. While this might not seem like an issue, it might actually be worse for you from a tax standpoint. You might have to pay taxes on the large refund amount then have to pay 25% to Recoup instead of paying taxes on the amount that had 25% already taken out. 

The Winner: Cushion

While Cushion and Recoup offer a similar product, we feel that Cushion separates itself with its quality product and transparency. If you frequently get charged pesky fees and are looking to get them refunded, Cushion is the best bank fee refund app for you.

Michael Collins

Michael has a passion for writing and has since brought that passion to Possible. He enjoys reading everything there is to know about film, sports, and finance. His studies in college allow him to be on the forefront of business knowledge so he can better inform his readers.

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