Empower App Review: A Banking App With Instant Cash Advance Option

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Sometimes you need help improving your financial situation. Whether you have to resolve a one-time cash flow issue or want to build credit, the Empower app is worth checking out.

This banking app is on a self-proclaimed mission to help everyday Americans build credit and alleviate stress caused by the paycheck-to-paycheck cycle. 

Our Empower review can help you decide if the cash advance service is right for your financial needs.

Empower Logo
4.4
Overall Rating

Summary

Empower is a robust financial app that offers budgeting and automatic savings options. Additionally, it offers interest-free cash advances of up to $250. 

  • Customer feedback

    4.8

  • Ease of use

    4.5

  • Cost

    4

Pros

  • No interest charges on cash advances
  • More affordable than payday loans
  • Helpful money management features

Cons

  • Must link your bank account
  • Monthly fee
  • Advances limited to $250

What is Empower?

Empower home page

Empower is a financial mobile app with a series of controls designed to help you manage your finances effectively. 

Within the app, you can connect a checking account to get assistance with assessing your financial choices. You can also access cash advances that, when you pay them off, can improve your credit score.

According to Empower, over 100 million Americans struggle with their credit scores. The app’s goal is to help alleviate this problem by empowering users to access affordable credit and improve their credit health.

Empower is also redefining what it means to be “creditworthy” in order to achieve this goal.

How Much Does Empower Cost?

Empower banking app costs

The mission of the app is to help you create a healthy financial picture. However, you won’t be able to work with the app for free. 

You’ll pay $8 per month to access what the Empower app has to offer. 

Importantly, there is a free 14-day trial to help you get started. During the free trial, you can decide whether or not you like what Empower has to offer. 

If you use an Empower Thrive line of credit once the service launches, the charges will also be subject to interest and late fees. As of this writing, you won’t pay interest if you repay the money you draw by your next paycheck.

When you don’t pay back the draw with your paycheck, the charges will accrue interest at 35.99% APR. 

Additionally, you’ll have to pay a 5% fee for instant delivery unless the funds are being transferred to an eligible Empower Card. 

The good news is that the payments you make will be reported to the credit bureaus, helping to boost your credit score.

Is Empower Worth It?

What Empower app offers

Empower offers an all-in-one approach to managing your personal finances. 

A key feature is the ability to track your money movements. Plus, you’ll have the ability to get cash advances on your paycheck right on the app. 

It’s nice to have the option to handle multiple personal finance tasks in one spot. However, it’s worth noting that you can accomplish these goals with a collection of free apps. 

If you don’t want to spend $8 per month for these features, you certainly don’t have to if you are willing to juggle multiple apps. 

However, the app does have many positive reviews, indicating users have found it to be a helpful tool for improving their finances.

How Does Empower Work?

Empower is a multi-faceted personal finance app. Here’s a closer look at how this platform works. 

AutoSave

How to set up Empower app

When you sign up with Empower, you have the option to make saving money painless. The AutoSave feature analyzes your income and expenses to determine how much you can safely save. 

When setting up the AutoSave feature, you can create a savings goal for each week or pay period cycle. Throughout the period, Empower will monitor your income and expenses to find the perfect time to make a transfer. 

With up to four transfers per week, you could be well on your way to reaching your savings goals. 

Better yet, you can make changes to your AutoSave goals whenever you want. 

Bank Statements

Bank statements on Empower app

The Empower app will monitor bank statements for you. Instead of pouring over bank information yourself, the Empower app pulls out the critical information. 

For example, the app looks at your income and expenses, including Empower card spending, for you. With this feature, you can skip the tedium of looking at your bank statements. Empower will clearly lay out this information for you. 

Budgeting

A budget is a solid foundation on which you can build a brighter financial future. Without a budget in place, it’s difficult to make real progress toward your financial goals. 

Luckily, Empower makes budgeting easier. You can set customized budgeting categories within the Empower app. From there, Empower will monitor your spending for you. 

You’ll have the choice to get real-time alerts about information that impacts your budget. 

If you are looking for a streamlined way to monitor your budget, Empower could help you stick to your plan. 

Empower Card

The Empower card is a debit card account that has no fees. You can deposit money into this account, including cash advances.

With the Empower debit card, you can get paid up to two days faster and receive 10% cash back on certain purchases.

Better yet, you’ll even get access to over 37,000 MoneyPass ATMs for free with the Empower debit card.

Smart Recommendations

When managing your finances, it’s easy to overlook key ways to save. After all, you have many other factors to evaluate as you manage your money. 

Empower takes some of the burden off of your shoulders when it comes to saving.

Empower will send your tips on how to uncover additional savings and earn more money. Plus, you’ll get notifications about changes to your situation. 

A few types of helpful notifications include bill increases, bank fees, credit utilization debit card alerts and more. 

Ultimately, the combination of these offerings gives Empower an overarching look at your finances. When you log into the app, you’ll get access to tons of pertinent financial information right at your fingertips. 

Empower Features

Empower has a suite of features designed to make your financial life easier. Here’s a closer look at some of the key offerings. 

Cash Advance

Empower app cash advances

Perhaps one of the most helpful features of Empower is the cash advance option. You can get an Empower cash advance of up to $250 deposited into your bank account or debit card account. 

There aren’t any late fees or credit checks to worry about with this cash advance service.

Better yet, there aren’t any strings attached to how you spend the money. However, the funds to repay Empower cash advances will come out of your next paycheck. 

Since you are paying Empower back by payday, you won’t face interest charges.

In addition, your payments are reported to the credit bureau, which in turn allows you to improve your credit score using cash advances.

Mobile App

Empower’s mobile app comes with glowing recommendations. Both iOS and Android users can download the app. 

Within the Google Play Store, Empower has earned 4.7 out of 5 stars. In the Apple App Store, the app has earned 4.8 out of 5 stars. The app has received over 50,000 reviews in each store. 

Although there isn’t a desktop version of the platform available, you should find everything you are looking for within the mobile app. 

Based on Empower review excerpts, if you are looking for an on-the-go way to manage your money, then the app could be a good fit. 

Customer Support

Everyone runs into questions about their money. It’s a natural part of learning how to manage your funds effectively. 

That said, it’s helpful to have speedy support from component representatives when you feel the stress of a money question boring into your brain. 

When you use Empower, you’ll find a very responsive customer service team. If you run into a money question, Empower’s team can help you get to the bottom of the issue quickly. 

Beyond this, Empower offers an extensive support section on its website. This section covers just about any question you may have about the app and the features it offers.

Account Security

When it comes to managing your money, it’s critical to ensure that the safety features of your chosen app are top-notch. Otherwise, you could get stuck in an uncomfortable situation. 

Empower makes protecting your information a priority. All of your information, from your Empower card to cash advances, is protected by industry-standard security measures.

These include 256-bit SSL encryption, multi-factor authentication and more.

Furthermore, Empower’s banking services and Empower Thrive’s offerings are provided by nbkc bank Member FDIC and FinWise Bank Member FDIC, respectively.

How to Sign Up for Empower

If you are ready to sign up for the Empower app, the process starts by visiting its website and entering your phone number. Empower will then send you a link to download the app. 

However, if you want to skip this step, you can head straight to the mobile app store of your choice. 

Keep in mind that you’ll need to meet the following requirements:

  • Have a bank account with a U.S. financial institution
  • Have a phone number that operates in the U.S. and can receive texts
  • Be at least 18 years old

As you navigate the sign-up process, be prepared to provide a government-issued ID and proof of your physical address. After you submit your application, it can take up to three days to finalize your account. 

How to Connect Your Bank Accounts

How to set up Empower app with your bank account

After you have signed up, it’s time to connect your bank accounts. You can do this by selecting ‘securely connect account.’ 

From there, you can choose your bank from the list of compatible options. Once selected, you’ll use Plaid to sign into your external bank account. 

If you have trouble connecting your existing bank account, another option is to sign up for the Empower bank account. 

Empower App Pros and Cons

Every financial product has advantages and disadvantages. It’s important to understand these prior to signing up and providing your information.

Here’s what to know about Empower.

Pros

  • Manage your budget and access credit in the same place. 
  • No interest charges if you pay the cash advance with your next paycheck 
  • Cheaper than other cash advance options
  • Most Empower review excerpts are positive

Cons

  • No investment feature
  • Must link a bank account
  • You can only request a cash advance of up to $250. 

Alternatives to Empower

The Empower app isn’t the right fit for everyone. Although it offers quick access to an affordable cash advance when you need it, there are some other features in other apps that you might find useful. 

If you aren’t sure about app and the Empower review information online doesn’t have you convinced it’s right for you, check out these alternatives.

Brigit

Brigit is an app that offers cash advances up to $250 to your bank account if it thinks you’ll overdraw your account. The service costs $9.99 per month.

The platform does offer a free alternative that will simply alert you if you are going to overdraw an account. However, the free option does not provide any short-term loans.

Learn more: Brigit Review: Get Cash Advances Of $250

Mint

Mint is free and offers a comprehensive budgeting platform to track all of your income and expenses. You can see every single financial transaction you make in a single place, but you can’t get a cash advance.

Additionally, you can check your credit score from TransUnion. Some users have reported account syncing issues. Overall, this is a robust app to help you keep track of your expenses.

Learn more: Mint Review

Personal Capital

With this financial management platform, you’ll get insight into your spending and income on a regular basis. But you’ll also have the ability to see your investments quickly.

It doesn’t offer a cash advance option, but Personal Capital is heavy on investment features. The net worth tracker and the fee analyzer for investment portfolios are particularly useful for those looking to grow their wealth. 

Learn more: Personal Capital Review: A FREE Tool to Analyze Your Investments

FAQs

Summary

Empower offers a relatively affordable way to get access to a cash advance when you need it. Although there is a monthly fee, this app might be worth it if you are stuck in the paycheck-to-paycheck cycle

With the flexibility of this app and the lack of sky-high interest rates, you might be able to work towards financial stability. However, you’ll need to resist the urge to rely on Empower’s cash advance too often.

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