As more people embrace the convenience of cashlessness, tech companies have made it easier to send and receive money instantaneously from a smartphone. Cash App, one of these services, offers some unique functions compared with other money transfer options, such as investing in stocks, getting special savings with “cash boosts” and buying and selling bitcoin.
Read on to learn more about Cash App and its features, benefits and possible drawbacks.
» Want to check out other money transfer options? Take a look at NerdWallet's top peer-to-peer payment apps
What is Cash App?
Cash App is a peer-to-peer money transfer service developed by Square Inc. that allows users to send and receive money. This service can help you send your share of utilities to your roommates, pay friends back for coffee, split the cost of a trip or any other money-sending task you want to accomplish with other Cash App users. Cash App also functions similarly to a bank account, giving users a debit card — called a “Cash Card” — that allows them to make purchases using the funds in their Cash App account. The app also allows users to invest their money in stocks and buy and sell bitcoin.
How do I load money on Cash App?
You load money on Cash App by tapping the Banking tab in your app and inputting how much cash you’d like to add from your linked bank account.
How do I send and receive money with Cash App?
You’ll want to start with having an external bank account so that you can fund your Cash App account as well as have a place to which to withdraw your Cash App funds. Then you’ll download Cash App on your smartphone. The app will walk you through enrollment, where you’ll create a user account and link at least one bank account. You’ll be able to use that bank account to send money to other Cash App users as well as to transfer money from your Cash App account into your bank account. This is similar to services like Venmo and PayPal, which also allow you to link a bank account to send money; you can also hold any received funds in the app until you’re ready to withdraw them.
» Looking for an account to use with your app? Check out NerdWallet's Best Online Checking Accounts
To send a payment:
Open the Cash App mobile app.
Enter the amount you want to send.
Enter the email address, phone number or “$Cashtag” (another person’s username in the app).
Enter what you are sending the payment for.
To view the details of a received payment, tap the “Activity” button. You’ll also see the money deposited into your Cash App account on the “My Cash” button, which keeps a running total of your deposited funds.
You can also fill out a form to get your paycheck directly deposited into your Cash App account.
» Want to check out a service similar to Cash App? Read NerdWallet's review of Zelle
Benefits of Cash App
No fees on basic services. Cash App doesn’t charge monthly fees, fees to send or receive money, inactivity fees or foreign transaction fees.
Comes with an optional free debit card. The “Cash Card” allows users to make transactions and withdraw the money that they have in their Cash App account. The card is issued by Sutton Bank and is unique to a user’s Cash App account. It isn’t connected to a personal bank account or another debit card.
Free ATM withdrawals if you set up direct deposit. Otherwise the fee is $2 to use an ATM with a Cash Card.
“Cash boosts” help you save money when using the debit card. Users who have the Cash Card can choose a specific “boost” on their account that allows them to save money on a purchase with a particular vendor (for example, 10% off an order with DoorDash). Only one boost is allowed to be active at a time, but you can swap boosts as often as you want.
You receive a cash bonus for friends who join using your referral code. If you send a referral code to your friends and they sign up for Cash App using your link, then you receive a $5 cash bonus per friend who signs up.
The ability to invest. Cash App allows users to buy stock in specific companies with as little or as much money as they want to invest. Stocks can be purchased with the funds in your Cash App account; if you don’t have enough funds in the app, then the remaining amount will be taken from your linked bank account.
Bitcoin compatible (but with fees). Cash App users can buy and sell bitcoin, but Cash App will charge two kinds of fees: a service fee for each transaction and, depending on market activity, an additional fee determined by price volatility across U.S. exchanges.
Things to consider about Cash App
Your funds aren’t FDIC-insured. Cash App’s functionality may walk and talk a bit like a bank, but there is a clear distinction between the app and a bona fide, bank-chartered financial institution. FDIC insurance means that if your bank were to suddenly go under, your funds would be federally insured, usually up to $250,000. Despite the fact that the Cash Card is issued by FDIC-insured Sutton Bank, customers’ funds in Cash App are never transferred or held with Sutton Bank and therefore don’t receive FDIC insurance.
There is a fee to use a credit card. Cash App charges 3% of the transaction to send money via linked credit card. This is a fairly standard fee compared with other money transfer apps; Venmo, for example, also charges 3% to send money with a linked credit card. To avoid this fee altogether, use your linked bank account or the funds in your Cash App account to send money.
There are spending limits on the Cash Card. The maximum that can be spent on your Cash Card is $7,000 per transaction and per day and $10,000 per week. The maximum that can be spent per month is $25,000.
There are withdrawal limits on the Cash Card. The maximum amount that can be withdrawn at an ATM or store register cash-back transaction is $1,000 per transaction, $1,000 per day, and $1,000 per week.