Dave Checking Review 2024

Non-traditional banking solution Dave Checking, a $1/month financial app offering spending, saving, and earning options with no hidden fees and FDIC insurance.
Editor's Rating
Editor's Rating
3.5
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Written by Rebecca Lake
Financial Expert
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Managing Editor
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A businessman looks at his phone while using Dave app.

Dave is a financial app that allows you to spend, save, and even earn extra money all in one place. You can access these features for a low $1 monthly membership fee.

If you’re interested in opening a new spending account but want something other than a traditional bank, learn how Dave’s checking account alternative works.

Dave Checking At-a-Glance

Overall Impression of Dave Checking

Banking with Dave might appeal to people who are comfortable using a mobile app and want access to features that traditional banks and credit unions don’t offer.

Here are some other standout features of Dave you should know about:

  • Setting up a Dave Spending Account and earning an outstanding rate with a linked Goals account is quick and easy.

  • While Dave is not a bank, its accounts are FDIC-insured in partnership with Evolve Bank & Trust.

  • You can enroll in direct deposit to get paid early.

  • Dave also offers the ExtraCash feature, which can put $500 in your account in as little as five minutes. You pay it back later with no interest or fees.

If there’s a hitch to Dave, it’s the monthly membership fee you have to pay to access the app’s various features. However, at $1 per month, the fee is much lower than what traditional banks often charge for a checking account.

Compare the Best Checking Accounts Online and Find Your Match

Finding the best checking account to meet your needs is as simple as skimming the listing below. Compare checking accounts and find the best bonuses and lowest fees being offered today.

Pros and Cons of Dave Checking

Going mobile with banking can have advantages and disadvantages. If you’re considering switching from traditional banking, weighing both sides is helpful.

Pros

  • Dave charges no overdraft fees, minimum balance fees, or hidden fees.
  • Even though Dave is not a bank, your accounts are still protected by FDIC insurance.
  • If you need money quickly, you can get interest-free cash advances or deposit cash at selected retail locations.
  • Saving with Dave can pay off since the APY is well above what traditional banks typically offer.
  • Spending with your Dave debit card can earn you up to 15% cash back on eligible purchases.

Cons

  • There are no branches, so you must be comfortable with online and mobile banking.
  • Dave requires a monthly membership fee to use the app’s features.
  • Customer support hours are limited.

Compare Dave Checking to Other Checking Accounts

Dave Checking is just one of many options when you need a new bank account. Comparing other banks can help you narrow down the features you need and want most.

Chime

Chime offers online banking with no monthly fees. You can spend with the Chime account and pay no overdraft fees, monthly fees, minimum balance fees, or foreign transaction fees. You also have the option to withdraw cash fee-free at more than 60,000 ATMs.

Like other mobile banking apps, Chime allows you to get paid up to two days early with direct deposit. You can also save with Chime, though you won’t earn interest on balances.

You can deposit cash to a Chime account at Walgreens and Duane Reade locations fee-free if you need to.

SoFi

SoFi combines checking and savings into a single account. You can spend using your debit card and earn interest on savings balances. The APY is comparable to what you’d get through Dave, and there are no monthly fees, overdraft fees, or hidden fees.

You can earn up to 15% cashback when you spend at selected merchants and get paid up to two days early with direct deposit. FDIC insurance cover limits at SoFi top out at $2 million.

Customer support is available seven days a week, and SoFi also offers other financial products, including personal loans, student loans, and investment accounts.

Upgrade

Upgrade offers rewards checking accounts with no fees. You can earn up to 2% back on purchases when you set up a qualifying direct deposit each month. You also enjoy other benefits, including:

  • Competitive APY on savings
  • Interest rate discounts for Upgrade loans
  • Up to 10% cashback when you shop select stores in partnership with Dosh

Like other online banking apps, there are no branches. But you might consider this checking account if you already have an Upgrade loan or plan to apply for one.

Varo Bank

Varo’s online bank account has no hidden fees. It includes a cash advance feature that lets you get up to $500 when you need money quickly. You can pay it back with no interest, and Varo deposits are FDIC insured.

You can get paid early with direct deposit and send or receive funds at lightning speed with Zelle. With the Varo Believe Card, you can build credit with everyday purchases. You can also save with Varo or file your taxes online for free, making it a comprehensive money management app.

Current

Current is a mobile banking app and spending account that builds your credit. You can make purchases with your debit card, round up transactions to grow your savings, and get paid early with direct deposit. There are no annual or minimum balance fees, and you can enjoy fee-free overdraft protection.

You’ll have access to over 40,000 fee-free ATMs and savings balances, and you will earn an impressive APY. No credit checks are required to open a Current account. You can even trade cryptocurrency through the app if that interests you.

Who Is Dave Checking For?

Banking with Dave could be a good fit for people who don’t necessarily need branch banking access and want something different from a standard checking account. You might choose this account if you:

  • Would like to get interest-free cash advances when you need them.
  • Want to combine checking and savings in one place, with the option to get paid early and earn rewards on debit card purchases.
  • Want the reassurance of FDIC-insured online and mobile banking.

If you’re looking for a full-service bank, then Dave probably isn’t the best fit. Dave doesn’t offer loans, credit cards, or business banking services.

Rating the Features of Dave Checking

Reviewing the features and benefits of a new bank account is helpful any time you’re considering changing. Here’s what makes Dave unique in the banking landscape.

Fees

Dave doesn’t charge any hidden or surprise fees. However, you will pay a $1 monthly membership fee to use the app’s features. Whether that’s a dealbreaker depends on what you want your bank account to do for you.

If you want to get up to a $500 cash advance interest-free, for instance, then a $1 monthly fee might be worth it. On the other hand, if you want a free checking account option, you may consider banking elsewhere.

Mobile Banking

Dave is designed for mobile banking. The app offers a user-friendly interface that’s easy to navigate. You can download the Dave app and set up your account in minutes.

If you need more information about how Dave works, you can find answers to commonly asked questions on the company’s website.

Customer Service and Experience

If you have a question or problem, you can contact customer service by logging in to the Dave app.

The company’s website does not list a phone number or email for customer service, and there is no chatbot or live chat feature available.

Tools, Extras

The ExtraCash feature is a nice addition you won’t always find at other banks. You can request up to $500 through the Dave app and get the money deposited into your Dave spending account. You can then settle up with Dave later without paying interest or fees. It’s a lower-cost alternative to a traditional payday advance loan or credit card cash advance. However, it’s important to remember that anything you’re advanced must be repaid when you get your next paycheck.

Access

Dave allows you to make fee-free withdrawals at more than 37,000 ATMs. You can deposit cash at Walgreens, CVS, and 1,000+ other locations. Keep in mind that a cash deposit fee may apply. You’ll also have access to your accounts through the Dave app 24/7.

Security & Fraud Protection

Dave takes customer security seriously and implements numerous measures to protect your information, including encryption technology. Deposits are FDIC insured up to $250,000 per depositor through Evolve Bank & Trust. FDIC insurance protects you in the rare event of a bank failure.

Minimum Balance or Deposit Requirement

Dave has no minimum balance or minimum deposit requirements. You can open an account through the Dave app, link an external bank account, and make your first deposit later.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Is Dave a Bank?

Dave is a fintech app, not a bank. Dave offers banking services through a partnership with Evolve Bank and Trust.

How Do You Get $500 from Dave?

Using the ExtraCash feature, you can borrow up to $500 from Dave if you’re short on funds. Log into the Dave app and open an ExtraCash account to see how much of an advance you qualify for. Confirm the amount, receive the deposit in your Dave spending account, and pay it back later with no interest or fees.

Does Dave Charge Fees?

Dave doesn’t charge administration or overdraft fees, but you will pay a monthly membership fee to use the app’s features. There’s also an additional fee to quickly transfer ExtraCash funds from your Dave spending account to an external account.

About Author
Rebecca Lake
Rebecca Lake, a valued contributor at MoneyRates, unravels the intricacies of personal finance with her expertise in areas spanning from banking to homebuying and investing to small business strategies. Rebecca seamlessly bridges the gap between complex financial concepts and readers, demystifying them with her clear and insightful narratives. She has contributed to U.S. News and World Report, among numerous other publications. With Rebecca’s guidance, financial clarity is just an article away.
Our reviews are unbiased and thorough, focusing on consumer needs. For details, see our Editorial Policy & Methodology.