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What is a cash advance?

If you’re in a financial bind, a cash advance could help.

A faster way to access money

A cash advance is a short-term loan that gives you fast access to money when you need it. There are a few different types of cash advance products. 

Oftentimes, cash advances are issued by credit card companies. They usually come with high interest rates and fees, but customers will opt for a cash advance if they’re in a financial emergency or facing unexpected expenses.

With a credit card cash advance, you can borrow a certain amount of money that you’ll need to pay back with interest. A common way to get a cash advance is withdrawing money from an ATM. The advance gets added to your balance and starts collecting interest immediately. Typically, this interest is higher than the interest rate on your regular credit card purchases.

Varo Advance is a new kind of cash advance

While it’s also a short-term loan from your bank, using Varo Advance can be a smarter option if you’re in need of extra cash. With Varo Advance, you can get a cash advance of up to $100 right in the Varo Bank app once you qualify.* Start at $20 and work your way up. No interest, and  one simple fee for Advances above $20.

What to consider when getting a cash advance


Most cash advances come with a hefty cash advance fee and a higher annual percentage rate. You’ll find that a lot of cash advance products charge 5% of the advance in interest. When you borrow money with Varo Advance, you won’t pay more than a $5 fee, and you can forget about interest altogether. You just have to repay your Advance within 30 days.


Getting a cash advance is usually a quick process. If you’re borrowing money in person at the bank or ATM, it could take more time than borrowing cash with Varo Advance. When you borrow from Varo Advance, you can get your money at the tap of a button without leaving the couch


Getting a cash advance doesn’t directly impact your credit score. If you get a cash advance on your credit card, however, it’ll be added to your balance. That could raise your credit utilization above 30%, which can negatively impact your credit score. Using Varo Advance will have no impact on your credit score.

Cash advance vs. balance transfer

Credit card cash advances and balance transfers both allow credit card customers to access their lines of credit to get cash, but they aren’t exactly the same. 

A cash advance is a short-term loan you need to pay back with interest. It’s an easy way to get money quickly, but it can be expensive.

With a balance transfer, you move your balance from one credit card to another. You’d typically choose a balance transfer if you want to save money on interest. Once the transfer is completed by the credit card company, you make payments on the balance transfer card.

Get ahead with Varo Advance

Varo Advance offers cash advance directly to your Bank Account in the Varo Bank app once you qualify. While other cash advance products can come with steep fees and a high APR, Varo Advance has just one fee per Advance, and no APR. You can qualify for a cash advance limit of up to $100 with Varo Advance.

Cash Advance Product
Varo AdvanceUp to $50%
Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card^5% (minimum $10)24.99% (variable)
Discover it® Cash Back^5% (minimum $10)24.99% (variable)


How does a cash advance work?

There are a few different kinds of cash advances. For a credit card cash advance, you use your credit card to withdraw cash at the ATM. Once you qualify for the Varo Advance product, you simply tap a button to borrow the amount you’re eligible for, up to $100.

Does a cash advance hurt my credit score?

Credit card cash advances raise your credit utilization, which can negatively impact your credit score. Cash advances with Varo Advance have no impact on your credit score.

Do you have to pay back a cash advance?

Yep, you’ll need to pay back a cash advance. Varo Advance lets you choose your repayment date, within 15-30 days from when you get your Advance.

How much money can I get with Varo Advance?

You can borrow up to $100 with Varo Advance once you qualify.

How quickly can I get a cash advance?

You can get cash fast with a cash advance, but typically it’s an expensive way to borrow money. Varo Advance lets you borrow at the tap of a button, with only one small fee, once you qualify. You’ll first have access to a $20 advance, which is free. Over time, you may qualify for higher amounts up to $100, coming with a small fee up to $5.