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Cash App Review: Is Cash App the Best Payment App?

Square Inc (now Block, Inc) launched Cash App back in 2013 for one purpose: to be an app. For cash.

It wasn’t a guaranteed win at the time.

Their biggest competitor, Venmo, had already been on the market for four years, and Cash App had a lot of ground to cover if it wanted to supplant Venmo as the leader in the peer-to-peer payment game.

But here we are, ten years later, and Cash App is neck-and-neck with the biggest players in the space.  

Over 70 million people use Cash App on a regular basis.

What started as a simple electronic payment app has grown by leaps and bounds, accumulating feature after feature along the way.

Now you can receive direct deposits and ACH payments, use a Cash App debit card for purchases and ATM withdrawals, and even buy and sell stocks (and Bitcoin, if you’re into crypto).

Block, Inc has negotiated for discounts and special deals for users of Cash App card.

It’s built social media-like features into the app and turned it into a pseudo social network. 

Cash App does a lot of things for a lot of people. But how well does it do those things?

This Cash App review will tell you exactly that.

It’s An App. For Cash 

Cash App was originally built to be a peer-to-peer payment network, so let’s start there. 

Peer Payments

There’s a reason Cash App is one of the most popular payment apps: It’s good at what it does, and that’s making it simple to send and receive money.

If you’ve used Cash App you already know how easy it is to use.

The Cash App $Cashtag

If you have someone’s phone number, email, or $Cashtag (i.e. username) you can just punch it in, select the amount to send or request, and bam. Done.

Cash App also generates QR codes that you can scan if you don’t feel like typing. 

You can hold any money you receive or deposit into the app indefinitely, transfer it to your bank account, use it to pay other people, or use it as a sort of checking account for use with a Cash App debit card. It’s all pretty simple and seamless. 

Oh, and speaking of debit cards…

Cash or Debit 

Cash App isn’t limited to digital purchases.

The Cash App Card

You’ve always technically been able to pay businesses using the app, but now you can actually get a physical Cash App card linked to your account.

You can also use the QR code feature to make payments IRL from your Cash App balance, but you might as well go for the Cash App card. 

Not only does the Cash App card function exactly like any other debit card, it also comes with the chance to earn discounts on all kinds of different stuff.

If you’d like more information about the card, you can read our Cash App Cash Card review.


The “Boosts” (discounts) are always being updated and added to, and some of the deals can be pretty appealing.

The only downside is that you can only have one cash Boost discount active at a time, so you have to actually manually swap them out if you want to get discounts at different establishments that partner with Cash App. 

Pro Tip

When you sign up for Cash App and refer your friends, you get a CASH bonus deposited to your Cash App account.

Banking (Sort Of)

Cash App partners with a handful of banks to offer rudimentary banking services.

You can basically turn your Cash App balance into a sort of checking account.

It’s a free service with no monthly minimums or fees associated with it, and it comes with a bunch of features you’d normally only find at an actual bank. 

A Cash App account isn’t just a place to park your money.

You can set up direct deposits straight to your Cash App account, pay bills, use any ATM (with automatic fee reimbursement if you direct deposit more than $300 a month), and even enjoy the same FDIC protection as a bank account at a major bank.

You can even choose to round up to the nearest dollar on every purchase and direct the extra cents to a Cash App savings or investment account. 

Cash App Savings

The savings accounts that you can open on Cash App aren’t as impressive as their checking-type accounts, unfortunately.

Sure, you can set up automatic deposits and set personalized savings goals that track how much money you need to pay for a phone or a vacation or something, but that’s pretty much it.

As far as we can tell, the Cash App savings account doesn’t pay interest, it isn’t FDIC-protected, and it doesn’t have any other features you’d expect from an actual savings account.

Still, though, it’s nice to have the option if you don’t feel like opening a savings account with a real bank.  

Investing on Cash App

You can do some basic investing on Cash App, though it’s limited to trading Bitcoin, stocks, fractional stocks, and ETFs.

Investing for Beginners

The investing functionality is fairly barebones, but it’s pretty clearly meant for novices, not veterans.

You can start a Cash App investing account with just a few taps, for one, and you can start investing with as little as $1 in your account. 

Cash App isn’t bad as far as basic investing platforms go.


There are no commissions, the interface is easy to use and understand, and there are (primarily picture-based) tutorials available to help people of all ages and levels of sophistication understand how the stock market works. 

Stock Research

You may not find in-depth research or interactive charts with customizable metrics and technical indicators on Cash App, but you will find all the basics a newbie would need to start getting into investing.

The app will show you lists of the top movers of the day, collections of stocks by industry and general category, a small collection of relevant news stories, and a list of the stocks that Cash App users have traded the most that day. 

The stock data itself is similarly basic.

Charts with a few different time frames, some fundamental information like market cap and earnings, and a few other tidbits.

There’s some analysis and very general opinions available, and you can set up alerts for price surges etc, but that’s about it.

It’s pretty basic stuff.

That said, Cash App does have a few interesting stock-related features going for it. 

First, Cash App is one of the few platforms of its kind that lets you buy fractional shares of stock.

That means you can buy bits and pieces of really expensive stocks without having to shell out hundreds (or thousands) for the pleasure of buying into the business. 

For example, if a stock’s current price is $300 but you only want to invest $100 at the moment, you can buy a third of a share of the stock.

You still gain (and lose) value in your investment as the stock price changes, but fractional shares let you get started with a smaller amount of money up front.

Second, you can set up automatic purchases…

…on a schedule, when the stocks hit a certain price, or even when you round up on a purchase using your Cash App debit card. 

These options obviously rely on your judgement, but it’s nice to have the tools available to you to help you purchase the stocks you want, when you want them.

Be careful, though, when setting up automatic investments that are not triggered by price changes but are performed on a schedule or upon Cash App debit card purchases.

You want to make sure you’re comfortable with the stock’s price before investing your hard-earned money into it.

Third, you can send stocks to other people using the app.

You can send stocks as gifts (if you’re one of those weird uncles/aunts), transfer them to another account, or even buy things using stocks or ETFs instead of money. 


Oh, and you can also trade Bitcoin (and no other cryptocurrencies).

It follows all the same rules as stocks and ETFs. Not a whole lot more to say about that. 

However, one of the more desirable Cash App features is the ability to not only buy and sell crypto, but to send and receive it.

This feature differs from other peer-to-peer payment apps and brokerages that allow you to invest in crypto or to send it, but not both.

The ability to have your Bitcoin investments and transfers in one place provides extra efficiency for your financial life.

Pro Tip

When you sign up for Cash App and refer your friends, you get a CASH bonus deposited to your Cash App account.

Pay Your Taxes on Cash App

The last big feature we should cover is the—kind of bizarre—ability to pay your taxes using Cash App.

Cash App Taxes is a free service, it includes free audit defense, and has some neat features like being able to populate the information using pictures of W-2s.

Cash App Taxes also has something called a “Max Refund Guarantee,” which is exactly what it sounds like.

Finally, you can also have Cash App Taxes deposit your refund directly into your account up to six days earlier than you’d get it if you didn’t use the app. 

Is Cash App Legit? 

Cash App is very legit.

Block has been a leader in secure peer-to-peer transactions since they first started helping smaller vendors take credit card payments using their Square point of sale card readers, and they’ve only gotten better over time.

Plus, you think all those banks and payment processors would’ve signed deals with them if Cash App wasn’t above board?

Say what you will about banks, but those folks do not mess around when it comes to money. 

Is Cash App Safe?

In a word: Yes. Cash App is safe, and they take security very seriously.

They use PCI-DSS Level 1-certified encryption to secure all user data, for one, and they have a number of fraud protection measures built right into the software.

You can set up two-factor verification if you want, with PIN, touch ID, or face ID locks to add another layer of security on top of your password.

You can even set up push, email, and text notifications that appear anytime your account is used, which means you can get ahead of any potential fraud the second it happens. 

What Are the Disadvantages of Using Cash App?

If you just want to pay back your friends for buying movie tickets or drinks, etc., there’s really no downside to Cash App.

It’s a safe, easy-to-use piece of software that does exactly what it’s supposed to do.

The downsides only show up if you want to do things like invest money or buy cryptocurrency.

You can technically do both of those things, but Cash App isn’t even close to the best platform for either one.

There are plenty of platforms and websites that will let you trade way more than just Bitcoin and American stocks, so serious investors probably won’t even bother with Cash App in the first place.

It’s really meant to be more of an introduction to the concepts of investing and crypto trading.


Cash App is a great payment app.

It’s streamlined. It’s easy to use. It’s packed with features that help get un- and underbanked people engaged with the financial system.

If you’re someone who already has a bank account and an investment portfolio you probably won’t even bother with most of Cash App’s secondary features, and that’s fine.

The important thing is that those features are there for people who want or need them. 

Personal Capital (now known as Empower) is a great compliment for Cash App. It lets you upload all your financial accounts in one place to see your net worth, set budget goals, analyze your portfolio, and more. Read our Personal Capital review!

And if you’re looking for ways to send money internationally, read our Remitly review.

Cash App offers payments, banking, investing, & FREE tax filing. Get started on our #1 recommended peer-to-peer payment app!