Reviews

Albert Review: Can You Really Get Free Cash Advances & Early Paychecks?

Albert Review
Some links on our website are sponsored, and we may earn money when you make a purchase or sign-up after clicking. Learn more about how we make money and read our review methodology.

Albert is a mobile app that uses artificial intelligence to analyze your spending and help you make smart financial decisions. In this Albert review, we’ll take an in-depth look at the service to help you determine whether it’s right for you.

product-image

Albert is a convenient and well-designed mobile app that can help you save money, budget for the future, invest and more. It also provides instant cash advances that can help you stay afloat during tough times. While many Albert features are available for free, there is a fee of between $8 and $16 for access to some of the app’s premium financial guidance. While Albert can’t manage all of your finances for you, the app does provide helpful tools and insights for smarter money management. Albert is best for someone living paycheck to paycheck and looking for tools to help them get ahead.

Pros:
  • Users can get their paycheck up to two days early, and can access fee-free cash advances of up to $250 at any time during the month.
  • One-on-one financial guidance is available for an additional fee.
  • Includes features designed to help you build up your savings, including bonuses, cash-back offers and insurance deals.
Cons:
  • Fee required for access to certain features, including the app’s investing tools.
  • No phone support is available.
  • To be eligible for cash advances, you need consistent income direct deposited into your bank account over a period of two months.
  • Not everyone will qualify for the maximum ($250) cash advance amount.

Five Key Facts About Albert

Here are the most important things to know before downloading the app.

  1. Albert is a multi-faceted online banking app. While it’s most well-known for offering free cash advances, Albert also offers saving, investing, cash-back rewards and a variety of other features. 
  2. Albert is not a bank, but a technology company. Banking services are provided by Sutton Bank, which is FDIC-insured.
  3. There are important differences between the free and paid versions. Many of Albert’s features are available for free, but you will need to pay a monthly fee to access one-on-one financial advice and to start an investment account on the platform. 
  4. The app provides detailed budgeting insights. Albert’s algorithm monitors your spending to recommend where you could cut back, helps you prevent overdrafts, and looks for any unusual transactions. 
  5. Genius provides support from real experts. With Albert’s premium Genius feature, you can message with a real person from their team to get help with your financial decisions. Genius can also help you put together a custom investment portfolio. 

Albert Features

Here’s a rundown of the app’s key features.

  • Online-only bank account: Albert Cash and Albert Savings are online-only bank accounts provided by Sutton Bank, which is FDIC-insured. You can also connect your Albert account to existing accounts at major banks throughout the United States. Users receive an Albert Cash debit card, which they can use for cash-back perks. There’s no minimum amount required to open an account and there are no maintenance fees. 
  • Cash advances: Albert can provide cash advances of up to $250 from your next paycheck at any time. You’ll then repay the advance when your paycheck arrives with no interest. You can pay a small fee for an instant transfer or receive the money for free in just a few days. The app can also send your entire paycheck two days early when you set up direct deposit through Albert Cash.  
  • Cash-back on purchases: When you shop with your Albert Cash card, you can get cash-back rewards on regular purchases like groceries, gas, food delivery and more. Users can browse all available offers in the app. While cash-back amounts can vary, offers go up to 20%. You’ll need to activate the cash-back offer in your Albert account before shopping in order to use it. Cash-back offers are deposited to your account approximately three days after your purchase. 
  • Automated savings: Albert analyzes your financial activity and saves money for you. This can be particularly helpful if you struggle to save money on your own. The app determines how much you can save based on your current income and expenses. You can set your own savings goals and customize your saving schedule. Albert also offers annual 0.10% savings bonuses for free users, and 0.25% bonuses for premium Genius users. 
  • Investing: Albert offers investment accounts for Genius users. Genius can create a custom portfolio based on your investment preferences or you can choose to invest in stocks individually. You can also set up auto-investing to contribute to your portfolio at regular intervals. It’s important to note that Albert doesn’t offer IRAs, 401(k)s, or other tax-advantaged retirement investment accounts. 
  • Insurance: One of the ways that Albert can help you save money is by finding you a better insurance plan. You can tell the app about your car, life and home insurance policies, and it will search the web to see if it can find you a better plan based on your income and other demographic information. Albert may receive a commission if you switch to an insurance policy they recommend, but you won’t pay any fees for doing so.

Albert Genius

Albert Genius is Albert’s premium membership option. Genius members pay a monthly fee for access to some of the app’s key features. Albert offers a very unique fee structure where users can pay an amount they think is fair. While the app suggests a range of $11 to $13 per month, users can choose a monthly fee anywhere between $8 and $16. You have the option to try the subscription free for 30 days before making a longer commitment. 

There are several perks that come with the Genius monthly subscription. The first is access to Albert’s Genius team of financial experts. You can text the Genius team with financial questions at any time and you’ll receive detailed, customized advice.

Genius can help with a wide range of personal finance problems, whether you’re looking to make a major purchase, restructure your budget, or just want to know if you can afford delivery tonight. 

However, access to financial advisors has an additional cost above and beyond the monthly subscription fee:

Fee schedule for Genius
The fee schedule for investing advice through Genius.

A Genius membership also gives you access to Albert’s investing features. This feature uses Albert’s AI algorithm to create a custom portfolio for you based on your preferences. You’ll provide information about your risk tolerance, investment time frame, and the goals you’re looking to save for. You can also select individual stocks for your portfolio or choose an investment theme, such as sustainable companies or women-led companies. 

Finally, your Genius membership can help you cut back on ATM fees. Genius subscribers can withdraw money from thousands of AllPoint ATMs across the country for free. You can use the Albert app to find the AllPoint ATM closest to you. 

Albert Fees

While Albert is mostly free to use, there are some small fees associated with certain features. However, Albert communicates these fees clearly, so you won’t be charged for any services you don’t consent to. 

As previously discussed, Genius subscriptions come with an associated monthly fee. Users can choose a monthly subscription rate they think is fair, ranging from $8 to $16. You can choose to pay monthly or annually, depending on your preferences. What’s unique here is that Albert doesn’t charge any transaction fees for individual investments or withdrawals. 

If you opt for annual billing, you’ll get a $15 bonus:

Annual billing bonus

There are also fees associated with instant cash advances. If you choose to receive your cash advance in two to three days, there is no fee involved. However, if you opt for an instant cash advance, you’ll pay a small fee. This fee varies depending on the amount you are advancing, but is normally just a few dollars. You won’t pay this fee up front – instead, Albert adds it onto your repayment amount when your next paycheck is deposited. 

When compared to other apps with similar features, Albert’s fees are very limited. There aren’t any investment fees, overdraft fees, or initial sign-up fees, so your financial commitment to the app is very limited. 

You can learn more about other options in our list of the best cash advance apps.

Albert Review FAQs

Can you deposit cash and checks into your Albert account? 

Albert doesn’t currently offer a mobile check deposit option. If you’d like to deposit money from a check into your Albert account, you would need to first deposit it into an external account with another bank, and then link that account to Albert to make the transfer. There is also no way to deposit cash.

Does Albert offer customer service over the phone? 

Albert does not currently offer any customer service over the phone. However, they do have a phone number where users can call and leave a voicemail. Albert has a variety of other digital customer service options including in-app chat, text and email.

Are there fees for investing with Albert? 

Albert charges a monthly fee to use its investing features. Users can choose to pay what they think is fair for the service, ranging from $8 to $16 per month. However, there are no transaction fees or portfolio management fees from Albert. ETF fees may apply, depending on your investment.

Who qualifies for Albert’s cash advances? 

Cash advances are one of Albert’s most popular features. However, not all users will be eligible for cash advances. In order to qualify, you’ll need to link the bank account where you receive your direct deposit. You do not need to undergo a credit check. To get a cash advance, you’ll need at least two months of consistent income from the same employer and your bank account cannot be overdrawn.

In their marketing materials, Albert promotes cash advances of up to $250, but not all users will qualify for the full $250. Some may only qualify for smaller advances of $25, $50 or $100 (for example). Albert analyzes your income to determine how much money you will qualify for.

Albert Review: Final Verdict

Albert has an impressive range of features, and there are many different types of people who could benefit from installing this app. However, it’s going to be most beneficial to those who are living paycheck to paycheck and need help getting their financial situation on track. 

Albert’s free cash advances can help people avoid overdrafts and credit card debt during financial emergencies, and the app’s automated savings features can help you build an emergency fund to prevent problems in the future. A Genius subscription makes it easy to start an investment portfolio or get help with complex financial problems.

Sarah Foley
Sarah Foley is a Chicago-based freelance personal finance writer. She has explored a wide range of online side hustles, from paid surveys to transcription to UX testing and more.

    Leave a reply

    Your email address will not be published.