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Cash App vs Venmo

Find Out Which Is Better for YOU

Cash App and Venmo are US domestic payment apps that are seemingly similar.

Both apps allow quick and easy payments while helping you save big on bank fees.

However, we were shocked to see that they’re actually different in several key ways.

Here’s the deal:

In the next 5 minutes, you will see how Cash App and Venmo stack up in 8 key criteria.

From this, you will be able to decide which is right for you.

We’ll cover everything about both apps (including the hidden fees and why they both get so many one star reviews on sites like Trustpilot).

It really comes down to personal preference, but we’ll even give you our verdict at the end.

Disclosure: This post may contain offers and affiliate links to save you money and it also helps us to keep providing the best information. For more information, see our disclosures here.”

Quick Comparison: The Lowdown on Differences

If you’ve only got 2 minutes, here’s a quick rundown of both services and which is better in different situations.

Cash App was started by Square in 2013 and Venmo was started in 2009 by PayPal.

Both Cash App (review) and Venmo are Peer-to-Peer (definition) payment apps in the US that let you pay your friends, family, and trusted businesses easily without the big fees (as we discuss below).

Both are also equally safe to use as long as you stick to some basic personal finance habits.

BUT…

Cash App is best for you if:

  • You want to be able to buy stocks through the app
  • Be able to withdraw Bitcoin bought on the platform to your own third-party wallet

Venmo is best for you if:

  • You want social media-like functions like sending emojis with your payment notices.
  • You want to be able to buy a wider range of cryptocurrencies
  • Have access to a credit card
 Cash AppVenmo
CompatibilityiOS, Android, and web browseriOS, Android, and web browsers.
Easy to use?YesYes
Send/receive money throughPhone number

Email

$Cashtag
Phone number

Facebook friends

Personal QR code
Link toBank account

Debit card

Credit card

Apple Pay

Google Pay
Bank account

Debit card

Credit card
Cards they issueCash Card (Visa Debit Card)

Blocking cards can be done from the app.
Credit Card

Debit Card

Virtual Card

Blocking any of the cards can be done from the app.
FeesFree for basic features like sending and receiving money P2P

Free standard withdrawal of balance

1.5% fee for instant withdrawals of your balance

3% fee if you send money through your linked credit card
Free for basic features like sending and receiving money P2P

Free standard withdrawal of balance

1% fee for instant withdrawals of your balance

3% fee if you send money through your linked credit card
Transfer LimitsUnverified user:
$250 send in 7 days
$1000 receive in 30 days

Verification needed to increase limits
Unverified user:
$299.99 send in 7 days

Verified user:
$4,999.99 send in 7 days
P2P Transfer wait timesInstantInstant
Withdraw balance wait times1-3 days (standard withdrawal)1-3 days (standard withdrawal)
International TransfersYes (US-GBP only)No
Cool ExtrasDirect deposits available (receive paycheck, tax returns, and more)

Buy Bitcoin

Buy stocks

ATM withdrawals

Cash Card Boosts (discounts at various merchants)
Direct deposits available (receive paycheck, tax returns, and more)

Bill splitting

Buy Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, or Bitcoin Cash

Social features like sending emoji

ATM withdrawals

This video that talks about some of main differences:

2. Fees & Hidden Costs

Cash App

Transfers between Cash App members are free

Unverified user transfer limits (limit increase possible with verification): $250 send in 7 days
$1000 receive in 30 days

3% fees for transfers funded with a credit card.

Standard withdrawal of balance to bank account is free (1-3 days)

1.5% fee for instant withdrawals of balance

ATM withdrawals are $2/withdrawal, unless direct deposit of your salary (minimum $300 USD) to Cash App is enabled

Standard direct deposits are free (e.g. receive paycheck). Instant deposits to debit card incur 1.5% fee.

Cash Card debit card is free to use. No annual or renewal fees.

Buying Bitcoin? You’ll pay a service fee (about 1.76% according to Coindesk) and possibly an additional fee depending on market conditions (as per government regulations)

For buying stocks, you only pay a government fee. Cash App doesn’t charge a convenience fee for this.

USD-GBP and GBP-USD transfers are free and the payment will be converted to the receiver’s currency at the mid-market or interbank rate.

Venmo

Transfers between Venmo users are free

Unverified user transfer limit:
$299.99 send in 7 days

Verified user transfer limit:
$4,999.99 send in 7 days

3% fees for transfers funded with a credit card.

Standard withdrawal of balance to bank account is free (1-3 days)

1% fee for instant withdrawals of balance

ATM withdrawals are free at Money Point kiosk, but out-of-network ATM withdrawals will cost you $2.50/withdrawal

Direct deposits are free (e.g. receive paycheck). Faster payments using “cash a check” incur minimum fee of $5 USD (or 1%) for payroll and government payments. “Cash a check” non-payroll deposits and non-government checks attract a 5% fee.

No annual or renewal fees on credit or debit cards, but overdrafts are chargeable.

Buying and selling cryptocurrency: Between 1.5-2.3% fee depending on the amount.

Receiving money in your business profile from Venmo users has a 1.9% + $0.10 USD fee.

Winner: Tie

The most basic feature (transferring money to people and businesses you trust) is free on both Cash App and Venmo. There are also transfer limits for both, and it’s about the same amount.

Withdrawing your balance is free with a standard transfer that takes 1-3 days to be reflected in your bank account. You can expedite this with a fee of 1.5% for both services.

Debit cards are also free to use. And other than these basic services, most “extra features” like buying cryptocurrency or using credit cards involve extra fees for both services.

3. Which is Safer — Both are Equally Safe

Cash App

Encryption: PCI-DSS level 1 certification

PIN, Touch ID, and Face ID, and 2FA available

Bitcoin is stored offline and can be withdrawn into your own third-party wallet

If you accidentally send money to the wrong person, you can only request for the person to send it back to you. There is no guarantee that you’ll get it back.

Venmo

Bank-level encryption

PIN and 2FA

Cryptocurrency cannot be withdrawn to your own third-party wallet

If you accidentally send money to the wrong person, you can only request for the person to send it back to you. There is no guarantee that you’ll get it back.

Winner: Tie

It’s a tie for this one again as they both use the same standard of encryption as the banking industry to secure your financial information.

In terms of getting your money back (if you accidentally send it to the wrong person), you can only rely on the honesty of the other party to send it back to you.

Both apps do not guarantee any refunds for payments that are sent wrongly.

4. Easy to Use — Both Have a Simple User Interface

Cash App

With the Cash App, you simply create your account from the website or by downloading the mobile app.

Register with your phone number and get verified within minutes.

Link your bank account or card (credit and debit) to send and receive payments.

Venmo

Download the app and sign up with Facebook (makes finding friends easier) or with your name, email, and phone number.

Link your bank account and verify it. You can also add your credit and debit cards.

Winner: Tie

Both apps are fairly easy to navigate and set up, which takes less than 15 minutes.

5. Cool Extra Features — Cash App Wins By A Small Margin

Cash App

Offers debit card

Direct deposits available for receiving salary, tax returns, and more!

Investing: Buy stocks easily

Buy Bitcoin (supports withdrawal to third-party wallet)

Cash Card Boosts (discounts at various merchants)

ATM withdrawals (with fee)

Venmo

Offers debit card, credit card (3% transaction fee), and virtual cards

Direct deposits available (receive paycheck, tax returns, and more)

Bill splitting 

Buy Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, or Bitcoin Cash (not able to withdrawal to third-party wallet)

Cashback on debit card, and earn points on credit card

Social features like sending emojis and status updates

ATM withdrawals (free on certain networks)

Winner: Venmo

So far, both apps are pretty on par with one another in the previous categories. 

But the extra features are where things get pretty interesting. 

To us, Venmo felt a lot more geared towards making daily, social spending easy and fun with its bill splitting feature and adding emojis with your transfer messages. 

Cash App seems more “serious” and focused on helping you manage your personal finances easily with direct deposits (receive your paycheck) and buying cryptocurrency easily. 

Technically, Venmo provides all these services as well. But bear in mind that you won’t be able to withdraw your cryptocurrency to your own third-party wallet with Venmo. And you won’t be able to buy stocks. 

However, Venmo supports a wider range of cryptocurrencies and you can get a Venmo credit card (Cash app only has a debit card at the moment). 

Based purely on the number of extra features available, we had to give this one to Venmo.

6. International Money Transfers — Both Aren’t Great (Alternatives Provided)

Cash App

Only supports USD-GBP and GBP-USD transfers. Transfers are free and the payment will be converted to the receiver’s currency at the mid-market or interbank rate.

Unverified user transfer limits apply (limit increase possible with verification):
$250 send in 7 days
$1000 receive in 30 days

Winner: Cash App (by a small margin)

Venmo doesn’t support international money transfers of any kind, while Cash App international transfers between USD-GBP and GBP-USD are supported.

Even so, we found Cash App currency conversion rates are great and the other party also needs to have Cash App for a transfer to work.

Not to mention, you’ve also got the same transfer limits as local transfers (US$1000 per month for unverified accounts).

In summary, both apps are not the best in terms of moving money overseas, to be honest.

We’re still going to let Cash App win this one just because it allows some form of international money transfer. But it’s only by a small margin.

You also can’t sign up for Cash App or Venmo while overseas because you need to verify your account with a text message that only gets received if you’re physically present in the US.

Some Reddit and Quora threads have tested Venmo with a VPN, but that’s not a viable option either.

If you’re looking for international money transfer alternatives, there are many other specialized services that offer better rates.

International Money Transfer Alternatives Snapshot

Venmo AlternativeBest forLimitations
Wise (review)Our top pick service for international bank-to-bank or card-to-bank transfers for smaller amounts ($7000 USD and below)No instant transfers, no cash pick-ups
N26 (review)Setting up a full service digital current account in the US, free ATM withdrawals, and no foreign exchange fees when traveling abroadInternational transfers are via TransferWise, so it makes sense to go with them directly
WorldRemit (review)Affordable transfers to 150+ countries from the US. Cash pick-ups and mobile wallet transfers supported.No instant transfers
Remitly (review)Instant international transfers from 16 sender countries to 50+ countries worldwide. Cash pick up and mobile wallet transfers supported.Personal transfers only
XE (review)Great for large transfers from the US ($1000 USD and above). Provides phone support for transfers.Bank-to-bank transfers only
OFX (review)Our top pick service for sending $7,000 USD and above. Great online and phone support for transfers, which can be very important for large amounts.Bank-to-bank transfers only

7. Customer Service and Support — Both Aren’t the Best

Cash App

Cash App can be reached via phone, email, and live chat. 

However, they’re often short-staffed, which can be annoying during an emergency.

Venmo

Venmo can be contacted by email and live chat, but the response times are quite long. Also, Venmo can’t help you with any issues related to their credit card – you need to contact Symphony Bank instead (because they legally issue the card, not Venmo).

Winner: Tie

One of the key shortcomings of apps like Venmo and Cash App is their customer service.

We found they often rank highly in the Apple or Android stores and then get dismal scores on the Review sites.

Here is a recent example from Trustpilot on one of them;

1 star: Bad

Absolute BS customer service.

I contacted them with an inquiry about a purchase, and all the person sent me was their Terms and Conditions page, as if it had anything to do with my question.

Kyle on Trustpilot

Venmo has 4.9/5 in App Store – BEYOND AWESOME then … 1.2/5 on Trustpilot.

Cash App has 4.8/5 in the App Store – FANTASTIC TOO then … 1.2/5 on Trustpilot.

What is going on?

We have a feeling that many people start out using the app with no issues and start posting good reviews on the App Store.

But down the road, when they encounter an issue, they realize that their customer service isn’t great and they head over to Trustpilot (or other) to report it.

As both are free services (for their basic features) as well, they most likely don’t invest much in their customer service teams.

Bottom line is, try not to make any mistakes when using these apps and we would not recommend keeping a big balance on either of them.

You most likely won’t get reliable help if you ever encounter a problem (but hopefully you do).

8. Reviews (inc. Negative Ones) — What Others Are Saying

Cash App

Cash App reviews were really mixed. It got 4.8/5 on the App Store based on 1.9M reviews and 1.2/5 on Trustpilot with over 2400 reviews.

Positives:

Fast payments, no more having to exchange bank details to send and receive money

Simple user interface

Easy to buy stocks and Bitcoin

Top concerns were:

Accounts blocked and payments canceled

Some user accounts were frozen since Cash App frequently audits transfers to save you from fraud and theft.

To avoid account blockages and canceled payments, Cash App suggests the following.

  • Link bank accounts and cards that are registered in your name
  • Only send money to people and businesses you trust
  • Double-check your recipient’s details

Customer service

Many users complained about long wait times on phones as well as Cash App being too short-staffed to help their customers properly.

Problems with stock purchases
Some reviewers were unhappy with the additional fees for using this service as well as for losing money in the market.

Investing in stocks is always a risk, that’s why it’s a good idea to monitor the market and then invest.

Venmo

Venmo also had mixed reviews with 4.6/5 stars on influenster.com based on 23K+ reviews and is rated 1.3/5 on TrustPilot with 151 reviews (not many).

Positives:

Easy and convenient to send money

Good user interface

Many liked the debit card

Some liked the social aspect of being able to send emojis etc.

Top concerns were:

Frozen accounts

Some user accounts were unexpectedly frozen after transferring over $5000 USD.

Venmo’s weekly rolling limit for $4,999.99 USD, which means the accounts were flagged for violating service agreements.

Learn more about Venmo limits here.

Unauthorized transfers

Some users mentioned that their Venmo debit card processed purchases that were not authorized by them.

While Venmo tries to keep your account safe with industry-leading protocols, your funds on Venmo are not FDIC-insured.

That’s why they suggest only sending money to people and businesses you trust.

Customer service

Venmo’s customer service is pretty hard to reach and their response times are quite long. This has caused a lot of frustrations to users for whom things had gone unexpectedly wrong.

Winner: Tie

The general feedback about both apps is positive. If you’re talking about using the app to send small amounts of money to friends and family, they’re both equally convenient and easy.

However, there were also quite a few people that reported problems with blocked accounts and unauthorized transactions.

We found that some of these issues cropped up due to mismatched expectations about the service, while others could be avoided by reading the fine print.

But there’s one thing for sure — Don’t expect to get a lot of help from either service if you want to dispute a transaction.

Hopefully you will be surprised at how good they are. If so, head on over to your favourite review site and leave a positive review – they need it.

Our Verdict — Winner is Venmo (But By a Small Margin)

In summary, it was 1 win for Cash App, 1 win for Venmo, and 4 ties. Overall, there’s a slight advantage to Venmo purely based on the number of features. But honestly, it really depends on what you’re looking for.

  • Fees and hidden costs — Tie
  • Which is safer? — Tie
  • Easy to use — Tie
  • Cool Extras Features — Venmo
  • Sending money internationally — Cash App (but not by much)
  • Customer Service and Support — Tie

Here’s what we think. Both services are good at their core feature of sending or receiving payments quickly and for free to other users in the US (like friends, family, or businesses). They’re both easy, fast, and safe (no exchanging of bank details needed).

The key difference is in their extra features. Venmo is best if you want to buy and sell a wider variety of cryptocurrencies, have access to their credit card, and be able to have more “social” money transfer features — like sending emojis or updating friends about your transactions on your feed.

Cash App feels a lot more geared towards being a single-app solution to personal finance. Venmo has a lot of the same features, but Cash app lets you buy stocks. Plus, you can actually withdraw your Bitcoin to your third-party wallet — something that’s really important to some users who are particular about ownership of cryptocurrency.

However, one area where both apps are significantly lacking is in terms of international money transfer. You’d be better off with specialized money transfer services.

Happy Money!

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