Sick of waiting until payday to get ahold of your hard-earned check? There are now a number of banks that offer a handy solution for customers who enroll in direct deposit. Some banks and online payment apps now give customers the ability to access their funds up to two days early. Sound like a nice setup? Let's take a look at how it works and check out our top picks for banks that pay early with direct deposit.

How Do Banks Process Paychecks Early?

Online banking ilustration

It’s actually fairly standard for employers to send out direct deposits for their employees’ paychecks a day or two before their official “payday.” The idea is to allow the funds enough time to settle in your bank account before they're available for you to spend.

Banks that offer early direct deposits, however, allow you to access your deposit before it's technically settled. In essence, they’re counting on the deposit to go through within the next day or so. While there may be some risk on the bank’s part, it usually tends to be pretty small. Many banks are finding it's worth taking a small chance in order to attract customers with the offer of earlier fund access.

The Pros and Cons of Early Direct Deposit

While banks that pay 2 days early may sound great, let's take a moment to weigh the pros and cons.

Pros
  • Get money faster to pay bills and avoid overdraft fees
  • No more trips to the bank to cash or deposit a paper check
  • Eliminates the risk of a paper check being lost or stolen
Cons
  • Not every bank offers early direct deposit, so you may have to switch to another payment solution
  • Early direct deposit assumes that your employer will submit your payroll a day or two before payday

What Are The Alternatives to Direct Deposit?

Illustration of online payment

If you don’t have a bank account or aren’t interested in direct deposit, then you always have the option of sticking to traditional paper checks. Some employers are now also issuing reloadable debit cards to their employees. If you work as a freelancer or independent contractor, you may also be able to get paid via P2P systems like PayPal or Venmo.

You may also like: Best Online Banks That Support Zelle [And What to do if it Doesn't]

Can I Get a Direct Deposit on The Weekend?

Woman withdrawing money at atm outside the street

Unfortunately, no. Direct deposits can only be initiated and processed on business days. If your payday falls on a weekend, your employer might choose to send out direct deposits that Friday or wait until the following Monday.

Can Direct Deposits Go Into My Savings Account?

woman's hand pressing Atm button

While this will depend on your bank, it's typically no problem to send direct deposits to a savings account. Just make sure you provide your employer with your savings account number and routing number.

What's The Earliest I Can Have My Direct Deposit?

 Illustration of man and woman sending and receiving money wireless through smartphone.

This will depend on your bank or financial platform’s policies. But there are now a number of banks that will give you access to your funds up to 2 days earlier.

What Banks Let You Get Paid 2 Days Early?

Cheerful girl showing credit card and winking

An increasing number of financial institutions are now offering early direct deposit features. This is particularly true when it comes to online-only options, such as neobanks. As opposed to traditional banks, neobanks do not have physical branches and are usually accessible online or through an app. Let's take a look at some of the best banks that pay 2 days early with direct deposit.

The Best Online Banks With Early Direct Deposit

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Axos Essential Checking

Axos Essential Checking

The Axos Essential Checking account comes with plenty of great features, including the ability to get your check up to 2 days early with direct deposit. Axos also offers a refreshingly fee-free experience by cutting out late fees, maintenance fees, and minimum balance requirements.

Another feature that makes Axos stand out is that it offers unlimited reimbursements on domestic ATM fees. That means that if a bank’s ATM hits you with a late fee for not being a customer, Axos will cover the costs, automatically and for free.

Pros
  • Manage your account from any device
  • No overdraft fees, maintenance fees, or minimum balances
  • Automated bill payment features and alert options are available
Cons
  • Axos has split various benefits such as cashback/rewards options across a number of different checking account options rather than offering them all in one

Chime

Chime
Chime Learn More

Chime is another great option if you’re looking for a way to get paid early and cut out fees all in one. You can sign up for a Chime account with direct deposit in less than 2 minutes and begin enjoying Chime's many perks. You’ll get paid up to 2 days early and never have to worry about monthly fees, late fees, or maintaining a minimum balance.

Chime also offers a handy feature called “Spot Me,” which spots users up to $200 over their account limit. Chime will simply recoup the balance from your next direct deposit and won’t hit you with late fees for going over. Chime also offers a secured credit card called “Credit Builder” for users looking to rebuild their credit. It comes with no fees or interest charges and doesn’t require a credit check to apply.

Pros
  • No minimum balance requirements or maintenance fees
  • “Spot Me” feature provides up to $200 of overdraft protection
  • The Credit Builder option is great for rebuilding your credit score
Cons
  • Fees for using out-of-network ATMs

Ally Checking

Ally Checking
Ally Checking Learn More

Ally is one of the best banks for direct deposit if you’re looking for an all-around financial solution. Not only does Ally offer checking and savings accounts, but also investment and retirement accounts. The bank also offers a full selection of loans, ranging from auto loans to mortgages.

In addition to early direct deposit, the Ally checking account also offers features such as several solid options to help avoid overdrafts. Enjoy an automatic transfer from another account if you should go over your limit, or qualify for CoverDraft protection. CoverDraft can spot you anywhere from $100- $250 once you reach certain account qualifications.

Pros
  • No maintenance fees or account minimums
  • Several different overdraft protections
  • Optional savings, retirement, and investing accounts
Cons
  • Doesn’t accept cash deposits

SoFi

SoFi
SoFi Learn More

SoFi recently debuted a new hybrid checking and savings account that comes with plenty of enticing features. Customers enjoy perks such as early direct deposits, no account fees, and up to 15% cash back on purchases from select partners. If you make at least $1000 worth of direct deposits each month, you’ll also qualify for a $50 overdraft cushion.

The account also comes with automatic savings options, such as roundups and savings vaults to help you meet various financial goals. SoFi additionally offers plenty of other products, such as brokerage accounts, loans, insurance, and more.

If you want to be able to manage your finances, loans, and investments on the same platform, then SoFi is definitely worth looking into.

Pros
  • Impressive APY for direct deposit customers
  • No fees or account minimums
  • Automatic savings tools, investing, and credit card options
Cons
  • Cash deposits only available through Green Dot, which charges a $4.95 fee

Revolut

Revolut
Revolut Learn More

Want to access your direct deposits up to 2 days early and master your budget all in one? Revolut is a “financial super app” that comes with three different subscription options. While the paid versions may be worth looking into, even the standard free version comes with plenty of cool features.

Revolut helps you keep track of monthly subscriptions and block those you’re no longer interested in, right from the app. It will also send you alerts so that a free trial never auto-renews before you have a chance to cancel.

Organize your bills with the “pockets” tool and track your spending with built-in smart budgeting features. Revolut even lets you create one-use virtual debit cards so that you can pay online without putting your account information at risk.

Pros
  • Innovative features such as a subscription tracker and international payments platform
  • Smart budgeting features, spending rewards, and auto-saving features
  • Commission-free stock and crypto investing from right inside the app
Cons
  • Monthly fee if you ever decide to upgrade
  • Cash deposits are only available through Green Dot, which charges a $4.95 fee

Current Spend Account

Current Spend Account

Current is another popular digital bank that’s definitely worth looking into. Not only will you get your paycheck up to 2 days early with direct deposit, but you can also enjoy instant transfers from other linked bank accounts. Direct deposit also comes with the benefit of a feature called Overdrive, which will spot you up to $200 if your account dips below zero.

Current Spend account customers can also rest assured that Current doesn’t charge fees for things like overdrafts, minimum balances, or bank transfers. You can even earn rewards points at 14,000 participating merchants, which you can locate with an in-app map.

Current also offers crypto trading, as well as a savings account with an incredibly impressive 4.00% APY.

Pros
  • A thoroughly fee-free account
  • Earn cash back rewards at participating merchants
  • Commission-free crypto trading is available
Cons
  • Out-of-network ATM fees

Varo

Varo
Varo Learn More

Varo is another solid contender for the best banks that pay early with direct deposit. It’s also a great option when it comes to kicking fees to the curb, as you’ll never deal with minimum account balances, late fees, or maintenance fees. When you qualify for Varo Advance, you can also enjoy an interest-free cash advance of up to $100 for a small, transparent fee.

Varo additionally offers a secured credit card called Varo Believe that can go a long way toward helping rebuild your credit score. You’ll also be able to earn up to 6% cashback when you use your debit card to make a purchase at one of over 50 participating partners.

Pros
  • No fees for monthly maintenance, overdrafts, or foreign transactions
  • Cashback debit card can help you rack up savings
  • Savings account with a generous APY is also available
Cons
  • Cash advances of $50 or more cost a small fee
  • Out-of-network ATM fees

Oxygen

Oxygen
Oxygen Learn More

Oxygen is an innovative new payment solution that offers both personal and business accounts. You can sign up for a free personal account online within minutes, transfer funds from another bank account, and use a virtual debit card until your physical card arrives.

Set up direct deposit to get your paychecks sooner, use the mobile check cashing feature, or transfer money from apps like PayPal or Venmo. Oxygen features four different “element” tiers, each of which comes with its own unique perks and benefits, including cashback on everyday purchases.

When you apply, you’ll automatically be enrolled in the free “Earth” option until you meet the qualifications to apply for an optional upgrade. Oxygen Business is a particularly great option for freelancers and independent contractors because it can help you set up an LLC right from inside the app.

Pros
  • Unique features such as single-use virtual cards, separate savings goals, and the ability to set up an LLC
  • No monthly maintenance fees or overdraft fees
  • Unique benefits such as travel and cellphone protection
Cons
  • Unlike many online banks, Oxygen is only accessible on the accompanying app and doesn’t have an online platform
  • Oxygen's website is fun but also a bit overwhelming
Card Monthly Fees APY% Overdraft Fees? In-Network ATMS Special Features
Axos Essential Checking $0 No-yield None 91,000+ Unlimited domestic ATM fee reimbursements
Chime $0 1.50% with an optional Savings Account $200 worth of overdraft protection with “Spot Me” 60,000+ Credit Builder secured cc can help rebuild credit
Ally $0 0.25% Overdraft Transfer and CoverDraft options 43,000+ Offers checking, savings, investing, and retirement accounts
SoFi $0 2.50% with direct deposit enrollment  None 55,000+ Automatic savings tools such as vaults and roundups
Revolut $0 (standard account) 0.8%With savings vaults None 55,000+ Subscription tracker/smart budgeting tools
Current $0 4.00% when you sign up for a savings account None 40,000+ Rewards program and commission-free Crypto trading,
Varo $0 2.00 - 5.00% with Varo savings account None 55,000+ Credit building and autosaving tools are available
Oxygen $0 (for Earth tier account) .05 - 3% depending on account teir None 40,000+ Single-use virtual cards, LLC creation, cashback rewards

As you can see, many banks that pay early with direct deposit also come with plenty of other great additional features. While it's always important to do your research before making the switch, we hope we've helped point you in the direction of the ideal financial solution for you. Whether you're looking to get a handle on your budget, rebuild your credit score, or start earning cashback on everyday purchases, there's a card out there that can help you do it and get paid early in the process.

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The responses below are not provided, commissioned, reviewed, approved, or otherwise endorsed by any financial entity or advertiser. It is not the advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

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