Everything you need to know about Venmo

Apr 11, 2020

This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.

Raise your hand if you’re always the one whipping out your Chase Sapphire Reserve® and insisting to pay for all of your friends’ meals at dinner. It’s not that you’re rich — you just enjoy earning those 3x bonus points for dining and want your friends to pay you back later. The popular money transfer app Venmo lets you do just that. The service allows you and your friends to send each other money quickly and easily and is one of the most widely used mobile payment apps today. In this article we’re going to run down every aspect of Venmo, from fees to transfer times, so you can navigate the system with ease.

In This Post

What is Venmo?

As mentioned above, Venmo is a money transfer service. Originally operated by Braintree, the company was purchased by PayPal in 2013 and remains with them today. The main features that differentiate Venmo from other services are its mobile-oriented design (it does not have a web feature) and a social media-esque news feed that publicly shows transactions you make. This means people you are connected to can see transactions and comment or react to them.

How does Venmo work?

Venmo works by linking your bank account, debit or credit cards to a Venmo account. Your information is saved in your account, and you can choose at any time to send money to contacts or even some businesses. You don’t need to maintain a balance in your account, either. You can simply send money in a transaction and it will debit your linked cards accordingly. It’s worth noting that you can send money from your bank account, balance (if you have one), or debit card for free. For credit cards, there is a standard 3% fee per transaction.

Once you’ve received money, you’ll need to send a request to transfer the funds directly to your bank account. You can’t withdraw money to a credit card. Venmo also takes safety seriously; it uses encryption for all your transactions to keep your money safe.

How long does it take to get my money?

While Venmo isn’t as quick as simply handing your friend a wad of cash, it takes the inconvenience of heading to the bank to deposit your money out of the equation. Generally speaking, transferring money from your Venmo account to a bank account takes one to three business days, though there are several different reasons it can take longer. Venmo’s website outlines the following:

  • If you requested the bank transfer on a weekday (Monday–Friday) before 7 p.m. ET, the bank transfer could reach your bank account as soon as the next business day (it could take up to three business days to arrive).
  • If you requested the bank transfer on a weekday (Monday–Friday) after 7 p.m. ET, the bank transfer will initiate on the next business day. It could then reach your bank account as soon as the business day after that (it could take up to three business days to arrive). 
  • If you requested the bank transfer on a weekend (Saturday or Sunday), the bank transfer will initiate on the next business day (likely Monday). It could then reach your bank account as soon as the next business day after that (as early as Tuesday; it could take up to three business days to arrive.

Can I earn rewards using Venmo?

Earn 5% cash back from popular retailers when using the Venmo debit card. (Photo by Shutterstock)
Earn 5% cash back from popular retailers when using the Venmo debit card. (Photo by Shutterstock)

The short answer is yes. There are a couple of different ways you can earn rewards. The first is via the Venmo debit card, which is a Mastercard. You can use it just like a regular debit card, and Venmo will give you cash back at certain retailers. This is a fairly new program powered by Dosh that launched with common retailers such as Target, Sephora, Chevron and Sam’s Club. With rates as high as 5% cash back, you’re doing pretty well for a free card.

You can also use your credit card through Venmo, though as mentioned before you will incur a 3% fee whenever you do so. If you’re trying to meet a sign-up bonus or other spend, this may work, but otherwise, it’s probably not worth it to use a credit card. It’s also important to check your card issuer, as some banks code Venmo as a cash advance, which means you won’t earn any rewards at all.

How do I get Venmo?

Venmo is available as an app on both Android and iPhone. While it has a website on which you can sign up, you aren’t able to send or receive money. That feature is dedicated to the app, which is both well-designed and intuitive.

Once you sign up for an account and link your bank, Venmo goes through a verification process. If you’re able to input your bank username and password, the service can verify your account almost immediately. Otherwise, it will take a few days as it deposits trial sums into your bank account, which you then report back.

Once your account is live, you can add contacts by linking your Facebook or contacts list, searching via username, or even generating a QR code for you to scan.

Bottom line

Venmo is an easy-to-use service that caters to mobile users. It’s free for most transactions involving money transfers, though you can incur fees when using a credit card. It has a simple rewards program that offers cash back for those who participate and does its part to keep your information secure. All in, it’s a good option for just about anybody.

Featured photo by Shutterstock.

The All-New United Quest℠ Card

WELCOME OFFER: Up to 100,000 bonus miles


CARD HIGHLIGHTS: 3X miles on United® purchases

*Bonus value is an estimated value calculated by TPG and not the card issuer. View our latest valuations here.

Apply Now
More Things to Know
  • Earn 80K bonus miles after you spend $5,000 on purchases in the first 3 months your account is open. Plus, an additional 20K bonus miles after you spend $10,000 in the first 6 months
  • $250 Annual Fee
  • Earn 3X miles on United® purchases, 2X miles at restaurants, on select streaming services & all other travel, 1X on all other purchases
  • Earn 3X miles on United Airlines purchases
  • Earn 2X miles at restaurants and on select streaming services
  • Earn 2X miles on all other travel
  • Earn 1X mile on all other purchases
  • Each year, receive a $125 credit on United® purchases and two 5k-mile anniversary award flight credits. Terms apply.
Regular APR
16.49% to 23.49% Variable
Annual Fee
Balance Transfer Fee
Either $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.
Recommended Credit
Excellent, Good

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.