It is not hard to get cash advances on your credit card. Most credit cards have a certain amount of the credit line which can be drawn as a cash advance.
Cash advances are an expensive form of credit card debt because of the fees and finance charges. Be sure to ask questions or read the fine print on the terms of your credit card before you request a cash advance for your emergency cash needs.
How to Get Hard to Get Cash Advances
Start by doing some research so you can make an informed financial decision about your cash advance.
Call your credit card company using the 800 number shown on your credit card or statement. Ask the customer service representative:
- How much of your credit line do you have available to use for a cash advance?
- What are the costs of a cash advance including the cash advance fee and the APR as well as any ATM or convenience check fees?
- Are there any cash advance limits such as $200 a day or $500 a week or a maximum limit of up to a certain dollar amount of your credit line?
You can obtain your cash advance by:
- Write yourself a check using the convenience checks issued with your credit card. You may have to pay a check fee.
- Using an ATM that has the Visa or MasterCard symbol as shown on your credit card. You may have to pay a fee if you use an ATM where you do not have a checking or savings account.
- Going into any bank or credit union that issues credit cards to their customers. You do not have to be their customer to receive a credit card advance.
|Cash advance fee||2-4% of the cash advance|
|Check fee||1-4% of the amount of the check|
|ATM fee||$.50 to $4|
|Finance charges||Interest rate may be higher than the rate for purchases|
The largest portion of the cost of a cash advance will be the finance charges.
- The interest rate charged may be higher than the rate charged for purchases.
- Your payments will not be applied to your higher APR cash advance balance until you have paid off your lower APR purchases balance. This blend of APRs will cause your overall APR to increase until the cash advance portion is paid off.
- There is no grace period. Finance charges on cash advances usually begin accruing immediately. This means that you will be charged finance charges on the amount of the cash advance even if you pay it off in full when you get your next statement.
Your account may also be charged fees as shown above. Be sure and consider all of the costs before you decide whether to take the cash advance. You may decide to investigate alternative, less-costly sources to meet your immediate cash need.
Alternative Sources For Cash
There are other good sources of cash if you decide that a hard to get cash advance does not make good financial sense for you:
- Use convenience checks that come with your credit card to write yourself a check for your cash needs. Be sure to determine what fees you will be charged before you write your check. The check could be a very expensive source of cash if you are charged a check fee plus a cash advance fee plus finance charges.
- Request a credit line increase and use your credit card to pay the obligation for which you need the cash. Using your credit card for a purchase avoids a cash advance fee, a check fee and higher rate cash advance finance charges.
- Consider opening a 0% APR credit card. You can use the convenience checks to write yourself a check to meet your cash needs. The cost of any check fee would certainly be offset by the finance charges saved due to the 0% APR.
- Talk to your bank about a line of credit. The fees and finance charges may be lower than those for a credit card cash advance.
For More Information
- How to Establish, Use, and Protect Your Credit - A free, downloadable publication from the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia with tips on using credit wisely.
- Credit Card Cash Advance Pitfalls - Detailed information about finance charges on credit card cash advances by the founder of CardRatings.com, a grassroots consumer advocacy organization.