Credit cards offer you a line of credit that can be used to make purchases, balance transfers. And/or cash advances and require that you pay back the loan amount in the future. When using a credit card, you will need to make at least the minimum payment every month by the due date on the balance.
Is an ATM card a credit card? ATM cards are not credit cards or debit cards. ATM cards are payment card size and style plastic cards with a magnetic stripe. And/or a plastic smart card with a chip that contains a unique card number and some security information such as an expiration date or CVVC (CVV).
Are Credit Cards Good or Bad? Credit cards are neither good nor bad. They are financial tools that must be used with care. The dangers include running up debt, missing card payments, carrying a balance and racking up interest charges, using too much of your card limit, and applying for too many cards at once.
How to get cash from a credit card
Most credit card lenders offer cardholders the ability to take out a cash advance using an ATM. Cardholders can use a credit card at nearly any ATM and withdraw cash as they would when using a debit card, but instead of drawing from a bank account, the cash withdrawal shows up as a charge on a credit card. It’s a fairly simple transaction but one that comes with serious downsides and usually significant fees.
What a Cash Advance Is
A cash advance is a cash withdrawal from an ATM using a credit card. The cardholder is essentially purchasing cash from the credit card company as opposed to purchasing an item from a store. Money withdrawn from an ATM gets added to the account balance and will be reflected in monthly statements.
One-time fees and high-interest rates often accompany cash advances. The average APR for a cash advance ranges from 20% to 25%, which is much higher than APRs for regular purchase transactions. For these reasons, cash advances should be used only as a last resort or in an emergency situation.
Things to Consider Before Taking a Cash Advance
With few exceptions, cardholders should pay off credit card balances every month to avoid paying interest. Always pay off cash advances as quickly as possible to avoid falling into debt.
1. High-Interest Rates
Interest rates for cash advances are usually higher than interest rates for regular purchases. Most credit card companies do not offer a grace period for cash advances, meaning a cardholder is not given time to pay off the balance before interest starts to accrue. Instead, interest accrues on the day the cash advance withdrawal is made. The cardholder faces a huge risk for exponential debt growth if cash advance balances are not paid off quickly.
2. One-Time Cash Advance Fees
Every time a cardholder withdraws money from an ATM, the credit card company will usually charge a one-time fee of 3% to 5% or $8 to $10 (whichever is greater). The exact fee will be described in the card’s terms and conditions—so read those carefully before making a cash advance withdrawal (or, better yet, before applying for the card). Cash advance fees plus an ATM fee can quickly add up for the cardholder making this an expensive method to obtain cash.
3. Negative Effects on Credit Scores
Taking out even one cash advance could lead to a decrease in credit score if not paid off quickly. Just as with regular purchases, cash advances will lower a cardholder’s available credit. If the account balance isn’t paid and interest continues to accrue daily, a cardholder’s credit utilization rate can skyrocket as available credit drops. This can lead to a decrease in credit score. Lenders may also view cardholders as a credit risk if they ever apply for a new card or want to take out a loan for a car or mortgage and available credit is reduced. Note that landlords also may consider credit when deciding to rent a room, apartment or house.
How to Take Out a Cash Advance
Withdrawing money from an ATM using a credit card is a simple process. It’s like withdrawing money from an ATM using a debit card with only a few slight differences.
- Check the latest account statement to see how much money is available to withdraw. This can vary based on the card’s spending limit or the card may have a different cash advance limit.
- Go to an ATM and insert the credit card.
- Enter the credit card PIN (call the number on the back of the card to find out the credit card PIN or to set one up).
- Select the appropriate options if offered: “cash withdrawal” or “cash advance.”
- If asked to select between “credit” or “debit,” select “credit.”
- Enter the amount to withdraw.
- Accept any fees like ATM transaction fees and cash advance fees.
- Complete the transaction and take out cash.
Alternatives to Cash Advances
Make sure to consider all the options before taking out a cash advance.
- Use a debit card instead of a credit card to take out cash from an ATM that’s in the bank’s network. This way the debit cardholder will avoid any fees for withdrawing cash.
- Payment apps like Venmo or Cash App are a good alternative to transferring money to friends or businesses. They accept credit card transfers for a small fee. This fee will usually be less expensive than the fees and interest associated with a cash advance.
- Consider applying for a personal loan if a large amount of cash is needed to pay off big expenses like rent or medical bills. Personal loans usually have much lower interest rates than cash advances and many credit card APRs (the average personal loan interest rate is 9.41% according to a 2020 Experian report).
- Borrow money from a friend or family member. While there’s usually a risk to ask friends or family for financial help, as long as the borrower can pay off the loan in a timely fashion, it will likely be easier and cheaper than taking out a cash advance.
Can you withdraw money from a credit card?
When you need cash because of an emergency or to pay bills, you may wonder if it’s possible to withdraw it from your credit card. Many credit card companies do allow you to get funds from your card through a cash advance. While that can be convenient in a pinch, cash advances also have some drawbacks to consider. So before using your credit card to get cash, it’s important to weigh the pros and cons.
How Credit Card Cash Advances Work
Typically, credit cards are meant to be used for making purchases. For instance, you use your card at the checkout in stores or type in your card number and expiration date to buy things online. As you make purchases, your available credit is reduced by that amount until you pay your credit card bill.
Credit card cash advances work differently. If your card allows for them (and not all do), you might have one credit limit for purchases and another limit for cash advances, which is usually lower than your purchase limit. When you take a cash advance, you’re borrowing money against this credit limit.
What’s more, cash advances begin accruing interest immediately—unlike purchases, where you typically have a grace period of 20 to 30 days to pay off your bill before interest begins to accrue.
There are a number of ways to take a cash advance, including:
- Requesting a cash transfer from your credit card to your bank account
- Withdrawing cash at an ATM
- Writing a convenience check to yourself and cashing it at a bank
How Much Does It Cost to Withdraw Cash From a Credit Card?
Cash advances aren’t free. There are several costs to be aware of when taking one.
First, there’s the cash advance fee. This is a fee the credit card company charges simply for the convenience of withdrawing cash against your cash advance limit. It may be either a flat fee, such as $5 to $10, or a percentage of the advance of amount, whichever is greater. The amount can vary from card to card.
You could also pay additional fees if you’re withdrawing cash from a credit card at an ATM or bank branch. An ATM surcharge may apply, or you might have to pay a teller fee for this convenience.
The second part of the cash advance cost equation is the annual percentage rate (APR). In most cases, the cash advance APR is higher than the regular APR for purchases or balance transfers. And, as mentioned above, interest starts accruing immediately.
That’s important to keep in mind if you’re looking for a low-cost way to access cash. Compared to a short-term personal loan, for example, a cash advance could end up carrying a much higher interest rate.
When Cash Advances Don’t Involve Cash
In some instances, transactions can be treated as a cash advance even when you’re not withdrawing cash. For example, if you link your credit card to a bank account for overdraft protection any money that’s used to cover overdrafts would be considered a cash advance. You may also find that certain transactions, such as using your card to purchase cryptocurrency, are treated as cash advances instead of purchases.
For that reason, it’s helpful to read your credit card terms and conditions carefully so you know what is and isn’t considered a cash advance.
When Does It Make Sense to Withdraw Cash From a Credit Card?
Withdrawing cash from your credit card may seem like a good option if you’re in a tight spot financially. For example, if your car breaks down and you need to pay a tow truck company that doesn’t accept credit cards, then it may be your only choice.
But if the situation isn’t urgent, you may want to research other options for getting cash since a credit card advance can be expensive.
For instance, you might consider:
- Applying for an unsecured personal loan
- Borrowing money from friends or family
- Taking out a home equity loan
- Withdrawing money from an IRA or taking a 401(k) withdrawal or loan
- Liquidating CDs or selling off other assets to raise money
These options all have pros and cons, just like a credit card cash advance. Tapping retirement accounts, for example, can be an easy way to get money, but it could trigger tax penalties. And even if it doesn’t, you’re still shrinking your retirement nest egg.
Home equity loans can offer low-interest rates, but you’re putting your home on the line as collateral. Borrowing from friends and family may put money in your hands interest-free, but it could also lead to relationship problems if you can’t pay it back as agreed.
However, if there is anything you think we are missing. Don’t hesitate to inform us by dropping your advice in the comment section.
Either way, let me know by leaving a comment below!
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