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What is a Credit Card Cash Advance?
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What Is a Credit Card Cash Advance?
Cash advances are short-term cash loan that is a costly one — that is credited against the credit line on your card.
By Lindsay Konsko
Aug 9 Aug 9, 2021
Edited by Paul Soucy Lead Assigning Editor Credit scoring, credit cards Personal financial Paul Soucy leads the credit cards content team at NerdWallet. He was an editor with The Des Moines Register, USA Today and Meredith/Better Homes and Gardens for more than 20 years, after which he established his own successful freelance editing and writing practice. He edited his work for the USA Today Weekly International Edition and was awarded the most prestigious distinction by ACES: The Society for Editing. He has a bachelor’s degree in journalism and a Master of Business Administration.
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Cash advances permit you to utilize your credit card for the short-term cash loan at a branch of a bank or ATM. As opposed to a cash withdrawal out of your bank a cash advance has to be paid back as with everything other transaction you make with the credit card. Think of it as making use of your credit card in order in order to “buy” cash, not goods or services.
It’s convenient, but it’s quite expensive.
Do you need money quickly? Consider:
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How does a cash advance work?
If you carry only credit cards for day-to-day spending it is possible to find yourself stuck by a cash-only scenario, such as buying lunch at a street vendor or vegetables at a farmer’s market or a sandwich at a mom-and-pop deli. In that case it’s possible that a cash advance could be tempting. Some people also turn to cash advances with credit cards when they require cash but don’t have enough in the bank accounts.
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When your credit card is equipped with a PIN, you can receive cash advances from an ATM. Otherwise, you can take your credit card to a bank that can provide advances through your card’s payment network, such as Mastercard or Visa. You’ll need to present ID.
Be aware that most credit card companies won’t allow you to use the entire credit line in the form of a cash advance. Most people’s cash advances can be limited to a couple of hundred dollars. That means that you shouldn’t depend on credit cards to give you many dollars in the case that you need it in an event.
The reason cash advances are costly
Cash advances are straightforward, yet it’s one of the most expensive ways to get your hands on some cash. This is due to the fact that cash advances come with several costs:
Cash advance fees. They are charged by the card issuer. Certain cards charge a flat fee per cash advance, like five or $10. Others charge a percentage of the amount that is withdrawn, often up to 5%. There are times when it’s a percentage based on a minimum dollar amount — such as the equivalent of 3% or $10 the greater amount, or whichever is more.
Bank or ATM fees. These are imposed on the bank responsible for the transaction — which is the owner of the ATM or the bank where you receive the advance.
Interest. It can be expensive through two methods. The first is that the rate of interest that credit card companies charge on cash advances is usually much higher than the rate charged on purchases. The second reason is that interest on cash advances generally begin taking effect in a matter of minutes. This isn’t something you earn when you make purchases.
Due to the high costs of the cash advance option, you may be in dire financial straits if you’re considering one because you don’t have enough money in your bank account. Cash advances should be used only in extreme emergencies. If you’re using them regularly, it may be the time to alter your approach or seek help, say via a specialist or a.
Cash advances are not the only option.
If you do find yourself having a financial crisis and aren’t sure where to turn, consider the options below. None may be exactly ideal however they could be less expensive than a cash advance in the end:
A personal loan. It’s expensive when your credit isn’t perfect however, the interest rates and terms will be more favorable than a cash advance. ( )
Promotional offers offered by your card’s issuer. In recent years, several features, such as the possibility to convert your existing credit to an installment loan without requiring a brand new loan application. There will be interest charges for this feature, but potentially at a moderate cost.
It is possible to borrow money from relatives or friends. This might be awkward, but the savings will be worth it.
Checking account balances are being drained. Instead of taking a cash advance at an ATM, consider the possibility of transferring your check to the debit card you carry. You’ll be charged a fee however, you don’t have to be concerned about paying interest.
In summary that, taking a cash advance on your credit card means taking on a very expensive short-term loan. This is almost never an option, so consider all other options prior to making a cash advance.
About the writer: Lindsay Konsko is a former staff writer covering credit cards and consumer credit for NerdWallet.
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