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Offers described in this article have changed since it was first published, so this page is out of date. See our article "What is a cash advance?" for more information.
When you're in a tight circumstance, a cash advance on your credit card can be a helpful (if costly) way to get fast cash. This is usually an expensive proposition. Thankfully, there are some credit cards that take the load off by offering no cash advance fee as well as the same APR on advances as on purchases. If you need an advance, it's a pretty good deal — but remember, this is a method of last resort. Almost all cash advances start accruing interest the day that you take them out, instead of after a grace period like normal purchases. This means that while you have, say, 25 days to pay off a regular purchase without incurring finance charges, you'll start paying interest on your cash advance that same day. But if you need fast cash, these are great cards to do it.
Abound Credit Union Visa Platinum
The Abound Credit Union Visa Platinum has no cash advance fee, and it doesn't charge a higher cash advance APR. The interest rate is pretty low to begin with, so you're getting a pretty good deal. Anyone can join Fort Knox Credit Union by becoming a member of the American Consumer Council — it's free.
PenFed Promise Visa® Card
The PenFed Promise Visa® Card has the same APR for cash advances as regular purchases. It also has no balance transfer fee, no penalty APR and no foreign transaction fee. You'll have to join Pentagon Federal Credit Union to get the card, but that's fairly easy: You get in automatically if you or a family member works in the military or United States Department of Defense. If not, you can make a one-time $15 donation to Voices for America's Troops, a nonprofit. The PenFed Promise Visa® Card is a little easier to qualify for than other PenFed cards, and its low rate makes it ideal for someone who carries a balance.
The bottom line
In the event that you need fast cash, these credit cards have the best to offer on cash advances. Without additional upfront fees or a higher APR for cash advances, you can receive the cash and pay it off like you would any other credit card charge. Just remember: You start accruing interest the day you take out the advance, so pay it off quickly.