How to Get Cash From a Credit Card

You can use your credit card to get cash in a pinch, but it can be pricey compared to other fast-cash options.
Sara Rathner
By Sara Rathner 
Edited by Kenley Young

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If you need cash quickly, you can use your credit card to get a cash advance, which is a short-term loan against your credit limit. There are several ways to get cash from your credit card:

  • At an ATM, much like how you’d use a debit card to withdraw cash.

  • At a bank branch, with the help of a teller.

  • By using convenience checks you can get from your credit card issuer.

With cash advances, you’ll have to pay a pricey combination of fees and interest, making them an expensive option. But if you’re faced with a situation where you need cash, it’s helpful to know how to get it.

🤓Nerdy Tip

Your total credit limit may not be available to you in the form of a cash advance. Typically, your cash advance limit is a percentage of your credit limit.

How to get cash from a credit card at an ATM or bank

Getting a cash advance at an ATM is a similar process to withdrawing cash with your debit card. The catch is that you’ll first need to set up a PIN for your credit card, which you can do by calling the number on the back of your card to request one from your bank. Once you have that, simply insert your credit card at the ATM and follow the prompts to request a cash advance. You’ll have to acknowledge that you accept any fees you’ll be charged.

You can also get a cash advance in a bank branch from a teller, particularly if you haven’t set up a PIN for your card. You’ll need to show a government-issued ID to do so.

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How to use cash advance convenience checks

Convenience checks are blank checks your credit card issuer periodically sends in the mail. You can use them much like you would a personal check to make a payment, only instead of the money coming out of your bank account, it gets added to your credit card balance. This is also a form of a cash advance, so you’d be subject to fees and a higher interest rate. 

A major downside of convenience checks, besides the cost of using them, is the security risk they present. If you receive these checks and don’t plan to use them, shred them before throwing them away. You don’t want someone else getting access to a blank check tied to your credit card account. 

Why you should be cautious when it comes to cash advances

When you need access to fast cash, your credit card can be a funding source, but it’ll cost you. Most credit cards charge cash advance fees (though there are some exceptions), and you’ll also pay ATM fees. On top of that, you’ll likely be charged an even higher interest rate than your card typically charges, and that interest begins to accrue the moment you withdraw the money. 

Because of this, it can be worthwhile to consider other options, such as credit cards with 0% interest promotions, or cards that offer flexible financing or installment loans.

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