Credit CardsBest
How Does LendingTree Get Paid?
| Advertising Disclosure

How Does LendingTree Get Paid?

LendingTree is compensated by companies on this site and this compensation may impact how and where offers appears on this site (such as the order). LendingTree does not include all lenders, savings products, or loan options available in the marketplace.

Advertising Disclosure

LendingTree is an advertising-supported comparison service. The site features products from our partners as well as institutions which are not advertising partners. While we make an effort to include the best deals available to the general public, we make no warranty that such information represents all available products. We are compensated by companies on this site and this compensation may impact how and where offers appear on this site (such as the order).

Best Credit Cards for a Cash Advance in 2022

Editorial Note: The content of this article is based on the author’s opinions and recommendations alone. It may not have been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuer. This site may be compensated through a credit card issuer partnership.

Financial emergencies happen to everyone, and usually, at the worst possible time. When your car breaks down and it’s still five days until payday, a cash advance may seem like a good idea. But you should avoid credit card cash advances because of their fees and high interest rates. We recommend taking out a personal loan as a lower-cost option due to more flexible terms.

Before you decide what’s right for you, read on to learn exactly how cash advances work, the true cost of them and discover alternative options for a cash advance.

How a credit card cash advance works

With a cash advance, you use your credit card to get cash rather than charge a purchase to the card. Common ways to get a cash advance include:

  • At a bank branch
  • Using an ATM (you’ll need a PIN)
  • From a convenience check that your credit card issuer sent in the mail

A cash advance can be a quick, easy way to get an emergency loan, but that doesn’t mean it is a smart move. Some of the drawbacks to getting a credit card cash advance include:

  • You’ll likely have to pay a substantial fee (typically around 5%).
  • The card’s cash advance APR (interest rate) is likely higher than its regular purchase APR.
  • There’s no grace period, so interest begins accruing as soon as you take the advance.
  • You may not have access to your entire credit limit.
  • When you need cash immediately, you don’t have time to wait to apply for a cash advance credit card.

Given the extra expenses that come with cash advances, we do not recommend that you take out a cash advance unless absolutely necessary. You should explore other ways to borrow cash or pay for expenses first.

Best cash advance credit cards

Sometimes you need cash urgently and a cash advance is your best option. In this case, the best cash advance credit card will be one with no cash advance fee. We’ve rounded up six cash advance credit cards that have no cash advance fee. They also have lower cash advance APRs than most other cash advance credit cards on the market.

Cash advance credit cards with no cash advance fee

PenFed Gold Visa® Card

  • Cash advance fee: None
  • Cash advance APR: 17.99% variable
  • Annual fee: $0
  • Regular purchase APR: 11.49% to 17.99% variable

PenFed Platinum Rewards VISA Signature® Card

  • Cash advance fee: None
  • Cash advance APR: 17.99%
  • Annual fee: $0
  • Regular purchase APR: 16.49% to 17.99% variable

PenFed Power Cash Rewards

  • Cash advance fee: None
  • Cash advance APR: 17.99%
  • Annual fee: $0
  • Regular purchase APR: 16.49% to 17.99% variable

DCU Visa® Platinum Credit Card

DCU Visa® Platinum Rewards Credit Card

  • Cash advance fee: None
  • Cash advance APR: 14.25% to 18.00% variable
  • Annual fee: $0
  • Regular purchase APR: 14.25% to 18.00% variable

DCU Visa® Platinum Secured Credit Card

 

Tip: You have to be a credit union member to qualify for these cards. The good news is that PenFed and DCU membership is open to anyone. If you don’t fit the regular qualifications for these credit unions, you can join a partner organization for a small fee. (For example, you can join Reach Out for Schools for $10 to qualify for DCU membership.)

How much can a cash advance cost?

Let’s take a look at how much a $1,000 cash advance would cost if you paid it back in 30 days using a credit card with a cash advance fee.

This card has a cash advance APR of 17.99% and 5% cash advance fee.

As you can see from our math below, you would pay over $60 in taxes and fees (more than 6% of the principal) for this short-term loan. This is a hefty amount compared to what you might pay with a personal loan, and it assumes you can pay off your balance in the first month. If you continue to carry a balance, the interest could build up rapidly.

StepCalculation
Divide the cash advance rate (write it as a decimal) by the number of days in a year to get the daily rate0.1799 ÷ 365 = 0.0004928
Multiply 0.04928 by the cash advance amount0.0004928 x $1,000 = $0.49
Multiply $0.49 by 25 (number of days in a billing cycle)$0.49 x 25 = $12.25
Multiply $1,000 by cash advance fee$1,000 x 0.05 = $50
Add $12.25 to the cash advance fee$12.25 + $50 = $62.25
Total cost$62.25

Alternatives to a cash advance

Get a Personal loan

If you’re not facing a cash emergency, you may want to look into a personal loan. APRs for personal loans can range from 3% to 36%. If you have a good credit score (670 or higher), you’re likely to be offered an interest rate lower than what you’d pay on a credit card cash advance. Plus, personal loans offer set monthly payments and repayment dates and interest generally doesn’t start accruing from day one.

You may be able to apply for a personal loan with a bank, a credit union or an online lender. Shop around for your best interest rate by signing up for a free LendingTree account.

Note that you may be charged an origination fee, and some lenders also charge a fee if you decide to pay the loan off early.

Request an extension on your payment

In situations where you have an unexpected expense, don’t underestimate the power of an honest conversation with the company’s billing department. See if they can delay the payment date or split the bill into monthly payments. Whatever you do, being proactive and acknowledging the debt will go a long way, especially in negotiating medical bills.

Borrow from Family and friends

Borrowing from people you know isn’t the best strategy, but in a pinch, it could be an option. Generally your loved ones are willing to help you out in troubled times. They’re likely to be flexible with repayment terms and expect little, if any, interest.

The downside is that if they need the money back before you’ve repaid it, or if you don’t hold up your end of the bargain, your relationship could become awkward. If you decide to borrow from your family, create a personal loan contract so that you’re all on the same page.

Get early access to your paycheck

Rather than pay interest on a credit card cash advance or a personal loan, you may be able to use a mobile app to get money from your paycheck before payday. While you may end up paying a tip or a small fee to use one of these apps, you’ll likely pay less than what you’d accrue in interest if you were to get a credit card cash advance.

Three paycheck apps worth considering:

Earnin. To use Earnin, you’ll need to link a checking account and add your employment info. You’ll get $100 per pay period at the start, and your limit has the potential to increase to $750 per pay period as you demonstrate responsible use of the app. Earnin does not charge fees or interest, and relies on users to tip what they feel is fair. Any cash you’ve received, plus tips, is deducted from your account on or after payday.

Chime. Access your paycheck up to two days early when you set up mobile banking through the Chime app. For times when you need cash before payday, use the SpotMe service. Qualifying members will receive a debit card with up to $200 that they can apply toward debit card purchases and cash withdrawals with no extra fees.

DailyPay. You can use DailyPay to get early access to your paycheck if your employer signs up and offers it as a benefit to employees. There’s a $1.99 fee for next day transactions and a $2.99 fee for instant transactions. Employers can choose to pay these fees or leave them for employees.

Pay with a credit card with a 0% intro APR

If you’re not needing cold hard cash and can put the expense on a credit card, consider putting the expense on a 0% APR credit card that doesn’t charge interest for a certain period of time.

| Disclosures
Wells Fargo Reflect® Card
Wells Fargo Reflect® Card
on Wells Fargo's secure site
0% intro APR up to 21 months from account opening
16.74% - 28.74% variable APR
$0
None
  • 0% intro APR for 18 months from account opening on purchases and qualifying balance transfers. Intro APR extension for 3 months with on-time minimum payments during the intro period. 16.74% to 28.74% Variable APR thereafter; balance transfers made within 120 days qualify for the intro rate and fee of 3% then a BT fee of up to 5%, min $5.
  • $0 Annual Fee
  • Get up to $600 of cell phone protection against damage or theft when you pay your monthly cell phone bill with your eligible Wells Fargo card (subject to a $25 deductible).
  • Through My Wells Fargo Deals, you can get access to personalized deals from a variety of merchants. It's an easy way to earn cash back as an account credit when you shop, dine, or enjoy an experience simply by using an eligible Wells Fargo credit card.
  • Select “Apply Now” to learn more about the product features, terms and conditions
660 720 850
Excellent/Good

How Does LendingTree Get Paid?

LendingTree is compensated by companies on this site and this compensation may impact how and where offers appears on this site (such as the order). LendingTree does not include all lenders, savings products, or loan options available in the marketplace.

Do a balance transfer to another credit card

By doing a balance transfer from a credit card with a high interest rate to a card with a lower interest rate, you may be able to pay less in fees and interest than with a cash advance. A bank may send you a convenience check for a 0% APR balance transfer offer to move debt from your current card to a new one with them. This makes sense if the interest rate is lower than your current one. Sometimes they offer a 0% APR introductory promotion for a specified number of months. But, only do this if you are certain you can pay off your card before the higher interest rate kicks in.

Tip: Start an emergency fund to avoid future needs for cash advance. Aim to build up a savings account that has three to nine months’ worth of expenses for future emergencies that require quick access to cash.

The information related to the PenFed Gold Visa® Card, the PenFed Platinum Rewards VISA Signature® Card, the PenFed Power Cash Rewards, the DCU Visa® Platinum Credit Card, the DCU Visa® Platinum Rewards Credit Card, and the DCU Visa® Platinum Secured Credit Card has been independently collected by LendingTree and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuers of these cards prior to publication. Terms apply.

Simply put, a cash advance is when you use your credit card to get cash. For example, if you use your credit card to withdraw cash from an ATM (which will require a PIN), this is a cash advance. You might also get convenience checks in the mail, offering you the ability to get cash from your credit card — using such a check constitutes a cash advance as well.

It’s typical for issuers to limit how much cash you can get from a cash advance. This cap might be set at a percentage of your card’s credit limit, such as 30%. To find out your exact cash advance limit, check your online account or call the number on the back of your card.

Many credit cards charge a cash advance fee in the vicinity of 5%. So, for example, it would cost you $15 to get a $300 cash advance on a card with a 5% cash advance fee. It is possible to find credit cards with no cash advance fee, such as the six we’ve selected for this article.

Taking a cash advance doesn’t hurt your credit score because it’s not a specific item that’s listed on your credit report. Making late payments on your credit card, as you repay the advance, may cause a drop in your credit score.

Using a credit card to send money via PayPal, Venmo or MoneyGram are typically considered as cash advances. Also, purchasing lottery tickets and casino chips or exchanging foreign currency with your credit card may be processed as a cash advance.

You can get a cash advance at an ATM but you’ll need to know your PIN for your credit card.

If you have a credit card that allows cash advances, you can withdraw cash from an ATM or at a bank in a couple of minutes.

 

Recommended Reading