It’s surprisingly easy to get cash from a credit card, and it’s surprisingly expensive! I’m going to assume that you’ve never done this before, and are without the PIN number for your card, so we’ll walk through this from the very beginning.
Let’s start by discussing how to get a credit card cash advance, and then explain why they’re so damn expensive.
How To Get Cash From A Credit Card?
What You’ll Need?
- Credit card
- A bank or ATM
With your credit card in hand, flip it over and check out the customer service number that’s on the back of it. This is specific to the different banks that offer credit cards. It’s important to be patient when calling this number because almost all of these customer service call centers are outsourced overseas.
You’re going to call customer service to get the PIN number for your credit card. Just like a regular debit card, you have to have a PIN number to use it at an ATM. Most of the customer service automated phone trees will have an option to recover a “lost PIN”, but most people simply never knew what it was in the first place. Selecting this option will either have you verify your personal information through the phone or patch you to a representative. Expect to have to give up your address, credit card number, and some or all of your Social Security number to retrieve your PIN number. If you aren’t comfortable forking over all of this info, you may be able to retrieve the info online, but that’s not very common.
Once you’ve told your life story to the customer service representative they’ll give you a PIN number and you’ll be on your way. Now all you have to do is find an ATM that accepts that type of card that you’re using (Visa, Mastercard, AMEX, whatever) and use it as you would any other ATM. Some ATMs charge ridiculous fees, like those at stadiums, casinos, amusement parks, convenience stores, and music venues. If you have some time to plan ahead, try and find an ATM at a normal bank, even if you don’t bank there. They generally charge much lower ATM fees than the other privately owned ones will.
So Why Is It So Expensive?
Credit cards are super expensive anyway, so why would you expect anything different?
Here’s the thing with credit card cash advances — most companies assign them a different (higher) interest rate than what you’re already paying on purchases. That sucks for sure, but it’s not the biggest issue at hand. They’re also classified differently in your account, which means that the money that you’re paying on your bill will go towards paying for purchases before advances. Unless you’re paying your credit card balance in full each month (who does that?) this higher interest rate will just keep growing until you’re able to completely pay off your purchase balance!
I’m certainly not telling you to avoid getting cash from your credit card, but be prepared to pay out the nose for it. A more affordable alternative to the credit card cash advance would be a small payday loan. You’re going to pay a lot for either of them, but at least with a payday loan, you’ll only make the payment once, rather than having that interest grow a ton over time.