Cash Advances Using Credit Cards As An Alternative

Triston Martin

Dec 29, 2022

A credit card cash advance is a quick and easy way to get money when you need it most. Borrowing on a credit card has several advantages, including its convenience, ease of use, and the fact that your card issuer may even encourage you to do so by sending you promotional materials and blank checks. However, there are other ways to get money than cash advances, and you should look into them before committing to a cash advance. To help you weigh the pros and cons of a credit card cash advance against other available choices, let's first take a closer look at the conditions.

How A Cash Advance On A Credit Card Operates

A cash advance on a credit card is a loan from the financial institution that issued the card. Interest will collect on the cash advance just as it would on any other purchase until it is paid off. However, cash advances have far less favorable conditions than other transactions. Interest on cash advances often begins accruing on the day of the transaction. In addition, the interest rate for cash advances is often more significant than for regular purchases.

Terms Of A Cash Advance On A Credit Card

The Schumer box on your credit card statement or the original credit card agreement will include the specifics of cash advances, including any applicable fees. Consider the Chase Sapphire Preferred card as an example. Cash advances have a much higher APR (24.99%) than purchases (15.99%), as can be seen in the following table (depending on credit). Pay either $10 or 5% of the total advance, whichever is more significant. One further nuance: if a credit card has many balances, the issuer may decide how the payment is distributed among them, and it might be different from the one the cardholder would want to see reduced first. Chase will first put the minimum payment from a Military Star Rewards account towards the highest interest amount. Any amount paid more than the required minimum may be used "how we see fit."

Five Alternatives For A Credit Card Advance

Cash advances cost more than other forms of income, so it's wise to look into those first. Depending on your circumstances, these eight choices might be superior to or inferior to a cash advance. Each option comes with its own set of benefits and drawbacks.

Loan From Relatives Or Friends

You might approach your friends and family for a short-term loan with no or very cheap interest. Yes, asking may be awkward, and the loan could come with many expectations and conditions. Keeping things professional will help: Use a formal agreement duly completed to ensure that all parties understand the costs and conditions of repayment.

401(k) Loan

Individuals may borrow money from their 401(k) accounts from the vast majority of plan providers. Rates and fees are negotiable and dependent on the company and plan administrator but are often comparable to personal loans (see below). Half of the available money, up to a maximum of $50,000, may be borrowed, with payback occurring within five years. No credit check is required, and if desired, repayments may be made via payroll deductions. You should be aware that taking money out of your 401(k) will prevent those funds from accruing investment returns until they are paid back.

Roth IRA

Even though it's not advised, you may tap into your Roth IRA for unexpected expenses. Because Roth IRA contributions are made using after-tax cash, the IRS allows for penalty-free, tax-free withdrawals of those funds at any time. Remember that if you're under 5912, you can't withdraw more money than you've put in, even if the account has expanded. Any returns generated by your investments will be subject to taxation and possible penalties.

Bank Personal Loan

A personal loan from such a bank may be less expensive than a cash advance on a credit card for borrowers with excellent or exceptional credit. Compared to making just the minimum payment on a credit card, this strategy will have the added benefit of minimizing the total interest charged.

Collateral Loan

Backed by an item of value, collateral loans often have looser qualification standards than unsecured loans. For instance, the equity in your home is used as collateral for home equity loans and lines of credit. Additionally, some financial institutions may lend money based on the collateralized value of a CD or trust (CD).


There are benefits and drawbacks to every kind of short-term loan. There's no need to freak out when faced with a sudden lack of funds, although the scenario is undoubtedly stressful. Think carefully about what you can do. Short-term loans have stringent financial and emotional requirements. However, consider alternative financing options if you need money quickly and can't wait to use your credit card. Getting a cash advance on a credit card is a costly option that should only be used in an emergency.

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