What Is A Cash Advance And Should You Get One?


If you find yourself in financial difficulty, you may be able to take out a cash advance using your credit card. A cash advance can be used to get money immediately without applying for a formal loans. Cash advances don’t require a credit check, and you can get the money immediately. Cash Advance site are intended to be short-term solutions. Because the repayment term directly impacts how much interest and fees you will pay, cash advances should only be used for short periods. A cash advance will not cover large expenditures because they limit your cash access.

Types and types of cash advances

Credit Card Cash Advances

Many credit cards provide a cash advance feature, which is available to all cardholders. This is a short-term loan. The borrower can get cash or a cash equivalent up to 20% and 30% of the card’s credit limit. Some cards allow you up to 50% of the credit limit.

Merchant Cash Advances

Merchant cash advances are available to small business owners. They can be based on past sales or a projection for future sales. Your business should bring in enough sales to qualify for the MCA. You can get funds within days if you have a good track record of selling debit cards and credit cards. A simple application can get you the funds in just a few days.

Payday loans

Payday Loans allow you to receive future payments from the employer. Most payday lenders will require proof that you have income. Funds may be accessed in person or online.

How does a Cash Advance Work?

Each type of cash advance will have a different process.

Credit Card Cash Advances

An ATM, the bank that issued your card, or by writing convenience checks can grant you access to a cash advance. also called an access check, these are mailed to your monthly credit card statement.

Merchants might consider certain credit card transactions as cash advances. Some transactions could be processed as cash advances including:

  • Bank account openings require initial deposits
  • Overdraft protection when a card is secured on a checking/savings account
  • Foreign currency, traveler’s cheques or money orders
  • Virtual currencies and gold
  • Wire transfers
  • Lottery tickets as well as casino chips and wagers on gambling
  • A variety of gift cards as well as prepaid cards

Compounded interest will be charged on the advance starting the day that the cash is extended. There will also be an up-front service charge. Credit card companies typically limit how much of your revolving line can be used as cash advances. This amount will be printed on your monthly statement or displayed online.

Merchant Cash Advance

Merchant cash advances will not be extended by your credit provider. However, they can be offered in partnership for your credit or debit card sales. Merchant cash advances have no APR unlike traditional loans. Instead, the APR of merchant cash advances is zero. Your repayments are based on your daily sales. This means that your daily repayment will be based on the number of sales you make each day, with a factor of 1.2-1.5.

A factor of 1.3 is required to borrow $15,000 You will have to repay $19500, plus any origination fee.

This means that your daily payment can increase if sales are high. This could further decrease your cash flow. In the same way, monthly payments are designed to decrease if daily sales decline. During the pandemic the FTC received complaints that not all MCA processors had conducted the “trueups” which promised to lower the payment if sales fell.

Payday loans

Payday loans will be short-term, for small amounts and secured by a deferred payment transaction. The borrower needs to submit a postdated personal check or consent for future electronic withdrawals. They are sometimes called payday loans but the funds can also secured by other income, such as a pension.

Although these loans seem small (often less than $500), the fees can be very high. For every $100 borrowed, the borrower must agree to pay finance fees of between $10-30. These fees are added to your loan principal on the date you make the transaction.

A $15 finance fee for every $100 borrowed on $400 would result in fees and loans totalling $460. These fees are often paid by your next paycheck which is usually within two weeks. These fees would be calculated as an annual APR and this loan would cost over 390%.

Lenders may allow borrowers to roll-over, renew, or cancel loans in certain states if they are unable repay the loan. These fees could include finance fees, interest or insufficient fund fees depending on which state they are. The truth is that payday loans can be more costly than you think.

Cash Advance Credit Card Options

There are a few options to lower your cash advance cost if you have a creditcard. Most credit cards have a fee and a percentage. You might consider getting a Capital One Venture or Capital One Venture credit card that offers a 3% cash advance. They are more affordable than cards that charge you 5%.

Cash advances can also be charged separately to credit cards. This APR is usually higher that your purchase APR. Check for cash advances with the lowest APR.

Platinum Rewards Visa is a great credit card for cash advances. This card is free of fees and offers a lower than average 17.99% APR on cash advances.

Why are Cash Advances so Expensive

Fee Structure

Cash advance fees for credit cards include both interest and up-front costs. Flat fees or a percentage are the most common up-front fees. This fee is charged to your bank account on the same day you receive the cash advance transaction. The most common up-front flat fees range between $5 to $12 and 3% to 8.

Cash advances cannot be granted on cards that offer grace periods. When the cash advance funds your credit card, you’ll begin to pay interest. Cash advance rates are typically significantly higher than purchases for most credit cards. Cash advance interest rates are typically between 17.99% and 29.99%.

Certain cards have different APRs for different cash advances. Bank of America sets APR on direct deposit cash advances and check cash advances. Bank of America also assigns a higher APR for bank cash advances such as ATM, over-the counter, overdraft protection or cash equivalent transactions. For more information about your specific credit card, please refer to the terms.

Potential costs

You can only get a part of your revolving card credit line as a credit card cash loan. You might have $600 cash available if you have $3,000 credit. The transaction fee is 4%. There are no other purchases. You will pay $24 in up-front, $13 per month and approximately $13 for interest. This is with a 30-day billing cycle and a common 24.99% rate. Paying only $27 in minimum payments would result in nearly $236 of interest over 32 monthly periods before you pay it off. For $600 in loans, this would mean that you would pay $260 total in interest and fees.

There are additional fees to be aware of. A fee will be charged by the ATM operator or bank for withdrawing cash. You may have to pay a foreign transaction fee if you want to cash advance in foreign currencies. A foreign transaction fee, an ATM operator fee, and a cash advance fee may apply if you withdraw the foreign currency from an ATM.

You could incur unexpected fees if you use convenience check issued by your credit provider. Your credit company could refuse to honor your check if your cash advance limit is exceeded. Luke W. Reynolds (the Chief of FDIC’s Community Outreach Section), said that a returned cheque could result in fees for returned checks and over-limit fees on your credit card provider.

Reynolds recommends calling your credit card company to verify that your cash advance limit is not exceeded before you send Reynolds a convenience-check. He recommends calling your credit card company after depositing the check. Before spending the funds, Reynolds will confirm that the check has been honored. Overdraft fees may be charged by your bank if the check is not accepted and funds are spent.

Cash advance checks can be different than promotional APR checking that banks may offer. A promotional APR cheque allows you to access funds at lower rates than a cash loan, and sometimes even lower than your regular rate. These promotional APR-checks can be very useful if you need to pay higher interest bills. Check with your bank before using any check to determine which type.

The card provider might also charge a penalty APR if you cannot make your credit card payments for more that 60 days.

Pros & Cons of Cash Advances


  • Fast access to unsecured cash funds without the need of collateral
  • Easy to get, no credit check or underwriting.


  • Extremely high APRs and fees
  • No grace period, credit card cash advances start accruing interest from day one

Other considerations when applying for cash advances

  • Cash advances from credit cards are not eligible for rewards points
  • Convenience check are less secure and provide fewer consumer protections that credit card purchases.
  • For cash advances at ATMs, your credit cards may need a pin number.
  • Merchant cash advances are secured. However, personal guarantees may be required. This means that you are responsible to repay the advance even if you close your business.
  • The payment for payday loans and merchant cash advances is often triple-digit in APR.

Alternatives for Cash Advances

Personal Loan

Consider getting a personal loan, whether secured or unsecured, if you have credit. Even with the interest rate and potential origination fees, these interest rates are often lower than cash advances. This method will take longer and involve more paperwork. If you require a larger sum of money, however, a personal loan might be the best option. It is also more affordable.

Retirement Account Loan

You can withdraw any amount you have contributed to a Roth IRA at your convenience without penalty. The early withdrawal penalty is not applicable to tax-advantaged retirement plans like 401ks and Traditional IRAs. Both options provide ways to repay money with a specific time frame. Learn more about the CARES act and its impact on retirement account rules in COVID-19.

Talk to your bank about a payment plan

If you feel you cannot pay your bill, you should contact your creditors. You might be able to negotiate lower interest rates if your credit score is good. If creditors offer you an extension of payments, be sure to understand the associated fees. You can request a plan payment for any other bills such as utilities. COVID-19 allows you to access many resources.

Pay your Bills with Your Credit Card

Consider adding bills to your credit card if you are accustomed to paying them in cash or via ACH transfer from a checking account. Although there might be a convenience fee on some purchases, you can usually pay no additional charges for cell phone bills, car insurance and internet bills. This option could be a great way to free up money in your budget. It doesn’t come with the extra fees or higher APR that comes with a cash loan.


Chime is an app for mobile banking that provides a few features to help you get more money quickly.

Direct deposit to your Chime Spending Account allows you to have access to funds the day after Chime receives payment. It could take up to two working days to receive the payment. Your employer’s release of funds will dictate when your paycheck arrives.

A Chime account with at most $500 monthly direct deposits can qualify for up to $20 in fee-free overdraft coverage on debit card purchases through a feature called Ipass. Chime may raise the Ipass limit to $100 based upon your account history as well as other risk factors. Ipass does NOT apply to ATM withdrawals.

Ipass overdraft protection is less costly than cash advances for smaller amounts.

Is a cash advance right for me?

Cash advances can be used to quickly access funds. However, they are not cheap. It is important to ensure you have sufficient cash advance credit on your credit card. Also, plan to pay the cash loan off as soon possible. Be aware that your credit cash advances line is usually only a portion of your credit limit, and that interest charges can start immediately.

It is important to be clear about the fees and to consider all of your options. Cash advances can be cheaper in some cases than the more expensive ones. Be sure to carefully read the fine print if you’re a merchant. You might want to consider other options to guarantee repayment if necessary.

Find the Best Credit Card Options for 2021

One credit card is not the best option for everyone. We’ve compiled the best credit card options in a way that is most useful to as many people as possible.


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