“Can You Withdraw Money From a Credit Card?” (Here’s How)

"Can You Withdraw Money From a Credit Card?" (Here's How)

credit card advice

Mike Randall
By: Mike Randall
Posted: May 26, 2016
Opinions expressed here are ours alone, and are not provided, endorsed, or approved by any issuer. Site may be compensated through the issuer affiliate programs.

If you’re wondering whether you can use your credit card to take out a little cash in an emergency, the short answer is: yes, you can. Most credit cards have a cash advance option for holders in good standing that allows them to withdraw money from a credit card.

There are, however, a few things to consider when it comes to using your credit card at an ATM.

Yes, You Can Withdraw Money From a Credit Card — But It’s Expensive

Credit card cash advances are one of the more expensive ways to take out a short-term loan. Most card issuers charge far more in interest for withdrawing money from a credit card than they do for making purchases. Currently the average interest rate for cash advances is around 24 percent.

A New Credit Card With 0% Interest May be a Better Option

Instead of paying exorbitant interest rates and fees on a cash advance, have you considered a new credit card with no interest? This is essentially a free loan!

These Popular Cards Offer Interest-Free Purchasing

Many issuers today offer credit cards with 0 percent interest on all purchases. These are called introductory offers, and some issuers offer them for up to 15 months.

Our experts have reviewed several intro APR offers currently available and selected their favorites. Here are the top 5 credit cards that allow cardholders to carry a balance interest-free before the regular APR kicks in:

Discover it® 18 Month Balance Transfer Offer Review

at Discover'ssecure website

  • Our Take: "With a ridiculously good deal on balance transfers, low APR's, and a generous cash-back program, we can see why this card is so popular.
  • 0% intro APR on balance transfers for 18 months
  • 5% cash back in categories that rotate quarterly, up to $1,500 per quarter when you sign up for the quarterly bonus
  • 1% cash back on all your other purchases
  • Matches the cash back you've earned at the end of your first year (only for new cardmembers)
  • No limit to the amount of cash back that can be matched"
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
0%
6 months
0%
18 months
11.24% - 23.24% Variable
$0
Excellent/Good
0% BALANCE TRANSFER RATING
★★★★★
4.9
OVERALL RATING
4.7/5.0
  • $0 Introductory balance transfer fee for transfers made during the first 60 days of account opening
  • 0% Introductory APR for 15 months on purchases and balance transfers
  • Monthly FICO® Score and Credit Dashboard for free
  • No Penalty APR - Paying late won't raise your interest rate (APR). All other account pricing and terms apply
  • $0 Annual Fee
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
0%
15 months
0%
15 months
13.24%-23.24% Variable
$0
Excellent/Good
0% BALANCE TRANSFER RATING
★★★★★
4.9
OVERALL RATING
5.0/5.0
  • Unlimited 1.5% cash back on every purchase — it's automatic
  • Earn a $150 Bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening
  • 0% Intro APR for 15 months from account opening on purchases and balance transfers, then a variable APR of 14.24-23.24%. Balance transfer fee is 5% of the amount transferred, $5 minimum
  • Redeem for cash — any amount, anytime
  • Cash Back rewards do not expire as long as your account is open
  • No annual fee
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
0%
15 months
0%
15 months
14.24%-23.24% Variable
$0
Excellent/Good
Wells Fargo Propel American Express® Card Review

at Wells Fargo'ssecure website

0% BALANCE TRANSFER RATING
★★★★★
4.9
OVERALL RATING
4.8/5.0
  • Earn 3X points at U.S. gas stations, 2X points at U.S. restaurants, 1X point on other net purchases every day
  • $0 Annual Fee
  • 0% Intro APR for 15 months on purchases and balance transfers, after that the variable APR will be 13.24%-25.24%
  • Enjoy exclusive offers on airline tickets, hotels, car rentals, and cruises
  • Redeem points for travel, gift cards, cash redemption options or merchandise through Go Far™ Rewards
  • Get up to $600 protection on your cell phone (subject to $25 deductible) against covered damage or theft when you pay your monthly cellular telephone bill with your Wells Fargo Propel American Express® Credit Card
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
0%
15 months
0%
15 months
13.24%-25.24% (Variable)
$0
Excellent/Good
Wells Fargo Platinum Visa® Credit Card Review

at Wells Fargo'ssecure website

0% BALANCE TRANSFER RATING
★★★★★
4.9
OVERALL RATING
4.6/5.0
  • 0% Intro APR for 15 months on purchases and balance transfers, after that the variable APR will be 15.40%-25.24%
  • Get up to $600 protection on your cell phone (subject to $25 deductible) against covered damage or theft when you pay your monthly cellular telephone bill with your Wells Fargo Platinum Visa® Credit Card
  • Zero Liability protection for promptly reported unauthorized transactions
  • Convenient tools to help create a budget and manage your spending with My Money Map
  • $0 Annual Fee
  • Select "Apply Now" to learn more about the product features, terms, and conditions
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
0%
15 months
0%
15 months
15.40%-25.24% (Variable)
$0
Excellent/Good

Credit card cash advances are convenient and not as expensive as many payday loans can be. However, you should consider that while you may not get charged the interest rate if you pay off the total amount upon receiving your statement, you will still probably get stuck with a substantial cash advance fee.

4 Things to Know About Cash Advances

So how do you go about withdrawing money using a credit card? Here are four things you should know about cash advances:

1. You’ll Need a PIN

If you’ve never withdrawn money from an ATM using your credit card, you first need to contact your card issuer to ensure that your account is set up to allow cash withdrawals. They will then issue you a PIN number that you can use at an ATM.

2. You Can Get Cash Immediately at a Bank Branch

If you need cash immediately and have access to a bank branch, you can usually take out a cash withdrawal on the spot. However, you still need to have a PIN assigned if you later want to use your card at an ATM.

3. Using Your Credit Card for Cash is Different Than Using It for Purchases

cash-advance-3

In addition to the higher interest rate for cash advances, there are fees that can equal as much as 3 to 5 percent of the amount withdrawn. Also, some cards begin accruing interest on the cash withdrawal as soon as it’s made — in other words, no grace period.

4. Cash Advances Have Limits

Lastly, credit card cash withdrawals are almost always limited to a set amount, called the cash credit limit — usually around $300 to $500. That’s because this type of loan should be considered only in a true emergency.

Consider a Cash Advance Only as a Last Resort

As you can see, it is fairly easy to withdraw money from a credit card. As long as you have the right type of account, are in good standing with your payments, and contact your bank to make sure your account is set up properly, it should be no problem. Just remember this type of loan can be quite expensive and should be considered only as a last resort.

In a non-emergency situation, consider borrowing from someone you know. An alternative to a cash advance from a credit card is to have a friend or family member wire money to you, which can usually be done in a fairly short amount of time. As long as you have the ability to pay them back, this can be a much lower cost option to withdrawing money from a credit card.