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

credit card advice

Mike Randall
By: Mike Randall
Posted: March 8, 2017
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.

Earning Cash Back on Purchases Is a Better Idea

Instead of paying exorbitant interest rates and fees on a cash advance, have you considered using a credit card with cash back rewards?

Many issuers today offer credit cards that will give you up to 5% cash back on your purchases, not to mention 0% interest rate introductory period on purchases those purchases. Some even give a cash bonus of $100 or more in the first few months of owning the card.

Here are the top cash back credit cards you could get approved for today:

  • 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 15.99-24.74%. 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% for 15 months
0% for 15 months
15.99% - 24.74% Variable
$0
Excellent/Good
Discover it® - Cashback Match™ Review

at Discover Card'ssecure website

CASH BACK RATING
★★★★★
5.0
OVERALL RATING
5.0/5.0
  • Our Take: "One of our favorite cards, with long 0% intro APRs, low ongoing APRs, awesome cash back rewards, and lots more.
  • 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
  • With Cashback Match you could turn $200 into $400, as the card 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% for 14 months
0% for 14 months
11.99% – 23.99% Variable
$0
Excellent, Good
Wells Fargo Cash Wise Visa® Card Review

at Wells Fargo'ssecure website

CASH BACK RATING
★★★★★
4.9
OVERALL RATING
4.9/5.0
  • New! Earn a $200 cash rewards bonus after spending $1,000 in the first 3 months
  • Earn unlimited 1.5% cash rewards on virtually every purchase
  • Enjoy 1.8% cash rewards on qualified mobile wallet purchases, like Apple Pay® or Android Pay™, during the first 12 months from account opening
  • No category restrictions or sign ups and cash rewards don't expire as long as your account remains open
  • 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 Cash Wise Visa® Card
  • 0% Intro APR for 12 months on purchases and balance transfers, then a 13.99%-25.99% variable APR; balance transfer fees apply
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
0% for 12 months
0% for 12 months
13.99%-25.99% (Variable)
$0
Excellent/Good
Discover it® - 18 Month Balance Transfer Offer Review

at Discover Card'ssecure website

CASH BACK RATING
★★★★★
4.9
OVERALL RATING
4.9/5.0
  • 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 rotating 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% for 6 months
0% for 18 months
11.99% – 23.99% Variable
$0
Excellent, Good
CASH BACK RATING
★★★★★
4.9
OVERALL RATING
4.8/5.0
  • One-time $150 cash bonus after you spend $500 on purchases within 3 months from account opening
  • Earn unlimited 1.5% cash back on every purchase, every day
  • Use your Quicksilver card and get 50% back as a statement credit on your monthly Spotify Premium subscription, now through April 2018
  • No rotating categories or sign-ups needed to earn cash rewards; plus, cash back won't expire for the life of the account and there's no limit to how much you can earn
  • 0% intro APR on purchases for 9 months; 13.99%-23.99% variable APR after that
  • Balance transfers also have a 0% intro APR for 9 months; 13.99%-23.99% variable APR after that; a 3% fee applies to each balance transferred
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
0% for 9 months
0% for 9 months
13.99% - 23.99% (Variable)
$0
Excellent, Good

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-3In 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.