7 Alternatives to Credit Card Cash Advances
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7 Alternatives for Credit Card Cash Advances
Cash advances can be costly. They’re a good option for those in a pinch but you must look at the alternatives first.
Written by Kimberly Palmer Senior Writer/Spokesperson | Budgeting, personal finance family finances Kimberly Palmer is a personal financial expert at NerdWallet. Also, she’s the writer of three books on finances “Smart mom, Rich Mom,” “The Economy of You” and “Generation Earn.” Kimberly’s work also is featured on .
And Funto Omojola Lead Writer Auto loans, Credit cards Funto Omojola began writing for NerdWallet in 2020. Before joining NerdWallet, she covered personal finance topics for various financial sites and organizations and has more than 5 years experience writing about money. Her writing has been featured on MarketWatch, Yahoo Finance, Realtor.com, New York Post and Nasdaq, among other publications. Funto earned an undergraduate degree in global and international studies and she also holds an MFA from Bard College. She lives in Brooklyn, New York.
Dec 1, 2022
Edited by Erica Corbin Assistant Assigning Editor Erica Corbin joined NerdWallet in 2020 as an assistant assigning editor at large. She has previously written and edited content at companies such as GOBankingRates as well as Nasdaq. Her work has been syndicated to USA Today, Yahoo Finance, MSN and more. She also worked as an editor and freelance writer for over a decade for various clients and publications across various industries. Erica holds a bachelor’s degree from the department of English writing in the field of literature from Seattle Pacific University.
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A credit card on your credit card can sound appealing. You’ll have quick access to money, and you might need to buy groceries or pay rent.
However, there are some serious disadvantages to cash advances, including charges that are typically high , and the interest starts accruing immediately. There’s usually a limit on the amount you are able to take out, too, and generally it’s much less than your overall credit limit.
They may be a feasible option- and a better option than, say, taking out a — cash advances should be used only as a last resort should you be facing financial hardship.
Before you pull one out, take a look at the following options:
1. Credit cards that offer low-interest or zero-interest APR credit cards
Some credit cards offer 0% intro APR periods on purchases, meaning you are able to use them to pay for your purchase of grocery items and other essentials without paying interest upfront. However, of course you’ll still have to pay back the loan however, you’ll be given the time — often ranging from six months to almost two years to repay the loan in full prior to the time that interest starts to accrue.
With the , for example that you are able to take advantage of a two-year break from interest. It provides an APR that is 0% at the beginning on purchases for up to 21 months , and 0% intro APR on Balance Transfers up to 21 months from the date of account opening for qualifying balance transfers, and then the ongoing APR of 17.49%-29.49 Variable APR of .
2. 3. Credit card loan programs
Some credit card issuers provide loans to existing customers that can, among other things permit them to pay specific purchases over time, for an amount. Examples of this include and features.
In the same way, Citi offers a and Chase offers . These programs let customers get money at a much lower rate than they would receive through cash advances and pay it off over time.
3. Payment services from third parties
If you have to purchase some time before your next paycheck, consider a service like to tackle some bills. It allows you to use a credit card to cover expenses that often aren’t otherwise able to be paid in this way, including utility bills, rent or day care. With the 2.9 per cent service fee, Plastiq will charge your card for the bill, send a check out to the vendor in your name, and then send the check to them.
Assuming you can pay off the debt quickly and, ideally and without carrying it over to the next month, and then being hit with your credit card’s double-digit interest rate , an 2.9 per cent convenience charge could be worth it and could be less expensive than alternatives. If you use a rewards credit card for the cost, it could assist in paying the charge upfront.
4. Buy nowand pay later services
It’s often not practical to pay a huge sum of money at one time, no matter if you’re in a financial pinch or not. Providers, like Affirm, Afterpay and Klarna, allow users to divide purchases into smaller payments that can be paid over time — usually between three and 12 months.
While some BNPL choices come with fees and interest rates that can be costly If you’re in a position to pay the bill in the timeframe of they could provide an easier and more flexible way to pay for your financial obligations.
It is crucial to remember, however, that BNPL is only available through specific merchants. This means that If you are in need of cash quickly for rent or groceries for instance it is unlikely that the service will be of help to you.
5. Options for credit cards with flexible options
There are that can offer flexible and less costly alternatives to financing than cash advances. For instance, the $0 annual fee allows customers to use their credit limits for personal loans. The borrower can repay the amount they borrowed in equal monthly installments with a fixed interest rate.
Alternative credit cards are typically more affordable for those who may not be able to qualify for more traditional credit cards. That’s because many of them do not rely on standard credit scoring models for determining the eligibility. Such cards are the (issued by ), the and the .
6. Personal loans
The lenders offer a variety of loans which are secured by collateral, and non-secured loans, which aren’t. Certain loans have fixed rates, which means you have the same monthly payment each month until the loan is fully paid back Some lenders provide variable rates, which means your monthly payments may alter over time. Rates typically range between 5% and 36 percent.
While the interest rate is still relatively high, it is lower than a cash advance, especially after you consider the other cost involved in taking one out, which is typically an upfront fee or percentage of the amount withdrawn.
7. Optional options for quick cash
If you’re faced with a difficult financial situation and need immediate funding, there are a few quick methods to help you get your finances in order:
Pay your rewards in cash If you own credit cards that have a cash-back rewards program, you might be able to cash out your rewards for a good chunk of change.
Ask for an advance on your pay: Although the cash advance option to your credit card may be risky and expensive, asking your employer for an advance on your pay can be a method of covering your financial needs, without incurring any fees or charges.
Get help from local sources There are many local organizations that provide financial assistance for those facing hardships. Local organizations that are likely to assist you could include religious groups, non-profit groups or community centers.
About the authors: Kimberly Palmer is a personal finance expert at NerdWallet. She has been featured as a guest on “Today” show as well as in The New York Times.
Funto Omojola is Auto loans writer for NerdWallet. She has had her work highlighted on MarketWatch, Yahoo Finance and Nasdaq.
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