Can you pay off one credit card with another credit card?

Find out if it’s possible to pay one credit card with another, and learn more about your options.

Is it possible to pay off your credit card with another credit card? The answer is a little more complicated than you might think. 

Find out when it’s possible to pay one credit card with another credit card and what you need to consider about your options.

Can you use a credit card to pay off another credit card?

First, you should know that at Capital One, you can’t directly pay your credit card with another credit card. 

That means when you go to make a credit card payment on your Capital One account, you won’t be able to enter another credit card number to complete the payment. That’s typically the case for other credit card issuers, too.

But while you can’t pay one credit card with another directly, there are two credit-card-related methods you can use: balance transfers and cash advances. Before you make any decisions, it’s important to know the pros and cons of each option.

Balance transfers

A credit card balance transfer lets you move unpaid debt from one or more accounts to a new or different credit card. One of the perks of a balance transfer is that it could help you consolidate debt or get a lower interest rate—or both—which could help you pay off your debt faster.

Some credit cards offer introductory or promotional interest rates for balance transfers. But those rates are only for a limited time. So if you want to take advantage of a low introductory or promotional rate, be sure you know when the low rate will expire and the standard rate will apply.

You should also know that balance transfers aren’t necessarily free. Even if a balance transfer comes with a limited time 0% annual percentage rate (APR), you may still be charged a transfer fee. That fee could be a flat fee, or it could be a percentage of the transferred balance.

After transferring a balance, you still have to make at least the monthly minimum payments on the new card. And if you didn’t transfer the entire balance from your original card, be sure to keep track of payments for that card too.

If you make a late payment or miss a payment altogether on your new card, you might lose your introductory or promotional interest rate. Your issuer might also charge a penalty APR after a late or missed payment. So be sure to know the terms and conditions of your card.

Something else to keep in mind: Lenders generally don’t allow debt transfers from different internal accounts. If you want to do a balance transfer, you typically have to transfer the debt from the existing lender to a new lender.

Cash advances

A cash advance lets you borrow a certain amount of money against your credit card’s line of credit. Basically that means you can use your credit card to withdraw cash. 

There are also some other transactions that might be considered cash advances—even if actual cash never touches your hands. These may include transactions for things like wire transfers, money orders, foreign currency, gaming chips or lottery tickets.

Cash advances usually have a higher APR than regular credit card purchases do. They can include other fees, too. Plus, cash advances might not have a grace period that lets you avoid paying interest for a period of time. 

So before you consider using a cash advance to pay off another credit card, it’s a good idea to make sure you consider it from every angle. And you might want to explore whether using a cash advance will end up costing you more than your original credit card bill does.

What should you do if you can't pay your credit card bill?

Late or forgotten credit card payments can happen to anyone. But paying on time is part of using credit responsibly. And it can be helpful to know the potential impacts of late or missed payments.

Your payment history is an important part of your credit scores. Just one late or missed payment can have a negative impact on them.

And when a credit card account goes 180 days past due, the credit card company must charge off the account. And charge-offs could stay on your credit report for up to seven years.

So if you’re unable to pay your credit card bill, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) says to contact your credit card issuer as soon as possible. If you’re a Capital One cardholder, you should contact Capital One as soon as you can. The CFPB also says talking to a credit counselor could help you get back on track.

Learn more about Capital One’s response to COVID-19 and resources available to customers. For information about COVID-19, head over to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Government and private relief efforts vary by location and may have changed since this article was published. Consult a financial adviser or the relevant government agencies and private lenders for the most current information.

We hope you found this helpful. Our content is not intended to provide legal, investment or financial advice or to indicate that a particular Capital One product or service is available or right for you. For specific advice about your unique circumstances, consider talking with a qualified professional.

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