Can you use a credit card at an ATM?

If you need cash in a pinch, one option is to withdraw cash at an ATM. Usually you’d use your debit card for the withdrawal. But what if you don’t have your debit card handy and only have your credit card on you? Can you use your credit card instead?

The short answer is yes. But there are a number of things to keep in mind when using your credit card at an ATM.

Read on to learn more.

Key takeaways

  • It’s possible to withdraw money at an ATM using your credit card. This is known as a cash advance. 

  • You’ll need your PIN to complete the transaction. You can request one from the card issuer.

  • Before you go to the ATM, check your cash advance limit and your card balance.

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Can you withdraw money from a credit card at an ATM?

Many credit card issuers let you get cash from a credit card at an ATM. The transaction is called a cash advance, which is a short-term loan taken against your line of credit.

What happens if you withdraw cash from a credit card?

When you withdraw cash from a credit card, the money won’t come from your checking account like it does with a typical ATM withdrawal. Instead, the cash advance shows up as a charge on your credit card. You then repay your card issuer for the amount you borrowed plus any fees and interest the issuer charges for the transaction.

Can you withdraw cash from your Capital One credit card?

How to use your credit card at an ATM

Before using your credit card at an ATM, check your cash advance limit. You can usually find this information by logging into your account online or checking your monthly statements.

Also check your credit card balance to get an idea of how the cash advance will affect your credit utilization. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau recommends keeping your credit utilization under 30% of your credit limit.

You may also need a PIN to use the credit card at an ATM. If you don’t know your PIN, then call your credit card issuer by using the phone number on the back of your card.

Once you’re ready to use a credit card at the ATM, follow these steps:

  1. At the ATM, insert the credit card you want to use or use a cardless ATM option.

  2. Enter your credit card PIN.

  3. Follow the instructions on the screen to get a cash withdrawal or a cash advance.

  4. Enter the amount you want to withdraw.

  5. Accept any additional charges, which may include an ATM transaction fee and cash advance fee.

  6. Complete the transaction and take your cash and receipt.

Keep in mind that you can go to a bank or credit union to get a cash advance instead. At the counter, ask for a cash advance. You’ll then need your credit card and a government-issued photo ID to complete the transaction.

How much cash can you withdraw from your credit card?

The maximum amount you can withdraw with a cash advance varies with each card issuer and cardholder. Issuers usually cap the available amount at a percentage of your card’s credit limit. So, if you have a $5,000 credit limit and your card issuer caps your cash advance limit at 30%, for example, then your maximum cash advance would be $1,500.

However, card issuers may not let you exceed your credit limit. If the cash advance puts you over the credit limit or you’ve already maxed out your credit card, then you likely won’t be able to withdraw any money at an ATM by using your credit card.

How much does it cost to withdraw cash from a credit card?

The cost of a cash advance varies with each transaction. When using a credit card to withdraw cash at an ATM, here are some of the common costs you might pay:

  • Cash advance APR: The annual percentage rate, or APR, is usually higher on cash advances than on regular purchases. 

  • Cash advance fee: Card issuers may charge a flat fee or a percentage of the amount withdrawn. For instance, some card issuers charge either $3 or 3% of the amount of the transaction, whichever is greater. 

  • ATM fees: You may also incur fees from the ATM for taking a cash advance.

Does using a credit card at an ATM hurt your credit scores?

When you use a credit card at an ATM, you’re taking out a cash advance against your credit limit. This may indirectly affect your credit. That’s because your card issuer adds the cash advance amount to your credit card balance, which increases your credit utilization ratio. Generally, a higher credit utilization ratio can have a negative impact on your credit scores.

So, depending on how much you borrow and how quickly you pay down the balance, the cash advance may affect your credit scores.

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Pros and cons of using your credit card at an ATM

Using your credit card at an ATM can be convenient when you need to withdraw cash. But there are a number of cons to consider:

  • Additional costs: You may pay a cash advance fee and any applicable ATM fees. 

  • Higher interest rate: Your issuer may charge a higher APR on the cash advance than it does for purchases.

  • No grace period: Credit card cash advances typically don’t come with a grace period. That means interest might start accruing immediately on the amount you withdraw. 

  • Potential hit to your credit: Taking a cash advance increases your credit utilization, which may have a negative impact on your credit scores.

Alternatives to using a credit card at an ATM

Because cash advances can be expensive, you might decide to check out alternatives. Here are some to consider:

Method of getting last-minute funds How it works Benefits Drawbacks
Personal loan You apply for a personal loan from a lender and wait for a decision. If approved, you receive the money in a lump sum. Then you’ll repay the money in fixed installments over a few years.
  • Usually, higher borrowing amounts
  • Lower interest rates
  • Longer repayment term
  • Potentially higher interest costs because you repay over a longer term
  • May come with fees
  • Some emergency loans come with risks
Payroll advance If your employer partners with a company that offers payroll advances, you can request to borrow a portion of your upcoming paycheck. The amount is based on wages you’ve already earned, and you can get paid a few days ahead of schedule.
  • No credit check
  • No application once approved
  • Payments can be set up as deductions from your paychecks
  • Only available if your employer offers it
  • Usually comes with fees
  • Initial approval process
Loan from friend or family You may be able to borrow the amount you need from a friend or relative and pay it back over time. Both parties can discuss the repayment terms.
  • Flexible repayment terms
  • May not include interest
  • May strain your relationship
401(k) loan Check whether your company allows 401(k) loans. If it does, then you may be able to borrow up to 50% of your vested account balance, for a maximum of $50,000 within a 12-month period. You must repay the loan within five years.
  • No credit check
  • Payments can be set up as automatic deductions from your paychecks
  • Must be repaid within five years with interest
  • Until you repay the funds, that money won’t grow in your account 

 

Using a credit card at an ATM in a nutshell

It’s possible to withdraw cash at an ATM using a credit card. This is known as taking a cash advance, which usually comes with a fee and a higher interest rate. So it’s more costly compared to withdrawing cash from your checking account.

If you want to get a cash advance, then head to an ATM. Insert your credit card and type in your PIN. Follow the instructions on the screen to request a cash withdrawal and accept any extra charges. Then finish the transaction and get your cash.

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