Cash advances are convenient, but they can also be costly. Make sure you know the terms before you take a cash advance.

A cash advance is not a regular credit charge - it is a short-term availment that you must pay back as soon as possible. You may be required to pay a one-time transaction fee (sometimes as much as 5% of the advance) in addition to finance charges that start to accrue immediately. The interest for cash advances is often higher than for purchases. That's why it is not advisable to use a cash advance to pay for ordinary living expenses and other non-essential expenses or to cover other credit card bills.

Part of the overall credit limit for your credit card account includes a separate cash advance limit. These amounts are shown on your monthly statement. At any given time, the total of your cash advances and any interest on them cannot exceed your cash advance limit or cause you to exceed your overall credit limit.

Many credit card companies begin adding finance charges as soon as you take out a cash advance. You may not have to repay the cash advance in full the first month, but if you carry a balance, remember that you will pay for more finance charges.

  • At a bank: With your card, you can charge a cash advance at virtually any bank, including those in other countries.
  • Through an ATM: With your card and your personal identification number (PIN), you can request a cash advance at an automated teller machine (ATM) anywhere around the world.