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Updated November 23, 2013

Best Credit Cards for Cash Advances


If you need quick cash, one very expensive – but sometimes necessary – option is to use your credit card at the ATM for a cash advance.

A cash advance lets you take money out of the machine with your credit card just like you do with your ATM card, when you withdraw your own money. However, this type of transaction will show up as a charge on your credit card statement for you to pay off in the future.

There’s also a catch to cash advances. Most credit card companies charge an upfront fee plus a high interest rate on them. Ideally, you have your own cash fund set aside for emergencies. However, if you are in a tight spot, a cash advance is better than some of your other options. Payday loans, for example, often charge even higher fees. And if your strategy is to put off paying some of your bills when you’re strapped for cash, you could end up with penalties, lost services, and damage to your credit score.

Also know that cash advances are not a solution to long-term financial problems. If you’re going to be hurting for money for awhile, you may want to consider alternatives such as a small loan from a credit union, negotiating with your creditors, or contacting a consumer credit counseling service. Read our guide on how to get out of debt before you consider a cash advance.

After considering all your options, if you do decide to opt for a cash advance, here's our updated list of the best credit cards for this purpose. While you hopefully will never need to turn take this step, at least you know you will get a fair deal if you equip yourself with one of these cards in, well, advance.

All cards below have no annual fee and usually require excellent credit.

Barclaycard Ring offers cash advances at a 8% variable APR with a $1 cash advance transaction fee.

Barclaycard Ring MasterCard - 1% Back on Balance Transfers
Apply for Barclaycard Ring MasterCard - 1% Back on Balance Transfers
  • Get a 1% Statement Credit back on the amount of balance transfers made in the first 60 days of account opening
  • No Balance Transfer Fees - start saving immediately!
  • A low 8% variable APR on balance transfers and purchases
  • No Annual Fees
  • Choose your card benefits and features
  • Get rewarded through the new Giveback™ program, where Barclaycard Ring members get money back for good performance
  • Get exclusive access to our online community and vote on the card features you like and view the financials of the Barclaycard Ring MasterCard online
  • Learn more about personal finance from Barclaycard and other members
Intro APR for PurchasesIntro APR for Balance TransferRegular APRAnnual Fee
N/AN/A
8% (Variable)
$0

Citi Simplicity Card offers cash advances at 12.99% to 21.99% variable APR based on your creditworthiness. There is a cash advance fee of either $10 or 5% (whichever is greater).

Citi Simplicity Card
Apply for Citi Simplicity Card
  • 0% Intro APR on Balance Transfers and Purchases for 18 months. After that, the variable APR will be 12.99% - 21.99% based on your creditworthiness.
  • There is a balance transfer fee of either $5 or 3% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.
  • No late fees - EVER
  • No penalty rate - EVER
  • No annual fee - EVER
  • Save time when you call with fast, personal help, 24 hours a day.
Car Rental InsuranceExtended Warranty$0 Fraud LiabilityIdentity Theft Assistance
Intro APR for PurchasesIntro APR for Balance TransferRegular APRAnnual Fee
0%* for 18 months*
0%* for 18 months*
12.99% - 21.99%* (Variable)
$0*

To be sure, in today’s rough economy, money is tight for many American households. In a poll by the American Payroll Association, 68% of households reported that they would have serious financial problems if a paycheck was a week late. This means most Americans are living paycheck to paycheck and don’t have the cash reserves to deal with a financial emergency. So while a cash advance may be a last resort, know that you’re probably not alone if you need to go this route. At least now you know the best options for which credit card can put you in the best position when you’ll need a cash infusion.

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Disclaimer: This content is not provided or commissioned by the credit card issuer. Opinions expressed here are author’s alone, not those of the credit card issuer, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuer. This site may be compensated through the credit card issuer Affiliate Program.