When your budget runs tight and you don’t know where to turn, a cash advance from your credit card can provide welcome relief. Whether you access a cash advance via an ATM or through one of those convenience checks you receive in the mail, this option lets you access cash quickly by borrowing against your credit card’s existing limit.
While a cash advance may be downright convenient, there are notable downsides to consider before you choose this option. First, cash advances work differently than normal credit card charges due to the fact they begin accruing interest from day one. Where charging a purchase on your credit card is interest-free if you pay your bill when your statement closes, cash advances offer no such grace period.
Second, interest charges for cash advances can be considerably high – especially if your card charges a hefty interest rate to begin with. Further, many credit cards tack on a cash advance fee of $10 to $20 – and these charges are levied on top of the interest you’re paying already.
Seven Credit Cards with No Cash Advance Fee
A handful of credit cards can save you from at least part of the expense of taking out a cash advance – the fees. These cards don’t offer a lot of perks, but they don’t charge a fee for cash advances up to certain limits, either. Here are seven of the top cards that let you take out a cash advance without an extra fee.
PenFed Promise Visa® Card
While not offered by one of the major card issuers, the PenFed Promise Visa® offers more benefits than one might think. In addition to a big signup bonus after you spend just $1,000 on the card within 90 days, this card comes with no annual fee, no late fees, no foreign transaction fees, and no cash advance fee.
The ongoing APR falls between 10.24% and 17.99% depending on your creditworthiness, and you can even transfer a balance with no balance transfer fee in certain cases.
- Related: Best Balance Transfer Credit Cards
PenFed Platinum Rewards Visa® Signature Card
The PenFed Platinum Rewards Visa® Signature Card offers an array of benefits along with cash rewards you can earn for every dollar you spend.
For starters, you’ll get a signup bonus worth $150 after you spend $1,500 on your card within 90 days. Second, you’ll earn 5x points for each dollar spent on gas, 3x points for grocery spending, and 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases. And yes, you can get these rewards with no annual fee, no foreign transaction fees — and no cash advance fees.
PenFed Gold Visa®
The PenFed Gold Visa® is another card with no cash advance fees and no annual fee. You’ll also get no foreign transaction fees and an APR as low as 10.24% depending on your creditworthiness. A $100 signup bonus after you spend $1,500 in 90 days sweetens the pot, along with 0% APR on balance transfers for the first 12 months. A balance transfer fee does apply.
Odyssey Rewards World Elite MasterCard by First Tech Federal Credit Union
The Odyssey Rewards World Elite MasterCard by First Tech Federal Credit Union doesn’t offer a rewards program, but it more than makes up for it with attractive consumer protections and travel benefits. Once you sign up for this card, you’ll get extended warranties on certain products, price protection when you overpay, price assurance, and travel concierge services among other perks. And yes, you’ll go without cash advance fees if you access this option.
Visa Platinum Cash Back Rewards from Stanford Credit Union
Stanford Credit Union is not-for-profit, which makes it easier for them to offer cards with premier benefits and minimal fees. The Visa Platinum Cash Back Rewards from Stanford Credit Union, for example, charges no hidden fees – no balance transfer fees, no foreign transaction fees, and, yes, no cash advance fees.
As an added bonus, you’ll earn 3% back on Stanford Book Store purchases and 1% back on all other purchases. On the consumer side, you’ll receive purchase security and extended protection, lost luggage reimbursement, auto rental collision damage waiver, travel and emergency assistance services, and travel accident insurance as cardholder perks.
Digital Credit Union Visa® Platinum Credit Card
The Digital Credit Union Visa® Platinum Credit Card comes with almost zero fees to speak of – no balance transfer fees, no annual fee, and no cash advance fees. Once you sign up, you’ll qualify for insurance, car rental, travel, and warranty benefits just for being a cardholder. You can also set up optional overdraft protection on your DCU checking account if you bank with Digital Credit Union.
Digital Credit Union Visa® Platinum Rewards Credit Card
The Digital Credit Union Visa® Platinum Rewards Credit Card is similar to its sister card, with the main difference being this card’s lucrative rewards program. Once you sign up, you’ll earn 1 point for each dollar you spend and even more if you shop through the DCU portal or make purchase through this program’s “Point Perks Mall.” You can redeem your points for gift cards, merchandise, travel, and experiences. You’ll also enjoy no annual fees, no balance transfer fees, and no cash advance fees.
The Bottom Line
If you need money fast, a cash advance from your credit card can satisfy your needs. Still, this option can be costly. Before you take out a cash advance, make sure you know exactly how much you’re borrowing along with how much you’ll wind up paying in the end. It also helps to have a plan to repay what you borrow right away.